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The Recipe Exchange

Readers sometimes wonder how The Connection chooses which recipes to publish, and though the criteria are far from strict, we generally look at a few factors:  First, and most important, do the recipes on these pages guide readers in creating something they will want to eat and serve to friends and family?  If the answer is no, you will not see it here.

We also consider the difficulty level of recipes and try to include an even mixture of both simple-to-prepare recipes (some salad and fresh-produce recipes are more about assembly and don’t require cooking or baking at all) and more difficult dishes.  It is rare that we include recipes that require preparation spanning several hours or lots of expert know-how, so if we do, our food editor is pretty confident that the time and effort will be worth it.

For the most part, recipes we gravitate toward do not require specialty shopping for tools or ingredients, and nearly everything is fairly budget friendly. Most of the selections you’ll find here are based on either traditional favorites for a particular time of year, or what is growing in the fields and readily available at the supermarket or the farmers market.  Much of what we write about are recipes our food editor has made hundreds of times with consistent results.  We do experiment with new things too, and if it’s tasty, you’ll probably read about it here.

Finally, we are thrilled to say that this column is interactive, and sometimes readers catch something we’ve missed, give feedback for how a recipe could be improved, or simply contact us to let us know they have particularly enjoyed something they have read here in their own kitchen.  Please join in!

We hope you enjoy our collaboration with other cooks, testing their recipes and sharing the enjoyment that results.

Sweet on sourdough:

August 1, 2020
Photo of sourdough scones with berries

a baker’s saga Article and photos by Lisa Crockett Sourdough is very on-trend right now. Everyone, it seems, is whipping up their own starter (or getting some from a friend) and then turning out artisan loaves worthy of the cover of Bon Appetit magazine. Upon deciding that I too would partake of this particular fad…

Grilled chicken to beat the summertime heat

July 1, 2020
Photo of grilled chicken

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett A few days ago, a near-tragedy struck our household. I had my taste buds set for something light and tropical. I marinated some chicken, sliced up a pineapple, and then put everything back in the fridge for a quick marinade. The beauty of a meal like this is twofold.…

No eggs, no milk, no butter

June 1, 2020

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett There are some recipes that are kind of magical, taking the simplest of ingredients and turning them into something special: BLT sandwiches, pasta with Parmesan and cream or a perfectly cooked omelet. I love all of these dishes because I can make them quickly and they never fail to…

Out of this world marinara sauce

May 1, 2020

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett For me, the ultimate expression of love is cooking something delicious for someone. For obvious reasons, my ability to do that has been severely curtailed in recent weeks. In the absence of the ability to actually cook for my loved ones, sharing recipes is the next best thing. It…

Perfect dessert – Simple Strawberry Fool

April 1, 2020

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett What’s your favorite first-day-of-April prank? Salt in the sugar bowl? A quick phone call to see if your neighbor’s refrigerator is running? The beginning of the month is a fun, slightly silly, way to welcome the month when spring comes into full flower. It’s perfect then, that a dessert…

A taste of spring in this veggie-packed side dish

March 1, 2020

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett I have an aspirational collection of cookbooks. Sure, the internet is a virtually limitless source of ideas and inspiration for what I might do next in my kitchen, but there’s something delightful about paging through a cookbook, especially one filled with exotic ingredients and luscious photography. My friends and…

Jambalaya: A tale of making a classic dish my own

February 1, 2020

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett This is comfort food season. It’s the time of year when I crave things that are hearty, filled with flavor, and – most importantly – warm. Mardi Gras takes place this month, bringing with it the flavors of the south: warm, vibrant and spicy. Just the thing to liven…

Resolution-worthy chicken lettuce wraps

January 1, 2020
Recipe for Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett There’s a freshness to a new year. A blank slate, a clean canvas, a whole host of new possibilities just waiting to be discovered. For many of us, the new year means resolutions, a way to re-set after a month of parties and late nights filled with overindulgence. Daylight…

Chicken and cranberries – Easy

December 24, 2019

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett I love cranberries, with their quintessentially American flavor and deep red color. To me, they just scream “holiday.” I love cranberry sauce, cranberry bars and cranberry bread. The tart flavor of the berries is such a nice contrast to the heavier offerings that abound this time of year, their…

