Posted at 11:46 am , on June 7, 2019
Is it Summer yet? Maybe not officially, but after Memorial day it feels like summer break for most folks. Time to enjoy being outdoors whether it be time away on vacation, or just getting outside in your own backyard. When my kids were growing up we would make s’mores using the simple ingredients of store bought graham crackers, marshmallows and Hershey bars. I’ve been making marshmallow creme for several years and always wondered how s’mores would taste with that delicious whipped creme. Then I thought why not go all the way and make graham crackers too. And you know what . . . they turned out great. I had my doubts, but I am pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to put together and how tasty they are. The marshmallow creme recipe makes approximately 6 cups, more than enough for the graham crackers and chocolate. No worries, there are so many recipes to use marshmallow creme. Some of my favorites are dark chocolate cake with marshmallow creme icing, s’mores blondies, or rice crispy treats!
Posted at 12:03 pm , on May 31, 2019
Three Rivers Petroglyph is located in the Southern Central part of New Mexico between Carrizozo and Tularosa. It is rare to find such a location where you can hike so close and walk among the rock carvings. There are many sites in New Mexico that have petroglyphs, in fact Joe and I live near several trails where you can hike and find many petroglyph drawings right here in Albuquerque. We enjoy getting out to walk the trails and are always excited to find something new that we’ve missed on a previous hike. Three Rivers is a treasure in that there are more than 20,000 known petroglyph drawings clustered in a this small area. You can see many of them along two trails that lead you through a 1 mile hike. It is one of the great wonders of the Southwest. Some of the drawings depict birds, humans, animals, fish, insects and plants, as well as numerous geometric and abstract designs. Some are faded and hard to make out what they are while others are still quite vivid and easy to determine what they were trying to convey. I’ve always loved to explore the petroglyphs and try to interpret the story native people left behind for us. We had a great day and made a large loop from Carrizozo to Tularosa and through Ruidoso Downs, and up to Hondo where we visted the Hondo Iris Farm. The drive takes you some of the most beautiful scenery of mountains and valleys. Hondo was our turn around point as we headed back north through Lincoln National Forest where Smokey the Bear was rescued in 1950 and now buried. For anyone who loves the history of the Southwest and Native American people who resided here, Three Rivers is an amazing place to visit.
Posted at 11:06 am , on May 24, 2019
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is located just over an hour north of Albuquerque near the Cochiti Pueblo. Kasha-Katuwe meaning “white cliffs” is a natural formation of weathering and erosion that forms these rocks that resemble cones or tents. The slot canyon trail is approximately 1.5 miles one way and will climb in elevation to lookout over the canyon where you can view the tent rocks from above. The climb can be challenging at times but well worth the effort. The view from above is hard to describe as anything other than wonderous. Other than the wind, which is a given in NM, the weather was quite beautiful, low 70’s with mostly sunshine and blue skies. We took our time and tried to take in every moment and of course I took way too many pictures. Follow along on our tour from the bottom of the canyon to the top and back down again. Maybe you will be inspired to visit one day!
Posted at 10:39 am , on May 10, 2019
Breakfast in New Mexico is an experience unlike anything you might taste elsewhere. The combination of red or green chile, beans, potatoes and eggs along with tortillas or sopaipillas are common. In many restaurants you will find breakfast served all day, every day. The breakfast menu’s of today are more creative and amazing than ever. Most weekends Joe and I will go out for breakfast or lunch to try some of the local favorites around town. We found a gem in “Hot Tamales” located in Rio Rancho. We have been there several times and have been impressed each time by the flavors and creativity they inspire. One of Joe’s favorite meals is #64 Relleno and Eggs. It is described as a green chile cheese relleno with 2 eggs any style, topped with your choice of red or green chile and served with papitas and a sopaipilla. Now that’s a breakfast!! Anytime we talk about breakfast “Hot Tamales” comes up, and is also the inspiration for this breakfast skillet dish. Enjoy!
Posted at 11:12 am , on April 19, 2019
I have an ever growing bucket list of things to see and do in New Mexico. It’s coming up on one year since we moved back to the Land of Enchantment and we haven’t been disappointed one bit. My home state is full of beauty whether it be the colorful landscapes or vivacious sunsets. We are diverse in culture and within those cultures have some of the most artistic souls. Every corner of the state has something to offer. Even in my own backyard I am in in awe of the nature all around us. A pair of roadrunners visit each day as they go back and forth hunting and making their nest. We also see quail, hawks, black crows and even a coyote that have roamed through the yard. The coyote was a bit close for comfort but I was in awe nonetheless. Last weekend we went to the Albuquerque Botanical Gardens and Aquarium. It was a first for Joe and I, it opened in 1996 when we were in our third year of Kansas life. Now that I’ve experienced it, I can say that it doesn’t disappoint, in fact it surpassed my expectations. The ABQ Bio park is a magnificent place and I can’t wait to check out the rest of the park which includes the ABQ Zoo. I hope to go back to the gardens every season as the colors change and new flowers begin to bloom. Take a walk with us as we explore the trails of the ABQ Botanical Gardens. This is the Spring edition!
