Colorado Smokehouse: Solid A

Once I wrote about Rudy’s barbecue, and people didn’t care much for my opinion. They hurled insults and hurt my feelings (just kidding — I don’t have feelings).

So it’s always with great trepidation that I write about barbecue because someone’s likely to disagree. Fine. Disagree. I’ve probably said this before, but arguing about barbecue is like arguing about your favorite color. You like what you like.

Anyway, we like the two-car-garage-size Colorado Smokehouse a great deal. Shame about having to be in Fountain, but it’s worth the trip. Maybe someday they’ll have a downtown location!

Colorado Smokehouse does things a little differently than other BBQ spots. Instead of focusing on one type, like Kansas City style or Memphis, Colorado Smokehouse offers a variety. Smart move. And the workers when we were there were very nice and accommodating with all our dumb questions.

Even The Gazette and The Indy agree: This is fine, fine barbecue. And when your two major papers come together like this in praise of food (“nirvana in a foam container”), well, it almost makes you think all the world’s problems can be solved if only everyone’d just sit down somewhere and have some barbecue.

Colorado Smokehouse, Fountain, Colorado

Adrienne had the chicken sandwich with the Carolina vinegar sauce. Her side was the macaroni and cheese, which has bacon in it (they might consider adding that info on the menu for the weird people like Adrienne who try to not eat bacon).

 

Colorado Smokehouse, Fountain, Colorado

I had the brisket with the sweet BBQ sauce. Next time, I think I'd like something with a little more kick, but this was delicious. The baked beans were incredible. Best I've had in Colorado, I think. We've heard good things about their desserts, too, but we were too full. Next time.

 

 

My simple pan-fried chicken

Sometimes when we go camping I like to bring fried chicken. I make it ahead of time and either warm it up in the trailer oven or just eat it cold. It’s good both ways! You can also make it into a salad or a sandwich.

I start with a whole chicken, cut into pieces. I use pancake mix from Whole Foods. I don’t like all the crap that’s in Bisquick but it’s essentially the same thing.

Chicken pieces, biscuit and pancake mix, salt, and pepper are the only ingredients

Chicken pieces, biscuit and pancake mix, salt, and pepper are the only ingredients

Put half the bag of the pancake mix, a couple of shakes of salt, and a couple grinds of pepper in a plastic bag. Rinse and dry the chicken pieces.

Stick the chicken pieces intot he bag one at a time and shake them, then shake off the excess pancake mix

Stick the chicken pieces into the bag one at a time and shake them, then shake off the excess pancake mix

Brown the chicken lightly on one side, then turn it and brown the other side lightly, too.

Brown the chicken lightly on one side, then turn it and brown the other side lightly, too. I use half olive oil and half butter, about 1/4 inch deep when melted.

Once the chicken is browned, put the stove to low and cover. it will take between 20 and 45 minutes to cook through, you just need to keep checking it. I use an instant read thermometer and cook till it's 165 degrees inside

Once the chicken is browned, put the stove to low and cover. it will take between 20 and 45 minutes to cook through, you just need to keep checking it. I use an instant read thermometer and cook till it's 165 degrees inside

Once it's cooked I take the lid off and cook it some more, just to crisp it up a little

Once it's cooked I take the lid off and cook it some more, just to crisp it up a little

It's delicious, but very messy to make!

It's delicious, but very messy to make!

Let me know if you have any questions and tell me how YOU make it!

Home Cookin’- How to eat healthy for cheap

Some things I’ve recently made.

Chicken parmesan with sauteed spinach.

Chicken parmesan with sauteed spinach.

Grilled caprese sandwich (fresh mozerella, tomatoes, basil), fruit salad, green salad with cucumber, tomato, and parmesan.

Grilled caprese sandwich (fresh mozerella, tomatoes, basil), fruit salad, green salad with cucumber, tomato, and parmesan.

Caprese salad.

Caprese salad.

Blanched asparagus with brown butter and parmesan, sauteed spinach and roasted lima beans, three bean salad.

Blanched asparagus with brown butter and parmesan, sauteed spinach and roasted lima beans, three bean salad.

Salad with corn, celery, tomatoes, avocado, and tortilla chips.

Salad with corn, celery, tomatoes, avocado, and tortilla chips.

Greek salad, spinache quiche, and roasted potatoes.

Greek salad, spinache quiche, and roasted potatoes.

Caprese salad, scrambled eggs, and green salad with white beans and parmesan.

Caprese salad, scrambled eggs, and green salad with white beans and parmesan.

Let me know if you want any more details on any of this stuff. And also let me know what you’ve been making!

Home Cookin’- some things I’ve made lately

Roast beef salad with pinto beans, cilantro, and cheddar cheese. Fresh corn.

Roast beef salad with pinto beans, cilantro, and cheddar cheese. Fresh corn.

Chicken tacos: grilled chicken, carmelized onion, cilantro, and chevre. Mexican rice which is just rice cooked with Rotel tomatoes. Black beans, green salad with mixed greens, parmesan, and vinagrette.

Chicken tacos: grilled chicken, carmelized onion, cilantro, and chevre. Mexican rice which is just rice cooked with Rotel tomatoes. Black beans, green salad with mixed greens, parmesan, and vinagrette.

