Edible Snow

Last week I was on a bit of a kick making flavored, frozen things to crumble on top of other things. The change in weather required this not only in the abrupt increase in temperature, but in the change of mood. Late spring cold and slush gave way to warm blue skies and a frenzy of outdoor activity, lifted moods and many people just a bit too pink come Monday. Reveling in the happy humors I wanted whimsy. Flavorful, easy and new. Edible snow it was. The first dish had been percolating a bit since I last made some spiced … Continue reading

Add These to Anything

We had invited ourselves over to a friend and neighbor’s house in order to extract some sage advice. Naturally we offered to bring an edible and I settled on a healthy and oomphy salad. As I went about my day the phrase “honey roasted carrots” swirled in my head for no particular reason. I had a couple bunches of kale, a small handful of arugula. some chicken thighs, way too much milk and about 2 cups of buttermilk as well as, handily, a bunch of carrots. So I settled on a piled up salad with a kale and greens base, … Continue reading

Forcing Spring

“Go home Colorado, you’re drunk” is a common phrase making the rounds these days. Slurring, telling the same old stories over and over, falling asleep mid-sentence, Denver in springtime is a mess. After what seems like a fairly boring, but long winter decorated in dead grass and bare trees we experience a schizophrenic frenzy of promising warmth and t-shirts followed by a foot of snow. Usually on the same day. Packing for my kid’s day at school requires layers of short sleeves, long sleeves, two pairs of socks, snow pants, gloves and boots. I have photos in May of our … Continue reading

Itty Bits of Meat, Day Two

Waiting somewhere in limbo for my husband’s delayed flight I searched the fridge and freezer for a meal that would meet the goal of easy, tasty, non meat-centric. I also saw a good opportunity to use up several small bits of leftovers. Cooked rice, one piece of breaded chicken, a carrot, the last frozen hockey puck of shredded zucchini from our garden, a couple eggs, mirin, soy, dashi. What I really wanted (green onions, oyster sauce) I had used up so I made do with what I had. I thawed the zucchini while I grated the carrot. Both were sautéed … Continue reading

All Hail Tiny Lacquered Birds

The first thing I thought walking into Vietnam Grill was that it looked exactly like Lao Wang Noodle House and I felt briefly alarmed that it was and what that might mean for my life and soup dumplings. The thing I noticed once we had been seated, beveraged and menued was how quiet it was. It was only 6:45, but the restaurant was 2/3 full and every person at every table was consumed with eating the food in front of them. The third thing I noticed after I became painfully aware of how loud our pretty calm conversation seemed in … Continue reading

Itty Bits of Meat, Day One

If you hadn’t noticed, I moved Meatless March to a later summer date when my garden will be plentiful (I dare you hail!) and vegetarian cooking is sparkling with the raw, the ripe and the rainbow colored. It did not hurt that we also took possession of 25 pounds of happy-running, grass fed beef lovingly raised by my husband’s step family and lovingly slaughtered and packaged by his grandfather’s processing company. Irish Grove Farms and Eickman’s Processing Co. are both in Illinois and as my husband’s father and stepmother were stopping through Denver on a road trip, we convinced them … Continue reading

GochuJANG! Those are Some Tasty Wings…

Korean plus Fried plus Chicken sets my expectations for greatness. Especially lately when my hot sauce of the moment is gochujang. I can clearly see an evolution in my palette having first embraced sriracha, then sambal and now this richer, spicier version that is deepened with a funky fermented bean paste. I came home with chicken wings the other day despite my historical eye rolling when my dad did the same, yelling “Maru! I picked up dinner!” The difference here is that these would be an appetizer and at least one, and likely several, vegetables would also grace the plate. … Continue reading

The Rocky Mile High Road to Spring

March in Denver is a tease. Though our winters can vary between bitter and snowy cold to milder, sunny days, the landscape is still one of bare trees and browned grasses. Seeing the first bulbs pop from the hard soil and the buds appear on the lilacs make me giddy though I try to remind myself that we still have at least two and sometimes three (!) more months of possible blizzards. I worry for the new growth that will struggle under the weight of the next heavy, wet snow. But then the first real summery warm winds make an … Continue reading

Make Time to See A Place at the Table

Sometimes being intensely uncomfortable is good for you. In fact, we should all make a point of experiencing something clammy, awkward, alarming, sad or maddening every so often. Rather than that standard reminder about how there are those less fortunate while in the middle of complaining about our first world problems, I say remind me when I’m feeling good and capable. Not when I’m down and want to spend a small moment feeling sorry for myself. That way I might just have the gumption to get up and do something to affect change rather than feel bad about it and … Continue reading

Austin Descending

It is no secret that Austin is a city like no other. A network made up of little “finds” artistic, musical, fashionable or edible, it is a veritable treasure hunt. Each time I visit I discover yet another wonder I wish I could take home with me, most of them food-related. First it was the crispy chicken and avocado wraps from Mighty Cone which I recreated with fair success. Next I modified it for a contest featuring your best avocado. Then a stoner’s dream come true was born out of inspiration from the Chi’lantro food truck. And I’m not the … Continue reading