Let us be Grateful

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It is all about food, family, friends and giving thanks. Perfect if you ask me!

I will resume blogging on Monday, November 30th. In the meantime, enjoy these recent posts on Thanksgiving.

From our family to yours, thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving!

-Laura Dombrowski Steele {founder of COUTUREcolorado}



Cornbread Oyster Stuffing Recipe

jaxfc_Ricky_webAs the executive chef at Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar in Fort Collins, it’s only natural that Chef Myers would think to include oysters in his Thanksgiving dressing. Jax has its own proprietary Emersum oysters grown in the Chesapeake Bay area by Rappahannock River Oysters, a company known for its sustainability practices.

Oysters can be pricey. (You can find them fresh at Whole Foods for $1 an oyster.) If you can’t afford raw, Chef Myers suggests adding a tin of smoked oysters instead.

Makes 12 servings

For the cornbread (Makes two 9-by-13-inch pans):

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups corn meal
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 ears fresh corn, kernels removed using a box grater (see note)
  • 1/2 pound butter, melted
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 9 eggs

For the dressing:

  • 3 slices smoked bacon, small dice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 rib celery, small dice
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 bulb fennel, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 large baguette, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
  • 1 (9-by-13-inch) pan cornbread, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
  • 3 dozen east coast oysters (such as Wellfleet), shucked, chopped or cut in half,
  • reserving 1 cup of briny liquor
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco (or preferred hot sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley

To make the cornbread: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-by-13-inch pans with vegetable cooking oil. In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together corn, melted butter, buttermilk, milk and eggs. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and blend thoroughly. Pour batter into pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove pans from oven and allow to cool. (Make-ahead tip: Cornbread can be made the day before; use one pan to make dressing and the other to serve separately, as a side.)

To make the dressing: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. In a medium-sized skillet, cook bacon over medium-low heat until crispy; remove bacon but reserve the fat. Add butter. Once the butter has melted add celery, onion, carrot, parsnip, fennel, garlic and shallot. Cook the vegetables over a medium-high heat until almost tender; add paprika, cayenne, thyme and oregano. Continue cooking for 10 minutes, until vegetables are very soft and spices are incorporated. (Make-ahead tip: Vegetable mixture can be precooked and kept in a container in the refrigerator then rewarmed and combined with bread.)

Place cubed breads in a very large mixing bowl. Add vegetable mixture, reserved bacon and chopped oysters to the bowl and use clean hands or a spoon to mix thoroughly. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, reserved oyster liquor, hot sauce, salt, pepper, lemon juice, scallions and parsley. Pour liquid mixture into bread and oysters. Mix ingredients thoroughly and spoon in to prepare baking dish. Bake casserole for about 45 minutes, or until heated through and crisp and golden on top.

Note: If you can’t source fresh corn for the cornbread, thaw and drain frozen corn then pat with paper towels to remove excess moisture.

Per serving: 453 calories (37 percent from fat), 19 grams total fat (9 grams saturated), 198 milligrams cholesterol, 57 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams protein, 1,100 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber.



Notes from the photographer, Carly Mitchell

This modern “Friendsgiving” was born out of a dream for moving traditions forward. Cornish game hens instead of turkey; burgundy, peach, violet, and orange instead of red, orange, yellow and brown; geodes instead of pumpkins; sweet potato cupcakes instead of a marshmallow baked casserole; and, perhaps most importantly, a table full of friends, our chosen families that often get put on the back-burner during the busy holiday season.

friendsgiving_1785 friendsgiving_1786 friendsgiving_1788 friendsgiving_1789 friendsgiving_1787 friendsgiving_1797 friendsgiving_1792 friendsgiving_1791 friendsgiving_1795 friendsgiving_1790 friendsgiving_1796 friendsgiving_1798 friendsgiving_1801 friendsgiving_1799 friendsgiving_1800 friendsgiving_1793 friendsgiving_1802 friendsgiving_1803 friendsgiving_1804

Carly Mitchell | Table design & florals: Amber Mustain | Catering: Cravings
Tableware: Event Rents

Things to do in Denver Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving weekend in The Mile High City bustles with activities full of holiday spirit that kick off the annual Mile High Holidays celebration. Starting with a beloved annual event, the Grand Illumination of downtown Denver’s more than 600,000 holiday lights, the entire weekend is packed with shopping, seasonal events, dining and deals on hotel stays.

Below are just a few events happening around Denver during Thanksgiving weekend.

Restaurants Open for Thanksgiving Dinner
Some of Denver’s best restaurants will host a delicious Thanksgiving Dinner this year, including all of the following places. Reservations are recommended.
Altitude at Hyatt Regency Colorado Convention Center will host a Thanksgiving buffet from 11:00 am – 8:00 pm featuring carved-to-order meats, an autumn-themed local menu and traditional holiday desserts. Reservations recommended; $49 for adults, $17 for children under 12 (4 and under dine free).

