You Had Me At Eat

Episode 39: Gluten-Free 4th of July Recipes and (practically non-existent) Gluten-Free in Estes Park Colorado

July 03, 2023 You Had Me At Eat Season 1 Episode 39
Episode 39: Gluten-Free 4th of July Recipes and (practically non-existent) Gluten-Free in Estes Park Colorado
You Had Me At Eat
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You Had Me At Eat
Episode 39: Gluten-Free 4th of July Recipes and (practically non-existent) Gluten-Free in Estes Park Colorado
Jul 03, 2023 Season 1 Episode 39
You Had Me At Eat

Something on your mind? Erica & Jules would love to hear from you!

In this episode, Jules and Erica kvetch about how the 4th of July is one of the worst holidays to celebrate (thanks fireworks and cat PTSD), but the gluten-free recipes are American as apple pie.

Erica returns home from elk watching in Estes Park, Colorado. She speculates that it might be a nice place to vacation, but not the most gluten and dairy-free friendly.

Also, Erica explains why cat yoga is more sanitary than other forms of animal yoga. Namaste.

Homemade gluten-free apple pie from gfJules
Homemade gluten-free cherry pie filling from gfJules
Gluten-free mini pie recipe from gfJules
Gluten-free pie crust recipe and tips from gfJules
Gluten-free red velvet cookies and ice cream sandwiches from gfJules
Red White and Blue Gluten-Free Shortcake from gfJules
Estes Park Elk on YouTube
Peppercorn Boulder
Just Be Kitchen
Cat Yoga at Desert MVMT on Instagram

Contact/Follow Jules & Erica

Thanks for listening! Be sure to subscribe!
*some links may be affiliate links; purchasing through these links will not cost you more, but will help to fund the podcast you ❤️

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Something on your mind? Erica & Jules would love to hear from you!

In this episode, Jules and Erica kvetch about how the 4th of July is one of the worst holidays to celebrate (thanks fireworks and cat PTSD), but the gluten-free recipes are American as apple pie.

Erica returns home from elk watching in Estes Park, Colorado. She speculates that it might be a nice place to vacation, but not the most gluten and dairy-free friendly.

Also, Erica explains why cat yoga is more sanitary than other forms of animal yoga. Namaste.

Homemade gluten-free apple pie from gfJules
Homemade gluten-free cherry pie filling from gfJules
Gluten-free mini pie recipe from gfJules
Gluten-free pie crust recipe and tips from gfJules
Gluten-free red velvet cookies and ice cream sandwiches from gfJules
Red White and Blue Gluten-Free Shortcake from gfJules
Estes Park Elk on YouTube
Peppercorn Boulder
Just Be Kitchen
Cat Yoga at Desert MVMT on Instagram

Contact/Follow Jules & Erica

Thanks for listening! Be sure to subscribe!
*some links may be affiliate links; purchasing through these links will not cost you more, but will help to fund the podcast you ❤️

Erica [00:00:13]:

Hey, I'm erica.

Jules [00:00:14]:

And I'm Jules. Most people have at least one thing that they can't or won't eat.

Erica [00:00:19]:

Yeah, we're definitely like that.

Jules [00:00:21]:

We started this podcast to talk about the gluten free food industry, like new.

Erica [00:00:26]:

Products and some of the stories behind your favorite brands and living life with.

Jules [00:00:30]:

A specialty diet, and also some important healthcare topics.

Erica [00:00:34]:

Since we're basically both broken inside.

Jules [00:00:36]:

You had me at eat.

Erica [00:00:44]:

Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of You Had Me Eat.

Jules [00:00:50]:

Holiday weekend episode of You Had Me at Eat.

Erica [00:00:53]:

Like, really trying to get it in under the Wire episode because Jules and I have had just long, long weeks. And if you hear this after the 4 July, I hope you had a great holiday. But if you hear before, let's chat about it.

Jules [00:01:08]:

Well, speaking of, what are you going to do for the Fourth?

Erica [00:01:11]:

Great question. I hate it. It's my least favorite holiday.

Jules [00:01:16]:

That's what Jeff says. He says it's his least favorite holiday too. But I think as time has gone on, it's become like everybody's least favorite holiday because just politics being what they are, just like it's not even fun to even claim one side or the other or whatever. It's just so divisive that everyone's like, EW, and no one likes being patriotic Americana.

Erica [00:01:36]:

Yeah, no. Yeah. I hate that period. Like, I hate that period. The worst part about this for us is being a cat owner and having an outdoor cat who hates noise.

Jules [00:01:51]:


Erica [00:01:52]:

Yeah. And so traumatized by any noise, including monsoon season, which is coming up, so anytime there's, like, thunder or anything scary noise, like pouring rain, hides. But the worst part is he also spends nighttime outside because that's when it's cool. It's 115 today. And so he spends a couple of hours outside, likes to chase grasshoppers, do his normal thing that he was doing before we captured him and made him a prisoner of our house. But he hates it. He's so traumatized by it. So then obviously we had fireworks last night. We're going to fireworks tonight. We're going to fireworks tomorrow. So it's really hard for him. He's always on alert. He's super stressed out. And then he stresses out all the other cats. Pigeon picked up on his anxiety and is now kind of anxious on things. And the other one is so blind and deaf, and she's so old that she doesn't even care. So it doesn't really matter for her. But the other two are, like, pretty intense, and I just hate it.

