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Quick & Easy Cherry Jam

A quick & easy cherry jam, no pectin, just cherries, sugar and lemon juice |


Very seldom do I get a special request to make something, but last week Bobby came home with 2 pounds of fresh cherries and asked “Will you make me a cherry jam?”.  How could I refuse?  The 2 pounds gave us enough cherries for a pint of jam, plus a few to snack on.

The recipe below is one of my quick & easy jams.  It makes one jar of cherry jam that is intended to be refrigerated and eaten, not sealed and stored for the winter.  There are three ingredients – cherries, sugar and lemon juice.  The process requires no large pots of boiling jars and lids, and only about 20 minutes of stirring.  The most time consuming part is pitting the cherries.  The result of about 45 minutes of work? … a pint of cherry heaven!

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Red Chile Strawberry Jam

A quick and easy strawberry jam with red chile flakes and no pectin |


If you love sweet and spicy then you’re going to love this Red Chile Strawberry Jam! With every bite you get the luscious sweetness of strawberries soon followed by a burst of spicy chile that continues to tickle the tongue long after the jam has moved on. It’s a great jam for toast, biscuits, crackers and our favorite, a soft double cream brie.  But once you taste it, you’ll probably just grab a spoon and eat it right out of the jar.

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Conversation With a Cheesemonger

A conversation with Derrick Sanders, Cheesemonger at the Nob Hill La Montanita Co-op

Derrick Sanders, Cheesemonger @ La Montanita Co-op |

The other day I was perusing the cheese section at the Nob Hill La Montanita Co-op looking for a particular cheese. When I couldn’t find it I asked Derrick, the cheese clerk for help.  You know what it’s like having a sommelier help you select a wine to go with your meal?  Well, that’s how I felt with Derrick helping me select a cheese.  This guy knows his cheese!  So rather than keep Derrick’s knowledge of cheese to myself, I thought I would share some of it with you.

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The Quintessential Green Chile Cheeseburger

The quintessential Green Chile Cheeseburger |


New Mexico’s chile season is upon us!  Yesterday I went over to one of my favorite local suppliers, Sichler Farms, and bought my first 10 pounds of chile for 2014 – 5 pounds of medium and 5 pounds of hot.  When I got home I couldn’t wait to try it, so I lit up the grill and started roasting and peeling.  For supper we made the Quintessential Green Chile Cheeseburger.  Both of us agreed that, even though we’ve eaten A LOT of green chile cheeseburgers in our lifetime, this was the best hamburger we had ever made and possibly ever eaten.  Every bite was a burst of spicy, meaty chile complemented with the sweetness of Golden Jubilees picked fresh from our garden.  A burger can’t get much better than this.

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Mixed Berry Pudding (aka Summer Pudding)

Mixed Berry Pudding (aka Summer Pudding) - just fresh berries, a little bread, and sweetener.


Before you head on down to the recipe, let me go ahead and tell you that this Mixed Berry “Pudding” has no dairy and no eggs and no bake time.  It’s simply fruit simmered for 2 minutes with a sweetener and a little bit of water, poured into a bread lined ramekin and weighted down overnight to allow the fruit, juice, and bread to all come together as one.  It’s best served cold with a bit of warm berries on top.  It’s amazing!

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Strawberry Rhubarb Jello

Strawberry Jello made with the water from stewed rhubarb @MJsKitchen


This Strawberry Rhubarb Jello is such an easy dessert that I hesitated posting it and also because it’s jello. :) However, since I have made it several times and we love it, why not?  About once every 2 to 3 months I get a craving for jello ( I guess it takes me back to my childhood), and this is the one I’ve been making for a couple of years now.

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Spice it up with Fiery Chocolate Shots

Chocolate shots with ginger, chile, and Baileys Irish Cream


Chocolate “shots” might not be the best name for this chocolate delight, because “shots” are normally drank all at once, in one shot.  That’s not what you’ll want to do here.  This sweet and spicy, chocolatey beverage is best sipped so you can enjoy all of its goodness several times over.  These Fiery Chocolate Shots are made with chocolate, milk and cream, a bit of ginger, urfa biber chile powder, and Baileys Irish Cream.  A great after dinner delight for date night.

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Thai Tea Pudding

A creamy pudding made with Thai tea, milk and a little condensed milk.


This Thai Tea Pudding is a pudding version of the Thai iced tea that is served in many Asian restaurants.  It’s creamy, it’s sweet (but not near as sweet as the iced beverage), and quite addicting. Every time I serve it, it doesn’t matter what I had served for the main meal, this pudding steals the show.  It’s a great finish to any meal!

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Chocolate Pudding, New Mexico Style and the Museum of International Folk Art

A chocolate pudding seasoned with red chile powder, cinnamon and ginger


Before I get to the New Mexico Style Chocolate Pudding recipe, I want to share our visit to the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  There were three exhibits that we wanted to see and all three exceeded our expectations.

[Jump to pudding recipe]

Amish Quilts Exhibit

The first exhibit we visited was a display of Amish Quilts.  Many of the quilts displayed were more than 100 years old and were still vibrant and richly beautiful.  The museum allows photography as long as you don’t use a flash; therefore, I’m able to share some of this lovely quilts with you.   Having been a quilter at one time in my life, I never tire of looking at quilts, old quilts, new quilts, contemporary quilts.  Knowing the amount of time and love that goes into making one, I’ve never found a quilt I didn’t like.  The artistry and craftsmanship in these 100 year old quilts blew me away.

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