Carrot Soup – Easy

December 24, 2019

Article and photos by Lisa Crockett October is the month of orange, one last burst of color as the season changes. It’s such a fallish hue, with the cozy connotation of the falling leaves and jack-o’-lanterns that are the hallmark of the season. I love all the orange foods: pumpkin, butternut squash, oranges (of course)…

Baked Apples – Fast and Easy

December 23, 2019

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett Nothing encapsulates the feeling of early fall quite like an apple. Crisp and sweet, a fresh fall apple is one of nature’s most divine creations. Some of my favorite September indulgences are spicy apple desserts like apple crisp and apple pie, either one warm from the oven and dripping…

Cookies for a gluten-free holiday

December 1, 2019

Article and photos by Lisa Crockett December is a cookie month, and I have lots of favorites. For years, my standby has been a to-die-for sugar cookie with lovely flavor and enough texture to hold even intricate holiday shapes (you can find that amazing recipe in The Castle Pines Connection archives from the February 2013…

Be elated by late-summer elote

August 1, 2019

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett I recently spent an afternoon with one of my children at an international fair. It was an amazing day full of experimenting with different languages, watching various cultural performances of singing and dancing, and generally learning more about the larger world. While I loved the theme of peace and…

Parfaits – Patriotic Two Ways

July 1, 2019

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett Each month as I decide what foods to write about, I take into consideration what is fresh and appealing, and also what might fit into whatever holidays or other events are happening that month. July is, of course, a month of all things patriotic. It would seem that Mother…

Cheesy Beer Bread

June 5, 2019

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett June is all about dad (Father’s Day is June 16), so I’m always looking for good “man food” to rustle up around this time of year. Starting in June, the grill gets turned on just about every day at our house, so it’s a given that on Father’s Day,…

Crackers – Homemade

May 2, 2019

Eaten alone or paired with a delicious cheese and/or fruit combination, these tasty homemade crackers will not disappoint. Article and photos by Lisa Crockett I was recently gifted a beautiful block of artisanal cheddar cheese. I nibbled a corner and decided that what I really needed to complement this gift was a nice crunchy cracker…

Green Lentil Salad

April 1, 2019

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett One of the reasons I like to cook is that I can do something a little out of the ordinary without too much risk, fuss or expense. A beautiful bowl of home-cooked Italian pasta, for instance, is much cheaper than a plane ticket to Rome. Producing a bowl of…

Fresh Banana Jam

February 28, 2019

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett I have a love hate relationship with bananas. Most of the time, I love them. They’re nutritious enough that I feel pretty virtuous when I eat them, but sweet enough that they almost seem like a treat (particularly if they are frozen or schmeared with a bit of peanut…

Chocolate lava cake

January 31, 2019

Chocolate lava cake for a sweet celebration Article and photos by Lisa Crockett In this issue, The Connection is taking a look back at its past. As the writer who handles most of the food stories here, of course I have been thinking about how to mark the occasion with food. As in many other…

Ramen – Soup up your ramen

January 1, 2019

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett Like a fresh coat of snow, the new year offers a blank slate. Now is the time for contemplation and simplification. Perhaps this year you’ve decided on resolutions pertaining to healthy habits or sticking to a budget. Maybe instead of formal resolutions, you’ve simply decided to be open to…

Turkey Hand Pies

November 1, 2018

Turkey hand pies Article and photo by Lisa Crockett I love Thanksgiving. I love a day devoted to gratitude. I love a day devoted to national pride. I love a day devoted to eating delicious, once-a-year treats. After weeks of preparing, planning menus, stirring cranberries as they stew on the stove, reviewing seldom-used recipes, and…

Roasted sweet potato breakfast stack

October 1, 2018

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett It’s that time of year when I stock up on candy for little ghosts and goblins, where there is sugar in every nook and cranny of my life. It’s one of my favorite times of year, except that my initial supply of goodies for the trick-or-treaters has never actually…

Coleslaw, redefined

August 1, 2018

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett Every once in a while, I encounter a recipe so strange, I simply have to try it. A few years ago, this column featured a salad of fresh mozzarella tossed with basil, olive oil and chopped peaches, which was also the result of me thinking, “That can’t possibly be…

