Eating

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Yesterday’s perfect snow globe morning…

I finally felted my acorns! Aren’t they adorable?

Hummus Bling Bling

Oh, the food I’ve made, as of late. Thank goodness we have a dog to walk and a daily workout routine, or we’d be in serious trouble. We’re currently jamming on Jericho’s Morning Meltdown 100. I’m feeling stronger and stronger.

Back to the eats! I am a massive fan of the library, and especially the cookbook section, checking out some little lovely nearly every visit. I don’t always cook from them, often just wanting to ogle food photos and take an armchair vacation to some beautiful locale.

The Hummus Bling Bling is from Eat. Cook. L.A., seriously the best hummus I’ve ever had. For a loooong time, I couldn’t eat hummus, or any dried bean concoction for that matter, suffering massive intestinal distress. But then I read The Plant Paradox and learned that pressure cooking (for at least 7.5 minutes) destroys the lectins that made me wanna die. So I can eat hummus again, and the Anasazi beans I bought in New Mexico (pictured below). Celebrate good times….

My first time making mole. Boy howdy, what was I waiting for?! It is the stuff of magic. We slathered it on chicken and whisked giant dollops into hot chocolate. Oh, yeah!!

Homemade chile con queso, queso, queso. How do I love thee. With chicharones and Siete (ocho, nueve, diez…) cassava chips, for when I’m not feeling corny.

Spoon bread with a mushroom, sour cream, and parmesan concoction. Also from Eat. Cook. L.A. Mighty-mighty.

I’ve dabbled in bread baking for a long time, mostly turning out the no-knead or some boule variety. They were consistently delicious, but I frequently tired of the massive air bubble directly where I wanted to make a sandwich. So I tried the Italian from America’s Test Kitchen Bread Illistrated. Wow! It’s everything I want in something sandwich and toast-able. Yes, ma’am.

The Italian bread calls for 8 oz of beer. Since I am not much of a beer drinker, and especially not at eight in the a.m., I decided to use the remaining 4 oz to make beer bread as an accompaniment to the Brazilian Coconut Shrimp Soup I was planning for lunch. Delicious!

Here’s the recipe for the soup. So easy! Double or triple, if you like.

1 14 oz can coconut milk

1/2 pound cleaned shrimp

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 jalapeno, diced

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

salt, to taste

Put everything in a saucepan and cook until the shrimp is cooked through, basically to your liking. Take a little taste, add salt until it’s right. Seriously, that’s it. Add a cilantro garnish, if you have it, but it’s lovely without it.

Just cuz I love her…

Good morning, Santa Fe! The handsome hubster enjoys the little yard at our casita. We’d already walked to Dolina’s Bakery, where the service is adorable and patiently kind, and the pastry choices difficult to make. We bought croissants and a slice of amazing coffee cake.

Silly Juniper would not run through the tunnel! We tossed the ball halfway, and she darted in and backed her way out. We also forgot to bring her water to the dog park, so she made due with snow. Eeek, that dog is so stinking cute!

I am slightly embarrassed to admit that we haven’t spent much of our Santa Fe time on Museum Hill. We got to work on it, with a trip to the glorious Museum of International Folk Art. What fun that was, with every manner of joyful treasure I adore: amazing rugs, guitars made from license plates and cigar boxes, straw dolls, miniature after miniature, treasures from trash (the moose made by kids from Santa Clara Pueblo), and a memory of my time at Standing Rock. Woot!

Greg makes use of the overlook…
Apache Mountain Spirit Dancer
Craig Goseyun

We spent an evening at the Rail Yard, enjoying The Gentlemen at the Violet Crown. We’d never been, and were sure glad to go. Everyone was super friendly, the snacks and drinks top notch, and the theater was pretty posh, too, with those seats that make you feel you aren’t really at the movies. The fil-um satisfied, providing laugh after laugh, in an uber-clever Guy Ritchie caper way.

The pointilist-ish sky was on the scene for hours….
Fisher’s Peak on the verge of a fresh dusting of snow.

