chocolate caramel ice cream honey barbecued chicken japanese-style asparagus frites strawberry cinnamon rolls


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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**

spring meets green

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Recipe: japanese-style asparagus frites

Did you guys stay up to watch the total lunar eclipse late Monday night/early Tuesday morning this week? We tracked the eclipse until the moon entered totality and dropped behind a cloud. Sometimes shoots don’t go as planned (in fact, most nature shoots rarely go “as planned”). I saw that cloud start as a little puff in the night sky. Estimating the trajectory of the moon for the duration of the eclipse, I figured I’d be in the clear as long as the cloud remained in place. It stayed in place alright, but it also grew like a mofo. Over the course of 90 minutes, this tiny, unassuming cloud stretched and grew until it became a standing wave cloud right in the path of the moon during totality. Also, it was damn windy (and cold – even for me), which made wrangling a 500mm telephoto a bit of a challenge. But the path to growth and wonder is not the path of leisure and comfort… or some such mumbo jumbo.


the start of the eclipse (left) and the start of totality (right)



This kind of shoot is what I call character-building (there was a lot of swearing at the winds). Ignoring the shoot, it was absolutely beautiful to watch. People say once you have seen a couple of lunar eclipses, you don’t need to stay up to see more. I disagree. I’ve witnessed quite a few and each one is spectacular and special and amazing. But yeah, the winds sucked big time because we were transitioning from cold and stormy weather to sunny warm weather. Whenever that happens, the atmosphere gets a little squirrely.

here we are at treeline as a storm front blew in (and snowed on us – yay!)



This is what spring does. It’s volatile and dynamic. The sun is in the sky longer, heating the ground, the oceans, and the atmosphere. Here in the mountains, it’s melting the snowpack and putting more moisture in the air. Everyone seems to have their panties in a wad that spring is a transition of seasons rather than idyllic sunny, warm days of blooming flowers, baby animals, and yadda yadda yadda. I’ll tell you what. Asparagus know the drill. They’re frost tolerant plants, which is a good thing since we have the seesaw snow/sun thing going on in Colorado. My pal, Wendy, watches the weather like a hawk and begins monitoring all of her wild asparagus sites about now. I forage with her because it’s so fun, but I always let her keep all of the ‘gus (I call them gus gus) because she lives on this stuff and I’m just along for the ride. I like foraging, but I’m no forager. I buy my spears at the store.

let’s make asparagus tempura: asparagus, ice water, egg, baking soda, flour

mix the flour and baking soda together

whisk the egg and ice water together

stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients



**Jump for more butter**

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**