December 04, 2011

Southwest Baked Delights for the Holidays

Happy Holidays from Kokopelli's Kitchen! For those that would like to give a special gift, we just posted recipes for delightful holiday treats to consider. The recipes are from "Christmas in New Mexico" by Lynn Nusom; permission to reprint the recipes has been granted by Golden West Publishers here in Phoenix, Arizona. 

This is a very simple, light fruit cake -- easy to make and delicious.

1 cup WATER
1/3 cup BUTTER
1 cup SUGAR
1 EGG, lightly beaten
1 APPLE, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup PECANS, chopped
1/2 cup candied ORANGE PEEL
1/4 cup candied LEMON PEEL
1/2 tsp. GINGER
1/2 tsp. ground CLOVES
1/2 tsp. MACE
1/2 tsp. ground NUTMEG
1/2 cup LIGHT RUM

Mix baking soda and water together. Whip butter into sugar, then beat in egg. Stir soda water into sugar mixture. Stir in flour, apple, pecans, raisins, citrus peel, and spices. Spoon batter into a lightly buttered and floured loaf pan and bake in a 325° oven for 1 hour or until tests done. Remove from oven  and let cool on a wire rack for an hour. Turn out onto rack and let cool totally. Pour rum over cake, wrap in wax paper and aluminum foil and store in the refrigerator, adding more rum occasionally if desired, until ready to serve.

What would Christmas be without some good homemade fudge?

2 cups SUGAR
1 tsp. VANILLA
1/2 tsp. SALT
1 cup PECANS, chopped

Combine sugar , chocolate, evaporated milk and corn syrup in heavy saucepan over low heat , stirring constantly until it begins to boil. Cook to the soft ball stage (238° F).  Remove from heat and cool for about 10 minutes. Add butter, vanilla and salt and beat until mixture loses its sheen. Add the pecans and continue to beat for about 2 minutes.

Working quickly, spread out in well-buttered square pan until smooth. Cool and cut into squares.

Yield:  About 16 squares.

November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving: Fact or Fiction

"The reason that we have so many myths associated with Thanksgiving is that it is an invented tradition. It doesn't originate in any one event. It is based on the New England puritan Thanksgiving, which is a religious Thanksgiving, and the traditional harvest celebrations of England and New England and maybe other ideas like commemorating the pilgrims. All of these have been gathered together and transformed into something different from the original parts."
–James W. Baker, Senior Historian at Plimoth Plantation

1. Fact or Fiction: Thanksgiving is held on the final Thursday of November each year.

Fiction. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln designated the last Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving. However, in 1939, after a request from the National Retail Dry Goods Association, President Franklin Roosevelt decreed that the holiday should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month (and never the occasional fifth, as occurred in 1939) in order to extend the holiday shopping season by a week. The decision sparked great controversy, and was still unresolved two years later, when the House of Representatives passed a resolution making the last Thursday in November a legal national holiday. The Senate amended the resolution, setting the date as the fourth Thursday, and the House eventually agreed.

2. Fact or Fiction: One of America's Founding Fathers thought the turkey should be the national bird of the United States.

Fact. In a letter to his daughter sent in 1784, Benjamin Franklin suggested that the wild turkey would be a more appropriate national symbol for the newly independent United States than the bald eagle (which had earlier been chosen by the Continental Congress). He argued that the turkey was "a much more respectable Bird," "a true original Native of America," and "though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage."

3. Fact or Fiction: In 1863, Abraham Lincoln became the first American president to proclaim a national day of thanksgiving.

Fiction. George Washington, John Adams and James Madison all issued proclamations urging Americans to observe days of thanksgiving, both for general good fortune and for particularly momentous events (the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, in Washington's case; the end of the War of 1812, in Madison's).

4. Fact or Fiction: Macy's was the first American department store to sponsor a parade in celebration of Thanksgiving.

Fiction. The Philadelphia department store Gimbel's had sponsored a parade in 1920, but the Macy's parade, launched four years later, soon became a Thanksgiving tradition and the standard kickoff to the holiday shopping season. The parade became ever more well-known after it featured prominently in the hit film Miracle on 34th Street (1947), which shows actual footage of the 1946 parade. In addition to its famous giant balloons and floats, the Macy's parade features live music and other performances, including by the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes and cast members of well-known Broadway shows.

5. Fact or Fiction: Turkeys are slow-moving birds that lack the ability to fly.

Fiction (kind of). Domesticated turkeys (the type eaten on Thanksgiving) cannot fly, and their pace is limited to a slow walk. Female domestic turkeys, which are typically smaller and lighter than males, can move somewhat faster. Wild turkeys, on the other hand, are much smaller and more agile. They can reach speeds of up to 20-25 miles per hour on the ground and fly for short distances at speeds approaching 55 miles per hour. They also have better eyesight and hearing than their domestic counterparts.

6. Fact or Fiction: Native Americans used cranberries, now a staple of many Thanksgiving dinners, for cooking as well as medicinal purposes.

Fact. According to the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers' Association, one of the country's oldest farmers' organizations, Native Americans used cranberries in a variety of foods, including "pemmican" (a nourishing, high-protein combination of crushed berries, dried deer meat and melted fat). They also used it as a medicine to treat arrow punctures and other wounds and as a dye for fabric. The Pilgrims adopted these uses for the fruit and gave it a name—"craneberry"—because its drooping pink blossoms in the spring reminded them of a crane.

7. Fact or Fiction: The movement of the turkey inspired a ballroom dance.

Fact. The turkey trot, modeled on that bird's characteristic short, jerky steps, was one of a number of popular dance styles that emerged during the late 19th and early 20th century in the United States. The two-step, a simple dance that required little to no instruction, was quickly followed by such dances as the one-step, the turkey trot, the fox trot and the bunny hug, which could all be performed to the ragtime and jazz music popular at the time. The popularity of such dances spread like wildfire, helped along by the teachings and performances of exhibition dancers like the famous husband-and-wife team Vernon and Irene Castle.

8. Fact or Fiction: On Thanksgiving Day in 2007, two turkeys earned a trip to Disney World.

Fact. On November 20, 2007, President George W. Bush granted a "pardon" to two turkeys, named May and Flower, at the 60th annual National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation, held in the Rose Garden at the White House. The two turkeys were flown to Orlando, Florida, where they served as honorary grand marshals for the Disney World Thanksgiving Parade. The current tradition of presidential turkey pardons began in 1947, under Harry Truman, but the practice is said to have informally begun with Abraham Lincoln, who granted a pardon to his son Tad's pet turkey.

9. Fact or Fiction: Turkey contains an amino acid that makes you sleepy.

Fact. Turkey does contain the essential amino acid tryptophan, which is a natural sedative, but so do a lot of other foods, including chicken, beef, pork, beans and cheese. Though many people believe turkey's tryptophan content is what makes many people feel sleepy after a big Thanksgiving meal, it is more likely the combination of fats and carbohydrates most people eat with the turkey, as well as the large amount of food (not to mention alcohol, in some cases) consumed, that makes most people feel like following their meal up with a nap.

10. Fact or Fiction: The tradition of playing or watching football on Thanksgiving started with the first National Football League game on the holiday in 1934.

Fiction. The American tradition of college football on Thanksgiving is pretty much as old as the sport itself. The newly formed American Intercollegiate Football Association held its first championship game on Thanksgiving Day in 1876. At the time, the sport resembled something between rugby and what we think of as football today. By the 1890s, more than 5,000 club, college and high school football games were taking place on Thanksgiving, and championship match-ups between schools like Princeton and Yale could draw up to 40,000 fans. The NFL took up the tradition in 1934, when the Detroit Lions (recently arrived in the city and renamed) played the Chicago Bears at the University of Detroit stadium in front of 26,000 fans. Since then, the Lions game on Thanksgiving has become an annual event, taking place every year except during the World War II years (1939–1944).    (Source: The History Channel website. Retrieved November 20, 2011).

