February 2012

This bread reminds me of the Colorado sunshine that I adore so much- warm, bright, and comforting. The original recipe calls for pumpkin puree, but I had some butternut squash puree on hand and decided to use that. I contemplated throwing some traditional spices in, but settled on letting the round notes of the butternut squash take the spotlight, accented with some vanilla. You can make your own butternut squash puree by peeling one squash, cutting it into chunks, drizzling with a little butter, and roasting in a foil-covered pan until the squash is nearly falling apart. Puree in a blender. I like this recipe because the bread is not too oily or greasy. It is moist, tender, and easy to slice away at all morning. Enjoy with some peppermint [...]

It’s almost March! Growing up in the midwest, March makes me think of blustery, grey days. It meant that Spring was coming, but first you had to endure this last Wintery tantrum. In the Rockies, March is a little different. We still get snowstorms, but the snow melts quicker, and the temperatures rise into the 40’s. Paired with some Colorado sunshine, you can actually work up quite a sweat if you’re outside. Nearly a year ago my little brother was visiting and on our snowshoe expedition he stripped down to a T-shirt. Yesterday it was very windy. Watching the aspens sway, and hearing the gusts against my house, I couldn’t help but think of March. March also reminds us of another upcoming holiday: St. Patrick’s Day. That’s why this chocolate [...]

Living in the Rockies means you go through massive quantities of windshield wiper fluid every year. I’m not kidding. Drive down the Vail Pass when the roads are wet and just try to see through your windows. It’s ironic to think that this light and powdery snow could create such a big mess when it melts. I’ve been eyeing my truck each day for a week now, debating a trip to the car wash. After work today I finally settled on an express wash since more snow is in the forecast. These white coffee pot de cremes remind me of that white, pristine snow. Their appearance is misleading, because within they harbor deep, delicious notes of coffee. The cream is steeped with coffee beans, so the custard is infused with [...]

On one of my days off this week I found myself wandering into a local cheese shop, Eat! Drink! in Edwards, Colorado. Working in pastry, the food I crave most after work is salty, savory items. Cheese fits this bill quite nicely. I wanted to have some on hand for eating in the upcoming week. One perk to being a chef is that people always want you to taste their products, so every time I go into Eat! Drink! the friendly folks there busy themselves cutting away little wedges of new artisan cheeses for me to taste. I can’t complain, its fun. So on this particular trip, I was rather delighted to learn of Avalanche Cheese Company, based nearby in Basalt, Colorado. Their website is fantastic, and I hope to [...]

  I have a grand baking idea for this mini cake recipe in the future. But we’ll touch on that later. Right now, the focus is on how adorable and fresh these grapefruit mini cakes are, adorned in a pastel hibiscus frosting. After working at a seasonal cuisine restaurant for almost two years, I am quite keen to what’s in season and what’s good right now. As we approach March, there are several varieties of magnificent citrus fruits available in their peak. Grapefruit is one of them. I don’t make cupcakes very often, but I had a little party yesterday and I wanted to make something bright and fun. The cake batter is flecked with shreds of grapefruit zest, infused with some vanilla bean seeds, and moistened with some freshly-squeezed [...]

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