Tuesday, May 21, 2013


This past weekend was a pretty big one for me and my family. I'm the youngest in my family, not just between my brother and I, but of all the grandchildren on both sides. I am also the last one to graduate college, which was accomplished on May 18th. I got my Bachelors of Science in Food Service Management to go along with my Associates of Science in Baking and Pastry. My Grandmother Jo was able to drive in from Utah to see me graduate, which put me over the moon on the happiness scale.

After graduation we had a get together with some friends and family. We of course celebrated with excessive amounts of food. Throughout the afternoon people milled around the dining room table snacking on a veggie tray and conversing about life, with a general feel of merriment.

If graduating from college wasn't enough I also turned 22 on May 19th. Again we had a small get together with just family this time, and was mostly to eat up the leftovers from the day before. I'm planning on going up to Blackhawk/Central City to go do some gambling with the money I got for my birthday. I figured this year I've had enough bad luck that I'm due for some good, so why not try it out there. Also at my favorite casino there they give you a present if you come in during your birthday month, last year I got a cup that I love.

My plans for now are to keep working at Tipsy Cupcakes and Desserts. Try to move out of my parents house and live life to the fullest.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Chinese food

I've had two recent experiences with Chinese food, and they were complete opposites. I ordered delivery from New Ya Ting and I went to Mr. Panda's Super Buffet.

Mr. Panda's Super Buffet was some of the worst food I have ever had, let alone Chinese. It included dishes like beef broccoli, and had a whole section of seafood, with crab legs. I love crab legs, in my mind it is pretty hard to ruin crab legs for me, and yet Mr. Panda's ruined them. First off they were served cold, which wouldn't be that big of a deal to me, but they were absolutely water logged. I got over that, but I couldn't get over the fact that when I poured what I thought was butter over my crab meat and took my first bite there was a taste that didn't belong. A feeling that this wasn't truly butter. I tasted it by itself and realized that it was butter flavored shortening, which completely ruined crab meat that wasn't perfect to begin with.

Let me compare dish to dish now,
Cheese wontons: Mr. Panda's were over done and there wasn't any cheese inside. New's were perfectly crisp and filled with delicious creamy cheesy goodness.

Beef broccoli: Mr. Panda's had tough and chewy beef with fall apart broccoli, not to mention it was a little on the cold side. New's was a little salty, but nice tender beef with broccoli that was still a little crisp.

Egg rolls: Mr. Panda's were not crisp and still drenched in oil. New's had a bit of excessive grease that dribbled down my arm when I took a bite, but the crunch was worth the dribble.

Orange chicken: Mr. Panda's was just spicy, no flavor or hints of orange. New's had a small kick to it, but also had a bit of sweetness and a wonderfully fragrant burst of orange.

Service (in a roundabout way, not the traditional sense)
Mr. Panda's staff was friendly enough but did not seem to be on point about what they were supposed to do. They were slow at clearing the discarded plates, and when asked a question they were very confused and could not give a straight answer the first time you asked. New's delivery driver was early with our food, and made sure that we got everything we ordered. He even came back up to the door when he realized that the egg rolls we had ordered were still in his car.

The same number of people went to the buffet as when I ordered delivery. For the buffet it cost us around $60 for four. The delivery was around $40-50 with delivery fee for four, and we were able to get multiple meals out of it for a couple of days. I would gladly pay for the delivery any day, on its worst day it is still better than the best day that Mr. Panda's could do.

Monday, May 6, 2013

GMOs: Genetically Modified Organisms

There is so much controversy about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that I thought I would jump on the chance to write a little bit about it.

The good
We are in a drought, but we still need to produce food. GMOs to the rescue. These plants are bred to survive in drought conditions, which is something that we need badly. They are also being designed to have a higher yield, enhanced nutrition, and other consumer benefits. We need to be able to produce the most amount of food with the highest nutritional value using the least amount of water. While it is not available at the current time these are promises for the future, which at the rate the population is growing is some places we might need to have those GMO crops sooner rather than later. 

The bad
 We don't know exactly how these modified organisms are going to affect humans. There could be a long term affect that we don't know about yet, such as an intolerance to certain food or allergies or our bodies weren't made to eat something like a GMO crop.
They are harming the environment because they are herbicide resistant and they use of certain herbicides does damage to the soil. It is also aiding in the production of super weeds and super bugs.
The GMOs are things that do not happen naturally and when they are introduced into the environment there is no controlling what might cross breed and what those cross breeds might be capable of.

