Southwestern Roasted Lamb Breast

Monica King here with a recipe for lamb, a Southwest staple for several centuries. Lamb has been a staple in my family for ages, indeed, it replaced many turkeys on the holiday tables. Though I do not raise any on my farm (yet) I always look for US grown cuts at my local grocery store. If you are new to lamb I recommend avoiding lamb raised in New Zealand or Australia because it has a stronger mutton flavor. Sheep in the New World The Southwest is no stranger to domesticated […]

Ephedra – A Global Native Herb

Some of our native plants, like Ephedra, are found around the world. Everywhere that Ephedra occurs, Native peoples have found similar uses for it. Prehistoric Plant Ephedra is a fascinating plant that has been on earth since before plants had figured out how to make leaves, not to mention flowers. As a botanist I admire the plant for many technical reasons, and I won’t bore you with details but this unique plant was around LONG before dinosaurs roamed the earth. In fact, there is some evidence that dinosaurs fed on […]

Egg Salad for National Egg Month

May is National Egg Month – so let’s celebrate! You could make migas (here), but I am thinking of something I don’t have to cook – that is if I have hard boiled eggs on hand. Why celebrate National Egg Month in May and not March or April with Easter and Passover and their eggy traditions? Not sure. Maybe because May is when the chickens (and other domestic fowl) really start laying again. Even if you don’t have chickens, take advantage of the low egg prices this month. Make Eggs […]

Savor Oregano in Many Ways

Oregano is a wonderful herb, with many uses – culinary, medicinal, ornamental, and aesthetic.  And it grows well in the Southwest. Origins From the arid mountains of the eastern Mediterranean, including present day Greece and Turkey, oregano grows well here in the Southwest forming a lovely low mounding landscape plant with a little added water. It is planted outside the fence in my landscape and the javelina, rabbits and other critters all leave it alone. Harvest Oregano Like many herbs, the best time to harvest oregano is just before it […]

Liqueurs and Cordials – Savor the Flavor of the Southwest

In honor of World Absinthe Day (March 5) we are posting how to make your own absinthe as well as other liqueurs and cordials. We do urge you to be careful with your alcohol, and have a safety page on alcohol – here. This post includes affiliate links.  The Horticulture Therapy non-profit Tierra del Sol Institute will get a few pennies at no additional cost to you if you use the links. Herbal Liqueurs In Europe, liqueurs started as medicinal beverages made with herbs and alcohol. Popular in 17th century […]

Beef is Best Done Low & Slow

An inexpensive cut of beef can be turned into a tender and tasty meal when you take time to cook it low and slow. Take Your Time to Make This Beef Uncle Smokey here to tell you about one of my favorite weekend recipes. It starts Friday morning before I head out to work – I take a chunk of beef (generally a London broil) out of the freezer to thaw. Friday evening I add a rub or marinade to the beef and let it sit overnight (in the fridge) […]

Savory Chicken with Lemon Pepper Mexican Oregano Sauce

Uncle Smokey here with an indoors recipe – because it is too hot out at dinnertime to use the grill. I use fresh and dried herbs plus lemon – all harvested from my own acre – but you can use store bought. The “cover” image is “Midnight Snack” cherry tomatoes which grow very well here and taste great in this dish.  In 2017 they were an All-America Selections (.org) winner for flavor, ease of growth, and ample production.  Photo courtesy of AAS. Local Products If you have it – Mexican […]

Not All Sage Is

With apologies to English teachers everywhere, I hope I caught your attention with the title. I used it to call attention to the fact that while many plants are called “sage,” only some of them should be used for food or culinary purposes. What is in a Name? The culinary sage you purchase in the store is Salvia officinalis. The name “officinalis” means that it was once considered the medicinal sage, not the “official” sage. The word officinalis is Latin for “of or belonging to an officina.” An officina was […]