remembering-mom-9

It seems surreal that my Mother is not here.  She passed recently having lived 92 years.  In the last few years we could see her memory fading and our Mom quietly disappearing.  I try to remember the times we shared, whether we were together in the kitchen preparing a meal or tending to the garden that she raised every summer.  She was a frugal woman who did not believe in wasting anything.  She raised vegetables and canned any extra that we would enjoy throughout the rest of the year.  And one of my fondest memories was taking our vegetables, fresh corn, watermelon and cantaloupe to the farmers market where she displayed some of her finest produce to sell.  She was an excellent dressmaker, she sewed most of my clothes growing up.  And she tried to teach me the art of sewing although it really wasn’t my calling.  She made quilts throughout the years, making each grandchild a quilt of their own.  The girls were given vintage sunbonnet girl quilts while the boys received vintage fisher overall boy quilts.  She loved watching her hummingbirds that would come in numbers in the Spring and flock to the hummingbird feeders that were put out on the porch with sugar water each year.

When I was young my Dad raised cotton on the farm.  He worked so hard and Mom always had a big meal on the table when they came in at noontime.  In those days almost everything was fried and it tasted so good.  She made the best fried chicken and chicken fried steak.  Always served with mashed potatoes, cream gravy and coleslaw.  But in the summer we had fresh vegetables. We would snap green beans or shell peas in the evenings, gather tomatoes, okra, radishes, onions, beets, cucumbers, asparagus, zucchini and yellow squash, cabbage, turnips, mustard and turnip greens, and sometimes green chiles.  Sometimes I wonder how she did it all! My parents worked hard, showed us how to live on a budget and within our means but most of all showed us love.  I hope they are together now in peace.

Love Lives On
Those
we love remain with us
for love itself lives on,
and cherished memories never fade
because a loved one’s gone.
Those we love can never be
more than a thought apart,
far as long as there is memory,
they’ll live on in the heart.

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potato-leek-pizza-with-pork-belly-12

I’ve seen so many yummy recipes using Pork Belly however it’s one of those things I haven’t had any experience with.  I was shopping at Costco recently and came across a package of Pork Belly that was already sliced.  It looked almost like bacon but for the fact that it was cut into thick slabs.  I wasn’t sure what I could do with it since it was already cut but I thought why not give it a try.  One of my favorite pizza’s is a potato leek pizza that I usually make with bacon so I thought I would substitute the pork belly for the bacon and see how that turned out.  Pork belly tastes quite different, you don’t get the smoky salty flavors of bacon.  But I do think it goes quite well with this particular pizza, the tender chunks of pork belly matched with slices of fried potatoes, sauteed leeks and melted mozzarella make one savory slice of deliciousness.
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nm-chicken-pot-pie-16

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted any recipes.  My camera was acting up and developed a lens error which prevented me from taking pictures.  It took a few weeks to send it off and get it back in working order again.  Then the holidays were upon us and I had my hands full with no time to blog.  I’m just getting back in my groove and wanted to share one of my favorite pot pies with you.  Pot Pie is a favorite of mine, however my hubby Joe doesn’t enjoy my enthusiasm for pot pie.  So I compromised and made a pot pie with minimal dough, just a crusty puff pastry dough on top. And I added some spicy chicken and veggies that we both love, roasted corn, green chile and red onion.  It had all the flavors of home and it couldn’t have tasted better.  They were made in individual ramekins, just the perfect size to heat up for a quick lunch or have for dinner with a side salad.
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meat-filled-ravioli-18

Time to make ravioli to put up in the freezer!  I like to make ravioli in the fall when the weather is cooler and I can spend a whole day in the kitchen.  And it truly takes me a whole day to make these starting with putting together the meat filling to making the pasta dough and finally assembling, cutting and packaging for the freezer.  It is a great deal of prep work but I find it rewarding especially on those occasions when I need a quick meal.  And they tastes so much better than any frozen ravioli that you find at the store.  These frozen ravioli can go directly into boiling water and be ready in just a few minutes.  And if you like toasted ravioli like we do, thaw a bag or two in the refrigerator.  This batch made approximately 6 dozen ravioli.  That will make quite a few meals for any family.
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chile-infused-chicken-8

One of my favorite restaurants, the Red Door Grill offers Jalapeno Fried Chicken every Thursday and only on Thursdays.  Let me tell you it’s REALLY REALLY good!   It’s marinated in buttermilk and jalapenos for 4 days or so they say.  I was so impressed that I decided to make my own fried chicken but I chose to use Hatch green chile in lieu of jalapenos.  What New Mexican wouldn’t pick green chile over jalapenos?  I pan fried it browning the outside and then let the oven do the rest.  For me it’s much easier to cook the chicken evenly throughout that way. The chicken is so moist with a golden crunch outside and a hint of spicy green chile in every bite. A side of mashed potatoes with green chile gravy made this one of the best comfort meals I’ve had in a long time!
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apple-pie-egg-rolls-9

Way back in 2011 I posted “Dessert Egg Rolls” which became on of my most popular desserts.  I hope these apple pie egg rolls will be a big hit too.  I made them individually so they are always hot and crisp. Paired with salted caramel sauce to dip or drizzle over top makes them even more delectable.  It’s apple season and you’ll find an abundance of apples to choose from this time of year.  My favorite cooked apple pie filling made up approximately 12 egg rolls.  Using cooked pie filling allows you to keep any unused filling in the refrigerator and cook the egg rolls up fresh. They are easy to roll and pan fry in just a few minutes.  Hope you enjoy these egg rolls as much as we did!
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blackberry-pie-15

With Autumn upon us you might be thinking it’s time for pumpkin and apples but I’ve still got a little Summer left in me with some late ripened berries.  If you like crumb cake you are going to love this blackberry crumb pie.  The consistency is similar to pie bars but I chose to bake it in a pie crust and it turned out scrumptious.  It’s layered with berries on the bottom swimming in a cake like batter with a golden crisp topping.  I’m thinking this would be a great pie to freeze and serve for the holidays, providing I can find these luscious berries again.
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