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archive for May 2011

on to a good thing

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Recipe: kimchi fried rice

I hope everyone had a good weekend. And for those of you in the US, I hope you had a good long weekend as Monday was Memorial Day. Mine had a little bit of family, friends, food, outdoors, work, and all of that good stuff. But I was also mindful of those who died in the service of our country (the purpose of Memorial Day) as well as those who have served and those who are serving now. My friend’s husband just deployed to Afghanistan and some of us are feeling protective of her – we’re going to provide support and love to her here while he’s there. So it’s been on my mind a lot lately. As usual, the big things in life put in proper perspective the ridiculous things that get our panties in a wad. I wish more people had that perspective.

Our weekend kicked off with a little wine and cheese party so some of my friends could meet my parents. On Saturday we took my parents into Boulder to check out the Farmers’ Market before the Boulder Creek Festival got underway. Sunday morning we saw my parents off on their return home and then we tried to resume Normal Life which had basically left off a month ago. Jeremy and I did house maintenance, tended to an injured Kaweah (she re-sprained her neck sneezing, I know, right?!), got outside, watched a few movies (Black Swan – meh, and Inside Job – excellent), and tried to catch up on some work.

party: cheeses, charcuterie, crostini, smoked oysters

party: itty bitty caprese sticks

farmers’ market: pastas

farmers’ market: tomatoes (the good kind)

farmers’ market: radishes

flowers from manisha for my mother

hummingbird season means putting uv decals up on our windows

we went riding and found dirt, snow, and mud

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a planner. Maybe it’s the OCD in me, but I think it really boils down to the fact that I value my time and try to make the most of it according to my priorities. I even have a general schedule on my calendar for my blog posts. It keeps me on track or else you’d probably never hear from me again. On deck this week was kimchi fried rice mainly because I’m crazy for kimchi. But then I saw Molly’s post this morning and knew that I was clearly on to a good thing!

life is too short to eat crappy food

My mom and grandma spoke often to me of kimchi noodles (in fact, my mom mentioned them again on this most recent visit). I am a self-declared noodle girl and so I asked where they had kimchi noodles. Turns out they made them at home. It also turns out that it was inspired by a series of Korean soap operas they watched. Okaaaaay. But when I saw a recipe for kimchi fried rice in my December 2010 issue of Fine Cooking, the idea for kimchifying my favorite fried rice recipe wedged into my grey matter.

eggs, green onions, pork, brown rice, kimchi

slicing the kimchi

**Jump for more butter**


Friday, May 27th, 2011

Recipe: deviled eggs

This week has been abnormal. My parents are visiting. They just bought a place in Boulder. It’s a second home and so they needed to furnish it which involves a lot of driving around and shopping. In the process of furnishing their place they also gifted me with a non-grad student dining set (i.e. a nice dining set). Jeremy and I have been taking them to some of our favorite restaurants in town. They’ve been to Jax, The Kitchen, Flagstaff House, and Sushi Tora on previous visits. This time we introduced them to Frasca and L’Atelier.

frasca: jeremy’s guinea hen

frasca: i had the cobia

l’atelier: bouillabaisse

l’atelier: mom and dad enjoying themselves

Before my parents decided to purchase a second home in Boulder, my dad asked me if I was sure we’d be staying here. He worried that if we moved away for whatever reason, he’d be stuck in Boulder. After dinner this evening, he told me he’s no longer worried if we move away because he’s got plenty of things to do in Boulder – like eat at great restaurants. They love it here! I’ve been cooking some nice meals for them at our house and Kaweah can always be found right by my dad’s side. I think it’s because he used to feed her treats, but we’ve had to put the kibosh on that activity for her health. Still, she shadows him, ever hopeful.

It must be torture for a lab to live in a house with someone who loves to cook. Whenever I slice food on the cutting board or peel something into the compost bin, Kaweah is right there. When I peel boiled eggs and toss the shells into the compost, her nose drifts ever closer with each toss until she can’t help herself and gently snaps at the falling shells only to be reprimanded. She resets her position and starts all over again. This used to be really bad because I had horrible problems boiling eggs. The shells always stuck, made a mess, and took forever to peel. After my buddy Kitt brought these deviled eggs to a stitch-n-bitch, I knew I would have to make some and I knew that I would have to learn to boil eggs proper-like.

a dozen eggs

While visiting friends in Seattle a few years ago, one of them began preparing boiled eggs and had this nifty little gadget that essentially pierced the base of the egg before boiling. I was told it makes the eggs easy to peel. Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I recalled the doohickey and thought, “All I really need is a pin.” So I tried it.

poke a hole through base of shell before boiling and try not to stab yourself like i did

it worked!

**Jump for more butter**

who are you calling cupcake?

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Recipe: flourless chocolate hazelnut cupcakes

I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks on behalf of my family and myself for the tremendous outpouring of support here on the blog, on Facebook, on Twitter, via email, and snail mail. Thank you.

a rose garden in san jose that my grandmother enjoyed

I have a white silk flower in my hair that I will wear for 100 days. I noticed my mom was wearing hers too when I got her from the airport on Monday. My parents are in town this week to close on their property in Boulder. They were supposed to come last week, but… we were all in California instead.

the family visited in her honor last week

Being home is good despite the backlog of work that is piling up. The weather is all Crazytown over here. It’s nearly June and yet our mountain weather thinks it’s early April. The afternoon thunderstorms are rolling in too. When we picked Kaweah up from the kennel this weekend, they told us there had been a thunderstorm Friday afternoon. One of the dogs was freaking out and they noticed that Kaweah was totally calm – chilling out as if nothing was going on (sometimes you have to wonder if anything is really going on inside that little brain of hers). They put the freak out dog with Kaweah and the other dog calmed down right away, cuing off of our pup. I’m so proud of her – doing nothing actually helped someone else!

the do nothing dog

So my friend, Elana, is a gluten-free superstar as well as a local Boulder food blogger. Her latest book arrived in my mailbox just days before we left for Hawai’i and I couldn’t wait to try some of the recipes when I got back. It’s all about cupcakes. Gluten-free and butter-free at that. Now I know what you’re thinking… the name of my blog is use real butter and yet she doesn’t use butter in her baking? My point isn’t that food has to have butter, just don’t use the fake crap. That’s what I’m talking about – don’t use fake butter or fake anything for that matter – live life for real. Blagh blagh blagh. Get the point?

back to the cupcakes

Elana uses all natural ingredients in her baking, relying on almond and coconut flours instead of regular flour, and agave nectar instead of sugar. She offers vegan and dairy-free recipes too, because Elana wants to make sure there is something for EVERYONE. She’s awesome like that. There is even a section with savory treats. What I really liked about the recipe I chose (because it sounded so damn good!) is that nothing is a substitution. Seriously, have a look!

hazelnuts, chocolate chips, vanilla extract, agave nectar, salt, eggs

pulse the hazelnuts and chocolate chips together

**Jump for more butter**