Monday, March 10, 2014

Enchanted with New Mexico

Greetings from the "Land of Enchantment"!  This week we say so long to the Sunshine State and head back back out west for a New Mexican adventure.

After a fabulously relaxing weekend in Michigan City, Indiana gambling and shopping with my mom and sisters, I'm back in Farmington and ready for another crazy week.

As large of a state in area as New Mexico is in area (5th in the nation)it is also the state with the smallest population (it averages 15 people per square mile).  I was a bit concerned I was going to find enough materials to share with my Dynamic Duo, but not to worry - a bit of research found plenty of interesting New Mexico facts, figures and stories to share.

Tonight as we put up the New Mexico wall we talked about everything from the International Hot Air Balloon Festival held annually in Albuquerque (check back Wednesday when we make our own hot air balloons!) to the unique landscape that inspired the incomparable Georgia O'Keeffe and provided a backdrop for the testing of the first Atomic Bomb.   And we of course had to discuss the possibility of aliens in Roswell.  The kids are convinced they must have been real!  We also dabbled into a little bit of history to discuss the demise of Billy the Kid and the unique Native American villages known as pueblos, or which 19 are still in existence.  So like I said, no shortage of interesting information out of the 47th state to join our union.

Of course our trip to New Mexico this week wouldn't be complete without trying out some of the culinary highlights that make the state unique.  The State Question (Yes, they state has an official question!) is "Red or Green?"  At any authentic New Mexican restaurant when your server asks you this question what they mean is do you want red or green chile sauce on top of your entree.  "Christmas" (a combination!) is also a perfectly acceptable answer.

But more on chiles tomorrow, tonight we tied out some Mini Chicken Empanadas.  These were little pockets of yummy goodness stuffed full of chicken, cheese and cream cheese contained in a pie crust like shell.  According to my cookbook, making empanadas is a holiday tradition at El Santurio de Cimayo, which showcases luminarias, or farolitos which are a beloved Christmastime symbol in New Mexico.

And you know we had to do dessert, too!  I broke out my mini deep fryer to make up a great New Mexico treat - Cherry Pie Chimis! Honestly, it doesn't get much easier than this - a flour tortilla filled with cherry pie filling and deep fried to perfection.  My crew loved them!  They say bring on more New Mexico cuisine for sure!

It's otherwise been a fairly normal Monday of me trying to get things 'back to normal' after being gone and trying to start to think about heading out again on Friday.  This coming weekend all four of us are on our way to Rockford some time with Grandpa Gary, Uncle Keith, Aunt Sally and Grandma Minna.  The craziness never quits around here, I swear!  So I'm off for now, but like I said, check in tomorrow for some red enchiladas and the "we've been there" state (and maybe some New Mexico mail if it makes it).  Until then...

New Mexico Fun Fact of the Day: Lakes and Rivers make up only .002% of the state's total surface area. The lowest water-to-land ratio of all 50 states. Most of New Mexico's lakes are man-made reservoirs. A dam on the Rio Grande formed the Elephant Butte Reservoir the state's largest lake.

This is for Aunt Shell.  When we go grocery shopping, providing she's being a good helper, I let Mikayla pick one 'treat' (something not on the the list) every week.  When she saw these she HAD to have them just to she could send a picture to Aunt Shell of them

The box even comes with a handy Minion guide ;-)

The Bean got out her Doc McStuffin's puzzle today without any prompting and decided she was going to do it all on her own.  

Which she did!  Without ANY help at all!  I was so proud of her :)

This is the sun catcher Kayla made with Grant over the weekend to wrap up Florida week

Noah's sun catcher (I was delighted that the weather decided to co-operate today - what a gorgeous day it was!)

While the Kristi was away, Grant pretty much wrapped up the bathroom project.  Yay!  New mirror hung, new lights installed, we're a towel rack and some possible molding away from being finished :)

Mini Chicken Empanadas, Mexican rice and corn with some fresh strawberries tonight

Cherry Pie Chimi!

Our New Mexico Wall is up!

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