Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What I Ate Wednesday {Blend 2015}

This year I decided to highlight the foods I ate during Blend through What I Ate Wednesday, just like last year!

This year was just as great as all the others! Maybe even the best yet! And the eats were on point! My favorite is having a fully prepared breakfast and this year's were awesome! Lots of choices from some great companies.

First though, I wanna talk about my most favorite meal in a really long time. I think about this meal and long for it. Crazy, right? But it was so delicious! I want to tag along with Tim when he goes back to Colorado this July just so I can get this meal again.

So anyway, Laura hosted Julie and I on Thursday night and we went to Louisville for dinner. To all you locals reading, get to The Empire Lounge and order this now! The pork ricotta meatballs were perfectly tender and flavorful, the sauteed greens the best by far that I've ever had and the polenta in the bottom was salty, creamy and the perfect base for the meal. All that topped with a tomato sauce. Mmmm! And while you are at it, order the kale salad, too. It was a tough decision when it came to ordering a meal but Julie decided on my second choice and it bomb! Kale massaged and tossed in citrus juice topped with toasted breadcrumbs and parmesan. I would absolutely love to get my hands on these recipes!

This drink from Julie was much needed as it had been a crazy few weeks at work and I was glad to be relaxing with some friends! Something like Olivia's in a Pickle I think was the name. A salt and dill rim was what pulled me in.

And to end the night we headed down the street to Sweet Cow. Laura took Kaydin and I here last summer, too, and their ice cream is so good, especially the Oatmeal Cookie flavor.

The next morning Julie and I headed to Snooze on Pearl Street in Boulder. another place we visited last summer I was SO excited to go back! The blueberry danish pancake with a lemon cream cheese filling may have been the favorite pancake of my life. And the corned beef hash was the perfect opposite of the pancake to satisfy my want for a savory option as well. Tell the server you can't decide between sweet and savory and they'll let you know that you can halve the options and do both!

Once at Chautauqua we got our stuffed swag bags and milled around to talk to the many vendors and fill my bowl for trail mix offered by General Mills. So many options to choose from my mix was a definite mash of everything.

Quest was also in attendance during this time handing out bars of every flavor!

I've never been much of a chai drinker but the Bhakti Chai was really good! Only wish I could get it in my area :(

Next up was cocktail hour followed by dinner. Sizzlefish and 34 Degrees had an awesome appetizer spread. I would like a request a fruit, cheese and nut spread like that for myself everyday! Can anyone make that happen??

pic from Jayne

Dinner was a variety of lots of things- dinner roll, chimichirri grilled beef shoulder tender, roasted chicken with peppers and onions, baked polenta with pesto and mushrooms, roasted brussel sprouts and fingerling potatoes and my absolute favorite, the salad of argula, raisins, smoked almonds (at least I think that's where that smoke flavor was coming from) and a citrus vinaigrette. smoked almonds on a salad= #nextlevel

Dessert for the night was brought to us by Arctic Zero. Give me brownies, hot fudge and caramel to add to my ice cream and I'm a happy girl!

The next morning we had another full spread breakfast to fill our tummies. Sponsored by Justin's, FlapJacked, and Love Grown Foods we had some great options to choose from. And of course I choose pretty much all of them! :)

On our hike, Amanda and I split a Detour bar at the turnaround point on our hike. Like a candy bar but better for you!

I heard from multiple people that had visited the nut butter booth at the Boulder Farmer's Market on Saturday that the walnut butter was like Heaven. And they were not exaggerating! So good I had to bring a jar home with me! The sunberry butter made a trip home with me too. So unique. If you have the chance to try these, they're both game changers in the nut butter world!

Dinner with a fun group of women at Aji, a Latin American restaurant on Pearl Street was our meeting place on Saturday night. The empanadas I choose were on point with all the other food I was eating all weekend- delicious!

Sunday morning's breakfast was another huge spread featuring BaoBest, Barbara's, The Epic Seed and Good Belly.

I've now got a new favorite granola cereal, the Oats and Honey Granola from Barbara's. Now to see if I can find it in stores in the Des Moines area! My favorite thing from the meal were the oatmeal bars pictured above using that same granola. I found the recipe on the Barbara's website and can't wait to make a batch at home. So chewy and caramely! Yum!

This brand of yogurt is making its way into more Targets in my area and hopefully Hy-Vee very soon! A great yogurt choice that's lower in sugar than its competitors.

Before Julie and I headed to the airport on Sunday afternoon a few of us hung out at Laura's house and she was a gracious host and fed us lunch. A bean and tomato chili. So good! Thanks for hosting us, Laura, and making it so I didn't have to find any airport food while waiting for my plane to take off! :)

And those were my many eats during Blend 2015. Have I convinced you of the deliciousness of this event so you'll be attending next year?? ;)

Linking up with Megan for the weekly WIAW link-up.