Chewy Ginger Cookies.

posted on: December 21, 2014

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‘On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Ten Lords a Leaping, Nine Ladies Dancing, Eight Maids a Milking, Seven, Swans a Swimming, Six Geese a Laying, Five Golden Rings, Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree’…AND I give to you Chewy Ginger Cookies.

Hi friends, can you believe Christmas is this week? I can’t, I really can’t believe it’s already here- but I guess I do this every year. Seth and I have 1 more day of work and then we are heading down South to celebrate Christmas with our families. I am definitely looking forward to spending time with them and friends from our hometown but NOT looking forward to a 5 hour car ride with 1 dog, 1 cat, 2 suitcases and a bunch of presents. Wish us luck!

Anyway, I love a good ‘chewy’ ginger cookie and this is my favorite recipe for them, it’s slightly modified from a bon appetite one. I don’t make them very often because they make ALOT … like 48 cookies. But it’s Christmas time and I couldn’t resist. Plus a ginger cookie always makes me feel a little bit better about the fact I’m eating a cookie. Ginger = healthy, duh.

Wishing you all the best this week! Check out the recipe below.

******SERVINGS: MAKES 48*****

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1/2 cup blackstrap (robust) molasses

2 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

1 cup raw or sanding sugar

3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

1 cup (2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 large egg


  • Preheat to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Whisk flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Then using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat brown sugar and butter in a large bowl, scraping down sides halfway through beating, until fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to low. Add egg, molasses, grated ginger, and vanilla; beat just to blend. Add flour mixture; beat on low speed just to blend (try not to over mix). Mix in crystallized ginger (dough will be very soft and sticky).
  • Place raw sugar in a shallow bowl. Using a tablespoon measure, scoop out dough. Using a second spoon, scoop dough from tablespoon measure into bowl with raw sugar; turn to coat well. Roll into ball. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with half of remaining dough and sugar, spacing balls 1 1/2″ apart.
  • Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are firm and centers appear cracked, 10–12 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool.
  • ***Be sure to use new parchment on the remaining trays of cookies.



Red Chile Popcorn

posted on: December 20, 2014

“On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Nine Ladies Dancing, Eight Maids a Milking, Seven Swans a Swimming, Six Geese a Laying, Five Golden Rings, Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree”…AND I give to you red chile popcorn- my favorite TV or movie watching snack.

But, first before I tell you my super easy recipe let me show you this picture.

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I caught Flynn just waiting so patiently and totally eyeing our popcorn- He’s the cutest.

But, here’s the super easy super fast recipe for Red Chile Popcorn

*we pop our popcorn on the stove or with an air popper

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1/2 cup of popcorn or 1 bag microwave popcorn

1 Tablespoon of olive oil (if cooking on stove)

1 Tablespoon of melted butter

Seasonings; salt, pepper, red chile powder, garlic (you can season as heavy or has light as you like)


Once your popcorn is popped melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, once melted add as much as the spices as you like. Stir to combine and then pour over pop corn. I like to put half the popcorn into a bowl and then add half the butter, pour the rest of the popcorn and then the rest of the butter. I also sprinkle a little bit more salt and red chile powder on top to add a little bit more flavor.

And… done!

We are enjoying it tonight while we finish up some wrapping and watching Netflix and clearly even the dog is jealous!




Christmas Carols.

posted on: December 20, 2014

“On the eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Eight Maids a Milking, Seven Swans a Swimming, Six Geese a Laying, Five Golden Rings, Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree”…AND I give to you my favorite Christmas Carols (for this season at least).


Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas- Sam Smith

Blue Christmas- Elvis Presly

Let It Snow- Michael Buble

All I Want For Christmas- Mariah Carey (also please notice the play views on this video….)

Silent Night- Bing Crosby

Hark the Herald Angels sing- St.Paul’s Cathedral – London (UK)

And there you have it, my top 6 Christmas songs this year that I basically have on repeat.
If you are in spotify you should check out Fireside Songs it’s a great mix of Christmas songs and… Christmas ‘vibe’ songs.

