acequia and clouds
View or download a copy of this article as it appeared in New Mexico Magazine along with a bonus directory of wedding vendor's from Susana Lucero, editor of newmexicoweddingmagazine.com.
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For lovebirds of both the local and far-flung persuasions, New Mexico offers a wealth of outstanding wedding locations that have a strong sense of place. The landscape, the architecture, the food, and so much more add up to exquisite special events that just couldn’t happen anywhere else.
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Ghost Town Vows
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Remotely nestled in the foothills eight miles south of Santa Fe, Bonanza Creek Ranch’s Movie Town set hosted the wedding of Turner Ross and Sarah Wolters, who live in Talpa. Bonanza Creek, where westerns like Lonesome Dove and Young Guns were filmed, was the perfect backdrop for their “1920s traveling circus ghost town theme.”

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Creating the Moment

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Turner (a documentary filmmaker) and Sarah (a nonprofit consultant) asked their guests to create an ontheme identity and dress the part: a Wild West outlaw, circus performer, or saloon girl. Sarah sewed red and white curtains and created a giant banner with paper pinwheels. Sarah’s mother scoured thrift stores in central Texas, amassing a large collection of hobnail milk glass in which they placed red chrysanthemums, faux succulents, and more. For the reception, guests were encouraged to participate in a dance-off.

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Sarah wore a 1950s silk chiffon debutante’s dress from Off Broadway Vintage Clothing and Costumes, in Albuquerque. Susan, the owner, was such a pro to work with that Sarah tried on only two dresses before finding the one she chose.

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The Menu

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The couple wanted to share fresh, flavorful New Mexican food with their guests. Appetizers included tostaditos with mole negro, avocado, and asadero, and empanaditas with local lamb picadillo.

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Turner and Sarah both love Santa Fe Brewing Company; they secured kegs of its pale ale, nut brown, and porter brews, perfect for pairing with red-chile-dusted peanuts and buttered popcorn with greenchile salt in the saloon.

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In lieu of traditional wedding cake, for dessert they served the bride’s three favorite desserts: Mexican chocolate brownie sundaes, Nutella s’mores, and Mexican wedding cookies.

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Advice from the Bride

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“Our photographer, Anne Staveley, took stunning portraits of all our wedding guests. These served as our party favors. Your wedding is not just one day, it’s a pinnacle moment in your legacy. Use it to honor each other, and everyone in your lives who has supported and loved you both.”

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Farm Chic Union
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\"Farm Photo by: Kim Jackson
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With its historic 1930s landmark architecture by John Gaw Meem, majestic views of the Sandía Mountains, and winding garden pathways, J.J. and Sara Mancini felt Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm, in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, was the ideal setting for their intimate, colorful October wedding. And even better: it was close to their home in Albuquerque, where Sara works for the city as a policy analyst and J.J. is the owner of Desert Fuels.

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Photo by: Kim Jackson
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Creating the Moment

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The bride and groom wanted their marriage to be “a light for others,” so the décor included lots of candles. Loving the contrast of fun colors against white and vice versa, Sara opted for a big, colorful bouquet that would pop against her lacy white Vera Wang wedding dress. The 12 bridesmaids were encouraged to choose any dress they wanted to wear, as long as it was made of non-shiny cotton material in a solid color; they each carried a single white hydrangea. J.J. and Sara also had four of their nephews form a bubble brigade; they walked down the aisle blowing bubbles at guests. The couple wrote their own vows, and read them to each other for the first time at the wedding ceremony.

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The Menu

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Los Poblanos was recently named one of the “Top 10 Food Lover’s Hotels in the United States” by Bon Appétit magazine. Served family style, dinner included locally grown quinoa-stuffed bell peppers and roasted chicken wrapped in bacon. J.J. recalls, “And those tomatoes ... oh, those tomatoes. Could you call them candy?”

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For dessert, J.J. and Sara served an assortment of cupcakes from Cake Fetish, an Albuquerque cupcake bakery. Cupcakes were decorated with hand-inscribed flags describing a memory associated with each type of cupcake. The s’moresflavored cupcakes included a tidbit about how they loved camping and making s’mores; the snowball cupcake flags told a story about how the couple once trekked up a snowy mountain to find their Christmas tree. The women of the bride’s family made their favorite kinds of cookies, and guests were invited to take home a selection as a wedding favor.

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Advice from the Bride

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“Don’t be afraid to limit your guest list for whatever reason if you want or need to. We wanted an intimate wedding and kept our guest list small, but the day after, we invited all of our friends, family, and co-workers to celebrate our first day of marriage at a backyard barbecue.”

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Sara and J.J.'s Wedding at Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm

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Cinematography/Editing: Luminance Wedding Films
\r\nPhotographer: Kim Jackson | Guitar: Jim Gross | Band: Tapestry | Cake: Cake Fetish | Venue: Los Poblanos

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Destination: La Plaza
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\"490-58_LafondaPhoto by: Robin Parrott Two birds Studio
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Jay Barron and Corrie Plant, lawyers from Santa Monica, California, had visited Santa Fe twice before, and found it to be a very romantic, unique city. They especially fell in love with the art, food, and historic character.

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They chose the Santa Fe landmark hotel La Fonda on the Plaza to host their wedding, because they liked its Pueblo Deco style. They also appreciated that the ceremony amargin-top:5px;nd reception could take place in the same space, and serve as lodging for their guests. And they knew that friends and family from out of town would enjoy exploring all of the downtown shops, galleries, and restaurants on foot.

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\"490-58_LaPhoto by: Robin Parrott Two Birds Studio\r\n\r\n

La Marcha locales These downtown Santa Fe venues are also situated perfectly for a la marcha procession to the Plaza.

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Inn and Spa at Loretto is among the most photographed buildings in all of New Mexico. As an architectural re-creation of the famous Taos Pueblo, this Santa Fe hotel provides a magnificent backdrop for your wedding photographs. (800) 727-5531; innatloretto.com

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La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa’s adobestyle architecture, colorful gardens, and cozy outdoor kiva fireplaces evoke magic and charm. (855) 278-5276; laposadadesantafe.com

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Creating the Moment

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Corrie had a personalized stamp made with the word “love,” their names, and their wedding date, then set about stamping the paper items: napkins, menus, welcome-bag items, and programs. Their florist, Margaret Bost, incorporated coordinating shades of peonies into all of the bouquets and table arrangements. Corrie wore a strapless, draped-bodice Monique Lhuillier gown with hand-bustled trumpet skirt.

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To welcome guests, they assembled and gave out goodie bags packed with snacks, treats, and information about Santa Fe. They also included blank cards in which they asked guests to write a little something about what inspires them in life and bring their card to the wedding to be placed in the card box for Jay and Corrie to enjoy after the wedding day.

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After the wedding ceremony, the couple and their guests enjoyed a festive mariachi-led musical procession known as la marcha. Though it is typically done at Hispanic weddings, this New Mexico wedding tradition is being incorporated by people of all cultural backgrounds. This procession travels through the streets, traditionally from the church to the wedding reception space, and leads the bride and groom to their first dance.

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The Menu

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For dessert, the couple decided to offer guests a bar stocked with pink candy instead of a traditional wedding cake. They thought it was one of the areas they could save on cost while adding something fun and personal. The bride made a sign for the table that read “love, sweet love.”

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Advice from the Bride

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“We definitely recommend including the local tradition of la marcha musical escort and dance. One of the greatest memories we have is of the mariachi band leading all of our friends and family in a parade around the Plaza right after the wedding ceremony. The guests lined up on the sidewalk outside La Fonda shaking their maracas as the mariachi band led us through the crowd. We felt such joy in that moment.”

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Day of Wine & Roses
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\"490-boysPhoto by: Latisha Lyn
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Roderick and Jenae Mendoza, of Las Cruces, dreamed of getting married near the bride’s childhood home in southern New Mexico. Jenae, a musician who also works in accounts payable, and Roderick, a barista who also works with a production company, soon realized that the Rio Grande Winery was the perfect setting for their “vintage meets rustic” wedding. Set in the Mesilla Valley, it also offered gorgeous views of the Organ Mountains.

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\"BrindePhoto by: Latisha Lyn
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Creating the Moment

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Full of do-it-yourself details, Roderick and Jenae’s wedding day became a collaborative effort among family and friends. From the boutonnieres and bouquets made by the bride and her bridesmaids using hydrangeas, wildflowers, and mustard yarrow for pops of color, to the centerpieces (mason jars wrapped in burlap as candleholders), the wedding decor was kept simple to harmonize with the pastoral theme. At the reception, there was not a dry eye in the house when Roderick and Jenae, both very musically inclined, performed songs they had written for the occasion as special gifts to each other.

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The Menu

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To share their love of New Mexican food, Roderick and Jenae chose Las Cruces restaurant !Ándele! as their caterer. Dinner included red and green enchiladas, flautas, beans, and rice, as well as an appetizer of chips and fresh salsa. The couple served a four-tiered wedding cake with vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet layers covered in almond buttercream frosting. They chose to give their guests handmade chocolate truffle favors from the Chocolate Lady, in Old Mesilla, custom-wrapped with ribbon matching their color scheme of mustard yellow and navy. The winery’s muscat and port were also available to guests.

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Advice from the Bride

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“We had two couples that we love and respect give us advice and a blessing at the reception. This meant so much to us.”

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Northern Glory
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\"490-60_El Photo by: Talitha Tarro
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Albuquerque couple Don and Melissa Ortega knew they had to consider Taos’s El Monte Sagrado Resort when a friend described it to them as “the garden of Eden.” Melissa, a project manager, and Don, the owner of a jujitsu studio, were charmed by sunlit streams, tropical flora, and the sounds of calming waterfalls. Views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains from the Taos Mountain Lawn ceremony site sealed the deal.

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\"490-60_Bride
\r\n\"490-60_ElPhoto by: Talitha Tarro
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Creating moment

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For her June wedding bouquet, ceremony, and reception decor, Melissa chose roses in colors of peach, apricot, and cream with gold accents to create a warm and summery feel. The bride’s bright blue jewel-studded shoes added a pop of color, as well as doubling as her “something blue.” Mark McKenzie, the minister from their church in Albuquerque, served as officiant, and read from love letters that the bride and groom had written to each other.

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The Menu

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Melissa and Don made New Mexico–themed gift baskets and delivered them to their guests’ rooms. They contained candied pecans from Las Cruces’ Stahmann Farms, bottles of St. Clair Winery’s red and green chile wines, and El Pinto salsa, all nestled into Native woven baskets. The couple chose a cupcake tower, plus a cake for the traditional cutting of the cake. The cupcake frosting was piped to look like roses, then decorated with fresh flowers by Taos florist Simply Shelia. As a parting gift, guests received a locally sourced honey-chipotle spice mix.

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Advice from the Bride

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“Each year on our anniversary, we’re going to make a trip back to El Monte Sagrado. We recommend every other couple visit their wedding site, too.”

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Hitched at the Hacienda
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\"490-61_AshelyPhotos by: Ashley Davis
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Although Jasmine and Nick Firchau live in Brooklyn, where they are Web editors, they were born in Santa Fe, and decided to celebrate their wedding in this beloved Southwest setting. Nestled in the Ortiz Mountains, with courtyard views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the distance, the just-remote-enough Hacienda Doña Andrea (in Los Cerrillos, an hour’s drive from the Albuquerque airport) set the scene for Jasmine and Nick’s gorgeous Southwestmeets- Gatsby-inspired wedding.

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\"490-61_AshleyPhoto by: Ashley Davis
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Creating the Moment

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Echoing the desert’s palette, Jasmine chose a color scheme of cream, copper, peach, and pale gray. The bride’s friends decorated the ceremony arch by wrapping a fabric sash around it and accenting the top with large paper flowers. The Hacienda staff hung papel picado, intricately punched paper that is traditionally made in Mexico but used throughout New Mexico, across the Hacienda’s courtyard, along with string lights. Other handmade details included carefully embellishing each wedding invitation with a single feather. For place cards, Jasmine attached kraft paper cards to sage sticks and dried flowers sourced from the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market.

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The Menu

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Marja Catering provided a light, seasonally driven Southwestern menu with chicken mole appetizers, a make-your-own flank steak taco bar, veggie enchiladas, and chilled gazpacho.

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Advice from the Bride

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“Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I tried to do so much of it myself and finally realized I needed someone besides my fiancé to help me work through all of the tiny decisions, because we were beginning to stress out and lose perspective.”

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For more NM weddings, visit NewMexicoWeddingMagazine.com, edited by Susana Lucero.

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View or download a copy of this article as it appeared in New Mexico Magazine along with a bonus directory of wedding vendor's from Susana Lucero, editor of newmexicoweddingmagazine.com.

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View or download a copy of this article as it appeared in New Mexico Magazine along with a bonus directory of wedding vendor's from Susana Lucero, editor of newmexicoweddingmagazine.com.

For
","description":"    View or download a copy of this article as it appeared in New Mexico Magazine along with a bonus directory of wedding vendor's from Susana Lucero, editor of newmexicoweddingmagazine.com .   For lovebirds of both the local and far-flung persuasions, New Mexico offers a wealth of outstanding wedding locations that have a strong sense of place. The landscape, the architecture, the food, and so much more add up to exquisite special events that just couldn’t happen anywhere else.   Ghost Town Vows Remotely nestled in the foothills eight miles south of Santa Fe, Bonanza Creek Ranch’s Movie Town set hosted the wedding of Turner Ross and Sarah Wolters, who live in Talpa. Bonanza Creek, where westerns like Lonesome Dove and Young Guns were filmed, was the perfect backdrop for their “1920s traveling circus ghost town theme.” Creating the Moment Turner (a documentary filmmaker) and Sarah (a nonprofit consultant) asked their guests to create an ontheme identity and dress the part: a Wild West outlaw, circus performer, or saloon girl. Sarah sewed red and white curtains and created a giant banner with paper pinwheels. Sarah’s mother scoured thrift stores in central Texas, amassing a large collection of hobnail milk glass in which they placed red chrysanthemums, faux succulents, and more. For the reception, guests were encouraged to participate in a dance-off. Sarah wore a 1950s silk chiffon debutante’s dress from Off Broadway Vintage Clothing and Costumes, in Albuquerque. Susan, the owner, was such a pro to work with that Sarah tried on only two dresses before finding the one she chose. The Menu The couple wanted to share fresh, flavorful New Mexican food with their guests. Appetizers included tostaditos with mole negro, avocado, and asadero, and empanaditas with local lamb picadillo. Turner and Sarah both love Santa Fe Brewing Company; they secured kegs of its pale ale, nut brown, and porter brews, perfect for pairing with red-chile-dusted peanuts and buttered popcorn with greenchile salt in the saloon. In lieu of traditional wedding cake, for dessert they served the bride’s three favorite desserts: Mexican chocolate brownie sundaes, Nutella s’mores, and Mexican wedding cookies. Advice from the Bride “Our photographer, Anne Staveley, took stunning portraits of all our wedding guests. These served as our party favors. Your wedding is not just one day, it’s a pinnacle moment in your legacy. Use it to honor each other, and everyone in your lives who has supported and loved you both.” Farm Chic Union Photo by: Kim Jackson With its historic 1930s landmark architecture by John Gaw Meem, majestic views of the Sandía Mountains, and winding garden pathways, J.J. and Sara Mancini felt Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm, in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, was the ideal setting for their intimate, colorful October wedding. And even better: it was close to their home in Albuquerque, where Sara works for the city as a policy analyst and J.J. is the owner of Desert Fuels. Photo by: Kim Jackson Creating the Moment The bride and groom wanted their marriage to be “a light for others,” so the décor included lots of candles. Loving the contrast of fun colors against white and vice versa, Sara opted for a big, colorful bouquet that would pop against her lacy white Vera Wang wedding dress. The 12 bridesmaids were encouraged to choose any dress they wanted to wear, as long as it was made of non-shiny cotton material in a solid color; they each carried a single white hydrangea. J.J. and Sara also had four of their nephews form a bubble brigade; they walked down the aisle blowing bubbles at guests. The couple wrote their own vows, and read them to each other for the first time at the wedding ceremony. The Menu Los Poblanos was recently named one of the “Top 10 Food Lover’s Hotels in the United States” by Bon Appétit magazine. Served family style, dinner included locally grown quinoa-stuffed bell peppers and roasted chicken wrapped in bacon. J.J. recalls, “And those tomatoes ... oh, those tomatoes. Could you call them candy?” For dessert, J.J. and Sara served an assortment of cupcakes from Cake Fetish, an Albuquerque cupcake bakery. Cupcakes were decorated with hand-inscribed flags describing a memory associated with each type of cupcake. The s’moresflavored cupcakes included a tidbit about how they loved camping and making s’mores; the snowball cupcake flags told a story about how the couple once trekked up a snowy mountain to find their Christmas tree. The women of the bride’s family made their favorite kinds of cookies, and guests were invited to take home a selection as a wedding favor. Advice from the Bride “Don’t be afraid to limit your guest list for whatever reason if you want or need to. We wanted an intimate wedding and kept our guest list small, but the day after, we invited all of our friends, family, and co-workers to celebrate our first day of marriage at a backyard barbecue.” Sara and J.J.'s Wedding at Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm Cinematography/Editing: Luminance Wedding Films Photographer: Kim Jackson | Guitar: Jim Gross | Band: Tapestry | Cake: Cake Fetish | Venue: Los Poblanos Destination: La Plaza Photo by: Robin Parrott Two birds Studio Jay Barron and Corrie Plant, lawyers from Santa Monica, California, had visited Santa Fe twice before, and found it to be a very romantic, unique city. They especially fell in love with the art, food, and historic character. They chose the Santa Fe landmark hotel La Fonda on the Plaza to host their wedding, because they liked its Pueblo Deco style. They also appreciated that the ceremony amargin-top:5px;nd reception could take place in the same space, and serve as lodging for their guests. And they knew that friends and family from out of town would enjoy exploring all of the downtown shops, galleries, and restaurants on foot. Photo by: Robin Parrott Two Birds Studio La Marcha locales These downtown Santa Fe venues are also situated perfectly for a la marcha procession to the Plaza. Inn and Spa at Loretto is among the most photographed buildings in all of New Mexico. As an architectural re-creation of the famous Taos Pueblo, this Santa Fe hotel provides a magnificent backdrop for your wedding photographs. (800) 727-5531; innatloretto.com La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa’s adobestyle architecture, colorful gardens, and cozy outdoor kiva fireplaces evoke magic and charm. (855) 278-5276; laposadadesantafe.com Creating the Moment Corrie had a personalized stamp made with the word “love,” their names, and their wedding date, then set about stamping the paper items: napkins, menus, welcome-bag items, and programs. Their florist, Margaret Bost, incorporated coordinating shades of peonies into all of the bouquets and table arrangements. Corrie wore a strapless, draped-bodice Monique Lhuillier gown with hand-bustled trumpet skirt. To welcome guests, they assembled and gave out goodie bags packed with snacks, treats, and information about Santa Fe. They also included blank cards in which they asked guests to write a little something about what inspires them in life and bring their card to the wedding to be placed in the card box for Jay and Corrie to enjoy after the wedding day. After the wedding ceremony, the couple and their guests enjoyed a festive mariachi-led musical procession known as la marcha. Though it is typically done at Hispanic weddings, this New Mexico wedding tradition is being incorporated by people of all cultural backgrounds. This procession travels through the streets, traditionally from the church to the wedding reception space, and leads the bride and groom to their first dance. The Menu For dessert, the couple decided to offer guests a bar stocked with pink candy instead of a traditional wedding cake. They thought it was one of the areas they could save on cost while adding something fun and personal. The bride made a sign for the table that read “love, sweet love.” Advice from the Bride “We definitely recommend including the local tradition of la marcha musical escort and dance. One of the greatest memories we have is of the mariachi band leading all of our friends and family in a parade around the Plaza right after the wedding ceremony. The guests lined up on the sidewalk outside La Fonda shaking their maracas as the mariachi band led us through the crowd. We felt such joy in that moment.” Day of Wine & Roses Photo by: Latisha Lyn Roderick and Jenae Mendoza, of Las Cruces, dreamed of getting married near the bride’s childhood home in southern New Mexico. Jenae, a musician who also works in accounts payable, and Roderick, a barista who also works with a production company, soon realized that the Rio Grande Winery was the perfect setting for their “vintage meets rustic” wedding. Set in the Mesilla Valley, it also offered gorgeous views of the Organ Mountains. Photo by: Latisha Lyn Creating the Moment Full of do-it-yourself details, Roderick and Jenae’s wedding day became a collaborative effort among family and friends. From the boutonnieres and bouquets made by the bride and her bridesmaids using hydrangeas, wildflowers, and mustard yarrow for pops of color, to the centerpieces (mason jars wrapped in burlap as candleholders), the wedding decor was kept simple to harmonize with the pastoral theme. At the reception, there was not a dry eye in the house when Roderick and Jenae, both very musically inclined, performed songs they had written for the occasion as special gifts to each other. The Menu To share their love of New Mexican food, Roderick and Jenae chose Las Cruces restaurant !Ándele! as their caterer. Dinner included red and green enchiladas, flautas, beans, and rice, as well as an appetizer of chips and fresh salsa. The couple served a four-tiered wedding cake with vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet layers covered in almond buttercream frosting. They chose to give their guests handmade chocolate truffle favors from the Chocolate Lady, in Old Mesilla, custom-wrapped with ribbon matching their color scheme of mustard yellow and navy. The winery’s muscat and port were also available to guests. Advice from the Bride “We had two couples that we love and respect give us advice and a blessing at the reception. This meant so much to us.” Northern Glory Photo by: Talitha Tarro   Albuquerque couple Don and Melissa Ortega knew they had to consider Taos’s El Monte Sagrado Resort when a friend described it to them as “the garden of Eden.” Melissa, a project manager, and Don, the owner of a jujitsu studio, were charmed by sunlit streams, tropical flora, and the sounds of calming waterfalls. Views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains from the Taos Mountain Lawn ceremony site sealed the deal. Photo by: Talitha Tarro Creating moment For her June wedding bouquet, ceremony, and reception decor, Melissa chose roses in colors of peach, apricot, and cream with gold accents to create a warm and summery feel. The bride’s bright blue jewel-studded shoes added a pop of color, as well as doubling as her “something blue.” Mark McKenzie, the minister from their church in Albuquerque, served as officiant, and read from love letters that the bride and groom had written to each other. The Menu Melissa and Don made New Mexico–themed gift baskets and delivered them to their guests’ rooms. They contained candied pecans from Las Cruces’ Stahmann Farms, bottles of St. Clair Winery’s red and green chile wines, and El Pinto salsa, all nestled into Native woven baskets. The couple chose a cupcake tower, plus a cake for the traditional cutting of the cake. The cupcake frosting was piped to look like roses, then decorated with fresh flowers by Taos florist Simply Shelia. As a parting gift, guests received a locally sourced honey-chipotle spice mix. Advice from the Bride “Each year on our anniversary, we’re going to make a trip back to El Monte Sagrado. We recommend every other couple visit their wedding site, too.” Hitched at the Hacienda Photos by: Ashley Davis Although Jasmine and Nick Firchau live in Brooklyn, where they are Web editors, they were born in Santa Fe, and decided to celebrate their wedding in this beloved Southwest setting. Nestled in the Ortiz Mountains, with courtyard views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the distance, the just-remote-enough Hacienda Doña Andrea (in Los Cerrillos, an hour’s drive from the Albuquerque airport) set the scene for Jasmine and Nick’s gorgeous Southwestmeets- Gatsby-inspired wedding. Photo by: Ashley Davis Creating the Moment Echoing the desert’s palette, Jasmine chose a color scheme of cream, copper, peach, and pale gray. The bride’s friends decorated the ceremony arch by wrapping a fabric sash around it and accenting the top with large paper flowers. The Hacienda staff hung papel picado, intricately punched paper that is traditionally made in Mexico but used throughout New Mexico, across the Hacienda’s courtyard, along with string lights. Other handmade details included carefully embellishing each wedding invitation with a single feather. For place cards, Jasmine attached kraft paper cards to sage sticks and dried flowers sourced from the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market. The Menu Marja Catering provided a light, seasonally driven Southwestern menu with chicken mole appetizers, a make-your-own flank steak taco bar, veggie enchiladas, and chilled gazpacho. Advice from the Bride “Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I tried to do so much of it myself and finally realized I needed someone besides my fiancé to help me work through all of the tiny decisions, because we were beginning to stress out and lose perspective.” For more NM weddings, visit NewMexicoWeddingMagazine.com , edited by Susana Lucero.","id":"58b4b2804c2774661570f946","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/love-saves-the-day-84650/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/love-saves-the-day-84650/#comments","absoluteUrl":"https://www.newmexico.org/nmmagazine/articles/post/love-saves-the-day-84650/","metaTitle":"Best New Mexico Weddings 2014","metaDescription":"
View or download a copy of this article as it appeared in New Mexico Magazine along with a bonus directory of wedding vendor's from Susana Lucero, editor of newmexicoweddingmagazine.com.

