A Travellerspoint blog

March 2013

Cooking in Paradise

Cooking in Santa Fe

overcast

Our 2nd day of cooking lessons, this was a demonstration lesson in Contemporary Southwest cooking. The teacher was one I’d hoped to get for a lesson, Lois Ellen Frank, part Native American, PhD in Culinary Anthropology. She, like us, uses organic produce, eggs, meat and so forth. Dr Frank has her own catering business and teaches at the local native colleges.

Dr. Frank gave us a lesson in native foods: pre-contact and then post as contemporary foods have changed as people have intermingled. She started with the 3 sisters: beans corn and squash and then built from there. Lunch consisted of grilled salmon, black beans, corn and chili tamale and flan for dessert. IMG_9084.jpg

The food from lunch was lighter than Thursday so we were not stuffed when leaving. Like yesterday we also had a glass of local wine with lunch.

From the school we had several places to visit before evening; San Miguel Mission, the oldest house and then Pecos National Monument. We hoped to get back in time to drink some chocolate at the Kakawa House.

The mission and oldest house were closed, maybe because of Easter, so we could only see the outside. So it was off to Pecos.
Wow!!! Pecos National Monument is an amazing place. It is about 25 miles east of Santa Fe and if you go allow a couple of hours. This monument was the site of a fairly large pueblo with a church. Of course, all that is left are perimeter walls, foundations and 3 of the church walls.

A trail starts at the Visitor’s Center where, first, there is a short film to watch then a museum to tour. The walk is all paved so it isn’t hard to walk; a little over a mile. There is some walking up to the ridge and then down but most can walk this. The path gets up close to the ruins of the pueblo and then you can walk into the ruins of the church. Parts of the ruins have been restored but much has not even been unearthed yet. Amazingly, part of the hill is the garbage dump from the Pueblo. Here many pottery shards are visible, everywhere. We took lots of time looking at various pieces of pottery, the designs and the glazes.
IMG_9202.jpg
From the path, at the high point, high mountain peaks are visible, most with snow. To the other sides, hills are visible. The view from the 4th or 5th story of this pueblo must have been so great.

This is a pueblo where the Indians revolted and destroyed the original church. The ruins which remain are from the church built upon the old ruins in the 1600’s.

The paths are quiet now, just the sound of our footsteps and quiet talking.

The Kakawa Chocolate House was a perfect place to end the evening. They serve chocolate as would have been served during the ancient times. We had a demitasse cup of chocolate to end our afternoon.

Posted by Miss Chris 09:09 Archived in USA Tagged food walking monument travel eating mission outdoors new_mexico new_mexican_cooking pecos_national pecos_mission Comments (0)

1st Cooking Lesson

Our first day of cooking.

semi-overcast

Our first cooking class ever and we ware in chili heaven!!! This was a hands-on class learning to make stuffed chilies: chili rellenos, Ancho’s stuffed with beans and chorizo and green chilies stuffed with ground beef with lots of things added and jalapenos stuffed with a cream cheese.
IMG_9049.jpg
Each of us had to participate, we learned how to handle chilies, roast chilies, how to open them, remove veins and seeds, make sauces and fill the chilies. We learned lots of tricks for just cooking other foods too. There were 2 teachers so that was 1 teacher for 6 students giving us lots of individual attention. When the 3 hour class was over we got to eat all of these stuffed chilies. What a huge plate load of food, even Elias couldn’t finish everything.
IMG_9069.jpg
Because the Chili Rellenos are dipped into a beer batter, mine was actually made the native way; rolled in blue corn meal then heated in a cast iron skillet. But the kids made the beer batter and I told them that this batter could be used for anything fried, not just Rellenos.

The school is close enough to walk from our hotel in the southwest and then another 5 minutes after class to the east is the Plaza. We walked to the Plaza for a tour thru the Governors Palace and coffee. Our feet were tired and we were stuffed but coffee on a cold afternoon was good.

