Monday, August 30, 2010

Broncos win!

Bronco game, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

So now it is official: I have been to a Bronco game. The four of us set out for our outing late in the afternoon and returned quite late for a school night. We guessed that we would last a couple of hours but Kate (her first Bronco game too) and Ella were troopers and proved to be great fans. Broncos win 34-17. Tim Tebow scored a touchdown and threw an interception. A couple of USC Trojans assisted.

Bronco Stadium

IMG_1050, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

We parked for free (quite a ways away but the girls were up to it.) and walked under the I-25 highway to the stadium

Bronco sky diver

Bronco sky diver, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Then the action started and the game began.

IMG_1061, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

A good time was had by all......especially when ice cream is involved

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Summer harvest from the garden

IMG_1032, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Well I have been in Denver for 2 months now. I have ALWAYS loved summer but this season in this area is so different from Southern is hot. Hot is ok but I am still expecting the ocean breeze to come in about six in the evening and cool things down until the next day but OH NO not here.......still waiting
My gardening comes at 6:30 in the morning until the sun is too intense to deal with any longer and then I can return at twilight when it has cooled down to the 80s. This schedule has allowed me to get my minimal gardening in. A month ago I planted my raised bed vegetable garden and am now picking things daily.
The back yard was a weedy mess when I bought this property. Before I moved in Whitney was over pulling weeds furiously but they grow back so fast. I have a detached garage that is accessed through the alley. This is totally a utilitarian building. It has a flat roof, no design shape and very plain windows....until yesterday.
I have planted 5 fruit trees which I espaliered against the wood fence, transplanted my favorite roses against the garage wall, added my bird welcoming mat and filled in with some blooming perennials. I'm sure my neighbors were worried when they saw me painting my shutters orange but they look a lot softer since I blended the pink. And nobody sees them on this side of the garage but me and Sophie.

Vegetable boxes

IMG_1033, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

After one month everything has sprouted and is growing nicely. The transplanted basil (let) and green zebra tomato are thriving with beautiful green foliage and and handful of tomatoes already

stir fry greens

IMG_1024, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

After 4 weeks these greens have "towered" to 6-7 inches...just right to cut down an inch from the soil to let grow again

ancho chili peppers

IMG_1027, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

both green and those red ones that have been on the bush longer

Stir fry

IMG_1026, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

and within 10 minutes these freshly harvested greens were in my dinner. How divine!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Welcome to breakfast in Denver

Hatch chili rellenos, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

This is a switch from oatmeal and blueberries but I just couldn't help it. When I first heard of a Denver omelette I learned that the main ingredient was green chilies. Years ago when I was dating a man from Denver he taught me how to make an authentic green chili but my mother taught me how to make good rellenos. My mother was not known for her skills in the kitchen but she could whip up a fabulous meal on a Coleman stove with one pan. My parents and their friends often headed South for the weekends in Baja California and once we arrived my mother would flag down the local residents for fresh tortillas and chilies. She would not serve rellenos for dinner or lunch but breakfasts were killer meals.
I have served mine with salsa from Trader Joe's but fresh would be even better. Try them and Bueno Appetit!

Start with good fire-roasted Hatch chilies

IMG_0981, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Hatch chilies are on fire here in Denver and other parts of the West. Hatch is a town in New Mexico that has become a huge producer of chilies and home of the Hatch Chili Festival in September. I buy mine at the Farmers' Market where they are fire-roasting them on site. I see them at Whole Foods' parking lot and even at my local nursery. They are HOT!. But you can also get medium and mild.

essential ingredients

IMG_0982, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Here's what you need:
3 eggs, fresh
roasted Hatch chilies ( Anaheim or Pablano will do too)
3/8" slices of Jalepeno Jack cheese
avocado slices

stuffed peppers

IMG_0983, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Run the chilies under cold water to remove blistered skin leaving the caps and stems on for easy handling. Then gently run a finger along the side to open and then remove seeds. Place one slice of cheese inside and wrap the chili around the cheese

In the pan

IMG_0984, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Add the beaten eggs to the pan and place the stuffed chilis gently in the pan, turn them like an omlette if you can; if not, cover with a lid until the eggs are cooked and the cheese is melted

Thursday, August 19, 2010

More feathers!

feathers, 4, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Here are two more pages: The fluffy one on the left is a feather from the Canadian geese that make their home in City Park, the orange and black is from the Northern Flickers that feed on ants in the front yard each morning.

feathers, 4

feathers, 4, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

crow, Northern Flicker, I don't know what the long one is.

One rose, 2 homes

Abraham Darby rose, Denver, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

I thought hard about digging up my pet roses in California and transporting them in a trailer across 100+ degree deserts and making them get used to a new home. we are. This lovely Abraham Darby rose is a beauty in any yard but what a difference the amount of sunshine and heat make. All of my roses have adapted so far. Of course I know winter is a different story. I have transplanted a few of them in the ground here but this one is still confined to a 2 gallon plastic pot. Even with all the neglect and abuse this rose is a beauty. I wish you could smell her frangrance.

Abraham Darby rose, in California

Abraham Darby rose, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

This location in my tiny backyard with more shade than sun didn't quite produce the same type of bloom

Monday, August 16, 2010

One more room done!

