Paleo

Going cave people

D and I are going paleo. This is the first week, and I would lick this computer screen if I thought it would give me the tiniest hit of sugar. Or a bump of booze. Or just a tiny crunch of foods I’ve never even craved before — like salt and vinegar potato chips.

So, yeah. It’s going swimmingly. We are both sleeping and feeling better already, but boy, am I in a mood. And oh! Is there anything more self-indulgent and douchey than writing about what you aren’t letting yourself eat, while perched in the land of plenty? No. No, my dear, there is not. As such, how about a few tips and recipes for those also going the way of the cave folk:

Paleo breakfast

The first week is expensive. You’ve got a lot of weird purchases to manage that will only be occasional, like coconut oil, aminos, etc. Suck it up and buy the best quality you can muster. It will make the first bit a lot easier if your food tastes great. And it should. There is no reason why great meat and vegetables shouldn’t make your mouth water.

If you are looking for a creative paleo cookbook, I’m a fan of this one. We are eating a lot of meals from Melissa’s book during the next two weeks. Also, get a large cup that you like to drink out of and take it with you everywhere. It may be a Nalgene, or a glass goblet if that suits your fancy. The point is: it is a lot easier to get through sugar cravings and faux happy hour when you have had plenty of water. The headaches will suck less. Naps are a plus too, if you can sneak them in.

Paleo breakfast

 

First paleo recipe I’m willing to share: Cupcake Eggs.  Either use coconut oil or spray to cover the cups before inserting several pieces of nitrate-free sliced deli meat, forming a cup. I used 8 eggs, whipped, and distributed them over the cups evenly. Then I added a hefty spoonful of salsa to each and topped them with scallions and a dash of pepper. In the oven at 350 for 20 minutes. They are delicious, and hit the spot after a hard run first thing in the morning — you don’t even miss the cheese. Or the delicious tortilla in which this could be wrapped. Or the refried beans.

Good grief.

Next week will be easier. Off to find more water and that nap.

-K

Prosecco + Pasta

Prosecco, melon + prosciutto, turkey + artichoke stuffed shells, summer berry cobbler — a summer dinner shared with friends:

Prosecco + pasta

Prosecco + pasta

Prosecco + pasta

Prosecco + pasta

Prosecco + pasta

Prosecco + pasta

Prosecco + pasta

Prosecco + pasta

Prosecco + pasta

Prosecco + pasta

Prosecco + pasta

Prosecco + pasta

Prosecco + pasta

~K

High Five

High Five Meatball Soup

High Five Meatball Soup

High Five Meatball Soup

This recipe does not disappoint; I made the meatballs too big this time, but next time — I will make twice as many, half as big and freeze the second half for other recipes. It is quick, healthy and delicious.

Nice work, Panda!

-K

 

Comfort Food

April cooking

Snow returned to Golden this week; we woke up yesterday morning to inches stacked on the patio furniture, and two prissy dogs who did not want to have to go outside. Chilly weather and heavy foods pair so well. I am trying to use what we have in the pantry so it doesn’t have to be moved. The meals have been a bit of a mishmash, but last night’s was a hit: sausage, mushroom risotto, asparagus and strawberries with cream for dessert.

April cooking

I did have to hit the market for the veggies. My shelf of canned goods from last summer’s garden is sadly down to one jar of peach jam and three of apple chutney. There is only so much chutney one girl can eat.

April cooking

I am hoping wherever I land, it isn’t too late to get another garden started. At a minimum, basil, tomatoes and cucumbers should be planted. With any luck, the next home will have fruit trees and space in the kitchen for canning.

April cooking

I’m my Grandmother Max’s protege: she who lived in a dozen homes over her years always had a garden going, and always had a good meal on the stove. Creating a home was a attitude, not a permanency of address. (My mama is the same way. She just had the luck to live in fewer places, and as a result — had bigger gardens. There is a deeper roots joke here somewhere.)

Here is to hoping warm Spring arrives soon!

~K

 

 

 

Oh, the food.

