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August 2007
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October 2007

Smoky Chipotle Chicken

While I was on my Foodie Road Trip my friend Christine in Albuquerque was very generous and shared her Apple wood Smoked Chipotle Chile powder with me. The only ingredients are smoked chipotle chiles that have been dried and ground into a powder. Chile powder to live for. Just smelling it makes your mouth water.

I marinated a chicken breast and wing overnight in some fat free yogurt with a heaping teaspoon of the chile powder. Chicken in dark pink slimy stuff isn't very appealing so I didn't get a photo of that.

I also had a few trumpet mushrooms left over from last weekend. According to the package the mushrooms came in, they keep for 4 or 5 days in a brown paper bag. I put the left over mushrooms in a  lunch size brown paper bag and gently placed them in the fridge. Today I got them out and sliced them in half lengthwise and drizzled them with some olive oil and some freshly diced garlic and let them marinate.


While the mushrooms were marinating and the chicken was coming to room temperature I had "cocktail hour." I sliced up a spirella. It's a fresh mozzarella roll with prosciutto and basil. I get this at Trader Joe's
I added some salami, olives both kalamata and almond stuffed green and a few Wasa crackers. I ate this with a glass of Sangoivese that I bought at Ft Bowie Vineyards in Ft. Bowie AZ. Deeelicious...


Chipotle chicken is ready to bake.


Once the chicken was done I broiled the marinated mushrooms while the chicken was resting. See the crispy bits of garlic. mmmmm


I made a simple salad of romaine with cucumber and drizzled it with a nice balsamic vinegar and some pecan oil. Fresh green beans were zapped for a few minutes in the microwave and dressed with a little butter, that's all, and dinner was ready.
The smoky chipotle flavor was strong enough to give the chicken interest but not overpowering. I don't think I'd add any more than I did in the marinade.
I had this with a white wine, Summer Peach, from Ft Bowie Vineyard. It was the perfect wine for this dish. The peachy wine was a good counterbalance for the smoky spiciness of the chicken and the garlicky mushrooms.


The first of many dishes I'll have fun using the smoky chipotle chile in.

Where else but Donato's

for a weekday anniversary dinner. I suppose we should make more of our wedding anniversary, but at least this year we remembered it. Last year we missed it by a week before we realized it. I was willing to wait until the weekend to do something but Stan, bless his little heart, insisted we go out for dinner on the day. 
Donato's was our choice. We always get great meals and service and we don't have to "dress up." That is a big plus after a day's work, especially on a Monday.
When you are seated you are served a basket of their herb bread with butter.


Stan had a salad and meat ravioli with meat sauce. He said it was really good and rated it one of the best so far.


I had the Gorgonzola salad, a salad of mixed greens with walnuts, Gorgonzola cheese and tomatoes with their terrific balsamic vinaigrette dressing.


The garlic bread is crispy, garlicky, and hot. Very hard to put down.


I had the Veal Marsala. Oh my gosh. What an unbeatable meal. The veal was just plain delicious.


The veal was nicely browned and served in a white wine sauce. So very, very flavorful and tender. 


Served with a side of spaghetti. I wish I knew how they make their spaghetti sauce. It is not tomato-y. It as a deep rich flavor without being heavy.


Too full for even a tiny bite of dessert. Maybe next time.

Trumpet Royale Mushrooms

One of my finds at Costco yesterday was a carton of Trumpet Royale Mushrooms. I've never seen these before so I had to get some. I like trying new things. According to the label they are "firm, porchini-like texture. Mild savory flavor. Excellent simply cut in half, tossed with olive oil and garlic then grilled or roasted."


One of the participants on suggested putting them in a soft scramble. mmm that sounded like a great idea, especially since I hadn't eaten breakfast yet. I sliced some in half lengthwise.
How's that for a meaty looking mushroom.See how the texture is the same the length of the mushroom.
They have the same texture cap to stem.


I cut them up some more and sautéed in some butter with a little freshly ground black pepper.


I took a taste of the mushrooms to see what they tasted like, so I could determine which cheese would go good with them in the eggs. I decided on Manchego.
Cooked up and topped with cheese.


Plated the scramble and dusted with some freshly ground grey salt and served with a hot flour tortilla. mmmmm


I like these very much. They have a meaty texture and a mild clean mushroom flavor. I don't think I'd go with a cheese any stronger than the Manchego with them, they could be overpowered easily. At first I thought I'd sauté them and top a grilled steak with them but they are too meaty for that. My thought is that they would be a good meat substitute.
Now I wish I would have bought more.

Lunch at Uno Chicago Grill in Fashion Valley Mall

We had lunch today at Uno Chicago Grill in Fashion Valley.


