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making a mess – plus a giveaway!

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Recipe: eton mess

We’ve got three things going on here today, so keep your pants on! Are you ready?

First – I finished processing the photos from Antelope Valley. Serious orange-out is all I can say. That, and California poppies are my favorite wildflowers ever. Okay, I like the other guys too – I just love that there are so MANY of them.

tiny goldfields

poppies glow like little lanterns in the sun

If you want to see enough flowers to make your allergies tickle you can view day 1 and day 2 on my photo blog.

Next – we have a giveaway. I’ve been waiting to give this thing away for about… four months, but it had to get the stamp of approval from the law-talkin’ guys first. No matter, because it is certainly worth the wait. Back in December, I hosted a Nintendo-sponsored Wii Fit Plus party for my gal pals in Boulder! Easiest party I’ve ever had to host because all I had to do was send out invitations and show up. Nintendo took care of the space, the equipment, the food, and beverages.

fruit juice shooters

everyone was let loose to try the yoga and the games after a quick demo

we had a blast

Oh, that was seriously fun. What I love about Wii Fit Plus and the Wii in general is how it’s more than just a gaming system. It gets you moving and it can be a social activity (I’m definitely hosting Wii parties at my house!). Exercise made fun. I’m a big fan of the multiplayer mode. My favorite activity is the Rhythm Kung Fu.

that’s my Mii character

we even have a Mii pet for kaweah

The good people at Nintendo have given me an additional Wii and a Wii Fit Plus game and I’m giving them away here! You merely have to answer the question:

How will you fit some fit in with the Wii Fit Plus from Nintendo?

Let me translate: How are you gonna get your Wii on?

Here are the rules:

1) Leave a comment on THIS POST answering the question above by 11:59 pm MDT Sunday, April 25, 2010.
2) One entry per person. If you submit multiple entries, you will be disqualified.
3) The winner will be selected at random using a random number generator and announced on Monday, April 26, 2010.
4) Contest is only open to US residents 18 years or older.
5) Anyone related to me cannot enter.
6) Nintendo employees are ineligible to win.

Full disclosure: I received a free Wii™ system and Wii Fit™ Plus package (including Balance Board™) from Nintendo. The Wii Fit Plus party was entirely sponsored by Nintendo. The giveaway Wii system and Wii Fit Plus package were given to me by Nintendo, and I’m giving them away.

And finally: the recipe. California strawberries are popping up in the grocery stores around here. Yeah, I know they aren’t local, but who can resist a luscious red strawberry after months of winter? Heck, who can resist a luscious red strawberry ever? My favorite way to enjoy a strawberry is straight up, but a close second is an Eton Mess.


separate the egg whites from the yolks

**Jump for more butter**

clawing my way back

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Recipe: roasted beet, chèvre, hazelnut salad with blood oranges

I’ve been horizontal for the past two days with a blasted flu (not H1N1 as everyone seems to assume). I came down with it during my trip to California last week when we were taking care of stuff for my grandma. Sigh. No good deed goes unpunished. Today, I can finally sit upright for more than a few minutes at a time without passing out.

So I think some of you might be wondering who won the CHEFS gift card? Jeremy and Kaweah had a lot of fun picking the winner yesterday. I was in and out of consciousness while Jeremy was hard at work in the kitchen. He finally presented me with a handful of dog treats etched with a number 0-9 on each one… in binary. Somehow this was more exciting to Jeremy. As long as he’s happy… Kaweah followed him around like a little black shadow, anxious to do her part (that is, to eat the treats).

your nibbly kibbly chances of winning

our dedicated employee

Per the usual routine, we set out all ten digits and recorded the first number she ate. Jeremy is quite practiced at preventing Kaweah from mowing through all ten at once (she’s a quick one, that dog). We replaced the devoured digit with a new one and reshuffled the biscuits. Binary, hexidecimal – they’re all delicious to Kaweah. 3… 0…

there goes the 5

Congratulations to Wend! You were comment #305 and you win the $100 CHEFS gift card! I’ll be emailing you to get your snail mail address so CHEFS can ship it to you right away.

But wait, there’s more! I have a $25 CHEFS gift card from the BlogHer Food conference back in September that I never used. A $25 card means only one thing – I’m going to spend way more than $25… I’d rather give that card to one of you. So Jeremy took the winning number 305 as a seed for a random number selection (Kaweah had eaten plenty for the day) and we have #33 – Paula! Congratulations to Paula! I’ll contact you shortly to get your mailing address too.

So this here flu has played havoc with my holiday schedule and I’m left digging around in the archives for something to share. I can only handle thinking about holiday fare for a day or two and then my brain revolts. The cookies, the sweets, the large cooked animals, the cream, the starches, the fat – they make me so sleepy. I find greens and citrus to be light and refreshing. Salads leave me feeling recharged and ready to spring to action!

some golden beets

a few blood oranges

**Jump for more butter**

happy happy birthday!

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Recipe: taco seasoning

It’s Kaweah’s eleventh birthday today! In celebration, we here at use real butter are having a giveaway this week in honor of Kaweah. Hmmm… what should we give away?

a puppy?!?

I can’t give that puppy away – that was Kaweah almost 11 years ago (it was sunset, so she looks brown). We tossed around a ton of ideas, but finally settled on this puppy:

how about a $100 gift card to chefs?

I’m giving away a $100 CHEFS gift card this week. What better way to launch the giveaway than on our little random number generator’s birthday? To enter, follow these rules:

Leave ONE comment on this post telling me what you want to do with the $100 gift card (e.g. What are you going to get? Is it for you? Are you going to give the card to someone else?) Multiple comments will be deleted. Entries will be accepted until midnight, Friday December 18, 2009 (12:01 am will be Saturday the 19th). The winner will be selected at Crazy Random courtesy of Kaweah and the Astrophysicist and announced on Monday, December 21, 2009. I’m pleased to tell you that CHEFS ships internationally, so this giveaway is open to ANYONE. Woohoo!

For Kaweah’s birthday, we did an early celebration because we have too much going on today. I’m sure the majority of you will think us insane, but I thought a little bit of steak might be nice for Kaweah’s birthday dinner. Just a little. That’s not the insane part. The insane part was finding ourselves in front of the Whole Foods meat counter. Hmmm, why was the dry-aged rib-eye $19.99 a pound? I asked what the difference was between dry-aged and regular. Curiosity got the best of us, so I pointed to one steak and said, “How about that one?” I thought it was 1.5 inches thick… when the nice gentleman lifted the steak out of the tray, it was 2.5-inches thick and the bloody thing cost me $30!

more wondrous snow

she even got dressed up

We grilled the steak and set aside a few thin slices for the birthday pup. The problem with giving Kaweah any kind of beef is that she scarfs it down without chewing. And just in case you thought it was because the piece of meat was too small – she does the same thing with large pieces of meat too (I have experimented with this in the past).

the birthday plate

it was gone in seconds

Jeremy and I sat down to share the remainder of the steak. It was like butter! So tender and melt-in-your-mouth. Can you dry-age beef at home if you have a cellar or some such thing? I’m tempted to look into it just for kicks (and well – to save having to pay out the nose). I don’t know that I will regard steak the same way again.

When Kaweah cleared her plate like a good girl, we gathered her favorite toys together for birthday cupcake. But that beef was fatty enough as it was, she didn’t need frosting too. Jeremy graciously volunteered to polish off the cupcake while Kaweah enjoyed a healthy carrot. She’s a simple girl, you know.

when kaweah really wants something, she won’t look at it until she hears her release word

what’s that mr. bunny? oh no, i’m 11 years old, not 11 months!

**Jump for more butter**