Running Clubs In Fort Collins

Penny and I runningAs I slowly (oh my god so slowly) get back into running, I’m pretty excited about two new running groups that have popped up.  They involve my favorite things; running, food, and drinks!

Not surprising that two such groups have launched in Fort Collins where we have plenty of runners and places to socialize afterwards!

The first group is bRUNch Running, where participants meet at a local restaurant and then from there either do a 5K or 10K loop ending back at the restaurant where it’s time for brunch!  There is no membership fee but participants do have to purchase a ticket to the event.

Tickets are $25 when purchased in advance and $30 at the door. Ticket price included: entree, two drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), tax and gratuity. A dollar from each ticket sold benefits the Food Bank for Larimer County. bRUNch is open to runners and walkers of all levels.

The northern Colorado group will meet weekly through September. On September 28 there will be a final The bRUNch Run, a 5K timed race at Denver’s Stapleton Central Park. Throughout the season, participants will bRUNch at restaurants like the Mainline, Rainbow and Mulligan’s Pub in Fort Collins and Sports Station in Loveland.

The website has a calendar up and you can purchase tickets through there.

Another running group that we have here in Fort Collins is called the North FoCo Running Club.  They meet every Thursday at 6pm at different locations.  They run a loop and meeting back at the location for a drink after the run.  Their schedule is up on their website. I’m not sure the mileage for the loops, I think that might be determined on site.

So if you’re looking for some new fun social groups that also involve running, now you’ve got two to check out!

Second Year of Pork Pickup

lardLast Friday evening, Scott and I headed over to Jodar Farms to pick up our pork order.  This is the second year that we have purchased 1/2 a hog from Jodar Farms.

This year we were able to pick up the pork directly from the farm instead of having to drive all the way out to the processor.  This made pick-up a breeze since the farm is much closer and we were able to deal with Aaron Jodar directly.

Now my freezer is stocked with pork and I can’t wait to dig in!  There’s more fat for making lard and we got some other goodies to play around with this year as well.

In addition to all the roasts, chops, and ribs we also received:

  • Skin (which we are giving to friends because I currently do not have a way to fry it up to make rinds)
  • Jowl
  • Trotters (pig’s feet)
  • Heart
  • Liver

The organs are going to the dogs and Scott gets to deal with that task because I hate organ meat.  But the jowl and trotters? Bring it! I’m especially excited to play around with those as I have never had either of them before.

Luckily I have a pork-centric cookbook that I should be able to put to good use this year.

This year, the half hog purchase yielded us 97 pounds of pork products, not including the goodies already mentioned. There are roasts, country ribs, spare ribs, bone-in chops, ground pork and bacon.

This year’s amount does seem a little less than last year and since we love pork so much, next year I think we might just go whole hog.  We would probably need a second stand-up freezer if we did that though but something to consider.

Now we just need to get some beef and we’ll be set for the year!

Do you participate in any meat shares?

Whole Foods Fall Festivial Recap

PumpkinsLast weekend I was lucky enough to attend Whole Foods Fort Collins Fall Festival event!

There was pumpkin painting events and even two pie eating contents. Those pies were no joke either; their caramel apple pie weighed in at 2 pounds!

2 pounds of pie that folks had to eat in under 10 minutes. Holy. Crap.

There was also a cooking contest, Iron Chef (American not Japanese) style between three local chefs.  The secret ingredient was winter squash which had to be used in three dishes: Appetizer, Main Course, and Dessert.

Myself along with my buds, Kristin from Feasting Fort Collins, and Andrea from Serving Up Fort Collins were asked to judge this event.

It was amazing and awkward all at the same time!  The day was gorgeous but windy as heck, so we were kind of being blown all over the place as we anxiously awaited the tasty dishes.

It was awkward because I have never had so many folks stare at me as I ate.  Thankfully nothing was messy so I did not make a fool out of myself!

The dishes were amazing and I’m going to try to remember their names as best I can since I wasn’t able to take notes.

First up, let’s look at what Jax Fish House brought to the table:


Squash Terrine(Sorry that this picture is whited out, it was very sunny that day!)

Winter squash terrine with crispy prosciutto.

