Monday, July 31, 2017

July 30, 2017 a Fun Seafood Day. Lunch, New Recipe Salmon and Quail Egg omelet Susan’s Seafood dinner party

July 30, 2017 a Fun Seafood Day. Lunch, New Recipe  Salmon and Quail Egg omelet   Susan’s Seafood dinner party

I made Tropical fruit salad as I watched the Sunday news programs and ate a bowl of granola, yogurt, fruit salad, and milk.

Then I made the cherry and blueberry clafoutis for Monday night’s dinner but I made a mistake by scalding 3 1/2 Cups of milk and ½ cup of heavy cream instead of three cups, so I added four eggs, which allowed us to fill six additional ramekins with clafoutis.  Suzette added the two squashes she had brought from her Los Lunas garden to the oven to bake with the clafoutis.

Then at 10:30 Suzette was hungry and we wanted to ride bike so we decided to make an omelet with the quail eggs one of her clients had given her while the clafoutis was baking.  The quail eggs shells were beautiful, mottled brown and white on the outside and an azure blue on the inside.

Here is a picture.

The quail eggs 

This was our first quail egg omelet, so it took us a few minutes to work out the prep strategy.  We finally decided to sauté the PPI grilled salmon teriyaki from our meal last week, fresh squash and garlic from our garden, some onion and red bell pepper, and two fresh tomatoes from Suzette’s garden at the Center for Ageless Living and then poach the quail eggs in the vegetables.

So I diced ½ of a small onion, the two sunburst orange tomatoes, ¼ cup of red bell pepper, and about
½ cup of squash while Suzette fetched a skillet and melted about 3 T. of butter in it.  We then added the vegetables and sautéed them until they softened and then Suzette pulled the approximately ½ lb. piece of salmon into pieces and added them to the skillet and stirred the vegetables and salmon to coat with the vegetable butter sauced that had developed as she sautéed the vegetables.  Then Suzette carefully broke eight quail eggs on the edge of a knife blade I held over the skillet and dropped the eggs into the sautéed vegetables and we waited a few minutes to let them poach.  Suzette the ladled the ½ of the mixture onto each of our plates and we filled glasses with cool water and took our plates to the gazebo and had one of the best meals I have had in months.  This was the first quail egg omelet I had ever had.  Several of the egg yolks had broken which enriched the butter sauce with yolk.  Quail eggs have more richness to my taste than chicken eggs, so the richness of the dish, especially the sauce was intense.

A few minutes after we finished brunch we rode to Rio Bravo and returned home around 12:30.  I took a shower and shaved and Suzette suggested we watch a movie she had found on Netflix
titled“Butter” made in 2011 that garnered five stars.  We made our respective drinks and watched the movie.  After the movie I went to Susan’s house to help her set up tables and chairs for her party.

Then I went home and Suzette and I sliced Armenian cucumber slices, carrot slices, jicama slices, and radishes, for dipping into guacamole and made guacamole with eight small avocados, ½ of a small onion, three cloves of garlic squeezed, juice of two limes, a few dashes of Cholula hot sauce, 1/3 cup of chopped cilantro leaves, and 1 tsp. of salt.

Suzette fetched the large Chinese steel tray and filled it with a Chinese bowl filled with the guacamole, the vegetables spears, and Mexican fresh fried corn chips we had bought at El Super.  I chilled one of the bottles of Gruet’s newly released TamayavVinyard rose’ we had bought in Santa Fe last weekend.  Gruet’s new rose’ is elegantly dry with only a hint of pink color, like Whispering Angel.

I took the extra chips and rose’ over at 5:00 and at 5:30 Suzette followed with the appetizer tray.

Karen Wagner arrived at 5:15 and washed a load of pots and prep bowls.  I set up the drink station on the back patio and filled the wine tub with ice and Suzette added a pitcher of water to it.  It was the perfect size to hold four bottles of wine.  Susan had bought 3 bottles of Matua Sauvignon Blanc from
New Zealand and six bottles of Chateau St. .Michelle Riesling. As people arrive other bottles were added to the mix like a Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay.  Then I cubed two large avocados for the gazpacho.

There were twelve folks and the food folks brought and that Susan fixed was spectacular.  I ate lots of clam dip as an appetizer, then Susan served gazpacho with langoustine and the cubed avocado.

Charlie made wonderful shrimp scampi in garlic, parsley, and olive oil that was served with fresh linguini.  Susan served about five pounds of king crab legs and a bucket of chiappino with squid, mussels, bay scallops, and shrimp in a tomato and wine broth that was really fabulous plus a platter of cold asparagus.  Someone brought a shaved cabbage and carrot salad. Suzette and I drank Gruet Rose with our dinner.  I met and talked to an interesting fellow named Larry, who was a psychiatrist and has retired now and is a life coach for many of his former patients who was raised overseas, mostly Iran, because his father was in the foreign service and went to Rice.

There were other interesting folks like the fellow from Wisconsin who was raised in a traditional German household.

After dinner two fruit crumbles and three home made ice creams made by Karen were brought out with Lee’s two fresh fruit pies, one blueberry and peach and the other fresh peach.  Although I was really full, I ate some of the peach pie and a scoop of Karen’s wonderful pistachio nut cardamon flavored ice cream.

By 9:30 after obliterating my new diet and overeating to excess all the wonderful food,  I was fading fast and we walked home, put up the PPI food and fell into bed.

Bon Appetit

Sunday, July 30, 2017

July 29, 2017 Breakfast - Donut Mart. Lunch – Mary and Tito’s. Dinner – PPI Chicken and sautéed Vegetables with roasted peanuts

July 29, 2017 Breakfast - Donut Mart. Lunch – Mary and Tito’s.  Dinner – PPI Chicken and sautéed Vegetables with roasted peanuts

This was a busy and fun work day of the type I love the best getting things done for friends in a quick efficient manner that allows lots of time to fraternize.

I awoke at 5:00 and worked on the pleading in the water case.  Then at 10:00 I received a call from my new client and friend introduced to he by the Kassams telling me that he was at his Coors store and could I meet him there. He had come to my house yesterday with the signed papers and money for the settlement of his case, but his brother had signed on the wrong line so the paper had to be re-signed.

