Veterans visit local schools

Do you have any medals? How hard was boot camp? What was the food like? What’s it like to blackout because of G-forces in a B-52 bomber?

Those are just a few of the many questions kids asked local veterans last week. The local Mount of the Holy Cross VFW post 10721 veterans visited 19 schools in Eagle County.

Leading up to Veteran’s Day, local vets from all branches of the military attend receptions, assemblies and classroom talks. Kids from all grade levels were able to learn more about what it was like to be on a tour of duty or to serve during a time of peace. The kids honored them with songs, messages of appreciation and an ear to listen to their stories.

We visited Brush Creek Elementary last Wednesday and sat in on one of the talks in Mr. Musser’s 5th-grade class. After the assemblies, one or two veterans go into the classrooms to discuss their experiences and bring in items from their time of service to show the kids. For over 45 minutes, the students were glued to every word the guest speakers were saying.

Guest speakers in this classroom were United States Marine Corps Captain Bill Welch who spoke about his service during wartime in Vietnam. Dana Whelan was in the United States Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel and spoke of her service during peacetime. 

Welch wore his fatigues and talked about everything from how hot it was and how bad the bugs were to the Ho Chi Minh Trail and how the only way they could communicate with friends and family back home was through letters. He showed the kids where Vietnam was on the map and why they slept with their boots on.

“There was this one time I took off my boots, just for a little bit, but then I fell asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night and my legs were burning! I couldn’t turn on a flashlight in case the enemy was watching, but it didn’t take me long to realize that I had slept near a big red ant hill,” Welch said.

Whelan spoke about the amazing opportunities she had in furthering her education and how service members are highly trained and are able to take on a lot of different challenges. During her time in the military, she was able to work and earn several degrees in places such as Washington, D.C., Wyoming, Alabama, Texas and Ramstein, Germany where she was in charge of nutrition for all of the branches of the U.S. military stationed in Europe.

“I think the thing that’s most meaningful to me about the Veteran’s Day events is giving kids that may have no exposure to military service the opportunity to hear stories of veterans,” Whelan said. “Hopefully we’ll inspire them to go home and ask their families about family members who have served and provide a chance for them to really appreciate and have some gratitude for what so many people have done for our country.”

The kids paid attention and did bring that conversation home. Michelle Sanders, the mother of Wynn Sanders, a 5th-grader in Mr. Musser’s class at Brush Creek Elementary, said that Wynn came home full of enthusiasm about the talks. “He explained in great detail what the veterans said that day. We had an engaging dinner conversation and it was fun to hear his perspective on the veteran’s visit,” Sanders said.

As much as the kids benefit from the school visits, the veterans benefit as well. “I’ve only been doing these school visits for a couple of years now and when I first started I would get kind of emotional,” Welch said. “It’s good for us to talk about it.”

The Mount of the Holy Cross VFW post 10721 veterans will host a Veteran’s Day ceremony that is open to the public at Freedom Park in Edwards on Monday at 4 p.m.

Halloween parties, ski movies, live music and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 11/01/19

Underground Sound concert series

It’s hard to believe that we are already halfway through the Underground Sound concert series at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek. Friday night’s installment will get you moving with a lively show by Las Cafeteras at 7:30 p.m.

Las Cafeteras is comprised of six bandmates from East Lost Angeles who grew up with many different influences of music including Mexican music and especially Afro-Mexican music. Las Cafeteras uses traditional Son Jarocho instruments like the jarana, requinto, quijada (donkey jawbone) and tarima (a wooden platform). It may sound traditional but don’t be surprised if they infuse their performance with a little rock, punk, hip-hop, beat music and cumbia.

Since forming Las Cafeteras in 2005, the band has shared the stage with Ozomatli, Edwards Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Columbian superstar Juanes, Mexican icons Caifanes and many more.

This show also coincides with Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a Mexican holiday that celebrates and honors loved ones who have passed away. “We speak in five different languages: English, Spanish, Spanglish, justice, and love,” said Las Cafeteras founder, Hector Flores in a press release. “I think everybody understands at least one of those languages.”

