Baby in Boulder

Boulder

Excited to launch the first, of what should be several, baby travel guides! As many of you know, we had plans to visit friends and family in Austin a few weeks ago…sadly, an untimely virus led us to cancel our plane reservations. Lu started feeling much better a few days later, so we decided to take advantage of our time off and make a small weekend trip to Boulder. Traveling with a baby presents its own set of challenges and rewards. I’m happy to say we had a delightful trip, one of my favorites, and I’ve been so excited to share our adventures with you. This post will highlight some of the more kid-friendly choices in Boulder (or at least, choices that worked for our family).

Shamane’s Bake Shop

Anytime a bakery makes sandwiches with their own bread, I’m eager to visit. Fresh baked bread and high quality ingredients make the sandwiches at Shamane’s out-of-this-world. At least that’s what I’d heard.

TurkeyClub

Only open Monday through Friday, Shamane’s was packed when we visited on Friday afternoon. Despite being located in an off-the-path strip mall, people had clearly spread the word about this talented baker.

SpinachSalad

After driving for a couple of hours, we were hungry and ready to enjoy a relaxed lunch. Between the turkey club, the monte cristo, and a spinach salad, we all had plenty to eat. Lucy eats strictly table foods, so she happily munched on vegetables and chicken, as well as a piece of that delectable whole grain bread.

MonteCristo

Curry-N-Kebob

Names are important to me. So when I heard about curry-n-kebob, I was skeptical. A little too cheesy of a choice in my opinion. But the reviews we read couldn’t be ignored. Ryan and I love Indian food, and from what I could find, this was the place to go in Boulder (perhaps the place to go in all of Colorado!)

Masala

Even better, it’s strip mall location guaranteed that it would be casual enough to bring a baby on Friday night. The service would likely be quick and we wouldn’t disrupt any white shirt waiter’s groove if we had to slip in and out with a fussy baby.

LuNaan

Well, don’t ever judge a restaurant by it’s name because curry-n-kebob was incredible. Even better, Lu fell asleep for half of our meal, which meant that Ryan and I got some much appreciated “us” time. The evening specials came with jasmine rice and naan, which all three of us devoured. I kept on saying, “This is the best Indian food I’ve had in my life,” and Ryan would just nod, dip his naan into our saag paneer, and smile.

Saag

The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

The Dushanbe teahouse is a Boulder institution. Half the experience comes from soaking up the atmosphere. The beautifully and intricately painted walls extend high into the sky, transforming the tea house into an almost spiritual destination. That, coupled with a water fountain and fish, makes the tea house a baby’s dream.Teahouse2

We made an effort to arrive as soon as the tea house opened. Waiting for a table isn’t fun for anyone, but it’s especially hard for a nine-month old. Thankfully, we were seated right away and enjoyed a breakfast bahn mi and whole wheat chai pancakes.Boulder_BahnMi

Lu wanted us to walk around the tea house, and so we took turns eating and walking. When you’re traveling with a little one, you learn to adapt quickly to “the squirms.” You can’t expect a baby to sit still for three, hour-long, meals each day, so it’s crucial to choose restaurants that allow for movement…and to remember to tip well.

Boulder_ChaiPancakes

Boxcar Coffee

Ryan and I love good coffee. I survive on good coffee. Boxcar is the best in Boulder. Enough said.

Boulder_Boxcar2

Boulder_Boxcar

Cedar and Hyde

Ryan and I both love to shop at well curated stores. As many of you know, Ryan makes and sells jewelry, so we’re always excited to find stores that carry other inspiring makers and designers. Cedar and Hyde is located just off Pearl Street (the main drag in Boulder) and we spent a good hour perusing many of the store’s beautiful selections. Home goods, men and women’s clothes, and even a small section for children.

Boulder_CedarHyde

Ryan or I wore Lucy in the Ergo baby while we walked and shopped on Saturday. She stayed close and happy, and we were able to walk up and down Pearl Street with ease.

