Ah, it's that time of the year where all of your summer's hard work is paying off. It's a time to rest, breathe, and reflect on all of the blessings that have come throughout the seasons.
The Aspens in Northern New Mexico are beginning to change colors, as the mornings grow chilly. I spoke with both guests and employees of Angel Fire RV Resort to find out what their taste buds are craving with the swift settling of this autumn's chill.
These 5 Comfort Food Recipes are sure to embrace your soul and help ease into those cozy brisk nights. Make these meals from home or your RV and plan to see the leaves in color soon-
It's officially Crock-Pot season!
Kelly's Louisiana Sloppy Joes
Brown the meat in a skillet, add Del Monte Sauce, smoke seasoning, Slap Ya MaMa, onions, bell peppers & celery- Stir and continue to cook in with the meat, cook on low for about 10-12 minutes. Turn of the fire and let it sit for about 15 min. The longer it sits the better it tastes!
The "JOE KOBE" Surprise// Breakfast Scramble
Throw it in a frying pan and MIX IT UP! Or, take it to another level with whatever meats you have leftover from the week, and square it up in a casserole dish/ throw a variety of cheese over the top and BAM- into the oven it goes.
It’s a casserole-style meal combined with ingredients from whatever random items you have laying around in the fridge and cupboards. A little bit of this and that and doctor it up with gravy, miscellaneous sauce, or your favorite hometown spice.
“It’s like hamburger helper on steroids.”
Crock-Pot Tater Soup
For Crock-Pot (LOW)- Cut potatoes into desired size and fill Crock-Pot with 2c of milk, 2 (6oz) cans of Cream of Mushroom, and half a stick of butter. Fry up bacon and mix in with small amount of grease. Cook on low for at least 6 hours/ gradually mixing in the garlic. Top with chives, fresh cheddar cheese (Optional- sour cream).
For Crock-Pot (HIGH)- Boil potatoes first before tossing into crock-pot with 2c of milk, 2 (6oz) cans of Cream of Mushroom, and half a stick of butter. Fry up bacon and mix in with small amount of grease. Cook on high for 30 minutes- 1 hour/ gradually mixing in the garlic. Top with chives, fresh cheddar cheese (Optional- sour cream).
[At Home] Mix chicken in a bowl with seasonings (Gumbo File & your choice), set aside. Put flour in a bowl while heating a pan of oil. Coat the chicken pieces in the flour mixture to coat well, shaking off excess. Reserve the leftover flour. Add chicken to hot oil and cook about 2-3 minutes per side. Pour off all but one cup of fat from the skillet. Heat this oil over high heat until it is almost smoking and add the reserved seasoned flour. Stir rapidly and constantly with a wire whisk until the mixture is golden brown. Do not burn. This is a roux. Add the chopped onion, celery and green pepper to the roux and stir to blend well. Remove from the heat. Add about half a cup of the roux mixture to second skillet, stirring rapidly with the whisk. Continue adding the roux mixture, half a cup at a time, always stirring rapidly and constantly. Add the smoked sausage and stir. Cook over high heat, stirring often from the bottom, about 15 minutes. Add the chicken pieces, okra (cut into chunks), and finely minced fresh garlic. Cook about 40 minutes, on medium-low, stirring occasionally. Remove the chicken pieces. Cut the meat from the bones and discard the bones. Cut the chicken into cubes or shred it and add it back to the pot. Serve with Uncle Ben's rice.
[RV] Freeze into Ziploc bags and store until travel/ keep frozen in the freeze-box or on dry ice until ready to cook in RV. Throw portions into the microwave when ready to cook or simmer on low in the Crock-Pot.
Crock-Pot Hot Chicken
This one is easy & delicious! Cook chicken on low for 6-8 hours in Crock-Pot mixed with (2) bottles of Frank's Red Hot. When tender, shred the chicken with two forks right in the Crock-Pot and serve on Hawaiian sweet rolls with additional sauce for flavoring if desired.
Where are you spending fall?
Angel Fire RV Resort is the premier destination for all your mountain adventures! Take in 360' views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, as you sip cider from the base of the Southern Rockies.
