Cooking and Baking

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I continue to make the super easy berry margaritas! You can, too. Fill a pint or quart jar with berries, this was quartered strawberries, top off with your favorite tequila, let sit in the fridge for a week, strain, and enjoy in your preferred recipe. Mine, perhaps?

Homemade red chile, possibly my best batch ever, topped a deliciously rare flank steak, with perfect pintos and homemade tortillas, too. We do alright.

I am a big fan of Korea (the Southern part, anyway) and their wonderfully tasty food and bought a super cookbook by Aaron Huh called Simply Korean. This salad is topped with a close riff on his beef bulgogi patties and my own gochujang dressing. I’ve also made them into some freaking fantastic Korean burgers. Highly recommend.

This is what happens when you mix lye and prickly pear juice (home grown and made) to make soap. It will all eventually be the golden color at the bottom but still feel pretty luxurious on the skin. Chemistry!

Saving the most beautiful until the last, with the sweetest scents of the season for the moment. It has been a slow unfolding here, with us late to clear the gardens of their fall and winter accumulations, unearthing green and ruby shoots aplenty. While I clipped and piled and raked, Greg spread compost from our massive pile, the not-so-magical alchemy of debris and time that makes our garden thrive.


Hello! How are you this not-so-fine, at least in Colorado, weather afternoon? Spring time in the Rockies – a real crap shoot, I tell ya.

But chocolate cake is nearly always a win! I hadn’t made any in ages, got the itch, and got it done. Greg was delighted. I was, too! I saw a recipe somewhere that had salted caramel frosting, which added a jar of caramel to buttercream, but that seemed like a lot, so I caramelized a little sugar in the cutest tiny pot from Grandma Tess, added some vanilla paste and a little water, and voila! Fabulous chocolate cake.

Bebe, my first and best beading pal! We’ve been friends for thirty years (I am nearly the age she was when we met) and making jewelry together for six. She is my sister from another mister and positively lights up my life.

And now, for a little presto-change-o! The Sundance Catalog had a ridiculously good sale on their outlet items (Thank you, Robert Redford!), and I had been eyeing these chairs for a while, so I went for it! For the original price of one chair, I bought two, a very cool shirt, and a gold necklace. I mean, seriously.

We were saving the rug for Taos, but those plans, as construction materials are still crazy expensive, are on the back burner. But this is looking more and more like our living room once the house is built, which makes my heart so happy. Plus, that chair model! More, please.


Asian Pork Salad
Barbacoa Soft Tacos
Buffalo Chicken Zoodles with Blue Cheese – hot damn, peeps! Seriously hot.
Beer Bread – using almond meal from making milk. Yes!
Japanese Glazed Sweet Potatoes – that color!!
Cheaters Latte Art – I use a tool to make the swirls – no badass pouring here.
Chicken soft taco sticking it’s tongue out.
Pizza! Pizza! And some super fizzy Popup wine. All the things…

Aloha, dear reader! It’s been a minute since I posted a talkie type. Not gonna lie, I was a little stuck in a rut. None of the thoughts I was having seemed share worthy. Simple as that.

During that time, I did, however, make some delicious foodstuffs, and here we are with them. It had been a long while since I’d made pizza or drank wine, so why not? There were many sounds indicative of gustatory pleasure in that meal, boy howdy! In all of them, truth be told. We’ve got our system down here.

Save this past weekend, where we were out sans coats in the near seventy-degree garden doing our final rake up, it’s been feeling rather wintry. Several storms have brought actual accumulation, which has yet to fully melt. YAY! Unless something biblical occurs, we are always in need of moisture in the high desert. I will make no complaints. No, ma’am.

Hope life in your corner of the world is aces. Until next time…


Fruit Cake

Good Friday morning to you, dear reader!

I’m fairly certain I’ve written about this before, but hey, I’ve got 1,799 posts (say what?!) out in blogland, and that is A LOT to remember. So, fruit cake take two here we are!

I often think I was born in some strange space-time vortex because I love a lot of foods, music, clothing, and miscellaneous yadda-yadda that my peers do not AT ALL. This is not new (surprise!). Among other outstanding oddities, I had a thing for Richard Nixon as a fifth grader, which on many levels still holds true (read this); liked the Doors when most kids were grooving to the BeeGees, and absolutely love fruit cake.

I legit wonder what is wrong with it: buttery, fruity, nutty, just a little boozy. Seriously, all the things! And will you look at it? It’s stained glass pretty, peeps. I have convinced Greg of the goodness, too.

It had been a while since I made it. Southeast 56th Avenue Portland, Oregon (gun not gone: never was, never will be) circa 2013. Eight years! We moved to Pittsburgh in December 2014, so it was totally off the radar amid boxing and unboxing and a Monongahela incline steep learning curve. Then my Grandma died, and she was among my chief recipients (Grandpa, too!). Then life, another move, and, truth be told, a whole lot of not remembering.

I also never bought any when I saw it on offer because I really like my Martha Stewart from ages and ages ago recipes, and didn’t want to waste those dollars, just in case. Remember that I am quite particular about my favorite foods, dear reader. Quite.

But oh, this year I remembered, bought all the necessary ingredients, and made a small batch. It is as good as my tastebuds could recollect and so heady with remembrance it makes me swoon. Take a slice and do a happy dance while the flavors pop and pop. Life is good.


Hello Tuesday!

Though we are healthy and lucky in so many ways, yesterday was a hard one. I felt as though I was hearing all the bad news of the past months in a single violent wallop, sending every last marble skittering every which way and rendering me helpless to capture them. I am not normally someone who needs a drink, but boy howdy, a prickly pear margarita has never tasted so good nor made such quick work of smoothing all the jagged edges. Gratitude is the word.

Greg and I continue to make our mostly solitary way, going out for provisions every ten days or so and avoiding people, restaurants, and coffee shops. So when we got a craving for burgers, I tried my hand at brioche buns and perhaps ruined us for eating a burger anywhere else. They were simply amazing.

I’ve also come to realize how much my eating reflects this place that is home: the Southwest. Like grits in the South, salmon and berries in the Pacific Northwest, my diet is so utterely centered around green chile, eating it nearly every day, including on the burger.

Greg looking positively adorable AND excited for peach pie and cinnamon-sugar twists with pie dough remnants. Darn tasty!

Green chile again! We topped an open faced breakfast sandwich with brioche (the same batch as the buns), bacon, and cheddar. The breakfast of champions.

Stumbled upon this “lady” on one of our walkabouts. Speechless.

Everyone in our neighborhood taking COVID-19 seriously….

Hope you are well. HUGS….


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