All posts by vtifosi

Hungry for NOURISHment

Today is an exciting day.
It’s the day we announce the launch of our crowdfunding campaign for a new independent print magazine about food, entertaining & community, Nourish.
The work on this blog, as well as other editing and journalist work, gave rise to Nourish, and the process has been a joy.
A true joy.
Because my focus has shifted to my Editor in Chief and writing responsibilities there, I’ll no longer be posting on Hungry, but do plan to leave the blog active so readers can still benefit from the stories, recipes and other things here.
Thanks for reading, and come visit us at

http://www.nourishfoodmag.com

You can also see our crowdfunding campaign here [lots of cool perks!]:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nourish-a-print-magazine-about-food-community

White Bean ‘Meat’Balls

It’s often a painful situation with veggie burgers / ‘meat’balls.
Some are flavorless.
Some have a weird texture.
Some are just bewildering for any number of reasons.
These are none of those things.
Thankfully.

White Bean ‘Meat’Balls
2 cans cannellini beans, drained
1 1/2 c breadcrumbs
1 large egg
t dried parsley
t dried Italian seasoning
1/4 c high quality ketchup
salt + pepper

Combine and process in a food processor, or if you like a chunkier texture, mash by hand with a potato masher.
Roll into balls, and place on sprayed cookie sheet.
Depending on size you roll them, should make 15 – 20.
350* / 20m
You could also pan fry in a shallow pan with vegetable oil to get a brown crunch on them, and finish cooking through in the oven, though I like the fully baked, healthier approach to this recipe myself.
Simmer in high quality tomato sauce.
Or don’t.
Eat.
Enjoy.

Second Love is a True Love

Yes, I write a lot about food here.
And yet, I’m hungry for many, many things to live fully and well.
For example – connection, interesting people, style, independents, spending time in Denver’s classic neighborhoods.
It is for all of these reasons that I love Second Love on 32nd in the Highlands.
The name is a clever play on the second go of an item of clothing, footwear, accessory or home furnishing; it’s a resale shop.
But, it doesn’t feel like a resale shop, or shop like one either [except in the prices!].
Curated intelligently and beautifully by the owner and buyer, Angie, it’s a charmer.
She has great taste, and it’s clear she’s earned a following of consignors whose entire closets we would surely envy.
The space shops like the most approachable boutique you can imagine, in an original house in this long-loved Denver neighborhood.
Spread out on the entire first floor of the house, there’s a generous front porch filled with treasures like vintage tables and picnic baskets as well.
Alongside a high-quality range of women’s, children’s and men’s items, Angie has interesting home furnishings tucked in and around, and uses many as display [that adorable chair you see a pair of Frye boots sitting on? look for a price tag, since it’s probably for sale].
Also, she sells a couple of lines of independent jewelry at any given time, from the likes of Denver’s own beloved Crow Jane.
There are incredible letterpress prints from a local artist too, of which I happily own a few.
Second Love is good for the environment, and it is from this motivation, it was born.
Angie believes deeply in repurposing and reusing, and not mindless consumerism, and she makes that ideal such fun to support.

3440 W. 32nd Avenue / Denver
http://www.secondlovedenver.com

Sweet Potato Chili – A Nutritional + Flavor Powerhouse.

Sweet potatoes are nutritional powerhouses.
Chili is a Fall / Winter powerhouse.
Here, the two are combined for a powerhouse of flavor.

