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

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archive for March 2011

to enchantment and beyond!

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Recipe: maryland crabcakes

Greetings from the Land of Enchantment! Professional meetings and bird migrations had both Jeremy and myself heading south Sunday morning to the Great Adobe Theme Park, also known as Santa Fe. Jeremy is a native son of New Mexico – it’s a little like coming home for him. We love to road trip together into wide open spaces with few people around. It’s the same reason we enjoy hiking and backpacking – wide open spaces with few people around.

the road south

pronghorn antelope (these suckers run far… and fast!)

While Jeremy had a reception to attend, I met up with my aunt and uncle to try out some tapas downtown. Santa Fe is to them what Boulder is to us. They don’t live in Santa Fe, but they enjoy the fantastic restaurant scene, the arts, the culture, the town. I love knowing a local who cuts through the heavy marketing and takes you right to the good stuff!

santa fe’s la boca

arugula salad

tuna carpaccio

tapas trio and boca fries

My aunt rattled off a whole list of good eats in Santa Fe that she emailed me after dinner. I in turn forwarded this list to Bridget who happens to be coming up through Santa Fe just around the time I’m leaving, and leaving Santa Fe just around the time I’m coming back. We are sufficiently bummed to be playing this game of interstate-tag-without-the-tag-part, but we’re practically neighbors except for that whole 11-hour drive issue.

beautiful lights in a storefront window, downtown santa fe

It goes without saying that whenever Jeremy and I cross the border into New Mexico, there will be the Ceremonial Eating of the New Mexican Food at some point. You can get green chile on ANYTHING around here. There are certain foods you associate with a place or with a state. Where I’m from, it’s Virginia ham (aka country ham). To the south of my home state, I really like North Carolina barbecue (vinegar-, not mustard-based). And to the north: Maryland crabcakes.

crab, worcestershire sauce, old bay seasoning, mayo, bread crumbs, spices, eggs

mix together all but the crab and bread crumbs

**Jump for more butter**

boulder: sushi tora

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

If you know me even a little bit, you know that I love sushi. Going to college in southern California sealed my fate in so many ways including sushi and Jeremy. My litmus test for my first dinner date with Jeremy was at a popular sushi bar in Pasadena. If he couldn’t handle the fish – out the airlock! But he loved it. Good thing too! When we first moved to Colorado, we were stunned at the number of sushi restaurants in Boulder. There are several – at least ten off the top of my head. But not all sushi restaurants in Boulder, Colorado are created equal. It didn’t take long before I zeroed in on my favorite.

sushi tora in spring

Sushi in Boulder is not inexpensive if your reference point is a major city on a coast. Once you get over the initial sticker shock, you come to learn that there is bad expensive sushi and good expensive sushi. Sushi Tora obviously boasts the Good Sushi. I’m no expert. I just know what I like. Their fish is consistently the freshest, best-prepared, and highest quality. I should note that I’m more of a sashimi and maki girl than a nigiri girl. It’s where I take out-of-town guests who have a hankering for sushi. It’s where I take my parents. They LOVED Tora and my folks are the first to wrinkle their noses and point out when a restaurant doesn’t serve satisfactory food (that’s where I get it from). I had to forgo sushi during my chemotherapy in 2008. Can you guess the first place we went for dinner when I got the all-clear from my oncologist? Tora, of course!

kampachi (amber jack) crudo with tobiko, orange oil, garlic, pepper

There have been some changes since I started going to Sushi Tora in 2006. Change in ownership for one. Change in head sushi chef too. For the past few years, my dining schedule has been pretty busy with so many places to choose from. I try to keep the variety alive and well. I’d go to sushi for more lunch meetings than anything else and that was always easier at the tables than at the bar. Sitting at the bar is the finger on the pulse of a sushi joint – sitting at a table is neither here nor there, but my white friends tend to prefer it. I saw the changes, but they didn’t register in my head until I was invited to come in and meet the new chefs last December. I’m slow on the uptake, okay.

beef short rib and cabbage fried wontons with sweet soy sauce and spicy mustard

pork and ginger gyoza with ponzu

**Jump for more butter**


Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Recipe: chinese steamed crabmeat egg custard

engagement: mountain bike
dress: $35
cake: $20
guests: 12 + 1 dog
weather: rainy and cold
location: my advisor’s living room in Ithaca, New York
ceremony by: The Honorable Marjorie Olds
years together: 18.5
years married: 14
best guy ever: Jeremy

We’ve been married fourteen years on Tuesday. Jeremy and I had completely forgotten until my mother called over the weekend and reminded me about our anniversary. It’s funny that our moms remember, but we don’t. Our moms are so cute.

jeremy enjoys a delightful lunch at l’atelier

I know when most people see Jeremy they just think “random white dude”. He is a classic introvert and few people stop talking long enough to get to know him. That’s their loss, because he’s a real treasure. Plus, if you’re some loud mouth who can’t get over how awesome you think you are, he probably doesn’t want much to do with you anyway.

When I see Jeremy, my heart is filled with all kinds of wonderful meltiness. It’s so clichΓ© and yet the truth of the matter is that I fall in love with him more each day. You’re probably thinking, “What have you done with Jen? She hates that mushygushy crap!” Okay, let’s just say that our relationship is muy excelente. Thank you, Jeremy, for being the best part of my life.

sunshiny day in boulder

We know of many people who go through what Jeremy calls “practice marriages” before they find a truly good partner. The ones that snipe and bully, that don’t respect the other, that never listen, that lie, blame, or are insecure – they don’t last very long. Or if they remain together they make me feel like punching one or both of them in the face for acting like such jerks to one another. In contrast, it’s a great feeling when you see the people you care about in healthy, loving relationships.

chives, shiitake mushrooms, chicken broth, crabmeat, eggs, salt, tobiko, white pepper

whisking the broth into the eggs

Last October, I got to spend time with two of my favorite couples in San Francisco: Chuck and Hungry Bear of Sunday Nite Dinner (but you may know Chuck from Food Gawker) and Anita and Mike of Dessert First. Chuck invited us (Mike, Anita, and myself) over for dinner after BlogHer Food ended. Hungry Bear started the meal with these delicate and wholesome Chinese egg custards.

place crabmeat in the ramekins or tea cups

pour the egg mixture over the crab

**Jump for more butter**