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sprang

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Recipe: chorizo sliders

Spring has sprung. It is sprang. It skis like spring. It feels like spring. For all intents and purposes, it is spring. Last week, we went into the backcountry on the Front Range for a little ole ski tour. The snow started out okay, but as the daytime temperatures rose above freezing, the snow began to stick to our climbing skins in giant 6 inch thick clumps. Then it turned to mashed potatoes by the time we skied out and we were like, “Let’s go to Crested Butte.”


cruising the meadow before the descent

a rosy sunrise on james peak



Well, it’s spring in Crested Butte, too! It’s snowing right now, but the sun keeps poking through sucker holes in the cloud deck and it is warm. Now is the time to embrace whatever nature throws at us, be it powder (please, throw A LOT OF POWDER) or corn snow or mashed potatoes. Jeremy and I are already discussing our plans for Neva adventures this spring and summer – by ski, by bike, or by foot. We are all about human- and doggy-powered activities.

crested butte has pretty sunrises, too

skinning uphill at crested butte mountain resort before the lifts open

neva loves the snow



It’s nice getting out on the Crested Butte food scene after a long hiatus (read: Neva). There are new and old restaurants that we’ve been interested in checking out for a while. Last month we dropped by a taqueria, Bonez, for happy hour. All of the food was excellent (I’ll write that up soon), but the thing that blew us away were the chorizo sliders. Each one was a package of spicy, tangy, sweet, creamy, crunchy, buttery. Delicious and totally doable at home! I’ve already posted recipes for two of the components: sweet potato rolls and fennel slaw. You could buy brioche buns instead of the sweet potato rolls, and I’m guessing fancier grocers or delis may carry fennel slaw. The rest is simply: chorizo patties, garlic aioli, and tomato jam. For the tomato jam, I used a shortcut based on the recipe the server gave me.

pico de gallo, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar

place it all in a saucepan

boil it down to a jam

easy tomato jam: tangy, sweet, and a little spicy



**Jump for more butter**

advances in modern science

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Recipe: chicken fried steak biscuits with chanterelle gravy

We dropped Neva off at the vet’s Monday morning for her spaying appointment, leaving my mobile as the contact number. I got a call a few hours later reporting that her surgery went well and that we’d be able to pick her up that afternoon when the drugs wore off. When we walked into the office to get her, she was chilling out behind the front desk with Aspen, a gorgeous, giant white wolf-like dog who weighs about 100 pounds. Actually, I recall that Aspen is 1/4 wolf, but he is all sweetheart, playing ever so gently with Neva. They were super tight buddies.

Neva seemed practically normal, but Jeremy didn’t want her jumping and possibly tearing her stitches. So he put all manner of items on the couch to deter her from trying. I watched as Neva walked up to the plastic bins on the couch, stepped to the side, and nimbly jumped over the armrest, then curled up in her favorite corner of the couch. Oh little pup… We marveled at her incision, which was nary an inch long. Back in the day, Kaweah’s incision was supposed to be 4 inches long, but was more like 5 inches (we’re guessing because it was at the Vet School) and took forever to heal. But Neva is on a fast road to recovery and we’ll be hitting the trails again in no time.


rest and recovery is so boring for a puppy

pretty autumn sunsets

looking forward to seeing some fall colors like this (from september 2014 in crested butte)



Summer just can’t seem to let go over here. It gets downright hot in the afternoons, so I still give Neva a large ice cube around 3 o’clock to play with, roll on, and eventually eat. Thankfully it is getting chillier overnight, so we can cool the house enough to be comfortable. I like the crisp cold in the mornings. Not cold enough to be punishing like in winter, but cold enough to not mind letting Neva up on the bed to cuddle for another ten minutes before she starts licking my hair.

Seeing as the weekend is coming up, I need to share this recipe for fans of the savory weekend breakfast – chicken fried steak biscuits with chanterelle cream gravy. Feel free to use other mushrooms if you can’t get chanterelles or don’t want to get too spendy. However, if you CAN get chanterelles, please do. They transform the basic cream gravy into the realm of transcendence.


biscuits, chanterelles, flour, black pepper, eggs, salt, cayenne, butter, more salt, more flour, steak, milk, buttermilk

chop the mushrooms into a small dice

tenderize the steak



**Jump for more butter**

let the summer of puppy commence

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Recipe: tuna melt

Oh man. Summer is REAL, people. The furnace blast arrived with a vengeance last week and like the true heat wimps that we are – we retreated to higher elevations and sunrise/sunset activities. Neva is now almost 20 pounds and has been with us for a month. Recalling the first 24 hours with her (and wondering what we had gotten ourselves into), she has come a long way in her training and development – and so have we! Part of her progress is simply growing up and gaining more coordination, strength, and speed. She no longer has to sniff and put every new plant, rock, stick, pine cone, or speck of dirt in her mouth. Neva is learning silly tricks now on top of the important commands. She let’s us know when she needs to go out to potty, she’s really good in her crate, and she is sleeping through the night (HALLELUJAH!). That last one was a serious game changer for the humans.


tossing her toy in the air and (sort of) catching it

moar swimming in icy cold lakes!!

neva gets at least one hike a day

she’s so mellow she sometimes falls asleep like this

running down the stairs with a toy



Neva is becoming a free range puppy, by which I mean, she roams parts of the house while we’re around and we don’t have to chase after her for fear of accidents or drive-by chewings on inappropriate things (like furniture, power cords, the compost bucket). She overcame her fear of the stairs in a matter of days – up was easy, down took a little coaxing. I can trim and file her nails while she sleeps (amazing!). We have her hiking up to 3 miles now and just this morning she did the rockiest, steepest hike yet – all on leash and behaving like a good dog should. Best of all, she likes to lie nearby while we are working and just nap or happily chew her toys. We still have plenty of work to do, but the stage of feeling hopeless was quite short-lived for us. I think Neva is becoming a Good Dog.

thimbleberry blossoms

the rare neva bloom amidst a potpourri of wildflowers

that’s my pack

shooting stars in a sea of summer green



Neva’s hiking progress has been of particular interest to me because I’d like to bring her with us when Erin, Banjo, and I hike and forage huckleberries. All signs point to Neva becoming a strong hiker and I think with some good long hikes together, she’ll learn to be a good companion to Banjo instead of a total pill (she seems to jump on his head less these days – that’s improvement).

As you can imagine, with all of the effort we’re putting into puppy training, I haven’t cooked anything elaborate in a while. In fact, I lost 8 pounds in the first 2 weeks of getting Neva because I was too tired to eat, let alone cook. We’ve been keeping things pretty simple out of necessity – mostly salads and sandwiches with the occasional ghetto pizza bread. One of those sandwiches is a tuna melt, which Jeremy loves and I like to pair with a bowl of tomato soup. I think of the tuna melt as an upgraded version of a tuna fish sandwich. If you really want to get 1970s throwback with it, stuff some jalapeƱo potato chips into the sandwich before eating (mmmm – so good!).


tuna fish, bread, lemon, mayonnaise, butter, pickles, salt, cheese, celery (not pictured: black pepper)

chop the pickles and celery

ready to roll



**Jump for more butter**