Springtime Walks and The Farmers Markets

Every few weekends I like to take a long walk through the Highlands-- it's a big section of the city and it's where I live and play. I usually start the walk around Potter Highlands Historic District, grab a coffee along 32nd Avenue, and then cross over the 3 pedestrian bridges that link the Lower Highlands (LoHi) with Downtown, by way of the Platte neighborhood. I like the fact that there is no car needed for this excursion. 
Each of the three foot bridges cross a thoroughfare that's impossible to traverse by foot: the I-25 highway, the Platte River and the train tracks that carry coal, freight and the light-rail commuter train. It's an incredibly smart way to connect downtown with some of the surrounding residential communities and it was all done relatively recently. Kudos to the designers behind this green, urban idea.
Since Otis seemingly has an unlimited amount of energy and can pretty much walk/run anywhere for any amount of time, and Theodore is super happy in his umbrella stroller, this (very) long walk is a really nice way to spend a couple of hours. Sometimes we sit on the grass at Commons Park, sometimes we watch kayakers at Confluence Park, and sometimes we stroll along the busy streets of the Platte. But no matter what, we always seem to wind up at Little Man Ice Cream...and usually it's when they've stocked their Salted Oreo flavor. Coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe not!  
The Highlands Farmers Market is now open on the weekend, so if I do this walk on Saturday, I stop by. I love market season! 
What flavor should I have today?

And after walking, it's time to hit the farmers market...
The Highlands Market is a block long and much smaller than the Cherry Creek market. But there is something really nice and local about it-- there's that neighborhoody-feel. There are a few stalls dedicated to produce and I picked up some scallions, baby lettuce, beets and a whole bunch of herbs including dill, thyme and basil. Many vendors sell other edibles such as fresh bread (I picked up a delicious foccacia), cheese, fresh pasta, and locally-sourced honey. And there are food trucks (big, big exclamation mark!)! So far I've tried:
Arepas de Domino (black beans and cheese) from Quiero Arepas. Yum!
Quinoa Salad from Eat Eatcletic. Perfect!
A Watermelon-Orange pop from Aikopops. Delish!
Today I also picked up a Chocolate Pecan Pie from the Denver Pie Truck and it was AMAZING! Lip-smacking good. 
Next week I'll be sure to try some latkes from Latke Love-- "Potato Latkes Piled High." I'm going to start with their traditional latkes to see if they remind me of home. (For the meat-eaters, there's also "The Confused Rabbi"-- a latke meat and dairy combination that may or may not have pig product inside, I can't remember. I dig the title though I won't be trying it for obvious reasons...and it's not because I'm kosher.) I'm also going to leave room for a(nother) pie from The Denver Pie Truck. And I'll have to try some more of Eat Eatclectic's treats. Of course it should go without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that I'm 100% certain that by the end of the summer I will have eaten at every stall/food truck at the market. I'm a big fan of street food-- it's just how I roll! I'll be sure to report back. 
Now I just couldn't wait for the next Saturday market (a painful 7 days away), so I went over to Old South Pearl Street which has a market that is open on Sunday. Flowers, produce, antiques, food trucks, and pops...the whole gang was out.
Strawberry-Rhubarb pop hit the spot!
These are the recipes that I'll be making this week, inspired by the Farmers Market:
Black Bean (Domino) Arepas, Courtesy of Hungry Sofia
Chilled Cucumber Soup, Courtesy of Ina Garten
Quinoa Salad, Courtesy of TasteSpotting
Garlic Scape Pizza, Courtesy of Three Clever Sisters
Baby Lettuce with Strawberries, Feta and Almonds, Courtesy of Food & Wine Magazine (scroll to the end of the post)
Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie with Crumb Topping, Courtesy of My Trash and Treasure

See you next weekend...and happy cooking/eating!