They have a varied menu and it was hard to make a decision. I started with a side salad with Blue Cheese dressing.  The salad was very fresh with crisp greens, red onion, tomato, cucumber and seasoned crunchy croutons.


Stan had the Cesar Salad. Again, crisp greens and not over dressed and those delicious croutons.


I decided I was in a burger mood and ordered the Philly Uno Burger. It's a 10 oz burger topped with cheese, green and red peppers, onions and mushrooms. Their burgers are served with french fries and a  cole slaw. It was delicious and definitely is a fork and knife burger. 


It was cooked to a perfect medium so it was very juicy and flavorful.


Stan and daughter Vicky had the sliders. Quoting the menu "Three hand-formed plump little  burgers, with our Ultimate Burger  Sauce and Buffalo Cheddar. Served with a pickle and fries."   The sauce had a nice little spicy kick to it but not too much, just right.


I enjoyed a glass of Newcastle


Vicky and I tromped all all over the place and didn't spend a dime. Couldn't believe it.
But we made up for it when we went to Costco later.

New Mexico Green Chile

I made Green Chile tonight with the chiles I bought in Hatch. My chiles started to ripen on the trip so my end product is not so green but tasty none the less.

These are approximations
Green chile

1 1/2 pounds pork, not too lean, finely diced or use ground pork
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
6 to 8 green chiles
2 to 2 & 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons water
Assemble the ingredients


Cook the pork until it is no longer pink.


Scoot the pork off to the side of the pan and add the onion and
garlic. Cook the onion and garlic for a few minutes then mix into the


Cook for a few more minutes while you are mixing the water with the
cornstarch and flour. Add the cornstarch, flour mixture to the pan
along with the chiles and spices.


Mix it up real good then add the broth being sure to scrape any fond
in the bottom of the pan. Bring it to a boil then lower the heat.


Cover and simmer for an hour or until the pork is tender.
You may also use ground beef in this recipe.

This is used to cover burritos, enchiladas, etc...

This is a starting point. There are as many green chile recipes as
there are cooks.

If you want to make it a stew add potatoes right before you bring it
to a boil. Shhhh...don't tell anyone but I sometimes add hominy
instead of potatoes for a stew.

Roasted Chiles

These are the chiles I bought in Hatch New Mexico.
I fixed myself a nice little toddy, cranked up the grill and got to work. I'm telling you, the smell of roasting chiles is way up there on the smell-o-meter. I put them in a brown paper bag to sweat a little so they're easier to peel.


Odds and Ends from the Foodie Road Trip

Just a few odds and ends from the trip I wanted to share.
As we were walking from the plaza in Santa Fe to our car I noticed through a street level window, kitchen equipment and jars of olives, rice, pasta etc... I stopped and got a good look and low and behold (no pun intended;-) there was a working kitchen down there. I don't know why this intrigued me but it did.
As I was on my hands and knees taking pictures, a lady passing by asked if I zoomed in good enough to get the recipe. Dang, I wish there would have been one out to try. See the cook behind the pepper mill and the stove off to the right.


The port I had at St Claire's winery with my dessert was so delicious I had to get a bottle of it. One of my most expensive purchases. It's a D.H. Lescombes port. I will savor this for sure.


I bought myself two souvenirs. A hot air balloon gift basket from St Claire's winery. (I collect hot air balloons) It has a bottle of their Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfadel a fifty fifty blend. Also a corkscrew, some crackers, blech!!, a beef salami roll, cheese log and some Chardonnay wine jelly. The top of the balloon hinges open. I'm going to take it to work and use it for candies and goodies.


I also bought a New Mexico coffee mug from Starbucks. I had to get it when I saw the red or green? on it, how New Mexico.


While we were in Hatch I bought some fresh chiles. One bag hot, one bag mild. Each bag cost three dollars. When I got home I weighed them, after leaving some with my daughter, and I still had 7 pounds of chiles.


Along with fresh chiles I bought a red chile decoration. It's real chiles that have been sprayed to preserve them. I lost this in AZ, to my daughter, so it's not so bad. I knew in the back of my mind when I bought it she'd end up with it.


If memory serves me right this is called the Palace of the Governors on the Santa Fe Plaza. This is where the Indians set out their blankets with their jewelry.


I also scored from Christine the cookin' hostess with the mostest, some smoked red chiles, oh my gosh, what a beautiful heady aroma comes from them. Also I bought some dried crushed jalapenos in Hatch.


I bought a few different salts at Fremont's in Albuquerque. I opened the bag of Grey salt to put in my salt pig, low and behold, it really is grey. It is really, really good. It's moist and coarse without a chemically aftertaste.I think this will become my everyday salt.