For
","cleanDescription":"    View or download a copy of this article as it appeared in New Mexico Magazine along with a bonus directory of wedding vendor's from Susana Lucero, editor of newmexicoweddingmagazine.com .   For lovebirds of both the local and far-flung persuasions, New Mexico offers a wealth of outstanding wedding locations that have a strong sense of place. The landscape, the architecture, the food, and so much more add up to exquisite special events that just couldn’t happen anywhere else.   Ghost Town Vows Remotely nestled in the foothills eight miles south of Santa Fe, Bonanza Creek Ranch’s Movie Town set hosted the wedding of Turner Ross and Sarah Wolters, who live in Talpa. Bonanza Creek, where westerns like Lonesome Dove and Young Guns were filmed, was the perfect backdrop for their “1920s traveling circus ghost town theme.” Creating the Moment Turner (a documentary filmmaker) and Sarah (a nonprofit consultant) asked their guests to create an ontheme identity and dress the part: a Wild West outlaw, circus performer, or saloon girl. Sarah sewed red and white curtains and created a giant banner with paper pinwheels. Sarah’s mother scoured thrift stores in central Texas, amassing a large collection of hobnail milk glass in which they placed red chrysanthemums, faux succulents, and more. For the reception, guests were encouraged to participate in a dance-off. Sarah wore a 1950s silk chiffon debutante’s dress from Off Broadway Vintage Clothing and Costumes, in Albuquerque. Susan, the owner, was such a pro to work with that Sarah tried on only two dresses before finding the one she chose. The Menu The couple wanted to share fresh, flavorful New Mexican food with their guests. Appetizers included tostaditos with mole negro, avocado, and asadero, and empanaditas with local lamb picadillo. Turner and Sarah both love Santa Fe Brewing Company; they secured kegs of its pale ale, nut brown, and porter brews, perfect for pairing with red-chile-dusted peanuts and buttered popcorn with greenchile salt in the saloon. In lieu of traditional wedding cake, for dessert they served the bride’s three favorite desserts: Mexican chocolate brownie sundaes, Nutella s’mores, and Mexican wedding cookies. Advice from the Bride “Our photographer, Anne Staveley, took stunning portraits of all our wedding guests. These served as our party favors. Your wedding is not just one day, it’s a pinnacle moment in your legacy. Use it to honor each other, and everyone in your lives who has supported and loved you both.” Farm Chic Union Photo by: Kim Jackson With its historic 1930s landmark architecture by John Gaw Meem, majestic views of the Sandía Mountains, and winding garden pathways, J.J. and Sara Mancini felt Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm, in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, was the ideal setting for their intimate, colorful October wedding. And even better: it was close to their home in Albuquerque, where Sara works for the city as a policy analyst and J.J. is the owner of Desert Fuels. Photo by: Kim Jackson Creating the Moment The bride and groom wanted their marriage to be “a light for others,” so the décor included lots of candles. Loving the contrast of fun colors against white and vice versa, Sara opted for a big, colorful bouquet that would pop against her lacy white Vera Wang wedding dress. The 12 bridesmaids were encouraged to choose any dress they wanted to wear, as long as it was made of non-shiny cotton material in a solid color; they each carried a single white hydrangea. J.J. and Sara also had four of their nephews form a bubble brigade; they walked down the aisle blowing bubbles at guests. The couple wrote their own vows, and read them to each other for the first time at the wedding ceremony. The Menu Los Poblanos was recently named one of the “Top 10 Food Lover’s Hotels in the United States” by Bon Appétit magazine. Served family style, dinner included locally grown quinoa-stuffed bell peppers and roasted chicken wrapped in bacon. J.J. recalls, “And those tomatoes ... oh, those tomatoes. Could you call them candy?” For dessert, J.J. and Sara served an assortment of cupcakes from Cake Fetish, an Albuquerque cupcake bakery. Cupcakes were decorated with hand-inscribed flags describing a memory associated with each type of cupcake. The s’moresflavored cupcakes included a tidbit about how they loved camping and making s’mores; the snowball cupcake flags told a story about how the couple once trekked up a snowy mountain to find their Christmas tree. The women of the bride’s family made their favorite kinds of cookies, and guests were invited to take home a selection as a wedding favor. Advice from the Bride “Don’t be afraid to limit your guest list for whatever reason if you want or need to. We wanted an intimate wedding and kept our guest list small, but the day after, we invited all of our friends, family, and co-workers to celebrate our first day of marriage at a backyard barbecue.” Sara and J.J.'s Wedding at Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm Cinematography/Editing: Luminance Wedding Films Photographer: Kim Jackson | Guitar: Jim Gross | Band: Tapestry | Cake: Cake Fetish | Venue: Los Poblanos Destination: La Plaza Photo by: Robin Parrott Two birds Studio Jay Barron and Corrie Plant, lawyers from Santa Monica, California, had visited Santa Fe twice before, and found it to be a very romantic, unique city. They especially fell in love with the art, food, and historic character. They chose the Santa Fe landmark hotel La Fonda on the Plaza to host their wedding, because they liked its Pueblo Deco style. They also appreciated that the ceremony amargin-top:5px;nd reception could take place in the same space, and serve as lodging for their guests. And they knew that friends and family from out of town would enjoy exploring all of the downtown shops, galleries, and restaurants on foot. Photo by: Robin Parrott Two Birds Studio La Marcha locales These downtown Santa Fe venues are also situated perfectly for a la marcha procession to the Plaza. Inn and Spa at Loretto is among the most photographed buildings in all of New Mexico. As an architectural re-creation of the famous Taos Pueblo, this Santa Fe hotel provides a magnificent backdrop for your wedding photographs. (800) 727-5531; innatloretto.com La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa’s adobestyle architecture, colorful gardens, and cozy outdoor kiva fireplaces evoke magic and charm. (855) 278-5276; laposadadesantafe.com Creating the Moment Corrie had a personalized stamp made with the word “love,” their names, and their wedding date, then set about stamping the paper items: napkins, menus, welcome-bag items, and programs. Their florist, Margaret Bost, incorporated coordinating shades of peonies into all of the bouquets and table arrangements. Corrie wore a strapless, draped-bodice Monique Lhuillier gown with hand-bustled trumpet skirt. To welcome guests, they assembled and gave out goodie bags packed with snacks, treats, and information about Santa Fe. They also included blank cards in which they asked guests to write a little something about what inspires them in life and bring their card to the wedding to be placed in the card box for Jay and Corrie to enjoy after the wedding day. After the wedding ceremony, the couple and their guests enjoyed a festive mariachi-led musical procession known as la marcha. Though it is typically done at Hispanic weddings, this New Mexico wedding tradition is being incorporated by people of all cultural backgrounds. This procession travels through the streets, traditionally from the church to the wedding reception space, and leads the bride and groom to their first dance. The Menu For dessert, the couple decided to offer guests a bar stocked with pink candy instead of a traditional wedding cake. They thought it was one of the areas they could save on cost while adding something fun and personal. The bride made a sign for the table that read “love, sweet love.” Advice from the Bride “We definitely recommend including the local tradition of la marcha musical escort and dance. One of the greatest memories we have is of the mariachi band leading all of our friends and family in a parade around the Plaza right after the wedding ceremony. The guests lined up on the sidewalk outside La Fonda shaking their maracas as the mariachi band led us through the crowd. We felt such joy in that moment.” Day of Wine & Roses Photo by: Latisha Lyn Roderick and Jenae Mendoza, of Las Cruces, dreamed of getting married near the bride’s childhood home in southern New Mexico. Jenae, a musician who also works in accounts payable, and Roderick, a barista who also works with a production company, soon realized that the Rio Grande Winery was the perfect setting for their “vintage meets rustic” wedding. Set in the Mesilla Valley, it also offered gorgeous views of the Organ Mountains. Photo by: Latisha Lyn Creating the Moment Full of do-it-yourself details, Roderick and Jenae’s wedding day became a collaborative effort among family and friends. From the boutonnieres and bouquets made by the bride and her bridesmaids using hydrangeas, wildflowers, and mustard yarrow for pops of color, to the centerpieces (mason jars wrapped in burlap as candleholders), the wedding decor was kept simple to harmonize with the pastoral theme. At the reception, there was not a dry eye in the house when Roderick and Jenae, both very musically inclined, performed songs they had written for the occasion as special gifts to each other. The Menu To share their love of New Mexican food, Roderick and Jenae chose Las Cruces restaurant !Ándele! as their caterer. Dinner included red and green enchiladas, flautas, beans, and rice, as well as an appetizer of chips and fresh salsa. The couple served a four-tiered wedding cake with vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet layers covered in almond buttercream frosting. They chose to give their guests handmade chocolate truffle favors from the Chocolate Lady, in Old Mesilla, custom-wrapped with ribbon matching their color scheme of mustard yellow and navy. The winery’s muscat and port were also available to guests. Advice from the Bride “We had two couples that we love and respect give us advice and a blessing at the reception. This meant so much to us.” Northern Glory Photo by: Talitha Tarro   Albuquerque couple Don and Melissa Ortega knew they had to consider Taos’s El Monte Sagrado Resort when a friend described it to them as “the garden of Eden.” Melissa, a project manager, and Don, the owner of a jujitsu studio, were charmed by sunlit streams, tropical flora, and the sounds of calming waterfalls. Views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains from the Taos Mountain Lawn ceremony site sealed the deal. Photo by: Talitha Tarro Creating moment For her June wedding bouquet, ceremony, and reception decor, Melissa chose roses in colors of peach, apricot, and cream with gold accents to create a warm and summery feel. The bride’s bright blue jewel-studded shoes added a pop of color, as well as doubling as her “something blue.” Mark McKenzie, the minister from their church in Albuquerque, served as officiant, and read from love letters that the bride and groom had written to each other. The Menu Melissa and Don made New Mexico–themed gift baskets and delivered them to their guests’ rooms. They contained candied pecans from Las Cruces’ Stahmann Farms, bottles of St. Clair Winery’s red and green chile wines, and El Pinto salsa, all nestled into Native woven baskets. The couple chose a cupcake tower, plus a cake for the traditional cutting of the cake. The cupcake frosting was piped to look like roses, then decorated with fresh flowers by Taos florist Simply Shelia. As a parting gift, guests received a locally sourced honey-chipotle spice mix. Advice from the Bride “Each year on our anniversary, we’re going to make a trip back to El Monte Sagrado. We recommend every other couple visit their wedding site, too.” Hitched at the Hacienda Photos by: Ashley Davis Although Jasmine and Nick Firchau live in Brooklyn, where they are Web editors, they were born in Santa Fe, and decided to celebrate their wedding in this beloved Southwest setting. Nestled in the Ortiz Mountains, with courtyard views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the distance, the just-remote-enough Hacienda Doña Andrea (in Los Cerrillos, an hour’s drive from the Albuquerque airport) set the scene for Jasmine and Nick’s gorgeous Southwestmeets- Gatsby-inspired wedding. Photo by: Ashley Davis Creating the Moment Echoing the desert’s palette, Jasmine chose a color scheme of cream, copper, peach, and pale gray. The bride’s friends decorated the ceremony arch by wrapping a fabric sash around it and accenting the top with large paper flowers. The Hacienda staff hung papel picado, intricately punched paper that is traditionally made in Mexico but used throughout New Mexico, across the Hacienda’s courtyard, along with string lights. Other handmade details included carefully embellishing each wedding invitation with a single feather. For place cards, Jasmine attached kraft paper cards to sage sticks and dried flowers sourced from the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market. The Menu Marja Catering provided a light, seasonally driven Southwestern menu with chicken mole appetizers, a make-your-own flank steak taco bar, veggie enchiladas, and chilled gazpacho. Advice from the Bride “Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I tried to do so much of it myself and finally realized I needed someone besides my fiancé to help me work through all of the tiny decisions, because we were beginning to stress out and lose perspective.” For more NM weddings, visit NewMexicoWeddingMagazine.com , edited by Susana Lucero.","publish_start_moment":"2014-01-22T12:00:00.000Z","publish_end_moment":"2017-12-18T22:13:22.975Z"},{"_id":"58b4b2804c2774661570f945","author_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f20b","title":"Ridin’ the Metal to the Medal","slug":"ridin-the-metal-to-the-medal-84639","image_id":"58b4b2484c2774661570f497","publish_start":"2014-01-21T16:00:00.000Z","enable_comments":true,"categories_ids":["58c83bb81f16f9392cf09b52","58b4b2404c2774661570f2b4","58f5533b46da1c146c0fc752","590920d3e1efff4c991704f1"],"tags_ids":["59090d4be1efff4c9916fa90","59090ce8e1efff4c9916fa49","59090ca9e1efff4c9916fa20","59092106e1efff4c991704f8"],"cms_tags_ids":["58b061ec6a2b0936c34a23ea"],"enabled":true,"custom_tagline":"The scoop on Angel Fire’s annual shovel races, and why we dig ’em.","created":"2014-01-21T16:20:08.000Z","legacy_id":"84639","blog":"magazine","_title_sort":"ridin’ the metal to the medal","updated":"2017-10-31T21:31:31.418Z","active":true,"description_raw":"

I thought it was a little strange that Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” was blasting from Angel Fire’s loudspeakers at 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Then came the onesies. Everyone was wearing skintight ski suits adorned with spiderwebs or flames—and those without Spandex sported full-body astronaut getups. What really threw me off, however, wasn’t the eccentric attire but the equipment on their shoulders: in place of skis or snowboards rested old-fashioned, metal grain shovels.

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“What’s going on today?” I questioned the next shovel-sporting hotshot who passed. “Don’t you know?” He looked at me as if I were from a different planet. “Shovel Racing World Championship!”

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As I quickly learned, Angel Fire’s shovel racing is a kind of poor man’s luging. Contestants ages 6 to 80, mostly locals, position their bottoms in the rounded end of shovels, atop a 1,200-foot mountain chute. Leaning back with the handle between their legs, these fearless adrenaline junkies fly down the mountain at speeds topping 70 miles per hour. The trick, apparently, is to “stay on the shovel.”

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Shovel racing originated on the slopes of New Mexico’s ski resorts in the 1970s, when lift workers grooming divots realized they could use their tools to get from one place to the next. Over the next 20 years, this mode of transportation evolved into an amped-up sport, featuring tricked-out shovels that could easily hit 90 miles per hour. After a short stint in the ’97 Winter X Games—and the accidents that ensued—modified shovels were banned.

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Now that racing has returned to its roots with the original shovel (the kind you pick up at Home Depot for $30), some diehards who long for the NASCAR-on-ice days complain, “It’s just not what it used to be.” But to any greenhorn like me, it’s exciting. Four out of every five racers I watched wiped out before the finish line. Those who did make it past were quickly pinballed into three layers of netting, getting a mouthful of snow—and shovel—in the process. Most racers were first-timers, or just goofballs in it for the show. Between all the capes, Elvis wigs, Speedos, hula skirts—and, of course, flames—it was hard to tell who was competing for best costume, and who was seriously racing for the sport of it.

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The only way I could tell was by how each racer finished. True racers wiped out with the elegance of a figure skater turned football player, combining a touchdown wiggle with the most triumphant shovel raise, the crowd cheering as if the U.S. had just won an Olympic gold medal. One even kissed his metal seat of glory as he posed for his fans. Most serious riders are members of the second or third generation of their families to dare it. Shovel racers are celebrities in this town, even if only for a weekend. If you let them, they’ll gladly sign your posters, or even your shoulder, with a Sharpie.

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My first run-in with the medalist crowd came shortly after the races had ended, at the Award Ceremony and afterparty—which I recommend almost as much as the race itself. The entire community packs into the Village Haus, the rowdy bar that sets the tone for Angel Fire’s après-ski, to watch each age group’s medalists stand on milk cartons to receive their prizes. Sometimes, an ecstatic winner breaks out into speech: “I owe it all to my secret sauce and magic dust!” After each award, the 10-by-10-foot dance floor swarms with racers. (Using a shovel as a partner is commonplace.) Before long, I was asked to dance.

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“I don’t know if you recognize me,” my suitor said coolly, rubbing the bronze medal around his neck, “but I just got third place today.” I tried to fight back my laughter as he showed me a grisly five-inch scar from the previous year’s race.

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Fans are also, well, fanatical. They’ll drive 500 miles just to get their shovel signed by the world-record–setting Chad Jones. Without even knowing a racer—or where he placed—they’ll raise him onto their shoulders and buy him a beer or three. To call it enthusiasm is an understatement. Fans hoot and holler for shovel racers as if they were cheering for their own sons and brothers.

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When I asked one especially rowdy couple if they were, in fact, related to one of the medalists, they replied, “No. We just think this is the greatest sport on earth.” After watching these kamikaze competitors for a few hours, I had to agree. ✜

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I thought it was a little strange that Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” was blasting from Angel Fire’s loudspeakers at 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Then came the onesies. Everyone was wearing skintight

","version_id":"59f8ebb3648901d6cd725d6f","author":{"_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f20b","blog":"magazine","name":"Madison Khan","_name_sort":"madison khan","updated":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.344Z","created":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.352Z","_totalPosts":1,"id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f20b","title":"Madison Khan","slug":"madison-khan","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/author/madison-khan/58b4b2404c2774661570f20b/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/author/madison-khan/58b4b2404c2774661570f20b/#comments","totalPosts":1},"categories":[{"_id":"58c83bb81f16f9392cf09b52","title":"Lifestyle","blog":"magazine","_title_sort":"lifestyle","updated":"2017-03-14T18:51:36.346Z","created":"2017-03-14T18:51:36.346Z","_totalPosts":72,"id":"58c83bb81f16f9392cf09b52","slug":"lifestyle","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/lifestyle/58c83bb81f16f9392cf09b52/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/lifestyle/58c83bb81f16f9392cf09b52/#comments","totalPosts":72},{"_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f2b4","blog":"magazine","title":"Going Places","_title_sort":"going places","updated":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.493Z","created":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.506Z","_totalPosts":78,"id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f2b4","slug":"going-places","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/going-places/58b4b2404c2774661570f2b4/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/going-places/58b4b2404c2774661570f2b4/#comments","totalPosts":78},{"_id":"590920d3e1efff4c991704f1","title":"February 2013","blog":"magazine","_title_sort":"february 2013","updated":"2017-05-03T00:14:11.799Z","created":"2017-05-03T00:14:11.799Z","_totalPosts":14,"id":"590920d3e1efff4c991704f1","slug":"february-2013","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/february-2013/590920d3e1efff4c991704f1/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/february-2013/590920d3e1efff4c991704f1/#comments","totalPosts":14}],"image":{"_id":"58b4b2484c2774661570f497","legacy_id":"84640","title":"Shovel _race _13","created":"2014-01-21T16:29:51.000Z","updated":"2017-02-27T23:12:07.482Z","credits":"Henry Lopez","content_owner":"magazine","tags_ids":["58b061ec6a2b0936c34a23ea"],"title_sort":"shovel _race _13","resource_raw":{"public_id":"clients/newmexico/shovel_race_13_567bfaa6-7053-406b-86e9-deafe070ce73","version":1488237127,"signature":"2bba2fe902abd26469b46fd8f068ab71fc0dd588","width":490,"height":327,"format":"jpg","resource_type":"image","created_at":"2017-02-27T23:12:07.000Z","bytes":50623,"type":"upload","etag":"c66abb6bd428d62c51c03fd5f6c445e7","url":"http://res.cloudinary.com/simpleview/image/upload/v1488237127/clients/newmexico/shovel_race_13_567bfaa6-7053-406b-86e9-deafe070ce73.jpg","secure_url":"https://res.cloudinary.com/simpleview/image/upload/v1488237127/clients/newmexico/shovel_race_13_567bfaa6-7053-406b-86e9-deafe070ce73.jpg","exif":{"Copyright":null},"original_filename":"shovel_race_13"},"deleted":false,"id":"58b4b2484c2774661570f497","type":"image","resource":{"raw":{"resource_type":"image","format":"jpg","public_id":"clients/newmexico/shovel_race_13_567bfaa6-7053-406b-86e9-deafe070ce73"}},"inAssetRequest":false,"alt_text":"Shovel _race _13"},"tags":[{"_id":"59090ca9e1efff4c9916fa20","title":"Events","blog":"magazine","_title_sort":"events","updated":"2017-05-02T22:48:09.170Z","created":"2017-05-02T22:48:09.171Z","_totalPosts":62,"id":"59090ca9e1efff4c9916fa20","slug":"events","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/tag/events/59090ca9e1efff4c9916fa20/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/tag/events/59090ca9e1efff4c9916fa20/#comments","totalPosts":62}],"teaser":"

