We all know a certain dish or restaurant can bring back vivid memories - good and bad. Now, I don't have a great memory, so when I travel or have a special food experience, I like to bring home a menu to share with friends, colleagues, and family. If I'm really lucky, a restaurant will have a cookbook for sale, so when I return home I can recreate that memory again and again.
In December 2006, I joined a team of Cooking Light editors, stylists, designers, and photographers on a photo shoot in Santa Fe, New Mexico for a winter story on New Mexican Cuisine. (The story, High Country Noche Buena, ran in December 2007.) On that trip, the group ate multiple times at Cafe Pasqual's in downtown Santa Fe. We all fell in love! If you have been to Santa Fe, and haven't been to Pasqual's, you are truly missing out. The vibe is laid-back and welcoming, with the majority of patrons sitting at a "community" table in the center of the restaurant. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the food is traditional New Mexican and always delicious. Try the Chorizo Breakfast Burrito with both types of chiles (red and green) poured over the top. New Mexican's refer to this combination as "Christmas."
Recently, when it came time for my husband and me to get away for a few days, I suggested Santa Fe. I took him to Pasqual's, of course. And this time I brought home a copy of Cafe Pasqual's Cookbook: Spirited Recipes from Santa Fe. Now every time we want to relive our happy memories of that trip, all I have to do is whip up some Posole or Red Chile Sauce from the cookbook. (My husband's favorite is still the Chorizo Burrito.) This is one of my favorite cookbooks for New Mexican fare, and a beautiful souvenir as well. Since our visit, they've come out with another cookbook: Cooking with Cafe Pasqual's. I guess we'll have to plan another trip!