November 05, 2011

Thanksgiving - Fun Facts

Thanksgiving is a day when many Americans gather together with family for an afternoon of food and football, but just how far do people travel to spend turkey day at Grandma's house? Which state grows the most cranberries, and how big was the world's largest pumpkin pie? Discover the answer to these questions, as well as many more facts about popular Thanksgiving foods and traditions.

Over the Years 
Though many competing claims exist, the most familiar story of the first Thanksgiving took place in Plymouth Colony, in present-day Massachusetts, in 1621. More than 200 years later, President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving. Congress finally made Thanksgiving Day an official national holiday in 1941.

Sarah Josepha Hale, the enormously influential magazine editor and author who waged a tireless campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday in the mid-19th century, was also the author of the classic nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

In 2001, the U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative Thanksgiving stamp. Designed by the artist Margaret Cusack in a style resembling traditional folk-art needlework, it depicted a cornucopia overflowing with fruits and vegetables, under the phrase "We Give Thanks."

On the Roads 
The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimated that 38.4 million Americans traveled 50 miles or more from home over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2009.

In 2008, Thanksgiving travel dropped a precipitous 25.2 percent in the wake of the crisis in the housing and financial markets. AAA attributed the subsequent increase in travel to improved consumer confidence, better financial market performance and a growing sense among many consumers that the worst of the global economic crisis is over.

On the Table 
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Minnesota is the top turkey-producing state in America, with a planned production total of 45.5 million in 2009. Just six states—Minnesota, North Carolina, Missouri, Virginia, and California—will probably produce two-thirds of the estimated 2750 million birds that will be raised in the U.S. this year.

The National Turkey Federation estimated that 46 million turkeys—one fifth of the annual total of 235 million consumed in the United States in 2007—were eaten at Thanksgiving.

In a survey conducted by the National Turkey Federation, nearly 88 percent of Americans said they eat turkey at Thanksgiving. The average weight of turkeys purchased for Thanksgiving is 15 pounds, which means some 690 million pounds of turkey were consumed in the U.S. during Thanksgiving in 2007.

Cranberry production in the U.S. was approximately 709 million pounds in 2009. Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington are the top cranberry growing states.
Illinois, California, Pennsylvania and New York are the major pumpkin growing states, together they produced 1.1 billion pounds of pumpkin in 2008, with a combined value of $141 million.

The sweet potato is most plentifully produced in North Carolina, which grew 874 million pounds of the  popular Thanksgiving side dish vegetable in 2008. Other sweet potato powerhouses included California and Mississippi which produced 437 million pounds and 335 million pounds, respectively.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed 2,020 pounds and measured just over 12 feet long. It was baked on October 8, 2005 by the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers in Ohio, and included 900 pounds of pumpkin, 62 gallons of evaporated milk, 155 dozen eggs, 300 pounds of sugar, 3.5 pounds of salt, 7 pounds of cinnamon, 2 pounds of pumpkin spice and 250 pounds of crust.

Around the Country 
Three towns in the U.S. take their name from the traditional Thanksgiving bird, including Turkey, Texas (pop. 465); Turkey Creek, Louisiana (pop. 363); and Turkey, North Carolina (pop. 270).

Originally known as Macy's Christmas Parade—to signify the launch of the Christmas shopping season—the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in New York City in 1924. It was launched by Macy's employees and featured animals from the Central Park Zoo. Today, some 3 million people attend the annual parade and another 44 million watch it on television.

Tony Sarg, a children's book illustrator and puppeteer, designed the first giant hot air balloons for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1927. He later created the elaborate mechanically animated window displays that grace the façade of the New York store from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

Snoopy has appeared as a giant balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade more times than any other character in history. As the Flying Ace, Snoopy made his sixth appearance in the 2006 parade.

