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archive for November 2012

parents week

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Recipe: cranberry yogurt coffeecake

Our local sunset is now some time around 4:15 pm, because we have that giant wall of the Continental Divide as our western horizon. It sneaks up on you rather quickly and sometimes the best you can do is to admire it from the road or while you’re working or maybe even miss it altogether. But when it’s good it is awesome and I love watching the progression from yellow to orange to pink.

lighting up a wave cloud

turning orange

and pink

I’ve been spending time with my folks this week. They like to feed us when they are in Boulder. I think that’s a parent thing. I feel a little like a parent with my parents these days… bringing them groceries, making sure they have what they need, having them up to stay with us, planning outings that will be of interest, setting up play dates, and telling Dad when to use his inside voice.

dinner at mom and dad’s place

a visit to the denver art museum

seeing the fantastic “becoming van gogh” exhibit

[You really ought to see the Van Gogh exhibit at the Denver Art Museum if you are anywhere near the state of Colorado from now until January 20, 2013.]

It happens every year after Thanksgiving, that people post about eating their leftovers. I skip over much of it because I have a fairly cool relationship with turkey. But then there are the cranberries. I hoard cranberries. Organic whole cranberries only come around once a year and I buy several bags to store in my freezer. I love these tart little jewels and the brilliant color is simply mesmerizing. I make cranberry sauce for the sole purpose of having “leftover” cranberry sauce.

cranberries and sugar

just 15 minutes until you have…

cranberry sauce

A recipe for cranberry coffeecake caught my eye on the King Arthur Flour site over the weekend and I knew it was meant to be. Coffeecake says “casual” to me. Nothing fancy, but always good. I like the single pan dealio and love how versatile it is as a dessert, as a breakfast, for a snack, to go with tea and of course… coffee.

streusel ingredients: vanilla, butter, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt

mix it together

crumbly goodness

**Jump for more butter**

the intersection of sushi and geology

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Recipe: volcano roll sushi

My parents arrived in Boulder over the weekend. Back in September, when I learned that they were going to spend Thanksgiving week in Las Vegas, I asked them why on earth they weren’t coming to Boulder if they were already out west? I’ve only been through Vegas a couple of times, to fill gas and keep driving. Apparently they like Vegas. But they also like me, so they have a long layover in Colorado to visit and see what it’s like in non-summer here. My parents are not winter folk (I know, how did I fall so far from the tree?) and luckily for them – sadly for me, it’s hardly acting like winter around here. However, my parents do love a good party…

i can throw a party

I got their place set up for a little wine and cheese action before they arrived. My dad is all about having a plan, especially when someone else is implementing it. He is also a huge fan of drinking good wine with good people. Check and check. Jeremy was worried that they would be tired from traveling and was I sure they wanted to host a party at their place? Mom and Dad host parties like a boss. They walked into their condo, unpacked, got prettied up, tidied the place, sampled the food I was preparing, then greeted and charmed all of my friends as they arrived. It was a super fun evening and everyone had a grand time. Most importantly, my folks had fun.

My friend, Shirley, saw a picture of the food on Facebook and asked what I served, so here’s the rundown:

crudités and spinach dip
sweet onion dip and crostini
duck prosciutto, tartufo (truffle) salami, finocchietto (fennel) salami, chorizo
brie and tomato jam
manchego and membrillo
gorgonzola dulce, candied walnuts, fresh figs, and honey
castelvetrano olives
assorted crackers and sliced baguette
ginger lemon cookies

the spread

nibbly deliciousness

and a faboo sunset from the balcony to kick it all off!

Did I mention that I know nothing about cheeses? Because I don’t. I don’t eat cheese unless it is part of a recipe, but it was fun harassing the cheese experts around town to help me select and plan my menu. Now sushi is another story altogether. I know a little something about sushi. I know that I love that sushi in my belly… We had leftover crab from Thanksgiving – or rather, I saved a crab leg from our Thanksgiving dinner to make this sushi roll I had while I was on the road, from a grocery store, in middle-of-nowhere Colorado. Risky, I know, but it was awesome for grocery store sushi and the little lady preparing it was a total darling. Besides, I am drawn to foods with geologic names.

sushi rice (raw), mayonnaise, wasabi, maguro (sashimi-grade tuna), king crab, avocado, cucumber, masago (flying fish roe), nori, and sriracha

peel the crab, chop the tuna

mix the spicy tuna (tuna, mayonnaise, and sriracha)

mix the crab salad (cooked crab meat and mayonnaise)

A lot of things that are obvious to me may not be obvious for people who don’t eat sushi, don’t prepare sushi, or don’t know how to cook. So let’s be clear: only use sashimi-grade tuna from a reputable and trusted source. Why sashimi-grade as opposed to random slab of raw tuna? Because sashimi-grade has been inspected and also frozen to a temperature low-enough to kill any parasites. If this makes you squeamish and uncomfortable, don’t make this roll. Also, the crab is never raw. We use cooked crab. In fact, I don’t know where I can source uncooked king crab legs. If your search fails to come up with crab meat, then you can always use surimi or fake crab or krab or as we pronounce it in the House of Butter, kay-rab.

mix the wasabi mayonniase

then mix the sriracha mayonnaise

greenish and orangish

long and thin slices for making maki

**Jump for more butter**

thank you every day

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

I hope all of the folks who celebrate Thanksgiving are having a lovely holiday weekend however it is that you choose to do it. We spent our holiday cleaning out the basement, playing with the pup, taking care of house things, and prepping some simple fare.

no snow, but these two are all i really need

colorful sunsets

kaweah’s thanksgiving plate: carrots, apples, peanut butter, brussels sprouts, dog treats

always patiently waits for permission

she inhaled it

dinner: pan-seared scallops, crab legs, roasted butternut squash, roasted brussels sprouts, salad

We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled program soon enough, but I just wanted to thank all of you for dropping by and being such a great readership. Not just today, but every day. Thanks for that. Enjoy your weekend. xo