March 29th, 2015
Recipe: ham, swiss, and egg brioche sandwich
Returning home to Nederland over the weekend, we discovered that the house and its surrounds had gone ahead and marched straight into spring. Little green grasses and baby dandelion leaves are beginning to sprout up through our walkway gravel. The aspens have fuzzed out with catkins. And a bathmat-sized patch of snow lingers behind our garage in eternal shade, hoping to withstand 60°F air temperatures until it can replenish with another storm. We also received our REI dividend in the mail. You know, they used to issue those at the end of the calendar year, which meant we spent it all on winter gear. Since they’ve shifted the dividends to late March, we now spend the dividend on summer gear – like new Hokas (trail runners) and a steri pen. Jeremy loves his Hokas so much, he recommended I make the switch this season. I guess it’s time to face reality that I’ll be doing less skiing and more trail running as the days get longer.
nice color over gothic mountain (bottom center) and crested butte (right)
still getting out for a ski tour in the indian peaks
warm orange clouds over the divide from our deck (nederland)
venus to the left and a contrail lit pink by the setting sun
We are experiencing a shift in our exercise schedules with the change in seasons. We like to ski first thing in the morning in winter – because you typically catch first tracks or newly groomed nordic trails. Now that it’s warmer, we go later in the day to give the snow time to soften up from its overnight freeze. Even in the high country, the snow gets wet in the afternoons. Then it freezes overnight into a hard crust or icy slick. So first thing in the morning isn’t such a great thing anymore. Come summer, we’ll be starting our hikes and trail runs in the dark to avoid as much sun and heat as possible. But all of these things require fuel.
They say not to skip breakfast and I find this to be especially true when you plan to burn calories for several hours. I just have a lot of trouble eating something sweet for my first meal. The sugar leaves my mouth sour and dry, and I don’t feel it gives me the proper boost for my activity level. A few weeks ago, we stopped by Salto Coffee Works on our way to ski The Jane (Winter Park/Mary Jane), because Jeremy needed some proper caffeine for the drive. I ordered a breakfast sandwich to put something in my empty stomach. It was so good that I insisted Jeremy eat half of it. Since then, I’ve made it a couple of times for a good energy booster before a ski tour or a morning of bump runs.
swiss cheese, black forest ham, brioche buns, eggs, butter, honey dijon mustard
butter the buttery brioche buns
grill them on a skillet until golden
**Jump for more butter**
March 26th, 2015
Recipe: lemon soufflé
There was a surprise dump of 3 inches the other morning on the mountain at Crested Butte. 3 inches does not a powder day make, but with such a warm and dry March and a below average winter snowfall, we’ll take it! The fluff was nice while it lasted and the extra few inches will extend the lifetime of the mountain’s base as well as the nordic trails. I think in past years I would have despaired about the lack of active snowfall. However, having learned to skate ski this year, I could keep busy and get some great cardio workouts on the non-powder days since powder is not ideal for skate skiing.
jeremy takes an afternoon break for some turns
valley floor after a fresh snowfall
So unless the snow has melted to dirt, there is SOMETHING to be had. Jeremy was all sad trombone about the lack of powder because he brought his fat skis, but he cheered up when I mentioned that we can still skate or even classic. And while groomers aren’t especially exciting, it’s just fun to get outside into this beautiful high country. He can be an Eeyore at times, so I have to remind him that when life hands you lemons, you make lemon soufflé. Amiright?
eggs, butter, flour, sugar, powdered sugar, lemons, vanilla, milk
grate the lemon zest
juice the lemons
measured and ready to roll
**Jump for more butter**
March 24th, 2015
Recipe: asian chicken salad with ginger dressing
It’s springtime in the Rockies and it also happens to be spring break for a lot of schools. We’re in Crested Butte to enjoy what remains of both the mountain and nordic ski seasons. The high, strong sun has been delivering a pounding to the snow – visibly shrinking it by inches each day. The birds are back feeding off the patches of bare ground and filling the air with the sweet chorus of bird songs. The Slate River flows faster and fuller. If we’re lucky, we’ll squeeze out a few spring storms to keep the backcountry fresh a little longer. Either way, we’re enjoying it.
bison outside of buena vista
sunset over the town of crested butte
cotton candy over whetstone mountain
skate skiing before it disappears
making a snowball in spring, because rocky mountain powder is too fluffy in winter
I’ve kept our menu simple since the kitchen in Crested Butte is serviceable, but not tricked out like my kitchen back home. Besides, I don’t come here to cook. Obviously. And with the warmer weather, I’m migrating towards salads and sandwiches. So, a couple of weeks ago, we drove into Denver to shop around for a new washing machine. We didn’t find a washing machine that we liked, but we did find 2 cases of wine – go figure! I swear this is related. On our way home, we popped by Souplantation (aka Sweet Tomatoes) to grab a late lunch. One of Jeremy’s favorite salads is their wonton chicken salad. Surely I could make an even better version at home, right?
There are three components to the salad: the chicken, the ginger dressing, and the salad (vegetables and such). I guess it’s four components if you count the wonton strips, but those are optional. The chicken is simple – marinate for 30 minutes then bake for 20 minutes. You might be tempted to boil the chicken and shred it, which is perfectly acceptable, but you’d be missing out. The extra flavor from the marinade is worth the itsy bitsy amount of effort.
the chicken: chicken breasts, soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper
place it all in a bag
marinate for 30 minutes
place in a baking dish to bake
**Jump for more butter**