I vacillated on my decision to show you our treasures, mostly because I feel slightly boorish saying, “Look what I got!!” The more I thought on it, however, I realized I want the people behind them to get their due. It is their bread and butter, after all. These are in pretty random order, so get our your magnifier and use your beautiful eyes!

The Anasazi beans (so delicious!), mild green chile powder, and Chimayo chile powder (only a few families in the area grow them – pretty special), as well as the barely discernible tiny spoon charm came from El Potrero Trading Post in Chimayo. They ship, should you have a hankering and not be lucky enough to go.

The other charms and strings of beads came from Glorianna’s, the oldest bead shop in Santa Fe. Chockablock with every manner of beautiful bead, I had a hard time restraining myself. The woman who runs the shop is Starr, the daughter of Glorianna, who passed in 2018, and is so kind and helpful. She was wearing a beautiful velveteen suit her mother made in the 50s – a stunner! What a treasure of a place.

The blue corn pinon pancake mix from Santa Fe Culinaria is delicious, but contains soy flour which makes my tummy scream, ruh-roh! Greg is luxuriating in a selfish pancake moment. The milagro heart and cross with pink flowers are from the Palace Hotel in Las Vegas and look fabulous among their New Mexico kin on my basement bathroom wall.

Fun and yummy red chile chocolate bar from Los Muertos. Another round of the best cola in the mundo – Zia Pinon, as well as several more bags of our favorite Casa Blanca Red Chile Jerky. The magnet with the car is from El Zocalo in Las Vegas, a very dangerous place for me. They have a stellar selection of paintings, jewelry, pottery, just about everything an art lover wants to take home.

The ornament was made by Rita Johnson, a Navajo Sandpainter we met on the plaza. She doesn’t have a website, but if you’re interested in her work, as she does more than ornaments, message me on my about page, and I’ll hook you up with her phone number.

Oops! I nearly forgot the wee Huichol bowl, purchased at the Folk Art Museum and the super cool thunderbird belt Greg bought at the Tin-Nee-Ann Trading Post in Santa Fe. It’s one of the old school places that’s been open longer than I’ve been alive. We finally made it in. A trip of firsts…

The beautiful weavings! The top right was from the Mora Valley Spining Mill, and does not indicate the name of the weaver. The remaining two were done by Victoria Verry whose work is available at Centinela Traditional Weavers, and send my heart singing, especially the one on the left, as it has yarn with plant dyes from indigo, madder root, and chamisa (a.k.a. rabbitbrush). So cool!!

And finally, a wonder of a painting by Gwen Wilemon from El Zocalo.

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Santa Fe

Our fantastic Casita was everything we could ask for in a home away from home and was a lovely walk from the Plaza.

We made an unexpected change for our first meal, enjoying Italian at il piatto rather than the New Mexican that is our go-to. We’re so glad we did, with yummy wine, a fab Caesar salad, scallops, mussels, and the best gnocchi I’ve ever tasted. The pretty roasted pear panna cotta wasn’t too shabby, either. Our resident chocoholic adored it!

What made it even better was our fine server, named Greg (I know!!). He and his girlfriend moved from Long Island to Santa Fe on a lark back in December, after she whispered in his good ear. A great story! We hope all that is wonderful about Santa Fe keeps them there.

The light! The adobe! They don’t call it the Land of Enchantment for nothing.

Our cutie pie was weary of the fire. It made noises at her. We made up for it with long walks, extra treats, and cuddle after cuddle.

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Back when we lived in Portland, on some random channel I could never remember, I would watch Burns & Allen. I do remember that it was always in the hush of late evening, and that Gracie Allen was simply THE BEST of the whole darn show. She dazzled! This past weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing a rare and wonderful incarnation of her. Greg and I, after nearly four years in Colorado Springs, finally made it to the Millibo Art Theater, to see Yule Be Naughty. It’s a fun mix of silliness, cabaret, amazing aerials and acrobatics (seriously, wow!), and some pretty stellar Gracie Allen style story telling. If you are local and in need of an adult activity this weekend, go and be glad!

Before that, on Thursday, to be exact (thank you flexible work at home hours!!), we headed to our local castle, Glen Eyrie, for their Yule Tea. Greg made friends with a knight before the pair of us enjoyed every bite and sip.

