Refrigerator Rolls

November 13th, 2022 — 10:30am

1 cup room temperature butter, cut into pieces
1 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water
2 tsp salt
1 cup cold water
2 eggs beaten
2 Tbs yeast or 2 packages
3 cups white flour
3 cups whole wheat flour

1. In an extra-large bowl, pour boiling water over butter, sugar and salt. Set aside.
2. Let yeast stand in the cold water for 5 minutes and then stir. Add to first mixture.
3. Add beaten eggs. Add flour gradually. Mix well. Cover and place in refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight.
4. Grease muffin tins. Roll 3 small balls of dough for each muffin cup, like a clover shape. Cover with clean tea towel and let rise for 3 hours.
5. Preheat oven to 375. Bake rolls for 12 to 15 minutes.

Makes approx 3 dozen.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

November 13th, 2022 — 10:26am

IMG_07042 cups fresh rhubarb, chopped
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 1/3 c sugar
1/3 c flour
zest of half an orange
2 Tbs butter
heavy cream and additional sugar for the crust1 recipe for a double pie crust (This is my favorite gluten-free pie crust recipe.)

Mix flour and sugar and fold carefully into strawberries, rhubarb and zest. Add to a pie crust and dot with butter. Top with pie crust ensuring there are vent holes or create a lattice crust.

Brush the top of the pie crust with cream and sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake at 425º 40-50 minutes or until crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Cover the crust with foil as needed to keep from burning. (I never cover the crust with foil when I first put it in the oven to ensure that it doesn’t get smashed while the dough is still tender.)

Notes: I never brush my crust with an egg wash. I don’t like the glossy effect of an egg wash and I think it tastes much better with cream.

If you’re using frozen rhubarb, you’ll want to thaw and squeeze out some of the excess liquid before adding it to your filling.

 

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Josh’s Very Famous Mac and Cheese

November 13th, 2022 — 10:13am

It’s important to not purchase pre-shredded cheese for this dish because it is coated with something to keep it from sticking and it won’t melt as well! The Sodium Citrate can be ordered online and keeps the cheese from being stringy.
Prep Time: 20 min | Cook Time: 1 hour 15 min | Difficulty: Easy | Servings: 12

Ingredients:
1 lb Monterey Jack
1 lb White Cheddar
1 lb Mozzarella
1 lb Elbow Macaroni
22 g Sodium Citrate
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
2 1/4 cup Milk

Directions:
Shred all cheese and mix together, separate a third of the cheese for later.
Heat milk and sodium citrate in a small pot to a simmer.
Add two-thirds of the cheese and Dijon and blend until smooth with an immersion blender.
Separately, boil (salted) water and cook macaroni to al dente.
When pasta is done, drain and rinse with cold water. Mix cheese sauce and macaroni together and spread in a buttered casserole dish.
Top with remaining shredded cheese.
When ready to cook, bake uncovered at 400° until the top is golden brown and bubbly, about 1 hour.

Can be prepared several days ahead of time and refrigerated to be baked when ready. If you’re cooking in a glass casserole dish, make sure to let the dish come to room temperature before placing it in a hot oven.

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Maple Orange Sweet Potatoes with Pear and Sage

November 13th, 2022 — 10:00am

maple orange sweet potatoes with sage and pear

Quantities are a little iffy with this recipe so just follow your heart. I prefer my sweet potatoes to be more savory so I generally add less maple syrup. I generally start these 1-2 hours before I serve dinner and then keep them warm on low until I’m ready to serve.

6-8 Sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks

Juice and Zest of 1 orange

1-2 Tbs of fresh sage, finely chopped

1-2 bosc pears, cored and cut into chunks

2-4 Tbs Maple Syrup

1/2-1 stick of butter

salt

fresh coarsely ground pepper

In a large pot, cover the sweet potatoes with water and gently boil them until they are almost tender. Drain off the majority of the water leaving enough to continue cooking them without burning. Add in the orange zest and juice, sage, pears, maple syrup and butter. Season with salt and a generous amount of pepper. Continue simmering until potatoes are tender and the pears have cooked down a bit. Keep warm on low until ready to serve.

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Blackberry Sage Pie

November 13th, 2022 — 9:35am

blackberry sage pie

2lbs fresh blackberries

1Tbs fresh sage, finely chopped

1Tbs fresh lemon juice

zest of 1 lemon

1/4 cup cornstarch

3/4 cup granulated sugar

pinch of salt

2 Tbs butter for dotting

heavy cream and additional sugar for the crust

1 recipe for a double pie crust (This is my favorite gluten-free pie crust recipe.)

 

Preheat oven to 400º. Prepare and roll out double pie crust.

