baked oats green chile chicken enchiladas chow mein bakery-style butter cookies

copyright jennifer yu © 2004-2023 all rights reserved: no photos or content may be reproduced without prior written consent


We went into Boulder this morning as Jeremy had some work to do and I needed to ship a few packages out (New Year’s and birthday packages) and then swing by Whole Foods to visit my boys. Everywhere I went, people asked if my holiday shopping was done. I don’t want to get into the whole “we don’t celebrate Christmas, we celebrate Gravity and Water in its solid state” discussion with every person I meet… [I’ve had someone ask me if I’m Jewish before! ha ha ha!] I just told folks that I made my gifts and so got several verbal pats on the head for being frugal in these dire economic times. It’s not about being frugal so much as saying, “I like you” with something specially handmade. Feeding is an act of love in my family and so my baking and cooking are my small gifts of love.

When I say my boys I mean the fellas at the Whole Foods seafood counter, of course. Christmas Eve is their busiest day of the year – their highest volume day. Boulderites love their seafood. I perused the entire display of gorgeous sea critters on ice while dodging shoppers, random children, and the ever oblivious friends who just ran into each other and are blocking foot traffic with their poorly oriented shopping carts and yammering selves. It was a zoo, but a seriously festive zoo. A young woman from another department passed by and shouted, “Hey Seafood!” and all eight of the gentlemen behind the counter raised their hands and roared hello. James knows by now that when I ask for scallops or clams or fish or sashimi, to select not only the best quality, but also the best looking since I photograph the food. Such a sweetheart. Shaun, another favorite of mine, leaned over to say hi and asked what my dinner plans were. I answered and he said, “Ah, seafood… because you’re unique!” He smiled and jerked his head in the direction of a dozen customers to his right, “…just like everyone else.” These guys always go out of their way to give me the very best seafood. To me, that’s a gift of love right there.

I decided we would have an indulgent, yet simple dinner this evening: Alaskan King Crab (they had a special). Oh My God. I love crab – all kinds. My hands down favorite: Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab. I love crab more than lobster. Crab crab crab crab crab. I grew up catching crabs in the summer days and eating steamed crabs in the summer evenings. We enjoyed 2 pounds of steamed crab with a nice Spanish wine that my dad recommended and a refreshingly light salad of greens, jicama, cara cara oranges, and pomegranate. I think I’ll repeat that salad with tomorrow’s dinner too – it was terrific.

don olegario albariño rias baixas 2006

simple, easy, out of this world fantastic

As we come upon the last week of 2008, I look back on the year and wonder if everything I went through actually happened. But, I need only see the scars and burns and tats and my new curls and meds and compression sleeves to remind me that yes, it was real. It is still real. A year ago today, I had no idea what to expect – whether I would make it to the end of 2008 or not. I just concentrated on taking one step at a time. Many years of hiking and mountaineering have taught me that the journey matters far more than the destination – in wilderness and in life. I wrote to keep myself busy, to keep myself sane throughout my treatments. I would have written if Jeremy was the only one reading… but he wasn’t. I didn’t realize that I would be taking each step forward with the love and support of more and more wonderful readers and friends through this blog. Thank you so very much.

our new year’s card [click me!]

I want to wish you all a Happy Whatever it is That You Do. We have sent our New Year’s greetings out electronically for the past four years and I would like to share this year’s with URB readers (although if you’ve been reading regularly, most of these should ring a bell). You can view the card by clicking here.

38 nibbles at “ready”

  1. Kitt says:

    Sweet! Happiness to you. And a long and healthy future.

  2. Nate says:

    Jenn – we celebrate Christmas, so I will wish you a Merry Christmas and all the thoughts that go behind it.

    Here’s to a more hopeful and joyous 2009!

  3. Chris says:

    Happy holidays to you too! Thank you for taking the time to dole out little parcels of love in the form of breathtaking photos and inspiring blog posts.
    Stay strong.

  4. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy says:

    Happy Whatever it is That You Do right back at you, Jen! I never had any doubt that you’d still be going strong into 2009, but I’m thankful anyway. Our Christmases have been much more low key these past few years and I kind of like it that way. Maybe I’m just getting old, lol. Whatever your plans, I hope the rest of your Holiday season is filled with peace, love and FUN!

  5. Maja says:

    Happy Whatever it is That You Do to you, too, Jen!!! :D I wish you all the health in the world, the rest i know you’ll take care of yourself with style and humour, enjoy these slow paced holiday days!

