Merry Christmas!

Ristras New MexicoA quick note to wish everyone a very happy Christmas! I’m home with the fam in New Mexico,which is packed with southwestern decorations, like the dried chili ristras above, at my best friend’s house. Outside, the luminarias are glowing — brown paper bags that line the streets (including ours, and our driveway) with a lit candle in each. Inside, the cookie jars are filled with Mom’s homemade creations. Our dinners are always a mix of Italian traditions and New Mexican specialities, such as every Italian cold cut and cheese you can imagine, with spicy Sadie’s salsa and homemade guacamole on the side. I love it.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Good New Mexican Food Was Worth Risking My Life, Quince Jerome

Quince JeromeI lived in New Mexico for only two years, although now that I’ve been visiting there for more than half my life, I consider it home. But two years or not, it was long enough to make me a food snob when it comes to the food. Ask anyone who’s put in any time in the “505”: We take our green chile VERY seriously. The first time I brought a jar home to a friend in NYC, I was horrified when I learned later that it had been poured into a bowl, mistaken for the sort of chile you eat at a football game. The New Mexican chile is an obsession put on everything from pizza at Dion’s to cheeseburgers, even at McDonald’s and Dairy Queen. But I digress. During a recent American Southwest roadtrip with my friend Diana, we received a restaurant recommendation for a good New Mexican restaurant called Quince (Jerome, Arizona( outside of Sedona, where we staying. What we didn’t know what was that the road to Jerome was a death-defying twist of asphalt heading straight up.

For New Mexican food, it was worth it.

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