Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Working at a feverish pace at the sewing machine, and sadly neglecting my duties here on the ol' friend Jackie (PEACE, LOVE, AND ART SHOP) and I are honored to have been invited to showcase our wares at "Western Day", this Saturday (for our local, Vegas friends).
The old mannequin even got a new bustle and skirt for the occasion - she's never looked better (and what are pearls without a Grateful Dead pendant?!  I know, right!  She will be sporting something more genre appropriate around her neck, to go with her new Sunday-go-to-meetin' clothes).

Western Day is co-sponsored by Nevada State Parks and The Friends of the Fort, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to the preservation of THE OLD LAS VEGAS FORT STATE HISTORIC PARK. Proceeds will be used for educational programs and projects at the Old Fort.  Below is all the information you might have a hankerin' fer, from the Friends of the Fort Western Day flier..."Deadwood Dave" will be there!
(Not Deadwood Dave...Loop Rawlins)
"Join us for a Rootin’ Tootin’ good time on Saturday, March 31, 2012, at the Old Las Vegas Fort State Historic Park, located at 500 East Washington Avenue (Las Vegas Blvd. & Washington Ave.) from 10:00 am – 5:00pm. Enjoy a celebration of Nevada’s frontier heritage with old west entertainment, activities, living history exhibits and fun games for the kids too!
10:00 am-             Native American Singing            
10:30 am-             Country Western Music DJ
11:00 am-             Water Stone Bunch Skit and Gun Fight
11:30 am-             Country Western Music DJ                                                       
12:00 -                  Native American Singing
1:00 pm-               Loop Rawlins Legendary Trick Roping
1:30 pm-               Country Western Music DJ
2:00 pm-               Water Stone Bunch Skit and Gun Fight
2:30 pm-               Whiskey Revival Band
3:30 pm-               Country Western Music DJ
4:00 pm-               Water Stone Bunch Skit and Gun Fight
4:30 pm-               Wally Hansen Country Western Music

Kids will have plenty to do with Pony Rides, Calf Roping and a Bounce House. You can watch Classic Western Movies in the theater throughout the day, or have Deadwood Dave take your “Wanted” photo, check out the Mustang cars on display courtesy of the Mustang Club of Las Vegas, watch the Blacksmith at work, visit the 4-H booth, learn about the Old Spanish Trail, talk to the Mountain Men or help the Mining Camp Laundress at the creek. Visit a Native American Village with Tipi and learn about traditions of the Paiute, Blackfoot, Sioux, and Cherokee Indians.

There will be food & drinks and vendors too.  Raffle prizes throughout the day, including a Wild West Horseback Adventure Dinner Ride, Vegas Ballooning Ride, Blue Man Tickets and more!  Get 1 free raffle ticket when you wear your cowboy hat.  So git on your fancy duds, grab yer cowboy hat and spurs, and come on down for some fine family fun at the Fort! Tickets are $7 per person, 5 years old and under are free."   

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


"Spring has sprung, the grass has riz"...A lovely first day of Spring, here in Vegas - one that finds me married to my husband for 30 years, which makes me all of 42 - not long on mushy sentiment on the blog (I tend to keep the family affairs low key and on a personal level), but thanks for a great run, Mister!  This past weekend was the long-awaited "Santo de Estrella" class with ROBIN DUDLEY-HOWES, and some charming girlfriends, here in town.
The dolls were all hand sculpted by Robin, and presented to us as "pieces/parts" at the beginning of class.  Each person assembled their own dolls, and then stained and painted the basic parts, before moving on to lots and lots of soldering, connecting all the dots, and crossing all the T's!  Jewelry was hand fashioned for each of these, also - a TOTAL MUST among the jewelry makers in the crowd.
A two day affair, complete with food and laughter - 7 hours each day.  Learned (learned, not "turned") a few new tricks (who says you're too old), and remembered a few forgotten ones...
Made a couple of new friends, and reconnected with some that had fallen out of touch...
The end result of our table of four...I KNOW that the two that weren't quite finished will be fabulous by week's end...I KNOW.
Mine, in the midst of half from the other table - as each one of these was individually crafted for us by Robin, no two were remotely alike - especially after paint applications.
My finished product...the base has been filled with antique silk flowers.  A glitter glass banner hangs from her hands, and spells out "Calm" in French, the result of that very word being printed on an old page of text used during the day...not that I speak the language, but the word was there, and is also part of my daughter's favorite phrase from a book - "du calme".  The rest of the banners were made up to say Peace...yes, I had to be different and it just seemed to fit the bill.
Thank you, Robin (and the rest of you lovely ladies), for a great two days - had a fabulous time and brought home a special keepsake.
With that out of the way, it is time to spring on out of here and resume the travelogue, as my father in Denver is chomping at the bit, wondering where we're stopping next on our travels.  The incredible Hoover Dam and new Memorial Bridge, it is...a safe and happy Spring to everyone!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

