Posted at 9:31 am , on February 23, 2021
This weekend I cleaned out the fridge to freshen it up and rearrange so that everything fit in a more organized way. While I was cleaning I came across an unopened container of feta cheese that got pushed to the back. The expiration date was still good but I needed to find a way to use it soon or toss it. I searched the web and found that feta cheese can make an incredible dip that can be savory or sweet or both. This spread has it all and is layered in flavors that will tantalize your taste buds with the salty feta, sweet honey and spicy pistachios. We enjoyed it with pita chips or slices of toasted artisan bread. I made this creamy bowl with some New Mexico honey and another bowl with Monroe’s Red Chile Honey. We enjoyed both with the red chile honey tasting slightly spicier. If you enjoy sweet and salty flavors this might be the appetizer for you.
Posted at 9:11 am , on February 12, 2021
Southwest Chicken Salad also referred to as a Santa Fe Chicken Salad is a healthy alternative for dinner that is loaded with flavors. It’s a popular salad that can be made at home to taste just as good or even better than your favorite restaurant. Nearly always you will find a bed of greens topped with grilled chicken, corn and black beans along with avocado, tomatoes and cheese. These are things that most of us already have in our pantry or refrigerator. The toppings vary and you can always add or leave out ingredients that work for you. The salad dressing is a personal choice but there are many recipes for dressings that enhance the flavors of this salad. I chose a chipotle ranch dressing that paired well with all the toppings and gave it a spicy kick. If you have some or all of these ingredients handy, you too could put together a salad for dinner that is scrumptious and healthy which is ways a plus!
Posted at 10:34 am , on February 9, 2021
One of the most popular breakfasts in New Mexico is Huevo Rancheros. It’s traditionally made with soft corn tortillas topped with 2 fried eggs smothered in red chile sauce. And most likely you’ll find a side of pinto beans and fried potatoes on the side. It’s delicious!! Normally I have homemade red chile sauce on hand but this time I am trying one of our locally made sauces. It made this breakfast a breeze to put together. I know from experience, it’s not always easy to find dried red chiles or the right chile powder to make your own sauce, especially if you live in a different state or different part of the country. In a pinch you can always use a can of red enchilada sauce to smother your eggs. The crispy breakfast potatoes and beans on the side complete this meal. If you haven’t had Huevos Rancheros it should be on your bucket list. I think you will find it one of the most enjoyable meals any time of day!
Posted at 9:51 am , on February 5, 2021
Salad is the side dish that we have most often, it goes with almost everything. I miss going out to restaurants and getting those great salads with the house made dressings. They are always so good and you just can’t replicate the same taste from a store bought dressing. So lately I’ve been making more homemade dressings in small batches so that can change it up without taking up too much space in the fridge. One of my favorite salads is the ever popular Caesar salad, however it’s taken some time experimenting with recipes that tastes like the dressing you might eat at a restaurant, or takeout as we do these days. I found a recipe from “Culinary Hill” that checks all the boxes, simple to make, tastes great and no anchovies! I tweaked it a little bit and now it’s my go to Caesar dressing. Once you have a good salad dressing, the rest is simple. Romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese and croutons complete the salad. So what has kept this salad so popular over the decades, it’s the dressing of course!
Posted at 10:49 am , on February 2, 2021
Pinto beans are one of the main staple foods here in New Mexico. You will find beans on most tables multiple times a week. It can be a side dish but for a lot of folks, it’s the main meal with a flour tortilla on the side. In all the years we lived in Kansas it was quite different going out to eat at a Mexican restaurant. You would find refried beans sometimes but black beans were often served as a side . I grew to love black beans but since we’ve been back I find myself reacquainted with the pinto’s of my childhood. Every time we get takeout from our favorite restaurants I always ask for extra beans, no rice. Joe is the opposite, wouldn’t touch a bean if his life, well you get the picture, he doesn’t like beans. So every now and then I will make myself a little pot of beans and spice them up with onion and chiles, sometimes bacon, and sometimes add a little chopped cilantro or grated cheese. My favorite is still my Mom’s Charro Beans. Her recipe is my guide with the substitution of roasted red chiles for green and red chile jerky for bacon. I had no idea how jerky might taste in a pot of beans, but to my surprise it turned out really really good! About half of the jerky is put in the pot along with the beans while saving a few little bits to go on top for crunch. It’s a delicious blend of flavors and texture. Here in NM you can find locally made jerky on almost every corner of the state. There are so many jerky flavors that might taste good in a pot of beans but red chile is a natural choice!
