New Year, New Dessert!

Happy New Year! With the new year comes a new recipe for dessert, my favorite meal! I know some of you have made your new years resolution, dieting. Well I am here to give you an delicious recipe for your cheat days 🙂

I am a cookie monster, anything cookie, especially chocolate chip cookies! I also LOVE ice cream, and home made fresh whipped cream. What can I say, I am a dessert fanatic.

Last night I whipped up from scratch a Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowel with delicious vanilla ice cream and homemade maple whipped cream! My mouth is drooling just thinking about this amazing creation!

We will start with the Ice Cream Recipe because this may take the longest to do, all you need is half and half, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla—and an ice cream maker. We got our ice cream maker off of Amazon and LOVE it!

VANILLA ICE CREAM
  • 3 c. half and half
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 vanilla bean pods, seeds scraped, or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  1. In large pot over medium heat, combine half and half and vanilla bean and bring to a simmer for at least 15 minutes. Strain half and half mixture and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and salt until smooth. To temper eggs, carefully whisk about 1 cup of the hot half and half into egg mixture until smooth. Then whisk egg mixture back into the half and half mixture in the pot. Return to medium-low heat and cook to 170 degrees F, constantly stirring along bottom of pot to ensure even cooking. Once temperature has reached 170 degrees F, remove from heat and strain through fine-mesh strainer into bowl. In the same bowl, cool ice cream base to room temperature in an ice bath, then pop base into the fridge to fully chill, at least 2 hours.
  3. Once base is chilled, process in an ice cream maker. When it’s somewhere between soft serve and ice cream from the freezer, transfer ice cream to container and freeze until firm.

While the ice cream is setting in the freezer its time to start your Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowl!

(I forgot to take pictures of the ice cream process)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowl recipe: 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. …
  3. Instead of pulling out your cookie sheets, you will need a cupcake pan or a muffin pan.
  4. Flip over the pan, and start to form the cookie dough over the cupcake mold. (see picture below for reference)
  5. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool down for about 5-8 minutes so the cookie bowl mold sets and doesn’t fall apart

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While the cookie molds are setting, its time to work on your fresh Maple Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup of Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons of Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup of Maple Syrup

Place the sugar into the mixing bowl and add the whipping cream and maple syrup. Whisk just until the cream reaches stiff peaks. Store any unused portion in an airtight container for up to 10 hours. When ready to use, rewhisk for 10 to 15 seconds.

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and Volia! Your 3 main ingredients are done, now its time to take your vanilla ice cream and fill up the chocolate chip cookie bowl and top it off with fresh handmade maple whipped cream, just add sprinkles and a cherry and you now have a delicious homemade dessert!

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Colorful Colorado

So guys, I know my typical posts are usually DIY’s but this post is about a recent 3 day fun filled trip I had taken to Colorado.

My fiance was turning 30 and I decided for his milestone birthday that he deserves a trip, well he deserves more than a trip because he has to deal with me and all my DIY’s haha.

Justin has always wanted to go to Colorado, for skiing, however, his birthday is in the beginning of October when clearly its still fall and there is no snow, so I had to really do some research to make this trip as memorable and entertaining as it would have been if we were skiing down a black diamond in Aspen. Let me be clear, if HE was skiing down a black diamond in Aspen, myself, I would be perfectly content sipping hot coco in the lodge 😉 Anywho, my research started a month an half before his birthday, first I started to keep an eye out for flights, affordable flights that is. Luckily I pinned something awhile back saying the best time to look for flights is on a Tuesday 6-8 weeks before your trip, which worked out for me because my research started on a Tuesday and it was luckily 7 weeks until we would have left, amazingly I found (2) round trip tickets for $220 each! what a steal!

Now with flights out of the way, I went on every hotel website under the sun to get the best deal, and if you all know me, I love a good deal! Luckily I found a hotel 20 min from the airport and also 10 min from downtown Denver, perfect location and right smack in the middle of everything, and the best part, I didn’t have to pay anything until we stayed. (Bookings.com) This was an awesome find because if I found any better deals I could cancel at any time and it didn’t cost me anything, luckily I never had to cancel because the hotel price and location was perfect for us.

So I checked off the flights and hotel and now its time to plan the days and what we were going to do, the fun part!

I started Googling around “Things to do in Denver, Co” and “Places to eat in Denver” My fiance is a big foodie so I had to make sure we ate at some highly recommended places. I found myself on TripAdvisor and a few other websites.

I made notes of all the top attractions and started to map out our days with the places people recommended, on our first day, since our flight landed at 11:30 AM, we really had the whole day and we didn’t want to waste a day hanging in a hotel room asking each other “well what do you want to do, where do you want to eat, check google” I wanted to have a plan, hence why I made an itinerary to refer to each day.

On the first day, since we would have the whole day, I didn’t plan anything solid, so no tours, or appointments we had to make, it was a flexible day. We picked up our rental at Enterprise and drove off towards the hotel, since we knew we couldn’t check in yet and we were starving, we decided to go to The Source in Denver. The Source is an artisan food market that is in an 1800’s brick foundry building in the North District of Denver’s River. It’s literally a mall for food and its amazing, they have everything and anything you can think of, food related. We ate at the Comida, its a taco truck turned cantina and they serve the most amazing Mexican street food.

