Monthly Archives: July 2013

Colorado Mountain Brewery at the Roundhouse

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Finding decent restaurants can be a challenge, especially when you are on vacation or on the road traveling. So, when I find them I am always eager to share them with my readers. During our recent visit to Manitou Springs, Colorado last Month we stumbled across a new place we had never been to and decided to give it a try. The Colorado Mountain Brewery was the perfect choice. They actually have 2 locations within the Colorado Springs area. We decided to visit the Historical Roundhouse location. This Historic 18th Century Building was originally owned by the Colorado Midland Railway which was founded in 1883. (click this link for more info).

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The building was also home to the 50 Year old world-famous VanBriggle Pottery Art Gallery & Retail Sales Outlet until November of 2008. (click this link for more info) The VanBriggle family decided to down size and moved it’s location. The Roundhouse was sold to a local developer who gutted the building to it’s original stone walls and wood timber frame. The building was constructed into an upscale retail center. The renovation included glass windows framed by the original track door openings. In February 2012, construction began for the The Colorado Mountain Brewery.

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The menu features Upscale “Casual” dining and over 20 micro beers. I ordered the Southwest Chicken Wrap and tried the Old 59er’s Amber Ale. It is described as having a big, malty character with just the right amount of hops. My husband chose the popular Alpine Chicken Sandwhich and the Panther IPA. It was Intensely hoppy with a lingering bitterness.

Some local favorites on the menu are, The Smoked Prime Rib Dip, House Smoked Texas Brisket, Bison Poppers, Bacon Wrapped Rocky Mountain Rainbow Trout, and the Brew House Ribs. The service was excellent and our enthusiastic server, Bailey was highly personable and very knowledgeable about the menu. She was eager to share with us about the History behind the CMB at the Roundhouse! Historical highlights of the interior include some limited edition Van Briggle pieces and a 12 foot wide by 8 foot tall museum quality mural of the historic roundhouse recreated from a rare 1890’s photo from the Old Colorado City Historical Society’s Collections.

If you are ever visiting the Colorado Springs area, we highly recommend you visit the Colorado Mountain Brewery!

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Maximize The Flavor With Marinades

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As many of you already know, a few years back I made the decision to eliminate as many processed foods and products from our diets. This was the inspiration for creating The Zesty Moose Products! It has definitely been a challenge, but the effort in reducing it for the most part has been much more beneficial for our health and our pocket books! One of the most difficult food items to cut out was the already prepared bottled marinades, sauces and salad dressings. Who can pronounce all of those ingredients listed on the nutritional panel? Just keep cruising past all of those little dry packaged marinades that we are sold on as being convenient. The first three ingredients are usually salt, sugar and maltodextrin. Citric Acid, Corn Syrup Solids and Silicon Dioxide are not ingredients we cook with at home? I think it goes without saying we are not buying real food or quality ingredients in those packets!

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Here are some ideas and tips on creating some simple, healthy and affordable marinades at home. The purpose of a marinade is to simply add flavor and then to tenderize the meat. A marinade contains 3 basic components:

1. Acid; which is typically some type of vinegar, lemon, lime or orange juice, or even wine.
2. Oil; usually olive oil, but you could use canola, safflower or peanut. There are flavored oils out there but remember the idea of a marinade is to flavor so refrain from getting to complex on your oil choice. The oil adds moisture, and not so much flavor to the meat, while the acid breaks down the protein especially in tougher cuts of meat. A simple vinaigrette dressing or marinade ratio is three parts oil for every one part acid used. This can easily be adjusted depending upon the choice of meat.
3. Flavor; generally accomplished by using a combination of herbs and spices.

Tips And Warnings On Marinades:

1. Pierce the meat with a fork as this allows the marinade to enter the tissue quicker.

2. Use a Non-Reactive container, such as glass, stainless steel or plastic zip lock bags. Never use aluminum as it reacts to the acid.

3. Let the meat marinate in the refrigerator, not on the counter as bacteria can grow, especially on pork and chicken.

4. Remove meat from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to grilling. Placing cold meat directly onto the grill will make the cut tough.

5. Do Not Re-Use Any Marinade that has come into contact with raw meat! You can boil it first and then use it but I would not suggest doing this. You are safer to just discard it. If you want to use it for basting, I suggest reserving some of the marinade and set it aside before adding your meat.

