Posted at 9:41 am , on October 29, 2018
There are a lot of versions of Shepherd’s Pie, depending on where you grew up or what part of the country you reside. I’ve always viewed it as a casserole made up of seasoned ground beef and mixed vegetables topped with buttery mashed potatoes. It’s been forever since I’ve made a traditional Shepherd’s Pie simply because Joe doesn’t like many of the vegetables. However, the one thing that will entice him to taste something new is to add green chile, so I made a Shepherds pie with green chile as the main event. And to my amazement he liked it, so much so that I didn’t have to eat leftovers all week. Here in New Mexico the leaves are changing color and it’s damp with rain showers that are welcome, however the fall temperatures are dropping which sometimes makes it feel more like a winter day. On days like these I find myself yearning for some comfort food to take away the chills. Sitting in front of the fire with a warm shepherd’s pie takes away that chill, at least for a little while.
Posted at 8:56 am , on October 16, 2018
It’s Balloon Fiesta time y’all! If you haven’t seen video or pictures of the past weeks festivities, I’ve got you covered. I haven’t been to a Mass Ascension since 1995, wow has it been that long! It’s much different and at the same time much the same as it was all those years ago. It’s a magical experience to walk among the balloons as they are stretched across a huge field in anticipation of launching around 550 hot air balloons. Whoever choreographed this is brilliant with so many balloons to manage among huge crowds of people. As they begin to inflate and take shape you will see them float upward in a choreographed wave. We arrived on opening day, later than we anticipated after a 2 hour wait in line to catch a bus out to the balloon field. But we were luckier than some who never made it out to the field at all. It was disappointing to see that more than half the balloons had already launched by the time we were dropped off and made our way onto the field. We had to wind our way through a virtual wall of people all trying to see the last wave of balloons. Everyone wanted to capture the magic in photos. While we were saddened in missing some of the earlier events we did manage to see some extraordinary balloons and had a wonderful time. We will be back, but next time we will plan better and get there earlier. Next time we will arrive to see the Dawn Patrol as they ascend before first light and watch them glow through the early morning air. Next time we will take more photos. Next time can’t come soon enough!!
Posted at 2:11 pm , on September 28, 2018
Before we moved back to New Mexico, Joe and I had one last breakfast at “First Watch”, one of our favorites. They serve breakfast and lunch and we always have a hard time deciding because everything on their menu sounds and tastes so good. Occasionally they add a few seasonal items to the menu that is served for a short period of time. This was one of them. I have always been a fan of lemon and strawberries and these toppers take the cake . . . or should I say pancake! Usually I go for something savory like a benedict or toasted sandwich with fruit on the side but on this day I was craving something sweeter. And while the strawberries were perfectly sweet, the lemon curd was quite tart. Maple syrup was on the table but after the first bite there was no need to add anything more. The pancakes were light and slightly creamy like a dutch baby, with a crispy outer crust. When I taste a dish this delicious I usually write it down with notes as to the ingredients, taste, and texture for future reference. It’s taken me awhile to recreate this one but it was well worth the wait!
Posted at 10:40 am , on September 6, 2018
Summer is almost over and I’m not ready to let it go. I still have places to explore, farmers markets to visit, things to grill outdoors. I’m just getting used to the daily routine of being in a new home, getting familiar with new surroundings and finding my way around a new kitchen. For others it probably would be a breeze, but for me it takes time. Yes, summer is leaving and fall is just around the corner. It won’t be long before summer grilling turns into fall baking and soups for the soul. It may be late in the summer but I’m still enjoying the farm grown tomatoes which highlight this incredible grilled cheese. Envision crisp bacon strips, tomato slices and grated cheese between two slices of Josh’s artisan bread, toasted on a hot cast iron comal. That makes one great sandwich! And for a slightly different taste, add a few slices of avocado. Maybe next time I’ll try a fried egg on top, I can only imagine how good that would be!
Posted at 3:20 pm , on August 16, 2018
It’s chile season here in New Mexico! I have missed you so! It’s been too many years since I’ve been home to enjoy the aroma of roasting chiles in the air. Ask any New Mexican and they will tell you that this is a most special time of year. Today I’m sharing a favorite breakfast dish and taking it up a notch to make it even more scrumptious if that’s possible. An eggs benedict with a fry bread base, topped with bacon, poached eggs and a green chile hollandaise sauce ladled over top. Making this for just the two us us presented a dilemna of scaling everything down from the fry bread to the hollandaise sauce. As much as I tried it’s really perfect for four. It’s also a time sensitive dish to make given that everything needs to be prepped and cooked at the same time. Fortunately for me, Joe volunteered to help out and together we had everything prepared and assembled in no time. When you taste that first bite, your taste buds will swoon. This is by far my favorite hollandaise sauce, so creamy and flavorful with freshly roasted green chile. And if you take the time to make these light and airy fry breads, you will wonder why you haven’t done this sooner. At least that’s what I’m thinking!
