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archive for brekkie

like apples and monkeys

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Recipe: apple cinnamon caramel monkey bread

After 48 hours of a funtastic trip (more on that in a later post), I am back in the saddle – or rather, I am sitting in front of my computer. Neva is curled up in her doggy bed, exhausted from 48 hours of non-stop playtime with several other puppies (dog camp). She wanted to go straight to bed the moment we brought her home, but she had enough of a stink on her that we insisted on giving her a bath. Since the sun was already down and the winds were blowing, we put her in the tub for a rub-a-dub-dub. Neva jumped out of the tub, twice. But after a few minutes under the warm water, she resigned herself to her fate, quietly whining as streams of dirty brown water swirled at her feet and on down toward the drain. Now she’s a fluffy fuzzball, all clean and cuddly and cute.


neva feels a treat is the least she deserves after the indignity of her bath



This recipe is a longish one, so it’s best to dive into it now. A (complimentary) box of beautiful Piñata apples from Stemilt Growers arrived on my doorstep a couple of weeks ago. The last time they sent me a shipment of fruit (pears), we ate them straight up because they were so sweet and juicy. This time, I actually held out and saved some of the apples for baking. Piñatas are excellent for snacking as they deliver a nice balance of tang and sweetness, but they are also great for baking. You can easily substitute Granny Smith or Fuji apples for this monkey bread – anything with a little tartness to it.

Let’s start with the filling. The recipe I followed called for three apples. My Piñata apples were on the large side, so I suspect I had a lot more apple than the recipe anticipated. The good news is that the end result is great despite the extra wrangling of apple pieces in the dough. Make your apple filling first. It will need time to cool after you sauté it because it gets added to the bread dough.


apples, sugar, butter, cinnamon, lemon (juice)

peel, core, and dice the apples

toss the apples, cinnamon, sugar, and lemon juice together

add the apples to melted butter in a sauté pan

when the liquid has simmered away, let the apples cool



**Jump for more butter**

dreams of wild things

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

Recipe: huckleberry bread pudding

When it is full-on winter outside, people’s brains go into overdrive dreaming of warm, tropical places and summertime. My feed is filled with pictures of bare feet on beaches, palm trees, swimming pools in sunny locales. It’s not something I can honestly relate to, but I understand that this is what my friends desire. Jeremy and I? We love to frolick in snow. It is what we talk about with longing during the throes of summer – how much we miss gliding over and through the snow, or feeling the delicate kiss of blower powder on our faces.


me dropping into the powder

jeremy catches a little air



From what I can tell, Neva loves winter even more than summer. She spent all of 8+ miles running her face through the snow on Saturday’s ski tour. It’s as if those bazillion little snowflakes give her an extra jolt of energy. Jeremy noted that she calmed down a tad after the first 6 miles, but even as we got back to the car, she was alert and ready for more action. Of course, once home, she passed out for a long and happy nap in the sun. Such is the life of a happy pup.

neva sports a snowbeard

that rare moment when neva and banjo are simultaneously sitting still



More than a month had passed since my last ski tour with Erin, so we took the opportunity to catch up with one another on the climb. We discussed “Making a Murderer”, family visits, and new locations to scout for porcini, chanterelles, and huckleberries this summer. I told her that I had dreamt of chanterelles one night over the holidays, and then of foraging huckleberries the following night. She smiled and nodded as our skis silently sliced through the soft white fluff underfoot.

My obsession with huckleberries is only slightly diminished in their off season. For the other eleven months of the year, I think of different ways to incorporate those nomalicious berries into various recipes (and where else in Colorado I should look for huckleberry patches). Those of you without access to fresh or frozen huckleberries can easily substitute blueberries, raspeberries, or blackberries in this croissant bread pudding. Any kind of juicy berry should do. But let us be clear… wild Maine blueberries – as delicious as they are – are not huckleberries. I’ve had both and hands down, hucks win.


croissants, cream, sugar, eggs, huckleberries, butter, vanilla extract, milk, lemon (zest)

butter your ramekins

slice the croissants into bite-size pieces



**Jump for more butter**

everyone needs an easy morning

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

Recipe: green chile bacon egg bake

At last, the cookies are done and gone. If ever I entertain the thought of baking for a living, I need only remember the days of intensive baking in December that make me hate all cookies and chocolate. So why do I keep doing it? Jeremy asked this of me in the car as we drove down the canyon this morning on our way to deliver the cookies. When we started several years ago, it was because buying gifts for his administrative staff wasn’t really in our budget. But each year people loved the homemade cookies and candies so much that it seemed like a cop out to consider buying gifts as opposed to making something from the heart. I suppose I loathe shopping far more than dealing with tempering chocolate. Even now, mere hours after hand delivering the holiday goodies and shipping packages out to some special recipients, the sore back and lack of sleep are but a faded memory. I think as long as I can get outside for a little exercise during the mad frenzy, I can deal with it. After a week with this lingering low-level non-cold, I decided to beat it out of my body by going skate skiing. That felt terrible, but afterward, I felt SO MUCH BETTER.


the start of skate season always hurts so good

don’t forget to shred it on a 9-inch powder day

farewell cookies! go forth and maketh your recipients happy



Now with the cookies out of the way, I can concentrate on what needs to get done in the next couple of weeks. Part of that includes menu planning in Crested Butte because we don’t have access to as many ingredients out there as we do in the Front Range near Boulder/Denver. But honestly, when we are in Crested Butte, I try to avoid involved baking and cooking projects because the whole reason for being in CB is to be outside in all that gorgeousness, not inside in the kitchen. With houseguests coming at the start of the new year, I thought about simple and satisfying things to serve for breakfast. One recipe I settled on was an egg casserole loaded with bacon, green chiles, and cheddar cheese – something quick to whip up before you hit the mountain or the nordic trails!

eggs, milk, salt, roasted green chiles, black pepper, cheddar cheese, bacon

toss the chiles and cheese together

spread the chile-cheese mixture in the bottom of a baking dish



**Jump for more butter**