Savory Sunday Vol. 76 at the Nerd Nest

Wahoo! It’s the first Savory Sunday of 2014! The meals I’m sharing this week are from our Denver trip and the days right before, including Jonas’s birthday.

(Jake caught me scarfing sushi, in case you’re wondering what that photo is all about.)

Black Magic Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Inspired by Savor, my One Little Word for 2014, I’m going to try a new food, recipe, or cooking technique every week this year. I’ve unofficially done this for the most part for years (which is how I learned to cook), but officially stating that I’m planning on doing it will inspire me and help me to hold myself accountable for keeping up with it.

I got my opportunity to try something new with Jonas’s birthday cake. Jonas wanted an Aquabats! chocolate cake with strawberries. Comin’ right up, kid. I used the recipe my mom always uses for chocolate cake: Black Magic Cake. It’s moist and amazing. I generally hate frosting, but Cream Cheese Frosting is delicious, not too sweet, and doesn’t get all crusty.

The cake isn’t the prettiest thing ever, but it looks good for a first layer cake, I think. Jake gets credit for the design on top. And it tasted amazing, which is the important part.

d'Bronx pizza

For Jonas’s party, we had a dinner with his grandparents (which with our blended family is a ton of people). We got a giant pizza from d’Bronx, our favorite neighborhood pizza place. It’s as big as our table and is way cheaper than making food for everyone!

Use up leftovers from party trays!

We had to try to clear out the fridge before we left for Denver, so I figured out how to use up the last bits from the party trays. We had a veggie tray and a cheese & apples tray that needed to be finished off, so I used them to make cheesy broccoli rice and baked apples the from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. Add in the leftover salad and some baked chicken and we had ourselves a great way to use up fruits and veggies past their prime.

Chicken Enchiladas

When we arrived in Denver at my friend Jessica’s, her delicious signature chicken enchiladas were waiting for us!

Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

After last year’s deliciousness, we had to make sure we hit up Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse. We missed brunch to Jake’s disappointment, but it was still the best food ever. I drank mango ginger tea, we had indian samosas with the best mango chutney on the planet and we waited for our amazing entrees to arrive on scene. Jake had Persian chickpea kufteh, I had Thai panang curry, and Jessica had a merguez sandwhich. The kids had kid food. Hah! We savored every bite, and I can’t wait to go back in the summer, when the menu completely changes! (The restaurant has a farm and a seasonal menu relying on what they grow on the farm, which is so amazing.)

Tokyo Joe's

We also had to hit up our favorite medium food in Denver: Tokyo Joe’s. Great affordable rice bowls and sushi!

Sam's No. 3

It’s always a good idea to pick restaurants that have been featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Sam’s No. 3 hit the spot.

Our other favorite out-to-eat place we tried in Denver was larkburger. Fries with parmesan and truffle oil: Yes Please! We’re going to try to re-create that at home, for sure.

Cooking with friends is the best.

While in Denver we also had great meals cooked by and with friends, which is my favorite thing. Meals together is such an amazing bonding experience.

We had a great vacation food week! What have you been eating lately? Any fun recipes to share?