I thought it was a little strange that Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” was blasting from Angel Fire’s loudspeakers at 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Then came the onesies. Everyone was wearing skintight

","description":"I thought it was a little strange that Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” was blasting from Angel Fire’s loudspeakers at 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Then came the onesies. Everyone was wearing skintight ski suits adorned with spiderwebs or flames—and those without Spandex sported full-body astronaut getups. What really threw me off, however, wasn’t the eccentric attire but the equipment on their shoulders: in place of skis or snowboards rested old-fashioned, metal grain shovels. “What’s going on today?” I questioned the next shovel-sporting hotshot who passed. “Don’t you know?” He looked at me as if I were from a different planet. “Shovel Racing World Championship!” As I quickly learned, Angel Fire’s shovel racing is a kind of poor man’s luging. Contestants ages 6 to 80, mostly locals, position their bottoms in the rounded end of shovels, atop a 1,200-foot mountain chute. Leaning back with the handle between their legs, these fearless adrenaline junkies fly down the mountain at speeds topping 70 miles per hour. The trick, apparently, is to “stay on the shovel.” Shovel racing originated on the slopes of New Mexico’s ski resorts in the 1970s, when lift workers grooming divots realized they could use their tools to get from one place to the next. Over the next 20 years, this mode of transportation evolved into an amped-up sport, featuring tricked-out shovels that could easily hit 90 miles per hour. After a short stint in the ’97 Winter X Games—and the accidents that ensued—modified shovels were banned. Now that racing has returned to its roots with the original shovel (the kind you pick up at Home Depot for $30), some diehards who long for the NASCAR-on-ice days complain, “It’s just not what it used to be.” But to any greenhorn like me, it’s exciting. Four out of every five racers I watched wiped out before the finish line. Those who did make it past were quickly pinballed into three layers of netting, getting a mouthful of snow—and shovel—in the process. Most racers were first-timers, or just goofballs in it for the show. Between all the capes, Elvis wigs, Speedos, hula skirts—and, of course, flames—it was hard to tell who was competing for best costume, and who was seriously racing for the sport of it. The only way I could tell was by how each racer finished. True racers wiped out with the elegance of a figure skater turned football player, combining a touchdown wiggle with the most triumphant shovel raise, the crowd cheering as if the U.S. had just won an Olympic gold medal. One even kissed his metal seat of glory as he posed for his fans. Most serious riders are members of the second or third generation of their families to dare it. Shovel racers are celebrities in this town, even if only for a weekend. If you let them, they’ll gladly sign your posters, or even your shoulder, with a Sharpie. My first run-in with the medalist crowd came shortly after the races had ended, at the Award Ceremony and afterparty—which I recommend almost as much as the race itself. The entire community packs into the Village Haus, the rowdy bar that sets the tone for Angel Fire’s après-ski, to watch each age group’s medalists stand on milk cartons to receive their prizes. Sometimes, an ecstatic winner breaks out into speech: “I owe it all to my secret sauce and magic dust!” After each award, the 10-by-10-foot dance floor swarms with racers. (Using a shovel as a partner is commonplace.) Before long, I was asked to dance. “I don’t know if you recognize me,” my suitor said coolly, rubbing the bronze medal around his neck, “but I just got third place today.” I tried to fight back my laughter as he showed me a grisly five-inch scar from the previous year’s race. Fans are also, well, fanatical. They’ll drive 500 miles just to get their shovel signed by the world-record–setting Chad Jones. Without even knowing a racer—or where he placed—they’ll raise him onto their shoulders and buy him a beer or three. To call it enthusiasm is an understatement. Fans hoot and holler for shovel racers as if they were cheering for their own sons and brothers. When I asked one especially rowdy couple if they were, in fact, related to one of the medalists, they replied, “No. We just think this is the greatest sport on earth.” After watching these kamikaze competitors for a few hours, I had to agree. ✜    ","id":"58b4b2804c2774661570f945","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/ridin-the-metal-to-the-medal-84639/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/ridin-the-metal-to-the-medal-84639/#comments","absoluteUrl":"https://www.newmexico.org/nmmagazine/articles/post/ridin-the-metal-to-the-medal-84639/","metaTitle":"Ridin’ the Metal to the Medal","metaDescription":"

I thought it was a little strange that Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” was blasting from Angel Fire’s loudspeakers at 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Then came the onesies. Everyone was wearing skintight

","cleanDescription":"I thought it was a little strange that Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” was blasting from Angel Fire’s loudspeakers at 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Then came the onesies. Everyone was wearing skintight ski suits adorned with spiderwebs or flames—and those without Spandex sported full-body astronaut getups. What really threw me off, however, wasn’t the eccentric attire but the equipment on their shoulders: in place of skis or snowboards rested old-fashioned, metal grain shovels. “What’s going on today?” I questioned the next shovel-sporting hotshot who passed. “Don’t you know?” He looked at me as if I were from a different planet. “Shovel Racing World Championship!” As I quickly learned, Angel Fire’s shovel racing is a kind of poor man’s luging. Contestants ages 6 to 80, mostly locals, position their bottoms in the rounded end of shovels, atop a 1,200-foot mountain chute. Leaning back with the handle between their legs, these fearless adrenaline junkies fly down the mountain at speeds topping 70 miles per hour. The trick, apparently, is to “stay on the shovel.” Shovel racing originated on the slopes of New Mexico’s ski resorts in the 1970s, when lift workers grooming divots realized they could use their tools to get from one place to the next. Over the next 20 years, this mode of transportation evolved into an amped-up sport, featuring tricked-out shovels that could easily hit 90 miles per hour. After a short stint in the ’97 Winter X Games—and the accidents that ensued—modified shovels were banned. Now that racing has returned to its roots with the original shovel (the kind you pick up at Home Depot for $30), some diehards who long for the NASCAR-on-ice days complain, “It’s just not what it used to be.” But to any greenhorn like me, it’s exciting. Four out of every five racers I watched wiped out before the finish line. Those who did make it past were quickly pinballed into three layers of netting, getting a mouthful of snow—and shovel—in the process. Most racers were first-timers, or just goofballs in it for the show. Between all the capes, Elvis wigs, Speedos, hula skirts—and, of course, flames—it was hard to tell who was competing for best costume, and who was seriously racing for the sport of it. The only way I could tell was by how each racer finished. True racers wiped out with the elegance of a figure skater turned football player, combining a touchdown wiggle with the most triumphant shovel raise, the crowd cheering as if the U.S. had just won an Olympic gold medal. One even kissed his metal seat of glory as he posed for his fans. Most serious riders are members of the second or third generation of their families to dare it. Shovel racers are celebrities in this town, even if only for a weekend. If you let them, they’ll gladly sign your posters, or even your shoulder, with a Sharpie. My first run-in with the medalist crowd came shortly after the races had ended, at the Award Ceremony and afterparty—which I recommend almost as much as the race itself. The entire community packs into the Village Haus, the rowdy bar that sets the tone for Angel Fire’s après-ski, to watch each age group’s medalists stand on milk cartons to receive their prizes. Sometimes, an ecstatic winner breaks out into speech: “I owe it all to my secret sauce and magic dust!” After each award, the 10-by-10-foot dance floor swarms with racers. (Using a shovel as a partner is commonplace.) Before long, I was asked to dance. “I don’t know if you recognize me,” my suitor said coolly, rubbing the bronze medal around his neck, “but I just got third place today.” I tried to fight back my laughter as he showed me a grisly five-inch scar from the previous year’s race. Fans are also, well, fanatical. They’ll drive 500 miles just to get their shovel signed by the world-record–setting Chad Jones. Without even knowing a racer—or where he placed—they’ll raise him onto their shoulders and buy him a beer or three. To call it enthusiasm is an understatement. Fans hoot and holler for shovel racers as if they were cheering for their own sons and brothers. When I asked one especially rowdy couple if they were, in fact, related to one of the medalists, they replied, “No. We just think this is the greatest sport on earth.” After watching these kamikaze competitors for a few hours, I had to agree. ✜    ","publish_start_moment":"2014-01-21T16:00:00.000Z","publish_end_moment":"2017-12-18T22:13:22.976Z"},{"_id":"58b4b2804c2774661570f944","title":"One of Our 50 Is Missing","slug":"one-of-our-fifty-is-missing-feb-2014-84633","image_id":"58b4b2484c2774661570f4a8","publish_start":"2014-01-21T10:00:00.000Z","enable_comments":true,"categories_ids":["58b4b2404c2774661570f2a5","58b4b2404c2774661570f30b","58b4b2404c2774661570f267"],"tags_ids":["59090cbbe1efff4c9916fa2b","59090de2e1efff4c9916fafb","59090c10e1efff4c9916f95a"],"cms_tags_ids":["58b061ec6a2b0936c34a23ea"],"enabled":true,"custom_tagline":"Rueful anecdotes about New Mexico's mistaken geographical identity, since 1970.","created":"2014-01-21T10:38:09.000Z","legacy_id":"84633","blog":"magazine","_title_sort":"one of our 50 is missing","updated":"2017-10-31T21:31:31.013Z","active":true,"description_raw":"
DEWEY KNOW THE WAY TO SANTA FE?
\r\nCraig and Natalie Epps, of Dewey, Oklahoma, vacation in Red River at least twice a year. When they tell friends in Dewey that they are going to New Mexico, they’re often asked, “Is that in Colorado?” “We’re always forced to explain that New Mexico is the state just south of Colorado. The sad part is that Oklahoma borders New Mexico!”
\r\n\r\n

\r\nDRIVER’S ED
\r\nGary Fassler, born in Albuquerque, was living in Queens, New York, when it was time for him to get his driver’s license. He brought his New Mexico birth certificate and social security card to the local Department of Motor Vehicles. After passing his road test, he headed over to the clerk to complete the process. She took one look at his New Mexico birth certificate and declared, “I can’t give you a driver’s license, sorry.” “Why not?” Fassler asked. “Because you ain’t a U.S. citizen, that’s why!” Completely nonplussed, he pointed out that New Mexico is indeed one of the 50 states. She didn’t believe him. He asked to speak with the manager, who told the clerk, “Take a break.” Apologizing profusely, he handled Fassler’s paperwork.
\r\n\r\n

\r\nNO DIRECTIONS, PLEASE
\r\nRose Tenbrink, of Midland, Texas, recently tried to rent a car for a family reunion. “I placed a call to our local car rental agency. I asked for a minivan, gave her the dates, and told her we were going to Alamogordo, New Mexico.” The Midland agent replied: “I’m sorry, my agency does not allow cars out of the country.” Here’s the best (worst?) part: As the crow flies, Midland is less than 50 miles from New Mexico.
\r\n\r\n

\r\nMILLENNIAL FAIL
\r\nJust before Rob and Julie Kresge retired to Albuquerque, they had dinner with friends at an upscale restaurant in a northern Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. When the twenty-something hostess seated them, she asked if the Kresges were locals. “We have been, but we’re moving to New Mexico next month,” Julie said. “Oh, cool. Cancún, huh?” she replied. “No, New Mexico is the state just west of Texas,” Rob said. She plopped down their menus and said, “Whatever.”
\r\n\r\n

\r\nENGLISH LESSONS
\r\nWhen Ursula Kellett, of London, tried to update friends about her brother’s move to New Mexico, she was surprised at the responses. “Oh, he has moved to Mexico,” they replied. When she answered that it was not Mexico but New Mexico, they said, “Yes, we understand, he is new to Mexico.” She tells us, “I, as his sister, know exactly where New Mexico is and absolutely adore it for its beauty and lovely people ... and each month I receive your magazine, a treat!”
\r\n\r\n

\r\nTHE WISENHEIMER APPROACH
\r\nWhile in college, Natalie Barka left northern New Mexico to study in Big Rapids, Michigan, for two semesters. Whenever she met someone new, they’d ask where she was from. When she told them, “I’m from New Mexico,” they unfailingly replied, “Oh, how do you like America?” Her response, after staring at them in disbelief, was, “I feel so free!” Send Us Your Story—Please!
\r\n\r\n

\r\nDear “50” fans: Help sustain this popular feature by sharing your anecdotes—we know you have some choice ones that you haven’t gotten around to sending in. Just dash it off if you like, and we’ll take it from there. Submissions will be edited for style and space. Please include your name, hometown, and state. E-mail to fifty@nmmagazine.com, or mail to Fifty, New Mexico Magazine, 495 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501.
","teaser_raw":"
DEWEY KNOW THE WAY TO SANTA FE?
Craig and Natalie Epps, of Dewey, Oklahoma, vacation in Red River at least twice a year. When they tell friends in Dewey that they are going to New Mexico, they’re
","version_id":"59f8ebb2648901d6cd725d60","categories":[{"_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f2a5","blog":"magazine","title":"February 2014","_title_sort":"february 2014","updated":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.492Z","created":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.504Z","_totalPosts":15,"id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f2a5","slug":"february-2014","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/february-2014/58b4b2404c2774661570f2a5/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/february-2014/58b4b2404c2774661570f2a5/#comments","totalPosts":15},{"_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f30b","blog":"magazine","title":"One Of Our 50 Is Missing","_title_sort":"one of our 50 is missing","updated":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.592Z","created":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.600Z","_totalPosts":68,"id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f30b","slug":"one-of-our-50-is-missing","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/one-of-our-50-is-missing/58b4b2404c2774661570f30b/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/one-of-our-50-is-missing/58b4b2404c2774661570f30b/#comments","totalPosts":68}],"image":{"_id":"58b4b2484c2774661570f4a8","legacy_id":"84635","title":"Screen Shot 2014-01-21 At 1.22.24 PM","created":"2014-01-21T14:23:17.000Z","updated":"2017-02-27T23:12:07.479Z","credits":"Henry Lopez","content_owner":"magazine","tags_ids":["58b061ec6a2b0936c34a23ea"],"title_sort":"screen shot 2014-01-21 at 1.22.24 pm","resource_raw":{"public_id":"clients/newmexico/screen_shot_2014_01_21_at_1_22_24_pm_6c7f24b8-2754-4b15-919f-93170d3e57c2","version":1488237128,"signature":"5e419c91f8a82c9fc51aa2e57978d2dc75b6dc34","width":397,"height":446,"format":"png","resource_type":"image","created_at":"2017-02-27T23:12:08.000Z","bytes":302369,"type":"upload","etag":"9d0bf1e7cf47a0dddf1aeef029982020","url":"http://res.cloudinary.com/simpleview/image/upload/v1488237128/clients/newmexico/screen_shot_2014_01_21_at_1_22_24_pm_6c7f24b8-2754-4b15-919f-93170d3e57c2.png","secure_url":"https://res.cloudinary.com/simpleview/image/upload/v1488237128/clients/newmexico/screen_shot_2014_01_21_at_1_22_24_pm_6c7f24b8-2754-4b15-919f-93170d3e57c2.png","original_filename":"screen_shot_2014-01-21_at_1.22.24_pm"},"deleted":false,"id":"58b4b2484c2774661570f4a8","type":"image","resource":{"raw":{"resource_type":"image","format":"png","public_id":"clients/newmexico/screen_shot_2014_01_21_at_1_22_24_pm_6c7f24b8-2754-4b15-919f-93170d3e57c2"}},"inAssetRequest":false,"alt_text":"Screen Shot 2014-01-21 At 1.22.24 PM"},"teaser":"
DEWEY KNOW THE WAY TO SANTA FE?
Craig and Natalie Epps, of Dewey, Oklahoma, vacation in Red River at least twice a year. When they tell friends in Dewey that they are going to New Mexico, they’re
","description":"DEWEY KNOW THE WAY TO SANTA FE? Craig and Natalie Epps, of Dewey, Oklahoma, vacation in Red River at least twice a year. When they tell friends in Dewey that they are going to New Mexico, they’re often asked, “Is that in Colorado?” “We’re always forced to explain that New Mexico is the state just south of Colorado. The sad part is that Oklahoma borders New Mexico!” DRIVER’S ED Gary Fassler, born in Albuquerque, was living in Queens, New York, when it was time for him to get his driver’s license. He brought his New Mexico birth certificate and social security card to the local Department of Motor Vehicles. After passing his road test, he headed over to the clerk to complete the process. She took one look at his New Mexico birth certificate and declared, “I can’t give you a driver’s license, sorry.” “Why not?” Fassler asked. “Because you ain’t a U.S. citizen, that’s why!” Completely nonplussed, he pointed out that New Mexico is indeed one of the 50 states. She didn’t believe him. He asked to speak with the manager, who told the clerk, “Take a break.” Apologizing profusely, he handled Fassler’s paperwork. NO DIRECTIONS, PLEASE Rose Tenbrink, of Midland, Texas, recently tried to rent a car for a family reunion. “I placed a call to our local car rental agency. I asked for a minivan, gave her the dates, and told her we were going to Alamogordo, New Mexico.” The Midland agent replied: “I’m sorry, my agency does not allow cars out of the country.” Here’s the best (worst?) part: As the crow flies, Midland is less than 50 miles from New Mexico. MILLENNIAL FAIL Just before Rob and Julie Kresge retired to Albuquerque, they had dinner with friends at an upscale restaurant in a northern Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. When the twenty-something hostess seated them, she asked if the Kresges were locals. “We have been, but we’re moving to New Mexico next month,” Julie said. “Oh, cool. Cancún, huh?” she replied. “No, New Mexico is the state just west of Texas,” Rob said. She plopped down their menus and said, “Whatever.” ENGLISH LESSONS When Ursula Kellett, of London, tried to update friends about her brother’s move to New Mexico, she was surprised at the responses. “Oh, he has moved to Mexico,” they replied. When she answered that it was not Mexico but New Mexico, they said, “Yes, we understand, he is new to Mexico.” She tells us, “I, as his sister, know exactly where New Mexico is and absolutely adore it for its beauty and lovely people ... and each month I receive your magazine, a treat!” THE WISENHEIMER APPROACH While in college, Natalie Barka left northern New Mexico to study in Big Rapids, Michigan, for two semesters. Whenever she met someone new, they’d ask where she was from. When she told them, “I’m from New Mexico,” they unfailingly replied, “Oh, how do you like America?” Her response, after staring at them in disbelief, was, “I feel so free!” Send Us Your Story—Please! Dear “50” fans: Help sustain this popular feature by sharing your anecdotes—we know you have some choice ones that you haven’t gotten around to sending in. Just dash it off if you like, and we’ll take it from there. Submissions will be edited for style and space. Please include your name, hometown, and state. E-mail to fifty@nmmagazine.com , or mail to Fifty, New Mexico Magazine, 495 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501.","id":"58b4b2804c2774661570f944","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/one-of-our-fifty-is-missing-feb-2014-84633/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/one-of-our-fifty-is-missing-feb-2014-84633/#comments","absoluteUrl":"https://www.newmexico.org/nmmagazine/articles/post/one-of-our-fifty-is-missing-feb-2014-84633/","metaTitle":"One of Our 50 Is Missing","metaDescription":"
DEWEY KNOW THE WAY TO SANTA FE?
Craig and Natalie Epps, of Dewey, Oklahoma, vacation in Red River at least twice a year. When they tell friends in Dewey that they are going to New Mexico, they’re
","cleanDescription":"DEWEY KNOW THE WAY TO SANTA FE? Craig and Natalie Epps, of Dewey, Oklahoma, vacation in Red River at least twice a year. When they tell friends in Dewey that they are going to New Mexico, they’re often asked, “Is that in Colorado?” “We’re always forced to explain that New Mexico is the state just south of Colorado. The sad part is that Oklahoma borders New Mexico!” DRIVER’S ED Gary Fassler, born in Albuquerque, was living in Queens, New York, when it was time for him to get his driver’s license. He brought his New Mexico birth certificate and social security card to the local Department of Motor Vehicles. After passing his road test, he headed over to the clerk to complete the process. She took one look at his New Mexico birth certificate and declared, “I can’t give you a driver’s license, sorry.” “Why not?” Fassler asked. “Because you ain’t a U.S. citizen, that’s why!” Completely nonplussed, he pointed out that New Mexico is indeed one of the 50 states. She didn’t believe him. He asked to speak with the manager, who told the clerk, “Take a break.” Apologizing profusely, he handled Fassler’s paperwork. NO DIRECTIONS, PLEASE Rose Tenbrink, of Midland, Texas, recently tried to rent a car for a family reunion. “I placed a call to our local car rental agency. I asked for a minivan, gave her the dates, and told her we were going to Alamogordo, New Mexico.” The Midland agent replied: “I’m sorry, my agency does not allow cars out of the country.” Here’s the best (worst?) part: As the crow flies, Midland is less than 50 miles from New Mexico. MILLENNIAL FAIL Just before Rob and Julie Kresge retired to Albuquerque, they had dinner with friends at an upscale restaurant in a northern Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. When the twenty-something hostess seated them, she asked if the Kresges were locals. “We have been, but we’re moving to New Mexico next month,” Julie said. “Oh, cool. Cancún, huh?” she replied. “No, New Mexico is the state just west of Texas,” Rob said. She plopped down their menus and said, “Whatever.” ENGLISH LESSONS When Ursula Kellett, of London, tried to update friends about her brother’s move to New Mexico, she was surprised at the responses. “Oh, he has moved to Mexico,” they replied. When she answered that it was not Mexico but New Mexico, they said, “Yes, we understand, he is new to Mexico.” She tells us, “I, as his sister, know exactly where New Mexico is and absolutely adore it for its beauty and lovely people ... and each month I receive your magazine, a treat!” THE WISENHEIMER APPROACH While in college, Natalie Barka left northern New Mexico to study in Big Rapids, Michigan, for two semesters. Whenever she met someone new, they’d ask where she was from. When she told them, “I’m from New Mexico,” they unfailingly replied, “Oh, how do you like America?” Her response, after staring at them in disbelief, was, “I feel so free!” Send Us Your Story—Please! Dear “50” fans: Help sustain this popular feature by sharing your anecdotes—we know you have some choice ones that you haven’t gotten around to sending in. Just dash it off if you like, and we’ll take it from there. Submissions will be edited for style and space. Please include your name, hometown, and state. E-mail to fifty@nmmagazine.com , or mail to Fifty, New Mexico Magazine, 495 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501.","publish_start_moment":"2014-01-21T10:00:00.000Z","publish_end_moment":"2017-12-18T22:13:22.977Z"},{"_id":"58b4b2804c2774661570f943","author_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f24b","title":"Slip-Sliding Away","slug":"slip-sliding-away-84632","publish_start":"2014-01-21T10:00:00.000Z","enable_comments":true,"categories_ids":["58c834b11f16f9392cf0992a","58b4b2404c2774661570f2b4","58f5533b46da1c146c0fc752","58b4b2404c2774661570f2a5"],"tags_ids":["59090e46e1efff4c9916fb37","59090ce8e1efff4c9916fa49","59090ca9e1efff4c9916fa20","59090cbbe1efff4c9916fa2b"],"cms_tags_ids":["58b061ec6a2b0936c34a23ea"],"enabled":true,"custom_photo_credit":"Michael Clark","custom_tagline":"One skier’s quest for perfectly groomed cross-country trails.","created":"2014-01-21T10:37:31.000Z","legacy_id":"84632","blog":"magazine","_title_sort":"slip-sliding away","updated":"2017-10-31T21:31:31.419Z","active":true,"description_raw":"

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Unlike most skiers in New Mexico, I like to slide horizontally, not vertically. I also prefer groomed trails where no dogs, snowshoes, or snowmobiles are allowed, preferably through tall trees. That’s because I grew up in Minnesota with cross-country ski trails at the end of my street. My parents, descendants of Swedes, had a regular Saturday morning ritual: They would bundle up their five kids in triple layers and bribe them into the sub-zero-degree day with a few hours of cross-country skiing followed by a giant breakfast at the local greasy spoon.