Jules [00:02:52]:

And what do you do?

Erica [00:02:53]:

What can you do? It's horrible.

Jules [00:02:54]:

We have some Benadryl or something we.

Erica [00:02:58]:

Have on all of the white noise soundtracks all night long. It's horrible. And then we just let him live.

Jules [00:03:04]:

Under the still goes outside at night, right? Or no?

Erica [00:03:08]:

Yeah, on these. We try to keep him in at least for the Fourth because there's no way he's going to get so stressed out. And they really recommend they meaning all veterinarians and all humane societies recommend to even have outdoor cats inside on the Fourth. And dogs are just like dogs run away and they panic and they're just like, I'm going to live with someone else for the rest of my life now because that was so traumatizing. Cats are kind of like, I'm just going to have PTSD and make your life miserable. But either way, it's horrible for pets. I'll actually be spending the 4 July at the Humane Society, so I feel bad for Matt having to make sure that all of our cats are inside and not traumatized. Yeah, it's never fun. We like fireworks on our street, and it's like fun for like ten minutes. And I'm like, okay, let's not start a fire. 115 outside. It's hot, it's miserable. Can't even go outside to watch fireworks. It's gross. So, yeah, my least favorite.

Jules [00:04:05]:

Sounds like an awesome time. It really does. Amazing. In our little village where we live, 4 July is the thing. I mean, they raise money for the fireworks all year long. They have some thing called the prom, and it's for adults. I've never been. They do this dance and stuff, and they raise all kinds of money.

Erica [00:04:30]:

You're missing out.

Jules [00:04:31]:

I probably am missing out, but I don't know, it seems a little culty, but I don't know, it's like you're into cults, so maybe it would be a thing. But they raise money all year long, and they have the most amazing fireworks in our little village. They rival, if not top, the fireworks that they set off in Baltimore City. And there's a parade that goes through our town that people come from all over the country to march in this parade, and they have these huge floats, and it is obscene over the top. This village is 4 July central. Everybody here goes crazy for 4 July, so they've been setting off fireworks. People in this region have been setting off fireworks for days already, and they will be for days. It's a thing, but the fireworks here are not to be missed. And I hope that it's not 115 outside at night tomorrow night, but it's been warm here. But it's been very strange. The weather has been very odd. We've been having lots of weird thunderstormy, rainy things, like every single day, which we need because we had this big drought for the last month before that. So I don't know. I don't know what's going on here. I've been working and heads down just inside.

Erica [00:05:55]:

So we're not going to do anything for the 4 July? Is that what you're telling me?

Jules [00:06:00]:

I do hope to go see the fireworks. I'm not like a huge fireworks person, but I mean, living here, it's hard to miss that. I will not go to the parade. Although we have really good friends that we're probably going to hang out with tomorrow who live on the path of staging for the parade.

Jules [00:06:16]:

That's kind of cool because then you can see them, all the bands, like, warming up and they live on this beautiful old street with all these old trees and they form this canopy so it's shaded. And all these people drive around in golf carts. It's like the one day of the year where it's legal in our town to drive a golf cart on the street. And so everyone's got these golf carts out, and people are drinking on the car. It's a very bizarre time here, so you kind of don't want to miss it on some levels because it's just like, oh, did you see that crazy thing happen? And you don't want to miss that. So we probably will go hang out and watch the staging, but I'm not going to stand in the heat and watch this parade situation. The other thing that happens, we have a main street in our town. People set plastic chairs out on the.

Erica [00:07:07]:

Main street in advance no, a month.

Jules [00:07:11]:

Or longer in advance. And people put, like, dummies on the chairs. So the entire main street has, like, chairs going down the street. And one year, my husband's mom was visiting us, like, I don't know, weeks in advance of, like, call it, like, three weeks before July 4. She came to visit us, had dinner, and then went home, drove home, like, an hour away, and it was dark out, and it was like a deracho hit, and this huge windstorm came up, and she was driving down the street, all these chairs swirling around. And she said it was, like, the most surreal thing. She was something out of, like, wizard of Oz or something like that. There's all of these plastic chairs swirling around down the street. Where are these coming from? Oh, July 4 in three weeks. Like, people had all these chairs set out on the street already. Yeah. It is a crazy, crazy time to live here, but kind of not to be missed in some ways.

Erica [00:08:15]:

I have always lived close enough my whole life to see fireworks from my house. I remember as a kid, we had this bathroom window that you could crawl out of and get onto our roof.

Jules [00:08:27]:

We have that in my house. We have a bathroom window. We crawl out onto the roof.

Erica [00:08:31]:

Yeah. And then sit up chairs and watch fireworks shows. And then now we live close enough. Matt and I live close enough to another park that has fireworks, so we can see all the fireworks at night. And it's weird because we also live by a bunch of car dealerships. And of course, car dealerships are like, Americana, so they have massive flags. So the only thing that we can see above, like, the house sign and tree line are massive American flags from the car dealerships all the time. Americana, all the spotlights. Right. Yeah. And, like, the giant gorillas and stuff. Yes. And then we can see the mountain men. Gorgeous. And then the wacky inflatable are men, but they're not tall enough to see over the tree line. And then we also have fireworks. So it's very weird on July 4 to be like, Americana, waving amber, waves of grain, giant flagpoles. And then on the other side, fireworks. And it's like, all right, America. Yay.

