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archive for September 9th, 2010

pleasant surprises

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Recipe: sautéed shishito peppers

I ran around the house gathering my things. I was running late for a meeting in Boulder. Kaweah, who never feels my sense of urgency, sauntered out into the yard to do her doggy business, but really, Kaweah just wants to mosey about and sniff things. Plop. Something hit me on the head. Cold plop. I squinted and looked up. Dark clouds had been building overhead for a few hours and now was the answer to our collective rain dances. My face broke into a huge smile – I couldn’t help it. I called to Kaweah to stop sniffing the grasses and to come inside for her treat. As I drove down the canyon, the rain increased from spitting to pitter patter to real rain. Never have I squealed with this magnitude of joy and gratitude at the rain coming down around me. Passing drivers coming up the canyon seemed to be smiling too.

But it petered out as I neared the entrance to Sugarloaf Canyon where a police car was stationed to block access to the evacuated zone… to the fire zone. Come on, rain!

Jason and I stood under the tent of the Boulder Farmer’s Market discussing logistics about our upcoming shoot while watching big drops of rain randomly splatter the rest of the market.

“I told Josh that you snore like a [expletive] and that I refuse to share a room with you.”


“He said that’s cool, because he’s a big snorer too.”

“Nice!” Jason rubbed his hands together, “It’s going to be a race to see who falls asleep first!”

By the time I drove up to where I buy Kaweah’s dog food (yeah, we’ve moved her to Senior food now) it was pouring rain. POURING! But just because it was coming down in Boulder didn’t mean it was raining on the fire. Still, any little bit helped and I hoped that the clouds over the foothills to the west were rain clouds and not just smoke clouds. [The wonderful crews fighting the fire have it 10% contained as of this morning. The community in and around Boulder has opened its heart and arms wide open to those affected by the fire. Truly inspiring and amazing.] And thanks to all of you who have sent your sweet messages. xo

the bouquet of sunflowers i bought at the farmer’s market

Not long after the Food and Light workshop ended, I received several dozens of emails inquiring about the next workshop. One of those emails asked if there would be another workshop by September (um, no…) and if not, what I would recommend for a trip to Boulder for someone’s birthday. I get a lot of questions about things to do and places to eat for folks visiting Boulder, so I cranked out a quick reply with several suggestions. That email exchange that began in July evolved and materialized into a birthday surprise yesterday evening.

a meal at frasca is not complete without their excellent wines

Rich planned a dinner at Frasca for his wife Kelly’s birthday – and he graciously invited us to join them as a surprise! Kelly is the photo editor of Fine Cooking – my hands down favorite magazine. How could I possibly say no? We arrived with the bouquet of flowers, which Frasca’s staff kindly whisked away, trimmed, arranged in a vase, and placed on our table. The service was flawless (as always), the wine bright and crisp, and the food… oh the food.

pacific hiramasa crudo, finger lime, lavash, cilantro

robiola and soft ricotta tortelloni, garlic brodo, porcini mushroom conserva

pan-seared red snapper with sweet corn ragú and baby carrots

Isn’t that lovely? Let me tell you, I was so excited when one of those finger lime vesicles popped in my mouth. Citrus caviar is what it is. Suddenly, life became even more beautiful and I have a new obsession. The word that surfaces in my brain when I think of savory dishes at Frasca is “perfection”. Textures, flavors, temperatures, colors, aromas. Our hosts thoroughly enjoyed their plates as well, which in some small way makes me proud of Boulder because I’m never ashamed to recommend this fine town to others. Rich and Kelly are utterly charming and delightful people – a fun, witty, and handsome couple (you’d never guess her age, she looks incredible). So if you will recall my rant about not caring if I have readers or not, the truth is that I don’t. However, I cannot deny that I have met some truly wonderful people thanks in no small part to the interwebs, and that includes Rich and Kelly. Happy birthday, Kelly! Thank you both for making us a part of your special day.

Now before I head to the airport, I’ve had something on my mind…

shishito peppers

Ever since Tea and I indulged in that lovely Padrón pizza at Delancey in Seattle last week, my mind has been on those peppers. Peppers are funny beasts. Some varieties are always mild, some are always insanely hot, and some are hit and miss. Hatch green chiles can even have hot bites within a single pepper. I’ve found shishito peppers to be mostly mild and occasionally – wow! Espicy! Note: there has been some confusion in my head… I always thought shishitos were the same as padróns, but they are not! Sorry ’bout that.

a quick rinse

**Jump for more butter**