Disclosure: A HUGE thank you to Deer Valley Resort for hosting seven food obsessed ladies. And to Whole Foods Park City for keeping our discerning bellies full. My Tieks were purchased with a gift card. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. Thanks for letting me share my adventure(s) with you!
This little corner of the interwebs that I’ve called home for the past couple of years is so much more than just a collection of recipes and witty one liners aimed at making you guys laugh.
You are totally laughing right? Someone please say yes.
This blog represents a drastic change in my career. It’s been a outlet for me to share my passions and creativity with the world. It’s given me the chance to work with brands and companies that I love. AND it’s led me to some of the most amazingly talented and hard working ladies that I know.
Case in point. A couple weekends ago I had the opportunity to join Megan, Lauren, Erin, Becky, Annalise and Meagan at the gorgeous Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah. It was a blissful three days filled with great food, drinks, fresh mountain air and a lot of giggling.
So for today, I thought I’d share with you a little bit more about what we did on our #GirlsSkiGetaway.
We started off our trip in Salt Lake City, which is less than an hours drive to the Deer Valley Resort. After gathering ourselves at the airport, we fed our coffee and sugar addictions at local hot spot, La Barba Coffee. Now I’m sure you can imagine that when a bunch of girlfriends get together after not having seen each other for a while, there is a flurry of talking, laughing and story telling that goes on. Well, we were so absorbed in catching up with each other that we totally missed that THE Alton Brown was sitting just a few tables away from us at La Barba. #foodbloggerfail.
GAH. That’s still a tough pill to swallow.
We followed up our missed opportunity for immediate fame with an incredible lunch at the very hip East Liberty Tap House. If you have a chance to go, I highly recommend the Elk Chili and the Wasatch Nitro Polygamy Porter. It’s a pretty unbeatable combination!
Will full bellies, we drove up to Deer Valley Resort where we would spend the remainder of our trip. We stayed in the Lodges, which are HOLY COW incredible! Somehow both cozy AND spacious, the Lodges are the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day of mountain activities. But don’t be fooled by the name. The Lodges are certainly not rustic. They have everything a girl could ask for. All combined with breathtaking views of the falling snow.
Us food bloggers really like to eat. so it’s never very long before our next meal. I’m sure you’re not shocked by this fact. So after settling into the Lodges, we hit up Fireside Dinning which was probably my favorite food experience of the entire trip. This place is like a buffet on steroids! There are four courses or stations, which you can visit at your leisure and in any order you want, each of which is set up around the hearth of a roaring fireplace. The courses include things like Swiss raclette cheese, local Utah trout, whole roasted leg of lamb, fresh seasonal salads and – my personal favorite – a trio of dessert fondues. Pure culinary bliss.
After dinner we took a little sleigh ride. Pro tip: ask your driver to do donuts if you REALLY want to have some fun! But if you’re into more modern ways of transportation, Deer Valley Resort has an incredible shuttle system. The shuttles will take you anywhere around the resort at a moments notice. It’s so easy and all our drivers for the weekend went above and beyond. Actually, I can say that about ALL of the staff at Deer Valley Resort. These people really know how to do hospitality!
The next day we spent the morning on the slopes. Erin and I took a lesson, while some of the other girls went off to ski on their own. Deer Valley Resort is such a great place for skiers of all levels and abilities. Everyone can have fun and be safe on the mountains at Deer Valley Resort! Even people who might be slightly terrified of downhill skiing. Not that I know anyone like that…
Royal Street Café is THE place for your group to rendezvous after a few hours of skiing. Located mid-mountain, you can ski right up to the restaurant. This restaurant was buzzing with skiers, all merrily eating and drinking in full gear. We had ourselves a round of cocktails and shared some small and large plates. My vote is for the Blueberry Mojitos, Artisan Feta Bruschetta and Beef Short Rib Tacos!
At this point, it was quickly becoming obvious that Deer Valley Resort is so much more than just a ski resort. It is a true food lovers paradise. And that was made even more clear by our dinner that night at The Brass Tag. Located right in the Lodges, we didn’t even have to put on our coats and boots to go to this restaurant. I just slipped on my Tieks and was ready to go!
