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Buy NOW, the Gift That Keeps on Giving

By Jane Butel  December 19, 2023

We all wish each and everyone of you a very Merry Christmas.

Do you still have some gifts that you haven't bought yet?  Are they for the "person who has everything" and you don't know what to give them.  Well, we have just the  ticket--a Gift Certificate for one or more of  our classes or for an assortment of our Pecos Valley Spices.  The minimum perchase of Pecos Valley Spices is $25.00 for a gift certificate.  Also, you can apply  the Gift Certificate to the purchase of one or more of my cookbooks.

Either of these gifts are for a "Gift that Keeps on Giving" and  assures many, many memorable meals. 

All of our cooking classes are 100% full participation and are small, with a maximum of 12 participants.  I have always felt you learn a great deal more from a class if you actually make the dish instead of just watching someone else  prepare it.  We have day classes which are an average of 4 hours long and include the preparation of dishes around a theme. 

My specialties are  Southwestern and Mexican Regional Cooking, plus technique clasess on such subjects as Pie, Cake or Bread baking.  Also, we have weekend classes and week long classes.  The next weekend class is April 23-25 and the next week long  class is April15-19, 2024.

And..all of our clases--day, weekend or week long  are on a 20% discount until Christmas Eve.  We are also taking reservations for our Oaxaca Culinary  Tour, but it is not on a discount.  This tour is set for a week, June 11-17, 2024.

If you have any quesions, do not hesitate to email me at jane.butels@gmail.com or call my office at 505-243-2622 or even my cell,  which is 505-600-9179.  

For many years, I have prepared a Dickinsonian English Christmas dinner featuring Prime Rib of Beef with Horseradish Cream Sauce, Parsnip and Potato Smash and Gingered Carrots.   The other side dishes and dessert vary.

Here's my Favorite Carrot and Mashed Potato recipes...


This is one of my very favorite carrot recipes-they are really good with beef dishes. However, carrots complement most any entrée.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Cooking Time: 12 to 15 minutes

1 pound carrots, scraped

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

2 Tablespoons honey

4 Tablespoons candied ginger or to taste, chopped into ¼ inch pieces

2 Tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped

  1. Place about 1 inch of water in a 3 quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Meanwhile cut carrots into 3 inch lengths and then cut each length into half and then into about 6 thin wedges each.
  2. Place carrots into boiling water, and cover. Cook until fork tender and remove from heat. Drain almost all of the cooking liquid, reserving for stocks or soups. Add butter, honey and ginger, stir. Taste and adjust seasonings, then stir in the parsley.


These have become my favorite holiday potatoes. They are great with most any meat—Roast Beef, Ham or Turkey. The parsnips add a sweetness and richness that just plain potatoes do not have. Roast the garlic, actually roast several heads of garlic to reserve for adding to most any dish.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Cooking time: 30 to 40 minutes

1 head garlic

1 teaspoon vegetable or olive oil

2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into about 2 inch chunks

4 large or 6 medium white russet potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters

¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

½ cup heavy cream about (whole milk or half and half can be substituted) warmed 30 seconds in a microwave oven

  1. Early in the day or a day or so before, place head or heads of garlic on a square of aluminum foil or in a garlic baker and lightly oil. Place in a 350 F oven for about 30 minutes or until the garlic is aromatic and feels soft when pinched. Allow to cool
  2.  Bring 2 inches of water, lightly salted to a boil, then add the parsnips and boil, covered for 20 minutes or until almost soft, then add the potatoes, cover and boil until soft when pierced with a fork.
  3. Drain water and reserve for soups, stews or gravy if desired. Add the butter, chunked into squares. Stir and cover to fluff the potatoes
  4. Then mash and add warm cream and mash until of desired consistency.



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