Touring Around Boise – Part 4 – Freak Alley Gallery

We finished our walking tour of Boise by going through the Freak Alley Gallery. Freak Alley Gallery is the gallery of street art created by local artists. Places like this are popping up in urban areas all around. We have the RiNo district, here in Denver, that I have covered as well, quite awhile ago. The RiNo Art Walk It is always fun to see this unique art, no matter where I go. It is always original and is always one-of-a-kind.

Obviously, I cannot present all of the artwork we saw, but I will give you a good and fun sampling. These artists are very talented.

Do you see the faces? Do you see the wolves?

I guess to some degree, we are all just puppets on a string and someone is always watching us.

This one was not actually a part of the Freak Alley Gallery, but it is sort of, in it’s own way. This beautiful setting was on some other buildings that were not part of the Freak Alley Gallery.

As we were finishing our walking tour, we ended up in the Basque region of the city too. Boise hosts one of the largest Basque communities in the nation, with about 16,000 people claiming this heritage. They mostly inhabit what is known as “The Basque Block” of the city, which is part of the old historic district of Boise. Immigration to the United States from the Basque regions of mostly Spain and France, started in the 1800’s, when the Basque people found more lucrative opportunities in the western United States, initially for mining and then for ranching and sheepherding. Boise, in particular, was a region where the Basque people could let their culture thrive by herding sheep and operating boarding houses.

As I mentioned earlier, Boise was all in bloom too. I am trying to give a good sense of the things we saw and did without overwhelming everyone. I will have to do another segment on just the florals and fauna from the area too. There were so many beautiful and gorgeous flowers everywhere we went. You need to see all the colors in bloom too.

All in all, we had a beautiful day, learned a lot, enjoyed great food and beverages, and had a fabulous, fun day. Thank you Traci. Traci is an EXCELLENT tour guide!!!!!!

Touring Around Boise – Part 3 – Buenos Aires In Boise

When you go to Boise Brewing Touring Around Boise – Part 2 – Boise Brewing it is a given you are going to venture across the street to the Buenos Aires Food Truck, especially if you are there on a Friday night. As you can probably imagine from the name on the truck, the foods served are traditional foods from Argentina, such as Argentinean empanadas and choripanes (Argentine sandwiches). It is owned and operated by a mother and son combo, Betty and Manuel.

There was this sign on the truck and I had to ask Manuel what it meant. He said it is basically the title of a very famous love song in Argentina.

Mama Betty does the cooking and her son Manuel is the customer service representative. Together, they do a fantastic job of putting out some delectable traditional Argentine foods.

After touring around Boise, we were both thirsty and hungry. While we were enjoying our cold brews from Boise Brewing, the aromas from Buenos Aires were wafting across the street, calling out to us. We needed some empanadas. I ordered us some of each kind they offered – beef, vegetable and chicken, only I did not order enough, so a minute later, I went back to get some more. I wanted each of us to have one of each kind of empanada, but my math was not functioning well that day and I miscounted how many we needed. They we SOOOOOO good too. They came with a chili lime sauce. Mama Betty did an excellent job preparing these fried delicacies. They were light and crispy and full of flavor.

But we didn’t stop there. Oh no!!!!!! We continued our Boise walking tour and after finishing, we went back to Buenos Aires for MORE of these delicious empanadas to take home with us as well. We ended up having them for breakfast the next morning. Mama Betty said the best way to reheat them was to put them in an air fryer. We followed her advice and true to her word, they were just as good as they were the first time we had them.

Buenos Aires Food Truck is constantly on the go, moving from place to place. So if you want to see where they are going next, you need to follow them on either Facebook, Instagram or by email at buenosairesboise@gmail.com. You can also give them a call at (208) 614-0648. Trust me, you DO NOT want to miss out on these scrumptious goodies. If I lived in Boise, I would definitely be following this truck around. 🙂

Touring Around Boise – Part 2 – Boise Brewing

As I mentioned in Touring Around Boise Part 1 Touring Around Boise – Part 1, we were walking all around the city of Boise and taking in all the sights, which means we also worked up quite a thirst. Boise Brewing was where we decided to stop and sit back to relax for awhile before resuming our walking tour of the city.

