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2.  Summer road trip copy 3.  rio grand copy

1.  my first blog copyWow, this is my first blog! I’m excited and nervous all at the same time. I love to journal write, early morning, but somehow putting my thoughts online, in a blog format is slightly intimidating, at least this first time. But everything about Almost Vegan Cooking School has been a first, from learning to cook and eat in a new way, to teaching and sharing the process. I am truly excited to share with you in a more personal way how we can help one another in our kitchens, nourish our hearts and make this a better world.

5.  dining under the stars copyIn a few weeks my local cooking classes will be back in session but I thought for now I would tell you how we spent the summer and how I fell in love with New Mexico and our dining under the stars.

We drove to New Mexico this summer and stayed in an old Spanish adobe house at the top of Sun Mountain, a surprise gift from my husband Paul who wanted to encourage me to write again and pick up a manuscript I began several years ago. The manuscript is really a personal story inside a growing cookbook. I’m still a long way from finishing, but it felt like heaven to unwind and write in such a beautiful place. To have room to breathe once again and take an old fashion road trip through Colorado and New Mexico was the best gift you can imagine.

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To my surprise I was able to awaken every morning, without an alarm. Sometimes I awoke with a brush of a whisper, a slight early morning desert breeze, wrestling, just before dawn. At other times, the early morning sun was just too bright for a sleepy head, even when hiding under a soft pillow to block the light. Our days were ruled by the sun and I liked it that way. You see, having a Spanish portal at the back of the house allows you to eat and sleep in the open air. Summer days begin to follow a path all their own.

7.  under the portal copyA Spanish Portal is an elaborate outdoor porch with a roof built of round uncut beams to protect oneself from the great outdoors. Falling asleep outside, under a portal, is priceless. An evening sky on a mountain top is like an endless view of sparkling stars, childhood memories of star gazing constellations, silent lightening storms and breathtaking sunsets where no two are alike.

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We found ourselves running home before dusk, for sunset watching, before that golden orb vanished into thin air. All this wonder around me, with me, and through me while the crickets orchestrated my thoughts with their melancholy song. The summer was a slow and easy affair. I found myself falling in love all over again with my husband, my friends, with my life. It felt like the best summer I could remember.

11.  kitchen copyOh yes, and the food was simply divine. Most of our meals were eaten out of doors. I made frequent trips to the farmer’s market on Wednesday and Saturday, bought lots of garlic, tiny potatoes, squash, and onions and cooked by taste over a gas flame in a charming old kitchen.13. simple salad copy12. simple food copy

14.  O'Keefe quote copy“It’s the most wonderful place you can imagine. It’s so beautiful there. It’s ridiculous.”
-Georgia O’Keffe, 1945, New York
World-Telegram, Referring to New Mexico

To celebrate Mariposa green chiles and freshly prepared avocados, check out my chucky guacamole recipe. I hope you like this guacamole as much as we do!

Thanks for reading and enjoy!

Debbie