salmon rillettes apple cider caramel apple cinnamon rolls braised chicken with forty cloves of garlic roasted broccoli and farro salad with feta


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coming home

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Recipe: huckleberry fudge

We returned to Nederland a couple of days ago only to be greeted by a furnace blast of a heat wave. Man, is it hot – even in the mountains! We usually find relief at night when we can draw cool air into the house (most mountain homes don’t have air conditioning as we usually don’t need it), but the evenings haven’t offered much of that either. I feel such ambivalence toward summer. On the one hand I cannot stand the heat and I hide from the sun as much as I can, but on the other hand it is the short time when tons of fun and beautiful things happen.

I stopped by the vet’s office on Wednesday afternoon and told the assistant at the desk that I was there to receive Kaweah’s ashes. She walked to the back and looked at four different sized boxes and picked up a medium-ish one. Instead of handing it to me across the front desk, she came around to where I stood and offered me a hug and said she was so sorry. I thought I was getting better about keeping it together when people gave their condolences, but apparently I wasn’t. Blinking back tears, I thanked her and she told me how much the office loved Kaweah and what a remarkable little girl she was. Stepping outside the office into the breeze coming off the mountains, I cradled the box in my arms. It’s so light – so much lighter than the 55 pounds of pup we were used to carrying around in her old age… 55 pounds of mostly water and carbon, reduced to carbon. I know this isn’t my Kaweah. My Kaweah is gone. But she’s also in my heart – so not really gone.


kaweah’s ashes and two framed photos – one for her vet and one for us



Thursday morning presented itself at 5:30 am. That decision, of whether or not to get up and get outside when you’re short on sleep, can be a tough one. I know from experience that I usually won’t regret getting up, but I might regret not getting up. Our dedication was rewarded first thing in the morning with wildlife sightings, colorful wildflowers strewn across the meadows like confetti, and clear views of the high country.

that’s a moose

a big moose

don’t mess with the moose

potpourri

morning light on delicate blossoms

looking east

the indian peaks high country



It is a great time to catch wildflowers in the mountains around here. They seem to be peaking around 10,000 feet right now. Believe it or not, my whole motivation for hiking was not to see moose or the wildflowers (but both are TOTALLY BONUS!!), it was to check on the huckleberries. Oh, and to get exercise, but… huckleberries. They were green and plumping up nicely in Crested Butte on my last trail run. Here in the Front Range, they’re a little behind their Crested Butte brethren. Still, it’s coming along nicely. Hiking is my finger on the pulse of the hucks.

green hucks in crested butte



What do I plan to do with the huckleberries? Well, I’m glad you asked. I’ve been planning ALL YEAR for this moment in time. One of the treats I’ve been wanting to make is huckleberry fudge. If you’ve ever traveled to Montana and visited a gift shop, you will have seen and possibly sampled huckleberry fudge. I did just that (many) years ago when Jeremy and I took a 6-week detour through the Rocky Mountains on our cross-country move from Pasadena, California to Ithaca, New York. I’m not a big fan of fudge, but huckleberry fudge is something else entirely.

white chocolate, cream cheese, powdered sugar, huckleberry jam



**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**

this is your brain on woohoo!

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Recipe: chocolate caramel ice cream

If you are looking for a great all-body workout, backcountry skiing may be your answer. It is one of my favorite activities in spring when the winds are a little less antagonistic than in winter, the temperatures are comfortable enough that your pack isn’t bursting with tons of high-loft layers, and the snow feels good when you sit in it. Unlike resort skiing, in backcountry skiing YOU ARE THE SKI LIFT. That means you earn your turns and then some. But the solitude and beauty of our beautiful mountains are worth it. Jeremy and I skin up for hours, talking with one another, sometimes just listening to all of the different bird calls, inhaling that glorious forest smell, and noting any natural slides on the high peaks. We usually break for a late snack at the high point. That’s where we rip (climbing) skins, get some turns, and then ski back (which is super fast!).


gearing up in the parking lot

this frozen alpine lake has lots of beautiful wildflowers in summer

jeremy admires the indian peaks as he skins up

bacon in the backcountry – does it get much better than this?!

hoofing it to take a few more laps



It’s like hiking, but on skis and in the snow. Backcountry skiing is a lot more exertion than hiking, but I just love it so much. We bring snacks with us – nothing heavy. Neither of us likes to eat much food while skinning up – just enough to keep the stomach from getting gurgly and grumpy. Typically we’ll devour half of our snacks in the car on the drive home. As soon as we get home we somehow manage to simultaneously address the dog’s pee/poop clock, unpack our gear to dry, and cobble together a meal that is supposed to make up for the three we haven’t eaten yet. But this time, there was homemade ice cream in the freezer for dessert. Jeremy was excited for the new experimental flavor because it combines two of his favorites: chocolate and caramel.

chocolate, vanilla, milk, cream (divided), eggs, sugar (divided), flake sea salt

chop the chocolate

heat cream and sugar in separate pans



**Jump for more butter**