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Chorizo, Mushroom and Posole (Hominy) Soup

A hearty soup with chorizo, hominy (posole), mushrooms and Swiss chard. mjskitchen.com


During December and January the Costco in my area sells 5 pound bags of fresh posole – corn soaking in slaked lime water.  Every year, I buy a bag, make a couple of posole dishes, then divide the rest into freezer bags and freeze.  One of this year’s dishes was this hearty bowl of soup made with Mexican chorizo, posole, mushrooms and Swiss chard. It’s a bit lighter than the traditional posole stew made in New Mexico which is mostly posole, pork and red or green chile.  With this soup, the posole is just one of several vegetables and the chorizo is used more to add flavor than to add bulk.

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Cranberry Rooibos Chai

Rooibos chai brewed in cranberry juice, topping with whipped cream and ginger mjskitchen.com


Do you have tea time?  A time during the day to just stop what you’re doing, relax, and enjoy the moment? If you work from home or are retired, it’s relatively easy to get into a tea time habit. Ours is usually between 3 to 4 in the afternoon. In the warmer months, I usually make us iced chai, and in the colder months – hot chai.  Since it is mid-afternoon, I require a caffeine free chai, otherwise I’m up until 3 a.m.  My favorite caffeine free chai is a Rooibos chai which I normally brew in hot water, but when I have cranberry juice, it’s a real treat to use hot cranberry juice in place of water. So for today’s tea I’m serving up a Cranberry Rooibos Chai, a tangy sweet delight. It’s great with a little honey or sugar, but if you really want to get decadent, top it with some whipped cream and a sprinkle of ground ginger.  YUM!
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Corn Chowder with Smoked Ham

A spicy corn chowder with smoked ham and chile powders mjskitchen.com


A friend of mine hosted a girlfriends’ potluck the other day for which she made a delicious vegetarian corn chowder.  I ate only one bowl, but could easily have eaten two. (It was a potluck – too many other good things to eat. :) ) Still thinking about the chowder a few days later I decided to make one using some smoked ham left over from New Year’s day. It turned out so good, that I made it twice in one week.

This Corn Chowder with Smoked Ham uses the standard ingredients of a corn chowder – potatoes, corn and some type of stock – but smoked ham is used in placed of bacon.  A variety of ground peppers and mustard powder are used for the seasoning which makes it a little spicy, but more as a finish than a dominating flavor.  A small amount of cream is used as a thickener along with a touch of cornstarch.  One could always add cheese, but we didn’t see the need for it.  The chowder was creamy enough without it, but actually a lighter chowder in comparison.  Bobby’s response – “This is a keeper!”

Note:  My friend’s chowder was inspired by Ina Garden’s Cheddar Corn Chowder.

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Orange and Cabbage Slaw

A quick and easy slaw made with oranges, cabbage and a simple vinaigrette mjskitchen.com


Quality citrus is abundant right now, so time for another delightful citrus salad.  In previous years I have brought you a Sweet and Spicy Citrus Salad and a Citrus Salad with Toasted Seeds and Maple Dressing. This year I’m serving up this Cabbage and Orange Slaw, a easy little salad that can be thrown together in about 15 minutes and served as a side to just about any entree’. It’s especially good with spicy dishes.  We’ve been eating it as a side to Red Chile Chicken Tamales and Red Chile Enchiladas.  The oranges serve as a sweet, cooling mechanism for the spicy chile.  It works much better than the standard New Mexico side of lettuce and tomatoes.

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Red Chile Chicken Tamales

This red chile chicken tamale is a non-traditional tamale that is easy to make and is just as tasty as a traditionally made tamale. mjskitchen.com


In New Mexico, making tamales is a holiday tradition where families and friends gather in the kitchen and spend the day cooking, assembling and steaming dozens upon dozen of tamales. It’s a great tradition with a delicious outcome.  There’s really nothing better than a tamale right out of the steamer. So in keeping with tradition, Bobby and I made two different types of tamales for the holidays this year – Corn, Mushroom and Green Chile and these Red Chile Chicken Tamales.

The tamales we make are not the traditional tamales where the masa is made with lard then layered with a pork filling onto a corn husk.  If you saw my corn, mushroom and green chile tamales from last year you may remember that I replace the lard with canola oil and instead of layering the masa and the filling, I mix them together, making the assembly process A LOT easier and faster.  As a friend of mine said “It all comes together in the mouth anyway.” :)

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Twinkle Light Parade Albuquerque 2013

Twinkle Light Parade Albuquerque 2013 AMAFCA float


A Huge Thanks to all of the friends and visitors of MJ’s Kitchen

for your continued support.

Wishing you a very Joyous and Safe Holiday Season!


Twinkle light parade Albuquerque 2013

As my last post of 2013, I’m sharing a few pictures of this year’s

Twilight Light Parade

that ran through the Nob Hill area of  Albuquerque,

a short section of the old Route 66.

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25 Recipes to Spice up the Holidays

Are you bored with green bean casserole for the holiday?  Do you need ideas for something different?  Well if you do, here are some recipes that will spice up your holiday celebration in one way or another.


For Starters…

Black-eye Pea Chipotle Dip

Blackeyed Pea Chipotle Dip with chips


Green Chile Cheese Toasts by Scarletta Bakes

Orange Chipotle-Spiced Pecan Mix by Eat Yourself Skinny

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Persimmon Cranberry Parfait

A simple persimmon parfait made with granola and yogurt. Nothing fancy, just good.


Next time you get a craving for something sweet and healthy, delicious and easy to make, give these Persimmon Cranberry Parfaits a try.  They’re nothing fancy but they definitely will make you feel like you’re eating something fancy.  Fresh persimmons and dried cranberries are heated in orange juice and a splash of liquor, then layered with yogurt, granola and a few chopped nuts.  A delicious little treat in less than 15 minutes!

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Southwestern Migas (Scrambled Eggs, Green Chile and Tortillas)

Southwestern style migas is a dish that consists of scrambled eggs, green chile, and fried corn tortillas


Migas (Spanish for “crumbs”) is one of those dishes that is different in different countries.  In the southwest, migas is a simple scrambled eggs dish with, at the very least, some fried corn tortillas (the “crumbs”) and chile pepper. Southwestern migas and Tex-Mex migas are basically the same dish with a variety of possible ingredients. Sometimes you’ll see additional ingredients like onions, cheese, tomatoes, chorizo or avocado.  Here in New Mexico, you’ll still find different versions of migas, but the one constant is, yes – you know what it is – New Mexico green chile.

Today I’m sharing the southwestern style migas I have been making for years.  I normally fry my own tortilla strips but have been known to use store bought tortilla chips, especially when I’m hungry and I don’t want to spend the time frying the tortillas. The ingredients and process for migas are simple and the final dish goes great with a side of beans, Spanish rice, or potatoes.  The migas below are being served with leftover Roasted Fingerling Potatoes.  If you feel like jazzing the eggs up even more, I’ve provided you with a list of additional ingredients or toppings.  Experiment, have fun, and eat well.

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