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Former CU Buff George King’s NBA interest grows with impressive offseason

June 4, 2018 - 4:28pm

George King hoisted the final jump shots of his Nuggets predraft workout Monday while across the court from reporters in the Pepsi Center before making his way over.

The former Colorado Buffaloes guard answered questions with ease, and if it appeared as though King had done this before, it’s because, well, he did.

King explored his NBA options after his junior season in this same gym with an expression he later described as a “deer in the headlights.” One year later, King returned to the Nuggets’ predraft workout after completing his college career with the confidence of a rising NBA prospect.

“Now that I’ve had that experience, I get to kind of just take a breath and not worry about anything else that doesn’t matter,” King said. “Just go out there, work out and play my game.”

King (6-foot-6, 225 pounds) averaged more than 25 minutes in each of his final three seasons in Boulder and finished as the team’s second-most-efficient 3-point shooter in history (40.1 percent). He earned second-team all-Pac-12 honors last season while leading the Buffs in rebounding (7.8 per game) and double-doubles (six). What probably drives much of King’s NBA buzz with three weeks before the June 21 draft, though, has been an impressive offseason.

King earned the most outstanding player award for the East team in the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ All-Star Game in March with 21 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. He went on to dominate again at the Portsmouth Invitational the next month with all-tournament honors after hitting 58 percent of his shots from the floor (22-for-38). King was also invited to the NBA combine.

“It just clicked,” he said.

Last year, King had just two NBA team workout invites: Denver and Boston. This year, King has already attended predraft evaluations in Sacramento, Minnesota, Phoenix, Golden State and Denver — with eight more visits still on the docket.

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When King returned to CU for his senior season, he took the advice of NBA scouts who examined his game and potential at the next level. Their message? “We want to see you defend.”

“George has got the size, length, strength, broad shoulders and good feet — all of the things that it takes to be an extremely good defender,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “George is a good shooter and can score the ball as well. It’s a challenge for him to kind of change that mind-set and look at himself as a defender. But if he can make that transition and have it become a source of pride for him … he can make it in that league.”

King’s name is currently a rarity on late second-round NBA draft boards. Even if his name goes uncalled, King will have plenty of basketball options moving forward, whether it be a summer-league contract or an opportunity overseas. But King’s ultimate goal is to compete at the highest level. He wants to become branded as a “versatile defender, a guy who can switch … and a floor spacer.”

“I’m here for a reason, right?” King said. “It’s because of the things that I do well. I’m just going to continue to do the things that I do well all the time. I’m not necessarily going to try to throw things in right now. Eventually, as my game evolves, I will.”

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Luke McCaffrey of Valor Christian commits to Nebraska football

June 4, 2018 - 4:17pm

After much consideration, I am extremely blessed to announce that I am officially committed to The University of Nebraska! #GBR

— Luke McCaffrey (@mccaffrey_luke) June 4, 2018

Ed and Lisa’s youngest son is headed to Lincoln, Neb.

Valor Christian quarterback Luke McCaffrey, the youngest of the four McCaffrey boys, announced his verbal commitment via Twitter on Monday to play football for the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound McCaffrey threw for 878 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions, splitting time behind center in his junior season last year with Colorado Buffaloes-bound Blake Stenstrom. He also ran for 548 yards and nine TDs for the Class 5A state runner-up Eagles.

McCaffrey is listed as a four-star recruit by 247Sports and ESPN, and three-star by Rivals. He received a bevy of Division I offers, including from Colorado and Colorado State. He is the younger brother of 49ers receiver Max McCaffrey, Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey and Michigan Wolverines quarterback Dylan McCaffrey.

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Timeline: Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling by U.S. Supreme Court has been six years in the making

June 4, 2018 - 4:14pm

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Lakewood baker who refused to make a same-sex couple a wedding cake, citing strongly held religious beliefs, ending a six-year case.

The decision came down to how the Civil Rights Commission handled the initial case, with the court saying the commission was “neither tolerant nor respectful of (Jack Phillips’) religious beliefs.” The decision did not set a sweeping precedence for future clashes between religious freedom and LGBTQ civil rights.

For six years, this case has been a steady backdrop to a shifting national landscape that’s seen growing rights for LGBTQ people as well as calls to protect religious freedom. Here’s a timeline of what’s happened:

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Carolina Panthers turn to Christian McCaffrey to lead run game

June 4, 2018 - 3:54pm

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Christian McCaffrey will have an even bigger role in the Panthers’ offense this season.

McCaffrey, the team’s first-round draft pick in 2017, carried the ball 117 times for 435 yards and established a franchise rookie record with 80 receptions. He finished the season with seven touchdowns.

While McCaffrey led the Panthers in receptions, he’ll be counted on to carry the ball more after the team parted ways with its all-time leading rusher Jonathan Stewart. Panthers two-time NFL Coach of the Year Ron Rivera believes McCaffrey is up to the task, saying he can be a running back who carries the ball 200 times this season.

McCaffrey’s durability has been questioned at times because his body build is more akin to a scat back than a power back.