Tickets for Friday’s show are $32 or use your Underground Sound pass. For more information, go to

Halloween parties continue

Speaking of dancing and great music, the Halloween theme didn’t stop on Thursday night. There are a few more opportunities to wear your costumes at these area fetes:

Scary-oke Karaoke – Loaded Joe’s

  • Karaoke all night
  • Costumes are encouraged
  • Free entry
  • Prize giveaways
  • Friday, 9:30 p.m. until close

Boo Bash – Frost Bar at the Sebastian Vail

  • $20 tickets – includes two free drink tickets for wine and beer, also a cash bar
  • Music by DJ Krusher Jones
  • Costume contest with a chance to win $350 cash, a $100 Sebastian gift card plus other prizes
  • Halloween games
  • Friday, 8 p.m. until midnight
  • For tickets visit
  • The Sebastian is offering an overnight package on Friday night: pay $175 for a one-night stay and get two tickets to the Boo Bash, waived resort fee and waived parking fee. Call the Sebastian to book your stay.  

Kids Night Out

Parents, treat yourself to a date night while your kids are having fun and being active at Mountain Recreation in Edwards and Gypsum. On select Friday nights throughout the year, parents can drop the kids off at either location at 5:30 p.m. and pick them up at 8 p.m. Please note; there is no Kids Night Out at the Edwards location this Friday. Check the website for dates at both locations. During that time, the kids will have plenty of things to do including use of the trampolines in the anti-gravity center, the rock climbing wall, swimming pool (Gypsum only) along with themed activities, games and crafts.

Mountain Recreation brings the fun activities, your kids just need to bring a costume if they wish (themes change weekly, so call ahead for more information) closed-toe shoes, activewear and a swimsuit and towel (Gypsum only).

Kids Night Out is for kids ages 5-12. The registration fee is $20 per child and that includes dinner. To learn more and register, go to

Ski Movie Night at the Riverwalk Theater

Nothing gets you quite into the winter snowsports season like an adrenaline-packed film filled with powder, big air and amazing scenery. You’ll find all that and more in “The Book of Pow”, a film by local freeskier John Spriggs and filmmaker Edward Clem.

Clem and Spriggs live in Frisco and filmed the movie all last winter on their days off from work, so all of their scenes are in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. Last year’s snowstorms created some amazing pillow lines and champagne powder shots that rival runs anywhere else in the world. The film debuted in Annecy, France in early October at the High Five Film Festival and received rave reviews.

Joining Spriggs on the slopes was U.S. Ski Team member, Taylor Seaton, who competes in ski halfpipe. Seaton and Spriggs are both Battle Mountain High School graduates. Clem, Spriggs and Seaton are traveling around to show their movie at various film festivals.

“The Book of Pow” also has another local tie-in. Local backcountry snowboarder Bindu Sky Pomeroy died while performing an inverted maneuver off a set of cliffs in East Vail. In an article written by John LaConte earlier this week, Spriggs said that this film is dedicated “in honor of Bindu and everyone else we’ve lost doing this.”

The Riverwalk Theater will host “The Book of Pow” followed by “In the Meantime,” the third installment in the Tanner Hall short-film trilogy. Along with the films, there will be autograph signings with Spriggs and Seaton, a raffle and plenty of swag giveaways.

The Riverwalk Theater will also have traditional movie theater snacks along with pizza from Village Bagel and hot dogs from Colorado Meat Company. The theater also serves a large selection of microbrews, wines and canned cocktails, so come early and grab a bite to eat and drink before the event starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are available at the Riverwalk Theater box office. For more information about the Riverwalk Theater, go to

America Recycles Day

Take advantage of these weekends before Vail and Beaver Creek open up their ski slopes for the season and clean up things around the house. In honor of America Recycles Day on Friday, the town of Vail is offering a free collection for residents and employees in Vail of the following items:

  • Electronic waste
  • Paper for shredding
  • Old vinyl banners
  • Used bike tubes

If you aren’t quite sure what type of items can be recycled, get the Eagle County Waste Wizard app. Download it to your phone and you can easily look items up and dispose of them in the proper way.  Bring the items you wish to recycle to the oversize vehicle lot at the Lionshead Parking Structure between 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday. Charges may apply for excessive volumes of things you are trying to get rid of. No commercial collection accepted at this event. To learn more go to

Nut butter owls help break up the sugar binge on Halloween

Kids are pounding the candy and, according to, are eating more than 3,500 calories on Halloween. Adults are gobbling up tons of calories too. How many times are we grabbing a “mini” sweet treat displayed at the office or a spiked hot cocoa to get in the spirit? On average, each mini candy has about 70 calories per piece. Add ten pieces to the mix…you can do the math.