Milk Cake – Hot

May 31, 2018

Article and photos by Lisa Crockett Sometime this month, it’s likely that my oven will go on hiatus for six or eight weeks. I can usually be found at the backyard grill on a warm June day, making an effort to leave the heat and the mess outdoors where they belong this time of year.…

Ham sandwiches in Mornay sauce

April 30, 2018

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett One of the classic and repeated punchline topics on the beloved 90s sitcom “Friends” is the character Joey’s love for sandwiches. They are his favorite food, and across all 10 seasons, he can be found wolfing down a meatball sub or an Italian hoagie at inopportune times. It is…

Cheesy Soufflé

March 28, 2018

Article and photo by Lisa Crocket Eggs are an important part of my diet. They’re almost miraculous: cheap, tasty, nutritious and fast. With the notable exception of a period when I dedicated myself to strict paleo eating, and therefore eggs for breakfast almost every day, I almost never tire of eggs. Most weeks, eggs land…

Cacciatore

March 5, 2018

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett Crock-Pots, generally a pretty ho-hum kitchen tool, have been making headlines lately due to their involvement in the (fictional) tragedy that took the life of a (fictional) popular family man on NBC’s hit drama series “This is Us.” For their part, the Crock-Pot company seems to have taken the…

Apple cocoa truffles

January 30, 2018

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett My relationship with Valentines Day is complicated. I am always ambivalent about this “Hallmark holiday,” waffling between protesting the naked commercialism it’s based on and embracing an opportunity to treat the people I love with a little something special. Valentine’s Day also lands firmly in my New Year’s “get…

Green super food Soup

January 1, 2018

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett A new year has arrived, and that means it is time to get back on track. More than a month of butter, cream, flour and sugar are again on the books. As always, it was a lot of fun. As always, I’m ready for the clean slate that January…

Sheet Pan Thanksgiving Dinner

November 2, 2017

A one-pan meal worth giving thanks for Article and photo by Lisa Crockett Last year, my family and I went out for Thanksgiving dinner. There, I said it. As a dedicated home cook, I feel a little like a traitor to the cause, but going out for Thanksgiving was, in a word, awesome. No prep…

Apple Cider Muffins

October 2, 2017

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett This is the time of year when all the good things happen: leaves turn, football is in full swing and Halloween is just around the corner. Food is particularly delicious now, too, with the abundance of the harvest gathered and a multitude of choices at every market and produce…

Chili Salsa

September 25, 2017

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett It’s harvest time, and after a trip to the farmers market, my kitchen is a veritable vegetable wonderland. Zucchini and eggplant are sliced and roasted, corn is slapped on the grill and given a slather of butter and a sprinkle of salt. Carrots and cucumbers just get sliced and…

Zucchini and peppers on the grill

August 25, 2017

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett Grilling really is the perfect way to prepare food. It’s fast, it produces delicious results and it cleans up with a minimum of fuss. The moment the mercury on the thermometer rises above 75 degrees, the grill is my go-to for delicious and fast meal prep. All summer we…

Cream Bisquits

May 1, 2017

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett Lately, I’ve been binge watching a Netflix show called “The Great British Bake Off.” It’s a familiar reality show format, with a group of contestants assembled to face a weekly baking challenge. After all but three of the amateur bakers are sent home, a grand finale is held where…

Orzo with Parmesan Cheese

April 4, 2017

  Article and photo by Lisa Crockett I like to cook, I like to eat, and I like to feed the people that I love.  So, you might think that dinner at my house is a consistently blissful affair.  Alas, real life has a pesky way of interfering with what should otherwise be a pleasant…

Peas and radishes, a springtime story

March 1, 2017

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett Most of the time when I cook, I am either following someone else’s recipe or riffing on something someone else thought of.  Every once in a while, though, I come up with something that is my own, unique creation.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not inventing molecular gastronomy…

Sweet (potatoes) for your sweet – Sausage stuffed sweet potatoes

February 1, 2017

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett Ah, love is in the air.  It’s the time to grab the scissors and construction paper to make a homemade card for the one who’s stolen our heart, and it’s also the perfect time to think about how best to keep that heart healthy and strong.  February is American…