He averaged just 3.7 yards per carry in 2017.

“Yeah, why not?” Rivera said of the prospect of a 200-carry season. “Everybody forgets that when he was (at Stanford) he carried the ball between the tackles more than anybody and touched the ball more than anybody. I don’t see why not.”

McCaffrey is all for it.

“Obviously anybody on the team wants the ball as much as possible,” McCaffrey said. “That is football. You should want to compete. But we are here to win football games, so whatever that means and whatever that takes we’re going to do.”

McCaffrey, the son of three-time Super Bowl champion wide receiver Ed McCaffrey, likes what he’s seen so far from new offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who has taken over for Mike Shula.

He feels “a lot more comfortable” in his second year with the Panthers, even though he’s learning a new offensive scheme. But he wouldn’t discuss what will be different about his workload this year or in what different ways he will be used under Turner for competitive reasons.

“However they want to use me, that is where I will be,” McCaffrey said. “I think we have a lot of great talent and a lot of different weapons.”

He won’t be carrying the entire load in the backfield, of course.

The Panthers added depth at running back signing 2017 1,000-yard rusher C.J. Anderson, who played in Denver and helped the Broncos beat Carolina in the Super Bowl in 2015. Carolina is also expecting some added help from Cameron Artis-Payne and Kenjon Barner.

And don’t forget, it was quarterback Cam Newton who led the team with 754 yards rushing and six touchdowns last season.

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The 21-year-old McCaffrey enters the season with a new perspective after a “traumatic experience” earlier this summer.

McCaffrey, his brothers and some friends were in Colorado when they saw an elderly man fall off a cliff while hiking with his 13-year-old grandson. McCaffrey called 911 and one of his friends administered chest compressions.

McCaffrey said paramedics arrived at the scene in about 11 minutes. The 72-year-old Dan Smoker Sr. survived the fall and McCaffrey has developed a friendship with him and his family. He even plans to invite the Smokers to a Panthers home game this season.

“When you see something like that, you have a better appreciation for life and take every moment in,” McCaffrey said. “We had a decompression moment after that. You look at life and realize it can be gone in any split second.”

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Boulder’s timeout on tall buildings could become law of the land

June 4, 2018 - 3:38pm

The fate of a rule that restricts city building heights could be decided Tuesday night as the Boulder City Council looks to either extend or make permanent a moratorium that is in its third year.

Passed in 2015, the ordinance limits developers’ ability to construct 55-foot-tall projects. Fifty-five feet is the voter-approvedceiling ensconced in the city charter since 1971, but it must be granted through modifications.

Before the temporary timeout, such variances could be granted throughout the city. Now they are limited to certain areas or uses — or given in exchange for projects that provide “community benefit,” such as affordable housing.

The latter exception is at the crux of the continued timeout on taller buildings. Council in early 2017 extended the ordinance for 15 months to allow staff to determine what, exactly, constitutes community benefit, and how it should be measured.

But that project only began in earnest at the start of this year, said Senior Planner Karl Guiler, after City Council during its January retreat directed staff to look at a wider array of community benefits. For example, a recently identified value is affordable commercial space, which became a council concern after a spate of business closings and complaints over ever-higher lease rates and property taxes.

Read the full story at

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Hickenlooper vetoes first-in-the-nation bill that would have allowed marijuana “tasting rooms” in Colorado

June 4, 2018 - 3:32pm

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Monday vetoed a bill that would have allowed licensed marijuana “tasting rooms” in Colorado — legislation that was the first of its kind in the nation — citing health and safety concerns.

House Bill 1258 would have let adults at current recreational marijuana retailers consume small amounts of pot through edibles or by vaping.

“We are concerned that marijuana use at consumption establishments could result in additional impaired or intoxicated drivers on our roadways,” Hickenlooper, a term-limited Democrat, wrote in a letter announcing the veto. “… This bill also poses public health risks. Allowing vaporization of marijuana in confined spaces poses a significant health risk for employees and patrons of consumption establishments.”

Colorado law prohibits marijuana consumption in public spaces; however, the state is home to several unlicensed cannabis clubs. Also, the city of Denver has started issuing licenses after a voter-approved initiative for marijuana social-use establishments.

House Bill 1258 was opposed by the American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and backed by the marijuana industry — which blasted Monday’s veto.

“What we were trying to do with House Bill 1258 was offer certainty on the issue of public cannabis consumption so that regulators could have a bright line when it comes to enforcement,” Chris Woods, the owner of the recreational marijuana chain Terrapin Care Station, said in a statement. “In its wisdom, the Colorado Legislature sought to close a significant gap in regulation. It’s unfortunate that the governor chose not to offer another regulatory tool to state and local regulators. This fight is not over.”

Hickenlooper on Monday also vetoed House Bill 1427, which prohibited members of the state’s Sex Offender management Board from financially benefiting from the panel’s decisions.

“We all support proper handling of conflicts. We veto this bill today, however, because it is redundant and overbroad,” Hickenlooper wrote in a letter vetoing that bill. “Despite the issues with HB 18-1427, recent media reports raise important issues as to the need for better conflict of management interests.”