How I feel
 I have mixed feelings about GMOs. I feel that they are going to be necessary in the future but I also don't like the idea of not knowing what harm they could do to human beings. We already know that they are harming the environment since they are designed to be herbicide resistant, which means that we are having to find more harmful substances to destroy the super weeds that the GMOs created. I'm not really for or against GMOs, I am for more research into the subject. I will be for GMOs if they turn out to do more good than harm, but for now I am sticking against them until we know more about them.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Hospital Food

Disclaimer, I talk about being sick to my stomach. Not in a gross detailed way but I do say throw up a few times. Also at the end is a picture of my stomach post-operation.
I have been in many different hospitals, never the patient though, until this year. I would go visit my mom while she was working. I've visited my sick friends, to give them moral support. Since I was just there for a few hours at most, I never felt the absolute need to eat from the cafeteria, I could just leave and find some place that had a place in my mind as being better. Most recently I can recall being at the hospital with my best friend while she was giving birth and when the support team got hungry we went down the street to Panera instead of eating at the cafeteria.

A few years ago my dad was hospitalized for weeks and I remember going down the street to Jimmy Johns instead of the cafeteria for lunches because it was quick and a little bit of a break from the hospital. During that time it was hard during meal times because I would be the only one making meals and I don't know how to make much. I do know how to make a few things from scratch but I never seemed to want to and when I did I would make the same things over and over again until I was tired of them. I would make my mom dinner on nights that she would come home from taking care of him and that would be scrambled eggs and toast. I remember one day that my dad was allowed to have pureed food and it looked and smelled disgusting. They had liquefied eggs and hash browns, I'm sure there were other items but I just remember those two, and I thought to myself "who purees eggs?" and "if I'm ever hospitalized and put on a soft foods diet I would never order pureed eggs."

This year has been a pretty rough year for me. At the end of December I was diagnosed with mononucleosis (mono) or the "kissing disease", not a huge deal, I could live with that. I was told not to go snowboarding because the spleen can become enlarged and if it gets hit really hard while enlarged it would rupture and I would most likely die from internal bleeding. I was fine with that, I could wait a year to go snowboarding. Toward the end of January, I was feeling pretty good, didn't have any symptoms that persisted and I went snowshoeing with my brother and his wife. I got a sore throat and was pretty sick with that for about a week, it just felt like the flu. Thursday the 14th of February I started to feel funky, I was running a fever and my tonsils had swollen up. By Saturday I was unable to swallow anything and went into the ER. They re-hydrated me, gave me some pain meds and steroids to help with the swelling, and sent me on my way.

A few days later I went in to see an Ear Nose and Throat doctor to see about getting my tonsils out. That was really hard to get scheduled, during the course of scheduling it was set up for three different days. They ended up taking my tonsils and adenoids out on the 28th of February. I recovered better and quicker than anyone thought I would. After recovering from that I started to have some left side abdominal pain, my primary care doctor thought that it might still be mono related and that my spleen was enlarged. She ordered an ultrasound to check. My spleen was fine, but they found that my gall bladder was full of gall stones and would need to be taken out at some point. I wanted to wait until after graduation to do it so that I wouldn't have to worry about taking any days off from school.

Saturday morning on April  27th I started to get some pain after eating, but didn't really think anything of it. I went about my day, even going into work and working a full shift. I was in a bit more pain when I came home that evening, but I went to bed and woke up with no pain on Sunday. I ate something and the pain came back, again I ignored it and went to work. It got worse throughout the day. My mom debated taking me into the ER, but consulted a friend that is stomach doctor. He said that it could wait and I should consult my primary care doctor in the morning. Monday morning I went in, and they drew some blood and felt my stomach. They sent me on my way and told me that if the pain got worse to go to the ER. I ate some food and the pain got worse. I ignored the pain and went to class. While in class the pain started to shoot up to about an 8 out of 10. I went home. That is when things took a dive for the worse, I started to throw up anything that touched my stomach. I was starting to run a fever, my mom decided it was time to take me to the ER.  By 1:00 am Tuesday morning I was admitted to the hospital and told that I would be having surgery to remove my gall bladder later on that day.

2:30 pm Tuesday afternoon I was in surgery.  I don't remember much after that until about 6:30 pm when I was finally allowed to eat. I ordered some chicken noodle soup with crackers and apple juice. The soup came in this heavy duty black bowl with a flimsy plastic lid to keep the heat in. It was much like the Campbell chicken noodle soup in a can, it might even have been out of the can. All I know was it was some of the best chicken noodle soup I have ever had, maybe that was just the fact that I hadn't had food in over 24 hours. Those pureed eggs might have even tasted good, who knows. The hospital discharged me because I was able to eat and keep the food down. I got to sleep in my own bed without being woken up every so often by nurses checking on me. I am doing pretty well, in some pain still but that is expected after surgery.

