Another successful date night for these two happy kiddos.

With Zach traveling so much — we wanted to make our one full night together special and decided a date night was the perfect way to do just that.

Ironically enough, Zach and I had both eaten a lot of sandwiches over the last week so our only requirement was NO sammies.

This morning, we both had the same idea: Bang in the Highlands neighborhood of Denver.

We’d been there once before and loved it, so we were pretty confident we’d have another good experience.

Date Night

We started the evening with drinks, of course.



Sparkling water for me.  With the race so close, I have been doing the whole “just say no” thing to alcohol for the past week or so.   It has helped in previous races, and I figure it can’t hurt, right?  I’m all about being hydrated right now.  There will be a time and place for a glass of wine again, my friends :).



We opted for the baked shrimp starter, which was served with a crispy polenta cake.  We actually got this same plate last time, and loved it just as much the second time.  YUM.  I don’t know what they do to those shrimp, but it’s not fishy in the least.  Just fresh and full of flavor.

DSCN1311 DSCN1312


And for our entrees, we split a Cobb salad and rigatoni dish.  I throughly enjoyed both dishes, but focused more on the Cobb.  With that said, I’d say my favorite element of the entrees was the sausage in the rigatoni dish though.  YUM.

Overall Experience


We arrived at dinner around 730, and had no problem getting seating right away. They have an outdoor patio that we actually sat at last time we were there.  Over the winter, they have it closed in and heated, which provides a nice cozy environment.

Our service was quick and efficient.  We never waited for anything, and the food came out surprisingly quick.  If anything, I’d say the service was more attentive than it even needed to be, but I wasn’t complaining.


The food at Bang! is made up of American Classics with a twist.  The food itself is very simple but delicious.  Clean and crisp.  I would say this salty lady would have possibly liked a LITTLE more seasoning to the entrees, but let’s be real…both plates were delicious.


While I wasn’t drinking tonight, nearly everyone else in the restaurant was.  And that’s likely due to the fact that they have quite a few bottle options in the 20-30 dollar range.  HELLO GREAT DEAL!  I guarantee you next time Zach and I will take advantage of that one :).


Very reasonable!  For the two of us, I believe our meal, including starter, sparkling water and Zach’s drink, was about 40 dollars.  Salads are 7-9 dollars, entrees are between 12-15, and starters are in the 6-8 range.  Very reasonable  — especially for the quality of food you’re getting.

Would I recommend it?

Heck yes 🙂  And we will be back.

Question of the Night:  Do you like to eat family style?

Heck yes!  I love trying lots of different goodies!

Homemade Apple Pie

One thing Zach has requested since Fall has made it’s cool entrance is an apple pie.


I mean honestly, is there really anything better than warm apple pie and good vanilla ice cream?  It just SCREAMS Fall.

So — here my friends, is my first attempt at a HEALTHIER apple pie.  Overall — I’d say it turned out pretty flippin’ good. I LOVE it, and guarentee this will not be the last time I attempt this pie. So I’ll let ya know if I make any tweeks or changes that make this pie even sweeter :).


DSC_0358 DSC_0363

Homemade Apple Pie

Ingredients: CRUST

  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 + 1/2 cup of All Purpose Flour
  • 1 + 1/2 sticks of butter, cut into 1/2 in cubes.  COLD
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons of ICE water

Ingredients: FILLING

  • 2 to 3 lbs apple of choice (many people use granny smith.  I used honeycrisp because they’re my favorite, and only had about 2 lbs because I don’t like HEAPING apple pies.  But that’s by choice…use more if you like the domed pies)
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • Small bit of sugar and milk for the topping

Directions: CRUST

  • Combine the flour, salt, and sugar into the food processor and pulse the mixer to get everything well incorporated.
  • Add the cold, cubed butter and PULSE until the mixture resembles a coarse meal with small pieces of butter intermixed.
  • Start adding the ice water one table spoon at a time, pulsing until the mixture begins to clump together (this took the full 8 tablespoons for me, but that could be due to altitude and drying out)
  • Remove the mixture from the food processor onto a floured, clean surface.  GENTLY shape the dough mixture into two discs.
  • Wrap both discs in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees and prepare your pie pan
  • Peal, core, and cut apples into your desired size (I prefer thin, bite size pieces)
  • Put apples into large bowl, and combine with the sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and vanilla.  Mixing well.  Set aside in fridge.
  • Pull out the crusts and let come to room temperature for about 5 minutes.
  • Put a piece of plastic wrap on clean, damp surface and roll out the first dough ball.  If it is tough, roll and let set for a minute, then continue rolling until you get desired thickness (about 1/4 of an inch and larger than the round pan)
  • Pull the dough off the plastic wrap and put into the prepared pie pan (you can put the rolled out dough in the fridge for just five minutes to make it easier to peel off)
  • Put your filling inside the dough mixture
  • Repeat the steps for the second ball of dough, then place on stop of the pie.
  • Cut the scraps off the side, and pinch the edges with a fork
  • Brush the top of the pie with milk and sugar to brown in the oven
  • Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, then lower the temperatures to 350 and cook for another 35-40 minutes.
  • Let cool and enjoy!

DSC_0359 DSC_0358DSC_0361 DSC_0362

DSC_0358 DSC_0363

DSC_0359 DSC_0367

A couple notes:

  • This pie crust can be used for savory OR sweet pies (think pizza).  If you want the crust to be sweeter, you may use ALL AP flour, and maybe up the sugar…but I personally liked the taste.
  • A lot of recipes call for more apples than I used — so feel free to up the ante on that one.  I personally just don’t like HUGE apple pies, but that’s me.
  • This is a healthified version, like most of my treats :).  Many recipes called for butter in the filling as well as the crust, but I personally omitted it, and quite frankly didn’t miss it.

And now we have 48 hours to finish the rest of this pie.  I hope we’re up to the task!

Question of the Day:  What’s your favorite Fall treat?

Apple pie or crumble, for sure.


Follow Chocolate medals  on  twitter , facebook & pinterest

Last Training Run: Done

Saint Louis, I’m coming.


We’ll get to that in a minute, but first…let’s backtrack.

Zach got home safe and sound last night around 10 PM — which is already past our normal bedtime.  BUT — we rallied, got home, and taste tested the apple pie for you all…before we crashed hard 2 minutes later in an apple pie coma.



Yup.  Approved by both of us 🙂  Expect a recipe later this afternoon :).

This Morning

This morning I finished my final run for this training cycle.  I may do a shake out 2 miles Saturday morning in Saint Louis, just to adjust my lungs and body to sea level…but for all intents and purposes, St Louis RnR training cycle is complete.

Workout This Morning:  Final Five K 🙂

This last run went much better than my run earlier in the week.  To be honest, I think the treadmill just bores the heck out of me when I’m going constant speeds — which is all I have been doing lately trying to take it easy for taper.  I haven’t done speed work in probably 2 weeks — so the treadmill just gets mundane.

This morning I broke up the run and did mile 2 quite a bit faster than one and three point one, which was a nice way to break up the run.  Instead of dragging along, this run seemed to fly.  Looks like I’ll be working on speed work in the off season 🙂

And now — it’s time to finish getting ready and head into work.  Woo hoo late day.  Date night tonight 🙂

So, I’ll be back with the pie recipe AND recap of date night 🙂

Quesiton of the Afternoon:  Do you switch up your speeds on the treadmill often?  And if you aren’t a runner, do you have a workout that bores you fairly quickly?


Follow Chocolate medals  on  twitter , facebook & pinterest