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The measures are among five from the recently ended 2018 legislative session that Hickenlooper has vetoed.

On Friday, the governor rejected three bills, including one would have withheld child autopsies from public inspection.

State lawmakers cannot override the vetoes because the Colorado General Assembly is no longer in session. (The legislature closed on May 9.)

This is a developing story that will be updated.


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Three security guards charged in bathroom beating of man at Denver Union Station

June 4, 2018 - 3:05pm

An RTD-contracted security guard has been charged with first-degree assault after he allegedly challenged a man to a fight in a Union Station bathroom and then knocked him unconscious.

Denver Police DepartmentJames Hunter

James “Drake” Hunter, 34, also has been charged with one count of intimidating a witness or victim.  The charges were filed Friday by Denver District Attorney Beth McCann’s office.

Hunter, an employee of Allied Universal Security, and three other Allied security officers ordered the victim to move from a bench near Union Station in the early morning hours of April 20, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. An argument broke out between the victim and the officer.

One of the officers asked the victim if he was “a tough guy.” When the victim said he was, the officer challenged him to a fight in a restroom inside Union Station because “there are no cameras.” Officer Victor Diaz closed the sliding collapsible gate at 2:47 a.m. to block access to the restroom, the affidavit says.

Denver Police DepartmentVictor Diaz

Diaz, 28, also has been arrested in connection to the case, according to Denver police. He is suspected of first-degree assault. A third suspect, Sgt. Taylor Taggert, 27, was arrested along with Diaz on Friday. Taggert is suspected of first-degree assault and intimidating a witness.

Once inside the restroom, Hunter allegedly hit the victim on the left side of the face. The victim fell to the floor unconscious. Over the next 43 minutes four security officers are seen entering the restroom repeatedly, the affidavit says. At 3:30 a.m., the victim was seen leaving the restroom with a large bandage above his right eye.

Denver Police DepartmentTaylor Taggert

No emergency medical responders were notified about the man’s injuries on the night of the incident, according to court documents. On April 25, the victim went to University of Colorado Hospital emergency room to be treated for “memory loss issues and a headache.”

Immediately after the incident, the victim didn’t recall anything else until he awoke two days later in his home. He didn’t report the fight to police until May 17.

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A great game from LeBron James is no longer enough. Only a historic game gives his Cavs a chance.

June 4, 2018 - 2:59pm

OAKLAND, Calif. — The final seconds of the game were still ticking off the clock inside Oracle Arena, but LeBron James had already seen enough.

Rather than watch the score flashing on the scoreboard — Golden State 122, Cleveland 103 — become official, James began marching across the court. By the time the buzzer sounded, confirming a Warriors win over the Cavaliers in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, James was already proceeding up the tunnel and out of sight.

The task of beating the Warriors four times in seven games was daunting enough. Now, for James to win his fourth championship, he’ll have to beat them four out of five.

“I think, at the end of the day, we have a Game 3 to play,” James said. “We’ve got an opportunity to go home, and we’ve played some really good basketball on our home floor.”

The Cavaliers acquitted themselves well in both games here in Oakland. Yet the fact remains that they have their hands full. It was hard to watch Game 2 play out and not think about what could have been had Cleveland properly closed out Game 1.

James played every second on Sunday before Cavaliers Coach Tyronn Lue raised the white flag with 4:09 remaining, finishing with 29 points, nine rebounds and 13 assists while shooting 10-for-20 from the floor. But it wasn’t the same kind of performance James put forth in Game 1 — 51 points, eight rebounds and eight assists — and the scoreboard reflected that.

This is the standard to which James is being held these days. A great game isn’t good enough. A historic game, the kind he had in Game 1, is required for Cleveland to even have a chance.

It’s not that James had no help in this game. Kevin Love had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and George Hill added 15. But Golden State got 33 points and a Finals record nine three-pointers from Stephen Curry, 26 points from Kevin Durant and 20 from Klay Thompson.

Cleveland has no chance against that kind of firepower, not to mention the rest of the Warriors playing the kind of locked-in, defending champion-style of basketball the world has been waiting to see from them all season. Shooting 57 percent overall, 41 percent from three-point range and committing only 12 turnovers — including four in the entire second half — Golden State played like a team that had been properly spooked into focusing on the task at hand in its Game 1 escape.

None of that matters, though. Not to James, anyway. To the outside world, getting this far constitutes a successful season no matter how this series plays out. To James, only a fourth championship will suffice.

And he isn’t concerned with how high the odds are stacked against him.

“I don’t really get caught up in that,” James said. “I mean, the odds have been against me since, I don’t know, since I was 5, 6 years old … we’re talking about basketball here. It seems like I come up here and tell you guys this all the time, (but) the odds have been stacked up against me since I was an adolescent. So I put our team in position to try to win a championship, to compete for a championship. It’s my job to make sure we’re as focused, laser-focused as possible, do my job, and continue to instill confidence into my teammates until the last horn sounds.