I really wanted to see my gall bladder after they took it out, but the surgeon wouldn't show it to me... oh well it probably would have grossed me out anyways.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Murphy Creek Tavern

My house is out in the middle of nowhere it seems. Sure there are other houses around it but there aren’t any shopping areas close by, and the closest stop light is at least five miles away. It is hard to find places nearby to go out to eat at because of where I live. When the community down the road from us advertised their clubhouse served dinner it was a must try.
The clubhouse is very small; at full capacity it might seat 50 people, including the small bar, three televisions are mounted to the walls. The wait staff is very friendly and seems to enjoy their work. They are attentive without being overbearing and make sure to keep drinks filled, while requests are filled for mayonnaise and other condiments.
Since the class talked about fish and chips ($11) in class I’ve wanted to find a place that did fish and chips and just hoped that it would be good. Murphy Creek paid up with some golden, crispy fried fish, only one side was a little soggy because it was laid on coleslaw. The chips had an overdone brown to them, which would normally be associated with nicely crisp French fries but I was let down with half.
Build your own burger ($8 plus $0.50 per topping) is where the customer gets the choice of toppings to add, it comes stacked with the usuals of lettuce, tomato, and onion. It was ordered with sautéed onions and mushrooms and cooked to a medium rare. The burger was cut and showed a perfect medium rare, the flavor just bursts in the mouth while the juice ran down the forearms. The strange part of this burger was that it came with both the raw and sautéed, don’t get me wrong I love onion, but that is a bit excessive.
It was not after five pm when I visited the establishment, I was unable to order the prime rib dinner, I settled for the French dip ($9) which had prime rib meat. The meat was juicy and tender, the au juis barely needed for anything besides a flavor booster. The bun could have used a little bit more crisp to it so it could hold its own against the au juis a bit better.
Overall this place had me hooked just because of the proximity and has reeled me in with the food.

Best part was some pretty awesome fish and chips, in a land locked state.

Worst part: had to listen and sort of watch on the televisions the golf game.

Bar Food | 1700 Old Tom Morris Road, Aurora, Colorado 303-361-7310 | $6-26 | Mon-Thurs 8:30 am- 8pm, Friday 8:30 am- 9 pm, Sat 8am- 8 pm, Sun 8am- 5 pm | all forms of payment

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Fondue Night

One year while living in Germany, my family and I went on a ski trip to Switzerland or Austria, I can't remember which, it was the Alps, I know that much. After a long day of skiing we went out to dinner at a place that had some fantastic fondue. The thing that I remember most about the place is our server. He had pants on that were cow patterned and I loved them the moment I saw them, I wanted a pair for the longest time. I finally got a pair for Christmas last year, Merv and Maude got them for me.

Occasionally Betty, Johnny and I have a night were we have fondue. We use to buy a package that was really good, but the store stopped carrying it and we were forced to find a recipe and make it from scratch. Even though we have a recipe it never comes out the same way twice. We don't always have the same kind of cheese. I'm pretty sure that it still wouldn't come out the same way twice if we did have the same kinds of cheese.

The whole point of this post is to let you in on the crazy that is me. I got excited because I was at work and I was wearing my cow patterned pants. I came home and it was fondue night. It brought me back all those year to when I first saw cow pants and wanted a pair for myself. Here is a picture of me in my cow pants having fondue, don't judge. Also, that is Johnny in the picture, being his usual grump self.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Arada, Ethiopian Food

I've visited a lot of places in my life, more than some people dream of. I have been to over 25 different countries and countless cities. Living in Germany had its advantages, if you wanted to do a day trip you could take one to another country. When I say that something is a bit of an adventure I sort of know what I'm talking about, and this time it was.

Ethiopian is quite unlike anything else I tried, sure there might be things that are recognizable such as the tomatoes from the tomato salad or the chicken pieces from the Doro Alitcha. The flavors are completely unique though, along with the serving style. I quite enjoyed the way the meal is supposed to be eaten, with your hands and pieces of the imjera, the spongey bread like serving dish. I am a savage at home and try to use as few utensils and dishes as possible, at a restaurant I am mostly polite and civilized. Betty might disagree here, she likes to scold and reprimand me sometimes when I'm not behaving they way she thought she raised me. I'm just doing my part to conserve water by not using utensils, or a better excuse that I might make up later to justify eating with my fingers because it is fun. Back to the point that this restaurant was enjoyable for me just for that reason. We had the entire restaurant to ourselves for the majority of the time spent there, Maude had said that it was unusual for it to be so empty.

Our server was attentive without being overbearing, she made sure our glasses stayed full of water and was sure not to disturb us while we were consuming. This really surprised me because I would have thought with as empty as it was I would have though she would be bugging us a lot due to boredom.

