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Reader VIP Party at Lodge Sasquatch!


They’re here! Are you ready for the first round of our blogger events? Join us at The Lodge Sasquatch Kitchen on Tuesday, August 5th from 8:30-10:30 pm to hang out, chat about Fort Collins food, and have a good time offline.

The Lodge has reserved space for us upstairs and is providing appetizers and the first round of drinks for your ticket price. You are more than welcome to purchase more drinks and entrees if you’d like! This is a ticketed event, and there will NOT be ticket sales at the door. We’re only selling a limited amount too, so get them while you can. You can purchase them through this link!

The money from ticket sales is going toward our updated website fundraiser that we’re doing. Missed those details? Then here’s that post. Don’t forget that you can get your Shirts With Perks, too! And if you can’t make any of our events this month, or purchase a shirt, then we have donation options available as well. Every little bit will help and we appreciate your support!

Scoop Blog Network Fundraiser – Shirts with Perks!

Since the beginning of the year we’ve been planning on a new website for the blogs in the Scoop Blog Network. Kristin realized that we didn’t need each blog to upgrade, we needed to bring the whole network together into one site to share information with our readers better.

Think of something like a Fort Collins Huffington Post kind of magazine site, but a lot better looking.

Here’s her hilarious photoshopping skills to illustrate the idea in her head. We promise a professional graphic designer will come up with something more attractive.

Ghetto Wireframe

Each blog will be listed on the top navigation bar so you can easily see what else is going on in the city. Perhaps you are an avid Serving Up Fort Collins reader but you have a family too, so you’d like to know what to do with the kids just as much as you’d like to know where to eat. Bam – having us all on one site will make it a one-stop-shop of Fort Collins info for you.

You’ll be able to see a list of most recent posts on our home page. We’ll have a Most Popular Posts section (not illustrated above) so you can see what everyone in Fort Collins is talking about and you don’t miss out on the details.

We’re going to create a comprehensive community calendar on our sidebar. You’ll be able to sort events by a specific blog – so you can see all of the dining events from Feasting Fort Collins, the historical events from Forgotten Fort Collins, Happy Hours from Late Night Fort Collins, beer tapings from Cheers Fort Collins – AND MORE. We plan on having THE CALENDAR that you want to look at to plan your Fort Collins fun.

So, this is just the basic idea that we want to do. When it comes to each blog section on the site, we want to make them easier to search so you can find the info you’re looking for. We’re going to get a reader survey out so you can tell us what you need – both in our new website function and what kind of blog posts you want to read (or don’t).

This is going to be a big project. After coding and design costs, we’re looking at needing $10,000 to make this happen. We’ve already sat down with bankers to talk about business loans. Yeah – that’s not happening. So, we’re going to need help from our readers. Rather than doing a typical crowdfunding campaign, we actually want to give you some with more value. We’re going to sell shirts, but with perks!

Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 8.27.27 AM

Each blogger will have a selection of shirts that you can purchase. A portion of each sale goes to our website development. We could completely fund our entire site if we sell a little over 2,000 shirts. That’s a tall order and I don’t expect to hit that goal – but it would be AMAZING if we did!

Not only do you get a nifty shirt to support your favorite bloggers, but we’re also planning a boatload of events with our readers. By selling tickets to events, we continue to increase our website funding.

So, what about those perks? Well, since we’re hosting a ton of events coming up, if you show up in your blogger shirt, you’ll get VIP treatment. Maybe that means free event access, or your first drink free at one of our pub crawls, or a free ice cream at our upcoming ice cream social. Whatever we’re doing, you get discounts, free stuff, and exclusive benefits that other people won’t get.

This t-shirt campaign only runs for 21 days. As soon as we sell 25 of them, they start shipping out, so you can have yours by our first group of events in August (details coming soon!). Thank you so much for reading and helping us reach our goal of a better website for you!!


Strawberry Honey Lime Fruit Leather

Strawberry Honey Lime Fruit Leather from Vania Kinney at Serving Up Fort Collins


When I was five or six years old, my mom took me and my brother on a trip to Catalina Island to visit my Uncle Danny. I have a handful of memories from that trip… falling asleep on my uncle’s tiny sailboat with my fingers dangling in the ocean (seriously guys? my hand could’ve been bitten clean off by a shark!), wild pigs all over the place, playing boardgames in our tent at the campground and eating my first fruit roll-up. The kind from a box with cartoon characters on it! The plastic-y kind of fruit roll-up that my mom had hidden from us for who knows how long! This was way back on the 80′s BEFORE fruit roll-ups came with temporary tattoos and tear-away shapes and whatever other new-fangled craziness happens with fruit snacks these days. There was a boy camping across the trail and he invited us over to play! When we tentatively ventured over, the little boy offered us the treats that he had smuggled out of his parents’ possession. Huddled under a tree, we ate them like tiny smack addicts until the box was empty. We smooshed them into balls, wrapped them around our fingers and ate them off until our fingers were pruned and sticky. Then I made bows for my hair out of the leftover cellophane, which is what any proper camper would do. I knew how to glamp before glamping was a thing. A glamping hipster if you will!

Every time I went to the grocery store after that trip, I would BEG my mom for the fruit roll-ups and sometimes she would indulge us by letting us have the kind you found in the produce section of the market.. You see, they were made with REAL FRUIT! Or, at least they tasted like they were. They had texture and substance and real-life seeds! Craziness is what that is. And you know what? I liked these ones better than the cartoon-y kind. My brother thought I was crazy, but there was something about them that just appealed to me. So, when I started brainstorming ideas for snacks to bring on our family’s summer road trip, I thought I’d try my hand at making something similar to those snacks I have such fond memories of. They would be easy to pack, delicious to eat and wouldn’t leave the kid twitching in the backseat from a sugar overload.

Admittedly, my fruit roll-ups turned out more like fruit leather, but guess what? They are freaking delicious! I can’t believe how great they turned out! They are SO good that I had to tell my permanent roommate to stop eating them so we’d have some left for the trip. If the fruit leather has to be hidden from a grown-ass man, you know you’ve struck gold! I found a few recipes online and adapted one of them to suit what I had around the house. I had Papa Joe’s Local Honey from last week’s recipe and a bunch of strawberries that I had purchased on sale that needed to get used STAT. The only thing I needed to buy was a lime. That’s right! The ingredients consist of fresh strawberries, honey and a lime! Three ingredients, thrown into a food processor and then spread onto a parchment lined cookie sheet to bake that come out tasting like a Strawberry Limeade! Here are the details…

Strawberry Honey Lime Fruit Leather

What You’ll Need…

  • 3.5-4 cups of fresh strawberries, stems removed
  • zest of one lime
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup of Papa Joe’s Local Honey
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped (optional but encouraged for an interesting twist!)

What You’ll Do…

  1. Preheat oven to 170
  2. Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. (If you are not a fan of seeds, strain the purée as best as you can.)
  3. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Pour purée onto paper and spread thickly and evenly with a spatula.
  5. Bake 6 hours, or until no longer wet.
  6. With scissors, cut fruit leather into strips 2″x6″ strips (or whatever size suits your fancy) and store in an airtight container.

XO, Vania