Food for Thought

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When I was a child I did not like Thanksgiving.  More accurately, I did not GET Thanksgiving.  It was boring; all people did was eat.  It was nice to get together with family but stuffing oneself to the gills as a purposeful end result was how I saw it and it seemed void of deeper intent.As an adult I grew to take pride in contributing to holiday meals and even hosted my entire extended family at my very small rented homes or apartments.  I would slave all day, deliver a sumptuous meal with my own senses too saturated to eat and then collapse with a kidney infection the next day.  That was fun.Like a good wine I’ve mellowed with age (insert eye roll here).  I have grown to appreciate the opportunity to reflect and give thanks as a more core focus than seasonal gorging.   It’s been on my … {continue reading}

Cranberry Salsa

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I think cranberries get a raw deal for the holidays.  They ARE associated with each Thanksgiving and Christmas but in what capacity?  Gelee from a can?  Cranberry mold?  Floated in water with candles for Christmas décor?  Cranberries are a superfood, chock full of antioxidants, gorgeous color though I surmise their ‘bite’ frightens people.  Special thought must be applied to tame the beast lest one walk around with a pronounced pucker. When I was approached by a local magazine, Yellow Scene, to share a holiday recipe appetizer that would suit for Thanksgiving through Christmas I knew exactly what I’d choose.  At first blush it might seem ‘pedestrian’ but it’s far from that.  I’d call it ‘unexpected’.  Cranberry Salsa.  It’s one I’ve had in my repertoire for more years than I’d care to … {continue reading}

Tijuana Train Wreck

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I would be lying if I were to say I did not squirm a bit then hitting ‘post’ due to the title of this recipe.  Knowing this recipe was conceived of in an era before fear of being sued and being ‘PC’ were guideposts for decision making makes me feel a bit better about its origin, BUT I’d like to go on record to say ‘trains are safe’ and though I’ve never visited, I’m sure Tijuana is a lovely place. Setting aside potential tsk-tsk’s for being tasteless or insensitive, I will say when I pulled this out of the family archives it could not have screamed the 1970’s louder.  I imagine at the time it was considered ‘alternative’, even bohemian and ‘risky’ to serve at a dinner party being as free form as it is.  So much left to chance in the layering which is not firmly specified in the … {continue reading}

Juniper Berry picking for Rob’s Mountain ‘Growing Gardens’ Gin (and cocktail recipe!)

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When Rob Masters (President of the Colorado Distiller’s Guild, and Distiller of Rob’s Mountain Gin) put out a cry for help to his friends (I’m lucky to be one of them) to do one last Juniper Berry picking for his special edition fundraising Growing Gardens gin, I was thrilled. For a locavore this is the best kind of field trip (and further evidence that doing someone else’s chores is always more fun than your own).  I did not want to appear over zealous so I waited a bit (one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three…) before ricocheting back an email signing up for duty.  Not only is Rob a friend but I love everything about this gin. The juniper picking just happened to fall on a day of hurricane speed winds.  Power was out in surrounding areas.  My house was shaking.  I sent a … {continue reading}

Goji Berry Infused Vodka and Martini

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    No, goji berries do not grow in Colorado.  However being one that likes her antioxidants as much as the next girl, and being game to infuse anything (hide your children and your pets) the idea of infusing vodka with goji berries popped to mind awhile ago.  I’m a curious person, believing where there is a ‘will there is a way’ (or maybe where there is a ‘vodka there is an infusion’) so I felt it was a divine sign when I was approached by Gojee, a innovative recipe website for food and now booze, to be one of their contributors.  More on them in a minute but that left me with a symbolic green light and the engine revving to get on with my infusion.   Though I’m not infusing something local or seasonal as is my culinary persuasion, I am using favorite vodka from a local company, … {continue reading}

Chipotle Sweet Potato Gratin

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When I was in first and second grade I lived in Logan Utah.  We had relatives in Salt Lake City (my mother’s cousin and her family) about an hour away and those holidays were my first clear memory of large family gatherings.  For Easter we’d get new clothing (usually sewn by my mother) and go out to a fancy brunch at a hotel in Salt Lake City.  It was like hitting the chocolate egg mother lode.Thanksgiving was similar though we’d gather at someone’s home.  I remember lots of food but more profoundly, my first horrifying encounter with what I termed ‘Orange Juice Potatoes’.  No one bothered to explain what a sweet potato or a yam was at that point; I was left to my own buffet-table devices to take a scoop, complete with mini marshmallows studding the top, and sit down only to feel accosted … {continue reading}