“That’s my job. That’s my responsibility. That’s my obligation. I need to continue to do that, which I will.”

If there remained any doubt James would be able to carry this kind of load day after day, game after game, these playoffs have erased them from existence. Despite being in the 15th season of his career, James remains the game’s apex predator, the player all others in this league full of alpha males recognize as the best.

Golden State presents a challenge no single star can stop, though. Even with their best defensive option against James, Andre Iguodala, sitting on the sideline in street clothes, the Warriors still feature four all-stars — including two former MVPs and the reigning defensive player of the year.

Cleveland has Love, Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith remaining from its championship team from two years ago, plus Kyle Korver and George Hill. That’s a good team, to be sure. But the Cavs are not remotely on the same level as Golden State from a talent perspective. Perhaps as soon as next season, they won’t be on the same level as the likes of the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, either.

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There’s a reason that during the game, fellow NBA players Jared Dudley and C.J. McCollum were debating where James should play next season on Twitter. The specter of James’s free agency hangs over the league, not just the Cavaliers. Talk about his future has been in the air for months.

Cleveland will undoubtedly remain aggressive, and could potentially try using the No. 8 pick in this month’s draft to swing a deal for another veteran to put alongside James. This series is proving — just as their slugfests against the Indiana Pacers and Celtics in the Eastern Conference playoffs did — that the Cavaliers need more around him.

Needing to produce not just a great game, but an all-time great game, every single night is a standard not even James can fairly live up to. But these first two games in Oakland have proven that’s what it will take for Cleveland to win a game in this series, let alone four of them.

No one knows that better than James. So as those final seconds ticked away, he was off, walking alone across the court, past the basket and up the tunnel, already beginning to prepare for Wednesday night.

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Our favorite cookbooks, and a recipe (or two) from each

June 4, 2018 - 2:50pm

By Bill St. John, Special to The Denver Post, and Denver Post staff

By now, I must have prepared Simone Beck’s recipe for “poulet en persillade” three dozen times – probably more. It is a favorite, obviously. Nevertheless, I haven’t consulted the printed recipe in years.

I simply make poulet en persillade by rote. Perhaps the dish that I cook now differs from the original, as in that old parlor game in which a story passes along a chain of people and ends up telling the opposite from where it began.

Poulet en persillade isn’t even Simca Beck’s anymore. My friends merely ask for “that chicken with cream sauce.” (The dish is a braise of chicken, tarragon mustard, minced parsley and garlic, finished with thick cream.)

I didn’t used to be so routine about recipes. When I began to cook, more than 40 years ago, I was more precise. I feared to botch a recipe if I did not capture all of its detail down to every last grain of salt.

Like the time I asked a friend whom I routinely watched cook, “So, how much salt did you just add?” When she answered, “Oh, a touch,” I was exasperated. She must’ve known if it was a 1/4 teaspoon or a 1/2 or whatever quantity. Why didn’t she just say that?

I used to collect recipes as did my mother, from whom I first learned to cook (she had thousands, scissored from newspapers mostly, stuffed in drawers, layered like a pommes Anna).

But I don’t collect recipes anymore. I have my handful of warhorses such as the poulet en persillade, and my mother’s mushroom soup, and a pork loin (or uncured belly) simmered unendurably slowly in milk, until the liquid comes to be curds and, then, nubs of caramel. That dish, I know, is Marcella Hazan’s, but of course I haven’t looked at the recipe in ages.

Looking back like this makes me realize that a quietude has come to my own cooking and eating. Recipes no longer lay down any gauntlets.

They’ve become old friends, old house slippers.

I approach any new recipe with that in mind: Does it have in itself what it takes to become an old friend? And how would I determine that?

All of my favorite recipes tell me a story, about how tawny a crust is, say, or how oozy the fruit or layered the sauce. A recipe may smell faintly, or opulently. It may skillfully poise one flavor against another, or it may be a happy jumble of flavors or scents or textures or colors – or all of those.

I read a recipe as if I were reading a short story or – better – a short theater piece. First, we have the dramatis personae, the list of characters (the ingredients); then the action, step-by-step perhaps, or interleaved; and, finally, the ta-da. “Remove from the oven and serve.”

Because I have cooked for so long, I can imagine all this without having to have the ingredients, or the utensils, or the oven and its heat before me.

If my imagination enjoys the story or the show, I’ll perform it myself. More likely, I will tinker with it and make it my own. Even more likely, I will take two or three recipes that tell the same story, by and large, and use what I like or choose from one at the same place in another, shuffling them like cards, as it were, until the final story plays out using all the characters or action that I consider would make for the best ta-da.

I can do that because recipes allow for that, once you become comfortable as a cook.

Recipes as we know them – a list of ingredients, their quantity, and directions for their preparation – are a modern phenomenon, from only the 1800s.

Before then, recipes were short stories in fact, mere wee narratives aimed at those who already knew cooking and were certainly and already familiar with the dish described. They were just reminders.

