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family time

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Recipe: egg salad

Jeremy’s parents visited with us earlier this week for a few days. It’s been a while since I’ve seen them because we haven’t been able to travel with Kaweah to their house for the past year. Jeremy drove out to their place last October to do some IT work for them (because he’s a good boy), but I stayed with Kaweah in Crested Butte. We agreed that their energetic male dogs would have been too much for our frail, old girl. Whenever they come to Boulder, we always go out at least once for dinner. Jeremy and I try to find a place they haven’t been to before. Not a difficult task as Boulder has so many great restaurants from which to select. This time, they chose Frasca.


duck egg spring salad with browned butter vinaigrette

the pasta course (that’s my iced tea – i was designated driver)



When Mom first walked into the great room, Kaweah was lying in her bed. She doesn’t even get up when Jeremy and I come home anymore. But as soon as she saw Mom, she struggled to stand and walk over to her. Jeremy’s mom was the one who picked Kaweah out for us. Mom kept her for 2 weeks: potty training her, getting all of her shots and vaccinations, and loving on her. Then Mom put Kaweah on a flight from Albuquerque to Syracuse where we picked her up – my in-laws’ gift to us on our anniversary. I watched as Kaweah leaned against Mom’s leg, tail wagging as much as it has in a year, receiving ear rubs and sweet hellos. Old as our pup is, she has not forgotten. I haven’t seen Kaweah show this much affection for anyone in quite some time. At the end of my in-laws’ stay, Jeremy was carrying Kaweah back into the house when Mom paused to say good-bye. She kissed her on the top of her head many times and gently hugged her neck. I know Mom knew this was probably the last time she’d see her grandpup, but I’m glad she got to see her.

Wednesday morning, I drove up to our local ski hill for a date. There was no new snow and I’m not even sure the mountain dropped below freezing overnight (gah!). But it didn’t matter. No lines, blue skies, bright sun, and my good friends were there with their 3 year old son.


sweet little felix and lovely nichole

felix and his dad riding the lift

mastering the pizza wedge

felix shredding the bunny slope!



It was on this mountain over 6 years ago that I met Nichole. I was just starting chemo and we were in an advanced telemark program together. No one makes me laugh so hard on the ski lift as Nichole. So it was really special to get together with her family and watch/photograph them teaching Felix to ski. I’m always in awe of their parenting which is firm, but full of love and incredibly fun. As Felix’s energy wound down, I stayed with him while he had a snack and told Nichole and Luke to take a lap together. Felix explained to me that snow is his favorite thing and that ice isn’t so bad, oh – and he likes water too.

i asked felix if he crushed it on the slopes and he said, “cwushed it!”

selfie with my homeboy (iphone)



All signs point to spring. A favorite local trail has closed for the next three months to protect migratory birds and calving elk. I have mud on my ski boots (*sob*). The winds don’t feel as menacing anymore. The aspens in our yard are starting to fuzz out and I saw forsythia blooming in Boulder. I’m seeing a lot of pastel colored candies, decorations, and egg-dye kits in the stores. Can you believe the first time I ever dyed eggs was in my 30s? It was with my friends’ two little boys and I dare say I had as much fun as they did. I also dyed a batch for an Easter-themed client shoot last year, which left me with a bunch of boiled eggs. Boiled eggs are awesome, because I love me an egg salad sandwich.

eggs

cover with cold water



**Jump for more butter**

shruba dub dub

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Recipe: strawberry shrub

I just peeked outside on our deck to see a few inches of fluffy, beautiful snow accumulating at a nice clip. An upslope storm is hitting the Front Range right now. That’s why we came home early from Crested Butte – to catch the powder (and just to be home again – I love home). Kaweah, who usually sleeps most of the day, was wide awake watching us vacuum and scrub our place down in Crested Butte this morning. She knows the drill. She knows when we do this, a 5-hour car ride will follow. Kaweah didn’t sleep a wink during the drive home either. I think it makes the poor girl nervous. Once home though, she was pretty waggy and wanted to check everything out. Once we unloaded the car, I finally got her to settle down in her bed.


all comfy and cute



A few minutes later she was curled up and asleep, able to relax at last. There was merely a fresh dusting of snow in our yard when we arrived in Nederland in contrast to the several feet of snow piled up in our yard back in Crested Butte. One thing I noticed this winter is that we nominally enjoy one season in Crested Butte at a time. In Nederland, we straddle two seasons because Boulder sits 3000 feet lower in elevation and usually enjoys springlike conditions while we’re getting second helpings of winter in the mountains. I realize now that I actually like this. It mixes things up a little bit – keeps it exciting.