Have you tried Tieks yet? Oh my gosh, they are the most comfortable flats EVER. They are perfect for travel because they have a unique, split sole design which allows you to just fold ‘em and stash ‘em in your bag. But I don’t reserve mine just for when I’m on the go. I wear them all day long around my house. I’m on my feet for hours at a time, so believe me when I say these babies have staying power. And the colors! I’ll take one of each, please. FYI: my birthday is coming up soon. Just putting that out there in the universe.
The menu at The Brass Tag is very eclectic, serving up modern flavor combinations in a rustic atmosphere (mini cast iron skillets for everything!). We tried at least half of the appetizers and side dishes on the menu and ALL of the salads (food bloggers want to taste EVERYTHING when they go out to eat!). And I enjoyed a super flavorful Tandoori Rubbed Quail for my main course. Oh yeah, and we always leave room for dessert too! If you go out to eat with a group of food bloggers, prepare yourself to order ALL THE THINGS. You’ve been warned.
When we weren’t stuffing our faces out at the incredible restaurants that Deer Valley Resort has to offer, we were stuffing our faces back in the comforts of our Lodge. Are you sensing a theme here? Whole Foods Park City generously provided us with a dizzying array of breakfast and après ski munchies. Looking back, those moments when we were all just lounging around the coffee table, happily snacking and chatting, were some of my favorite memories of the entire trip. It’s hard to beat some good quality girl time by the fire with snacks and wine!
Oh and then there were the grilled cheese sandwiches! My love of grilled cheese sandwiches runs deeps, so when the chef from Whole Foods Park City came to our Lodge to serve us up some ooey, gooey delicious grilled cheese combinations that totally blew my mind, my little heart almost burst out of my chest. I can’t even deal. Look at the string of cheese (and the smile on Lauren’s face!)!
On the last day, Megan and I escaped into the pristine back country for a little snowmobiling adventure. Then we met the other girls for one last round of cocktails at The St. Regis Bar and Lounge before heading into downtown for dinner at High West Saloon and Distillery. Two words: whiskey flight. Oh and two more words: The Grillswith (a grilled Krispy Kreme Donut with aged whiskey!). Just do it. Both of them. Trust me.
I hope you all have a chance to visit Deer Valley Resort someday. It’s truly a gem. And if you do go, can I come with you? Because I’m all ready itching to go back!
I hate to sound cliché, but WHERE DID 2014 GO? It’s almost hard to believe we are once again at the end of another year. But also not so hard to believe, because SCIENCE and all that jazz about the Earth orbiting around the sun. That’s good stuff.
I thought it would be fun to share some of my highlights. So here we go:
I quit a job, I got another job, then I quit that job.
I chose myself.
I attended my first ever food blogging conference. Six weeks later I attended my second.
I moved across the country, trading my lake view for an ocean view.
I stayed at the hotel where they filmed Dirty Dancing.
I visited 16 states and 2 provinces.
I got re-acquainted with old friends. I made many new friends.
I met David Lebovitz (whoa!) and Joy the Baker (bonkers awesome!).
This little blog grew and grew and grew. And keeps growing every single day (Thank YOU ALL!).
I took 9,290 photographs (wow!).
And I published 135 recipes (double wow!).
Now lets talk about a few of those recipes. Like last year, I tried to pick out my Five Favorites from the year. Which isn’t an easy task. Because if I don’t love something, I don’t publish it here. So whittling 135 recipes down to five is like trying to pick out your favorite child. Not that I know anything about that. I’m just trying to be relatable. My mom says I should try and be more relatable…
Here are the standouts:
1. Spicy Grilled Shrimp with Coconut-Lime Rice and Peach Salsa. The perfect summertime meal. This dish packs tons of flavor and just the right amount of heat.
2. Flourless Brownie + Espresso-Caramel Buttermilk Ice Cream Sandwiches. Because you can never go wrong with this combination.
3. Crusted Goat Cheese Caprese Stacks. A twist on a classic with a stunning presentation.
4. Squash and Apple Soup with Fried Sage and Halloumi. An uncomplicated fall soup jazzed up with yummy toppings.
5. Braided Cardamom and Chocolate-Hazelnut Bread. So much more than just a pretty face.
What were your highlights in 2014, food or otherwise? I’d love to hear them!
Looking forward to spending another delicious year with you. Thanks for making 2014 so great! I appreciate each and everyone of you!