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Features

  • Submitted to the Optic

    Rocky Mountain Youth Corps (RMYC), a non-profit organization based in Taos, has been awarded a contract through the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority to implement the federal Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program.  

    Qualified low income homes in Taos, Colfax, Union, Mora, Harding, San Miguel, Guadalupe and Quay counties receive services to improve residential energy efficiency.

  • By Elizabeth Karmel
    The Associated Press
    Sometimes the promise of leftovers is almost more exciting than the meal itself! And who says leftovers can’t be planned?

  • EDITOR’S NOTE: Sara Moulton was executive chef at Gourmet magazine for nearly 25 years, and spent a decade hosting several Food Network shows. She currently stars in public television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals” and has written three cookbooks, including “Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners.”

    By Sara Moulton
    The Associated Press
    Even though fruit and cheese tend to go together like soup and sandwich, the first time I saw watermelon and feta cheese paired up on a menu it struck me as very odd.

  • By Eric Martin

    Las Vegas Optic

  • By Sara Moulton
    The Associated Press
    If you’ve never tasted fresh lemonade, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s just so much more vivid than the supermarket stuff, much more about the lemon and less about the sugar.
    True, juicing the lemons can be a pain, but the process becomes very near painless if you start by softening the lemons in the microwave for 30 seconds. Then all you have to do is add sugar syrup — a mixture of sugar and water, heated until the sugar is dissolved — and some cold water. Done.

  • The Associated Press
    Who says salsa has to be made from tomatoes? Or dumped unceremoniously from a jar?
    With all of summer’s bounty, there are plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables that make fantastic salsas. Scoop them up with chips or crackers, or add them to sandwiches, salads, burgers and tacos. We came up with three simple salsas, but they are easily tweaked to whatever is fresh or happens to be in your refrigerator. Switch out the apples for peaches or plums, even chopped strawberries. Don’t like dill? Opt for basil or tarragon.

  • By Sara Moulton
    The Associated Press
    Just because summer seems to scream for pie doesn’t mean we are eager to crank up the oven. This is especially true at the Fourth of July, when we’d rather focus on the grill and preparations for fireworks.

  • By Margaret McKinney
    Highlands University

    The New Mexico Highlands University Ray Drew Gallery presents an exhibit of the university’s eclectic fine art collection through Aug. 12.

    The Ray Drew Gallery is in the university’s Donnelly Library, 802 National Ave. The gallery is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to  5 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

  • By Alison Ladman
    The Associated Press
    Who says the traditional Easter ham has to be traditional?
    We understand that there is good reason for many traditions, particularly when it comes to food. After all, many food traditions earned their place because they are simply delicious. The glazed ham is a fine example. And that’s why we decided not to mess with that part of this spring staple.

  • By Alison Ladman
    The Associated Press
    A little retro and a whole lot of fun, cream cheese mints are the perfect way to keep little hands busy during Easter dinner preparations.
    Make up the dough, then let the kids play around with different flavors and colors (or not, if you’re trying to avoid pink and green hands). They also can form the mints in a variety of shapes. Consider making lemon mints, classic peppermints, or orange cream mints. You even could do mocha mints with coffee and chocolate extracts.

  • By Russell Contreras
    The Associated Press
    Evil eye. Magical fright. A sick soul.
    These are all afflictions usually treated by traditional Mexican healers known as curanderos. And this summer, an Albuquerque museum is planning an exhibit on the magical art of curanderismo, or the practice of traditional Mexican folk healing.

  • By Elizabeth Karmel
    The Associated Press

    My sister, Mary Pat, is the born baker in the family. She has a sweet tooth that she has polished into a fine baking skill. Everything she makes is delicious, but she is famous for her rugelach.

    As is common with rugelach, the recipe is passed down from family baker to family baker. This recipe originally came from our cousin Vera, but my sister has lovingly tweaked it to make it her own. It is made with sour cream instead of cream cheese, making the pastry lighter and flakier than most rugelach.

  • APRICOT CLOVE CRUMB BARS

    Start to finish: 45 minutes
    Makes 24 bars

    2 cups old fashioned oats
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon ground cloves
    3/4 cup chopped pecans
    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
    12-ounce jar apricot preserves

    Heat the oven to 350 F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray, then line it with parchment paper.

  • By J.M. Hirsch
    AP Food Editor

    You can keep your decorated, stained glass, death-by-chocolate, triple-dunked biscotti bombs, or whatever this holiday season’s must-bake cookie will be.

    Any time of year — and especially this time of year — I’ll take the delicious simplicity and vanilla-ness (no, probably not a real word) of a chewy, soft and sweet snickerdoodle over just about any fancy, overwrought confection. Even better is to pair that simple, underappreciated cookie with the most perfect of holiday beverages — eggnog.

  • The Associated Press

    ALMOND SAFFRON PUFF COOKIES

  • By Margaret McKinney
    Highlands University

    The New Mexico Highlands University Mariachi Vaqueros de la Sierra presents a concert at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. in the university’s Ilfeld Auditorium, 900 University Ave.

    The award-winning mariachi group will perform a variety of musical selections, including huapangos, rancheras, boleros and sones. The group will also perform a number of classic mariachi Christmas songs as well as arrangements of Christmas songs for mariachi.

  • By J.M. Hirsch
    AP Food Editor

    It’s awfully hard to get excited about a food called “nutritional yeast flakes.” It sounds like something you either need a prescription to get. Or a prescription to get rid of. Even worse, it resembles yellow flaked fish food. But trust me, this is an ingredient worth looking beyond its name and appearance.

  • By J.M. Hirsch
    AP Food Editor

    Nothing says “Yum!” like a bit of nomenclatural confusion... Especially with a side of near extinction.

    But that’s what you get once you venture down the culinary path with bison, an alternative red meat that is showing up at more and more grocers  nationwide. And these massive shaggy creatures are such a delicious — and good for us — meat, it’s worth sorting it all out.

  • Submitted to the Optic

    Air Force Col. Joseph L. Torres, Jr. has retired from the U.S. Air Force.  Torres is the Chief of Logistics Readiness Division, Headquarters, Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.  The Colonel has served in the military for 26 years.  

    He is the son of Joseph L. Torres, Sr. and Priscilla C. Torres of Coronado Drive in Las Vegas.  

    His wife, Angelina, is the daughter of Frances and Jose F. Esquibel also of Commerce Street. They have two children, Rachel and Andrea.