California strawberries have been showing up in Boulder markets lately. I’m not talking about the white, styrofoam, flavorless strawberries of the off season, but the juicy, red, sweet morsels that warrant festivals in celebration of this beloved fruit. So let’s make a shrub!


you’ll need: strawberries, sugar, and red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)



What’s a shrub? Good question. I was not familiar with shrubs until two summers ago when Wendy gave me a jar of homemade rhubarb shrub after a successful morning of foraging. The first time I tasted it, I was startled. It’s sour and sweet… but sour! Shrubs are acidulated beverages, in this case it is a sugary fruit syrup made with vinegar. Back in the day, it was a way to preserve fruit well past its season. A shrub is also known as a drinking vinegar. They’re great to sip or to mix into cocktails or soda water and they are SO easy to make!

hull and quarter the strawberries

add sugar

stir it together

cover with plastic and chill



**Jump for more butter**

just around the corner

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Recipe: machaca (mexican shredded beef)

It feels like spring. It was so hot while I was shooting Wednesday afternoon, that I opened the deck door to let some cool air in. COOL air, not cold air. The mercury read 45°F on our deck with nary a cloud in the sky, the wind abating for a day. It felt really nice. I called to Jeremy in the office and asked him to help me carry Kaweah out to the deck. Kaweah spends a good deal of time in her doggy bed because she gets so tuckered out from standing or walking these days.

Her legs are getting to the point where sometimes she doesn’t have the strength to crawl into her bed on her own and we’ll find her with the front half in the bed and the back half hanging out on the rug or the back legs in some tangled spaghetti-like mess. She always greets us with an expression, “Oh hey, how’s it going?” We rearrange her legs into a comfortable position several times a day (and night). She can’t really feel pain when her legs are splayed or twisted in odd directions, we just don’t want her to cut off circulation and do further damage to them.

Because it can be quite an ordeal for her to get out of bed and move elsewhere (like out of the sun or into the office), sometimes we pick the bed up with Kaweah in it. The first time we did that a few weeks ago, she was all, “Whoa… what the what?” But now she’s used to it and she rather likes it. Kaweah takes the opportunity to look around (it’s a new and exciting vantage for her) and almost has an air of “Bring me thither!” We set her down on the deck in the sun with a good view of the neighborhood. She was comfortable and distracted by all of the activity around her: dogs, birds, cars, neighbors. As long as she’s happy.


my mom’s orchid (in my “care”) is blooming



Of course, we all know that this warm spell is temporary. Colorado gets her best storms in March and I welcome our powder overlords! Yet spring and even summer have beckoned to me in flashes: spring backcountry skiing, foraging, travel, backpacking, and my summer rituals of jamming, canning, and roasting green chiles to freeze for winter. I always hoard green chiles in August because I fear running out mid-winter. The Hatch Chile Store in Hatch, New Mexico recently shipped me some of their frozen roasted green chiles to try. Normally product offers go straight to my spam folder, because I hate shills and I respect my readership. But I have blogged several green chile recipes in the past and the real deal can be hard to source. I thought it was a good opportunity to find a green chile shipper that I could recommend to others since so many have asked.

5 pounds of medium heat big jims



I requested medium heat whole green chiles. They offer mild, medium, hot, extra-hot, whole, diced, frozen, and fresh (seasonal). The chiles are farmed in Hatch, harvested, shipped fresh or roasted, peeled, diced or left whole, and shipped frozen. Having roasted and peeled my own chiles as well as purchased many pounds of roasted chiles in New Mexico and in southern Colorado, these are by far the most beautiful and best quality specimens I have ever enjoyed. Big Jims (the variety I received) are large, meaty, sweet, and perfect for chile rellenos. After our fix of chile rellenos, I saved two chiles for another recipe I’ve been meaning to try: machaca.

chiles, garlic, lime, tomatoes, salt, onion, bouillon, beef chuck, pepper, oil

season the beef with salt and pepper

sear the beef on all sides



**Jump for more butter**