Tag Archives: house-made

pumpkin pie | friends, fall, and change

My friend, Trent Court, gave me this pumpkin pie.  His wife, Kat, made this pie from pumpkins grown in their garden.  We consumed this pie well under a day’s time!
I am absolutely loving these cool, fall days.  The weather here in Denver is so beautiful this time of year, when the days are shorter, the sun’s angles are soft, and the evenings are chilled and scented with the aroma of dead leaves and smoke.  This season, so similarly to spring, signifies change and turns my thoughts toward rebirth and redirection.  This has definitely been one season of change.  More on that later, but first, I’ll share my latest culinary and garden adventure.  Not only does fall make me immediately want to run out and purchase pumpkin spice-scented candles, but I also want to bake pies … and lots of them.  Thankfully, pumpkins are so abundant both at the store and in neighboring gardens!

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how to make basil pesto

Another day off, and another day that I wanted to spend catching up on a good read, hanging out with a good friend, or simply staring into the sky.  Not to be had.  At its end, the day ended up to be quite rewarding, albeit taxing, along the way!  There was so much basil in the yard and garden plot that it was almost overwhelming.  Half the day was spent catching up, over breakfast, with my boyfriend, who is as equally dedicated as I am in this gardening-cooking-preserving journey.  We planned our day, gulped a couple of cups of coffee, and set out to make the most of it, despite the fact that we really wanted to just put in a movie and zone out!
An abundance of basil at the garden plot…about double the amount awaited us at the house.

You can apply this blog post’s concept at almost any level:  cut and harvest at the peak of freshness and flavor, and m-a-x-i-m-i-z-e.  Right after clipping, we headed to Whole Foods and picked up the necessary ingredients for pesto:  olive oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano (both shredded and powdered).  We already had plenty of parsley, sea salt, and pepper at the house, so we were set.

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the bitters end

Just a quick little blurb for the night.  Just finished up enjoying some homemade tapanade made with ingredients from the garden, alongside some bleu cheese, white truffle oil, sea salt, atop some whole grain crostini.  I really can’t complain about this scenario, except that I am a little bit tired at this point in the evening!  It has really been an amazing summer so far, and I have so many topics to post, but I find that heading off to bed trumps typing out events on the computer most of the time.  I refuse to succumb to my “pressing needs” this time!

House-made bitters at Coohills.  Dave Glasscock, one of my partners-in-crime, and I have crafted our own house bitters blend.  Orange, coriander, lemon, apple, and lavender await to be blended and anticipate shining by themselves in a cocktail in the very near future.

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drying the herbs and making the blend

A summer glimpse of star gazer lilies.

What a great Saturday!  Today was the first day, in a long line of days, when I actually had energy and a positive spin.  I (successfully) had gum-jaw-alignment surgery about a week and a half ago.  That first week was completely a blur, although I do remember the “meals” that I ate.  My periodontist ordered me to stay away from all things spicy, acidic, and extreme in temperature.  Once all of my dietary modifications were made, I was relegated to enjoy multiple meals of mashed potatoes, pureed chicken noodle soup, and Greek yogurt.  (I did sneak in some homemade brownies that I pureed with some ice cream; that absolutely turned around my frame of mind!)  I could safely conclude that one truly never knows how deeply connected they are to the flavors, textures, and aromas of the foods they enjoy, until they are forbidden from eating those foods.

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making jam with summer strawberries

I happened upon a great sale at Vitamin Cottage this afternoon and had to purchase the fresh, organic strawberries that caught my eye. Optimally, I would make a journey out to Berry Patch Farms in Brighton, Colorado, to hand-pick some berries, but the journey seemed too far today.  This hot weather we have experienced here lately kept me close to home.  If you do live in Colorado, and you have a morning’s worth of berry picking in you, a trip to Berry Patch Farms is a treat.  Not only do they open their farm to you, to hand-pick herbs, fruits, and veggies, but they also offer “pre-picked” varieties.  Although this farm is kid-friendly, I opt to venture out on the quieter days designated as “kid free.”  Here is today’s finished product – what a fun experiment!

Quick strawberry jam…
This recipe yields about 32 ounces of delicious jam,
and it keeps in your refrigerator  up to ten days.  I used eight four-ounce jam jars for this recipe.

 

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