Cheers and happy listening!

Piñon Pine

posted on: December 18, 2014

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‘On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Seven Swans a Swimming, Six Geese a Laying, Five Golden Rings, Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree’…AND I give to you Christmas fireplaces full of piñon wood.


Oh, and a only the most purrfect cat ever on the fireplace mantel. What?! I was so pleased with myself when I captured this shot. But, back to my main message. Piñon wood, or more precisely Piñon Pine is New Mexico’s state tree and piñon nuts are just totally delisious. My favorite thing though is the way it smells when you burn it – it’s Santa Fe’s signature winter smell and walking through our snowy, winding, almost non-American streets in the winter, this smell is just magical. It just seals the deal if you know what I mean. If you ever hear any reference to Santa Fe’s smell you can bet your money that it’s burning piñon wood. 

Here’s my favorite holiday dessert with piñon nuts.

Here’s my favorite way to ‘burn’ piñon in the summer time. 

So, a big Christmas cheers to you all and I wish you were right here with me in my living room so you could smell the smell of Santa Fe and… so you could meet the best cat of my life.




Christmas kindness.

posted on: December 17, 2014


‘On the Sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me, Six Geese-a-Laying, Five Golden Rings, Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree.’ … AND I give to you the idea (and action) of Christmas Kindness.

You heard me, Christmas Kindness. Here’s the thing, I love gift giving. I love receiving gifts and I also really love giving them. I’m a gift person. A gift can be a kind word on a sticky note, flowers, or one my favorites- food. They don’t have to be huge things like jewelry, expensive candles or knick-knacks… – they just have to be thoughtful. My favorite feeling in the world is that of thoughtfulness when I know someone thought of me or the feeling I get when doing something nice for someone else.

Christmas cards have been my ‘gift’ this holiday season and I have so enjoyed making them, decorating them, filling them with quotes and love to friends, family to anyone who wanted one! Today, when I was writing a few more and snacking on some very thoughtfully gifted Christmas Chocolate Crinkle cookies…. I just felt content.

I wanted to encourage you to act on your own version of Christmas Kindness -whatever that is. It could be wrapped up in fancy wrapping paper, inviting someone over for a drink or food- or it could just be letting someone know your thinking of them and love them. Just do it!!!!

I promise the outcome is just buzz/high feeling of love!

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” -Hamilton Wright Mabie




hot toddy!

posted on: December 16, 2014

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“On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Five Golden Rings, Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree”…AND I give to you the Hot Toddy, because I mean… why not? 

It’s cold in Santa Fe and we are supposed to get another snow storm tonight or tomorrow, the sky was totally gray today and the air was still, you know the still right before a storm. I came home craving a hot toddy because honestly they were made for days like today. And yes, I secretly hope we get a huge snow storm so the Hot Toddy’s can just continue.

Here’s my recipe for your very basic but very yummy Hot Toddy- go ahead make one and warm up with me!

  • 2 oz whiskey, irish whiskey is preferred
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons honey
  • Juice of 1 small lemon or 1/2 a large lemon
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • boiling hot water (enough to fill your cup!)
  1. Stir whiskey, honey, fresh lemon juice and dash of bitters in a mug.
  2. Add boiling water.
  3. Stir once more.
  4. Top with lemon (i like to cut mine into a whole circle and let it float on top)





christmas cheer.

posted on: December 15, 2014

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‘On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me – Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree…AND I give to you Christmas in my neighborhood.’

One of my favorite things about Santa Fe is the way it feels at the holidays. Christmas time of course being my favorite. We took a walk around the neighborhood and I just had to take a few pictures of the decorations we saw. I just love that Santa Fe decorates for Christmas in very subtle ways – where I’m from (southern NM) people go all out with lights and blow up things in the front yard. Santa Fe – not so much. In Santa Fe they do wreaths.

Here are a few shots of some Christmas cheer from my neighborhood to yours.