\r\n\r\n

 

\r\n\r\n

While I still remember the misery of frostbitten toes, the frozen slime mask that formed around my face from breathing through a scarf, and never being able to catch my dad no matter how hard I skied, I’m more grateful to my parents for teaching me how to cross-country ski than just about anything else they taught me. I’ve found that there’s no better way to clear my head and reset my default mode to “joy” than a few hours in the winter wilderness gliding on snow, feeling my appendages work in harmony while working up a good sweat. I change my style and ski-and-boot setup depending on snow conditions—electing either classical (the traditional method of cross-country, skiing in a parallel groomed track) or skate skiing (which looks like ice skating on groomed corduroy)—but the feeling I get with either is nothing short of phenomenal. Plus, it’s a cheap high: At most groomed cross-country areas, skiing is generally $10 to $20 per day, or roughly one-fifth the cost of a downhill lift ticket.

\r\n\r\n

The only change from my childhood ritual, now that four decades have passed and I live in New Mexico, is that I eat breakfast first (a green-chile-and-bacon breakfast burrito from El Parasol in Española) and travel a lot farther to find groomed cross-country trails. It’s a challenge in a state tectonically designed for downhill skiing. To improvise, I sometimes wake before dawn to skate-ski loops around the beginner Magic Carpet run of Ski Santa Fe. Or I’ll drive an hour west to the seven-kilometer Pajarito Nordic Ski Trail, near Los Alamos, possibly the only place on the planet that requires showing an ID at a nuclear-site checkpoint en route to the area. These small hits of corduroy mildly satiate the junkie in me. But for a real fix, I need the Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area, three miles east of Red River.

\r\n\r\n

My once-husband turned me on to this spidery 33K trail network, shrouded by aspen and ponderosa, when we moved to New Mexico in 1995. A competitive biathlete, that rarefied Nordic skier who also fires guns at targets along the way, he had heard about the legendary mom-and-pop operation from a Russian skier, who heard about it from the University of New Mexico Nordic ski team coach. The Lobos host an annual ski meet there, and definitely have the home-court advantage: The Enchanted Forest covers six hundred acres and tops out at 10,040 feet, which makes it arguably the highest Nordic ski area in the U.S.

\r\n\r\n

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a record or not,” says Geoff Goins, the co-owner since 2010. “You still have to breathe hard.”

\r\n\r\n

I’m meeting Goins for a pre-ski chat inside the Enchanted Forest’s “Day Lodge.” The 1,500-square-foot building is an ever-expanding maze packed with wooden tables surrounded by orange pleather benches, rental skis, communal coffee cups, and a very large array of Nordic nostalgia. On the “Snow Shrine,” a shelf of trinkets above the wood-burning stove, there’s a stuffed squirrel, a skiing Santa Claus, and a yellowed newspaper article about how beer is the best workout fuel.

\r\n\r\n

Goins, 44, is an ebullient, blue-eyed astronomer who works summers in Bryce Canyon National Park. He and his wife, Ellen, bought the business from her parents, John and Judy Miller, in 2010. The Millers opened Enchanted Forest in 1985 after running another Red River institution, Powder Puff Mountain downhill area (now closed). They sold it after they skied California’s Royal Gorge, the largest Nordic ski area in the country, for the first time. So enamored were they with the aerobic joy of groomed trails, they decided to carve out a similar playground in the Carson National Forest, and worked out a deal to lease a few hundred acres from the U.S. Forest Service.

\r\n\r\n

“When we bought the place from John and Judy three years ago, we put in the contract that they don’t have any input in the day-to-day operations,” Goins laughs, “but that doesn’t mean Judy doesn’t still give us hers.”

\r\n\r\n

The Millers, who are now both pushing 80, still ski almost every winter day. As does their daughter, Mary, who happens to walk in the door as Goins is telling me how trail names like Face Flop Drop, Peter Pan, Little John, and Malaboggen (Mary’s childhood nickname) came to be.

\r\n\r\n

“It’s a nickname I despise,” Mary tells me as she laces up her ski boots. But the name lives on in trail maps and on painstakingly carved trailhead signs, all 235 of which Goins recently re-carved by hand.

\r\n\r\n

“This place has been a labor of love for 27 years,” Mary tells me as she walks out the door and grabs her skis.

\r\n\r\n

It’s late winter and the snow is melting into slush. But both the skating and classical tracks are still fresh, thanks to Goins’ early-morning pass with the groomer. I classical-ski the outermost loop, Jabberwocky to Sherwood Forest to Northwest Passage, a roughly 8K trail that snakes through the woods with steep climbs and fast, curvy downhills. This first loop is always painful—I’ll feel like my lungs are bursting for the next 45 minutes—but it’s always worth it. When I finally top out at 10,040 feet, the panorama of Wheeler Peak, Gold Hill, and the Upper Red River Valley sprawls out in the sunshine. This is the most coveted stop on my tour, where I take time out to breathe, let the sun warm my body, and thank the universe that New Mexico has far fewer sub-zero days than Minnesota. Some of my friends tell me I’m a little nuts to drive five hours round-trip from Santa Fe for a cross-country skiing fix. But there could be plenty worse addictions, I think as I fly through pine and aspen, gathering speed on the downhill and dreaming of hot cocoa back at the lodge. ✜

\r\n\r\n

Need to Know

\r\n\r\n

Depending on the snow and how fanatical you are about grooming, there are four excellent spots in New Mexico to find regularly groomed ski trails, both classical (skiing in parallel groomed tracks) and skating (skiing that looks almost like ice skating on groomed trails). Most ski areas groom the same trail for both skating and classical, with four to five feet for skating in the center and a parallel track on the side for classical skiing.

\r\n\r\n

ENCHANTED FOREST CROSS COUNTRY SKI AREA
\r\nA day pass is $16 for adults, $8–$13 for kids. Ski lessons and full rentals are available. (575) 754-6112; enchantedforestxc.com The most convenient accommodations are at the Golden Eagle Lodge, just a few miles down the mountain in Red River. Reserve Room 18, a brand-new, two-bedroom suite with a wood-burning fireplace, full kitchen, and room to sleep eight. Bonus: Owner Jerry Vowell brews his own small-batch-roasted Fire Mountain Coffee. From $130 per night. (800) 621-4046; redriverlodges.com

\r\n\r\n

ANGEL FIRE RESORT
\r\nFor beginner skate skiers, there’s no better place to start than Angel Fire. The new 13K trail system on the Angel Fire Resort Country Club golf course, 1.5 miles from the downhill area, is roughly 1,000 feet lower than the Enchanted Forest and offers level, open terrain. Adult day pass, $10; kids 13 and under ski free. Full rental and lessons available. (575) 377-4320; bit.ly/angelfirexc

\r\n\r\n

SOUTHWEST NORDIC SKI CLUB TRAILS
\r\nThis nearly 7K network of skating and classical trails is tucked into a forested canyon northeast of Pajarito Mountain Ski Area. Southwest Nordic Ski Club volunteers groom and maintain the trails. Trail access is free, but donations are welcome. For trail maps and information on how to join, visit swnordicski.org.

\r\n\r\n

VALLES CALDERA NATIONAL PRESERVE
\r\nIt’s tricky to hit the Caldera, just west of Los Alamos, on a day when the trails in this wide-open crater are well groomed and the sun hasn’t baked them to slush. But more than 80 percent of the 60K trail system is groomed, so when the snow flies, call the automated snow line (505- 216-2690) or check the snow report at skinewmexico.com. Adult day pass, $10; kids 5–15, $5. No ski rental or lessons available. (866) 382-5537; vallescaldera.gov

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Unlike most skiers in New Mexico, I like to slide horizontally, not vertically. I also prefer groomed trails where no dogs, snowshoes, or snowmobiles are allowed, preferably through tall trees.

","version_id":"59f8ebb3648901d6cd725ddf","author":{"_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f24b","blog":"magazine","name":"Stephanie Pearson","_name_sort":"stephanie pearson","updated":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.412Z","created":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.420Z","_totalPosts":2,"id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f24b","title":"Stephanie Pearson","slug":"stephanie-pearson","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/author/stephanie-pearson/58b4b2404c2774661570f24b/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/author/stephanie-pearson/58b4b2404c2774661570f24b/#comments","totalPosts":2},"categories":[{"_id":"58c834b11f16f9392cf0992a","title":"Travel","blog":"magazine","_title_sort":"travel","updated":"2017-03-14T18:21:37.155Z","created":"2017-03-14T18:21:37.156Z","_totalPosts":188,"id":"58c834b11f16f9392cf0992a","slug":"travel","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/travel/58c834b11f16f9392cf0992a/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/travel/58c834b11f16f9392cf0992a/#comments","totalPosts":188},{"_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f2b4","blog":"magazine","title":"Going Places","_title_sort":"going places","updated":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.493Z","created":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.506Z","_totalPosts":78,"id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f2b4","slug":"going-places","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/going-places/58b4b2404c2774661570f2b4/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/going-places/58b4b2404c2774661570f2b4/#comments","totalPosts":78},{"_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f2a5","blog":"magazine","title":"February 2014","_title_sort":"february 2014","updated":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.492Z","created":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.504Z","_totalPosts":15,"id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f2a5","slug":"february-2014","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/february-2014/58b4b2404c2774661570f2a5/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/february-2014/58b4b2404c2774661570f2a5/#comments","totalPosts":15}],"tags":[{"_id":"59090ca9e1efff4c9916fa20","title":"Events","blog":"magazine","_title_sort":"events","updated":"2017-05-02T22:48:09.170Z","created":"2017-05-02T22:48:09.171Z","_totalPosts":62,"id":"59090ca9e1efff4c9916fa20","slug":"events","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/tag/events/59090ca9e1efff4c9916fa20/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/tag/events/59090ca9e1efff4c9916fa20/#comments","totalPosts":62}],"teaser":"

Unlike most skiers in New Mexico, I like to slide horizontally, not vertically. I also prefer groomed trails where no dogs, snowshoes, or snowmobiles are allowed, preferably through tall trees.

","description":"  Unlike most skiers in New Mexico, I like to slide horizontally, not vertically. I also prefer groomed trails where no dogs, snowshoes, or snowmobiles are allowed, preferably through tall trees. That’s because I grew up in Minnesota with cross-country ski trails at the end of my street. My parents, descendants of Swedes, had a regular Saturday morning ritual: They would bundle up their five kids in triple layers and bribe them into the sub-zero-degree day with a few hours of cross-country skiing followed by a giant breakfast at the local greasy spoon.   While I still remember the misery of frostbitten toes, the frozen slime mask that formed around my face from breathing through a scarf, and never being able to catch my dad no matter how hard I skied, I’m more grateful to my parents for teaching me how to cross-country ski than just about anything else they taught me. I’ve found that there’s no better way to clear my head and reset my default mode to “joy” than a few hours in the winter wilderness gliding on snow, feeling my appendages work in harmony while working up a good sweat. I change my style and ski-and-boot setup depending on snow conditions—electing either classical (the traditional method of cross-country, skiing in a parallel groomed track) or skate skiing (which looks like ice skating on groomed corduroy)—but the feeling I get with either is nothing short of phenomenal. Plus, it’s a cheap high: At most groomed cross-country areas, skiing is generally $10 to $20 per day, or roughly one-fifth the cost of a downhill lift ticket. The only change from my childhood ritual, now that four decades have passed and I live in New Mexico, is that I eat breakfast first (a green-chile-and-bacon breakfast burrito from El Parasol in Española) and travel a lot farther to find groomed cross-country trails. It’s a challenge in a state tectonically designed for downhill skiing. To improvise, I sometimes wake before dawn to skate-ski loops around the beginner Magic Carpet run of Ski Santa Fe. Or I’ll drive an hour west to the seven-kilometer Pajarito Nordic Ski Trail, near Los Alamos, possibly the only place on the planet that requires showing an ID at a nuclear-site checkpoint en route to the area. These small hits of corduroy mildly satiate the junkie in me. But for a real fix, I need the Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area, three miles east of Red River. My once-husband turned me on to this spidery 33K trail network, shrouded by aspen and ponderosa, when we moved to New Mexico in 1995. A competitive biathlete, that rarefied Nordic skier who also fires guns at targets along the way, he had heard about the legendary mom-and-pop operation from a Russian skier, who heard about it from the University of New Mexico Nordic ski team coach. The Lobos host an annual ski meet there, and definitely have the home-court advantage: The Enchanted Forest covers six hundred acres and tops out at 10,040 feet, which makes it arguably the highest Nordic ski area in the U.S. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a record or not,” says Geoff Goins, the co-owner since 2010. “You still have to breathe hard.” I’m meeting Goins for a pre-ski chat inside the Enchanted Forest’s “Day Lodge.” The 1,500-square-foot building is an ever-expanding maze packed with wooden tables surrounded by orange pleather benches, rental skis, communal coffee cups, and a very large array of Nordic nostalgia. On the “Snow Shrine,” a shelf of trinkets above the wood-burning stove, there’s a stuffed squirrel, a skiing Santa Claus, and a yellowed newspaper article about how beer is the best workout fuel. Goins, 44, is an ebullient, blue-eyed astronomer who works summers in Bryce Canyon National Park. He and his wife, Ellen, bought the business from her parents, John and Judy Miller, in 2010. The Millers opened Enchanted Forest in 1985 after running another Red River institution, Powder Puff Mountain downhill area (now closed). They sold it after they skied California’s Royal Gorge, the largest Nordic ski area in the country, for the first time. So enamored were they with the aerobic joy of groomed trails, they decided to carve out a similar playground in the Carson National Forest, and worked out a deal to lease a few hundred acres from the U.S. Forest Service. “When we bought the place from John and Judy three years ago, we put in the contract that they don’t have any input in the day-to-day operations,” Goins laughs, “but that doesn’t mean Judy doesn’t still give us hers.” The Millers, who are now both pushing 80, still ski almost every winter day. As does their daughter, Mary, who happens to walk in the door as Goins is telling me how trail names like Face Flop Drop, Peter Pan, Little John, and Malaboggen (Mary’s childhood nickname) came to be. “It’s a nickname I despise,” Mary tells me as she laces up her ski boots. But the name lives on in trail maps and on painstakingly carved trailhead signs, all 235 of which Goins recently re-carved by hand. “This place has been a labor of love for 27 years,” Mary tells me as she walks out the door and grabs her skis. It’s late winter and the snow is melting into slush. But both the skating and classical tracks are still fresh, thanks to Goins’ early-morning pass with the groomer. I classical-ski the outermost loop, Jabberwocky to Sherwood Forest to Northwest Passage, a roughly 8K trail that snakes through the woods with steep climbs and fast, curvy downhills. This first loop is always painful—I’ll feel like my lungs are bursting for the next 45 minutes—but it’s always worth it. When I finally top out at 10,040 feet, the panorama of Wheeler Peak, Gold Hill, and the Upper Red River Valley sprawls out in the sunshine. This is the most coveted stop on my tour, where I take time out to breathe, let the sun warm my body, and thank the universe that New Mexico has far fewer sub-zero days than Minnesota. Some of my friends tell me I’m a little nuts to drive five hours round-trip from Santa Fe for a cross-country skiing fix. But there could be plenty worse addictions, I think as I fly through pine and aspen, gathering speed on the downhill and dreaming of hot cocoa back at the lodge. ✜ Need to Know Depending on the snow and how fanatical you are about grooming, there are four excellent spots in New Mexico to find regularly groomed ski trails, both classical (skiing in parallel groomed tracks) and skating (skiing that looks almost like ice skating on groomed trails). Most ski areas groom the same trail for both skating and classical, with four to five feet for skating in the center and a parallel track on the side for classical skiing. ENCHANTED FOREST CROSS COUNTRY SKI ARE A A day pass is $16 for adults, $8–$13 for kids. Ski lessons and full rentals are available. (575) 754-6112; enchantedforestxc.com The most convenient accommodations are at the Golden Eagle Lodge, just a few miles down the mountain in Red River. Reserve Room 18, a brand-new, two-bedroom suite with a wood-burning fireplace, full kitchen, and room to sleep eight. Bonus: Owner Jerry Vowell brews his own small-batch-roasted Fire Mountain Coffee. From $130 per night. (800) 621-4046; redriverlodges.com ANGEL FIRE RESORT For beginner skate skiers, there’s no better place to start than Angel Fire. The new 13K trail system on the Angel Fire Resort Country Club golf course, 1.5 miles from the downhill area, is roughly 1,000 feet lower than the Enchanted Forest and offers level, open terrain. Adult day pass, $10; kids 13 and under ski free. Full rental and lessons available. (575) 377-4320; bit.ly/angelfirexc SOUTHWEST NORDIC SKI CLUB TRAILS This nearly 7K network of skating and classical trails is tucked into a forested canyon northeast of Pajarito Mountain Ski Area. Southwest Nordic Ski Club volunteers groom and maintain the trails. Trail access is free, but donations are welcome. For trail maps and information on how to join, visit swnordicski.org . VALLES CALDERA NATIONAL PRESERVE It’s tricky to hit the Caldera, just west of Los Alamos, on a day when the trails in this wide-open crater are well groomed and the sun hasn’t baked them to slush. But more than 80 percent of the 60K trail system is groomed, so when the snow flies, call the automated snow line (505- 216-2690) or check the snow report at skinewmexico.com. Adult day pass, $10; kids 5–15, $5. No ski rental or lessons available. (866) 382-5537; vallescaldera.gov","id":"58b4b2804c2774661570f943","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/slip-sliding-away-84632/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/slip-sliding-away-84632/#comments","absoluteUrl":"https://www.newmexico.org/nmmagazine/articles/post/slip-sliding-away-84632/","metaTitle":"Slip-Sliding Away","metaDescription":"

Unlike most skiers in New Mexico, I like to slide horizontally, not vertically. I also prefer groomed trails where no dogs, snowshoes, or snowmobiles are allowed, preferably through tall trees.

