Acorn

Last night, Zach and I went out to celebrate his 29th birthday.

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And boy did we go out well!

When Zach was planning where he wanted to go for his birthday, he kept coming back to Acorn  new-to-us restaurant in an up and coming area of Denver.  We’d actually tried to go before, but were unable to get reservations.

Thankfully, we were able to get reservations for Zach’s birthday, but not until 815.  Way past our normal dinner time.

Since this girl can’t wait until 815 to eat, we decided to start the night early at Epic, the brewery we visited Friday.  The nice thing about Epic, they allow you to bring snacks.

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Parmesan crisp chips, new-to-me crackers from Whole foods, and hummus.

Along with some amazing beer, these snacks were the perfect way to hold us over until our 815 reservation.

I thought I’d be watching the clock, ready for dinner, but Zach and I chatted the night away and before we new it we were in a hurry to get to dinner.

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Acorn is in a new, industrial building along with another restaurant, bank, art gallery, and a few other offices. We automatically fell in love with the vibe of the place and new it was going to be a great night.

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While we looked over the menu, we started out dinner with cocktails.  An Old Fashion for Zach and Monks Garden for me

MONK’S GARDEN

death’s door basil & tarragon infused vodka, green chartreuse, cucumber, lavender, lime

Acorn knows what they’re doing with the drinks folks.  I saw this drink on many other tables, and heard multiple people talking about how good it was.  Super fresh, sweet, and dangerous. 

Acorn is known for shared, small plates, so we decided on four different dishes to share.

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COAL ROASTED BABY BEETS

feta panna cotta, toasted pistachios, tarragon

The feta panna cotta was PERFECT with these beats.  It was super creamy, not at all sour, and bright.

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AHI TUNA “TATAKI”

basil & honey vinaigrette, cucumber, celery

The tuna was perfectly prepared and the crisp veggies served with it were the perfect compliment

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LAMB “SHAWARMA”

shishito peppers, feta cheese, chickpea panisse, tzatziki sauce

My favorite of the evening.  Every single thing about it.

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OAK GRILLED PORK BELLY

crooked stave beer & gruyere fondue, brussels sprouts, chestnuts

By the time we got to this dish we were pretty full, but it was super tasty. 

Overall 

We LOVED the food and drinks, and will absolutely be back as soon as possible.  Every dish was creative, unique, and perfectly prepared. 

The menu does ask that you order everything at once, but will stagger the dishes themselves so you get to enjoy them slowly.  My favorite way to do family style.

The service was knowledgable, well balanced, and polite.  

Honestly, is there any downside to Acorn?  No…so we should probably go back this weekend. 😉 Ok, Zach?

Question of the Night:  Do you like tapas style food?

Love it – I’m al about trying different dishes.

 

Caramel and Chocolate Coffee Cake

When I asked Zach what he wanted me to bake for his birthday, he didn’t hesitate a second.

Coffee Cake.

Well, I hit pinterest right away and started looking for inspiration.  I couldn’t bake just ANY coffee cake, it had to be special if it was going to be a birthday cake.

Well guys…I think I found special.  Zach said that this was his favorite thing that I have baked yet (but that could be because I didn’t do anything to healthify it).

I, of course, did make a few tweeks to make it my own, but overall was inspired by this post

Either way, this Caramel and Chocolate Coffee Cake was AMAZING and gone in less than 48 hours.  Totally Worth it.

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source

Caramel and Chocolate Coffee Cake

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 and 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 envelope of yeast
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 3/4 cup warm milk (120-130 degrees)
  • 1/4 cup of melted butter (1/2 a stick)
  • 1 egg
  • 9 ounces of caramels (I used Sprouts brand)

Topping

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of All Purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/4 small chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon of milk

Directions

  • Mix the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl until eventually distributed.
  • Add the milk, butter and eggs until smooth.
  • Set aside 10 caramels, then cut up the rest into small pieces and stir them into the mixture
  • Put the dough into a greased 8 by 8 pan
  • In a seperate bowl, mix the brown sugar, flour,  and butter together until it makes a crumble (I recommend breaking up the butter into small pieces so it combines to make a crumble).
  • Add chocolate chips to the top and then set aside for 30 minutes to rise
  • After 30 minutes, back at 350 for 25-35 minutes depending.  It is ready when a toothpick comes out clean and the top is slightly browned.
  • When the cake is cooled, combine the remaining 10 caramels and milk in a microwave safe container and melt them together (45 seconds – 1 minute).
  • Drizzle this over the top and serve immediately.

Seriously, this is as good as it sounds and looks.  TRY IT!

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I Like What I’m Seeing

I apologize for going MIA on you all last night.

Zach and I had a great time celebrating his birthday at a very hip and fancy new-to-us resturant that I can’t wait to tell you all about.

Unfortunately I didn’t upload all of the pictures from last night, only one, albeit important, picture.  So the recap will be up later 🙂

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The pistachio cake that I got Zach for his birthday.  Oh sweet lord the icing on this cake.  Probably the best I’ve ever had.  Thank you Whole Foods.

This Morning

Since our dinner sport didn’t even have reservations available until 815 (hip, I’m telling you!),  Zach and I weren’t home eating that cake until well after 11.  Meaning we weren’t in bed until a little after midnight.  Well past this girls bedtime.

When the alarm went off just before six this morning, I was VERY tempted to stay in my warm bed and postpone any work out until the afternoon.  But Zach had been up since before 5 (poor boy had meetings), and I figured if the birthday boy can do it, so could I.  So, I crawled out of bed, made it to the gym for a quick and fairly easy workout.

Workout of the Day:  4 miles easy pace (925ish pace)

wanted needed this workout to be mindless, so I put the treadmill on pace and just rolled with it.  No speed work, no nothing.

I did have negative splits, increasing the speed by .1 every few songs, but I ended with the treadmill being at 6.7, so I was never going overly fast (for me).

I was surprised how EASY this run was.  Especially after my tough work out yesterday.  But I think I have been doing a few things very well lately:

  • speed work:  while I have been doing fewer miles…they have included speed repeats consistently.
  • hydrating: I’ve been working on constantly sipping on h20 through out the day.  I can never drink much at once with my stomach, but very intentionally drinking it through out the day is definitely making a difference
  • strength training:  I am loving weight training right now…and I have a feeling it isn’t hurting my running. Let’s just put it that way.

I’ll be back later for a recap of Zach and I’s birthday celebration tonight!  But this afternoon, you have a caramel and chocolate coffee cake recipe to look forward to this afternoon.

Question of the Morning:  Has there every been anything that you have found REALLY affects your running/workout of choice?

For me, hydration DEFINITELY affects me.