This isn’t your regular old bucket list…it’s a foodie bucket list! When I plan a trip, it usually revolves around the food and drinks so this list combines two of my favorite things…FOOD & TRAVEL. This list probably could have had 500 places on it, but I thought it would be fun to share a few of the spots I would LOVE to eat. What are your dream restaurants?
January has definitely been a month focused on health. After binging in December, I knew I needed to detox. I have spent the month not drinking my beloved wine, trying my best to eat decently and trying BRAND NEW workouts! I wanted to share my workout experiences with you all and hopefully inspire you to try something new!
The Class: High intensity Pilates, full body workout.
Location: I visited the RiNo located!
The Burn: It worked muscles I didn’t even know I had...sore for several days but it was a badass workout.
The Takeaway: Inspirational quotes, pump-up music and encouraging teachers, this class was great and worked my body in ways it had never been worked. First class is free and there are several locations.
ORANGE THEORY FITNESS
The Class : Science backed, technology tracked, full body group workout. Rowing machine, treadmill and floor exercised.
Location: I visited the Union Station Location, but there are locations across the US.
The Burn: 700 calories burned! I loved it. Plus the studio had a lot of fans which is important to me because I get so so so hot when I workout hard.
The Takeaway: I bought a membership! I loved the energy and the group mentality. I also love the band that tracks my calories, and heart-rate zones.
checkout Orange Theory!
BETTER BUZZ YOGA
The Class: Better Buzz MWF at 3:00PM!
Location : Sunnyside, Denver.
The Burn : I love that this class gives me a workout and mental clarity. I sweat pretty hard, honestly more than most other people in the class… :)
The Takeaway: Small and cozy studio, feels like a great community. $5 drop in classes MWF. Always feel good when I leave, both mentally and physically!
checkout Better Buzz!
The Class: Compass Full Direction - full body HIIT workout.
Location : South Broadway.
The Burn : Heavy weights, boot camp style that fired up my muscles big time.
The Takeaway: Good if you’re looking for a fast paced group class, take the first one for free! I know they also have a ton of other classes like boxing, so check it out if you are into that style!
check out Compass Fitness!
Just twenty minutes from downtown Denver, the town of Golden is the perfect little oasis for Denverites. With epic mountain views, bars, breweries (the coors factory!) and restaurants, I knew Golden would be an ideal spot for a little staycation. The Dove Inn had been on my radar for awhile and I was thrilled to be able to spend the night at such a stunning, historic boutique.
Every detail at The Dove Inn is perfectly curated, cozy, modern, yet historic at the same time. The home dates back to 1866 and the renovations have enhanced the space but kept the historic charm. There is a lovely seating room, gorgeous kitchen with cold brew and kombucha on tap…ALL of the coffee please! A communal fridge was stocked with fresh pastries, granola, noosa yogurt and chilled sparkling water.
After playing around in the common spaces we went up the our suite “The Queen Anne” suite. Each room has its own lock pad and the check in and check out process is beyond simple. The room was lovely and the bed was SO cozy and soft. Want to know the best part? The room came with a space heater fire place and a TV with netflix and HBO (so.much.yes) After settling in we went off to explore the town of Golden.
Golden definitely has that historic charm and it was a blast just walking around, checking out the shops like Spinster Sisters and scoping out places to have a snack. My friend Kaylee recommended Miners Saloon so we stopped in for a pre-dinner bite. Sadly the beer + cocktails list was off limits because of #dryjanuary, but next time I go back I will certainly be trying one of the delicious beers and then heading next door to the speakeasy. After a light bite we headed back to The Dove Inn to take a rest on the cozy daybed!
