Monthly Archives: October 2010

Housing market still breathing in city as foreclosure freeze sets in

By Bruce Krasnow | The New Mexican
Posted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010  This article was syndicated from The New Mexican, click here for the original article.

Flat may be the new up for the Santa Fe home market, as increased sales in the city were offset in the third quarter by sharply lower volume in the unincorporated area, according to data released Wednesday.

In the third quarter of 2010, sales in the city of Santa Fe increased slightly to 145 single-family units from 135 as the median sales price rose 11 percent to $318,000. Single-family transactions in the unincorporated area fell 61 percent to 87. The median price in the county fell slightly to $389,000 from a year ago, according to the Santa Fe Association of Realtors.

Donna Reynolds, executive director of the association, said the county decline is likely because of more expensive housing in outlying areas, while the price points now selling are largely in city neighborhoods. “Even with the tax break expiring, it’s amazing to see we’re holding steady,” she said.

More telling might be the dollar volume of transactions, which fell 17 percent from 2009. That number, about $118 million for the recent quarter, represents dollars that ripple through the economy to brokers, title agents, surveyors, appraisers, loan officers and inspectors.

Still, as the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit has pushed prices and sales down nationally, the Santa Fe data shows the market here is still breathing — especially for buyers who can tap into record-low interest rates.

“With record-low interest rates and a growing inventory of homes in all price ranges, buyers are still in the driver’s seat,” added JoAnne Vigil Coppler, president-elect of the Santa Fe Association of Realtors.

But it may also be that inventory — and what some call the “shadow inventory” of distressed and foreclosed homes still to enter the market — will be the biggest headwind for sellers in the coming year. And it is also affecting those looking to refinance properties, said one broker, as appraisals may not sustain an expected value.

September saw more than 1,700 active listings — up 5 percent from a year ago and 25 percent from June, when people ready their homes for the busy summer season, according to the association.

And in the $1 million-plus price range, just seven homes on average are selling a month, with 330 listed for sale, according to Alan Ball, who blogs on the Santa Fe real-estate market.

And no one can rightly assess the continuing foreclosure issues, which now have many lenders freezing repossessions because of disputed paperwork.

“There are many homeowners that lenders are just now beginning foreclosure activity against. Some may be going into default now for the first time, while others may have been past due for many months already. Since the number of ‘problem’ loans (however you define the word) is increasing, it is difficult to expect overall improvement,” Ball said in a blog post last month.

“Sales, slightly improved over last year, are not keeping pace. Bottom line: We are only marginally better off than at the worst of the downturn around the summer of 2009,” Ball added.

A new report this morning from RealtyTrac indicates several surrounding states are still reeling from foreclosures, with Nevada, Arizona and California at the top nationally. New Mexico is ranked 29, with more than 3,000 properties having seen some foreclosure activity — that’s down 8.1 percent from the second quarter of 2010, but up 48 percent from a year ago.

And some of the foreclosure snafus are hitting Santa Fe, said Steve Riemann, area manager for Fidelity National Title, who attended the Association of Realtors briefing.

Riemann said he is seeing 10 percent of all sales having some foreclosure action, and one closing last week was canceled while in progress by a bank that could not guarantee a deed.

“It was right in my closing room,” he said. “This is a legal battle that consumers need to be aware of.”

Still, for those who can borrow money, it is and will remain a buyer’s market, said Riemann, who has a home under contract himself. One indication of the market instability, he said, is that for the first time he can remember about 20 percent of the sales contracts never go to closing. He speculated that might be because of credit problems, home-appraisal or pricing disputes, and the large inventory that could lead buyers elsewhere.

Santa Fe Real Estate News – Las Campanas Neighborhood

Santa Fe Market Report
Featuring Las Campanas Area

Active SFAR Listings
All Santa Fe Listings (10/07/10)
Residential: 2743
Residential Land: 1492
Farm & Ranch: 114
Commercia Buildings: 204
Commercial Land: 75
Live/Work: 18
Multi Family: 35

The Las Campanas Snapshot
Residential Listings (10/07/10)
Active: 128
Pending: 5
Sold: 31*
  Average DOM: 310*
  Average Listing Price: $1,214,362*
     Average Listing Price Per Sq.ft: $312*
  Average Selling Price: $1,081,993*
     Average Selling Price Per Sq.ft.: $278*
  % of List Price: 89%*