The Governors Palace was an interesting place, built in the 1600’s. We’d visited it years ago but had forgotten much of what we saw. So it was good to see it with the grandkids. It is a large building with many items of true interest. And having been to Taos, seeing the Bent and Carson houses, we were interested to find the histories tied together.

Dinner was Lotta Burger; we were not so hungry and after many meals of New Mexican food kids wanted a change. Unfortunately, outside of California, there seem to be no protein style or lettuce wrap burgers so I didn’t try the Lotta.
Long day!

Posted by Miss Chris 08:08 Archived in USA Tagged food travel eating santa_fe santa_fe_school_of_cooking new_mexican_cooking Comments (0)

A Day in Taos

Eating our way thru Taos

semi-overcast

We love Taos, would love to live part time in Taos. Our house, the house that we wanted, sold and closed last Friday so we couldn’t visit it. But we could still eat meals, lots of meals in Taos. Comfort food to console ourselves.
IMG_9003.jpg
We left Santa Fe late morning and got to Taos by 11a.m. just in time to eat a very late and very light breakfast at La Taoseno. This restaurant was recommended to us a couple of years ago and we have been going for breakfast since. The green chili stew is gluten free and so great! Kids and Dale ate Sopiapillas filled with butter and honey.

After a quick stop for water we went for a tour of the Kit Carson house. We haven’t been there in years so that was a fun stop. There is a 20 min video first of Kit Carson’s life produced by the History Channel. The person playing Kit Carson is actually a great grandson who really looks like the original Kit Carson. After the movie, shown in the children’s room, we visited the other 4 rooms of the house. Not a large house for such a large family. A photo of one daughter is in a picture frame identical, I think, to one that my own great-grandmother’s photo is in. I took a photo and will compare it when we get home.

By then we’d worked up an appetite and went to eat a late lunch at La Cueva, a very small restaurant that serves mostly gluten free/wheat free New Mexican Food. The interior of the restaurant is so small; there are 3 very small tables for 2 people each and one seating 4. There are several tables in a small patio as well. We did sit inside today as we were a little cool. It was hard not to eat all of the meal of shredded beef taco, beef enchilada and a chili relleno. I just couldn’t help myself.

After lunch it was time to walk off the food and get ready for dinner. We went to Governor Bent’s house. This house was built in the 1600’s and was the place where Governor Bent was killed during an uprising. We stepped into the house and met George Ortega, the man behind the counter. If you get to Taos you must visit this house and speak with Mr. Ortega. He is a teacher at UNM in history and history is his passion. He will give you a background like no other. We were under his spell listening to his many stories. He is related to Mrs. Bent and comes from family well connected to the Taos area.

The Plaza is the place to have some coffee and kids had chocolates from the Rocky Mountain store. Weather was brisk but it was good to take a break.

On to the Rio Grande. If you’ve never crossed the bridge over the Rio Grande out of Taos, well you must. It is breath taking! The first time we did this was back in the 1980’s and didn’t even know what a treat we were in for. We drove over the bridge and the sight took our breath away. We have since been back and each time stopping at the end of the bridge then walking on the walkway to the middle of the bridge.
IMG_9005.jpg
A quick drive up to Taos Ski Valley for old time’s sake and because we were not really hungry yet for a full dinner then onto Orlando’s, voted best New Mexican food one year. Layered cheese enchiladas for me with the Chili Caribe sauce, made without flour. This sauce is a dark, rich chili sauce using the whole pod, one of my favorites.

Stuffed and happy we headed back to Santa Fe for a well dissevered sleep.

Posted by Miss Chris 08:25 Archived in USA Tagged nature new_mexico taos rio_grande family_travel grandkids old_town_square grandkids_travel new_mexican_cooking Comments (0)

Santa Fe Arrival

Off to an eating frenzy of New Mexican food

semi-overcast 50 °F

Our flights were uneventful, but since I love flying I was glad to be back in the air. IMG_20130326_103529_537.jpg

Our flight from Bakersfield was delayed so we hurried to our next gate in L.A. only to discover that we had a good 30 minutes before boarding. There was enough time to pick up a cappuccino at the Coffee Bean by our gate and I sure needed that after 4 hours of no coffee. Since we made sandwiches and packaged up snacks so we had plenty to eat.

