huckleberry syrup grilled brie porcini and caramelized onion sandwich thai sweet chili sauce arnold palmer slushie


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archive for February 2013

when the stars align

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Recipe: thai sizzling beef

The logistics of coordinating a full moon ski where I live can be a tricky business. There are a few criteria to be met:

1) It should be during the full moon (otherwise it’s just a night ski).
2) There needs to be enough snow to ski.
3) It needs to be a clear night (so you can see by moonlight).
4) It can’t be too windy because ground blizzards are pretty miserable by day, as it is.
5) It can’t be too cold, which has more to do with the wind most of the time.
6) You should be completely familiar with the route.

#6 is assumed, but it’s good to state it anyway. Just like you should have plenty of extra layers, hats, gloves, headlamps, food, water. Our local mountains are notorious for brutal winds which in turn scour the snow into 20-foot drifts that border bare ground. It is what it is. I was coordinating a full moon ski with friends, but really I was just hoping Mother Nature would let it happen. Weather forecasts were for cloudy skies and breezy conditions (gusts to 25 mph) five days out. Around here (and perhaps where you live too?) the weather forecast is most accurate right when it is happening. We got a good dump of snow on Sunday, then bluebird skies on Monday. I waited for afternoon clouds to form, but they didn’t. It was go time!


nichole gets felix into his snow suit in the parking lot



Jeremy and I met up with our intrepid friends Nichole, Luke, and their 2 year old, Felix. We marveled at the fat, orange moon rising over the Great Plains as we geared up in the parking lot and braced ourselves against the wind. Heading out toward the lake, Luke pulled the sled carrying Felix (Luke is super fast, this is how we make him ski like the rest of the mortals) while we kept moving to stay warm and keep up. As the moon rose higher, we admired how bright the stars remained overhead. Luke spotted something on the western horizon moving southwest, up, and across the sky. We watched it and ran through the possibilities: not a plane (lights not flashing), not a satellite (too bright), could it be… space station! Well how cool is that?!

felix got out of the sled to ski with us for a bit

luke is ready to head down the hill with felix in the sled



Once home, Jeremy did verify that it was the space station we saw crossing the sky (magnitude -1). I could not have hoped for a better evening with dear friends. Okay, we could have done without the winds, but at least they weren’t gale force. The next morning, we awoke to…

big fluffy snowflakes

taking a break in the afternoon to get a little ski tour

it snowed all day



I love the snow so much. In summer, I remember it with great longing. It lingers in my mind. I obsess about it until the storms return, hopefully in autumn. I get that way with food too. There are dishes I miss from our Southern California days that stir my taste memories. Thai sizzling beef was a favorite of ours at Min’s Kitchen in La Cañada. It’s a marinated beef over fresh spinach with peanut sauce served on a sizzling platter. I’ve been meaning to reproduce it, if I could. I’m no recipe developer, I just know when I like a dish.

flank steak, fish sauce, vegetable oil, sugar, salt (omit the salt)

slice the beef

mix together

marinate



**Jump for more butter**

a bird in the hand

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Recipe: chicken pot hand pies

We were just gifted 10 inches of snow. In past years this might not have been as big of a deal, but it’s the most we’ve received in one storm this season at my house. Jeremy hit the local hill despite our aversion to weekend crowds. I stayed home to work and to nurse a sore back after running icy moguls just a few days prior. A dump of snow is always welcome, but what lies underneath depends on the weather that came before (this is also critical for avalanche assessment). We have had sun, wind, and warm temperatures interspersed with a few inches here and some frozen spittle there. It can be pretty crunchy stuff. And when you’re glad that your skis find ice underneath the powder instead of rocks, you know it’s been a paltry winter. So when Jeremy got home in time for lunch, I asked him if he wanted to step out for a ski tour on the local trails.


the snow was coming down all day

and the trees retained all of their poofballs

silent and beautiful



It’s a lovely thing to be out in the mountain forests when it snows. It’s quiet, peaceful, invigorating. We don’t talk much so we can listen for moose, elk, or maybe spy a winter white rabbit before it tears off into the woods. The focus is on our environment, our energy, the weather, the rhythm of the kick and glide. But once we get to the car, all thoughts turn to what there is to eat at home. This is especially true when there is something particularly good and exciting waiting in the kitchen. This time, we had chicken pot hand pies.

chicken, mushrooms, onion, potatoes, carrots, garlic, lima beans, parsley, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, olive oil

dice the vegetables

chopped and minced



I love me a good chicken pot pie, but I think I am completely enamored with savory hand pies. The first time I had a proper savory hand pie was in New Zealand where the ubiquitous meat pie won me over… as did their fish and chips. Then I sampled a small fraction of what Australia had to offer. A few years later I was walking with Todd and Diane through little Saigon when Diane purchased a pâté chaud for me to try. Heaven. And last summer while I was running on fumes at the Boulder Farmer’s Market, I plunked down some cash for the last chicken hand pie at Sharmane’s booth. So much happiness in one tiny pastry package.

mix the vegetables, herbs, and olive oil together

toss



**Jump for more butter**

piescream

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Recipe: key lime pie ice cream

It’s snowing outside the house right now! In fact, there are a few storm tracks marching through to see the month of February out. I’ve been busting ass to get work done these past several non-snowy days so I can be ready if Ullr should bless our mountains with the pow pow. The weather dictates my work schedule (well, the weather and paying clients). Kaweah has been by my side the whole time. If I’m in the kitchen, she is a low and furry center island in the middle of the kitchen. If I’m shooting in the studio, she’s under the table, nearby, or walking in and out of the room onto the deck. If I’m in the office, she likes to curl up on a stack of her three dog beds. Don’t ask how we figured that one out.


she loves it



Tuesday morning, we spent a little time cuddling with Kaweah on our bed. She likes to be squashed between the two of us and lately we’ve been exchanging a few minutes of extra sleep for a few minutes of QT with the pup before we start our day. It was that Tuesday morning when we realized that she is going deaf. We did a lot of tests like calling “treat!” from around the corner only to have her come when it reached a certain volume. I had a good cry over that, but Kaweah has been spunky, happy, affectionate, and sweet. It doesn’t seem to faze her at all and her vision and especially her sense of smell are excellent. Most of our voice commands have been accompanied by hand signals, so the communication is fine as long as she can see us and as long as she feels like obeying.

pork adobado wet burrito at pica’s



So I had a business lunch meeting with Helliemae’s at Pica’s in Boulder earlier this week. There was a natural pause in the conversation after discussing business plans, business solutions, and flavors. My mind wandered to the next kitchen project I had in the queue. “You wanna know what I’m blogging next?” I asked Ellen. Her eyes got that Texan sparkle and the edges of her mouth curled up. “Yes,” she said leaning in, “tell me.” “Key lime pie ice cream.”

here’s what a bag of key limes looks like sans bag



Oh yes I did. I walked past the bagged Key limes in the grocery store a few weeks ago and all I could think about was key lime pie. Key lime pie. I’ve always made Key lime pie with regular limes – hence it was regular lime pie. When I finally got my grubby paws on Key limes, I didn’t feel like making a pie. I felt like making ice cream. Pie-ce cream?

key limes, sugar, eggs, salt, cream, milk, graham crackers

zest some limes

juice a dozen or so to get a half cup

mix the sugar, salt, juice, and zest together



**Jump for more butter**