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archive for November 2012

neighborly

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Recipe: seven layer cookies

Our neighbors are absent in summer because they run a camp in the wilds of Canada. It’s really too bad because we quite like these neighbors and their giant walking carpet of a dog (she’s such a lover). The kids return in late August when school starts, and then the mother comes back in September and finally, the father wraps everything up and returns in October. We see glimpses of one another in the driveways as summer transitions into autumn. It’s a busy time for us too with travel and work such that I make a point of going over to welcome them home. I can’t really walk over empty-handed, because… I can’t.


graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, coconut, butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, macadamia nuts

buttering the pan and lining with parchment paper (and buttering again)



So I’m flipping through my old notebook with my earliest recipes, looking for a certain cookie when these seven layer cookies caught my eye. This was a recipe from my days growing up in Virginia, something the ladies would bring to potlucks. It is sweet beyond all get out and is filed with the rest of my favorite “white trash” recipes. I hadn’t made these in over 20 years. I know this because Jeremy had neither heard of them nor tasted them before. Time to whip up a batch, no?

mix the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs

press into the bottom of the pan



These are the kind of treats that rot your insides, but are surprisingly snacky. That’s why I 1) haven’t made them in 20 years and 2) gave most all of these away. It’s foolproof too. I really don’t think anyone can mess this recipe up. If you do manage to mess it up, don’t tell me.

pour the sweetened condensed milk over the crust

layer the butterscotch and chocolate chips



**Jump for more butter**

shoulder season

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Recipe: vietnamese grilled lemongrass pork (thit heo nuong xa)


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My wonderful friend, Jennie, lives in New York City and has a great post with links on how to help with relief efforts as the city tries to recover from Hurricane Sandy. If you are so inclined, please click on over. Thank you! xo

And a reminder to please GO AND VOTE on Tuesday if you haven’t already voted! Thank you, again!

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We set our clocks back Saturday night and the morning felt much brighter when we woke up. Of course, come sunset (and it came fast and early) Kaweah was already petitioning for her dinner two hours early. Jeremy dreads the overall shortening of the daylight hours and I think he makes it worse by counting the days. He told me this evening that it will be six weeks until the shortest day of the year and then another six weeks to get back to the amount of daylight we have right now. Well, yes – this is how it works with the Earth and the Sun. I accept the reduced daylight hours as long as there is some snow in the deal. I want my snow, please. If we get another repeat of last year’s lame snow season, I’ma gonna spit.

But before sunset jumped to 5:00 pm (and I’ll not complain since my girlfriend in Alaska is dealing with far more drastic diurnal shifts), we put our 5-6pm time slot to good use. On our 20 year smoochiversary, we went to Frasca for dinner, because it’s Jeremy’s favorite restaurant in Colorado. Who am I to tell him no?


brussels sprouts, duck prosciutto, pickled turnip salad (jeremy had pumpkin soup)

polenta-stuffed pasta with rabbit and chanterelles

my pork four ways: tenderloin, belly, bacon with spaetzle, and sausage

jeremy’s beef four ways: ribeye, marrow, beef cap, and carpaccio

fig hazelnut frangipane tart (me), pumpkin upside down cake with caramelized pecans (jeremy)



And we enjoyed the last of the evening walkies with Kaweah. For the next few months they will have to be afternoon walkies. We have some nice local trails around our neighborhood that have seen improvements over the years. I love trails so much. LOVE them. We were delighted to see another extension of a Boulder Parks and Open Space trail network finished. Kaweah was happy to give it the sniff down too.

yay! new trails!

and home in time for the last colors of the day

on the horizon



As I have indicated (read: complained), we haven’t had a whole lot of snow yet. When I say snow, I mean enough snow to last the winter and spring. The trails we slogged through last week are now dry or have a thin layer of ice at best. It’s been sunny and warm. Ahhh, shoulder seasons… So instead of sulking about, wishing for ski season to start already, I sulk about and run the trails. And I’m sulking and grilling. Actually, I’m not really sulking, because this Vietnamese grilled lemongrass pork (thit heo nuong xa) is crazy good.

pork shoulder, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, oil, pepper, brown sugar, dark soy sauce, fish sauce

roughly chopped garlic, shallots, and lemongrass with light brown sugar

pop the garlic, shallots, lemongrass, and sugar into a blender or food processor



**Jump for more butter**