On our recent vacation to Wyoming we experienced some wonderful food, both familiar and some that was new to our palate. Josh took us to Calico’s Restaurant and Bar one evening. He had been hearing good things about their menu and wanted to give it a try. I was in the mood for a light meal and ordered their Watermelon Arugula salad. It was a big plate of marinated watermelon chunks with a sprinkling of arugula and goat cheese. The flavors in the honey lime marinade/dressing came through with just the right amount of sweetness. I was so impressed with this salad that I couldn’t wait to recreate it when we got home. I wasn’t sure if I could find watermelon since Fall is upon us. But sure enough when I went shopping they had some good sized watermelons that were on sale. While I was putting this together I kept thinking that this salad seemed familiar and not just from tasting it at Calico’s. It didn’t take me long to realize that I had seen a similar recipe from one of my favorite bloggers, Karen at Back Road Journal. Karen’s recipe is a Spicy Stacked Watermelon Salad with Feta and Arugula which is a spicy version that looks absolutely delicious! If you haven’t tried a watermelon salad, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Posted at 9:42 am by NativeNM, on September 3, 2021
Labor day for some signals the end of Summer and the beginning of Fall. I love grilling outdoors and this year I bought a pellet smoker which has been so much fun to smoke ribs, burnt ends and pulled pork. So now I thought it would be fun to focus on one of our favorite side dishes. . . barbecue baked beans. There’s a lot of flavors packed into these beans including bacon, onion and jalapeno along with some sweet molasses and brown sugar. They are not just for outdoor picnics or family barbecues alone. I made enough for a meal or two and plan to freeze the rest in smaller portions that we can have later. If you are celebrating with family or friends this coming Labor day weekend you might want to make a pot of delicious barbecue baked beans to serve alongside.
Breakfast tacos are easy to make and scrumptious to eat. I like to make them with creamy scrambled eggs and toppings that include cheese, bacon, avocado and tomato with a drizzle of salsa. There are so many options that might go into a breakfast taco . . . maybe some diced onion or red peppers, green chile, spinach, or herbs. When it comes to toppings it’s all up to you. What I really want to talk about is the cheesy hash browns on the side. They are fantastic. If you order hash browns at a dozen different restaurants you’ll probably get a dozen different tastes and textures. I like my hash browns crispy outside while creamy inside. That’s a rare find but I think I’ve found a way to make them at home. After testing boiled potatoes and baked potatoes, I tried using dehydrated hash browns that you find in a box. The dehydrated shredded potatoes were the one that achieved that perfect combination of crispy and creamy hash brown. The addition of flour and butter makes the potatoes crisp on the outside while the cheese and egg keeps the inside creamy. I plan on testing some other additions like sour cream or yogurt instead of cheese to see how that alters the taste and texture. I’ll update you on my findings but in the meantime enjoy some breakfast tacos with some cheesy hash browns on the side.
Posted at 9:51 am by NativeNM, 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! Continue reading →
Posted at 9:31 am by NativeNM, on November 3, 2020
Recently I came across a recipe for honey mustard coleslaw. It sounded intriguing but at the same time I was skeptical. When it comes to coleslaw I’ve always been about the tried and true recipe which has never failed me. I decided to just go with it and picked up a bag of pre-chopped cabbage and added my own spicy honey mustard sauce. To my surprise it was delicious! And it makes a great chicken sandwich which was too good not to share. If there were any doubts, I can truly say this is one of my favorite ways to dress a sandwich. I think I will try it next on some pulled pork or pulled chicken. Continue reading →
Calabacitas is a staple side dish here in New Mexico. I wouldn’t say my version is traditional but it’s pretty close. I like to make myself a little batch this time of year when there is fresh corn and tomatoes available. I prefer zucchini squash over summer yellow squash, however I see many recipes with a combination of the two, and really how could you go wrong with either one. This was a side dish to chile rellenos and the next day I filled a couple tacos with the leftovers. It makes a really good vegetarian taco, just add some sliced avocado and queso fresco cheese. Calabacitas is a tasty side to any Mexican dish but it’s especially good when made with fresh ingredients. If you would like some additional ideas for how to incorporate calabacitas into other recipes you should go over to MJ’s Kitchen. MJ has made some wonderful meals including her latest Calabacitas Quiche. Continue reading →