Dinner went down at Abejas and it was an awesome experience. We munched on fresh bread, cheese and charcuterie, pickled beets and a tasty steak. For dessert a chocolate olive oil cake hit the spot and we were stuffed and happy. In the morning I was so excited to sip on the amazing coffee downstairs in the kitchen and it did not dissapoint. I was sad to go but the stay was perfection and I would 11/10 recommend checking out The Dove Inn to anyone! (also PS. calling all brides….imagine you and your ladies getting ready together at The Dove Inn on wedding day…so fun!) Thank you so much to The Dove Inn for hosting me!
New Year New Case! I have always been a big fan of having a case on my computer and phone because lets face it, I drop them both all of the time. Instead of settling for a BLAH case I was able to collaborate with an amazing company CaseApp to bring my computer and phone a little bit of swag this year. There is also the option to customize any case with your own photo, how fun is that? In need of some phone new cases or skins? Use my code KSKENNEDY20 to get 20% off of your order with CaseApp!
When a business has the word “bread” in it, it usually means good thing are happening. Rebel Bread did not disappoint and from the moment I stepped inside of the cozy storefront on Curtis street, I was overwhelmed by the tasty smells and beautiful pastries. I sat down with lead baker Zach Martinucci and talked all things bread, baking, and the cool things going down at Rebel Bread.
photos // Bridget Burnett Photography
Hi Zach! Tell me how you got started in baking and cooking?
“I grew up cooking and eating dinner with my family all the time, nobody was a professional chef but food was always important to us. I went on to study culinary anthropology at UCLA and ended up doing some field work in Bologna, Italy where I studied the relationship between culture and food. l always loved writing about and studying food. The first time I made bread from start to finish was with my dads cousin, he owned a bakery in the Bay Area and he was the one to show me the process the first time. After that I went back to my college apartment in Los Angeles and started baking bread all the time. I then went to the San Francisco Baking Institute where I studied professional bread and pastries.”
How do you like Denver?
“I like it a lot! It is such a supportive city, especially for young creatives.”
Can you walk me through the bread making process?
“There are two kinds of bread, there are straight doughs where you go into your kitchen, you start baking and you bake the bread start to finish. Others loaves take a couple days. The first step is the pre-ferment, that’s where we scale out our ingredients, weigh everything and follow a very precise formula. We then add all the ingredients and mix them together, the wet ingredients go in a bowl and the dry ingredients go on top. When we are making sourdough we use a starter (we call her Allison) and then it goes through a bulk fermentation (1st rise.) Give the bread some folds, and we wait for it to double in size. After that we divide the dough, preshape it, let it rest for 20-30 minutes, and do the final shaping. We proof the bread and bake it.”
Any problems you have encountered with baking at altitude?
“Bread is forgiving, I think cakes and other baked goods may be more impacted by the altitude, but there is no rule.”
How did Rebel Bread get started?
“I moved to Denver looking for a new city, and I knew that I had some potential business partners out here. The name “Rebel Bread” comes from me wanting to challenge the way people think about their food. I want the community to realize that bread can be much different than what people think. I am also personally a bit of a rebel too.
We started doing a lot of bread pop-ups in coffee shops and eventually were given this opportunity to share the space that we are in now. It is a collective group in five points and it was important to the owner that whoever took over the space would be supportive of the community.
Does Rebel Bread offer any classes?
“Our full class calendar starts in January 2019 and we will offer different kinds of bread educational experiences. We have bread workshops that are a couple of hours, we have some fun classes like Bagels & Beers where everyone gets to shape their own bagels and then we go grab some beers. We also have pasta classes, and sourdough classes that are all day long where you will learn the process start to finish and you will be able to recreate the sourdough process at home.”
Favorite things in the shop?
“I love the bagels, we make them with baguette dough which keeps the bagel crispy and chewy. I also love the raspberry brioche bun, it is really simple and not too sweet and it goes well with a cup of coffee.”
What coffee shops can people find your products in?
“Sapor, Amythest, Blue Sparrow, Huckleberry on the dairy block, Little Owl, Method Collective (carry retail bread Friday-Sunday) Torpedo Coffee, Brew Culture and Federal Coffee!”