Simple salad dressing for a super new year – Pomegranate vinaigrette

January 1, 2017

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett January is a fresh start, a clean slate, a new beginning.  Once the holiday decorations are safely stored for another year and I’ve had a little time to clean and organize, I look forward to the mental quiet that January brings.  Snow softly falling, social gatherings dwindling, and time…

Creamy caramel for Christmas

December 1, 2016

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett I love to give a gift from my kitchen this time of year.  I think it’s a lovely way to show my affection at a reasonable cost, while not burdening my recipients with an item they’ll have to store or feel compelled to display.  It’s a perfect plan, except…

Satisfying and hearty: chili in the Crock-Pot

October 1, 2016

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett It’s here, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Crocktober.  It’s the time of year when we dust off the slow cooker and put it on regular rotation in the kitchen.  There’s a chill in the air, leaves on the ground, Halloween candy in the store;  the perfect kind…

Apple (Butter) of Your Eye

August 29, 2016

 September 1, 2016 Article and photo by Lisa Crockett Early fall is apple season.  One of my favorite treats is an apple picked in the wee hours on the Western Slope, then delivered to the farmers market, and then my kitchen in time for dinner.  You can buy decent apples nearly year-round, but the apples…

Spring into the season with this colorful and tasty dish – Pasta Primavera

April 1, 2016

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett When I was a teenager, I made most of my spending money babysitting. One family’s home was particularly fun for me to work at because I knew there would nearly always be something good tucked away in the fridge for the kids and I to eat for dinner.  Typically…

Hoppin’ John Rice & Beans

March 23, 2016

Have a happy, lay-low, and hoppin’ New Year Article and photo by Lisa Crockett New Year’s Day has always been kind of a non-starter for me as a holiday.  It comes at the end of a long string of days I love – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas (both ‘Eve’ and ‘Day’.)  I even love holidays I…

Sugar Cookie Bars

March 23, 2016

Stress-free cookies for the holidays   by Lisa Crockett It happens every year. I have big plans. Plans that include a clean house, happy children (always dressed in something cute and pristine), and wonderful smells coming from the kitchen, announcing something special and different about December. In reality, I usually hit the wall sometime around…

Chocolate Refrigerator Roll Cake

March 23, 2016

Chocolate Refrigerator Roll Cake Article and photo by Lisa Crockett I love cake. All kinds of cake. But the dog days of summer don’t exactly make me long to turn on the oven. This time of year usually has me pulling out the ice cream maker to whip up a batch of something cold and…

Passover charoset for your springtime table – Charoset

March 1, 2016

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett Every once in a while, I get curious about how other cultures express their traditions in the kitchen.  To satisfy that curiosity, I have made my fair share of globe-spanning tidbits.  Though I do not generally have these exotic dishes as part of my regular dinnertime rotation, I have…

Roasted beans for a crunchy, healthy snack – Roasted Garbanzo Beans

February 1, 2016

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett I love a good snack.  This time of year is perfect for a cozy evening in, binge watching Netflix while the temperatures take a nosedive outside.  But a good comedy or a moving drama without a little something to nibble on is sort of lackluster, if you ask me. …

Waffles for dinner make the new year bright

January 1, 2016

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett Brinner (“breakfast for dinner”) is one of my favorite meals.  Breakfast foods are delicious and simple to make, and on a cold winter night they are a quick way to satisfy the whole family without a lot of fuss. When the weather is unpredictable, brinner is a great way…

Super soup for a simple supper – Lasagna Soup

December 1, 2015

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett I love a cozy dinner this time of year, something warm and simple, but still hearty and satisfying.  Daylight is in short supply, but meals that feel comforting and nourishing can help compensate for the otherwise dreary nature of what is happening outside.  This season is full of hustle…

Simple pumpkin sippers for a cozy holiday treat – Pumpkin Steamers

November 1, 2015

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett It’s become sort of fashionable to disrespect pumpkin this time of year, mocking its widespread popularity. I recently saw a photo of a Mexican restaurant featuring a marquee sign that read “Pumpkin Spice Tacos Are Here!” I inwardly groaned, trying to imagine how that would taste, before I read…

Seven layer bar done better; an old classic transformed – Seven-layer cookies

October 1, 2015

Article and photos by Lisa Crockett I have been on a quest for years.  As a kid, I determined that the world’s most perfect food was a chocolate chip cookie.  In fact, cookies were the first food I learned to cook on my own, which enabled me to satisfy my craving at will rather than…