When I arrived at Tahir’s family business, the Donut Mart, at 10:30 there was a crowd and from behind the counter he said, “Go to the bank and cash the $1000.00 check and I will get the paperwork.”  So I drove across the street to the Wells Fargo branch and presented the $1,000.00 check I had been carrying and trying to cash without success for about a month and it was cashed instantly and deposited into my account with immediate credit.  I felt wonderful that my successful resolution of his brother’s tricky real estate problem was being rewarded.  I then drove back across the street to Donut Mart and ordered a cup of hot Earl Grey tea and a toasted everything bagel.  After the attendant took my order and sliced the bagel and toasted it Tahir, who was working behind the counter asked me, what flavor of cream cheese I wanted and named about five or six different types of smears.  I selected “garden veggie”.

Soon he came to the table I had sat at with a plastic basket draped inside with a sheet of white butcher paper containing the bagel wrapped in aluminum foil.  Very attractive and efficient.  I had not yet eaten anything, so was hungry for breakfast.  The warm bagel spread with tomato flavored cream cheese was delicious.  In the course of representing Tahir I have discovered that the Donut Mart makes the best bagels in town and has access to the best cream cheese spreads in town.  What fun!  It is similar to my representation of the owners of Azuma, which I think is one of the best sushi restaurants in town and has become my favorite sushi restaurant.  I love it when one can develop a relationship that includes a business relationship, friendship, and great food and this morning’s Donut Mart experience was just the first of two such experiences today.  Soon Tahir’s brother, Amin, walked in was introduced to me.  Then Tahir brought the paperwork he had mentioned, which included nine $5.00 gift certificates for Donut Mart.  After s few more minutes an older gentleman walked in and Tahir introduced me to his father.  So I felt I was becoming part of his family and part of the family business.  Tahir and his brother left at 11:15 and I stayed to read an article in El Palacio by Jack Loeffler about his life as a hippie in New Mexico in the 60’s and 70’s and finish my bagel and another cup of tea.

At 11:30 I called Max, who had come down Friday evening from Santa Fe to visit his sister in Los Lunas and see me about the case in which I am representing him.  He is trying to save his family home in Santa Fe from foreclosure. After finishing my bagel I drove home and worked at my desk until Max arrived around 12:45.

We decided to eat lunch before we discussed his case.  I suggested Mary and Tito’s and Max agreed.  He drove us there in the big Toyota Tundra crew cab truck he recently acquired.  He ordered Huevos Rancheros but did not ask for a blue corn tortilla in it.  I ordered a chili Rellenos plate with no rice and double beans.  Mary and Tito’s exemplifies the unvarnished simplicity of everyday traditional New Mexican food.  It is one of my favorite NM food restaurants because it cooks its red and green chili sauce with ground beef.  The menu warns you that you must request “Meatless” chili.  I enjoyed

the chili Rellenos and beans and in the old storefront restaurant that appears to be unchanged since it
opened in 1963.  The James Beard Foundation has awarded Mary and Tito’s one of its American Traditional Food awards.  Twenty years ago when I was given the impossible task as Dining Out Editor for the Albuquerque Monthly of selecting the best enchiladas in Albuquerque, I selected Mary and Tito’s red chili enchiladas.  If you like enchiladas with red chili you should try them at Mary and Tito’s.  Unfortunately, I am off carbs, so I ordered Chili Rellenos.

After lunch we returned to the house and in a matter of a few minutes I reviewed the court record of Max’s case and we wrote an email to opposing counsel accepting her offer of a full reinstatement of Max’s mortgage to settle the case.  The small house that Max grew up in on Quintana St. is a couple of blocks from the Santa Fe rail yard and probably worth close to $500,000, so he is happy to reinstate the $190,000 mortgage.  Max is a general contractor, so he can easily fix up the house and he has already found a real estate vacation rental agent who has assured him it will generate $50,000 per year, so it will pay off the mortgage and provide him some income even before it is debt free.

Suzette and Willy  arrived as we were working around 2:30.  Ironically, Suzette had ordered chili rellenos also.  Willy was going to float the Rio Grande, so Suzette found his surf shoes so he would have some footwear and we all warmed him about the dangers of the river.  Then I suggested we go to Marble brewery for a beer.

Max loves Marble for its comfortable atmosphere and creative beers.  Suzette drank a new beer named Wave On, which was a light mango flavored IPA.  I drank my favorite Oatmeal Stout, and Max tried a new beer, a Cherry Gose, which is a flavored German style beer, which means it is a very clean tasting beer made with only barley, hops and water plus cherry flavoring.  Marble creates lots of seasonal beers and cherries are at the peak of their flavor now.

We found a quiet corner in a newly added area of the cool dark downstairs bar area to sit and caught up on Max and Jane’s recent activities.  We had a second round and I joined Max in ordering a cherry gose and Suzette ordered another Wave on.  We said goodbye to Max at 4:00 and drove home.

Ironically Suzette had taken Willy to lunch and had ordered chili Rellenos.  Since neither of us was hungry we did make a menu plan.

Susan Palmer called to discuss the Sunday dinner menu with Suzette.  We agreed to make guacamole and a vegetable plate, so at around 5:30 we drove to El Super, where we bought 10 small avocados, corn chips, yellow onions, cilantro, radishes, jicama, roasted peanuts, celery, papaya, and eggs.

At about 7:30 we decided to eat PPIs.  We had to decide between lamb meatballs and pan roasted
chicken.  We decided to heat the chicken and sautéed two different batches of previously stir fried vegetables, mainly zucchini, onion, mushrooms, and bok choy. We shelled about 1/8 cup of peanuts that in the crushed with a Chinese meat cleaver and added to the skillet full of  vegetables.

Suzette drank scotch and I drank the last of a bottle of Pinot Grigio (Trader Joe’s $4.99) that was clean tasting but lacked acidity and fruitiness.  Perfect for a light meal. We lived the addition of crushed peanuts to the vegetables.

