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archive for June 2013

the very hungry caterpillar (sushi roll burger)

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Recipe: caterpillar sushi roll burger

The two week pine tree orgy is over and the pine pollen no longer rains down on you when the wind blows around here. That stuff does a number on my respiratory system such that all workouts have been indoors. I dare say I think it’s safe to venture out into the hills again. Our yard grows wild, literally. We have no lawn, just weeds and native grasses. But those “weeds” have begun sprouting the colors of summer. I love it.

indian paintbrush and yarrow

arnica and baby aspens

Everyone is doing their thing in summer, because it’s summer! Even the bugs. On a hike in Crested Butte a few weeks ago, we paused to observe some caterpillars in a nest. As we continued around the lake, the caterpillars still on my mind, my thoughts turned to caterpillar rolls in sushi bars. Of course, right? I’ve played around with the burgerfication of various favorite dishes, especially sushi rolls. And I even made a caterpillar sushi roll burger over a year ago, I just didn’t like it. So I shelved the photos and recipe – until I saw those caterpillars. What I realized was that the bun I used ruined the entire dish for me (us). It was the first (and last) time I ever tried Rudi’s. The bread was dry, crumbly, bland, and basically disintegrated after the first bite. I was so disappointed.

beef patties, buns, eel (unagi), nori (seaweed), lettuce, avocado, tomato, unagi sauce

I’m looking for a certain texture and flavor in my burger buns. I like the bread to be slightly sweet, soft and tender, structurally competent, buttery if possible, and fluffy. Walking through our mountain town grocery store, I spotted some barbecue buns (intended for pulled pork). They fit the bill.

cut the unagi

prep the fixings

**Jump for more butter**

the fun never stops

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Recipe: blueberry hand pies

I’m sleep-deprived and behind on my work, but I’m not (too) stressed out because I’m having a good time. I got to watch and minimally participate in the filming of a television segment for Frank Bonanno and my good friend, Ellen, in Denver last week. I say minimally because I really REALLY did not want to be on camera. Besides, it was HOT in the kitchen. We were all happy when that part was done so we could head outside to watch the filming of the cocktail segment.

prepping for cocktails

Aside from my desire to support a good friend, do you want to know the real reason I left the mountains to head to Denver (because it usually takes a plane ticket to get me to drive down to Denver)? A hedgehog. SQUEEEEEEE!!!!!

her name is rosie and she belongs to frank’s kids

My parents arrived Friday evening and we met with them to go out for dinner. It used to make me a little crazy and headachey when they would both hold simultaneous, yet separate conversations with me. But now… now I just laugh and try to listen to both, and laugh some more. They came up to our house for dinner over the weekend. It feels good to cook for my folks – to spoil them since they were always spoiling me (and now us). More than ever, I just feel that I want my parents to be happy. Isn’t this what we wish for the ones we love?

this dish never fails to please: pan-seared scallops on fresh corn and roasted tomatoes

The weather got uncomfortably warm right around the time the pine pollen got ridiculous (i.e. everywhere). But before all of that happened, I made some fruity pies. Remember the mad loot I scored in the way of organic blueberries from Whole Foods? I used one of those pints for something other than jam. Pie is great and all, but HAND PIES are like… presents.

puff pastry, blueberries, egg, cinnamon, salt, lemon, cornstarch, sugar, turbinado sugar

mix the cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon zest

mix the blueberries, lemon juice, and salt together

**Jump for more butter**

time for pupsicles

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Recipe: banana peanut butter pupsicles

We’re back home in Nederland and it’s been ass hot here on the Front Range. Not only has it been ass hot, but pine pollen season is in full swing. We haven’t had any rain to wash away the pollen such that when the winds blow, giant clouds of thick yellow blegh go swirling into the air for miles. So of course the windows stay closed during the day and the house just gets plain old angry hot (or perhaps that’s me?).

i bet this fox was running for the nearest stream to cool off

Kaweah’s susceptibility to the heat has increased with her old age. After seeing how much she enjoyed the scoop dog frozen treat in Crested Butte, I decided to make some at home for her. I didn’t want to make it dairy-based as we try to keep her dairy intake to a minimum because it gives her gas. So I went with my favorite non-dairy ice cream recipe: single ingredient ice cream. The ice cream base is made entirely of bananas, which she loves, and I added some other goodies to sweeten the deal for her.

ripe bananas, peanut butter, bacon, carrot

slice the bananas

place them in a vessel and freeze them

**Jump for more butter**