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archive for November 2010

busy my way

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Recipe: hash brown potatoes

Hey, what have you been up to lately? I’m guessing most people in the States are thinking about Thanksgiving. I’m not there yet. Nope. Finally got my ski on last week at Breckenridge and I have to say – in light of my travel schedule and the lack of decent snow this fall – it’s about time! We had some visitors over the weekend too. Shauna, Danny, and Lu were in Colorado for part of the book tour. We met up with them in Breck for lunch, but the following day they made their way to Boulder and our neck of the woods. So I’ve been playing hostess for the past few days.

first day of the season at breckenridge and we caught some nice pow

things you come across when tidying up our house

radek and danny at l’atelier in boulder

lu mimics kaweah

After a beautiful dinner at Radek Cerny’s L’Atelier in Boulder (Danny used to be Radek’s #2 chef in Denver, back in the day), they came up to spend the weekend at our house. On Saturday, we attended Shauna and Danny’s gluten-free potluck in downtown Boulder and had a great turnout of 65+ people! All of these people came and shared their amazing cooking and baking.

just look at the spread

gorgeous gluten-free pizza from the organic pizza company

several of my favorite local blogger gal pals

shauna thanks everyone at the potluck

The best part of their visit for me was seeing Danny in his element – in his hometown (Breck), with his old restaurant bosses, loving the cold weather and drinking in that clean mountain air. He was beaming when he introduced Shauna and Lu to his old friends. Boulder was the last segment of Shauna and Danny’s Colorado book tour, so it was with sadness and gratitude that we hugged on Sunday in the golden light of the morning sun, our white breath floating up into the air as we wished them safe travel back to Washington. Sadness that we had to part, but gratitude for so many opportunities to spend time with each other this year!

colorado is delighted to have you guys any time

So I’m not much of a breakfast person, but most of our house guests ARE breakfast people. It’s actually because of house guests that I’ve forced myself to learn to make a variety of breakfast items. While that first meal of the day tends to be sweet in western cultures, Asian cultures are primarily dominated by savory dishes and *I* am a savory brekkie type, to be sure.

beloved potato

peeling the spuds

**Jump for more butter**

the power of the brownie

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Recipe: chewy brownies

I’m learning to say no.

Sometimes I’m too enthusiastic and take on more than I should – more than is good for me. I do try to be careful about saying yes to everything and short-changing myself and everyone else. That’s why I think saying no is just as important as saying yes because I don’t like myself when I’m spread too thin. I thought about this while I was in Yosemite last week as I had a lot of time in my own head and offline.

el capitan in late afternoon

After rummaging around my thoughts, I decided to make a few course corrections which all boil down to de-cluttering my life both literally and figuratively. I know I’m being vague. All you need to know is that I’m feeling good about it… feeling like my priorities are back on track. And speaking of priorities, I was passing through the produce section of Whole Foods in Boulder the other day when I spied Buddha’s hand citron. As you can guess, I totally bought (remember me, the hoard shopper) the hell out of them because I had to make this Buddha’s hand citron vodka. I’ve got 2 gallons infusing as I type because in addition to making great lemon drop martinis they also make fantastic gifts.

buddha’s hand… ever see district 9?

do not open until december 25

But Jen, you don’t do Christmas! This is true, however the end of the year is a great time to express your appreciation to those you rely upon for their services or friendships. I enjoy making handmade gifts of the edible persuasion and it seems that our recipients rather like them too. I tend to mix it up from year to year because variety is the spice of life. One evening last month, I tweeted “chewy or cakey brownies?” and everyone chimed in with their preferences. I had forgotten to include fudgy brownies in the choices. The majority stood behind chewy or fudgy, but whatever they stood behind, they were adamant about it. I didn’t know people were so particular about the texture of their brownies!

butter and chocolate

melting over a hot water bath

**Jump for more butter**

and then it snowed

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Recipe: chinese stir-fried chicken with vegetables

***Hey Coloradoans!!***

Shauna and Danny (and Lu) of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef are HERE in Colorado! They have a beautiful new book out (try their pumpkin soup = teh awesome) and want to share it and the gluten-free love with all of you. Just so you know, Danny is our homeboy – a native from Breckenridge. It is so very very special for Shauna and Danny to be coming home to Colorado with their little girl. You have several opportunities to meet them this week and give them a proper welcome home:

Monday, November 15, 2010 in DENVER
Party at Udi’s Stapleton restaurant: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. This event is SOLD OUT.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 in DENVER
Reading and book signing at The Tattered Cover Book Store (on Colfax Ave.): 7:30 pm and open to all.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 in DILLON (near Breckenridge)
Book signing at the Dillon Borders Book Store: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm open to all.

Thursday, November 18, 2010 in BRECKENRIDGE
A BIG Gluten-Free PARTY for Shauna, Danny, and Lu at Mi Casa Restaurant: 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm for $16.25.

Saturday, November 20, 2010 in BOULDER
Gluten-Free Potluck at First Congregational Church (1128 Pine St.): 1:00 pm and open to all. Bring a favorite gluten-free dish to share around. If you can chip in a couple of bucks to help cover the fee for the rental space and cleaning, that would be extra swell!

For all of the details on these events, please visit Shauna’s post on their Colorado Book Tour.

***Come Meet Shauna, Danny, and Lu!***

I was rather pleased that I kicked my cold in time for my Yosemite shoot last week. It was a short-lived victory though, because it came back and thwacked me square in the shins this weekend. I lost my voice. I felt sapped of energy. And Jeremy’s family visited for the weekend (but they had a blast playing Rock Band 3). The key was to lie low and stay under the radar… and watch the snow fall outside. I think we are finally getting our winter on in Colorado, albeit slowly. Oh wait, but a few more from Yosemite (and the rest are on the photo blog).


half dome

I’m happy to be home. It isn’t just the fact that I don’t have to plan for another trip, but that I can actually make plans at home. Plans to see my friends, to cook and bake, to SKI, to fix things around the house, to get some real work done, and especially spending time with the guy and the pup. When I was preparing all manner of recipes ahead of time to post during my travels, we were always eating a “new” recipe. Jeremy commented at one point that we hadn’t repeated a dinner in quite some time… months, in fact. I’m no fan of serving the same five recipes every week for all eternity, but the nice thing about a great recipe is that you can make it again. Variety is the spice of life, but favorites are meant to be re-lived.

chicken, green onions, garlic, straw mushrooms, snow peas, water chestnuts, baby corn

slice the chicken against the grain

There’s nothing like a quick stir-fry full of vegetables that puts a smile on my face. I grew up eating a lot of vegetables and I start to feel lethargic and sleepy when I don’t get enough of them. My mom was an ace at the Chinese stir-fry. Her vegetables were always crisp, fresh, and brightly colored. So that’s how I make my stir-fries and wouldn’t you know it – Jeremy craves those vegetables too. One of my favorite dishes is this chicken and vegetable stir-fry because of the clean and bright flavors.

sautΓ© the chicken with the green onions and garlic

stir fry the vegetables

**Jump for more butter**