Main Course:

Squash RavoliSquash ravioli with pest filling and ham hock gravy.  The dough for the ravioli had the squash in it and the pest was made from squash stems.


Squash Soda FloatSquash soda float.  In house made squash soda with vanilla ice cream.  Ginger snap cookie and cascade hops infused whipped cream.

Next is Whole Foods Market Fort Collins:


Squash Risotto Squash risotto with crispy root veggie slices and a balsamic reduction.

Main Course:

Pork loin with winter squash hashPork loin (If I’m remembering correctly) with winter squash hash, sprinkled with gorgonzola.


Squash CrumbleSquash Crumble with toasted hazelnuts and a vanilla cream sauce.

And the final competitor was The Kitchen (which will be coming to Fort Collins next spring)!


Squash HummusSquash hummus made with Noosa yoghurt.

Main Course:

Squash and wheatberries Butternut squash with wheatberries and cumin yogurt.


Squash CakeSquash cake with graham cracker and pumpkin seed crust with a pumpkin ale caramel.

Everything tasted amazing and the use of squash was very creative.  I was hoping to have a chance to speak with the chefs after the event to thank them for taking the time to participate but sadly I did not get to.

I’ll have to do it now!  Thank you Whole Foods for putting on such a great event and inviting me to participate.  Thank you to Jax, Whole Foods, and The Kitchen for creating outstanding dishes for us to experience!



Fall Festival at Whole Foods Fort Collins

Fall FestivalWhole Foods in Fort Collins is putting on a Fall Festival this Saturday (October 5th) from 11-2pm.

The event is free and everyone is welcome to attend!  All proceeds from lunch and pumpkin patch sales will benefit the FoCo Cafe.

There will be a chef’s competition that will focus on fall vegetables and each chef will be preparing three courses.

There are three chefs competing, one from Jax Fish House, one from Whole Foods, and one from The Kitchen (which will opening a Fort Collins location next year.).

I am lucky enough to be on the judge’s panel this year along with my fellow blogging buddies, Kristen from Feasting Fort Collins, and Andrea from Serving Up Fort Collins.

If you are in town, please swing on over!  Come check out the event and we can chat about fall foods and brews!

All Snug

Tree lined streetsFall is here and the temps have dropped down to chilly.  We haven’t turned on the heat yet but it’s getting close.  In the mornings, the house temp is at 60. I have busted out the heating pad for the bed though and I have no shame in that.

The bed is all toasty warm when I curl up at night and it’s delicious.

We’re still slowly (very slowly) getting stuff put away and finding places to store things.  Hoping that gets wrapped up soon so I can start decorating for the seasons.

We’ve been talking lots of walks in our cute little neighborhood.  The streets are all tree lined and I can’t wait to see how gorgeous they look once the leaves turn.

We’re constantly discovering cute little gems around the neighborhood.

Neighborhood SidewalkLike this builder’s stamp on the sidewalk from 1924.  And there are old school mail boxes tucked away on corners.

We’re getting settled and comfortable here.  It’s funny because the house and the neighborhood totally fit us.  It’s like we’ve lived here for ages.

I’m ready to embrace the change of seasons and welcome in Fall with open arms. I’m ready for pumpkin everything, roast dinners, and hefty stouts.  Flannel sheets, fleecy pjs, and holiday planning.

Has Fall weather fallen in your neighborhood yet?


Severe Flooding With A Side Of Pizza

PizzaIt’s been a while since I’ve done a full Pizza Thursday report.  And to be perfectly honest, I need a distraction from all the news about the crazy ass weather we’ve been having. Talking pizza sounds like a good distraction to me!

For those that are not local, Colorado is under a state of emergency and Northern Colorado has been declared a disaster area.  It’s been raining straight since Tuesday and most everywhere is flooded out.  A lot of towns have been evacuated.

We have not been.  So far.  We are just stuck at home and frankly, I am ok with that.

Since I was stuck at home, I made some chicken stock and some pizza.

I did the pizza a little differently this time and added another tablespoon of sugar to the dough along with some garlic powder and dried oregano.

The crust turned out perfectly!  It had enough heft to it that it didn’t pull apart when moving it on to the cutting board.  It was also very crisp and crunchy!