“At Boise Brewing, we’re brewing up more than great beer, we’re building a community. Back in 2012, Collin Rudeen first came up with the idea of opening a brewery when he signed up for a community garden. He wondered why there couldn’t be a fresh pint of his favorite craft beverage for pickup along with his monthly box of vegetables. Just like that, Boise Brewing was born. From the birth of the idea to opening day took about two years to gather together all of the right pieces. Collin hired Lance Chavez as head brewer and together they began working on recipes, scoping out locations, and raising capital. Since then, Boise Brewing has been raising the bar for craft beer in Boise. From holding their first fresh-hop beer festival (Hoptober Freshtival) less than 5 months after their opening to collaborating with other breweries and local entities for beers and events, Boise Brewing has quickly become a staple in the Boise beer scene. They opened up a second round of investments to expand production in 2017. With this expansion they are currently producing nearly 2,000 barrels/year and still growing to meet demand.

Boise Brewing has won a lot of awards for their innovative brews.

The staff hard at work.

I am NOT a beer drinker, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the process. While Traci and Karen enjoyed a cold brew or two, I enjoyed a specialty brew of a different kind. I enjoyed Boise’s own special brand of root beer, Buck Snout.

They also had some live entertainment for our listening pleasures too.

Boise Brewing is located at 521 W. Broad Street, Boise, ID 83702. You can call them at (907) 382-6210 or you can contact them online at http://www.BoiseBrewing.com or on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook too. Either way, make sure you stop by and say “hi” the next time you are thirsty and are in town.

Touring Around Boise – Part 1

Scott didn’t have to go to work until later in the day, so we started off with a delicious homemade breakfast a la Scott.

While Scott was at work, it was just us girls and we went touring all around Boise. One of the things I learned is that Boise is pronounced like Boy-Cee rather than Boy-Zee. Traci was an excellent tour guide. We started our tour by heading into Dutch Brothers for some gourmet coffee before starting our adventures for the day. We went all around the downtown area. We went to the old train depot that gave us a beautiful view of the city and the Capital building. We went to two gorgeous parks, and then down by Boise State University. We walked all around downtown. We stopped at The Boise Brewing Company, and then we strolled through the Freak Alley Gallery. We had a very full day before heading home. There was so much to see and I took so many pictures. There is no way I can show you all the pictures I took, but hopefully I can give you a good representation of the things we saw and how much fun we had. Boise is a very pretty city. All the flowers were in bloom too and the city was bursting with color, which made it even prettier.

Dutch Brothers Coffee is a chain of gourmet drive-through coffee shops that offers so many flavors of coffee, teas, and lemonades. You can get almost anything you can imagine. “Dutch Bros Coffee was founded in 1992 by Dane and Travis Boersma. After three generations in the dairy business, the brothers decided to use changes in the industry as motivation to branch out and try something new. The bros bought a double-head espresso machine, cranked up the stereo, threw open the barn doors and started experimenting with 100 pounds of beans.”

“One of the most rewarding things in this change of occupation was going from smelling cow manure to smelling coffee,” said Dane. “You’d open the bag, and it was like heaven.”

“Dutch Bros strives to be a force for good through outstanding customer service and killer coffee. The company is continuing to grow, sharing the Dutch luv and opening new shops throughout the nation.”

“Through the Dutch Bros Foundation and local franchisees, Dutch Bros donates several million dollars to support its customers, local communities and nonprofit organizations.”

With coffees and lemonade in hand, off we went to start the day’s activities. Our first stop was the old train depot.

The view of the city from the old train depot was amazing.

Next, we visited two of the three main parks. We drove through one, and saw dog island, which is a doggie park on a separate little island in the middle of the park, but we did not stop at that park. The other park we went to was the Kathryn Albertson Park. She was one of the heirs to the Albertson Grocery store chain. This park is so beautiful. We saw a lot of geese, the same Canadian geese I have here at home, as well as some red eared slider turtles, again, just like mine here at home. We also saw quite of few of the geese nesting and watching over their eggs.

Can you see all 5 turtles here? Look closely. They are all there.

