Breckenridge is a resort town in the Colorado mountains that is quite popular for skiing during the winter and hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities in the summer. With so many things to do in Breckenridge, it is a great place to spend at least several days, if not an entire week. Not only are there plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, but the town also has many wonderful restaurants as well as stores offering collectables, clothing, and art. Most everything can be found right off of main street, which is surrounded by a variety of condominiums, rental homes, and hotels.
Since we are avid hikers, we truly enjoyed getting out into nature like we did when we hiked Burro Trail. In addition, though, we also enjoyed our time in the town of Breckenridge as well. One of the things that we had heard about was the “Breckenridge Troll”, officially called Isak Heartstone, which is a giant wooden sculpture that has recently been relocated to near the ice skating arena. The creation is the work of Danish artist Thomas Dambo, who came back to Breckenridge to oversee the relocation of the piece of art. It is very large and dramatic.
We also took the free gondola ride up to peak 8 where there are many activities for the entire family to enjoy, but especially children. There is a mountain rollercoaster, a zip line, maze, putt putt golf, as well as an alpine slide. For those that rent mountain bikes, there is a chair lift that will take you to the top of the mountain where you can ride down one of the many trails. Even though it was the middle of summer, there was still some snow on one of the ski runs for people to slide around and throw snowballs at each other. There are also a couple of restaurants to enjoy a cool refreshment and get a meal to keep your energy up for the activities.
The town of Breckenridge is very walkable with many shops and restaurants along the streets, but there is also a free trolley that will take you throughout the area. Like most places in Colorado, the people are extremely friendly and very welcoming to tourists that arrive from all around the world. Another benefit of getting into the mountains during the summer is that the temperatures are much milder and it can even get a little cold in the evening. We really enjoyed our time in Breckenridge and found that it was certainly a wonderful place for people of all ages.
We had several types of sausages during our time in Europe, but bratwurst was one that we had several times. Unlike here in the United States, bratwurst is not served on a bun unless you are getting it at a festival or market, but we enjoy the convenience of eating them on a bun. To try and replicate the experience of eating bratwursts in Germany, we decided to braise our bratwurst in a German pilsner and make our own sauerkraut. Just like cooking with wine, if you are going to braise your bratwurst in beer, be sure to choose one that you like and would drink on its own. Making sauerkraut was surprisingly simple, but if we do it again in the future, we would probably put it in a slow-cooker and cook it even longer than we did for this recipe. We did go to a local butcher to get a high quality bratwurst as that is an important feature of the bratwursts that we ate overseas. Due to the weather, we broiled our bratwurst, but grilling them would certainly be the best. It turned out to be quite simple and delicious.
2 Bottles of Beer (German Pilsner)
3/4 Large White Onion – diced
1 cup Water
1 cup Distilled White Vinegar
1 Head of Cabbage – small, cored and shredded
1/2 tsp Celery Seed
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
Ground Pepper to taste
Combine the water, vinegar, 2/3 of the diced onion (which is half of the onion diced), cabbage, 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, celery seed, onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and black pepper in a large saucepan and turn the heat on high. Mix the cabbage until the seasonings are evenly distributed and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and simmer, stirring frequently, for 30 to 45 minutes and the cabbage is tender. In a medium saucepan, combine the beer and onions and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the bratwurst, red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and pepper, be sure that the bratwurst are completely covered with liquid. Simmer the bratwurst for 10 to 15 minutes to allow them to absorb the flavor. Grill or broil the bratwurst for about 5 minutes per side and the skin is evenly browned. Serve on buns with Dijon or spicy brown mustard and sauerkraut.
We definitely had a variety of schnitzels while we were living in Germany. One of the first ones that we had was considered a Hunter’s Schnitzel, so we decided to do a version of that for ourselves. Generally speaking, schnitzel is very easy to make and can be done with pork, chicken, or veal. The most important thing for making a good schnitzel is to pound the meat out to be about one-quarter inches thick and ensuring that the entire meat cutlet is the same thickness. Although you can buy a mallet to pound out the meat, we have found that if you wrap the meat in plastic wrap and the hit it with the flat side of a heavy skillet, it works even better to get it to a consistent thickness. The real flavor comes from the sauce, so we decided to make a hearty gravy to accompany the schnitzel. Although we used button mushrooms, you could certainly do a variety of your favorite mushrooms.
4 Chicken Breasts
1/4 cup Whole Milk
1 cup + 4 tbsp All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Breadcrumbs
8 tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 tsp Paprika
4 cups Beef Stock
1 lb Mushrooms – sliced
1 small Shallot – chopped
1 tbsp Garlic Powder
4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and then add the mushrooms and shallot. Cook until the mushrooms are slightly browned and the onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and remove the mushrooms and onions to drain on a paper towel. Leave any remaining butter in the skillet. In a large sauce pan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat and whisk in 4 tablespoons of flour in order to create a roux. Do not let the flour start to brown. Heat the beef stock in another pan or in a microwave until luke warm. Slowly add the beef stock to the sauce pan stirring constantly. Heat over medium-high heat, continuing to stir. Add the mushrooms, onion, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Once the gravy has thickened, reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. In three separate bowls or shallow plates you will place the ingredients for dredging the chicken, which has already been pounded to about a 1/4 inch thickness. In the first bowl, mix the cup of flour with salt, pepper, and paprika. In the second bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. In the third bowl, add the breadcrumbs. Add the olive oil to the large skillet and heat to medium-high. Using one hand, dredge both sides of the chicken through the flour and then dredge through the eggs, and finally place in the breadcrumbs. Using your other hand, dredge the chicken until well-coated with breadcrumbs and place in the skillet. Using separate hands will keep the breadcrumbs from getting too messy from the eggs and flour. Cook the chicken in the skillet for about 5 minutes per side until evenly browned. Since the chicken is so thin, it doesn’t take long to cook and over-cooking will make the chicken dry and tough. Place the chicken on a plate to serve and then cover with the mushroom gravy.