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After we stuffed our faces we headed to the hotel to check in, luckily they let us check in an hour early. We relaxed for a bit until it was time for a little road trip at 5 PM to Colorado Springs to check out the Garden of the Gods. Seriously, if you ever have the chance, you need to see these red rocks, they are simply amazing! We opted out of the tour and decided to just walk around the and take in the beauty of the Red Rocks themselves, its an experience that I will never forget.

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After we walked around the Garden of the Gods and took in the beauty of these rocks, we started to get hungry and I have to be honest, I didn’t do my research so I didn’t know where we were going to eat, this was probably the only thing I forgot, but not to worry too much, I went on Trip Advisor and found Caspian Cafe Mediterranean 5 minuets down the road from the Garden of the Gods. This place was delicious, they serve Mediterranean, Turkish, Greek type of food and they even have belly dancers! It was a great ending to a great first day in Colorado.

Day 2,

The next day, I planned for us to go to breakfast at Snooze, an A.M. Eatery in downtown Denver and let me tell you, the 30 minute wait was fine with me after I had my first bite of their amazing OMG French Toast! Justin wasn’t feeling the wait but once the food came it didn’t matter anymore, now we know why there was such a wait the food they serve is not only mouthwatering but pleasurable 😉 HIGHLY recommend!! We ordered the Pancake Flight (shown below, Pumpkin, Blueberry Danish, and Peach Cobbler) a Benny Duo (eggs benedict) and the OMG French Toast

 

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After we indulged all this deliciousness we decided to go for a walk around downtown Denver, we found Coors Field and a bunch of astounding street art, this city really spoke to me. It was just so unique.

We looked back at the itinerary and decided to head to our next stop, The Flatirons in Boulder. Boulder is about 40 minuets from Denver so we hopped in the car and made our way out to Boulder. As we are driving you notice all these mountains from afar, its simply breathtaking and almost like you are in another world if you have never seen views like this before.

The trail for the Flatirons is a 3.3 mile loop trail that leads out from the trailhead westward through open stands of ponderosa pine before the junction with Doudy Draw Trail. Prairie Vista connects with Flatirons Vista South. The views are insane and there is no other way to explain how breathtaking they are. Another highly recommended place!

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After we were done hiking we headed to our last location of the day, a tour on the Banjo Billy Bus Tour around Downtown Denver for an hour an half bus ride telling us and showing us the history of Boulder. This tour bus is not your typical tour bus, its an old school bus tricked out to look like a traveling hillbilly shack, we heard ghost stories, crime stories, and had a history lesson. We even saw a bear in a tree that day! Unforgettable times!

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Once we got off the Banjo Billy’s Bus Tour, we were dropped off conveniently at Hotel Boulderado on Spruce Street which is only a block away from Pearl Street Mall. The Pearl Street Mall is not your typical Mall, its a four block pedestrian mall in Boulder and it stretches from 11th street to 15th street. We did some shopping and explored the different vendors. We ate at the West Flanders Brewing Company, they have Belgian inspired craft beers and delicious “pub food”.

We had a 30 minute drive from Boulder to Denver and after the delicious pub food at West Flanders we decided to get dessert at the Little Man Ice Cream in Denver to add some sweetness to a great day. Little Man Ice Cream is a 28 foot tall 14K ice cream can that brings you the most incredible vegan ice cream handmade with its finest locally sourced ingreidents. Justin ordered the Space Junk and I had the Salted Oreo in their handmade waffle cones. The Little Man experience is another one that is unforgettable, they provide live music, slam poetry, movie nights, and while we were there, their very own pumpkin patch!

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Another perfect ending to an adventurous day.

 

Day 3,

The last and final day, and also my honey’s 30th Birthday!

We decided to eat at the hotel that morning, we had a free breakfast buffet coupon our hotel gave us because I told them we were there for Justin’s birthday.

I scheduled a couples massage for the both of us to start his and of course my morning right, I found a local deal on Livingsocial and it was probably the best decision I made for that day because with all the hiking and traveling, our bodies needed a good massage, and let me tell you, it was just what the doctor ordered!

After our massages, I set up a tour with the Colorado Cannabis Tour, I can’t speak to much on this tour for personal reasons and of course legal reasons but I will say this, it’s fucking amazing and definitely an experience and I HIGHLY recommend.

Last but not least, I treated my man to a delicious meal at the Guard and Grace in Downtown Denver. They really went above and beyond to make Justin’s birthday special. They had a personalized birthday card sitting at our table for when we arrived and everything from the appetizers to the dessert was delectable and exquisite. I couldn’t of asked for better service, food, or drinks. It made the whole birthday vacation perfect and ended our 3 day vacation incomparably.

All in all, I would say if you have the chance to go to Colorado make sure you check out the following places and I promise you, you will not be disappointed.

  • The Source
  • Garden of the Gods
  • Banjo Billy Bus Tour
  • Guard and Grace
  • Snooze
  • The Flatirons
  • Colorado Cannabis Tours
  • Little Man Ice Cream