If you’re trying to keep the sweets in check, consider making a healthy plan for the day and sticking with it. Don’t eat mindlessly. In an attempt to weasel in something kind of healthy, I made a malleable peanut or almond butter ball. By adding some googly candy eyes and an almond for a beak, I made little owls for Halloween.  They’re full of protein and oats, fun to play with and tasty.

Having something healthy besides all the sweets can create a balance that may help keep calories in check this holiday. Consider portioning out what candy you will eat for the day, put it in a cute plastic pumpkin for carrying.

Slow sucking lollipops or gum can keep you in the spirit while giving you a sugary blast. A tootsie pop has 60 calories, challenge yourself and be the first human to count the licks to the middle – this may even burn calories. According to Tootsie Roll’s website, ( a Purdue licking machine created by engineering students calculated 364 licks. Finding a slow sucking candy is a good way to consume less and still get that sugar fix. Enjoy the festivities and be good to your body.

Nut butter Halloween owls

1 cup almond or peanut butter

1 ripe banana

1 ¼ cup oats

¼ cup chocolate chips

½ cup colored sugar (orange)

In a small saucepan, melt butter and mash in banana. Stir in oats and let cool for 20 minutes. Mix in chocolate chips. Form one-inch balls and flatten them out a bit. Roll in the orange sugar. Press candy eyes (you can find this in the baking aisle at the grocery store) into the ball and use an almond for the nose. Place in refrigerator to cool and harden slightly before serving.

If you need other ideas for healthier snacks, learn how to make Miller’s Halloween Carrot Toast or Skeleton Skins and Fry Fingers

Tracy Miller is a personal chef and caterer. She can be reached at

Alpine Arts Center hosts Pinots and Pumpkins

This past weekend was sure to get you into the Halloween spirit with Fright at the Museum, Spooktacular in Beaver Creek and Maya’s Day of the Dead party. But if you didn’t go to those events, you still have time to get in on some Halloween fun before the holiday on Thursday.

Alpine Arts Center had a busy weekend with Halloweens crafts and a pumpkin carving party last Friday but will host one more Halloween-themed event on Wednesday. Pinots and Pumpkins allows adults to release their creative side and paint a pumpkin while sipping on a Pinot Noir or other wine of their choice.

Pinots and Pumpkins is a twist on Alpine Arts Center’s regular Cocktails and Canvas series, where the group goes through a guided painting session. This time, instead of painting on a canvas, you are painting on a pumpkin.

Lauren Merrill, owner of the Alpine Arts Center, and her team of talented staff members will have patterns and all the paint and brushes you will need. You just bring any size and shape pumpkin you can find. Dress comfortably and Alpine Arts will have aprons to protect your clothing. The best part is, you can come here instead of getting your own house messy.

If you want to get a little messy, they will have one table available for pumpkin carving during their regularly scheduled drop-in sessions. Call the Alpine Arts Center for details. 

Halloween is the perfect time to revitalize your creativity.  Whether it’s in the form of a homemade costume or decorating a pumpkin, you are never too old to release your artistic side. The cost for the Pinots and Pumpkins class is $45 per person. Bring your own pumpkin and your first drink is free. There will also be wine and beer available for purchase for $6 per glass. Snacks and other non-alcoholic beverages are available, also. For more information, visit Advanced registration is required.

Ski swap, Halloween fun, Loveland opens and more: Tricia’s Weekend Picks 10/25/19

Ski & Snowboard Club Vail Ski Swap

For 50 years, outdoor enthusiasts have looked forward to the annual Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s Swap held each fall in Vail. From Oct. 25 to 27, the Dobson Arena is converted into a department store-type of setting with gear like skis, snowboards, boots, poles, helmets, outwear and bindings taking over the entire place.