IMG_0972, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

In my basement I have 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, my future messy room (studio) and this big family room. How lucky am I to have a fireplace downstairs!
When I first moved in all the extra boxes went in this room and the room behind it. Well as of Sunday I no longer have ANY cardboard boxes....not even in the garage. My upstairs is "beachy" but those who have been in my previous home know that I have some colorful furniture. It is perfect down here. Basically primary colors and a little whimsey and country....lots of room for playing games, reading books and cuddling with a cozy quilt. Oh yes, that is my wine fridge in the back.
The back 4th bedroom is yet to be purposed but it is ready for guests who like to sleep in a crib.

IMG_0973, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

More feathers!

feathers, 2, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

2nd in a series. Ella and Kate are beginning to recognize which feathers come from which birds. The top grey one is from the local pigeons which sit on the wire morning and night. The striped one came with me in my rescue pack from California. It is from a hawk in my neighborhood there. The little gold one is still a mystery but we're working on identifying it. More to come. This afternoon we are going to the park to look for a goose feather.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Elm St. feathers

Elm St. feathers, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Ella and Kate discovered feathers as treasures on our walks in the neighborhood. They have become quite the adventurers and collectors. Here are three that they have left at my house. I hope they bring more back for me to paint.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

In excess?

Spatulas, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

I was cleaning up after the blueberry cake and when I returned the spatulas to their container I realized I had, well, quite a few. I don't think I will ever use them all at the same time so I wonder why I have so many. Because each of them has a certain job, that's why. And I like them, particularly the Ratatouille one.
I also have a collection of whisks.....and I do use each one of them.
And sometimes I prefer a wooden utensil over a plastic or stainless one..especially if I am making a fragile sauce like creme Anglaise.
I do have an excess of kitchen towels which I have imposed a moratorium on. And you could make an arguement for my cookware. but I am not going to admit I have a problem....never
Bon Appetit!


Whisks, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Maple kitchen tools

wood, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Uh Oh! I think one is in the wrong picture.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Blueberry coffeecake with lemon streusel

The blueberries are abundant, at a good price and delicious! So yesterday I spent some time in the kitchen making this yummy cake for the second time...only this time I thought that I would "shoot" the process. The recipe comes from the King Arthur flour folks, Blueberry coffeecake with lemon streusel. The blueberries are fabulous but you could probably substitute other summer fruit like peaches. The sour cream makes it really moist....yogurt would also be great....but the candied lemon peel adds a great crunch to the topping and should not be substituted or left out. I baked the cake for 55 minutes; the recipe calls for 30-35...which is not enough.
Kate and Ella were eager to help make the cake sometimes completely elbowing me out of the picture. Sometimes the process and the tasting is better than the final results although I am pretty sure these girls will be back today for the end result with a glass of milk.
Following in the process for making your own candied lemon peel (or any citrus):

Candied lemon peel

IMG_0894, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

To make your own:
Peel the rind off of 2 lemons....these are Meyer
Drop the peels in boiling water for 1 minute, lift from water and rinse or soak in cold water
Repeat this process 2 times always with fresh water
Prepare a simple syrup of 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar
Add the boiled lemon peel to the syrup and simmer for 5 minutes until soft. then
Dry on parchment paper for 1 hour

candied lemon peel

IMG_0895, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

drying and ready to add to the streusel topping

Out of the oven, cooling

Batter eaters

IMG_0896, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Which is better? The finished cake? or the cake batter? These girls needed a full shower after this project.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles.........

IMG_0891, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

These are a few of my favorite things. I am tickled to death to show you my kitchen. I love to cook and I worked at Williams-Sonoma when my kids were in college for five years so I have every piece of cookware a chef would ever want and more. While my house in California was for sale many of my kitchen essentials were stored as to not add to the clutter but now I can have my toys close at hand. I am finished putting things away on my main floor. I wanted to share a few of the things that I cannot live without.

Work area

I adore this chopping block. I was so excited when I bought this house, got the measuring tape out and realized I could fit this piece into the kitchen. It has been in the garage in California for 9 years used as a second work place because there was no room for it inside. But it has taken center stage in my new kitchen. Ryan added my shelves for my favorite cookbooks and porcelain cookware. It may look messy to some but this is just perfect for me.


IMG_0893, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.


IMG_0892, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Door Knobs

door knobs, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

I bought a 1927 brick Tudor home in Denver. As I live in this lovely old house the charm and personality are shyly revealing themselves. The old beautiful oak wood floors are creaky in areas, It is nearly impossible to drill holes in the brick walls to hang window coverings. And it takes a little coaxing to close the doors completely but these things aren't a bother at all especially since Ryan does the drilling and I live alone so the fact that doors don't latch shut is irrelevant.
My favorite old features are the doors and door knobs. The doors are raised panel but not like the ones in Lowe's; the doorknobs are exquisite. Most of them are crystal pulls with brass hardware. In the bathroom the inside knob was replaced with a milkglass one. The closet doors are brass and bronze and the front door is brass.
Ten years ago on my first trip to Maine my friend Marjorie and I went antique-ing in York. I found a beautiful ebony knob set and had to have it. I don't know which door I will place it on in my old new home but one of them will be begging me for it soon.

bedroom doors

IMG_0863, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

closet door, bedroom

IMG_0864, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

bathroom door, inside

IMG_0865, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

closet door, bedroom

IMG_0867, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

front door inside

IMG_0868, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

unused in the garage

IMG_0873, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.

back door

IMG_0871, originally uploaded by cabanagirl.