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archive for cheese

a mushing we will go

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Recipe: goat cheese-stuffed mushrooms

This was a good weekend for catching up on work and sleep. I always used to say that I could sleep when I was dead, but it doesn’t really work that way. You know, good tidbits you learn in your 30s that you wish you could tell your College Self. Sleep is tremendously helpful for things like functionality, coherence, and that whole not-feeling-like-crap problem. But a favorite pick-me-up is to go ski touring with a dog.


whenever we stop, banjo lies down in the snow and watches for us to get moving again

me, banjo, and erin after our ski tour

stripes of color at sunset



We noticed new signage on our ski tour, something that hadn’t been updated in years. Part of the route crosses through the City of Boulder Watershed, so they ask that you stick to the road and not do things like shoot stuff, camp, burn things, and park your darn car. Oh, and…

don’t pick mushrooms



I’ve never seen a “No Mushrooming” symbol before in these parts. We got a chuckle out of that because the mushroom graphic is super cute. I mean, if you really examine that symbol, it’s a bolete. And then for the rest of the trip, I had mushrooms on the brain. The last couple of times we dined at Secret Stash in Crested Butte, we ordered the stuffed mushies appetizer which quickly became our favorite. It’s hot mushroomy goodness stuffed with creamy goat cheese. Easy enough to replicate at home. So that’s what I did.

crimini mushrooms, olive oil, herbed goat cheese, parsley, garlic, pine nuts, roasted red peppers, butter, bread crumbs, flake sea salt

drizzle olive oil on the garlic bulb for roasting



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do it for love

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Recipe: shredded brussels sprouts and kale salad

The Colorado snowpack has been running below average (88%) with a string of sunny days for much of the first three weeks of January. But as my favorite meteorologist-skier, Joel Gratz, has said, if we’re going to get dissed on snowfall, January is a good time for it. That’s because the sun angle in January is quite low (and the days are still pretty short) which means less melt. As we move into February and March, that sun climbs higher in the sky each day and it can take a toll on the snow if Mother Nature doesn’t grace us with some of the fluffy stuff. On our last day in Crested Butte it began to snow in the late afternoon. It was just a little, but enough to feel the flakes falling on my cheeks as we skate skied back to the car. We could see the snow clouds moving in from all directions.


non-skiing activities included hugging on my favorite neighborhood wookie dog, wyatt



The next morning, we woke early to get on the road back home. Overnight, it had snowed far more than anyone (Joel, NOAA, all of the weather people) had been expecting. It was less in Crested Butte and more as we neared the I-70 corridor. Typical of Colorado weather, the storm gave way to sunshine and blue skies. Icy and snowy roads became snow-packed roads became slushy roads became wet roads became dry roads. We drive past a number of ski resorts on our route from Crested Butte to Nederland and happen to have passes for some of them. Copper Mountain reported 7 inches of powder that morning, so we “justified” stopping for a few runs by saying the freeway could melt out a little more while we sampled the snow.

jeremy thought it was pretty darn good

the view south, looking out of bounds



It’s feeling less like Spring and more like Winter – as it should! The snow came down all day Wednesday here in the Front Range, which puts me back in the mood for hot soups. But winter also makes me crave salads and fruits. I know some folks try to get their vegetables in the form of a smoothie. It seems to be rampant along with January-sudden-onset-exercise. Whatever works, I suppose. Me? I personally dislike smoothies – and I say “dislike” because I don’t want to use the word “hate” even though that is what I mean. I actually enjoy eating vegetables (and fruit) in solid form. The textures and flavors are precisely what I like about eating them. It’s so much easier to get your vegetables and your exercise when it’s something you love, don’t you think?

In the past few months, I’ve become hooked on a shredded Brussels sprouts and kale salad. Last spring, a Whole Foods Market opened in Frisco which is on the road between Nederland and Crested Butte. It used to be that our only quick food options right off the freeway were fast food, so this was a welcome addition to our choices. Jeremy usually gets soup or something hot, but I load up on salad. I make a point of sampling some of the salad bar’s prepared salads. Most of them don’t get sampled a second time, but I kept returning to this one salad because it was so crunchy and refreshing. The salad bar (or anything) at Whole Foods ain’t cheap, so it was only a matter of time before I sought out a recipe to make at home.


kale, brussels sprouts, pecorino, black pepper, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, salt, garlic, shallot, lemon, olive oil, dijon mustard

strip the kale from the ribs

roll the leaves up

chiffonade the kale



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none of that weak sauce

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Recipe: homemade pizza sauce

Windstorms in winter accompany large temperature throws in our area. So when we go from single digits to well above freezing in a day, it’s a good idea to secure any outdoor furniture, grills, trampolines, small children, and pets. The winds were quite nasty earlier in the week, but now that the neighbors’ fences have stopped blowing over and the large tree branches are done snapping, we’re back to our normal dose of winds in the 20-40 mph range. It is what it is. As if to apologize for its bad behavior, the atmosphere made nice with the sun Tuesday evening.


cotton candy sunset



I’ve been in cleaning mode lately. That’s what I do when Jeremy is out of town. I start cleaning out closets or reorganizing shelves at night, which produces heaps of donations and recycling. This activity always makes Jeremy a little nervous because I desperately want to clean his mess of a desk, but I usually get too frustrated when I try to figure out where to start. While returning some canning jars to the canning cabinet in the basement, I took inventory of my tomatoes. Tomatoes are what I use the most in the non-summer months – mostly diced tomatoes. When I first began canning, I incorrectly assumed that I used diced tomatoes and tomato sauce at the same rate. By the following summer, my diced tomatoes were nearly finished and my sauce remained untouched. Why not make pizza sauce? Until last year, I bought a pretty spendy pizza sauce from Whole Foods because it wasn’t loaded with sugar and it tasted the best. But then I began searching for a pizza sauce that I could make from my own tomato sauce. Most of the recipes I researched called for diced tomatoes, which didn’t solve my problem, but this one uses tomato sauce – and it is AWESOME.

black pepper, tomato paste, tomato sauce, garlic, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, parmesan, onion, water, olive oil, salt, oregano, basil

dice the onion and mince the garlic

everything measured and prepped



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