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archive for caffeine

here’s mud in your eye

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Recipe: boozy mississippi bourbon mud pie

Mud is the one thing that can get us down around here. Mud is not snow and it is not firm trail. You can’t ski it, you shouldn’t be riding it (mountain bikes really tear up muddy trails), and it kinda sucks to hike or run it. But we do hike and run in the mud because we try not to let it keep us from getting outside. Plus, the mud around here is more annoying than terrible – we have lots of rocks which makes for firmer ground. It’s nothing like what we’ve encountered in the backcountry of New Zealand. Holy hell. New Zealand mud can swallow you whole. Right now, patches of debris are cropping up along the nordic trails and the parking lot at our local hill is dirt and mud.

But this week, we discovered that not all mud is bad. At least, not mud pie. And by mud pie, I mean Mississippi mud pie. It all started because I wanted to know what a mudslide was. It’s a cocktail more akin to melted ice cream with lots of booze. But thanks to the interwebz, I was immediately diverted to mud pies. What’s a mud pie? My Crested Butte neighbor’s daughter was making mud pies with her friend one rainy day, but that was with real mud. The more I read about mud pies, the more intrigued I became. Then I found this recipe that adds BOURBON and I knew it was my destiny.


the crust: sugar, butter, salt, oreo cookies (without the creme centers)

place the cookies in a food processor and pulse to a fine crumb

mix with sugar and salt



You can use chocolate wafer cookies for the crust, but I couldn’t find any and I happened to be passing through Trader Joe’s where there were boxes upon boxes of TJ’s chocolate Joe Joe’s. If you need to make this dessert gluten-free, use the gluten-free TJ’s Joe Joe’s or some other equivalent brand. Nifty. Because I prefer a slightly higher crust-to-filling ratio and because the pie dish I used is deeper than my other dishes, I increased the amount of crust ingredients by 20%. There is no baking involved, just good old melty butter.

stir in the butter

pour the crust into the pie plate

press into the bottom and along the sides



**Jump for more butter**

throwing it back

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Recipe: tiramisu

It’s nice right now in the Colorado Rockies. The pine pollen has yet to begin (I’m preparing myself for the allergy onslaught) and snowline continues to recede to higher elevations. More routes are accessible by foot or by bike, but I suspect there is still good skiing to be had further into the backcountry. In the past week we’ve been able to ski, trail run, and mountain bike in our “backyard”. The best exercise is the kind you love to do.


there were some patches of snow

but most of it is melting although the high peaks are looking good

me and my guy



I’ll admit that I don’t love running, although I’m warming up to it. But I love being on trails! Trail running is one of those things that involves some pain – the running, but so much awesome in terms of solitude, beauty, time for thinking, and scouting opportunities for all things foraging (just don’t trip while trying to scope out mushrooms). Jeremy and I start at the same time, but we run different routes that meet up an hour or two later. He runs faster, farther, and higher than I do, but then he is training for a longer and more grueling goal than I am.

The most common question Jeremy gets asked by our friends who read this blog is, “How do you not weigh 300 pounds?!” He weighs half that. Jeremy is not a muscle-bound dude. He’s lean, trim, and fit. And while I don’t ply him with fatty and sugary desserts 24/7, I worry even less about his occasional sweets consumption in the service of use real butter now that he’s trail running in earnest. After yesterday’s run, I reminded him that he was required to move the tiramisu in the refrigerator, because I needed the space.


lady fingers (savoiardi), eggs, mascarpone cheese, cocoa powder, Kahlua, cream, sugar, salt, espresso powder



I’ve been making tiramisu since the 90s, but in truth – I haven’t served it in the past decade more than a couple of times. I think food blogging makes me forget about the oldies-but-goodies recipes. Back in the day, I did not consider this an easy recipe. Today it seems really straightforward. Go figure. Experience is worth something. So here’s your Throwback Thursday…

pour the kahlua in with the sugar, salt, and egg yolks

whisk over a simmering bath until it leaves a ribbon (6 minutes)



**Jump for more butter**

crested butte: camp 4 coffee

Monday, February 17th, 2014

The first time I set foot in Camp 4 Coffee was late September 2010. It was dark out because I wanted to shoot sunrise somewhere outside of Crested Butte. My shooting partner needed his morning caffeine fix before heading out and knew just the place to go. At 6 am, we stood in line in front of this tiny shack covered in old license plates. I know nothing about coffee, but as Jason stepped outside and took a sip of his quadruple shot latte he purred, “Oooooh yeah. THAT is good stuff.” The following year when Jeremy joined me over the weekend on my solo fall shoot in Crested Butte, I took him to Camp 4 for coffee, and he’s been smitten ever since.


camp 4 coffee in crested butte



Like Crested Butte, Camp 4 has a friendly, laid-back vibe. Tourists and locals alike line up each morning for their cuppa. Dogs saunter onto the pleasant little patio and wait patiently (and obediently) while their people step in to grab coffee and breakfast, say hi to friends, and snag a little dog treat for their four-legged companion. While the pups are outside, they receive a good deal of attention and loving from passersby and other patrons. It’s all routine.

any given summer morning outside camp 4



The space inside is limited to room for five to six people to peruse the boards, admire the baked goods, order, pay, and dress their beverages. To your immediate right as you walk in is a little bar space for four people to sit and read the paper or shoot the breeze. It’s tiny, yet incredibly popular because their coffee is exceptional – touted as the best coffee in Colorado according to the Denver Post. There is no drip coffee here, just espresso drinks made from Camp 4’s own beans roasted right in Crested Butte. Jeremy notes that their beans are also excellent for drip coffee at home.

decisions decisions…

perfect doughnuts: crisp outsides, fluffy and tender insides



In addition to the traditional coffee drinks, Camp 4 offers a selection of teas, bottled things (juices, water, soda, sports drinks), smoothies, milkshakes, hot cocoa, chai, as well as breakfast burritos (with REAL green chiles), breakfast sandwiches, and some of the most delectable pastries in town (super flaky awesomeness). The selection includes fresh doughnuts, filled long johns, danishes, croissants, filled croissants, cinnamon rolls, muffins, scones, cookies, brownies, quick breads… The pastries don’t last long on any given day, so if you have a hankering, get ye there in the morning before they’re picked clean.

the friendliest service

a treat for your pooch, because crested butte loves dogs



**Jump for more butter**