Our next stop was the area around Boise State University, which is adjacent to the Boise City Zoo. We did not go into the zoo, however, there were a couple of very curious and friendly giraffes that stopped by to say hi to us as we were strolling through the park. There were also a whole bunch of playful squirrels all around too.

This is the Friendship Bridge connecting the park to the university. It was an appropriate place to go, since we three girls are all very good friends indeed.

After leaving the parks, we were ready for something to drink. Next stop was Boise Brewing, but that will be featured in Part 2. 🙂

Boise Fry Company

As soon as we landed in Boise, our first stop was to the Boise Fry Company for dinner. The Boise Fry Company is a fun and funky restaurant that specializes in bikes, burgers, beer and fries. Fries of ALL kinds too. Since Idaho is known for its potatoes, it is only fitting that they have a restaurant or two that specializes in fries. Everything is fresh and homemade, and comes from local vendors. There is NO waste at this restaurant, and everything is re-used and recycled as much as possible.

At Boise Fry Company, you can order and customize both your burgers and your fries any way you want them. You can order any kind of potato, cut in a number of different cuts and cooked how you like them. Traci said they usually offer more varieties too, but to me, this is pretty impressive as it is.

Your burgers can be bison, beef or vegan. It is your choice. The bison is all natural and grassfed, from Brown’s Buffalo Ranch in nearby, Nyssa, Oregon. (One of the many things we learned on this trip is that where Scott and Traci live, they are only about 30 miles away from the Oregon border in one direction and about the same distance from the Nevada border in another direction.) The beef comes from The Double R Ranch, in Boise. The vegan burgers are all handmade from scratch, using black beans, red quinoa and a mixture of various herbs and spices. The buns are brought in from a local bakery, Gaston’s Bakery.

The menu explains about the different varieties of potatoes and what the best or preferred methods of cut and preparation for each particular variety. What a cool concept. Boise Fry Company buys the “freshest potatoes available from the M & M Heath Farms in Buhl, Idaho. All the potatoes are prepared with love and they follow a strict regiment to ensure each fry retains its quality and flavor”.

Even all the sauces used are made from scratch and in house, with a wide variety of flavors and combinations.

When your order is delivered to you, it comes on a customized plate with cup holders for your sauces. I think the sauces I tried were the garlic aioli, the blueberry ketchup and the spicy ranch. All of them were very good.

Karen also ordered the roasted Brussels sprouts with her burger. We all tried them and, once again, they were delicious.

The Boise Fry Company is very friendly to bicyclists and dogs alike. The decor is a bicycle theme, using a lot of old bicycle parts as well.

Even dogs who come to visit have a little place of their own, while their doggie parents are dining.

It was such a gorgeous, beautiful day so we all decided to dine al fresco, on their patio. Starting from the left, Traci, her son Andrew, his fiance Elena, and Karen.

What a delicious and fun way to start our Idaho adventures. 🙂

Currently, there are six Boise Fry Company restaurants located in the Boise area. The one we went to was located in Bown Crossing, at 3083 South Bown Way, Boise, ID 83706. You can also call them at 208 965-1551. They are open from 11:00 AM-8:00 PM. Or if you prefer, you can also order online at info@boisefrycompany.com

This was day one of our whirlwind Boise tour. There are a lot more Idaho adventures coming your way. Stay tuned.

Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.

Traci’s New Vintage

I’m back. Did you miss me? I had such a great time visiting with my friends Traci and Scott and Karen. Karen is a mutual friend of ours and we planned our little “girl’s get-away” quite a few months ago. Scott and I have known each other since we were in 7th grade; Traci is Scott’s beautiful wife, and we became great friends; Karen and Traci are besties, and now I am part of this fun girls’ club too.

Traci and Scott shared their new beautiful home with us and took us all over the place. They were great tour guides and Karen and I saw so many beautiful Boise sights. I have a lot of fun things to share from my fun and fabulous trip, but I literally just got home about 1 1/2 hours ago, and have a lot of processing to do first. One of our fun days was a Boise wine tour. We went to 5 different wineries along the Snake River. This is fun little video that Traci and I made to cleanse your pallet a bit and to get you in the mood.