Jules [00:09:28]:

So a little overstimulation.

Erica [00:09:30]:

It's a lot, but no, we can definitely see it, which is cool, I guess. It's so weird because I've always lived near a big fireworks show, so it's strange for me to like, now, will.

Jules [00:09:40]:

You be home in time for fireworks from the Humane Society or not?

Erica [00:09:44]:

That's a hard one because technically my shift goes from like, 06:00 p.m. To 11:00 p.m., but usually I go in early, and depending on how many other volunteers, I'll go in early and leave around ten. Who knows what it'll be like when I drive home? Should be interesting. A big shout out to Matt for making sure Jojo doesn't lose his mind while I'm not there. Usually Jojo meets me outside when I come home from the Human Society, so he sits in the yard and waits for me, and then when I pull in, he knows it's me, and he comes into my car, and it's so cute. But will not be outside.

Jules [00:10:23]:

No. All right, well, so I guess I shouldn't even bother asking you if you're going to be making anything for July 4. It doesn't sound like you will be.

Erica [00:10:31]:

Well, I will tell you. I have a neighbor who's very extra, and I love him because he's extra, and he just got back from this amazing trip.

Jules [00:10:43]:

Wine neighbor?

Erica [00:10:44]:

No, another neighbor.

Jules [00:10:46]:


Erica [00:10:46]:

And he just got back from this amazing trip to Spain. I think he also, like, one neighbor already. I mean, he travels all the time. It's amazing. He has his most gorgeous wife in the universe, and she's amazing, too. They're so great. And so they just got back from a trip, and I don't know where I was going with this. Anyway, they just got back from a trip, and when they got back from the trip, they realized that their apple tree had flourished for the time that they were gone. They had a bunch of apples, and every year they bring us a bag of apples and we make apple things, but they're like the baking apples that are like a big yeah. So he brought it over when he got back from his trip, and he said that his wife just made this amazing olive oil apple cake. And I'm like, is that a thing? And then I looked it up, and it's like a very Italian thing, so I made one. I just looked up a recipe and used all purpose, gluten free flour, and I did not use dairy inclusive milk or whatever, and I was just like, let's see how this goes. And it turned out great.

Jules [00:11:52]:

Yeah. Olive oil is really nice for baking. I have a vegan wacky cake, and I use olive oil in that. And I think I have a couple of other cakes that use olive oil, and I love it in breads. I love olive oil and breads. I do that for all of my breads. That call for oil. But that's so fun. I'm so glad you did that.

Erica [00:12:15]:

I cooked apples in cognac. That was fun.

Jules [00:12:20]:

That sounds really yummy and on top.

Erica [00:12:23]:

No, I sauteed the I know, but.

Jules [00:12:26]:

That would be really good on top of your cake.

Erica [00:12:29]:

Yeah, I missed that. No, I did not do that. It's already half eaten. I had, like, the largest place for breakfast right before this call. So good.

Jules [00:12:35]:

That's the best thing about fruit and cake, is that you can call it dessert.

Erica [00:12:41]:

It's breakfast, it's dessert. It's whatever you want it to be.

Jules [00:12:44]:

I mean, yeah, I said dessert and I meant breakfast.

Erica [00:12:47]:

You can call it whatever you want.

Jules [00:12:48]:

You can call it every meal of the day. Basically what we did, because we had.

Erica [00:12:53]:

This giant bundt cake and it was, like, just us, and we gave a slice to our neighbor and yeah, it's awesome. That's awesome.

Jules [00:13:02]:


Erica [00:13:02]:

Proud of myself.

Jules [00:13:03]:

So did you see I posted a question on Instagram and I said, is apple pie or cherry pie more US.

Erica [00:13:12]:

American apple pie?

Jules [00:13:14]:

Yeah, well, I kind of thought it would be a toss up because, I mean, first of all, cherry pie is red, right? So red like blue. And cherry pie is very Americana as well. I kind of thought I'd get, like, more equal, but I didn't. It was like 70 some percent said.

Erica [00:13:32]:

Apple pie because there's, like, a saying american is apple pie. I know, but I feel like if there wasn't, like, an idiom or, like, a song about it by I just thought, whoever that man is, don, whatever. Yeah.

Jules [00:13:47]:


Erica [00:13:51]:

Don Lemon, the CNN anchor. Seamus used to be lyricist.

Jules [00:13:56]:


Erica [00:13:57]:

R-I-P. Yeah.

Jules [00:13:59]:

So I just thought people would be more torn. I was torn, personally, because I love both of them. And of course, meanwhile, what people didn't know when I posted it was I had just made cherry pie. Like, oh, darn it, I made cherry pie and you guys picked apple. Oh, well, got to eat the cherry pie. Anyway, I made the cherry pies into little tartlets, and they were so cute. Yeah, they were really cute.

Erica [00:14:24]:

If my neighbor had free cherries, I would have made a cherry pie. I literally was just working with what I got. So we still have all these apples, so we're going to make apple pie, tarts, like you said, and hand pies, which you have a great recipe for hand pies. I love hand pies.