This is the recipe “To stew mutton” from a 1664 Dutch cookbook: “Take Mutton; cut into large pieces, well cooked and skimmed, add to it long pieces of Parsnips, and furthermore all sort of greens coarsely chopped, and some Pepper and Salt; thus cooking and stewing these together until the Mutton is done.”

There’s a ta-da there, but a modern cook wouldn’t know whom from the “all sorts of greens” ensemble – or how much of any – to act out the drama or tell the story.

The modern recipe evolved because cooking did. Cooking went from the purview of those who already knew what they were doing to instructing those who didn’t – daughters, the newly educated (that is, those who could now read), the newly propertied (that is, those who now could afford the ingredients).

Instead of a peerage thing, cooking became top-down, and with that so did recipes.

The very word “recipe” is fascinating in this historical respect.

Its base is the Latin verb, “recipere,” which itself has many meanings (among them: to recover, to receive, to undertake, to accept) and has given us many words (here, especially receipt and recipe). The original “receipt” was the formula or prescription of medicaments that a patient (not only “one who suffers” but also “one who accepts”) was to take into their body in order to become well.

When you see the letters “Rx” on a pharmacy marquee, you’re seeing the ancient shorthand for the word “receipt.”

In the Latin declension of verb recipere, “recipe” is the second person singular imperative; it commands you to “take,” hence the first word of countless recipes – the first word of old-style narrative form recipes or the first word in the directions of many modern form recipes – “Take …”.

So, all you cooks, take. Take up the cookbook; take a look at the stories it tells; take one of them for yourself and make it your own, perhaps in time a favorite, an old friend in your home.

Poulet en Persillade (Chicken baked with mustard, parsley and garlic, in a cream sauce)
From “New Menus from Simca’s Cuisine,” by Simca Beck with Michael James
Serves 6

2 fine, fresh chickens, each 3 1/2 to 4 pounds, cut into serving pieces
2-3 tablespoons tarragon mustard or Dijon mustard flavored with 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried
6 cloves garlic, peeled
8-10 large sprigs of parsley
1 cup concentrated chicken broth (made from a bouillon cube, if you wish)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2/3 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper, as needed
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or parsley (optional)

Recommended equipment: An ovenproof dish (such as enameled cast-iron), large enough to hold pieces of chicken in one layer

Pat the pieces of chicken dry and coat them generously with the mustard. Finely chop the garlic and parsley together in a food processor or with a knife. Pour the chicken broth and vinegar into the bottom of the baking dish; sprinkle in half of the persillade – the chopped garlic and parsley. Arrange the chicken in the dish and sprinkle with the remaining persillade. Cover with a piece of buttered foil. The dish can now wait for an hour or so at room temperature before baking.

Bring the liquid in the dish to a simmer on top of the stove, then bake the chicken in a 375-degree over for 35-40 minutes. Turn the pieces once or twice as they cook; you may remove the pieces of the white meat from the oven 5 minutes sooner than the dark, as they tend to cook faster. The chicken is done when it is fairly firm to the finger, still moist, and only faintly pink at the bone; it should not overcook or it will be dry.

Transfer to a serving platter and keep warm in the turned-off oven (about 200 degrees). Pour the heavy cream into the baking dish, stir it well to deglaze the baking juices, and reduce over medium-high heat. After 8-10 minutes you should have a sauce of nice consistency; taste it for seasoning. Pour a bit of the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with the chopped fresh tarragon or parsley. Pass the remaining sauce in a sauceboat.

To prepare the dish an hour or so in advance, cook the chicken for 30 minutes, then remove it to an ovenproof platter and cover it with foil (remove the breast meat 5 minutes before the dark meat). Finish the sauce as directed and pour it into a saucepan. Twenty minutes before serving, place the chicken in a 350-degree oven to finish its cooking and warm it through. Reheat the sauce and serve with the chicken as directed above.

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There is a reason that Ina Garten is a cajillionaire. Many of her recipes are simple, delicious and  elegant, like the ones in her “Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?” My pal Mim makes the Barefoot Contessa’s Balsamic Roasted Beef from this book when she’s out to impress guests. And it works every time — especially since she starts with the highest quality beef from Whole Foods. (I’ve used less expensive cuts, however, and think this method still results in an exceptional dish.) My second-favorite recipe from this great cookbook is Panko-Crusted Salmon, which is in my rotation for a quick weeknight main dish. I typically buy a large package of salmon at once, then freeze single servings. They can be quickly defrosted in a plastic bag submerged in hot water for this can’t-fail recipe. — Barbara Ellis

Balsamic Roasted Beef

From the “Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?” by Ina Garten (Clarkson/Potter).

Serves 5-6

Be sure your oven is clean before turning it to 500 degrees or the fire department will show up!


2 1/2 pounds filet of beef, trimmed and tied

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black pepper


Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Place the beef on the sheet pan. Combine the mustard, vinegar and salt in a small bowl. Spread the mixture on the filet and brush it evenly over the top and sides. Sprinkle the cracked pepper evenly all over the meat.

Roast the filet for 30 minutes exactly for medium-rare (25 minutes for rare and 35 minutes for medium). Remove the pan from the oven, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and allow the beef to rest on the pan for 10 minutes. Slice and serve hot or warm.

