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archive for August 2010

an exercise in sleep deprivation

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Recipe: salsa del norte

Ever since Thursday night, when I was on the deck all bleary-eyed at 4 am trying to capture some astronomical magic, my sleep schedule has been completely whack. Since my parents are visiting, we’re dining out at some of our favorite places. I feel like I won’t want to eat for about a week after they leave. They go to bed on the early side (around 10pm) and then Jeremy and I stay up working late. But then Dad wakes up bright and early and well – Jeremy and I make it a rule to be awake when guests are awake. So you see, I am brain-function-impaired more and more each day. I suspect I’ll be stumbling around like a drunkard tomorrow.

i don’t even have emotions about these seared scallops right now

So normally, I keep my mouth shut about all of the people who tweet and post and Facebook about their gardens. You see, I’m lucky to not have killed off my little potted mint plant in the window sill yet (trust me, its days are numbered). I am so very green with envy of my many friends who not only live in a climate conducive to gardening, but know how to garden and then go and make gorgeous food with their bounties. Yes well, I’m the sucker who pays at the market for what she can’t grow. I long for the old days when my girlfriend at Clusters-R-Us came in with a bag of heirloom tomatoes from her yard and shouted, “Take them! I have so many I don’t know what to do with them!” It’s better than winning the lottery, in my opinion.

my store-bought produce

tomatoes are precious gems

**Jump for more butter**

stellar days

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

Did any of you catch the Perseids on Thursday night? Jeremy, Kaweah, and I spent the night on the deck. Those two slept while I shot the meteor shower. We had clear skies and even when a few clouds began to build on the Continental Divide, they dissipated after a little bit. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such good viewing conditions before! But first, you need to see the Milky Way from my deck. It’s gorgeous.

our galaxy, the milky way

The reddish lights are town center, but they didn’t interfere too much with my shoot. The rest of the Milky Way photos are here. We saw many many meteors Thursday night (a lot fewer Friday night, but still at least a dozen after sitting around for an hour). If you didn’t get to see any, these shots are for you to enjoy!

here’s a nice streaker

satellite (white), meteor (color), jupiter (bright dot upper right), andromeda (oblong dot bottom center)

And you can find the rest of the Perseid meteor shower photos on the photoblog.

My parents are visiting with us for a few days and Kaweah has been in heaven because my dad spoils her like crazy. They are loving the cooler and drier weather here (in comparison to hot and humid southern Virginia) as well as the lovely Colorado scenery. Saturday was my mom’s birthday, so we went to celebrate in grand fashion at Flagstaff House for dinner. We all had the Chef’s nine course tasting menu. I’ll leave you with photos from the night’s meal. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

lovely little flowers at our table

hors d’oeuvres and a special birthday wish on the menu

complimentary appetizer of thin pastry over duck confit with mushrooms

kusshi oyster, lime, tanqueray gin

ahi tuna carpaccio, terrine of foie gras, arugual, extra virgin olive oil

alaskan halibut over sweet corn and mussel chowder

australian barramundi, lump crabmeat, eggplant caviar, roasted garlic, nicoise olives, zucchini

grilled pancetta-wrapped quail, king trumpet mushrooms, white truffle infused polenta, sauce of garlic

marsala-braised kurobuta pork cheeks, haystack goat cheese agnolotti

snake river “kobe-style” gold ribeye cap, twice baked potato, asparagus, black truffle sauce

the sugar plate (accompanies coffee)

blackberry, kiwi, and white peach sorbet trio

sticky toffee pudding, bourbon toffee sauce, minted white chocolate ice cream

petits fours and birthday surprise

ice cream for breakfast

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Recipe: single-ingredient ice cream

Administrative news: The amount of spam accumulating in my filter is increasing and the amount of time I have to glance through and fish out the occasional legitimate comment is all but nil at this point. From now on, I’m deleting the hundreds of spam caught each day without a second glance. If you leave a comment and it does not show up immediately, you probably went the way of spam. Please feel free to email me and let me know so I can rescue you and keep you off the blacklist. Thanks!

I’ve been doing a massive purge of my second office, recycling old notes and literature that I no longer need. While doing so earlier this week I discovered a diagram that my favorite geomorphologist, Dr. Arthur Bloom, gave me in graduate school. Mineralogists will recognize this kind of diagram – except it doesn’t involve minerals. I thought this readership might get a kick out of it (at least I know Bridget will).

Needless to say, I kept that little gem.

Summer for some of my friends (those with school-age children) is coming to an end. They’ve been scrambling to squeeze the most out of the final days before school starts next week. But you know, learning does not have to be (and should not be) limited to the school year. The Perseids meteor shower is tonight and it’s a great opportunity to see Nature’s little light show if you can get yourselves to dark skies, away from city lights. I love me a meteor shower and the Perseids are my favorite – a solid and consistent performer if you get clear skies! Tonight and tomorrow night (Aug 12/13) should be at peak activity with approximately 50 meteors per hour. Start looking after dark (after the crescent moon sets) up until dawn. It’s fun to settle down in a lawn chair where you can find some good sky view (open sky with few obstructions), relax, and enjoy the show.

please please please clouds, take a break?

So what’s this ice cream for breakfast ridiculousness? Well, it’s true. I had ice cream for breakfast today. Actually, I had “ice cream”. I read about this one-ingredient ice cream on Apartment Therapy’s The Kitchn months ago and was intrigued. That single ingredient would be:


i prefer them just spotted

I try, I really try to love bananas. It’s not them, it’s me. I like fruit that is juicy and bananas are not juicy. But bananas are so very very good for you and that is why I buy them, in the hopes that I’ll guilt myself into eating them. What usually happens is they start to turn brown, I chuck them into the freezer, and wind up making chocolate chip banana bread to give away to my friends. Or I’ll peel one open and split it with Kaweah. That’s why any time, any one, any where peels a banana, she suddenly appears at your elbow.

and there she is

slice into 1/4 to 1/2-inch disks

**Jump for more butter**