Thursday, November 4, 2010


So.  No posts since Sunday, eh?  

Totally lame.  

I don't think I can blame it on a busy week, although it has definitely been chock-full of some goodness!  

There was voting (sans "I Voted" stickers... GET IT TOGETHER, Dallas)...

And perfect, stormy, coffee-cup-printed-nubby-flannel-pant-wearing weather...

And law-school-class-guest-speaker topic preparation...

And two (very different) pieces of extra-wonderful news from two extra-wonderful girlfriends!  

Chock-full-o-goodness.  I like it!  And I'll take it, arms wide open! 

A few answers to recent reader questions to make up for being an absentee-blogger...

Hatch Chiles... What's up with those?  Why are you so obsessed?  Are you talking about the ones in the can?  Do you roast fresh ones yourself?  How do you store them?  How do you cook with them?

I get these questions or some variation thereof on a pretty frequent basis... Thus, I give you, My Hatch Opus:  Hatch chiles hail from Hatch, New Mexico - a teeny, tiny town in Southern NM, nearish to Ciudad Juarez and El Paso.  The chiles grown in Hatch were dubbed "The Best Chiles in the World" by the BBC (according to Wiki) (and you what Michael Scott says about Wiki) (and the BBC's pretty reputable as well, I hear).  I agree wholeheartedly with that assessment  - the flavor of Hatches is amazing and attending the Hatch Chile Festival (held annually over Labor Day Weekend) is high on my "bucket list!" 

But until then... I just let Central Market (for those of you not in Texas, think: a slightly more frou-frou version of Whole Foods) act as my Hatch tourguide and guru during their version of Hatch Fest (coinciding with Hatch harvest / festival)!

Every year during Hatch Fest, I stock up - there is only about a 2 to 4 week window to purchase fresh (or freshly roasted) Hatches every year (well, during harvest... see link below to pay a bit more for flash-frozen Hatches). You can buy them canned, but, as it tends to be with anything worthwhile, the flavor is is far superior when incorporated / frozen immediately after roasting.  I usually buy several sacks of fresh chiles (if I'm feeling adventurous)...

... which I roast in the oven or over the gas grill (same steps as roasting a bell pepper), store in airtight Ziplocs, and freeze.  For the rest of my culinary booty, I rely on Central Market's roasters...

CM packs the finished product in liquid for quick use or freezing.  I usually have at least a baker's dozen of these containers (each holding about 12 chiles) in my freezer every year + the ones I've roasted myself.  When I have a recipe in which to incorporate my lovelies, I just pop a container into the fridge to dethaw the night before, take what I need when it's go-time, and throw the rest (resealed) back into the freezer when I'm done!  Roasted Hatches look like this...

Before incorporating them into a recipe, I hold the chile under the running faucet, gently peel the majority of the charred outer skin off the chile, twist the top off, split the body open, scrape out the seeds and veins, pat dry, and finally (and finely), chop!  

I prefer the "hot" chiles, but you can also purchase "mild" (wussy) (kidding) (but not really).  If you like 'em hot, hot, hot like me, be warned... the self-roasting and/or chopping process can result in unwanted home facial treatments. It's worth it.  But not necessarily the most pleasant personal spa experience.  Invest in some rubber gloves.  And take a page from Clinton's book and don't inhale. 

{As you've likely noted,} I'll use Hatches in just about everything (want proof? just take a gander through my weekly menus!).  If it calls for a chile or a pepper (jalapeño, poblano, green bell, etc), it's likely you'll find me defrosting a precious Hatch instead.  Stews, chilis, and chowders coming from my kitchen will include Hatches.  So will cornbread.  {Find my favorite turkey chili and cornbread muffins here} Someday soon, I will make this and I have a feeling it's going to be epic (although I think I'll come up with a more gleeful and Hatch-appropriate name than "funeral food").  Casserole = Hatch.  You pickin' up what I'm puttin' down?  

If you've missed Hatch season this year, or if you can't purchase them locally during harvest, you can order fresh-roasted, pre-peeled, frozen Hatches for your sub-zero here!  

Lace at Work... I know lace is big this season, but can I wear it to work without giving off a sexpot or overly romantic vibe?

