Monthly Archives: October 2011

Grow Some and Hunt Some

We’re not great farmers, but we like to try.  Our backyard has a couple of raised planters where we grow a variety of vegetables like obligatory tomatoes, mesclun, carrots, kale, peppers, turnips, etc.  Despite our efforts, if we were only farmers, we’d starve.  So we supplement our produce with Los Poblanos harvest boxes

Mountain Views in the Carson National Forest

Alas, we are not vegetarian.  We like our bacon, grilled ribeye, and roasted chicken too.  Which brings me to T’s weekend adventures this fall:  hunting.  Unfortunately for me, he won’t be hunting pigs, cows, or chickens.  He and his brother hunt deer near Magdalena in southern New Mexico with a muzzleloader and elk in San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado.  It’s taken some time for me to acquire a taste for elk.  When we first got married, he insisted elk was good stuff and also very economical because he could hunt it and therefore we didn’t have to buy expensive meat from the grocery store.  I was not convinced.  I didn’t care for it at all, which did not please T.  Over the years, I’ve adjusted and now I do enjoy certain cuts – the good stuff – like elk tenderloin.  I’m still not crazy about ground elk, but I can hide it well in stew or a bowl of green chile and beans.

Surveying the Landscape for Deer

I’ve never hunted anything other than fish, but I guess that that’s fishing.  T really loves it.  He gets to get out town with his brother and hike around the forest enjoying the outdoors, all with the very primal purpose of acquiring food for his family.

Carson National Forest in Southern New Mexico

So for T, hunting satisfies all sorts of needs, namely providing food and connecting to the beautiful outdoors.  Does anyone in your family hunt?

The Very Large Array is in view - it's a small white patch near the top of this photo.


They did see elk and doe, but no bucks.



5 course dinner and beer pairing at Chama River Brewing Company (recap of the evening)

Dinner at Chama River Brewing Company

The night went off without a hitch!  Upon arrival we were seated in the room with the glass walls.  The employees were also dressed for the event.  When we went to check in, we were told to go and see ‘halloweenie’ (a man in a hot dog costume).  The room was tastefully decorated in honor of Halloween.  The tables were grouped together and you were assigned a table.  My husband and I had planned on having this be a ‘date night,’ but upon arrival we found that we knew many people there and that a lot of the attendees were our friends.  That changed the dynamics of our evening, but nevertheless we still had a marvelous time.  The executive chef came out to greet us and told us about the evening menu.  I must say the food was divine and the beer was yummy.  My favorite part of dinner was the roasted duck which was excellent and served with a bed of spicy arugula and delicious house made vinaigrette.  The vinegar they used was also made at Chama River and it was delicious!

we won 'best of show'

About 70% of the people who attended dressed up for the event.  There were numerous costumes and not to mention a costume contest.  I am going to brag a little here.  My husband and I took ‘best of show’ and ended up with 2 prizes that were very generous.  By looking at these photos can you guess who won ‘scariest costume?’

'scariest costume' winners

Overall the evening was wonderful and ended at nine p.m.  I definitely would give this event an A+.  I highly recommend it!

Other's enjoy the evening

having a great time


mountain biking trails in Angel Fire New Mexico

the changing seasons during my mountain biking adventure in Angel Fire NM

I have really started to love trail riding.  The extent of my experience on these trails has only been on the Bosque.  I love the winding trails and it is nice that it is flat so I can go further.     A few weekends ago I decided to challenge myself.

 My brother and sister-in-law are hardcore mountain bikers.  They invited me along on a few of their favorite trails in Angel Fire New Mexico (that is where they live).   I was a little nervous for two reasons.  One- I wasn’t sure how my body would do with the altitude change.  We would start at 9,000 feet and ascend up to 10,0000 feet.  Two-  I was unsure how I was going to ride up hill and down hill on rocks.  The thought of it made me question my athletic ability and doubt my skills on a bike.

We started on Daniela’s trail and straight up we went for about half a mile.  Then we turned onto Kevin’s trail.  My family thought I was doing so well that we extended our trip to Ho Chi Minh Trail and ended up coming down at Niko’s Trail near the girl scout camp.  There were big rocks to maneuver along with some small logs but my brother-in-law gave me some advice, “ride over them and don’t look down.”  It turned out to be the best advice because that is exactly what I did.  I think that if I would have thought about how I was going to get down I would have gotten off my bike and walked.  Since he is the expert, I thought I would follow his lead and I am happy to say that he was right!  The ride itself took about two hours and it was adrenaline rushing, hard work and very adventurous.  I’m not going to lie, most of the time riding down steep rock covered banks I just kept saying in to myself, “oh, sh%$, or sh^%, oh sh#@.”