Advice to home baker?
“Whatever it is you want to do, just go out and take the first step”
Follow Rebel Bread on Instagram!
I am a total product junkie and I am always looking to try new things. I have really started to care about my skin over the past few years, especially living in Colorado where it is SOOO dry. I change up my routine often but these products are always staples and I would recommend them to everyone!
Dr. Dennis Gross Daily Peel : $88.00 (I am OBSESSED with this peel. It always makes my skin feel tight and bright)
Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment : $48.00 (Gotta love a good eye cream and this one is a favorite. I put mine in the fridge so the cream is nice and cold, so refreshing!)
Ice Roller : $11.99 (This tool is a game changer! I ice roll every morning after I wake up. It helps with puffiness and inflammation. I also LOVE using it the morning after a few glasses of wine…don’t judge me)
Moroccan Hair Oil : $44.00 (Nothing makes my hair feel soften and smoother. Run it through the ends after you shower!)
Kate Sommerville Exfolikate: $24.00 (I use this 1-2 times a week and I always feel clean and refreshed)
Happy Bakeshop is a lovely little bakery located in the Highlands neighborhood of Denver. They have been happily serving Denverites sweets for eleven years and their treats are absolutely divine. The flavors are so fun and luckily for you gluten free and vegan folks they have plenty of options! I sat down with Amber, a baker and the shops manager and we chatted about all things sweet!
Tell me a little bit about the shop! How long has Happy Bakeshop been around?
“We are celebrating our 11th anniversary this week! We are a women owned shop focused on cupcakes but we sell a variety of goodies including cookies, french macarons, bars and cookies! We also do custom orders and wedding cakes.”
What are some of your favorite treats in the shop right now?
“Our menu changes four times a year so we always have a variety of flavors. We have an eggnog cupcake right now for the holidays and that is one of my favorites!”
I feel like there are always “baking trends” whoopie pies, cake pops, etc. Any trends you are seeing right now?
“Definitely! The cut sugar cookies are really popular right now because customers love customizing them. We just had a customer that ordered customized turkey shaped sugar cookies that she gave out to all of her thanksgiving guests. We make everything from scratch so we just require 48 hour notice for custom cookies! We have seen popularity with fun cakes as well like the unicorn cakes, succulent cakes and naked cakes.”
Speaking of making everything from scratch, what time do you have to arrive to the bakery to start making the treats for the day?
It usually ranges anywhere from 4:30AM-6:00AM! We use all real quality ingredients and it takes time to make everything well from scratch.
What are some fun baking projects that you have done?
“There are so many! One that stands out in particular is the Denver burger battle. We make mini burger shaped macarons and people go crazy for those.”
Any advice to the beginner bakers out there?
“Always read through the recipe and make sure you are prepared. There is a method to baking and it is definitely important to follow the recipe.”
Happy Bakeshop is open Monday - Saturday from 10:00AM - 6:00PM and is located at 3434 W. 32nd Ave. Follow Happy Bakeshop on Instagram!
FOR THE HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS
Monogrammed Decanter ($69.95)
Schott Zwiesel Glassware (I have the red + white + champ flutes and I LOVE them)
Cook Like a Pro - Ina Garten ($20.99)
Monogrammed Cheese Board ($48.00)
Teak & Twine - Aspen Box ($124.00)
Merf’s Hot Sauce (Denver local! $5.00 per bottle)
Marble Wine Cooler ($24.95)
FOR THE FASHIONISTA
Today is the best day because I have been blessed with ALL of the amazing wine info from Louisa Clark, Arcana’s events coordinator and certified sommelier. I am so excited to share her knowledge with you all because wine is one of my favorite things. Also, if you are in Colorado and haven’t been to Arcana yet you are seriously missing out! Thank you so much Luisa!
photo credit | Peter McEwen | @petermcewen
How did you get into wine?
