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archive for January 2013

it’s citrus time

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

Recipe: orange pound cake

I’ve had a lot of people write to me or comment about Kaweah over the years sharing sweet words, concerns, and love for our crazy pup. There is a running joke here that once Kaweah passes on, my readership will dwindle to thirteen people. But seriously, I am truly moved that so many of you have such fondness for little Kaweah. She had a check up last week and her vet thinks she’s doing wonderfully for her age. We just try to ensure her happiness and comfort. So THANK YOU for all of the love and support you send over the interwebs!

It was sunny and cold, but now it’s sunny and warm. However, there is no new snow. Dear weather, WHAT THE HELL?! Sometimes you just have to suck it up and ski groomers in the sunshine. Don’t cry for me, the ski season could be worse (but this season has been pretty bad).


breck breck breckenridge



Oh heck, the flip side is that I can concentrate on getting work done without missing out on the powder… because there isn’t any powder. Instead, there is a lot of chocolate right now, which I can’t ski.

i spent the weekend working

with my assistant never more than a few inches away



And I set aside a little time to socialize with some of my amazing Colorado blogging ladies – a bunch of talented, smart, beautiful, and hi-larious women who happen to blog and live in Colorado. My friend, Denise, hosted the gathering and I promised her a cake. It came down to chocolate or lemon and I opted for lemon. It’s citrus season and while I know many of us associate lemon with summer (lemonade, lemony desserts, lemon cocktails), I love lemon in winter – it seems to brighten everyone’s outlook. Or maybe it just reminds us that summer is on its way?

lemon cake (despite the presence of lime slices)

wonderful lady friends

cake cross section at denise’s house



The cake is based on this recipe for lemon petits fours except I doubled it to make a four-layer 9-inch round cake with Meyer lemon curd, Meyer lemon buttercream, and limoncello simple syrup. I omitted the fondant icing because I frosted the cake with buttercream frosting.

I’ve been on a citrus roll because it all looks so good and feels heavy and firm in my hand. Jeremy and I have been on a steady routine of consuming grapefruits and oranges as well as cooking with plenty of limes and lemons. When I spied this recipe for a glazed orange pound cake in my latest issue of Fine Cooking, I had everything I needed to get started.


navel oranges!

sugar, vanilla, powdered sugar, oranges, flour, eggs, butter, salt, baking powder

zest the oranges

zest and juice



I’ve mentioned this before, but I think it’s worth repeating – when a recipe calls for the zest or peel of any citrus, I use organic. So the recipe in my magazine called for four medium navel oranges, but I apparently bought large navel oranges. I only needed two to yield the necessary zest and juice. That said, leftover oranges are never a bad thing. Never. (Eat them, they are good for you.)

mix the flour, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt

add eggs one at a time to the creamed butter and sugar

don’t forget the vanilla



**Jump for more butter**

let’s ramp things up

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Recipe: mushu pork burger

It’s been months since Kaweah has been able to walk up the stairs on her own. She walks down the steps just fine, albeit slowly (with an escort to catch her if she stumbles). But one of us will carry her up to the main floor several times a day. Of course, we can’t ask our dear neighbor to carry Kaweah up a flight of stairs when she lets the pup out while we’re gone all day. So we’ll typically keep Kaweah on the first floor – where there are only three steps. Except now, Kaweah can’t get up those three steps either. I figured a ramp would be a good solution to let Kaweah wander up to the front door when she pleases (she likes this as she can look to see who is coming and going). I dropped a wad of cash on a dog ramp at the store and it turns out that it’s too narrow for our aging dog. Kaweah’s hind leg kept slipping off the edge and it scared the hell out of her little doggy self. We returned the ramp, went to the hardware store, and bought some materials.


et voilĂ !



Some plywood, hinges, support beams, wood screws, and foam cushion bathmats ($13 each at Costco) made for a nice, solid ramp. At first Kaweah was reluctant, but after some coaxing (i.e. treats) she got the hang of going up and down the ramp like a pro. Yay, success! Why the foam cushion bathmats? She seems to get better footing on these than on standard carpet on an incline. Also, we know she likes them because she always stands on them in our bathroom.

no prob

she is all about the treat



It was a simple DIY project, but I love making things to my specifications. The same goes for food. Actually, I think food is easier because I work with food all the time. A few days ago, Jeremy and I were reminiscing about the California roll burger. We’ve only ever made it twice, but it is so unbelievably GOOD. And it got me thinking about burgerfying other dishes… like mushu pork.

ground pork, green onions, fish sauce

mix it together with some salt and pepper

form the patties



**Jump for more butter**

comfort

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Recipe: sopaipillas

Over the weekend, we lost a longtime family friend. He was the father of one of my childhood besties. Even though he wasn’t related to me, I called him Uncle. That is how I was taught to address friends of the family – Uncle or Auntie. But I always thought of him as an uncle. He was a positive, kind, gentle, soft-spoken, and even-tempered man with a sense of humor and a genuine sincerity. He had a sweet smile and a demeanor that put people at ease. I loved him like family.

I shed my share of tears on and off throughout the weekend while Jeremy quietly handed me tissues and squeezed my hand. I know better than to think that the people we love will be there forever, and yet it still knocks the wind out of me when they are no longer here. Despite the frigid temperatures, I needed to get outside and move – get the blood pumping and take deep breaths of mountain air with each glide of my skis on silent snow. It’s how I sort my thoughts, heal a broken body or a broken heart, try to answer the unanswerable questions. It’s where I seek comfort.


frosty



I’m not much of a comfort eater. I don’t seek comfort in food. Typically, if I am in need of comforting, I’m not eating. But I do enjoy the occasional “comfort” food like anybody else. When I made chile rellenos over the holidays, we both felt as if something was missing… that finishing touch. The majority of the restaurant meals I’ve enjoyed over the past 20+ years in New Mexico ended with sopaipillas. It’s a simple fry bread served as hot pillows of dough with a bear-shaped bottle of honey on the side and little fanfare. New Mexicans love their sopaipillas.

flour, water, milk, vegetable oil, baking powder, salt, sugar

mix the dry ingredients together

work the oil into the flour with your fingers

stir in the milk and water



**Jump for more butter**