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archive for August 2009

daring cooks: rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish, and artichokes

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Recipe: rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish, and artichokes

I’m here, but I’m not really here – in all likelihood I’m someplace up in the Rocky Mountains as you read this. But that doesn’t keep me from posting a Daring Cooks challenge because the challenge MUST BE MET (thanks to cron jobs).

daring cooks – ha cha!

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty here, shall we?
Our most revered and badass founders: Lis of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice.
Our beautiful host this month: Olga of Olga’s Recipes.
The challenge: a delicious Spanish recipe, Rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes by José Andrés.

The recipe is not paella, but it is similar to paella according to Olga. Either way, it is filled with a fantastic combination of fresh ingredients that are cooked into a hearty dish of traditional Spanish flavors. This post is going to be heavy on pictures and short on words… you’re welcome.

trimming the artichokes

chopped onions, garlic, mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes for the sofregit

**Jump for more butter**

sock it to me, summer

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Recipe: chopped shrimp waldorf salad

Frenzied. I’m feeling frenzied here. There is much going on at use real butter headquarters because summer is when everything except sleep gets turned up to maximum intensity: travel, visits, socializing, entertaining, outdoor pursuits, house maintenance. Like a nearly empty tube of toothpaste, we’re trying to squeeze every last bit of summer out of August before Jeremy resumes teaching. [Even though my summer runs through September, his does not.] You know the drill. Or maybe you don’t? You might be one of those types who likes to relax. My idea of relaxing is doing something, so in essence, I can’t relax. It’s okay, I am happier functioning that way. From the still photographs, you’d never be the wiser for the flurry of activity going on behind the scenes.

can’t resist fruity cocktails: piña coladas

brilliant mammata clouds after sunset

dinner at sushi den in denver with my parents and friends

**Jump for more butter**

let’s get tropical!

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Recipe: toasted coconut ice cream

Crazy month is off to a crazy start, but it’s the Good kind of Crazy. Wanted to check in and make sure everyone is having fun, keeping off the streets, being good. Yes? Great! Some highlights from the week:

My night-blooming cereus (Queen of the Night) bloomed! Grandma always says it is a sign of good luck. While I believe we make our own luck, I’m not going to argue with Grandma and it’s such a gorgeous flower that you can’t help but feel a little special when it opens at night for a few precious hours. Last year was the first time my plant sent forth blooms. This year, the first one had a much stronger fragrance… how to describe it? Floral, delicate, lighter than a rose and in my opinion, slightly sweeter yet sharper. One blossom filled my entire house with that heady scent for the 8 hours it was open. I photographed it for four hours and because it is a *night-blooming* cereus, I used flash(es). [As I’ve tweeted in the past, for those who say to only shoot in natural light, I say to you “Stick it!”] I have some of the photos of the Queen of the Night bloom on the photo blog.

this flower is as big as my face

My parents and some very dear friends of the family were in Breckenridge this week for a Colorado vacation. Jeremy and I went out to meet up with them for lunch yesterday and since we were making the 2-hour drive, we figured we may as well grab a hike in the morning. We hiked Quandary Peak – our first fourteener in Colorado (14ers are peaks over 14,000 ft.) – as training for an upcoming trip. We saw four full rainbows on our way up the mountain and then lowered our heads as we plodded through the associated squalls (including stinging hail). We got to summit just as another dark front neared. I am not a peak-bagger. I love walking through the mountains and forests because the journey heals me. But standing on Quandary, I felt a small victory. I grinned and flipped an imaginary middle-finger to cancer (imaginary b/c there were other people at summit around me) while the winds tried to knock me over while Jeremy took a snappie.

i doode it

It’s very entertaining when my parents go someplace I’ve been to (or live in) and tell me things like, “There’s a ski resort in Vail!” :) It means they are having fun discovering things for themselves in their retirement, which is the very least they deserve since they worked hard all their lives. At lunch, my mom said there was an error in the Chinese spaghetti recipe – that I wasn’t supposed to use sweet red bean paste, but sweet bean paste. Of course, I have never heard of sweet bean paste other than sweet red bean paste. The ingredient was lost in translation, so I’ll have to go back and fix that (and perhaps FIND this mystery paste). My parents and our friends got a good laugh out of that one. My parents’ friends are like family to us, so the visit was doubly sweet. I love their daughters as if they were my younger sisters. It felt great to catch up and see that they have become beautiful and fine young women – both doctors now (one MD, one PhD).

**Jump for more butter**