Friday, March 21, 2014

Taos Pizza Out Back

Taos Pizza Out Back

Taos Pizza Out Back is one short block from my house. This is a really good thing because I can walk over whenever I crave pizza. And, because I can smell the dough baking each morning, this is a frequent occurrence. The pizza is amazing but so is everything else on the menu. The slices are huge!! (I promise you won't need more than one), the salads are delicious with an impossibly good pesto dressing, and perfect pasta is always on the menu. The ingredients are local and organic and the atmosphere is Taos cool, Taos funky. Really a perfect place for lunch or dinner.



Recently Curbed Ski voted Taos Pizza Out Back one of the Top 14 Best Ski Town Pizza restaurants in the country. They said:
"Opened in 1999, Taos Pizza Out Back has impressed everyone from locals to the New York Times, so it's no surprise it's a fav after skiing. The slices are huge and the pesto salad dressing will keep you coming back for more."

Read the entire article at Best Ski Town Pizza: Because Pow and Pies Just Go Together

Taos Pizza Out Back Sign

Here are sixteen reasons to try Pizza Out Back. My favorites are The Taos, Greek and Southwest. The Shredder and Ranchero are family favorites (I am talking to you Peter and Eric) but, trust me, you can't go wrong. And, whatever you do, do not skip the salad...with the aforementioned pesto dressing. If you are like me you will probably order some of the dressing to take home! Check out the menu for all the offerings.


OUTBACK SPECIALTY PIZZAS:
Slice (huge)12," serves 2-314," serves 3-416," serves 4-5
THE TAOS - Mushrooms, black olives, black beans (yup!), onions, green chile:
$6.95$17.95$20.95$23.95
THE VEGGIE - Mushrooms, black or green olives, onions, bell peppers; we’ll make reasonable substitutions:
$6.95$16.95$19.95$22.95
CARNIVORE SPECIAL – Any FOUR of the following meats: Italian sausage, pepperoni, genoa salami, Canadian bacon, copocollo, marinated chicken breast:
$8.95$21.95$24.95$27.95
SANDY'S SPECIAL - Marinated strips of chicken breast, bell peppers, pineapple, and a rich bar-b-cue sauce in place of traditional pizza sauce:
$7.95$18.95$21.95$24.95
PIZZA VERA CRUZ (or Pierre’s Pizza) - Marinated chicken breast, bell peppers, onions, garlic, in a honey chipotle chile sauce, covered with smoked mozzarella:
$8.95$21.95$24.95$27.95
WHITE PIZZA - Ricotta, fresh tomato, fresh basil, parmesan, mozzarella-no sauce:
$6.95$17.95$20.95$23.95
GREEK PIZZA - Fresh spinach, feta cheese, fresh basil, Kalamata olives, roasted garlic, fresh tomatoes:
$7.95$20.95$23.95$26.95
PIZZA PRIMAVERA - Mushrooms, artichoke hearts, black or green olives (or both), sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, toasted walnuts:
$8.95$22.95$25.95$28.95
PIZZA FLORENTINE - Fresh spinach, fresh basil, sun-dried tomatoes, chicken breast, mushrooms, capers, garlic - all sautéed in white wine:
$8.95$22.95$25.95$28.95
THE SHREDDER - Smoked mozzarella, fresh tomato, green chile, mushrooms, choice of meat, topped with house dressing:
$7.95$20.95$23.95$26.95
VINNIE'S SPECIAL - Basil pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, gorgonzola:
$6.95$16.95$19.95$22.95
PROVENÇALE - Basil pesto, Kalamata olives, feta, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh thyme, fresh oregano-no sauce
$8.95$21.95$24.95$27.95
THE ALFREDO - Marinated Chicken breast, green chile, mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, & alfredo sauce:
$8.95$20.95$23.95$26.95
RANCHERO - Italian sausage, sun-dried tomatos, smoked Mozzarella, green chile, red onions
$7.95$20.95$23.95$26.95
SOUTHWEST - Basil pesto, feta, green chile, smoked Mozarella, roasted garlic, tomatos-no sauce:
$7.95$20.95$23.95$26.95
THE BOTTOM LINE - Mushrooms, black or green olives, bell peppers, fresh tomato, onion, pepperoni, Italian sausage:
$7.95$20.95$23.95$26.95


712 Paseo del Pueblo Norte
Taos, New Mexico 87571

(across from north branch of Centinel Bank)
575 758 3112 Call for to-go orders.