","cleanDescription":"  Unlike most skiers in New Mexico, I like to slide horizontally, not vertically. I also prefer groomed trails where no dogs, snowshoes, or snowmobiles are allowed, preferably through tall trees. That’s because I grew up in Minnesota with cross-country ski trails at the end of my street. My parents, descendants of Swedes, had a regular Saturday morning ritual: They would bundle up their five kids in triple layers and bribe them into the sub-zero-degree day with a few hours of cross-country skiing followed by a giant breakfast at the local greasy spoon.   While I still remember the misery of frostbitten toes, the frozen slime mask that formed around my face from breathing through a scarf, and never being able to catch my dad no matter how hard I skied, I’m more grateful to my parents for teaching me how to cross-country ski than just about anything else they taught me. I’ve found that there’s no better way to clear my head and reset my default mode to “joy” than a few hours in the winter wilderness gliding on snow, feeling my appendages work in harmony while working up a good sweat. I change my style and ski-and-boot setup depending on snow conditions—electing either classical (the traditional method of cross-country, skiing in a parallel groomed track) or skate skiing (which looks like ice skating on groomed corduroy)—but the feeling I get with either is nothing short of phenomenal. Plus, it’s a cheap high: At most groomed cross-country areas, skiing is generally $10 to $20 per day, or roughly one-fifth the cost of a downhill lift ticket. The only change from my childhood ritual, now that four decades have passed and I live in New Mexico, is that I eat breakfast first (a green-chile-and-bacon breakfast burrito from El Parasol in Española) and travel a lot farther to find groomed cross-country trails. It’s a challenge in a state tectonically designed for downhill skiing. To improvise, I sometimes wake before dawn to skate-ski loops around the beginner Magic Carpet run of Ski Santa Fe. Or I’ll drive an hour west to the seven-kilometer Pajarito Nordic Ski Trail, near Los Alamos, possibly the only place on the planet that requires showing an ID at a nuclear-site checkpoint en route to the area. These small hits of corduroy mildly satiate the junkie in me. But for a real fix, I need the Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area, three miles east of Red River. My once-husband turned me on to this spidery 33K trail network, shrouded by aspen and ponderosa, when we moved to New Mexico in 1995. A competitive biathlete, that rarefied Nordic skier who also fires guns at targets along the way, he had heard about the legendary mom-and-pop operation from a Russian skier, who heard about it from the University of New Mexico Nordic ski team coach. The Lobos host an annual ski meet there, and definitely have the home-court advantage: The Enchanted Forest covers six hundred acres and tops out at 10,040 feet, which makes it arguably the highest Nordic ski area in the U.S. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a record or not,” says Geoff Goins, the co-owner since 2010. “You still have to breathe hard.” I’m meeting Goins for a pre-ski chat inside the Enchanted Forest’s “Day Lodge.” The 1,500-square-foot building is an ever-expanding maze packed with wooden tables surrounded by orange pleather benches, rental skis, communal coffee cups, and a very large array of Nordic nostalgia. On the “Snow Shrine,” a shelf of trinkets above the wood-burning stove, there’s a stuffed squirrel, a skiing Santa Claus, and a yellowed newspaper article about how beer is the best workout fuel. Goins, 44, is an ebullient, blue-eyed astronomer who works summers in Bryce Canyon National Park. He and his wife, Ellen, bought the business from her parents, John and Judy Miller, in 2010. The Millers opened Enchanted Forest in 1985 after running another Red River institution, Powder Puff Mountain downhill area (now closed). They sold it after they skied California’s Royal Gorge, the largest Nordic ski area in the country, for the first time. So enamored were they with the aerobic joy of groomed trails, they decided to carve out a similar playground in the Carson National Forest, and worked out a deal to lease a few hundred acres from the U.S. Forest Service. “When we bought the place from John and Judy three years ago, we put in the contract that they don’t have any input in the day-to-day operations,” Goins laughs, “but that doesn’t mean Judy doesn’t still give us hers.” The Millers, who are now both pushing 80, still ski almost every winter day. As does their daughter, Mary, who happens to walk in the door as Goins is telling me how trail names like Face Flop Drop, Peter Pan, Little John, and Malaboggen (Mary’s childhood nickname) came to be. “It’s a nickname I despise,” Mary tells me as she laces up her ski boots. But the name lives on in trail maps and on painstakingly carved trailhead signs, all 235 of which Goins recently re-carved by hand. “This place has been a labor of love for 27 years,” Mary tells me as she walks out the door and grabs her skis. It’s late winter and the snow is melting into slush. But both the skating and classical tracks are still fresh, thanks to Goins’ early-morning pass with the groomer. I classical-ski the outermost loop, Jabberwocky to Sherwood Forest to Northwest Passage, a roughly 8K trail that snakes through the woods with steep climbs and fast, curvy downhills. This first loop is always painful—I’ll feel like my lungs are bursting for the next 45 minutes—but it’s always worth it. When I finally top out at 10,040 feet, the panorama of Wheeler Peak, Gold Hill, and the Upper Red River Valley sprawls out in the sunshine. This is the most coveted stop on my tour, where I take time out to breathe, let the sun warm my body, and thank the universe that New Mexico has far fewer sub-zero days than Minnesota. Some of my friends tell me I’m a little nuts to drive five hours round-trip from Santa Fe for a cross-country skiing fix. But there could be plenty worse addictions, I think as I fly through pine and aspen, gathering speed on the downhill and dreaming of hot cocoa back at the lodge. ✜ Need to Know Depending on the snow and how fanatical you are about grooming, there are four excellent spots in New Mexico to find regularly groomed ski trails, both classical (skiing in parallel groomed tracks) and skating (skiing that looks almost like ice skating on groomed trails). Most ski areas groom the same trail for both skating and classical, with four to five feet for skating in the center and a parallel track on the side for classical skiing. ENCHANTED FOREST CROSS COUNTRY SKI ARE A A day pass is $16 for adults, $8–$13 for kids. Ski lessons and full rentals are available. (575) 754-6112; enchantedforestxc.com The most convenient accommodations are at the Golden Eagle Lodge, just a few miles down the mountain in Red River. Reserve Room 18, a brand-new, two-bedroom suite with a wood-burning fireplace, full kitchen, and room to sleep eight. Bonus: Owner Jerry Vowell brews his own small-batch-roasted Fire Mountain Coffee. From $130 per night. (800) 621-4046; redriverlodges.com ANGEL FIRE RESORT For beginner skate skiers, there’s no better place to start than Angel Fire. The new 13K trail system on the Angel Fire Resort Country Club golf course, 1.5 miles from the downhill area, is roughly 1,000 feet lower than the Enchanted Forest and offers level, open terrain. Adult day pass, $10; kids 13 and under ski free. Full rental and lessons available. (575) 377-4320; bit.ly/angelfirexc SOUTHWEST NORDIC SKI CLUB TRAILS This nearly 7K network of skating and classical trails is tucked into a forested canyon northeast of Pajarito Mountain Ski Area. Southwest Nordic Ski Club volunteers groom and maintain the trails. Trail access is free, but donations are welcome. For trail maps and information on how to join, visit swnordicski.org . VALLES CALDERA NATIONAL PRESERVE It’s tricky to hit the Caldera, just west of Los Alamos, on a day when the trails in this wide-open crater are well groomed and the sun hasn’t baked them to slush. But more than 80 percent of the 60K trail system is groomed, so when the snow flies, call the automated snow line (505- 216-2690) or check the snow report at skinewmexico.com. Adult day pass, $10; kids 5–15, $5. No ski rental or lessons available. (866) 382-5537; vallescaldera.gov","publish_start_moment":"2014-01-21T10:00:00.000Z","publish_end_moment":"2017-12-18T22:13:22.978Z"},{"_id":"58b4b2804c2774661570f942","author_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f1ad","title":"Sweethearts’ Retreats","slug":"tasting-nm-sweethearts-retreats-84631","publish_start":"2014-01-21T10:00:00.000Z","enable_comments":true,"categories_ids":["58b4b2404c2774661570f32a","58c83a3d1f16f9392cf09ac4","58b4b2404c2774661570f2a5"],"tags_ids":["59090e3ce1efff4c9916fb32","59090c7ae1efff4c9916fa01","59090cbbe1efff4c9916fa2b"],"cms_tags_ids":["58b061ec6a2b0936c34a23ea"],"enabled":true,"custom_photo_credit":"DOUGLAS MERRIAM","custom_tagline":"Six romantic hotel restaurants—and two seductive dessert recipes—help put the icing on the Valentine’s Day cake.","created":"2014-01-21T10:36:45.000Z","legacy_id":"84631","blog":"magazine","_title_sort":"sweethearts’ retreats","updated":"2017-10-31T21:31:31.416Z","active":true,"description_raw":"

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My husband and I enjoy nothing more, when traveling, than a great meal in our hotel. Being within sauntering distance of our room allows us to drink wine or cocktails without worry—perfect for a romantic occasion, like Valentine’s Day. With the popularity of the culinary indulgences offered by many New Mexico hotel chefs, I recommend that you check in early at the spots discussed here, whether you’re planning on staying over or simply having a special dinner out. These are worthy options on any evening that you want to pamper yourself and someone you love.

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Scattered New Mexican spots, such as La Fonda, on the Plaza in Santa Fe, have held a high dining standard for decades. The nationally acclaimed Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, has led a newer wave of excellence, growing its own farm crops and preparing them for its patrons. Other hotels are seeing the light, too, and it’s downright dazzling.

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Let’s take a look at a couple of dynamic newer chefs on the state’s lodging scene, as well as a pair of sweet just-opened restaurants, one in a city hotel and another in a mountain inn.

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Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi
\r\nChef Juan José Bochenski

\r\nChef Juan came to Santa Fe via London, Australia, and, most recently, a Rosewood property in the Caribbean. He’s always innovating, and with global sophistication, but without losing touch with his Argentinian roots. The Buenos Aires–born chef has been adding touches of his homeland to the menu, which work well with the classic flavors of New Mexico.

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No matter how simple a dish sounds, it will come with a variety of flourishes thrilling to the most well traveled of diners. Chef Juan’s flaky-crusted bison empanadas with chimichurri are one of many examples on the restaurant’s winter menu. Free-range New Mexican lamb is served with eggplant caviar, shallot purée, and jalapeño croquettes. He whips up a seductive maté sorbet from the yerba “tea” consumed nonstop in much of South America. I can’t get enough of his wineenriched dessert custard. (Fortunately, he shares the recipe.) The Anasazi restaurant’s dining room is both rustic and elegant, with enough space between tables so that diners can converse without feeling overheard. The front patio is a fun place to sit even in the winter, when an outdoor heater warms patrons enjoying bar nibbles while watching all of Santa Fe wander by.

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Chef Juan tells me with a shy smile that he “loves to cook for special moments of life—weddings, anniversaries, or romantic interludes.” In fact, the hotel has created a couple of winter packages utilizing the chef’s talents. A five-course “Sense of Taste” dinner, paired with wines, offers special seating à deux in the hotel’s candlelit living room in front of the glowing fireplace. With the guests’ input, the chef plans the meal and beverages, even the background music. It’s a splurge at $250 per couple without lodging, but it’s a value for a memorable evening. A “Sweet & Spicy Romance Package” includes a room or suite. (The hotel’s luxurious rooms were refurbished this winter.) Its price varies, depending on timing and category of lodging selected, but includes all manner of fanciful touches: a rose-petal turndown service, chocolate-chile truffles, Gruet sparkling New Mexico wine, and your personally penned love letter to your significant sweetie, imaginatively presented. Enjoy Chef Juan’s meticulously planned candlelit dinner in your room or the Anasazi living room. 113 Washington Ave., Santa Fe; (505) 988-3236; rosewoodhotels.com/en/ inn-of-the-anasazi-santa-fe

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Terra, Four Seasons Rancho Encantado
\r\nChef Andrew Cooper

\r\nThe Four Seasons hotels and resorts garner worldwide acclaim for personalized guest services and staff who think creatively to solve any possible challenge. Rancho Encantado’s chef, Andrew Cooper, personifies the mission with both his passion and culinary skill. Chef Andrew became a strong local foods advocate when he worked at a Four Seasons resort in Hawaii. There, you can grow just about anything by simply tossing seeds out a window. “The bounty that’s available here in New Mexico is even more wondrous,” he says, “especially when you think about the preciousness of water. I first visited the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market in early fall and, immediately, I came upon farmer Matt Romero roasting his Dixon-grown chile. The aroma, the flavor—I decided right then I would incorporate chile into many of my dishes, even desserts.”

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Upon arriving in Tesuque in October 2012, Chef Andrew set out to find the best of New Mexico’s products and get them on Terra’s menu. He visited farmers, ranchers, and the Old Windmill Dairy cheesemakers. The dairy provides some of Terra’s cheeses but also supplies curd for the kitchen to make its own mozzarella. Honey from For the Love of Bees, 30 miles up the road, makes its way into the food as well as into the bar’s cocktails. The chef continues to rove the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market nearly every Saturday, plus Tuesdays in the warmer months, to supplement what he grows in the garden he created outside the hotel kitchen. He usually has some of the guests in tow at the market, too, showing them the growers’ bounty. Those guests later will sample sumptuous meals in front of the blazing dining room fireplace or dine on more casual fare in the bar.

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For Valentine’s Day, Chef Andrew plans “chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate.” He shared his scrumptious soufflé with us. Couples can also ask for private meals in one of several romantic spots, including the Piñon Dining Room, in front of a crackling fire. At 65 rooms and suites, this is the smallest Four Seasons property is in the Western Hemisphere. The size makes for a special intimacy, in spite of the expansiveness of the ranch property and its sunset views over the Jémez Mountains. This winter (through the end of May), the hotel offers a “Love Thy Neighbor" package for New Mexico residents. Locals get 15 percent off the best available rate for their choice of accommodation, and 15 percent off spa services while there. 198 State Road 592, Tesuque; (505) 946-5700; fourseasons.com/santafe

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Izanami, Ten Thousand Waves
\r\nKim Muller

\r\nThis brand-new architectural stunner has been a long-planned part of worldrenowned Ten Thousand Waves spa and inn. Opened in November, it shares the resort’s serene view over a pine-forested valley, a few lofty miles above Santa Fe. Izanami’s blue roof tiles gleam like lapis lazuli in the midday sun. Pass a thundering waterfall as you enter into a large, serene space with soaring ceiling. Sit counter-side in front of cooks at the robata charcoal grill, dine at a table or cushy booth, or even lounge in a tatami room.

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Izanami’s an izakaya, or pub, with a lovely array of small Japanese and Japanese-inspired plates created by Chef Kim. She’s been a stalwart on the Santa Fe culinary scene for a dozen years. If you don’t know Kim’s name, it’s because she’s more self-effacing than self-promoting. She’s also a real pro, central to the dearly departed Real Food Nation’s early success, and on a couple of occasions a vital part of the Compound’s kitchen team.

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Don’t expect sushi here. For wintry days or evenings, think more along the lines of tonkatsu, a heritage pork loin cutlet with pungent mustard, or gyoza dumplings with a heady soy-and-sesame dipping sauce, or sake-braised shimeji mushrooms, so Lilliputian that they almost look too cute to eat. Grilled standouts include chicken livers glazed in soy and accompanied by a tart dried fruit paste made of ume, Japanese salted plums. In the opening week, the variable assortment of tangy house-made pickles included golden beets, cucumbers, and apples. Kakiage, a heartier version of tempura, consists of thin matchsticks of mixed sweet potato, green beans, onions, and carrots presented in “haystacks.” Chef Kim’s desserts are Western-style but flavored with Japanese ingredients, like citrusy yuzu cheesecake or red misobanana ice cream. Deborah Fleig, one of the visionaries behind the Waves, offers a sophisticated and extensive selection of sakes, along with a few well-chosen wines, beers, and many teas.

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The inn’s lodgings are scattered on the hillside among the pines. All 13 rooms and suites, lovely in minimalist Japanese style, have already been booked for Valentine’s Day, but you can find plenty of other winter evenings available here. If you’re a spur-of-the-moment type, a sameday booking can net you a 20 percent discount. 3451 Hyde Park Road, Santa Fe; (505) 428-6390; tenthousandwaves.com

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Más Tapas y Vino, Hotel Andaluz
\r\nJames Campbell Caruso

\r\nChef James, one of Santa Fe’s top chefs (profiled in our May 2013 issue, “Cooking Up a Storm”), has cooked up a brandnew restaurant, inside the Duke City’s venerable Hotel Andaluz. A downtown Albuquerque landmark since 1939, the hotel was the first built by New Mexico native Conrad Hilton here in his home state. After a variety of owners and some hard times, new owners restored the hotel to elegance in 2008. Rounded Andalusian arches frame the high-ceilinged lobby.

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In contrast to the preserved historic character of the entry, Más reflects a more contemporary Spanish sensibility. The restaurant opened in mid-November and serves breakfast, lunch, tapas, and dinner with a Spanish flair. Expect similarities to James’ much-loved La Boca and Taberna, in Santa Fe, but with a soupçon of influence from North Africa. Think fivevegetable tagine or roasted duck breast with Moroccan carrot sauce. For those who have trouble deciding, a lunch meze platter offers beet-and-walnut spread, carrot-garbanzo hummus, and chopped spinach with raisins and capers, among other exotic delights. Even morning fare gets creative spins, such as dulce de leche French toast and huevos benedictos, with Serrano ham and pimenton hollandaise. 125 2nd St. NW, Albuquerque; (505) 242-9090; hotelandaluz.com

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A Duo of Southern Delights
\r\nOn his way to work at a Carlsbad chain restaurant, Chef Luis Martinez checked out the renovations of a decaying downtown bank building that was being transformed into the refined Trinity Hotel. The chef determined it was the place he would work when construction was completed. When the time was right, he came in and cooked an Italian meal for owner Dale Balzano. He got the job on the spot. You’ll fall for the small hotel’s stately suites as quickly as Mr. Balzano did for Chef Luis’s food. Don’t miss the Chicken Bolloco, a New Mexican spin on fettucine Alfredo, or the excellent selection of New Mexico wines. 201 S. Canal St., Carlsbad; (575) 234-9891; thetrinityhotel.com

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The Hotel Encanto, in Las Cruces, is a member of the small collection of Heritage Hotels and Resorts. Some recent renovations have upgraded the pool and surrounding area to match the Iberian grandeur of the lobby. Garduño’s, a much-loved Albuquerque New Mexican restaurant that fell on hard times, was bought and restored to prominence by the owner of HHR, with a branch at the Encanto. Prices here are modest all the time, but look into the New Mexico Wine Weekend Package, which welcomes you with cheese, fruit, and local wine, then helps you find your way to the area’s wineries, such as St. Clair and La Viña. 705 S. Telshor Blvd., Las Cruces; (575) 522-4300; hotelencanto.com

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Recipes
\r\nIf you want to romance someone special, we offer you two creamy, dreamy winter desserts. One is a simple snowy custard, perfumed with dessert wine. The other is a chocolate soufflé kissed with a hint of chile.

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Late-Harvest Torrontés Custard
\r\nThis silken custard looks a little unassuming, then dazzles with the first spoonful. A dessert wine made from Torrontés, the signature white grape of Argentina, flavors Chef Juan Bochenski’s lovely finish to a meal. Late-harvest wines can be found from many other wine regions, too. You can substitute a New Mexico late-harvest wine, in particular, such as Black Mesa’s Cosecha Ultima or Ponderosa Valley Winery’s Late-Harvest Riesling. All are made from grapes that spend extra time on the vine, through an initial frost, to develop a lush, almost honeyed sweetness. Plan to drink the remaining wine in small glasses alongside the dessert. Serves 6

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  • 1 cup from a 375-milliliter bottle (a “split”) Late-Harvest Torrontés or other lateharvest wine
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  • 3 large eggs
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  • 6 large egg yolks
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  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
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  • 2 cups heavy cream
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Preheat oven to 250° F. Place 6 custard cups or other 8-ounce ramekins in a shallow baking pan.

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Bring wine to a boil in a small saucepan and reduce by half. Remove from heat.

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Whisk together eggs, yolks, sugar, and cream in a mixing bowl for about 30 seconds, until combined mixture drizzles off whisk in thick ribbons. Pour in a few tablespoons of warm wine, continuing to whisk. Once wine is incorporated, pour in rest while whisking.

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Pour custard through a fine strainer into the custard cups. (If that sounds awkward to you, pour custard through strainer into another mixing bowl, then use a measuring cup to distribute custard among cups.) Make a water bath by pouring hot water around cups in pan. Carefully transfer pan to oven. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until gently set. Remove from oven and let cool in water bath for at least 15 minutes. Serve custards warm or chilled. They can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. If you wish, pour a teaspoon of remaining wine over each custard before serving.

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Green Chile Chocolate Soufflé
\r\nChef Andrew Cooper infuses milk with green chile for his New Mexico–inspired soufflé. A whisper of chile enlivens the semisweet chocolate mixture, building gently through a succession of bites. Add the greater quantity of chile suggested if you want a touch more heat. Serves 4

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For the soufflé dishes

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  • 2 teaspoons softened butter 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
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  • 1½ cup (12 ounces) whole milk
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  • ¼ to ¹/³ cup chopped roasted medium or hot New Mexican green chile
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  • 1½ cups semisweet chocolate, chopped
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  • 3 large eggs plus 3 additional large egg whites
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  • ½ cup granulated sugar (divided use)
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  • ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
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  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
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  • Confectioners’ sugar, as a garnish
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Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare four 1½- to 2-cup round ramekins or other similarsize soufflé baking dishes, coating each interior in butter. Sprinkle sugar equally into dishes and roll or shake as needed to distribute sugar evenly in ramekins. Dump out sugar that doesn’t stick to dishes.

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Combine milk and chile in a medium saucepan and, over medium heat, bring just to a simmer, with small bubbles just beginning to break around the edge. Remove from heat and let mixture steep for 15 minutes.

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While chile milk steeps, separate the 3 eggs. Yolks go into a small mixing bowl. Whites from whole eggs and already separated whites go into a large mixer bowl. Whisk together yolks with flour and ¼ cup sugar.

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Pour milk-chile mixture into blender and purée. Reserve saucepan. Strain mixture back into saucepan and bring milk again to a bare simmer. Stir in chocolate, remove from the heat, and continue stirring until chocolate fully melts and is incorporated. Stir in egg yolk mixture. (You can prepare the soufflé base to this point up to 2 hours ahead. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you plan to proceed.)

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Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in bowl of electric mixer over high speed until frothy. Add remaining ¼ cup sugar and continue beating until stiff but still glossy. (If cooking at 7,000 feet or higher altitude, beat egg whites just until they hold soft peaks.) Stir about one-quarter of beaten egg white mixture into the soufflé base. Fold in remaining egg white mixture. Divide batter among prepared ramekins.

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Bake 18 to 22 minutes, until puffed, with centers nearly set. Dust tops with confectioners’ sugar. Enjoy right away. (Soufflés sink as they cool. If you have leftovers, they will lose their lightness but still taste good, more like brownies in texture.)