This one comes from a reader / college friend (shoutout to AH in TN!) who is also of the Lady Lawyer Persuasion.  Lace is huge in current trends, but pieces comprised entirely of lace tend to say "I'm too sexy for my shirt" or "Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone"... and while both Right Said Fred and Taylor Swift are highly successful in the music business (um, OR NOT for Right Said Fred... who the hell are they?  I kind of thought RuPaul sang that song until I consulted my leather-bound set of home encyclopedias), their sentiments might not be quite as endearing in a more traditional business sector!  

Try a lace-trimmed camisole or shell under a V-neck sweater, cardigan, a wrap dress, or a conservatively-cut blazer.  

Lace work

As with anything you wear to work, consider your environment (probably a good specific rule of thumb with lace is "the more conservative the workplace, the less lace should be visible") and look to see what other respected women in your field are wearing.   

And finally, check out these gorgeous photos that appeared today in my Inbox, as if by magic, thanks to SM of Sweet Disposition... they take me right back to Napa (where she is lucky enough to live... oh so jealous)!   

le sigh.

Cheers to a chock-full-o-goodness weekend!  
OOO!  OOO!  OOO!  One more thing... if you're in the DFW area, the Breast Cancer 3-Day will be taking over our metroplex... thousands of walkers, decked out in pink, walking sixty miles for a cure over the course of three days beginning tomorrow!  Read about my 3 Day Experience here, and consider penning an encouraging posterboard, grabbing some Tootsie Roll Pops and stickers, and heading down to one of the Cheering Stations or participating in the Opening or Closing Ceremonies to show your support!  I'll be at the Bank of America on Preston Sunday morning with a basket full of Blow Pops!  


  1. Two things...

    1. Oregon is a vote-by-mail state. Which means NO STICKER. I want a damn sticker.

    2. I buy Hatch enchilada sauce which is a-freaking-mazing. I can only imagine how hatch chiles are fresh.

  2. As one of your readers who wondered about the Hatches, let me just say that not next week, but the week after, I'll be making that phone call to stock my freezer. Thank you Kate.

  3. So glad you gave that little explanation of the hatch chillies! I've been curious!

    And yes, I'm up for a trip to Napa. I could use that kind of vacation right about now!

  4. i love hatch and as a new mexican I approve of your explanation :)

  5. As an Albuquerque native, I am so glad to see Hatch chile getting the blog love it deserves :) Have you tried it on pizza? TDF.

  6. so happy to see your little napa shout out! if you wouldnt mind posting / or emailing me some of your favorite spots to hit in winecountry? my husband and i are taking our 3 month later belated honeymoon over new years (staying at the napa wine cottages) and would love some suggestions! thanks a million!

  7. Did you speak at SMU?? Where? When???
    I was also slightly perturbed when I dragged myself in the cold rain to the polls only to find no "I Voted!" stickers. Worthless...

  8. Thanks for the info on Hatch chiles! I've been interested in the for a while now but have yet to taste them.

  9. Kate,

    Does your mom have that "Benjamin Button" disease where she ages backwards? I'm serious, she doesn't look like she has aged at all since our middle school bus stop days. What are her secrets?

  10. Hooray for Hatches! In my super Boulder hippie childhood days, Hatch season was probably more anticipated in our house than Christmas. Our family Thanksgiving stuffing recipe even has Hatches in it!

    If you like it Hot, Hot, Hot (which I know you do!) might I recommend trying not to rinse while peeling? In my house, it was verboten to rinse the chili after roasting, for fear of washing off some of that glorious sabor...

    Glad you're spreading Hatch fever to the masses!


  11. I am a fellow lady lawyer and I rock the black lace tights (only with plainer skirt / dress combos and usually on Fashion Friday) and a little lace at the decollatage. Perfectly suitable (pardon the pun.)

  12. My aunt is walking this weekend and I so wish I could make it down to cheer her on ... however, this thing called med school and winterizing the lovely drafty 75 year old casa are sort of putting a damper on my poster making skills. Boo.

  13. I'll be thinking of all those walkers this weekend and you, as well, handing out blow pops. We'll do it again some day--if not in big D, definitely in San Diego! XXOO

  14. I was so excited when you explained the hatches! I'm currently living in El Paso, courtesy of the US Army, and I wanted SO badly to make it to the hatch fest this year, but missed out. Living this close, I'm determined to make it next year. If you ever do make it out this way (and we're still in the area) I'd be more than happy to show you "hot" (literally and figuratively) spots! :)


happy little comments!