Pasta perfect for summer’s end – Orzo Salad with Pine Nuts and Cranberries

September 1, 2015

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett I love noodles, I really, really do.  When I was a teenager, someone had the genius idea to transform the backyard barbecue-style macaroni salad (which I liked pretty well, honestly) into something that seemed somehow more sophisticated.  Continental, even. Instead of calling it “spaghetti” or “noodles,” they called it…

Quick and simple summer overnight oatmeal

August 1, 2015

Article and photos by Lisa Crockett When I was a kid, my dad made breakfast every Saturday.  He made excellent pancakes and waffles, and often added special ingredients like mashed banana to give his creations a little something extra.  French toast and scrambled eggs made the Saturday menu from time to time too. In the…

Holy guacamole, Chipotle goes public with recipe!

July 1, 2015

Chipotle Mexican Grill recently released the recipe for its famous signature guacamole.  With six simple ingredients (avocados, lime juice, cilantro, red onion, jalapeño, and salt), guacamole perfection can be achieved in a matter of minutes.  The recipe can be found online. Article and photo by Lisa Crockett A few weeks ago, my kids and I…

Fresh, wonderful water to quench your thirst – Flavored “Good” Water

June 1, 2015

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett I am thirsty all the time.  It’s rare to find me without something to sip on all day and into the night.  I would like to say that I’m virtuous enough to limit my drink choices to abundant amounts of ice water and perhaps the occasional glass of milk,…

Dozens of delicious easy eggs for Mother’s day brunch

May 1, 2015

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett I love breakfast.  I can’t think of a single breakfast food that doesn’t appeal to me, no matter what time of day I’m eating.  I also love it when people make breakfast, serve it to me, and then do all the dishes.  In fact, the greatest gift I can…

Carrot cake for all your favorite some-bunnys – Simple Carrot cake

April 1, 2015

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett I made my first carrot cake in 1991.  I was a poor college student, bored on a Sunday afternoon and craving a treat.  I flipped through my lone cookbook and found a recipe that could be made entirely of things I already had on hand.  It would also help…

A cheesy recipe for a light, fresh snack – Cucumber & Salmon Roll-Ups w/Dilled Yogurt Cheese

March 1, 2015

Making yogurt cheese means gathering a few simple supplies: cheesecloth, a strainer, plain Greek Yogurt and a mixing bowl.  Greek yogurt spends a day in the fridge draining through cheesecloth and a strainer to produce a light, creamy spread. Article and photos by Lisa Crockett The holidays are over, Valentine’s Day is a memory and…

A hassle-free tasty treat for your Valentine sweet – Soft Center Molten Chocolate Cake

February 1, 2015

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett When I turned eleven years old, my dad took me out for lunch to celebrate.  I still remember what I ate: a perfect filet mignon, a baked potato, and for dessert, something I had never tried: chocolate torte.  It was my first encounter with a “flourless” chocolate cake.  I…

Belly up to the bar; hot chocolate, that is! – Hot Cocoa Bar w/Marshmallow Stirrers

December 1, 2014

      Article and photos by Lisa Crockett The holidays are here and party season is in full swing. Calendars are filling up and time is short, so I’m always looking for things I can do to show my love that are quick, easy and foolproof. With that in mind, last year in December…

Oven-free stuffing worth getting stuffed on – Oven-Free Slow Cooker Dressing

November 1, 2014

Article and photos by Lisa Crockett Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year. A day dedicated to food, friends, and family. Most of us have sacred foods for this day, recipes that must never be tampered with or substituted. I am a firm believer in ritual and tradition and Thanksgiving has pretty…

Rich and sweet: favorite flavors for fall – Caramel Sauce

October 1, 2014

Article and photos by Lisa Crockett The days are getting shorter, and in no time at all little ghosts and goblins will be haunting the neighborhoods of Castle Pines. Grocery store shelves are brimming with brightly packaged sugary treats for trick-or-treaters. I will be the first to admit that I love to indulge in these…

Just peachy: fresh, late-summer delights – Peach w/Mozzarella & Basil Salad

August 29, 2014

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett Harvest is in full swing. With the bounty that is available at the supermarket and the farmers market, it can be hard to decide what’s best to have for dinner. Corn, beets, potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts, and more zucchini than you can shake a stick at fill shelves and…