The town of Angel Fire, New Mexico is a wonderful place to take a break and watch
the Aspens change into vibrant hues of yellow.
The chairlift at Angel Fire Resort has extended hours of operation through November 3rd.
Check out Raychel LeBlanc's
Five Fall Adventures to Have at Angel Fire Resort
for a fun list of activities happening this fall!
See You Soon.
I took a road trip across 7,000 miles of the United States over the summer of 2018 with my boyfriend, our 1-year-old daughter, and our 2 dogs. We lived in a van while we bopped from town to town, exploring ski towns in hopes of finding one to make a living in or at least catch a few turns in for winter.
We looked for certain qualities for the place that we would call our future home:
Had to be a ski town where we could raise our daughter to grow a love for adventure and the great outdoors, offer an affordable cost of living with available housing, be close to an airport for going home to visit family, have a college university within an hour, and offer livable-wage paying jobs.
What first seemed to be a reasonable list of accommodations proved a long, enduring journey. Along the way, we learned a lot about ourselves and the once Small Ski Towns of America.
Photo by: Collin Wheeler
Being from the South, I had never thought of Michigan as a ski town destination. My eyes were always set on the West. After I met Collin, a Northern native, my ideas of Michigan changed. The first ski town we visited was Boyne, a quaint place nestled on Lake Charlevoix. Collin grew up skiing at Boyne Mountain and worked for Boyne Resorts. I loved the lake being right in town and the opportunity to both sail and ski in the backyard. This is where we started applying for jobs and to no avail, there were no opportunities here for us as a family. Housing was doable and outdoor activities a plus, but we set our sails North and continued to look for a town that promised jobs, housing, AND the ski dream.
Photo by: Collin Wheeler
The town of Marquette is situated on Lake Superior, which might as well be called an ocean. I was enamored by the size of the lake and the history in the town. The town was built around the ore industry, and I would have never understood the passion behind the Edmund Fitzgerald without seeing an ore dock for myself. The lake effect combined with good beer from Blackrocks Brewery proved no surprise that skiing is a big part of the culture in Marquette. Sled dog racing is a casual weekend fling and fat biking is only a pedal away. The annual Michigan Ice Fest happens every February only 45 minutes away, and I've added it to my bucket list. Housing was available in this Northern ski town wonder, but the jobs were lacking. So we kept on a driving, and this time we were headed west.
TETON VALLEY, ID
Photo by: Collin Wheeler
Yep, we skipped right over Jackson Hole. Sure, we stopped in at all of our favorite places and spent a night for free in the town of antler arches (which is not something many can say). We parked the van a few blocks from the town square and reveled at what first brought us west many moons before. Back then, we thought it was an actual possibility to live in Jackson Hole, but now we had come through as a passing to get to the other side- The Teton Valley, where it was actually possible to work AND live. We had met in the valley when we both had jobs and housing was affordable with roommates. Coming back after a crazy year away, this once 'No red light' town was receiving daily traffic. The housing market, as expected, had not gotten any better. It was near-impossible to find affordable lodging without trekking out to Rexburg. The snow-magic on this side of the mountain stomped everything else. Skiiers from all around the world sweat blood working here and pay diamonds to rent a hole in the wall bedroom just to be near the ski hill. And we probably would have done the same if we hadn't been looking for a place with our daughter and stash of dogs. We applied for jobs over a Huckleberry Milkshake from the Victor Emporium but couldn't find a livable wage to afford the cost of living without both working doubles and fathoming the cost of daycare. To settle for Rexburg was too far out of reach from the snow for us, and we were still searching for an affordable ski town to call home for the winter.