Smoked sausage skillet meals are so delicious and can be made with many different ingredients to make them savory, sweet or spicy. I had some pineapple chunks in the freezer that would pair well together for a tasty teriyaki skillet dish. Adding rice pilaf on the side complimented the sweet and spicy sausage. With so much free time these days it made sense to assemble all the ingredients and start the prep work early. Once that task was done it took no time at all to put it together. I added some chopped onion and roasted red pepper to the mix but you can use other things that you have on hand including broccoli, carrots or any sweet or bell peppers. For such a simple meal it won’t be soon forgotten. Continue reading →
Posted at 3:56 pm by NativeNM, on December 6, 2019
Do you ever feel nostalgic around the holidays? It can bring back memories of your favorite times with friends and family, at least that happens to me. Recently I came across a folder with my old takeout menu’s that I saved from our favorite restaurants in Kansas City. One of our favorite restaurants was Frida’s, decorated in the art of Frida Kahlo, serving authentic Mexican food that was different than anything we ever tasted in New Mexico. Oh, how we loved that place! Frida’s was popular for a time but ultimately closed it’s doors in the summer of 2016. However, I saved their menu which described their dishes in great detail. I re-created their Caldo Tlapeno a few years ago which is one of my favorite soups to date. Joe’s favorite dish was the Chile en Nogada. Translation . . . it’s poblano chiles stuffed with meat, fruits and spices topped with a cream sauce and pomegranate seeds called nogada. It’s a beautiful dish with the aroma and colors of the holidays. With pomegranates in season I thought it was time to re-create this dish at home. Surprisingly it was very easy to make and captured the taste and appearance we remembered so fondly. Continue reading →
Posted at 11:54 am by NativeNM, on August 20, 2019
It’s been awhile since I’ve added a recipe. My kitchen has been under construction since mid May which we estimated to complete over a couple month’s. Sometimes well made plans don’t always work out though. We fell behind schedule but hope to have the total remodel completed by the end of August. Joe and I are doing a lot of the work ourselves with a little bit (actually big) help of a contractor who is helping to make it all happen. I haven’t had my stove hooked up until recently but without a sink to clean up, I’ve been making do with a more simple menu, meals that don’t require a stove or extra dishes. I shouldn’t complain though, it’s summer after all and most days I can grill outdoors. This weekend I was inspired by a recipe from “Fork in the Kitchen” , a Burrata Pesto Tomato appetizer that was so visually appealing, I had to give it a try. I tweaked the recipe so that it required no cooking and it turned out oh so good! Once you taste the creamy burrata cheese with freshly made pesto and sun-dried tomatoes layered on soft french bread it’s hard to stop! Continue reading →
Posted at 9:29 am by NativeNM, on November 20, 2018
For the first time in many years Joe and I will be spending Thanksgiving by ourselves. In years past we always spent the day with Joe’s mom. Our boys would also be there to feast on the traditional turkey and stuffing. This year has been a transitional year, Joe and I moved back to New Mexico about 6 month’s ago. Josh spent a year “down under” for the adventure of a lifetime traveling throughout Australia. He spent 6 month’s working at an observatory near Coonabarabran, which he called his second home. He met so many folks from all over the world and along the way made some lifelong friends. Cameron remains in the Kansas City area and is now part of the management team at Monster Mountain where he continues to share his love of rock climbing indoor and outdoor. He maintains and creates routes for the wall and coaches a group of young climbers that he is so proud of. We have a lot to be thankful for. Josh arrived back in the states on Halloween just in time to pass out candy and stayed with us for the past couple of weeks. He made plans to spend the holiday in California, but before he left for “The Golden State” he wanted us to share a Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings. I just couldn’t see cooking a turkey with all the side dishes for just the three of us so we cooked up a smaller version that tasted just as good as having a traditional meal. It’s pretty simple and takes way less time to make. We layered slices of toasted artisan bread with baked chicken or (sub turkey breast) layered with stuffing, gravy and a dollop of cranberry sauce. Of course I had to have mashed potatoes and gravy on the side. It is the most delicious meal to make if you want to make a feast for just 2 or 3 people. Also this would be a great way to use any leftovers for those who have a traditional roasted turkey with all the trimmings. Whether you are entertaining for two or want a way to make your leftovers taste just as good as your Thanksgiving meal, give this layered open faced sandwich a try. Happy Thanksgiving!! Continue reading →