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with gravy on top

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

Recipe: buttermilk biscuits and sausage cream gravy

Up until a few days ago, Thanksgiving was nowhere on my radar. There was just so much going on for the past several weeks that I told myself if I could make it to Thanksgiving week in one piece, I’d be golden. It came down to the wire waiting for the final items on my checklist to come via post before we piled into the car. Two out of three isn’t bad considering it was the USPS (I keep my expectations low). Once on the road, the stress began to peel away with each additional mile. There were bighorn sheep sightings on Interstate 70, discussion of time-sensitive deadlines to address before 2015, much needed coffee to fuel the driver (Jeremy), and the question of what to eat for Thanksgiving. We agreed that we would keep Thanksgiving dinner simple: grilled rib eye steak with loads of vegetables. This week is dedicated to catching up on work and… skiing.


picking up our passes from the crested butte nordic center



The snow in Crested Butte is quite nice for shoulder season. Yes, it’s still shoulder season – many of the local businesses are closed until 2 weeks before Christmas. Town slumbers quietly before the mad rush of the holiday ski season, but I like this lull. The big mountain opens Wednesday. In the meantime, we’ve been getting our nordic muscles back in shape on fresh snowfall.

test driving my low light lenses

big snow totals make for early season avy danger

jeremy skis with mount crested butte in the distance

rejoicing in glorious winter (technically autumn, but it is totally winter)



Colorado’s high country changes so dramatically from summer to autumn to winter – green to gold to white. Winter is a bit of a hog as it eats up most of autumn and spring, but I don’t complain because I love it. It’s hard to believe that just last month I was back here in Crested Butte shooting the fall colors.

Over the years I’ve learned that I feel physically and mentally better on the fall shoot if I eat my own food rather than dining out for the duration of the shoot. It’s healthier and more economical. But there are those times after shooting sunrise in the freezing cold when you get a text from fellow photogs relaying their intention to head into town for breakfast, and it sounds like the best idea ever. One of my favorite stops in the little mountain town of Ridgway, Colorado, is Kate’s Place, which serves up quality breakfast and lunch. My friend, Jimmy, always orders the biscuits and gravy. I’d never had it before, but Jimmy always has this blissful smile on his face when he gets biscuits and gravy. This year, I decided to give it a try.

“Good, isn’t it?” Jimmy smiled, nodding at my plate of biscuits and gravy. Yes, it was damn good. Something warm and satisfying to fill my empty and cold tummy – energy enough for my drive back to Crested Butte. It wasn’t more than four weeks later when I began thinking about that breakfast. I blame Jimmy… and Brent – those two are always mooning over biscuits and gravy. Jimmy even texted me a photo of (another) plate of biscuits and gravy from elsewhere on the road. Well, let’s do this.


the biscuits: buttermilk, baking soda, baking powder, salt, flour, butter

whisk the dry ingredients together

toss cubed butter with flour mixture and freeze

cut the butter into the flour



**Jump for more butter**

you’re a good apple

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

Recipe: apple cider caramel apple cinnamon rolls

While in the throes of testing this recipe last Thursday, I realized a partial solar eclipse had been marked on my calendar. Sure enough, it was that day and it was about to start in 20 minutes. Eclipses, be they solar or lunar, are fascinating events. I learned about the science of eclipses in grade school, but only really appreciated watching them as an adult. I toggle between the joy of staring at the sun through solar glasses or watching a pinhole projection on the ground and the view you get from photographing the sun through (baader) solar film and seeing the remarkable details that a telephoto lens can provide. Despite the additional work of shooting an eclipse, the best part is that I can share it. So here ya go.


high clouds moving past the eclipsed sun (shot through solar film)

tail end of the eclipse as the sun sets on the continental divide (shot through solar film)

composite of the solar eclipse (shot through solar film)



For two and a half hours, I ran between my studio and the deck – shooting this recipe, then washing the flour, butter, or sugar off my hands and shooting the eclipse. Luckily, I managed to capture the eclipse, but these cinnamon rolls required another run through because I wasn’t satisfied with the results of the first attempt.

the dough: milk, sugar, egg, salt, butter, flour, yeast

mix the yeast and flour together

combine the salt, sugar, butter, and milk in a pan

heat it to 120-130°f



**Jump for more butter**

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**