First, make your tomato jam.
Yes, you heard me.
Trust me on this; you know I wouldn’t lead you astray in such matters.
Boil and peel 4 tomatoes, add to a saucepan, along with 1/2 c brown sugar, a broken cinnamon stick and a tablespoon of finely chopped preserved lemon, or lemon peel.
Cook on a low boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, and after removing the cinnamon stick, set aside.
Cut 3 carrots, 3 ribs of celery, and 1/2 a white onion into a small dice, and soften in a tablespoon of olive oil and a knob of butter.
This is a mirepoix [fancy, I know], and is your flavor base.
Once the vegetables are softened, add your tomato jam and let them joyfully marry.
At this point, you can, as an option, add a can / bottle of your favorite stout.
I chose Oskar Blues Ten Fidy, which is an incredible Russian Imperial stout, offered seasonally in the Fall.
Add a 32 oz can of crushed tomatoes, and 2 cups of vegetable stock.
You need to thicken it at this point, with a tablespoon of flour, cooked with a tablespoon of butter, until fully incorporated.
This is a roux [fancy, I know].
The French just understand how things should work.
Bring the pot to a boil, and you’ll then know what kind of thickness you’re dealing with.
If, at that point, you’d like yours thicker, you can add more roux, or if you’d like it looser, you can add more vegetable stock or filtered water.
Next, peel 2 large sweet potatoes, boil until fully cooked, let cool, then cut into large dice.
Add those, along with a regular can of both kidney beans and corn.
Lower heat to a simmer.
You need a tablespoon of our chili spice blend, which you really should go ahead and make a pint of to keep on hand throughout the cooler seasons.
You can find the recipe here:
https://hungryinboulder.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/recipe-for-homemade-chili-seasoning-just-in-time-for-fall
Salt and pepper to taste.
This makes enough to feed a battalion [there’s the French again], which is smaller than an army, but still quite a number of people.

Note: If for any reason sweet potatoes aren’t your thing, here’s our Lentil Chili recipe to console you:
https://hungryinboulder.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/stop-everything-and-make-this-lentil-chili-forover-the-weekend-we-must-have-priorities-in-life

We’re Co-Hosting a Cool Retreat for Women at Chautauqua. Join us.

We’re having a fun retreat for women who could benefit from replenishment + renewal, fresh air + the beauty of Boulder.
And couldn’t we all.
We’d love for you to join us.
Through my business, Blossoming, I’ve led retreats to Santa Fe, Vail, The Aloft – Broomfield + The Westin – Westminster.
Now, we’re going to the fabulous, historic Chautauqua.
Settled into cozy cottages, with full kitchens, screened porches + charm in abundance, while in the shadow of the inspiring Flatirons, it’s the perfect place to gather.
Co-hosted with Heather Swanson of Incantations and Ellie Freeman of Simply Nourished Nutrition, you’ll be in good hands.

/ Friday, October 17, 6p – Sunday, October 19, 12:30p /

We’ll have a group dinner Friday night, so please bring the ingredients to make your signature dish – whether that’s an amazing appetizer, stunning salad or exciting entree. We’ll enjoy dessert of cast iron pie from Denver’s own Long I Pie. Please also bring a bottle of your favorite wine. We’ll serve everything family-style and sit down to dinner to share stories and laughs, and set a tone of community and connection that will extend throughout the weekend.

Saturday morning, we’ll enjoy Pressery juices and healthy, homemade muffins. I’ll be leading a Heart + Soul creative workshop, which will have you laughing, maybe crying [tears of recognition + release!] + definitely feeling reengaged with yourself. You’ll gain insights, inspiration + ideas on how to live deeper, fuller by the time we’re finished. To follow, we’ll have a healthy cooking / eating workshop with Ellie Freeman, a certified nutritionist, and founder of Simply Nourished Nutrition. Lunch is included. Saturday afternoon is open to experience the grounds, hike, play frisbee, read, journal. We’ll send you on your way with a bag of Chautauqua’s own trail mix. That evening, we’ll enjoy a group dinner, going Dutch and ordering off the menu, at the newly revamped Chautauqua Dining Hall.

Sunday morning will find us on the Chautauqua grounds for a brunch picnic, prepared by Heather Swanson, a recent Bauman Natural Cooking School graduate and one of a rare group who has staged at Frasca. How nice to just be able to park once, relax, and enjoy a weekend filled with delight, in the company of caring, cool, conscientious women. Accommodations are shared. If you prefer not to stay overnight(s), you can attend just for the workshops on Saturday, and / or the brunch picnic on Sunday. All menus and agenda will be provided at reservation confirmation.