Oven toasted pita with olive oil, white bean hummus with rosemary and garlic, marinated goat cheese, and fruit salad.

Oven toasted pita with olive oil, white bean hummus with rosemary and garlic, marinated goat cheese, and fruit salad.

Green salad with vinagrette, pasta salad with tomatoes, corn, basil, and lemon vinagrette, fruit salad, and blueberry tart.

Green salad with vinagrette, pasta salad with tomatoes, corn, basil, and lemon vinagrette, fruit salad, and blueberry tart.

Green salad with tomatoes and parmesan, pita sandwiches with black beans, cream cheese, and avocado.

Green salad with tomatoes and parmesan, pita sandwiches with black beans, cream cheese, and avocado.

Pita sandwiches with black beans, cream cheese, and avocado.

Pita sandwiches with black beans, cream cheese, and avocado.

Spinach quiche with tzatziki and green salad with white beans, feta, olives, and vinagrette.

Spinach quiche with tzatziki and green salad with white beans, feta, olives, and vinagrette.

White bean hummus, oven toasted pita, green salad with tomatoes, olives, and feta.

White bean hummus, oven toasted pita, green salad with tomatoes, olives, and feta.

Let me know if you want more detailed recipes for this stuff. What have YOU been eating lately?

Maiden voyage!

We thought it would be fun for my birthday to take the trailer on its first trip, so we loaded everything up and headed to my favorite fishing spot, Deckers.

The trailer wasn’t 100 percent completed yet, but we decided to give it a shot anyway. A test run, if you will. We also looked at it as an opportunity to see how everything works and to see if there’s anything else we need to do. It was also an opportunity to test out my new fishing rod, the Sage Vantage 590.

A few things we learned:

  1. Tying the leader to the tippet is kind of hard. I kind of caught a fish, but when the knot failed, so did the catching of said fish. Next time, fish. Next time.
  2. There’s a bunk bed in the trailer that has to go. We bumped our heads no fewer than a dozen times on this damn thing, and so the next time I’m around it with a screwdriver, it will be removed. Storage be damned!
  3. In the woods, cupcakes are better than real cake.
  4. Flushing the Sanitation Equipment Visa 248 Deluxe Portable Toilet took some getting used to. Good thing nobody had to poop.
  5. When debating about whether to turn the heat on, in freezing weather, it’s probably a good idea to just go ahead and turn the heat on.
Getting the trailer hooked up

Hooking up the trailer is pretty easy. It's light, so it's adjustable by hand, and also, I am superb at backing up.

Travel trailer interior

The top bunk, where the blankets and pillows are stored, is really just a place to knock your head. It's going to be gone soon.

Interior travel trailer

Adrienne built a nest at the front of the trailer while I was out fishing. Comfy.

I built my nest in the trailer soon after landing.

I enjoy a good nap, too. This is my nest, on the other side of the camper.

Happy birthday

No, this isn't the Blair Witch Project. It's me and Adrienne, with light from my birthday cupcakes!

Birthday cupcakes, 2011

Adrienne made awesome cupcakes for my birthday. They had coconut and sprinkles. Perfect.

Birthday cupcakes, 2011

Despite the warmth of the birthday candle on my cupcakes, I still needed a hat (made by my friend Andrew Long, who chose journalism instead of hat-making for some reason).

After dinner and the cupcakes, we played cards by candlelight. Adrienne also wore a hat, but it was store-bought.

After dinner and the cupcakes, we played cards by candlelight. Adrienne also wore a hat, but it was store-bought.

Travel trailer maiden voyage, 2011

Mmmm. Salad.

Travel trailer maiden voyage 2011

For dinner, Adrienne made a LOT of food. Here's the corn. We thought we'd have a camp fire, but with fire restrictions, we had to make everything in the oven. Turned out great.

Birthday trip to Deckers, Colorado, 2011

In addition to the corn, we also had chicken and mashed potatoes.

Camping trip, Deckers, Colorado

One of the nicest things about camping at Deckers is that the water is right at the site, so you can hear it always. It's very soothing.

Camping trip, Deckers, Colorado

This is an OK way to spend a birthday.

Camping trip, Deckers, Colorado

Our campsite, right on the water.

Camping trip, Deckers, Colorado

The Jeep pulled the trailer pretty well. Some slight sluggishness on the hills, but you know what? Go around me, Mr. Fast-Pants.

Camping trip, Deckers, Colorado

Morning coffee at the campsite in Deckers.

Camping trip, Deckers, Colorado

Dinner at Deckers, with chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, chips and wine.

Camping trip, Deckers, Colorado

The trailer. Still needs a little bit of a paint job, but for a 40-ish-year-old trailer, he's looking pretty good.

Camping trip, Deckers, Colorado

The stove presented a little bit of a challenge. The oven has a pilot light. What about the stove? We couldn't find a pilot for it, so we just lit the burners as needed. Everything worked great, though.

Camping trip, Deckers, Colorado

The cushions came out great, too. Now if someone would just fix that floor.

Camping trip, Deckers, Colorado

The light blue worked a lot better than the dark brown. Should have used a glossier paint, though, which would have been easier to clean. Lesson learned.