Panko-Crusted Salmon

From the “Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?” by Ina Garten (Clarkson/Potter).

Serves 4


2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons good olive oil

4 (6- to 8-ounce) salmon fillets, skin on

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Lemon wedges, for serving


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix together the panko, parsley, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil and stir until the crumbs are evenly coated. Set aside.

Place the salmon fillets, skin side down, on a board. Generously brush the top of the fillets with mustard and then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Press the panko mixture thickly on top of the mustard on each fillet.

Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or large heavy, ovenproof pan. When the oil is very hot, add the salmon, skin side down, and sear for 3-4 minutes, without turning, to brown the skin.

Transfer the pan to the hot oven for 5 to 7 minutes until the salmon is almost cooked and the panko is browned. Remove from the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature with lemon wedges.

For people who grew up doing the family’s dishes more than learning the family’s recipes, television shows like the “Rachael Ray Show” and “America’s Test Kitchen” are a great help. “The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook” is an essential textbook to build on the PBS show as a cooking classroom. In addition to 17-plus seasons of recipes, the book explains the science of cooking and reveals the shows methodology in breaking down and researching recipes to get the best results.

These two recipes are foolproof for me, and they go great together. The crisp-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside potatoes are so easy and impress company with minimal work. It goes well with this pot roast, which has been tender and perfect every time I make it. — T.J. Hutchinson 

Braised Red Potatoes with Lemon and Chives

From “The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook” (America’s Test Kitchen).

Braised Red Potatoes with Lemon and Chives

Serves 4 to 6

Use small red potatoes measuring about 1½ inches in diameter.


1½ pounds small red potatoes, unpeeled, halved

2 cups water

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 garlic cloves, peeled

3 sprigs fresh thyme

¾ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon lemon juice

¼ teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons minced fresh chives


Arrange potatoes in single layer, cut side down, in 12-inch nonstick skillet. Add water, butter, garlic, thyme, and salt and bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove lid and use slotted spoon to transfer garlic to cutting board; discard thyme. Increase heat to medium-high and vigorously simmer, swirling pan occasionally, until water evaporates and butter starts to sizzle, 15 to 20 minutes. When cool enough to handle, mince garlic to paste. Transfer paste to bowl and stir in lemon juice and pepper.

Continue to cook potatoes, swirling pan frequently, until butter browns and cut sides of potatoes turn spotty brown, 4 to 6 minutes longer. Off heat, add garlic mixture and chives and toss to thoroughly coat. Serve immediately.
(Note: If I don’t feel like making the chive sauce, I substitute chopped garlic for the cloves, and let them finish in the pan with the potatoes)
Old-Fashioned Pot Roast

From “The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook” (America’s Test Kitchen).

Serves 6-8


1 (3½ to 4-pound) boneless chuck-eye roast, pulled into 2 pieces at the natural seam and fat trimmed (see note)

Table salt and ground black pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 medium onions, halved and sliced thin (about 2 cups)

1 large carrot, peeled and chopped medium (about 1 cup)

1 celery rib, chopped medium (about ¾ cup)

2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)

1 cup beef broth, plus 1 to 2 cups for the sauce

½ cup dry red wine, plus ¼ cup for the sauce

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 bay leaf

1 sprig fresh thyme plus ¼ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


Sprinkle the pieces of meat with 1½ teaspoons salt, place on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.


Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees. Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat. When the foaming subsides, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the carrot and celery and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes longer. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in 1 cup of the broth, ½ cup of the wine, the tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme sprig; bring to a simmer.


Season the beef generously with pepper. Using three pieces of kitchen twine, tie each piece of meat into a loaf shape for even cooking.


Nestle the roasts on top of the vegetables. Place a large piece of foil over the pot and cover tightly with the lid; transfer the pot to the oven. Cook the roasts until fully tender and a sharp knife easily slips in and out of the meat, 3½ to 4 hours, turning the roast halfway through cooking.


Transfer the roasts to a carving board and tent loosely with foil. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Discard the thyme sprig and bay leaf. Transfer the vegetables to a blender. Allow the liquid to settle for 5 minutes, then skim any fat off the surface. Add the remaining beef broth as necessary to bring the total amount of liquid to 3 cups. Place the liquid in the blender with the vegetables and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.


While the sauce heats, remove the twine from the roasts and slice them against the grain into ½-inch-thick slices. Transfer the meat to a large serving platter. Stir the chopped thyme, remaining ¼ cup wine, and the balsamic vinegar into the sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, passing the sauce separately.


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Pac-12 passes rule requiring 6 wins for football bowl eligibility

June 4, 2018 - 2:39pm

The Pac-12 will require its teams to win at least six regular-season games to play in a bowl, eliminating the opportunity for a 5-7 squad to earn a postseason spot when there are not enough six-win teams nationally to fill the bowls.

Pac-12 presidents passed the rule proposed by a subcommittee of athletic directors led by Washington’s Jennifer Cohen.

