Out of the Zone: Denver Macaron Class

Macaron

When my friend, Michelle, asked if I wanted to go to a Macaron class, I wasn’t sure what a macaroon was, so I googled it after I signed up. It turns out there is a bit of confusion between a macaroon and a macaron. The session was a macaron class. A macaron is a meringue sandwich looking pastry with two halves and filling in between. I had never eaten a macaron before, much less made one, but I was up for the challenge. Sur la Table, in Cherry Creek, has a multitude of classes and their kitchen is amazing.

I knew I was the rookie of the group when everyone raised their hand when asked if they had a Kitchenaid mixer. Everyone, that is, except me.

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I know…me taking a baking class is a bit of a oxymoron. I’m not much of a cook. Still, maybe my next career is as a chef.

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Chef Brett Dolce was entertaining and had lots of tips on how to simplify the process of making these complicated cookies. Is it an insult to call them cookies? I’m not really sure. The measurements and steps are very precise and require a scale to weigh the ingredients. The mixer is a must if I’m going to make macarons on a regular basis.  Luckily, I have a friend who is willing to bring her mixer over so we can do tag team baking.

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I was a bit intimidated when the class first started, but Chef Brett and his assistant, Nadine, were so encouraging and helpful every step of the way. I’m looking forward to taking more classes. Now I just need one with healthy foods to offset the sugar and butter from the macarons. 

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The end result? They were amazing and looked pretty good too. Yummy!!

One of my personal challenges this year is to step out of my comfort zone by trying new things. So far, it’s been fabulous. Have you done anything for the first time lately?

Applauding Denver Media and Police – Car Chase Suspect Arrested

I’m clearly not a news reporter, but yesterday’s car chase that lasted more than an hour and the involvement of the Denver traffic reporter from 850 KOA radio who assisted law enforcement with the apprehension of the suspect was extraordinary. At the same time, the event was televised live.

It all started yesterday morning when the suspect stole a Ford Edge that was unlocked and running outside a Longmont convenience store with a four year old boy inside. Police officers located the car fairly quickly, but decided not to actively chase in the dangerous rush hour traffic conditions. So they backed off, while still following at a distance.

That’s where the news helicopter comes in. Several of our media outlets share the helicopter. Traffic reporter, John Morrissey, broadcasted the event live on a radio station accessible by all of the responding officers, providing them with the information necessary to stay in contact with the dangerous suspect. It was also clear that a number of the drivers, probably on their way to work, were listening to the same station  as they pulled out of the way.

Here’s a condensed version of the audio:

Here’s a condensed version of the video:

After stealing a car with a little boy inside, two carjackings, driving the wrong way on a busy highway, traveling up to 100 miles per hour and multiple accidents, the suspect was taken into custody. The four year old boy is safe and a Colorado State Patrol Officer is recovering in the hospital. There were no other serious injuries.

Unbelievable! Great job performed by all of the officers from multiple jurisdictions, the traffic reporter and Denver media outlets. Job well done!

Santa Claus Has A Present for Peyton Manning

I personally spoke with Santa Claus yesterday at the United in Orange Rally in downtown Denver. Broncosrally13

After asking him if Peyton Manning had been good all year, he said, “I have a big present for Peyton. I’ve been holding off giving it to him until now.” 

That sounds promising. Just so you don’t think I picked any man looking like Santa Claus out of the crowd, here’s proof I got the real guy.

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I was lucky enough to talk to lots of Bronco fans who share my passion.

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These fans will be partying on Sunday. The predicted score? “34-14, Broncos!”

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“It’s the Year of the Horse!”

This man is the biggest fan in Colorado Springs. His favorite Bronco’s paraphernalia?  “A helmet with John Elway’s autograph.”

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Bronco Billy will be at the stadium on Sunday, dressed up in Bronco boxers. His favorite player? Ryan Clady. He’s my home boy.”

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It’s one thing to dress up in Bronco gear, it’s a whole different level of commitment to die your hair orange and blue.

Any superstitions? “If I’m standing in a location and we’re doing well, I don’t move.”

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Here are several of our Bronco ladies and their dog, Rocky. Favorite player? Eric Decker. Now there’s a surprise…

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Like momma, like daughter. Hi, Chloe!