When it cools off I'm going to fire up the grill and roast the chiles. mmmm a freezer full of New Mexico chiles.

Foodie Road Trip, The Finale.

This is the final installment of Foodie Road Trip. see Foodie Road Trip Part eight 

We did really good yesterday morning, Wed. We were awake at 4:00 a.m. We decided to, as Stan says, "get a wiggle on" and packed up the car and we were headed west, out of Albuquerque before sunrise. We came back I-40 because we wanted to visit the kids and grandkids in Lake Havasu, AZ on our way home.
We stopped at the Cracker Barrel  in Gallup for breakfast.


It was pretty good. Stan had biscuits and gravy and some bacon. . He said it wasn’t the best gravy he’s ever had, but it was good.


I had bacon and eggs with grits, hash brown casserole, and biscuits and gravy. I tasted the hash brown casserole, it was just o.k. and I didn’t eat it. The grits were very good and were eaten all gone. The bacon was really good. Stan commented a couple of times on how good it was. The eggs were good also. They were cooked just right, over easy so the yolk would be runny enough to dip a biscuit into.


Along the way we saw some beautiful countryside.



We stopped in Ash Fork,AZ in the afternoon for a little break and a snack at the Ranch House Cafe.


We each had a piece of apple pie with a crumb and nut topping that had been drizzled with caramel. It was a good pie albeit a little too sweet for me. The apples were firm, not mushy. I think it was a commercial pie. Probably from Costco or Sam’s club.


We arrived in Lake Havasu about 2:00 p.m. We had time to relax and have a nice visit before it was time to go out for dinner. We went to Barley Brothers for dinner. We started with an appetizer of Gorgonzola Mushrooms. Quoting the menu they are “stuffed marinated jumbo mushroom caps baked with Italian cheeses. Served with a homemade walnut pesto. “ We all dug in before I had a chance to get a good photo. They were delicious, even Stan the cheese hater ate one and liked it before he realized what he was eating.


Stan and sil had the steak sandwich. According to the menu it is a charbroiled top sirloin served open face over grilled focaccia bread and topped with crispy fried onions. Stan said his was a little dry, and on the tough side.


My oldest grandson age 9 had beef vegetable barley soup. This was thick and rich with nice sized pieces of vegetables.


He also had the Steak Pizzaioli which is a charbroiled top sirloin topped with a tomato bordelaise and broiled smoked provolone served with a fresh basil, red pepper couscous and vegetables.
He was more interested in just the steak and ordered the toppings on the side. He said his steak was a little chewy but he ate it all. The couscous was really, really delicious.


My daughter had Roasted Garlic Alfredo with sundried tomatoes and crimini mushrooms tossed with fettuccini in a light roasted garlic cream sauce. This was rich, creamy and to diet for. I’m having this next time I go visit.


I had the Porterhouse prepared with with an olive oil and garlic rub, charbroiled and served with fresh vegetables and garlic mashed potatoes. Oh, my gosh, this was so good. I was so hungry for a steak and this was the perfect one. It was tender and juicy and seasoned just right. One of the best steak’s I’ve had in a long time.


We split a couple of desserts. A creme brule and a triple layer chocolate ganache cake.


We had a very good last night on the road.
We took off this morning before everyone got off to work and school.

We didn’t have breakfast because we were saving ourselves for our friend Pepe's restaurant, Los Manjares de Pepe, inYuma, AZ. Without a doubt, hands down, fabulous Mexican food. The best in Yuma.
Stan had Pepe’s special Pork in Tomatillo sauce. This is his signature dish and it’s the best I’ve had ever


I had two tacos with rice and beans.

Made from shredded beef of course, as we were no longer in New Mexico. Pepe’s are made with tender flavorful shredded beef in freshly fried tortilla shells with a sprinkling of dry Mexican cheese over them and his delicious marinated onions.


Pepe surprised us today with an after lunch treat, his beautiful homemade flan.


Rich, creamy, melt in your mouth delight.


If you want a much more comprehensive report on Pepe’s see Ed's report at

We are now safely home, surrounded by unpacked bags that can wait until tomorrow. 

I had the time of my life on this trip. Thank you for coming along with me, I enjoyed your company.



Foodie Road Trip Part Eight

Eighth installment on Foodie Road Trip see Foodie Road Trip Part Seven

We went to downtown Santa Fe this morning. I’m telling you, early in the day on a weekday is the only time to go to the plaza.  We found easy parking and a shady park bench on the plaza for Stan to sit and read while I walked around.


I went to a little French pastry shop in the La Fonda Hotel called, surprisingly enough, The French Pastry Shop.