2012 SW Travel Destinations - JEROME AND PRESCOTT, AZ

America's "Most Vertical City" and "Largest Ghost Town", all rolled into one!  Located 5,200 feet atop Cleopatra Hill (on a 30 degree vertical incline, I might add), between Sedona (20 miles to the SW) and Prescott, is the historic copper mining town of Jerome, Arizona. Founded in 1876, Jerome became a notorious "wild west" town, and in 1903, was proclaimed to be "the wickedest town in the West", by The New York Sun.
Jerome sits above what was the largest copper mine in Arizona, and produced an astonishing 3 million pounds of copper per month.  Growing from a settlement of tents to a roaring mining community, four disastrous fires destroyed large sections of the town during its early history.  Once the fourth largest city in the Arizona Territory with a population of 15,000 in the 1920's, Jerome today has a population of about 450.
The Great Depression slowed the mining operation, while World War II again brought a demand for copper.  Demand slowed drastically after the war and, being dependant on the copper market, the mine closed in 1953. The remaining 50 hardy souls in town promoted Jerome as a historic ghost town, and it was designated a National Historic District in 1967. The Jerome of today is known as a tourist and art destination, with more than 30 galleries and working studios. There are numerous bed and breakfasts, and two hotels.  Many of the buildings used by present-day businesses are those built after the fires of 1894 and 1899. Jerome also has a large mining museum, presenting the town history, labor-management disputes, geological structure models, mineral samples, and equipment used in both underground and open-pit mining.  For more information on lodging, dining, shops, etc, please visit
The breathtakingly scenic highway 89A, winds up and over Mingus Mountain, through the Prescott National Forest, before dropping you down into Prescott, just 30 miles away. 
"Everybody's Hometown", quaint and beautiful little Prescott boasts a whopping 809 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, most of them in the Victorian style.
Renowned for its downtown historical area of drinking establishments that line the street on what has become known as Whiskey Row - until 1956, a notorious red-light district. In 1900, a great fire destroyed almost all of the buildings on Whiskey Row, including the 1891 Hotel Burke, advertised as "the only absolutely fireproof building in Prescott".  As legend has it, the patrons of the various bars simply took their drinks across the street to the Courthouse square and watched the block burn. At the time of the fire, the entire bar and back-bar of the Palace Hotel was removed to the square by the patrons as the fire approached (the size of the back-bar is massive, and appears not easily moved – funny what adrenaline, fueled by alcohol, can achieve), re-installing it after the gutted brick structure was rebuilt.
Antique and gift shops are plentiful throughout the historic downtown area, as well as four golf courses for those husbands who want to meet up later.  Neither town to be missed, if you've got the time to explore - full of "small town", turn of the century charm, and loaded with history, fact, make time to visit - you'll be glad you did!
Time's a wastin'!  There's guaranteed to be something in these towns for everyone (who couldn't love a place that bills itself as "Everybody's Hometown" - why, you can almost hear Opie whistling the theme song to The Andy Griffith Show), so rustle up your sweetie and hit the road - buy her an ice cream in Jerome, and a "red-eye" on Whiskey Row ~ step back in time and relax may not want to leave.  Next stop, the new Hoover Dam Memorial Bridge.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Running in circles this week, going nowhere fast, and lagging behind in my travel guide for your summer vacation suggestions (continuing on Monday with Jerome and Prescott, AZ; a trip over the new bridge at Hoover Dam; and through Las Vegas, itself) ~ spinning my wheels, most certainly.  A trip to my mailbox, mid-week, brought a VERY wonderful surprise from two new Internet friends with a new blog.  I won a giveaway from JUST BE FARM ~ "two men, ten acres, and a whole lot of living"!
An AMAZING array of goodies inside...beautiful bamboo cooking spoons (which I sorely needed if you looked close at my post about the chili); new, CLEAN kitchen towels (I had just purchased a piece of fabric the week before, to use in a gift, and loved it so much that I went back, the very morning before this box arrived, to purchase more for a new Roman Shade in my kitchen...same colors as the towels, by coincidence); cake to bake in cups; a ceramic trivet/plaque with a Roasted Pepper Soup recipe (see below); jars of THE most decadent looking home canned items ever...Pepper Jelly, homegrown peppers, and Apple Butter; AND, Ghirardelli dark chocolates (because you HAVE to have chocolate after spicy - it's a MUST)!  My mouth watering (yeah, the spicy is RIGHT up my alley, and Apple Butter is an absolute favorite), I made myself promise not to open them until I had a chance to take pictures...
After I finished the impromptu photo session atop the table this morning, it was time to dig in on the apple butter...taking my friend Jackie's lead on renaming my chili recipe this week, this shall forever be known to me as "Bob and Eric's OH MY GOD APPLE BUTTER"!  I'm sure the Pepper Jelly and peppers are going to be just as "knock your socks off", as this was, but it was a little early for spicy this morning, with a migraine...I was warned in their note, and will take them at their word!
Just a smidgen of butter underneath the Apple Butter...whole wheat muffin...HEAVEN!  I'm in love and I'm hiding it in the back of the fridge, where no one else can find it!
And believe me, I have no shame...I DID lick the plate clean after this can't waste perfectly good Apple Butter!  Please drop over to their blog at JUST BE FARM, and tell them I sent you - beautiful scenery, wonderful (and pampered) animals, growing things, COOKING...and lots of love!  THANK YOU, BOB AND ERIC - I said it before, and I'll say it again, you guys ROCK!  Will keep you posted when I dig into the "hot stuff"!
However much wheel spinning I did during the week, I did manage to knock this out, during some quiet evenings at the kitchen table - my green for St. Patrick's Day this year.
Hope your weekend is wonderful - have a happy Saturday and a fabulous week - just BE!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