The Capital Grille will offer their take on Thanksgiving favorites alongside their full menu. Reservations recommended.

Downtown Aquarium will feature traditional favorites, a kids’ buffet and discounts on rides and exhibits. Reservations required.

Maggiano’s Little Italy creates a family-style, full turkey dinner menu for Thanksgiving Day. Reservations recommended; pricing based on number of people in party.

Rialto Café will be open from 9:00am to 6:00pm, serving off-the menu brunch and dinner as well as a classic turkey dinner. Reservations recommended.

Rodizio Grill, The Brazilian Steakhouse – On Thanksgiving, Rodizio Grill will serve dinner meats all day long, in addition to some seasonal favorites, including orange turkey, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie, among other items. Reservations recommended; cost is around $40 per person, depending on order.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House will feature a traditional turkey dinner in addition to their regular menu. Reservations recommended; average of $29-30 per person, depending on order.

Other restaurants that will be open on Thanksgiving Day include 1515 Restaurant, The Corner Office Restaurant & Martini Bar, Jake’s Food and Spirits, Ship Tavern at The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa and more.

Thanksgiving Weekend Events


Downtown Denver Grand Illumination
WHEN: Nov. 27
WHERE: Downtown Denver

As part of Downtown Denver’s Winter in the City program, at 6 p.m. on Nov 27, 2015 Downtown Denver’s Grand Illumination event will light up Downtown, from Denver Union Station to the City and County Building. Following a countdown shortly after 6:30 p.m., Denver Union Station will be ablaze with brightly colored floodlights illuminating the historic structure in the heart of Lower Downtown and its lighted tree in front.

Blossoms of Light
WHEN: Nov. 27, 2015 – Jan. 2, 2016
WHERE: Denver Botanic Gardens

The first night of Blossoms of Light will display over one million colorful lights draped in elegant designs highlighting the Gardens’ winter beauty. The show features sparkling passages, brand new displays and romantic mistletoe kissing spots, as well as the always-anticipated HoloSpex glasses. Refreshments will be available.

Annual Denver Christkindl Market
WHEN: Nov. 20 – Dec. 23
WHERE: Skyline Park

The Christkindl Market, a traditional German-style Christmas market, includes vendors from Germany and other countries, as well as local artisans, offering high-quality, handcrafted gifts such as traditional hand-carved wooden figurines, handmade candles and ornaments. The event will also feature traditional German food, Glühwein (hot spiced wine) and live entertainment. Free entry to all ages.

Southwest Rink at Skyline Park
WHEN: Nov. 24, 2015 – Feb. 15, 2016
WHERE: Skyline Park

In the heart of Downtown Denver, Southwest Airlines will once again sponsor a public ice skating rink in Skyline Park. Skating is free for those who bring their own skates; there are also skates and lockers available to rent for a small fee, and music playing for people to skate along to.

Drums of the World
WHEN: Nov. 29
WHERE: Boettcher Concert Hall

This popular annual family concert takes attendees on a musical journey. Drums of the World features the Colorado Symphony percussionists with a variety of rhythmic instruments that reflect styles from around the world.

Super Indian: Fritz Scholder, 1967-1980
WHEN: Oct. 4, 2015 – Jan. 17, 2016
WHERE: Denver Art Museum

With a signature blend of figurative and pop art influences, renowned 20th century artist Fritz Scholder created colorful, compelling and revolutionary images depicting the reality of being an American Indian. This Denver Art Museum exhibition will feature more than 40 rarely seen paintings and lithographs by Scholder.

Wyeth: Andrew and Jamie in the Studio
WHEN: Nov. 8, 2015 – Feb. 7, 2016
WHERE: Denver Art Museum

This fall, Denver Art Museum will host this groundbreaking Wyeth exhibition. With more than 100 works created in a variety of media, the exhibition explores the connection between the father and son duo of American artists through more than 100 works executed in a variety of media.

Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty
WHEN: Sep. 19, 2015 – Jan. 31, 2016
WHERE: Museum of Contemporary Art Denver

This exhibition explores in detail the myriad image choices Minter has made as a painter and photographer, the evolution of her style and technique, and her mode of production, including her organization of an unusual studio of assistants trained to create hyper-real, sometimes dizzyingly painted surfaces.

The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes
WHEN: Oct. 23, 2015 – Jan. 31, 2016
WHERE: Denver Museum of Nature & Science

This exhibition at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science takes visitors to Victorian London to work alongside Holmes and Watson as they unravel a new case. It also explores the Sherlock fascination through more than 300 artifacts including first edition publications, original artwork and more.

