Several years ago we visited some friends in Northern New Mexico and fell in love with the area. We visited Santa Fe and Taos and found the culture to be so different from anything that we had ever experienced. Then, we traveled a little further north to a place called Abiquiu. Well, it really should be called paradise. The views from our friend’s home were spectacular, and we enjoyed spending time there. They have a casita on their property that is fully equipped with an efficiency kitchen, bath, bedroom, and separate living area. Both the casita and their main house are constructed with stones from the property and surrounding area.
Abiquiu was home to the famous artist, Georgia O’Keeffe, and you can even visit her art studio in town. There is not much in the town of Abiquiu, but it is definitely quaint. Just to give you a little perspective, Abiquiu is a one hour drive from Santa Fe and about the same distance to Taos. Both Sante Fe and Taos have beautiful town squares, interesting shopping, and wonderful dining choices.
It is amazing how our friend’s house and casita blend in with the natural environment of the desert. And, that they used all of the natural stone on the property makes these homes extra special. After visiting several times, we decided to purchase five acres at the top of the mesa. The views are spectacular and overlook the Chama River and Ghost Ranch. Being from the Midwest and now living in South Florida, this was quite a big decision to purchase this land.
We were both still working at the time and planned to build on the property to possibly live there when we retired. Then, our lives changed and the hubs decided to retire from his corporate job after 25 years. I needed to expand my business, and he was the perfect fit to make the expansion happen.
Because our business was thriving, we decided to make some plans for a future build out in New Mexico, but we planned to wait a few years to build and move there.
After planning the house project with an architect and builder, it appeared that this project was much larger than we anticipated. The property is very remote, and even getting building materials there was a challenge. After receiving the cost estimates to build the home that we wanted, we decided to wait a bit longer and to continue on with our business project.
The end of the story is that we never did build there. We still have this gorgeous property, and it is the only one left on the precipice of the mesa. At this point, we do not plan to build there, but you never know what may change in the future.
One thing that we do enjoy in New Mexico is the interesting and different cuisine. Many of the items found in the market there, are not readily available here in South Florida.
I did get a cookbook with several recipes that I enjoy called Santa Fe Kitchens. One of my favorite recipes is the Roasted Red Pepper And Artichoke Tepenade. It is simple and takes only a few minutes to make in a food processor. Every time I make this, I get rave reviews. Why not try a little bit of New Mexico flavors and make this next time you have company. I also love to smear this on chicken breasts or spread on paninis. Delish!
ROASTED RED PEPPER AND ARTICHOKE TAPENADE
- April 30, 2019
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- 1 (12 ounce) roasted red bell peppers, drained and coursely chopped
- 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts , chopped and drained (the recipe calls for a 6 ounce jar of marinated artichokes). I prefer to use the non-marinated artichokes. I add 2 tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar and a little extra lemon versus using the marinated artichokes
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup good quality olive oil
- 1/4 cup drained capers
- 4 garlic cloves (I use 3 large)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (I use extra for some more tang)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Step 1
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor
- Step 2
- Process using on/off turns until mixture is well blended and finely chopped
- Step 3
- Transfer mixture to a medium bowl
- Step 4
- Season to taste with salt and pepper
- Step 5
- Serve with sliced baguette or focaccia bread
- Step 6
- This is better made one day ahead
- Step 7
- Cover and refrigerate
- Step 8