6. For best results, always marinate over night or at least 4 hours. It really depends on the cut. Delicate cuts such as fish should be 30 minutes, while seafood, like shrimp should only be 15 minutes. This is because the acid will start to cook it.

7. Use Seasoning Blends instead of buying herbs and spices. You can easily spend $15 to $25 dollars alone in buying them individually. Again, in most store bought blends or packets; the first 3 ingredients are usually salt, sugar maltodextrin and sometimes MSG (monosodium glutamate); a chemically altered food enhancer.

Benefits Of Making Them At Home:

• More Affordable than store-bought brands
• No Preservatives, fillers or MSG
• Better Control over ingredients such as salt, sugar and fat
• Capability of creating different flavor profiles

Additional Ingredients And Substitutions:
(This is where you will save money, as these items are normally stocked in
most home pantries).

Marinades

Olive Oil
Grape Seed Oil
Red Wine, White Wine, Rice, Cider or Balsamic Vinegar
Soy Sauce
Worcestershire Sauce
Lemon, Lime and Orange Juice
Red & White Wine
Honey
Yogurt
Buttermilk
Coconut Milk
Mustard
Horseradish or Wasabi Powder
Unsalted Butter
Regular Tap Water
Fresh Onion – Red, White or Shallots
Fresh Garlic

The Zesty Moose Favorites:

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I use this marinade most of the time because it uses only three ingredients plus one of our Seasoning Blends! For this marinade, I use a one part olive oil to one part red wine vinegar to one part water. I then change up the flavor profile by using one of our many signature spice blends. These are two of our top sellers for creating marinades! The Twigs n’ Stix Southwest Seasoning Blend is a good choice for chicken, and the Rack Ragin’ Cajun Seasoning Blend works well with pork.

The Zesty Moose Marinades (click to go to link)

So give these marinades a try, and get creative with the ingredients! Generally I will always use some type of a marinade for preparing our meats whether we slow cook it in the oven or prior to placing it on the grill. The combination of marinating and using a good seasoning blend (that contains real food ingredients) adds to the infusion of flavor. This is known in the culinary world; as “The art of flavor layering.” We are always developing new recipes for our products so keep checking the food blog on the front page of our website. You can also get new recipes, receive notifications on product releases and updates by subscribing to our page! Click Here!

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Filed under Kitchen Handbook

Lemon Thyme Baked Kale Chips

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Everyone I know has been raving about Kale Chips! One of our local farmers gave me a bunch at the market last week so I decided to give them a try. I had never really cooked with kale before so I wanted to know a little bit more about what I was eating. What is Kale? It belongs to the Brassica family that includes vegetables such as cabbage, collards, broccoli and brussel sprouts. Kale has one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any vegetable. There are three types: Green Curly Kale, Red Kale and Lacinato or Tuscan Kale. I used the green curly kale for the chips. It has a lively pungent flavor with a delicious bitter peppery quality. Kale’s nutritional values provide antioxidant nutrients, anti – inflammatory nutrients and anti – cancer nutrients in the form of glucosinolates.
One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C and 684% of vitamin K.  Click this link for more information – Kale.
Regular snacking chips are highly processed and for the most part I have eliminated them from our diets. Kale chips are a much healthier alternative to those high – calorie, fatty or sugary snacks. I will definitely be Cooking More with Kale in the weeks to come. Kale can be sautéed, or even added to soups and pasta. It would also be a nice addition to a salad!

Lemon Thyme Baked Kale Chips

Ingredients

1 bunch of green curly kale
Olive oil for drizzling
Lemon Thyme Finishing Salt

Method:

Wash kale leaves and gently cut them away from the thick stems. Cut the leaves into bite size pieces. Allow the kale leaves to dry thoroughly. A salad spinner would come in handy here.

Mixed Up

Place kale leaves inside a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Season generously using the Lemon Thyme Finishing Salt and blend well.

In Pan

Spread kale leaves evenly in a single layer onto a sprayed baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Finished

Yield: 6
Total Time: 25 Min.
Prep Time: 10 Min.
Cook Time: 15 Min.

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Filed under Snacks