When Strudel and I decided May would be our “Out and About” month, I knew I had to blog about one of my favorite places in Colorado, Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse. Since it’s Mother’s Day this is a great place to treat mom! You can sit indoors amongst the persian decor or sit outside along the Boulder Creek and listen to it flow by as you drink from a selection of hundreds of teas!
Dushanbe, Tajikistan is the sister city to Boulder, Colorado and in the late 1980s plans began to create a teahouse to celebrate the relationship. The tea house was constructed in Dushanbe, disassembled and then shipped to Boulder and reassembled.
Hello from the southern (and currently eastern) part of the country! I’m on a bit of a US tour right now – was Louisville, KY, have since moved on to DC (both cities for work + fun), and in a few days will head to NYC (just for fun). I’m having a great time with some colleagues (both inside of meetings and, ahem, outside of work) and seeing parts of the South that I’ve never been to before.
I can define my culinary experiences in Louisville in two categories: fried and bourbon-filled. Thankfully, I love both of those food “groups,” so it was gastronomically successful, for sure. I also had a great time with a few of my girls seeing the city and all it has to offer. We were there a week before the Kentucky Derby (or just “derby” as locals call it), and the town was buzzing with excitement (or resigned to it, depending on who we talked to). Following are some photos of our adventures around town.
Just when I thought Spring had arrived, wintry weather reared its ugly head! Springtime in Colorado can be very indecisive and this month is no exception. It was 80 last week and today it is snowing! Being stuck inside made me want to look through my cookbooks for inspiration for a post.
I grabbed one of my newest additions, a Christmas gift from a friend, The Brown Betty Cookbook. This cookbook details delightful recipes from a Philadelphia bakery, Brown Betty, started by a granddaughter who wanted to share her grandmother’s recipes.
Even though we declared that it’s Passover/Easter recipe month here at S&S, since both holidays have come and gone, it seems reasonable that I can instead just post whatever I want to. I’m therefore using the opportunity to once again delve in to my love of leavened foods and instead share one of my favorite cookies recipes.
I found this recipe a few years back, after we had returned from a tour of a local chocolate factory, where – in a fit of enthusiasm (and sugar, they have lots of free samples) – I went a little nutty with the purchases in the gift shop. Among other things, I came home with a box of cocoa nibs and had no idea what to do with them. I did some research, found Oatmeal Cocoa Nib Cookies, and it’s stayed in our rotation ever since. This recipe is from a lovely blog, Butter Me Up Brooklyn, that no longer posts – which makes me a bit sad, I really like her recipes.
There’s many things to love about these cookies – namely the toothiness of the oatmeal, the chewy texture of the cookies, and the satisfying crunch of the nib – also – they are crazy quick and easy to bake. Start to finish (including washing the dishes!) these cookies can be done in less than 25 minutes.
Strudel and I typically only see each other once a year and it’s usually when she comes back to Denver to visit family during Passover. Although she never feels too far away because of this blog, it’s so great to hug one of my favorite people in person!
For the second time my daughter, Addison, and I were invited to join the Seder feast and Strudel’s brother left us filled with many laughs and wonderful food. Strudel’s brother was recently in Japan and I learned about these adorable characters, Sumikko Gurashi while snacking on appetizers…
When I asked what I could bring to dinner, Strudel told me dessert. I’ll admit, I panicked a little. What desserts can be eaten at Passover? When I think dessert, I think flour and baking powder, eeek, not at Passover. I shared my woes with a friend and she immediately suggested a pavlova. With a little more research I discovered this would be a great dessert and I made these individually plated pavlovas based on a Smitten Kitchen recipe!
These are words that evoke thoughts of Spring for me. As I thought about what I could post to go along with our theme of Easter and Passover fare this month, I immediately thought of pretty little pastel meringue kisses.
My daughter loves the tub of meringue cookies that Trader Joe’s sells. She very rarely willingly helps me in the kitchen but when I told her about this post she was eager to make these kisses on one condition – she could eat them all!
Although I don’t have ducks anymore, I still buy both duck and goose eggs in season so when I recently bought several dozen duck eggs and a few goose eggs, Spring had officially sprung for me!
