This summer, I noticed that one of my favorite things to do is attend free kid-friendly outdoor events where you can drink beer. In case you share this interest, here is a list of free festivals/events in Denver that are kid- and beer-friendly, ranked in order of awesomeness.
1. Tour De Fat
3. City Park Jazz (BYOB)
4. The Biennial of the Americas (odd years only)
6. Five Points Jazz Festival (BYOB)
7. Denver Pridefest Parade (BYOB (or mimosas because this is in the morning); the best place to hang out with kids is where the parade begins at Cheeseman Park)
8. Cinco de Mayo
9. A Taste of Colorado
10. The Capitol Hill People’s Fair
Also, it’s not quite free and I’m pretty sure a lot of it isn’t child-friendly, but Final Friday looks awesome.
Soren got a new big boy bed today! It’s not actually new. It’s the full-sized bed Ben and I used before we upgraded to a queen. It had been sitting, lovingly wrapped in plastic, in our garage for years. (I’m a big fan of keeping things until you need them in the future; the problem is most things I keep we never need.) The headboard is pretty fancy, no? It’s from his crib, which converted to a toddler bed, which now converted to a headboard. The sheets and quilt are random things we had lying around. Total cost to upgrade from a toddler bed to a big boy bed: $15, for a waterproof mattress cover at Target.
There are two food items with which I am currently obsessed (enjoy my editor’s obsession with not ending a sentence with a preposition): (1) fresh oregano; and (2) zucchini bread.
Ben made pizza tonight and my request was for a fresh oregano and cream cheese pizza. I don’t know where that came from. I insisted on more fresh oregano than a human would willingly eat under normal circumstances. In all honesty, it was a little too much fresh oregano, but the thing is I like fresh oregano so much I didn’t even care. Also I want oregano cream cheese to be a thing. It’s brilliant. Could you imagine getting an asiago bagel with fresh oregano cream cheese in the morning on your way to work? Your day would be fucking stellar.
Now that I’ve joined the ranks of people who like zucchini bread I can’t get enough of it. I’ve made it the last two Sundays, and Ben made it the Sunday before that (although he doesn’t know about high altitude adjustments). Zucchini bread is awesome because you can eat it for dessert or breakfast or a snack. So versatile!
This is an awesome zucchini bread recipe. If you live at a regular altitude, just follow it (although maybe use some wheat flour just because why not). If you live at Denver-like altitude, do this:
High-Altitude Ingredients for Mom’s Zucchini Bread Recipe
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 2/3 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups grated zucchini
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
Other than that, follow the recipe exactly. I bake for 50 minutes. Also, if you don’t have one of those little manual nut choppers like my mom had in the 70s, put your walnuts in a plastic bag with a zipper, seal perfectly, and whap multiple times with a rolling pin. This is very satisfying and better than chopping nuts in a food processor or with a knife.
First, you should listen to this awesome song. I’m going to post my epic reggae playlist soon, I promise. I’ve been in a reggae and friends phase since like March and it’s the best. Put some reggae on while you’re just, like, hanging around at home making dinner or cleaning or whatever and I guarantee it will increase the awesomeness of your experience by a noticeable amount.
I swear this isn’t going to become a blog where I tell you about everything I eat, but one thing I’ve noticed about vegan meals is that they sometimes require a bit of effort. This is fine because most of what I eat requires a bit of effort, but sometimes you’ve worked all day and then worked out and your husband is out in the yard building a chicken coop and you just don’t feel like doing much. Also, I’m trying to rely less on store-bought fake meat products, but damn I really like them, especially when they’re vegan and made with organic ingredients. I suppose there are worse things.
Anyway, here’s a vegan dinner that isn’t impressive but will take you about 15 minutes (for real) to make:
- Thinly slice some baby bok choy, which is the best. Heat a little oil in a pan (cast iron is good for this) and stir-fry bok choy. When it’s almost done cooking, add some tamari and sweet chili sauce. Stir and cook a little more. If you want to thicken the sauce, combine 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoons cold water and mix well, then add slowly to the stuff in the pan, stirring well.
- In a separate pan, prepare Gardein Mandarin orange faux chicken according to package directions.
- Microwave some organic edamame and sprinkle with sea salt.
Do you ever go to restaurants and order something that’s always delicious but it never really occurs to you to make it yourself? That’s how my relationship with tofu satay was . . . until tonight, when I made some and holy shit, it’s just as good as what you get at a Thai place and so easy to make.
I followed this recipe from Vegetarian Times but made some changes to the tofu part, like so:
- one 14-ounce package (organic) extra-firm tofu: cut into quarters lengthwise, then cut each quarter in half lengthwise, then cut each piece in half widthwise
- 1/2 cup tamari
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
Mix tamari and turmeric well in a bowl, add tofu, lightly shake to coat all tofu with tamari/turmeric mixture, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Shake the bowl occasionally and flip the tofu pieces once.
Preheat oven to 400F and generously oil a baking sheet. Drain tofu and stick on skewers (I used four). Place on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Flip and bake another 20 minutes.
For the sauce, I followed the VT recipe exactly.
Holy shit you guys. Ben is working tonight so it’s just me and Soren and we devoured these things. I felt bad because Soren asked for more and there wasn’t any, so now he’s eating lima beans, which he loves for some reason. (Full disclosure: While at the store earlier, he declared that he only likes to eat “white food.” Whatever, guy.)