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This here, my pretties, is truly happiness on a plate, well, at least, for me and my family.  Paris, as much as she may want a taste, will get no such thing.  It’s mine, bwa ha ha!  But, you, gentle reader, should you like to follow the recipe, can savor bite after bite.  I’m going to put on my teacher hat here and ask that you read the whole recipe before you start, because it is done in stages.  You’ll see.

Colleen’s Green Chile Burritos

2-4 pound pork shoulder roast, cut into 1″ chunks, removing as much fat as you can

28 oz diced green chiles – the really big can (use more or less, to your taste)

2 fresh poblano peppers (optional)

1 dried ancho/pasilla chile (a dried poblano with different names – very dark and wrinkly)

1 dried New Mexican chile (dark red and slightly translucent)

1 large onion, diced

8 cloves garlic, diced

2 teaspoons salt (I use alder smoked sea salt from Mountain Rose Herbs, fantastico!)

1 teaspoon chile powder (optional)

1 teaspoon cumin

1 cup dried pinto beans

1 piece kombu seaweed (optional)



grated cheddar or monterey jack cheese

other toppings of your choice – lettuce, sour cream, avocado, black olives

For the beans:  The night before you want your burritos, get the beans soaking.  I use the same pot I will cook them in.  Use enough water to allow the beans to triple in volume.  Once the chile is going, drain the soaking liquid from the beans, and add enough water to cover by about an inch.  Add the kombu – it is supposed to help with the dreaded after-effects of beans, and truth be told, I think it works.  Whenever I make beans without it, I’ll be honest – there is more farting.  I bought mine at New Seasons ages ago, but I’ll bet an internet search will reveal more sources; the package lasts forever – unless you’re big on beans.  Getting back to it.  Add two cloves of diced garlic. Cook on low heat for 2-3 hours, adding 1 teaspoon of salt at the END.  Add it too soon and the skins will be tough.  Strain the excess liquid along with the kombu (It will be slimy and likely in a few pieces) and keep warm.

For the green chile:  Brown the cubed pork in a little oil on medium high heat, working in batches to keep from overcrowding the pan.  Place in crock pot on low heat.  In the rendered fat of the pork, saute onion until soft.  Add to the crock pot. Add the canned green chiles to the pan, filling the empty cans with water to get all of the chile goodness and adding to the pan to deglaze.  Add this mixture to the crock pot.

Chile Peppers: Chop the dried peppers into small bits with a very sharp knife, discarding the stem.  OR, even better, whirl the peppers, stems removed, in a food processor until they are thoroughly pulverized and kind of pasty. Add to crock pot.  Also, for the locals, Food 4 Less is the absolute best source for chiles, and come to think of it, just about all ethnic foods and sundries – Asian, European, Russian, and Latin American.  It’s quite the adventure.  To roast the fresh poblanos, I turn on a burner and hold the pepper over it until the skin gets blackened, rotating it to get it even.  Your kitchen will smell like chile heaven.  Once all sides are good and dark, place in a paper bag until cool.  Remove the skin by rubbing it with your fingers (don’t touch your eyes, ouch!).  Dice the peppers, discarding the stem, keeping the seeds if you like it a little more spicy.  Add to crock pot.  Add cumin, chile powder, garlic and 1 teaspoon salt.  Add 1 cup water.  Cook for 2-3 hours, until the meat is tender and thoroughly flavored.

Putting it all together:  Take a tortilla and set it on a burner turned on medium heat, rotating quickly to keep from sticking or burning.  Once it has softened a little, turn over and do it all again.  Add beans, a layer of pork, and a handful of grated cheese.  Roll up, um, like a burrito, tee hee.  Add another handful of cheese, and top off with another ladle of green chile goodness.  Add your favorite condiments and enjoy!

Added info – I don’t know how much this makes – I’d say at least ten burritos, but I don’t know if you are a Gregory burrito – MONDO or a Colleen burrito – just right.  Let’s put it this way – the recipe fills half of my crock pot, which  holds 6 1/2 quarts.  Also, if you want your chile thick, like a stew, turn the crock pot to high about a half an hour before you want to eat.  Once it is bubbling mad, take a ladle full of the chile and add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of flour, stirring thoroughly to avoid lumps.  Put back in crock pot and quickly incorporate it.  Keep the the lid off.  It should thicken in a few minutes.

Will ya looky there?  I can finally see my reflection in the bathroom.  Huzzah! No more dashing for the best light.  Many thanks the hubster, my worker extraordinaire, who did a fine job hanging said mirror and painting this weekend.  We edge closer and closer to a finished bathroom, my friends.  One fine day!

While he painted (the black window – his work!), I canned.  Eight pints garlic dills, six pints spicy dills, seven pints bread-and-butter, two pints pickle relish, four half-pints Hatch chiles, and two quarter-pints jalapeños.  Seeing the jars lined up in the cupboard is highly satisfying.  Being burned by hot vinegar solution is highly painful.  My thumb will recover, however, and I will be ever more careful.

We also spent a lovely day with the Twists, enjoying excellent company, the serenity of country living, grilled steaks, fine whiskey, home grown blueberries, a sky full of stars, and a visit from an owl!  Its profile was reminiscent of a cat atop a tree, and a big one, too.  Very cool.

Here’s hoping you had a lovely weekend and are keeping safe amid all the fires and storms.  Be well!

