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archive for poultry

nothing funky about this chicken

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Recipe: chicken teriyaki bowl

YES! TWO FEET of snow graced our mountains by storm’s end (we averaged 16 inches around our house). Jeremy and I were patient, letting the snow settle for 24 hours before diving into it. Our assessment over two days of backcountry skiing is that the bottom of the snowpack was a wet spring base, but the upper 12 inches of fresh snow was good and wintry. Even Kaweah enjoys feeling the snow underfoot when she does her rounds in the yard. We’re all snow lovers in this house.

jeremy breaking trail into 2 feet of fresh

winding up into the high country

beautiful, untouched snow

plus a little sunshine and bluebird

jeremy ripping skins as a squall approaches

Our temperatures are on the upswing now. Piles of snow that adorned our yard Wednesday morning were gone by the close of business. That’s fast melt. The good news is that the high country keeps getting more snow as guerilla snow storms pop up on the Continental Divide. I know people want the roads to campgrounds, access to trailheads, and trails cleared of snow. Me? I go with the flow. As long as there is good snow, I can ski it and it keeps most of the crowds away. And when it all melts out? We hit the trails running, fast packing, backpacking, mountain biking, or hiking. I love the mountains year-round, every single day.

a glorious sunset

Some of my friends look at me with suspicion. Why is it that I prefer schlepping gear up a steep trail to sleep on the ground (with the bears) and not shower for days on end as opposed to staying in some posh hotel and partaking of fine dining and other luxuries? I find if I don’t go outside and get my heart pumping on a regular basis, I get into a funk. This was especially clear to me during my chemo on days when I didn’t have the strength to sit up in bed. If I don’t stay in nice places and eat fine food, I don’t really miss it. And besides, we are not deprived of fine food. We make damn fine food in the House of Butter. Let’s work some chicken magic.

chicken teriyaki: dark soy sauce, soy sauce, mirin, water, sake, honey, brown sugar, chicken thighs

I have a prejudice against many fast foods. It’s not that I haven’t had my share. Sometimes when you’re road tripping through the sticks on a photo shoot, the only options are the lonely burger outposts or the ubiquitous KenTacoHuts. But more and more I’ve come to realize that a homemade version of a burrito or fried chicken or burger can not only be far healthier (you know what ingredients you put in your food), but way way tastier. Walk past any mall food court and you’ll probably encounter a place that serves some sort of teriyaki rice bowl. I have no idea what those taste like, but all of the parts add up in my brain to something good. How hard could it be to make it yourself?

pouring mirin into a ziploc with soy sauce and dark brown sugar

adding water

drop some chicken thighs in

marinate for up to 24 hours

**Jump for more butter**

grills and thrills

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

Recipe: honey barbecued chicken

How awesome is it to ski tour the Rocky Mountain high country one day, trail run in slush and mud the next day, and bike through lush shady trails the day after that? VERY. It is that magical time when you can take your pick of outdoor fun based on elevation and your choices don’t involve five different kinds of skiing (although there’s nothing wrong with that either). Last week was my first real trail run of the season that wasn’t entirely on snow and it felt good… and bad… but mostly good! I guess all of that winter skiing has paid off. MY QUADS ARE TREE TRUNKS, PEOPLE! I hope your weekend was as awesome as mine.

the view from my trail run

a dazzling sunset

bike foraging on the plains with my pal wendy

letting kaweah soak up some sun before her bath

homemade temaki (hand roll) for dinner

I haven’t said much about Kaweah lately because she’s been in a pattern of declining health for a week, then holding steady for 2-3 weeks, then repeating the cycle. We keep thinking her time is near and then she bounces back to a slightly lower level of health, but stable. She wobbles and stumbles and trips over her own feet all the time now. She can’t stand upright for more than a few minutes before her hind legs give out into a tangle under her. We have to hold her up when she potties lest she fall into her own puddles or poopies. But she’s the cutest, sweetest girl in the world and we love her so much. She’s still happy, obsessed with food, keen to sniff all the smells outside. We love on her, sing to her, talk to her, rub her belly and ears, give her massages, scratch the itchy hard-to-reach places, feed her all manner of goodies, and try our best to keep her safe and comfortable. It’s been a good week for her, and that’s all we can ask for at this point.

