shredded brussels sprouts and kale salad chocolate pudding split pea soup blood orange marmalade


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Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Recipe: shredded brussels sprouts and kale salad

The Colorado snowpack has been running below average (88%) with a string of sunny days for much of the first three weeks of January. But as my favorite meteorologist-skier, Joel Gratz, has said, if we’re going to get dissed on snowfall, January is a good time for it. That’s because the sun angle in January is quite low (and the days are still pretty short) which means less melt. As we move into February and March, that sun climbs higher in the sky each day and it can take a toll on the snow if Mother Nature doesn’t grace us with some of the fluffy stuff. On our last day in Crested Butte it began to snow in the late afternoon. It was just a little, but enough to feel the flakes falling on my cheeks as we skate skied back to the car. We could see the snow clouds moving in from all directions.


non-skiing activities included hugging on my favorite neighborhood wookie dog, wyatt



The next morning, we woke early to get on the road back home. Overnight, it had snowed far more than anyone (Joel, NOAA, all of the weather people) had been expecting. It was less in Crested Butte and more as we neared the I-70 corridor. Typical of Colorado weather, the storm gave way to sunshine and blue skies. Icy and snowy roads became snow-packed roads became slushy roads became wet roads became dry roads. We drive past a number of ski resorts on our route from Crested Butte to Nederland and happen to have passes for some of them. Copper Mountain reported 7 inches of powder that morning, so we “justified” stopping for a few runs by saying the freeway could melt out a little more while we sampled the snow.

jeremy thought it was pretty darn good

the view south, looking out of bounds



It’s feeling less like Spring and more like Winter – as it should! The snow came down all day Wednesday here in the Front Range, which puts me back in the mood for hot soups. But winter also makes me crave salads and fruits. I know some folks try to get their vegetables in the form of a smoothie. It seems to be rampant along with January-sudden-onset-exercise. Whatever works, I suppose. Me? I personally dislike smoothies – and I say “dislike” because I don’t want to use the word “hate” even though that is what I mean. I actually enjoy eating vegetables (and fruit) in solid form. The textures and flavors are precisely what I like about eating them. It’s so much easier to get your vegetables and your exercise when it’s something you love, don’t you think?

In the past few months, I’ve become hooked on a shredded Brussels sprouts and kale salad. Last spring, a Whole Foods Market opened in Frisco which is on the road between Nederland and Crested Butte. It used to be that our only quick food options right off the freeway were fast food, so this was a welcome addition to our choices. Jeremy usually gets soup or something hot, but I load up on salad. I make a point of sampling some of the salad bar’s prepared salads. Most of them don’t get sampled a second time, but I kept returning to this one salad because it was so crunchy and refreshing. The salad bar (or anything) at Whole Foods ain’t cheap, so it was only a matter of time before I sought out a recipe to make at home.


kale, brussels sprouts, pecorino, black pepper, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, salt, garlic, shallot, lemon, olive oil, dijon mustard

strip the kale from the ribs

roll the leaves up

chiffonade the kale



**Jump for more butter**

you get chocolate pudding

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Recipe: chocolate pudding

It’s nice to be back in Crested Butte, even if only for a long weekend. The air here stays nice and chilly. Even on a bluebird day, we’re still below freezing and overnight temperatures dip to double digits below zero (°F). That helps to preserve the lovely snow for days on end. It’s winter done right. We tele the mountain in the morning and skate the trails in the afternoon. When it’s a powder day (more, please!) the mountain is where it’s at. On the non-powder days, we make use of the fantastic 55-km network of nordic trails that connect our neighborhood, town, Mount Crested Butte, and the beautiful Slate River Valley. Nothing takes the edge off a hard workout like solitude and beautiful scenery.


one of the many things to love about crested butte

skiing up the snowy valley

mount crested butte and the slate river



Jeremy and I basically packed our laptops and our skis for Crested Butte: to work and to play for a few days. Oh, I also brought chocolate pudding. It all started when I purchased a container of Trader Joe’s Belgian chocolate pudding for Jeremy last month during the holiday cookie baking frenzy. The cookies were off-limits until the distribution had been completed, so the pudding was intended to satisfy any sweet cravings he might have gotten during his finals-grading marathon. It wasn’t until I was flipping through my latest issue of Fine Cooking that I found a simple recipe to make my own dark chocolate pudding.

you’ll need: cream, milk, sugar, eggs, cocoa powder, salt, cornstarch, vanilla



Having made chocolate pudding before, the one step that turns a simple recipe into a not-so-simple recipe is chopping chocolate. I don’t like chopping chocolate. It makes a mess because our air is so dry and the electrostatic charge sends tiny shards of chocolate clinging to all possible surfaces (think iron filings in the Wooly Willy toy). But this recipe doesn’t require the chopping of chocolate – woohoo! It’s based on cocoa powder, so make sure you get a good quality cocoa powder.

sift the cocoa, cornstarch, and salt together to avoid lumps

whisk the cream in completely

stir in the yolks (it will be thick, be patient)



**Jump for more butter**

make my day (and night)

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Recipe: split pea soup

I knew it was going to be a long day. First there was the pre-dawn wake up to check if the sunrise was worth shooting. It wasn’t, but once I’m up, I’m up. I got Jeremy to the Park-n-Ride just as the bus was pulling in. Six hours at my skate ski program gave me my cardio workout for the day. Then there was a photo shoot to finish before heading down to Boulder to attend a 3-hour avalanche safety lecture. By the time Jeremy and I were walking to the front door of the house, we had about an hour left before midnight. I looked up at our clear night skies, sparkling with a spray of stars, and suddenly remembered, “There’s supposed to be a comet in the sky!” The excitement of the comet trumped our exhaustion and we dutifully looked up star charts and stood on the deck guessing at where the comet should be. It was too faint for us to view with the naked eye, but the camera was able to pick it up.


comet lovejoy



Astronomy makes an excellent highlight of the night. But let me tell you about my highlight of the day. My ski program involves breakfast, 2 hours of skate instruction, lunch, and then 2 more hours of skate instruction. When I did the telemark ski program several years back, you could eat pretty much anything and still telemark ski. Not so with skate skiing. Because it’s so cardio-intensive, I avoid eating much before skiing. By the time I get home at 3 pm, I am ready to eat my ski boots. However, I had leftover soup in the refrigerator just waiting to be heated and devoured. Hot and hearty split pea soup after being out in the snow is a welcome thing.

It’s easy to be a soup lover year round, but winter in Colorado is the king of soup season. Making soup warms your house, filling it with comforting aromas. Eating soup nourishes and heats your body. I have dozens of great recipes that go into rotation when the snow starts to stick in the mountains, but there exists a never-ending desire to add more delectable soups to that collection. Split pea soup appealed to me as a one-bowl meal – something wholesome and easy to reheat after hours of skiing.


split peas, onions, carrots, celery, leek, black pepper, ham, ham bone, parsley, salt, olive oil, ground cloves, cayenne, bay leaf, fresh thyme

start with water, split peas, and ham bone (or ham hock)

chop and dice the vegetables and herbs

prepped and ready



**Jump for more butter**