Sunday, December 31, 2023

New Year's Eve

Lots of activities led up to this New Year's Eve. Interestingly similar to 6 years ago, here. Particularly similar was Fina prepping for a party and the Saran-wrapped gift ball. And going around the room listening to New Year's Resolutions.

A day or two earlier...
Griffen and Antonio at CityRock

Also earlier... Jarrito Loco got in the spirit!

Marzipan Pigs and Oranges w/Leaves = Good Luck

Dinner by Olive Garden

Fireworks at the top of Pikes Peak at midnight.
This photo made it look like the mountain was erupting.

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Brother Luck's Surf-n-Turf with Risotto

It was a cooking class! And dinner! Chef Brother Luck (yes, that's his real name), well known in the culinary world, spent a little over an hour talking us through everything he was doing, and why, as he built a filet mignon with wine sauce, shrimp with a butter/garlic sauce, and chive risotto meal for the 24 of us in attendance. Everyone was riveted. And as you should expect, the meal was great. The very basic info for preparing this meal is here. What's not there are the in and outs, the why's and why nots, the how to use all your senses throughout the process, etc. Also missing from the recipe PDF are the little but very key things such as roasting then griding your own black pepper. And bigger picture things like why food is so important well beyond the biological need. And let's just say I have an all new appreciation for caramelizing everything. Even if you're not in town, you can get access to videos of classes like this and who knows what more fun culinary stuff via his website: The first question when it was all done was "how do we get a video of this?" It was hard to take much in the way of notes as we were so glued to watching what he was doing. But fortunately, he does make videos and other cooking-related content available at that site through a section called "What the Luck" ($20/month or $200/year). If you're in the Springs and haven't tried any of Brother Luck's food, go for the gold at Four by Brother Luck, a culinary treat downtown.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Christmas 2023 (Eve/Day)

Here are a few of the pics from both days. All the pics are here.

Christmas Eve at TimberCreek.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Christmas Adam 2023

You know... What comes before Christmas Eve? Christmas Adam! Turned out to be quite the day! Nana and Lexi got started early on Sand Tart cookies. Lexi and Jonny are almost done with their Christmas Village Advent Calendar (from Kiwi Crates) - only two more days of items. We had a huge Family Dinner this evening, 16 people, and an even greater time with the topics: 4th Sunday of Advent: Peace, reading the Christmas story from Luke and Matthew, and playing Christmas Trivia. It was a hoot. And Jonny brought the house down with his robustly delivered answer to the last question of the night, "Turbo Man"! Oh, and Sam requested Chicken Piccata, so we had that with all the trimmings (Wine Lover's Rice, Caesar Salad, and Cheesecake).

When it's time to B-Reel...

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Christmas at the Flying W Ranch

Nana, Papa, and friends Judy and Gary headed up to the Flying W Ranch this evening for what turned out to be a fabulous event. Lynn has wanted to go to the Flying W ever since we got to town, but the place was destroyed by a forest fire (2012) before we moved to Colorado and finally re-opened in 2020. I don't know what the old place was like, but the new place is nothing like I expected. The dining hall and concert venue is incredibly large, beautiful, and modern (well-done "rustic"), the meal was quite good (and pie!), and the entertainment, well... It was great! A western-style Christmas music show, 5 headliners (The Flying W Wranglers) on stage and a 7-piece orchestral ensemble on the floor in front. The music was fun, great selection of pieces (from classical to Rawhide to Joy to the World), and masterfully performed! The visuals on-screen behind the musicians were a wonderful addition, too. It's located a few miles north of the Garden of the Gods. Two more reasons we have to go back: they have a narrow gauge railroad, and bison!

Rise Christmas Choir at Focus on the Family

Antonio is a member of the Rise Christian Performing Arts group's Christmas Choir which sang today at Focus on the Family. Below is a photo of the group (thanks to Monica Paul) and a video of one of their songs in which Antonio is featured (at right).

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Santa Fe, NM

Nana and Papa did a little getaway trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico from the 17th to today. We stayed at the La Posada de Santa Fe - very cool! It's located right in the old downtown area so we walked everywhere. See the photo captions below for the various places we visited. What sparked this trip was Lynn spotting a Santa Fe Desert Chorale concert at the Basilica which, by the way, turned out to be magnificent. There was lingering snow on the ground since before we got here, but highs in the 40s and low 50s made things very comfortable with a jacket. By the way, Raton, NM is just about halfway in between Santa Fe and Colorado Springs, but we found several closed lunch spots. We had a nice little lunch both ways at Pappas Sweet Shop. All the photos are here.

La Plazuela restaurant at the La Fonda hotel

The Plaza was very well lit for Christmas!

The Shed offered very authentic local foods.

IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

All manner of great sculpture along Canyon Road.

Geronimo is a great restaurant on Canyon Road.
We took a chance with a Joseph Carr wine from Paso Robles.
Quite good, especially given its affordability.

Coyote Cafe. Also a super place to have dinner.

Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi