baked oats green chile chicken enchiladas chow mein bakery-style butter cookies

copyright jennifer yu © 2004-2023 all rights reserved: no photos or content may be reproduced without prior written consent

archive for July 2010


Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Recipe: red bell pepper honey vinaigrette

I’m out of the cave. ‘Tis a good thing.

Back when we were in Crested Butte for the wildflower shoot, Jeremy and I got chased off Daisy Pass by thunderstorms. I don’t mind shooting in rainy weather, but high winds are a deal breaker. This stormy weather lasted for a few hours each afternoon, so we’d take the opportunity to roll into the town of Crested Butte and grab a bite. As I’ve mentioned before, we know the backcountry around Crested Butte better than the town itself because we’ve always driven through it rather than walked around in it. It wasn’t until last summer when we met up with my aunt’s family for dinner one evening (we were shooting, they were on vacay) that we had a meal in town.

prayer flags

The first stop was Secret Stash for some pizza and salad. We get this way when we’re spending a lot of time hiking and shooting – we crave fresh vegetables. You know what I love about mountain towns? You can look like complete hell and smell worse and it’s okay. I nearly fell asleep in my salad, but we still had another 5 hours of shooting.

gringo greek salad

they are famous for their pizzas

The second day we moseyed down the main drag to grab a bite and chose a place at random – McGill’s. It’s a nice place for lunch. We both opted for salads. Jeremy ordered a seared ahi tuna salad and I had the blackened grilled skirt steak salad. The dressing was so good that I asked if they shared their recipe and was told that they don’t. Really? Okay… it’s not like they don’t give half of it away in the name of the dressing: red bell pepper honey vinaigrette. As Jeremy settled up the tab, I tasted the dregs and identified the flavors and jotted them down on my iphone. Guess what I did when we got home?

we’ll start with red bell peppers

and some honey

It’s not hard to deconstruct these things, so that’s what I did. I’m not much of a recipe developer. I don’t have that kind of patience. Salad dressings are relatively simple though. I could do this. I used some of the honey I had leftover from a client’s shoot. Have you heard of Grampa’s Gourmet Honey? They are local here in Colorado and the honey products are as gorgeous as they are delightful.

that blender is getting a lot of use this summer

red wine vinegar

**Jump for more butter**

friends who cook

Monday, July 26th, 2010

I’m hella busy. Hella. Too busy to cook, shower, whatever. But I’m a lucky lucky girl. I have friends who are not only willing to feed me, but are stellar cooks to boot. Last Friday my dear Manisha invited some ladies over to feast on her homestyle Indian cooking.

she made idlis

Idlis are little pillows of steamed fermented batter made from rice, lentils, and water. Manisha piled them into a large serving dish – delicate and soft. I wanted to dive right into the bowl and take a nap. Here’s what the batter looks like.

see the bubbles?

Manisha had sambar (vegetable and lentil stew) simmering on the burner and Nichole brought a batch of her homemade aloo masala. The aromas in that kitchen were heady.

nichole ladles the sambar

heavenly aloo masala

I can’t recall what the chutneys were other than amazing. I have a problem with Manisha’s cooking… I get so excited and overwhelmed with all of the newness and flavors that it’s all I can do to photograph the food and eat it. I’ll shoot one dish and see her stirring fried spices into a chutney out of the corner of my eye – I can’t keep up. She promises me a lesson in proper Indian cooking when my schedule eases. I cannae wait.

chutney, chutney, idlis

What I learned that day was something utterly wonderful: that the batter for idlis is the same batter base for making dosas. DOSAS?! I am crazy for dosas. I had two dosas and if I hadn’t been sampling every other fantastic dish (along with two fabulous virgin mojitos courtesy of my dear Kitt) I probably would have stuffed myself with a couple more dosas before blissfully passing out on a plate of idlis – soft pillows, you know.

the dosas are crack

My brain was mush. I was exhausted. But I was well fed and feeling drunk on the love and laughter of my dear friends if only for a couple of hours. Priceless. (Thank you, Manisha! xo)

just a mung us

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Recipe: chinese sweet mung bean popsicles

When I posted last week about Chinese sweet red bean (adzuki) soup I got a few comments from people about mung bean soup. Mung beans are green and slightly smaller than adzuki beans. They are another favorite of mine, although if red beans and green beans went head to head, red beans would win 9 times out of 10 for me.

pictures always help, because the word “beans” is a little vague

beautiful little green beans

So yes, you can make a sweet mung bean soup just like you make the sweet adzuki bean soup although you don’t need to soak these beans since they’re smaller. You want an 8:1 ratio of water to beans. Bring to boil, reduce to a simmer, and simmer simmer simmer until the beans are soft (about 90 minutes for me).

add plenty of water

the beans are practically falling apart

**Jump for more butter**