Enjoy!
My best,
diane
March 21, 2014

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Taos Shortz Film Fest

Anna Cosentine
Today is the first day of the 2014 Taos Shortz Film Fest. From their website:

Who Are We??!

 

Taos Shortz Film Festival

 Mission Statement:
We are a forum that unites short films and filmmakers with the community,
with the belief that films have the ability to change peoples lives.

Vision Statement:

Our festival strives to exceed in quality.
We select short films that have compelling and thought provoking subject matter and are of a technical excellence


Taos Shortz Film Fest 2014
4 Days ... 111 Films ... 22 Countries
Come join the hottest shorts film fest in the country.
Taos Shortz is dedicated to featuring quality juried short films from around the globe
and we invite you to bring your adventure of creativity to our film fest.

Take the opportunity to strut your stuff amidst the mountains and mesas of Taos, New Mexico
The Taos Shortz Film Fest continues to bring global world class cinema to the community and to provide filmmakers with a venue to showcase their work, participate in workshops, panels, and network with fellow filmmakers, media companies, producers and distributors.
Do you have a tale to tell? A secret to reveal?
A truth that screams to be heard? If you think you have what it takes...


header

Ticket info is as follows:
TICKETS! 
     
    BUY EARLY! Tickets Are Available Locally at FX-18 and La Bodega Fresca 
    
 
Taos Hmmmm Pass
(Full Festival Pass)
$111.00
 Access to All Taos Shortz Programs with priority seating, Entrance to all parties, filmmakers lounge, drink specials and discounts, and all around VIP treatment. Only Available On-Line 
     
   
Taos Hmmmm Pass
 
 
 
 
Individual Tickets
prices vary per program
$5, $8, $10, $12, $15
 

     
 Program 1 LOCALSTaoseños Locals$5 
     
 Program 2Global Shortz$10 
     
 Program 3Emerging Filmmakers$10
     
 Program 4Global Shortz$12 
     
 Program 5Global Shortz$15 
     
 Program 6Freak fest$10 
     
 Program 7Family Friendly$10 
     
 Program 8Global Shortz$10 
     
 Program 9Global Shortz$12 
     
 Program 10Global Shortz$15 
     
 Program 11Art Scapes$10 
     
 Program 12Tamalewood Zia Showcase$12 
     
 Best Of The FestAwards Ceremony$15 







 
We are going to see as many of the films as possible. I can't wait to tell you all about the
experience.
If you are in or near Taos this weekend, this is the place to be. If not, start making your
plans for next year's film fest. For movie schedules, times and locations, please visit
the website.

My best,
diane
March 20, 2014

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring Planting in Taos


Happy Spring!

I received the following email today from Lettuce Grow Farmsa family operated farm on 2.25 acres located in El Prado, New Mexico. They are dedicated to saving and selling open-pollinated (reproduce true to form) heirloom seeds. (handed down for generations) :

"Hello and Happy Spring!

We started selling heirloom, open pollinated seeds a few years ago. Attached is a list of seeds that we have available this spring. The packets sell for $2.95 plus tax. You can email us your order and we will get them packaged up. Please feel free to pass this email along to anyone that you think might be interested. 

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you at the farm soon!

Julie & Darren Shedko
Lettuce Grow Farms"



The list of seeds available is as follows:

These seeds are open pollinated, heirloom and non- GMO

Arugula- Slow Bolt
Basil- Italian Large Leaf
Chamomile- German
Dill- Bouquet
Chives
Cilantro- Slow Bolt
Parsley- Dark Green Italian Flat Leaf
Rosemary
Sage- Broad Leaved
Thyme - Common
Watercress
Kale- Red Russian
Radish- Easter Egg
Radish, Sprouting- China Rose
Sunflower, Sprouting-Black Oil
Swiss Chard- Bright Lights
Artichoke-Green Globe
Lettuce, Romaine-Cimmaron
               Romaine-Parris Island
                Muselun Mix
Spinach- Giant Noble
Bean, Bush - Black Valentine
Beet- Chioggia
Tomato-Brandywine Pink
             Black Russian
               Yellow Pear
Eggplant - Long Purple
Pumpkin-Connecticut Field
Broccoli, Sprouting - Di Cicco
Bean - Purple Pod Pole
Carrot- Rainbow Blend
Squash, Black Beauty Zucchini
               Summer Crookneck
               Early White Bush Scallop
Pepper, Jalapeno Traveler Strain
Pepper, Ancho Grande
Cucumber, True Lemon
                   Straight Eight
                   Boston-Pickling
Cabbage, Copenhagen
                 Pak Choi white stem
Corn, Oaxacan Green Dent
          Golden Bantam 8
Chia Seed
Cauliflower
Onion- Bunching Tokyo Long White
Pea-Lincoln
Pumpkin-Connecticut Field

Sunflowers-Mammoth Grey Stripe


Sadly, due to our construction project, our back yard is currently housing all the equipment, tools, trucks and supplies. The rest is, literally, just dirt. So I will not be doing much gardening this year. I will have to be satisfied with growing herbs, chile, peppers and flowers in large pots. (maybe a couple of tomato plants?) But I can dream about next year.

For those of you living in Taos...or visiting from close by...I suggest you visit Lettuce Grow Farm. And please check out their website to learn more about this wonderful organization.



My best,
diane
March 19, 2014

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Monday, March 10, 2014

The Millicent Rogers Museum

millicent rogers
The Millicent Rogers Museum (MRM) is one of my favorite places to take guests when they visit Taos. The beautiful building, located in a historic hacienda, is the former home of Claude and Elizabeth Anderson who were friends of Millicent Rogers. The museum was established to "showcase Millicent's stellar collection of Native American jewelry and textiles and superb examples of Hispanic religious and secular artists".* The museum also houses an extensive collection of Native American Arts, Hispanic Arts, Contemporary Arts and an extraordinary collection of pottery by Maria Martinez and her family, of San Ildefonso Pueblo.

*From the Millicent Rogers Museum website:

 

THE MILLICENT ROGERS MUSEUM CELEBRATES AND SHARES

THE ARTS AND CULTURES OF THE SOUTHWEST


Established as a memorial to Millicent Rogers whose inspiration, patronage and collections form the cores of its holdings. 

 

Millicent Rogers (1902-1953) was the granddaughter of Henry Huttleston Rogers, one of the founders of the Standard Oil Company. At her homes in New York, Virginia, Italy and elsewhere, she entertained the great and splendid from American industrialists to European nobility. She was the fashionista of her day!

In her later years, she visited and eventually settled in Taos, New Mexico. Here, she became close friends with many of the founding members of the Taos artist’s colony including Dorothy Brett.

Due to rheumatic fever as a child, Millicent was often ill and so the high mountain air helped her physically. Sadly, however, she died very young leaving three sons and a collection of jewelry, weavings and art that live on in the museum named for her. A central permanent exhibit in the museum showcases the turquoise and silver jewelry collection assembled by Millicent during her life.

The Millicent Rogers Museum was established in 1956 by her family as a memorial to her memory and to showcase the arts and cultures of the southwest that had so fascinated Millicent. Millicent’s sons Peter Salm, Paul Peralta-Ramos and Arturo Peralta-Ramos were the leading forces in establishing the museum. In particular, Paul Peralta-Ramos dedicated much of his life to building the extraordinary collection of more than 7000 objects documenting the arts and cultures of the southwest.  
Paul Peralta-Ramos

His friendship with Maria Martinez, the famed potter of San Ildefonso Pueblo, ultimately led to her family donating what is the largest publicly held collection of Maria material in the world. This collection encompasses not only Maria’s professional career as a potter but also includes numerous items relating to her private life including clothing, jewelry, and papers. That collection is now the centerpiece of a major permanent exhibition on her life and work.