I know I have not made any videos in quite some time, and I will get back into videos again real soon. We have just been very busy lately. This is a little short skit on Traci’s “new vintage” that I just had to share with you. She did a great job with it. I also have a big video in the works too, that I will be sharing very soon, along with all the other fun things we did while up in Idaho.

Stay tuned. Don’t touch that dial.

I’m Off To Idaho

I will be gone for a few days, visiting with friends up in Idaho. I am so looking forward to it. I definitely need a little get-away, and what better thing to do than to go visit with old friends?! 🙂 I promise you, I will have lots of good things to bring back and share with you from my trip up north. I know one of things we are planning on doing is to taste some Idaho wines. And Scott and I will be busy cooking up some delicious meals, so those will all be featured as well. For the rest …. we will all just have to wait and see.

Idaho - State Symbols, Facts, Photos, Visitor Info

Stay good, stay safe and stay well. ‘Til next time.

When It’s Just Me

When my friends see and hear about all the foods we eat, they are always asking me “Do you eat like this all the time?” Well, yes, for the most part we do. However, when it is just me and I am not cooking for anyone else, that all changes. A lot of times it is leftovers or pizza, or leftover pizza, or other simple things. Sometimes, it is even just sandwiches. With Larry being out of town these last few days, it was all of the above.

This is a typical meal when it is just me. I made a crab and avocado melt, cut up an apple and served it with some potato chips. It was simple, easy-peasy and delicious.

I had a little crab left, but it wasn’t enough on its own, or so I thought, so I added some krab as well. I mixed it all with some green onions, red bell pepper, mayonnaise and some cracked pepper to make a crab salad. “Krab” is a crab substitute made from a variety of white flaky fish, usually pollack.

After my crab salad was made, I buttered some bread and added a couple of slices of jalapeno jack cheese, then grilled it up.

Grill it buttered side down, and grill it just long enough for the bread to toast up and the cheese to melt.

When my cheese was melted and the bread was toasted to perfection, I added some tomato slices and avocado. Then I added my crab salad and voila. My sandwich was ready.

Add a little wine, and dinner was served. Quick and easy-peasy. Dinner doesn’t always have to be fancy to be good. 🙂

Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.

Nature Walks – The Pelicans Are Back

Yesterday was the first day I saw the pelicans. I saw about 6 flying in formation up above, but I did not have my camera with me, so I could not take any pictures. I was able to get some pictures today though. These pictures were taken right from my deck.

I love it when all my beloved furried and feathered friends come back for the season. It always makes me so happy.

A New Home for Cookbooks

I LOVE collecting cookbooks. They are my prized possessions. I have well over 650 cookbooks and the number is always growing. And all of you are beginning to recognize how much I love cookbooks too. A lot of you have realized my house is the house where cookbooks end up when needing a new home. People are always giving me either new books or books that they no longer need or have room for. SWEET! You can NEVER have enough cookbooks.

For those of you who follow Julia at https://retirementrvdream.com/ you know she and her husband Bruce are doing some serious downsizing, getting ready for their new life on the road. The other day, Julia brought over a whole bunch of cookbooks that she will no longer have room for in the RV. I have gladly accepted them and rehomed them. They will take a place of honor on the library shelves. Anyone that finds themselves in need of “rehoming” their cookbooks, please know that I will always lovingly adopt them and take good care of them. They will become part of the family. 🙂

Usually when I get new cookbooks, I just have to make something from them IMMEDIATELY. This time, however, I will have to wait a bit. Larry is out of town at the moment, so I am not cooking anything. He comes home tomorrow night. But then I am taking off for a few days on Thursday and Larry will be home, with the “kids”. I was supposed to be with Larry in Las Vegas right now, but we had a last minute conflict of time from our pet sitter, so I stayed home. I will be heading up to Idaho to visit with some friends, leaving Thursday. I promise you though, it will be pleasure mixed with “work”. There will be some fun things coming your way from my time in Idaho once I return home. You’ll just have to wait and see what I come up with and bring back. 🙂

Stay safe and stay well Everyone, and stay tuned. ‘Til next time.