Day 12.

I have a friend who 5,116,796 people can listen to every day from 2-4 mountain time on Colorado’s newest radio station, Open Air 1340 AM.  (Yes, you can download the Open Air app and listen to her everywhere.  Which clearly you should.)  Her name is Brandee Castle.  Isn’t that a great DJ name?  (There’s potential for it to get even better considering she’s dating a guy with the last name of Sandy.  Have some fun with that rolling off your tongue!)

Brandee is one of the gals photographed in my first post with the picture of the ladies who convinced me to start this dinner thing in the first place.  They are the Denver loves of my life.  She and I first met in a long series of church emails about Highlands’ social media strategy which was funny because that’s her expertise and I still don’t know how I got added to the chain.  Then a couple months later, she introduced herself at a Sunday morning potluck and I thought, ‘Hey, that’s the girl from those emails!  She’s so hip and cute!  With cool clothes too.’  A couple sly conversations with Toya and Anne later, and we unanimously agreed that Brandee should join our bible study/dinner group ASAP because she was so freaking adorable.

So tonight after her yoga class and my gym time, Brandee joined me for dinner at Chez Downing (that’s mi casa).  Feeling a little Asian-y, I made baked salmon with a Thai coconut spice blend from the neighborhood Savory Spice Shop, Toya’s coconut mango wild rice, and broccoli with a miso orange sauce.  Here is the recipe for the rice, which is INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS for how incredibly simple it is to make.

Toya’s Coconut Mango Wild Rice
1 TBL coconut oil (Or whatever oil you prefer to use in high heat)
1 1/2 cups long grain rice (I used Asian black wild rice because it cooks into a beautiful purplish color but any long grain rice will do.)
1 can coconut milk (I like to use the low-fat kind.)
2/3 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 mango, diced
Heat oil, add rice to coat, add coconut milk and water.  Bring to a boil, add mango and cover.  Turn down the heat to low and simmer for about 20-25 minutes.  Let sit for 10 minutes covered. here at high altitude, where rice refuses to cook normally, i added a little extra water and let it simmer and sit for longer.

Sitting on my bed talking with Brandee made me semi-wish for a roommate again.  She’s like a breath of fresh, honest air.  Thank you, dear friend, for our conversation and time together!  Let’s not allow 8 blocks to separate us as much anymore.  You’re my Cap Hill buddy.