I'm sure I have said it before but I'm saying it again, I do not enjoy foods that have a lot of spice. Things I eat should not make my mouth feel like I swallowed a burning coal, there should be discernible tastes, most of the items we ate were not that spicy, the ones that were were very spicy. The yemiser wot was especially hot.

Yatakilt alitcha was my favorite, with the steamed potatoes and carrots that had a slight sweetness to them, maybe I was imagining that, it was a break from the spice of the yemiser wot and the siga wot. The injera was a very interesting piece to the dish. It was almost like a tortilla in the uses for it, by itself it had a very vinegar taste but was easily masked. The texture was the weirdest thing and hardest to describe other than a sponge, I know that doesn't sound very appealing but it is better than it sounds.

The Yater Alitcha was a yellow pea dish that did not have a lot of flavor to it. It looked much like a corn mash.

Yemiser wot was a lentil dish with a berbere or a red pepper sauce, I only got spice and heat off of this, making it my least favorite.

Gomen is a steamed greens dish, it was my second least favorite. It had almost no taste to it and what taste it did was not very pleasing.

The siga wot and doro alitcha were the only two dishes with meat in them. The siga wot was tender beef in a berbere sauce, this was a little spicy but was nothing compared to the yemiser wot. The doro alitcha  was chicken that was bland, but the sauce had a garlic taste to it, that redeemed the chicken slightly.

Overall: I enjoyed the experience but I would not return, because I did not enjoy the food that much. It was not horrible food and I know people like Merv and Maude enjoy it, but I can do without.

Best part: Having the restaurant mostly to ourselves and our service.

Worst part: The price, it was pretty expensive.

Ethiopian | 750 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 303-329-3344 | $10-18 for single person entrees | Tue-Sat 11:30-10pm | all major credit cards

Thursday, April 4, 2013

La Sandia

When I have a blog I seem to start out great and then sort of teeter off after I've done couple posts. I then feel bad and want to make it up and apologize, I make promises that I know I won't keep. I'm trying really hard to be really good at keeping up with posting but life gets in the way and I don't post as often as I should or as much as I want to.

I've already told you about my job and how I love it, this last weekend I had to work a lot of hours in two days, not typical for me, but pretty typical throughout the industry. Friday was a particularly long day, I was away from home upwards of 14 hours, 12.5 of them actually spent at work. The 2.5ish hours I got as a break were spent eating and critique a restaurant. I was starving, we had been busy all day and I did not realize that it was past 3:30 pm before I got a break, this was after getting to work by 6 am, and having ate something in the car om the way to work.

Since I only had a short amount of time, at rush hour I might add, I had Betty and Johnny come to take me out to eat in a restaurant that is located near my work. We went to a place that I have been many times before and have almost always enjoyed the experience. La Sandia is a little Tequila Cantina in the Northfield shopping center, with plenty of parking all around, a slight walk though from the parking areas. It serves Mexican food at decent prices. The hostess was friendly and gave us the option of sitting in the happy hour section or the patio or in regular dinning area.

Our server was actually someone I knew from school, she could have been a little bit more attentive but took pretty good care of us. We were the only ones sitting in that area for a little while and it was hard to judge other servers or our server on other tables. From what I did observe of the other servers is that they are very friendly and try to accommodate requests.

I ordered the cantina nachos ($7.95 plus 2 for meat), which is actually an appetizer, with some skirt steak when it came out it was piled up like a mountain of food. I immediately grabbed a chip and dug in, the chips had a nice crunch and were just salty enough to make the dish have more flavor. I ordered it without jalapenos because of my extreme dislike for them, this did not take away from the dish at all in my mind, it might have made it better. The steak was juicy and succulent, protein that my body was craving. There was a pile of guacamole that was not enough for the size of the dish. Each component meshed with the others into a frenzy of tastes with none popping out as a dominant overlord in the flavor war, this was not a bad thing though. I tried my hardest but was unable to finish even half of the dish

Betty was not that hungry, she went with a chopped salad ($8.95). It was average salad size and had crispy bacon bits, tomato, cheese, hard boiled egg and lettuce. Like so many Americans I love bacon, but in this instance the bacon did not fit, it was sweet and clashed with the cilantro, the clear winner of salad flavor war. The cheese was the clear loser with no flavor at all, might as well have been white cubes of nothing.

Chopped Salad
Johnny is half Mexican and grew up eating Mexican food a lot, but there is always one thing that he loves to have over any other dish, enchiladas. I was taught at a young age to make this classic Mexican dish and could have made the enchiladas ($9.50) better than this dining establishment. There was a small pile of pickled onion on top that did not make sense, it also translated into the enchiladas with an overwhelming taste of vinegar. This maybe the only time I say something like this, but there was no heat or spice to it when there should have been. The "Mexican" rice looked as if someone added a slight amount of tomato sauce, didn't taste much better.

