meatless meatballs roasted porcini with gremolata gluten-free chocolate chip cookies venison with morel sauce

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archive for January 2015

none of that weak sauce

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

Recipe: homemade pizza sauce

Windstorms in winter accompany large temperature throws in our area. So when we go from single digits to well above freezing in a day, it’s a good idea to secure any outdoor furniture, grills, trampolines, small children, and pets. The winds were quite nasty earlier in the week, but now that the neighbors’ fences have stopped blowing over and the large tree branches are done snapping, we’re back to our normal dose of winds in the 20-40 mph range. It is what it is. As if to apologize for its bad behavior, the atmosphere made nice with the sun Tuesday evening.

cotton candy sunset

I’ve been in cleaning mode lately. That’s what I do when Jeremy is out of town. I start cleaning out closets or reorganizing shelves at night, which produces heaps of donations and recycling. This activity always makes Jeremy a little nervous because I desperately want to clean his mess of a desk, but I usually get too frustrated when I try to figure out where to start. While returning some canning jars to the canning cabinet in the basement, I took inventory of my tomatoes. Tomatoes are what I use the most in the non-summer months – mostly diced tomatoes. When I first began canning, I incorrectly assumed that I used diced tomatoes and tomato sauce at the same rate. By the following summer, my diced tomatoes were nearly finished and my sauce remained untouched. Why not make pizza sauce? Until last year, I bought a pretty spendy pizza sauce from Whole Foods because it wasn’t loaded with sugar and it tasted the best. But then I began searching for a pizza sauce that I could make from my own tomato sauce. Most of the recipes I researched called for diced tomatoes, which didn’t solve my problem, but this one uses tomato sauce – and it is AWESOME.

black pepper, tomato paste, tomato sauce, garlic, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, parmesan, onion, water, olive oil, salt, oregano, basil

dice the onion and mince the garlic

everything measured and prepped

**Jump for more butter**

yo ho, blow the (wo)man down

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Recipe: chinese lemon chicken

Welcome to 2015! What’s new? Most of you already know that little changes for me with the new year (although I keep writing 2014 instead of 2015 on checks, waiver forms, and consent forms). But, it just so happens that I got a new hat. That might not be a big deal to you, but it is for me. When I find something that works for me, I use it until it is dead, threadbare, broken, kaput. The part I loathe is shopping around for a replacement. My trusty Patagonia fleece hat has kept my noggin warm and itch-free (because I’m allergic to wool) for 19 years. I’ve sewn it up over 11 times. I’ll continue to bring it with me into the backcountry, but the new hat will take over noggin-duty in town.

my sauce headware tulip hat

I found the brand in Crested Butte when I was in search of a good thin breathable toque for skate skiing in cold weather (I heat up very easily, even in single digit temperatures). There was a bigger selection online at Sauce Headwear and then of course, I went looking at other styles and fell in love with the tulip hat. My favorite feature of my toque is the ponytail hole (optional) – because I have a ponytail and most winter sports hats are made for dudes. So if you’re active outside in winter and you need a functional, yet fun hat, you might want to check these out. Sauce doesn’t know I’m telling you about their hats, I just really dig how well they work for me. I test drove the toque on a backcountry ski tour Sunday morning in 50 mph winds and it was great (the hat, not the winds). I also got to spend some quality time with my pals, Erin and Banjo, despite ground snow rudely blowing into my ears and mouth as well as winds literally knocking us over. What’s up with that, Front Range?!?!

banjo kisses

the best selfie we could manage

banjo leads us out

It was so nice to get some puppy time. I’ve been in withdrawal ever since Kaweah left us. It’s gotten to the point where I pet each and every dog I encounter on trails, sidewalks, in yards, stores… I was like this for years before we got Kaweah. Back then, it was just an obsession of mine to have a dog, but now I actually know what is missing from my life. Kaweah left a big hole in my heart and I’m trying to fill it by loving on fifty different dogs in passing, which is like eating a bag of Skittles in place of dinner.

Jeremy’s out of town at a meeting and he texted me after his talk to let me know he was heading to dinner with a colleague. I texted back: I want a puppy.

We are not impulsive people, so I know it will take time and a lot of deliberate thought before we bring a dog into our home – before we bring our dog into our lives. Jeremy isn’t ready yet, but he’s getting there. Eventually, we’ll find our Colorado mountain dog, and you’ll meet her too.

In the meantime, it’s back to business as usual. We kept our holiday meal planning simple in Crested Butte because we didn’t want to spend our time in the kitchen if we could be out skiing. It was a good break. And now I’m regarding recipes with anticipation rather than dread, like this lemon chicken.

flour, cornstarch (3 times), sugar, salt, sesame seeds, water, soy sauce, shoaxing cooking wine, lemons, chicken thighs

cut the chicken into pieces and juice the lemons

**Jump for more butter**

happy new year!

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Happy New Year, everyone! Wishing you All of the Good Stuff in 2015!

fireworks over mount crested butte