Santa Fe

In celebration of the twenty-seven magical years since our first date (!!!) as well as the first road trip we ever took together, we spent the weekend in Santa Fe. Our first stop, of course, was La Choza, and then a stroll up the tracks to the Railyard on a sleepy Friday afternoon.

How’s that for a mural?!

First ever mansard roof sighting in Santa Fe. Fancy!

Hummingbird – which reminds me of one of my favorite books, The Hummingbird’s Daughter, which I first saw in Santa Fe.

A picture of a thousand words if ever there was.

Sweet nappers…

Juniper Beulah, tin roof style.

Enjoyed our anniversary dinner at La Boca – the grilled arugula salad one magical mess o’ lettuces, New Mexico grown pistachios, fennel, and golden raisins. The jamon iberico and Cava weren’t too shabby, either.

Not pictured, but most worthy of note, our dear friends Michael and Mary were in town (YAY!) and we met for a wildly wonderful lunch at Loyal Hound. Mac and Cheese with green chile and fried chicken and waffles the height of yumminess.

Also, I would be seriously remiss if I didn’t encourage the devouring of a carne adovada burrito at Tecolote. If they ask, get the bakery basket – you’ll overload on carbs, but will enjoy every morsel.

We never tire of adobe.

The Plaza, cheerfully lit.

First Presbyterian Church, 150 years old and ever so lovely.

Back at the Railyard for the hullaballoo of the Farmer’s and Winter markets. We enjoyed all manner of goodness (chiles, tarts, tortillas, jerkys, jams!) and friendly vibes.



Love this sky…

and this fabulous neon Zia. Eeek!

Sunday morning, we awoke to much, much needed snow, the whole of Santa Fe, and our route homeward beautifully blanketed.

The Treasures:

Turquoise Zia t-shirt from Marcy Street Cards + positively intoxicating sweet sage bundle from a kindly street vendor + Heidi’s Raspberry Red Chile Ginger jam + Santa Fe Spirits Atapino – a sip of the scent of New Mexico + pinon plantwater purchased at the fabulous Red River MercantileCasa Blanca Red Chile beef jerky – for lovers of dry, not at all sweet jerky, like me! + Zia pinon kola – the best kola EVER and an even better mission + An exquisitely crafted brooch bought at the Winter Market + Deeelicious chile powder, smoky and mild + Coyote America from my favorite Santa Fe book shop, Collected Works + Look closely, a tiny Raven (my spirit animal!) fetish from Keshi, carved by Calvert Bowannie + Beautiful woven table mat from the Five & Dime on the Plaza. Oh, Santa Fe, your fine purveyors and makers, my heart overflows…


Thursday evening, our inaugural fire, now that we’ve got the basement space all kitted out. It was cozy and lovely, the hubster saving his best smile of the day for me before playing a little ditty on the piano. I love this house, how, with each passing day, it feels more and more like home.

Friday evening we went downtown, had dinner at our favorite burger place (Bingo!), wandered, bought treats, and sipped coffee, all the while watching Colorado Springs stroll by in shirtsleeves, the last bit of warmth before the snow fell.

We woke up to single digit temperatures and my favorite hush and sparkle of snow, the kind that squeaks underfoot.

I made green chile (awww, sweet Paris) and margaritas, a mighty fine way to keep the chill at bay. Snug as bugs and happy as clams.

Happy Sunday!


Happy Wednesday, dear reader! A little peek at our work in progress. Dave our window guy takes the final boards from what once was a bay window in the living room. It didn’t really fit with the house, a 1950s brick ranch, and even if I had liked it, the base was almost entirely rotten under the fascia. I’m just glad no one really heavy made their self at home on the window seat, as it likely would have collapsed. Dodged a bullet with that one, whew!

The second photo is Walter the mason adding courses of bricks to a too low window, which will give us better functionality in the kitchen. It kept anything of normal height from being installed on an entire wall. After all is said and done, the kitchen sink will be under the window, and I’ll be happy as a clam gazing into our lovely yard whenever I wash up.

And finally, the hubster, champion of my heart! I took this photo after he spent about an hour crawling like a caterpillar in the attic, tracing and rewiring circuits for the kitchen. This was our dinner break, and as we sat on the floor eating green chile, I thanked him profusely for doing what I can’t and don’t want to do.

This is where it gets really cool and I feel even more grateful for this partner of mine. He thanked me profusely for doing what he can’t and doesn’t want to do, like running errands, making breakfast, lunch, and dinner, buying his clothes, decorating, gardening, painting, finding and hiring people to install windows and floors, grocery shopping, the list goes on.

The truth is, I get a lot of flack from a lot of people (but NEVER from him) about my lack of paying work. When are you going to apply for a job? When are you finally going to contribute? I tell them, shamefaced and ears burning, about how damn hard I have tried. How, over the past six years, I’ve applied for more than five hundred, got hired for one, and made about twenty-five cents an hour. Twenty-five measly cents. What I will now say, after finally hearing it (because he’s said it a million times) from the man of my dreams, is, “It’s none of your business.” Because it isn’t. Our life is our business. We’ve been together for twenty-five years (huzzah!), love each other well, sweetly, and heartily, and have our own good and great thing. Its beautiful and messy and oh, so right. He does wonderful work that turns on lights, makes money, and pays bills. I do wonderful work that doesn’t (like this blog). But together, we have it all.


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