“I became super interested in wine after I had worked in the restaurant industry for about 4 years. I worked at the Kitchen Boulder starting in 2012 as a server and bartender. At the time, the Kitchen was known for their amazing beer list which I got to know and loved learning about. As a bartender, I learned so much about the world of spirits and cocktails. Then I was offered a new position helping to open and manage Arcana Restaurant in Boulder which opened in February of 2016. With my new job, I wanted to round out the rest of my beverage knowledge and I felt like the place that I knew the least was wine.”
How far along are you in your training? How long did you study for?
“I am very fortunate to have an amazing mentor and GM at Arcana, Mike Elmore. Mike started studying wine in 2011 and is a wealth of knowledge and inspiration. When I expressed that I wanted to learn more about wine, Mike suggested I sign up for the Introductory Course through the Court of Master Sommeliers. The Court is an organization that facilitates growth within the world of beverage professionals through classes, mentorship, and exams. There are four levels to the Court: Intro, Certified, Advanced, and finally Master Sommelier. There are only about 250 Master Somms in the world to give you an idea of how vigorous the exam process is.
So in the summer of 2016 I took the two day Introductory Course and passed the 1st level exam. The 2nd level, which is called the Certified Sommelier Examination, much more difficult that the first. Whereas the intro level gives you a two day course before you take an all multiple choice test, the Certified is only an exam and you are expected to do all the preparation on your own with no formal classes. The Certified Exam also consists of 3 parts: blind tasting, theory, and service. This was intimidating to me but I decided to move forward with the next level in March of 2017. The Certified Exam I signed up for was in mid July so I had four and a half months to study. I made a weekly schedule covering 18 different wine regions across the world and committed at least 2 hours per day for 6 days a week to studying. It was a very intense few months but the hard work paid off and I passed the Certified Exam and got the top score of the group! About 30 people sat for the test and only 10 passed and of those 10 only 3 were women. The Sommelier community is definitely male dominated so I find it inspiring to be a part of a growing community of women in the wine world.
After passing my Certified Exam I signed up for the Advanced Course. For the third level, the Court goes back to a similar structure as the first level. Each candidate is required to attend a 3 day course before even applying to take the Advanced Exam. I haven’t yet applied to take the 3rd level exam but I plan to in the next few years because I’d like a lot more time to study as the Advanced Exam is exponentially harder than the Certified. “
Favorite bottle of red + white under $20?
“I love Riesling from Dr. Basserman Jordan. Look for Trocken or Kabinett on the bottle to indicate a more dry wine. I think a lot of people are scared of Riesling because they think it will be syrupy sweet but the reality is you can find a really well balanced riesling that has bright, zippy acidity to balance out a touch of sweetness. I find Riesling to be one of the most interesting grapes because it is so aromatic with a wide range of fruit but can also be mineral driven.
Another favorite is Camino de Navaherros Bernebeleva Grenache from central Spain. This is a great well rounded red that works with a lot of different foods. It’s medium bodied with red fruit and a dry dusty earthiness that rounds it out. “
Favorite wine and food pairing?
“I love drinking high acid white wines with lean steak. For example a nice Chardonnay can be amazing with a filet. Chardonnay is known for having a bit more body than other whites and good examples can show amazing acid which helps the wine stand up to the meat. A good trick to keep in mind is “what grows together goes together” meaning if you’re eating Sicilian pizza try an Etna Rosso from the same island! Another example would be German wines go great with things like sausage and sauerkraut.”
Any tips on how to navigate a wine list? I think the average wine drinker is often intimidated by a restaurant wine list.
“My biggest suggestion would be to ask for help! Don’t be intimidated to ask for the Somm especially if you are at a place that is known for wine. Even if you’re not, there should be at least one person at the restaurant that knows the wine list well. I would also recommend being open to trying something new! Let the Somm know what you have had in the past that you’ve liked and what you liked about it. Don’t stick just to grapes also. If there was a region you liked or something specific about a wine like nuttiness or spice let them know! Also don’t be afraid to let them know your price point right away. That way they won’t be suggesting bottles that are way out of your budget. “
Where is your favorite place to enjoy a glass of wine? (Besides Arcana of course!)
