Still Hungry? March 2017

In recent years, we’ve been learning more and more about the importance of early childhood education. Of course, a full education includes all aspects of the person, from the body to the mind—and all aspects of the nourishment of a person begin, well, at the beginning of a person’s life. So this month, in light of our health and wellness issue, and in honor of wholesome childhood roots, three Santa Fe chefs share with us recipes that are not only healthy for but adored by kids (and adults, too!).

Blue Corn Café & Brewery recently welcomed Guillermo Bojorquez as its new chef. Along with his 9-year-old daughter Nethania, Chef Guillermo created a healthy shrimp soup and elbow pasta salad that are sure to be hits at nourishing family dinners. Osteria d’Assissi Chef Cristian Pontiggia shares with us a dish his grandma used to cheer him up with—he now makes his nona’s whole-wheat spinach-and-ricotta ravioli for his 15-month-old son, Leo. And Chef Aja Marsh of Verde Food mixed up her nutrient-dense, low-glycemic, vegan and gluten-free chewy sweet-potato oatmeal-raisin cookies with maple-pecan icing. We hope the children in your lives love these wholesome recipes as much as ours do. Here’s to healthy lives, from start to finish. Continue reading

The Siege of Chaco Canyon

JE_chaco-dreamstime_l_77801521It will not be simple. It will not be fast.  It will be a slow, steady river that braids our communities together.

Visiting Chaco Canyon, the pinnacle of the ancient Anasazi civilization, is an experience that makes such a deeply lasting impression on your psyche that it will continue to haunt you in dreams for the rest of your life. This is not the hyperbole of a runaway imagination; this is Chaco’s intended effect, and it does that job well. Prayers, mysteries and clues are hidden in its landscape, left there for generations far into the future—us—to discover and integrate into our own world. We need this

guidance. Because, greatest of ironies, underneath the Anasazi legacy lies a different kind of wealth, one of oil and gas. And as extraction encroaches closer and closer to this sacred site and all the public and tribal lands surrounding it, a flurry of passionately determined and dedicated individuals are fighting to save it before its annihilation. Some days, that job seems––even to this army of protectors, many of them women––hopelessly naïve. And no wonder; they live with it daily, progress is so slow, and what if they fail? What they, and we, have to remember is: We are a part of something much larger than ourselves. Continue reading

Chef 2 Chef: Joseph Wrede

DSC_4323Walking uninvited through the swinging doors into a chef’s kitchen is like wandering into someone’s walk-in closet. Either you’re curiously welcomed, or unceremoniously tossed out. That’s how I first met Joe, breaching the swinging doors of Joseph’s of Santa Fe in the middle of service, and strangely asking to meet and shake the hand of the chef. Crazy, I know.

But slowly over the last few years, we’ve gotten to know each other––talking about food, life and, of course, baseball. My Cubs won it all this year, while his Big Red Machine floundered.

In preparation to interview Joe, I proposed I work in the kitchen for a few nights. He agreed. So one night, I showed up with my knives and got to work. Afterward, we got to talking. Continue reading

It’s All About the Gadgets

Spiralize-JohnnyVAt my follow-up doctor’s appointment following my annual physical, I got good news and bad news. “Get more exercise, cut back on wine, lose 20 pounds, and eat healthier,” my doc said. He sent me home with a nifty packet of dietary recommendations, tips, hints and menus for eating healthier. Perusing the info, I noticed the menus pretty much resembled the ones you already know: lots of whole grains, lean meats, legumes and low-fat cottage cheese (yuck, that ain’t gonna happen)! In the regimen, fats were kept to a minimum, and carbs cut.

Since I work in a beautiful kitchen shop that sells myriad gadgets designed to make cooking easier and more fun, and since I teach cooking classes that often include ideas for healthier eating, I thought I would pass along some of my favorite kitchen tools that can help one live a healthier lifestyle, along with a few recipes for this health-and-fitness issue. Continue reading

Thoroughly Modern Milled

05_ModGen_Erin_klIn early January, Modern General, the store and eatery in Santa Fe owned by chef/farmer/innovator Erin Wade, sent out an enticingly cryptic announcement stating they were launching “a new wellness concept…sweet and savory…a twist on everyone’s favorite childhood breakfast.”  As one might guess, considering the kind of playfully fundamental cuisine Erin brings to salads at Vinaigrette, her latest tantalizing concoctions are thoroughly Modern General.

These days, Erin is bi-Southwestern, splitting time between Austin, Texas, where she’s opened her third Vinaigrette in a trifecta with Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Late on a Saturday afternoon in February, it’s serendipitous to catch a glimpse of her in Modern General. Having given a lead cook a vacation during the “slow time,” she’s at the stove because the place is slammed.  “It’s been like this all day,” says Robin Schoen, long-time maven and manager for Wade enterprises, referring to the line at the counter and the full tables. “So Erin jumped into the kitchen.” During a lull, Erin greets guests. Picture a young Katherine Hepburn ever so charmingly disheveled.  “I don’t do the cooking regularly, but every once in a while, it’s good to check in,” Erin says, with an ebullient smile. “I didn’t expect to see people! My apron is covered in batter.”

Batter up! Erin’s hit a homerun with creations she calls “Modcakes™.”  Made from several varieties of heritage flours, the cakes are topped with a variety of classic and unique ingredients, sauced and garnished in imaginative combinations, complexly textured, at once satisfying and provocative. Reasonably priced, sensibly portioned, a single serving stays the stomach, though any hiker worth her boots could easily handle a duet of dishes. “We’re super excited about savory pancakes,” Erin says. “Pancakes make any day special.” Continue reading

Letting Go of the Wall

GMarks-IceSkating-04It’s Saturday morning, and the cheerful echo of laughter fills the air. Below the bleachers, there’s a symphony of movement; enthusiastic young children and tentative adults glide over ice, chasing bubbles, gathering stuffed animals, and chasing hula hoops as supportive coaches guide and instruct. Despite the chilly environment, the atmosphere is warm. People giggle and grin, stumble and recover, and cheer each other on.

It’s just an ordinary day at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center’s indoor ice skating rink, a year-round winter playground that puts ice sports within reach for some 50,000 visitors per year. Since its opening in 2000, the regulation NHL-sized rink has made serving the community a priority. From the graceful twirl of a figure skater to the dynamic power of a hockey player to the quiet focus of curling, there are many ways to experience ice skating. GCCC offers an impressive cross sampling of these activities. Even though it lacks competition—it’s the only indoor ice rink in the state north of Albuquerque—it’s a model of an affordable, well-maintained and friendly experience.

The thrill of ice skating may seem like a distant dream to many people—especially kids—but through programs like Skating in School, the Chavez Center rink is inclusive of our entire community. The program allows access to Santa Fe students who may not otherwise have the opportunity to go ice skating. It’s funded by the city and private donors, and provides everything: four coaches, transportation to and from the Chavez Center, plus rink time once a week for four weeks. After a month of lessons, the students show off their new skills by performing in a show. The Chavez Center has included five schools so far, and is committed to doing even more in the coming years. Continue reading