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Asparagus with Orange and Kalamata

A simple asparagus with an orange and olive relish |


Asparagus with orange and kalamata is a light and delightful dish that I love making this time of year when there’s the overlap between good quality citrus and young shoots of fresh asparagus. This dish that can be served as a warm side or cold salad.  For a warm side steamed asparagus is immediately serve with the cold orange kalamata topping.  The contrast of the hot asparagus with the chilled orange is quite enjoyable.  For a cold salad the steamed asparagus and the orange kalamata topping are both chilled at least one hour or over night.  As a cold salad, this makes a mouth calming complement to a spicy entree.

This dish makes an excellent lunch or dinner salad as well as a dinner side for numerous entrees.

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Grilled Portabello Tacos with Red Chile-Yogurt Sauce

Vegetarian tacos with grilled portabello, sauteed summer squash and red chile / yogurt sauce.


These Grilled Portabello Tacos with Red Chile-Yogurt Sauce were inspired by some Beer-Marinated Grilled Mushroom Tacos that I saw over at Oh My Veggies when I was searching for meatless main ideas.   Kiersten’s tacos looked delicious, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients so I improvised (a great deal actually) with what I had on hand.  The result was outstanding.  Bobby and I enjoyed them so much that when we went to Pagosa Springs with some friends, this was the meal we chose to dish up on our night to cook.  I had to increase the recipe a bit in order to serve 9 people, and in doing so, found that it is a very easy recipe to make for a small dinner party.

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Beef and Chorizo Enchiladas

Restaurant style enchiladas with beef, chorizo and red chile sauce


During our Abiquiu trip, we took a drive through El Rito, New Mexico, and on to Ojo Caliente.  Ojo Caliente is another small New Mexico town which is well known for its Mineral Springs Resort & Spa. Originally, we were going to eat lunch at the spa restaurant, but once we arrived and saw how crazy, busy the place was we decided to go elsewhere. We were looking for something a lot more laid back, which was the general theme of our vacation. :) So we drove back to the main road where we saw a sleepy looking cafe called the Mesa Vista Cafe.

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The Beauty Surrounding Abiquiu, New Mexico

A double rainbow over the Rio Chama as it runs through Abiquiu, NM MJsKitchen


For Memorial Day weekend (which was also our 40th wedding anniversary), Bobby and I took some extra time off and spent several days enjoying and exploring the area of northern New Mexico surrounding Abiquiu.  Abiquiu, New Mexico, is a little village less than an hour’s drive northwest of Santa Fe.  The village has less than 3,000 people and is positioned in one of the most enchanting areas of New Mexico.  All around Abiquiu you have breathtaking views, hiking trails, horse riding trails, boating, and hundreds of places to just sit, meditate, pray, whatever your preference, and take in the beauty and uniqueness of the surroundings.

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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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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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Fall in the Rio Grande Valley

Cottonwoods of the Rio Grande in the Fall, New Mexico

A Drive along the Rio Grande

On Monday Bobby and I took the day off and went for a drive along the Rio Grande.  The cottonwoods were at their peak and absolutely gorgeous.  We had a lunch of cheese, summer sausage, apple and bread next to the river and under a canopy of yellow leaves.  Afterwards we took the long way home with a couple of side trips.  I thought I would share some of the beauty of New Mexico in fall.


Fall colors on the Rio Grande, New Mexico
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Mayan Chocolate Iced Coffee


In all of the years that we’ve lived in New Mexico, we’ve never been to Denver, Colorado. We’ve been all over the western half of Colorado, but Denver and the surrounding area has alluded us for some reason.  That all changed last week.  I had a conference in Denver so Bobby arranged his schedule so he could go with me and we do some sightseeing on a couple of afternoons I had off.

One afternoon we drove to Littleton, a small town (suburb) a little southwest of Denver.  It was a quaint little place and the old town area had a few shops that were right up my alley. There were two small antique shops housed in century old homes and around the corner on Main Street were two fabulous spice shops. In one of the antique shops I found this 1930’s recipe book that was written as a promotional for Worcester Salt.  I thought it to be a perfect match for the 1930’s book that my mother-in-law gave me – The Art of Cooking and Serving, a promotional for Crisco.  Both books are a hoot! I’ll be sharing some of the comments and recipes with you in the fall. Just as a teaser, the Worcester Salt book recommends boiling summer squash in salt water for 45 minutes!  Would there be anything one could call squash after 45 minutes?

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Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

A festive and beautiful time in Albuquerque!

October 1 – 9, 2011.


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