Jules [00:14:40]:

You've got an air fryer, right?

Erica [00:14:42]:


Jules [00:14:42]:

How many is the question. How many air fryers do you have, Erica? Okay, well, so once you make the hand pies afterwards, put the hand pies in the air fryer, pop them in the air fryer at the end. And I swear, at least the recipe that I have, they taste like those like McDonald's hand pies. So good, I could eat all of them.

Erica [00:15:11]:

We will definitely drop the links to your hand pie recipe in the liner notes because I love that recipe. Yeah, so good. Now, you said you made a cherry pie. I always am curious on how you define a pie. Are you saying a pie that is just one shell at the bottom, is it covered, is it not covered? Is it half covered? You always do those fun things on top?

Jules [00:15:39]:


Erica [00:15:39]:

What'd you make?

Jules [00:15:40]:

Well, what I did this time, since I did little tartlets, I did the crust in the bottom, and then I used little cookie cutters and I cut out stars for some and hearts for other ones, and I laid them all across the top. So I made a top crust, essentially just with the cookie cutters on the top. And it's such an easy way to make a top crust, especially for people who are a little bit reticent to try a top.

Erica [00:16:08]:


Jules [00:16:09]:

Well, I mean, just a lot of people are afraid to try to move the crust. For the bottom crust, it doesn't matter even if it falls apart, you can sort of press it in there. With my recipe and with my flour, you don't have any problems transferring it. But a lot of people are afraid that they're going to anyway, and they're afraid to do it. I have so many videos and so many pictures and so many explanations of how to do it on my website so that people can do it with assurity, but people are still nervous about doing it. So I love that technique of just using little mini cookie cutters because it's so pretty, and then it eliminates the stress for people of trying to figure out how to transfer the top crust, especially in those mini tartlets. It's really quite cute because you can layer them and cover the entire crust with it, or you can just put a few here and there. But with those fruit pies, you're supposed to put a top crust on top of them with a custard or something. You're not supposed to obviously put a top crust on it.

Erica [00:17:10]:

I didn't know that you were, like, supposed to. Why is that? So it doesn't get burned.

Jules [00:17:13]:

It's just traditional. You don't have to but it does tend to burn a bit around that it gets kind of like with the cherry ones. It'll get browner and kind of caramelized if it's exposed to the heat directly. So it's not as optimal. Yes.

Erica [00:17:35]:

So anything else for the 4 July?

Jules [00:17:38]:

Yes. Well, I don't know. I haven't decided exactly what I'm making tonight. I have to make a cake of some kind. I'm not sure which kind of cake I'm going to make, but one of my favorite things to make for the July 4 I don't know how I came up with this one, but it was years ago and it actually turned out so great. I make this, it's a cookie and it's like a red velvet cookie and I cut it using cookie cutters into stars. But of course you could do whatever you want to and they're really yummy on their own. But then if you take your favorite ice cream and for us, non dairy ice cream or you can make your own ice cream too. I have recipe to do that. But I just take, like, a large Tupperware container and like a flat one, and I take the ice cream and I sort of let it melt and I spread it in this large flat Tupperware container, and then I put it back in the freezer. And then once it is completely solid frozen again, I'll take it out. Take the same cookie cutter you used for the cookies, and you press it straight down into your ice cream. And then you have the same exact ice cream that you need for your cookies. And then you remove that and then you put it in between your cookies and wrap it up in them in cellophane or whatever, and put it back in the freezer. And you have ice cream sandwiches and they are so cute for the holiday. They're really fun. So I don't know if we're going to do that one or not. It's one of my favorite ones to.

Erica [00:19:09]:

Do for July 4. So cute. Yeah. I have nothing planned because you're going.

Jules [00:19:17]:

To be donating your time to a worthy cause. I mean, I'm just standing around baking.

Erica [00:19:22]:

What's so wild is that most shelters usually ask for volunteers to come on the 4 July and read to the dogs or talk to the dogs or sing songs or whatever you need to do, right. To socialize them and to get them distracted from the fireworks that are going on outside. I'm in the one area in which we're protected. We're in a separate building, but also they don't really hear that well. They're chicken nuggets. They don't care if there's explosions or whatever. They care when they start becoming kittens and whatever. But I'm in the one place where I guess it doesn't really matter to them because they're so tiny. They don't really know the difference yet.

Jules [00:20:03]:

But you can reach them anyway.

Erica [00:20:05]:

I do sometimes. I talk to them if you can, honestly. I know it's last minute, but if you can find a spot volunteering, they always look for volunteers to do the 4 July because obviously the regular volunteers want to go out, especially if they have kids to watch fireworks. But whatever, America. And for the most part they're lacking a lot of volunteers to just calm everything down. So if you can do it, I always think it's a noble cause to do on the Fourth.

Jules [00:20:31]:

Yeah, it's a noble cause any day. So I will look forward to watching your posts on July 4. Contrast to the firework posts.

Erica [00:20:43]:

I don't know. I'll probably have one of those, too. I'll probably light off some fireworks tonight in our neighborhood. Just scare the just scare Jojo just to traumatize our own cat and make our life a living hell. Yeah, that's what we'll do.