*Sold (10/08/09-10/07/10)

Days on Market (DOM)
Las Campanas – Residential Sold*
Days on the Market

Selling Price: % of List Price
Las Campanas – Residential Sold*
Percentage of asking price

MLS Comparison, Sales Year To Date
Las Campanas – Residential – 2009 v. 2010
(1/1/09-10/07/09) – (1/1/10-10/07/10)
Year to Date Comparison

If you would like to know more about any of the homes for sale in the Las Campanas neighborhood, contact me, Karen Meredith, by e-mail or at (505) 603-3036.  For a free market analysis of how much your Las Campanas neighborhood home is worth, click here.

Return to view more Santa Fe Neighborhoods

Carne Adovada


Serves 6 to 8.

Note: From “The Rancho de Chimayo Cookbook,” by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison.

  • •8 oz. (about 25) whole dried red chile pods, preferably Chimayo or other New Mexico red, or ancho
  • • 4 c. water, divided
  • • 1 tsp. minced white onion
  • • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • • 3 lb. boneless pork chops, trimmed of fat and cut into 1- to 2-in. cubes
  • • Lettuce and tomatoes, optional, for garnish


To prepare sauce: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Break stems off chile pods and discard seeds. It is not necessary to get rid of every seed, but most should be removed. Place chiles in sink or large bowl, rinse carefully and then drain.

Place damp pods in 1 layer on baking sheet and roast 5 minutes in oven. Watch pods carefully so they don’t burn. The chiles can have a little remaining moisture. Remove from oven and let cool. Break each chile into 2 or 3 pieces.

In blender, purée half of pods with 2 cups water. Pour liquid into large, heavy saucepan. Repeat with remaining pods and water.

Add onion, Worcestershire, oregano, salt and white pepper to chile purée and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mixture will be thickened, but should remain a bit soupy. Remove from heat. Set aside.

To prepare meat: In a large oiled baking pot with lid, pour enough sauce over bottom of pot to fully cover. Top evenly with pork cubes. Pour remaining sauce over pork. There should be more sauce than meat.

Cover pot and bake at 300 degrees until meat is tender and sauce cooks down, about 31/2 hours. Check meat after 3 hours. The carne adovada can be left uncovered for the last few minutes of baking if sauce seems watery.

Garnish with lettuce and tomato on side, if desired. Sauce can be made in advance and refrigerated for a day. The completed recipe can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Add a couple tablespoons water before reheating in oven or top of stove

Green Chile Stew


Serves 8.

Note: You can substitute canned green chile peppers for the roasted. From the Santa Fe School of Cooking.

  • • 1 1/2 lb. beef stew meat, pork or chicken, cut in 1/2 -in. pieces
  • • 1/4 c. oil
  • • 2 onions, diced
  • • 4 c. chicken or beef stock
  • • 2 tsp. salt
  • • 4 potatoes, cubed
  • • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • • 3 c. chopped roasted green chiles
  • • 2 tbsp. cilantro, or more to taste


Brown meat in oil in large saucepan. Add onions and continue to cook until onions are brown on edges. Add stock and salt; bring to boil. Add potatoes and simmer 1 to 2 hours.

Add bell peppers and garlic. Cook for another 30 minutes. Add green chile and cilantro and cook another 15 to 20 minutes.

Variations: Add any or all, to taste: posole, pinto beans, corn, tomatoes, chipotles en adobo and crushed coriander seed.

Star Tribune, Your choice: red or green? October 6, 2010

Autumn means fresh chiles in New Mexico, and the traditional recipes that use them are hearty and rich in flavor.

By Lee Dean, Star Tribune, October 6, 2010.  This article is syndicated from the Star Tribune, click here for the original article

A ristra of dried chiles. Richard Swearinger, Special to the Star Tribune

SANTA FE, N.M. – The fragrance of roasting peppers was as effective as a trail of bread crumbs as I looked for the farmers market on Guadalupe Street. The closer I got to the railroad station, where the vendor stalls began, the more pungent the peppers’ aroma.

By the time I reached Reynaldo Romero and his wire roaster on the outskirts of the plaza, the chile oils in the air were making me cough and my eyes burn.

Romero seemed unaffected by the volatile oils or intense heat. His safari hat and long sleeves protected him from the sun and roaster as he quietly and constantly turned the wheel to rotate the chiles. Each batch took about five minutes to blister, at which time the chile skins could be easily removed and the peppers were ready to eat, freeze or cook.