Sumptuous cranberry scones for summer

July 31, 2014

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett I t’s August. For many of us, this month marks a return to normal life – if not right this minute, then soon. School starts, vacations wind down, and after the dog days, a hint of fall is in the air. But it’s still summer. Still time for long,…

Barbecue sauce for dad’s big day

June 1, 2014

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett Barbecue is the quintessential Father’s Day meal. It’s sort of stereotypical “man food” – meat is featured heavily and depending on the heat of the sauce, the meal can also double as a test of stamina. Father’s Day is also a great time to make, rather than buy, your…

A fiesta in your mouth for Cinco de Mayo – Tasty Taquitos

May 1, 2014

    Article and photo by Lisa Crockett Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of the victory of the Mexican Army over French forces in the Battle of Puebla in May, 1862. And while the holiday is observed in some parts of Mexico, it’s a much bigger holiday here in the States – especially the…

Light and lemony for springtime – Pink Lemonade Mousse

April 1, 2014

  Article and photo by Lisa Crockett Every season has its celebrations and I love them all. In my opinion, a good celebration always includes some kind of special dessert. Pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, cookies at Christmas, and chocolate truffles on Valentine’s Day are a few of my favorites. This time of year, my thoughts…

Heating things up in the cold – Award Winning Chili

March 1, 2014

Aimee and Hannah Goodrich took first place in the chili cookoff. They competed against seven other entries and were excited to take home the blue ribbon! Article and photos by Amy Shanahan The second annual Winterfest and chili cookoff in Castle Pines Village (CPV) was a huge success despite the chilly weather. Nearly one hundred…

Hearty and heart healthy granola for your valentine – Cranberry Nut Granola

February 1, 2014

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett There are lots of ways to show someone that you love them, but my hands-down favorite way to express affection, friendship and love is by whipping up a treat in the kitchen. The smell of cinnamon and sugar wafting through the house just smells the way love should, don’t…

Waking to a waffle wonderland on Christmas morning – Overnight Homemade Waffles

December 1, 2013

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett When I was a kid, Saturday was pancake and waffle day. My dad was the resident breakfast chef, and I was always eager to lend a hand stirring or sifting, relishing the chance to pour syrup over a steamy stack. My mom was pretty serious about limiting my intake…

Make quick work of the evening meal with a slow cooker – Slow Cooker Pot Roast

October 1, 2013

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett The days are shorter and cooler temperatures are here. Leaves are falling off the trees and pumpkins and scarecrows dot the neighborhoods of Castle Pines, an announcement of the coming of fall. Something about this time of year makes me nostalgic for childhood. Days when I would walk into…

Green chile, a Colorado favorite

September 1, 2013

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett I’ve spent most of my life living in the West, but it wasn’t until I moved to Colorado that I discovered green chile. Of course I had eaten green chiles, usually as part of a Mexican dish, but when I moved to Colorado and saw it featured on restaurant…

A cool treat for a hot summer day – Fresh Fruit Popsicles

August 1, 2013

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett I love to cook and bake. There’s nothing I enjoy more than puttering around the kitchen, trying new recipes and coming up with new creations of my own. My cookbook cupboard is jam-packed and the bookmarks list on my computer is dominated by cooking and baking sites. If I…

Pop up a great Fourth of July – Baked Caramel Corn

July 1, 2013

Story and photo by Lisa Crockett The dog days of summer are nearing, and if fire restrictions allow, fireworks shows will be prominently featured at neighborhood gatherings and sporting events for the next few weeks. Heat and explosions – reminiscent of the battle to win our independence as a nation – are part and parcel…

Give mom a sweet treat this Mother’s Day – Cinnamon Toast Breakfast Casserole

May 1, 2013

Story and photo by Lisa Crockett May is the month we honor our mothers. Handmade cards, jewelry, or perhaps a trip to the spa are a great way to tell your mom – or any mom, really, that you love her. One of the greatest and simplest gifts you can give most moms is a…

Smooth move: drink to your health this spring – Super Fruit Smoothies

April 1, 2013

Story and photo by Lisa Crockett Anyone who knows me or reads this column regularly knows that I am not afraid of fat and calories. Butter? Bring it on. Sugar? Yes, please. White flour? Sometimes nothing else will do. But what you may not know about me is that I would also like to live…

