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Butter Me Up

A Boulder mom’s foodie creations are proving to be her bread and butter—and a simple, easy meal solution for those on the go

Text and photos by Lisa Truesdale

Jessica Jacobson dreamed of being an architect, but when she was in college, a male post-grad bluntly told her she’d likely never find a good job in the male-­dominated industry.

So she took her creative spirit and talent for design in a slightly different direction. She became a corporate designer, traveling the country opening new stores for companies like Nordstrom and Pottery Barn, and dressing up displays to entice customers.

But that was all before marriage, three kids and a move to Boulder from Seattle via Chicago seven years ago. Once settled, she searched long and hard for a fun and interesting part-time gig that would allow her to be creative, but also a full-time mom.

She considered making fancy cupcakes, since she has a background in baking, too. But in the end she settled on compound butters. Not the from-scratch kind that requires a cow and a churn, but elegant finishing butters with proprietary blends of herbs and spices that add a gourmet touch and enhanced flavor to vegetables, meats and seafood. She sources all the ingredients locally, except the natural, hormone-free, grass-fed Kerrygold butter from Ireland.

Jacobson recently invited us to her home to feast on six incredible dishes made with her Fireworks Finishing Butter. We asked her questions about her business, her kitchen and life in general. Here’s what she said:

H&G: What flavors do you offer, and how did you come up with them?

Jessica Jacobson: I started with three flavors—Chipotle Tomato, Ginger Miso and Classic Steakhouse. There’s nothing better than a juicy steak topped with flavorful butter, just like at a fancy restaurant. The Classic Steakhouse recipe is one that’s been handed down in my husband’s family for generations. But for the other two, I did a lot of research to find unique flavors that meld well with what I like to cook—simple dishes, like fish and wilted greens, that are easy and flavorful. With three children, a husband, pets and a business, I know it’s easy to get overwhelmed trying to feed a family when you’re pulled in all directions. That’s why I like these butters; just grill a piece of meat with a butter, or sauté vegetables in them, and dinner’s done!

H&G: Do you have plans for new flavors?

JJ: We have a new seasonal flavor that just came out for summer. It’s Honey Lavender Sea Salt Finishing Butter. It’s delicious on halibut, and corn bread, too.

H&G: How long does a 6-ounce jar last?

JJ: It depends on how often you use it, but a little bit goes a long way. I use only a pat, about 1 tablespoon, for most recipes. For instance, I sautéed an entire large package of fresh spinach and used only 1 or 2 tablespoons of the Chipotle Tomato to flavor the whole amount. One jar keeps at least six months in the fridge, and you can freeze it.

Jessica Jacobson prepares a feast using only her Fireworks Finishing Butters for flavorings: Ginger Miso for salmon, Chipotle Tomato for bruschetta and Classic Steakhouse for beef. The results? Delish! (photos by Lisa Truesdale)

H&G: What do you do with these butters?

JJ: Well, I use them to enhance the flavor of almost anything I make. I’ve posted a few recipes on my website (www.fireworksfinishingbutter.com), like Ginger Miso Salmon and Chipotle Tomato Pasta. One of my favorite things to make in summer is grilled corn on the cob, finished with Chipotle Tomato butter and topped with crumbled queso fresca.

H&G: Where can readers get these butters?

JJ: You can order them from the website ($12 per jar), and they’re also available at Alfalfa’s and Cured in Boulder, and at Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe in Denver.

H&G: Your kitchen is super beautiful. What are some of your must-have kitchen gadgets?
JJ: After I got the Alfalfa’s account, I finally got a food processor. Now I couldn’t live without it. I also love my Microplane grater for cheese and zest, and nutmeg and other spices. And of course, my Wüsthof chef’s knife—I use it for everything!

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