meatless meatballs roasted porcini with gremolata gluten-free chocolate chip cookies venison with morel sauce

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archive for July 2010

finding that groove

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Recipe: grilled vegetable salad

Whenever I return from an out-of-town shoot, my friends always ask how it went. That’s partly because most of my friends are outdoorsy types and partly because they genuinely want to know how the shoot was. I always have two parts to my answer: what I thought of the shoot and how I felt about the trip. In general, the shoots are getting consistently better even if the conditions are less than ideal. I consider that to be progress. How I feel about a trip has gone up and down and up and down as I try to strike a balance between pushing hard enough to get the shots and not pushing so hard that I end up hating what I do or worse yet – wearing myself out so that I miss an opportunity.

mount crested butte

elephant head and indian paintbrush

This shoot came closer to that balance for me. Sometimes you need to step back and remind yourself of those things you love about what you do. Jeremy observed me nodding to myself or muttering words of satisfaction on occasion when I felt I had a good capture. It’s a labor of love to lie in the dirt, stand in the pouring rain, suffer the bugs that bite and the plants that stab you. But I do love it and it is totally worth it. I’m settling into a groove now.

my favorite fern understory

jeremy for scale (he’s looking appropriately camo there too)

We saw a second bear at the end of the trip. The first one was out early in the morning. The moment I spotted it, the bear bolted up a hillslope and disappeared into the woods before I could get my camera out. This second bear was out past sunset. It also made haste up the nearest (steep) hillslope, but Jeremy was able to spot it up high as it quickly worked its way through the dense growth of grasses and wildflowers. They are so fast and so quiet!

like watching the fin of a shark crest the water

this bear just wanted to do its own thing

You can view a sampling of the photos from this trip on the photo blog.

I love going on trips and I love coming home. But there is something to be said for eating food that you prepared. No matter how good the food is (and the food in Crested Butte is quite good), I know what I’m putting into my dinner when I cook. Over a month ago several of my SNB gals gathered at Nichole’s house to make wedding favors for Kitt and to, of course, eat. Nichole made a wonderful grilled vegetable salad that some of you had commented on. It didn’t take long before I was craving that salad.


along with onions, garlic, eggplant, and zucchini

It’s a flexible salad so you can futz with the ingredients, the way you cook them, and the dressing you use. Of course, if you don’t grill any of the vegetables, it can’t technically be a grilled vegetable salad – but I will let you deal with that issue. I didn’t grill my tomatoes (even though I love grilled tomatoes) because tomatoes have a habit of shriveling up and slipping down through the grating on my grill and into oblivion. That can be quite upsetting if you wanted to let’s say… eat the tomatoes. Instead, I roasted mine. I also roasted a bulb of garlic while I was running the oven.

a dash of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt

nicely roasted and still juicy

**Jump for more butter**

out and about

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Recipe: thai tea ice cream

Howdy from beautiful Crested Butte, Colorado! I am chasing wildflowers, hiking the high country, befriending local fauna, and getting zero sleep. Okay, that’s not true. We’re not befriending the local fauna, we’re just encountering a lot of local fauna, including a black bear early Thursday morning!

talk about local color

marmots are everywhere

While I’m wrapping up this shoot, I thought I’d leave you with something for the weekend. When we had our food-blogging friends over for dinner before the workshop, one of the ice cream flavors I served for dessert was Thai tea ice cream. If you’ve ever had Thai iced tea, then you know it’s a natural translation into ice cream.

thai tea

and the bag it came in for those who wanted to know what it looks like

The inspiration came about because I was making several Thai meals one week as the weather was warming up. I thought Thai iced tea would be a perfect accompaniment to the meals. Actually, I crave Thai iced tea and was delighted to discover that my local Asian grocer carries it in large bags.

mix the thai tea into the warmed milk

steeping the tea will turn the milk a bright orange color

**Jump for more butter**

let’s blow this popsicle stand

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Recipe: pad see ew

Thank you to everyone who left a comment and entered the CHEFS swag bag giveaway! It seems that the most popular summer snacks were watermelon, fresh tomatoes from the garden (omg, I’m so jealous of you people!), fresh seasonal berries, cherries, and ice cream. I’m all over the seasonal fruits and the homegrown tomatoes straight up!

Several of you have either commented or emailed asking about the next workshop. At this point, things are wide open and I haven’t had a chance to mull over which direction to take the workshop. Of course, if there is another Food and Light workshop, you’ll hear about it on urb. Thanks for your interest!

So let’s get to the winner of the giveaway… Believe it or not, Miss Kaweah’s metabolism is slowing down and the whole “pick a number/eat the treat” method has been phased out. Instead, we have opted for the “pick a toy that corresponds to a number”. It is decidedly and supremely random. When Kaweah picked a digit, we would insert a new toy to replace that digit for the next round (we’ve had issues with her returning to the same toy, so this is more fair).

first digit: 6 (the kong)

second digit: 3 (stick tiger courtesy of manisha)

third digit: 3 (giant hedgehog!!!!)

whew, that is hard work

The number is 633 mod 544 which gives us 89. SheilaM is our winner! Congratulations!! I’ll contact you shortly for your mailing address. Big thanks to CHEFS catalog for being such a wonderful and generous sponsor. Another thank you to all of you for entering!

Our yard is dotted with all manner of colors: reds, purples, blues, whites, yellows, oranges, different yellow, a greenish yellow, more whites, pinks… That’s pretty impressive considering how we do NOTHING to maintain our yard (then again, I wouldn’t recommend playing lawn darts in our yard). The afternoon thunderstorm cycle is revved up and the wildflowers beckon. When it is February and our deck is under three feet of snow, this is what I think of when my thoughts turn to summer.

kaweah inspects a handful of our wildflowers

Because it is so brief, timing is everything and I’m heading out into that there yonder. There is work to be done. Hopefully this recipe will tide you over until the next one – whenever that will be. It’s a noodle dish because I am a noodle grrl. It does require the use of heat, but I think you’ll find the brief blast of BTUs worth it. Totally. Worth. It. [Feel free to insert ZOMGs and noms as you see fit.]

chinese broccoli (gai-lan), wide rice noodles, pork, garlic

get saucy: fish sauce, thick soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar

I met with joyous success when I made Pim’s pad thai last year (oh wow, posted a year ago to the day). That was after years of crappy versions that just… sucked. It’s been a full year of pad thai bliss. A few months ago, I had a reader ask me if I knew how to make pad see ew. What’s that? I am the most pathetic kind of Thai food junkie. I love it and I have no idea what it is called. Some searching on the interwebs led me to a handful of trusted food bloggers and ultimately to Pim.

peeling the chinese broccoli stems

slicing pork

**Jump for more butter**