PizzaThe pizza itself wasn’t anything fancy, peppers, red onion, and Italian sausage.  I wasn’t up for much experimenting last night, just a basic comforting pizza.

Scott and I recently started watching Dr. Who, so we watched that while munching on pizza.  Just started “Season 3” and both of us are very curious how this season is going to go.

So that’s it on our end!  Pizza, beer, Dr. Who, and watching weather reports.  What’s going on in your neighborhood?

2013 Fall Harvest Brewfest

Verboten Menu at FHBFOne of the biggest reasons that Scott and I moved to Colorado, and Fort Collins specifically, was to have access to more craft beer.

Fort Collins has not disappointed us.  We are constantly finding goodies in our favorite liquor stores.  There’s always something fun being tapped at one of the local bars.  And no matter what, there are always events going on that focus on beer.

This year I went to the Fall Harvest Brewfest which is an event that raises funds for Animal House Rescue.  It’s their biggest fund raiser for the year and last year they brought in over $10,000 that went right to the shelter.

Because I work at Animal House, I was able to attend the event for free.  Scott stayed home with Avery and I went out to go drink some beer, take some pictures, and chat with friends.

Having been to several beer fests, I have to say that this one was done right.  It had the right amount of breweries and distilleries there.  It wasn’t overwhelming or so crowded that you had to stand in line for a while before sampling stuff.

I was given a little sampler glass and walked around to see what goodies I could find.  My plan was to try things that were new to me or things I haven’t seen before.  Most of the breweries played it safe with what they brought.  This isn’t the type of fest where you will find rare or hard to find beers.  But some stuff did stand out and surprised me a bit.

High Hops Brewery at FHBFI love spicy beers and was very excited to discover that High Hops Brewery was there with a Honey Habanero beer.  It was delicious!  Sweet with some heat on the end that wasn’t aggressive or too much to handle.  Just a lovely heat on the finish that contrasted the honey sweetness really well.  It was my favorite discovery of the evening!

KJ Wood Distillers Jinn Gin, FHBFNext up was a locally made gin with a fantastic label.  It’s called Jinn Gin by KJ Wood Distillers.  It has an amazing floral and slightly spicy nose to it but is very smooth with almost no alcohol burn.

I had a little bit of it mixed with some cucumber soda and loved it!  I was also surprised by the cucumber soda, it was refreshing and not overly sweet.

Strange Brewing's Cherry KriekBest looking brew of the night goes to Strange Brewing’s Cherry Kriek.  It was a deep red color and even had a red head to it when poured.  It was tart, crisp, and very refreshing.

It was a fun evening and I was able to discover some new locally made items. Hopefully next year Scott will be able to join me!


Disclaimer: Animal House did not ask me to write this post, I just wanted to share my experience at the event.


Leopold Bros. Rocky Mountain Peach Whiskey

Leopold Brothers Peach WhiskeyTaking a break from all of the house talk to discuss some food.

Well drinks.

The more we live in Fort Collins the more we get exposed to amazing local resources.  Some right here in town and some from other parts of Colorado.

I feel amazingly lucky to live here and have access to the wide variety of things.

Micro-distilleries are becoming more popular and are popping up with more frequency.

Something that caught my eye recently is this Rocky Mountain Peach Whiskey by Leopold Bros.

Peaches from Colorado are pretty freaking amazing.  As in, probably would be one of the best peaches you have ever eaten. Georgia peaches are like Colorado peach’s little cousin.

For serious.

And since I love Colorado peaches and I adore whiskey, well this was a no brainer.

This stuff is pretty spectacular.  The proof is 30% so it’s not going to knock you on your ass.  It has strong peach flavor and is sweet and goes down smooth.

You can drink it straight with an ice cube for a slight chill or you can mix it.

Or you can cook with it.

I’ve done all of those things and have some recipes coming soon!

If you can find this stuff in your area, snag it up and give it a taste.  It’s that good!


Disclaimer: I bought this on my own with Scott’s money. I was not asked to write this post as Leopold Bros. has no idea that I even exist. I just like it.

House Tour

Living Room and Dining RoomWe finally have our office space as “functional” which means that we have desks and computers up and running.

And that means that I finally have access to photos of the house that I can share!