Jules [00:21:02]:

If you do have time to make anything and you find you have, like, an extra, I don't know, 15 minutes, I would recommend that you make shortcakes. Have you ever made shortcakes?

Erica [00:21:16]:

No, I don't know even what that is. I know what shortbread is.

Jules [00:21:19]:

No, it's not like that at all. And the reason why I'm even bothering to tell you this is because you and several other people, I'm sure, are going to be thinking, I don't have time to make anything for July 4. But one of the most amazing recipes that I have in my arsenal, and you can transform it into a really cooled 4 July dessert because of the red, white, and blue that you can put on top of it is called a shortcake. And it looks a little bit like a biscuit, but it's a little bit.

Erica [00:21:48]:

Like a strawberry shortcake.

Jules [00:21:49]:

Strawberry shortcake, I get it. But you can put any kind of berries on it that you want to, and you can put blueberries and raspberries or strawberries. So that's the red and the blue. And then you put some whipped cream or ice cream on top, and that's the white. And it makes this really lovely, super easy dessert. You can cut them out and make them round like it's more traditional, but if you don't even have the time to do that, you can just do drop shortcakes just with your spoon.

Erica [00:22:17]:

This looks like the recipe for it looks like our traditional drop biscuit recipe. It kind of similar.

Jules [00:22:23]:

It's similar to a drop biscuit recipe, but it's a little bit sweet, so it's got some sugar in it. Not a lot, but they are light and airy and fluffy. And I mean, I could just, hey, guess what? Eat them for breakfast. And I have many a time, but it was, like, my mom's favorite recipe. It's a classic. Everybody loves it. Do not make this with a substandard, like heavy rice flour, gritty flour, gluten free flour, because it will turn into a hockey puck. So I'm just warning you, don't do that. You have to use a light gluten free flour. Obviously, the one that I developed the recipe for is mine, the gfJules flour. But if you have another one that's a light flour like that, then it might work with it. I don't know. But it's so good. Everybody loves it. And it literally takes probably five minutes to make the dough. If you decide you want to press it out and use a cookie cutter or something to make it round. That'll take another five minutes or so, but you don't have to. You could just do a drop biscuit, and then it takes, like, ten minutes to make it, so it's super easy.

Erica [00:23:31]:

That's interesting.

Jules [00:23:32]:


Erica [00:23:32]:

I never really thought about the term shortcake except for strawberry shortcake, and now I get it. I had to look at an image, but that's interesting. So what's the difference between a shortcake and a scone?

Jules [00:23:46]:

Not a lot, actually. And my recipes for the two of them are very similar. A scone usually has something in it, though, so, like, my scones recipe will have fruit in it or raisins in it or cinnamon and sugar or something else will be inside of the scone, whereas a short cake is just a pure cake itself without anything inside of it.

Erica [00:24:09]:

Okay. Do you shortening yours?

Jules [00:24:12]:

I actually used to use shortening, and typically now I end up using the Earth Balance, some sort of a vegan butter, but you could use either one. Well, we hope everybody has a delicious July 4 no matter what you do, but there's plenty of recipes. We'll put up a few more links on there, but if you just type July 4 into my on the.

Erica [00:24:34]:

Search bar, you'll come up with a.

Jules [00:24:35]:

Whole bunch more ideas too, if you need more. But one way or the other, we hope you enjoy your July 4 and let us know.

Erica [00:24:43]:

What is more patriotic? Apple pie. Cherry pie.

Jules [00:24:47]:

Yeah, because you don't have to agree with the people on Instagram.

Erica [00:24:51]:

No, we don't know them. You don't know me. Instagram? Yeah.

Jules [00:24:57]:

Don't tell me what to think.

Erica [00:24:58]:

Don't tell me it's exactly what Instagram is designed to do. Send it home. It looks like you.

Jules [00:25:05]:

That's true. Before we go, I want to hear about where you just came back from and why you have circles under your eyes.

Erica [00:25:18]:

I'm losing it. I'm losing it.

Jules [00:25:20]:

You and your travel girlfriend.

Erica [00:25:22]:

I'm home for two months, so that's great. Good, dude. So I had this event in esses park, Colorado, and I will tell you, esses park is gorgeous. The most beautiful place on the planet.

Jules [00:25:39]:

There's a butt. Yeah, there's a butt coming.

Erica [00:25:43]:

There are elk, and they like to ruin your plans. They're like I'm an Elk. This is my Rocky Mountain National Park. This is mine. You just came here, so too bad. So sad. So we were going out to dinner, and there's just an elk in the sidewalk, and you're just like and he's like, I'm not planning on moving anytime soon, so if you're going to wait for me, pull up a chair. And I'm like so it's not really a thing that you just cross, especially during this time of the year. Like, you don't cross them. You're just like you go and go around them. But the sidewalks are very they're haphazard they make you go way out of the way to do a sidewalk in elk or just like, I don't need any sidewalks. So out of nowhere, an elk can just pop up and be like, I'm tired of here to ruin your walking plans. And you're like, great. And then you got to walk around.

Jules [00:26:42]:

That many elk in populated areas.

Erica [00:26:45]:

Oh, my God. So, yeah, everywhere. Everywhere. And it's, like, wild because they pop out of nowhere, and it's just like.

Jules [00:26:54]:

That'S kind of sad because that means that they've been displaced.