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My husband and I enjoy nothing more, when traveling, than a great meal in our hotel. Being within sauntering distance of our room allows us to drink wine or cocktails without worry—perfect for a

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My husband and I enjoy nothing more, when traveling, than a great meal in our hotel. Being within sauntering distance of our room allows us to drink wine or cocktails without worry—perfect for a

","description":"  My husband and I enjoy nothing more, when traveling, than a great meal in our hotel. Being within sauntering distance of our room allows us to drink wine or cocktails without worry—perfect for a romantic occasion, like Valentine’s Day. With the popularity of the culinary indulgences offered by many New Mexico hotel chefs, I recommend that you check in early at the spots discussed here, whether you’re planning on staying over or simply having a special dinner out. These are worthy options on any evening that you want to pamper yourself and someone you love.   Scattered New Mexican spots, such as La Fonda, on the Plaza in Santa Fe, have held a high dining standard for decades. The nationally acclaimed Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, has led a newer wave of excellence, growing its own farm crops and preparing them for its patrons. Other hotels are seeing the light, too, and it’s downright dazzling. Let’s take a look at a couple of dynamic newer chefs on the state’s lodging scene, as well as a pair of sweet just-opened restaurants, one in a city hotel and another in a mountain inn. Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi Chef Juan José Bochenski Chef Juan came to Santa Fe via London, Australia, and, most recently, a Rosewood property in the Caribbean. He’s always innovating, and with global sophistication, but without losing touch with his Argentinian roots. The Buenos Aires–born chef has been adding touches of his homeland to the menu, which work well with the classic flavors of New Mexico. No matter how simple a dish sounds, it will come with a variety of flourishes thrilling to the most well traveled of diners. Chef Juan’s flaky-crusted bison empanadas with chimichurri are one of many examples on the restaurant’s winter menu. Free-range New Mexican lamb is served with eggplant caviar, shallot purée, and jalapeño croquettes. He whips up a seductive maté sorbet from the yerba “tea” consumed nonstop in much of South America. I can’t get enough of his wineenriched dessert custard. ( Fortunately, he shares the recipe. ) The Anasazi restaurant’s dining room is both rustic and elegant, with enough space between tables so that diners can converse without feeling overheard. The front patio is a fun place to sit even in the winter, when an outdoor heater warms patrons enjoying bar nibbles while watching all of Santa Fe wander by. Chef Juan tells me with a shy smile that he “loves to cook for special moments of life—weddings, anniversaries, or romantic interludes.” In fact, the hotel has created a couple of winter packages utilizing the chef’s talents. A five-course “Sense of Taste” dinner, paired with wines, offers special seating à deux in the hotel’s candlelit living room in front of the glowing fireplace. With the guests’ input, the chef plans the meal and beverages, even the background music. It’s a splurge at $250 per couple without lodging, but it’s a value for a memorable evening. A “Sweet & Spicy Romance Package” includes a room or suite. (The hotel’s luxurious rooms were refurbished this winter.) Its price varies, depending on timing and category of lodging selected, but includes all manner of fanciful touches: a rose-petal turndown service, chocolate-chile truffles, Gruet sparkling New Mexico wine, and your personally penned love letter to your significant sweetie, imaginatively presented. Enjoy Chef Juan’s meticulously planned candlelit dinner in your room or the Anasazi living room. 113 Washington Ave., Santa Fe; (505) 988-3236; rosewoodhotels.com/en/ inn-of-the-anasazi-santa-fe Terra, Four Seasons Rancho Encantado Chef Andrew Cooper The Four Seasons hotels and resorts garner worldwide acclaim for personalized guest services and staff who think creatively to solve any possible challenge. Rancho Encantado’s chef, Andrew Cooper, personifies the mission with both his passion and culinary skill. Chef Andrew became a strong local foods advocate when he worked at a Four Seasons resort in Hawaii. There, you can grow just about anything by simply tossing seeds out a window. “The bounty that’s available here in New Mexico is even more wondrous,” he says, “especially when you think about the preciousness of water. I first visited the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market in early fall and, immediately, I came upon farmer Matt Romero roasting his Dixon-grown chile. The aroma, the flavor—I decided right then I would incorporate chile into many of my dishes, even desserts.” Upon arriving in Tesuque in October 2012, Chef Andrew set out to find the best of New Mexico’s products and get them on Terra’s menu. He visited farmers, ranchers, and the Old Windmill Dairy cheesemakers. The dairy provides some of Terra’s cheeses but also supplies curd for the kitchen to make its own mozzarella. Honey from For the Love of Bees, 30 miles up the road, makes its way into the food as well as into the bar’s cocktails. The chef continues to rove the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market nearly every Saturday, plus Tuesdays in the warmer months, to supplement what he grows in the garden he created outside the hotel kitchen. He usually has some of the guests in tow at the market, too, showing them the growers’ bounty. Those guests later will sample sumptuous meals in front of the blazing dining room fireplace or dine on more casual fare in the bar. For Valentine’s Day, Chef Andrew plans “chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate.” He shared his scrumptious soufflé with us. Couples can also ask for private meals in one of several romantic spots, including the Piñon Dining Room, in front of a crackling fire. At 65 rooms and suites, this is the smallest Four Seasons property is in the Western Hemisphere. The size makes for a special intimacy, in spite of the expansiveness of the ranch property and its sunset views over the Jémez Mountains. This winter (through the end of May), the hotel offers a “Love Thy Neighbor" package for New Mexico residents. Locals get 15 percent off the best available rate for their choice of accommodation, and 15 percent off spa services while there. 198 State Road 592, Tesuque; (505) 946-5700; fourseasons.com/santafe Izanami, Ten Thousand Waves Kim Muller This brand-new architectural stunner has been a long-planned part of worldrenowned Ten Thousand Waves spa and inn. Opened in November, it shares the resort’s serene view over a pine-forested valley, a few lofty miles above Santa Fe. Izanami’s blue roof tiles gleam like lapis lazuli in the midday sun. Pass a thundering waterfall as you enter into a large, serene space with soaring ceiling. Sit counter-side in front of cooks at the robata charcoal grill, dine at a table or cushy booth, or even lounge in a tatami room. Izanami’s an izakaya , or pub, with a lovely array of small Japanese and Japanese-inspired plates created by Chef Kim. She’s been a stalwart on the Santa Fe culinary scene for a dozen years. If you don’t know Kim’s name, it’s because she’s more self-effacing than self-promoting. She’s also a real pro, central to the dearly departed Real Food Nation’s early success, and on a couple of occasions a vital part of the Compound’s kitchen team. Don’t expect sushi here. For wintry days or evenings, think more along the lines of tonkatsu, a heritage pork loin cutlet with pungent mustard, or gyoza dumplings with a heady soy-and-sesame dipping sauce, or sake-braised shimeji mushrooms, so Lilliputian that they almost look too cute to eat. Grilled standouts include chicken livers glazed in soy and accompanied by a tart dried fruit paste made of ume, Japanese salted plums. In the opening week, the variable assortment of tangy house-made pickles included golden beets, cucumbers, and apples. Kakiage, a heartier version of tempura, consists of thin matchsticks of mixed sweet potato, green beans, onions, and carrots presented in “haystacks.” Chef Kim’s desserts are Western-style but flavored with Japanese ingredients, like citrusy yuzu cheesecake or red misobanana ice cream. Deborah Fleig, one of the visionaries behind the Waves, offers a sophisticated and extensive selection of sakes, along with a few well-chosen wines, beers, and many teas. The inn’s lodgings are scattered on the hillside among the pines. All 13 rooms and suites, lovely in minimalist Japanese style, have already been booked for Valentine’s Day, but you can find plenty of other winter evenings available here. If you’re a spur-of-the-moment type, a sameday booking can net you a 20 percent discount. 3451 Hyde Park Road, Santa Fe; (505) 428-6390; tenthousandwaves.com Más Tapas y Vino, Hotel Andaluz James Campbell Caruso Chef James, one of Santa Fe’s top chefs (profiled in our May 2013 issue, “Cooking Up a Storm”), has cooked up a brandnew restaurant, inside the Duke City’s venerable Hotel Andaluz. A downtown Albuquerque landmark since 1939, the hotel was the first built by New Mexico native Conrad Hilton here in his home state. After a variety of owners and some hard times, new owners restored the hotel to elegance in 2008. Rounded Andalusian arches frame the high-ceilinged lobby. In contrast to the preserved historic character of the entry, Más reflects a more contemporary Spanish sensibility. The restaurant opened in mid-November and serves breakfast, lunch, tapas, and dinner with a Spanish flair. Expect similarities to James’ much-loved La Boca and Taberna, in Santa Fe, but with a soupçon of influence from North Africa. Think fivevegetable tagine or roasted duck breast with Moroccan carrot sauce. For those who have trouble deciding, a lunch meze platter offers beet-and-walnut spread, carrot-garbanzo hummus, and chopped spinach with raisins and capers, among other exotic delights. Even morning fare gets creative spins, such as dulce de leche French toast and huevos benedictos, with Serrano ham and pimenton hollandaise. 125 2nd St. NW, Albuquerque; (505) 242-9090; hotelandaluz.com A Duo of Southern Delights On his way to work at a Carlsbad chain restaurant, Chef Luis Martinez checked out the renovations of a decaying downtown bank building that was being transformed into the refined Trinity Hotel. The chef determined it was the place he would work when construction was completed. When the time was right, he came in and cooked an Italian meal for owner Dale Balzano. He got the job on the spot. You’ll fall for the small hotel’s stately suites as quickly as Mr. Balzano did for Chef Luis’s food. Don’t miss the Chicken Bolloco, a New Mexican spin on fettucine Alfredo, or the excellent selection of New Mexico wines. 201 S. Canal St., Carlsbad; (575) 234-9891; thetrinityhotel.com The Hotel Encanto, in Las Cruces, is a member of the small collection of Heritage Hotels and Resorts. Some recent renovations have upgraded the pool and surrounding area to match the Iberian grandeur of the lobby. Garduño’s, a much-loved Albuquerque New Mexican restaurant that fell on hard times, was bought and restored to prominence by the owner of HHR, with a branch at the Encanto. Prices here are modest all the time, but look into the New Mexico Wine Weekend Package, which welcomes you with cheese, fruit, and local wine, then helps you find your way to the area’s wineries, such as St. Clair and La Viña. 705 S. Telshor Blvd., Las Cruces; (575) 522-4300; hotelencanto.com Recipes If you want to romance someone special, we offer you two creamy, dreamy winter desserts. One is a simple snowy custard, perfumed with dessert wine. The other is a chocolate soufflé kissed with a hint of chile. Late-Harvest Torrontés Custard This silken custard looks a little unassuming, then dazzles with the first spoonful. A dessert wine made from Torrontés, the signature white grape of Argentina, flavors Chef Juan Bochenski’s lovely finish to a meal. Late-harvest wines can be found from many other wine regions, too. You can substitute a New Mexico late-harvest wine, in particular, such as Black Mesa’s Cosecha Ultima or Ponderosa Valley Winery’s Late-Harvest Riesling. All are made from grapes that spend extra time on the vine, through an initial frost, to develop a lush, almost honeyed sweetness. Plan to drink the remaining wine in small glasses alongside the dessert. Serves 6 1 cup from a 375-milliliter bottle (a “split”) Late-Harvest Torrontés or other lateharvest wine 3 large eggs 6 large egg yolks 6 tablespoons granulated sugar 2 cups heavy cream Preheat oven to 250° F. Place 6 custard cups or other 8-ounce ramekins in a shallow baking pan. Bring wine to a boil in a small saucepan and reduce by half. Remove from heat. Whisk together eggs, yolks, sugar, and cream in a mixing bowl for about 30 seconds, until combined mixture drizzles off whisk in thick ribbons. Pour in a few tablespoons of warm wine, continuing to whisk. Once wine is incorporated, pour in rest while whisking. Pour custard through a fine strainer into the custard cups. (If that sounds awkward to you, pour custard through strainer into another mixing bowl, then use a measuring cup to distribute custard among cups.) Make a water bath by pouring hot water around cups in pan. Carefully transfer pan to oven. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until gently set. Remove from oven and let cool in water bath for at least 15 minutes. Serve custards warm or chilled. They can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. If you wish, pour a teaspoon of remaining wine over each custard before serving. Green Chile Chocolate Soufflé Chef Andrew Cooper infuses milk with green chile for his New Mexico–inspired soufflé. A whisper of chile enlivens the semisweet chocolate mixture, building gently through a succession of bites. Add the greater quantity of chile suggested if you want a touch more heat. Serves 4 For the soufflé dishes 2 teaspoons softened butter 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 1½ cup (12 ounces) whole milk ¼ to ¹/³ cup chopped roasted medium or hot New Mexican green chile 1½ cups semisweet chocolate, chopped 3 large eggs plus 3 additional large egg whites ½ cup granulated sugar (divided use) ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon cream of tartar Confectioners’ sugar, as a garnish Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare four 1½- to 2-cup round ramekins or other similarsize soufflé baking dishes, coating each interior in butter. Sprinkle sugar equally into dishes and roll or shake as needed to distribute sugar evenly in ramekins. Dump out sugar that doesn’t stick to dishes. Combine milk and chile in a medium saucepan and, over medium heat, bring just to a simmer, with small bubbles just beginning to break around the edge. Remove from heat and let mixture steep for 15 minutes. While chile milk steeps, separate the 3 eggs. Yolks go into a small mixing bowl. Whites from whole eggs and already separated whites go into a large mixer bowl. Whisk together yolks with flour and ¼ cup sugar. Pour milk-chile mixture into blender and purée. Reserve saucepan. Strain mixture back into saucepan and bring milk again to a bare simmer. Stir in chocolate, remove from the heat, and continue stirring until chocolate fully melts and is incorporated. Stir in egg yolk mixture. (You can prepare the soufflé base to this point up to 2 hours ahead. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you plan to proceed.) Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in bowl of electric mixer over high speed until frothy. Add remaining ¼ cup sugar and continue beating until stiff but still glossy. (If cooking at 7,000 feet or higher altitude, beat egg whites just until they hold soft peaks.) Stir about one-quarter of beaten egg white mixture into the soufflé base. Fold in remaining egg white mixture. Divide batter among prepared ramekins. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, until puffed, with centers nearly set. Dust tops with confectioners’ sugar. Enjoy right away. (Soufflés sink as they cool. If you have leftovers, they will lose their lightness but still taste good, more like brownies in texture.)","id":"58b4b2804c2774661570f942","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/tasting-nm-sweethearts-retreats-84631/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/tasting-nm-sweethearts-retreats-84631/#comments","absoluteUrl":"https://www.newmexico.org/nmmagazine/articles/post/tasting-nm-sweethearts-retreats-84631/","metaTitle":"Sweethearts’ Retreats","metaDescription":"

My husband and I enjoy nothing more, when traveling, than a great meal in our hotel. Being within sauntering distance of our room allows us to drink wine or cocktails without worry—perfect for a

","cleanDescription":"  My husband and I enjoy nothing more, when traveling, than a great meal in our hotel. Being within sauntering distance of our room allows us to drink wine or cocktails without worry—perfect for a romantic occasion, like Valentine’s Day. With the popularity of the culinary indulgences offered by many New Mexico hotel chefs, I recommend that you check in early at the spots discussed here, whether you’re planning on staying over or simply having a special dinner out. These are worthy options on any evening that you want to pamper yourself and someone you love.   Scattered New Mexican spots, such as La Fonda, on the Plaza in Santa Fe, have held a high dining standard for decades. The nationally acclaimed Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, has led a newer wave of excellence, growing its own farm crops and preparing them for its patrons. Other hotels are seeing the light, too, and it’s downright dazzling. Let’s take a look at a couple of dynamic newer chefs on the state’s lodging scene, as well as a pair of sweet just-opened restaurants, one in a city hotel and another in a mountain inn. Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi Chef Juan José Bochenski Chef Juan came to Santa Fe via London, Australia, and, most recently, a Rosewood property in the Caribbean. He’s always innovating, and with global sophistication, but without losing touch with his Argentinian roots. The Buenos Aires–born chef has been adding touches of his homeland to the menu, which work well with the classic flavors of New Mexico. No matter how simple a dish sounds, it will come with a variety of flourishes thrilling to the most well traveled of diners. Chef Juan’s flaky-crusted bison empanadas with chimichurri are one of many examples on the restaurant’s winter menu. Free-range New Mexican lamb is served with eggplant caviar, shallot purée, and jalapeño croquettes. He whips up a seductive maté sorbet from the yerba “tea” consumed nonstop in much of South America. I can’t get enough of his wineenriched dessert custard. ( Fortunately, he shares the recipe. ) The Anasazi restaurant’s dining room is both rustic and elegant, with enough space between tables so that diners can converse without feeling overheard. The front patio is a fun place to sit even in the winter, when an outdoor heater warms patrons enjoying bar nibbles while watching all of Santa Fe wander by. Chef Juan tells me with a shy smile that he “loves to cook for special moments of life—weddings, anniversaries, or romantic interludes.” In fact, the hotel has created a couple of winter packages utilizing the chef’s talents. A five-course “Sense of Taste” dinner, paired with wines, offers special seating à deux in the hotel’s candlelit living room in front of the glowing fireplace. With the guests’ input, the chef plans the meal and beverages, even the background music. It’s a splurge at $250 per couple without lodging, but it’s a value for a memorable evening. A “Sweet & Spicy Romance Package” includes a room or suite. (The hotel’s luxurious rooms were refurbished this winter.) Its price varies, depending on timing and category of lodging selected, but includes all manner of fanciful touches: a rose-petal turndown service, chocolate-chile truffles, Gruet sparkling New Mexico wine, and your personally penned love letter to your significant sweetie, imaginatively presented. Enjoy Chef Juan’s meticulously planned candlelit dinner in your room or the Anasazi living room. 113 Washington Ave., Santa Fe; (505) 988-3236; rosewoodhotels.com/en/ inn-of-the-anasazi-santa-fe Terra, Four Seasons Rancho Encantado Chef Andrew Cooper The Four Seasons hotels and resorts garner worldwide acclaim for personalized guest services and staff who think creatively to solve any possible challenge. Rancho Encantado’s chef, Andrew Cooper, personifies the mission with both his passion and culinary skill. Chef Andrew became a strong local foods advocate when he worked at a Four Seasons resort in Hawaii. There, you can grow just about anything by simply tossing seeds out a window. “The bounty that’s available here in New Mexico is even more wondrous,” he says, “especially when you think about the preciousness of water. I first visited the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market in early fall and, immediately, I came upon farmer Matt Romero roasting his Dixon-grown chile. The aroma, the flavor—I decided right then I would incorporate chile into many of my dishes, even desserts.” Upon arriving in Tesuque in October 2012, Chef Andrew set out to find the best of New Mexico’s products and get them on Terra’s menu. He visited farmers, ranchers, and the Old Windmill Dairy cheesemakers. The dairy provides some of Terra’s cheeses but also supplies curd for the kitchen to make its own mozzarella. Honey from For the Love of Bees, 30 miles up the road, makes its way into the food as well as into the bar’s cocktails. The chef continues to rove the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market nearly every Saturday, plus Tuesdays in the warmer months, to supplement what he grows in the garden he created outside the hotel kitchen. He usually has some of the guests in tow at the market, too, showing them the growers’ bounty. Those guests later will sample sumptuous meals in front of the blazing dining room fireplace or dine on more casual fare in the bar. For Valentine’s Day, Chef Andrew plans “chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate.” He shared his scrumptious soufflé with us. Couples can also ask for private meals in one of several romantic spots, including the Piñon Dining Room, in front of a crackling fire. At 65 rooms and suites, this is the smallest Four Seasons property is in the Western Hemisphere. The size makes for a special intimacy, in spite of the expansiveness of the ranch property and its sunset views over the Jémez Mountains. This winter (through the end of May), the hotel offers a “Love Thy Neighbor" package for New Mexico residents. Locals get 15 percent off the best available rate for their choice of accommodation, and 15 percent off spa services while there. 198 State Road 592, Tesuque; (505) 946-5700; fourseasons.com/santafe Izanami, Ten Thousand Waves Kim Muller This brand-new architectural stunner has been a long-planned part of worldrenowned Ten Thousand Waves spa and inn. Opened in November, it shares the resort’s serene view over a pine-forested valley, a few lofty miles above Santa Fe. Izanami’s blue roof tiles gleam like lapis lazuli in the midday sun. Pass a thundering waterfall as you enter into a large, serene space with soaring ceiling. Sit counter-side in front of cooks at the robata charcoal grill, dine at a table or cushy booth, or even lounge in a tatami room. Izanami’s an izakaya , or pub, with a lovely array of small Japanese and Japanese-inspired plates created by Chef Kim. She’s been a stalwart on the Santa Fe culinary scene for a dozen years. If you don’t know Kim’s name, it’s because she’s more self-effacing than self-promoting. She’s also a real pro, central to the dearly departed Real Food Nation’s early success, and on a couple of occasions a vital part of the Compound’s kitchen team. Don’t expect sushi here. For wintry days or evenings, think more along the lines of tonkatsu, a heritage pork loin cutlet with pungent mustard, or gyoza dumplings with a heady soy-and-sesame dipping sauce, or sake-braised shimeji mushrooms, so Lilliputian that they almost look too cute to eat. Grilled standouts include chicken livers glazed in soy and accompanied by a tart dried fruit paste made of ume, Japanese salted plums. In the opening week, the variable assortment of tangy house-made pickles included golden beets, cucumbers, and apples. Kakiage, a heartier version of tempura, consists of thin matchsticks of mixed sweet potato, green beans, onions, and carrots presented in “haystacks.” Chef Kim’s desserts are Western-style but flavored with Japanese ingredients, like citrusy yuzu cheesecake or red misobanana ice cream. Deborah Fleig, one of the visionaries behind the Waves, offers a sophisticated and extensive selection of sakes, along with a few well-chosen wines, beers, and many teas. The inn’s lodgings are scattered on the hillside among the pines. All 13 rooms and suites, lovely in minimalist Japanese style, have already been booked for Valentine’s Day, but you can find plenty of other winter evenings available here. If you’re a spur-of-the-moment type, a sameday booking can net you a 20 percent discount. 3451 Hyde Park Road, Santa Fe; (505) 428-6390; tenthousandwaves.com Más Tapas y Vino, Hotel Andaluz James Campbell Caruso Chef James, one of Santa Fe’s top chefs (profiled in our May 2013 issue, “Cooking Up a Storm”), has cooked up a brandnew restaurant, inside the Duke City’s venerable Hotel Andaluz. A downtown Albuquerque landmark since 1939, the hotel was the first built by New Mexico native Conrad Hilton here in his home state. After a variety of owners and some hard times, new owners restored the hotel to elegance in 2008. Rounded Andalusian arches frame the high-ceilinged lobby. In contrast to the preserved historic character of the entry, Más reflects a more contemporary Spanish sensibility. The restaurant opened in mid-November and serves breakfast, lunch, tapas, and dinner with a Spanish flair. Expect similarities to James’ much-loved La Boca and Taberna, in Santa Fe, but with a soupçon of influence from North Africa. Think fivevegetable tagine or roasted duck breast with Moroccan carrot sauce. For those who have trouble deciding, a lunch meze platter offers beet-and-walnut spread, carrot-garbanzo hummus, and chopped spinach with raisins and capers, among other exotic delights. Even morning fare gets creative spins, such as dulce de leche French toast and huevos benedictos, with Serrano ham and pimenton hollandaise. 125 2nd St. NW, Albuquerque; (505) 242-9090; hotelandaluz.com A Duo of Southern Delights On his way to work at a Carlsbad chain restaurant, Chef Luis Martinez checked out the renovations of a decaying downtown bank building that was being transformed into the refined Trinity Hotel. The chef determined it was the place he would work when construction was completed. When the time was right, he came in and cooked an Italian meal for owner Dale Balzano. He got the job on the spot. You’ll fall for the small hotel’s stately suites as quickly as Mr. Balzano did for Chef Luis’s food. Don’t miss the Chicken Bolloco, a New Mexican spin on fettucine Alfredo, or the excellent selection of New Mexico wines. 201 S. Canal St., Carlsbad; (575) 234-9891; thetrinityhotel.com The Hotel Encanto, in Las Cruces, is a member of the small collection of Heritage Hotels and Resorts. Some recent renovations have upgraded the pool and surrounding area to match the Iberian grandeur of the lobby. Garduño’s, a much-loved Albuquerque New Mexican restaurant that fell on hard times, was bought and restored to prominence by the owner of HHR, with a branch at the Encanto. Prices here are modest all the time, but look into the New Mexico Wine Weekend Package, which welcomes you with cheese, fruit, and local wine, then helps you find your way to the area’s wineries, such as St. Clair and La Viña. 705 S. Telshor Blvd., Las Cruces; (575) 522-4300; hotelencanto.com Recipes If you want to romance someone special, we offer you two creamy, dreamy winter desserts. One is a simple snowy custard, perfumed with dessert wine. The other is a chocolate soufflé kissed with a hint of chile. Late-Harvest Torrontés Custard This silken custard looks a little unassuming, then dazzles with the first spoonful. A dessert wine made from Torrontés, the signature white grape of Argentina, flavors Chef Juan Bochenski’s lovely finish to a meal. Late-harvest wines can be found from many other wine regions, too. You can substitute a New Mexico late-harvest wine, in particular, such as Black Mesa’s Cosecha Ultima or Ponderosa Valley Winery’s Late-Harvest Riesling. All are made from grapes that spend extra time on the vine, through an initial frost, to develop a lush, almost honeyed sweetness. Plan to drink the remaining wine in small glasses alongside the dessert. Serves 6 1 cup from a 375-milliliter bottle (a “split”) Late-Harvest Torrontés or other lateharvest wine 3 large eggs 6 large egg yolks 6 tablespoons granulated sugar 2 cups heavy cream Preheat oven to 250° F. Place 6 custard cups or other 8-ounce ramekins in a shallow baking pan. Bring wine to a boil in a small saucepan and reduce by half. Remove from heat. Whisk together eggs, yolks, sugar, and cream in a mixing bowl for about 30 seconds, until combined mixture drizzles off whisk in thick ribbons. Pour in a few tablespoons of warm wine, continuing to whisk. Once wine is incorporated, pour in rest while whisking. Pour custard through a fine strainer into the custard cups. (If that sounds awkward to you, pour custard through strainer into another mixing bowl, then use a measuring cup to distribute custard among cups.) Make a water bath by pouring hot water around cups in pan. Carefully transfer pan to oven. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until gently set. Remove from oven and let cool in water bath for at least 15 minutes. Serve custards warm or chilled. They can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. If you wish, pour a teaspoon of remaining wine over each custard before serving. Green Chile Chocolate Soufflé Chef Andrew Cooper infuses milk with green chile for his New Mexico–inspired soufflé. A whisper of chile enlivens the semisweet chocolate mixture, building gently through a succession of bites. Add the greater quantity of chile suggested if you want a touch more heat. Serves 4 For the soufflé dishes 2 teaspoons softened butter 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 1½ cup (12 ounces) whole milk ¼ to ¹/³ cup chopped roasted medium or hot New Mexican green chile 1½ cups semisweet chocolate, chopped 3 large eggs plus 3 additional large egg whites ½ cup granulated sugar (divided use) ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon cream of tartar Confectioners’ sugar, as a garnish Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare four 1½- to 2-cup round ramekins or other similarsize soufflé baking dishes, coating each interior in butter. Sprinkle sugar equally into dishes and roll or shake as needed to distribute sugar evenly in ramekins. Dump out sugar that doesn’t stick to dishes. Combine milk and chile in a medium saucepan and, over medium heat, bring just to a simmer, with small bubbles just beginning to break around the edge. Remove from heat and let mixture steep for 15 minutes. While chile milk steeps, separate the 3 eggs. Yolks go into a small mixing bowl. Whites from whole eggs and already separated whites go into a large mixer bowl. Whisk together yolks with flour and ¼ cup sugar. Pour milk-chile mixture into blender and purée. Reserve saucepan. Strain mixture back into saucepan and bring milk again to a bare simmer. Stir in chocolate, remove from the heat, and continue stirring until chocolate fully melts and is incorporated. Stir in egg yolk mixture. (You can prepare the soufflé base to this point up to 2 hours ahead. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Remove from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you plan to proceed.) Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in bowl of electric mixer over high speed until frothy. Add remaining ¼ cup sugar and continue beating until stiff but still glossy. (If cooking at 7,000 feet or higher altitude, beat egg whites just until they hold soft peaks.) Stir about one-quarter of beaten egg white mixture into the soufflé base. Fold in remaining egg white mixture. Divide batter among prepared ramekins. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, until puffed, with centers nearly set. Dust tops with confectioners’ sugar. Enjoy right away. (Soufflés sink as they cool. If you have leftovers, they will lose their lightness but still taste good, more like brownies in texture.)","publish_start_moment":"2014-01-21T10:00:00.000Z","publish_end_moment":"2017-12-18T22:13:22.978Z"},{"_id":"58cc47a7e6b63b1390d38dbd","author_id":"58cc2d64e6b63b1390d38b3a","title":"Indian Summer Celebration","slug":"indian-summer-celebration","image_id":"58cc4740e6b63b1390d38db4","publish_start":"2014-01-19T21:00:00.000Z","enable_comments":false,"categories_ids":["58b4b2404c2774661570f32a"],"tags_ids":["59090e3ce1efff4c9916fb32"],"enabled":true,"custom_photo_credit":"Lois Ellen Frank","custom_tagline":"Bring home the local color with calabacitas and Navajo tacos","created":"2017-03-17T20:31:35.652Z","blog":"magazine","_title_sort":"indian summer celebration","updated":"2017-10-31T21:31:38.828Z","active":true,"description_raw":"
Bring home the local color with calabacitas and Navajo tacos
\r\n\r\n