Options:
— 2 workshops + 2 nights in a charming Chautauqua cottage + 1 lunch + 1 brunch / $265.
— 2 workshops + 1 night [Friday or Saturday] + 1 lunch [optional Sunday brunch if staying over Saturday] / $190.
— Saturday workshops only (2) / $85. (includes lunch; you’re most welcome to hang out for the afternoon and join us for the group dinner before heading home).
— Sunday Brunch picnic only / $35.

RSVP to you.blossoming@gmail.com specifying your option choice, and you’ll be sent a PayPal invoice for payment to secure your spot. Payment arrangements are possible if you need to divide the all-inclusive in 2-3 payments – just let us know when you RSVP. Register for the all-inclusive, one night stay or Saturday program by 9/22 and receive a complimentary Aveda Light the Way Candle. Otherwise, registration closes on Friday, October 3.

To learn more about Heather, visit this post:
https://hungryinboulder.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/an-evening-in-provence-as-bauman-college-graduates-its-newest-batch-of-natural-chefs

To learn more about Ellie, visit here:
http://simplynourishednutrition.com

To learn more about Blossoming, visit here:
https://hungryinboulder.wordpress.com/blossoming

This recent piece in National Geographic waxes poetic about Boulder, with specific mention of Chautauqua:
http://intelligenttravel.nationalgeographic.com/2014/08/27/i-heart-my-city-averys-boulder

South Carolina Style Mustard Barbeque Sauce

Mustard barbeque sauce was a revelation to me when I first encountered it.
I was at a barbeque spot that also jars their own sauces to go.
I had to ask what it was, so unfamiliar as I was with the color.
Often, I’m inspired to cook based on what I have on hand, rather than shopping for specific ingredients to make a recipe.
I happened to have 3 jars of mustard – two brown, and one yellow – and when organizing the pantry thought they’d be put to best use in trying homemade mustard barbeque.
Homemade condiments [and everything!] are better all-around, without the nasty chemicals and preservatives used in shelf-stable foods, especially.
It turned out beautifully, and I hope this is a recipe you will make again and again, so you always have a jar or two on hand.
In addition to the making of actual barbeque using it, you can also use it on burgers, baste a whole chicken or salmon fillet with it, dip pretzels in it; the options are many.

2 – 12 oz. jars, spicy brown mustard
1 – 12.5 oz. jar, yellow mustard
3/4 c apple cider vinegar
1 c dark brown sugar
1/2 c honey
2T Worcestershire sauce
2 1/2 T Chipotle Tabasco
1/2 t freshly ground pepper

Heat together on the stove, until all is combined completely.
Makes 2 pints, plus one 1/2 pint.
Refrigerate.

Special note: A lot of Germans began immigrating to South Carolina in the 1850’s, and with them brought their love of mustard, which is why this style originates from that region.

Also note: Prepared mustard is made with vinegar and spices like paprika and turmeric, so you’ll notice this recipe doesn’t call for the addition of spices, and a relatively small amount of vinegar, given there’s 36.5 oz. of mustard. But, the beauty of these kinds of recipes [as opposed to baking recipes, which need to be followed to the letter], is you can play around with them. If you want it sweeter, add more brown sugar. If you think a particular spice would be great in it, add it. If you want it with some heat, add ground red pepper for a kick. You’re an adult, and I trust you.