Photo by: Collin Wheeler
Next stop, Bozeman. We didn't want to abandon the Teton Valley but thought Bozeman would be close enough to swap ski hills all winter and have the gold mine for jobs. We hit up the local library every day we were there and applied for jobs and researched the housing market. The jobs were here, along with the college kids, tourists, and insane cost of housing. We hopped downtown to catch a local musician on the crosswalk and nearly lost each other in a sea of rad bros and sorority sisters. I confronted the pack of solo-cuppers head on with my fanny pack strapped tight and stroller bar in hand. I found Collin, and we made a leap for the nearest guitar shop, Music Villa. You can tell a lot about a ski town by the homeliness of the local music shop. And boy, Bozeman had a great one. We talked with the Martin salesman, and he filled us in. He said that if we had landed there 20 years sooner, we would have seen the small town culture of Bozeman before the college-tourist boom. He said the streets stayed busy now, and you had to be willing to brawl with a raging trustfunder for a Cup of Joe at the corner coffee shop nowadays. The accessibility to mountains and skiing was almost worth it, but the cost of rentals and housing more than shot us down at a chance in Montana. We applied for income-based housing at the top of Big Sky and kept our fingers crossed as we fled the state.
Photo by: Allie Bynum
Leavenworth was a dream. We pretended for a few days that we could find affordable housing, but it was just not a reality. We applied at Steven's Pass and rode out fate, as we slept in the van by the gorgeous Icicle River.
Photo by: Allie Bynum
About 40 minutes from Crystal Mountain Resort, you will find the town of Greenwater (if you consider it a town). We were on the hunt for a tight-knit community- ski town that had both livable wage jobs and affordable housing. It was starting to seem like an unrealistic combo. We were both offered decent wage jobs with Crystal Mountain. Greenwater was lacking in the housing sector, so we looked into Enumclaw. For a couple days, we seriously considered accepting the jobs, driving an hour commute each way to and from the resort, leaving our daughter an hour away in daycare, and locking the dogs up in the only couple-thousand-dollar a month apartment we could find. We were getting desperate. Mt. Rainier almost had us convinced, but something in our hearts kept telling us that a ski town right for our family was out there, somewhere, hidden in the contiguous 48.
ANGEL FIRE, NM: THE LAST AFFORDABLE SKI TOWN IN AMERICA
Photo by: Allie Bynum
We explored a lot of territory in between all of the ski towns we visited, and we were on a mission to find a home for winter- One that we could afford, raise our daughter in, and still have time to wax our gear and play in the snow. Driving across the country over 7,000 miles, it was starting to feel like The American Dream no longer existed, that affordable housing was a joke, and that a college degree was a waste of money sold in the form of a piece of paper to accrue student debt.
Our last couple of days shuffling around Washington, Collin received a call from Angel Fire Resort in New Mexico. "Isn't that the desert?" I asked him with rattlesnake brain. We had never thought much about going to New Mexico. In fact, it was probably the last place we ever thought about settling down.
Collin accepted the job offer, and we headed south.
While we compromised some of our original requests for finding a place to call home, snow was not one of them. Angel Fire received upwards of 240 inches of snow our first winter, and though it's a solid 3-hour drive to get to the airport, Angel Fire has met the chunk of requirements we were looking for.
We were lucky to find this quaint ski town hidden in Northern New Mexico. It's a great escape from the crowds that loiter Bozeman and J-Hole. And if you decide to check it out for yourself, make sure you ask for "Christmas" on your first authentic New Mexican burrito.
"If the rind was showing through the fruit, that was likely the winner. Everybody was into it, both adults and children- possibly the most exciting sporting event Angel Fire has ever seen!" - Michael
Guests from all around the world chose Angel Fire as the base camp of their holiday vacation this Labor Day Weekend, making great friends and creating lifelong memories.
The RV Resort has hosted daily activities for guests all summer long including the crowd favorite Burgers & Blues and fun evening pastimes like S'mores Nights and the notable
Ice Cream Social.
On-site events and activities encourage guests to step out and mingle with other travelers while providing food, beverages, and local entertainment. Many guests come and leave as lifelong friends, with several making reservations to return to Angel Fire RV Resort together the following year.
The crowd had a blast rooting for their favorite contestants, as participants were nose-deep in watermelon. The evening was full of smiles, pretty sunsets, and a friendly local band from Taos- Out of Nowhere.
The RV Resort GM- Rebecca Rapp- keeping the crowd stoked before the final round.
Fall is creeping into Angel Fire during the late evening and early mornings, and we are excited to see what activities and events are planned for sweater season//
Follow the Angel Fire RV Resort Facebook page to stay up to date on future events and specials!
Traveler. Writer. Mom.