NAVAJO TACOS - A SW Taste Treat - Recipes Attached

Yesterday I pulled out a new/old recipe that I had begged off a guy at a picnic years ago, and then had never made.  A batch of chili that will knock your socks off!  As I had it cooking in the Crock Pot all day, I decided that the perfect way to serve it last night would be over Indian Frybread, as Navajo Tacos, as I'm still in that SW travel mode.

According to Navajo tradition, frybread (or fry bread) was created using flour, powdered milk, salt and lard given by the United States government when the Navajo Native Americans were relocated to Bosque Redondo, New Mexico from Arizona 144 years ago (see previous post on Hubbell Trading Post).

Navajo (or Indian) Tacos, are made using frybread instead of tortillas, and are basically open-faced tacos. Commonly served at pow-wows, festivals, and other Native American gatherings, they are making their way into more and more venues these days.  Too good not to share so, in the tradition of handing down recipes, I pass along two pretty great ones, with lots of SW flair!


Large Crock Pot
½ - 1 lb. Ground Beef
2) Pork Chops
2) 15 oz.cans Chili Beans in Natural Juice (if you can’t find these, use the ones in Chili Gravy/Sauce, and rinse them off)
1) 15 oz. can Red Kidney Beans in Natural Juice
1) 7 oz. can Ortega Diced Green Chilies
1) 4 oz. can Ortega Diced Jalapenos (you will only use a small portion)
1) 30 oz. can Whole Plum Tomatoes
Medium onion, diced (amount to taste)
3) cloves garlic – minced
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 – 3 Tbsp. Chili Powder
¼ - ½ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
½ tsp. Ground Black Pepper
½ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Cilantro
1 - 2 cans Beer (I used one 24 oz. “Tall Boy” can of Coors ~ pure “Rocky Mountain Spring Water”.  The brand is up to you…you will need enough to make it the consistency you want)


Brown Ground Beef and add to Crock Pot.

Brown Pork Chops.  Cut into small pieces and add to Crock Pot.

In skillet, heat Olive Oil – add minced garlic and diced onions, and sauté until glazed.  Add to Crock Pot.

Drain the Chili and Kidney Beans - add to Crock Pot.

Drain Tomatoes.  Cut into small chunks - add to Crock Pot.

Add can of Diced Green Chilies.

From the can of Jalapenos (DO NOT ADD THE WHOLE THING!), spoon out what you think the equivalent of 1 or 2 chopped peppers would be, remembering that whole Jalapenos are small and potent.  Add to Crock Pot.

Add your remaining spices to Crock, and stir thoroughly.  Add enough beer to bring to consistency you desire – drink the rest.  Cover, and turn your Crock to low for 5-8 hours.


3 C. Flour
1-1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
¼ C. Instant Non-Fat Dry Milk
1-1/3 to 1-1/2 C. lukewarm water – you want to use enough to make a “ragged” dough
Oil, or shortening, for frying.

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, and dry milk in bowl.  Add water and stir ingredients together.  Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead about 2 minutes.  Pinch off ball of dough, about the size of a large egg or a little bigger.  Roll into ball shape.
On floured surface, roll dough into circles, until about ¼” or thinner (thicker than a tortilla, though).  When it’s the size you want, poke a hole in the very center with your fingertip.  This will help it stay flatter during frying.

Heat oil in heavy skillet – about 1/2” worth, or so - pretty hot (Med. High…it shouldn’t take that long to cook on each side, but not hot enough to burn).  Fry dough circles on each side until just starting to turn golden.  Drain on paper towels.  Makes 8-10 pieces.

(or how to throw it all together)

Layer fry bread, with chili on top.  Top chili with your choice of toppings…cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, to name a few...I was rather tame with toppings for my photo, and it should have been plated ala Bobby Flay (heavy sigh!), I know.  Be more creative than I.

The extra frybread you may have left over is delicious with honey, and your morning coffee, the next day...a flatter version of the beloved Sopapillas from the SW.