An Evening in Provence as Bauman College Graduates its Newest Batch of Natural Chefs

Bauman College is a Boulder gem.
Bauman aims to educate up and coming chefs on the benefits of natural cooking, deeply rooted in the idea that food promotes wellness and well-being and an optimal diet can ward off all kinds of illnesses.
They also provide education in holistic nutrition.
One of 4 locations [Berkeley, Sonoma County, Santa Cruz], Boulder is the perfect place for this kind of training, as committed to health and vigor as the Boulder community is as a whole, and as much as the community and the college share in the belief of seasonal, organic, local, unrefined foods.
I recently attended their graduation dinner – an event put on by the students themselves – set in the theme of an Evening in Provence.
Walking into the space, with strings of clear lights, lace tablecloths and vases of sunflowers, dahlias and zinnias, it felt as though we were in Provence – a place I’ve been and its magic is hard to recreate – but they were able to achieve it beautifully.
Gracious and playful touches abounded.
Green and white striped straws for the spritzer.
Sprigs of fresh mint in the water glasses.
Printed menus at each place setting.
Sprinkles of flower petals on the dessert plates.
Packets of Herbes de Provence, generously provided by Boulder’s own Savory Spice Shop, for everyone to take home.
There on the invitation of Heather Swanson – a colleague, friend, and fellow food obsessive – she was part of this session’s graduating class.
Heather’s story is especially inspiring, as in her early 40’s, she chose to leave a lucrative and well-established career, to follow her passion for cooking, and take that even further to specialize in natural cooking.
I wanted to be present to celebrate her accomplishment, most especially, but as you’ll see from the menu, I in no way had to take one for the team!

Impressively, the menu was entirely gluten-free / 95% organic / 85% locally sourced:

Lemon Ginger Spritzer

Mission Fig + Caramelized Onion Tapenade topped with Crème Fraiche, on Grain-free Handmade Rosemary Crackers

Lamb Meatballs with Herbes de Provence + Pistou Drizzle

Chilled Cauliflower Vichyssoise with White Truffle Oil + Alderwood Smoked Salt

Massaged Kale Nicoise Salad with Lemon-Caper Dijon Dressing
Shepherd Valley Farm Beets, Tarragon-Scented Wax Beans

Stacked Summer Ratatouille, Herbed Tomato Concasse, Chevre, Basil Oil + Red Pepper Coulis

Peach Clafoutis with Honey-Lavender Ice Cream

Ratatouille. A Special Dish. A Comfort to Eat.

Ratatouille is one of the great vegetarian main dishes.
Its origins are in southern France – Nice, specifically.
Filled with a variety of vegetables, swimming in an herbed tomato sauce, it feels both luxurious and deeply comforting.
In this recipe, I’m sure to name the colors of each vegetable, both for clarity and because I want to make the point of how truly colorful this dish is.

1 purple eggplant, large dice
1 green Italian squash [zucchini], large dice
1 yellow onion, large dice
1 jar peeled red tomatoes with juice
1 jar Goya Sofrito*
1 jar Goya Hogoa**
10 cloves of garlic, cut into thirds
T Herbes de Provence
t red pepper flakes
t honey
t dried shallots

Roast the eggplant, zucchini and onion in a 400* oven for 50 minutes.

Take it from the ultimate French cook himself:
“The secret of a good ratatouille is to cook the vegetables separately so each will taste truly of itself. -Joel Robuchon

Add the bases of Sofrito / Hogoa to a heavy bottomed pan, and cook on medium heat.
Add the jar of peeled tomatoes and juice.
You can also roast a few tomatoes along with the other vegetables if you prefer to use roasted instead of peeled, jarred ones.
Once the other vegetables are done, add them to the pan.
Because the Sofrito contains green peppers, I don’t add them as a separate component, but as a substitution, or to enhance the dish, you can also roast a green pepper along with the other vegetables.
This is a stew, and the consistency should resemble that.
That’s what makes these bases especially good to use, because they offer that thickness.
This dish can be eaten as is, or on top of rice, or pasta.
It’s perfect for this time of year, when the weather begins to get cooler, and you want something cozy and comforting to eat.
You could easily double or triple the recipe and freeze some to enjoy throughout the Fall and Winter.
As the recipe is written here, it makes a quart and a half.

