A Ruby Wedding Anniversary

Laurie and I celebrated 40 years of marriage and a total of 42 years together. Both are significant numbers. While I can’t say we’ve been wandering around in the wilderness for the past 40 years, we have spent 40 years together in the high desert. Fortunately, we have carved out a piece of paradise in our desert. For those of you who have not seen the photos from our shotgun wedding, you can see them at https://photos.tandlphotos.com/blog/2017/5/celebrations-of-life.

Sunrise

Tristan made us a very special dinner for our anniversary, which included a four-layer Zigarat cake. The dragon tail flame illuminated a ghost who joined us for the celebration.

Not a cloud in the sky at sunset

Turnip The Volume* & Groove To The Beet

Dolores and I finished cleaning up our old office space in Downtown Albuquerque this morning. The lease ends on Thursday. While the restaurant space below our office was vacant for the last five months of 2020 and the first 5 months of 2021, the ACRE • Comfort Vegetarian • restaurant started remodeling the space below our offices as we were moving the remainder of our staff out of the office in June. This is the second location for the ACRE. Owner Sean Weed planned to open in August, but the City dragged its feet on approving all the permits until last week. We saw Sean as we were getting ready to leave, and he told us he’s opening tomorrow morning, Monday, September 20, 2021. He invited us inside to see the restaurant. If you live or work in or near Downtown Albuquerque, the ACRE looks like it has excellent vegetarian and vegan dishes. If you look at their website, not only will you see clever puns like “Turnip The Volume”, “Flex Your Brussels”, and “Lettuce Serve You”, you will see creative and appetizing dishes listed on their menus at reasonable prices.

*One of the clever puns on the ACRE’s • Comfort Vegetarian • website: https://www.theacrerestaurant.com/press

🌟Enchilada🌟 Best Ever

Hi! I’m Skinny Bronze Mantis. I’m excited to help explain how to make the best ever Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas. The stupid Paparazzo and I will lead you through the steps as explained in Laurie’s “Thought for Food” journal.

Note: If you are vegetarian, simply leave out the chicken. If you are vegan, substitute dairy cheese with vegan cheese.

Ingredients:
1 lb 6 oz or 21 oz (623.7 g) Grilled chicken thighs cubed
3 quarts (2.84 liters) chopped green chile
4 onions chopped and sautéed
40 yellow corn tortillas. 10 per layer cut in quarters.
2.5 lbs (1.13 kgs) Mexican Four Cheese Blend (Monterey Jack, Medium Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla, Asadero Cheese).
2.5 cups (591.5 ml) soup stock

First thing you have to do is start with the right attitude and correct posture.

To make the green chile enchilada sauce, chop and sauté the onions until they are golden brown. Chop the green chiles, Mix the sautéed onions, chopped green chiles and soup stock together. Divide into 4 equal portions, one for each layer.

Place the shelf in the middle height in the oven, and preheat the oven to 400º F (204.4º C) while you assemble the enchilada. You will make four layers. The first three layers are the same. Grease the bottom of a 17x13x3 inch pan (43x33x7.62 cm). Cut 10 yellow tortillas in quarters and cover the bottom of the pan. Measure out 7 oz (207 ml) of cubed grill chicken thighs, and spread evenly on the tortillas. Measure 10 oz of the cheese blend, and spread evenly of the tortillas and chicken. Spoon out the first of the four parts of the green chile enchilada sauce on the cheese and carefully spread out evenly over the cheese. Repeat the same order of layering for the next two layers.

The last layer only has tortillas, enchilada sauce and cheese. Normally, Laurie puts the cheese on top, but on this batch she was talking to Susan, got distracted and put the green chile enchilada sauce on top. Once all the layers are completed, place the enchilada on the middle shelf in the heated oven and cook for approximately 25 minutes or when it is heated through and the cheese on top is bubbling and starting to brown.

Set the table and serve it hot. After we eat our initial meal, we divide up the enchilada into serving sized containers and freeze the servings for lunches or whenever we feel like green chile chicken enchilada.

I had enchiladas with fried eggs for breakfast this morning.

We had clear blue skies all day. A few clouds rallied and popped into the sky for the painter at sunset.

Reflections On Being Fried

Three eggs reflected
Were feeling completely fried
With sunny sides up

Morning

Evening

Cooking

We put up a fifth sack of green chiles on Friday afternoon. I made burritos with green chiles, pinto beans, rice and potatoes, and a pot of green chile stew with the same ingredients. I put most of the burritos in the freezer. I will take them for lunches during the week. I will also put the green chile stew in serving sized containers in the freezer.

Making green chile burritos and green chile stew is easy, and it’s a feeling, but here’s the approximate proportions of each ingredient:

Green Chile Burritos

  • 2 quarts of chopped green chiles (look for Bueno frozen flame roasted green chiles or 505 Hatch green chiles if you can’t get freshly roasted green chiles. You can substitute poblanos or Anaheim green chiles. You could add roasted jalapeños to spice up the poblanos and Anaheims).
  • 3 cups of pinto beans, whole or smashed. I smashed them. (we use Anasazi pinto beans from Adobe Mills in Colorado).
  • 3 cups of rice (whatever type you like).
  • 3 cups of boiled, chunked potatoes.
  • 2 cups of shredded cheese (optional. I used Mexican four cheese blend).
  • 1 1/2 onions chopped and sautéed.
  • Whatever seasonings you like. I used a handful of Italian seasoning sautéed with the onions, and a handful of garlic powder. I don’t use salt when I cook.
  • Large flour tortillas or wraps (start with 30 tortillas or wraps, you might need more or less depending on how much of the mixture you put on each tortilla).

