lemon soufflé recipe asian chicken salad with ginger dressing crested butte: bacchanale bananas foster


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spraang break!

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Recipe: asian chicken salad with ginger dressing

It’s springtime in the Rockies and it also happens to be spring break for a lot of schools. We’re in Crested Butte to enjoy what remains of both the mountain and nordic ski seasons. The high, strong sun has been delivering a pounding to the snow – visibly shrinking it by inches each day. The birds are back feeding off the patches of bare ground and filling the air with the sweet chorus of bird songs. The Slate River flows faster and fuller. If we’re lucky, we’ll squeeze out a few spring storms to keep the backcountry fresh a little longer. Either way, we’re enjoying it.


bison outside of buena vista

the collegiates

sunset over the town of crested butte

cotton candy over whetstone mountain

skate skiing before it disappears

making a snowball in spring, because rocky mountain powder is too fluffy in winter



I’ve kept our menu simple since the kitchen in Crested Butte is serviceable, but not tricked out like my kitchen back home. Besides, I don’t come here to cook. Obviously. And with the warmer weather, I’m migrating towards salads and sandwiches. So, a couple of weeks ago, we drove into Denver to shop around for a new washing machine. We didn’t find a washing machine that we liked, but we did find 2 cases of wine – go figure! I swear this is related. On our way home, we popped by Souplantation (aka Sweet Tomatoes) to grab a late lunch. One of Jeremy’s favorite salads is their wonton chicken salad. Surely I could make an even better version at home, right?

There are three components to the salad: the chicken, the ginger dressing, and the salad (vegetables and such). I guess it’s four components if you count the wonton strips, but those are optional. The chicken is simple – marinate for 30 minutes then bake for 20 minutes. You might be tempted to boil the chicken and shred it, which is perfectly acceptable, but you’d be missing out. The extra flavor from the marinade is worth the itsy bitsy amount of effort.


the chicken: chicken breasts, soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper

place it all in a bag

marinate for 30 minutes

place in a baking dish to bake



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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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