Underrated wine that the average wine drinker wouldn’t know about?
“If you like Sauvignon Blanc, check out Muscadet made from the grape called Melon de Bourgogne. It comes from the Western Loire Valley on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in France and has similar salty, green, and crisp qualities.
If you love French Chardonnay check out Aligoté. It’s the only other white grape that can be produced in Burgundy and can provide great value in that region!
If you love fuller bodied red wines like Cabernet, try a Tempranillo from Spain. These wines are typically aged in oak and have lovely darker fruit and richness.”
Favorite thing on the menu at Arcana?
“My favorite dish on the menu is our Lamb Chop. We source our lamb from Crego Land and Livestock in Fort Collins and it is some of the best Colorado lamb out there! We roast the lamb chop and then baste it in a pan with butter and aromatics to order. It is served with rolled Lamb Belly that we marinate in black garlic to give it a rich, earthy, umani flavor. Also on the plate are some amazing fat fried Yukon Gold potatoes, roasted green chiles and onions, and what we call a Troutchovy dressing. Troutchovies are something we make in house from the trimmings of our Colorado Trout (which we butcher whole) and cured like you would an anchovy. The dressing is a take on a classic anchoyade or French dressing made with anchovies. It adds a nice brightness to the dish and balances out the richness.”
Dinner (Tuesday-Saturday 5-10/ Sunday-Monday 5-9)
Brunch (Saturday & Sunday 10-2:30)
Happy Hour (Daily 4-6)
Cheese boards….the way to my heart. I am a HUGE lover of cheese. Honestly, I don’t dislike a single type of cheese, and it is my favorite way to start a meal or end a meal. With the holidays coming up, knowing how to build a good board will make you a popular party guest.
And… guess what goes well with cheese?? You got it…WINE! See my favorite way to build a board and my favorite wines to sip on!
Young Manchego (Spanish Sheeps Milk)
This tasty Spanish cheese is made from sheeps milk and has a wonderful sweet and mellow flavor. Firm in texture, Manchego is the perfect cheese to snack on.
Pair with a Tempranillo or a crisp glass of Cava!
Fromager D’Affinois (French Cows Milk)
While it may look like brie, this French cheese is its own variety being produced in the Rhone-Alps and produces an even creamier texture. This double cream cheese is aged for a month and is absolutely divine.
Pair with fruity sparkling wines!
Merlot Bellavitano (Italian Cows Milk)
A mix between a parm and a cheddar, this wheels on this cheese are soaked in Merlot. This technique is called “Ubriaco” or drunken cheese. The flavors of the wine penetrate the cheese and produce flavors of plum and berry that pair perfectly with the buttery cheese.
Pair with any red wine but merlot would be the obvious choice.
A cheese board is only as good as its extras. Some things that I LOVE pairing with cheeses are nuts, fruits, spreads, and cured meats. For this particular board I opted for salty date and almond Raincoast crisps, Turkish apricots, big juicy red grapes, rosemary marcona almonds and a dry Italian salami. Usually I like adding some sort of spread like a fig spread, apple butter or even a pesto!
Thanks to my friends at Murray’s Cheese for helping me pick out some tasty options! What are your favorite cheeses?
EASY + DELICIOUS
A quaint little spot in RiNo with great coffee and food. The avocado toast is FIRE, I love me a good radish. It can definitely get packed so swing by earlier if you are hoping to hang out for a bit.
Right in the heart of downtown Denver, Little Owl is the epitome of high quality caffeine. The space is small so I would grab a cup and go!
I LOVE amethyst and especially enjoy hanging out for awhile. The environment is lovely and the walls are covered in succulents and greenery.