In New Mexico, August is for savoring summer’s bounty and celebrating Native traditions. This month, food stands across the state will be serving up Navajo tacos, a.k.a. Indian tacos, at events like feast days at the Santa Clara, Santo Domingo, Zia, and Picurís pueblos; at the Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial; and at the Santa Fe Indian Market.

\r\n\r\n

An adaptation of the conventional variety, Indian tacos use fry bread in place of tortillas for a more savory flavor—but fry bread is heavier, too. Taking both tradition and nutrition into account, Diné (Navajo) chef Walter Whitewater and I concocted a new variation. We prepare smaller portions of the fry bread itself, and focus instead on a healthy topping incorporating organically raised bison meat, organic pinto and kidney beans, local baby lettuce and arugula salad greens, heirloom tomatoes, avocados, and daikon radish sprouts.

\r\n\r\n

The bison meat we use is raised locally by Picurís Pueblo, a member of the InterTribal Bison Cooperative (ITBC). This program’s goal is to build a healthy, sustainable food source for the Picurís, and to reduce diet-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. If you haven’t tried the pueblo’s bison, you may come to prefer it to beef—it has more flavor and less fat.

\r\n\r\n

Hearty tacos like these are nicely complemented by a veggie dish, using late summer’s plentiful zucchini and yellow squash. Today a traditional New Mexican dish, calabacitas was first made by indigenous people, then adopted by the Spanish who named it “calabacitas” or “little squash.” The dish can be made with any squash in season, such as zucchini and yellow squash in summer or butternut squash or pumpkin in the fall. True, there are New Mexicans who say they don’t like calabacitas; I say, “You’ve never had good calabacitas!” For such a simple dish, the technique and the recipe are everything. The calabacitas recipe I’m sharing here is a contemporary version of an old favorite, combining fresh summer zucchini and yellow squash with sweet carrots and spicy New Mexico green chile. Made incorrectly calabacitas can be watery and mushy. Trust this recipe to produce a crisp-tender, summer vegetable medley.

\r\n\r\n

The ingredients matter, too. I head to the Santa Fe Farmers Market for the freshest squash I can get. Small to medium sized squash works best. (Larger summer squash promise more water—and runny results.) Make sure the squash is firm to the touch, has few or no dents, and has smooth, unwrinkled skin. I know once you try this calabacitas recipe, you’ll come back to it again and again.

\r\n\r\n

Lois Ellen Frank is a chef, author, and photographer living in Santa Fe. She is presently completing her PhD in culinary anthropology at the University of New Mexico. She is also an adjunct professor at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) and an instructor at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. Her company, Red Mesa Cuisine, specializes in preparing local, sustainable, and Native American-source meals. For info: www.redmesacuisine.comwww.loisphoto.com

\r\n\r\n

BISON MEAT NAVAJO TACOS

\r\n\r\n

\"Bison

\r\n\r\n

This recipe is a delicious way to enjoy a fry-bread taco topped with healthy, sustainably grown ingredients.
\r\n
\r\nYield
\r\nMAKES 6–8 TACOS.

\r\n\r\n

Ingredients

\r\n\r\n
\r\n

Meat Topping
\r\n3 tablespoons olive oil
\r\n1 lb organic ground bison meat
\r\n1 medium red onion, diced
\r\n3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
\r\n1 fresh vine tomato, coarsely chopped
\r\n1½ cups organic pinto beans, cooked (dried or canned)
\r\n1 cup organic kidney beans, cooked (dried or canned)
\r\n½ teaspoon kosher salt
\r\n6 tablespoons (⅓ cup) New Mexico green chiles 
\r\n(roasted, peeled, stems removed), chopped; 
\r\nor use prepared green-chile sauce 
\r\n
\r\nTaco Topping
\r\n1 cup organic baby salad greens
\r\n1 cup organic baby arugula salad greens
\r\n1 cup heirloom baby tomatoes, sliced
\r\n1 8-oz package (2 cups) Jack cheese, grated
\r\n¼ cup New Mexico or Anaheim green chiles
\r\n(roasted, peeled, stems removed), chopped; 
\r\nor use prepared green-chile sauce 
\r\n1 avocado, sliced
\r\n1 oz daikon radish sprouts (optional)

\r\n
\r\n\r\n
\r\n

Directions

\r\n\r\n

In cast-iron skillet or frying pan, heat olive oil until hot. Add ground meat. Using slotted spoon or potato masher, break meat into small pieces as it browns. Cook about 5 minutes, until completely brown, stirring to prevent burning.
\r\n
\r\nAdd chopped onion and garlic and cook another 3–4 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add chopped tomatoes and cook another 3 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add cooked pinto
\r\nand kidney beans and stir. Add salt, 6 tablespoons of green chile, and stir again. Cook 1 minute more, stirring to prevent burning. Remove from heat.
\r\n
\r\nSpoon meat-and-bean mixture atop freshly made fry bread, then top with greens, tomatoes, cheese, more chopped green chile, avocado, and sprouts.
\r\n
\r\nServe immediately.

\r\n
","teaser_raw":"
Bring home the local color with calabacitas and Navajo tacos

In New Mexico, August is for savoring summer’s bounty and celebrating Native traditions. This month, food stands across the state will be

","version_id":"59f8ebba648901d6cd7266e1","author":{"_id":"58cc2d64e6b63b1390d38b3a","name":"Lois Ellen Frank","blog":"magazine","_name_sort":"lois ellen frank","updated":"2017-03-17T18:39:32.012Z","created":"2017-03-17T18:39:32.013Z","_totalPosts":2,"id":"58cc2d64e6b63b1390d38b3a","title":"Lois Ellen Frank","slug":"lois-ellen-frank","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/author/lois-ellen-frank/58cc2d64e6b63b1390d38b3a/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/author/lois-ellen-frank/58cc2d64e6b63b1390d38b3a/#comments","totalPosts":2},"categories":[{"_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f32a","title":"Tasting NM","created":"2017-02-27T23:12:00.632Z","blog":"magazine","_title_sort":"tasting nm","updated":"2017-03-31T23:13:30.823Z","_totalPosts":104,"id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f32a","slug":"tasting-nm","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/tasting-nm/58b4b2404c2774661570f32a/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/category/tasting-nm/58b4b2404c2774661570f32a/#comments","totalPosts":104}],"image":{"_id":"58cc4740e6b63b1390d38db4","original_public_id":"clients/newmexico/navajotacos_a178a053-b74c-48dd-91c5-c1817a4753c6","title":"Navajo tacos","resource_raw":{"public_id":"clients/newmexico/navajotacos_a178a053-b74c-48dd-91c5-c1817a4753c6","version":1489782581,"signature":"590b931a52d3690acf9d18439940ad08e7f3503d","width":488,"height":326,"format":"jpg","resource_type":"image","created_at":"2017-03-17T20:29:41.000Z","bytes":32156,"type":"upload","etag":"c602cbb819a284c7253914429ced3c3a","url":"http://res.cloudinary.com/simpleview/image/upload/v1489782581/clients/newmexico/navajotacos_a178a053-b74c-48dd-91c5-c1817a4753c6.jpg","secure_url":"https://res.cloudinary.com/simpleview/image/upload/v1489782581/clients/newmexico/navajotacos_a178a053-b74c-48dd-91c5-c1817a4753c6.jpg","exif":{"Copyright":".. copyright Lois Ellen Frank.All Rights Reserved.505-466-6306."},"original_filename":"file"},"categories_ids":["58580d822edbc40ed8935f58"],"content_owner":"magazine","title_sort":"navajo tacos","updated":"2017-03-17T20:29:52.916Z","deleted":false,"created":"2017-03-17T20:29:52.917Z","id":"58cc4740e6b63b1390d38db4","type":"image","resource":{"raw":{"resource_type":"image","format":"jpg","public_id":"clients/newmexico/navajotacos_a178a053-b74c-48dd-91c5-c1817a4753c6"}},"inAssetRequest":false,"alt_text":"Navajo tacos"},"teaser":"
Bring home the local color with calabacitas and Navajo tacos

In New Mexico, August is for savoring summer’s bounty and celebrating Native traditions. This month, food stands across the state will be

","description":"Bring home the local color with calabacitas and Navajo tacos In New Mexico, August is for savoring summer’s bounty and celebrating Native traditions. This month, food stands across the state will be serving up Navajo tacos, a.k.a. Indian tacos, at events like feast days at the Santa Clara, Santo Domingo, Zia, and Picurís pueblos; at the Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial; and at the Santa Fe Indian Market. An adaptation of the conventional variety, Indian tacos use fry bread in place of tortillas for a more savory flavor—but fry bread is heavier, too. Taking both tradition and nutrition into account, Diné (Navajo) chef Walter Whitewater and I concocted a new variation. We prepare smaller portions of the fry bread itself, and focus instead on a healthy topping incorporating organically raised bison meat, organic pinto and kidney beans, local baby lettuce and arugula salad greens, heirloom tomatoes, avocados, and daikon radish sprouts. The bison meat we use is raised locally by Picurís Pueblo, a member of the InterTribal Bison Cooperative (ITBC). This program’s goal is to build a healthy, sustainable food source for the Picurís, and to reduce diet-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. If you haven’t tried the pueblo’s bison, you may come to prefer it to beef—it has more flavor and less fat. Hearty tacos like these are nicely complemented by a veggie dish, using late summer’s plentiful zucchini and yellow squash. Today a traditional New Mexican dish, calabacitas was first made by indigenous people, then adopted by the Spanish who named it “calabacitas” or “little squash.” The dish can be made with any squash in season, such as zucchini and yellow squash in summer or butternut squash or pumpkin in the fall. True, there are New Mexicans who say they don’t like calabacitas; I say, “You’ve never had good calabacitas!” For such a simple dish, the technique and the recipe are everything. The calabacitas recipe I’m sharing here is a contemporary version of an old favorite, combining fresh summer zucchini and yellow squash with sweet carrots and spicy New Mexico green chile. Made incorrectly calabacitas can be watery and mushy. Trust this recipe to produce a crisp-tender, summer vegetable medley. The ingredients matter, too. I head to the Santa Fe Farmers Market for the freshest squash I can get. Small to medium sized squash works best. (Larger summer squash promise more water—and runny results.) Make sure the squash is firm to the touch, has few or no dents, and has smooth, unwrinkled skin. I know once you try this calabacitas recipe, you’ll come back to it again and again. Lois Ellen Frank is a chef, author, and photographer living in Santa Fe. She is presently completing her PhD in culinary anthropology at the University of New Mexico. She is also an adjunct professor at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) and an instructor at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. Her company, Red Mesa Cuisine, specializes in preparing local, sustainable, and Native American-source meals.  For info:  www.redmesacuisine.com ,  www.loisphoto.com BISON MEAT NAVAJO TACOS This recipe is a delicious way to enjoy a fry-bread taco topped with healthy, sustainably grown ingredients. Yield MAKES 6–8 TACOS. Ingredients Meat Topping 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 lb organic ground bison meat 1 medium red onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 fresh vine tomato, coarsely chopped 1½ cups organic pinto beans, cooked (dried or canned) 1 cup organic kidney beans, cooked (dried or canned) ½ teaspoon kosher salt 6 tablespoons (⅓ cup) New Mexico green chiles  (roasted, peeled, stems removed), chopped;  or use prepared green-chile sauce  Taco Topping 1 cup organic baby salad greens 1 cup organic baby arugula salad greens 1 cup heirloom baby tomatoes, sliced 1 8-oz package (2 cups) Jack cheese, grated ¼ cup New Mexico or Anaheim green chiles (roasted, peeled, stems removed), chopped;  or use prepared green-chile sauce  1 avocado, sliced 1 oz daikon radish sprouts (optional) Directions In cast-iron skillet or frying pan, heat olive oil until hot. Add ground meat. Using slotted spoon or potato masher, break meat into small pieces as it browns. Cook about 5 minutes, until completely brown, stirring to prevent burning. Add chopped onion and garlic and cook another 3–4 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add chopped tomatoes and cook another 3 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add cooked pinto and kidney beans and stir. Add salt, 6 tablespoons of green chile, and stir again. Cook 1 minute more, stirring to prevent burning. Remove from heat. Spoon meat-and-bean mixture atop freshly made fry bread, then top with greens, tomatoes, cheese, more chopped green chile, avocado, and sprouts. Serve immediately.","id":"58cc47a7e6b63b1390d38dbd","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/indian-summer-celebration/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/indian-summer-celebration/#comments","absoluteUrl":"https://www.newmexico.org/nmmagazine/articles/post/indian-summer-celebration/","metaTitle":"Indian Summer Celebration","metaDescription":"
Bring home the local color with calabacitas and Navajo tacos

In New Mexico, August is for savoring summer’s bounty and celebrating Native traditions. This month, food stands across the state will be

","cleanDescription":"Bring home the local color with calabacitas and Navajo tacos In New Mexico, August is for savoring summer’s bounty and celebrating Native traditions. This month, food stands across the state will be serving up Navajo tacos, a.k.a. Indian tacos, at events like feast days at the Santa Clara, Santo Domingo, Zia, and Picurís pueblos; at the Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial; and at the Santa Fe Indian Market. An adaptation of the conventional variety, Indian tacos use fry bread in place of tortillas for a more savory flavor—but fry bread is heavier, too. Taking both tradition and nutrition into account, Diné (Navajo) chef Walter Whitewater and I concocted a new variation. We prepare smaller portions of the fry bread itself, and focus instead on a healthy topping incorporating organically raised bison meat, organic pinto and kidney beans, local baby lettuce and arugula salad greens, heirloom tomatoes, avocados, and daikon radish sprouts. The bison meat we use is raised locally by Picurís Pueblo, a member of the InterTribal Bison Cooperative (ITBC). This program’s goal is to build a healthy, sustainable food source for the Picurís, and to reduce diet-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. If you haven’t tried the pueblo’s bison, you may come to prefer it to beef—it has more flavor and less fat. Hearty tacos like these are nicely complemented by a veggie dish, using late summer’s plentiful zucchini and yellow squash. Today a traditional New Mexican dish, calabacitas was first made by indigenous people, then adopted by the Spanish who named it “calabacitas” or “little squash.” The dish can be made with any squash in season, such as zucchini and yellow squash in summer or butternut squash or pumpkin in the fall. True, there are New Mexicans who say they don’t like calabacitas; I say, “You’ve never had good calabacitas!” For such a simple dish, the technique and the recipe are everything. The calabacitas recipe I’m sharing here is a contemporary version of an old favorite, combining fresh summer zucchini and yellow squash with sweet carrots and spicy New Mexico green chile. Made incorrectly calabacitas can be watery and mushy. Trust this recipe to produce a crisp-tender, summer vegetable medley. The ingredients matter, too. I head to the Santa Fe Farmers Market for the freshest squash I can get. Small to medium sized squash works best. (Larger summer squash promise more water—and runny results.) Make sure the squash is firm to the touch, has few or no dents, and has smooth, unwrinkled skin. I know once you try this calabacitas recipe, you’ll come back to it again and again. Lois Ellen Frank is a chef, author, and photographer living in Santa Fe. She is presently completing her PhD in culinary anthropology at the University of New Mexico. She is also an adjunct professor at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) and an instructor at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. Her company, Red Mesa Cuisine, specializes in preparing local, sustainable, and Native American-source meals.  For info:  www.redmesacuisine.com ,  www.loisphoto.com BISON MEAT NAVAJO TACOS This recipe is a delicious way to enjoy a fry-bread taco topped with healthy, sustainably grown ingredients. Yield MAKES 6–8 TACOS. Ingredients Meat Topping 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 lb organic ground bison meat 1 medium red onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 fresh vine tomato, coarsely chopped 1½ cups organic pinto beans, cooked (dried or canned) 1 cup organic kidney beans, cooked (dried or canned) ½ teaspoon kosher salt 6 tablespoons (⅓ cup) New Mexico green chiles  (roasted, peeled, stems removed), chopped;  or use prepared green-chile sauce  Taco Topping 1 cup organic baby salad greens 1 cup organic baby arugula salad greens 1 cup heirloom baby tomatoes, sliced 1 8-oz package (2 cups) Jack cheese, grated ¼ cup New Mexico or Anaheim green chiles (roasted, peeled, stems removed), chopped;  or use prepared green-chile sauce  1 avocado, sliced 1 oz daikon radish sprouts (optional) Directions In cast-iron skillet or frying pan, heat olive oil until hot. Add ground meat. Using slotted spoon or potato masher, break meat into small pieces as it browns. Cook about 5 minutes, until completely brown, stirring to prevent burning. Add chopped onion and garlic and cook another 3–4 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add chopped tomatoes and cook another 3 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add cooked pinto and kidney beans and stir. Add salt, 6 tablespoons of green chile, and stir again. Cook 1 minute more, stirring to prevent burning. Remove from heat. Spoon meat-and-bean mixture atop freshly made fry bread, then top with greens, tomatoes, cheese, more chopped green chile, avocado, and sprouts. Serve immediately.","publish_start_moment":"2014-01-19T21:00:00.000Z","publish_end_moment":"2017-12-18T22:13:22.979Z"},{"_id":"58cc1b24e6b63b1390d389d5","author_id":"58b4b2404c2774661570f1ad","title":"Now You’re Cooking!","slug":"now-youre-cooking","image_id":"58cc188fe6b63b1390d389b4","publish_start":"2014-01-19T18:00:00.000Z","enable_comments":false,"categories_ids":["58b4b2404c2774661570f32a"],"tags_ids":["59090e3ce1efff4c9916fb32"],"enabled":true,"custom_photo_credit":"Douglas Merriam","custom_tagline":"Learn to do it yourself at these classes given by top chefs.","created":"2017-03-17T17:21:40.683Z","blog":"magazine","_title_sort":"now you’re cooking!","updated":"2017-10-31T21:31:38.403Z","active":true,"description_raw":"
Learn to do it yourself at these classes given by top chefs.
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By Cheryl Alters Jamison | Photography By Douglas Merriam

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One of the most immediate ways to delve into a culture is through its food, and few places have as distinctive a culinary heritage as New Mexico. Recreational cooking schools serve up a full menu of fast and fun ways to learn more about our singular cuisine. The options range from special subjects (maybe tamale-making, or grilling) to creating an entire celebratory meal. Most individual classes run two to three hours, then you eat what you’ve made.