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maple and red chile roasted pecans.

posted on: December 14, 2014

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‘On the Third day of Christmas my true love sent to me Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree…’ AND I give to you…. New Mexico Red Chile and maple roasted pecans. 
Hi again, I must say I’m pretty proud of myself I’ve made it to the 3rd day of Christmas… fingers crossed it keeps going this well and I keep having such scrumptious and cheerful things to share with you. Today, I want to share my take on old fashioned roasted pecans. I’m going to be real honest here and say I think the red chile just makes these. If you don’t have red chile powder you can also use cayenne pepper….
Also, I could live off nosh plates…. so the fact I got to make this one for Seth and I tonight left me feeling like the weekend wasn’t quite over yet, which is always a good thing.
  • 2 cups pecans (whole pieces)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  •  ½ tsp red chile powder (I used Chimayo red chile)
  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt butter and brown sugar on the stove.
  3. Add the maple syrup, salt and red chile powder. Stir till mixed well.
  4. Add the pecans and stir till they are coated.
  5. Pour the pecans on a parchment lined tray and put in the oven.
  6. Bake for 10 – 15 mins,  be sure to stir half way through the cooking time.
  7. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
  8. Remove from oven and let them cool on the tray. When they are cool, break them up and store in air tight container.
  9. *If you want you can sprinkle at the half way point and once they come out of the oven with a pinch more of salt, sugar and red chile powder :)

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moscow mule.

posted on: December 13, 2014

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‘On the Second day of Christmas my true love sent to me Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree…’ and I give to you the Moscow Mule (in the wrong kind of glasses- #mybad)! 

If you know me… you know I, like most everyone in the world, love a good cocktail and the Moscow Mule is one of my absolute favorites. It’s a new love affair actually as I tired my first one this year, sad I know.

But if life gives you ginger beer then you should most definitely make a Moscow Mule, like right now. I love these because they are so easy and there isn’t much to them, not alot of syrups or sugar or you know extra ‘fluff’- just vodka, ginger beer and lime.

Here’s my recipe



  • Ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup vodka ( this is basically a shot; maybe give a little bit more) 
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup chilled ginger beer
  • 1 lime wedge
  • Fill glass/copper mug with ice – add vodka and lime juice, then ginger beer; stir to mix – Garnish with lime wedge.

Ta da! And, yes they really are better in the copper mug and because of this I am so hoping Santa brings me these 





chai spiced shortbread.

posted on: December 12, 2014

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‘On the First day of Christmas my true love sent to me a Partridge in a Pear Tree…’
AND I give to you, chai spiced shortbread cookies!


I wish I could claim this recipe as my own but I cannot, I stumbled upon it on Instagram via Justina Blakeney and it comes from the kitchen of Danae Horst.

What I can tell you is that they are so delicious we’ve just about eaten the whole bunch in 1 week! 1 week, 2 people… LOTS of cookies. Oh well, it’s the Holidays and cookies are just part of the deal. The ‘chai spice’ spices add just the right amount of flavor to change these from just your ordinary shortbread to basically m a g i c.


3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground clove
1/8 tsp dried ginger (I used 1/2 tsp of ground ginger)
1/8 tsp ground cardamom (I used 1/4 tsp of ground cardamom)
Sugar for sprinkling (I used raw turbinado sugar)


In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until combined. Add the vanilla.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt and spices. Add to the butter mixture. Mix until a dough starts to come together. Take care not to over mix- dough will have a slightly sandy texture. Turn dough out onto a surface dusted with flour and roll into a flat disc about 1/2 an inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. While dough chills, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Once chilled, return dough to floured surface and reshape disc as needed. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter (I used a 3 inch crescent moon shape). Place cookies on an un-greased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. If dough has gotten warm while you’ve been cutting your shapes out, chill the baking sheet with the cookies on it for about 10 minutes to ensure your shapes will have sharper edges.

Bake for 14-18 minutes, until edges just begin to turn a golden brown. Cool to room temperature.


Cheers – I highly suggest you add these to your holiday baking list if you’re a shortbread fan. I know I’ll be making another batch next week!