Overall: I would not go back for anything but the nachos, and I would bring a friend to help me eat the nachos.

Best part: The nachos, seriously and maybe the prices.

Worst part: I would have to say the enchiladas brought shame to the Mexican cuisine.

Mexican | 8340 Northfield Blvd #1690, Denver, CO 303-373-9100 | $5-24 | Sun- Thurs 11-9; Fri-Sat 11-10 | all forms of payment

Sunday, March 24, 2013

My job

As a student I have learned a lot. I loved having labs and I miss them a little bit. I miss the fun atmosphere, especially the 6pm to midnight labs, those were the best. As I move on with life I learn a little bit more and I can see how far I have come and I know that there is a lot more ahead of me, but in the here and now I am loving every minute. I worked 9 hours today, that is the most I have worked ever in one shift, I think. If I didn't love my job I would have said that it was going to be too much and that I wouldn't be able to work for that many hours without a break, but I did it today because I love my job.

I love making people happy with cupcakes. I love the look on people's faces when they finally realize why we are called Tipsy Cupcakes and desserts. I love being able to listen to music and when no one else is around I sing and dance. I love that I can be creative and try something new and different with my boss encouraging it. I love that my bosses aren't strict, they are laid back and like to have fun and joke around. I love that my boss thinks cow patterned pants are awesome.

My job right now may not be my forever dream job, but right now it is my ideal job and I wouldn't change it for the world.

Here is a picture of a cupcake I thought of, which is a Tipsy Cupcake version of the classic Tiramisu:

Friday, March 22, 2013

The moment I knew

My English professor told the class something along the lines of  "If you think about something with out really thinking about it, then an idea will hit when you least expect it." I'm probably paraphrasing or misquoting him in some way in that sentence, but I'm letting you know this because my idea for this paper hit. I was awoken, after only two hours of sleep, by my idea and I just had to get up and try to write out what it was I thought about. I tried, unsuccessfully, to write it the old fashioned way first, with pen and paper, but got tired of trying to see without turning on a light.

I believe that there comes a moment in every persons life where they just know something is such a inherent truth that it changes them a little bit. This moment doesn't always hit when the person is young and just starting out, it takes awhile for some and thus the little bit older of a generation going back to school to get a degree in a new field. I'm one of the lucky few that got my moment early in life. If you love what you do for work then it doesn't feel like work. I had a hard time choosing what I wanted to do for a career in life and was sorta told that this is what I was going to do and when I was going to do it.

After spring trimester of junior year in college I got a job working at a Burger King, it was situated on an Air Force Base and paid better than any other job I could find. For me this job was all about making enough money to survive for as long as possible without getting a job during a trimester of school. I hated this job with a passion, but I stuck with it for the three months of summer. What made this job so horrible? The people I had to deal with, not the customers, my coworkers along with never knowing my schedule ahead of time and the fact that this was a fast food giant that smashed any creativity in its worker drones.

My boss, a plump kind of short (and I know short, I'm only 5'2") woman, her glasses filling the majority of her face never seemed to be clean; would put the schedule up for the week on Sunday nights when the fewest amount of people would know what shifts they would be working throughout the week. She also had a difficult time with requested days off, one particular instance comes to mind when she was flip flopping about giving me a day off. I requested the day off a month in advance, plenty of time for any other place that was accommodating, the week before the day I wanted off, she pulls me into her office.

"You can't have the 1st of July off, too many others have requested it off."
"When did they request the day off?"
"Before you."
"I requested it over a month ago, I don't want the 4th off as well." holding my rage back, so I don't yell at this woman who has such trouble with a simple schedule that I could do in my sleep. "I just want to celebrate my mothers birthday with her and my family on her actual birthday."
"I'm sorry." she apologizes to me like that would make anything better. I walk calmly out of her office to get back to work.

The next day she pulls me into her office again.

"I've talked to the other people who requested the day off and I've made it so you can have it off."
"No thanks, I changed my plans. I'm going to be working that shift whether or not my name is on the schedule." I was furious at this woman for having such control over my life and seeming to just fuck with it for the fun of it. 