*In this case, Sofrito is a jarred tomato cooking base made by Goya, which contains green peppers, onions, cilantro, garlic and olive oil. It’s used in many Spanish dishes – especially soups, stews and to flavor beans. I had this on hand, and while I normally wouldn’t add cilantro to this French stew if adding ingredients one by one, it’s hardly noticeable for the extra flavor boost the rest of this base gives the dish.
**Hogoa is also made by Goya and similar in consistency to their Sofrito, containing only tomatoes, onions and spices.

All SPRUCEd Up at the Hotel Boulderado

The Hotel Boulderado is a Boulder institution, having hosted luminaries, tourists and others for over 100 years.
For many of those years – 21 to be exact – the main restaurant in the hotel was Q’s, owned by John Platt, who leased the space from Frank Day, the hotel’s owner.
John has moved on to own and operate Riff’s Urban Fare in Boulder – a more casual space, with the same high standards for food and service as could be found at Q’s.
The Boulderado team created Spruce in its place.
Named after the street on which the hotel sits, it’s a great name in and of itself.
They’ve carried this theme along in clever ways, starting with the exterior signage – a shield-shaped wooden sign that hangs to the left of the hotel’s forest green awnings [forest = coincidence!] – at the main entrance.
It continues with the menu.
Printed on paper, it’s attached by a thick rubber band to a wood board that’s been engraved at the bottom with the restaurant’s name in bold block letters, and below, in cursive, “farm & fish”.
I love a great menu presentation, and it really does set the tone of engagement with it.
As for the physical space, most of the floor is the original hexagon tile from 1909 and has a charm that captures you immediately.
They’ve added more booths [people LOVE booths], and upholstered them in fresh fabrics.
The light fixtures in the dining room are gorgeous globes – oversized to make a stunning impact – as well as shed good light.
It feels current, while still holding on to and respecting enough of the history of the space.
We were able to sample around the menu, and enjoy cornmeal crusted oysters, grilled Palisade peach on a bed of arugula with prosciutto chip and goat cheese, caprese arancini with basil aioli, crab cakes and roasted corn soup.
It’s a solid menu, and a great place to stop in for a quick bite at the bar, or a full meal.
Speaking of the bar, the bar area is fairly sized with a handful of tables for two, and the bar itself – where we sat all night, because we like to belly up to the action – is comfortable.
We had one of the signature cocktails to start – the Vespa – made with housemade lemonade, lavender simple syrup and muddled seasonal fruit.
On this night, the seasonal fruit was peach, and it was delightful.
It would be as good with any number of fruits, and I think this approach is smart, as committed as Boulder is to local and seasonal food / drinks.
We live in such a dominantly digital age, that the contrast of a landmark like the Boulderado, that has been diligently doing its thing for 105 years (!), is fun to experience, and in that contrast, brings its own kind of freshness.
I enjoy taking people there, and also recommending it to visitors, because I know they’ll get a good bite to eat, along with a taste of history.

Recipe for Chevre + Fig Cheesecake

I love chevre, and it’s lower in fat than most cheeses, which makes it a great alternative for such a typically high fat dessert as cheesecake.
This one is crustless, as in New York style – as easy as it gets – but if you want to add a crust, you definitely can.
A classic would be crushed graham crackers with melted butter to form ‘sand’, pressed into the pan with a measuring cup.

6 oz chevre
6 oz cream cheese
1/2 c natural sugar
2 eggs
3 oz fig jam
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Butter pan, or coat with olive oil.
Bake in a water bath^ at 350* for 50m.
Let cool.
Devour.

^Known as a bain-marie, a water bath in baking is meant to heat gently, which with delicate recipes like cheesecake, helps with keeping the final cake moist.
It also helps keep the top from cracking.
You put your cake pan in a larger pan and fill the larger one with water, halfway up the side of the pan your cake is in.
Note: This is a short cheesecake, and is intended to be.
If you want the flair – and happy gluttony – of a higher one, double the ingredients.