My balance was great and I didn’t crash once, a personal record for me.  I usually crash once every time I trail ride.  Over all, we rode seven miles and gained a thousand feet of elevation.  At my highest point we were at 10,230 feet.  After the ride I was so exhausted from the ride and the elevation difference between ABQ and Angel Fire is significant.  Our elevation here in ABQ is about 5,000 feet.  Where they live is about  9,000 and our ride was upward of 10,0000 feet.  I was out of breath at the top of each mountain and guzzled down water like never before.  Overall, the adventure was great and I highly recommend getting out of your comfort zone.  What have you done lately to get out of your comfort zone?


A Five Course Dinner with Beer and Costumes

This year I have decided to add another event to my already full Halloween schedule.  My husband and I will be taking part in the Chama River Breweing Company Halloween Dinner.  These special dinners happen every couple of months.  What is so special about these dinners?  Well, their special menu is prepared especially for the evening and is pared with their beer menu, the group is small and the setting is intimate.  Just like the seasons change so do the variety of beers being brewed at Chama.  What better way to enjoy a delicious dinner than alongside delectable beer.  My favorite part about the dinner is that you get to come dressed up in your favorite costume.  There is a costume contest and the dinner includes a five course meal which they have also paired with 5 of their award-winning brews.  The dinner takes place on Thursday, October 27th @ 6:30 p.m.  Please give Chama a call as this event is limited to its participants.  The bartender Kevin told me about it so give him credit when you call.  Here is the menu for the evening.


Pumpkin, Onion, Baby Corn, Rajas, Cilantro, Pepitas

Paired with: Summer Ale

House-made Bacon Steak

Devilish Egg, Rocket, Ale Vinaigrette, Buttered Rusk

Paired with: Oktoberfest

Black Bean Crusted Salmon

Mexican “Fried” Rice, Blood Orange Reduction

Paired with: Simcoe Pale Ale

Spice Roasted Duck Breast

Butternut Gnudi, Cranberry Conserve, Sage Brown Butter

Paired with: Punkin Drublic Pumpkin Ale

Chestnut Mousse

Chestnut Phyllo Crisp, Cajeta Pudding, Mexican Chocolate

Paired with: Me Llamo Lodo Double Brown

$50 Per Person

Reservations Required

(505) 342 – 1800

Executive Chef ~ Stephen Shook

Sous Chef ~ Jeff Trollinger

Head Brewer ~ Justin Hamilton

Happy Haunting!


The Great Pumpkin Carving Party!

Our 2009 Pumpkin Carving Party

As you all know fall and Halloween hold a special place in my heart.  Every year we take a lot of time to decorate our house and get ready for our annual Halloween party.  This party is for adults and my friends are asking me in August for the date so that they can secure a sitter.  With that being said , I thought that it would be nice to have a kid friendly version of our adult party.  Last year, we invited my son’s entire Kinder class to our house for a Halloween party.  So many children and parents showed up that it was overwhelming and a bit of a free-for-all.  This year, I’m re-thinking my whole elaborate plan and keeping it simple and small, while making it family friendly.  This year we decided to have a Pumpkin Carving Party on Saturday, October 29th and here are a few tips on keeping it simple and fun.

1)  Choose a small group of people and send out the invites.  We chose to invite 6 families this year.  In an effort to keep things ‘green’  I sent out an Evite.  Here you can choose from Halloween themed pre-designed invitations.  They are professional looking and the evite website is user-friendly and free.  It sends out your invite via email and also keeps track of who is coming, provides a map to your house, and sends out a reminder email the day before your party.

2.)  Think of the mess you will have to clean up.  Pumpkin guts are sure to get everywhere so this year we will be doing it outside among the fall leaves and cool weather.  I have long tables covered in newspaper.  You could also use disposable plastic tablecloths.  I just wanted something that is quick and easy to clean up.