cuddling with the clean puppy sunday morning

Jeremy and I spend a good deal of time outside throughout the year such that we are tuned into the finer fluctuations in our weather. That means seasonal shifts are enormous changes to our routines. It rained on Saturday for hours and hours – the first substantial non-frozen precipitation we’ve had this year. Ski helmets were swapped for bike helmets and the heavy winter jackets that lined our mudroom walls have been replaced with lighter waterproof spring gear. And even though we grill year round, there is something about warmer weather that makes one crave barbecue. It just puts you in the mood. So let’s get some chicken on the grill!

chicken quarters, olive oil, kosher salt, brown sugar, chili powder, black pepper, paprika, chipotle powder, thyme, garlic

mince the garlic and chop the thyme

pour the olive oil into the spices

**Jump for more butter**

chinese new year recipe round up

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Chinese New Year (or the Lunar New Year) is a week away! It will be the Year of the Horse, which is special because my sister was born in the Year of the Horse and would have been 48 this year. I’m busy cleaning the house, prepping special foods, and doing those things that are supposed to bring luck in the new year. Maybe you are a traditionalist or perhaps the lunar new year doesn’t have any significance to you, but you want to make a celebratory meal or throw a Chinese-themed party. Either way, I’ve got a recipe round up for you!

traditional dishes

These are the dishes I make year after year. They symbolize luck, fortune, health, happiness, promotion.

Cellophane noodle soup: It’s a big pot of goodies – sort of a catchall for lucky things. The cellophane noodles (bean thread noodles or glass noodles) represent long life – so for goodness’ sake, DON’T CUT THE NOODLES. Meatballs and fish balls are round, which the Chinese like and their meaning is reunion.

Chinese dumplings and potstickers: Theoretically you are supposed to make dumplings (boiled or steamed), but I always make potstickers because I’m a crunch-junkie. My mom always told us that eating dumplings meant more money in the new year because they are shaped like gold ingots. Then I found out later that dumplings also symbolize having sons. I’m sticking with the money story.

Chinese egg dumplings: The Chinese have a thing for dumplings, because they are like purses, and purses hold money. These egg dumplings typically go in the cellophane noodle soup, but they are wonderful eaten on their own too.

Lucky ten ingredient vegetables: Lucky lucky lucky! Ten is a lucky number. Don’t make this with nine or eleven ingredients – you’ll screw up the new year! Also, don’t use hollow vegetables (green onions, water spinach – these are hollow and bad luck). Tofu is okay, but no meat is allowed in the dish.

Stir-fried rice cakes: These rice cakes are sticky, chewy disks of rice flour. The name of the rice cake, nian gao, sounds like “higher year”. Eating the rice cakes is good luck for a promotion or toward greater prosperity.

Stir-fried soybean sprouts: These are my favorite and plentiful in most Asian markets this time of year (because everyone wants luck!). Eating soybean sprouts (or bean sprouts in general) ensures a good start to the new year.


There’s something you should know about tofu. It’s a big deal. Fu is “luck” in Chinese. So tofu is pretty popular in the new year festivities because everyone wants lots of luck. The thing is, you shouldn’t eat white tofu because white is bad – it’s the color of mourning/death. That’s bad luck. But don’t fret, there are a bazillion ways to eat tofu: fried, dried, marinated, sheets, pressed.

Bean curd rolls: You can find bean curd sheets or tofu skin in Asian grocery stores. They are either dried or frozen. This tofu skin roll is filled with savory pork and vegetables, and then braised til soft. I order it at dim sum all the time.

Chinese tea eggs: Eggs represent fertility, but I just love the subtle flavor of the tea infusion as well as the delicate crackle pattern on the peeled egg.

Fried shrimp wontons: Terrific nibbles with the added bonus that shrimp symbolize happiness and good fortune.

Pickled Chinese cabbage: Served cold, this sweet, salty, sour, spicy, crunchy pickled cabbage wakes your mouth up in the best way possible. I could snack on a bowl of this all by myself. Cabbage means money, prosperity.

Scallion pancakes: One of the best savory snacks, ever. I’m not sure if it has any symbolism, but it’s delicious!

Shrimp toast: More shrimp goodness (happiness and fortune).

**Jump for more butter**