Monday, November 24, 2014

Dining in Santa Fe and a Yummy Recipe in November

Back again for a brief update on our goings on out here.

First off...we had a dinner out at a great restaurant in Santa Fe called Dinner for Two, courtesy of Mr. and Mrs K, my in-laws. (THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!)

The cuisine is probably what I would call French-American. We invited Mr and Mrs B to go with us, as it was kinda last minute.

When Mr K told me he got us a reservation to dine, this was my reaction:

As you can see, I was excited to eat out and get all fancified. Ta-dah!

And because I liked my 30s/40s inspired makeup, here's a glamor shot of that.

Hehehe. It's so much fun to dress up.

But anyway...
If you're ever looking for a great little place to try, try them. Their food was divine. The service fantastic and if you get there on a Saturday, they have live music. We had a classical guitarist play softly in the background the entire time we were there. What's not to like?

Suggestion: order a bottle of wine for the table if there are more than two people who like wine. Three of us had a chardonnay. Lovely.

Mr. K had the Buttermilk fried chicken. I had the coq au vin with a pear and cranberry gastrique and duck confit. Mr and Mrs B had Buttermilk chicken and a delicious looking tuna. Both of them said theirs was delish.

And sadly, because the food was just so amazing, there are no pictures.

But just trust me. It was good. I recommend it.

The server was a real doll and when an error occurred, he gifted the entire table with Bananas Foster.

Oh. My. Word. I'm not usually a person for that dish, but it was perfect.
Made table side, flambé, and then caramelized, you have to try it.

Even Mr. K, who doesn't like bananas, liked it. So there you go. It's a crowd pleaser.

When we got home, I told Mr. K that he can take me there any time he wants. He was shocked.
I was shocked he was shocked.

And what was more shocking?
Nothing really.

I just wanted an excuse to take a shocking photo!

Yup. We're dorks.


I made an easy and delicious winter meal the other day. Mr K approved too, so you know it's yummy.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Pork Tenderloin.

One word.

Easy recipe actually. Keep in mind though that I am baking this at 7,500 feet above sea level, so the cooking times might be a little off if you're at sea level. Just check on your meat periodically during the cooking.

Alright! Now for the recipe!
Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C).

Peel and gut a medium butternut squash. Dice it up. Throw into a vegetable plastic bag (the kind you get at the market for tomatoes and such). Dice up a zucchini. Add a chunky chopped onion. And three cloves of garlic, roughly chopped. Drizzle in two tablespoons olive oil. Add about a teaspoon and a half to two teaspoons of Herbes de Provence (mainly thyme, rosemary, parsley, oregano, and bay leaf if you don't have a mix available). Then toss in some salt and pepper to taste. Spin the bag twice to close the top. Then shake and shake until everything is coated. Pour into an oven roasting pan.

Now, take your pork tenderloin and put it into the same bag. Toss it around in there and then dump it ontop of the squash bits. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and some extra herbs if you desire.
Cut two thin slices of salted butter and put on top of the meat. Drizzle everything with a little bit more olive oil if you want more of a sauce.
Then cover it with aluminum foil and toss that baby into the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour.
Take the foil off, raise the temp to 390 F (200 C) and let cook for 20-25 minutes until cooked through. (Use a meat thermometer. I live by that thing up in these mountains now...)

Move the whole thing up to the broiler bit and broil for about three minutes, just to get a crispy exterior.
Remove the meat and let rest.
SERIOUSLY. Let it rest for at least three minutes! You want those juices to stay in the meat.
(I like to let mine rest about 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.)

With a slotted spoon, take the veggies out and set them into a bowl. Use the remaining juices as a sauce and put into a container. Now, slice the meat into 3/4 inch slices (2cm) and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Our town is gearing up for the holidays. Saw this on the walk home the other night.

So pretty. I love this time of year.

Well, I guess that's it for now. Oh! But before I forget...

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving! 

Until next time,

Friday, November 14, 2014

Busy Month

Sorry about the delay here. We've been a bit busy.

A day-after-Halloween party, some dear friends of ours welcoming another perfect baby into the world, looking after a cutie-pie while momma and new brother had to stay in the hospital, and then our first snow!
And oh yeah...I signed up to do NaNoWriMo again. Just, you know, in case I needed to make sure I was plenty busy.

