chanterelle-stuffed pork tenderloin bourbon vanilla bean paste kalbi meatballs hot cheesy green chile dip


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this may sound cheesy

November 13th, 2016

Recipe: hot cheesy green chile dip

Since last week’s recipe was so long, I didn’t post any photos from the week’s shenanigans. I thought it might be nice to include them this week since I’d rather share some uplifting images rather than try to sort out what I’m thinking.


a beautiful sunrise

moose in the mountains

neva incognito – as a leopard

ice crystals along a streambank



I’ve also stepped back from Facebook because that place is just a freaking black hole of suck. A washing machine of emotions and assholery on spin cycle (I’m still pretty active on Instagram, though – so go find me there). Last week, I agreed to cook at one of Andrew‘s dinner parties, but as Friday neared, I felt so drained and exhausted that I wanted to bail. In the end, I decided not to. And I’m glad I didn’t. Engaging with people – with good, kind, positive people – energized me. Cooking with friends and feeding others got me out of this funk. Also? I learned about barbecue using a smoker from Andrew’s friend, Ben, who is now my friend, too.

ben and andrew manning the smoker (full of brisket and ribs – oh lordy!)

some of the dinner attendees getting ready for dinner

ben’s texas-style brisket



Cooking was a team effort with Ben at the helm on the barbecue, Andrew picking up the side dishes, and me bringing the start and the end of the meal – appetizer and dessert(s). In my ongoing attempt to use up frozen roasted Hatch green chiles from prior years, I stumbled across a crazy delicious dip that everyone seems to love. My neighbors gave it their approval a few weeks ago, so I figured it would be a good dip to start the dinner party at Andrew’s house.

cream cheese, jack cheese, diced roasted green chiles, mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, minced garlic



**Jump for more butter**

hard and easy sells

November 7th, 2016

Recipe: apple roses and spiced brown butter tart

Daylight Saving may have come to an end, but Neva isn’t buying it. She tucked her furry nose under my chin Sunday morning at 5:30, probably wondering why I was 30 minutes late taking her outside and feeding her dinner (breakfast). By 5:30 in the evening, she was sitting politely in the great room, staring at the empty space next to her water dish where her dinner is typically served 30 minutes later. I’m not sure if Neva cues off the light of day or her little doggy tummy, but Mountain Standard Time apparently has no bearing on her feeding schedule. It sure FEELS like fall with the shortening days, but we aren’t getting the snow necessary for things like skiing, ski season, ski resorts, and did I mention SKIING?! But alas, if I can’t ski, I can most certainly bake. I made the most of our lack of snow when I received two packages in the mail a few weeks ago: a review copy of Irvin Lin’s first book, Marbled, Swirled, and Layered, and two dozen beautiful Pink Lady and PiƱata apples from Stemilt Growers.


irvin’s beautiful baking book

pink ladies ready for some dessert-making



Marbled, Swirled, and Layered is packed with gorgeous and exciting recipes. Irvin is a truly skilled baker with a great eye for aesthetics as well as a creative flare for fun and refreshing flavor combinations. He walks you through each baked creation with clear instructions, but all of them involve multiple components made from scratch – an ideal book for people who love to bake and those wanting to take their baking to the next level. It was tough deciding which recipe to make from Irvin’s book. I dog-eared a couple dozen, but I was ultimately drawn to the apple brown butter tart. Believe it or not, I had been recipe testing some apple brown butter tarts when the book and the apples arrived, but Irvin’s version was adorned with lovely apple roses and the brown butter filling was spiced with all manner of warm autumn flavors. Let’s start with the crust.

flour, whole wheat flour, butter, rum, egg yolks, salt, sugar

whisk the dry ingredients together

add the cold butter and toss to coat

squeeze the butter cubes into butter flakes



The crust recipe is pretty straightforward and not terribly messy as long as your work area is cool and your hands are cool or cold. Once things warm up, it’s harder to handle the butter and the dough will become sticky. I found the dough easy to work with and rolled it out between two sheets of plastic wrap. I do this because it’s easy to transfer the dough to the tart pan and because my hands usually warm up after I use the rolling pin, so it keeps the butter in the dough from melting and sticking to me.

whisk egg yolks and rum

drizzle over the flour and butter mixture

fold the dough together

form into a disk and chill



**Jump for more butter**

the persistence of rainbows

October 30th, 2016

Recipe: roasted delicata squash

When the coasts are getting snow and rain, Colorado typically sits under a high pressure ridge which means sunshine and warm weather. Sometimes we’ll get clipped by the edge of a storm and experience a little rain, and if we’re lucky the temperatures aloft will be cool enough to give us snow instead of rain. So far, what little rain and snow we’ve received has been teasing us in the mountains.


some rain, some snow, and plenty of wind



On Saturday, we experienced some dynamic weather – low clouds racing by and sun showers popping up every which way. In the morning, there was a long-lived rainbow to the west of our house as spot showers rolled through intermittent sunshine. When we took Neva for a hike, we could see a rainbow on the far horizon, but it was mostly obscured by forest. It lasted for a couple of hours as rain clouds continually spilled over the mountains. I tried to get a photograph, but I could never see the entire rainbow because the rainbow itself was quite low due to the high sun. As we drove home through bouts of rain and intense sun, we rounded the bend and saw yet another rainbow, but this time it was in a valley below us – the perfect geometry for the afternoon sun. Wind-driven rain pelted me and everyone else who had stopped to marvel at this stunning phenomenon. “Did you find the pot of gold?” a woman shouted over the roar of the winds, smiling. “Colorado IS the pot of gold!” I answered.

a full double rainbow and my pot of gold that is colorado



This weekend, we collapsed Neva’s bedroom crate in the hopes of getting her used to sleeping in the doggy bed at night AND staying there. She loves her bed, which is currently decked out with three pillows (she’s spoiled) and a super soft blanket. However, Neva has figured out how to position herself on our bed without disrupting our sleep and thus avoiding getting kicked off in the middle of the night. Since she isn’t much of a snuggler, lying between our feet suits Neva just fine. It worked so well, I was able to get up for sunrise without that pukey feeling when you haven’t gotten proper rest.

technicolor sunrise



Between Jeremy’s travel schedule, the start of “wind season” in the mountains, and the looming end to Daylight Saving, we had some of Jeremy’s colleagues up for dinner a few nights ago. Darkness isn’t a problem, unless you’re trying to find our house for the first time. People always ask if we eat dinner party food all the time, and the answer is no. After entertaining, we enjoy simpler fare. One dish I’m digging lately is roasted delicata squash. These oblong, dark green-striped yellow squash are everywhere in stores and markets right now. Delicata squash are easy to prepare and you can leave the skin on (and eat it) unlike some other squash varieties.

olive oil, salt, black pepper, delicata squash



The preparation is straightforward, simple, and quick – the perfect dish for fall and winter. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and slice into 1/2-inch thick pieces. While delicata squash are not nearly as hard as butternut squash, they aren’t going to slice like butter. Do take care when cutting the squash – especially on that first lengthwise cut.

cut in half

use a spoon to scoop out the seeds

slice



**Jump for more butter**