Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Taos A to Z Excerpt: Serape

A long blanket-like shawl, often brightly colored and fringed at the ends, worn especially by Mexican and Southwest Indian men. ~Aimee

Read more about Taos, Santa Fe, and Northern New Mexico on Taos A to Z

Monday, October 24, 2011

Recipe of the Month: Pumpkin Empanadas


For the Filling:
1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger (optional)
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)

For the Dough:

1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 (1/2-oz.) packages dry yeast (4-1/2 teaspoons)
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups flour, divided in half
3/4 cup vegetable shortening


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix filling ingredients together and set aside.

Combine water, sugar, salt, yeast, baking powder, and cinnamon. Using an electric mixer, gradually blend in half of the flour. Add shortening and mix, then gradually blend in remaining flour.

Slap the dough balls between the palms of your well-floured hands until somewhat flattened, then roll out on a floured surface into circles approximately 4 inches in diameter and 1/8-inch thick. Place about 1-1/2 tbsp. of pumpkin filling in the center of each circle, fold over and seal the edges.

Bake on a greased cookie sheet until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes (watch carefully as they can burn quickly).


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Museums of Taos, New Mexico: A Taos Unlimited Blog Series, Part 5

This is the fifth in a series of blog entries about the museums in Taos and the surrounding area.

The Harwood Museum of Art (University of New Mexico)
The second oldest art museum in the state was founded by Elizabeth Harwood in 1923 in memory of her husband, Burt. Operated by the University of New Mexico, the collection celebrates the rich multicultural heritage of the community and commemorates Taos’ role in the development of seminal American art. Seven galleries display works from the 19th century to the present, including paintings by world-renowned artist Agnes Martin. Changing exhibits feature contemporary works by artists from Taos and elsewhere.

To read about the other museums in Taos, New Mexico, visit the Museums section on Taos Unlimited

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Taos A to Z Excerpt: Fringe

Definition: “An ornamental border of threads left loose or formed into tassels or twists, used to edge clothing or material.” Fringe originates in the ends of the warp, projecting beyond the woven fabric, but many times it is made separately and sewn on, consisting sometimes of projecting ends, twisted or plaited together, and sometimes of loose threads of wool, silk, and linen; or in the case of Western wear, narrow strips of leather. Commonly found on Western-style leather coats, jackets, pants, boots, and handbags, fringe adds that extra special “cowboy” touch to both vintage and contemporary Southwestern apparel. ~Jean

Read more about Taos, Santa Fe, and Northern New Mexico on Taos A to Z

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tomorrow is... National Taco Day

I love tacos, and tomorrow is National Taco Day. Lots of fast food and eat in restaurants give away free tacos to celebrate and call attention to this tasty  and classic Mexican food treat.

Most people who celebrate this holiday do so by hosting taco parties or setting up taco building buffets for their friends and family.

What is a taco?
A taco is a traditional Mexican dish composed of a maize or wheat tortilla folded or rolled around a filling. The fact that a taco can be filled with practically any meat, fish, shellfish, vegetable, and cheese allows for great versatility and variety. A taco is generally eaten out of hand, without the aid of utensils, and is often accompanied by a garnish such as salsa and vegetables like onion, cabbage, tomato, and lettuce.

Taco History
The taco predates the arrival of Europeans in Mexico. There is anthropological evidence that the indigenous people living in the lake region of the Valley of Mexico traditionally ate tacos filled with small fish. Writing at the time of the Spanish conquistadors, Bernal Diaz del Castillo documented the first taco feast enjoyed by Europeans which Hernan Cortes arranged for his captains in Coyoacan. Note, however, that the native Nahuatl name for the flat corn bread used was “tlaxcalli.” The Spanish give it the name “tortilla.”

So get out there and enjoy some tacos!