The Power of Poison
WHEN: Jul. 10, 2015 – Jan. 10, 2016
WHERE: Denver Museum of Nature & Science

The exhibition uses models, objects, interactives, and live animals to explore various forms of poison and their role in nature, health, myths, and legends. Whether as a defense against predators, a source of magical strength, or a lethal weapon used in a medical treatment, the story of poison is surprising at every turn.

Toys of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s
WHEN: Extended until Jan. 31, 2016
WHERE: History Colorado Center

Due to popular demand, History Colorado Center just announced an extension of the playful traveling exhibit, Toys of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Through January 31, History Colorado Center will host this imaginative exhibit featuring some of the most popular toys in history – from Barbie to Mr. Potato Head, Slinky to Spirograph. The exhibit explores the nostalgia, memories and history behind the toys, and their impact on American life; and it encourages people to play, have fun and explore some of the country’s favorite toys.

The Lion King (Final Weekend)
WHEN: Nov. 4-29
WHERE: Buell Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex

The renowned musical returns to Denver for just four weeks. Winner of six Tony Awards, the show is unlike anything else and an absolute must-see.

A Christmas Carol
WHEN: Nov. 27 – Dec. 27
WHERE: Stage Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Based on Charles Dickens’ classic novel, this joyous and opulent musical adaptation traces money-hoarding skinflint Ebenezer Scrooge’s triumphant overnight journey to redemption. Live from the Stage Theatre, A Christmas Carol is a Denver holiday tradition that illuminates the meaning of the holiday season in a way that has resonated for generations.

The Santaland Diaries
WHEN: Nov. 27 – Dec. 27
WHERE: Jones Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex

Based on David Sedaris’ offbeat tales from his stint as a Macy’s elf in New York City, this acclaimed one-man show is full of holiday hijinks and laughs for mature audiences.

The Nutcracker
WHEN: Nov. 28 – Dec. 27
WHERE: Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Denver Performing Arts Complex

Children and adults will enjoy Colorado Ballet’s 55th annual production of The Nutcracker, featuring fantastic characters, brilliant dancing, exquisite sets, dazzling costumes, timeless choreography and Tchaikovsky’s extraordinary arrangement performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra. This enchanting production brings the timeless story to life and transports audiences to lands of wintertime magic and delicious sweets. Whether it is your first time or 55th, you and your entire family will adore Colorado’s most spectacular holiday tradition.

Thank you to  Denver.Org for the info and photo

Nov 14th: Grand Opening of Inspyre Boutique’s 4th Location

I couldn’t be more excited to see that local boutique Inspyre {LISTmember} has opened their 4th location in the newly renovated Southwest Plaza Mall!!

This Saturday Inspyre is celebrating with a Grand Opening Celebration! Fortune tellers, braid bar, nail stamping, giveaways, sips and snacks, and SO much more!!!!

40% off a single item for the first 25 customers!!! Get a jump-start on your holiday shopping, and even snag a few goodies for yourself.

Where: Inspyre Boutique –  Southwest Plaza 8501 W Bowles Ave, Ste 2A, Littleton, Colorado 80123

When: Saturday, November 14th 10am – 9pm


Inspyre Boutiques feature a consistently changing array of women’s clothing, jewelry, accessories, shoes and gifts from local, national and international designers, including BB Dakota, Voluspa Candles and Denver-based Hippo Kiss Creations. Dedicated to providing Denverites with a selection unavailable elsewhere, the Inspyre buyers travel nationwide to handpick merchandise each month. Despite the time and care that goes into curating each store’s selection, every item found at Inspyre is under $100. Each location is designed with a mix of feminine décor, such as crystal chandeliers, and local and eco-friendly materials, including reclaimed beetle-kill lumber.


Nov 12th: Margery Hirschey Trunk Show

You’re invited to a jewelry trunk show and in-store appearance at Goldyn with Boulder-based fine jeweler Margery Hirschey on November 12, 2015 from 5-8pm. This incredible line is all handmade by Margery herself, incorporating ancient style and technique with modern sensibility. Through an artistic eye for color pairings and the use of thoughtful asymmetry, the natural beauty of the materials truly shine. The collection’s innovative approach strives to take jewelry design beyond the confines of what is considered, “fine jewelry” to create beautiful, unique pieces.
An internationally acclaimed jewelry designer, Margery Hirschey just just received the 17th annual Fashion Group International Rising Star award for Fine Jewelry.

Top 100 Baby Names in 2014



To help in your search of the perfect name, here are the Top 10 Most Popular Names in US in 2014. Rank 1 is the most popular, rank 2 is the next most popular, and so forth.

Popularity in 2014
RankMale nameFemale name
Note: Rank 1 is the most popular, rank 2 is the next most popular, and so forth.

Source: Social Security Office

Photo by BabyRose Photography  | View Full Feature

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