Posted at 10:31 am , on October 4, 2019
Another unique place to visit within the Gila Wilderness is the Catwalk National Recreation Trail. Just a few miles northeast of Glenwood, NM, this area is rich in mining history when in the 1890’s an ore processing plant was built. Water was needed for the plant and a steel pipeline was built to draw water from the Whitewater Canyon. They built a walkway of wooden planks through the canyon but the processing plant only lasted about 10 years. In the 1930’s the Civilian Conservation Corps rebuilt the walkway which is used as a recreational trail today. Beyond the Catwalk are more rugged trails leading into the Gila Wilderness. We had planned to go a bit further on these trails but they were closed for renovations. Another time perhaps. However, we so enjoyed the walk along the Catwalk which was approximately a 2 mile walk round trip. It’s a beautifully hidden gem that I’ve always wanted to explore. We walked the trail in the early morning when it was relatively quiet and very few people to share the trail. It was so peaceful with the cool, comfortable temperatures with only the sounds of water flowing and the birds chirping. Fall is a wonderful time of year to explore New Mexico!
Posted at 11:27 am , on October 1, 2019
Recently Joe and I took a couple days to go hiking and see the sights in the Gila Wilderness area which is located in southwest New Mexico near Silver City. Normally one would think, southwest New Mexico, hmmm . . . hot, desert, less vegetation. In fact there are several national forest areas in this region with mountains, rolling hills and valleys dotted with various pine trees, cedar trees and wild flowers. The temperature naturally feels a bit cooler in the mountains and it makes for an enjoyable hike. Silver City was a boomtown during the 1880’s as a mining community where they mined silver, gold, copper, lead and zinc. Today Silver City is still a small community and small college town, home to Western New Mexico University. The community has renovated the downtown area with local artists showcasing their art in the little shops as well as restaurants and antique consignment shops. It’s a great place to walk and visit with the locals as well as shop for unique finds that you might not find anywhere else. On Saturday morning we headed north of Silver City to the Gila Cliff Dwellings. We began a moderate hike along a trail that leads to a cave in the distance. As you get closer can see the long standing dwelling that was believed to be built by the Anasazi or Mogollon people in or around 1280’s. It’s an astounding sight to see and gives you a sense of how the people of that time lived and survived. I found it amazing that these cliff dwellings are so well preserved after so many centuries have passed. Hope you enjoy our little hike through history.
Posted at 10:17 am , on September 20, 2019
When I made the carne adovada earlier in the week, I packaged most of it for the freezer. But I set aside just enough along with the reserved red chile sauce to make chimichangas like I had at “Little Anitas”. I promise you will love these chimi’s smothered in red and green chile with melted cheese. On the side I added some charro beans and a tamale for Joe. Every bite can only be described as a taste sensation so take time to savor every bite. This is one of those times when I wish I had a bigger stomach, but leftovers for lunch the next day was delicious! Once you have carne adovada on hand, the chimi’s are a breeze to make.
Posted at 1:59 pm , on September 17, 2019
One of my new obsessions is Carne Adovada. Carne adovada is cuts of pork that has simmered in red chile for several hours. It’s so flavorful you could eat it straight out of the bowl by itself. However, most of the time it’s used as a filling for enchiladas, tacos, burritos, chimichangas or sopaipillas. Every time Joe and I go out for Mexican food, I try both red and green chile which is referred to as “Christmas” so that I can find the best tasting red and green chile around town. One of the most memorable meals we had this summer was at Little Anitas, a family owned retaurant that’s been around for 40 years. I ordered the carne adovada chimichanga smothered with both red and green chile. I can’t say enough about how much I loved their chimi. The meat was so flavorful and tender, however it was milder than it appeared. Every bite was enhanced by the combination of red and green chile with melting cheese. I couldn’t wait to come home and jot down some notes on what I tasted and what made it taste so good. I first made a sauce with just NM red chile pods which is the traditional way but it turned out way too spicy for this girl. Then I made a sauce with half NM red chiles and half Guajillo chiles. The heat of the sauce was still a bit on the hot side but it turned out to be our sauce of choice. I think if you like red chile sauce, it’s fun to mix and match the dried chiles to get different flavors. For example I have always loved the taste of Ancho chiles and still to this day add them to some recipes. The color of the sauce will vary because of the colors of the dried chiles. Anchos are very tasty but make a very dark red, almost rusty red sauce. I made a big batch so that we could eat what we wanted and freeze the rest. Any leftover carne adovada and sauce will freeze well and make an easy meal next time those cravings kick in.
