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archive for May 2014

quiche the fish

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

Recipe: smoked salmon artichoke quiche

I think it’s over. No more major storm tracks coming our way. We went backcountry skiing on Saturday only to find that the powder from 7 days prior had never formed into the coveted corn snow for which we had hoped. It was mashed potatoes at best, water slush at worst. There are reports of wet slides all over the backcountry, so it might just be time to hang up the skis for the season. 72 ski days isn’t so bad. It is my best season to date.


until october, my pretties

our glorious high country



While our skiing has been winding down, our trail runs have ramped up as we anticipate the melting out of the trails. Last week was relatively cool and overcast, but today was warm and humid (although thankfully cloudy) on my trail run. After the first hour all I could think was “How am I going to do this when summer rolls around?” I guess 4 am starts are not such a bad thing.

i love these feetures! socks



As the mercury rises, Kaweah’s stink factor increases exponentially. Thankfully the warm weather means we can wash her with the hose outside. Kaweah is not the aggressive sort, so even though she HATES baths, the worse she does is try to sneak away. In her geriatric state, sneaking away has become stumbling and falling. Jeremy held her up while we washed her, but when it came time to dry her off, we had to lay a towel on the driveway and set her down for her toweling. She’s such a good sport. And now she’s a fluffy, lavender-scented, soft, cuddly, good sport.

you did away with my dog stink! all that hard work for naught…



I thought Kaweah was losing her marbles last week because she kept begging for this hot smoked salmon I was using in a recipe. Kaweah likes anything, really, but she’s only insistent like that with a few things: raw beef (or any beef), peanut butter, cheese, carrots, apples, bananas, bacon. But hot smoked salmon? She’s never had that before, nor have we ever had it in the house before. Maybe it was this delightful quiche I was making?

dill, hot smoked salmon, cream, milk, red onion, eggs, nutmeg, butter, salt, pepper, artichoke hearts, goat cheese

the crust: flour, butter, salt, sugar, ice water



**Jump for more butter**

nothing funky about this chicken

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Recipe: chicken teriyaki bowl

YES! TWO FEET of snow graced our mountains by storm’s end (we averaged 16 inches around our house). Jeremy and I were patient, letting the snow settle for 24 hours before diving into it. Our assessment over two days of backcountry skiing is that the bottom of the snowpack was a wet spring base, but the upper 12 inches of fresh snow was good and wintry. Even Kaweah enjoys feeling the snow underfoot when she does her rounds in the yard. We’re all snow lovers in this house.


jeremy breaking trail into 2 feet of fresh

winding up into the high country

beautiful, untouched snow

plus a little sunshine and bluebird

jeremy ripping skins as a squall approaches



Our temperatures are on the upswing now. Piles of snow that adorned our yard Wednesday morning were gone by the close of business. That’s fast melt. The good news is that the high country keeps getting more snow as guerilla snow storms pop up on the Continental Divide. I know people want the roads to campgrounds, access to trailheads, and trails cleared of snow. Me? I go with the flow. As long as there is good snow, I can ski it and it keeps most of the crowds away. And when it all melts out? We hit the trails running, fast packing, backpacking, mountain biking, or hiking. I love the mountains year-round, every single day.

a glorious sunset



Some of my friends look at me with suspicion. Why is it that I prefer schlepping gear up a steep trail to sleep on the ground (with the bears) and not shower for days on end as opposed to staying in some posh hotel and partaking of fine dining and other luxuries? I find if I don’t go outside and get my heart pumping on a regular basis, I get into a funk. This was especially clear to me during my chemo on days when I didn’t have the strength to sit up in bed. If I don’t stay in nice places and eat fine food, I don’t really miss it. And besides, we are not deprived of fine food. We make damn fine food in the House of Butter. Let’s work some chicken magic.

chicken teriyaki: dark soy sauce, soy sauce, mirin, water, sake, honey, brown sugar, chicken thighs



I have a prejudice against many fast foods. It’s not that I haven’t had my share. Sometimes when you’re road tripping through the sticks on a photo shoot, the only options are the lonely burger outposts or the ubiquitous KenTacoHuts. But more and more I’ve come to realize that a homemade version of a burrito or fried chicken or burger can not only be far healthier (you know what ingredients you put in your food), but way way tastier. Walk past any mall food court and you’ll probably encounter a place that serves some sort of teriyaki rice bowl. I have no idea what those taste like, but all of the parts add up in my brain to something good. How hard could it be to make it yourself?

pouring mirin into a ziploc with soy sauce and dark brown sugar

adding water

drop some chicken thighs in

marinate for up to 24 hours



**Jump for more butter**

little secrets

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

Recipe: roasted strawberry ice cream

I hope Mother’s Day was a good one for all of you moms out there. I gave my mom a call earlier in the day and my dad got on the phone to discuss wine, health, Kaweah, and other things. When he was done, Mom and I were able to chat. She’s always been like that – letting everyone else go first. I used to think that was a mom thing, but I’ve learned over the years that it is MY mom’s thing. She still moms me to this day and I’m still learning how special she is. Last month on the ski lift, I told my girlfriend that Mom is always reminding me about retirement contribution deadlines and limits. I said it as if it was a bit of a drag, but my friend turned to me, “You’re so lucky to have someone looking out for you like that. We don’t get that kind of advice from anyone in our families.” I’m so glad she said that, because it dope-slapped me into recognizing that my mom has always looked out for my (and now, Jeremy’s) best interests since the day she brought me into this world.


thanks for everything, mom – i love you!



Dad had taken Mom out for a nice lunch, so they decided to opt out of some yacht club shindig later in the day. Actually, yacht clubs don’t have shindigs – I believe it was a fancy cocktail party at the marina. Mom said, “We just can’t eat that much after a big lunch, and it’s too hot anyway. It’s 84 degrees.” I blinked. We had 5 inches of snow on our deck and it was still coming down. Kaweah was curled up in her doggy bed wrapped in her flannel quilt. It’s always around this time of year I’m about ready to concede the snow to the progression of the seasons. And then it snows. And then I begin to salivate in anticipation of more ski days. Jeremy and I logged some long trail runs on Saturday since they wouldn’t be clear of snow for several days.

the storm engulfing the mountains (and eventually me) on my trail run

MOAR snow!!!



I’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s not uncommon for Colorado to get snow in May. It happens more often than one might deduce from all of the howls of incredulity on the flats. I’m good with it, as you know. I’m never fully ready to accept the blast furnace of summer.

may of 2008

may of 2011

may of 2012

may of 2013



Here’s another little secret I learned this past week. There is strawberry ice cream and then there is STRAWBERRY ice cream. ‘Tis the season for juicy red strawberries and I was determined to find a good and proper strawberry ice cream recipe. Scouring my books and the interwebs, I came across a recipe from ZoĆ« who is as knowledgeable and trustworthy as she is friendly and kind. The trick to intensely strawberry-flavored ice cream is to roast the berries. If you’ve ever roasted vegetables, you know that it concentrates the flavors and enhances the sweetness.

eggs, vanilla extract, corn syrup, vanilla bean, sugar, more sugar, salt, balsamic vinegar, strawberries, cream, milk



**Jump for more butter**