Take it Outside

After living in Denver for 15 years, nothing could prepare me for the frozen tundra we experienced this past winter. And now that we are well into spring, I feel like I can finally get excited about enjoying the warm weather and outdoor activities that make our state such a fabulous place to live.

Speaking of outdoor activities, there is only one thing I love more than partaking in amazing food and wine…and that is partaking in amazing food and wine outside. It doesn’t matter where I am dining al fresco; it can be on a sun-soaked restaurant patio, my loft terrace, or our weekly Sunday jazz-in-the-park outing. Somehow the food always seems to taste a bit richer and the wine a bit smoother when consumed under the glorious backdrop of the Front Range or the LoDo cityscape.

This installment of Stylish Living challenges you to update your notion of “take-out” to focus less on convenient meals procured from the front seat of your car, and more about make-ahead transportable menus full of the freshest spring ingredients. This sumptuous tapas-style picnic fare plays equally well with the Denver Botanic Gardens Summer Concert Series or your monthly hiking group. Spanish Marcona almonds, dried cherries and wasabi peas transform traditional trail mix into a hip snack that pairs perfectly with the sparkling rosè you will pour before the main course. Follow with a casually elegant spread featuring my best friend Mary’s Smoked Paprika-Rubbed Flank Steak. Make a little extra aioli and use it as a dipping sauce for Crispy Polenta Fries. A cool and refreshing Strawberry Cucumber Salad, an assortment of Spanish cheeses, and a crusty loaf of bread are all you need to complete your picnic. Tres Leches Cupcakes might just push you over the edge, but what a delicious addition they will make. Dining al fresco, Spanish tapas-style…what better way to reinvent your spring routine! A bientôt!

Click here for a recipe for Smoked Paprika-Rubbed Flank Steak with Saffron Roasted Garlic Aioli.

Categories: Entertaining, Recipes