huckleberry crisp porcini mushroom lasagne fig and brandy jam fried vietnamese spring rolls (cha gio)


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archive for sweet

refresh me

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Recipe: mint lime syrup

Most of you know what a heat wimp I am. As we move firmly into summer and our runs increase in distance and duration, I’ve taken to 4 am wake ups to avoid running in direct sunlight as much as possible. In the mountains, we start our runs in 30-40°F temperatures, which tragically climb into the 60s and 70s as the sun rises in the sky. 80s on the really hot days. I know many people think 60s and 70s are positively balmy, but that sun is intensely strong at 10,000 feet when you are sucking air like a Hoover running up a steep trail. But yeah, I am a heat wimp.

Besides sticking my head in the freezer (there is no air conditioning in the mountains), I keep cool by lurking about in the shade (dry heat) and keeping hydrated. I drink water and unsweetened iced tea almost exclusively, but when we entertain, I like to splurge on some kind of fruity infusion beverage. Entertaining season is upon us! While I was flipping through Marisa’s new book Preserving by the Pint, her mint lime syrup caught my eye.


preserving by the pint, marisa’s second book

so many lovely recipes and photographs



Actually, there are a ton of recipes in her book that piqued my interest. It’s full of quick recipes for small batches of pickles, jams, salsas, butters, sauces, etc. So instead of processing 20 pounds of peaches in one never-ending canning session, you have a lovely guide for making a single jar of pickles or two half-pints of strawberry jam in under an hour. Nice.

mint, limes, sugar, water

pluck the mint leaves, juice the limes

pouring water into the sugar to make a simple syrup



**Jump for more butter**

summer approacheth

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Recipe: peanut butter caramel sauce

All signs point to summer: the blazing sun, rising mercury, pine pollen, afternoon thunderstorms, open windows at night, wild strawberry blossoms along my trail runs, and the impending solstice. Oh, but the best is yet to come when the snow in the high country finally recedes and the huckleberries and porcini emerge alongside colorful alpine wildflowers. It’s weeks away and yet I can already anticipate it will be here before I know it because everything seems to take place in these short summer months. Earlier in the week we enjoyed a lovely happy hour at The Flagstaff House with my parents. I have a feeling summer will kick into high gear very soon.


my rocky mountain cucumber cocktail (sans alcohol)

tuna tartare

fried oysters on polenta (if you go there, order this – so good!)

my queen of the night bloomed (symbolizes good luck!)

our aspen stands have turned lush and green



Before my parents arrived in Colorado, I had lunch with my friend, Ellen of Helliemae’s Caramels. She gave me a bag of her jasmine caramels to welcome my parents, a box of coffee caramels for Jeremy (the coffee fiend), and a bag of peanut butter caramels. It’s a sort of ritual among certain friends of mine that whenever we see each other, we bring gifts like pickled okra or organic adzuki beans or a little box of Maldon sea salt or a jar of homemade kimchi or a bottle of homemade foraged elderflower cordial – but Ellen is the master of caramels. It’s her thing.

creamy, smooth peanut butter caramels



I enjoy the first couple of caramels for what they are and then by the third, I start imagining how awesome they would be in other recipes. One of Jeremy’s favorite items from Helliemae’s is the Chili Palmer caramel sauce. He puts it on ice cream like it is going out of fashion, which got me thinking about peanut butter caramel sauce and the awesomeness that would be a sundae with said sauce. I didn’t have enough caramels left (oops!) to make a sauce out of them, so I made it from scratch.

sugar, cream, peanut butter



**Jump for more butter**

don’t forget to cool down

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Recipe: frozen strawberry basil lemonade

We wrapped up our time in Crested Butte with more riding, more trail running, and a fun dinner at our neighbors’ place. [Talk about a small world - our neighbor knows my uncle!] Then we packed up before sunrise Saturday morning and headed east. Kaweah did so well on the drive home. Normally she’s nervous and fidgety, but this time it was warm enough to have the windows down so she could sniff and watch all of the scenery go by. Kaweah was such a good girl. Everything seems to be an order of magnitude easier in summer: the packing, the travel, less gear, road conditions, weather, the dog.


riding at hartman rocks in gunnison

the lemon tart i brought for dessert at our neighbors’ place



Once home, we were greeted with fog and drizzle, a welcome reprieve from the relentless sunshine that can dominate mountain summers. Apparently, Nederland had received a good bit of moisture while we were away because every known weed had commandeered our front yard and walkway like a scene from some post-apocalyptic movie. But it was beautiful, lush, and green. The yard is dotted with colorful wildflower blooms and when you stand outside, all you can hear is the sound of hummingbirds zipping up, down, all around. Our trails continue to melt out slowly, but we are able to get more and more miles as winter retreats to the higher elevations.

gold banner dotted in morning dew

in search of trails that climb



Jeremy and I live for those cool, overcast summer days when we can slip out onto the trails without the sun beating down on us. More often than not, the sun is out and it is intense when you are above treeline and two miles above sea level. We make sure to drink plenty of water on the trail and post-workout. But it’s hard to resist one of those fruity, tart, sweet, frozen slushies in the late day sun. I was turned on to the frozen strawberry basil lemonade at The Secret Stash in Crested Butte, but when I’m home in Nederland, it’s easy enough to whip it up myself.

all you need: sugar, water, ice, basil, lemons, strawberries

combine the sugar and water to make a simple syrup

juice the lemons

hull the strawberries



**Jump for more butter**