“The Pac-12 is committed to supporting the highest quality of competition at post-season bowl games,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement to The Associated Press on Monday. “In requiring a minimum of six regular season wins our goal is to support the significance of the bowl season and provide our fans around the country with the most exciting games featuring our leading Pac-12 teams.”

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The growing bowl lineup led to the NCAA determining in 2015 that 5-7 teams with the best Academic Progress Ratings would be bowl eligible if there were not enough six-win teams to fill the then-80 spots. Three 5-7 teams played in bowls in 2015 and two did so in 2016. None were needed last season when the number of FBS bowl slots dropped to 78 (39 games, not including the national title game) with the Poinsettia Bowl folding.

No 5-7 bowl-eligible teams have been from the Pac-12, which this season has seven contracted bowl spots for its 12 schools. Sending a team to a far-off and low-profile bowl game, where it will draw few fans, can be a losing financial proposition for an athletic department, but bowl eligibility does come with extra practice time (20 hours per week) that coaches like.

There will again be 39 FBS bowl games this season.

Categories: All Denver News.

Isaiah McKenzie aims to re-claim Denver Broncos punt return spot after “unacceptable” 2017

June 4, 2018 - 2:25pm

During his tumultuous rookie season trying to catch and return punts for the Broncos, Isaiah McKenzie had to have a, “I just did what?” moment, right?

“Plenty of times,” McKenzie said.

And that sums up McKenzie’s 2017 when he performed well enough to win the job a full month before the season started, only to struggle mightily. Plenty of times, he fumbled. Plenty of times, he showed poor decision making. And plenty of times, he was confused about his decision.

A fair catch at Miami in December was the first one that McKenzie cited after Monday’s seventh organized team activity workout.

“Caught it inside the 10 and thought, ‘Why did I do that?’” he said.

He caught the punt at his 5-yard line. Three plays later, Miami scored a safety and rolled to a 35-9 win. It was McKenzie’s final game as a punt returner.

The Broncos could have given up on McKenzie as a punt returner and cited only his statistics as the justification.

Per Stats, Inc., McKenzie’s 32 offensive touches were tied for 314th in the NFL last year, but he was tied for 20th (and tied for second among non-quarterbacks) with six fumbles (lost two). His 18.8 fumble percentage was first among all players with at least 12 touches.

“I’ve said it plenty of times: Unacceptable,” he said.

On draft weekend, McKenzie had to accept the Broncos’ decision to select Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton, pushing him down the depth chart.

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“I was like, ‘We got two of the best receivers in the draft,’” McKenzie said . “And then I said, ‘This is about competition every day.’”

McKenzie is getting another shot to compete. During Monday’s OTA, he worked at slot receiver and caught punts alongside Hamilton, Phillip Lindsay and Brendan Langley. McKenzie and Hamilton were 5-for-5 in catching punts, Langley was 4-of-5 and Lindsay 4-of-4.

“We’ve got four, and obviously Jordan Taylor when he’s back from his (hip) injury will be catching punts, also,” coach Vance Joseph said. “It’s an open competition and the more the merrier.”

McKenzie is in a tough spot — he wants to wipe last year from his memory, but must remember it so he doesn’t repeat it.

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If that sounds complicated, so is returning punts. Let it hit the turf, call a fair catch or try to return it? Turn up the middle of the field or head for the sideline? McKenzie had returns of 29, 31, 31 and 44 yards last year, but those were overshadowed by the blunders.

“I even look at them now,” he said of his mistakes, “I say, ‘OK, I could have done this better, I could have done that better, I could have made a way better decision.’ I look at it, learn from it and leave it behind me.”

McKenzie admits his confidence was shaken last year following a career at Georgia that included five punts returned for touchdowns. He has spent the offseason rebuilding it. He believes he can be an effective punt returner. He believes he can help the offense as a slot receiver.

“It’s a fresh start,” McKenzie said. “I feel like I came in this year with a good mindset. I feel more comfortable with the plays on offense and I’m catching the ball well on punt returns. I just want to keep it rolling.”

“I never quarrel with a man who buys ink by the barrel,” former Indiana Rep. Charles Brownson said of the press. But we need your help to keep up with the rising cost of ink.
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Categories: All Denver News.

Denver Zoo’s peacocks made a run for it — but don’t call it an escape

June 4, 2018 - 1:32pm

Eight peacocks flew the coop Sunday, leaving the Denver Zoo and embarking on an adventure that included jumping from rooftop to rooftop in the Park Hill neighborhood.

The excursion was cut short, though, as the zoo rounded up most of the birds that day. Only one remains at large. But it wasn’t all fun and games. Sadly one bird died during the trip outside the zoo’s walls.

“It’s important to make the distinction that it wasn’t really an escape,” zoo spokesman Jake Kubié said at the start of a phone interview the day after the zoo-break.

The zoo has 30 peacocks and peahens roaming the grounds. This isn’t the first time the birds have left the zoo and it won’t be the last because they are free to come and go as they please, Kubié said.

“I’ve been here many times when they’ve just wandered out the main entrance,” he said.