                      This picture is of the chicken we ate tonight

Later while we were watching Death in Paradise on PBS Suzette made us a dessert of vanilla gelato covered with the wonderful fresh plum syrup she made.

I went to bed at 10:00.

Bon Appetit

Saturday, July 29, 2017

July 28, 2017 Lunch – salad. Dinner – Salad with avocados stuffed with Shrimp Louis

July 28, 2017  Lunch – salad. Dinner – Salad with avocados stuffed with Shrimp Louis

For lunch I made a simple salad with the PPI hamburger and a lamb meeatball, plus some romaine lettuce, chopped onion, black olives, cucumber, two diced Roma tomatoes.

For dinner we boiled shrimp and shelled them and tossed them in a Louis Sauce made with catsup, Mayo, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice.  Suzette brought home an Armenian cucumber that she peeled and diced some of and fresh tomatoes from her garden at the center in Los Lunas that she diced and mixed with the peeled shrimp in the Louis sauce.  She then placed some of the shrimp salad on top of two avocado halves on a bed of Romaine lettuce.  I drank Pinot Grigio (Trader Joe’s $4.99) that was very clean tasting but completely lacked any character.  It was perfect for the delicate shrimp shrimp salad.

The shrimp salad was delicious with the fresh tomatoes and cucumbers.

The shrimp were very tender.  I toasted the whole wheat roll I had been served at Greenside Café on Thursday, buttered it, and ate it with dinner.

Bon Appetit

July 27, 2017 Lunch – Greenside Café, Cedar Crest. Dinner – grilled Teriyaki Salmon with Stir Fried Vegetables

July 27, 2017 Lunch – Greenside Café, Cedar Crest. Dinner – grilled Teriyaki Salmon with Stir Fried Vegetables

I ate a lamb meatball dipped in tzatziki at 9:30 and tried to ride north but it started to rain as I past Central so I turned back and rode home in the rain.  An interesting 20 minute bike ride.  I learned that gripper brakes work well in the rain.

At 11:30 I left for book club meeting.  We met at Greenside Café in cedar crest.  There were five of us.  I ordered the chicken fried steak and it turned out to be the best I have eaten in New Mexico.

It was hand made.  A pounded round steak that thinned out at the edges that is hand breaded and deep fried.  The steak was covered with a white sauce and served with mashed potatoes covered with brown sauce and steamed broccoli flowerets and slices of zucchini and a whole wheat roll.

The other dishes included a chicken in cream sauce on linguini and a Monte Christo sandwich.  I found Greenside to be a superior restaurant and recommend it.

At 6:00 we  started dinner

Yesterday I made teriyaki sauce with 7 T. each of soy sauce, Aji mirin, and sake plus 1 T. of sugar.  I the placed the salmon filet in a freezer bag and added the marinade and placed it in the fridge.  The salmon marinated until tonight, approximately 27 hours.

Tonight I decided to stir fried vegetables with the salmon.  I julienned ½ onion, 6 oz. of zucchini,
about three cups of bok Choy with the green leaves and white stalk pieces.  I minced ginger and garlic and then Suzette said she wanted her vegetables cooked with basil.  So I went to the garden and picked the tops off our two basil plants and sliced about 1/3 cup of basil leaves and ½ cup of white mushrooms.

I stir fried the ginger and garlic for a minute and then added the white vegetables and cooked them for about fifteen minutes covered until tender.  I then added the green leaves, basil strips, and mushroom slices.

While I cooked the vegetables, Suzette grilled the salmon perfectly, moist but cooked thoroughly on a soaked cedar plank.  The best part were the crisp edges of salmon that hung over the edge of the board.

I opened a bottle of Santiago Station Sauvignon Blanc from Mendoza Valley in Argentina (Total Wine $3.99 less 20%).

Bon Appetit

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

July 25, 2017 Lunch – Salad. Dinner – New Recipe Sautéed and baked Chicken with sautéed and stewed Mexican vegetables

July 25, 2017 Lunch – Salad.  Dinner – New Recipe  Sautéed and baked Chicken with sautéed and stewed Mexican vegetables

I rode to Montano and back which tired me a bit.

For lunch I wanted a simple healthy meal, so I went to the garden and picked a basket full of the new lettuce and two ripe yellow tomatoes, which I combined with 3 oz. of diced PPP rib steak, ¼ of a cucumber, goat cheese, and black olives and dressed the salad after I  reconstituted the Cesar salad dressing with some olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice.

I was hungry for some carbs so I took two round knackebrod rye crackers from IKEA and smeared them with butter and then one with cod roe and the other with goat cheese to make smorbrod.

I enjoyed this simple tasty lunch.

After lunch I checked the flyers of sale items at several stores and was attracted to the cherries at El Super for $1.23.  Since I did not have anything planned for dinner I shopping for food at El Super, which is our closest supermarket.

I found amazing prices.  Cherries were on sale for $.99/lb. (which is the cheapest price for them I have ever seen).  Likewise, Persian cucumbers were the cheapest I have ever seen at $.33/lb.  There was a Muslim young woman picking cucumbers at the cucumber pallet area, who was feeling and examining each cucumber, so I asked her what was her selection criteria and she said, “I look for the ones that are smooth, without dimples.”  So I picked a couple of pounds of smooth cucumbers and watched her pick about ten pounds of cucumbers.  These small Persian cucumbers are perfect for pickling and I am sure that is what she was going to use hers for.

I then bought three chayote for $.99, two avocados for $.99, ripe Roma tomatoes for $.50/lb. a head of bok Choy for $.59/lb., mushrooms for $.99 for 1/2 lb., yellow onions for $.33/lb. and bananas for $.50/lb.

I then went to the dairy area and bought a container of Best Choice yogurt for $2.69 and a container of sour cream for $1.99.  I wanted a meat for dinner, so I went to the meat area at the north end of the

store and immediately found fresh cut chicken thighs for $.99/lb., so I bought a six pack for a bit over

The total for everything was a little over $26.00.  I was happy, because I will be able to replenish my jar of pickles, make another blueberry and cherry Clafoutis, a mushroom spaghetti sauce, and have fresh chayote to grill and avocados to stuff with a neat and vegetable salad.

