Recipes, Things I Like, Thoughts

Pear, Arugula, & Prosciutto Pizzette

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Photos by Captivated Events & Photography

I could think of no better place to be this past weekend than enjoying the company of some new friends in the Highlands district of Denver, co-hosting, cooking, and drinking wine in a beautifully remodeled warehouse home.

This occasion was to celebrate the upcoming endeavor’s my friend Shauna is undertaking as she updates her business, Willow & Raven. You can expect good and tasty things coming from her soon {follow her on FB to get the updates!}

The theme was bringing the outdoors in for an industrial picnic.  I created  most of the savory elements of the night. Among other things, I made a bite-sized Pear, Prosciutto, & Arugula Pizzette that was one of the most simple, tastiest things I have ever made.

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  • Freshly sliced Prosciutto Di Parma
  • Fresh Arugula
  • Soft brined cheese {I used an incredible Italian soft, nutty, & creamy cheese from Whole Foods, which I totally can’t recall }
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • White flour
  • Freshly chopped Garlic
  • Pizza dough { I was able to grab my absolute favorite dough from my all-time favorite pizza restaurant Pizzeria Locale }

1. Sprinkle some flour over your work space and start rolling out the pizza dough. Use a Mason Jar ring, or a round cookie cutter to cut and portion the pizza into small, round, bite-sized shapes. Put pieces on a sheet pan that has been lightly brushed with Olive Oil. Make sure to brush the top of the pizettewith a little olive oil too.

2. Mince up your garlic and place 3-4 minced garlic pieces on each pizzette.

4.  Slice up your pear into thin slices,  and cover each pizzete completely with pear slices.

5. Pop those babies in the oven, make sure to follow the instructions your dough came with or just monitor closely. I put the oven on a high 500 degrees and let them bake for 10 minutes total.

6. After the dough has baked, top with your cheese, prosciutto, and arugula. Pizzete complete. I should have made twice the quantity, so be sure you make enough. Your guests will want more than one.

7.  This makes a damn good pizza too if you don’t want to do a bite-sized version.  Just sayin…

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Things I Like

Denver Coffee Talk


Dear Blackeye Coffee, I love you to the moon & back

Denver’s scene for excellent, well-crafted coffee has reached a new pinnacle.  As a former barista of 10+ years I can admit that for awhile, I had lost hope for Denver completely, until the likes of Crema and Happy Coffee surfaced and all became well in my Denver world.  Now, local roasters like Boxcar Coffee and Huckleberry Roasters have brought us coffee this city can truly be proud of.

I have found a few shops since that have managed to live up to my high standards {admittedly a snide comment}, with my current favorite being Blackeye Coffee.

In addition to their coffee bar, this Highlands establishment includes a beautiful, small counter in the back where you can find some excellent local produce and other local items for sale. Not only is the space of Blackeye sublime in every way I can imagine, with a clean mix of mid-century modern/rustic/nostalgic goodness, but their product offerings may or may not make me squeal like the little girl that I am.

Another coffee shop I am particularly fond of is Purple Door Coffee,  Denver’s newest addition which only opened their {purple} doors a week ago today. Located in the heart of  Five Points, Purple Door Coffee exists to impact the community for the greater good by providing barista jobs to homeless individuals looking for a way out of their situation. I highly recommend stopping by to treat yourself to the amazing atmosphere and coffee, but most importantly you’ll be supporting the very barista who’s been expertly trained to provide your beverage.

I am happy to know that there are more and more excellent Denver establishments coming out of the woodwork these days. It’s a great time to be in this city, go out there and enjoy it!



Purple Door, welcome to the Denver community!

Things I Like, Thoughts

Rivers and Roads


“Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.” Jack Kerouac

For anyone who follows me on social media you would have been recently inundated with a myriad of photos from a road trip Jamie and I and embarked on to San Francisco. I shamelessly documented nearly every step we took on this whirlwind adventure.

I fell head over heels for the city of San Francisco and the surrounding bay area. The vibrant scape of land, sea, and city did my soul good. I didn’t realize how deeply I needed to step out of my familiar environment, and take some time to explore and be inspired by the unknown.

I resonated deeply with the ideas that San Francisco seemed to stand for.  Nature and city, old and new combining together in vibrant existence.  It was a contagious air that has me utterly inspired to bring those things to Denver in a way which never has been done before. Unfortunately I cannot divulge more about this right now, but let’s just say some things are in the works that if done correctly, will bring some much needed life to Denver.


The Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco, an inspiring stop for me to say the least…

There were a few others from our close-knit community in Denver that made the trip with us. It was a brilliant time I will treasure always;  celebrating our dear friends Dan and Rachael getting  married atop the gorgeous bluffs of Muir Beach.


One of my favorite moments in San Fran was spent hanging out and joking with a chef and his staff of Hops & Hominy.  It started when we ventured by a sign as it was being dragged away that had the word “bacon” on it. That’s all I remember that was on it and that’s all you need to know…

We followed the employee dragging the sign into the restaurant as it had just began to close,  but were pleasantly surprised to be welcomed in by Chef David and his staff to sit at the bar. We ended up sitting there for a few hours, sampling micro-brewed beer and some tasty treats the chef ordered for us; all for the cost of pranking his bartender.


The craft micro beers and southern comfort food at Hops & Hominy is “hella good”

It’s funny how simple people living out their passions can change the way life is, for the better good of all.  No matter where I am this statement always rings true…It’ s a huge encouragement to me as I begin to flesh out dreams I’ve had for years without putting them to action.

So, as cliche as this sounds let me just say it: whatever your passion is,  it undoubtedly will not only affect you, but those around you, whether you know it or not. Keep pressing in to your ideas, and start acting now! As one of my favorite authors Thoreau once admonished…

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Things I Like, Thoughts

Inspiration & Originality

michael newsted

{ photo by Michael Newsted }

When it comes to Creativity, I’ve always maintained the same point that Steve Jobs once made:

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.

I’ve been wrestling with what it means to be an artist… and if I can even consider myself enough of one to describe myself using this term.  I really like to define myself as “a creative” and that makes me feel pretty good…but am I a true artist?

Inspiration is everywhere. We take things that we see, taste, hear, etc. and work to convey it in a new, inspired light.  A well-known poet once said: “Creativity is not the finding of a thing, but the making something out of it after it is found.”

But sometimes I wonder what else out there is left to be created that has never been done before; an unknown concept, design, or sound perhaps left for someone to bring to light for the first time ever. Sometimes, I wonder what it would feel like to be truly original. It’s a thought that kinda stresses me out as I endeavor to create things of my own.

To be the creator of something new based on inspirations birthed elsewhere is what creativity is all ab out … but I think true artistry lies just a bit further and is a little more hard to attain. It really takes a deep understanding of yourself  {& others| as a person and as an artist. I’m hopeful that someday I’ll get there…

I was recently astounded to read an open apologetic letter from one of the most creative artists that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing personally. He admits to being inspired by other artists around him, and in a truly humble gesture; apologizes for profiting as an originator of the art he was originally inspired by.

We can find inspiration from our peers as soon as they put something online. with unlimited access many of us have become lazy. We should absolutely learn from the greats. But we need to be careful not to merely profit off of their blood, sweat and tears.  

Drew Melton “An Apology” 

Even wildly original artists gain inspiration elsewhere. I am encouraged to know that even the best of the best can be inspired by others and integrate those inspirations into their own, amazing work. I am also encouraged by people like Drew who are honest with the fact that they’ve gained insight outside of themselves in order to accomplish creations of their own and work to become their own entity.

It was the great C.S. Lewis that once said, “No man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.

Phew. That takes the pressure off a little, doesn’t it?

So, be inspired…but also be honest about what you do with that inspiration.

Just be you.

Recipes, Things I Like

Gluten Free Pancake Breakfast w/Warm Berry Compote & Lemon-Honey Whipped Cream

blueberry pancakes

Breakfast { or brunch }  is easily one of my favorite meals of all time.  We awake to sweet and savory flavors combined in harmony before we are sent on our way for the rest of what the day may bring.  Any day that starts with a scrumptious breakfast is bound to be a good day.

This last Sunday was no exception. Our dear friends Andy  & Glorie were visiting us for the weekend. They are the sort of persons that emanate goodness, kindness, and love from the core of who they are.  They are fellow adventure-seekers and purveyors of fun and beauty. Those type of friends are hard to come by and I intend to keep them forever.  :)

So here’s my take on an insanely easy yet ridiculously tasty pancake breakfast:

Gluten Free Pancakes topped w/ Warm Berry Compote  & a Lemon- Honey Whipped Cream: 


  • Pamela’s baking & pancake mix { simply my favorite for GF cooking, something I actually preferred to make & eat before I was a glutard } 
  • 2 Eggs
  • Veggie Oil
  • Almond Milk
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Ground Cinnamon & nutmeg
  • Fresh Lemon
  • Fresh Berries  { blueberry, raspberry, or strawberry }
  • Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Honey
  • Sausage or bacon { a little crispy pork is a must have for this meal! }

1. Prepare the pancake batter by following the instructions found on the back of the bag for the crepe recipe:  I modified a little by cutting the water amount in half & then added almond milk the for the remaining half & also added an extra egg.