Paul devoted himself to building a premier collection for the museum of Native American, Hispanic and Anglo arts from the southwest. This collection includes more than 1000 pieces of pottery from the prehistoric to the present and representing every major pottery-making center in the region. Having built this collection for the museum, he then focused on acquiring the best available examples of Hispanic Santos from the region. Santos are arguably one of the few truly American folk arts. Crafted within familial dynasties, Santos or saints were made as part of traditional southwestern Roman Catholic religious traditions. The museum’s collection spans from the great master carvers of the 18th and 19th centuries such as Jose Aragon, Jose Rafael Aragon, Antonio Molleno and Pedro Fresquis to the work of contemporary makes such as Victor Goler, Sabanita Lopez Ortiz, and others.

Other significant collections assembled by Paul Peralta-Ramos include Apache baskets, Plains beadwork (much obtained locally and reflected inter-tribal trade), katsinas, and Peyote-cult materials. Like his mother, he shared an interest in southwestern textiles. Using Millicent’s collection as a core to build upon, he acquired major weavings representing all four phases of the evolution of the Navajo Chief’s blankets. He also purchased significant, and in many cases unique, examples of Hispanic weavings from the Rio Grande Valley. Scholars now know that Hispanic weavers have been producing fine weavings in this region for more than four hundred years. In many cases, the production of these weavings is through an unbroken chain of interconnected families.

Since Paul’s death, the museum has continued to refine and define its collections. In the last several years, this has included major donations of contemporary pottery and jewelry as well as select acquisitions of historic materials to fill in critical gaps.

The museum rotates its collections on a frequent basis through its galleries. The museum is unique in the southwest because of its intimate exhibit spaces. The museum is housed in a hacienda that was donated by the family of Mr. and Mrs. Claude Anderson. Enlarged over time, including a wing by the famed architects Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the museum is truly a place to come face to face with the rich and diverse heritage of the cultures of the southwest.
photo from the MRM website
There are often special events and shows at the museum so, if you are lucky enough to live here, you may find yourself visiting often. For tourists any time you visit Taos is a good time to check out MRM. 

This past weekend was the 2nd annual Taos Pueblo Artist's Winter Showcase. From late winter to early spring the Pueblo closes for about 10 weeks for what is called "quiet time". During this time, the artists who live and work at the Pueblo need to find other ways to show their art. The showcase provides this opportunity for a number of extremely talented artists.

The "headliner" (my term, not theirs) was Patricia Michaels, a Season 11 finalist in the show Project Runway. In addition, there were potters, painters, glass blowers, photographers, tribal drum makers, carvers and jewelry makers. We bought a beautiful piece from local artist Jocelyn Martinez, a monotype called "evening harvest" which is an abstract depiction of a corn field. I can't wait to share it with you...I will photograph and post as soon as we get it framed. 

The show has ended but if you visit Taos next March you can check it out then. Or visit the artists in their studios when the Pueblo is open. And don't forget to tour the Millicent Rogers Museum. A very worthwhile use of your time in Taos.

The Millicent Rogers Museum is located at 1504 Millicent Rogers Road, 4 miles north of Taos Plaza and 1/2 mile south of Highway 64. 

"The Museum is open every day, April 1 through October 31 from 10:10 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. We suggest a 1-2 hour visit in order to view all our exhibitions. Please note that during the winter months, from November through March, the museum will be closed on Mondays although our hours on the other days remain the same."


My best,
diane
March 10, 2014

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Friday, February 28, 2014

A Visit to El Meze Restaurant


mini cardamon doughnuts with caramel chocolate dipping sauce
It occurs to me that I have not written about my favorite restaurants in Taos. How can that be? My "day job" is blogging over at my Napa Farmhouse 1885 and Red or Green? blogs. My favorite hobby is cooking. My weekly food shopping trip to our local organic market, Cid's, is a treat. So how did I miss telling you about the best places to eat? For such a tiny town, (Taos' population is around 5000 and Taos County is approx. 30,000), we have a number of excellent restaurants. I look forward to sharing the ones I consider the best of the best.
photo from el meze website

I am starting my favorite restaurant round-up with El Meze. Located in El Prado (about a mile from the center of the town of Taos), El Meze serves delicious, local, farm-to-table food. Chef Frederick Muller describes it this way:

"At El Meze Restaurant, I prepare fresh, regionally inspired rustic comfort food that is uniquely American. I call it, “La Comida de las Sierras,” the food of the mountains, fresh trout, jamon, corn and chiles, wild mushrooms from our mountain forests, local organic produce from our small farms. This is how I like to eat and how I like to cook, clean flavors, rustic and simple."





