Nature…Ally

INtrigue INsider will be back next Thursday but for now we’ve decided to take a break and go horseback riding outside Santa Fe, N.M.

One of these lucky 3 will take me for a ride.
One of these lucky three will get to take me for a ride.

This one looks just like my type:

You're not looking at me are you?
You’re not looking at me are you? 
That was one hell of a ride!
That was one hell of a ride!

Style & Substance – the TAO of TAOS

Artful Logo
Artful Logo

Art 6Where ART meets ARchitecTure!  These images will speak for themselves.  All the art pieces with the exception of woman wearing turquoise are from the “Acuarelas Studio Gallery by Leandro M. Rodriguez – painter/scupter.

One of the many talented artists of New Mexico located in Taos.Art 4

Rodriquez
by Rodriquez
Typical Adobe Structure
Typical Adobe Structure
Rodriquez
by the artist known as  Rodriguez.
Frieda Kalho by Rodriquez
Frida Kahlo by Rodriquez.
Beautiful Woman
Beautiful Woman – seen in the lobby of La Fonda Hotel.
Mural on Building
Mural on Building.
Sculpture outside a Gallery
Sculpture outside a Gallery.
Half of a Horse Mural on Building
Half of a Horse Mural on Building.
Other half of a horse mural on building.
Other half of a horse mural on building.

www.acuarelassg.com

Photos: d. king

 

Simple & Satisfying – Red Chile Sauce

Basic Red Chile Sauce is one of the staple dishes of New Mexican Cuisine and can be used on lots of different dishes like enchiladas, burritos, tamales, etc.red chile sauce  You can use it to season beef, chicken or fish for soft tacos or even in homemade chili.

This is from the Santa Fe School of Cooking.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely diced onion
2-3 t minced garlic
2 T all purpose flour
1/2 cup pure ground New Mexican red chile powder
2 1/2 cups water or chicken stock
1 t Mexican oregano
1/2 t freshly ground cumin seed
salt to taste
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and saute the onion for 3 to 4 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and saute 2 minutes more. Stir in the flour, the chile and slowly add the water (chicken stock), whisking to break up any lumps in the chile. Add the oregano and the cumin, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened slightly. Season with salt to taste. Optional: freshly ground coriander seed. Makes about 3 cups
*you can find Mexican Oregano (a little different than regular) at your local specialty market like Granville Island, etc.
For the best authentic Mexican food – Guadalajara Grill (today for lunch):
I had the grilled wild caught salmon with grilled veggies, rice, + guacamole. Homemade corn tortillas on the side.
I had the spicy grilled wild caught salmon with perfectly grilled veggies, rice + guacamole. Homemade soft corn tortillas on the side.  Excellent.
Don ordered the grilled whole Tilapia.
Don ordered the grilled whole Tilapia.  The best since having it in Africa.  Skins for JiaJia.

Travel: Santa Fe

Route 66This is my second visit to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  It has a very serene and spiritual nature. Native Market

This city is a mecca for arts and culture.  I love the rich history which melds Hispanic, Anglo and Native American influences which are apparent in everything from the architecture to the food & the art.

Beautiful Beaded Bangles
Beautiful Beaded Bangles + way more

Today we spent the whole day wandering around the old Santa Fe Plaza with the outdoor art market and countless little art galleries, shops and restaurants.This is also considered a foodie paradise. store

For exercise you can bike and hike all year round and also there’s skiing a short distance away from Thanksgiving through Easter.

I’m in love with the Adobe style ArchitectureSanta Fe house 3…..

GallerySanta Fe houseSanta Fe house 2House 4Gallery 2Photos: d. king

Quotes on Getting Dressed

When in doubt, wear red.  ~Bill Blass

betsey

I have often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity – all I hope for in my clothes.  Yves Saint Laurent

“It’s a new era in fashion – there are no rules. It’s all about the individual and personal style, wearing high-end, low-end, classic labels, and up-and-coming designers all together.”

Alexander McQueen

“One is never over-dressed or underdressed with a Little Black Dress.” — Karl Lagerfeld

“The most important thing to remember is that you can wear all the greatest clothes and all the greatest shoes, but you’ve got to have a good spirit on the inside. That’s what’s really going to make you look like you’re ready to rock the world.” — Alicia Keys

 

B Well – with Alcohol

Booze.  How much is too much? 

It seems that sticking with Tequila is the trick!
It seems that sticking with Tequila is the trick!

This posting came about after reading an entertaining article called “A life well lived includes the luxury of a perfectly poured cocktail” by Christine Lennon.  Of course it attracted my attention.  I like to live well.

Lennon quit her daily drinking (although never stating it was a problem) when she was pregnant with twins.  But then when they got a bit older & she knew they were asleep she transformed from mommy into mixologist.  How better a way to handle twins or kids in general I thought.  Lennon says…

“I love a Dark & Stormy in the summer, a crisp white wine after the beach, a glass of Tempranillo when there’s a steak on the grill and, as the holidays approach, a good whiskey on the rocks.  I rarely drink in daylight, unless the occasion calls for it, or it’s summer, or it’s someone’s birthday (and hey, isn’t it always someone’s birthday?).  I only have one, most of the time, unless I’m out, or in with company, or it’s Christmas, or I just had an ass-kicking kind of day.  I’m not going to sugar coat it:  A single drink before dinner, while I’m making dinner, or after dinner makes me a happier person.  And frankly, a reposado tequila on the rocks with lime makes me a superhero.  I’m not an alcoholic.  I’ve seen that up close, and I know that what I’m doing bears little resemblance.  But that doesn’t keep me from wondering if I’m drifting into some kind of undefined, gray area of casual dependency.  Even my delightfully childless friends who don’t have to face a five-year-old at 6 A.M. are beginning to question if drinking is the best idea:  Is it compromising their performance at work, their future as a size 6, the youth of their skin?  What are the long-term effects of this indulgence?

