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archive for dessert

the fruits of spring

Sunday, June 3rd, 2018

Recipe: strawberry hand pies

You might have thought I had been sucked down the rabbit hole of foraging for morels the past few weeks and you’d be half right. The other half of the story involves Jeremy’s family and some serious medical procedures in Denver. The good news is that I found plenty of morels (but is plenty ever enough?) AND that my in-laws get to return home this week! We also celebrated Neva’s three year anniversary from the day we brought our little screwball into our lives. And two days after that, our dear neighbors welcomed their sweet rescue pup to Colorado.


relishing those lovely spring aspens

finding the hidden treasures of the forest

not bad for a couple of hours’ work

neva got a new toy and a plate of beef, cheese, apple, and treats

making friends with minnie (her temp name) with a homemade treat



At the start of May, I was itching to make some strawberry recipes, but most of the strawberries in our markets sat pale and dejected, picked too early. Such a waste. I waited impatiently until I could get my hands on the sweetly-perfumed, deep red, juicy ripe gems of spring. I knew exactly what I wanted to make: strawberry hand pies. I like pies, but I have issues with fruit pies because the structural integrity makes for an aesthetic nightmare the moment you cut into one. Hand pies not only alleviate that problem, but you can actually cradle a single serving in your arms unlike a slice of pie. I started with my now go-to pie crust (from Kenji, of course).

ice water, flour, sugar, salt, butter

mix dry ingredients in a food processor

spread the butter over the dry ingredients

pulse the dough until it clumps

add the rest of the flour and cut it into the dough

sprinkle ice water over the dough

fold and press the dough into a ball

form two disks and chill



**Jump for more butter**

yellow fever

Sunday, May 6th, 2018

Recipe: mango sorbet

Lots of things happen in May around here, things like my annual MRI to monitor for breast cancer or the anniversary of my sister’s passing or the typical May snowstorm in the mountains that all of the mountain folk expect and all of the flatlanders can’t believe. It’s when we swap out our snow tires for the summer tires, admire all of the flowering trees in Boulder, and begin the mushroom hunting season.


flowers for kris, every year

my favorite weeping cherry in bloom, in the rain

the rains bring the oyster mushrooms

and if you’re lucky, they bring the blonde morels

met a little garter snake while foraging



That blonde morel was my first one I’ve foraged and there were whoops and hollers and high fives and hugs with my foraging buddy, Erin (she found her first one within minutes of mine). The list of edible mushroom varieties that I want to find is quite short, but now it’s shorter by one. Blonde morels are also known as American yellow morels (the variety we forage in the mountains is a black morel).

I have yet to see any morels hit our markets, but what I am seeing on sale lately are mangoes – especially the ataulfo or yellow mangoes, which are my favorites. The pit tends to be smaller, the flesh sweet and not as fibrous as its red-/green-skinned cousin. After a day on the flats looking for morels under the hot sun, I welcome a nice cold scoop or two of a smooth and refreshing mango sorbet. It’s fruity, it’s tropical, and it’s easy to make. The tequila is a nice way to keep the sorbet smooth as it prevents the formation of big ice crystals. If you don’t want alcohol in your sorbet, you can substitute corn syrup.


water, sugar, mangoes, limes, tequila, and salt (not pictured)

combine water and sugar to make simple syrup

slice and scoop the flesh of the mangoes



**Jump for more butter**

a good break

Monday, April 2nd, 2018

Recipe: braised rhubarb

I was nervous about taking last week off from posting, but felt I could use the break. I think I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. Or should. As tempting as it was to skip another week, I’m back at it. Last week was the university’s Spring Break, so we spent it in Crested Butte to squeeze out as many remaining ski days as possible. Neva turned three years old over break, which we celebrated with many of her favorite things like food, orange tennis balls, snow, running, and sleeping in the sun. You can watch her eat her birthday dessert on my Instagram.


happy birthday, little neva!



We received a little powder early in the week on the mountain, migrated to the Nordic trails until they were too worked over by the spring freeze/melt cycle, and then discovered the joys of crust cruising with our skate skis off-trail. It was a good lesson in making the most of every situation. The important thing is to look back on this ski season with gratitude that I was in good enough health to do all of these things in the first place.

such a beautiful sight to behold

getting plastered with snow on the lift

jeremy grabs a fresh line

crust cruising the wide open spaces



Spring in the mountains has been a series of fast moving snow storms alternating with sunshine and blue skies. This pattern can wreak havoc on ski trails as well as running/hiking trails because it’s never all snow or all dirt/rock in spring. More typically you have a combination of dirt, snow, ice, and mud, which is pretty miserable to run and nearly impossible to ski. But I feel so alive as we flirt with the smell of wet forests, spy budding catkins on the aspen trees, and watch sunset later each day.

then it snows and a mama moose and yearling stroll through for a snack



I’ve been waiting over six months to post this recipe for braised (roasted) rhubarb. Living at an elevation of 8500 feet means that we are seasonally out of whack with most of the country (and the world) for much of the year. Rhubarb is popping up all over my Instagram feed, but I know it will be months before my neighbors’ plants even begin to think about producing those brilliantly colored stalks. Those wonderful neighbors gave me some of their rhubarb last September before the first hard freeze. Since I was short on time, I made a super easy spiced rhubarb compote.

rhubarb, honey, orange juice, vanilla bean, star anise, cardamom pods, ginger, salt

slice the rhubarb

scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean



**Jump for more butter**