This is the spot to go if you just moved to town and need equipment in order to participate in outdoor activities this season. It’s also the place to go if your kids have outgrown their jackets and snow pants since last year. If you lost a pair of gloves at the end of the season those can be found here, too. Want to try a new sport? Get geared up at a discount while helping out a good cause.

A percentage of sales from the swap benefit Ski & Snowboard Club Vail, helping the organization fulfill its mission to inspire character growth and excellence in young athletes throughout the Vail community.

New and used gear is up for sale and you never know what you are going to find. There will be helpful and knowledgeable staff and volunteers on hand to answer questions about gear or accessories you are looking for.

Here’s how it works, on Friday there is a $15 admission fee for adults and teenagers from 5 to 7 p.m. Kids 12 and under are free. At 7 p.m. on Friday, the fee drops to $5. Shoppers can also get $5 off admission with a student ID. The venue will close at 10 p.m. The Swap will be open for business from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. There is no entry fee on those days, but keep in mind that the best selection and sizes will be available on Friday. Visit for more information.

Halloween happenings for kids

Halloween isn’t until next Thursday, but there are many events and activities that will get kids into the spooky spirit this weekend. 

13th annual Halloween lock-in at Gypsum Rec Center

  • Kids get the whole facility for one night and also get a haunted house, costume contest, Halloween movie, swimming, gymnastics and more.
  • Drop off kids by 6 p.m. Friday and pick up by 11:30 p.m. Friday or 8 a.m. on Saturday
  • Kids should bring a sleeping bag, pillow, Halloween costume and swimsuit
  • Boys and girls 5 to 12 years old, tickets are $45

Village Market Pumpkin Fest for Mountain Youth–Riverwalk-Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  • Trick-or-Treat Street at the various stores, face painting and $5 pumpkins courtesy of Village Market
  • Alpine Arts Center crafts and painting

Fright at the Museum-Walking Mountains-Saturday 1 to 5 p.m.

  • Pumpkin chuckin’, petting zoo, pop-up corn maze
  • Apple cider demos and tastings, seasonal beer and wines for adults
  • Freaky farm haunted trail, pumpkin patch and carving
  • Learn about compost and freaky food and herbs
  • Snacks will be available
  • Please bring a reusable bottle for water and plan to carpool to the Elk Lot and take the free shuttle to Walking Mountains
  • Tickets are $15 and children 3-years-old and younger are free

Alpine Arts Center-Halloween arts and crafts

  • Pumpkin carving event on Friday 4 to 7 p.m. Bring a pumpkin and snacks, stencils and tools to carve or paint a pumpkin will be available. The cost is $15 per person and all ages are welcome
  • Drop-in pumpkin carving during Pumpkin Fest on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Cocktails and Canvas guided painting event on Saturday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Beaver Creek Spooktacular – Sunday 4 to 8:30 p.m.

  • Spooky Stroll around Beaver Creek Village and the woods near the base area of Beaver Creek 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Trick or Treating in Beaver Creek Village, games and more 4 to 7 p.m.
  • “Hocus Pocus” movie showing outdoors in Beaver Creek Village 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Halloween fun for adults

Kids aren’t the only ones having fun, adults can take part in the Halloween-themed events as well. Here are a few parties going on this weekend:

Maya Day of the Dead – Friday 5 to 10 p.m. 

  • Tickets are $20 in advance and that includes the all-you-can-eat taco bar and one margarita or $25 at the door includes an all-you-can-eat taco bar
  • Costume contest
  • Grateful Dead cover band
  • Pumpkin painting, s’mores station and more
  • Call Maya for tickets: 970-790-5500

Tricks for Treats Parents Night Out–Friday 7 to 9 p.m.

  • Drop the kids off at the Vail Gymnastics Center and go out and enjoy a date night
  • Activities for kids include a haunted house, costume contest, games and movie
  • Pizza will be served to the kids
  • $20 per child, for ages 5 years and older

Dramaween- Friday at Route 6 Cafe at 7 p.m. to close

Halloween at the MAC-Mountain Art Collective–Friday from 9 p.m. to close

  • Music by Austin Gavlak and Chris Calderon, visuals by Mtn Man Lasers
  • $10 tickets at the door, $5 drinks, free keg from 9 to 10 p.m.
  • Costume contest
  • Visit Mountain Art Collective’s Facebook page for more info

Minturn Saloon – Saturday 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.

