Saturday, July 11, 2015

Santa Fe - Gifts & Good Food (Christmas Style)

During our time in Santa Fe, I had very short list of what I wanted to see and what I wanted to bring home. I wanted to get a sterling silver and turquoise thunderbird necklace for Ellie, freshly roasted chiles for Ethan and some piece of nice sterling silver jewelry for myself. Larr did not want me to bring anything home for him. I thought that would all be pretty easy, but it was not.
The thunderbirds were very difficult to located, and when we did, they were usually too large for my petite girl. Luckily I had her pin some examples of what she likes in Pinterest; that gave me confidence to pick out a few things for her. We looked at everything the people on the plaza had to offer, but none of it fit the bill. We looked in the shops in the various museum shops and clothing shops near the plaza - nothing. Then we headed up Canyon Road, home of a lot of galleries and that is where I had luck. I found earrings for myself and a necklace, as well as two pairs of earrings for Ellie - all at excellent prices. It was at the Silver Sun, and I was so thankful to have found great stuff! I also picked up some funny skeleton earrings for both of us, as well as some bracelets made of tiny springs.

It turns out that it is not yet the season for roasted chiles, so I bought Ethan a really cool tea cup with a large tea strainer (so that the tea leaves are not crowded, thus producing better tea) and some chocolates. I picked up some white chocolate, almonds, pinon nuts, and lavender bark that we will share while having tea some time soon. Those ended up being good, too. He likes them.

Natalie and I also enjoyed the Kakawa Chocolate House where we sipped on small batch, hand made chocolate drinks and candies. I brought home a large pinon nut chocolate covered caramel, a green chile chocolate caramel, a pecan and bourbon chocolate caramel, a few dark chocolate, almond and sea salt discs, as well as a few milk chocolate and peanut discs. I was going to serve them with the fancy Taco meal I made, but by the time we were to the end of the meal, everyone was too full, even for tastes of different chocolates - imagine that!
One evening we had a really tasty meal at Casa Chimayo where I had a soft chile rellenos Christmas style, meaning that it was smothered with both red and green chile. I think that might be my new favorite way to have such meals. The food was excellent, especially the guacamole which had just the right amount of chunk to it. This place will be on my visit again list.
As we were leaving, we were treated to a dramatic sky, complete with lightening in the distance. When I saw the scene above, I knew that I would have to paint it. I took a long exposure shot while hand holding the camera which is why it is not perfectly in focus. It is good enough to inspire me to make art.
La Choza was absolutely the best meal we had during our entire trip. It is a bit off the beaten path, and there is not a ton of parking, but it is totally worth the effort.

On the way home, we made a point of eating at Maria's as it was on several go-to lists. It was good, and the people were nice, but it was not as good as the other two I just reviewed.

If you like eating at the local, hole-in-the-wall places, like Natalie and I do, then I think this is a good start for you.

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