Boulder_CederHyde

Rincon Argentino

I’d heard great things about these emapanadas, and I knew they’d make a perfect Saturday lunch. Extremely casual (you order at the counter and then wait for your food at a table of your choice), Rincon Argentino was a nice change from the sit-down meal we’d had at the tea house earlier that morning.

Boulder_Empanada1

And let me tell you: get yourself some empanadas. These were incredible. I ordered two, Ryan ordered three, and I think we could have easily gone for another round. Flaky, flavorful, and accompanied with fresh sauces, these empanadas were worth writing home about.

Boulder_Empanada2

Afternoon in the Park

We talked about a long hike and then we talked about more shopping. But after four meals and a drive, we settled on spending the afternoon at a park behind the Waldorf School in Boulder. It was one of the better decisions we made. We explored the school grounds (which included a hen house and a goat pen), enjoyed a cupcake, and had a long relaxing nursing session. Even better, Lucy tried a swing for the first time…and loved it.

Boulder_Cupcake

Boulder_Chickens

Boulder_Swing

Ryan and I tend to be go-go-go when we travel, but with Lu, we’re learning the importance of slowing down. Our afternoon couldn’t have been better spent. After a few hours at the park, we drove to the flat irons and took in the views. Lu fell asleep as we drove back to our apartment (rented through airbnb).

Monet_Breastfeeding

Pizzeria Locale

This was by far our most ambitious dining choice. Pizzeria Locale and Frasca are sister restaurants. And if you didn’t know, Frasca is considered Colorado’s premier dining destination. Reservations are a must (and often must be made months ahead of time) and babies are not necessarily the most welcomed guests. Pizzeria Locale, however, is more casual and faster-paced. They serve Neopolitan pizzas that many of our friends rave about. But due to the reputation both restaurants share, it’s almost always a packed house.

Boulder_PizzeriaLocale2

We were lucky enough to snag a seat at the pizza bar, which mean that Lucy could watch the white aproned chefs assemble each beautiful pizza before sliding it into the wood burning oven. She remained happily occupied for most of the meal. Apple slices and foccacia bread helped.  Ryan and I enjoyed a delicious pizza and arugula salad. And of course, Lucy managed to charm everyone within eyeshot.

Boulder_PizzeriaLocale

Foolish Craig’s Cafe

We finished our trip at a Boulder institution: Foolish Craig’s. Although we enjoyed our morning meal, it wasn’t nearly as awe-inspiring as our other stops. Foolish Craig’s has been around for a good while, and the food seemed a bit heavy-handed. Regardless, we enjoyed our meal, and Lucy even took a few bites of her first crepe.

Boulder_FoolishCraigs

We look forward to visiting several more cities in 2014 (Portland, Pittsburgh, New York…) and I’ll be sure to share more baby guides too!

13/52

13/52Portraits of my daughter, each week, every week, in 2014.

She loves watching dogs and eating apples. She sleeps between Ryan and me, and so wakes each morning with the people she loves most on either side. She naps at 9:00 (in my arms) at 12:00 (at my favorite coffee shop) and at 3:00 (on our afternoon walk). Unconventional, but it works.

We’re nine months into parenthood and thirteen weeks into 2014. I learn more each day to let go of control and embrace the beauty of living in the moment. My daughter is growing up before our eyes, and it’s happening quickly, just like they all said. This past week has been tiring. She’s teething and wants me to hold her all the time. But it’s also been joyful. She laughs so hard when Margot fetches her green ball or when her papa and I dance in our living room. And life is like that, isn’t it? Bittersweet. There’s good and bad, and it’s all tangled up in the mundane. The trick is learning to stop and celebrate the divine moments we’re given. Once you start paying attention, you realize there are far more than you’d ever thought.   13/52

Whole Wheat Naan

Whole Wheat Naan | Anecdotes and Apple Cores

Better late than never, right? I have certain Type A tendencies…and sticking to a religious blog schedule is one of them. I post on Monday and Thursday mornings, and I make that happen come rain or shine. BUT, I am realizing that babies throw all types of schedules by the way side. Lucy got sick last week…and I’m still trying to catch up. Papers to grade, photographs to edit, kitchens to clean…the list goes on and on.

