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archive for April 2012

to my delight

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Recipe: the woodward pizza

There’s something to be said for sharing a good meal with good people. Aran was in town this past week to teach at The Makerie in Boulder, so Jeremy and I met up with her at The Kitchen for a lovely evening. We shared a family-style dinner that was almost as excellent as the conversation, the company, and the laughter. Despite traveling and meeting people all day, after 20+ hours, Aran was delightful and genuinely sincere as always. Jeremy said it best, “Aran is good people.”

filet on spinach with bernaise

aran was happy to be back in colorado

So did anyone stay up to catch the Lyrids meteor shower over the weekend? I’m going to guess the majority of you did not. That’s okay, because I did and there are pictures to prove it! The best one I was able to capture was at 2 am while I stood in my neighbor’s driveway (they said I could). It was brilliant and lasted several seconds.

that’s my house in silhouette

We used to have to drive 4.5 hours to get to a decent dark sky site when we lived in California. Now? Less than 30 seconds of walking and I’m there (on my deck or in my neighbor’s driveway). You know what else we used to do? We used to order pizza when we didn’t have the time to make our own dough. Things have changed.

with the help of this book

I received Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day from St. Martin’s Press back in October. It was written by Jeff Hertzberg and my friend, Zoë François. Yes, I realize it is now April, but I didn’t want to write about my experience with the book until I could do it properly. We have made a lot of ghetto pizza at home in the past, but I finally went out and procured a pizza stone and pizza peel. And because a 550°F oven in warm weather makes me cranky, we also have a proper grill (one that doesn’t simultaneously undercook and scorch the same piece of food). Huzzah!

you will need: flour, water, salt, yeast, and olive oil

the water should be 100°F

add the yeast and salt

After learning about all of the equipment involved in pizza-making, I started with the olive oil dough variation on their master recipe. There are many other recipes in the book and not just pizza dough recipes (gluten-free too!), but focaccia, pita, tarts, pies, soups, dips, and spreads. However, we really needed to get our pizza dough down in this house once and for all.

add olive oil

add the flour

a slightly sticky, viscous dough

**Jump for more butter**

boulder: cured and boxcar coffee roasters

Friday, April 20th, 2012

You don’t just walk straight into Cured and Boxcar Coffee Roasters on Pearl Street. You can’t. There is a little partition that forces you to go right or left, but not straight ahead. The two businesses share a common space with an open zone of mingling and happy browsing in between. Both Cured and Boxcar appeal to the eyes, nose, brains, tastebuds, and tummies.

as you walk in, cured is on the right

and boxcar coffee is on the left

Let’s begin with Boxcar Coffee Roasters. Boxcar roasts their own beans in-house. When you order coffee after an incredible meal at Frasca, they are serving Boxcar coffee. I am told by Jeremy and other trusted caffeine fiends that this is most excellent coffee. As far as local roasters go, Jeremy ranks it up there with his other favorite Conscious Coffees. If you’re talking about where to get a great cuppa, it’s all here east of the Pearl Street pedestrian mall: Boxcar, Atlas Purveyors, or Frasca’s Caffè (which incidentally uses Boxcar beans).

serving up some cowboy coffee

Saunter up to the counter and order from the small menu at your left. There is coffee, espresso, and the related variations as well as hot chocolate and hot teas (caffeinated and herbal). To your right sits an assortment of small pastries and confections to further tempt you. Don’t be in a rush for a cup of coffee, because it’s not going to happen in a rush. Theirs is cowboy coffee and it involves precise temperatures, times, technique, and of course, good beans. I don’t even drink coffee and I’d be tempted to pay for one just to watch the process. And you can watch it all being made in front of you while you hang out at the lovely bar. Or if you have business to discuss or a laptop to get sucked into, you can sit at one of the half dozen tables.

a perfect latte

my steaming pot of mint tea on a cold and rainy day

Jeremy loves when I have errands to run in this shop because it means he can enjoy a cowboy coffee (he digs watching it being made as much as I do) or a latte. I actually come here more often without him, and I buy coffee. I mean, I buy beans. Sometimes they are for home (for Jeremy or entertaining guests), but most of the time they are gifts. Boxcar’s beans make excellent gifts for the coffee connoisseurs in your life and the wall at the front entrance has a nice selection from which to choose.

whole bean or ground coffee – great for gifts or your own sipping pleasure

Now if you turn your attention to the East side of the store, prepare yourself for temptation. The other half of this nice, open space is occupied by Cured, which is another little gem on East Pearl Street. It’s like a shop of gourmet delights from seasonal local produce to artisan breads to fancy sea salts to Colorado honey.

inside cured

specialty oils, condiments, pickles, honeys, spices

and chocolate

There is a feel to this shop that I get nowhere else in Boulder, sort of like a foodie field trip. I’m almost afraid to blink for fear of passing over some fantastic little nibble on display. Okay, but Cured really deals in three heavy hitters and for those, you need to take a short walk toward the back of the store. And trust me when I say it’s easy to get distracted on the way.


cured meats

wines and spirits

**Jump for more butter**

simply happy

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Recipe: pumpkin peanut butter dog treats

Dogs have such great attitudes. They’re always happy, always hopeful, always up for anything. Maybe not ALL dogs, but most dogs – especially the ones I meet on the trail or at the beach or basically anyplace outside. We have one of those happy, hopeful pups. I swear she makes every day that much better with her wagging tail, sweet disposition, and general goofiness.

rejoicing in the snow (just like her people)

People often ask what we feed Kaweah, because she has a shiny, healthy coat. Iams. We used to feed her regular Iams, but now she’s on Iams for “mature” dogs. However, her dog food doesn’t make her coat shiny. Genetics makes her coat shiny. Kaweah comes from good stock and we see that more and more as she ages. She’s been a healthy dog for her 13+ years. It helps that she’s got great muscle tone and isn’t overweight. Of course, given her druthers, Kaweah would eat 24/7. The act of eating a treat (or anything for that matter) is probably Kaweah’s favorite activity. So we try to maximize the joy by giving her little treats. She’s not smart enough to realize that five little treats are less than five giant treats.

ready for a treat after an icy, cold swim

Store-bought dog treats are not inexpensive, so I started making treats for Kaweah at home. The good news is that they are way cheaper than store-bought treats and really easy to make. The better news is that she loves loves loves these treats.

whole wheat flour, eggs, pumpkin purée, peanut butter

mix it all together

**Jump for more butter**