Posted at 9:42 am , on October 30, 2020
Week No. 3 . . . The Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway is an 83-mile loop through the mountains, valleys, mesa’s and national forestland of Northern New Mexico. The loop goes from Taos to Questa to Red River to Eagle Nest to Angel Fire and back around to Taos. This picture was taken along the Rio Grande River between Espanola and Taos. Taos had by far the best fall colors with the Cottonwood trees ablaze with golden leaves. Most of these pictures were taken as we were driving but we did stop occasionally to capture some panoramic photos. Along the way the scenery changes from the Taos colors to the valleys of Angel Fire. The lake at Eagle Nest is so picturesque with the sparkling blue water with the hilltop landscape in the background. Red River is a tourist haven nestled in the mountains with pine trees, rivers and ponds. It’s always cooler up in the northern part of the state and a great getaway to cool off in the summer month’s or enjoy skiing in the winter. Taos is one of my favorite places on earth. It’s the most charming little town with unique local artists displaying their works in and around town. Whenever you visit New Mexico this might be the perfect place to start.
Posted at 10:24 am , on October 28, 2020
We first visited the 4th of July trailhead in August. We were looking for a place to hike where it was cooler because at that time the temperature was quite warm in Albuquerque and was too hot for outdoor activities. 4th of July trailhead is located on the south and west side of the Manzano Mountains. It’s about 1 1/2 hours to get to the trailhead with the last 6 miles being a dusty dirt road dotted with big rocks and potholes to navigate through. It’s slow going that last bit but well worth the trip. When the colors began to change we knew that 4th of July trail would be packed with people on the weekend with very little parking so we went during the week. We arrived around 3:30 in the afternoon. As it turned out our timing couldn’t have been more perfect. The sun was lower and coming through the trees lighting them up in their most vibrant colors. From the August greenery to the October colors, the trail was indescribable. I wouldn’t have recognized it had we not just been there a couple month’s earlier. The colors were even more vibrant that I could imagine. And as we walked I tried to get every color of leaf which ranged from an off white to a vibrant purple. Almost every color was represented and it reminded me of an enchanted forest from a fairy tale. I can’t imagine another place quite like 4th of July trailhead! Come take a walk with us and enjoy the colors of New Mexico!
Posted at 10:25 am , on October 26, 2020
Since Joe and I returned to New Mexico we’ve enjoyed taking day trips and hiking trails that are new to us. This year we were determined to see some of the fall colors around the state. We spent 3 weekends in October exploring different areas, each one offering a distinctive experience. The first weekend we went north to the ski valley near Santa Fe to hike the Aspen Vista Trail which is about 11 miles round trip. And no we didn’t make it the entire way but we did walk about 7 of the 11 miles. The Aspens are plentiful and they are spectacular! The golden yellow leaves at times look as if they are on fire. The early morning hours are the quiet times when the trails are less traveled and we can take our time to enjoy the view. With Covid 19 spiking again and nothing to do it seemed like everyone had the same idea to get away and enjoy the beautiful leaf tour. By driving to the trails early, we could easily get a parking spot and enjoy the trails with a handful of early birds. By lunchtime it’s a different story, many more folks just getting started as we wind our way back. We always pack a picnic lunch and find a spot to enjoy the view. It’s a serene time to get away in this year 2020. We are fortunate to be able to travel an hour or two to a beautiful haven in which to get away and forget the worries of the world if only for one day!
Posted at 10:53 am , on October 23, 2020
My husband Joe is a steak and potatoes kind of guy. I have to be creative sometimes to come up with different ways to serve it so it’s not the same old dish time after time. This idea came from a pinterest photo that looked like stir fried steak and potatoes. However when I tried to connect to the recipe it was no longer available so I just went by the picture and took ideas on how to make it my own. The picture clearly had steak, potatoes, corn and red pepper plus some green herbs that were not distinguishable. And it also looked like it had some type of sauce, perhaps Siracha or salsa with pepper flakes. It looked so appetizing I thought I would give it a try. Instead of making it a wok dish I decided to cook some things on the grill and then add everything together in a cast iron skillet with salsa to bind it together. It was truly delicious and spicy.
Posted at 10:14 am , on October 9, 2020
Awhile back I picked up some red plums that were some of the best I’ve ever tasted. They were naturally sweet and flavorful, perfect for making jam. I’ve only made jam a few times but I’m learning more through each process. To preserve the jam I like to pack it in jars and seal using a hot water bath. It’s easy and has so far been very reliable. The one thing I’ve found is that the more naturally sweet your fruit is, the less sugar you need to add. Ball has a “Low or No Sugar” pectin that is an easy way to thicken your jam without all the sugar. Now that I’ve figured that out I plan to pick fruit when it is in season and at the height of sweetness. If you make a few jars here and there you will have a variety of jam to enjoy for several month’s or share with family and friends.