We want to wish everyone a healthy, happy and safe New Year. May all your dreams come true! 🎉🎉🍾🍾
We have a lot of new goals for the coming year. It’s going to be a crazy ride! ☺️
This blog has been neglected and I apologize for that. We’ve had a lot of things going on this fall and we’ve come to realize that some much needed changes need to happen in the new year.
I will be following up on that in a later post after the first of the year.
But for now, the first change will be that I’m closing my Etsy store. It’s been a good run but it’s time to call it quits. All my jewelry will be 50% off (prices already marked down). If you’ve ever considered getting one of my unique pieces then now is your chance!
One thing I love about being in New Mexico is the unique foods we’ve been able to try. On our visit to Ojo Caliente this past July we were able to enjoy these fabulous Green Chile Fries!
They were fabulous! Slightly spicy with a wonderful breading that made us go back for them three separate times. 🙂
One thing I love to do when we eat something from a restaurant that we really enjoy is to try to recreate it at home. This can be somewhat of a challenge but it sure was fun. Here is my take on these fries. I actually baked them to keep them a bit healthier but all in all they were delicious. The vinegar dipping sauce was a bit harder to recreate but I think I came pretty close. Let me know what you think if you make them. Always looking for feedback on recipes! Enjoy!
Vinegar dipping sauce (see below)*
6-8 large poblano peppers (or jalapeños or any large spicy pepper)
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons
3 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove the seeds from all of the peppers and cut into 1/2-inch lengthwise strips.
Set up a breading station: 1 pan of 1 cup of flour, 1 pan of eggs beaten with milk, 2 tablespoons of flour and mustard, and 1 pan of bread crumbs seasoned with cheese, and salt and pepper, to taste.
Coat the peppers in the flour, then in the egg mixture and then in the bread crumbs.
Arrange the chili fries on a nonstick baking sheet and roast for 18-20 minutes, turning once.
While chile’s are cooking, prepare the dipping sauce:
Ingredients for dipping sauce
1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
pinch of kosher salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flake
1 tbsp honey or Agave
Whisk together all ingredients until honey/agave is dissolved and then refrigerate. You can make this the day before to help the flavors meld even more! Just be sure to mix it up again before serving.
On our way to South Carolina for our daughter’s college graduation (yeah!!) we stopped at Ojo Caliente Mineral Hot Springs Resort. It was Mark’s 50th birthday so we thought we would have a nice little mini vacation before heading off to the heat and humidity of the south.
Ojo Caliente is famous for its waters. Discovered by Native Americans centuries ago and then conquered by the Spanish in the 1500’s when they discovered it (and displaced the natives as well). It holds a lot of history as well as the healing powers of the water.
There are many types of waters that are located here: Arsenic, Iron and Soda water just to name a few. There are multiple pools located throughout the resort with varying degrees of heat (89 to 104 degrees).
The resort has many different accommodations available including an RV park! Now, as RV parks go, it is pretty basic and it is quite expensive for what you get IMO ($40/night) but it is still cheaper than staying in the hotel. 🙂
The RV Park consists of power and water hookups only (no sewer). There is a dump station but they charge $20 to dump. Kind of a rip off, I think. The spaces are a bit primitive, unlevel and can’t really accept large rigs (30′ would be pushing it). BUT there are many wonderful aspects to the springs that overrides the downsides to the park.
We spent 3 days at Ojo. The first day we were so overwhelmed with all the springs we couldn’t decide which one we liked best! On the second day though we knew we loved the Soda Pool the most.
We also really loved the mud zone! Yes, MUD!!! It sounds odd but wow did our skin feel great afterwards. You get wet, then mud up and lay out to dry. Then you wash it off. Your skin is silky smooth and so soft! Mark didn’t think he would like it but he had to admit it was pretty awesome.
One thing we especially enjoyed was the FOOD! The Artesian Restaurant was amazing in every way. We had lunch and dinner there every day and even breakfast for Mark’s birthday as well. We really spoiled ourselves with the food!
That was just a sampling of the food. We ate our way through the menu to be sure. 🙂 In fact, we probably had these Green Chili Fries 5 times while we were there. SO GOOD!
For Mark’s birthday we did something pretty special – we rented a private hot spring for just the two of us. It had amazing views of the cliffs, a kiva fireplace and we snuck in a bottle of champagne to celebrate! Not something we would do every time we would visit but certainly an amazing treat!
All in all it was an amazing three days! And the best part? This is only 1-1/2 hours from our property in northern New Mexico! How awesome is that? Knowing we are close enough we can spend the day there or even take the truck camper for one night. Yes please! We will definitely be back!
When we bought our truck camper at the beginning of July we knew we only had a couple of weeks to get it squared away for our trip to South Carolina at the end of the month. We were on a time crunch to say the least!
The first thing we did upon bringing it home was to check all systems out. Everything works (that we can tell at the moment) and it was good to go. We could have taken it the way it was but honestly it smelled like it had been closed up for a long time and it really needed some deep cleaning. Next thing I know I am going on a painting frenzy!
The interior was outdated and blah. We thought white cabinets would brighten every thing up! It sure did.
I will be adding a tile backsplash but for now some leftover yellow paint from the cabin works just fine.
I had the teal left over from our cabin door. I really like how that pop of color looks!
Didn’t do a drastic change in the dinette. The cushions and fabric were still in good order but we added new curtains and of course painted all the cabinetry white. The walls we went with a real light tan.
The bathroom before had that hideous wallpaper. I stripped it all off and then painted with an exterior semi gloss paint. I know it won’t hold up forever to the water. When we get back we will be tiling the walls of the bathroom and replacing the flush toilet with our compost toilet.
The bed area before had a cabinet above where our heads were. The space is tight enough without that cabinet so we removed it. Painted the walls a lighter version of the bathroom by adding some white to it.
Whew! It was a lot of work and we accomplished it all in just two weeks. We also redid the floors! We had some leftover flooring from the cabin. We think it turned out great.
We have made our way out to South Carolina – an 1800 mile trip! It’s been a lot easier than pulling the trailer (even we did tow our 4 Runner) and so far everything’s been great!
Before leaving for South Carolina we went to Ojo Caliente Mineral Hot springs. I will be doing a post on that amazing place soon!
Well, new to us that is. 🙂 We have downsized to a 1986 Lance 900 series truck camper!
The camper is in great shape and all systems work! The only thing it doesn’t have is AC but it is wired to have an AC unit in it. At some point we will add one in.
Looking good on the GMC!
Inside is a bit dated of course. What can you expect from the 80’s? So, our mission is to totally update it and make it a bit more modern! And as we are leaving for South Carolina on July 25th we better get cracking!
What will we do for AC in the south? Well, we are just going to throw a window unit in it as a temp solution. Yeah, it will be a bit redneck-ish but better that than melting in the heat!
In the next couple of weeks we will be adding solar, repainting everything and generally just giving it a really good cleaning. There are some minor repairs to make but nothing that is too difficult.
We will get as much done as we can before leaving for SC and our daughters college graduation and will finish up all the renovations when we return in August!
Our plan is to leave our little off grid cabin before the snow flies (generally October) and then hit the road for the winter!
Stay tuned for our maiden voyage. Hopefully it all goes as planned but you never know with us. 😜