Posted at 12:26 pm , on August 7, 2018
Joe and I are enjoying being back in Albuquerque and trying some of the local restaurant favorites. While I cook most of our meals during the week, on the weekend we try to get away from the daily grind and nearly always go out for a bite to eat. One Saturday we tried a new place, at least it’s new to us called Filling Philly’s. They feature steak and chicken philly cheese steaks as well as meatball sandwiches. But what caught our eye was the Green Chile Philly. I can tell you my mouth was watering just reading the description. And it didn’t disappoint, It was delicious!! The distinct difference between my cheese steak and Filling Philly’s is the cheese sauce. They use cheese whiz which does taste good but I envisioned a creamy Oaxaca cheese sauce. Oaxaca cheese melts so creamy and makes the best cheese sauce and dips. I especially love it paired with green chile. My love of cheese steaks have no bounds, this one has to be one of the best!
Posted at 9:18 am , on August 1, 2018
Joe and I have visited several farmers markets around Albuquerque lately. Our first market was the Rail Yards Market that happens every Sunday. It’s located in the heart of the city in an old rail yard that is near 100 years old. The market attracts many who come every Sunday to walk among the vendors who sell fresh produce, honey, local arts and crafts along with jerky, breakfast burritos and a lemonade booth with every flavor of lemonade under the sun. We went on a hot morning with clear skies and the sun shining brightly. It didn’t take long to become parched. We saw all the lemonades across the way and wandered over. We couldn’t decide what lemonade to try when they offered up samples of any combination we wanted to try. OH MY MY! Every flavor of lemonade was so delicious, we just couldn’t make up our minds. We finally went with a blueberry lemonade that had the most refreshing taste. I decided right then and there that as soon as I had a kitchen again I was going to make lemonade or limeade. Well, now that I have a kitchen again its time to test some new recipes. The limes were on sale so guess who won! Our fruit of choice was ripe and juicy strawberries. These days I’m always on the hunt for lemons or limes on sale. Summer is the perfect time to always have a refreshing pitcher of lemonade or limeade.
Posted at 11:23 am , on July 17, 2018
Welcome to New Mexico! We are now officially back in the Land of Enchantment. We packed up our belongings in Kansas and moved back to NM in May. It took a few weeks to find the perfect home but are now settled into a beautiful pueblo style home on the West side of Albuquerque. On any given morning we are blessed with hot air balloons to greet us, sometimes they are so close we can almost touch them. Joe and I have gone to several farmer’s markets around the city, artist and craft fairs in Santa Fe and a memorable day with my sister Kat at the Vintage Market days where many things from the past were re-purposed into something new. This past weekend we enjoyed a day trip to the Purple Adobe Lavender Festival in Abiquiu, NM. Afterwards we ventured a little further up the road to Ghost Ranch where Georgia O’keeffe made her home and painted so many beautiful landscapes. The area around Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch is referred to as Georgia O’keeffe Country. The land is rugged and full of color. I can see the inspiration behind her beautifully painted landscapes. We had the most gorgeous day. The skies were a beautiful blue with massive clouds in the horizon. As we drove home the skies turned an even darker blue and rained over the mountains. It followed us home and shortly after we arrived the skies opened up and poured. It was a day I will always remember. It feels good to be home!
Posted at 8:54 am , on April 20, 2018
This lucious chocolate caramel poke cake comes with some big news! This is my last recipe from Kansas. After 25 years in the Kansas City area we are finally going home to New Mexico. For the past several years I’ve been feeling homesick for New Mexico. Our little family is all grown up; our boys are living their own lives and spreading their wings. The time feels right to move on to the next phase of our lives. Joe and I are both looking forward to taking long weekends to explore and travel throughout the state that we’ve missed for so many years. I don’t know when I’ll be posting again, but eventually when we are settled I’ll be back with some stories to tell for sure. Hope you’ll come back and visit. But for now I have one last dessert to share. From Kansas with love!!
Posted at 10:11 am , on March 2, 2018
Those who are close to me know that I am no fan of coconut, however I do like fried coconut shrimp. It’s a weird thing, I know, most people love coconut but it’s never been my thing. I think one reason why I like this coconut shrimp is that the coconut is fried and has a toasted flavor. I also like the crunchy texture versus fresh coconut which reminds me of eating sweet grass. My whole family loves coconut shrimp plus they’re quick and easy to make. I found endless recipes for Red Lobster’s coconut shrimp which taste pretty darn close to the original. Most people deep fry their shrimp, however I pan fried them which worked just as well and made for a much easier clean-up.