Saturday, September 1, 2012

Today in Buena Vista: 9.1.2012

Another beautiful day today in the Collegiate Range. (But who am I kidding, every day in Buena Vista is pretty great!)  Sunshine, high clouds, cows milling in green pastures, farmers bailing the hayfields, humming hummingbirds, and deer nibbling their way through the valley with their fawns by their sides.  Disney movies, you got nothin' on the Rockies.

We took a lovely 6 mile round-trip hike to Brown's Creek Waterfall.  This hike is quickly becoming our 'go-to' hike when we have visitors in town (Hi Brett, Michelle, Sarah, Maddox, Cecil, Carson & Tom!).
We like the hike because it has moderate elevation gain (1500ft), and takes you through aspen, fir and pine forests, with lovely stream crossings and wide valley views of Chafee County down below.  The payoff of the beautiful waterfall at the end isn't so bad either, a great place to flop down and eat snacks after making it up to the top.  The one piece of the hike that I could do without is all the horse poop.  Seriously horses, what's with all the poop?  Ew.


We completed the hike, with a short stop at the top for some snacking and waterfall exploration, in about 3 hours, start to finish.  Once back at the trailhead we drove to the town of Salida and grabbed a bite to eat at The Boathouse Cantina, right on the Arkansas river.  A beautiful location in a cute town, but the food was pretty mediocre.  For what it's worth should you ever visit Buena Vista you MUST go eat the Veggie Burgers from Roadrunner Grill while sipping on a whiskey cocktail from the Deerhammer Distilling Company!  It's worth the 2.5 hour drive from Denver just for the food, cocktails and the views of Mt.Princeton et al.

Once back at home anticipating an evening of reading, blogging, TV watching and all around relaxation, I decided to make a batch of brownies for all to nosh upon.  I found the below recipe online and whipped it together in a short few minutes.  As I type, the cooling brownies waft towards me from the kitchen counter . . .  I'd better check on them to make sure they're edible.  Excuse me . . .


High Altitude, Deep Dish Brownies (Whoot Whoot!)


Ingredients

7/8 cup all-purpose flour (7/8 c = 1 c minus 2 Tbs)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)*
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)*
* We didn't have nuts or choco chips, so Devin substituted with dark chocolate covered almonds

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square baking dish.**
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a separate bowl, stir together the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla. Mix in the eggs. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients just until blended. Fold in chocolate chips and pecans if using. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan and the top appears dry, 35 to 40 minutes.

** We didn't have this size pan at the cabin, so we used a 9" x 12" and changed the baking time to ~27 minutes and they look pretty great!

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