My coworkers drove me insane with how rigid and serious they were about working at a fucking fast food joint. There was one shining light in this mix, that made work bearable, he was the one person that I actually enjoyed working with, I'll called him Joey. His real name was Joseph, but he hated it when I called him Joey, I would do it just to mess with him, he was much like an older brother to me. He was tall, with salt and pepper hair, and a tattoo that took me a while to figure out said both life and death. We would joke around and have fun. Then there was the complete opposite of Joey, I called her Fart Girl, not to her face just to people who listened to me complain, she just sucked any joy out of the day. She was not much taller than me, rather thin, and had a hairdo that would change weekly, one week it would be an afro the next cornrows then it would be cut into a bob. She was a complete bitch to me, and made work a hostile environment. She was a pompous, arrogant human being that thought she was better than everyone else and tried to be the boss of everyone, she was a little bitter about being passed over for promotion making her want to sabotage anyone else's chance of promotion before her.

I can remember one particular day where she was being especially horrible. I was on the cash register and she was in the back doing orders, a lovely woman comes up and orders her meal. In a few minutes the order was ready for pickup, this lovely woman takes the tray and sits down in the dining area. I'm busy with another customer, so I don't see her walk back up to the counter with her blue plastic tray. When I finish with the new customer, I walk over and ask "Is there a problem with your meal?"
"You bet your ass there is. This isn't what I ordered."
"May I see your receipt, so I can make sure to have your order remade correctly?"
"Here" she throws the receipt at me in a huff.
I walk into the back and quietly confront Fart Girl about it. In the end she remade the meal and was angry at me for wasting a sandwich when she was the one to screw the order up.I still believe to this day that she would purposely mess orders up when I was working the counter to have customers complain to me or even yell at me.

Joey hated working the counter and would send me up in his place. He would then make sure my orders were always correct. He would often ask "Think we need more fries put down?"
"Not yet, I think we have enough right now."
A couple minutes would go past and I would yell "JOEY, we need fries put down."
He would just look at me and pull the basket up and dump the fresh fried fries into the hold bin. He would say something along the lines of "I knew we needed more fries." That is just a small example of how he always seemed to have my back. 

Fart Girl tried to make my working there a living hell and it worked a little bit. I hated coming to work and would call in sick on occasion because of plantar fasciitis, a condition where the tendons in the bottom of the feet get inflamed and irritated, which would make standing for an eight hour shift impossible on some days. It always seemed to be much worse on days that I knew I would have to deal with her. One particular day I had such bad pain in my foot that I could barely walk, so I called in sick, even though it was not a day that I would have to deal with Fart Girl, but because I called in sick my boss called her into work and this made our feud a little bit stronger. A few days later while at work she starts to complain that she isn't feeling well, that she threw up in the bathroom and that she thinks she needs to go home. The boss turns to me and asks if I can pick up her shift and I reply that I could work a few more hours but that I had a doctor appointment. This made the boss happy and she got the rest of the shift covered. The next day I had off, I get a call in the morning asking if I could cover Fart Girl's shift for the day, I had plans and wasn't about to cancel them for stupid work. The next day I was back at work with her, and I overheard a conversation about why she had called in sick. It was because she had really bad gas, but I believe she just wanted to make me come in on my day off like I had purposely planned to make her come in on her day off to cover my shift.

It was on days after working with her that I would come home and complain to who ever would listen about how much I hated my job. I was so glad that I was getting a college education. I wouldn't become one of those people content about being stuck in a boring job at a fast food joint, or a person making minimum wage in a job they hated. It was on one of those days that I finally realized that I had made the right choice in my career path. I knew that I would choose a job in baking, my passion, making minimum wage any day over a job with higher pay. I knew that for me baking isn't just something that I do, it is a part of who I am and who I always will be.

Ideas will just hit you when you least expect them. They aren't always the greatest but occasionally it will change your life, like Steve Job's idea for the iPod. An idea can consume you and take control of your life if you aren't careful, this could be good, this could be bad. In my case this idea to write in the middle of the night was an okay decision, I may regret it tomorrow and I may decide to scrap the whole thing, but at least I got what was in my head out and can maybe get back to sleep because I no longer have all these ideas floating around in there. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tri-tip Steak

For dinner Betty made this awesome tri-tip steak. It has been awhile since I've had some good solid red meat, as some of you may know I've been sick. I had to have my tonsils removed and before having them removed it was hard for me to swallow solid food so I didn't eat things with texture. I was missing having food with texture and having to actually use my teeth to chew food and while I have been able to eat solid food for a little less than a week now it was good to be able to have some good meat. It was tender and juicy, had good flavor even if it was just sprinkled with season all.