3.)  Spooky Music anyone?  You can’t have a pumpkin carving party without music to fit the theme of the evening.  I downloaded a bunch of Halloween music and will play it on my iPod.  Some of my music includes:   Monster Mash, Thriller, The Nightmare Before Christmas (soundtrack), and some other spooky sounds like glass breaking.  The music is fitting for the atmosphere and the kids really get excited about it too.

4.)  Pumpkin carving is fun but so is decorating.  I fill the table with kitchen tools, ice-cream scoopers, pumpkin scrapers, easy to use pumpkin saws, stencils, and candles.  This year I’m also going to add paints (nontoxic), toothpicks and vegetables to our arsenal of tools.  This is partly to get the younger children involved and the older children get to be more creative and imaginative too.  We can use paint to add stitches to our pumpkins or we can add broccoli to our pumpkins for silly hair.  You get the idea.

5.)  Last, I ask that everyone bring a small dish to share.  It helps me by not stressing about what serve and we end up with a wide array of foods.  There is usually something there to suit everyone’s palate and it keeps things simple.   Not to mention, I don’t have so many dishes to wash and the guest gets to take home the dish they brought.

our pumpkin decorating skills

We will end the evening this year with an ‘award ceremony’.  The awards will be for scariest pumpkin, most creative, most funny, etc, etc.   We will also line all of our pumpkins up and see how they look in the dark.  The kiddos get a big kick out of this!  I also send the kids home with a treat bag and thank them for coming.  This is such a fun time of year and I hope you take the time to spend it with people you enjoy!

Happy pumpkin hunting and carving!

P.S.  I also have the kids dressed in whatever costume they feel like wearing.  This gets them really excited for the big day!


Delivery Room: Bliss or Chaos?

This week I began taking a childbirth education class (there are many to choose from).  It’s not Lamaze and it’s not the Bradley Method.  I’ve signed up for Blissborn.  Essentially, Blissborn will teach me to use the natural state of hypnotic focus (deep mental and physical relaxation) to control my own mind and body to create the birthing experience that I desire.

Blissborn workbook and dvd

When it came time to think about delivery and what I wanted, I wasn’t really sure at first.  I knew what I didn’t want:  a panicked state of emotion and screaming in pain and anguish.  Basically, I don’t want to be freaking out and I don’t want to be angry and yelling at T.  I wanted a plan, but what exactly?

I investigated water birthing:  it looks calm, peaceful, gentle for mom and baby, and Lovelace Women’s Hospital recently opened a natural birthing center with options for water births.  However, I wasn’t so sure that I wanted to forgo an epidural or try something that my doctor may not have ever done before.  Then my cousin, an obstetrician, mentioned that one of the most calm deliveries she’d ever seen was with a woman who used hypnobirthing.

I looked up the concept and was sold.  There appear to be about three major hypnobirthing classes available:  HypnoBirthing, BlissBorn, and HypnoBabies.  After researching classes in Albuquerque, I settled on Blissborn.  It’s comprehensive childbirth education with the goals of educating women to be prepared and empowered, shortening labor, reducing interventions and complications, reducing fear, and increasing confidence.  It doesn’t zonk (is this a word?) you out so that you don’t know what’s going on and there are no brass timepieces swinging back and forth (much to T’s dismay).  Rather, you learn to relax and control your mind to make childbirth quicker, safer, and more comfortable.

Oh yeah, another cool note on Blissborn is that the founders live and work right here in Albuquerque!  Although I’m not taking the class directly from the founders, my class is being taught by Ryan Chambers at Inspired Birth and Families on 4th Street in the north valley.

I plan to update you along the way and come January, I’ll let you know if it worked for me!


Refrigerator Case Study

I’m always curious about what my friends and family keep in their refrigerators to satiate their appetites and satisfy their nutritional needs.  What’s for dinner?  Lunch?  Weekend breakfast?  Are they Team Butter or Team Margerine?  (Butter here.)  Soy or dairy?  (Soy for me, milk for T.)  Bacon or tofu? (Bacon!)  Fully stocked or bare shelves?  Since I’ll be asking some friends and family to allow a sneak peek in their fridge, I thought I should at least start by sharing what’s in mine.  So here you go.  Take a look.  Please don’t judge too harshly. 

It's blasphemous with tomatoes in the fridge, but they are being saved for marinara. Yes, that is a large jar of pickles (for me) and a large bag of chocolate chips (for T).

It's the fruit/tortilla/seed drawer. The seeds are for planting not eating.