Here are the highlights!

For the Halloween party, we dressed up as the couple from Paperman.

Here's the video for comparison:

I think we did a pretty stand up job of it, don't you? At anyrate, it was fun. And our hostess was a Dalek from Dr. Who. Complete with shiny hat! I think there was a ladybug guest too.

Mr. K made mummy dogs (basically pigs in blankets with beef mini hot dogs and crescent rolls made to look like a mummy)

And our hosts made chicken pot pie.

Scrumptious, by the way.

It was a great party, complete with delicious food and wonderful company.

Then two days later, my friend, Mrs. E was told she was having her baby that evening.
I love this woman. She took the news like a champ and even had on some fantastic socks for the occasion! They match her personality.

These babies brightened up everything that was tense in the room.

Mr K and I took care of her little baby at home for a few days. He was such a sweetie.

I mean, look at this munchkin! What's not to like?

We went home after that and wouldn't you know it, we had snow on the mountaintops!

Of course I had to take another shot. I love where we live. I'm surprised daily by the gorgeous photo ops.

But, with the dusting, comes the preparation.

Considering that we didn't have a shovel or de-icer and we now have a driveway...we picked up one of both. Though, our shovel is the S type (better for the backs). I have a feeling that with the dustings and flurries we've had already, we're in for some wintry weather soon...

And that brings us to NaNoWriMo. 

What is that, you ask? 

Only the most awesome month out of the year: 


The goal is to write a novel during the month of November.
50, 000 words in 30 days.
1,666 words per day.
That's about a chapter a day, give or take.

I'm almost halfway through the month and it's now the hard work I thought it'd be. I powered through the first three or four days to build up a bank of words just in case I started to get bogged down. It was a good idea. And I know it was definitely necessary for me to do.

To set the tone of my novel, I got creative and took a photo for my "cover" before I began. Should be interesting to see how it turns out.

Can anyone guess the genre?

Anyway, I may be a bit more absent until the month is over. Bear with me. 

I promise to be more consistent in December!

Until then,

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Hi everyone!

Perfect shot for a spooky night.

For those of you who are going trick-or-treating tonight, Happy Halloween! Stay safe!

We're staying in and watching The Nightmare Before Christmas (kinda spooky) and Young Frankenstein (comedy). The first one is not our usual movie to watch, but as Mr. K has never seen it, we added it to the lineup.

My favorite is the second movie. I always watch it on Halloween. I can't do scary/gory films (blame the overactive imagination) so I opt for comedy. Although, we just watched Warm Bodies last night and I think that will now be added to our list of acceptable Halloween type movies to watch. Romeo and Juliet but with a zombie twist. It was cute.

Tomorrow we go to a party and we're going as this couple.

We already had a trial run last weekend. Our town does a Trick-or-Treat on Main Street (basically all the shops set up tables outside and hand out candy to kiddos). It was fantastic!

It's like MIB meets Paperman. I love it!

Anyway, we went with some of our friends who had a little one. (I made the hooded cape- He's Robin Hood)

Our friends!

The funny thing was that he would grab the cape, each side in each of his little hands, and walk around looking very much like an Evil Robin Hood. We all cracked up.

He also has very strong toddler fingers. He didn't let go of his bucket at all. You had to bribe him with a pencil (which he wielded like a Harry Potter wand) to even attempt to pry it off him.

So, you probably want to see what our town looks like all decorated. Well, here we go!

Little ghosties in the trees

Los Alamos does a scarecrow contest too. Here are some I could take a photo of.

Pre-requisite Frankenstein monster

This one's called Mrs. Darth Vader. Hehe

This one's Jack Skellington. Had to take a pic for my sister Miss K

And then all up and down the streets were these huge blow up things.

Ferocious little kitty

These guys were just goofy and I loved them.

And then there was this one.

A bit scary...

Let's move on from that guy, shall we. 
I get the heebee jeebies just thinking of him.

We had some AWESOME costumes on Main Street. Frozen was the main attraction this year, but there was one couple who nailed it. Full on Anna and Christoff costume. She carried around Olaf the snowman in her arms. 

Sadly, I couldn't get their picture. So just imagine it. 
Think Disney characters in Disneyland and that's how good the costumes looked.

Then we had Dr. Who moment.
I mean, check out the Dalek!