Great food for get well soon – Stuffed Pasta Shells

March 1, 2013

Story and photo by Lisa Crockett The best meal I have ever eaten was served in my own kitchen. The cooking, however, wasn’t done by me, but by a friend in her kitchen and served to me in an assortment of tin-foil pans and paper plates. After doing an eight-day stint at Children’s Hospital with…

Sweets for your sweet – sugar cookie perfection

February 1, 2013

Story and photo by Lisa Crockett Sugar cookies figure heavily in my memories of childhood special occasions: Jack-o-lanterns with orange frosting for Halloween, Christmas trees and stars, hearts in February. I even remember occasionally decorating a Thanksgiving turkey cookie or an egg-shaped cookie for Easter. It was natural, then, that when I had children of…

Cool festive desserts made with ice cream – Layered Ice Cream Dessert

December 1, 2012

  Article and photo by Lisa Crockett When you think of holiday desserts, you probably think of something warm and spicy like pumpkin pie, or something rich and heavy like flourless chocolate cake or even a chocolate truffle from a gift box. In the southern hemisphere, however, Christmas comes during the height of summer and…

The feast before the feast: simple and satisfying – Festive Clam Chowder – Speedy Breadsticks

November 1, 2012

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett It’s the night before the big holiday and everyone is hungry. Now. You have a house full of company and a refrigerator full of food . . . for the big meal tomorrow. But how do you feed hungry tummies the evening before the big day? Take out can…

Treats and savory delights fresh from the pumpkin patch – Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

October 1, 2012

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett This is the time of year when my children start dreaming about how they’ll dress up at the end of the month. This year it appears we’ll have a robot, a computer, and some sort of witch going from door to door in search of candy. While I think…

Cobbled together – summer fruit desserts – Any Fruit Cobbler

September 1, 2012

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett In case it escaped your notice, this summer has been hot. Exceptionally, meltingly hot. And while the heat has wreaked havoc on air conditioning bills and left me breathless and cranky more than a few nights this summer, it has had at least one pleasant side effect. This summer,…

Herbs fresh from the garden – Classic Pesto

August 1, 2012

By Lisa Crockett August. The month of the tomato. Warm and just-picked, nothing speaks more to the bounty of the harvest than a fresh, ripe tomato. A sprinkle of salt and pepper dresses it up quite nicely, but I think the Italians have the right idea when it comes to tomatoes. They’re great solo, but…

Rocky Mountain high: baking treats at high altitude

July 1, 2012

Chocolate chocolate chip cookies baked using high altitude adjustments to the recipe … perfection! Article and photo by Lisa Crockett It’s that time of year when social opportunities abound. The weather is warm, the days are long, and it just feels right to light up the grill and invite friends over for a long lazy…

An old faithful; patriotic style – American Flag Cake

June 1, 2012

Article and photo by Lisa Crockett (actual cake too!) Summer is here, and with it comes the patriotic holidays of summer – Memorial Day, Flag Day and Independence Day. Summer is also a great time to take advantage of the abundance of delicious summer fruit. Combine these two things and you get a nostalgic, sweet…

An egg-straordinary food – Creamed Eggs

April 1, 2012

By Lisa Crockett Menus this time of year are chock full of things that are young, tender and fresh. A tasty reminder of the annual renewal that accompanies spring: young asparagus, tender lamb, juicy strawberries. Many households also have an abundance of another young food: eggs. Specifically the hard-boiled, heavily decorated variety. A symbol of…

A special treat this Valentine’s Day – Chocolate Marshmallow Mousse

February 1, 2012

By Lisa Crockett This year, Valentine’s Day is on a Tuesday. Tuesday is a perfectly good day – just as good as any other day, really. But somehow, Tuesday lacks the romance of a Friday or Saturday night. Work, school, homework, carpools . . . all these things conspire to make Tuesday a mad rush,…

Sweet treats for a scrumptious purpose – Campsite Chocolate Fondue

October 1, 2011

Castle Pines artist and entrepreneur Jennifer Goode, holding a coy of “It’s All About the Cookies,” a desserts-only cookbook being sold to raise money for breast cancer research. Goode designed the cover art for the book. Article and photo by Lisa Crockett It has been said that diners eat first with their eyes and then…