Novo in the highlands is always a favorite. The staff are super friendly and the environment is lovely. The iced coffee is strong and super tasty!
With two locations, Huckleberry is always a good choice. Spacious with great music, I love hanging at Huckleberry with my laptop. Also love the bags of coffee for purchase!
Where is your favorite place to caffeinate?
Anyone else really into seeing what people have in their fridge? I don’t know if that makes me creepy, but I always love seeing what people eat in their daily lives, not just all the yummy restaurant food + drink.
I honestly enjoy grocery shopping, it is relaxing to me. Some people strongly disagree but I think whatever type of shopper you are, it is important to make time to cook some meals! I usually shop at Trader Joes, Whole Foods and King Soopers depending on what I need. I usually hit TJ’s for good staple items but also their specialty dishes and spices that I can’t find elsewhere (everything but the bagel seasoning!!) Whole Foods I will visit for meats, fruit, rotisserie chickens and any obscure ingredients. King Soopers I save for generic brands and bigger bulk items like flour, sugar! I also love the Galbani string cheese and can only find that at King Soops!
My fridge never looks the same, but I always have some staple items that can easily be turned into great dishes!
Cauliflower Pizza Crust (If you cook it correctly, this stuff is the bomb.com! Cook the crust with just the sauce and cheese and cook other toppings separately so the crust doesn’t get soggy.)
Uncured Turkey Bacon (I almost always have this in my fridge. I like making a few slices for breakfast, or using it on a savory dish like a BLT)
TJ’s Steamed Chinese Soup Dumplings (A new favorite find! Pop them in the microwave and you have a yummy steamed dumpling!)
Brussels/Other Roasting Veggies (I always do a big pan of roasted veggies to have for the week, slice em, oil em and pop them in the oven!)
Butternut Squash Soup/Other TJ’s soups (I am a soup fiend so having delicious soups ready to go are always an easy meal option)
Fage 0% Greek Yogurt (Another staple, I eat this both when I am craving sweet but also as a savory topping. If I want it for sweet purposes I usually but a drop of jam and some ezekiel almond granola on top. I also use it often as a savory topping in place of sour cream.
Ezekial Bread (Major staple, basically eat this everyday for breakfast with hummus, a boiled egg and EBTB Seasoning)
Eggs (always hardboil a batch for the week, and always have a ton not boiled for baking!)
One Hope Hummus (Hands down my favorite hummus, it is a local CO brand. I find it at WF or King Soopers and it is always on my toast!)
Quinoa + Brown rice (A good base for any dish)
Greens: Arugula or Mixed Greens or Butter Lettuce (Sometimes you just gotta eat some greens!)
Applegate Chicken Sausage (I don’t LOVE cooking chicken at home, even if it’s done correctly I just don’t really enjoy dealing with it, so chicken sausage is an easy quick way to still get some protein!)
For all you fridge stalkers, hope you enjoyed this!
Welcome to my first Sunday Series of 5 buys! Each week I will be posting 5 things I am either dying to buy or have already purchased. This series may occasionally include an outrageous buy (hey, sometimes shopping on zillow for mansions is okay) so don’t judge, a girl can dream!
Cravings, Hungry For More : Chrissy Teigen ($17.99 on amazon)
Already purchased this guy and man does it not disappoint. Serisouly drooling just looking at the photos and I can’t wait to get in the kitchen and test some recipes!
2. Asos Wool Beret : $16.00
Purchased! It is starting to feel like Fall so why not attempt to pull of a beret? I will keep you updated on this attempt at fashion.
Not purchased, but dying to go! Michelle is coming to Denver and will be speaking at the Pepsi center in December!
Yay! This is one of my more exciting purchases. I have been wanting to take this class forever and I finally took the plunge. Not the cheapest but worth every minute!
5. Carmen Belted Trench Coat ($90.00)
Not yet purchased, but if I ever decide to wear a color that is not black, I would snag this coat!