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US Cooking Tour Stop 13: Colorado

About three years ago we took a big trip to the Sunshine State and from that trip so many family memories were made. There's nothing quite like spending a week in the mountains with your family - the sights and smells are incomparable, in my opinion. If you've never spent any time in Estes Park, CO. you must plan a trip as soon as possible. It is one of the most picturesque towns I've ever been in, and the views from Trail Ridge Road are absolutely spectacular. I had to remind myself I was on American soil and not the Swiss Alps at some points - it was truly stunning.

Colorado is special to us because that's where we unknowingly birthed a fun family tradition. I planned an evening out at a Chuck Wagon Dinner that provided entertainment and promised an evening we wouldn't forget. They were right on that guarantee. We loved it so much we've gone to several other chuck wagon dinners in other states we've visited (Arizona's was the best so far), and each one has left us with memories we still talk about today. And often! 

We have some hilarious family jokes and stories from each of the ones we've visited, and I don't think we'll ever forget those special evenings. Ghost towns and chuck wagon dinners are a must now for us when traveling through Colorado or any state out west. If you've never been to one, I highly recommend.

Now for the recipes...

I knew what everyone was going to recommend when suggesting recipes for Colorado and I was spot on: Colorado Green Chili! If you've ever been to CO you know that they serve it at most every restaurant and spoon it over so many dishes. You can't visit the state without encountering green chili several times.

I combined two different recipes to make my own, and pulled from each depending on what was available to me in my local stores. The result was absolutely delicious and one I'll keep making from here on. Though a little spicy for the kids, we all loved it! 

Colorado Green Chili 

4 lb pork butt, cubed
Diced onion
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp coriander 
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp masa
4 C chicken stock
1 can Rotel
2 C jarred 505 hatch green chiles
1/2 C jarred 505 tomatillo salsa

Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add pork and salt, and brown. Remove pork and pour off all but 1 Tbsp fat. 

Add onions, cumin, coriander, and oregano and sauce for 3-5 minutes. Then add garlic, rotes and peppers and saute another few minutes. 

Toss pork with masa and add back to pot. Stir.

Add the chicken stock, bring to boil and reduce the heat too low. Cover and simmer for 3 hours. 

Take two forks to break up the pork - but if yours is anything like mine you won't have to do this as it will be so tender it will fall apart.
Dessert was a little trickers as there wasn't one thing that stuck out as a Colorado favorite. I stumbled upon this recipe and it turned out to be the perfect pairing for the meal. The fresh coolness of the dessert was perfect for the tongue after enjoying a delicious hot chili. 

Colorado Creme

1 Tbsp unflavored gelatin
1/2 C sugar
2 C heavy cream
1.5 C sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
Berries of your choice

In a medium saucepan, stir together gelatin, sugar and heavy cream. On low, stir until dissolved and barely warm to the touch. Do not overheat.

Remove from heat and fold in sour cream and vanilla. 

Pour into ramekins and chill for 2-3 hours - up to overnight.

Serve with berries on top.

I am a modern day homemaker with a passion for family, cooking, celebrating, decorating, travel, and memory making! The Lord has blessed me with the desires of my heart in my husband and our two sons. We recently built our dream home and cultivating a loving and happy haven for my family is where I find so much joy.


  1. This tour has been a lot of fun to follow; thanks for taking the time to publish.


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