Rocky Mountain Highs: A Weekend in Leadville, CO

The last couple of weeks felt like an absolute grind. A combination of weather, work, and health struggles made me feel like I was running on empty. Luckily, I had a week in Denver on the books, which came with a city escape to the sleepy town of Leadville, CO. I was joined by Jon and Kasra who consistently make me laugh uncontrollably and share my love of technology, cooking, and serendipitous adventures.  Their company coupled with scenic mountain views completely elevated my mood and helped me reset for the week ahead.

The drive up to Leadville is absolutely gorgeous. The two-hour trip flew by thanks to DJ Jazzy Jon’s epic pop extravaganza. He played us throwback after throwback, which ignited involuntary screams of delight from me. If you ever want to see me giddy, put me behind a steering wheel with the following playlist:

Roasted Chicken & Snapchat Goodness

When we arrived at our AirBnB, we immediately got to work on dinner. The menu: roasted chicken and potatoes with lemon, thyme and garlic served with a side of bacon brussel sprouts. YUM.

Confession: I though Snapchat Spectacles were absolutely ridiculous until I tried them out. Now I think they’re awesome. If you’re a media fiend who likes to document everything in life, these glasses were made for you. I loved having these in the kitchen.

Photography Fun

I took a bunch of photos walking on Harrison Avenue, Leadville’s main street, and then later in the afternoon driving around Turquoise Lake. The town doesn’t have much, but it feels like you’re walking through a time capsule. 

“Guys, we’re pulling over and having a photo shoot. Stand in the middle of the road please.”

Making T-Bone Steak Like a Boss

Before we left Denver, we stopped at Western Daughters, an awesome butcher in LoHi that specializes in locally sourced grass-fed meat. We ordered a pound of thick cut bacon for breakfast, a few bratwurst sausages for the grill, and a beautiful two-inch thick T-bone steak.

We’re big fans of the Joule from Chef Steps. You really can’t go wrong with a sous vide steak, which involves slow cooking in a water bath (more deets here). We seasoned the cut generously with salt and pepper and then cooked it for 3 hours at a temp of 132 F with thyme, butter, and garlic.  Afterwards, we pan-seared it to render the fat and then threw it on the grill for a few seconds to get an added sear.

Sides included roasted cauliflower, grilled carrots and corn, garlic bread, and a salad with alfalfa sprouts, avocado, tomato, cucumber, and a simple lemon dressing.

We basically spent 48 hours alternating between cooking, co-working, exploring and then filled our nights binging on The Great British Baking Show.

This past weekend was proof that sometimes deep belly laughs, joy rides through the wilderness, nerdy conversations, and home cooked meals are really the best recipe for a pick-me-up.

Thank you Jon and Kasra for a magical 48 hours and for pressuring me to write this blog post! Til our next adventure, here’s to countless food/tech analogies, CMS debates, Charlie XCX, Mary’s blazers, and the pursuit of the perfect French omelette.

The Art of the French Omelette

I’m committed to mastering the art of the French omelette. This is a new development thanks to Jon and Kasra who just made me watch 20 minutes of French omelette Youtube videos.

At first I thought, “What could be so hard about making eggs?” Then I watched these videos and realized what all the fuss is about. There’s beauty in the simplicity, technique, and tradition.

According to Jacques Pepin, he judges the skill of a chef based on their omelette making ability. Well, Monsieur Pepin, challenge officially accepted.

Side note: There seems to be a silent debate in the culinary world that’s similar to developers arguing about tabs vs. spaces. Half of the videos we watched add salt after beating eggs and the others add them after plating. TBD where I land on this issue.

New Nordic Cuisine in Williamsburg – A Night at Aska

I had a wonderful dinner the other night at Aska in celebration of a friend’s birthday. The restaurant was covered by every major food publication since it earned two Michelin stars in November and rightfully so. Under the direction of Chef Frederik Berselius, Aska gives diners a sampling of “New Nordic” cuisine at its finest joining the ranks of Aquavit and Agern. The restaurant is located on South 5th, almost directly underneath the Williamsburg bridge. They offer 10 and 19 course tasting menus with wine pairings and a beautiful cocktail program. Be prepared to spend several hours there if you do the full menu. We started around 8:45 PM and didn’t leave until 1:45 AM! The meal is most definitely a marathon, not a sprint.

Some tasting menus have these over the top crescendos and one or two dishes that are designed to keep food bloggers on a leash. In contrast, Aska is incredibly understated. It’s the dining equivalent of the Artistotle quote, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” There wasn’t a single dish that I felt was trying too hard to impress even though many of the ingredients are avant-garde (think bladderwrack, lamb heart, lichen). Each dish parlayed into the next to create a beautiful dining experience, one that’s clean, approachable, and harmonious.

Aska Tasting Menu