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my senior citizen

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Recipe: chana masala

Today, my baby puppy Kaweah turns 14 years old. And even though I call her my puppy, even though she acts like a puppy, even though so many people think she’s a puppy… she’s pretty old. So when she turns off her ears and doesn’t come when called (her hearing is perfectly fine, she can hear me open the closet door to her dog treats from across the house) or when she stumbles because her back legs are weak, we are extra patient and understanding with her the way we would be with our grandmas if they were still alive. I don’t generally make a big deal of birthdays, but this one is special, because it may be her last one.

a little salad, puppy biscuits on cheddar, and raw flank steak

kaweah started with her veggies first (good girl)

apples, peanut butter sauce, unsweetened whipped cream

such a patient pup

jeremy blew the candle out

birthday girl!!

We actually celebrated on Thursday, one day early, because our schedules are completely bonkers. The holidays really make me want to do the opposite of what is considered de rigueur. I can get away with some of it, but not the baking. Our local post office ladies ask Jeremy every November if I’ll be bringing cookies for the holidays. And I can’t not give cookies to my vet, because we love him so much. My ace #1 oncologist – he gets cookies for sure. We always gift cookies to the administrative staff in Jeremy’s department. I don’t mind the baking because this is an expression of gratitude. What I do mind is having heaps of sweets around me. Gah! Get them away! To balance out the craziness of holiday baking, I’ve been gravitating toward simple, but awesome savory dishes.

cayenne, garam masala, paprika, turmeric, coriander, cumin, cumin seeds

spices, salt, garlic, onion, lemon, tomatoes, ginger, jalapeño pepper, and chickpeas

This is a recipe that has been eating away at me for a few years – chana masala. My friend, Nicole, brought it to a potluck party in Seattle two summers ago and I loved it. It was a big party, and I never got around to asking for the recipe. By the time I remembered again (months later) I hit the interwebs which 80% of the time lead me to Deb.

grind the toasted cumin seeds

everything chopped, diced, grated, minced, ground, or juiced

**Jump for more butter**

head spinning fun

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Recipe: indian dal

I hope you all had a good weekend. I think I had a good one, assuming I can remember everything that’s been happening. Perhaps that is why I take so many photographs – to jog my crappy memory? Our lecture/workshop at Denver Botanic Gardens was great. We had a lively and fun crew at the cooking workshop on Friday – really engaging and wonderful people. Todd and Diane taught how to make their signature amazing Viet spring rolls, Manisha demoed onion fritters with two chutneys and chai, and I made Chinese scallion pancakes.

sarah of dbg welcomes everyone

sniffing herbs that todd and diane brought from their garden

introduction to more herbs

There was plenty of nibbling and sampling of the goodies as well as laughs. I love workshops that have great participants because I think they are the other (very important) half of the equation. First, you need a great team running the show and then you need enthusiastic, friendly, and hard working people on the receiving end. They give back too. It’s all a give and take. That’s what makes it so special and ultimately rewarding for me.

diane schools us on nuoc cham while todd crushes garlic

mmmm, spring rolls!

manisha mixes the onions to make fritters

just pick up a small amount and drop it in the hot oil

After a jam-packed exhausting 24 hours, Todd and Diane came to our place (after we dined at The Pinyon – AMAZING dinner) to spend some time with Kaweah. We have a lot of visitors lined up this month, so Kaweah is getting pretty spoiled. But I think she especially loves Todd and Diane, which makes sense because they are two of my most favorite people on this good planet.

she’s not even supposed to be on the couch

who me?


definitely spoiled

I had signed up for a canning class at Escoffier Boulder (formerly Culinary School of the Rockies) almost two months ago. I’ve been wanting to learn to can properly at my altitude for several months now – always looking longingly at 1) all of the great produce coming out of friends’ gardens and 2) all of the canning my friends did with their bounties. At long last I could learn how to do it safely. The home cook classes at Escoffier are awesome. My fellow students were all spunky and eager to learn which made it doubly terrific.

my partner prepping beets

cutting pears for the pear and vanilla bean jam

tomatoes to be turned into basil garlic tomato sauce

into the hot water bath

pickled beets, ftw!!

Before I embark on my next trip (in less than 7 hours), I have to talk about a recent addition to my soup repertoire. They are predicting a snowstorm this week at home while I’ll be turning back the clock on fall and shooting colors elsewhere. There is nothing I love more in winter than to curl up with a hot bowl of soup after a good ski. I really dig on salads in summer, soups in winter. Sandwiches are a year-round affair (and I do mean affair as in love affair). One soup that I’ve been craving of late is dal.

red lentils (dal)

shake them out on a baking sheet to pick out imposters

**Jump for more butter**

indian garlic naan

Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

Recipe: indian garlic naan

It’s October, but we’re still wrangling with Indian Summer over here. Well, we were. The forecast has some storms brewing on the horizon which could be a blessing… or a curse… or both for this week’s shoot. If you are in Colorado, now is a GOOD TIME to get out and capture those fall colors (and say hi if you see me!).

one of our best local stands

With only a few days between road trips, my time at home is more like a pit stop than being home. I’ve shot some of our local colors (which are also very good this year), but I need a little time away from the leaves or else I won’t have good leaf brain this week. There are always interesting distractions…

my favorite graffiti in boulder canyon

a surprise bloom of my queen of the night (night-blooming cereus)

All of the action in the kitchen of late has been “cooking to clean out the refrigerator”. I wanted to leave Jeremy with plenty of food while I was gone. Unfortunately, I have a terrible habit of overestimating how much food he’ll need and I pretty much prepared enough food for him to survive a zombie apocalypse. [Side note: I really am convinced that a mountain bike is an excellent way to escape the zombies - if you're in good shape.] I guess that means I won’t need to cook when I get home.

But I must tell you that in addition to the arrival of fall colors, the anticipation of big dump snow days, and my absolute love of Halloween, the cool down in temperatures means I can get roasting, baking, stewing, and pressure cooking again. A few weeks ago I made my own garlic naan and in addition to filling my house with smoke, it also filled my head with visions of fresh naan this winter.

flour, milk, egg, garlic, ghee, greek yogurt, salt, baking powder, sugar, yeast

combine the flour, salt, and baking powder

sugar, yeast, and warm water – getting puffy

I’ve had unyeasted naan and yeasted naan. I like both. I imagine the unyeasted version must be pretty simple (another recipe to try later), but who doesn’t love a challenge, right?! I chose to go with the garlic naan over plain naan because I’m a total sucker for garlic and I always have some on hand.

add garlic, yeast mixture, milk, yogurt, egg, oil, and water into the dry mix

after kneading the dough, let it rise

punch it down

**Jump for more butter**