I had a double fruit crepe with the heavenliest, lightest, fluffiest, freshly whipped cream. The crepe was light and thin but had a nice body to it. I also had a Cappuccino.   


It was filled with strawberries and raspberries. The fruit didn’t taste like there was anything added to them, their own natural fruit flavor and juiciness was allowed to shine through. I took Stan a raisin cinnamon roll. All this is made fresh on premises.


I didn't have enough cash on me to pay my check and they only accept cash or checks. I thought holy moly, I'm going to have to do some dishes. I told him my husband was sitting in the plaza and I could run and get some money from him. He did not ask me to leave my drivers license or something to insure my return. He told me go ahead, and to take my time. I left Stan's cinnamon roll on the counter, I wasn't going to take that until I came back with the money. He hands me the roll and says, don't forget this. Wow!! So I took it and ran.....Yes, I went back with the money.

After the Plaza excursion we went to The Spanish Table. What a great store, I could have spent the rest of the day in there. Thank you Christine for telling me about it. I bought a paella pan, a small mortar and pestle for smashing up small seeds and peppercorns, and some rice.
This section is only a portion of the paella pans they have. 


They even carry squid ink. I wanted some but it needs to be kept refrigerated.


This shelf from top to bottom, end to end is olive oils and vinegars.


The people at The Spanish Table recommended we try La Boca.


The tables and chairs and wood trim is dark wood. They use cloth tablecloths and napkins. Nice.


This was such a great lunch. Stan had the Mediterranean green salad of dried mission figs, feta cheese, olives with a honey vinaigrette.


I had the Tomato Feta salad with olives and cucumber on baby greens with lemon oregano dressing.


We shared the paella la boca. This was the best of the best. The rice was perfect, each piece of rice was separate, no globs of rice here, and not cooked to mush. The paella was filled with sausage, chicken, mussels and oysters. It also had onion, garlic, peas and tomatoes and of course lots of saffron.


It was pretty spicy but I loved it. It is without a doubt one of the best, if not the single best thing I’ve eaten, not only on this trip, but in quite a while. It broke my heart to leave the uneaten portion behind, I almost cried.


Stan had his heart set on going to Bobcat Bite so he didn’t eat as much at lunch as I did. Gheesh, I know a burger is not a burger, but to pass up stuffing yourself with paella for a burger?  I’ll never figure that one out. He’s been such a good sport on this whole trip and this is one of the few things he has suggested, so we went to Bobcat Bite for dinner tonight. We arrived at just the right time. We got the last two of the 25 or so seats in the place. This is a very old building, It's been here forever.
I love the vigas so typical of New Mexico.


We got a seat at the counter and did some birdwatching while we waited for our burgers.


I had a green chili cheeseburger, medium well. I had to really smoosh this down.


Mine was delicious and I have to admit I ate half of it.


Stan had his still on the hoof. It looked almost like steak tartar. See, half of it already walked off the plate.



When we left there were quite a few people waiting outside and more pulling up. 

Tomorrow we are back on the road heading home via Lake Havasu AZ to see the kids and grandkids.



Foodie Road Trip Part Seven

The seventh installment on Foodie Road Trip. See Foodie Road Trip Part Six

Yesterday we drove up from Albuquerque to Santa Fe. We were a little early to check into the hotel and pretty hungry as we hadn’t eaten yet. We drove around looking for Horseman’s Haven. I remember eating there when it was actually in a Texaco gas station. Lucky us we found it right next to our hotel.



We had a combination plate that had a taco, cheese enchilada, rice, beans and posole. Stan had the red I had the green. The red was the best we've had so far on this trip. It has a depth to it. I would almost think the chiles they use are roasted rather than being made from dried.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw posole on the menu as a side item with a lot of the meals. Oh!! am I in heaven! It is nice and spicy with chunks of pork in it. By the way, I make a mean posole myself.


At first I was surprised that the tacos we’ve been served have been made with ground beef. Now that I think back, I don't think I saw shredded beef tacos offered until I went back to California. Not that ground beef is a bad thing, I just forgot about them.
For the first time the rice tasted homemade. Everything on the plate was delicious. I opted for the regular green chile, it was spicy enough and I ate every bite.


After a little afternoon nap we drove around and did some sightseeing south of town. We tried to track down Bobcat Bite but didn’t find it. We got better directions so maybe we’ll get by there today.
Getting on to evening we weren’t very hungry, but needed to eat a little something. We stopped by Blake’s Lottaburger. I’ve been looking forward to having a Blake’s Lottaburger since we started planning this trip.
I don’t want to hear “Where’s the beef” they are so tasty anyway. I did forget to order the double patty though.


A nice relaxing day.