I didn’t really get any good photographs of any of the fancy meals we ate. I was too busy, well, eating. And oh, New York, you are so good with the food. Even the gyro street carts with saffron rice and suspicious meat sources smelled delicious at times.

Oh, the food.

Oh, the food.

Ess-a Bagels is by far the best bagel I’ve ever had. So good, we ate there twice. (I’d eaten there the first time I was in NYC too, after getting a demanding recommendation from my friend — and former NYC librarian — Stacey.) The lox on an everything bagel is so good, I couldn’t finish it. The peanut butter and bacon on sesame? Well. I left little behind. I would eat here far too often if I lived in the city, and justify doing so with the endless miles you spend walking.

Plus, the guys behind the counter provide an authentic NYC experience. You get the feeling that if you don’t move through the line with enough speed, order with enough precision (there is no time to linger once you get to the counter), and do so in voce alto, they will holler back: NO BAGEL FOR YOU!

Oh, the food.

I’d never seen these in person — only in cooking magazines. Dean and DeLuca is quite possibly the most amazing foodie store I’ve ever had a chance to wander.

Oh, the food.

Oh, the food.

I want to buy the giant pig serving tray. Cute and useful! Also! I need to own absolutely nothing else at the moment. (Score the rare point for shopping restraint.)

Oh, the food.

Oh, the food.

And then there was the Easter brunch at the Waldorf:

Oh, the food.

Oh, the food.

Oh, the food.

We did not eat here, but walked through the lobby for these shots. What I couldn’t get a good photo of was the giant bowl of lobster. Unbelievable.

And then there was Eataly. Oh. MY. GOD! Eataly. All 75 floors of food and ingredient heaven.

Plus beautiful bakery window displays for the Easter weekend:

Oh, the food.

Oh, the food.

And great coffee shops:

Oh, the food.

And champagne by the iced bucket:

Oh, the food.

My favorite meal was Le Cirque lobster risotto. Or that peanut butter bacon bagel. Tough call.

A decadent escape!

~K

Prep

 

I can’t be the only person enamored with the simplicity of food photography. Shiny noodles. Charred steak. The fibonacci sequence found in a sliced artichoke.

A night of fun

A night of fun

A night of fun

A night of fun

A night of fun

A night of fun

I also can’t be the only one who almost always forgets to take photos of the finished product before it gets to the table. Right? Guests walk in the door, dogs go crazy, music turned up, bottles opened and I’m left with 400 photos of the ingredients and nothing of the final product.

At least the potatoes look good, right?

~K

 

Relleno’d

Heirloom Homestead Cooking

Heirloom Homestead Cooking

Heirloom Homestead Cooking

For every negative, there is a positive. Isn’t that some fancy law of physics?

(Let me tell you what I remember from high school physics: My teacher Mr. Barrett telling me, “You really aren’t the smartest, but you work the hardest.” Gee. Thanks. In turn, I “borrowed” his favorite classroom item, held it hostage for a couple months, providing a series of photos and ransom notes, and eventually got him to agree in the return of Mr. Penguin that I was not just smart, I was clever. Crafty, even. Hey Mr. Barrett, if you are reading this, good news: I’m doing just fine, and for the most part,* I’ve stopped holding things ransom.)

Heirloom Homestead Cooking

Heirloom Homestead Cooking

Heirloom Homestead Cooking

So, for every bad there is a good. Like my friends swooping in to cheer me up lately. It’s been pretty fantastic. Our dinner table has been full most nights with friends who just want a meal and conversation; they know nothing makes me happier. Having grown up in a family where nightly dinners without TV or telephone were mandatory — having people around my table gives such a sense of comfort.

Heirloom Homestead Cooking

I’ve had gobs of time to read cookbooks lately, and am up to date on my cooking magazines. Lots of exciting new recipes have crossed my path, and these hungry friends are happy test subjects.

Earlier this week: chile rellenos and black bean and honey cornbread casserole. Guacamole, chips, rotisserie chicken (such an easy cheat) and lots of time to catch up while wearing an apron. Bliss.