It’s chile harvest season in New Mexico, a glorious time when 40-pound burlap bags of chiles are sold in markets and from the backs of trucks. Some chiles are hung and dried in the colorful strings of peppers called ristras. But many are sold in quantities to be roasted en masse.

My cabdriver pointed out the bags of chiles for sale in vacant corners of parking lots as we zipped through the city. It was a good year for chiles, and he and his wife expected to spend a weekend roasting and canning peppers to carry them through a year’s worth of recipes — an annual fall event in kitchens throughout the region.

Not surprising in a state where a U.S. senator entered the official spelling of “chile” — not chili or chilie — into the Congressional Record. Or where state legislators voted on an official “question” as a symbol.

“Red or green?” is asked at any New Mexican restaurant, signifying “red or green sauce.” For those who can’t make up their minds — or who simply like the taste of both — there’s another possibility: “Christmas,” meaning both red and green sauces.

The New Mexican chiles — green in the summer and red in the fall as they ripen — offer two very different choices, depending on their color, the green being more, well “green” and vegetative in flavor, and the red a much deeper, darker and more complex taste.

Green chiles are standard fare in New Mexico, added to everything from tuna to pizza, says Cheryl Alters Jamison. She and her husband, Bill, are prolific cookbook authors who live in the area. The red, most often used dried, is either ground or cooked whole in sauces.

The chiles grow well in the bright sun, low humidity and high altitude of New Mexico (Santa Fe’s elevation is 7,000 feet), with specific varieties grown in different regions — think wine and terroir. Chiles are no different, with the Hatch chile coming from Hatch, N.M., and the Chimayo from the region of the same name. Outside New Mexico, the green chiles are often called Anaheim.

Their skins are tough because of the weather, which is why they are roasted first to make the skins slip off easily.

To do this at home, put the peppers in a single layer under a broiler and, turning them occasionally, let the skins blister and blacken, which will take about five minutes. Remove the peppers from the oven and put them on a clean towel and fold over the top (or put in a paper bag and close it); let the peppers rest for a few minutes. The skins then can be pulled off with your fingers with or without running water (don’t worry about removing all of the black bits). If they are to be frozen, the skins can be left on and removed when defrosted.

Both red and green chiles are used extensively at Rancho de Chimayo, a 45-year-old restaurant nestled in the rural hills 30 miles outside of Santa Fe. The restaurant was one of the first to offer a menu that reflected the way New Mexicans ate at home — a novelty at the time — with its mix of chiles, posole and beans in a variety of dishes. The recipes can be found in “The Rancho de Chimayo Cookbook,” by the Jamisons.

If you pay attention to terroir — and Anaheim simply won’t do — you can order the real pepper fresh (in season), frozen, dried or ground from the Santa Fe School of Cooking, 116 W. San Francisco St., Santa Fe, NM 87501, 1-505-983-4511.

As for me, I plan to cook my way through “The Rancho de Chimayo Cookbook,” one chile pepper at a time.

Old Santa Fe: 400 and still evolving

By:  Chris Reynolds, Los Angeles Time Staff Writer, October 4, 2010

Reporting from Santa Fe, N.M.– “Oldest house,” panted Robert Chavez, steering his pedicab past a 17th century adobe.

“Oldest church,” he added a moment later, nodding left toward the 17th century San Miguel Mission Church.

Santa Fe — rich, tan, relentlessly artsy and frequently artificial — is really old, by American standards. The city turned 400 this year.

When I visited recently, my mission wasn’t really to chase after old buildings, odd galleries and new restaurants. I wanted a look at Santa Fe’s newest downtown neighborhood, a once-blighted railroad zone whose revival is nearly complete. But in the middle of such history and atmosphere, a tourist gets distracted.

Before long, I was seated in Chavez’s pedicab, hurtling down a historic alley near the ditch that carried the city’s original water supply.

