huckleberry cheesecake ice cream coconut shrimp spruce tip syrup and the muir cocktail cherry (ice cream) bombes


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make it simple

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

Recipe: strawberry butter

It’s been a good week in Crested Butte. We’ve been out on the trails daily, either hiking, running, or foraging. Neva has enjoyed plenty of exercise and play and snacks. I love watching the mountains shed their winter tones to reveal brilliant spring greens and yellows and blues. Spring cleaning is underway, although the actual “cleaning” has yet to happen (it will…). Spring Administration is probably the more appropriate term. That includes mapping out our summer, which makes me simultaneously excited with anticipation and disappointed that it is so brief. At the end of each day when I turn out the lights, I reach over to hold Jeremy’s hand in the dark and give it a squeeze before we fall asleep.


a fast moving storm brought on cotton ball-like mammatus clouds

the aspens are starting to leaf out

neva inspects my sewing project

found a morel on my trail run



Today’s recipe is wonderful and simple, because it’s strawberry season and because I have a ton of dandelions to pull out in the yard. Strawberry butter is best made when you have access to ripe berries. And since butter is the main ingredient, I recommend using a good quality unsalted butter. Make sure the butter and strawberries are room temperature before you start.

butter, strawberries, powdered sugar, a pinch of salt



Hull and wash your strawberries, then pat them dry. I find that any excess water on the berries tends to dilute the flavor of the butter and the berries. Obviously, the more ripe and juicy the berries, the more flavorful the strawberry butter. I dice my berries pretty fine. As long as the berries are ripe, they should mash nicely into the butter. If you aren’t using ripe berries, then a finer chop should make up for their lack of mashability.

minced strawberries

add sugar and salt to the beaten butter



**Jump for more butter**

this may sound cheesy

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Recipe: hot cheesy green chile dip

Since last week’s recipe was so long, I didn’t post any photos from the week’s shenanigans. I thought it might be nice to include them this week since I’d rather share some uplifting images rather than try to sort out what I’m thinking.


a beautiful sunrise

moose in the mountains

neva incognito – as a leopard

ice crystals along a streambank



I’ve also stepped back from Facebook because that place is just a freaking black hole of suck. A washing machine of emotions and assholery on spin cycle (I’m still pretty active on Instagram, though – so go find me there). Last week, I agreed to cook at one of Andrew‘s dinner parties, but as Friday neared, I felt so drained and exhausted that I wanted to bail. In the end, I decided not to. And I’m glad I didn’t. Engaging with people – with good, kind, positive people – energized me. Cooking with friends and feeding others got me out of this funk. Also? I learned about barbecue using a smoker from Andrew’s friend, Ben, who is now my friend, too.

ben and andrew manning the smoker (full of brisket and ribs – oh lordy!)

some of the dinner attendees getting ready for dinner

ben’s texas-style brisket



Cooking was a team effort with Ben at the helm on the barbecue, Andrew picking up the side dishes, and me bringing the start and the end of the meal – appetizer and dessert(s). In my ongoing attempt to use up frozen roasted Hatch green chiles from prior years, I stumbled across a crazy delicious dip that everyone seems to love. My neighbors gave it their approval a few weeks ago, so I figured it would be a good dip to start the dinner party at Andrew’s house.

cream cheese, jack cheese, diced roasted green chiles, mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, minced garlic



**Jump for more butter**

achievement unlocked

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

Recipe: quince jam

This seems to be the year of maintenance and catch up. Those things you do every four, seven, or ten years on a house all managed to drift into 2016. Or it feels that way because with two homes, you get a double whammy. But it feels good to tick those things off the list so they aren’t nagging at me throughout the winter. I’ve also been systematically tackling the clutter inside the house. It’s amazing what you can do when your puppy is now an “adult”. With this extended warm spell pushing deeper into fall, we’ve been granted the time to tackle these end of summer tasks that sometimes get kicked to the following year. My parents left for California this weekend and our lives are resuming a routine of work, exercise, and perhaps a hint of a social life.


dinner at jax (boulder) with the folks before they flew to so cal

morning hike with neva who refuses to look at the phone

handed in my mail-in ballot so i could get my sticker



Earlier this month, a care package arrived for me from Seattle. I don’t get care packages that often, but when I do, they are always awesome because my friends and relatives who send care packages are the best kind of care package senders. This box of love came from my friend, Tea, who unlocked the ultimate care package achievement. It contained fresh quince she had picked from a tree (interesting or exotic or fresh food item), a hand-written letter (long lost tradition), a jar of homemade jam (handmade gift), and her latest book (her art). For me, it doesn’t get much better than this.

achievement unlocked: care package mastery

what to do with the quince



Quince are fascinating. They look like a peach-fuzzed cross between an apple and a pear, but the flesh is hard and tastes terrible raw. Once cooked, quince transforms into a divine sweet treat. I’ve gotten my hands on quince a couple of times in the past and made membrillo, but I wanted something simpler. Quince jam is a gooey version of membrillo, but it tastes just as lovely with less work.

sugar, water, quince, lemons



**Jump for more butter**