Welcome to CookingwithFire.com

Welcome to the home of Cooking with Fire. Feel free to browse our website to see the products we have to offer or read our newsletter to learn more about chiles and "food with attitude".

Spaghetti Squash with Pine Nuts, Sage and Romano
January 25th, 2015

When our dear friends, Stretch and Mary, were visiting us over the holidays, they brought down two spaghetti squash for us to enjoy.  We ate one of them while they were here and I just got around to cooking the other one last night.  I saw this recipe and thought that it looked delicious – and it was!  Here’s the link:  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/spaghetti-squash-with-pine-nuts-sage-and-romano/detail.aspx?src=VD_Summary.

Honoring Our Mothers on Mother’s Day
May 20th, 2014

Ron starts his season in Southampton, New York on the Memorial Day long weekend and we always calculate the time we will need to drive there from Cabo San Lucas via northern California.  We decided to leave home earlier this year to ensure that we could be in Santa Clara, California to be with Ron’s Mom on Mother’s Day.

The night before Mother’s Day, we had stayed in Santa Barbara to see David and his girlfriend, Jake.  Driving north the next morning, on Mother’s Day, we pulled off the freeway to get gas and I noticed cars and people were in the field across from us.  It took a moment to realize that it was a cemetery that we were looking at across the road and all of the people in the cemetery were visiting their mothers or other special women on this day.  It took me several minutes to regain my composure and to share with Ron how very fortunate we both are to still have our Moms.

We almost lost my Mom in 1997 when she had a couple of serious heart attacks.  Following this critical occurrence, she made some significant changes in her lifestyle because she decided she wanted to live, and we celebrate her choices, and her life, every year since.

Mom Matthie

Mom Matthie

My Mom is an absolute gem, a spark plug, and a constant inspiration in my life.  She is my best friend and I am so grateful for the relationship and closeness we share.  We communicate almost every day, despite the distance between us when Ron and I are in Cabo or on the road, and have found that the technology of FaceTime, Skype and the phone have been a valuable lifeline for us.   We’re closer now, even though there are many miles between us much of the year, than we’ve ever been, and I am so grateful.

IMG_3791

Ron’s Mom is 95 years young; still living on her own in their family home of over 60 years, driving the streets and freeways of Silicon Valley WELL, and sharing her love with people she cares about with the food she prepares.  She is an amazing woman and we were so grateful to be able to spend Mother’s Day and a few more days afterwards with her.

Neither of our precious Moms had easy childhoods.  Instead of making these women bitter, I believe that it made them appreciate the value of family and made them wonderful mothers.  They are strong and fearless women, who have set a great example for all of their children to follow.  They have survived their childhoods, childbirth, losing their husbands and many of their friends over the years, but they continue to live fully and love us with all of their hearts.

Sometimes we hold on to situations that happen in the past and find it hard to release the grudges we carry, but it’s important to know that our mothers, like us, have done the very best they knew how.  Without healthy and normal family lives to pattern from, these women created loving homes for their families and gave much of themselves for all of us to thrive.  The capacity of both of these women to love is unlimited and unconditional.  As their children, it’s so important to realize how precious our time is with them and to love them, just love them, with all of our hearts.

Walking The Pedregal
April 26th, 2014

One of my great pleasures living in Cabo is walking the Pedregal, the high-end residential area that affords amazing views of the city, the Sea of Cortez, the Cabo Marina, and the Pacific Ocean.

IMG_2227

On the days that we’re not playing tennis, I have several routes I love to walk.  On one, I climb to the top of the radio towers and have the most amazing view to reward my efforts.  That walk takes me over 350 meters of elevation climb, takes just over an hour, and I definitely know I’ve had my cardio workout afterwards.  I’ve started using a great app on my phone called “Pedometer” which tracks steps, distance, time, calories, elevation gain and daily goal progress and much more.  My latest addition to this wonderful walk is sprinting on the flat spots on the way just to ensure my heart rate stays up.

Another of my favorite walks is over to the Playa de Pedregal.  Ron will meet me there and we’ll spend some time on the beach.  The Pacific side has a rough surf that sounds beautiful and provides a constant breeze to keep us cool.

IMG_4120

The properties in the Pedregal and the views are amazing regardless of the route I take.  If I’m really lucky, some days I spot some whales blowing and breaching on the Pacific side.  Any day is a lucky day to be able to walk and enjoy such phenomenal weather and vistas.

At Long Last!
April 20th, 2014

I’d never played tennis until I met Ron just over three years ago.  He’s been very patiently teaching me proper technique and fundamentals – I’ve had the benefit of the greatest instruction from the BEST teacher and I was starting to wonder (and I’m sure he was!) if I was ever going to attain a reasonable level of competence.

IMG_2233

I’ve felt a self-imposed pressure to play well so that it reflects well on Ron, who is truly a great instructor.  Ron’s motive has been to get me to a level of proficiency so that I enjoy the game, am able to play with him or anyone else, to play well and to be able to hold my own in both singles and doubles matches.

DSCN2585

At the end of February, we spent just over a week at Ron’s sister and brother-in-law’s magnificent home in Ajijic where they have a beautiful tennis court (thank you so much Mary and John for everything!), followed by ten days in Palm Desert where we played most days at our friend’s club (sincere thanks, Pete!) where he is the Director of Tennis.  After many hours of concentrated tennis on this trip, I finally “got it” and began playing with much greater consistency and competence.  All of those hours that Ron has invested in me are finally starting to pay off.

IMG_0712

I have a long way to go to be a consistently strong player, but I feel that I’m on the road and so much closer.  Thank you, Ron, for not giving up on me.  I love the game and am very excited to continue to progress and become a player that Ron can be proud of and that I now know I can be.

On The Road To Land’s End – Again!
March 15th, 2014

Every year, Ron and I head up to the BNP Paribas Open Tennis Tournament in Indian Wells, California (www.bnpparibasopen.com).  As always, we watched some fabulous tennis and had an opportunity to catch up with many special and long-time friends (Bonnie and Don, Pete and Tony, Judy, Peter, Bob and Roxy, Bob and Winnie and so many more).

IMG_4649

We drive to and from the tournament every year, which is approximately 1300 miles each way.  We’re on the road home as I write this and I’m remembering how much fun we had with my Mom on this same trip to Cabo last November.

My Mom has always loved every aspect of travel and makes every experience a great adventure.  It’s such a delight to be on the road with someone who takes everything in and enjoys every aspect.  She has a child-like sense of wonder and curiosity – it’s a true gift at any age and especially for someone now in her 80’s.

IMG_4004

We planned our trip down in November, just as we’ve done on this trip, to get to Mulegé to spend Saturday night at the Hotel Serinidad, a fly-in hotel that has been a Baja classic for decades (www.hotelserenidad.com).  Every Saturday night features the Serinidad’s famous pig roast, which lures people with small planes to fly in from the States or other parts of Mexico and for people like us who are driving, to plan our overnight stop for this weekly event.

IMG_4040

The staff at the Serinidad know how to do a pig roast well, and it has become a real highlight on our many trips up and down the Peninsula.  Mom LOVED it, and she enjoyed every aspect of this legendary and iconic hotel.  There are some great memories and stories at this hotel, with pictures on the walls from famous guests of years gone by like John “Duke” Wayne, June Allyson and Dick Powell.  We’ll stay overnight and get an early start to ensure that we arrive home in Cabo tomorrow night.

We wish Mom was with us again on this trip and we’ll be thinking of her tonight.  Hopefully she’ll be with us again for this amazing trip next November!

« Previous Newsletters