brassica poppy seed salad strawberry crisp morel-stuffed chicken fried steak apple huckleberry pie


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archive for October 2013

love thy pumpkin

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Recipe: pumpkin crème brûlée

Pumpkin season is upon us and I’m not referring to pumpkin spice lattes, although they are certainly out there. I’m talking about cute chubby toddlers staggering around pumpkin patches like small drunk people. Or carving your Halloween pumpkin into The Death Star. Roasting pumpkin seeds to snack on later. I don’t overdo it in our house because I understand the dangers of pumpkin fatigue – it has to last through the holidays. But I do get excited about trying something new and pumpkiny every autumn. And don’t you think they should have been named plumpkins?


eggs, vanilla bean, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin, cream



I know it is de rigueur to break down a whole pumpkin, but I have a lot of canned pumpkin in my pantry throughout the year because I make Kaweah’s dog treats from scratch every few weeks. It’s especially handy when you need just a little bit of pumpkin to make pumpkin crème brûlée, and Kaweah didn’t mind sharing because she’s sweet like that.

scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean

steep the vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg in the cream

whisk the yolks and sugar together



**Jump for more butter**

hand warmer season

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Recipe: chanterelle mushroom hand pies

Autumn is the fleetingest of fleeting seasons in the mountains, or so it seems. Sunday felt like real winter as we hiked snowy trails, falling snowflakes caught up in our hair and settling on our hats, gloves, and the tops of our packs. Our last trail run left my calves sore from all the slipping and sliding on ice. Not quite enough snow to ski, but enough to warrant wearing traction devices for running. Shoulder season puts me in a mindset for winter. I can’t wait!


high winds sculpt beautiful clouds

snowy stream crossings



Cold is relative. Two months ago, 40°F felt chilly to me. Now, it feels warm as we enjoy temperatures dipping below freezing. I know in a few months, 40°F will be a veritable heat wave. Jeremy is a little more sensitive to the cold than I am. It’s probably because I have plenty of personal warmth (read: body fat) and he doesn’t. His hands and feet are always cold. He turns on his seat heater in both cars starting in September all the way through June. I saw a box of hand warmers for sale at Costco last week – 40 pair for something like $15. Then I had a mental image of taping an entire suit of hand warmers to Jeremy’s body and chuckled to myself. Moving on to the refrigerated produce section, I got the vegetables I needed and proceeded to leave – until I spotted something magical. It was nearly the equivalent joy of finding a porcini in the mountains – except this was a whole pound of fresh chanterelle mushrooms for $9. I grabbed one. I didn’t know what I was going to do with it, but I knew I was going to do something.

let’s make hand pies!

chanterelles, puff pastry, gruyère, egg, garlic, butter, salt, bacon, thyme, wine, cream, pepper

brush the mushrooms clean



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not what you think

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Recipe: tahini-date salted caramels

I’m no vegan. I’m not vegetarian. I eat gluten. I eat (some) dairy. I eat nuts, shellfish, seafood, soy, meat, fats, sugar. I try to avoid processed foods although I can’t help a little treat every now and again in moderation (hey, I’m a child of the 70s). I also enjoy dishes that are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free… as long as the ingredients are wholesome and real. Crazy ingredient substitutions with substances that are unnatural make me wince. Fake butter, fake sugar, fake gluten. Heebie jeebies. It isn’t often that I seek out vegan recipes, but I really do like the idea of vegan snacks as long as they use real whole foods. So when I saw this recipe for vegan caramels pop up in my feed, I began scribbling down the short list of ingredients to pick up from the store.


dates, tahini, coconut oil, cardamom, flake salt

pit the dates



I love me some caramels. Call it a weakness. Thankfully, I only need nibble on one to satisfy any craving. This recipe fascinated me. Really? Vegan caramels? It’s mostly based on dates, of which I am a fan. They are the vegan glue that binds my favorite homemade blueberry muffin LÄRABAR together. I had to procure coconut oil, which I’ve never used before. Coconut oil implies a liquid, so it was quite a surprise when I scooped it and it was solid and somewhat brittle.

just a little coconut oil

tahini

cardamom



**Jump for more butter**