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.
Posted at 12:42 pm , on September 25, 2020
There are recipes that I’ve collected over the years that I have tucked away. Along with my hand written recipe cards and favorite cookbooks, I have kept some old magazines that have tried and true recipes that are like an old friend. I pull them out from time to time and the other day I came across an old Good Housekeeping magazine from March, 1988. On the cover is Elizabeth Taylor and one of the articles is on the International Hamburger Cookbook with recipes from countries around the world. I tried several of their recipes but the one that stands out is the Spanish Beef and Potato Pie. Throughout the years I’ve made this dish many times but I’ve added a New Mexican twist with roasted red and green chiles, often called Autumn roast, and seasoned with a green chile salt blend. It’s so delicious and makes a complete meal. Just yesterday Joe and I went to Sichlers and got some red and green chile. They roasted it separately but within the green batch there were several chiles starting to turn red. I was so happy to have a batch that I could freeze together for an Autumn roast blend. And the roasted red is so good this year, a bit hotter than the green but with that hint of sweetness that makes it so perfect. Earlier in the season we picked up a small amount of green chiles so I am beyond myself with the good fortune of having a variety of roasted chiles to experiment with. Hope you enjoy this NM Inspired Spanish Beef and Potato Pie, it is delicious, I promise!
Posted at 10:05 am , on April 10, 2020
Smoothies have become my newest comfort food. The cool creamy flavor combinations make me feel better after having one. Maybe it’s because they provide more fruit and vitamin D than I would otherwise have in an average day. They taste great and you can put almost anything in them for a healthy boost. Josh has been making them for years, adding an assortment of healthy fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. While Josh will add anything and everything, I prefer a variety of frozen fruit with yogurt, milk and honey. I’ve always been one to pick up extra fruit on sale to put up in the freezer. Some fruits that freeze well are berries, cherries cranberries, grapes, mango, peaches, pineapple and bananas. You can also add citrus fruits to the mix such as lemon, lime, oranges and grapefruit. It’s really all about what you have on hand and what tastes good to you. This week I’m running low on milk and tried reconstituting instant dry milk. It was a great substitute, you cannot taste any difference when you add the fruit, yogurt and honey. Two cups of frozen fruit will make approximately 24 ounces or fill 2 (12 oz) glasses. I have been enjoying them a couple times a week and find them filling and refreshing.
Posted at 11:03 am , on March 10, 2020
Anytime I don’t have a plan for dinner my backup is always breakfast. Joe loves breakfast more than any meal so I try to make it special. Recently breakfast quesadillas have been top of the list. Oh, the taste of those crisp flour tortillas loaded with melting cheese, fried potatoes, bacon and fluffy eggs. If that’s not enough you can add other ingredients including sausage, ham, green chile, red pepper, green onion, avocado . . . it’s really whatever you choose. And don’t forget to spoon some salsa or green chile sauce over your quesadilla to spice things up. It’s definitely a meal worthy of breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Posted at 1:31 pm , on October 22, 2019
Scones were the first thing that come to mind when I made prickly pear jelly. I had just found a recipe online for tea scones and thought they would be perfect with my jelly. Honestly, I could eat scones every day of the week with their slightly sweetened dough and crunchy texture. Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a biscuit and a scone. They are quite similar but a scone has an egg added to the dough while a biscuit does not. Who wouldn’t want to pry one apart and add a spoonful of your favorite jelly or jam. One thing I’ve learned since we moved to a higher altitude is that recipes with a leavening agent need to be adjusted. Here in Albuquerque we are above 5000 ft. sea level where Kansas City is below 1000 ft. sea level. My cookies and scones were expanding way too much so decreasing the baking soda or baking powder became necessary. Also I have experienced having to alter the amount of wet ingredients to dry when making a dough. Our dry climate makes it sometimes necessary to add additional liquids to bind the dough together. Something I need to remember when baking!
Posted at 8:42 am , on October 10, 2019
I set aside two jars of prickly pear juice to make jelly. It reminded me of my Mom and how she used to can everything including jellies and jams in big huge canning pots. This was a much smaller scale so I found a different method to preserve the jelly by covering the sealed jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. When they cooled you could hear the lids make that popping sound that tells you they are sealed. I found some low sugar pectin which allowed me to cut down on the sugar as well as quicken the process. In no time I had a little more than 3 jars of prickly pear jelly. I couldn’t wait to taste it so I made a batch of tea scones to go with the jelly . . . absolutely delicious!
Posted at 1:24 pm , on October 9, 2019
When making the prickly pear syrup, I must confess it took two tries. I looked up recipes on pinterest and it appeared to be a simple process of mixing the prickly pear juice with water, sugar and lime juice and cooking it down to a syrup. I tried this method and although I stirred it often, it had a burned taste as if it were scorched. I tried it in my lemonade and believe me it was awful!! So I decided that the juice was the star of the show and all it needed was to be thickened into a syrup. I tried making a simple syrup first along with the lime juice and adding the prickly pear juice at the end of the process and it tasted fruity and delicious. One cup of prickly pear juice made 2 1/2 cups of syrup. I put aside the two cups into 1/2 pint jars and saved the rest. It adds a refreshing fruity taste to any tea or lemonade.
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 2:12 pm , on February 19, 2019
Joe and I recently took a few days to visit family in the Florida Keys. We loved the warm sunshine and tropical weather. The ocean is beautiful, the food is great and family time was the icing on the cake. However, traveling included early wake up calls and long flights which was tiresome. I needed caffeine and sugar to keep me alert when I couldn’t get moving on those early mornings. After we went through TSA security I treated myself to a pastry and coffee. It’s one of those things I only have occasionally because I’m so addicted to it, hence the coffeecake. I’m still trying to reign in my indulgence, but until then I’m going to eat cake! What goes better with coffee than a sweet slice of coffeecake. I tell myself the blueberries are to make it healthier although I doubt anyone would believe me. It has such a moist texture and the warm blueberries just melt into the cake. Lemons are notoriously tasty with anything blueberry so I drizzled a lemony glaze over top. It’s like a little slice of heaven on a plate!
Posted at 9:25 am , on November 14, 2018
It’s apple season and I for one can’t think of anything more delectable than an apple cinnamon roll with a bit of caramel sauce and caramel glaze drizzled over top. And for a little crunch add a few sweet cinnamon pecans to the mix. What a way to welcome friends and family around the holidays with the aroma of cinnamon and apples fresh from the oven. I’m making a batch of sweet rolls to put in the freezer for the holidays. They can easily be thawed and reheated in the oven for a delicious breakfast or brunch. And if by chance there are any left, break off a piece to dunk in your morning coffee, it’s a real treat!