And then I was in front of a jewelry shop on San Francisco Street, where a cowboy guitarist named Wily Jim yodeled like a coyote who’d put in a semester at Juilliard. A few blocks over on Marcy Avenue, the Mira! Boutique was offering a stylish patio chair, crafted in Togo from an old oil barrel — only $$250. In the front yard of a gallery on Canyon Road, a woman with a blue scarf daubed white spots on a painting of a dancing pig. Planning your trip


From LAX, Southwest and United offer nonstop service, and US Airways, Delta, Frontier, Southwest and United offer connecting service (change of planes) to Albuquerque, which is about 60 miles from Santa Fe. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $$218. Since late 2009 American Eagle has been offering one daily nonstop flight between LAX and Santa Fe Municipal Airport. The flight takes about 1 hour and 50 minutes. The jet, an Embraer ERJ-140, seats 44 passengers. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $$210.

 ”I’m just putting dots on her panties while the artist goes and gets a cigarette,” explained Deborah A. Higgs, director of All My Relations gallery. A moment later, artist Robert Anderson returned, took back the brush and regarded the pig anew.

“She represents to me a sort of welcoming, motherly femininity,” Anderson said.

So goes the good life in Santa Fe, and much of it is conducted among the city’s beloved earth-toned adobe and faux-adobe buildings (because the real adobes can melt like mocha ice cream in the rain). At their roof lines, carefully carved wood vigas — the ceiling beams — protrude, and red-pepper ristras dangle. The handsome blue doors and window frames look nice too, but their first purpose (so the folk wisdom goes) is to repel evil spirits.

If only there were a color that tourists could wear to repel high prices. But because there isn’t, be grateful that fall is here and room rates are falling.

If you visit in October — when the aspens and cottonwoods put on golden displays of fall foliage — you’ll probably pay 15% less for your room than the August hordes (who paid $$144 nightly on average last year). In November, you might pay 30% less, but you will need a heavier jacket; Santa Fe is about 7,000 feet above sea level, and the average November high/low is 52/26.

No matter when you arrive, you’ll want to check out the dozens of galleries along Canyon Road, where landscapes, portraits, American pottery and Australian aboriginal abstracts abound, at price points of $$100 to $$10,000. You’ll also want to pay respects at the Palace of the Governors, the long, low structure that faces the plaza, where the Native American merchants lay out their wares along the shaded walkway.

It’s not only the oldest building in town (and a genuine adobe that requires careful maintenance), but it’s also billed as the oldest continuously occupied public building in the United States. Inside, you can browse historical exhibits. Just behind the palace stands the New Mexico History Museum, which opened last year.

The palace has been tweaked and renovated over the years, but this is where the Spanish set up headquarters when they showed up around 1610. When Native Americans rose up and chased the Spanish out of town in 1680, this building was here. When the Spanish retook the town in 1693, it was still here.

And in the late 1870s, when New Mexico territorial governor Lew Wallace turned away from his day job to scribble, of all things, a novel about a chariot-racing Jewish slave/prince named Ben-Hur, this is where he did it. (Long before the Charlton Heston movie, “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ” was a 19th century bestseller.)

The St. Francis Cathedral Basilica two blocks away will demand your attention as well. It’s a massive stone structure that was put up by 19th century Archbishop Jean-Baptiste Lamy, who came from France and didn’t care much for the adobe look. (Locals persuaded him to leave standing a part of the old adobe church, which is now connected to the cathedral.) In front stands a sleek sculpture of a native maiden, added in 2002, whose beauty might distract you from noticing that the cathedral builders never got around to putting up spires.

Still, of all the handsome old buildings in Santa Fe, the one that stands out for me is the New Mexico Museum of Art, even though, as I’ve just learned from a $$1 museum pamphlet, it’s a copy of a knockoff of a facsimile.

It stands just across Lincoln Avenue from the Palace of the Governors, its walls bulging like muscles, vigas jutting smartly, shadows collecting in the courtyard, the works inside telling the story of Santa Fe’s growth as an art colony in the last century or so.

Its inspiration was San Esteban del Rey church at Acoma Pueblo (about 125 miles southwest of Santa Fe), which state historians say was built in the 1630s. But the line that connects them zigs to Colorado, then zags to San Diego.

The zig came in 1908, when Colorado businessman C.M. Schenk hired I.H. and William M. Rapp, a sibling team of architects, to use the Acoma church design as a model for a commercial building in Morley, Colo.

They did it, a group of New Mexico boosters saw the result (which has since been demolished), and soon the brothers were hired to adapt Acoma again, this time as a “cathedral of the desert” to represent New Mexico at the 1915 Panama- California Exposition in San Diego.

