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archive for sweet

throwing it back

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Recipe: tiramisu

It’s nice right now in the Colorado Rockies. The pine pollen has yet to begin (I’m preparing myself for the allergy onslaught) and snowline continues to recede to higher elevations. More routes are accessible by foot or by bike, but I suspect there is still good skiing to be had further into the backcountry. In the past week we’ve been able to ski, trail run, and mountain bike in our “backyard”. The best exercise is the kind you love to do.

there were some patches of snow

but most of it is melting although the high peaks are looking good

me and my guy

I’ll admit that I don’t love running, although I’m warming up to it. But I love being on trails! Trail running is one of those things that involves some pain – the running, but so much awesome in terms of solitude, beauty, time for thinking, and scouting opportunities for all things foraging (just don’t trip while trying to scope out mushrooms). Jeremy and I start at the same time, but we run different routes that meet up an hour or two later. He runs faster, farther, and higher than I do, but then he is training for a longer and more grueling goal than I am.

The most common question Jeremy gets asked by our friends who read this blog is, “How do you not weigh 300 pounds?!” He weighs half that. Jeremy is not a muscle-bound dude. He’s lean, trim, and fit. And while I don’t ply him with fatty and sugary desserts 24/7, I worry even less about his occasional sweets consumption in the service of use real butter now that he’s trail running in earnest. After yesterday’s run, I reminded him that he was required to move the tiramisu in the refrigerator, because I needed the space.

lady fingers (savoiardi), eggs, mascarpone cheese, cocoa powder, Kahlua, cream, sugar, salt, espresso powder

I’ve been making tiramisu since the 90s, but in truth – I haven’t served it in the past decade more than a couple of times. I think food blogging makes me forget about the oldies-but-goodies recipes. Back in the day, I did not consider this an easy recipe. Today it seems really straightforward. Go figure. Experience is worth something. So here’s your Throwback Thursday…

pour the kahlua in with the sugar, salt, and egg yolks

whisk over a simmering bath until it leaves a ribbon (6 minutes)

**Jump for more butter**

little secrets

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

Recipe: roasted strawberry ice cream

I hope Mother’s Day was a good one for all of you moms out there. I gave my mom a call earlier in the day and my dad got on the phone to discuss wine, health, Kaweah, and other things. When he was done, Mom and I were able to chat. She’s always been like that – letting everyone else go first. I used to think that was a mom thing, but I’ve learned over the years that it is MY mom’s thing. She still moms me to this day and I’m still learning how special she is. Last month on the ski lift, I told my girlfriend that Mom is always reminding me about retirement contribution deadlines and limits. I said it as if it was a bit of a drag, but my friend turned to me, “You’re so lucky to have someone looking out for you like that. We don’t get that kind of advice from anyone in our families.” I’m so glad she said that, because it dope-slapped me into recognizing that my mom has always looked out for my (and now, Jeremy’s) best interests since the day she brought me into this world.

thanks for everything, mom – i love you!

Dad had taken Mom out for a nice lunch, so they decided to opt out of some yacht club shindig later in the day. Actually, yacht clubs don’t have shindigs – I believe it was a fancy cocktail party at the marina. Mom said, “We just can’t eat that much after a big lunch, and it’s too hot anyway. It’s 84 degrees.” I blinked. We had 5 inches of snow on our deck and it was still coming down. Kaweah was curled up in her doggy bed wrapped in her flannel quilt. It’s always around this time of year I’m about ready to concede the snow to the progression of the seasons. And then it snows. And then I begin to salivate in anticipation of more ski days. Jeremy and I logged some long trail runs on Saturday since they wouldn’t be clear of snow for several days.

the storm engulfing the mountains (and eventually me) on my trail run

MOAR snow!!!

I’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s not uncommon for Colorado to get snow in May. It happens more often than one might deduce from all of the howls of incredulity on the flats. I’m good with it, as you know. I’m never fully ready to accept the blast furnace of summer.

may of 2008

may of 2011

may of 2012

may of 2013

Here’s another little secret I learned this past week. There is strawberry ice cream and then there is STRAWBERRY ice cream. ‘Tis the season for juicy red strawberries and I was determined to find a good and proper strawberry ice cream recipe. Scouring my books and the interwebs, I came across a recipe from ZoĆ« who is as knowledgeable and trustworthy as she is friendly and kind. The trick to intensely strawberry-flavored ice cream is to roast the berries. If you’ve ever roasted vegetables, you know that it concentrates the flavors and enhances the sweetness.

eggs, vanilla extract, corn syrup, vanilla bean, sugar, more sugar, salt, balsamic vinegar, strawberries, cream, milk

**Jump for more butter**

roses are red, violets are blue

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Recipe: candied violets

After a difficult week for Kaweah, Jeremy and I made an appointment with her vet on Friday. Our intention was to mostly get a gauge on the progression of her laryngeal paralysis. Oh boy, you’ve never seen anyone perk up like Kaweah does when Doc Newton enters the room. He smiled and greeted her with a “How’s my favorite patient?!” and proceeded to feed her about a meal’s worth of dog treats. After a thorough check up, he reported that her lungs and heart are as strong as ever, but that he couldn’t tell us how her breathing or her canine degenerative myelopathy (doggy lou gehrig’s disease) would play out. Doc Newton seems to think she’s doing well and said to just enjoy her remaining time, however long it may be.

sun naps rank up there with raw beef and prosciutto

Thank you for being so understanding and supportive, my friends. I was feeling frayed at the edges, but I think I’ve come to a point of acceptance of what will eventually come (at least, I tell myself I have). Kaweah is getting more time on the people bed, and since she lost a few pounds, she enjoys more raw beef snacks, carrots, cucumbers, bananas, peanut butter, and other yummy things. I’ve never been a terribly patient person, but Kaweah, in her twilight, is teaching me patience and some important life lessons.

crescent moon thinly veiled in clouds at sunset

The trails around my neighborhood are almost completely melted out, though still muddy in a few places. Is it odd that I feel strangely guilty for trail running and mountain biking instead of skiing? Don’t worry, we’re still skiing (I doubt any of you are actually worried about my ski days…), but the non-snow activities have been wonderful. I’m finding myself cranking up hills that used to be a slog just a year ago, and navigating with ease the single tracks that gave me pause last season. And the best part? The pasque flowers are blooming on my trails which means all of the other wildflower lovelies are soon to follow, and then wild strawberries and huckleberries and wild raspberries and porcini!

pasque flowers just opening

what they look like on the inside

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. We are still planted squarely in spring (with a snow storm approaching in the high country – woohoo!). When I was foraging for violets with Wendy, she asked if I was going to candy any of them. Well, no… I was fairly single-minded in my quest to make violet syrup. “Oh, you should definitely make some candied violets. Another great OCD activity.” I asked if she had made them before and she replied yes, but that once was enough for her. Why not?

pick violets with long stems for candying

you’ll need egg white, superfine sugar, and violets on stems

gently rinse or spray violets with water and shake dry

**Jump for more butter**