Combine blackberries, sage, lemon juice, lemon zest, cornstarch, 3/4 cup of granulated sugar and salt. Mix gently to keep the blackberries intact. Pour into the bottom of the pie crust and dot with butter. Top with pie crust ensuring there are vent holes or create a lattice crust. Brush the top of the pie crust with cream and sprinkle generously with sugar.

Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 375º and bake until juices are bubbly, around 1 hour more. Cover the crust with foil as needed to keep from burning. (I never cover the crust with foil when I first put it in the oven to ensure that it doesn’t get smashed while the dough is still tender.)

Note: I never brush my crust with an egg wash. I don’t like the glossy effect of an egg wash and I think it tastes much better with cream.

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Weenie

January 26th, 2022 — 4:22pm


On Monday we let go of Dexter, our little dachshund. He had several health issues and was rapidly declining. Josh dug the grave for him in our side yard, near the garden. Because of Covid, our vet’s office was only allowing one of us in at a time so Josh and I waited in the car while Honor went in with him. The vet wrapped him in his favorite blanket—a knitted one that I purchased long ago at Target and was my inspiration for learning to knit. When we got home we placed his wrapped body in the grave and had a zoom funeral with Eden, each of us saying kind and funny words about him. Honor wanted to be the one to bury him. When the weather warms up we will plant carrots on top of his grave. They were his favorite vegetable.

 

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2020 and 2021 Years in Review

January 2nd, 2022 — 7:40pm

This is my sixteenth and seventeenth annual year in review. To read past reviews click here.

If I were to describe these last two years in one word, you’d not be very surprised: COVID … or maybe division. 

For two years now we’ve lived in a pandemic. I remember thinking in early March 2020 that I hoped the lockdown would last a full month. That may tell you how completely spent I was and how very thankful I was to be stuck in my house, forced to slow way down. It’s hard to remember what it was like to wish for that because all I wish now is for it to be over. It’s kind of hard to imagine what a return to normal would even be like at this point. These last few years have been so hard. I’m sure that is true for almost every single human on earth.

I entered 2020 knowing that we had precious little time left with the children at home. I’ve had these specific ideas about how that would go and what it would be like. We would celebrate their graduations. We’d move them to college. We’d enter into the next phase, freshly into our 40s and ready to start the next chapter of life anew… Both children are now finished with high school but other than that not much has gone according to plan. But also: we got so much extra time with them, all stuck together in the same house. That is something we will cherish always.

In the early months of the pandemic I spent my time furiously sewing masks for healthcare workers and friends. My final total was right at 400. I distracted myself by turning our 300 lavender-plant labyrinth that we inherited when we bought the house into an insane flower and vegetable garden. Though I’ve always grown at least a small salsa garden, I’ve never grown so much at this scale. I love the magic of growing plants, everyday finding something to be delighted by. And I LOVE, love, love growing an overabundance of flowers. In 2020, I canned and canned and canned the bounty my garden, setting us up with a stocked pantry that will last well into 2022. I 2021, I gave the veggies away, feeding about a dozen families.

The last two years have been marked by more sickness than I would like. At the end of October 2020, I suffered a concussion by falling out of an inversion table onto the top of my head.  Nearly a year of post-concussion syndrome followed. And I finally figured out why I always feel so terrible but no amount of medical tests could show a reason: A chronic inflammatory condition that’s triggered by a genetic susceptibility to mold. That condition got much worse before it started to get better just a couple of weeks ago. I really struggled these last few months with managing feeling so sick and trying to hold everything together. It can be very hard to deal with an invisible illness.

Eden graduated, we moved her to college, then home again, and then back again to Ft. Collins. Though her graduation ceremony didn’t happen until mid-summer, we celebrated with a drive-by party where we had friends and family drive down our driveway with banners and balloons, stopping for us to hand them milk and cookies and send their well wishes through rolled down car windows. It was actually perfect for an introvert like Eden. She’s doing well in Ft. Collins, working full time and about to start part time at the community college there. We miss her, but are so thankful that she’s thriving.

Honor got to act in one final play at the beginning of his junior year and just recently finished his high school career. He’s hated these last two years of school and we were happy for him to finish up early and get out of a place where he felt he so clearly didn’t belong. We’ll celebrate however we can in May when he will walk with the rest of his class in a graduation ceremony. He’s now a barista, working at a progressive coffee shop in town. He continues to be obsessed with board games and has turned into quite the photographer. We will see where he goes with his new freedom, but I suspect that it won’t be long before he takes the step to live on his own.

Josh hosted TEDxGJ just days before we went into lockdown. The event went great and he was so grateful to get to host it—if it had been a week later, he and his fellow organizers would have lost a lot of money. He took a small corner of our garage and turned into an office. He went through a bit of an internal transformation in 2020, using the downtime to work on himself with a therapist. In 2021 he was diagnosed with diabetes which he reversed in three months by making a major diet change. I’m so impressed with the discipline he’s learned in these past few years and so grateful for the man he continues to become. He completed a massive project for work that frankly took too much out of him. He spent a month this year on sabbatical resting up and recovering from the huge push that changed, for the better, the future of the company.