  • Live music by Turntable Review
  • A free Coors Light to the first 100 people
  • $20 donation to the Minturn Community Fund
  • Theme: American horror story
  • Costume contest

Opening day at Loveland Ski Area

We now have not one, not two, but three ski areas to choose from in Colorado. Loveland Ski Area announced earlier this week that opening day will be Friday. Other ski areas that are open include Arapahoe Basin, which opened last Friday and Keystone, which opened last Saturday.

The Chet’s Dream lift will start spinning at 9 a.m. on Friday and will offer access to one full top-to-bottom run. The trails Catwalk, Mambo and Home Run make up this run on opening day, which is over a mile in length and nearly 1,000 vertical feet.

“Our snowmaking team has been working around the clock to get the mountain ready and all of their hard work is about to pay off,” said COO Rob Goodell in a press release. “Mother Nature chipped in with almost a foot of snow during this last storm cycle and that was the boost we needed. Winter is officially here and we can’t wait to celebrate the start of another season.”

Loveland Ski Area will be open seven days a week until early May. Operating hours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the week and from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the weekends and designated holidays. For more information, visit

Muscles for Mills fundraiser

Crosstraining Fitness of Vail is hosting an autumn fundraiser on Saturday and this year the proceeds will go toward Noah Mills, a 5-year-old who has been diagnosed with kidney cancer. Typically Crosstraining Fitness of Vail does Barbells for Boobs, a breast cancer fundraiser held annually during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. They switched up the focus this year in order to help the Mills family as they go through this ordeal. Vail Brewing Company is also involved and will provide the beer for the after-party.

Muscles for Mills invites teams consisting of families and friends to come out to participate in the Fun Fitness Challenge. It’s geared toward all fitness levels and ages in order to welcome as many people as possible. Don’t have a team and want to participate? Don’t worry, they will be grouping people together that day to ensure that as many people who want to sweat for a cause can do so.

Noah Mills was recently diagnosed with late-stage bilateral renal (kidney) cancer, called Wilms tumor. The main goal of this fundraiser is to raise money for the Mills family as they go through this difficult time.

The big event happens on Saturday starting at 10:30 a.m. People can register teams for the Fun Fitness Challenge or donate items for the auction here:

Discover handcrafted mixers with Lost Identity Beverage Co.

Discover your next drink adventure with Lost Identity Beverage Company.

Lost Identity Beverage Co. was created on the principles of making products with whole, all-natural ingredients in small batch quantities. Founders and business partners Ryan Souto and Nate Michlitsch came up with this idea in 2015 when they were working at separate restaurants. Michlitsch was at Restaurant Kelly Liken and Souto was at the Wolcott Yacht Club.

“We were both really involved with the bar programs at our respective restaurants where we developed some of the initial versions of our now flagship products,” Souto said. After seeing how popular the concoctions were with the guests they decided in early 2016 to explore the possibilities of developing their recipes into a craft beverage brand.

Lost Identity Beverage Co. had three flagship products: Ginger-Lime “Mule” shrub, Citrus Tonic, and Floral Tonic. The main focus is to introduce those products to a larger market.

Souto says the best part of starting Lost Identity nearly four years ago has been the response.

“One of the first events we ever participated in was Telluride Bluegrass back in June of 2016. We provided kegs of our product to the in-venue bar and our product sold out before the event came to an end,” Souto said.

Every year since, they have brought more product each year and it still sells out before the weekend is over. “It seems that once we get the products in front of the consumer they can’t get enough,” Souto said.

Lost Identity Beverage Co. is nearing the completion of its new production facility in Gypsum where the focus will be on canning products in a ready-to-drink carbonated format. “We are partnering with local spirits distillery 39 North in Eagle to launch a line of premium canned cocktail products,” Souto said.

Look for those products to hit the shelves by the end of the year. In the meantime, try their tonics and shrubs, which are sold from Aspen to the Front Range. To learn more, visit

The haunted history of Eagle County

Murders, monsters and mining misadventures…those topics will all be discussed in haunting detail this Wednesday at the Avon Public Library. Learn about how our Happy Valley has a dark side with Eagle County historian, Kathy Heicher.

