colorado is my life

*LakeIsabell

Summer has been gone for quite some time now and I am back to the daily grind, but I still find myself talking and dreaming about vacation and the wonderful trips I took this year. A good friend that now lives in Colorado was visiting Phoenix this past weekend and he reminded me of my recent trip to Boulder. It was a really special trip in fact because three of my very best friends, who now live in various corners of the US, reunited. The four of us used to be called "The Quad" in high school a decided to bring back the fearsome foursome to see Tali's new home in Boulder. It was my first time in Colorado and I was blown away. Kate and I flew in from Los Angeles and Tyler from New York to see her new home and check out a city I had heard such wonderful things about. I see each of these friends pretty often considering how spread out we live, but not usually all together in the same place. And it felt as though no time had past since our last Quad reunion. So celebration was obviously in order and the first stop on our Colorado adventure was happy hour. Although Tali warned us to pace our drinking since we were not used to the altitude it was hard not to throw 'em back as we all caught up on each others lives and future plans. I always think that such things will not affect me, but sure enough, I was walking around downtown Boulder, breathing in thinner air than I am used to, a few drinks deep, and definitely feeling it! Needless to say it was an early night. But the next morning we were all ready for exploring the city, hiking, and more quality girl time. Within the four day trip we conquered three pretty challenging hikes and I saw some of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. The Royal Arch at the base of the Rockies and Lake Isabelle were both highlights of the trip.

Tyler

Tali

Kate

One of the most gorgeous places I have ever been with three of the best girls I know! Hiking, cooking, laughing, and bringing back high school memories! Another noteworthy thing about Boulder-the high concentration of Subarus. It was seriously mind-blowing! At every stop light, every other parking meter, even on the most remote mountain roads, there were Subarus of every color surrounding me! I'm sorry Kate, I had to emphasize the Sub phenomenon. They must be reliable mountain town cars!

Now on to the sweet stuff! As promised I need to post the wonderful Pumpkin Carob Chip Muffins I recently made for a friends' birthday! The recipe is from Vegan Lunch Box and is seriously amazing! You cannot go wrong with this recipe!

Pumpkin Carob Chip Muffins (1 dozen)

1 cup pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin)

1/3 cup canola oil

2 Tbsp ground flax seed

1 tsp vanilla

1 2/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/3 cup vegan carob chips (I used mini vegan chocolate chips and worked beautifully)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tin. Put pumpkin, water, canola oil, ground flax seed and vanilla in a blender and process for 1 minute. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the pumpkin mixture and mix with a wooden spoon or large spatula until well blended. Add chocolate chips. Bake for 30-35 minutes and let cool.

These were gone fast! Enjoy :)