Erica [00:26:59]:

No, Essence Park, literally. Oh, Rocky Mountain. That's it. They're like wildlife crossing. It's just like if you go to Flagstaff, and while they are not in the center of town, but there are places where they congregate, but Essence Park is known for, like no, they're just, like, out everywhere. And just like, wherever I want to eat, I eat. And so, yes, outside, you walk out of the hotel, the double doors, and you only know that one is a double door that's like an automatic entry, and one is a pole door. And I realized this because the first day I was there, I opened the pole door, and the automatic doors open. There's just a deer. There so not an elk. It's a dough, like a large whitetail mule deer. And she was just there, and I'm just like, hello. And she's like, hey, I'm here to eat this tree. And I'm like, cool. Do you mind if I sit and watch you? She's like, no worries. And they don't care about humans unless you get close, but they'll just walk by you. They're like, no, Garrett, we're here first kind of thing. But if you go up and you threaten them or if you look like you're threatening them, or if it's mating season and you go by them, it's like they're going to murder you. And it happened the Essence Park person told us just last season or something, an elk was cornering a runner, and it was like I saw the place where it happened outside of our hotel. They cornered a runner, and then the park ranger had to put its truck in between the elk and the runner, and the elk charged the truck. And so it's just like they're elk everywhere. I have pictures of elk from everywhere.

Jules [00:28:46]:

I saw some of them. I just didn't realize that they were that ubiquitous.

Erica [00:28:50]:

Yeah. I mean, I was on like I was having my call with Madam, hey, we're in the parking lot. And I went outside to talk to him, and I'm like, oh, let me FaceTime you this. And there's just, like, elk walking across the parking lot and just, like, jumped down and crossed the road and held up traffic. They always held up traffic. I'm just like, oh, that's interesting.

Jules [00:29:13]:

So I guess the natural progression of this conversation would be, was elk on the menu at the restaurant there? Yep, yep.

Erica [00:29:22]:

Elk burger.

Jules [00:29:23]:


Erica [00:29:23]:

Number one thing everywhere, which I. Guess that's fine. I guess I'm not into it, obviously, but I did not try it. I think it's cool. But also I realized how much it interfered with my plans for walking. And I'm like, OOH, I wonder how many tourists every year. Like there's signs everywhere that's like, don't mess with this animal. Obviously say 75ft away, but you'd think that'd be obvious.

Erica [00:29:49]:

No, it's not. Yeah, I mean, I held up my phone, but it was more than 75ft away and I had to tell people, don't go to your car, there's an elk right there.

Erica [00:30:00]:

And there's like kids running around and I'm like, oh my God, no, it was just weird. It's like another planet where the dinosaurs roamed and you stay away from the dinosaurs, so it's beautiful, though.

Jules [00:30:13]:

Tell us, why were you there?

Erica [00:30:15]:

Erica, look at the elk.

Jules [00:30:17]:

I thought you were there on an elk viewing trip.

Erica [00:30:20]:

Yeah. My God. So I was there for a teen summit that happens every year through the Gluten Intolerance Group, and I was one of the people that put it on. And a speaker there as well. We talked about a bunch of different topics. Coral from gluten free with Coral was there to talk about being your own superhero and advocacy and learning to turn your thoughts around to be like, I can't have this, I can have this. She's an amazing speaker, it's great. We also talked about gluten free in college and high school, and I particularly talked about the ADA and what ADA means for people who are gluten free and how that works when you go to college. So it's more or less like how do you become an adult when you're out from under the wings of your parents? How do you flourish? How do you stay safe and gluten free? And how do you use the processes that are in place with most colleges to have the best experience possible? So I was there to talk about that and we were there to bond and do magical things together and everything that would come with like a summer camp or an excursion, but it was with parents and kids. It was really cool. I love doing it every year. We did it last year in Napa. We actually had some repeat yeah, we actually had some repeat parents from Napa. Oh, cool. It was really interesting.

Jules [00:31:39]:

Did you tell them all I said hello?

Erica [00:31:41]:

Yeah. I only realized halfway through that I'm like, oh, you were in Napa? Because we didn't have that much time with the kids because the majority of the time in Napa we were literally they were cooking for 8 hours. We didn't really get to bond as much as we did here because we didn't make them cook all of our meals.

Jules [00:31:59]:

Yeah, we did bond over some frosting.

Erica [00:32:02]:

But we did yeah, you did much. I just took pictures.

Jules [00:32:06]:

That's true.

Erica [00:32:07]:

Graham crackers. You did some graham crackers? Yes, we did. So we did that. And I think the most stressful part of all of it, as always, anytime you travel, is meals. And we were working on the menu weeks in advance. Issue is, we worked with a salesperson who didn't necessarily understand the intricate nature of what happens with the back of the house with the chef, and how you clean things and how you serve things. So we worked really hard with the salesperson, but really the real work is when you go there. And I went there two days in advance, and I shopped for the kids for substitutions that weren't available on his menu that I had to go to Boulder, 45 minutes away, for the Whole Foods to get, like, dairy free cheese and dairy free whatever. We had to tailor some meals to kids with allergens, which I'm used to doing because we did the Food Allergy Bloggers conference for forever. But with this one, I didn't know this chef. So it was really interesting. I got there, and I didn't know what to expect. And the chef is one of the coolest chefs I've ever met. And he was just like, yeah, we can do whatever you want. Pulled out every single packaged thing that he had, walked through every single ingredient with me, said, okay, well, what are the dairy free kids going to eat? What is the nut free kids going to eat? And walked through every single piece of the menu. Not just like, we're going to have sandwiches, okay, gluten free bread. Like, hey, we're going to have this. Do you want this? This? And we're like, hey, do you mind deconstructing the salad so people who are dairy free don't have the cheese on it? He's like, yeah, easy peasy. And their staff was so great the entire time we were there. Fantastic. And he even went out of his way. We had, like, three or four dairy free people, and the majority of them are adults. But he's like, we just want everyone to feel like they can eat stuff. So one of the meals he had cauliflower cauliflower bake, and it was like this gorgeous garlicky, creamy thing. And we talked, and he's like, yeah, it's dairy. I'm like, yeah, obviously. No worries. And so that day, he walked me, he's like, hey, I've been experimenting in the kitchen all day. I made it dairy free for you, for everyone, so it's just dairy free. And he did that with a lot of his things. Initially, we had on the menu, it contains dairy. And he worked on it to be dairy free. And it was so great, and it was so good, and everyone was so thankful. And then the last night we were there, he made banana splits for the dairy free people. Just after everything, he's like, I haven't made a banana split in 20 years. He goes, but for you guys and we all have these amazing banana splits, and we didn't ask for any gluten free dessert. We had flax for life. Brownies we brought. We'd be like, this is a great dairy free, nut free alternative, and if anyone wants anything, we had snacks. We didn't need that. But he went out of his way to be like, I just want to see if I can do it. It was so perfect, and it was like, thank you so much. And I genuinely miss him because it was so pleasant to have someone that knew cross contact, that understood all of our needs, and not only that, but experimented to see if he could push his own boundaries. Right?

Jules [00:35:33]:

He loves his job.

Erica [00:35:35]:

He's like, I love cooking. He's like, I love Estes Park. I love being here. I fly fish. It's great. It's beautiful. I mean, all I get are weddings and conferences and whatever. He's like, I know how to do this. But he's like, it's actually more fun for me to play around with ingredients to try to see if I can make it dairy free.

Jules [00:35:51]:

Sure. It's a challenge.

Erica [00:35:53]:

Yeah. So great. So she was so kind and so wonderful, and it was just that was a very pleasant part of it all, to just know that they had us covered, and the hotel hated it. And, you know, if you saw my instagram, I didn't sleep for five days. The pillows were horrific, the bed was horrific, but the chef was like, what do you do? Do you take a Marriott style bed where it's like, oh, my God, this is the best bed I've ever had in my life, and then, like, subpar dining, or do you have a chef who's willing to have it all? And then because you're there to watch the Elk in Estes Park it's just like, what do you do? What do you do? It is what it is. The rest of the hotel, but the conference people were awesome. They got our every needs met, for sure. The hotel itself isn't a great isn't like the property that I'm used to staying on, because I'm a snob, obviously. Like, the pillows were killing me. And there's, like, one Safeway in town that's the only grocery store, and I bought them out of all of their gluten free buns. And then there's, like, maybe one or two restaurants in the whole place that I would trust eating at, and they were not that great. Yeah, and then there's, like, the Stanley Hotel, from Steven King's The Shining, and they have a whiskey bar. They have a restaurant, but it's so expensive, so I definitely want to go back, but I want to stay at the Stanley, and I want to see what that experience is like, and I just want to be able to spend a day out on the lake. We walked on the lake for, like, maybe 30 minutes, and it was gorgeous. Just the whole thing is so beautiful. But then also my girlfriend the other day was walking around the lake, one of our other speakers there, she's like, yeah, there's, like, elk everywhere in the lake. And I'm like, so you really do have to change your plans if there's like, well, I can't go further on the lake because there's elk there.

Jules [00:38:03]:

Surprised that Stephen King hasn't written that book about the elk.

Erica [00:38:07]:

Yeah, the elk actually just come into the hotel. There's, like, blood coming from the elevators and like an elk elkie.

Jules [00:38:18]:

Yeah. Well, it sounds like overall that you.

Erica [00:38:21]:

Had a good experience. The conference itself was great. The conference people were great. The chef was great. The bedding was horrible.

Jules [00:38:29]:

Also great.

Erica [00:38:31]:

Yeah, but no, I mean, it's always fantastic to meet and have these kids bond. The first day they're, like, scared, and by the third day they're best friends and exchanging, like, instagram handles. My God. It's amazing. And the parents were fantastic. And they had excursions. They went horseback riding and 4x4, and they did an adventure park. I mean, these kids had the best time, and it was awesome. That's really cool. Yeah, it was really good. But I am so tired, and I don't think my body is used to it because I was staying up to midnight every night and waking up and I didn't sleep at all. So it was, like, horrible. And then the last day, we had beautiful weather the entire time, and it had just gone through the worst weather storm that Denver and Estes Park has had in a really long time. So we had like, four or five days of sunshine. It was beautiful. Last day, they're like, tornado warning, hail warning, please reschedule your trip. And I'm like, okay, I'll go ahead and reschedule my trip. So I lost the entire day. I was supposed to go to Boulder and hang out at Just Be Kitchen. I remember. You're going to do yes, I was going to go to Boulder and go to my favorite kitchen store, Peppercorn. I love peppercorn. It's my favorite place on the planet. Oh, my God, I could spend all day there. It's amazing. And no cut short. So my entire last day at Boulder totally cut short. And I had to haul ass to the airport. And it's like an hour and a half to an hour and 45 minutes away from Estes Park. It's horrible, but I did it. And I had to eat, like, hummus at the airport for lunch. And I'm like, Whatever, man. I just want to get home before a tornado happens. And I literally looked at Just Be Kitchen, their instagram, and it had, like, the wind and the flooding. It was horrible. So, like, I'm so glad I went out at the right time because I do not want to be stuck there. Not that I love Denver, but I don't want to be stuck there in a giant storm. Yeah, for sure. Oh, my God. It was definitely time to come home. I mean, I slept so well. I've been taking naps, basically. I've just been trying to sleep every spare second I've had the entire time that I've been back.

Jules [00:40:46]:


Erica [00:40:47]:

Travels a bear. Yeah. And my September is looking pretty rough. Towards the end of September, basically the end. The last week. It's the last two weeks of September all the way through November. Look solid. Good time. Wait I get to see you though. No kidding.

Jules [00:41:05]:

Oh my gosh.

Erica [00:41:06]:

I know. I need to pre sleep in advance for all sort. I know. My gosh. So, yeah, it's going to be a good a few months at home. I cannot wait. Just get back. Going to the gym and my studio like every other day. Every day. I mean, yoga centering, cat yoga. I cannot wait. Yeah. So good.

Jules [00:41:26]:

That cat yoga you were doing was adorable.

Erica [00:41:29]:

I cannot tell you how many photos and how much video I took. That entire cat yoga session. I actually did a little yoga in that session.

Jules [00:41:37]:

I would never do yoga. I would just sit and play with the cats. It's so funny because you'd see the pictures and the video and she would be like, okay, so downward dog or whatever, and you'd see all these people and there's no one doing it. Everyone looking at the cat. Yeah, that would be me too. I would not be doing the yoga.

Erica [00:41:57]:

And I did half of it and then the other half I'm just like in poses like downward dog, just looking for the next cat. All of a sudden they do want to screw. Those things are so fast. They are very kittens. They are bouncing all over the place, chewing on electrical cords, doing the things that kittens do.

Jules [00:42:18]:


Erica [00:42:19]:

A lot less messy than puppy yoga because puppy yoga, they have to put like cellophane down on the floor because puppies just poop everywhere. They're just like gross frat boys. They're just like, I'm just pooping rally. So yeah. So for this, we did not have to put plastic down on the floor. They know how to use their litter box.

Jules [00:42:37]:

Yeah, it's less enticing. I will note that for the future, I'm not going to do puppy yoga.

Erica [00:42:42]:

Yeah, well, you can do puppy yoga outside when they can. Free to roam in the grass and poop wherever. But there's a good chance when you step in a downward dog and you're on the grass, you're going to step in some dog poop. Yeah, same with goat yoga. I don't know why goat yoga is so appealing. Goat poop all the time. It's like a rabbit. There's turds everywhere. Yeah, why would you I don't want to like downward dog and be like, oh, my hands are full of goat poop. So kitten yoga was probably the most appealing out of all of them because they know how to use a litter box and not poop on your hands or whatever on your mat. They did try to eat a bunch of expensive yoga mats, so this is one thing you had to be aware of.

Jules [00:43:26]:

Yeah, my cats definitely have done that already.

Erica [00:43:28]:

Yeah, mine is stored up away because Pigeon likes to chew on it, which is so charming.

Jules [00:43:37]:

All right, well, you know what? I'm going to let you go rest up and I know, right? And I have to start baking, so.

Erica [00:43:45]:

I'm going to get baked this pies.

Jules [00:43:47]:

Jules, get to it.

Erica [00:43:49]:

All right. We hope you have an amazing 4th of July. Jules I hope you all have an amazing 4th of July. I hope you have an amazing first week of July. This is wild. We're in July.

Jules [00:43:58]:

My head's in March, man. I'm still stuck in March.

Erica [00:44:02]:

I still haven't blocked since March. It's just like, man, I'm surviving.

Jules [00:44:06]:

I don't know.

Erica [00:44:07]:

Yeah. And it's monsoon season now, so yeah, this is going to be just the weirdest. I love this time of year because you never know what you're going to get is 115 and dry, or is it just going to be storming and hailing? Who knows? It's fun. It's good times in air.

Jules [00:44:23]:

Keeps it interesting.

Erica [00:44:24]:

It does. It mixes it up a little bit. So we hope you have a good first. Enjoy the summer. Enjoy the magic and the madness of our patriotic holiday. Happy 4 July, everyone.

Jules [00:44:36]:

Yes, absolutely. Talk to you soon. Stay well. And we'll be back next week.

Erica [00:44:43]:

See you then.

Jules [00:44:51]:

If you like this episode, make sure you rate it on your podcast provider.

Erica [00:44:55]:

And subscribe so you don't miss any of our episodes.

Jules [00:44:58]:

You had me at eat.

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