Again they did it, to great acclaim. Next came Dr. Edgar L. Hewett, an organizer of the San Diego exposition who was also director of Santa Fe’s fledgling museum. Hewett hired the Rapps to deliver yet another variation on the Acoma theme. So they did in 1917, and that, bolstered with expansions over the years, is the building I’ve been gawking at. (The inside is good too; during my visit, it included a witty exhibit on cowboy boots in popular culture.)

Meanwhile, the original church remains at Acoma, and the San Diego version survives as well (in Balboa Park, though it’s been changed dramatically). But my guess is the Santa Fe art museum building gets the most visitors, inside and out. When I hear somebody say “pueblo revival” or “Santa Fe style,” it’s what I see.

It was tempting to do my eating at the tried-and-true Santa Fe institutions — lunch at the courtyard of the Shed, for instance, or breakfast amid the bustle of Café Pasqual’s. And it would have been another sort of fun to tangle with the fragrance police at Trattoria Nostrani (which has been serving upscale Italian cuisine and banning perfume and cologne for several years). But I was most interested in how Santa Fe renews itself, so I focused instead on new places.

At the Hotel St. Francis, whose small rooms and spacious lobby were renovated in 2009, the new Tabla de Los Santos restaurant served me a spicy Pastel de Los Santos (poached eggs, spinach, corn and chile). At Vinaigrette, a salad-based bistro with a pun-intensive menu and metal chairs of fire-engine red, I had a great lunch salad with pears, pecans, bacon and blue cheese.

I had three excellent dinners. The first was pork striploin at Restaurant Martín, in a low-key bungalow with high-end food, placed just far enough from the plaza to feel more local and less touristy. The second was a farmers market sampler from Max’s, another high-end restaurant with a smaller, and even more casual, dining room. Then there was La Boca (which has been around since 2006), where I sat at the bar in back and tucked into a few tapas and a dessert of fresas de Barcelona (strawberries and liqueur).

Now it was time to see about that neighborhood rebirth along the tracks.

To reach the Railyard District, you head a few blocks west from the plaza on San Francisco, then a few blocks south on Guadalupe, passing such nightlife hot spots as the Cowgirl BBQ and the Corazon nightclub. Then look for the tracks, and the buildings that aren’t adobe.

After decades of civic hand-wringing over the area, the Trust of Public Land stepped up in 1995 to help the city buy the land. Now the nonprofit Santa Fe Railyard Community Corp. manages 50 city-owned acres, having attracted 10 art galleries, four restaurants, one big REI store, several nonprofit arts organizations and the city’s main farmers market. A wood-barrel water tower stands in the middle of it all, a long, shaded walkway slices past, and 13 acres of landscaped open space will eventually connect with a citywide trail network.

Most of those spaces opened in 2008, as did the Railrunner commuter rail service, which connects Santa Fe and Albuquerque, charging just $$7 an adult for a 70-mile, 90-minute ride. (If you’re flying into Albuquerque, you can catch a free shuttle from the airport to a rail stop and continue by Railrunner train to Santa Fe.)

The Railyard is also home to the Santa Fe Southern Railway, a tourist train that offers round-trip sightseeing excursions Wednesdays through Sundays on a spur between Santa Fe and Lamy, about 20 miles south.

The idea is to preserve the Railyard’s old grit but also to bring in plenty of free-spending locals and visitors. And clearly the project isn’t done yet: Plans for a Railyard cinema multiplex have stalled for lack of financing, and the tiny old depot building could use some sprucing up.

But on Saturdays, the farmers market draws as many as 7,000 shoppers. And on the last Friday of every month, year-round, the Railyard galleries open for “art walks.”

“This is where contemporary art is really happening in Santa Fe,” said Fiona MacConnell of the Charlotte Jackson Gallery, which recently moved from the plaza area to the Railyard.

With that in mind, I spent a few hours browsing galleries and SITE Santa Fe, a nonprofit exhibition space whose biennial exhibitions since 1995 have won international respect in the art world. The current show, up through Jan. 2, is called “The Dissolve,” and it’s all about the joining of high technology with homespun techniques from the early days of animation. In other words: looking back while looking forward.

Of about 25 mostly video artworks in the show, half a dozen grabbed my attention. That’s a good batting average for me and contemporary art. As I reemerged into the bright light of the afternoon, a few preyed on my mind, especially the miniature drama of Oscar Muñoz’s endless efforts to complete a portrait in water on a fast-drying surface.

