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Join our Last Weekend Class of the Year for Half Price

By Jane Butel  October 8, 2019

Our last ever popular full participation weekend cooking class has a few openings at half price or $525.00.  Early November is still quite beautiful here with all the red chile ristras dripping from adobe roof-lines and brilliant yellow cottonwoods and aspens dotting the landscape against our purply blue skies.   Cooking with invigorating chiles is just the "ticket"!  You'll learn how chiles help your heart and your health is oh so many ways--plus the mystique of corn and how it has been a wonder food for centuries.

Tips and techniques abound that will make cooking so much more fun.  You'll learn how to always have flaky, yummy pastries, mouth watering tender roasts and sauces with just the right texture.  With all due modesty, you will learn why our Cooking School has consistently been rated "Best in the US"  for non-vocational cooking schools as well as the best hotel based cooking school, when we were at the three different hotels.

This is our very special Balloon Fiesta Week and we are honored with many beautiful and brilliantly hued balloons over head and in the vista as far as one's eyes can see.   We had a very fun "Red Chile Fiesta" class yesterday where the Carne Adobado was at its best along with the Red Chile Beef Enchiladas and two chilis which have earned a star rating as a delicious and dependable diet food.  (One of our avid "chili Madness" cooks told us these two chilis--Bowl o Red and First Love(recipe follows) chilis  allowed him to lose 75 pounds by just eating them daily.)  And the real topper was the decadently delicious Red Chile Chocolate Cupcakes.  (I am sharing this recipe--try it, you will be totally amazed.)

We are just compiling a great year of cooking for 2020--soon to be published.  People are already purchasing gift certificates.  To purchase a gift certificate for our classes, books or spices, just call us at 505-243-2622 and we will arrange a very special certificate for you! 



This recipe is highly recommended for chili newcomers. It has been known to warm the cockles of the heart and secure long-lasting devotion. The cinnamon and cloves add a particularly nice flavor, but remember to remove them before serving.  Although the proportions listed produce a chili-for-two (enough for one chili devotee plus one novice)  they can be doubled to serve four. 

Yield:  2 servings 

1 Tablespoon lard

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 medium sized cloves garlic, minced

1 pound lean beef, coarsely chopped or hand cut in ½ inch dice

2 Tablespoons pure ground red chile (hot or mild or a combination)

1 teaspoon celery salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne chile

1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided

½ teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon salt or to suit taste

1, 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes

1 small bay leaf

1 small stick cinnamon

2 whole cloves

1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and coarsely chopped

1 16 ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained 

  1. Melt the lard in a heavy pot over medium-high heat .  Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is clear, about 5 minutes.  Add meat to the pot—and if ground break apart and brown.  If  hand cut,  do not brown. 
  1. Remove from heat and stir in the chile, and remaining ingredients including half of the cumin.  Add 3 cups water and bring to a boil and simmer for 2 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
  2.  Remove the cinnamon stick, bay leaf and cloves .  Add the remaining cumin, stirring well—taste and adjust seasonings and serve.


These doubly chocolate cupcakes, heated up with some spicy red chile, are extraordinarily special. The mellowness of the milk chocolate contrasted with the richness of the semisweet chocolate is a taste treat you won’t forget. These are perfect for everything from a birthday party to an afternoon tea—a great snack when you feel the urge for chocolate, and an ideal dessert for a chili meal. Frost them with your favorite chocolate butter cream frosting.

Yield: 12 cupcakes

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

14 Tablespoons (1 ¾ sticks) unsalted butter

4 large eggs

¾ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla, preferably Mexican vanilla

Pinch salt

2 Tablespoons pure, hot ground red chile

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

¾ cup milk chocolate chips

½ cup coarsely chopped pecans

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 F. Place paper liners in 12 muffin cups

  1. Place the semisweet chocolate chips and all the butter in a medium microwave-safe mixing bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and microwave on full power for 1 minute. Stir, and repeat until the chocolate and butter are just melted—do not overheat, as it will ruin the chocolate (If you prefer, you can melt the butter and chocolate together in a heavy saucepan. Start over medium heat and then switch to low for the best result, 6 to 8 minutes total)
  1. Place the eggs in a small bowl and lightly whisk them. Then add the sugar, vanilla, salt, and chile, and mix until well blended.

     4.  Add the flour to the egg mixture and stir only until just blended. Add the chocolate-butter mixture, the chocolate chips     and the pecans, and mix only until just blended. Spoon the batter into the lined muffin cups, and back until just barely done, 30 to 35 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out almost clean.





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