almond vanilla chia seed pudding sous vide ribs breakfast mess twenty


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archive for books

a bounty for the heart and tummy

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Recipe: herbed garlic knots

Of all the friends I have made through blogging, the two people I hold dearest in my heart are Todd and Diane. The first time I met them in person was shortly after I finished my radiation treatment when I had a mere hint of fuzz on my head and my face was still puffy and swollen from chemotherapy. They invited me and Jeremy into their home and paradise of a garden for an evening of amazing food, great conversation, puppy time, many laughs, and a generosity that touched our hearts. Todd and Diane are my favorite kind of people – no bullshit, honest, straight shooters. We think of them as family. We weep over their losses and we celebrate their successes. I was beaming with pride when I opened up my copy of their cookbook Bountiful.

Disclosure: I received a free review copy of the book from the publisher with no obligation. Opinions are entirely my own.


todd and diane visiting us in crested butte this past september

300 pages of awesome



As I flipped through the pages of this hefty tome, I muttered, “They should have called it ‘Beautiful’.” And it IS beautiful, filled with their signature stunning photography and equally wonderful recipes. If you’ve been a reader of use real butter for any length of time, you’ll know that I draw much inspiration (and recipes) from Todd and Diane. They are always willing to share their incredible food and knowledge, making everything as accessible to others as possible. The book itself is organized by families of fruits and vegetables that they grow in their lush Southern California garden. I tagged so many recipes to try, but there was no question which one I wanted to make first. I’ve been eyeing these garlic knots for years and now I had zero excuse not to bake them.

the dough: flour, salt, yeast, sugar, olive oil, water

combine the warm water, yeast, sugar, salt, and olive oil in a large vessel

add the flour when the yeast is dissolved

let the dough rise, covered in a warm location



**Jump for more butter**

autumn redemption + giveaway

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Recipe: apple cider doughnuts

Autumn is when the nights drop below freezing and we throw the big flannel quilt over our bed. In the mornings, Kaweah is slower to stretch out because the cold makes her hind legs stiff. When I look south from our third floor loft, I can see fresh snow mantled over 13,294-foot James Peak turning pink as the sun breaks the horizon in the East. The changing season is invigorating and I find myself making mental notes of things I want to do now that the weather is cooling down.


our resident fox scouting the yard at dusk

the skeletons of summer’s glory



A modest little parcel found its way into my mailbox the day before I set off for San Francisco. Lara Ferroni’s new book Doughnuts had been sent to me by her publisher. I smiled because I would be having dinner with Lara in just over 24 hours. Travel, dining out, and cool temperatures conspire to make me long for cooking or baking after having avoided the stove and oven for most of summer. What better way to get reacquainted with the kitchen than making some doughnuts?

totally counterproductive to the ass reduction plan



Choices! Choices! The book offers all manner of doughs – raised, baked, fried, cake, gluten-free, vegan, and then some. You can pair those with various glazes, flavors, styles. If I weren’t obsessed with a specific kind of doughnut, I would have had an awful time deciding which recipe to try first. Malasadas: I had those in Hawai’i and nearly went BLIND eating them. Sopapillas – ubiquitous in New Mexico and a necessary ending to any proper New Mexican meal. Crème brûlée – because it’s so brilliant! Bavarian cream – my favorite. French crullers – my other favorite. But I had to try the apple cider doughnuts first because I have been plagued with the most frustrating failure from last fall when I attempted to make them from a different source and had to throw the entire endeavor in the trash.

add cinnamon

egg yolks taking a dive



The only deviation from Lara’s recipe was the apple cider. Instead of straight apple cider, I reduced mine to concentrate the flavor from one cup down to a quarter cup. Having never eaten an apple cider doughnut before, but always craving one at the very mention of it – I knew I wouldn’t regret that step.

pour in the apple cider (or in my case, the reduced apple cider)

stirring the dry ingredients in



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blog tour: anita chu’s field guide to cookies

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Recipe: rugelach

As a scientist and as a lover of the outdoors, I own a lot of field guides because I always want to know what rocks, flowers, trees, bugs, birds, weather phenomena, and critters we encounter.


just a small sampler of my guides



Recently I added another field guide to my collection, but this one won’t help me too much in the backcountry. It’s not quite like the others…

well, hello there



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