While the video camera rolled, the artist would add a new line to the water portrait, but as he did, an old one would evaporate. Then he’d add another new detail, as another evaporated. The watery face was forever evolving, like a slow-motion cartoon, or an old city in subtle but perpetual renewal.

Santa Fe Real Estate News – Tano Road Neighborhood

Santa Fe Market Report
Featuring The Tano Road Area

Active SFAR Listings
All Santa Fe Listings (10/01/10)
Residential: 2727
Residential Land: 1490
Farm & Ranch: 114
Commercia Buildings: 201
Commercial Land: 74
Live/Work: 19
Multi Family: 35

The Tano Road Snapshot
Residential Listings (10/01/10)
Active: 95
Pending: 11
Sold: 50*
  Average DOM: 237*
  Average Listing Price: $888,159*
     Average Listing Price Per Sq.ft: $255*
  Average Selling Price: $818,074*
     Average Selling Price Per Sq.ft.: $235*
  % of List Price: 92%*

*Sold (10/02/09-10/01/10)

Days on Market (DOM)
The Tano Road – Residential Sold*
Days on the Market

Selling Price: % of List Price
The Tano Road – Residential Sold*
Percentage of asking price

MLS Comparison, Sales Year To Date
The Tano Road -  Residential – 2009 v. 2010
(1/1/09-10/01/09) – (1/1/10-10/01/10)
Year to Date Comparison

If you would like to know more about any of the homes for sale in the Tano Road neighborhood, contact me, Karen Meredith, by e-mail or at (505) 603-3036.  For a free market analysis of how much your Tano Road neighborhood home is worth, click here.

Return to view more Santa Fe Neighborhoods

Santa Fe Real Estate News – Española

Santa Fe Market Report
Featuring The Española Area

Active SFAR Listings
All Santa Fe Listings (9/24/10)
Residential: 2840
Residential Land: 1499
Farm & Ranch: 114
Commercia Buildings: 205
Commercial Land: 74
Live/Work: 21
Multi Family: 37

The Española Area Snapshot
Residential Listings (9/24/10)
Active: 80
Pending: 8
Sold: 44*
  Average DOM: 224*
  Average Listing Price: $166,002*
     Average Listing Price Per Sq.ft: $92*
  Average Selling Price: $155,363*
     Average Selling Price Per Sq.ft.: $86*
  % of List Price: 94%*

*Sold (9/25/09-9/24/10)

Days on Market (DOM)
The Española – Residential Sold*
Days on the Market

Selling Price: % of List Price
The Española – Residential Sold*
Percentage of asking price

MLS Comparison, Sales Year To Date
The Española -  Residential – 2009 v. 2010
(1/1/09-9/25/09) – (1/1/10-9/24/10)
Year to Date Comparison

If you would like to know more about any of the homes for sale in Española, contact me, Karen Meredith, by e-mail or at (505) 603-3036.  For a free market analysis of how much your Española home is worth, click here.

Return to view more Santa Fe Neighborhoods

Santa Fe Guacamole


  •  2-3 medium to large-sized avocados, halved and seeded
  •  3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  •  1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  •  1/3  cup red onion, finely chopped
  •  1 jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
  •  1 small tomato, seeded and chopped small
  •  1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  •  Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Cut each avocado in half. Remove the skin and seed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

Place all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper and toss until all the ingredients are incorporated and the avocado is lightly mashed.  This guacamole is best when served on the chunky side.

Maria’s 100-Percent Agave House Margarita

Makes 1 margarita

  • 1 lemon wedge
  • A saucer of kosher salt (about 1/4 -inch deep)
  • 1  3/4 ounces Jose Cuervo Traditional 100-percent agave tequila
  • 1 ounce Bols triple sec
  • 1  1/2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice

Run lemon wedge around the rim of hurricane-style margarita glass. Dip rim of glass into saucer of salt, rotating rim in salt until desired amount collects on glass.

Measure tequila, triple sec and lemon juice into 16-ounce cocktail shaker glass full of ice. Place stainless steel cocktail lid over shaker glass, tapping top to create seal. Shake vigorously about 5 seconds. Pour, ice and all, into salt-rimmed glass. To serve the margarita “up,” simply strain liquid from ice into flat margarita glass. Serve immediately.