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archive for June 2010

a fascinating concept

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Recipe: grilled salmon panang

You will never find me lying in the sun on a beach unless I’ve died there or aliens have replaced me with a fake Jen Yu… in which case I have a predetermined question that Jeremy must ask to see if it’s really me. Aside from not liking the sand (it gets EVERYWHERE) and the humidity, I am not a big fan of the sun. I spent most of my childhood summers roasting on a boat on the water. I got enough sun to last me three lifetimes.

I recently met with some gal pals for lunch out on the patio of Pizzeria Basta. We started in the shade and as lunch wore on, the sun crept across our tables. We shifted the tables back into the shade when Beth said she’d be happy to switch seats with anyone as she liked the sun. And suddenly I looked around at my friends and envisioned them with a weatherman’s sun or a weatherman’s cloud over their head.

pizzeria basta is located in a mixed development

beth and marianne ordered a lovely salad

drea and i split the cart-driver pizza (with salami b/c they were out of sausage)

When I have lived on the East Coast, the sun was just sort of there (and in Ithaca, it was sort of not really there). It rose, it set – whatever. Living in the west, the sun dictates a lot of what we do. In summer, we make plans around the sun. Hikes start at 5 am or earlier – we run or ride in the mornings or a few hours before sundown. We all hide in the coolest parts of the house at midday.

even on the cloudy days, kaweah tries to soak up every bit of sun

but i was quite delighted to get some rain

A lot of effort goes into avoiding the heat and that includes heat from the kitchen. I swore to myself that I would focus on quick and simple recipes this summer and I think it has put me in a happier mood. Let’s do cool, fresh, quick, easy! Sounds good, right? By the time our evenings start to dip back below freezing in September, I will be ready for those beloved stews and soups and slow-roasted nommy noms. For now, I love me some grilled food. Meat + Fire = Good.

gorgeous wild caught salmon

fish sauce, coconut milk, panang curry paste, paprika, sugar

**Jump for more butter**

my obsession

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Recipe: passion fruit ice cream

I was commenting (read: whining) about the heat to my girlfriend the other day when she replied, “I want to kick the sun in the nuts.” That about sums it up. It was the hottest day of the year thus far. But then a lovely cool-down (literally) blew into town and we woke up to misty mountains and that chill on the morning air. Sunny days are beautiful and plentiful in Colorado, which is why I cherish those cool and cloudy moments when we can get them. Perfect hiking weather for a black dog.

clouds descend on the valley

happy dog

high runoff means parts of the trail were flooded

what is normally a lovely cascade is currently a torrent

June is the month of major upgrades here at urb. Oh wait, you thought I meant the blog? Ha! I’ll get around to editing that code in about 6 months. No, I’ve been making upgrades for my work (this blog is not my work, people). Upgrades like:

my second shooting body

and my desktop

There are more upgrades, but these are the biggest offenders. And by offenders I really mean these are my babies… my workhorses. So expect the next 3000 recipes to be some variation on how to eat dirt.

I’m kidding.

I have a really fabulous recipe for you today. It’s fabulous because I have been obsessing over it for a few years now. I’ve been obsessing over passion fruit which is prohibitively expensive here in Colorado. I was on a mission to find them in order to flavor buttercreams for passion fruit macarons. I started with a passion fruit syrup/nectar/concentrate from an Asian grocer in California’s bay area. It was decent. Then last year I received a package of goodies from my dear friends, Todd and Diane.

remember these beauties?

the passion fruits were more precious than gold

I scooped the guts of the passion fruits into a little container and popped it into the freezer. On my most recent trip to California, Jeremy and I were returning from Yosemite to the bay area when I sent my pal Lisa a text asking where she found the passion fruit concentrate for her passion fruit macarons (I had one of those macs, by the way, and they were out of this world). Whenever you ask Lisa for information, you are going to get ALL of it. That’s one of the reasons I love her. We’re both just a little OCD. Just a little.

i managed to snag the last container (and i defrosted the pulp i had in the freezer)

**Jump for more butter**

we live in awesome

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Recipe: carnitas

We are three weeks away from the Food and Light Workshop! Todd, Diane, Helen, and I have been working like mad to put this event together. We have a fantastic group of attendees converging on Boulder at the end of June including some of my favorite food bloggers. It’s not too late to snag a spot! There are a handful of spaces left and if you’re flying into Denver, Southwest Airlines has a Rapid Rewards double credit program for any flights into or out of Denver. (I know this because I just booked two flights out of Denver).

pussy willows

the thaw is well under way

Productive weekend? Fun weekend? Hot? Busy? All of the above (or rather, everything to the left) for me. Jeremy and I managed to get quite a bit taken care of for work and around the house. We even took Kaweah for a swim. Each year it gets harder and harder for her to make it to the high alpine lakes, so we try to ease her into the hiking season. She still loves it and she’s still a complete nut.

in search of the stick

scooby snack

throw the stick!

It’s been uncommonly humid in our neck of the woods this weekend and that makes for interesting weather. As we walked Kaweah back from the lake, we saw some striking mammata in the sky as the sun dropped closer to the horizon. The hot air from the day gave way to the flow of cool air coming off the melting banks of snow in the forest. The mountains are invigorating. Jeremy and I sometimes get bogged down in the work we have to do and forget how much good it does to just step outside and breath the clean mountain air and drink in the gorgeous surroundings. I climbed an embankment to get a shot of the clouds and then called down to Jeremy, “We live in AWESOME!” We really do.

mammata just before sunset

Okay, but Awesome became awesomer after I learned to make carnitas. Can you tell I’m on a taco kick? It’s because of our trip to California and that lovely Mexican food in the Central Valley. It’s been on my “want to make” list forever and I referenced my go-to book for all things wonderful and New Mexican – The Border Cookbook.

cumin seed, chiles de Γ‘rbol, mexican oregano, garlic

blend with salt and pepper

**Jump for more butter**