Rocky Mountain High – Family, Food, Fun high that is!!

The Martin’s and I took a road trip to see Scott and Kathleen in Denver last week. July 2014 084 Now, I think you can imagine 17 hours, one way with these guys.  Lots of talking, music and driving.  It was a blast!  We surprised Scott and Kathleen by getting to their front door 12 hours earlier than they expected. 🙂  We ended up going to Cherry Creek which is a really nice area in Denver to shop.  Kathleen’s employer is in this area.  We had breakfast at The Syrup and did lots of walking around at the different shops.  After a long drive why not go shopping!

Scott and Kathleen, as always, were wonderful hosts.  Our first official day there we drove up to Mount Evans. On the way up we stopped by a lake and took our first photo op.

July 2014 098    denver photo op 3 denver photo op 4

Next was Mount Evans.  It was a beautiful drive up to the 14,264-foot summit.  We passed quite a few bicyclists on the way up.  Scott mentioned that he biked up this mountain.  I cannot imagine biking up this mountain.  Car ride works for me! MtEvans4 MtEvansMtEvans7  MtEvans6

The next day we ventured to Boulder.  We started our day at Chautauqua Park.  They have a wonderful restaurant there and breakfast was delicious.  After that, the Farmer’s Market and shopping on Pearl St.  “The Peppercorn” is a fun kitchen store I always visit when I go to Boulder. Pretty much shopping and enjoying the scenery there and while driving up to Boulder and back to Denver.  Scott drove quite the scenic route on the way back to Denver. Martin2 and I enjoyed the wolf sculpture on Pearl St.   I think he enjoyed it more though! 😉 July 2014 113

That evening we ended up having a food night, which we thoroughly enjoyed.  Martin2 found some recipes in Food Network Magazines that Kathleen had laying around.  Kathleen mentioned she would like to get rid of the ample zucchini she had picked from her garden.  We found some stuffed zucchini recipes and settled on Tex Mex and Italian Stuffed Zucchini along with a 3 bean salad recipe.  Martin2 also  found a great rub for flank steak. These were very simple to make, especially with 3 faux chefs in the kitchen and a sous faux chef.  We totally forgot to take photos.  Too busy enjoying our time in the kitchen and conversation.  We enjoyed this simple and delicious meal on the Caruso Partio. July 2014 114Denverus What more could you ask but to spend an awesome time having fun with your family and sharing a delicious meal together?!

The next day the guys went to Red Rocks for a hike.  I have been there a few times.  Love it, but Kathleen and I hung out at the house.  Coffee and chatting on the partio in the morning was always very enjoyable.  It appears they had fun at Red Rocks.  Martin found a sculpture he also enjoyed! Denver3 When hiking they had to stay on the trail.  For all of us who know Martin that could be a challenge. This photo is perfect!!! Denver4   Of course we have the photo op with a beautiful background scenery of Red Rocks. Denver1

Everywhere I have been in Colorado is just beautiful.  July 2014 101July 2014 108July 2014 116

Thanks Scott and Kathleen! We had a wonderful time with you two.  Couldn’t have asked for a better vacation!


Italian Stuffed Zucchini


2 medium zucchini, halve lengthwise
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1 Tablespoon juice from lemon
1/4 cup marinara sauce (I bought some tomato sauce, added 1 garlic clove, fresh basil, touch of parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  Simmered for 15-20 minutes and there is your marinara sauce.Save the extra for later!!)


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
2.  Scoop out seeds from the zucchini, leave  a 1/4 inch thick shell
3.  Combine ricotta, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, parsley, lemon juice in a medium bowl.  Season the zucchini with salt and pepper, fill with ricotta mixture.
4. Place zucchini on prepared baking dish. Drizzle each zucchini half with about 1 Tablespoon marinara sauce, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
5.  Bake until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 20 minutes.

Tex Mex Stuffed Zucchini


2 medium zucchini
Kosher salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (use chili powder if you don’t have this)
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 Large tomato, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons scallions, chopped
3 Tablespoons  fresh cilantro, chopped
Sliced pickled jalapenos, for topping (optional) – we did not have this time


1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.  Halve 2 (not 3, you need the extra one for later) zucchini lengthwise; scoop out the seeds.  Then scoop out flesh leaving a 1/4 inch thick shell.  Chop the scooped out zucchini flesh and transfer to a bowl.
3.  Grate the remaining whole zucchini on the large holes of a box grater.  We peeled the skin before grating.  Add the grated zucchini to the bowl of chopped zucchini.  Add 1 teaspoon salt.  Set aside 10 minutes, then squeeze out the liquid.
4.  Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add the garlic, minced jalapeno, chili powder and grated zucchini mixture; cook until tender, about 4 minutes.  Let cool, then stir in cheese.
5.  Spoon into zucchini halves.  Transfer to baking sheet and bake until bubbling, about 20-25 minutes.
6.  While baking, combine the tomato, scallions and cilantro in a small bowl.  Spoon over the zucchini.  Top with the pickled jalapenos.

Chili and Coffee Rubbed Steaks

1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
1/4 cup freshly ground coffee (Martin2 and I walked to Starbucks and picked out a bold Italian Roast, got a Turkish grind and that worked perfectly)
1 1/2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 Tablespoon coarse ground pepper
1-1 1/2#  flank steak (or whatever steak you desire)


1.  Mix all dry ingredients together.
2.  Blot the steaks dry.  Brush the meat with a little canola oil. Spread the coffee rub on a baking sheet and roll the steaks in the mixture to coat, using about 1 tablespoon per steak. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour but no longer-otherwise, the meat will begin to cure.
3.  Preheat a grill to medium high. Drizzle a little canola oil on both sides of each steak, then grill 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium rare.
4.  Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes before slicing. YUMMY!



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