Goose and duck eggs are wonderful in baking because of their additional protein in their whites so I thought one goose egg white might do well in these kisses. The kisses didn’t quite pipe out as well as I would have liked but I think it has less to do with the goose and more to do with the amount of sugar I added and the amount if time if whipped them. I think they could have used a little more sugar and a little more whipping time. My daughter said they tasted just like Trader Joe’s though so I felt it was worth the effort.
I’m of the Passover celebrating persuasion and per usual, I’ll be in Denver to celebrate the holiday with my family. For the second year in a row, Streus and her kiddo Addison are going to join us for our family seder. They are excellent guests, not just because they both (and I fully include Addison in this observation) are fantastic conversationalists, but also because they are the type of people see gefilte fish for the first time, and are excited to try something new versus questioning why they’re eating a jarred fishball preserved in fish jelly (not that I’m saying that healthy curiosity about said fish is unreasonable…).
I recently found a old Passover I’d printed out many years ago, for chocolate dipped macaroons. I vaguely remember making the cookies just once, but that they were delicious – way better then the traditional canned macaroons. I dusted off the recipe and tried them out again – full of coconut and a bit of almond, they have a great chewy texture but still taste nice and light. With the added chocolate, these are definitely cookies that don’t need to be relegated to just an annual holiday.
I have several staples that I buy at the grocery store every time I go and this recipe incorporates four of them…potatoes, brussels sprouts, pancetta and eggs! This recipe was inspired (I never follow a recipe exactly) by The Whole30 Cookbook just like these dukkah potatoes and I used my favorite potato, the rooster, again. These cakes are a two-step process but still quick and easy and SO tasty. I served mine along side Boulder Sausage’s Breakfast Sausage!
Last spring, I travelled to Dallas for my job – usually I’m not crazy about trips for work; it’s fine, but I often find myself in my hotel room at the end of the day, unsure what to do with myself – explore the city on my own, which is fine but not as fun as when I’ve got someone to share it with – or indulge in my desire to watch HGTV for multiple hours (Fixer Upper and Flip or Flop are favorites – though I’m less interested in Flip or Flop now that I know way too much about Christina and Tarek). The issue with the HGTV option is that I get hungry and restless by 8pm, at which point I don’t know what to do with myself (venture out for a big dinner, go to bed too late feeling gross? or eat too many pretzels for dinner, go to bed early, and still feel gross?).
Anyway – back to Dallas – much to my surprise, that trip turned out waaay different than most of my employer-sponsored trips. Expecting many nights in my hotel room, I had brought a bunch of work with me with the expectation of primarily pretzel-and-work filled evenings (with just a smattering of home improvement shows), when, much to my surprise, I made friends. Lovely, thoughtful, women who also take their careers very seriously AND really like whiskey too. We quickly found a pattern: focus during the daytime, eat and drink like locals in the evening (we got lucky with “being like locals” – one of my new pals was from the area). It ended up being a *fantastic* trip, and in fact (speaking of whiskey!) we are reuniting next month in Louisville KY at another meeting! Gah!
Anyway – I promise I have a point to this story. My lovely friend, who lived in Dallas, took us one night to Houston’s Restaurant. I’d never heard of it – didn’t realize it was a chain OR that it has a crazy following – and instead worried that there wouldn’t be anything vegetarian to eat in a steakhouse in Texas. As it turned out, the food was fantastic (a delicious veggie burger, and please know I’m a connoisseur) and among the most amazing mashed potatoes I’ve ever had. Turns out they were Irish Mashed Potatoes – I’d never heard of them before! – and they were creamy and fluffy with a great bite to them. With St. Patrick’s day upon us, I figured this was the perfect recipe to recreate during potato month here at S&S.
I love potatoes for breakfast! Let’s be honest, I love potatoes anytime of day really. I love good ol’ russets, reds, purples, Yukon golds and now roosters! Rooster potatoes just started showing up in my grocery store and I can’t get enough of them. I started slicing them thin and frying them up in avocado oil as a side dish twice a week with dinner.
Recently I discovered Irish Nachos and am totally addicted to them. You simply replace tortilla chips with sliced and baked or fried potatoes to make them Irish. Go figure. Since St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner I figure these nachos would be a great way for folks to soak up all the alcohol they’ll imbibe in honor of an Irish saint.