bakes | hatch green chile quiche.

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My camping trip through the southwest instilled in me a yearning for more of it my life. That green chile cheeseburger I had in Alamagordo, New Mexico, was life changing.

And so, as soon as I was back home, I dove into the cache of green chiles I have frozen and whipped up a green chile and pepper jack quiche for Sunday breakfast.

You need to make this. Just chop up some roasted Hatch, New Mexico green chiles that have been properly roasted and gobble. There’s nothing like them.

cheese cake.

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The doc’s favorite dessert is classic New York style cheese cake with sugary, sticky fresh strawberry topping. So for his birthday this past April, I decided to take a stab at making one homemade, with a fresh strawberry jam on top.

He said it came out perfect. I wouldn’t know. I don’t eat cheesecake. But this one was freshened up with a lot of lemon zest in the cheesy batter and loads of fresh strawberries.

What other desserts should I tackle?

parsley biscuits.

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For chicken and biscuits in yesterday’s crazy all day downpour that begs for comfort foods and tucking in and staying in.

This recipe has a decent number of steps, but is relatively easy to make, and creates A TON, so I always reserve some with unbaked biscuits on top for the freezer. Then you have a meal some random night when you are in a pinch. Just bake it off, and voila.

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What else should I tackle in the kitchen this month?

brunch

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Is the best thing. I miss my visits to Phoenix, where patio brunching is a new year round possibility. Especially for ceviche and breakfast tortas and the best margs imaginable.

But, it’s better that the doc and I can now brunch any Sunday we’d like, even if it isn’t patio style.

I miss my holiday break; brunch even on Mondays or Tuesdays, and time catching up and connecting.

 

tamales.

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Christmas is always a time, in my house, for making tamales. And this year was no different. Above is our New Mexico hatch green chile and cheese tamales, which are a personal favorite.

We also do beef, chicken, and pinto bean and cheese. What are your favorite varieties? I actually really love the vegetarian versions of tamales, for some reason. They are amazing.

lump crab dip.

This was, by far, one of the best dips I’ve made in awhile. Cream cheese, sharp cheddar, jumbo lump crab meat, hot sauce, scallions, and roasted red peppers. All topped off with delicious ripped pieces of crusty bread and baked in the oven until bubbly.

Serve with mini toasts, pita chips, or any kind of cracker. And of course, a cold beer. You won’t regret it.

shrimp ceviche.

A few weeks ago, I was thinking about all the trips I’ve made to Phoenix through the years, and more importantly, the incredible eating experience I have every time I visit. The first stop was a brilliant little brunch spot, and I always ordered the ceviche because it wasn’t something readily on menus around here.

Now that Sean has moved to Boston and I won’t be spending every vacation in Phoenix (though I can’t wait for my first spy of a saguaro and a stop in for ceviche and margaritas when we visit again in the future), I wanted to recreate some of the meals I long for before my next vacation west.

So, I decided to try my hand at making ceviche at home. It actually doesn’t require any stove top cooking, but I was a little nervous mine wouldn’t taste delicious. I totally thought I would experience a grave ceviche failure.

It didn’t happen. It was amazing. I “cooked” my shrimp in lime juice for about 20 minutes. Then I added red onion, tons of chopped jalapenos, cilantro, and cucumber. At the very last minute, dashes of hot sauce, avocado, and diced tomatoes. It was a dream. I even fried my own homemade tortilla chips to complete the entire experience.

What kind of ceviche should I tackle next? Fish? Octopus? You decide.