We traveled, a lot in the first 3 months of 2020 and then not as much after lockdown. Before COVID took hold we went to Denver for the Gen XYZ awards ceremony and then back a few weeks later to take the kids to see the spectacular Monet exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. Josh and I went to Charlotte, NC to meet with a company that Proximity acquired and then right to Wyoming for my 99 year old step-grandfather’s funeral. Eden and I went to Little Rock, AK with a few other choir kids and their moms so they could perform in an honor choir just a week before lockdown. We had the best time wandering the city, utterly charmed in the most unexpected way. After lockdown started, we spent time in Denver, masked and distanced and a little sad. The city was such a shell of its normal self, boarded up from riots and empty because of the virus.

Josh and I traveled to Portland and Seattle after we were fully vaccinated, emboldened by our newfound freedom and so grateful to visit dear friends and family and finally stretch our wings again. We also took the kids to L.A. for some much-needed beach time, enjoying what it’s like to vacation with adult children, each of us doing whatever sounded fun for the day, coming together for meals and having zero expectations of who should do what and when.

What else?

  • We brought home the most adorable coonhound puppy, Hardy, the dog love of my life.
  • One of us got Covid though all of us are vaccinated—making the case relatively mild. (Can we talk about how relieved and thankful we were to get vaccinated?)
  • We’ve walked into stage 4 cancer with some very dear friends. The feeling of helplessness to watch people we love go through this is unrelenting.
  • We celebrated when Trump lost the election and wept when the capitol was breeched. We also wept as we saw black lives taken, one after the other, in ways that have happened for years and years and years. We continue to do our best to understand privilege and our unintended biases and fight for the those that have unfairly been forced to live in the margins. We have much to unlearn and much to improve.
  • My now 94 year old grandmother moved here from Wyoming.
  • We lived through a kitchen flood; a major remodel of our kitchen, bathroom and bedroom; complete mold remediation; and some necessary and beautiful upgrades to our property and exterior of the house. I loved designing everything—it was such an important creative outlet for me. Now that all that’s about done, we probably want to move. We need to live in a place that loves us and these last pandemic- and politically-fraught years have shown us that this community that we’ve poured so much into is just not that into us. We’re tired of being so lonely.
  • Josh built an online directory of hot springs across the country called Drench.
  • Eden is now 19, Honor is 18, Josh and I are both 40. We’ve now been married 7 years.

I’m not sure that I can say that I enter 2022 as evolved as I had hoped to be by this point, by the time I was 40. I regret some of this time languishing through the pandemic, wishing in hindsight that I would have made more of every second. But that’s hard to do when you’re walking around with an emotional sunburn, being so sensitive to the touch. (A friend once described going through the pandemic that way and I think it couldn’t be more true.) Nevertheless, I can say that I still grew. That I learned and became and endured. And I am proud of that.

In 2022 I want to not be sick. Not be lonely. Not be afraid of other people getting me more sick. Not be angry at those who follow Jesus but ignore his teachings to love their neighbor.

I want this world to love. Love each other, love the planet, love me, love the marginalized, the widow, the orphan.

I want joy to be the theme. I want to live in hope and not despair. I want to make and grow beautiful things and spend every moment delighting in all of it, the bitter and the sweet—in this gift that is life.

Happy New Year! 

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2019 Year in Review

December 31st, 2021 — 12:54pm

This is my fifteenth annual year in review. To read past reviews click here.

If I were to describe 2019 in one word it would be growth or possibly college.

I struggle with what to say about the past year and instead keep finding myself with clarity about how I am leaving it. It was certainly not the year I had imagined 365 days ago. 2019 met us with unexpected trials that, at times, seemed insurmountable. But in trial and pain is where we find our best teacher and in those moments growth comes exponentially rather than linearly. And even though much of the year was hard, it was also so full of joy. I know that my perspective slipped a few times, but I was able to regain it by using the tools I’ve amassed over these 38 years. In knowing myself more, I’m able to see the times that I need to send myself to a quiet moment in the early hours of the morning with a journal, a cup of coffee and a resolve to find the light.

I’ve now been the COO of Proximity for a little over one year. What I’ve learned about operating a tech startup is that there is no manual for such things. We have to blaze the way and figure it out as we go and resolve that as we learn, we will make better mistakes tomorrow.  I’m learning how to keep our collective gaze firmly on our goals, that work is supposed to be hard, and that 24 hours is about all the radio silence I can expect to have from this growing company. I often remind myself that not many people get this kind of opportunity or this view of the world and I am constantly grateful for what I’m learning.