Posted at 11:39 am , on April 12, 2019
Adapted from Carlsbad Cravings “Pineapple Ginger Chicken”, this recipe has become one of my favorite go to meals whenever I have fresh pineapple on hand. It’s bold in flavor yet has a fresh taste, if that makes any sense. I don’t think you would find anything better if you ordered it in a restaurant. The burst of flavors that are in every bite along with the aromatic pineapple, ginger and garlic will enhance your senses for a very satisfying meal. Most recipes I would scale down for just the two of us, but the leftovers taste ever so good the next day.
Posted at 1:41 pm , on March 29, 2019
On our recent visit to the Florida Keys we enjoyed some really tasty seafood. On the last day we packed our bags and started the drive back to the mainland to get ready to catch our flight home. We stopped in Islamorada to have lunch and found this lovely restaurant called Lazy Days where we enjoyed an ocean view lunch from the second story patio. I was intrigued when I read the description of the “Billings Salad”. It was a big bowl of salad greens topped with Coconut Shrimp, Fried Cream Cheese, Apples, Grapes and Caramelized Walnuts with a Raspberry Vinaigrette. I wasn’t sure what to expect, I had never heard of fried cream cheese except in a Won Ton and as it turns out, the cream cheese filling tasted just like that. Their fried cream cheese was in the shape of large flat triangles and was warm and creamy. The shrimp and cream cheese completely covered the top of the salad. This salad looks very similar to the salad I had at Lazy Days although I made a couple of substitutions. It’s such a hearty salad and the warm cream cheese really compliments the rest of the ingredients. Whoever created this salad is genious! I’ve never had anything quite like it.
Posted at 11:40 am , on March 22, 2019
Today I’m sharing two of my favorite things. Not surprisingly, there are a lot of favorites going on in this bowl, but the main event is a well seasoned skirt steak and fries. I’ve always loved layers of flavors and this bowl has it all, including melted Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, guacamole, chopped tomatoes, jalapenos, green onion and cilantro with a dusting of queso fresco cheese to top it off. I can vouch for these fries, I’ve been making them for years. They are baked in the oven, yet taste as if they were fried. They are lightly seasoned and stay crisp throughout the pile of layers. Now that it’s officially Spring, I’m looking forward to longer daylight, warmer days and more time to spend outdoors grilling. A good skirt steak is one of my favorites to grill, it tastes so good in dishes like this that can be sliced or cut into bite size pieces. I’ve been seeing a range of new recipes combining steak and potatoes sometimes called Steak Frites or Loaded Steak Fries which inspired this bowl. Remember when rice bowls were all the rage; I can’t wait to see these pop up on menus around town!
Posted at 1:23 pm , on March 12, 2019
As promised, I have another way to use the sauce that makes the best Al Pastor tacos. Taquitos are something I grew up on and have loved all my life. They are basically rolled tacos made with corn tortillas and filled with anything from ground beef to chicken to pork to steak; really you can fill them with anything that tastes good. And the fun part is that they are the best finger food made for dipping. Usually I dip them in guacamole or salsa but today I am going with green chile dip. Pork is the traditional meat when making Al Pastor and I’m going to take a small pork roast and cook it low and slow until it will easily pull apart with 2 forks. It may not be the traditional way of making Al Pastor pork but it’s just might just be the tastiest to roll up inside a tortilla yet. There’s not much else to say, except you gotta try these!
Posted at 4:04 pm , on February 22, 2019
I may have mentioned that we vacationed in the Florida Keys recently. We met up with Joe’s brother Chuck and our sister in law, Melody (whom I affectionately refer to as my sister of the heart). Mel found a little cafe tucked in the heart of Key West called Cuban Coffee Queen. She was an instant fan of their coffee and sandwiches and I am so glad she suggested we stop by for a quick bite. Her favorite is the Cuban Mix which is a more traditional Cuban sandwich with Mojo pork, sliced ham, cheese, pickles, mustard; you know what I’m talking about. But they also made some sandwiches that varied a bit from the traditional Cuban. I was intrigued by the Jose Marti which was loaded with Mojo pork, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and a horseradish mayo. Joe loves the traditional Cuban but I talked him into splitting a Jose Marti with me and it was fantastic. I immediately wanted to recreate it when we got home, of course Joe wanted his traditional Cuban with mustard and pickles so I made one of each. I researched how to make Mojo pork and found there are two ways to go about it. I could cook it low and slow in a citrus marinade until it pulls apart like shredded pork or marinate the pork first then roast it until the outer layer has caramelized leaving the inside of the pork moist and tender. I chose the latter and cut it into small bite size pieces to pile on our sandwiches. They tasted so good and much like the sandwiches we ate at the Cuban Coffee Queen. I can’t wait to make them again!