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archive for February 2012

sweetness

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Recipe: blood orange curd

When we moved to Colorado, we quickly learned that you don’t wait for an opening in your schedule to do things around here… you take advantage when the opportunity presents itself. I’m referring to the weather, but it applies to life in general. But it’s the weather that dictates everything around here. These past few days have been perfectly calm, cold, and snowy. Calm is the operative word. Calm means the snow isn’t scoured from the trails. Calm means 4°F feels pretty warm in the sun. Calm is when you get out into it.


into the snow, that is



I had a lovely solo ski tour one snowy afternoon. Solo because Kaweah stayed home. I love taking her with me, but it’s always a short 3-4 miles with her. I wanted to explore further and really feel that burn in my legs, back, and arms.

solitude and the path you take

drinking in the vistas



And then we were greeted with five more inches of snow in the morning, which is the true Breakfast of Champions. Winds still calm. Grab the day by the bazingas! Here’s a little bit of what an awesome day looks like to me:

what a morning, what a view

bluebird here, socked in with clouds on the flats

lunch at sushi tora (in boulder)

meeting jason’s new puppy, buck!



While we’re talking about making the most of a good thing, blood oranges are in season! They’re in my local Whole Foods and I’ve been enjoying them as a snack or in salads. In my head, I think the blood oranges are less acidic and have a touch of a cherry flavor to them compared to let’s say, navel oranges. That could be me cuing off the visually striking red color, with which I must confess to being completely enamored. We love reds in fall colors, in sunsets, in birds, in flowers, in fruits and vegetables.

blood oranges, eggs, lemon, sugar, butter

zest and juice the oranges



Originally, the plan was to make a half recipe of blood orange curd. Then I found a cute recipe to pair it with and decided to go ahead and do the full quantity. It only really requires two blood oranges, but I kinda went grab-happy at the store last week.

more: butter, egg yolks, orange zest, blood orange juice, lemon juice, sugar

add blood orange juice to the yolks, sugar, and lemon juice



**Jump for more butter**

cloud nine

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Recipe: chocolate cloud cake

I hope you all had a good weekend. Mine, you ask? Well… you might say it was EPIC.


friday morning and still coming down



See that? That’s a newly cleared driveway. That driveway, which belongs to me, was ever so sweetly snow-blown by my dear neighbor who saw me desperately shoveling 18 inches of fluffy white at 7:30 am so I could go ski at the local hill when the lifts opened. My neighbor is going to get chocolate in the very near future.

knee-deep, dry powder

with my buds jason and jared atop a double black



Best. Day. Of. The. Season. And poor Jeremy was at a conference in South Africa all week. We got a total of 31 inches at my house over the course of 1.5 days, which ain’t too shabby in my book. Of course, being Colorado, you can’t keep the sun away for long at all.

a glorious saturday morning

pretty snowflakes



It seemed when I wasn’t skiing, I was shoveling snow. Kaweah was my little shadow as I dug paths through the thick white blanket. She used to go bounding into the deeps, but is too old to get herself unstuck these days. I keep her close and she has fun shoving her schnoz into the walls of snow and sneezing in delight. The neighborhood is winter white. Jeremy is back home. Things are right with the world.

kaweah eating the snow on the deck



And it’s February. Did you notice that too? I normally have nothing but scorn for Valentine’s Day. I don’t like pink and I think this sort of mass social pressure on men to do something nice for women is just plain stupid. Men should be nice to women all the time. And vice versa. Everyone just freaking be nice to everyone, will ya? I realize that’s a bit much to ask.

But this week I am feeling the love in the kitchen. Oh, I don’t know. Perhaps it’s all of that powdery snow (and no winds – yet) putting me into the mood to make sweet treats. Maybe Valentine’s Day is just a coincidence. Who cares? We’re talking chocolate.


…and butter, sugar, eggs, booze, and orange zest

everything measured and prepped

line an 8-inch springform with parchment paper



I don’t love chocolate the way most of the world loves chocolate. We get along fine and leave it at that. However, I do enjoy baking with chocolate and distributing it to friends who give chocolate a better home than I can (in their tummies). Those quick and easy recipes attract my attention because no one around here is made of spare time.

whisk butter into melted chocolate

beat eggs, yolks, and sugar together



I made a chocolate cloud cake. The soft, white cloud of whipped cream caught my fancy at first, but then I liked how relatively simple the preparation was. It’s a flourless chocolate cake and I’ve blogged flourless chocolate cakes before. This one folds in whipped egg whites, which I was curious to try.

stir the chocolate into the egg mixture

add orange zest and some grand marnier



**Jump for more butter**

sweet sweet vegetables

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Recipe: mirin sweet potatoes

Yes, another orange vegetable. You have to get through your vegetables first before commencing the debauchery that will be Valentine’s Day. Debauchery is next week. This week: vegetables. But I swear this won’t even be like a vegetable. It’s practically candy. I love roasted sweet potatoes, sweet potato fries, sweet potato pie, sweet potato mash… But that Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole? Not. A. Fan. Ever on the lookout for great new ways to prepare vegetables, I was immediately drawn to this recipe in the latest issue of Bon Appétit: White Sweet Potatoes with Mirin and Honey.


gold sweet potatoes and purple yams



I didn’t know there were white and gold sweet potatoes. I just grabbed the ones closest to me which happened to be not the sweet potatoes I was supposed to get. Then I was in the Asian grocery store (not the one in Boulder, the one in Broomfield – POM) and I picked up some Okinawa sweet potatoes which I believe are actually yams according to a rule that yams have different colored flesh than the exterior skins. Okinawa sweet potatoes are purple on the inside. I had no idea how it would fare in the recipe, but I wanted to give it a try.

all you need: sweet potatoes, honey, vinegar, oil, mirin, butter, and salt

pierce with a fork



You can either bake the potatoes wrapped in foil for a half hour, or you can nuke them in the microwave for five minutes. I took the five minute option. Don’t forget to pierce them all over with a fork if you choose to nuke the sweet potatoes. Let them steam in a covered bowl for a few minutes to loosen up the skin. I think it’s supposed to facilitate the peeling, but I just used a knife. While the sweet potatoes enjoy their sauna, you can mix the “dressing” made of mirin, honey, vinegar, and salt. Yes, that’s it.

after microwaving, steam in a bowl covered in plastic

mixing the mirin, honey, vinegar, and salt together



**Jump for more butter**