With it we had some delicious strawberries, which reminds me of an exercise we had to do in class. It dealt with synesthesia, which is a medical condition and having mixed signals in the brain. An example would be tasting colors, or hearing colors. The exercise was to describe a strawberry using music. This was a difficult task because it all depended on your music history and ability to relate that to something else. Some came up with things wildly different from me and had more of just references to parts of music, I can't recall the exact wording of anyone else but this is what I came up with:
 "The smell reminds me of the song 'We Intertwined' by The Hush Sound because the title reminds me of a spring day and the vines of a strawberry plant intertwining as it grows. The color is a vibrant 'Red Flag' by Billy Talent, a gorgeous ripe color. The taste is much like 'All I want is you' by Barry Louis Polisar because it is a sweet love song and I'm in love with these sweet strawberries." 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Thai Gold, a night out with family

Already this class seems like a bit of a challenge, my family doesn't go out to eat much, like once a month (if even that). It is even more rare to go out to eat with my brother and sister-in-law. Two weeks in a row going out to eat down, only seven more to go.

This week I was a little bit more adventurous, well my brother and sister-in-law (Merv and Mable)* choose the place to eat and I just went along with it saying "Yeah, that will be an adventure."

I'm guessing that they had found this restaurant while they were going to school and living in Golden, because this was a cute little restaurant that would not be easily found otherwise. It looks just like a regular house, minus the red awning in the front saying Thai Gold, and parking is not easily found, even on a Tuesday evening, I can't imagine what it would be like on a Friday night. There is no dedicated parking lot and we had to park a block over. There were five of us together and that made it necessary to have three tables pushed together, but the staff were happy to accommodate us because it was not very busy. No reservations are taken, but they do call ahead seating. 

There was quite a lot to choose from and there was something for everyone. There was a rating system of chili peppers which indicated how spicy an item was.

Thai iced tea, before mixing ($3)
Thai iced tea, after mixing

Merv ordered the Thai iced tea and I wanted to try it because it looked interesting but since I can't drink out of the same glass I ordered my own. I enjoyed the drink, it came out looking really interesting and tasted really good. It was an interesting combination of sweet and spice, it wasn't an overbearing sweetness but it was just enough to make it good.

Spring Rolls ($4)
 For our appetizer we ordered Spring Rolls. It would have been nice to know how many came with the order beforehand, that way we could have either decided to order more or not. Mable had said that she thought the rolls were a bit hot to the touch at first, but were correct temperature for me. They were not to soggy with oil and had a nice flavor, definitely worth the price and would recommend them.

Red curry with tofu ($10)

 Merv and Mable ordered the Red curry with tofu, you could also order it with chicken, beef, or pork. Merv ordered it as a 10+ chili dish and the waitress joked, so like a 15? Mable got it as at the menu listing of two and even that was a little bit spicy for me. The texture of the tofu was very odd to me and not very appetizing, it might have appealed to me more if there was chicken or beef in it.

Pan Pak ($10)

My mother (Betty) ordered the pan pak which seemed to be similar to chow mien in Chinese food, minus the crispy noodles. It had tofu and chicken in it, again the tofu was an interesting texture that was unfamiliar to me. It was a little sweet but was deliciously balanced with the savory side of the dish. The temperature was not consistent throughout the dish and had some parts that were a bit cooler than other parts.

Cashew Chicken ($10)

My father (Johnny) ordered cashew chicken at the recommendation of Merv because Johnny isn't very adventurous and is quite picky about what he eats. Johnny likes to stick to things he likes and Merv suggested that the cashew chicken would be the closest thing to Chinese food and would be the thing to order. Johnny said that it was a bit on the spicy side, even though there were no chili peppers listed next to the item on the menu. I believed it to be sweet but had a little bit of a kick at the end, just enough to notice.

Sweet Melody ($10)

I ordered the sweet melody thinking it wouldn't be that spicy and would be sweet. The name lies and gives a false sense of security. It was spicy and the more you ate the spicier it seemed to get, the slices of fresh pineapple did give it elements of sweetness and allowed my tongue to cool off from the spicy of the dish. If I went back I would order something different because I am not sold on this dish being my favorite dish of this restaurant.

Fried Snowball ($3)

I would declare the fried snowball as my favorite dessert, the plating could use a little bit of work, but that did not detract from the deliciousness. The dough on the outside was the perfect amount, the best way to describe the dough in my opinion would be to liken it to croissant dough that had been deep fried (if you haven't tried that before, do it now). The sauce was more a juice and was in the bottom of the glass which made it so only the last person to eat a bite got any of the sauce. The glass it came in was not very easy to eat out of and would have been better if we were given spoons instead of forks.

Overall experience: Great time. I enjoyed being able to sit down with my family and eat good food. Our waitresses were excellent at keeping the rice full and were there when we needed them and gone when we didn't want them around. The prices were really decent, and everyone had enough left overs for at least one other meal.

Best part: The fried snowball. Yes the main dishes were good, but I have to say I enjoyed the snowball, maybe a little bit too much. I'd also have to put service in this area because it was good experience with them.