And then The Hobbit had an appearance with Gandalf (and a HUGE Thorin behind him, followed by Smaug)

Yay Legend of Zelda! This little Link was too cute.

And what's that I see? Oh yeah! Star Wars Peeps (and an Anna)

And then the crowds got to be intense. If people do this with small kids, probably best to go when it starts, at 4pm. By half past 5, it looked like this.

Although props to the Lucy costume. Classic.

That weekend, of course, we had to carve our pumpkin. It's tradition.

Which one's ours?
Yeah, we're the ones with the baby pumpkin. Or, Quarterling as it was dubbed. Not even big enough to be a Halfling.

The child named it Steve, or so we think he said.
We're not sure. Could've been any number of things that end in "eve".
But it's a good name, so we'll go with it.

(Beats Benny any day! Sorry Mr K.)

We took turns carving it up.

While Mr K took the first shift, I took pictures of trees.

Apricot trees in fall are lovely.

And then Mr K told me it was my turn.

When he appears in shots, it's time to listen to him.

Oh, and we've come to a mutual decision. We've decided not to do a five pumpkin pattern ever again. It was torturous.

But it gave us a ton of seeds and such (Plus, our friends may or may not've taken pity on us and our baby pumpkin and may or may not've been the ones to give us the seeds from one of theirs.)

On the plus side, I have a full jar of roasted seeds now. Very yummy.

So, thus ends the Halloween blog. Have fun! Stay safe! And remember to say:


It does actually say Trick or Treat. We blame the dry mountain air.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Typical Fall Morning

Hi everyone! I've been hoping to get some shots of my morning friends for the past week now, and today, they cooperated.

How nice of them!

So, grab a cup of joe (or tea) and enjoy a few of my favorites.

To start, Mr K and I put up a birdfeeder about, oh, let's say a week and a half ago, shall we?

And I grew very sad over a week of finding no birds at the feeder in the morning.

I needn't have worried though. They started coming the following day and have been gorging themselves on our feed ever since.

Between you, me and the lamp post, I think they needed to get the memo from the head bird that a new feeder was in town.
Anyway, this morning was full of activity.

Fall is here, by the way

Then I looked down at our pecan shell mulch and saw this fellow.

I have no idea what bird this one is with the grey back and red chest. I know it's a finch variety, but other than that, no clue.
That said, he's mighty purty.

And then I heard what sounded like an angry chirp. There in the tree was this one.

Yeesh! I apparently upset him. If a bird could give attitude, this one sure is doing just that.
I think he expected coffee instead of seed.

"I do not deem this morning suitable for a photo. You have the wrong breakfast."

 He left a second later. And I got distracted by the beauty of fall.

Ah me! What glorious colors there be!

It's my favorite season.

Chilly nights, light sweaters, hot chocolate and hot cider.
Too bad we don't have a fireplace in this rental...but at least the heater works.

It's getting cold.

Oh, and we finally got our France shipment! Yay!  We have winter clothes now!

Apparently it was just sitting in a warehouse, two hours away, for the last two weeks after having already passed the extensive customs inspection.

Yup. We were the lucky ones. Those customs guys spent three days of looking through our books and clothes.

So, we think they were waiting for someone else to move up here on the mesa. We only had 21 boxes, so it was relatively small compared to most moves.

That said, I'm ever thankful that I have a wonderful husband who lit a fire under their feet so we could get our fall and winter clothes. It was getting too cold to wear tank tops and a lightweight cardigan much longer.

Mr K, if you're reading this, you're my hero!

Back to the birds.

I looked away to get some coffee and came back to the window. The word must've spread fast.

I heard a sweet little chirp and pointed the camera up and found this little guy.

I think he was looking at me as much as I was looking at him.

 Again, no idea what kind of bird he is, but he is gorgeous with that hint of red all over.

Kinda like a cardinal and a finch had a baby.

I think one of these finches is confused. Last I checked, they weren't made to be woodpeckers.

On a side-but-somewhat-related note, mornings out here are just lovely. I mean, look at this blue sky!


I don't think I could ever tire of the colors. So I'll post another one.

As I sipped my café au lait, I heard a huge rustle coming from my mailbox.

Now, eight in the morning is rather early for our mailman to deliver mail. He usually comes around noon. So of course, the kid in me thought that maybe it was a package.

Don't deny it.

