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Painting the Pantry

May 2nd, 2009 by admin

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 setting 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 one teaspoon of our organic Tarra·Cardamom Rub, two teaspoons of black currant vinegar and about a cup of red wine. I brought the whole thing to a boil then reduced it down. Mushrooms might have been a good addition, but I didn’t have any.

Though I take credit for what turned out to be an amazing sauce, it could not have been created without the genius input from Reese Hay, the chef du cuisine at the 8100 Mountainside Grill in the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek and the 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. 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 good.]

The meal was the perfect reward to a tumultuous and labor-intensive day: steaks grilled to perfection and 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?

Kale Summer Salad

April 15th, 2009 by Jean Gleason

The only thing I hate more than throwing out leftovers is eating leftover salad… with the exception of this kale salad. It gets better everyday. Which makes kale my new vegetable of choice. Make it on Monday and its still crisp and flavorful on Friday. What more can a working girl want?

Kale Summer Salad
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Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4

  • 1 bunch of kale, rinsed and chopped
  • juice for one freshly squeezed lemon
  • ¼ – ½ cup high quality extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts or pecans
  • ½ cup dried cherries
  • ¼ cup shaved parmesan or crumbled feta cheese

  1. Combine lemon juice with olive oil and salt.
  2. Toss with nuts, fruit and chopped kale.
  3. Chill for 15-20 minutes before serving.
  4. Leftovers keep for up to a week!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

April 7th, 2009 by Jean Gleason

In order to control consumption, I just bake a few at a time. These are exceptionally good, and more healthy than traditional oatmeal cookies. By adding pumpkin and increasing the oats, I was able to reduce the butter and sugar in the original recipe.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
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Recipe type: Dessert

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ stick of butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon organic ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

  1. preheat oven to 350°F
  2. cream butter and sugar
  3. add egg and pumpkin and blend together
  4. add flour, baking soda and cinnamon and blend together
  5. stir in oats, chocolate chips, and pecans
  6. drop rounded teaspoons onto greased cookie sheet
  7. bake for 15 minutes

Menu for Romance

January 30th, 2009 by admin

We’ve put together a Valentine’s Day menu that will transport you to the Mediterranean, as you experience the sultry complexity of contrasting flavors, aromatics that arouse the senses, the seduction of flavors so intense… who knows what passion they’ll bring.


Pomegranate Blood Orange Glazed Pork Tenderloin

January 29th, 2009 by Lynn Hollenbeck

Some historians speculate that the pomegranate, rather than the apple, was the source of all that drama in the Garden of Eden. In this heart-healthy recipe, the tension between the assertive spices and the sweet fruity glaze creates a drama all its own. Good for the heart, speaking both anatomically and metaphysically!

Pomegranate Blood Orange Glazed Pork Tenderloin
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Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Serves: 2-4

  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 3½ teaspoons Smith & Truslow Organic Coriander·Cumin Rub
  • 2 organic cinnamon sticks
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ¾ cup pure pomegranate juice
  • 1 blood orange (or any juicy orange)
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)

  1. Rinse and dry pork loin. Mix ground spices and seasonings together and rub on meat.
  2. Heat olive oil in pan and sear pork loin on every side until brown and cooked throughout (at least 20-25 minutes).
  3. Remove pork loin and set aside on plate.
  4. Whisk cornstarch with water.
  5. Pour pomegranate juice in pan and bring to medium heat, scraping pork bits and stirring.
  6. Add cornstarch mixture, balsamic vinegar and juice from blood orange and bring to a boil.
  7. Add cinnamon sticks and swirl in the butter.
  8. Reduce heat and reduce until mixture is thickened and syrupy (at least 15 minutes).
  9. Slice pork thinly, plate and drizzle with pomegranate/blood orange sauce.
  10. Sprinkle with a few pomegranate seeds for garnish, if desired.
  11. NOTE 1: My local Mediterranean market carries a product by Zadaf called “pomegranate paste.” It is 100% pomegranate and comes in a tall glass bottle. I find it a less expensive alternative to using regular pomegranate juice, and since it is already thick and syrupy less reduction time is necessary. If you can find it, substitute it for the pomegranate juice, water and corn starch. It is less than $7.00 for a large bottle, can also be used for a pomegranate tequila sunrise, and can be ordered at
  12. NOTE 2: Any pork tenderloin will do, but the last time I made this I used one from my local supermarket by Hormel that had been marinated in lemon and garlic—very moist!!