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Rocky the Leprechaun, with his friend Mike, has been leading the cheering squad for 31 years! What will you be doing on Sunday, “Getting people noisy!”

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Timothy and his dad are ready for the game.

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This couple’s oldest son is a Patriot’s fan. “I don’t know what we did wrong. Our other boys are all Bronco’s fans.” Their oldest son will be watching the game with them. Maybe there’s hope for a miraculous conversion.

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What’s included on Emily’s game day menu? “Mac and cheese…”

And finally, check out a collection of just a few of the jerseys I saw at the rally. These names look familiar.

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It’s going to be a great game on Sunday. Thanks Broncos for an incredible season so far. We’re all rooting for you!!

 

In Memory of Denver’s Homeless

I’m looking out the window at a full on blizzard thinking about the event I witnessed and was part of last night at the Denver City and County Building. I was there to take pictures of the holiday display and found myself in a crowd of people holding burning candles in memory of the homeless people who have died on the streets during 2011. Tonight I’m wondering how many people are caught out in the cold with no place to stay.

More than 136 people have died this year across the Denver metro area and many of them had no funeral and sometimes no family to remember them. The event, the Homeless Persons’ Memorial Vigil was held so that we can remember that there are sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, husbands, wives out there who could use our help and to honor those that died on our streets.

This is the holiday season where we are reminded that we can make a difference in love. My prayers go out to the people caught out in the storm and those shelter workers who are doing their best to keep them warm and safe.

I won’t forget.

An Olive World


About two and a half years ago, I adopted a new member of the family. Olive is identified by the Denver Dumb Friends League as an English Pointer mix. I’m not quite sure what she is mixed with, but she is a beautiful dog. She has a personality so big, it fills a room.

Olive jumps straight up in the air showing her excitement as I get ready to throw her latest toy. She’ll chase the cat around and then sleep on the bed next to him. Sometimes it’s as if she understands exactly what I’m saying to her. You’ll have to believe me when I tell you about her personality, because you will probably never see it.

Why? Olive is terrified of people. While I’ve done almost everything I can including dog agility and obedience classes for at least half of her life, having her stay at a local kennel to work with trainers and getting her out in the world with dog lovers at the dog park, it doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference. She loves the dog trainers now, but she is scared of everyone else except for me and my son. If you see her at the park from a distance, you’d never know that just getting closer will turn this confident, full speed dog into one that hides behind things shaking in terror. That is just sad, because seeing her love of life brings me such happiness.

I wouldn’t trade Olive for the world. She actually adopted me. I’ve never had a shy dog before and she was trembling when the adoption counselor brought her into the room for me to visit. I picked her up and held her close on my lap, she was only four months old. After talking to her and petting her for a few minutes, I set her down. She slowly worked her way over to sitting down next to me and leaning against my leg. It was one of those moments when you know “it’s meant to be.”

So why am I telling you about Olive?  It is because there are people I know who are afraid just like Olive. They may not be specifically afraid of people, but are afraid to share who they are and the amazing talents they have been given. I’ve been there, done that.

“I don’t want to be embarrassed.”

“What if people don’t like it?”

“I can’t draw.”

“I can’t write.”

I read a book once that asked me, “If you could be anything, what would you be?” One of my answers was a writer. The Crosswinds newsletter that I talk about in the first post of this blog came as a result of that self reflection. Can I write? I’m certainly not the best writer but I think I can do well enough to share my heart.

What are you afraid of sharing with people today?

Challenge: In Your Own Backyard

A week ago last Friday it snowed here in Denver. I was excited to get out early the following morning so I could take some beautiful shots in the snow. My initial plan was to drive over to the park. Instead, I decided that I should be able to find some interesting photo opportunities in my very small back yard. How did that go? I’ll let you decide.

Lilac Bush Bloom Abstract

I’m challenging you find the beauty in your own back yard. Grab your camera, even if it’s just the one on your phone, and take at least ten pictures of things that you find interesting.  We’d love to see your favorite shot and don’t forget to journal about your adventure.

Recipe:

Tools: Camera
Time: 15 minutes
Location: Backyard or Just out the Front Door