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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**


Monday, March 25th, 2013

Recipe: maple miso tofu

Winter went out like a cuddly little kitten last week. The last day of winter was warm, sunny, and so pleasant that I left the deck door open for Kaweah to come and go, which she loves to do. Sometimes she’ll just stand halfway in the house and halfway on the deck. But her old legs can’t stand indefinitely anymore. When I set her foamy bath mats out on the deck, she opted to lounge in the sun and absorb all of the energy falling to Earth.

last day of winter

Of course, it’s now spring break (all of Boulder seems to be on spring break this week) and it snowed all weekend. People have been shaking their fists at Punxsutawney Phil for his prediction of an early spring. When will silly people ever learn? I trust my local meteorologist over a giant rodent to tell me when to expect a powder day. Colorado spring skiing is what’s what.

five days into spring

nothing fazes her

8°f and gorgeous

that’s gonna be closed for a little while longer

But it is spring despite the winterish temperatures. The snow is heavier, stickier, wetter. It takes more effort to push it around than the powdery fluff of winter. And the longer hours of the day feel like you have emerged from a cave. Sunset is around 7pm at our house, which is Kaweah’s dinner time. She used to petition for dinner at 4:30 in the afternoon in winter when it got dark, but now she seems utterly delighted and taken by surprise when we say, “Do you want some dinner?”

dramatic sunset

Ever since I got home from my trip to Vermont and New Hampshire, I’ve been trying to keep my meals on the light side. I have some lovely organic maple syrup (and other maple products) courtesy of Coombs Family Farms, but I just can’t fathom eating THAT MANY waffles and pancakes, no matter how good the syrup is. You know me, I am one for the savory dishes. A maple miso tofu recipe appealed to my desire for lighter meals. The added bonus is how ridiculously straightforward and quick it is to prepare.

you need: maple syrup, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sambal oelek (or any chili paste), white miso, firm tofu

brushing oil on the parchment paper

cut the tofu into 1/2-inch thick slices

**Jump for more butter**


Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Recipe: stuffed sopaipillas

It’s a brilliant sun that has been shining down on Colorado this week, each day warmer than the one before. Whenever Jeremy is on travel, I use the alone time to get as much work done as possible so that we might ski or just spend time together when he gets back. If I were truly alone, I might work from sunrise to the wee hours of the night with nary a pause, but I am not alone. Kaweah requires more attention in her old age. Not that she demands it, just that we want to be sure she is happy and comfortable. One of us will check on her frequently throughout the day and sometimes lie on the floor next to her, rub her belly, or just nuzzle her face. Anything to hear the thump of that wagging tail.

she likes the sun on her coat and her feet in the snow

Kaweah’s walks take more time and cover less distance. I have to stop myself when I start to feel impatient. Lately, I have been setting aside extra time for Kaweah. It’s not a walk anymore, but Kaweah-time. Time for sniffing every tree trunk, every dead leaf, every invisible thing in the snow. Time to walk slowly through powdery drifts, sometimes requiring a quick rescue. Her back paws knuckle under as she grows tired, but her nose is in the air drinking in all the news the wind can deliver. Old age is slowing her down. So far it hasn’t stopped her.

checking out the lake

happy to be outside

The other day we went to a little lake where the snow lingered and the sun shone bright. Instead of menacing winds, there was a gentle breeze and birds chirped in the woods. I unleashed Kaweah (because she’s too slow to outrun me now!) and watched as she went about sniffing what was what, her meandering tracks having absolutely no agenda other than to be a happy black dog on a lovely bluebird day. I knelt down and called her to me. I had to call again, loudly because she’s deaf – or she was ignoring me… or both. It doesn’t matter. She strolled lazily toward my outstretched hands and rolled her head into them like she always does, her tail doing big circular wags. I gently wrapped my arms around her neck and shoulders and placed my cheek against her warm, black fur. My little girl. Circular wag, circular wag.

time to go home

A couple of weeks ago, I was chatting with my friend Trent, who runs Pica’s in Boulder. I’m always telling Trent what I think he should carry on the menu. “How about a GIANT salsa bar? A GIANT SALSA BAR!!” This time I didn’t mention the salsa bar, but I did sing the praises for sopaipillas. I’ve had bad ones (here in Colorado) and I’ve had amazing ones (in all of New Mexico), but the best are the ones that come straight from your own kitchen. He had never had one before. WHUT?! The next evening, Trent was running a pop-up in my neighborhood, so I made fresh sopaipillas and brought them to his family. Thumbs up all around. They ate them with honey, but another fabulous way to enjoy the sopaipilla is to stuff it with heavenly goodness.

beef, cumin, chile powder, lime, oil, salt, pepper

dice the beef

mix the seasonings

**Jump for more butter**