The Big Horned Sheep was part of a herd grazing and relaxing on the lawn. Pretty cool!

dreaming of snow….

I am one of those people for whom it isn’t a complete holiday season without certain foods or events. On the event side, we must listen to Alice’s Restaurant, preferably on Thanksgiving, but, as was the case this year, the following day, despite talking about it and even queuing it up prior to dinner. The tamales, apparently, were just too exciting. We also must read Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory, laughing and crying and delightedly sighing. That we did on Sunday, and loved it as much as ever.

As for the food and beverage side of the equation, I must have, in no particular order: stuffing with cranberries and celery, perfectly sliced canned cranberry sauce, egg nog (preferably with brandy, but whisky or rum will do), biscochitos (only my recipe will do – snob), fudge, and peppermint ice cream.

This summer, I learned the most amazing and delicious basic ice cream recipe. 8 oz heavy cream whipped to soft peaks & one can sweetened condensed milk – mixed gently together & frozen in a loaf pan. I made it with the addition of vanilla, a few tablespoons of my homemade peach & strawberry jam, chunky peanut butter & their delightful cups. Each was shockingly good considering the ease with which they were made. Seriously top shelf. And no churning or worrying! So, when it came time for the annual stroll down peppermint lane, the choice to make it myself was obvious. I added a half teaspoon of vanilla and five hammered to bits starlight mints. Divine.

Another lovely snow. It came in the smallest possible flakes, that fell and fell and fell. Champagne powder and Juniper’s dream come true!

Hello friends! Happy day after Thanksgiving to you! It was a non-traditional feast for us this holiday, celebrating with our cousin Zach. We enjoyed each other’s very fine company, along with margaritas, guacamole, green & red chile, pork & three kinds of wee sweet tamales. All made by yours truly, which was quite the endeavor! I started on Tuesday, so I wouldn’t be a manic maniac Thursday.

Grandpa would be super proud, especially noting the pork to masa ratio, as he nearly always lamented a lack of meat. It was my first time making tamales on my own. The last time was in high school, helping my mom. Much thanks to Tamales 101 for all the history (did you know they were among the first MREs?) and helpful advice! Greg and I decided that they’re the best we’ve ever had, which is wonderful, when Moreno’s and La Choza set such a high bar.

It was also the first time we’d ever had sweet tamales, more out of necessity than forethought truth be told, because there was SO much masa. Seriously. I didn’t have enough ingredients to fill them savory style, even when improvising with green chiles and cheese. I flavored the masa with vanilla and sugar in one batch, cinnamon and sugar in another, and sugar and chocolate chips in the third. You’d think our resident chocoholic would have been most excited about those, but he was dubious. They turned out to be our favorite, which was rather sad, as I made the fewest of them. Next time! The chocolate laden one is our final incarnation, made with leftovers and a sauce on the fly this afternoon. Delicious.

Finally to Zach’s creme brulee! It was egg nog flavored and muy muy delicioso. He and Greg did a fine job on the brulee portion. FIRE!

Oh, and here is my “recipe” for margaritas – my favorite in the land. Make a single glass or enough for a party. The sparkling water makes it slightly unconventional, but it is muy potente without it. Besides, bubbles are fun! If you are lucky enough to have some prickly pear syrup on hand, add it to your liking and be glad. The flavor and color are fabulous.

  • 3 parts sparkling lemon, lime, or lemon-lime sparkling water
  • Two parts tequila
  • 1.5 parts lime juice, fresh squeezed or bottled
  • One part orange liqueur (I like Gran Gala)
  • 1/2 part agave nectar
  • salt

Stir everything but the sparkling water together in a glass or pitcher, and taste to see how you feel about it. Add whatever it needs before adding the water. Sometimes the lime isn’t as flavorful, and I end up having it in equal proportion to the tequila. Maybe you like it sweeter. It’s your margarita. Do what you like! Another way I let go of convention is by adding salt directly to the glass. Salting the rim is a major pain. Sprinkle some nice sea salt in, stir, and taste. Add more, if you want. Enjoy!

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