Posted at 10:06 am , on September 10, 2019
Welcome to my kitchen! After 3 1/2 month’s of demo, patience and a lot of hard work we finally have the kitchen we dreamed of. I have to give my husband Joe so much credit, he took my ideas and made it a reality. When we moved from Kansas back to New Mexico we both had our own visions of what we wanted in a home. He wanted a space to store his tools and an area for woodworking projects and I wanted an open kitchen. And we both wanted a view of the mountains. Well we got two out of three. My kitchen was big enough but wasn’t open by any means. The kitchen in Kansas was small but was organized and designed to be functional. Everything was in reach and it was easy to prepare and cook in my tiny kitchen. The kitchen in Albuquerque was not functional at all, at least not for me. I rearranged things time after time and couldn’t find a way to make it flow. So we decided to take 6 month’s to find out what worked and what didn’t work in order to design a work area with ample storage space. We started just before Memorial day and finished up on Labor day. After a few days spent moving back in and organizing things, I’m ready to get back in the kitchen!
Posted at 10:23 am , on August 28, 2019
I don’t remember a summer in recent years when I’ve done so much grilling. Good thing I love to grill because my indoor kitchen has been under construction all summer long. I’ve been making the most of it while trying out new recipes. These apricot glazed pork kabobs may be one of the tastiest meals we’ve had all summer. It’s a simple kabob with cubed pork loin and thick sliced bacon. Thick cut bacon is a must or it will char way beyond the crispy caramelized end bits that make this so tasty. I bought a pork loin and sliced it into pork steaks that I could put up in the freezer. Depending on size 2 – 3 thick sliced pork loin steaks plus 4 thick slices of bacon will make plenty for two people. Add some grilled corn, onions, zucchini, or red pepper on the side to complete the meal. Or if you prefer grilled peaches, plums or pineapple also taste great alongside apricot glazed pork.
Posted at 11:54 am , 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!
Posted at 11:46 am , on June 7, 2019
Is it Summer yet? Maybe not officially, but after Memorial day it feels like summer break for most folks. Time to enjoy being outdoors whether it be time away on vacation, or just getting outside in your own backyard. When my kids were growing up we would make s’mores using the simple ingredients of store bought graham crackers, marshmallows and Hershey bars. I’ve been making marshmallow creme for several years and always wondered how s’mores would taste with that delicious whipped creme. Then I thought why not go all the way and make graham crackers too. And you know what . . . they turned out great. I had my doubts, but I am pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to put together and how tasty they are. The marshmallow creme recipe makes approximately 6 cups, more than enough for the graham crackers and chocolate. No worries, there are so many recipes to use marshmallow creme. Some of my favorites are dark chocolate cake with marshmallow creme icing, s’mores blondies, or rice crispy treats!
Posted at 12:03 pm , on May 31, 2019
Three Rivers Petroglyph is located in the Southern Central part of New Mexico between Carrizozo and Tularosa. It is rare to find such a location where you can hike so close and walk among the rock carvings. There are many sites in New Mexico that have petroglyphs, in fact Joe and I live near several trails where you can hike and find many petroglyph drawings right here in Albuquerque. We enjoy getting out to walk the trails and are always excited to find something new that we’ve missed on a previous hike. Three Rivers is a treasure in that there are more than 20,000 known petroglyph drawings clustered in a this small area. You can see many of them along two trails that lead you through a 1 mile hike. It is one of the great wonders of the Southwest. Some of the drawings depict birds, humans, animals, fish, insects and plants, as well as numerous geometric and abstract designs. Some are faded and hard to make out what they are while others are still quite vivid and easy to determine what they were trying to convey. I’ve always loved to explore the petroglyphs and try to interpret the story native people left behind for us. We had a great day and made a large loop from Carrizozo to Tularosa and through Ruidoso Downs, and up to Hondo where we visted the Hondo Iris Farm. The drive takes you some of the most beautiful scenery of mountains and valleys. Hondo was our turn around point as we headed back north through Lincoln National Forest where Smokey the Bear was rescued in 1950 and now buried. For anyone who loves the history of the Southwest and Native American people who resided here, Three Rivers is an amazing place to visit.
Posted at 11:06 am , on May 24, 2019
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is located just over an hour north of Albuquerque near the Cochiti Pueblo. Kasha-Katuwe meaning “white cliffs” is a natural formation of weathering and erosion that forms these rocks that resemble cones or tents. The slot canyon trail is approximately 1.5 miles one way and will climb in elevation to lookout over the canyon where you can view the tent rocks from above. The climb can be challenging at times but well worth the effort. The view from above is hard to describe as anything other than wonderous. Other than the wind, which is a given in NM, the weather was quite beautiful, low 70’s with mostly sunshine and blue skies. We took our time and tried to take in every moment and of course I took way too many pictures. Follow along on our tour from the bottom of the canyon to the top and back down again. Maybe you will be inspired to visit one day!