Worst part: The location, I would go again to try some other dishes, but it was a little bit of a drive for us since we live in Aurora, and it wold have been nice if there was a dedicated parking area for the restaurants so people like Johnny, who are disabled, can get a close parking spot.

Thai food | 714 14th Street, Golden, CO, 303-593-1715 | $3-$15 | Closed Monday, Tue-Thursday 11- 9:30, Fri 11-10, Sat 11:30- 10, Sun 12:30-9:30; cash, all major credit cards.

*Names of my family have been changed to nicknames because they wish to remain anonymous. My name would be Mildred or Millie if it was to be changed, but alas my name is staying Sara in all my work.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Rock Bottom Brewery Review

Your experience at the Brewery will all depend on the night you choose to visit and time. Weekends are packed full of patrons, especially during any type of sporting event game because there are multiple televisions around that show the games. This particular night was a good night to visit, we were able to be seated right away and had the option of sitting in the bar area or the regular seating area. One of the first things that I noticed was that the music was not playing as loudly as it had in the past, making this a much more enjoyable time since there was conversations that could be had. It still had the feel of being a bar but in the dining area it was family friendly.

Our server was at our table within minutes of being seated, not really giving us enough time to look at the drinks menu, if we had not been before then we would not have known what to order to drink. The list of drinks is not the largest list but it is quite a large list. There is a chalkboard on the wall with a list of the beers that are available, this is the rotating list, there are big signs showing some of the beers that are always available on the walls as well. 

After the initial attention our server was not very attentive and could not be found when needed. She did seem pretty knowledgeable about the menu and was able to answer questions that were asked. There was a whole menu that was dedicated to the specials of the month. This was a special in more than one way, partial proceeds from the sale of items off this menu go to local Firehouses and the items were all themed around fire.

Our food was brought out in a timely manner and was all the correct temperatures and cooked to order.  My burger was a perfect medium. It may not seem like an adventure to order a burger, but the description had the words "smoky bacon jam" and I was curious to try bacon jam. In my book, bacon jam is the best thing to happen to any burger, the only downside to this burger was it seemed to be a bit greasy.

Black and Blue Burger from the Firehouse menu ($10.95 +$0.95 for onion rings)

 This club sandwich was delicious, it was warm enough to melt the cheese slightly. I don't know if it was the combination of the meats or what but this club was salty and did not have quite enough mayo for my tastes. It would not be something that I would order again.  The onion rings arrived warm and crisp and stayed crispy, until they were bitten into, then grease seemed to pour out of them.
Brewers Club ($9.95 + $0.95 for onion rings)
 Pork is not something that I normally eat because every time I have had it it has been dry or overcooked and was tough. This pork chop though was moist and tender, it was delicious. What made it even better was the apple butter that comes with it. This came with an apple coleslaw that was good, but had a bit too much ground black pepper in it. The mashed potatoes were creamy and had a nice flavor to them.
Fire Chief Pork chop from the Firehouse menu ($14.95)

We got the carrot cake to go because we were stuffed, but still wanted dessert later on.  This was a deliciously moist cake. Not too sweet almost not sweet enough to be considered dessert and could even be for more than two people.

Carrot Cake for 2, taken home ($5.95)
Overall it was a great time with good food. I would recommend it to a friend and then go with them. Even with the few things that could be improved I would still return to Rock Bottom Brewery again and again.

Best part: The food, it was delicious and makes up for anything else that might have been bad.

Worst part: It wasn't that bad of a thing but a little bit more attention from the server would have been nice,  not too much more attention because then it would have been too much.

Brew Pub | 9627 E. County Line Rd. Centennial, CO 80112, 303-792-9090 |$3.75-$26.95 | Sun-Thur 11 am - 11 pm; Fri-Sat 11 am -12 am; cash, all major credit cards.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I am on a challenge, a challenge that I put before myself, this challenge is to try new food and different cuisines. Why am I doing this, you might ask. It is for a class, one of four classes that are my last classes ever as a college student.  This class is Introduction to Food Writing. I'm kind of excited about this class and to see how my writing changes and how it will progress.
For my homework, which is this blog and writing about food, I will be reviewing restaurants and having a good time eating food. I have my first restaurant picked out, it is actually a restaurant that I have reviewed before for a different class and did not have a good experience that particular time, I'm hoping it will be better this time. We have actually gone to this restaurant quite a few times, and the adventure that is happening this time is that I'm going to try something that I have not tried before. Not that big of an adventure, I know, but it is a first step and we all have to start somewhere.
I hope to see you in the future and that you can give me suggestions as to what to try next.