  6. Maja says:

    (oh, and i wanted to share with you, i got skiing gear, skies complete with everything yesterday, a gift from mom’s friend who bought everything new and knew i wanted to take up skiing again and didn’t have the gear yet … the season has just started here, white slopes, here i come! :))

  7. Maja says:

    (ok, sorry for too much posts, but i seem to forget to include information, she bought herself a new equipment and gave me her “old” one :)) … that’s it from me now :), no more nonrelated information :), enjoy your day!!

  8. Rosa says:

    Great food! We pretty much did the same with my boyfriend… We ate homemade Chicken Parmesan with pasta and drank a good Italian wine.

    A great new year card! Nice portrait!

    All the best,


  9. Kathy says:

    Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year!

  10. Kathy says:

    Your year in review is positively awesome!!! I love it, love it, love it. It’s a beautiful journal of your journey.

  11. Manggy says:

    No food in sight in the last pic, but I can tell there’s obviously plenty of love right there :D xoxo
    I’ve only had lobster once (ONCE! An injustice, I tellz ya) so I can’t yet be absolutely sure that I love it more than crab or the other way ’round. But good crab is the stuff of paradise, yeah :)

  12. Michelle says:

    Happy Holidays!!

  13. Grey Street Girl says:

    What a great card! I love that necklace too. All three of you look happy and content. Happy holidays!

  14. Marija says:

    Happy Holidays Jenn!

  15. Trish says:

    Your photos are stunning! Have a lovely day…

  16. DeeDee says:

    Merry Zenmas, Jen! I very much enjoy reading your blog. You don’t know me, but I feel like we are old friends. Thank you for the lovely food and nature photos.

  17. Judith says:

    Merry Christmahanukwanakah! I don’t comment much, but I love your blog and especially your photography. And y’all are lovely, with that beautiful dog!

  18. Kathy says:

    Best wishes to you too! I love your blog. You take stunning photos — truly works of art that showcase nature’s works of art. I hope 2009 is a good year for you and your family….full of skiing, food and everything else that makes life wonderful.

  19. Tawnia says:

    You are truly an inspiration–thank YOU for a wonderful blog that has given me so much joy for the past year. I have enjoyed every post and look forward to the next one. Oh, and also has given me the courage to do some blogging of my own–and from our house–Happy Festivus!!

  20. dawn says:

    aww! I love that family photo! Great smile too.
    Happy …..Day to you too lol

  21. Asianmommy says:

    Happy New Year!!

  22. kat says:

    Thanks so much for such a wonderful blog. I hope the upcoming year brings you even more happiness.

  23. Christine says:

    We wish you good health and much joy in 2009! Cheers to you!

  24. Margie says:

    My words are simple, but sincere:

    Thanks for the memories of ‘home’, and most important, thanks for sharing your life.

  25. Mrs ErgΓΌl says:

    Thank you with sharing with us your household’s New Year card! It is very lovely! And yes, they are all familiar to us :)

    May the coming years be filled with lots of love, joy and happiness! Cheers! xxoo

  26. Fiona says:

    Oh, what a nice dinner. We had crab legs on our first date, and we love them still – 15 years later.

    Loved the year in photos. Like others, I find your approach to life inspiring, and I look forward to what you’ll do in 2009.

  27. Chez US - Denise says:

    Happy New year Jen & Jeremy! Much happiness, love & adventure to you both in 2009!

  28. Paz says:

    Season’s Greetings! Lovely photo.


  29. Mollie says:

    Hey girly… 2008 was a wild ride for sure… but I’m so glad you’re here, curls, tats, scars and all! Happy Happy Happy Gravity and Solid Water to you, J & K. :)

  30. Stephanie says:

    Discovered your blog about 3-6 mo ago, love it.

    I feel like I know you, Jen. You have a wonderful spirit. Nice card. I enjoyed your breathtaking photography!

  31. Melissa says:

    “we don’t celebrate Christmas, we celebrate Gravity and Water in its solid state” HAHAHAHAHA!

    Love the card. Kaweah is always gorgeous. And you guys ain’t so bad yourselves. ;)

    I’m so happy you’re a part of my reading. You really are very special.

    Happy New Year to all of you!

  32. barbara says:

    A lovely photo Jen. Good to see you looking so well and happy.

  33. Sarah says:

    What a beautiful card & photos/stories! Happy Holiday to you as well! I love how much you enjoy Colorado…makes me wish I could love where I live just as much! :)

  34. Ronine says:

    Back from holidays, I’m catching up on your posts and see myself being busy trying out some of your december recipes in the new year!

