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archive for appetizers

corn dog diggity

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Recipe: mini beer corn dogs

The weekend, she is here. Almost like clockwork, once foraging huckleberries is over for me, it’s time to move on to canning tomatoes. Over the past few years, I have discovered that the one thing I absolutely must can each summer is tomatoes. I won’t lose sleep if I don’t make peach, fig, or strawberry jam, but diced tomatoes are a must. At first I started with organic heirlooms and red slicers from Cure Organic Farm (a local Boulder farm – so great), but this year I’ve migrated over to the organic San Marzanos and Romas. They have a bumper crop of tomatoes right now and the seconds are $1.50 a pound. I picked up 19 pounds to can last weekend, and then I picked up another 25 pounds to can Thursday.

these hardly look like seconds, they’re gorgeous

thinking of all the soups and stews and sauces this winter and spring

enjoying all of the late summer goodies like wild coho salmon

The sun is getting up later each morning, which I like. I like it a lot. It means fewer hours of that giant fiery ball of thermal radiation in the sky. Waking up before sunrise without feeling like puking is a wonderful feeling. And having night for more than a couple of hours before bed is good for greater productivity. The sky has been offering up some beautiful moments of late.

crescent moon setting

looking west as the sun rises in the east

a low rainbow over the mountains

In Neva news, we used the halti collar for several days before i noticed the fur on her muzzle was thinning right where the halti rested. This made me very sad. Jeremy did some research and we decided to try a chest harness (a reader and some friends recommended them). Unlike the halti, the chest harness didn’t seem to bother Neva at all. We put it on her in the living room and she went about her business as usual. We walked her the next morning and she was so good (except with the squirrels – she cries and whines and barks when she sees squirrels). No struggling, no irritation. We were elated.

every morning when i brush my teeth

walking through golden aspens

such a good pup

happy dog

Lately I’ve seen mention of the Broncos in my Facebook feed. The Broncos are football, so that must mean it’s football season… Sportsball. Since we don’t have television, I wouldn’t know about any of the sporting seasons aside from the token sports discussions on NPR and those friends on Facebook who are sports fanatics. Even then, it’s quite easy for me to overlook it all because I’ve always found it far more desirable to play rather than watch. But I know that some people are far more enthusiastic about the football parties and party food than the football. So here’s a great appetizer for those sportsball gatherings if you’re looking for fun and quick recipes: the mini beer corn dog.

cornmeal, honey, sugar, eggs, baking powder, salt, hot dogs, flour, beer, skewers

cut the hot dogs into 2-inch pieces

pierce the mini dogs on the cut side

**Jump for more butter**

getting there from here

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

Recipe: chanterelle galette

Jeremy told me that he thinks we may have seen the last of the hottest days of the year. I hope this is true. All signs are pointing to fall in the mountains: cooler nights, tiny spots of yellow leaves emerging in the sea of green aspen stands, huckleberry leaves turning red, and the sun crossing the sky with a lower profile than before.

dendritic pattern on an aspen leaf

purple huckleberry in the morning sun

Neva currently weighs in at 30 pounds for her 5 months of age. Her growth has slowed a little and it looks like she may wind up being a smaller dog, like Kaweah. She continues to lose her baby teeth, but still acts like a baby dog from time to time. Best of all, our pup has begun to mellow out in the evenings, resting at my feet or Jeremy’s feet when we work at our computers or curling up next to us on the couch. I look back at her puppy pictures and I can barely recognize her – that chunky chubby puppy has turned into a lanky teenager. We are starting to settle into a routine which makes all of us happier. We’ll get there someday.

staring at two tennis balls in the distance, not fetching

blowing bubbles in her water dish

After a big hot and dry spell, we’ve received a few rainstorms. These days I think of the rains in terms of huckleberries. A pulse of rain, lots of sunshine, more rain, more sun. That’s what the hucks like. As long as it doesn’t get too cold too soon in the high country, they could keep going for a few more weeks. But rain also makes me ponder what the mushrooms will do. If there is enough rain, we could see another flush of porcini or chanterelles. It could happen! Meanwhile, I have spent the past couple of weeks putting my chanterelle haul into delectable recipes to share with you good people. Today we’re going to go with a galette, because it’s not a terribly finicky pastry and it tastes amazing. Don’t fret if you can’t find chanterelles, use some other mushroom that you do have access to. Crimini works, is easy to find in most markets, and won’t break the bank.

onion, gruyère, egg, water, sugar, flour, salt, butter, more butter, milk, pepper, olive oil, chanterelles, thyme

pulse the butter into the dry ingredients

add ice water

form the dough into a disk

**Jump for more butter**

a year on

Friday, July 10th, 2015

Recipe: chinese steamed lotus leaf buns

It’s hard to believe that a year ago today, we said a tearful good-bye to our little Kaweah pup. Even with Neva dominating most of our summer, there isn’t a day that passes without a thought or mention of our first girl. Most of all, we imagine how sweet Kaweah would have been with Neva for the first few hours and then how she would have run away from the puppy for the rest of the time. People have said it again and again. They were right. You never forget your pets, even when they’ve passed on.

kaweah, you’ll always be my girl

I’m not even going to pretend to remember everything that has happened since my last post. I’ve given up keeping track. Neva is getting bigger and leggier. She’s learning and improving each day. Just this morning, she met four little children on the trail and was incredibly sweet and polite with each of them as they took turns petting and kissing her head. In the last week, she has gotten more socialization with little dogs, big dogs (lots of big dogs), people, kids, trail runners, hikers, and mountain bikers. She even met and played nicely with another puppy. Don’t get me wrong, she is still a spazzy little lab puppy full of energy. I think I say, “LEAVE IT!” over a hundred times a day. But I sure do love her.

11 week old max meets 13 week old neva

neva sitting in the lupines

bounding through a field of flowers on a new hike

on a visit with my in-laws and their pack of dogs

it’s hard work being a puppy

We were in Crested Butte for the Fourth of July and figured it would be a good opportunity to expose Neva to fireworks. They never bothered Kaweah, so we hoped Neva would be the same since she was fine with thunderstorms. As we left the house with Neva to go meet our friends to watch the official Crested Butte fireworks, a house nearby set off a loud firework that scared the bejeezus out of her. She was shaking and wanted to hide in a small space (under the bench, in Jeremy’s arms), but remained quiet and mostly calm. She settled down when it was over, and we’ve been working with her to overcome her fear. There were more “unofficial” fireworks set off on random evenings when she was outside and she’s getting better about them when we feed her treats and act like nothing is wrong.

crested butte rainbow and wildflowers

summer aspen canopy

fireworks over crested butte mountain

even a red, white, and blue firework!

My parents are in Boulder for the summer, taking short trips around the west and using Colorado as their home base. Dad mentioned that he had recently made some pork belly he wanted me to try. Since we’re having dinner with them at their place (we’re bringing Neva, too), I figured I would bring some homemade lotus leaf buns that I have in my freezer. Back when I visited my parents in Virginia, I asked my mom if she had a recipe for these steamed buns. I like eating them with Peking duck, but I don’t like the frozen ones in the Asian grocery stores. She said no and then she added in Chinese, “It’s very difficult to make.” When I got home, I did some research and found David Chang’s recipe in his Momofuku cookbook. It’s not difficult, it’s just time-consuming. So I made a batch before we got the puppy to gauge if these buns are worth the trouble. They are worth it.

flour, sugar, salt, powdered milk, yeast, shortening, baking soda, baking powder, water

add the water to the yeast

add the remaining ingredients

knead with dough hook on low speed until the dough forms a ball

place dough in a greased bowl and let rise

**Jump for more butter**