In Albuquerque, since I’m a preferred Avis renter I was able to go straight to my car without having to go thru the nonsense at the counter. You just go to the kiosk by the cars, look at the board, find your name with the car stall number, get in the car and go. Because I’m an Avis First member the car was upgraded to a small SUV, very nice!

We are staying at the Villas de Santa Fe. I picked this hotel 1st because of the location to the Plaza and then because of the price. It is really amazingly reasonable and really nice. It does appear that they are refurbishing the place and there are very few people here. I do hope that they are successful, but they are part of a larger chain so I’m guessing that they will do their best.

We only got the basic room for 2 adults and 2 kids but we have a nice, fully stocked kitchen with dinette table, living room with a sofa bed, easy chair, flat screen TV and fireplace/heater, separate large bedroom and a tiled bathroom. Lots of room and like I say the price is amazing.

We did walk to the plaza and ate at one of our favorite places, The Shed. They do make a gluten free red chili sauce so lots of meals are available. The building is old, I’ll check it out and report on it next time, but it is by the Palace of the Governor’s which is from the 1600’s. But the walls are not straight, doors are low, floors worn so at least it looks old.

The wait time for a table was an hour so we checked out the wine shop a few doors down and had a great conversation with the owners about the local winemakers and growers.IMG_20130326_201927_709.jpg

We are now sitting in our living room drinking a “Milagro Vineyard’s” 2009 Caberbet Franc. The wine is very rich, peppery, with hints of cherry. Wish we could bring a bottle home but alas, there is not a 4oz bottle available. So we will drink it all!

Posted by Miss Chris 21:52 Archived in USA Tagged food flying family wine airplane new_mexico family_travel gluten_free grandkids_travel new_mexican_cooking Comments (0)

Eating Extravanganza in Santa Fe

Eating and cooking, cooking and eating, now that's the way to travel!

Thanks to the friends and relatives who voted for me, our Santa Fe trip is becoming a reality.

Several months ago the Santa Fe School of Cooking, had a contest; it was a photo contest with the winner receiving certificates for 2 cooking classes. I made sure that I had the most votes by begging and pleading with anyone and everyone.The Santa Fe School of Cooking

The trip is planned:

Tuesday we fly

Wednesday we will spend in Taos with an early lunch at La Cueva Café where they serve gluten free New Mexican food. Dinner will be at Orlando’s, we went there with Elias on the last grandkids trip, a place highly recommended by the locals.

We hope to visit our vacation home in Taos in the afternoon. This is a home that we found when Taos dreaming last year. The Mega Millions was really high and times here were not so it was easy to take a couple of hours to dream. I got on-line and found a house that screamed our names: [realestatetaos.com/taos_real_estate_canonheights]]

I e-mailed the realtor about the brand of the stove and said that we’d come and look at it someday. A couple of weeks ago I emailed again and was told that it had just sold but he thought that the sale might fall thru. It appears that it is still on the market and the price has been lowered so next week we hope is our day to look. Unfortunately we have not won a lotto so alas, we can only look and dream.

Thursday is back to reality with our 1st cooking lesson, this is a hands-on lesson in making Chili Rellenos. They will show me how to make them gluten free. In the afternoon we will walk a bit on the Santa Fe Trail then eat at The Shed.

Friday is a demonstration in Contemporary Southwest cooking; making grilled salmon, a tamale, black beans, and flan. This is a huge meal!!! In the afternoon we will visit the San Miguel Mission built in the 1600’s, the oldest house and then we will eat at the Chocolate House.

Saturday’s class includes: green chili stew, blue corn and green chili muffins, pinion butter among other dishes. We will leave from the class and return home.

After each class a full meal is served so we will be on an eating extravaganza!

Posted by Miss Chris 10:44 Archived in USA Tagged food travel santa_fe santa_fe_school_of_cooking new_mexican_cooking Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 5) Page [1]