You know what I mean. You see the UPS truck drive down your street and you get excited.

Yeah, it happens to me quite frequently...and then I remember that I didn't order anything.

Anyway, hope still budded and with my trusty camera hanging from it's strap around my neck, I took to another window to see if it was something for me. And low and behold, a woodpecker.

He's posing.

I wasn't disappointed in the least. He was better than any package.

A flash of fur caught my eye as I watched the woodpecker fly off. So to the garage I went.

You see, we have good windows on our door there. And the fur thing zipped under my car...which was left outside in the frost. Poor Rosa.

Anyway, I can assure you that an empty garage, at 8am, and in 40 degree weather is exactly what you think it would be: COLD.

Thankfully, I only had to wait about five minutes until he appeared on the otherside of Rosa.

Look at the wittle bunny!

So cute.

My sisters and brother have a bunny. He's called Moose. And he's a real sweetie.

My Dad goes goo-goo over the little guy. And that's a sight to behold.

Anywho, the bunny's for you, Miss O.

Well, the visiting hour ended at nine. And so did my desire to continue to stay in the cold to take photos.

Enjoy the critters from the warmth of your homes, folks!

Until next time,

Friday, October 10, 2014

First Hike in the Mountains

We finally have adjusted to the altitude here!
(Or so we tell ourselves.)

Currently it's cold and drizzly, reminding me of the French fall days.

Reminds me of the Misty Mountain song in The Hobbit

And it's weird because I thought being in New Mexico would be like living in a desert...

But in a way, I'm glad. It means we get seasons here.
Which might also mean we get snow.

And I love snow!
(Even more so now because I don't have to drive an hour plus to work in the worst of it- thank you very much!)

But anyway, because it's a grey day, I've decided to reflect back on our first hike here, when it was sunny, and share with you some warm weather fun. So grab your mug of cocoa, cider, coffee, or even iced coffee, for anyone who might be on the other side of the world, and read on!

For our first hike, we decided to stick to a paved path on the Canyon Rim Trail. We had no idea where we were really headed and it was great.  We took our lunch and of course, the camera.

Just a wild flower shot as we started out on the trail. I love the bright red!

I started to think of fun artsy shots as we walked. Then I remembered that the camera had a black and white setting. Awesome!

Looks like something from a Western film, huh?

The path was easy and the weather divine.

I love nature. And I think I'm in love with the area. I can't seem to get enough of it here.
Everyday is different and well, just beautiful.

The texture alone is fun!

 And of course, we had to get a shot of the trail.

And this shot sums up what I thought we'd be moving to...complete with the cacti!

No, we didn't touch those.

 Apparently, it's a thing for new comers to want to touch a cactus.

I don't understand it really. I can only imagine the conversation going like this:

Local: I wouldn't touch that if I were you.
New Comer: Oh really?
Local: Yup. They'll hurt you mighty fierce.
NC: Nah, you must be kidding. It probably doesn't hurt that much. *touches cactus* Aieee!!
Local: Told ya. Hurts something awful, doesn't it?

Or maybe not. I like to think we NCers are pretty intelligent beings.
I grew up in FL and we didn't have cacti. But I in no way shape or form wish to subject my typing fingers or legs to such a prickly encounter.

No thank you!

Let's move on, shall we?

The canyon

Mr K and I were taking a shot when a HUGE shadow crossed over us. Looking up, we saw this creature soaring so close to us!

I don't know if you saw him, so I'll zoom in a bit.

Yup, a hawk.

A most majestic bird if I ever saw one, but that could also be because it was about six feet from our heads. We must have startled it when I took Mr. K's photo here.

They had lookouts on the bridge!

Just beautiful.

But my favorite shot of all, is this one. This is where we moved to. The mountains.

I think you will agree. It's just breathtakingly gorgeous here.

And that reminds me of the most awesome thing of all: rainbows. Yesterday, we had a terrible storm.

It rained. It hailed. It lit up the sky with lightning and the thunder shook the windows. Repeat three times.

But at the end of it, we had this:

Yep, that's right. A double rainbow.

My friend, Mrs E and I ran up a small hill in her backyard to take a better shot of it.

And I realized then that we belong here. Mr K and I are in the best possible place, at the best possible time, doing the best possible things we're supposed to be doing.

And that makes me very happy.

Until next time,

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