Generally, when people have caused me harm it has been because of their own brokenness and without intent. But towards the end of this year, we had the unique experience of a cruel, vicious and intentional undoing of something precious to us. I’m not even sure what else to say about it other than this is my resolve: I will not let hate make me hate, I have a deep believe that karma knows what it is doing, and there is beautiful redemption in even the worst nightmares.

Our children are almost grown and we’ve enjoyed them immensely this year. There is a special delight in watching (not-so) small humans step into the fullness of who they are.  I feel so grateful for the people Eden and Honor are becoming and also so proud. It is amazing to watch evolution in action—the generation after us building upon the lessons we learned to be more evolved, more emotionally intelligent and full of wisdom.

This year was about college. While Eden was searching for her perfect fit, FACTORY was moving from our downtown location to the campus of CMU. It’s been fun viewing this whole other world, imagining what life will be like for Eden in 9 short months and at the same time experiencing a bit of campus life ourselves.

Me

  • Spoke on three panels about my work and being a woman in business.
  • Hiked quite a bit – mostly with Brooke. We celebrated her 40th birthday on the Oh Be Joyful trail in Crested Butte.
  • Traveled for work to Dallas, Chicago, and Denver to train one of our enterprise customers.
  • Took some of the team to Denver to tour coworking spaces.
  • Created food and hats and quilts and pickles and jam and tinctures and hot sauce (with my cousin!).
  • Turned 38.
  • Traveled to Casper, WY with my cousin to visit our grandmother.
  • Was nominated for the GenXYZ awards and is in the top 50 finalists.
  • Participated in the Christmas Crawl and sold hats and napkins.

Eden

  • Performed in Chicago
  • Got a tattoo
  • Turned 17
  • Had a summer internship at Proximity
  • Finished her junior year and started her senior year
  • Got accepted to many colleges and chose CSU.
  • Baked a lot.
  • Made it into several honor choirs.
  • In a series of necessary life lessons that I’ve been working on with Eden and her friend, learned to make jam, lasagne, a hat, pie crust, and candy cane cookies.

Honor

  • Got his permit
  • Became a marketing and dev intern at Proximity. (Gave himself the title of Head Dev Intern.)
  • Finished his freshman year and started his sophomore year.
  • Starred in The Odd Couple
  • Started competing in League
  • Turned 16
  • Spent quite a bit of time learning to cook.
  • Hosted many, many game nights with his friends.

Josh

  • Produced the 2nd TedXGJ event.
  • Built a beautiful patio in our back yard.
  • Had the most challenging year of his life.
  • Built a beautiful wall in the new Factory location.
  • Started rock climbing.

We

  • Celebrated five years of marriage
  • Started meal prepping every Sunday so we could eat healthy food throughout the week.
  • Escaped to Denver a few times for some much-needed downtime.
  • Snuck in a few extra days in Chicago so I could see Josh’s old stomping grounds.
  • Visited Canyonlands national park.
  • Hosted two Proximity dev retreats at our house.
  • Survived the moth invasion of 2019.
  • Celebrated the 4th of July with some of our Proximity pals in Ouray.
  • Camped in Crested Butte for Brooke’s 40th.
  • Joined a wine club.
  • Took the kids to the college fair in Aspen.
  • Toured three front range colleges with the kids.
  • Hosted our annual Proximity Pool Party, the Pumpkin carving party, Pie for Breakfast™, and The Christmas party.

I leave 2019 knowing more of who I am. I’m resolved to take from life what I want from it, to work a little less, stress a lot less and keep my gaze firmly on gratitude and joy.

Note: I wrote this in 2019 but it’s remained unpublished until now. I’m not exactly sure why I never hit publish, but here it is!

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Happy Holidays 2019!!

December 24th, 2019 — 2:56pm

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Playlist – year 37

September 14th, 2019 — 5:44pm

On this, the last day of my 37th year, I’m gathering together a list of all of the albums that I’ve listened to over and over again in the last year. I’ve listened to lots of music over the last year, but this is what has stuck with me and climbed into my heart, marking important lessons, changes, and seasons. Everyone one of these albums is tied to such a feeling of gratitude.

In no particular order, my 37th year playlist:

When We All Fall Asleep – Billie Eilish

The Weatherman – Gregory Alan Isakov

Words I Never Said – Ella Vos

Lemonade – Beyonce

Phase – Jack Garratt

Shake the Spirit – Elle King

Delta – Mumford & Sons

Cuz I Love You – Lizzo

Vide Noir – Lord Huron

Lover – Taylor Swift

Awaken, My Love – Childish Gambino

A Moment Apart – Odesza

Everything is Love – The Carters

Pink Moon – Nick Drake

III – The Lumineers

And I’m never not listening to:

The Head and the Heart

and everything by Jay-Z

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