Mix the cooked pinto beans, rice, chunked potatoes, sautéed onions, spices and green chiles in a large mixing bowl and stir everything together until the ingredients are evenly mixed. I mixed the shredded cheese in with the other ingredients. The cheese is optional or it can be added on top of the mixture before wrapping the tortillas. Spoon the mixture onto a tortilla or wrap. Fold the short ends first and then the long ends.

Green Chile Stew

  • 2 quarts of chopped green chiles
  • 3 cups of pinto beans, whole
  • 3 cups of rice
  • 3 cups of boiled, chunked potatoes.
  • 1 1/2 onions chopped and sautéed.
  • 1 cup chicken soup stock (optional)
  • Whatever seasonings you like. I used a handful of Italian seasoning sautéed with the onions, and a handful of garlic powder.

Wash the potatoes, add just enough water to cover the potatoes. Boil the potatoes until they are fork tender. Pull the potatoes out of the water (don’t throw out the water), and cut the potatoes into chucks (they will probably fall apart as you cut them up). Put the chunked potatoes back in the water. Add the pinto beans, chopped green chiles, rice, chicken soup stock (if you choose), and seasonings to the potatoes and stir to mix well. Add more water if needed. Reheat until hot, but not boiling.

Cool & Picante On A Hot Afternoon

The temperature was only 100º F (37.8º C) when I prepared this meal of a salad (made by Laurie), extra sharp cheddar cheese, hot salsa, corn chips and blueberries.

Betsy Bunny

Scattered clouds tonight.

Muted colors on the clouds in the east at sunset.

Tonight was the first night it was clear enough to see the moon from our property.

Mountains on the moon.

Beaker Loves Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

“Where’s my blueberry buttermilk pancake PapaRATzo?”

Breaker, our 29-year-old Gold Cap Conure, goes nuts over blueberry buttermilk pancakes. He also loves Susan’s blueberry pound cake. I’m thinking that Beaker has genetic memory of his feathered forefathers going out to treetop IHOPs for Sunday breakfast or Sunday Brunch where they enjoyed blueberry buttermilk pancakes. Beaker also loves coffee, donuts, hamburgers, French fries, pizza, huevos rancheros, and similar fare, all of which he rarely gets. But still, the fact that he likes those various types of foods so much leads me to believe he has a genetic memory of a whole feathered fast food industry high in the tops of rainforest canopies.

Beaker’s pancake is the little one on the lower left side of the griddle.

“I’m still waiting!”

“About time you got my order off the griddle.”

“Yum!”

“Yum! Yum!”

“Yum! Yum! Yum! Yum!”

It’s been a few years since Laurie made blueberry buttermilk pancakes. Beaker thoroughly enjoyed his pancake as I did mine. The pancakes were delicious.

Glenda and Gwendolyn were not impressed with blueberry buttermilk pancakes. They were more interested in lying around and looking cute.

Mixed It Up

                Chopped chocolate

We have five birthdays in October in our family. The fun has begun. I baked Laurie a cake for her birthday, which was yesterday (Saturday). I baked special chocolate sour cream bunt cake that’s a little more complicated than the plain old fashioned chocolate cake I have made for her in years past.

Chopped chocolate mixed with cocoa powder and espresso powder ready for boiling water.

I prepped the flour while the chocolate mixture cooled so I could add sour cream to it.

Getting ready to blend the butter and brown sugar into a smooth, fluffy paste.

I think this was the most exciting part of the mixing. Mixed it up and got it ready for the eggs.

The chocolate mixture after I whisked the sour cream into it. It didn’t look much different from before.

The batter all mixed up and ready for the pan.

The recipe has you make a chocolate butter past to grease the bunt pan and then coat the pan with cocoa powder. Laurie said it worked better to use a mixture of cocoa powder and flour. Either way, I made a mess.

A well-coated bunt pan

Laurie had made this recipe and filled bugs and bunny cake pans with the batter. The little cakes rose well above the top of the cake pan. Keeping that in mind, I filled the bunt pan 2/3 full and prepped a pie pan for the rest of the batter.

Coated pie pan

Intermission: The birthday girl showing off how her exercise clothes and nails complimented her birthday bag full of goodies.

Batter in the pie pan.

Nice textures

It turned out that the cake didn’t rise at all for me. It just poofed up around the middle.

The cake came out of the pan really easily and looked great other than being a little short.

Drone view

The cake in the pie pan didn’t rise either. The sour cream I used was really sour, perhaps the sourness changed the leavening. I put the bunt cake on top of the pie cake on a chrome platter. The stack gave it a sculptural look. Tristan asked me to make the tangy whipped cream suggested in the recipe using heavy whipping cream, brown sugar, sour cream, and vanilla. The cake has a super chocolaty taste and the tangy whipped cream gives it a nice zing.

Note to Herman. This cake is great with a cup of espresso. Together they make the real breakfast of champions.

Spunk Vegging

“Oh! Yes! Veggies. Can I have some?”

Spunk likes veggies. Especially string beans. He plays with them and eats them.

Spunk pushes the lid aside to see if he can sneak a string bean.

“Hmmm! What do I want? How about a string bean?”

“Uhm! Paparazzo! Did you know these veggies are still cold?”

I hadn’t lit the burner before Spunk decided to try and sneak a string bean.