“It’s hard to say with any certainty how much is too much, because each individual metabolizes alcohol differently,” says New York internist Frank Lipman, a specialist in integrative medicine.  Depending on which research you read, moderate drinking may lower cholesterol levels, sink blood pressure, lower your risk of stroke, and increase bone density post-menopause.

For women, moderate means up to one drink per day; low-risk drinking, meaning the person imbibing is less likely to develop alcohol dependency, can be categorized by no more than three drinks in one day, and no more than seven in one week.  The bad news:  Studies show that regular drinking is linked to breast cancer because alcohol can tinker, unfavourably, with estrogen levels (with the exceptiion of tequila).  Alcohol can also inhibit your absorption of nutrients.  One study suggests that heavy drinking rewires brain circuitry, making people more sensitive to stress.

So are there ways to drink healthily and well?  Hopefully rumors still circulate about an active ingredient in milk thistle, though proof remains elusive.  “We know that it supports liver function, and the liver metabolizes alcohol.  So it couldn’t hurt,” says Lipman, who also advises drinking water in between cocktails and eating beforehand.  “And, anecdotally, I’ve found that evening primrose oil capsules help, both to coat the stomach and to soothe the liver.”

Finally this from Lennon:  “In defense of my drinking, it’s my last remaining vice, or at least my last remaining regular vice, or my last remaining regular vice suitable for print.  For the moment, I don’t see any reason to stop.  I have a lot to celebrate, a lot of people who want to celebrate with me, and the number of a reliable car programmed into my phone.  And if my bones are denser when I’m a sassy old lady as a result of all this celebrating, I’ll drink to that.”

I want to be a SKINNY girl!
I want to be a SKINNY girl – for several different reasons!
Also…
**Don’t miss listening to “Transforming Health” with host Brad King for the most evocative and informative up-to-the-minute interviews with leading health professionals – Live every Wednesday @ 12PM-PST/3PM-EST on VoiceAmerica.com – #1 internet radio station in North America.
Here’s the link: http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/1686/transforming-health

style & design – are we taking FUR too FAR?

The French luxury house of Céline has always been synonymous with class and quality.  Then I came across this ad in “W” from the spring 2013 collection.Wordpress

While we always wish for designers to make shoes that are both fashionable and comfortable, has Phoebe Philo (designer for the house) taken things too far?

For a fashion show which entertains fun, shock and presentation to get the brands basic message across, I can understand these furry Birkenstock like sandals and slingbacks.  However they look like hippie shoes with furry blue and white trim. Sure, they are probably heaven for our feet, but would you ever actually wear them?

And, while the spring pumps are a more traditional silhouette, who will buy these shoes?  *I cannot imagine where I’d wear them – maybe by the pool if I had one.

Hmm...but they do look comfy.
Hmm…but they do look comfy.

Here’s someone else’s take:  If Big Bird and Elmo were cross-dressers and were looking for shoes to match their feathers and fur – perfection!  Hey Céline, I’m still a fan but I’ll pass on the shoes for now.  The bags…now that’s another story!

*Says the same girl who recently purchased these sensible “go with anything” turquoise suede shoes.

but Please don't step on them!
but Please don’t step on them!

Simply Satisfying – Vadouvan Curry Shrimp

shrimp curryVadouvan is a French-Indian spice mix that gives this dish a sophisticated depth of flavour.  I added scallops to the pot but if you don’t eat shell fish then you can use any firm white fish.  It will taste equally as delicious.  Makes 6 servings.

You can try this recipe once and then adjust spices to taste.  I tend to add a bit more.  It may seem like a lot of ingredients but you’ll need them because once you make this you’ll be making it again.

Recipe

½ tsp. ground cumin

½ tsp. ground cardamom

½ tsp. ground mustard

1/3 tsp. tumeric

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

½ tsp. ground fenugreek (optional)

1 ½ tsp. thinly sliced fresh curry leaves *(optional)

*(I substituted with a bit of madras curry powder)

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

4 large shallots, thinly sliced lengthwise

6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced lengthwise

¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

24 large shrimp (about 1 ¼ lbs.) shelled and deveined.

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1 tsp. yellow mustard seeds, toasted for garnish (optional)

lime wedges for serving.

In a small bowl, combine cumin, cardamom, ground mustard, tumeric, and red pepper flakes.  Add curry leaves (or curry powder instead) and fenugreek, if using.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften, about 2 minutes.  Add 2 Tbsp. water, cover, and reduce heat to low, stirring a few times, until golden brown and very soft, about 10 minutes more.  Add ¼ tsp. salt and 1 tsp. spice mixture and cook over medium heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Scrape mixture into a medium bowl.  Return skillet to stove.

Add butter to skillet and cook over medium heat until starting to brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add shrimp (or whatever white fish you’re using) in an even layer and season with ¼ tsp. salt.  Cook over medium heat until shrimp start to curl, about 1 minute per side.  Sprinkle with 2 tsp. spice mixture and continue to cook, stirring, until fragrant and shrimp are almost cooked through, about 2 minutes more.  Stir in shallot-garlic mixture and lime juice and simmer until heated through, about 1 minute more.  Season with remaining ¼ tsp. salt.

Spoon shallot-garlic mixture onto 6 small plates.  Add 4 shrimp to each plate and scatter on top scallions and toasted mustard seeds, if using.  Serve with lime wedges.

Sides: serve with basmati rice and a green veggie like French cut string beans or asparagus.scallop and shrimp