Like teenage scofflaws, the birds can be found hanging out in the parking lot or perched on perimeter fences. They typically stick around the zoo, however, and are usually drawn back inside by food and roosts.

But not this weekend. On Sunday morning, the birds took off far into the surrounding neighborhoods, likely spooked by something while in the parking lot, Kubié said. One made it as far as Fairfax Street and East 22nd Avenue, which is a little more than a mile “as the peacock flies,” he said.

The zoo sent keepers from its bird’s department to bring the renegades home. How does one capture a peacock? “As gently as possible,” Kubié said.

Five of the birds were caught Sunday. Another, though, died after it was hit by a car.

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Later Sunday, a neighbor spotted a peahen jumping from rooftop to rooftop. The bird eventually settled into a tree to roost about 15 to 20 feet above the ground.

The zoo kept an eye on the bird that night, returning around 4:30 a.m. Monday to retrieve her.

Only one bird remains at large but the zoo isn’t too worried. It’s relying on the community’s help to find the peacock.

“They’re very docile animals,” Kubié said. “This isn’t an emergency situation by any means.”

Categories: All Denver News.

Stanley Cup Final Game 4 live blog: Real-time updates from the Golden Knights-Capitals game

June 4, 2018 - 1:00pm

Live updates from the Washington Capitals at Vegas Golden Knights Stanley Cup Final game, June 4, 2018, at Capital One Arena.

Mobile users, if you can’t see the live blog, tap here.

(function(d, s, id) {var js,ijs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);;js.src="//";ijs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, ijs);}(document, "script", "scrbbl-js"));SKATE SHAVINGS: News and Notes from #Caps ' Morning Skate - Caps and Knights set to duel in pivotal Game 4, Vegas' adjustments include line[up] alterations, Smith-Pelly shakes off a flesh wound, more:…Hockey weather???? amazing story of Michal Kempny, who was plotting his way back to Europe while languishing in Chicago, but could……Per @MGMRaceSports Jeff Stoneback: Book just took a near-6-figure bet on Capitals moneyline, moving price from -125……Vegas has its "Golden Misfits," but the Capitals have their own cast of castoffs turned playoff heroes.

Washington……Solid peeps in the @GoldenKnights nation…SKATE SHAVINGS: News and Notes from #Caps ' Morning Skate - Caps and Knights set to duel in pivotal Game 6, Vegas' adjustments include line[up] alterations, Smith-Pelly shakes off a flesh wound, more:…Get ready for Game 4 between the Capitals and Golden Knights with this handy breakdown from @PostSports (which will……So proud of the @WHLPats boys looking back at the season we had and all the hard work we put in. On another note, I…… Related Articles
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Broncos OTA report: Shane Ray, Von Miller among group of players not practicing

June 4, 2018 - 12:14pm

The Broncos started their third and final week of organized team activity (OTA) workouts today. This is the seventh of 10 workouts and the last one that will be open to the media.

A recap:

Ray does not work. The seventh OTA featured the first major list of absences.

The key names were linebackers Shane Ray and Von Miller and receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.

Ray had a brace on his left wrist and coach Vance Joseph said Ray was held out because of soreness.

Miller, Thomas and Sanders missed for non-injury reasons – the sessions are voluntary.

Also new to the did-not-work list were offensive tackle Billy Turner and tight end Austin Traylor.

Guard Ron Leary (knee), defensive lineman Clinton McDonald (shoulder), right tackle Jared Veldheer (foot), tight end Troy Fumagalli (groin) and receiver Jordan Taylor (hips) have not worked at all during OTAs.

Rookie linebacker Jeff Holland hobbled off the field after he got tangled up with an offensive lineman while chasing Paxton Lynch out of the pocket. Holland was looked at by medical staff on the sideline but stayed on the field.

Opportunity for young players. The absence of so many veterans meant more first-team snaps for several young players.

Rookie receivers DaeSean Hamilton and Courtland Sutton were able to work with starting quarterback Case Keenum. The absence of Veldheer and Turner moved Cyrus Kouandjio to first-team right tackle.

And rookie Bradley Chubb saw more time because of Ray’s absence.

Sloppy practice. The Broncos didn’t look sharp during Monday’s workout.

There were overthrows by the quarterbacks. There were drops by the receivers. Even the defense didn’t capitalize on a few takeaway chances.

Dropped passes were by Hamilton and Carlos Henderson.

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Cornerback Chris Harris intercepted Keenum when he undercut an out-route. Linebacker Keishawn Bierria dropped an interception of Chad Kelly. Tight end Jake Butt fumbled out of bounds after a catch. Safety Jamal Carter made an end zone interception of Keenum off a deflection.

One of the only offensive highlights was a high-pointed catch by receiver John Diarse on a 20-yard Hail Mary pass by Keenum.

Stevens sees time. For the first time during the three OTAs open to the media, rookie quarterback Nick Stevens saw reps in 11-on-11 work.

Stevens’ old coaches from the Colorado State staff, including coach Mike Bobo, attended the practice.

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