At 6:00 I decided to cook.  I called Suzette and asked her how she wanted to prepare the chicken.  We decided on grilling the chicken, so I made a marinade for the chicken with Italian lemon juice, grape seed oil and fresh tarragon and put the chicken thighs into it and turned them to coat them with the marinade and put the bowl into the fridge until dinner.

I then decided to use the two old chayote and five tomatillos with a new onion and ½ of an old poblano chili to make a Mexican vegetable stew.  I peeled the two old chayote and diced them and the five tomatillos, and a small onion and the ½ poblano chili.  Then I put all the diced vegetables in a large skillet with 2 T. of melted butter and 1 T. of olive oil and sautéed them  and then covered them with a wok cover to sweat a bit.  I then decided to try to integrate the flavors of the vegetables and soften them further, so I made a cup of chicken stock with Knorr chicken stock powder and poured it onto the vegetables and covered the skillet with the wok cover and reduced the heat to allow the vegetables to stew for another ten or fifteen minutes.

When Suzette got home she started cooking the chicken on the stove in the Bobby Flay manner of weighing down the sautéing chicken pieces with another skillet filled with water until they brown and then baking them in the oven.

I decided to drink one of the Sauvignon Blanc blends we have.  I went to the cellar and picked the first thing that I saw p, which was a 2013 Mendoza Valley, Argentina Sauvignon Blanc because it has a buttery texture and is not as citrusy or acidic, which goes better with chicken.

I chilled it for a bit in the freezer while we were cooking dinner.

When the chicken and vegetables were cooked, Suzette plated a piece of chicken and we each ladled vegetables onto our plates.  I opened and filled glasses with ice and poured the wine and found the
Mango and jicama salsa in the fridge and put it on the table.  Suzette would not eat the mango salsa
because it was a week old, but I found it delicious.  The lime juice in the salsa had softened the

jicama a bit, although it retained its crunch, and preserved and helped blend the salsa ingredients’ flavors.

The wine was nondescript in its own right but complemented the crisp grilled chicken perfectly.  I drank a glass, but the true test was passed when Suzette refilled her glass two additional times.  I think the wine was so appealing because we have been drinking mostly French and American wines lately and a wine from a different terroir was more interesting for a change.

I lay down and read at 7:45 and went to bed at 9:00 after listening to Suzette’s big adventure on I-25 when one of the shelving units she bought flew out of the little truck and she had to run a quarter of a mile back up the highway to retrieve it.

Another chapter for her annals of owning an assisted living facility.

Bon Appetit

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

July 24, 2017 Lunch – Steak, vegetables, and egg Scramble. Dinner – New Recipe - Middle Eastern Lamb Meatballs, Steamed Broccoli and Cauliflower, rice, and Tzatziki

July 24, 2017  Lunch – Steak, vegetables, and egg Scramble.  Dinner – New Recipe - Middle Eastern Lamb Meatballs, Steamed Broccoli and Cauliflower, rice, and Tzatziki

We rode at a strong pace to Rio Bravo and back.

For lunch I decided to scramble 3 oz. of the PPI steak and the sautéed vegetables from last night (sweet potato, mushrooms, zucchini squash, garlic, and onion) with two eggs.

Willy had mentioned making lamb meatballs, so I called him to ask what he needed.  We had everything except a cucumber and the ground lamb.  Last night Cynthia mentioned that Smith’s now carries ground lamb, so around 3:00 I drove to the Smith’s at Yale and Lead and bought 1 lb. of organic ground lamb for $8.99, a cucumber, some bananas, and a gallon of milk.

Middle Eastern Lamb Meatballs

At 6:00 I began cooking by cutting the flowerets from the cauliflower and broccoli stalks and placing them in the steamer with water.  Then when Willy arrived at 6:30 he started making the meat balls by placing the ground lamb in a mixing bowl with ½ diced onion, raisins, cumin, turmeric, salt, and pepper and an egg to help bind the mixture.  He poured about ¼ cup of piñon nuts into a medium skillet and I watched them as they heated and cooked a bit and then Willy added them to the mixture.  I then chopped about ¼ cup of parsley and we added that to the mixture. Willy then mixed the ingredients together and shaped the mixture into about 15 meatballs and sautéed them in olive oil until they began to brown and then baked them for 5 minutes in the oven.

While Willy was making the meatballs, I made rice with 2 cups of water, a dash of Knorr’s dehydrated chicken stock. When the stock came to a boil, I added 1 cup of basmati rice and reduced the heat to its lowest level and set the timer for 30 minutes.

When the timer read 8 minutes, I started the heat under the vegetables so they would steam for 8 to 10 minutes and be cooked when the rice was ready.


I then made the tzatziki. I diced ½ cucumber and added it to a bit more than a cup of Kirtland’s Greek yogurt in a mixing bowl to which I added two minced cloves of garlic, the juice of 1 lemon, ½ tsp. of salt and then de-stemmed about ¼ cup of mint leaves from their stalks and finely chopped them and added the mint to the mixture and stirred the mixture to integrate the salt so it would begin to release the liquid in the cucumbers.

I then selected a bottle of 2013 Quinta de Carvalhas Portuguese red wine from the Douro region that I bought at Total Wine for $11.59 less 20% and poured three glasses.  Total Wine sells lots of Calvalhas products, including its ports, so probably has an exclusive for the U.S. on its products. Mi have found its wines to be tasty and this was no exception, a full bodied red with lots of complexity and a full finish that lingered a bit on the back of the tongue.  It went well with the lamb.

When everything was ready we served ourselves from the stove and I poured glasses of wine and put the tzatziki on the table.

Luke called while we were cooking and we talked with him for a few minutes.  He is acclimating to L.A. and his new job as manager of a juice bar.  He said there was a flurry when James Franco came into the store today.

Willy fetched the Shiracha hot sauce, saying, “I particularly like the meatballs with a little Shiracha.”

I tried some and found that at the right level the Shiracha gave the meatballs a pleasant little extra flavor kick.

We switched between Rachel Maddow and Antiques Roadshow and I cheered every time Suzette’s ad for the Center for Ageless Living was shown, which is before each episode of the Roadshow.

Willy left around 9:00.  Suzette took a soak in the hot tub and I dozed on the couch while watching the a Great British Baking Show.

We went to bed at 10:00 after a peasant evening of cooking and eating.

Bon Appetit

Monday, July 24, 2017

July 23, 2017. lunch - Chez Mamou. Dinner Party - Grilled steak, salad, sautéed Mushrooms, and sautéed sweet potatoes, onion, spinach, and zucchini

July 23, 2017. Lunch – Chez Mamou   Dinner Party – Grilled Ribeye, Sautéed Sweet Potato, onion, and Zucchini, sautéed Mushrooms, and Salad

We woke up at T. R. and Linda’s house and drank tea and coffee and watched a bit of Fareed Zachariah.  Then a bit after 10: we left, turning right and going south.  We soon came to the Woman’s Club, where we saw an Antiques Show sign so we turned in, parked, and went in.

The stuff was almost of the highest quality, not expensive, fancy, but interesting and priced below retail.  I immediately saw a beautiful Hopi woman’s shawl that the dealer said was probably made in the 40’s for $275.00 that I liked very much.  We walked on around the room and Suzette found a painting of Taos Pueblo by a California woman artist named Mendenhall for $300.00 that she ended up buying to add to her collection of New Mexico women artists.

After two aborted attempts to find the Candy Wells exhibit on Museum hill, we discovered it was showing at the Fine arts Museum on the Plaza  we drove downtown.  It was noon and we were hungry so we first went to Chez Mamou for lunch.  Although the skies were turbulent we sat on the narrow patio beside the restaurant and although Chez Mamou probably has the best French baker in New Mexico we chose to not eat any breakfast pasties or bread with our meal, very un-French.  Suzette got really excited when she saw a frog leg appetizer cooked in a white wine sauce and I became excited when I saw duck confit on the menu.  Suzette ordered the frog leg appetizer and I ordered a duck confit salad.

Suzette ordered a glass of French Sauvignon Blanc and I ordered a glass of Malbec from Cahors.

My salad was dressed with a creamy balsamic vinegar depressing that I liked and the shredded duck confit was pleasantly warm.

Suzette's white wine dressing with fresh chopped tomatoes and shallots was wonderful also.  That is whupy we like French restaurants and my duck confit salad was $14.95, no more than than at a more mundane restaurant.

The waitress almost got upset with us when we refused her offer of bread with our meal.

We enjoyed our meal, but soon after we left the restaurant the skies opened and it began to rain.  We hurried to the portal and made our way to the Fine Arts Museum at the corner of Washington and Palace.

We saw the Candy Wells show that was interesting but not great.  The problem with art museums, such as the fine arts museum, is that much of their collection is donated after dealers have high graded the collections.  This was the case with this show.  The majority of Wels’ watercolors were painted before 1935 and were his earlier more formative works.  Here are several of the better works, but we agreed we would not trade our Wells for any of them.

We then went downstairs and saw the permanent collection and to the new wing and saw a good traveling show of drawings from England, including several by Rembrandt and several by Bridget Riley.  Many drawings were studies for larger and more complete works, so you could see the artist’s formative thoughts.  In most cases the description of the piece included a picture of the finished work.  My favorite work saw a slashing abstract swatches of black ink on white paper by Frank Kline that caught perfectly his abstract expressionist style.

We drove home after seeing the Museum and I rested for an hour.

We started cooking around 5:15.  We decided to grill steaks and sauté mushrooms for a garnish for the steak and to sauté fresh zucchini from the garden with onion, sweet potato, and spinach.  I wanted a green vegetable, so the menu was complete when Cynthia offered to make a fresh garden (farmers’ Market) salad.

Suzette made the zucchini dish and I sautéed the mushrooms.

A bit after 6:00 Cynthia and Ricardo arrived with the salad.  I served them glasses of the open French Chablis, which they seemed to like as an aperitif.  Then I opened the bottle of 2014 La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir that Mike had brought us last time he came for a meal, since Suzette wanted Pinot Noir with the meal. The Pinot had the softness of Pinot Noir, but lacked the bright fruitiness of the Anderson or Willamette Valley pinots.  It melted into the food, rather than accompanying the food, but everyone, including me, drank it.

We had stopped at Lowe’s for Vanilla ice cream on the way home and I bought a container of Tahitian Vanilla Gelato.  After dinner Suzette made us desserts of a scoop of the gelato served with a spoonful of the fresh damson plum compote she made last wee.  The plums were from Megan’s tree down the alley, so the compote had a bright reddish purple color.

We said goodbye at 8:00 so we could watch Granthouse on Masterpiece theatre on PBS.  We then watched remember me, a weird almost supernatural Masterpiece Mystery series, starring John Clease.

I watched the final Stage of the Tour de France.  No surprises, Fromme 1st, Uran 2nd, and Bardet 3rd.  The first time in 12 years that a Frenchman was on the podium.

Bon Appetit

July 22, 2017 Lunch – Vinaigrette. Dinner Party at T. R. and Linda’s

July 22, 2017 Lunch – Vinaigrette. Dinner Party at T. R. and Linda’s

I ate a whole bagel this morning smeared with goat cheese and garnished with capers and slices of onion and Lax.  As we watched the Tour de France.  We then rode to Montano and back and watched the end of the individual time trials in Marseilles, which resulted in the leader, Chris Fromme, extending his lead to 1 minutes from 23 seconds but left a one second gap between 3rd and 4th place, which could create the possibility of a race on the Champs Ellysse on Sunday, the final day of the Tour.


I then made Clafoutis with the three to four cups of pitted and halved
Bing cherries I had been soaking with a drizzle of 1 to 2 T. of cognac for two days.  I started by scalding 2 ½ cups of whole milk combined with  ½ cup of heavy cream to make an enriched milk and buttering the inside of a ceramic baking dish and then coating the butter with granulated sugar.  I then combined 7 T. of  flour, 10 T. of powdered sugar, and 1 tsp. of salt in a mixing bowl and then combining three eggs with a wooden spoon.  I then added the three cups of scalded milk that I had allowed to cool for about ten minutes through a strainer so the solidified skin that formed on top of the mole did not mix with the other ingredients.
I then stirred the mixture to integrate all of the ingredients and poured the mixture into the coated ceramic baking dish. I then poured the bowl of marinated cherries into the ceramic baking dish and about 1 cup of fresh blueberries ($1.98 for 16 oz. at Sprouts on Tuesday).

We then baked the Clafoutis with over and under heat in the oven for 50 minutes at 350 degrees until the top began to brown and the custard became firm in the middle.  The two ways I tell that the custard is cooked is I touch the middle to see if it is firm and observe whether bubbles are coming out of the top, which occurs when it is firmly cooked.

When we took the Clafoutis out of the oven at around 11:30, Suzette said, “The Clafoutis is too hot to carry to Santa Fe.  We need to put in the fridge for an hour, so it will cool and then we can put it into the ice chest with ice.”  We had been trying to figure out when and where we would eat lunch, so we agreed to go to out neighborhood Vinaigrette Restaurant that is only six blocks from our house for a salad for lunch while the Clafoutis was cooling.

When we arrived at Vibaigrette at 11:45 there was only two divers instead of being filled to overflowing as it is on most weekdays.  We were able to have a leisurely lunch starting by perusing
the entire menu offerings.  Suzette ordered the Daily Special Salad Nicole's with seared ahi tuna,

sliced olives, capers, diced potatoes, string beans, and romaine lettuce with an interesting drink of apple cider mixed with prosseco and ginger extract.  I ordered my favorite Frisée Salad with bacon lardons and a poached egg on top.  I noticed on the wine list a wine I had not ever had for $8.00 per glass, a Spanish Rueda made with Albariño grapes by a producer named Baso, so I asked the waitress to please show me the bottle because I wanted to make sure the menu was correct, since I had never seen an Albariño from Rueda.  When I confirmed that the wine was Albariño I ordered a glass.  It was served very chilled and had that wonderful combination of Albariño acidity and fruitiness.  I loved it and took a picture of the wine menu for Suzette so she can order it for the Bistro. I enjoyed my Frisée salad.  I had specified that the bacon lardons be well cooked and because there were so few customers in the restaurant they were cooked to perfection, crisp and not very greasy.  We enjoyedour salads and drinks and not having to clean up.  When we returned home we packed a few things to take to T.R. and  Linda’s, since they had invited us to spend the night at their house.

              The Baso Albariño with the wine list and Suzette

           The Frisée salad
              The salad Nicole's with seared  Aji tuna

I filled two bags with ice put them in the bottom of the ice chest and put the clafoutis on top of the ice.  I then went to the basement and found a bottle of 2014 Rueda white wine that was 90% Verdejo and 10% Viura named Senorio de Nava that I had bought at Total Wine for $8.99 less 20% and put into the ice chest to drink for dinner.

We drove to Santa Fe and visited our two favorite consignment stores and our two favorite art galleries and then drove to the water street parking lot and parked and walked across the street to the Gruet tasting room in the St. Francis Hotel, which used to be the De Vargas Hotel.  We found a table and couches in the garden and had a complimentary tasting as part of our membership in its wine club. We selected the winemaker tasting which included two of my favorites, the Blanc de Blanc Sauvage and the 2012 Vintage Blanc de Blanc.  The server was extremely knowledgeable and when I mentioned that I liked the Sauvage rose’ she poured us not only that, but the Rose’ Brut to taste the difference between the Sauvage’s 0% residual sugar and the Brut’s 1 ½% residual sugar. Then she asked us, “Have you tried this year’s still rose’ that was released just three weeks ago?”  When we answered, No.”, she served us glasses of it after serving us tastes of the Vintage Gilbert Blanc de Blanc and the 2012 Vintage Blanc de Blanc. We liked the new rose’s light crisp flavor that reminded us of the really good roses from Bandol in France with their exquisitely dry finish.

It was 6:00 so time to drive to Linda and T.R.’s house.

We arrived at the gate at the same time as Alfredo and Emilia, two Cuban friends of Linda and T.R.  In fact they had gone together to see Maqueque on Wednesday evening at St. John’s University.

After each being served a drink we sat at the dining table on the patio and talked and ate appetizers.
Linda had stuffed Italian sweet peppers with a bean and avocado stuffing and served olives and slices of cheese.

                     The girls

When dinner was ready we went into the formal dining room and were served plates of sautéed chicken breasts,  sliced yellow squash sautéed in onion and bacon, and rice.  There was Chardonnay, but Linda had remembered that we like Rose’, so had bought a bottle of Duchman’s Rose from Texas that was made with 100% Texas grapes.  It was musty heavy wine without elegance or definition, but drinkable and fun to try a Texas wine.  The meal was right in the groove of our diet sans the rice, which neither Suzette or I ate.

After dinner I whipped about ½ cup of whipping cream into whipped cream and added a dash of Mexican Vanilla.  Then Suzette served bowls of clafoutis with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and I poured glasses of Graham’s six grapes port for Suzette and me.  T.R. And Linda had remembered that we liked port from our last visit and bought a bottle of portfolio us to drink after the meal.

I should mention that T.R. drinks only beer and Linda drinks very little so they buy wine for guests, which I think is very sweet of them.

They live on a large lots with lots of trees, so there was a large box of kindling and cut fire wood and a fire set in the outdoor patio.  Every meal we have had at the Phillips has ended around a blazing fire in the fire pit on the patio and tonight’s was no exception.  We sat, felt that primordial sense of community among a group of humans gathered around a fire after a good meal, and talked until 11:00 when we collectively sighed a huge yawn and went to bed.

We enjoyed talking with T.R., Linda, Alfredo, and Amelia before, during and around the fire pit warmed in the lovely cool evening.

Bon Appeti

Saturday, July 22, 2017

July 21, 2017 Lunch – Taj Mahal. Dinner – Sautéed Scallops in a sorrel and asparagus cream sauce served with Cauliflower Couscous

July 21, 2017  Lunch – Taj Mahal. Dinner – Sautéed Scallops in a sorrel and asparagus cream sauce served with Cauliflower Couscous

We rode to Rio Bravo this morning.  I showered and watched Stage 19 of the Tour de France. Evald Bossehagen of Norway won the stage.

Aaron came by at 11:30 and we went to lunch at Taj Mahal.  It was as wonderful as ever, with my favorite dish being the Saag Paneer.  After lunch we returned to my house and went over several matters for Railway Land Company.

I had not slept well last night so I lay down a bit after 4:00 and watched the news.

Suzette came home around 5:45 and we decided to sauté the six scallops I had bought at Sprouts Tuesday.  I wanted a sorrel cream sauce made with the lobster stock we had made last Saturday.

After fetching the lobster stock from the garage, I went to the garden and picked a handful of sorrel.  Then I peeled and minced three cloves of garlic and 3 oz. of onion.  Suzette suggested that I make the cauliflower couscous, so after she de-flowered ½ of a head of cauliflower and processed it in the Cuisinart down to small pieces that resembled couscous.  I sliced six mushrooms for the couscous dish and then heated 2 T. each of butter and olive oil in a large skillet and added the onion and garlic and sautéed them for five to six minutes and then added the mushrooms and an additional T. of butter.  I cooked those three ingredients with a pinch of dried tarragon for about 10 minutes and then added the couscous cauliflower and sautéed the dish for another 10 to fifteen minutes to cook the


Scallops in asparagus and sorrel cream sauce

While I was cooking the cauliflower,  Suzette was making the scallop dish.  She first heated butter and olive oil in a skillet and sautéed the scallops to golden brown on one side and less on the other side and then set them aside.

She then made a roux by adding 2 T. of flour to skillet with the oil and butter used to sauté the scallops and cooked the flour until it began to turn a light brown color.  She then added three ladles full of lobster broth (about 2 cups), while I stirred the sauce to eliminate lumps.  She then added 1 to 2 T. each of sherry and heavy cream and then 1 cup of diced asparagus and the cleaned sorrel and cooked them several minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.  She then returned the scallops to the sauce in the skillet to re-heat.

I had chilled a bottle of Chablis ($12.99 at Trader Joe’s) at 4:00.  I poured glasses while Suzette first put a pile of the mushroom cauliflower couscous on our plates and then ladled spoonfuls of scallops and sauce onto the plate over the couscous.

We have re-grooved our diet to eliminate many of the carbs, processed ingredients, and dishes sweetened with white sugar.  As you can see from tonight’s meal it is easy to create flavorful,
exciting dishes quickly.

We started cooking around 6:00 and finished eating the meal by 7:00, when we looked at Cynthia’s e mail extolling the musical performers at the Outpost, Jane Bennett and six Cuban women musicians in a group named Maqueque, who they had heard Thursday evening.

So we decided to go to the Outpost to see if we could get tickets.  We arrived around 7:30 and were among the first to be admitted, so we took two seats on the fourth row at the Center aisle that gave us a perfect view of the stage.  The music was Afro-Cuban and the musicians were wonderful, masterful musicians and very tight.  They played a spirited 1 ½ hour set until about 9:45.  Cynthia and Ricardo came again because they had bought $10.00 tickets last night.  We paid $30.00 at the door tonight.

Richard Barrish came by to say hello and we invited him to join us.

After the concert, while we were speaking to Cynthia, Clift and Nancy Blaugrund walked by and said hello.

It was a very pleasant, spontaneous evening.  Good food puts you in a good mood.  During the concert I felt the wonderful food I had eaten today displace the ill effects of the bad food I ate yesterday.  We discussed it and both agreed that the pate’ was probably the main suspect.

We went to bed as soon as we returned home a bit after 10:00 p.m.

Bon Appetit

Thursday, July 20, 2017

July 19, 2017. Lunch – East Ocean. Dinner – New Recipe. Baked Sweet Potato served with PPI Roasted Park Tapa and Spinach

July 19, 2017. Lunch – East Ocean. Dinner – New Recipe. Baked Sweet Potato served with PPI Roasted Park Tapa and Spinach

I went with Peter Ellen to lunch at East Ocean at 3601 Carlisle NE.  Peter ordered my old favorite from before I stopped eating rice a month ago, Scallops in Lobster Sauce with fried rice and sweet and sour chicken.  I ordered my new favorite, Moo Goo Gai Pan, which is strips of chicken stir fried with seven or eight vegetables and served in a thickened soy and chicken stock seasoning sauce.  At $5.95 there is no better luncheon dish in Albuquerque.  I really think I could eat it every day or at least several times per week.

Suzette worked until after 7:00, so when I returned from meditation at 7:00 I put the four sweet potatoes we had bought at Sprouts on Saturday into a 375 degree oven.  Suzette arrived soon after and took over the cooking and took them out after 45 minutes when they were fully cooked.

I had stopped at Lowe’s on the way home and picked up a bunch of spinach, a bottle of Gordon’s gin, and a couple bottles each of tonic water and club soda.

I wanted to cook Catalan Spinach, but Suzette vetoed that idea by offering a simpler solution of simply re-heating the PPI Roasted Pork Tapa and adding spinach to it and then serving that combination over a split buttered baked sweet potato to make a one dish dinner.

I agreed immediately when Suzette said she was not willing to cook Catalan Spinach, which is a complicated dish and de-stemmed ½ of the leaves in the bunch, which Suzette then cleaned and spun to dry.

When the Pork dish was re-heated we added ½ cup of additional chicken stock and Suzette raised the heat to drive off some of the liquid and reconstitute the sauce.  We then added the spinach and covered the skillet with the wok cover to steam the spinach.  When the spinach was cooked in just a few minutes, we added 1 T. of cognac to flavor the dish and it was ready to be poured over a split sweet potato that had been buttered.  Viola, a quite easy dinner with delicious healthy ingredients, if a bit non-traditional.

I decided I wanted to drink a Spanish Rose with this very Spanish dish so I opened a bottle of 2015 La Granja Rose, which along with La Ferme Julien may be the best Rose' values in Albuquerque.  la Ferme Julien is an exquisite Southern French rose made by Famille Perrin, which is the largest producer in the Rhone Valley.  Perrin makes many good wines with Rhone grapes, including the great Chateau de Beaucastel from a Chateau Neufchâtel Du Pape, but this rose is their entry level offering and a very pleasant wine and a great value for $5.99 at Trader Joe's.  If you want a Chateau de Beaucastel, it is available at Total Wine but last time I checked it was around $100.00; a bit out of my single bottle range.

La Granja is even cheaper at $4.99 and also available at Trader Joe's.  It has a much deeper red color and is fruitier and fresher tasting.  Your preference will depend upon whether you like a fresher fruitier wine that will remind you of koolaid because it is 100% Grenache or a more complex wine with higher acidity that will make you pucker a bit as it goes down and has a hint of French elegance, perhaps because it is a blend of Cinsault, Syrah, and Grenache grapes.


Bon Appetit

July 20, 2017 Lunch – Salad with Pate’, Comte cheese, cucumber, tomatoes and Greek olives. Dinner – Betty Turk “Murder in Madrid” book signing and dinner

July 20, 2017 Lunch – Salad with Pate’, Comte cheese, cucumber, tomatoes and Greek olives. Dinner – Betty Turk “Murder in Madrid” book signing and dinner

I started the day at a NAIOP program featuring a speech by Darren White and a Duke Rodriquez.  Duke was a great speaker and made me glad to have Ultrahealth as a tenant.

After the meeting i went home and at 10:30 went to my semi-annual teeth cleaning after which I returned home.  I decided to pick some of the lettuce in the garden and make a salad.  Much of the newly planted lettuce is still small and it suffered from the heat and lack of water for a few days that damaged it but there was enough other lettuce to fill a bowl and I picked five yellow cherry tomatoes also.

I added slides of PPI pork and beef pate’ from Suzette’s Solstice dinner, a few slices of Comte’ cheese from France, several slices of cucumber, black olives from Greece, three of the cherry tomatoes.  I drank a glass of Ferme Julien Rose. From the Rhone Valley.

I put the salad in the fridge while I changed clothes, which allowed it to cool and crisp a bit.  I loved having a cool salad with a few sips of French Rose’.

A little after 5:00 I drove to the Center for Ageless Living for the book review and dinner with Betty Turk.  I sat with the Morgans, who have recently moved back to Los Lunas from Idaho.  I was thrilled that they love the Center and both are active participants in activities, such as coming for this dinner and book signing.  I met others equally friendly, such as Bob Crain and his partner, Judy.  I also talked Betty and said hello to Dana, one of her sons and told them how much I had enjoyed working Thad and James at Westland.

The meal was coordinated to the book, which is set in Madrid during its active mining days at the turn of the century.  It was an entrée of a bean stew with ham, white beans, greens, and a few other vegetables served with really delicious rosemary flavored cornbread made by the new baker, Jessica, who also made the dessert of peach cobbler.

                           The Bean Stew after I ate most of it
                          Ditto on the cornbread and butter
                              Suzette talking while Betty was signing her book.

Thanks to Suzette there were lots of question and since there were over 30 people packed into the restaurant, a real feeling of intimacy and conviviality.  I enjoyed the evening and it seemed others did also.

Bon Appetit

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

July 18, 2017 .lunch – PPI Chirashi. Dinner – Poached Cod in a Lobster Cream Sauce over a bed of steamed asparagus

July 18, 2017 .lunch – PPI Chirashi. Dinner – Poached Cod in a Lobster Cream Sauce over a bed of steamed asparagus

I ate granola with milk, yogurt and green grapes for breakfast and then we rode to Rio Bravo and back at a pretty fast pace.  We seem to be getting into better physical shape.

Talking about physical shape I probably gained weight today, because I ate the PPI Chirashi from yesterday.  This was the first large helping of white rice I have eaten in over a month.  It was mixed in with the flying fish eggs, seaweed salad, squid salad and daikon threads.  I ate it with pieces of salmon, yellow tail, tuna, and octopus and drank green tea.

Then I went to bed but was awakened by a call from a lawyer in the LRG water case.

After the call I did some work and then drove to the bank and then to Sprouts Farm Market on Lomas near San Mateo to shop.  Suzette said to get some cod if possible and there was cod for $7.99//lb. so I bought a piece plus six sea scallops at $14.99/lb. I then bought a 1 lb. box of mushrooms for $3.49, milk for $2.19/gallon, two 18 oz containers of blueberries for $1.98 each, a head of celery for $.98, cherries for $1.98/lb. and salted roasted pistachios for $5.99/lb.

I drove home and Suzette had just arrived.  We ate a bowl of the roasted pistachios and discussed dinner.  She decided to poach the cod and serve it on a bed of asparagus with a lobster cream sauce, which she referred to as gumbo, because she made a cream sauce with a roux.

I found a bottle of Guy de Mousset 2016 Cotes Du Rhone Rose’ that I wanted to try.  I picked the meat of the lobster that we had cooked and placed it in a small bowl in the fridge because dinner was soon ready.  Suzette poached the cod in PPI lobster stock and then added some of the fish poaching medium to a roux she made with flour and butter  and then made a cream sauce by adding some of the poaching medium to which she added the PPI broccoli and cauliflower in cream sauce that we made Saturday evening.  The result was a cream sauce bordering on a cream soup covering the poached cod and asparagus.  Suzette was kind enough to add to my dish the PPI lobster claw meat and clam and broccoli and cauliflower in cream sauce that I did not finish on Saturday evening.

I poured glasses of Rose’ with ice to chill it.  The 2016 rose’ was exceedingly fresh and had lots of floral overtones.  We loved it and drank the entire bottle.  I added 1 to 2 T. of sherry to the soup and ate the rest of the cod and sauce in a second bowl of the fish soup.

I liked the soup better with sherry, but both renditions were great.

Bon Appetit