To learn more about Eagle County’s haunted past, I met Heicher at, of all places, the Sunset View Cemetery in Eagle (it was daylight, thank goodness) and we walked through tombstones dating back to the early to mid-1900s. We’d stop every once in a while and Heicher would give me a brief story about whose tombstone was whose and what they did in Eagle County. It was really quite fascinating to think about the pioneering days and just what it was like to live here back then.  

In the spirit of Halloween, Heicher will speak about Eagle County’s haunted history and how it involves more than adventurous miners and hard-toiling farmers. There are also stories to be told about murder, tragedy, and perhaps the ghosts of a pioneer or two who just don’t seem to be at rest.

“Local history is always intriguing. And even back in the late 1800s, people could not resist a scary story with gory details. We find a surprising amount of that stuff in our archives. Some of the more captivating stories are just as fascinating today as they were back then,” Heicher said.

And what about that shadowy monster that was blamed in early decades for the mysterious disappearances of miners and soldiers?

“In the 1880s, Eagle County was often a wild place, characterized by rowdy mining camps and risk-taking pioneers. While there are many stories of courage and fortitude, there are also tales of murder and monsters. Some of it is absolutely true, and some of it is more of what we now call ‘urban legend.’ It all factors in to what we are today.”

Peppered throughout Heicher’s talk will be all sorts of pictures from the Eagle County Historical Society and Eagle Valley Library District’s photo archive.

Heicher didn’t tell me all the tales and stories from Eagle County’s past in the cemetery that day because she wanted to save those details for the event at the Avon Public Library on Wednesday at 6 p.m. For more information, go to

Zucchini fritters are low calorie appetizers

Zucchini is abundant this time of year and if you find you still have some in your garden, this fritter recipe is simple and will help you use up the remainder of that crop.

Zucchini is healthy and contains zero fat. When it is cooked properly, it melts in your mouth like butter. People often act surprised when I serve these fritters because they are so creamy it’s hard to believe they’re low in fat. When making the fritters, I add flour (rice flour can be substituted to make it gluten-free), eggs, salt and pepper. Once prepped, they are sautéed in oil and topped with a dollop of lemon basil aioli (Stonewall Kitchen is my favorite but you can easily make your own by blending mayonnaise, basil and lemon rind).

Needless to say, if adding aioli or mayonnaise, this will not be a zero-fat dish but it will certainly be very low in fat and calories. Zucchini contains significant amounts of vitamin B6, riboflavin, folate and vitamin K. It also contains minerals like potassium and manganese. Vitamins A and C are found in zucchini skin so don’t peel it when making this dish. Plus, the vibrant green skin gives the fritter some color. Some vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, K) are fat-soluble so it’s not only delicious but smart to have a little fat with your vegetables because these vitamins need fat to be absorbed for healthy use.

Trying to loose fat? Zucchini contains zero fat. It is high in water and fiber, which makes it great for digestion and as a diet food. You’ll notice all the water in this squash when you prep it for the fritters. I actually squeeze the water out of the shredded zucchini with my hands before mixing in the other ingredients, and once mixed, I usually place the mixture in a colander while I’m cooking the first batch. You can form the fritter to the size you prefer. As an appetizer 1-inch balls are perfect, bite-sized portions. As a side dish for dinner, I would do a 3-inch patty. The smaller version is a great snack if you’re dieting because it is delicious and filling.

An easy way to boost your immunity and reduce inflammation is to include zucchini in your diet. Zucchini is a good source of health-protecting antioxidants and phytonutrients, including beta-carotene, manganese, zeaxanthin and lutein. Zucchini is tasty and so good for you. Enjoy it this fall while it’s at its best.

Zucchini Fritters

3 cups shredded zucchini

1 egg, beaten

¾ to 1 cup flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

¼ cup olive oil

Shred zucchini and squeeze out all juices. Mix all ingredients together. Heat a skillet over medium heat and coat with olive oil. Form fritters into one-inch small balls and place them in the pan when it is hot. You should hear the sizzle when you put the patty down. Cook over medium, five minutes each side. Top with a dollop of lemon basil aioli. Makes about 40 pieces.