2. Add dashes of vanilla extract, cinnamon,  & nutmeg to the batter to  your hearts content!

3. Put your bacon or sausage on the griddle.

4.  In a heavy bottom sauce pan add your berries and a tablespoon of honey. { I crushed some berries to release some liquid but left most whole }.  Simmer on medium to medium low & stir occasionally.

5. Cut a lemon in half. Squeeze half over the berries and save the other half for the whipped cream.

6. In a mixing bowl in your heavy whipping cream and be generous with adding some honey. Squeeze in the other half of the lemon and whisk away. { I used a hand blender which whipped up the cream in under a min } Set aside.

7. Time to cook your pancakes. A minute or so each side on medium-high heat.

8.  You’ll be flipping your pancakes while monitoring your sausage { or bacon- yum } while occasionally stirring your berry compote. Cooking is for multi-taskers, nuf said.

9. Along with the berry compote- I also served fresh fruit as well. A little bit of both topped on the pancakes with the rich whipped cream tasted wonderful!

10. Enjoy with coffee and have a beautiful day.

Things I Like, Thoughts

A Visit, Some Cheese, and a Refreshed Perspective

“My tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied with the best.”

A selection of cured meats & fine cheeses from Cured; paired with a single brewed cup of Boxcar Coffee. Located in Boulder, CO.

This week, I enjoyed a wonderful visit from my amazing Parents. Never have I known two individuals more life-giving and loving than them. I may be a bit biased with that thought, but it’s true! They have endlessly worked to give my sisters and I a good life.

My mom is a beautiful,  thoughtful, dedicated, high-spirited, and friendly woman. She ignited my imagination at a young age, reading us story after story before we could pick up the pages and read them ourselves.  My social and hospitality roots first began their growth from her example  too. There was nothing I loved more than helping mom prepare for a party; especially running errands to the local grocer to choose ingredients for the special occasion. She truly taught me what it was to love people, try new food, and how to properly share it with others.

My dad is a strong-willed, loving, creative, and loyal man. He values hard work, but also the leisure that comes as a reward for it. On nights he would sit with me for hours at the kitchen table, helping me battle my math homework, but would then  serenade me to “Blackbird” by the Beatles on his guitar before the night was over. He is a disciplined man, and I have always looked up to the way he structures his life.  He worked hard to give my siblings and I a wonderful childhood filled with family vacations, music lessons,  fancy dinner outings, and many  father/daughter  shopping trips.

But so not to spoil us, my parents would also take us camping…and across borders to others less fortunate countries for extended amounts of time. We learned what is was like to have nothing, live on nothing, and to give back because we had been given so much. Those were beautiful times of learning for me.

Now I have a family of my own and have spread my little wings out from under my Parent’s care. They are still ever-supportive and generous… but things are different, even for them. We are all learning how to live with less, and what it means to be  content with what we have.

mtnThis week my parents, Jamie and I enjoyed some beautiful moments together; escaping to the nearby foothills…our Jeep climbing the slopes for some much needed seclusion. We sat on an overlook in the warm sun, going through periods of speaking and then simply sitting together in silence… I got antsy but wanted to let my parents enjoy the mountains while they could.

My dad noted some interesting textures found in the trees, and my mom picked up some fresh snow and held it out in the sun, admiring how much like diamonds it looked. It reminded me of the sense of wonder and awe I used to hold as a child under their care, and how much I had missed that feeling.

Later that evening, we ventured back into the city of Boulder and I took them to Cured and Boxcar Coffee, a place I knew they would love as much as I do.  This space features the finest charcuterie and cured meats deli I’ve ever eaten…and across the room to another counter  some of the best coffee is roasted, brewed, and served fresh.


We sat and sampled some offerings from Cured and Boxcar and savored the richness and flavors of the food and the coffee. Again, I was inspired to value the beauty and satisfaction found in the simple things like our eaten artisan food chased by a wonderfully brewed coffee.

I will always be grateful to my parents for the life they’ve given me and the values they instilled in me. They taught me to live simply, but also recognize and pursue the beauty that is around me. Thanks to them, I love to discover the richness that can be found  in all things…even something as simple as a slice of imported cheese.