Archive for » April 17th, 2016 «

Advice on Midnight Snacking

Midnight cravings. Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with an intense need for something chewy or, more appealing, chocolaty? These kinds of cravings can send you straight to your fridge for a late night binge. The problem? For a number of reasons, you’d like to eat healthier. Also, you want something fast. After all, it’s midnight; who wants to turn into a restaurant chef just for a small snack? Fortunately, there are ways to satisfy those longings for last week’s birthday cake without ingesting those extra calories.
There are all different types of cravings: something cold, something warm, something sugary, something non-sugary, etc. Remember, you only need a little amount to really hit the spot, just enough to last you until morning. Let’s take a look.
If you want something cold, try a cold turkey sandwich, fruit if you prefer something sweet, or yogurt. If you’d like something warm, go for leftovers from a previous meal to save time on preparation, or heat up that turkey sandwich. Cheese and crackers can be a delicious way to satisfy your hunger, especially with some tomato sauce to turn them into mini pizzas.
Drinks to go along with it are almost always a must, so that the food between your teeth gets washed down, and they actually make you feel more full food-wise. There’s the standard warm milk or decaffeinated coffee, but also try something else like blueberry tea, French vanilla tea, or of course fruit juice.
There are many more choices than you think about what to eat in the middle of the night. Reaching for the TV dinners may be what looks like the easiest option, but certainly not the healthiest. Next time you wake up at 1:00 AM with the munchies, ask yourself: what could I eat without developing those extra pounds?

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Culinary Traditions from the Santa Fe Trail

The history of dining in Santa Fe begins with the famous Santa Fe Trail. Simple fare prepared from nonperishable foods was essential on this perilous journey. Corn mush could be flavored with dried chiles and supplemented occasionally with game and fish that the travelers harvested along the way. When at last the weary pioneers arrived at trail’s end, a celebratory steak would often be served, accompanied by beans, tortillas, and green chile.

When you visit Santa Fe you will find truly unique flavors. Three cultures, the Pueblo, the Spanish and English speaking peoples mingled here. The cuisine is a combination of the foodways of each of these groups. According to the Food Museum site, this exchange began when the Spanish Franciscans developed mission churches with gardens. The Spanish colonists and the Pueblo Indians began to share their traditional foods.

Daily food for both Spanish colonists and Pueblo Indians consisted of corn mush flavored with chile peppers. The diet was supplemented with beans, tortillas and squash. While the Spaniards ate wheat, which they brought from Europe, the Puebloans ate more corn meal. Turkey, chicken, beef, pork, milk, mutton and eggs supplemented the mainly vegetarian diet.

As wagon trains from the eastern United States arrived, they brought in a variety of foods to add to the mix. This included canned and dried foods. After New Mexico became a territory of the US, Americans planted orchards in and around the plaza.

The early twentieth century brought artists and intellectuals to settle in Santa Fe and patronize restaurants and cafes. Santa Fe became known as the “city different,” with a vibrant mix of three different cultures and freestyle expression. This is still reflected in the city’s eating establishments.

There’s  Upper Crust Pizza, a must on any pizza lover’s list. There’s Geronimo, the upscale fine restaurant on Canyon Road featuring “global French Asian” food and wine. Santa Fe offers food choices to fit every taste and budget. Mexican food at Maria’s, coupled with “the motherload of American Margaritas” (according to the Seattle Times) will top off a day spent on the plaza wandering from shop to bandstand. Don’t forget the chile; red, green or “Christmas.”

With its gold-flecked walls and outdoor patios, one with a small playground, the Cowgirl has become a Santa Fe tradition in its own right. Here you will find a glorious mix of American and Mexican cuisine with a definite Southwest flavor. Start with your favorite beer or wine, add cheese fries with green chile and a buffalo steak or butternut squash casserole. Top it all off with one of the unique desserts. You might try the “baked potato ice cream sundae.”

Stroll through the Saturday morning Farmers’ Market at the Railyard, and you will find other culinary treasures to sample. Fresh, organic vegetables abound, alongside grass-fed beef and buffalo, free-range chickens and eggs. Try a jar of green chile mustard or perhaps raspberry and chile jam. For the more frugal, take home some chicken wings and veggies for a wonderful fresh soup. If you get hungry at the market, try one of the hot burritos or fresh baked breads.

The delicious aroma of roasting chiles accompanies you as you walk around the Farmer’s Market, teasing your taste buds. A few of those chiles would make a great addition to your own culinary creations.

The mixture of foodways brought together on the Santa Fe Trail has created a unique and delicious tradition in the “city different.”

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