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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**

mutual inspiration

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

Recipe: california roll poke

Ski resort seasons are coming to an end, but it seems that the atmosphere is not ready to call it quits just yet. We had a nice 9-inch dump of snow late last week which made for some excellent early turns Thursday, and some fine backcountry skiing Friday. Spring skiing is not like winter skiing. The snow is heavy and wet, rather than light as a feather and powdery. But… I’m not bundled to the hilt either because it’s spring and warm(er). You really do work up a sweat. I actually love that!


upslope event meant clouds and snow on the plains

snow blanketing the mountains – that’s what i like



Friends of mine who live just 3000 feet below us are starting to post photos of mountain bike rides, trail runs, and other sunny and warm endeavors. My heart keeps telling me, “Get more turns before the snow melts!” while my brain is thinking, “We need to get riding and running!” Really though, as long as I can be active and outside then I’m happy. Meanwhile, I’m flipping through Facebook the other day and see my friend, Allison (who runs Fridgg), has posted a photo of her latest dining exploits in Southern California. California roll poke. I had to have it. HAD TO HAVE IT.

Allison says that I inspire her with my recipes, yet she inspires me with all of the awesome food she enjoys (and posts photos of)! If I lived near her, we’d eat out together all the time because I absolutely love her taste in food. And I love Allison.


crab legs, maguro (sashimi-grade tuna), green onions, avocado, cucumber, black and white sesame seeds, flake sea salt, masago (flying fish roe), soy sauce, sesame oil



Poke is a Hawai’ian raw fish salad. When Jeremy and I were last on the Big Island, we visited the local Foodland grocery store in Hilo. There was an entire fish counter dedicated to over a dozen types of gorgeous, fresh poke. So when I went looking for a California roll poke recipe, the one from Foodland’s site by Chef Keoni Chang was what I used as a template. There is a good deal of flexibility on the ingredients, so use what you like best and what is available to you. Just be sure the fish is sashimi-grade. I used maguro instead of ahi tuna, and I didn’t sear my fish because I like it completely raw. For the crab, you don’t have to go for King crab legs as it can be prohibitively expensive and hard to source. Lump crab meat works or even surimi, imitation crab meat (aka Krab). And the best cucumbers are the crisp, less seedy kind like Japanese, Persian, or English cucumbers.

slice cucumbers

dice the tuna

peel the crab



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keep your skis on

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Recipe: vietnamese grilled beef salad

It got positively balmy last week. I think Colorado was taking that whole Spring thing seriously for a few days, but only for a few days. The walls of snow that line our sidewalks and roads shrunk by feet under the blazing sunshine and warm winds. We got out to noodle about above our house on some of that fine afternoon corn snow for fun. Of course, two days later we were getting turns on the mountain in 14 fresh inches of powder. That’s how Crested Butte rolls.


jeremy navigates spring conditions

aaaaand we’re back to winterlike powder!



Late Friday night, Jeremy and I went back to the mountain to watch the start of The Grand Traverse. It’s an unmarked backcountry ski race that starts at midnight in Crested Butte, climbs 7800 feet, and ends 40 miles across the Elk Mountains in Aspen. Due to that nice 2 foot dump of fresh snow over the mountains, the race coordinators decided the avalanche risk was too high for the 300+ racers (teams of two for safety) and re-routed the course to loop back to Crested Butte – what is known as The Grand Reverse. The Denver Post had a nice article on the race here. I thought it was extremely awesome that the mayors of Crested Butte and Aspen skied as a team. Finish times typically range between 8 and 16 hours.

spotlight on the summit of mount crested butte

racers taking warm up runs

countdown to midnight at the starting line

a blur of headlamps, skis, and colorful gear as they charge up the mountain



That was fun and inspiring to watch! On the drive back to the house, we talked about those beautiful places in the backcountry we’d like to see or revisit. But we only allow ourselves to talk about it, not make plans. And that’s okay. We can’t plan as long as Kaweah is with us. We would not (could not) trust her geriatric care to anyone else at this stage. I don’t doubt that a lot of people might have put her down by now with her severely limited mobility, her accidents, the amount of time it takes to care for her… Sometimes she does well and other times not so well. Jeremy and I agreed that as long as her good days outnumbered the bad days, we’d do what we could to make her happy and keep her safe. This is why I’m fine with hand-waving discussions about places to explore instead of my usual insistence on making concrete plans. But the talk of summer backpacks and trail runs had me craving summery fare like salads and grilled things. Thankfully, this Vietnamese grilled beef salad isn’t limited to summer. You can totally make this now.

for the beef: flank steak, limes, thai bird chile, garlic, brown sugar, fish sauce

minced garlic, sliced chile, lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, beef

mix the garlic, chile, fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice together



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