However, Ryan and I had an amazing weekend in Boulder with Lucy. Yes, Boulder. We ended up cancelling our trip to Austin due to Lucy’s virus. We were terribly disappointed, but we knew that traveling with a sick baby would have been a bad idea (for us, for Lucy, and for all the passengers on board). Thankfully, she rebounded from the virus and was acting like her normal self by Thursday, so we decided to take advantage of a beautiful Colorado weekend and make a short trip to Boulder.

Whole Wheat Naan | Anecdotes and Apple Cores

While there, we ate well. VERY well. But perhaps the highlight of our culinary experiences came on Friday night, at a little strip mall restaurant called Curry-n-Kebob. Lucy had naan for the first time (which she loved) and Ryan and I stuffed ourselves silly with Indian curries and jasmine rice.

Whole Wheat Naan | Anecdotes and Apple Cores

Unfortunately, we don’t have an Indian restaurant that even begins to compare with Curry-n-Kebob here in the Springs, so I’ve made it my mission to recreate as many Indian dishes as I can at home. I started today with this naan bread. A freshly cooked piece of naan is better than most any dessert, in my book. Soft and buttery, I could eat a whole batch on its own. I made these naan with a combination of bread and whole wheat flour, and I was pleasantly surprised at how soft and light the loaves stayed. If you love naan and feel like you can’t make it at home, TRY THIS RECIPE. You’d be surprised at how easily it comes together. Naan is by far one of the easiest yeast recipes I’ve made.

Whole Wheat Naan | Anecdotes and Apple Cores

Whole Wheat Naan

3/4 cup water

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

2 teaspoons sugar, divided

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup bread flour

1/8 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons whole milk yogurt

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup melted butter (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together warm water (100 degrees Fahrenheit), yeast, and one teaspoon sugar. Allow to sit until frothy, about ten minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together flours, salt, and baking powder. Then, whisk yogurt and olive oil into yeast mixture. Gently stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until a wet dough begins to form. Do not overmix. The dough should come together in a sticky ball. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Allow to sit and rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours.

Sprinkle flour over dough and form into six balls (adding more flour if necessary). On a clean surface, roll each ball of dough into a round about 8 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick.

Warm a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat until almost smoking. Gently lay one piece of dough in center of skillet. Allow to cook for one minute. The dough should begin to bubble. Flip and continue to cook for an additional minute. Then, cover your skillet and allow to cook for an additional 30-45 seconds. Remove from skillet and brush with melted butter (optional). Repeat with remaining pieces of dough.

9 months of Lucille Amelia

Lucy9months1. You love watching. I take you outside and your mouth moves, forming secret words, as you watch the people and the cars and the animals pass us by. The ants on our porch delight you. The old women who wave and giggle at the grocery store charm you. The wind that blows through our sleepy neighborhood captivates you. I love seeing you experiencing our world.

2. You sleep poorly. No. You sleep with a desire to have us close by you at all times. We snuggle, we nurse, we wake, and we talk. It’s okay that we don’t sleep through the night right now. We will. Eventually. I cherish each moment with you…even moments at 2am.

Lucy9months23. You love animals. Each morning, you wake up and say, “Da-da-da-da” which translates as “Dog, come here!” I call Margot into our bedroom and you bounce up and down in excitement. On most mornings, you squeal when she jumps up on our bed.

Lucy9months64. You eat food. Real, grown-up food like avocado toast, roasted chicken, broccoli, sliced apples, banana oatmeal, apple muffins….

5. You still love to nurse. And I promise my dear, we’ll nurse for as long as you need to. It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever done.

Lucy9months56. You drink coffee. Not really. But you come with me to get a cappuccino each day. We sit at our coffee shop and everyone knows you. They smile and laugh and coo, and you respond in kind. Right now, you’re sitting beside me and chewing on an apple. It’s one of my favorite parts of our day, and I think it’s one of your favorite parts too.

Lucy9months37. You’re learning to talk. You say “ma-ma” for me, “paw-paw” for your dad, “na-na” for milk or nursing, “da-da” for dogs.