Posted at 12:16 pm , on January 29, 2021
Chilaquiles is an easy dish made from fried tortillas tossed in red or green chile sauce and topped with a fried egg. That’s it! There are toppings involved that are optional for every individual taste. Most recipes add a crumbled cheese such as queso fresco or cotija, cilantro and chopped red onion. Some simmer the tortillas in the sauce which softens the tortillas, however I like the tortillas to have a little bit of texture and crunch. In the past I usually make a red sauce with dried red chiles, a combination of NM Red, Guajillo and Ancho chiles. This time I’m trying something new, a sauce by “The Fresh Chile Co.” which is made from Hatch fresh red chiles. The sauce is a puree of red chiles, garlic, salt, and citrus which makes a beautiful red sauce that is fantastic! If you are looking for a spicy breakfast or brunch, chilaquiles is the perfect choice.
Posted at 10:15 am , on January 27, 2021
It’s National Chocolate Cake Day!! And with Valentines day just around the corner I thought I’d share my favorite chocolate cake. Joe loves dark chocolate so I made this cake especially for him. The cake alone is very moist and loaded with dark chocolate flavors as well as coffee. And you can’t beat a buttercream frosting for it’s creamy whipped texture. The combination is so decadent leaving you to savor every bite. And if that’s not enough I had some chocolate covered pecans from “Legacy Pecans” that I chopped and sprinkled over top. Joe loves them and it was almost impossible to keep him from devouring them before they went on the cake. He was all too happy to taste test this slice. Hope you all have a wonderful Chocolate Cake Day and a Valentines day shared with the one you love! Continue reading
Posted at 2:10 pm , on January 20, 2021
One of my favorite ways to dress up a pork chop is to add chimichurri. Pork chops don’t have to be dry and bland. By adding a simple marinade and a flavorful topping, pork chops can be a most appealing meal. The chimichurri is the star of this recipe, made with the flavors of red chile and lime. This combination is second to none with fresh herbs, red chile pistachios and queso fresco cheese. Once the pork has marinated this meal can be prepared in 15 minutes. The chimichurri provided flavor, texture and spice which tasted so good with the grilled pork. To complete this meal serve alongside a baked potato and garden salad. Pork chops never tasted so good!
Posted at 11:06 am , on January 5, 2021
One of my favorite combinations is cranberry and orange. Let’s face it, these two just belong together, whether it’s scones, muffins, cranberry sauce or cranberry relish. Cranberries are in season now so if you love this tarty fruit you might want to pick up a bag or two and put in the freezer. I started freezing them so that I had some to cook with all year long. I prefer fresh or frozen berries to dried cranberries plus they don’t have the added sugar that dried cranberries do. Along with antioxidants, they provide many vitamins and minerals that we all need in our daily diet. I must confess, sweet rolls probably negate all the positives of eating cranberries but after the year we’ve had I’m going to give myself a break and indulge in a few rolls. The rest can be frozen for up to a couple month’s. I like to freeze 2 rolls per package and that way I can have a sweet roll now and then. These rolls are messy and don’t look as perfect as some of my other sweet rolls but the taste is among the best. For me it always starts with brioche dough, I never waver with any other dough, it’s just that good. The cranberry orange jam was adapted from “Plated Cravings”. I had an idea of what the filling should be and this recipe was about as perfect as I could have imagined. And if that’s not enough I made an orange glaze that soaked into every crack and crevice of these rolls. I hope you’ll keep these in mind next time you are craving sweet rolls. They have a festive feel for the holidays but I think they would be perfect any time of year.
Posted at 10:54 am , on December 29, 2020
Around the holidays one of the things I enjoy most is a cup of hot chocolate. Just holding a cup of hot cocoa brings a warmth and serenity especially during the cold winter days and nights. I’ve made my own cocoa mix many times but this year I varied just a bit and made some Mexican blend with a hint of red chili and cinnamon. It tastes so decadent and creamy. On the weekends I enjoy some quiet time with a good book and a cup of cocoa. If you like this pretty cup you can find it at Persephone Bakery Cafe in Jackson Hole, WY. I hear the pastries, sandwiches and coffee are to die for. It’s where Josh calls home now and is a barista by day at both Persephone Bakery and Picnic. With Covid 19 this past year we cancelled our plans to visit but fingers crossed we will make it up to Jackson Hole next summer and let Josh be our guide around the Tetons and beyond.