crested butte: uley's cabin and ice bar ham, swiss, and egg brioche sandwich lemon soufflé recipe asian chicken salad with ginger dressing


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what sustains us

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

Recipe: ham, swiss, and egg brioche sandwich

Returning home to Nederland over the weekend, we discovered that the house and its surrounds had gone ahead and marched straight into spring. Little green grasses and baby dandelion leaves are beginning to sprout up through our walkway gravel. The aspens have fuzzed out with catkins. And a bathmat-sized patch of snow lingers behind our garage in eternal shade, hoping to withstand 60°F air temperatures until it can replenish with another storm. We also received our REI dividend in the mail. You know, they used to issue those at the end of the calendar year, which meant we spent it all on winter gear. Since they’ve shifted the dividends to late March, we now spend the dividend on summer gear – like new Hokas (trail runners) and a steri pen. Jeremy loves his Hokas so much, he recommended I make the switch this season. I guess it’s time to face reality that I’ll be doing less skiing and more trail running as the days get longer.


nice color over gothic mountain (bottom center) and crested butte (right)

still getting out for a ski tour in the indian peaks

warm orange clouds over the divide from our deck (nederland)

venus to the left and a contrail lit pink by the setting sun



We are experiencing a shift in our exercise schedules with the change in seasons. We like to ski first thing in the morning in winter – because you typically catch first tracks or newly groomed nordic trails. Now that it’s warmer, we go later in the day to give the snow time to soften up from its overnight freeze. Even in the high country, the snow gets wet in the afternoons. Then it freezes overnight into a hard crust or icy slick. So first thing in the morning isn’t such a great thing anymore. Come summer, we’ll be starting our hikes and trail runs in the dark to avoid as much sun and heat as possible. But all of these things require fuel.

They say not to skip breakfast and I find this to be especially true when you plan to burn calories for several hours. I just have a lot of trouble eating something sweet for my first meal. The sugar leaves my mouth sour and dry, and I don’t feel it gives me the proper boost for my activity level. A few weeks ago, we stopped by Salto Coffee Works on our way to ski The Jane (Winter Park/Mary Jane), because Jeremy needed some proper caffeine for the drive. I ordered a breakfast sandwich to put something in my empty stomach. It was so good that I insisted Jeremy eat half of it. Since then, I’ve made it a couple of times for a good energy booster before a ski tour or a morning of bump runs.


swiss cheese, black forest ham, brioche buns, eggs, butter, honey dijon mustard

butter the buttery brioche buns

grill them on a skillet until golden



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rehash

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

Recipe: corned beef hash

Several posts back, a reader (Jasmine) asked how I got started skiing. I wish I could say I began as a little toddler, the way these badass little Colorado munchkins do – but I didn’t. I spent my youth on the water, sailing with my dad and my sister. I didn’t begin the love affair with gliding on snow until I was 22 years old when I was visiting Jeremy’s family over the holidays and they took me to the bunny hill at their local mountain.

Jeremy is a phenomenal teacher when it comes to most things. Skiing is not one of those things. He learned to alpine ski as a kid, for crying out loud. The first thing he did was point down the hill and say, “Just head over there.” As soon as I began moving, I realized that he had neglected to tell me how to stop. I proceeded to crash into the ground while making a mental note not to listen to that guy. Despite the terrible first lesson, I really loved skiing. Living in Southern California, we managed to get 5-8 days a year if we were lucky.

Then we moved to Ithaca, New York where we picked up cross country skiing (it’s free and we were graduate students). We continued logging single digit alpine days each year whenever we visited family in New Mexico. Upon our return to Southern California, we would spend a couple of weekends each year skiing at Mammoth Mountain. This was the first time I had seen a person telemark ski. I was riding solo on the lift watching this fellow carve graceful turns down the mountain such that I missed getting off the chair and had to do the “jump off and roll out of the way” move. But it was worth it.

We learned to telemark ski (with proper instruction) during our first winter in Colorado, ten years ago, and I’ve never touched a pair of alpine skis since. Being locals, skiing is no longer limited to vacations or weekends – it’s something we do for regular exercise during our snow months… September through June if we’re lucky! We ski the resorts, the backcountry, the local trails, the nordic centers: telemark, ski touring (skins and scales), classic, and most recently skate skiing. I love skiing. It kept me sane during my chemotherapy in 2008 and it keeps me happy and healthy now. So that’s the love affair in a nutshell!


surprise powder day on the local mountain, friday afternoon

sunny weekend ski tour

the snow was sticky

great views of the indian peaks

65 degrees on the local trails – it was so warm i wore my running skirt instead of ski pants



Right, but enough about skiing (we still have a few more months to talk about skiing). If you are serving corned beef for Saint Patrick’s Day or just because they happen to be on sale EVERYWHERE, you might be fortunate enough to have some left over. I am actually far more excited about leftover corned beef than the corned beef itself. We ate a couple of slices of corned beef with roasted vegetables, but I already had plans for the leftovers which were actually 90% of the brisket. We enjoyed delicious reuben sandwiches with melty swiss cheese and loads of sauerkraut, and then I made corned beef hash – because I’m a savory breakfast kind of girl and this is filled with ALL OF THE GOOD THINGS.

parsley, potatoes, red bell pepper, onion, eggs, salt, butter, corned beef, cream, pepper

chop the corned beef into chunks

pulse them into a coarse chop

dice the potatoes



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the daytime of the night

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Recipe: chinese black bean ribs

We made a quick trip out to Crested Butte this past weekend to check on our place and to sample some of the four plus feet of snow they received in the two weeks prior. It was made even shorter because we lost an hour to Daylight Saving Time. But I figure it’s all a wash – lose and hour here, gain an hour there. On the road to CB, I asked Jeremy if he liked Daylight Saving Time. A good many people rail against it each year, but I could go either way. “Oh yes, I love it,” he nodded as we drove over Monarch Pass. “I love to have enough light after work to grab a quick ski or run before sunset.”

The loss of an hour in exchange for longer evening light and changing all of our analog wall clocks is worth it to me. It’s like waking up from the long dark slumber. My mind bounces to spring skiing, trail running, HUCKLEBERRIES!, alpine hikes, wildflowers, waterfalls, and summer thunderstorms. Colorado is once again sitting under sun and blue skies, so it really feels like spring has given winter the boot. Subtle shifts in our diurnal temperature cycle means melt in the afternoon that refreezes into ice come morning. For now, it is still technically winter and so I plan to see it through to the end.


bubbles the goldfish at the copper mountain donut shop

skate skiing the lovely nordic trails in crested butte

sastrugi and shadows at sunset



For such a short trip to Crested Butte, I didn’t want to bother with cooking anything elaborate – or cooking anything at all! I decided to make it easy on both of us and bring leftovers from the week. That way we could reheat our food without having to scrub the kitchen down or do tons of dishes. One of the dishes I brought was Chinese-style black bean ribs. Despite the balmy weather, we still dropped below zero (°F) overnight, which meant it was already in the teens when we got home from skate skiing. So a hot bowl of steamed rice topped with these tender stewed baby back ribs was the perfect thing to warm our bellies.

green onions, cilantro, garlic, baby back ribs (cut)

sake, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, hoisin sauce, black bean garlic sauce, vegetable oil, oyster sauce

measured and prepped



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