Heirloom Homestead Cooking

Heirloom Homestead Cooking

Heirloom Homestead Cooking

Heirloom Homestead Cooking

Later this week, I’ve got a handful of friends visiting. We’re doing a cookout, and I anticipate even more slightly blurry bokeh photos.

I know. I know. You can’t wait. Especially you, Mr. Barrett.

~K

*I might have borrowed a lawn gnome before leaving Arizona who occasionally sends his updates to the owner from his adventures around the United States. He will eventually make his way home.

 

Sit down, Warm up

A friend’s husband showed up unexpectedly at my doorstep yesterday afternoon. He’d been up canyon on his bike when it had begun to snow. By the time he reached my house, going some 40 miles an hour down Clear Creek, he was blue. His hands were frozen and the inner linings of his eyes were swollen to an alarming shade of red.

Spanish chorizo + lentil soup

Spanish chorizo + lentil soup

Spanish chorizo + lentil soup

Could he sit down for a second and warm up?

I shooed him in the door, got the dogs off the couch and plugged in the electric blanket. Soon, the kettle was singing and his hands warmed around a mug of tea. Dinner was already on the stove — Spanish chorizo and lentils from this month’s Cooks Illustrated. I had pans of salted caramel upside down pineapple cakes on the oven waiting to go in next.

Spanish chorizo + lentil soup

Spanish chorizo + lentil soup

He warmed up slowly, and stayed for hours, telling how he realized he was in trouble when he couldn’t keep both hands on the bike. Navigating down the canyon with two hands is terrifying, doing so with one hand tucked under your other arm for warmth is suicide. Thankfully, he made it. I promised him he wouldn’t have to ride any farther today; we’d find a way for he and his bike to get home.

Spanish chorizo + lentil soup

Soon, BJ joined us around the dinner table, swapping stories of our day and sipping soup. The snow began to fall in thick flakes. By the time dessert was served, inches of fluffy powder rested on the roofs of cars, the patio table, the greenhouse light fixtures, and everything in between. The mountains, so near, were out of sight for more than 14 hours as the snow continued to dance downward.

Salted Caramel Pineapple Cakes

Salted Caramel Pineapple Cakes

The soup was even better as leftovers today for lunch, enjoyed from the small kitchen table with a view of a golden sun, ringed by the brightest, clearest blue skies.

Time to walk the dogs,  plan the next meal and push forward. Visitors are always welcome.

~K

 

 

OH ginger SNAP!

Stop what you are doing right now and bake these cookies. They are the best cookies I’ve ever made and were inhaled by dinner guests this week.  

January Dinner Party Fun

Poof! Gone.

January Dinner Party Fun

January Dinner Party Fun

January Dinner Party Fun

January Dinner Party Fun

January Dinner Party Fun

Not kidding. Best. Cookies. Ever. 

So good I just lifted weights for an additional hour so I won’t feel guilty about making another batch. So good I’m drooling just thinking of them.

Getting the picture?

I think the only way to make them better would be to make 2 batches so you can let a few get stale. I love a crunchy gingernsap.

Good work, Country Living peeps. Good work, indeed.

~K

 

 

Pretty Food

I can’t help myself. My name is Kelli and I’m a food photography addict.

{Hi, Kelli.}

A few shots from Thanksgiving break:

Flying Star

Start with some huevos rancheros

Flying Star

Add a dash of salt… and then decide what’s for dinner.

How about we fry a turkey for Thanksgiving? What sounds better? What? TWO turkeys? So be it:

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving 2012IMG_536Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

 

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

What is that you say? You didn’t get enough carbs yesterday? Well. How about I whip up some of Juliann’s famous risotto, with some asparagus and shallots? (Originally, I’d hoped to do this with homemade turkey stock. Come to find out fried turkey bones meet their match in peanut oil and aren’t broth-worthy.)

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

I may not love football, or Black Friday, or many of the other “traditions” around this holiday. But put me in a kitchen with a pantry full of food, with an apron and a glass of chardonnay, and I am my happiest.

Phew. Aren’t we glad I got that out of my system? Yeah. I thought so.

~K