My sweetie and I went for a hike this morning. The weather was perfect, and we had a great time.
We headed over to trailhead 3 in the Eldorado Community Preserve, which is four-thousand acres of open space running along Galisteo Creek down toward Lamy, between Ojo de la Vaca Road and US 285.
Among the views were:
Looking southwest to the Ortiz Mountains.
Looking east, with I-25 snaking up towards Glorieta
The Apache Canyon Railroad Bridge, where the A. T. & SF railroad crosses Galisteo Creek, and which is marked in yellow on the map at the top of this page.
We hiked for a total of nearly three miles, due to taking a wrong turn and having to double-back, and got up to 7200 feet in altitude (we started around 6840 feet). It took us a little over 2 hours, with plenty of stops, and it was beautiful weather for a hike this morning.
Made these after all our stuff was packed for our move to Santa Fe. All you need is a knife & cutting board, a cast iron skillet, and one tin of spice. And the recipe cleaned up the food we had left in the fridge.
2 pork chops
1 Honeycrisp Apple
12 seedless grapes
½ tbsp Chinese five spice
½ tsp flour
Core apple, and chop it up. Leave the skin on if you’re lazy.
Chop the grapes into halves or quarters.
Simmer apples and grapes with a little water until they go mushy. About 15 minutes. You’re making a quick applesauce.
Add the Chinese five spice and continue to simmer until you have a nice sauce. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl (or ziploc bag)
Use the (warm) sauce to marinate the pork chops for about 15 minutes.
Put the sauce and chops into the skillet and cook about 7 minutes per side on low heat. Add a little water if the sauce looks to be drying up.
Remove the chops from the sauce and plate. Make a pan gravy using a little water and flour.
Pairs nicely with grits if you have them. Also takes about the same total amount of time to cook as quick grits.
Our house finches are a source of amusement most mornings.
They’re nesting, so often the female is inside the birdhouse, while the male is out standing guard, keeping an eye out for other birds or predators.
And sometimes he sits and sings to us. He can be pretty loud some mornings.
They’ve also learned a few tricks this year, like the fact that the ant trap above the hummingbird feeder is a good source of water, and sometimes a tasty ant snack. And if I don’t screw the feeder together quite straight, they can even get a drink of sugar-water from the feeder. I figure that’s okay, since we don’t have a lot of hummingbirds competing with them this year.
Mix flour, salt and pepper in a bowl big enough to dredge the chicken breasts in.
Heat a large skillet with 2T of olive oil over medium heat.
Dredge the chicken, one cutlet at a time, and place into the pan. Cook 4 minutes on each side, until golden brown and delicious. Note that depending on the size of your pan, you may need to cook the chicken in two batches.
Remove the chicken and set aside on a plate.
Add 1T olive oil to the pan and get it warm.
Lower the heat to medium-low.
Add the onion, sauté until translucent (3-4 minutes).
Add the garlic and sauté until soft (a minute or two).
Add the chicken broth and lemon juice, increase the heat to medium-high until the broth comes to a boil, then return it to medium-low and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir enough to get any fond loose from the bottom of the pan.
Stir in the coconut cream and Dijon mustard, and 2T of the dredging flour.
Stir to make a thin gravy-like consistency (it’ll thicken as it cooks).
Add in the capers and chicken and return to a simmer until the sauce is a good thickness.
Remove from heat and serve over noodles, rice pilaf, or couscous.
Grate some Parmesan cheese over the plate if you like. It’s not needed, but it’s good.
We had some visitors in our yard this morning, and they looked kinda cute. Only managed to get a photo of one of them, though. But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen them, so hopefully I’ll get another chance.