no-cook pizza sauce neva's first thanksgiving old fashioned doughnuts nederland: crosscut pizzeria and taphouse

copyright jennifer yu © 2004-2015 all rights reserved: no photos or content may be reproduced without prior written consent

archive for vegetables

you saucy thing

Sunday, November 29th, 2015

Recipe: no-cook pizza sauce

Are you done with turkey yet? Everywhere I looked on my various feeds, I saw turkeys, turkeys, and more turkeys until I shut my laptop and walked outside when I couldn’t handle anymore virtual turkey. I used to feel a teeny tiny nagging guilt in the back of my mind over Thanksgiving because Jeremy and I are so irreverent when it comes to these cold weather holidays. It is a particularly good weekend to go backpacking with Jeremy or night-fishing with Dad. But this year, I was reminded of why I skip the bird… because my parents never really cared for turkey either. I mean, Dad banned turkey on Thanksgiving after the last kid (me) left for college. This year, my folks spent the entire holiday traveling home from Australia. I think if Kris were alive, they would have made the holiday a big deal just for her and her family. She was the only one who truly loved the whole Thanksgiving spread. The rest of us preferred Virginia ham, crab legs, Chinese-style fish, or Dad’s bouillabaisse. My immigrant parents used to set a rather impressive feast year after year so that my sister would never have to feel the burning embarassment of being the only kid in her kindergarten who had Peking duck for Thanksgiving instead of turkey.

we grilled steaks for thanksgiving, of which neva was accutely aware

Jeremy and I kept the holiday low-key as we both needed a little decompression time after several hectic weeks of work. Our five hour drive home from Crested Butte was much mellower than the drive out because we had Neva on some new meds for her car sickness. Part of the problem was that she would psyche herself out the moment she saw the car and begin drooling uncontrollably. I think the stress added to the pukiness she was already feeling from the car ride. We asked Doc Newton to prescribe an antiemetic that also made her drowsy – just for the long car rides. She didn’t drool much and slept most of the way, but was happy to hop out for a walk and potty at the three hour mark. I sat in the back with her to rub her ears (it comforts her) and to catch any puke-isodes, but there weren’t any (yay!). Once home, we resumed her regularly scheduled exercise and ski training. We quite like living in two snowy places.

jeremy skins up with a very excited neva

she even developed a cute little snowbeard

Now that December is at our doorstep, I will be baking a lot of sweets for the next few weeks to distribute to those good people who provide important services like delivering our mail, taking care of our pup, helping us do our jobs, monitoring my health, and being great neighbors. During the holiday bake-a-thon, I develop a strong aversion to sweets – especially the ones I’m making. I just want to eat savory, simple, and delicious fare. Lately, the pizzas at Crosscut Pizzeria and Taphouse have inspired me to find a fresh tomato-y pizza sauce for the pizzas we make at home.

diced canned tomatoes, garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil

**Jump for more butter**

fido snacks

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

Recipe: chicken sweet potato dog treats

Before we brought Neva home, I made a batch of pumpkin peanut butter dog treats and cut them into little squares for her to eat and train on. I guess I was still in Kaweah-mode because the first time I handed a treat to Neva, she mouthed it for ten minutes then eventually spat it out because she couldn’t bite into it. In fact, she was so little and silly, she’d munch on a puppy kibble for a good ten seconds which translated into long dinner times. I was sad because Kaweah loved those treats so much and Neva didn’t seem to care for them at all. Little did I know that she was just too baby to eat them. Eventually, after her big girl teeth came in, she went after them with gusto. It’s been nice to feed her homemade treats because it’s more economical and doesn’t contain additives or artificial junk.

waiting patiently for her release word

I thought Neva could use some variety in her snacks and began to research diffent flavors and recipes. Because she is a labrador retriever, I don’t have to worry about her being picky. She’ll eat anything. I do want to make the recipes simple and keep the ingredients wholesome – organic when possible. The first variation I tried was chicken and sweet potato. These came out a little denser than I wanted, so my second batch had shredded cheddar cheese added to the dough. The cheese has a nice effect of creating rough layers sort of the way butter does in pastry dough. So even though the cheese isn’t in any of the photos, I do recommend adding it to the dough for a better texture that is less likely to break your dog’s teeth. And of course, she loves the flavor. Here is a video I posted on Instagram of her latest trick using one of these treats.

all you need: baked sweet potato, an egg, whole wheat flour, cooked chicken (not pictured: shredded cheddar cheese)

peel the sweet potatoes

mash them up

**Jump for more butter**


Sunday, November 15th, 2015

Recipe: lobster miso ramen

As last week wound down, we took advantage of our proximity to decent trails and got Neva out on the snow again. Even if the snow isn’t ideal, it’s good for her to get regular training and exercise on and in the snow. Eventually, we’d like to get her on some of the dog-friendly nordic trails in Crested Butte this season. On Friday, she had doggy day care so I could run errands on the flats. While in line at a store, I witnessed an argument break out among three people in the next line over. Each party behaved badly. Each party escalated the conflict. Eventually there was a gesture, profanities, a shove, a retaliatory shove. These three adults – well into their 60s and all of them strangers to one another – were no better than squabbling children. As soon as the shoving began, I stepped forward and broke it up. “What the hell is wrong with people?” I asked Jeremy as we drove up the canyon.

a fine day for a ski with the pup

someone needed a bath after a good day at doggy daycare

After giving Neva a bath outside, we found ourselves asking that question again the moment we turned on our public radio station and heard the news headlines. My social networks had exploded with expressions of grief, horror, anger, fear, blame, hope, sympathy, self-righteousness, ignorance… I closed my laptop and exhaled my frustrations, “What is WRONG with people?!” In the morning, we opted to remove ourselves to the high country where we could scout out the snow conditions. Neva stayed home to rest as she was still exhausted from her daycare exertions. It didn’t matter that the snow was thin and covered in rocks in places. It didn’t matter that there was windslab on some slopes and that it was warm enough for the snow to stick to and clump on our skis. I just wanted to get outside and sort through my feelings, my thoughts. Jeremy is the only person I can count on to speak rationally, thoughtfully, and sensibly most of the time. We both benefited from the exercise, getting outside and having the backcountry to ourselves, and being able to share our thoughts quietly with one another.

putting away the climbing skins

a slabby, sticky, sloppy snowpack

We spent the rest of the weekend working and giving wide berth to frothing-at-the-mouth Facebook comment fights. It was a good time for comfort food. A couple of years ago, I had received a lobster ramen recipe from the PR machine of a local chef. Lobster ramen sounds divine, right? I mean, there is lobster – and then there is ramen. Boom! But after reading through the recipe, it wasn’t what I was craving. I think my Asianness demanded more Asian-y flavors, and this recipe was not only heavy on European interpretation, but it was also ridiculously involved. So I sat on the idea of lobster ramen until I found something more in tune with my tastes. Lobster miso ramen delivers on the flavors, textures, and it can be quite simple and quick to make.

toasted nori, white beech mushrooms, cooked ramen, green onions, hondashi granules, white miso paste, butter, lobster

You can probably find most of the ingredients at a typical grocery store that has a well-stocked Asian food aisle. For dashi (bonito fish soup stock), I use hondashi instant granules because they store so easily in my refrigerator. That’s something you probably need to get from an Asian grocer. As for the ramen, I had some leftover dried ramen to move from my pantry since my search for fresh ramen noodles at the Asian grocery store came up empty. I also read that curly ramen is better for miso broths because the miso tends to cling to those crooks in the noodles.

simmer the dashi and add the mushrooms and cooked lobster meat

**Jump for more butter**