Tracy Miller is a personal chef and caterer. She includes fruits and vegetables in all her meals. You can contact her at or log onto

Sweet pea and herb hummus

As we near the end of the gardening season, use any peas and herbs you still have in this easy and delicious twist on hummus from Ally Stephens, chef and owner of Season to Taste catering and private chef services.

What’s different about this hummus? “I left out the tahini. Tahini is actually a butter or paste made from sesame seeds. So, although it provides a decent amount of protein and other health benefits, it is high in calories and fat and should be eaten in moderation,” Stephens said.

You won’t miss the tahini in this sweet pea hummus and you also won’t find chickpeas in this version. “While chickpeas have many health benefits and happen to be one of my favorite foods, they are also high in calories and carbohydrates,” Stephens said. “I find this sweet pea hummus to be a lighter and more refreshing version of the oh-so-good original hummus.” 

Beyond using it as a dip, hummus can be very versatile, as you will see in today’s video. “This would be a great spread on sandwiches or wraps, deviled eggs, or add a little extra lemon juice and olive oil to make it a dressing on a fresh salad,” Stephens said. 

Some people on a paleo diet or with other dietary restrictions are able to eat peas since they are lower in phytates and lectins than other legumes, but it differs from person to person,” Stephens said.

Stephens has shared this dish with many clients and friends and people rave about it. “I can’t recall a time when I’ve made this and haven’t been asked for the recipe,” Stephens said.

Sweet Pea Hummus


8 ounces of frozen peas (or fresh if you still have some in your garden)

1.5 ounces of miso

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1 each: lemon zest, parsley, tarragon, mint (any other fresh herbs you have) and salt

1-2 handfuls of arugula

1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice

1 pat of butter

Directions: Blend all ingredients in a Cuisinart to desired consistency. Use as a dip or a spread. Makes about 16 ounces.

Lindsey Vonn volunteers at Mountain Valley Horse Rescue

Olympic gold medalist and World Cup alpine ski racing champion Lindsey Vonn maybe be retired, but she’s not slowing down. Vonn recently was out at a ranch near McCoy, CO volunteering for Mountain Valley Horse Rescue by mucking stalls and brushing horses.

Mountain Valley Horse Rescue is a nonprofit organization committed to rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing abused, neglected, abandoned and unwanted horses. It hosts a variety of service days throughout the year and relies on volunteer hours to accomplish its goal of getting the horses ready for adoption.

“There are 170,000 horses around the country that are unwanted and 6,000 of those horses are in Colorado, so we’re just doing our part to try and help that initiative,” said Kathryn Middleton, who is a volunteer and a board member at Mountain Valley Horse Rescue.

Joining Vonn on this service day were Joe Goddard, his wife and two young daughters who traveled from Cortland, NE to take part in this unique opportunity to do some service work alongside Lindsey Vonn.

“We saw this auction item before Lindsey’s fundraiser last spring and basically my daughter said-and it wasn’t a threat, or maybe it kind of was-but she said ‘You’d better win that auction item, dad’ so I went all out to get it,” Goddard said.

The money raised from the auction item to join Vonn at Mountain Valley Horse Rescue went to the Lindsey Vonn Foundation. Vonn started this organization to help girls develop confidence and grit through educational, athletic and enrichment programs.

After a brief orientation and introduction to the over two dozen horses on the ranch, the dogs and the donkeys, it was time to get to work.   

Tasks included feeding, grooming and mucking the stalls, which means removing horse dung. “We like to keep the footing nice underneath them to prevent hoof diseases,” Middleton said. 

“Wow, this makes cleaning up after my dogs look easy,” Vonn said after shoveling up some of the horse droppings in the stalls and dumping them into a bucket.

All mucking aside, Vonn enjoyed her time being near these majestic animals. 

“I love horses and obviously we want to help out not just my nonprofit, but others in the community. Coordinating with Mountain Valley Horse Rescue to create this auction item seemed like a great fit,” Vonn said.  To learn more about Mountain Valley Horse Rescue, go to and to see what the Lindsey Vonn Foundation is up to, visit