Herb-Crusted Leg of Lamb

April 1, 2011

by Sally Uhrich Although ham will probably once again be the mainstay at many dinner tables this Easter, it is lamb that is considered to be the most popular symbol at Easter. Lamb certainly plays an integral part in the Passover celebration, and is a welcome menu change for the Easter holiday. If you wish…

Cut the calories; keep the flavor – Pecan Sticky Rolls

January 1, 2011

Cut the calories; keep the flavor by Sally Uhrich The holidays are over and you have left-overs in the freezer, decorations to put away and, if you’re like most of us, a bit of an expanding waistline. Your first New Year’s resolution is to make exercise and healthy eating a priority. Now you begin thinking…

Appetizers; A tasty addition to a holiday menu – Stuffed Mushroom Appetizer

December 1, 2010

by Sally Uhrich So you’re making the final preparations for your holiday meal, carving the turkey and making gravy. Your guests have gathered in the kitchen, anxiously awaiting dinner. Why not take the edge off their hunger, by serving a tasty tidbit, known as the appetizer? Although there are many recipes for stuffed mushrooms, my…

Garnish the holiday table with tasty side dishes – Cranberry-Orange Relish

November 1, 2010

by Sally Uhrich The turkey is stuffed and the pies are baking in the oven, but what about the sides? No holiday meal is complete without those extra tasty vittles known as the side dish. If you’re wanting to include cranberries in your menu, but don’t want the hassle of cooking them, consider Cranberry-Orange Relish.…

Roast Butternut Squash Soup with Apples – Cooks Corner

October 1, 2010

by Sally Uhrich With the holiday season fast approaching, it’s time to begin planning your Thanksgiving dinner. Healthy holiday meals don’t have to expand your waistline or break the bank. Consider the addition of soup to your Thanksgiving feast. Roast buttenut squash soup with apples will enhance your meal, with it’s warm, rich, fall color…

Autumn Apple Cake – Cooks Corner

September 1, 2010

by Sally Uhrich With the autumn season upon us, who can resist making a dessert with the natural goodness of apples? Autumn Apple Cake is featured in “Cooking Light Annual Recipes,” 2009 edition. The recipe is contained in the fall section of the book, which features several recipes derived from the unique American religious group,…

The perfect steak, grilled to perfection

August 1, 2010

by Sally Uhrich With the summer season in full swing, who can resist the tantalizing flavor of a sizzling steak right off the grill? While there are many tricks to create a great tasting steak, these five tips featured in the August 2006 issue of Cooking Light Magazine will make a great steak even more…

Peach Berry Cobbler- A patriotic dessert for the Independence Day holiday, July 4

July 1, 2010

by Sally Uhrich If you’re still looking for a dessert to serve on July 4th, consider Peach Berry Cobbler with ice cream, from the July 2008 edition of Cooking Light Magazine. The reddish hue, acquired by the peaches during baking, makes for a patriotic presentation of red, white and blue colors. The turbinado sugar is…

Grilling – It’s for more than just meat – Grilled Corn ’n’ Pepper

June 1, 2010

by Sally Uhrich Outdoor grilling is a welcome relief for many cooks, as there is little mess and easy cleanup. Yet, many people think of grilling only, with regard to sauces, rubs and marinades for meat. There are, however, many fine recipes for vegetables which cook on the grill. The “Taste of Home,” Easy Grilling…

Brunches, Lunches and Showers – Rosemary & Garlic Chicken Spread w/Parmesan Focaccia

May 1, 2010

by Sally Uhrich Winter’s demise leads us into two of the most anticipated seasons of all; spring and summer. Warmer weather lends itself to outdoor entertaining for such events as graduation parties and bridal showers. If you are hosting a social gathering and are in need of a light, but tasty appetizer, consider, “Rosemary and…

Ring in the new year with herb-crusted beef rib roast

January 1, 2010

by Sally Uhrich So it’s New Year’s day and it’s your turn to host the holiday dinner. What to do? You’re tired of turkey and not yet ready for ham. Consider a delectable, beef rib roast. The meat is coasted with an herb, garlic and horseradish butter paste to form an irresistible, caramelized edge. This…