Trader Joe’s Cowboy Bark

Happy Monday! It’s been a busy past few weeks for me, between traveling home, apartment hunting and hosting my brother in New York. But, I’m baaaack! Time to catch up on my blog. First thing’s first, I MUST share one of my new favorite Trader Joe’s discoveries: Cowboy Bark! Have you tried it?

Trader Joe's Cowboy Bark

I’ve spotted it on the shelves before, but never convinced myself to buy it. Well, lucky me (!), because my mom sent me a bag a few weeks ago! This stuff is crazy addicting! But even a small piece will satisfy — there’s just so much texture and flavor. My two favorite mix-ins are the Joe Joe Cookies and pretzels. They add the perfect crunch.

Then I got to thinking… wouldn’t this be fun to re-create at home? I could totally picture it wrapped up in mason jars and gifted with a cute bow. Might just have to try that… :-D

My Trip to Denver

I took my first-ever trip to Denver a few weeks ago to visit friends. What a beautiful city! Why had I never been there sooner?! That’s all I can ask myself. The views from every single direction are absolutely stunning, and the weather (when I was there at least) was awesome. I’m also not the skiing type, and was pleasantly surprised to learn how many things there are to do beyond hitting the slopes.

Denver collage 5-9-2014 We started the weekend at a Kentucky Derby party — the “Denver Derby.” Fitting name, eh? Everyone was fully decked out in Derby apparel. I wore a “fascinator,” aka hair clip, that I found on Etsy. This is the one I bought, and I was really happy with how it turned out!

I’d love to go to the actual Derby someday. So many hats, so little time….

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Another highlight from my weekend — the Rockies game! I’ve been to a LOT of baseball stadiums in my life. Coors Field has the best views by far! You can see the mountains in the background! How cool is that?!

Coors Field

Coors Field

I can’t wait to go back to Colorado sometime! Maybe I’ll actually go skiing… or hiking at the very least. :-D

Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit

Say hello to one of my favorite ice cream addictions — Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit! I cannot begin to explain my obsession with this stuff. It’s not exactly ice cream — it’s a combination of three ingredients: fruit, water and cane sugar. Super refreshing! They sell a bunch of different flavors, like strawberry, mango, pineapple and my two favorites: dark chocolate and banana.  There are also toppings like pretzels, marshmallows and coconut. When I visited last week, I opted for a twist of dark chocolate and banana topped with dark chocolate chips. Yummm! If you’re ever in the Union Square area, I definitely recommend stopping by. It’s one of my go-to summer treats. Plus, it’s made from fruit, so it has to be healthy, right? ;-)

Chloe's Soft Serve Fruit

Chloe's Soft Serve Fruit Co on Urbanspoon

Dominique Ansel’s Cookie Shot!

At last! I finally tried Dominique Ansel‘s famous cookie shot. (I still have yet to try his even-more-famous Cronut. Someday… when the lines die down!) I waited in a short and fairly painless line for the cookie shot, which the bakery starts selling at 3:00 p.m. The staff formed a separate “cookie shot” line for customers outside. For those purchasing other bakery items, there was a general line kept inside the store. Sounds crazy, but it actually works pretty efficiently. I arrived around 2:40 p.m. and stepped in line outside. I was probably 6th or 7th in line… not too shabby!

Dominique Ansel Cookie Shot

Once inside — a little after 3:00 p.m., I ordered my cookie shot, which came served with ice cold vanilla bean-infused milk. I honestly kept my expectations low. I thought the cookie would be dry — but it blew my mind! You know those super soft, gooey, heavenly chocolate chip cookies you had growing up? They just tasted so sweet and chewy, but now are so hard to replicate when baking on your own? That’s how the cookie shot tasted. I don’t even know what it was — could it have been the butter content, sugar, number of chocolate chips? No idea. But it just WORKS. I drank the milk right away. If you don’t, the cookie will start leaking from the bottom! Mine was almost getting close to that point.

Dominique Ansel Bakery

Here’s a shot post-milk swigging… after a few bites. At this point it was almost like a cookie taco or mini burrito. Yum!

Dominique Ansel Cookie Shot

Dominique Ansel Cookie Shot

Dominique Ansel Bakery on Urbanspoon

Froyo at The Plaza Food Hall’s YoArt

With the warmer temps lately, I’ve been craving froyo more and more! It never fails to hit the spot. A few weeks ago, my co-worker and I stepped out at lunch to treat ourselves at the Plaza Food Hall’s YoArt. I’d never been! My usual go-to place is 16 Handles — they’re everywhere. But I loved this place! It’s a tad on the pricier side, but the place is super clean, not too crowded and they have TONS of amazing toppings. My order: Milk & Cookies froyo (similar to cookies ‘n creme — but way better) topped with pink sprinkles, gummy bears, cookie dough bits and mini peanut butter cups. It definitely won two thumbs up from me. But next time, I’m going sans-gummy bears — they froze and became rock solid! (Seems obvious that they would, but I never even thought about it!) Still delicious though… :-D

Froyo at YoArt Froyo at YoArt

YoArt at The Plaza Food Hall on Urbanspoon