Our house faces North and South and while we do have a good many windows in the house, we don’t have that much natural light shine through.  We have a lot of mature trees around our property which keeps most of the sun from coming in the windows.

While most of the rooms don’t have a ton of natural light that comes in, it also means that our house is kept cooler because we have so much shade.  When you don’t have central air, this is very handy!

All of that to say, sorry some of the photos are dark and grainy.  I don’t have a wide angle lens and I’m not setting up lights just to take better pictures of an empty house. I know you all get it.

I haven’t done a house tour before so be gentle.

The first picture is showing the main living space.  That is a combination of living room and dining room. The angle is from standing the kitchen doorway looking towards the front of the house. The room is very large and spacious.  Our house was built in 1923 and has all of the original hardwood floors and windows.

On the right is a doorway that leads to a full bathroom and two bedrooms.

Upstairs BathroomThe previous owners redid this bathroom.  It’s clean and pretty neutral. They did get rid of the original clawfoot tub which makes me super sad.

Upstairs BathThe bathroom is small with silver and glass accents.  Overall the bathroom was done really well.

On either side of the bathroom are the extra rooms upstairs.

OfficeThis is on the left side of the bathroom and towards the front of the house.  We are using this as our office space.  This angle is from standing in the hall and looking in.

I don’t have a wide angle lens so getting shots of an empty house is challenging!

OfficeStanding in the corner looking out.  You can see the hallway and part of the dining area. The closet in this room is a hot mess.  We already took down the shelving unit and installed one of our own.

Guest RoomDown the hall past the bathroom is the guest room.  It’s large and thankfully no one painted the windows and trim white.

On to the kitchen!

KitchenThe kitchen is bright and gets tons of natural light making it perfect for taking food photos.  I do have a love hate relationship with this kitchen though but for now I’m not complaining.  Please excuse our hillbilly stick/brace in the window there.  That’s currently being addressed.

This kitchen was redone by the previous previous owners (two owners before us), if that makes sense.  And it was a total DIY job done.  Ahem.  More on that in a post about our plans for the house.

On the other side of the kitchen is this:

Kitchen DeskA custom built in desk.  The previous owners had this built and installed.  It is lovely if you want a desk in your kitchen. Currently I’m using it to house my cookbooks and mason jars because I do not want a desk in my kitchen.

On the left where Avery is, are the stairs that lead out to the backyard and also down into the basement.

There are three steps and a small landing.  The backdoor is located on that landing.  Turn right and keep going down the stairs to the finished basement.

Stairs to basementThe basement has been completely finished and is pretty fantastic.

Basement Living AreaStanding on the stairs, you can see the basement “living” space.  Directly in front is a spare bedroom.  On the immediate right there is a door that leads to the utility room, an unfinished room that we are using as a beer cellar, and then also a laundry room (!).  No pictures of those areas just yet!

On the right towards the back of this photo, is the hallway that leads down to the master and master bathroom.

Basement HallHallway to the master bath and the master bedroom is on the left.

Master bedroomBeing in the basement, not much light but you get the general idea.  On the left in this picture, not shown, is a huge closet.

Master BathroomThe master bathroom! Thanks to lighter wall color and light accents, this room is pretty bright.

There is marble everywhere! Custom marble sink top and marble flooring.

Master ShowerThe shower has marble trim and the ceiling of the shower is marble.

So as to not make an already long post even longer, I’m saving our thoughts and plans for this house for another post.  Along with photos of the outside and our plans for that as well.

This was just a basic tour of our new living space and where we will be calling “home” for quite some time.

I’m excited to share more about our house and how we will transform it to something that suits our personalities and also bring back some of the 1920’s vibe.


Go Time

New House

I feel like I’ve been talking about this move forever but well, I’m super stoked about it.  And the time to move has finally arrived!

It’s go time! Our new house is in our possession and we can start moving in!

I have one full day of work left and then I’m off for a week to hopefully get the new house in order.

Or at least in some form of ordered chaos before returning back to work.

Scott and I are hoping to move boxes in this week and then the furniture gets delivered.  I’ll be taking tons of photos and talking a lot about this new space.

This week is a big one and we are very much ready to start this new chapter!