california hand roll (temaki) hot smoked salmon and asparagus pasta kaweah huckleberry jam


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archive for sandwiches

this old girl

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Recipe: salmon cakes

For those of you interested in the good eats around Boulder, I wrote a little article for The Guardian that was published over the weekend in their travel section. Of course, Boulder has WAY more than 10 great restaurants (and bakeries and coffeeshops), so this is really just a sampling of the awesomeness that is the Boulder Food Scene.

It’s been a girls’ weekend here at Butter Headquarters. Jeremy is in Hawai’i for a meeting, a trip I declined to join because even though Kaweah does not require high-maintenance care, she does require specific care and attention for her various medical issues. We took her to the vet a few weeks ago for a check up and her conditions (laryngeal collapse, kidney failure, canine degenerative myelopathy, deafness) continue to decline, but slowly.


those old legs have hiked many mountains



I asked Doc Clements how we would know when it is time, but I couldn’t finish my sentence as I looked at the ground and blinked away my tears. Quality of life, dignity, happiness, he answered. All the while, Kaweah was wagging her brains out because she absolutely loves being at the vet. He raised his eyebrows in a thoughtful manner as he handed Kaweah a treat, “When I first saw her symptoms a few years ago, I would have given her a few months. But it’s been a couple of years and she is doing very well, considering. So she just might surprise us yet.” He smiled and reached down to give her a pat and another treat.

she still keeps her girlish figure



Kaweah is my first dog. I mean MY first dog. I used to wonder when she was ever going to slow down because she was so full of energy and enthusiasm for over a decade. We just got used to her dragging us up and down the mountain for 18 miles and taking running leaps into icy alpine lakes and acting like every single person she met had just promised her a lifetime supply of raw beef. When it did happen, it was gradual and rather pleasant. She stopped pulling at the very end of her leash anytime we hit the trails. Kaweah began to behave herself after 10 minutes instead of 2 hours when guests came over to the house. Her après hike naps grew longer.

and kaweah knows how to stop and smell the roses blanket flowers



It has been bittersweet to witness Kaweah’s body finally succumb to her age. She’s more affectionate now. She can no longer outrun us. She doesn’t bark anymore when the foxes call at dusk because she can’t hear them. In the past year she has started hiding out in dark corners or under tables on occasion. Her walks are down to a quarter of a mile and her hind legs tend to slip and stumble and give out every now and again. But each morning, she’s a bouncy, waggy, happy dog who pounces on her plush toys in anticipation of breakfast. I toggle between being ready for that day when I have to let her go and sobbing at the thought of saying good-bye (like I am right now). I know some people regard aging pets as a burden, but in many ways I feel the same compassion for Kaweah in her old age as I did for my beloved grandmother in her last years. Be kind. Be patient. Be understanding. Be loving. Be caring. Spoil her.

you will always be my baby puppy



Kaweah may or may not have gotten a few chunks of salmon while I was preparing this recipe. It’s getting hard to say no to that furry little face, especially when she tilts it to the side. When my parents came out to visit us in Crested Butte, Dad kept going over the menu for their stay as if these were critical military strategies. He told me he would make salmon cakes, freeze them, and cook them for us the first night. I heard so much about these salmon cakes that I almost didn’t want to eat them… but I did, and I really liked them.

removing the skin from the filet

salmon, onion, eggs, lemon, mayonnaise, salt, flour, bread crumbs, parsley (not pictured: panko)

chop the salmon

everything prepped to make the patties



**Jump for more butter**

working up that appetite

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Recipe: banh mi

We enjoyed a slight cooldown with sporadic bursts of rain over the weekend in Crested Butte. I’m still a sniveling mess when it comes to hot weather. However, I’m slowly adjusting to the heat and that thick layer of sunblock such that I can be seen in the same place as the sun. And it’s totally amazing.


trail running along the slate river

riding the lupine trail

and always thankful for sunset – particularly the colorful ones



Jeremy and I are still getting our bearings straight on restaurants in town. We have our perennial favorites from the past several years traveling through Crested Butte, but now we’re checking out the other places to see if they’re worth the cash or just another resort town trap. One evening, we went for a stroll after dinner and came upon a cute small batch ice cream store (I’ll write about it later). Jeremy ordered a scoop of ice cream for himself and I grabbed a little scoop for Kaweah.

make that a scoop dog for kaweah



It cost as much as Jeremy’s single scoop of cowboy coffee ice cream, but Kaweah’s scoop dog was a peanut butter, maple, bacon ice cream just for dogs. How awesome, right? We have been giving her short sessions with the scoop dog over the past few days. She’s so enamored with her new treat that she’s taken to pointing at the freezer where we store it.

kaweah’s lick of approval



So far I’ve been cooking relatively simple fare in Crested Butte because our kitchen has the bare minimum of what I consider a working kitchen. The pantry is another issue altogether. Crested Butte may boast some excellent restaurants, but the groceries are another story – especially if you stock an Asian pantry. I have a long list of Asian staples to buy on my next trip to the Asian grocer back home. Before you know it, I’ll be whipping up my old favorites in the new place. Like banh mi – the marriage of wonderful southeast Asian flavors IN A SANDWICH. Be still my heart.

for the pork: pork loin, chili garlic sauce, shallots, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar

minced garlic and sliced shallots



**Jump for more butter**

trying not to get ahead of myself

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Recipe: asian chicken sandwich

I am totally feeling it. It was 72°F in Boulder on Friday and I had the sunroof open while driving around town to let the heat escape from my car. The hairs on the back of my neck were prickling because it was overly warm (for me). I found relief once I pulled into the driveway at home and stepped out into the refreshing 50°F air. I’m not going to fight it, but I will relish the remainder of the cooler season as much as I can. Still, all signs point to spring and it is indeed happening around here!


used a little of that rei dividend on some summer sandals with grippy tread

a budding pasque flower poking through the forest litter

catkins from (what i think is) a coyote willow

aspens fuzzing out with catkins



The plants around the mountains are not leafing out yet, which is a good thing because there are a few more winter storms coming our way. At this point, it isn’t even the skiing (but I’m totally going to ski the powder!), rather it is the moisture that we need. Yes, please… more water. In the meantime, our neighbor’s son had a birthday and we were party to his scavenger hunt around town for his birthday gift. They stored the kayak from our garage rafters for a month and this morning, our young friend came by to receive his final clue.

all parents should be so cool



Kayaks, catkins, sandals… I told Jeremy on the trail the other day that I was excited for summer despite the anticipation of a foot of snow coming our way this week. Even though summer is hot and I don’t like the heat, all manner of good things go on in summer. I love waking before the sun and walking the mountain trails in that cool air… smelling flowers and streams and dirt and trees, hearing bird songs and the zippy zooming sounds of hummingbirds. And then there are the sandwiches which come into more regular rotation with our longer days. You can never get too much sandwich – especially this incredible Asian chicken sandwich which I have asked to marry me.

start with asian cabbage slaw: red and green cabbage, rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, carrot, green onions, ginger, lime, cilantro

shred the cabbage

colorful mix of vegetables



**Jump for more butter**