October 2012

It seems a lot of people I meet up here have given up on the idea of being able to enjoy tasty, high altitude banana bread. “You know what I really crave? Banana bread.” I hear it all the time. Let’s change that. I modified one of my favorite quick bread recipes and it came out really, really well. I was rather proud. The bread isn’t too oily or heavy. You can taste the banana. The texture isn’t gummy. And the entire middle bakes up to a peak, rather than collapsing. Then I took things even further and topped “the perfect loaf” with a peanut butter glaze, roasted peanuts, and mini chocolate chips. Bliss. One of my best friends from my childhood recently moved out here and we’ve been spending [...]

One good thing about the cooler weather is that it forces me to work. We don’t have any snow yet to play in. Summer is past. So, rather than hike up a mountain or float down the Colorado River, I am pushed indoors towards my kitchen. Staring out my kitchen window on a blustery day, I want to bake and feel warmth. I want to create. I suppose the upcoming holidays also inspire that side of me. It’s easy to associate this time of year most with baking. I was brainstorming ideas for some coffee shop pastries the other morning, and a variation of these bars popped into mind. I’d love to do a larger-sized, thicker version of these for Yeti’s Grind at some point. But for now, at my [...]

Last week my neighbors gave me a huge jug of Vermont maple syrup as a thank you for making them some pastries and I’ve been dying to use it. Mainly for pancakes. (I have been envisioning drizzling it all over a short stack for days). This morning when I woke up, I decided it was time. We had BLTs for dinner last night so I had a bunch of leftover bacon fat. And consequently the pancakes were cooked in a large pool of bacon fat. It was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made this week. The bacon fat makes the edges slightly crunchy, and imparts a delicious salty flavor. So, so good. I sprinkled a few chunks of milk chocolate on top of each pancake before it got [...]

Well hello, October. The leaves have peaked, but what remains here is still gorgeous. And for the next two months, Vail will be sleepy and very quiet. We will need this rest period before the winter season starts! Here are some photos I’ve snapped from various outings this past week. I meant to catch up on some chores this afternoon- you know the usual laundry, cleaning, etc. But I found myself in the kitchen whipping up cookie dough instead. Oops. The New York classic Black and White Cookie is worth the guilt of skipping your chores. The cookie is cake-like and puffy; tender, and not too sweet. Then it has a thin coating of confectioner’s sugar icing, one half being vanilla and the other chocolate. But who am I kidding? [...]

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