This post is dedicated to Miss Kaweah, the sweet and lucky black lab that gets to hike, romp and swim in Colorado’s outrageously amazing wilderness. She’s at a summer puppy camp now, enjoying a little break away from her parents.
We’re envious of not just Kaweah, but of her mommy and daddy too, known to everyone as Jen Yu and Jeremy of Use Real Butter. Everyone knows that Jen’s super duper fine photography skills keep us drooling over her delicious Asian dishes and picture perfect sweet desserts. We’ve always been jealous fans of this trio of nature lovers because they are always teasing us with their skiing pics, something we really wish we could do more often and learn better. We comment on their site (with slightly bitter undertones) about how we wish their snow would finally melt, how they get to ski way too much and why they fall too little while tele-ing down the mountain (falling is something we do very well). Then the darn snow gods continue to drop more snow on their beautiful high elevation mountains to get back at us sea level, ski falling folks. Their lucky butts get to do everything we wish we could be doing and much more. Ugh!
So when they decided to take some time out during their California trip to stop by our place, it was time to finally meet them face to face, to let them know EXACTLY what we thought of them after some good eats and intoxicating cocktails. Maybe on a full belly of food and booze (and without their damn ski poles and snow) they wouldn’t be able to fight back. They were going to be on our dry, smoggy, concrete So Cal territory. Time for some serious ski blogger battle.
But when they walked through the door with a bottle of wine and a beautiful photograph of Colorado columbine flowers, we forgot to release all our bottled up ski, snow, mountain, lake, river and wildflower resentment. We all just squealed out our greetings, hugged and held back a little tears (well, Diane did). We hugged and squealed again and at receiving such wonderful gifts, the dogs jumped for Jen & Jeremy joy and we soon forgot that these are the Colorado people that make us look bad on the snow. We’re suckers for presents and hugs. And admittedly, we suck on ski’s.
Jen & Jeremy are the real deal: they’re smart, fun, funny, totally down to earth, sincere , loving and one of the best couples we’ve met. We see lots of us in them too, they’re WORC’s! But they can ski, we can’t! Jeremy is the quiet intellectual type, warm and a total sweet heart. But most importantly, the guy knows his drink, loves coffee and our cocktails, two things that made us instant friends! And then there’s Jen, who is like a disease, in a very good sense. She’s the kind of good bacteria that the whole worlds needs to be infected by. Her laugh, her smile and her hilarious, honest humor is just infectious. Jen brings joy to the room when she enters and when she laughs. We all immediately succumb to her infectious, powerful and radiating rays of strength, joy and love. Breast cancer has battled against Jen, but this damn disease has no fighting chance against her strength and all the love that she has to give to all living things. She has so much crazy love to give, all the beauty of the world is on her side.
The five hours we spent together went by in a flash. But in that time, we were able jet down to Little Saigon’s tropical fruit stores, sip on some fresh sugar cane juice, munch on some fresh baguettes and head back to our place for an outdoor meal. After some serious grub, booze, viet iced coffee and more espresso’s, it was time to say good by. So much food, laughter, doggie ear rubs, Dante’s crotch sniffing and fun passed in the short time that we spent together, it was sad to say goodbye. All we needed was to have Kaweah complete the circle. But till we meet up again with them and Kaweah in Colorado, we hope that all you Jen Yu and Jeremy fans get the chance to meet up with these two kind and awesome folks! Hey Jen and Jeremy, make some room for some permanent house guests from California! XOXO!
We ate so much food! For the beverages we made lots of Vietnamese iced coffee and an awesome cocktail which is basically a Blackberry version of a Tom Collins. We were first inspired to make this after Jen (a different Jen) at Modern Beet left a comment on how she was hooked on a Blackberry Bramble, which is a very similar cocktail. The blackberries have been fantastic lately in one of our favorite markets, so this has been a regular beverage right now. Thanks Modern Beet Jen for getting us started on these blackberry cocktails.
Start with blackberries
muddle, muddle, muddle
add ice, gin, and soda water
stir & garnish
toast to Jen & Jeremy
Blackberry Tom Collins Cocktail Recipe
Yield: 1 Cocktail
Total Time: 5 Minutes
- 3 lrg. Blackberries
- 1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
- 1 t Sugar
- 2 oz Gin
- 3-4 oz Club Soda
- Put blackberries in a highball glass, add lime juice, and sugar and muddle (you know, smash it all together with a pestle or something similar)
- Add ice, then pour in gin and club soda. Stir, garnish with a couple cut blackberries if you’d like, and enjoy.
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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.
Here is a sampling of what we ate:
BBQ stuffed squid: recipe and video here
Vietnamese Banh Xeo (crispy crepe): Recipe & video coming soon
Grilled shrimp, beef, eggplant, tofu and sweet peppers. All wrapped up in springrolls with lot of garden veggies and herbs.
Tropical Fruits: (L to R) Mangosteens, rhambutans, lychees, longans
Lots of fresh figs: (L ro R) Brown turkey, coadria black mission, strawberry
More cocktails that you might enjoy:
- Chili Martini – vodka, peach juice, simple syrup, crushed chili
- Pina Colada – rum, pineapple juice, coconut cream
- Champagne Cooler – champagne, cognac, triple sec
- American Flyer cocktail – champagne, rum, lime juice
- Curacao “Island Taxi” – rum, curacao, orange/lime juice
- Limoncello “So Cal Sunrise” – limoncello, blood orange/lime juice
- Blood Orange “Midnight Ride” – cognac, triple sec, blood orange juice
- Mango Margarita – tequila, triple sec, mango puree
- Apple Sidecar – calvados, lemon juice, apple cider
- Classic Sidecar – cognac, triple sec, lemon juice
- Pomegranate Cosmo – vodka, triple sec, pomegranate juice
- Between the Sheets – cognac, rum, lemon juice
- Margarita – tequila, triple sec, lime juice