El Meze opened in 2008 but I went for the first time this past December. Full disclosure, I planned to go for New Year's Eve in 2012 but had a bit of a bad experience when trying to make a reservation. Long story short, they had a prix fixe menu and I phoned to ask if they had vegetarian options. The curt response was "No". I took offense, made other plans, and wrote them off. Bad idea on my part...everyone has a bad day, right?  Some girlfriends of mine decided to have a holiday celebration the week after Christmas and convinced me that El Meze was not to be missed. They were so right!

L-R Shawn, Me, Eliza, Jennifer, Lily

El Meze (which means table or tapas) serves small "Share" plates (which are much bigger than the menu portrays) and "Large" entree sized portions for main dishes. Because there were five of us we ordered a number of items and sampled everything. For starters we had the crispy Herb Frites, Chile Rajas; roasted Poblano Chile, roasted red peppers, chevre and seasonings, Frijoles de olla; heirloom bolita beans from New Mexico with sharp white cheddar from Vermont, jalapenos, cilantro and green onion served with grilled flat bread. (This is my personal favorite) and we had a order of Chicharrones; These are not your typical fried pork rinds. El meze's version delivers squares of pork belly rubbed with spices, fried to a crisp and served with a chimmichurri sauce. I would recommend everything.
photo from el meze website
We shared salads (try the grilled hearts of romaine) and for entrees we had the Tamale de cardenas; buffalo, the Beef Oxtails and the Pasta e Fagiole; homemade pasta with white beans, tomatoes, basil, garlic and Reggiano Parmigiano which sounds typical but, with the fresh ingredients used, is amazingly good.
the amazing mini cardamon doughnuts

I don't always order dessert when I go out to dinner. Skipping dessert at El Meze would be a big mistake. We ordered 5 different kinds...everything was amazing...but I have to tell you about the doughnuts.  Oh my...the donuts. Made to order Cardamon Spiced Mini Doughnuts served hot, crispy on the outside...meltingly tender on the inside. They come with a hot chocolate & caramel dipping sauce and they are fantastic. You would be crazy if you didn't give them a try! We also tried a creamy Lavender Creme Brulee, a dense but light Dark Chocolate Souffle Cake and and an Almond Semifreddo served with fresh berries. 

El Meze has a wonderful wine list and their dessert menu lists suggested sherries, port and dessert wines. 

Postscript. My birthday is in February and to celebrate my husband told me to pick anywhere I wanted to go to dinner. I picked El Meze because I wanted to go back and I wanted him to experience it too. He started with the mussels for his appetizer and then had the fabulous Truchas Verva Buena; grilled whole trout with preserved lemon, mint, cilantro and garlic. He said it was the best trout he had ever eaten. We, of course, shared the aforementioned doughnuts...He fell in love! We each had a glass of the Alvear Solera 1927 Sherry from Spain with our dessert. Another magical evening with an incredible meal. I cannot wait to go back to El Meze.

peter enjoying his doughnuts at el meze!


El Meze

Located at the El Torreon Hacienda

1017 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, El Prado, NM 87571
Mailing address: 309A Apache, Taos, NM 87571
P – 575-751-3337
F – 575-751-7394
Email – elmeze@mail.com

HOURS OF OPERATIONS

Tuesday – Saturday 5:30pm – 9:30 pm
CLOSED: July 4th, Labor Day, New Year’s Day, Sunday & Monday
OPEN: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve & Christmas Day


My best,
diane
Feb 28, 2014

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Dog Friendly Taos

Hiking the area around the John Dunn Bridge
Sometimes it seems like everyone in Taos has a dog...or dogs. And what a terrific place for them. Hiking, swimming in rivers, lakes and streams, walks in Kit Carson Park; we even have a cross country skiing area (Enchanted Forest XC) with dog trails:


Enchanted Forest Dog Trails"Enchanted Forest presents an area especially for our four footed friends. 5k of trails, smooth groomed for easier skiing and varying from 6 to 12 feet. The dog trails meander through a large meadow and circle through the trees back to the parking area. Most dogs leave the trail to "take a break" but if your pooch makes some "brown klister" in the trail, a stick and a flick helps keep the trails clean.
The dog trails are open to both skiers and snowshoers with their pet pals, no track is set because of the wear from paws and snowshoes. Leashes are required in the parking area and dogs must be in at least voice command on the dog trails. If your dog cannot "play nice" under voice command a leash will be required.
Dog trails are provided as a service of the Enchanted Forest for guests who want to ski or snowshoe with their dogs. Please respect the posted rules for the use of the dog trail system for the continued enjoyment of all our guests.
You are not required to have a dog to use trails. The dog trails are fun for all skiers and snowshoers."

We have many dog friendly shops, hotels and galleries and you will see both locals and tourists walking their dogs. In warmer months there are numerous restaurants with very dog friendly patios . Some of my favorites include:

The Alley Cantina - On the Plaza in Taos, New Mexico

GUTIZ! - Latin-French Fusion in TaosNM

Martyrs Steakhouse



Yes, most Taos dogs have a pretty amazing life. Sadly, there are some members of our community who take the "just a dog" approach. Dogs that are mistreated, neglected, abandoned, left outside in freezing or very hot weather. Dogs that are ignored, not given attention or love. Happily Taos has numerous educational and support programs to help. My favorite is our local Humane Society called Stray Hearts.

"The Humane Society of Taos, Inc dba: Stray Hearts Animal Shelter is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Our mission statement:  Stray Hearts Animal Shelter of Taos is wholly dedicated to interim compassionate and humane care and rehabilitation for lost and abandoned animals, upholding their rights for such, protecting animals from abuse and neglect and exploitation, and placing them into responsible and loving homes. We are committed to animal population control and public education to ensure long-term positive management of animal populations in our area."

Stray Hearts is focused primarily on finding homes for the dogs and cats in the shelter. They also focus on education regarding the humane treatment of animals, animal health, training and spaying & neutering. There are numerous fundraisers held throughout the year to ensure the financial viability of this amazing organization. In 2013 they raised $40k in a one day radio-a-thon and earned enough at the 4th annual Dog Day of Summer Concert to pay for a part time veterinarian at the shelter.  Stray Hearts receives a lot of support from volunteers who man the office, back of house, walk dogs, foster animals, work at the adopt-a-thons held every weekend during the farmers' market season and many other tasks.
Snow day in Kit Carson Park

In addition to Stray Hearts, the following non-profits are to be commended for the help they provide to animals in Taos County:

Four Corners Animal League Taos New Mexico




I am writing about Taos dogs in this post because my beloved 10 1/2 yr old golden, Mosey, seen in most of the pictures here, was diagnosed with inoperable cancer in December. I have been focusing most of my time and energy exploring ways to extend his life as long as I can while keeping his quality of life high. I recently started a new blog MoseyLove! Support & Resources For Fighting Pet Cancer in Northern New Mexico.

The website is still in its infancy but I plan to chronicle my journey with Mose's cancer sharing what I learn regarding cures, treatment, prevention, diet, holistic options and resources for Northern New Mexicans going through the same situation. My ultimate goal is to start a non-profit which raises funds for low income New Mexicans unable to afford treatment. I was shocked at the cost of surgery, radiation, chemo, anti-cancer drugs etc. I am so fortunate to have purchased insurance with a cancer rider when Mose was a puppy. I have joined a number of canine cancer support groups on Facebook and it breaks my heart every time I read about someone who has to make the choice to forgo treatment because of financial concerns. Who knows? maybe one day my nonprofit will be listed with the ones I discussed above.


1 in 3 dogs will develop cancer in their lifetime. Would you like to get involved with helping me form my organization? If so, please contact me via the MoseyLove! site. I would really appreciate your ideas and suggestions.


My best,
diane
1.27.2014

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