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

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archive for November 2011

it keeps on giving

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Recipe: cranberry bar cookies

I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving weekend whether you celebrate it or not. The nicest surprise of the day for me was seeing my “Christmas” cactus bloom. They always call them Christmas cacti, but all of mine bloom at Halloween (yay!) or Thanksgiving. My Halloween blooms are red, but my Thanksgiving blooms are white and they came from cuttings that my mom had brought me a while ago. I let her know on Thanksgiving that there were pretty flowers opening. Hers was blooming too and she told me that Grandma had originally given her the cuttings for her plant. That tugged at my heart. Everything my grandma touched was special.

thanksgiving cactus

We kept our Thanksgiving low key and enjoyed a gorgeous day out in the snow working up an appetite. It’s early season. There’s decent snow in the backcountry, but a lot of the approaches are still sketch with bare spots, wind drifts, and plenty of ice – so we hoofed it in until we reached solid snow and could skin in. I happened to pack turkey sandwiches for lunch (why not?) which we scarfed down in the trees on our way out. Turkey never tasted soooo good.

enough snow to switch to the skis

lunch break

I refused to shop Black Friday.

But the day after… Have you heard about Shop Local Saturday? It’s a push to support small local businesses. I had been researching waxless touring skis for over a year and we decided it was time for an upgrade. Neptune Mountaineering is my favorite mountaineering store in Boulder. They have a great selection of technical gear (it really puts REI to shame) and their staff is wicked knowledgeable because they DO IT ALL. We did our part and supported this beloved local business. We supported them A LOT because we each got boots, bindings, and skis.

we’ll call this a health and fitness investment

See, we needed something to counteract the weight we were gaining from eating treats out of this book:

it’s cakespy!

CakeSpy is Jessie Oleson, a delightfully quirky, talented, funny, and creative woman in Seattle. And she is so SWEET! I had the pleasure of meeting Jessie this past Spring at her shop/gallery and instantly fell in love with her illustrations of cupcakes, cakes, pies, doughnuts, and any other sweet you can imagine. So her publisher sent me her book a few months back. It has ridiculously cute recipes like cupcake-stuffed cupcakes, s’moreos, blondie topped brownies, toaster pastry ice cream sandwiches, and red velvet cake shake to name a few. What caught my eye was the section on seasonal sweets – in particular the leftover cranberry sauce bar cookies. A way to use up leftover cranberry sauce after Thanksgiving. Clever.

flour, sugar, brown sugar, salt, butter, eggs, cranberry sauce, almonds, light corn syrup, vanilla

to make the crust: flour, butter, salt, sugar

mixing the dough

pressing into the pan

**Jump for more butter**


Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Recipe: turkey cranberry green chile sandwich

Hey, it’s Elastic Waistband Day Thanksgiving! Happy Thanksgiving, good people of the interwebs! Our day is going to be filled with non-Thanksgiving activities like hitting the backcountry, eating miso black cod, cleaning the house, playing with Kaweah. Despite the voluntary lack of the turkey feast, this holiday – for me – is ALL about giving thanks.

thankful for sunsets (and sunrises)

I’m in a different place than where I used to be on Thanksgivings past. It used to be that we’d contemplate what we were thankful for as the holiday neared. We’d write lists in school and bring them home for our parents to read. Now, my life’s experiences have put me in a mindset that is ever-grateful for being alive, for having my health, for my loved ones, for my community, for this community, for the beautiful world around me. And even though Grandma and Kris are no longer here, I’m am so very very thankful that they were such important parts of my life. It doesn’t matter if it is Thanksgiving or the first day of Spring – I give thanks daily. It’s kind of like Thanksgiving every day without the feasting.

thankful for this little goofball

my pup romping in the snow

So yeah, I dissed Thanksgiving dinner again this year. The only thing I made that is remotely Thanksgiving is the cranberry sauce, because it goes with everything. While people at the store were picking up a whole turkey, I was the only one getting sliced turkey for sandwiches. That’s right… just because I didn’t roast a bird this year doesn’t mean I have to go without the sandwich. You know of what I speak.

turkey, bread, cheese, green chiles, cranberry sauce (hells yeah!)

slice some good bread

**Jump for more butter**

curmudgeonly cranberry sauce

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Recipe: basic cranberry sauce

I’m a contributor on Punchfork, which is a great food porn site that publishes in real time. I love it!

You can also find some of my Thanksgivingesque recipes along with tons of other great contributions from favorite food bloggers over at Pasplore.

Gojee launched their drinks section about a week ago and I’m a contributor there as well as on their regular food recipes section. It’s a beautiful site to peruse although the navigation might make you a little batshit.
end announcements

Soooo, it’s Thanksgiving this week in the United States. I’m struck more by the fact that it’s now November than the crush of holiday recipes on the blogosphere. I’ll be frank (because I don’t really know how else to be). I don’t dig on Thanksgiving dinner these days. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like Thanksgiving, as in giving thanks. I give thanks daily. All year. I have so much to be thankful for! I think the concept of giving thanks is a very very good one. Be thankful for what you have and while you’re at it, you can also help one(s) who is (are) less fortunate. That part, I love.

The part I’ve come to fall out of love with is the dinner. I’m just not that into it. I don’t like stuffing myself silly (perhaps that comes with getting older? I dunno) and the idea of going to so much trouble for a meal that no longer elicits mouth-watering anticipation but more of a meh from me. We are particularly fond of getting outside when others are traditionally inside (presumably hung over, opening gifts, cooking, and whatnot): Thanksgiving day, Christmas morning, New Year’s morning, and Superbowl Sunday. That leaves little time to prepare a big turkey feast and I’m fine with that. We usually opt for something that is quick and satisfying after a day spent out in the snow. It just feels better.

I find myself shying away from the holidays lately, seeking quality time with Jeremy and Kaweah over shopping and planning a giant celebration with excessive amounts of food. I need to concentrate on life maintenance, health, work, and a recalibration of priorities right now. These things always get screwed up and lost in the frenzy of travel, work, blogging, socializing… As the holiday season shifts into high gear, I am trying to slow the pace down and reassess.

kaweah is slowing down too

opening day at the local hill

but we also like the solitude of the backcountry

skiers only, bitches :)

jeremy breaks trail in fresh powder

Of all the Thanksgiving dishes to adorn a traditional table, there is one that I love – cranberry sauce. It is a bright, tart, vibrant dish that livens up the plate. When I learned to make it from scratch, I was astounded at how easy it was. It made me wonder why anyone would buy canned cranberry sauce if you could 1) make it yourself for not much additional effort and 2) know EXACTLY what you’re putting into it. Call me a control freak. I’m a control freak.

organic cranberries, organic sugar, and organic water (ha ha! i’m kidding about the water)

combine sugar and water

**Jump for more butter**