Vegetables. Broccoli, spinach and rainbow chard are in the bags.


Lots of weird stuff here. That's chicken broth at the bottom left for adding to sauteed greens, mashed potatoes, soups, etc. The top Cervantes jar has homemade red chile but the bottom jar is real Cervantes salsa :)

So, what’s in your fridge?


Get Dressed Up For Day of the Tread a bike ride and 5k/10k Run!

Fall is my favorite time of year partly because Halloween is my favorite Holiday. So if you want to get out and help benefit kids in our community, there is no better way than to register for the “Day of the Tread.”  The proceeds benefit our Children’s Carrie Tingley Hospital.  I’m doing my clinicals at Carrie Tingley and I see patients every week who drive from Gallup, T or C, Silver City, Farmington and other far away cities to meet with specialists for a 20 minute doctor’s appointment.  Carrie Tingley Hospital is the only children’s hospital in the state that helps children with all kinds of disabilities.  These kiddos desperately need basic services like gas money to get to their appointments and other basic services.  So, come out and help a good cause that benefits kids in our community!  Click here for more information and our entire family will be there dressed up in our favorite costumes.  Come join us!


Whether you want to ride 12-100 miles, run 5k-26.2 miles or walk 5k-10k, please join us for the 5th Annual Day of the Tread October 16th.To register:1. Download the 2011 Registration Form atwww.dayofthetread.comor2. Register online at


3. Start Treadin’ for Casa and Carrie.

Raise $150 by October 1, 2011 and we will register you and pay for your registration all while your tread makes a huge impact on the lives of families facing cancer and kids with special needs.  Treadin’ For Casa and Carrie Registration Form 


Please call Kim at 243.6626 with any questions.
dott collage

Biking to Balloon Fiesta – free bike valet service

riding bikes to Balloon Fiesta

For the past three years we have taken the bike trail to Balloon Fiesta.  We live in the north valley and catch the bike trail at Paseo Del Norte and take it across to the Diversion Channel.  There we catch the long trail and ride it all the way to Balloon Fiesta Park.  You drop your bike off right in front of the park and they give you a ticket to reclaim it after the festival.  This service is free (they accept donations).    Our ride takes about 15 minutes and saves us the headache of having to park.  Not to mention parking can be far away and taking a shuttle to the drop off area makes no sense to me.  Riding our bikes gives us some exercise and is fun in the early morning because we get to wear or headlamps.  We pack our bike trailer with hot chocolate, blankets and cameras.

the view from our front yard

Last year my husband ended up getting a flat tire on the way over.  The bike valet supplied a tube and fixed our tire for free!  We donated 20.00 for the service because it was so unexpected and gladly welcomed.  I was just so impressed with the level of service and have been a loyal supporter ever since!  If you don’t live close to Balloon Fiesta you can still drop your cars off at a bike trail and head on over.  For example, you can park at the Railrunner station one 2nd Street and El Pueblo and catch the bike trail to the diversion channel.  Click here for more information about the FREE bike valley service.

Bike Valet hours of operation and details….

  • Morning Sessions 5:30AM to 10:30AM
  • Evening Sessions 5:00PM to 9:00PM
  • Bikes not picked up from the bike valet area will be removed and stored. The bike owner will have to call the Balloon Fiesta main line at 821-1000 to arrange pick up.
The bike trail runs along the AMAFCA North Diversion Channel crosses underneath Paseo del Norte and Alameda Blvd. continuing north where it crosses from the west side to the east side ending just north of the Balloon Museum. There you will find the Bike Valet staffed by local bicycle group volunteers of Bike ABQ, NM Touring Society.

Launching Local Food Week


This Sunday, the Local Food Festival and Field Day marks the start to Local Food Week here in New Mexico.  The Gutierrez-Hubbel House and Demonstrative Farm will host the Festival from 11-4pm.


The Festival truly has something for everyone:  There will be workshops and lectures about canning, gardening, and curanderismo.  Enjoy free local food samples, shopping for fresh local produce and pantry staples, a tour of the farm, Q&A with a Master Gardener, live music, free basic health screenings, and seed sack races for the kids.

Other ways to celebrate Local Food Week include the NM Brewfest on October 8th and the Harvest Festival Weekend at the ABQ Bio Park starting October 8th (sample the smells, sounds, and tastes of the fall harvest!).

Check the Local Food Week website for more activities and information.