Monday, February 20, 2017

Pica's Mexican Taqueria in Louisville, A Lovely Addition to Downtown!

Pica's Mexican Taqueria in Boulder has been a staple lunch go-to for me since it's opening in 2010. It's nestled just between my husband's office and mine, so monthly I get the want to escape to Pica's text. We've definitely honed in on our menu favorites, one being the tostada that comes with a heaping mound of lettuce, cabbage, and tomatoes that always leaves me just properly satiated. I also love their soups, tortilla or posole. Pica's has that lovely freshly prepared vibe and the flavors are complex, but well rounded which is my kind of Mexican.

tostada + chicken 

When I was invited to bring my family into the new Louisville location to enjoy a dinner, I jumped at the opportunity. We were thrilled to hear Pica's had expanded and knew it would be a perfect addition to the restaurant scene in downtown. Having the opportunity to experience the dinner menu, which is different than the Boulder location, I decided to branch out from my usual order. I went with the Chiles Rellenos which is a Platos Especiales. For me rellenos are always a staple order to really measure the Mexican food experience from place to place. The batter was just crisp enough and the cheese inside the chile was just perfectly melted when my fork cut into it. I definitely was happy to have branched out!

Chiles Rellenos 

We also enjoyed in house freshly made chips and guacamole, a lovely margarita, the girls had their favorites, a chicken burrito (kids meal) and a chicken quesadilla. Beyond the food, Pica's offers fast and friendly counter service which I appreciate when dining out with my family. I feel it's important to mention, they also have a really lovely and well appointed dining space, the attention to detail definitely sets it apart from other counter service Mexican restaurants.

Thanks so much Pica's for having us in. 
(Art by one of my local favorites Kristin FitzGerrell)

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All content is at my discretion, we were graciously invited to come check out the new location on behalf of Pica's! 


Expand Your Cheese Palate

One of the highlights of working with Whole Foods Market the past few years is being introduced to artisanal cheesemakers. The world of cheese is so expansive, I think it's easy to default to favorites as well as not really know where to begin to explore new cheeses! Don't be shy when shopping at your local Whole Foods Market, their cheesemongers are some of the most talented in the country, they are a wealth of knowledge and will lead your palate in the right direction. Plus, they are very generous about sampling before purchasing. 

February seems to provide ample opportunity to have friends over for a social gathering and there really is no simpler way to delight your guests, than with a lovely charcuterie board. We recently picked up some Satori cheese from Whole Foods, a Merlot and a Balsamic BellaVitano. Oh my were they lovely and the first to disappear from the board. Sartori is a family-owned fourth-generation artisanal cheesemaker from Plymouth, Wisconsin. Each of the varieties below are based off of their BellaVitano Gold, a creamy, nutty, Parmesan-inspired Italian farmstead cheese.
  • Rum Runner - A Whole Foods Market Exclusive!
    • Buttery and slightly sweet, soaked in locally made rum.
    • Pairs with: Dark beers, smoked meats, and red grape
  • Merlot BellaVitano
    • Berry and plum notes!
    • Pairs with: Crusty bread, dried fruit, and hoppy beer

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Disclosure, I was compensated by Whole Foods Market as a WFM Ambassador for this post. Content is purely at my discretion. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Art of Smoothie Making

Let me confess, I've made my fair share of smoothie flops. I once thought I could just wing it and throw what ever seemed like it would make a good smoothie into the blender and let it rip. Quite often my ratios of liquid to fruit were off and for every smoothie hit, there were a couple of flops I'd still have to choke down. Smoothie bowls have become a favorite afternoon snack to fuel up my girls before their dance and gymnastics classes. I tend to use juice or vanilla yogurt to sweeten smoothies and never rely on additional sweeteners such as honey or agave, I just prefer the sugars in the ingredients to create the right balance.

Now I rely on Whole Foods as a resource to help me make a well balanced smoothie, every time. With their smoothie nutrition calculator you can even get a sense of how your favorite homemade smoothie is doing in the nutrition department. Scroll to the bottom of the calculator page for smoothie recipe inspiration!


Two of my recent favorite recipes are the:

Sunrise Breakfast Smoothie (the girls love)

Ingredients: 
  • 1 small carrot, shredded 
  • 1 small banana, peeled 
  • 3/4 cup raspberries 
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt 
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almondmilk 
  • 1/2 medium orange, peeled and seeded 
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
Method: 
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until very smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour into two tall glasses and enjoy. 
Nutritional Info: 
Per Serving: Serving size: about 1 cup170 calories (15 from fat), 2g total fat, 85mg sodium, 37g carbohydrates, (4 g dietary fiber, 14g sugar), 6gprotein.

Get Your Greens Smoothie  (so easy to whip up!)

Ingredients: 
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened almondmilk, soymilk, ricemilk or hempmilk 
  • 1 1/2 cup packed baby spinach 
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen cherries or berries
Method: 
Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve. 
Nutritional Info: 
Per Serving: 110 calories (20 from fat), 2.5g total fat, 160mg sodium, 20g carbohydrates, (4 g dietary fiber, 14g sugar), 3g protein.

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Disclosure, I was compensated by Whole Foods Market as a WFM Ambassador for this post. Content is purely at my discretion. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Plotting My Path

Knowing this blog is still here fills me with a warmth, even if I don't honor the platform in the way I once did. The majority of my favorite blogs have shuttered in the past couple of years. I miss the way bloggers put words together, the way they offered glimpses into everyday life, and how we felt so connected. Social media has not replaced the longing I have for opening up Reader and spending my late night alone time reading blog posts. Feedly is just okay and I subscribe to about 12 blogs that still update weekly. Weep, 12. 

But back to my warmth...

I'm plotting my path on how I'd like to offer glimpses into some real change I've experienced in the past few months. It feels important to process through this medium, to set my words free, to connect with others with an openness and vulnerability. As for now, my journal pages have been receiving much love and attention.  

Stay tuned, for the stories shall unfold.