    Happy holidays to you, Jen. I wish you the best of health for 2009 and look forward to follow more of your adventures in your kitchen, in the wonderful nature of Colorado, and not least in the company of your lovely family, friends and puppy K.

  35. Lisa says:

    I am curious about what type of dressing, if any, that you put on your pretty salad?

    Very nice family photo! You all look very happy. Here’s to a healthy 2009!

  36. jenyu says:

    Kitt – thank you, hon. Wishing you and all of your loved ones a very good 2009.

    Nate – thanks! I hope you and Annie have a great 2009 and enjoyed your holidays.

    Chris – that is very sweet of you. Thanks for the kind thoughts and all the best to you!

    Susan – you’re such a love. Thank you for the sweet thoughts and for your friendship. It’s so wonderful to call you my friend. xxoo

    Maja – hurray! You got skiing stuff :) Now go skiing!! But do take care not to hurt yourself – it’s fun, but it’s also a little dangerous :)

    Rosa – mmm, nice and simple (but sounds delish!) Happy New Year to you, hon.

    Kathy – thank you and I’m so glad you like the photo stream!

    Mark – well, I’m trying to come up with items that you can’t get over there to send to you, but things like lobster are not going to make it, I’m sorry to say :( You need to help me out here!!

    Michelle – thank you, you too!!

    GSG – thanks, love. Same to you and all the best for 2009.

    Marija – thank you :)

    Trish – so happy you enjoy them. All the best.

    Deedee – ahhh, zenmas! That is too cute. Thanks for the warm wishes. Hope you are enjoying the holiday season!

    Judith – ha ha! Thanks :) I’m glad there is something here for you. Kaweah sends wags.

    Kathy – that is so sweet. I hope you and your loved ones have a great coming year too and enjoy the rest of 2008 together. Thanks!

    Tawnia – I love Festivus! I’m not even sure what it is, but the Seinfeld reference and George’s dad are hilarious :) Thank you for reading and best of luck on your blog! As long as it makes you happy, that’s all that matters. Cheers!

    Dawn – thanks and all the best to you.

    Asianmommy – thank you! Hope your 2009 rocks!

    Kat – thank you for reading! Well, I hope 2009 is better than 2008. 2008 got pretty sucky, so I am hoping we can start heading back up :)

    Christine – thank you and cheers to your 2009!

    Margie – you’re most welcome. Happy new year!

    Mrs. E – wishing you the best 2009 to come, love. I am sending you only the best thoughts and wishes. xxoo

    Fiona – Seafood is a good indicator of good partners, no? :) Thanks, and I’m glad to have met you via Chuck and Caltech :) You make me laugh!

    Chez Us – all the best to you both too, sweetie.

    Paz – thank you. Hope you’re having a great holiday too.

    Mollie – *great big hug* You’re awesome. I’m so happy we’re friends. Now if we could just meet in person some day :) xxoo!!!!

    Stephanie – thank you, that’s really nice of you to write. I just hope I’ll be able to continue writing and meeting great folks here. I’ll do my best!

    Melissa – *blush* Kaweah is the pretty one, that’s why she’s always in the group photo :) Thank you and happy new year to you too!

    Barbara – my dear, sweet, Barbara. Thank you. I am coming with you into 2009. We’re going to do this – this thing called life. We’re going to do it the right way. Love you. xxoo

    Sarah – Thanks! I think that we can always find SOMETHING about where we live to love. I haven’t always lived where I wanted to, but searching around, there will be something that makes you smile or happy. I hope you can find a handful if not more where you are or someday find a place that makes your heart sing every morning, every night.

    Ronine – thank you, that is very nice of you to say. I hope you have a great year too!

    Lisa – Ah yes, I didn’t mention that (maybe I should blog the salad? aggggh – so many recipes to post…) After supreming the orange, I take the skeleton and squeeze all of the juice over the salad (I use one orange per salad bowl). Then I just drizzle a little extra virgin organic olive oil. That’s it! Jeremy puts some Brianna’s French vinaigrette on his, but I like mine to be really light. Thank you and I wish you a healthy and happy 2009 too!

  37. Dustin says:

    Jen! Thanks for supporting us in Seafood. Xmas Eve when I got the mussels for you it was the first time I had heard of what you do…with the photography…and it is amazing. Come by anytime and we’ll be sure to get you the best of the best and if there’s anything you want special…just ask. Happy New Year!

  38. jenyu says:

    Dustin – doooooode! You found me! :) I will always support you fellas, because you give me the best seafood in town (in the state?!) Happy New Year, hon and thanks.

leave a reply