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archive for brekkie

what sustains us

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

Recipe: ham, swiss, and egg brioche sandwich

Returning home to Nederland over the weekend, we discovered that the house and its surrounds had gone ahead and marched straight into spring. Little green grasses and baby dandelion leaves are beginning to sprout up through our walkway gravel. The aspens have fuzzed out with catkins. And a bathmat-sized patch of snow lingers behind our garage in eternal shade, hoping to withstand 60°F air temperatures until it can replenish with another storm. We also received our REI dividend in the mail. You know, they used to issue those at the end of the calendar year, which meant we spent it all on winter gear. Since they’ve shifted the dividends to late March, we now spend the dividend on summer gear – like new Hokas (trail runners) and a steri pen. Jeremy loves his Hokas so much, he recommended I make the switch this season. I guess it’s time to face reality that I’ll be doing less skiing and more trail running as the days get longer.


nice color over gothic mountain (bottom center) and crested butte (right)

still getting out for a ski tour in the indian peaks

warm orange clouds over the divide from our deck (nederland)

venus to the left and a contrail lit pink by the setting sun



We are experiencing a shift in our exercise schedules with the change in seasons. We like to ski first thing in the morning in winter – because you typically catch first tracks or newly groomed nordic trails. Now that it’s warmer, we go later in the day to give the snow time to soften up from its overnight freeze. Even in the high country, the snow gets wet in the afternoons. Then it freezes overnight into a hard crust or icy slick. So first thing in the morning isn’t such a great thing anymore. Come summer, we’ll be starting our hikes and trail runs in the dark to avoid as much sun and heat as possible. But all of these things require fuel.

They say not to skip breakfast and I find this to be especially true when you plan to burn calories for several hours. I just have a lot of trouble eating something sweet for my first meal. The sugar leaves my mouth sour and dry, and I don’t feel it gives me the proper boost for my activity level. A few weeks ago, we stopped by Salto Coffee Works on our way to ski The Jane (Winter Park/Mary Jane), because Jeremy needed some proper caffeine for the drive. I ordered a breakfast sandwich to put something in my empty stomach. It was so good that I insisted Jeremy eat half of it. Since then, I’ve made it a couple of times for a good energy booster before a ski tour or a morning of bump runs.


swiss cheese, black forest ham, brioche buns, eggs, butter, honey dijon mustard

butter the buttery brioche buns

grill them on a skillet until golden



**Jump for more butter**

rehash

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

Recipe: corned beef hash

Several posts back, a reader (Jasmine) asked how I got started skiing. I wish I could say I began as a little toddler, the way these badass little Colorado munchkins do – but I didn’t. I spent my youth on the water, sailing with my dad and my sister. I didn’t begin the love affair with gliding on snow until I was 22 years old when I was visiting Jeremy’s family over the holidays and they took me to the bunny hill at their local mountain.

Jeremy is a phenomenal teacher when it comes to most things. Skiing is not one of those things. He learned to alpine ski as a kid, for crying out loud. The first thing he did was point down the hill and say, “Just head over there.” As soon as I began moving, I realized that he had neglected to tell me how to stop. I proceeded to crash into the ground while making a mental note not to listen to that guy. Despite the terrible first lesson, I really loved skiing. Living in Southern California, we managed to get 5-8 days a year if we were lucky.

Then we moved to Ithaca, New York where we picked up cross country skiing (it’s free and we were graduate students). We continued logging single digit alpine days each year whenever we visited family in New Mexico. Upon our return to Southern California, we would spend a couple of weekends each year skiing at Mammoth Mountain. This was the first time I had seen a person telemark ski. I was riding solo on the lift watching this fellow carve graceful turns down the mountain such that I missed getting off the chair and had to do the “jump off and roll out of the way” move. But it was worth it.

We learned to telemark ski (with proper instruction) during our first winter in Colorado, ten years ago, and I’ve never touched a pair of alpine skis since. Being locals, skiing is no longer limited to vacations or weekends – it’s something we do for regular exercise during our snow months… September through June if we’re lucky! We ski the resorts, the backcountry, the local trails, the nordic centers: telemark, ski touring (skins and scales), classic, and most recently skate skiing. I love skiing. It kept me sane during my chemotherapy in 2008 and it keeps me happy and healthy now. So that’s the love affair in a nutshell!


surprise powder day on the local mountain, friday afternoon

sunny weekend ski tour

the snow was sticky

great views of the indian peaks

65 degrees on the local trails – it was so warm i wore my running skirt instead of ski pants



Right, but enough about skiing (we still have a few more months to talk about skiing). If you are serving corned beef for Saint Patrick’s Day or just because they happen to be on sale EVERYWHERE, you might be fortunate enough to have some left over. I am actually far more excited about leftover corned beef than the corned beef itself. We ate a couple of slices of corned beef with roasted vegetables, but I already had plans for the leftovers which were actually 90% of the brisket. We enjoyed delicious reuben sandwiches with melty swiss cheese and loads of sauerkraut, and then I made corned beef hash – because I’m a savory breakfast kind of girl and this is filled with ALL OF THE GOOD THINGS.

parsley, potatoes, red bell pepper, onion, eggs, salt, butter, corned beef, cream, pepper

chop the corned beef into chunks

pulse them into a coarse chop

dice the potatoes



**Jump for more butter**

january is on the move

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

Recipe: blood orange marmalade

Jeremy often comments on the amount of daylight we get in December – or rather the lack of daylight. Every evening when the low sun slipped behind the mountains, he noted the time with an Eeyore-esque sadness in his voice. The only reason I had any awareness of the short days was because I received this daily reminder from Jeremy. It doesn’t get to me. But I will say that January offers something refreshing. It’s not just that we’re on an upswing from the daytime minimum, but it feels like the world is in motion again. These days, the world is moving a little faster… on skate skis. I think of skate skiing as the third in our triumvirate of free-heel skiing (telemark and classic nordic being the other two) and the winter sibling of trail running. It’s probably the most challenging skiing technique I’ve learned to date. Twila warned me of this when I inquired about it over the summer, so I didn’t have unrealistic expectations going into skating.


a morning of skate practice

beautiful sunlit fog



While I’m spending a good bit of time clambering up that (steep) learning curve for skate skiing, it’s important to mix it up with some turns on the mountain or a ski tour into the high country. Getting outside every day obliterates that disconnect that so many feel in winter from being holed up indoors. And with each snowstorm or bout of sunny weather, I have this intimate feel for January in the mountains. It’s lovely and invigorating. There are no winter blues over here.

it’s extra nice when i get puppy time

jeremy, erin, and banjo under falling snow

banjo wants us to go!!!



Another thing I look forward to in January is the arrival of blood oranges. Citrus is delightful in winter – but blood oranges are just so beautiful and fun. In my opinion, they don’t really have a superior flavor to other varieties like satsuma mandarins or Cara Cara, but they make beautiful gifts. I’ve been waiting months to get my hands on some blood oranges so I could make marmalade. Sure, I could have used other oranges earlier in the season, but blood oranges have that lovely reddish jewel hue that is hard to resist.

gorgeous color – amiright?

blood oranges, sugar, and powdered pectin (optional)

give the oranges a little soapy scrub a dub dub



**Jump for more butter**