8. You are mobile. You crawl faster than some people walk. You pull yourself up on our couch, our chairs, our tables, our bed, our legs. It won’t be much longer until you’re walking, and then running, and then jumping. I try not to think too much about how big and fast you’ll soon become.

Lucy9months49. You are light. You have brought us such joy and laughter after a season of such sadness. I am daily reminded of how beautiful life can be. You have brought such hope to our family, and we’re blessed to have you in our care. We love you, sweet Lucille Amelia.

French Yogurt Cake with Greek Yogurt Frosting

French Yogurt Cake with Greek Yogurt Frosting | Anecdotes and Apple Cores

Lucy sleeps beside me in bed, and early Saturday morning, I woke to a feverish face nuzzling into my stomach. A relaxing weekend quickly filled with panicked calls to nurses, temperature checks, and a very fussy baby. Lucy always goes to her Papa…but this weekend, she only wanted me. It’s Sunday night, and I’ve just finished nursing her to sleep. The last I checked, her temperature was at 103 degrees Fahrenheit. I anticipate another sleepless night ahead of us, and so I’m stalking up on liquids (a large mug of tea) and provisions (cranberry walnut bread).

Despite a mild cold in January, this is the first time any of us have been really sick since Lucy’s birth. I’m thankful for the relative health we’ve enjoyed, but I’m cognizant of how quickly it can go away (perhaps too cognizant..that’s another post though). Thankfully, we live near friends and family who are eager to help, and we’re lucky to have an amazing pediatrician who I trust wholeheartedly (and who we will be seeing first thing tomorrow morning).

French Yogurt Cake with Greek Yogurt Frosting | Anecdotes and Apple Cores

Of course, we’re due to fly to Austin on Tuesday, which makes this bout of poor health even more stressful. We won’t travel if Lucy doesn’t improve. I’m not about to put a baby with an infected ear on a small, cramped airplane. But there are so many people we’re eager to see in Texas, and my sweet Grandma has been counting down the days until she can hold her namesake in her arms again. So please say a prayer for Lucy and her mama and papa. We want her healthy…and we’d love to make it down to Texas.

Before the fever started, I made this lovely, simple cake on Friday afternoon. French yogurt cakes are some of my favorite desserts to make and share. They come together effortlessly, and they fill your house with a faint hint of citrus and sugar. I topped this single layer cake with a generous slather of Greek yogurt frosting. I had bought a larger carton of yogurt to make the cake, and when I had a heaping cup left over, I thought I’d put it to good use. Some fresh and dried fruit finished the cake perfectly, adding just the right amount of texture, flavor, and color.

I hope you enjoy your week (it’s Spring Break for us!) and I send just as many wishes for good health to you and yours!

French Yogurt Cake with Greek Yogurt Frosting | Anecdotes and Apple CoresFrench Yogurt Cake with Greek Yogurt Frosting

Cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup ground almonds (or, if you’d prefer, omit the almonds and use another 1/2 cup all-purpose flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup full fat Greek yogurt
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup flavorless oil, such as canola or safflower

Greek Yogurt Frosting:
1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously butter and flour an 8-inch cake pan. Set aside. Whisk together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.

Place the sugar and zest in a medium bowl and, working with your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar untilmoist and aromatic. Add the yogurt, eggs and vanilla to the bowl and whisk vigorously. Still whisking, stir in the dry ingredients, use a large rubber spatula and fold in  oil. You’ll have a thick, smooth batter. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes  or until the cake begins to come away from the sides of the pan; it will be golden brown and a knife inserted into the center of the cake will come out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack, cool for 5 minutes, then run a blunt knife between the cake and the sides of the pan. Unmold and cool to room temperature right-side up.

Storing: Wrapped well, you can keep the cake at room temperature for at least 4 days and, like many pound cakes, it will be better one day later than it was the day it was made.

Greek yogurt frosting: in a medium bowl, whisk together Greek yogurt and frosting until smooth. Generously slather over cooled cake and cover with fresh fruit.