\r\n\r\n

These days, though, cooking schools have expanded far beyond the solo class, with multiday boot camps, weeklong series, farmers’ market visits, culinary tours, even restaurant tasting tours. Schools attract everyone—skilled amateurs, pros looking for new inspiration, those who’ve never picked up a knife, and, yes, some who come just for the food. Pricing varies by menu and instructor.

\r\n\r\n

Expect to take home recipes as well as tasty memories.

\r\n\r\n

Two schools, in business for decades, focus tightly on the foods of the Southwest and Mexico. You can learn all about working with chiles, how to make a sopaipilla poof, or how to dazzle your friends by cooking trout in clay. Even if you’ve lived in New Mexico for decades, you’ll learn something you almost surely didn’t know before.

\r\n\r\n

Jane Butel’s Southwest Cooking School, Corrales/Albuquerque
\r\nane Butel, the first promoter of New Mexican food to make an impact nationally, invites students to her quintessentially New Mexican home in Corrales for participatory weekend or weeklong classes that are infused with a real spirit of camaraderie. Butel also gives briefer demonstration classes at Builders Source Appliance Gallery and the National Hispanic Cultural Center, both in Albuquerque.

\r\n\r\n

Hardly anyone can match Butel’s depth of knowledge of the region’s food. In the early 1960s, while working as the young director of the Public Service Company of New Mexico’s home-economist team, Jane put together the initial version of Cocinas de New Mexico, a much-loved book that the company still publishes. By the 1970s, she had vaulted from there to become the face of Southwestern food, known for cooking classes, regular TV appearances, and writing (including for this magazine), as well as for her line of then-exotic Pecos River Spice Company chiles and spice blends.

\r\n\r\n

She submitted a manuscript, Cooking with Blue Corn and Green Chile, to a New York publishing house when few Americans knew an enchilada from an extension cord. The staff at Crown rechristened the book Jane Butel’s Tex-Mex Cookbook. Only the photo of Butel wearing her squash blossom necklace hinted at the New Mexican treasures inside. At least they let her spell chile with an e. The wildly successful book made Jane the iconic figure she remains today. (505) 505-243-2622; www.janebutelcooking.com

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Santa Fe School of Cooking, Santa Fe

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On a winter day in 1989, Susan Curtis met me for lunch and announced that she was leaving her career in real estate appraisal to start a cooking school and market. Having been raised on a working ranch, Susan saw the connection—long before it became mainstream—between ranchers and farmers, how food is prepared, and what ends up on our plates.

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Her daughter Nicole Curtis Ammerman runs the operation today. It now offers more than three dozen rotating classes taught by a savvy team of chef-instructors, including renowned Native American food authorities Lois Ellen Frank (also a contributor to this magazine) and Walter Whitewater. Some classes, such as their Tamales! class, are fully participatory. In the school’s market, stock up on New Mexico–made products, hard-to-find Southwestern and Mexican ingredients, related cookware, and a broad range of cookbooks, including a half dozen published under the school’s imprimatur. The school also hosts restaurant walking tours, intensive cooking boot camps, area culinary tours, and runs a robust mail-order business.

\r\n\r\n

The downtown school is planning a move to larger quarters by the end of this summer, so double-check with them on their location when you call or e-mail. (800) 982-4688, (505) 983-4511; www.santafeschoolofcooking.com

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Other Cooking Classes These schools offer some New Mexican classes in their repertoires, but on a less regular schedule than those featured above.

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Comida de Campos, Embudo
\r\nNew Mexico native Margaret Campos offers a true field-to-table experience to groups of at least five via “A Day on the Farm.” Generations of Margaret’s family have worked this land, a lush slip sandwiched between the Río Grande’s western bank and piñon-speckled foothills about an hour north of Santa Fe. Campos teaches traditional New Mexican dishes created with sustainably raised farm produce that participants help pick. Weather permitting, classes take place in a shaded outdoor kitchen and often feature horno cooking. (505) 852-0017; www.comidadecampos.com

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Cooking Studio Taos, Arroyo Seco

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Christopher Maher, chef, actor, and native of Alexandria, Egypt, brings his international background to a mix of classes headquartered in his mountain home, between Taos and the Ski Valley. All classes are hands-on. He previously owned the popular Momentitos de la Vida restaurant in the same area, which received accolades from Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines, and garnered Chef Maher a coveted invitation to cook at the James Beard House, in New York. He and wife, Valerie, produce Caleb & Milo condiments, named after their two sons. (575) 776-2665; (575) 613-5226; www.cookingstudiotaos.com

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Las Cosas Cooking School, Santa Fe

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The school is tucked inside DeVargas Center’s well-stocked kitchen store of the same name, owned by Mike and Karen Walker. Charmingly irrepressible Chef John Vollertson, better known locally as Johnny V, presides over many of the classes on the full calendar of offerings, but he books in a variety of guest teachers, too, including many of Santa Fe’s most popular restaurant chefs. It’s an eclectic program in an intimate setting. The school also offers summer classes for kids. (877) 229-7184, (505) 988-3394; www.lascosascooking.com

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Savories, Ruidoso

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Chef Bonnie Branson teaches classes at her Savories Cooking Studio, nestled in the tall pines not far from downtown Ruidoso. Many of Branson’s classes are booked by groups wanting team-building activities, or perhaps a girls’ night out, or a children’s party. (575) 257-0204; www.savories.net

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Seven Directions, Santa Fe

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Many cooking schools arrange culinary tours. In this case, a tour company owner, the gregarious Patrizia Antonicelli, collaborates with cooking schools and chefs to showcase New Mexico’s cultural heritage. Both set and custom tours are available. (877) 992-6128, (505) 820-3305; www.sevendirections.net

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Cheryl Alters Jamison is New Mexico Magazine’s contributing culinary editor. Read her blog at www.nmmagazine.com/tastingnm.

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SAUTÉED SHRIMP WITH ORANGE-CHIPOTLE HONEY-MUSTARD SAUCE

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\"Chipolte

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This dish comes from the Santa Fe School of Cooking’s Southwest Tapas class menu. I love both its simplicity and its big bold taste. If serving the shrimp as an entrée, add a side of rice to soak up the scrumptious juices.

\r\n\r\n

Yield
\r\nSERVES 4 AS MAIN DISH, 6–8 AS TAPAS SMALL PLATE

\r\n\r\n

Ingredients

\r\n\r\n
\r\n

Orange Chipotle Honey-Mustard Sauce

\r\n\r\n

6-ounce can frozen orange-juice concentrate, thawed

\r\n\r\n

2 to 3 tablespoons chipotle chiles and juice from a 7-ounce can of “chipotles en adobo”

\r\n\r\n

2 tablespoons honey

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2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

\r\n\r\n

1 teaspoon minced garlic

\r\n\r\n

1 cup packed coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

\r\n\r\n

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

\r\n\r\n

½ teaspoon salt or more to taste

\r\n\r\n

Shrimp

\r\n\r\n

2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

\r\n\r\n

2 pounds (32 to 36) shrimp, peeled and deveined

\r\n
\r\n\r\n
\r\n

Directions

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Prepare sauce: Purée all ingredients in blender until smooth.

\r\n\r\n

Makes about 1½ cups.

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Warm 1 tablespoon oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add about one-fourth of the shrimp and sauté until pink and just cooked through (2 to 3 minutes). Place cooked shrimp in large serving bowl or on platter. Continue with another one-fourth of shrimp, adding more oil if needed.

\r\n\r\n

Repeat until all shrimp have been cooked.

\r\n\r\n

Pour sauce over shrimp.  Toss to combine well. Serve warm.

\r\n
","teaser_raw":"
Learn to do it yourself at these classes given by top chefs.

By Cheryl Alters Jamison | Photography By Douglas Merriam

One of the most immediate ways to delve into a culture is through its food, and

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Learn to do it yourself at these classes given by top chefs.

By Cheryl Alters Jamison | Photography By Douglas Merriam

One of the most immediate ways to delve into a culture is through its food, and

","description":"Learn to do it yourself at these classes given by top chefs. By Cheryl Alters Jamison | Photography By Douglas Merriam One of the most immediate ways to delve into a culture is through its food, and few places have as distinctive a culinary heritage as New Mexico. Recreational cooking schools serve up a full menu of fast and fun ways to learn more about our singular cuisine. The options range from special subjects (maybe tamale-making, or grilling) to creating an entire celebratory meal. Most individual classes run two to three hours, then you eat what you’ve made. These days, though, cooking schools have expanded far beyond the solo class, with multiday boot camps, weeklong series, farmers’ market visits, culinary tours, even restaurant tasting tours. Schools attract everyone—skilled amateurs, pros looking for new inspiration, those who’ve never picked up a knife, and, yes, some who come just for the food. Pricing varies by menu and instructor. Expect to take home recipes as well as tasty memories. Two schools, in business for decades, focus tightly on the foods of the Southwest and Mexico. You can learn all about working with chiles, how to make a sopaipilla poof, or how to dazzle your friends by cooking trout in clay. Even if you’ve lived in New Mexico for decades, you’ll learn something you almost surely didn’t know before. Jane Butel’s Southwest Cooking School, Corrales/Albuquerque ane Butel, the first promoter of New Mexican food to make an impact nationally, invites students to her quintessentially New Mexican home in Corrales for participatory weekend or weeklong classes that are infused with a real spirit of camaraderie. Butel also gives briefer demonstration classes at Builders Source Appliance Gallery and the National Hispanic Cultural Center, both in Albuquerque. Hardly anyone can match Butel’s depth of knowledge of the region’s food. In the early 1960s, while working as the young director of the Public Service Company of New Mexico’s home-economist team, Jane put together the initial version of Cocinas de New Mexico, a much-loved book that the company still publishes. By the 1970s, she had vaulted from there to become the face of Southwestern food, known for cooking classes, regular TV appearances, and writing (including for this magazine), as well as for her line of then-exotic Pecos River Spice Company chiles and spice blends. She submitted a manuscript, Cooking with Blue Corn and Green Chile, to a New York publishing house when few Americans knew an enchilada from an extension cord. The staff at Crown rechristened the book Jane Butel’s Tex-Mex Cookbook. Only the photo of Butel wearing her squash blossom necklace hinted at the New Mexican treasures inside. At least they let her spell chile with an e. The wildly successful book made Jane the iconic figure she remains today. (505) 505-243-2622;  www.janebutelcooking.com Santa Fe School of Cooking, Santa Fe On a winter day in 1989, Susan Curtis met me for lunch and announced that she was leaving her career in real estate appraisal to start a cooking school and market. Having been raised on a working ranch, Susan saw the connection—long before it became mainstream—between ranchers and farmers, how food is prepared, and what ends up on our plates. Her daughter Nicole Curtis Ammerman runs the operation today. It now offers more than three dozen rotating classes taught by a savvy team of chef-instructors, including renowned Native American food authorities Lois Ellen Frank (also a contributor to this magazine) and Walter Whitewater. Some classes, such as their Tamales! class, are fully participatory. In the school’s market, stock up on New Mexico–made products, hard-to-find Southwestern and Mexican ingredients, related cookware, and a broad range of cookbooks, including a half dozen published under the school’s imprimatur. The school also hosts restaurant walking tours, intensive cooking boot camps, area culinary tours, and runs a robust mail-order business. The downtown school is planning a move to larger quarters by the end of this summer, so double-check with them on their location when you call or e-mail. (800) 982-4688, (505) 983-4511;  www.santafeschoolofcooking.com Other Cooking Classes These schools offer some New Mexican classes in their repertoires, but on a less regular schedule than those featured above. Comida de Campos, Embudo New Mexico native Margaret Campos offers a true field-to-table experience to groups of at least five via “A Day on the Farm.” Generations of Margaret’s family have worked this land, a lush slip sandwiched between the Río Grande’s western bank and piñon-speckled foothills about an hour north of Santa Fe. Campos teaches traditional New Mexican dishes created with sustainably raised farm produce that participants help pick. Weather permitting, classes take place in a shaded outdoor kitchen and often feature horno cooking. (505) 852-0017;  www.comidadecampos.com Cooking Studio Taos, Arroyo Seco Christopher Maher, chef, actor, and native of Alexandria, Egypt, brings his international background to a mix of classes headquartered in his mountain home, between Taos and the Ski Valley. All classes are hands-on. He previously owned the popular Momentitos de la Vida restaurant in the same area, which received accolades from Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines, and garnered Chef Maher a coveted invitation to cook at the James Beard House, in New York. He and wife, Valerie, produce Caleb & Milo condiments, named after their two sons. (575) 776-2665; (575) 613-5226;  www.cookingstudiotaos.com Las Cosas Cooking School, Santa Fe The school is tucked inside DeVargas Center’s well-stocked kitchen store of the same name, owned by Mike and Karen Walker. Charmingly irrepressible Chef John Vollertson, better known locally as Johnny V, presides over many of the classes on the full calendar of offerings, but he books in a variety of guest teachers, too, including many of Santa Fe’s most popular restaurant chefs. It’s an eclectic program in an intimate setting. The school also offers summer classes for kids. (877) 229-7184, (505) 988-3394;  www.lascosascooking.com Savories, Ruidoso Chef Bonnie Branson teaches classes at her Savories Cooking Studio, nestled in the tall pines not far from downtown Ruidoso. Many of Branson’s classes are booked by groups wanting team-building activities, or perhaps a girls’ night out, or a children’s party. (575) 257-0204;  www.savories.net Seven Directions, Santa Fe Many cooking schools arrange culinary tours. In this case, a tour company owner, the gregarious Patrizia Antonicelli, collaborates with cooking schools and chefs to showcase New Mexico’s cultural heritage. Both set and custom tours are available. (877) 992-6128, (505) 820-3305;  www.sevendirections.net Cheryl Alters Jamison is New Mexico Magazine’s contributing culinary editor. Read her blog at  www.nmmagazine.com/tastingnm . SAUTÉED SHRIMP WITH ORANGE-CHIPOTLE HONEY-MUSTARD SAUCE This dish comes from the Santa Fe School of Cooking’s Southwest Tapas class menu. I love both its simplicity and its big bold taste. If serving the shrimp as an entrée, add a side of rice to soak up the scrumptious juices. Yield SERVES 4 AS MAIN DISH, 6–8 AS TAPAS SMALL PLATE Ingredients Orange Chipotle Honey-Mustard Sauce 6-ounce can frozen orange-juice concentrate, thawed 2 to 3 tablespoons chipotle chiles and juice from a 7-ounce can of “chipotles en adobo” 2 tablespoons honey 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 cup packed coarsely chopped fresh cilantro 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste Shrimp 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 pounds (32 to 36) shrimp, peeled and deveined Directions Prepare sauce: Purée all ingredients in blender until smooth. Makes about 1½ cups. Warm 1 tablespoon oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add about one-fourth of the shrimp and sauté until pink and just cooked through (2 to 3 minutes). Place cooked shrimp in large serving bowl or on platter. Continue with another one-fourth of shrimp, adding more oil if needed. Repeat until all shrimp have been cooked. Pour sauce over shrimp.  Toss to combine well. Serve warm.","id":"58cc1b24e6b63b1390d389d5","url":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/now-youre-cooking/","commentsUrl":"/nmmagazine/articles/post/now-youre-cooking/#comments","absoluteUrl":"https://www.newmexico.org/nmmagazine/articles/post/now-youre-cooking/","metaTitle":"Now You’re Cooking!","metaDescription":"
Learn to do it yourself at these classes given by top chefs.

By Cheryl Alters Jamison | Photography By Douglas Merriam

One of the most immediate ways to delve into a culture is through its food, and

","cleanDescription":"Learn to do it yourself at these classes given by top chefs. By Cheryl Alters Jamison | Photography By Douglas Merriam One of the most immediate ways to delve into a culture is through its food, and few places have as distinctive a culinary heritage as New Mexico. Recreational cooking schools serve up a full menu of fast and fun ways to learn more about our singular cuisine. The options range from special subjects (maybe tamale-making, or grilling) to creating an entire celebratory meal. Most individual classes run two to three hours, then you eat what you’ve made. These days, though, cooking schools have expanded far beyond the solo class, with multiday boot camps, weeklong series, farmers’ market visits, culinary tours, even restaurant tasting tours. Schools attract everyone—skilled amateurs, pros looking for new inspiration, those who’ve never picked up a knife, and, yes, some who come just for the food. Pricing varies by menu and instructor. Expect to take home recipes as well as tasty memories. Two schools, in business for decades, focus tightly on the foods of the Southwest and Mexico. You can learn all about working with chiles, how to make a sopaipilla poof, or how to dazzle your friends by cooking trout in clay. Even if you’ve lived in New Mexico for decades, you’ll learn something you almost surely didn’t know before. Jane Butel’s Southwest Cooking School, Corrales/Albuquerque ane Butel, the first promoter of New Mexican food to make an impact nationally, invites students to her quintessentially New Mexican home in Corrales for participatory weekend or weeklong classes that are infused with a real spirit of camaraderie. Butel also gives briefer demonstration classes at Builders Source Appliance Gallery and the National Hispanic Cultural Center, both in Albuquerque. Hardly anyone can match Butel’s depth of knowledge of the region’s food. In the early 1960s, while working as the young director of the Public Service Company of New Mexico’s home-economist team, Jane put together the initial version of Cocinas de New Mexico, a much-loved book that the company still publishes. By the 1970s, she had vaulted from there to become the face of Southwestern food, known for cooking classes, regular TV appearances, and writing (including for this magazine), as well as for her line of then-exotic Pecos River Spice Company chiles and spice blends. She submitted a manuscript, Cooking with Blue Corn and Green Chile, to a New York publishing house when few Americans knew an enchilada from an extension cord. The staff at Crown rechristened the book Jane Butel’s Tex-Mex Cookbook. Only the photo of Butel wearing her squash blossom necklace hinted at the New Mexican treasures inside. At least they let her spell chile with an e. The wildly successful book made Jane the iconic figure she remains today. (505) 505-243-2622;  www.janebutelcooking.com Santa Fe School of Cooking, Santa Fe On a winter day in 1989, Susan Curtis met me for lunch and announced that she was leaving her career in real estate appraisal to start a cooking school and market. Having been raised on a working ranch, Susan saw the connection—long before it became mainstream—between ranchers and farmers, how food is prepared, and what ends up on our plates. Her daughter Nicole Curtis Ammerman runs the operation today. It now offers more than three dozen rotating classes taught by a savvy team of chef-instructors, including renowned Native American food authorities Lois Ellen Frank (also a contributor to this magazine) and Walter Whitewater. Some classes, such as their Tamales! class, are fully participatory. In the school’s market, stock up on New Mexico–made products, hard-to-find Southwestern and Mexican ingredients, related cookware, and a broad range of cookbooks, including a half dozen published under the school’s imprimatur. The school also hosts restaurant walking tours, intensive cooking boot camps, area culinary tours, and runs a robust mail-order business. The downtown school is planning a move to larger quarters by the end of this summer, so double-check with them on their location when you call or e-mail. (800) 982-4688, (505) 983-4511;  www.santafeschoolofcooking.com Other Cooking Classes These schools offer some New Mexican classes in their repertoires, but on a less regular schedule than those featured above. Comida de Campos, Embudo New Mexico native Margaret Campos offers a true field-to-table experience to groups of at least five via “A Day on the Farm.” Generations of Margaret’s family have worked this land, a lush slip sandwiched between the Río Grande’s western bank and piñon-speckled foothills about an hour north of Santa Fe. Campos teaches traditional New Mexican dishes created with sustainably raised farm produce that participants help pick. Weather permitting, classes take place in a shaded outdoor kitchen and often feature horno cooking. (505) 852-0017;  www.comidadecampos.com Cooking Studio Taos, Arroyo Seco Christopher Maher, chef, actor, and native of Alexandria, Egypt, brings his international background to a mix of classes headquartered in his mountain home, between Taos and the Ski Valley. All classes are hands-on. He previously owned the popular Momentitos de la Vida restaurant in the same area, which received accolades from Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines, and garnered Chef Maher a coveted invitation to cook at the James Beard House, in New York. He and wife, Valerie, produce Caleb & Milo condiments, named after their two sons. (575) 776-2665; (575) 613-5226;  www.cookingstudiotaos.com Las Cosas Cooking School, Santa Fe The school is tucked inside DeVargas Center’s well-stocked kitchen store of the same name, owned by Mike and Karen Walker. Charmingly irrepressible Chef John Vollertson, better known locally as Johnny V, presides over many of the classes on the full calendar of offerings, but he books in a variety of guest teachers, too, including many of Santa Fe’s most popular restaurant chefs. It’s an eclectic program in an intimate setting. The school also offers summer classes for kids. (877) 229-7184, (505) 988-3394;  www.lascosascooking.com Savories, Ruidoso Chef Bonnie Branson teaches classes at her Savories Cooking Studio, nestled in the tall pines not far from downtown Ruidoso. Many of Branson’s classes are booked by groups wanting team-building activities, or perhaps a girls’ night out, or a children’s party. (575) 257-0204;  www.savories.net Seven Directions, Santa Fe Many cooking schools arrange culinary tours. In this case, a tour company owner, the gregarious Patrizia Antonicelli, collaborates with cooking schools and chefs to showcase New Mexico’s cultural heritage. Both set and custom tours are available. (877) 992-6128, (505) 820-3305;  www.sevendirections.net Cheryl Alters Jamison is New Mexico Magazine’s contributing culinary editor. Read her blog at  www.nmmagazine.com/tastingnm . SAUTÉED SHRIMP WITH ORANGE-CHIPOTLE HONEY-MUSTARD SAUCE This dish comes from the Santa Fe School of Cooking’s Southwest Tapas class menu. I love both its simplicity and its big bold taste. If serving the shrimp as an entrée, add a side of rice to soak up the scrumptious juices. Yield SERVES 4 AS MAIN DISH, 6–8 AS TAPAS SMALL PLATE Ingredients Orange Chipotle Honey-Mustard Sauce 6-ounce can frozen orange-juice concentrate, thawed 2 to 3 tablespoons chipotle chiles and juice from a 7-ounce can of “chipotles en adobo” 2 tablespoons honey 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 cup packed coarsely chopped fresh cilantro 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste Shrimp 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 pounds (32 to 36) shrimp, peeled and deveined Directions Prepare sauce: Purée all ingredients in blender until smooth. Makes about 1½ cups. Warm 1 tablespoon oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add about one-fourth of the shrimp and sauté until pink and just cooked through (2 to 3 minutes). Place cooked shrimp in large serving bowl or on platter. Continue with another one-fourth of shrimp, adding more oil if needed. Repeat until all shrimp have been cooked. Pour sauce over shrimp.  Toss to combine well. Serve warm.","publish_start_moment":"2014-01-19T18:00:00.000Z","publish_end_moment":"2017-12-18T22:13:22.979Z"}]});

Posts from January 2014