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Brie with Honey, Spiced Nuts and Baby Apricots

July 8th, 2009 by Lynn Hollenbeck

Have you noticed the tiny baby apricots, or plumcots, at farmer’s markets lately? They look so pretty and taste delicious with creamy brie and toasty nuts. This  appetizer is quick and easy to assemble, with a great balance of flavors and textures.

Brie with Honey, Spiced Nuts and Baby Apricots
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Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 4

  • wedge of brie
  • honey
  • baby apricots or plumcots, washed and halved
  • Granny Smith apples, sliced thin
  • Spiced toasted walnuts
  • fig leaves (optional, but gives it a rustic look)
  • sturdy crackers for scooping

  1. Drizzle brie with honey and bake in oven at 350° for about 5 minutes or until slightly oozy.
  2. Arrange fig leaves on plate and place brie wedge in center.
  3. Surround brie artfully with fruit, spiced nuts and crackers. Group them separately so your guests can pick and choose their desired accoutrements.


Southwestern Salsa (aka Cowboy Caviar)

July 7th, 2009 by Jenny Ross

A little chunkier and more substantial than the usual salsa, with a Southwestern accent. Yee-ha!

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  • 2 ripe avocados, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 11-oz can of whole baby corn, drained, and cut to dice size
  • 1 15-oz can black-eyed peas, rinsed
  • ⅔ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or ¼ teaspoon organic minced garlic)
  • 1 teaspoon organic ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon organic ground black pepper
  • splash lemon juice

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Serve with tortilla chips.
  3. (Plan to make within a couple hours of serving. Really only good for one day.)


Steak with Black Currant and Red Wine Reduction Sauce

July 2nd, 2009 by Jean Gleason

The chaos from our most recent renovation project finally ruffled John’s feathers. Everything we own—from wine and bread crumbs to bike pumps and ski helmets—was strewn throughout the living/dining room in our new loft. Clutter from our once organized pantry occupied every surface in the kitchen. Paint cans, rollers and brushes were piled in the sink to dry. We had just finished priming the  shelves in the soon to be “coolest pantry in Denver.”

We were both tired, cranky and starving. The early evening sun was just low enough in the sky to make our new sun umbrella totally useless. The air was hot and still and the sun was bright. Still, we opted to eat on the deck to escape the chaos inside.

I had taken two steaks out of the freezer that morning. While John fired up the grill, I surveyed the sparse contents of our refrigerator and found 1/2 an onion and some frozen peas. I chopped up the onion and threw it in a pan with 2 Tablespoons of butter. When the onions became translucent,  I added 1 teaspoon of our Tarra·Cardamom Rub, 2 teaspoons of Black Currant Vinegar and about 1 cup of red wine. I brought the whole thing to a boil then reduced it down. Mushrooms might be a good addition, but I didn’t have any.

Though I take credit for this amazing sauce, it could not have been created without the genius input from Reese Hay, chef du cuisine at the 8100 Mountainside Grill in the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek and creator of our Tarra·Cardamom rub.

While the sauce reduced, I picked through a jumbled pile in the living room and discovered a treasure—a bottle of Cristom (a wine with a history, a memory of one of our first dates). It’s an awesome pinot noir with “intense berry flavors, firm acidity, and light almost feminine tannins—near perfection in a glass.” [ The words of Conde Cox of the Portland Monthly Magazine, not mine. To me it just tastes really good.]

The meal was the perfect end and reward to a tumultuous and labor-intensive day. The steaks grilled to perfection, drizzled with my new favorite red wine reduction sauce, and a great bottle of wine. The sun finally dropped behind Union Station, the sky lit up in reds and oranges, and a gentle breeze softened the heat of the day.

Who cares if the peas were frozen?

Braised Pork Loin with Apricot White Wine Sauce

May 29th, 2009 by Jean Gleason

Elegant and deceptively easy. The savory spice rub perfectly complements the muted sweetness of the wine/apricot sauce. Tastes even better the next day, so make a generous amount.

Braised Pork Loin with Apricot White Wine Sauce
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Serves: 4

  • 1 lb pork loin
  • 3½ teaspoons Smith & Truslow organic Coriander·Cumin Rub
  • olive oil
  • 1 celery stalk, medium diced
  • 1 carrot, medium diced
  • ½ onion, medium diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 10 dried apricots, cut into quarters
  • 1½ – 2 cups white wine
  • juice of one lemon
  • ¼ cup cream

  1. In a small pan, simmer apricots with white wine for 10 minutes. (This step both flavors the wine and plumps the apricots.) Remove apricots with slotted spoon or strainer and set aside until the end.
  2. Trim excess fat from the pork loin.
  3. Massage Coriander·Cumin Rub into pork.
  4. Heat olive oil in medium hot saute pan.
  5. Sear pork loin on all sides, turning every 2 minutes. (Meat it ready to turn when it stops sticking to the pan.)
  6. Place pork loin in a small roasting pan and cover with an aluminum foil tent.
  7. Add celery, carrot, and onion to the saute pan and saute until onion is opaque.
  8. Add wine to sauté pan, scraping pan residue from the bottom of the pan. Transfer the wine and vegetables along with the garlic to the roasting pan with the pork loin.
  9. Add enough water (or stock) to cover ½ of the pork loin.
  10. Place roasting pan in oven and cook until a meat thermometer registers 130° F.
  11. Remove pork from oven and strain pan juices into a sauce pan and reduce on high heat until ½ the volume.
  12. Add reserved apricots to sauce pan. Season to taste with lemon juice, cream, salt and pepper.
  13. Drizzle the sauce over sliced pork loin and serve.


Chicken Breasts with Ginger·Mustard Rub

May 29th, 2009 by Jean Gleason

We grill chicken more than once a week and I’m often looking for ways to change it up a bit. I love our new Ginger·Mustard Rub. It’s easy to use, and tastes like you spent the afternoon in the kitchen. In a pinch, you can add the spice blend to your chicken and let it sit for 20 minutes before cooking. (Although, I like to marinate it overnight so that the flavors infuse the chicken!)

Chicken Breasts with Ginger·Mustard Rub
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  • 2 6-oz chicken breasts
  • 1 Tablespoon Smith & Truslow Organic
  • Ginger·Mustard Rub
  • 1 Tablespoon grape seed or olive oil

  1. Drizzle oil on chicken breasts
  2. Coat with Ginger·Mustard Spice Blend, working it in to cover all surfaces.
  3. Marinate in a bag in the refrigerator over night.
  4. Grill on medium high heat until done.