california hand roll (temaki) hot smoked salmon and asparagus pasta kaweah huckleberry jam


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pieces of a broken heart

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Recipe: hot smoked salmon and asparagus pasta

Jeremy and I want to thank you all for the touching comments, emails, messages, and other notes on Kaweah’s passing. We are in awe of your love for our dear pup and grateful for your kindness and well wishes. Thank you so very much. xo

The past week has been a bit of a blur as we try to resume life without Kaweah. Everywhere we turned we expected to see that cute little face staring back at us (presumably wondering if we had beef or cheese or apples to offer). And when I didn’t find Kaweah, I just sat down and sobbed. Or I stood and sobbed. I sobbed as I folded her freshly laundered towels and beddings. I sobbed as I put away her dog bowls. I did a lot of sobbing. It was hard being in the house without her – so we packed up and headed southwest. Kaweah’s absence is still felt, but it’s slightly less pronounced here in Crested Butte. Just slightly.


kaweah’s last sunset

my last photo of kaweah on the way to the vet

tags, leashes, and collars by the front door



I still miss hearing her soft snoring in the middle of the night, or watching her little legs chase bunnies in her dreams, or the funny way she would sniff sniff sniff EVERYTHING in the yard until it culminated in a giant sneeze. Getting outside has helped tremendously. Most of you know that the mountains are my therapy sessions. It’s incredibly beautiful right now too.

i spotted a gorgeous bull moose on my trail run last week

brilliant stormy sunset over paradise divide

wildflowers dot the hillslopes of the crested butte high country



While trail running alone, I can lose myself in thought for hours and think about Kaweah without crying. Occasionally, one of her nicknames will push from my lungs into the mountain air and I’ll smile at the memory of her goofy shenanigans. Cooking helps too. I went through one day of depression eating before I bounced back to a normal meal pattern. Prepping vegetables has been especially meditative. My mom told me keeping busy will help, and she’s right. I shot this pasta recipe a few weeks ago, with Kaweah at my side to catch any stray pieces of salmon. Blogging will help me find my way back to normal.

hot smoked salmon, salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, white wine, fettuccine, cream, parmesan, butter, asparagus

drizzle olive oil over the asparagus

season with salt and pepper and grill (or roast)

slice asparagus into bite-size pieces



**Jump for more butter**

going green

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

Recipe: greek salad

It’s quiet here in Crested Butte, where summer has yet to take hold in the high country. Conventional thinking says Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, but the reality is that it is still mud season in our mountains. Most trails are in the process of drying out while local mountain bikers are chomping at the bit to ride something other than the handful of trails that are “open”. There is no shortage of parking on Elk Avenue, the main drag in town. I’m ambivalent about this time of the year. We want the local businesses to do well, but we also love having the trails to ourselves when the aspens are leafing out in their yellow-green new growth and the early season wildflowers start strutting their stuff.


sunshine, blue skies, spring aspens

glacier lilies in bloom hang like little lanterns

aglow in sunlight



We’re here to de-winterize our place and do the necessary maintenance on things like the yard and the garden. Window screens are going back up and the flannel sheets have been laundered and folded away for the next four months. But we’re not just here for those things. We’ve been trail running, mountain biking, and hiking. In fact, we were tipped off to a gorgeous locals’ trail that climbs into good huckleberry and potentially porcini territory!

jeremy runs through one of several water crossings

me after a trail run: this is what they mean by mud season

crossing the remnants of a spring avalanche

running trails with amazing views

and lots of flowers!



And much to our surprise, Kaweah made it to June. May was stable for our girl, and that’s about all we could ask for. We didn’t think she’d be coming with us to Crested Butte this time, but she made the trip and has absolutely loved lounging about on the soft lawn and smelling the odors on the mountain breezes while we clear out dead flowers from last year. If she lies in the yard for long enough, the birds will land around her, picking up grass cuttings for their nests or kicking the dirt around in search of bugs to eat. It’s been tranquil.

our champion napper



Following one of our trail runs, Jeremy and I made a beeline for The Secret Stash (I wrote about it a while ago) to grab a late lunch. He was all about the pizza, but I was craving a salad in addition to the pizza. In their old (tiny) location, The Stash used to have plated salads and my favorite was the Gringo Greek. Gringo, because it had lettuce. A proper Greek salad doesn’t have lettuce. I love the proper Greek salad too, because it’s full of crunchy, briny, tomatoey ingredients. Making your own at home is so simple, so fresh, and oh so very good.

cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, green pepper, lemon, feta, olive oil, olives, capers, oregano



**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**