The first time the Detroit Lions played football on Thanksgiving Day was in 1934, when they hosted the Chicago Bears at the University of Detroit stadium, in front of 26,000 fans. The NBC radio network broadcast the game on 94 stations across the country--the first national Thanksgiving football broadcast. Since that time, the Lions have played a game every Thanksgiving (except between 1939 and 1944); in 1956, fans watched the game on television for the first time.  (Source: The History Channel website. Retrieved November 2, 2011)

Trick or Treat 2011!

Halloween Superstitions:  Halloween has always been a holiday filled with mystery, magic and superstition. It began as a Celtic end-of-summer festival during which people felt especially close to deceased relatives and friends. For these friendly spirits, they set places at the dinner table, left treats on doorsteps and along the side of the road and lit candles to help loved ones find their way back to the spirit world. Today's Halloween ghosts are often depicted as more fearsome and malevolent, and our customs and superstitions are scarier too. We avoid crossing paths with black cats, afraid that they might bring us bad luck. This idea has its roots in the Middle Ages, when many people believed that witches avoided detection by turning themselves into cats. We try not to walk under ladders for the same reason. This superstition may have come from the ancient Egyptians, who believed that triangles were sacred; it also may have something to do with the fact that walking under a leaning ladder tends to be fairly unsafe. And around Halloween, especially, we try to avoid breaking mirrors, stepping on cracks in the road or spilling salt.

But what about the Halloween traditions and beliefs that today's trick-or-treaters have forgotten all about? Many of these obsolete rituals focused on the future instead of the past and the living instead of the dead. In particular, many had to do with helping young women identify their future husbands and reassuring them that they would someday—with luck, by next Halloween—be married. In 18th-century Ireland, a matchmaking cook might bury a ring in her mashed potatoes on Halloween night, hoping to bring true love to the diner who found it. In Scotland, fortune-tellers recommended that an eligible young woman name a hazelnut for each of her suitors and then toss the nuts into the fireplace. The nut that burned to ashes rather than popping or exploding, the story went, represented the girl's future husband. (In some versions of this legend, confusingly, the opposite was true: The nut that burned away symbolized a love that would not last.) Another tale had it that if a young woman ate a sugary concoction made out of walnuts, hazelnuts and nutmeg before bed on Halloween night she would dream about her future husband. Young women tossed apple-peels over their shoulders, hoping that the peels would fall on the floor in the shape of their future husbands' initials; tried to learn about their futures by peering at egg yolks floating in a bowl of water; and stood in front of mirrors in darkened rooms, holding candles and looking over their shoulders for their husbands' faces. Other rituals were more competitive. At some Halloween parties, the first guest to find a burr on a chestnut-hunt would be the first to marry; at others, the first successful apple-bobber would be the first down the aisle.

Of course, whether we're asking for romantic advice or trying to avoid seven years of bad luck, each one of these Halloween superstitions relies on the good will of the very same "spirits" whose presence the early Celts felt so keenly.  (Source:  The History Channel Website   Retrieved October 7, 2011)

HOMEMADE CARAMEL APPLES:  Nothing conjures up autumn like old-fashioned caramel apples. Kokopelli's Kitchen chose this delectable recipe from the Scarletta Bakes Website   Homemade caramel apples are an activity even the kids will enjoy.

  • 1 cup dark BROWN SUGAR, packed
  • 1 cup WHITE SUGAR, granulated
  • 1/2 cup unsalted BUTTER
  • 1  14-oz. can sweetened, condensed MILK
  • 3/4 cup light CORN SYRUP
  • 1/4 cup raw BLUE AGAVE
  • 1/2 tsp. SALT
  • 1 tsp. ANCHO CHILE, ground
  • 1 tsp. CANELA, ground (cinnamon may be substituted)
  • 3/4 cup PINYON NUTS (pine nuts may be substituted - see below for notes on preparing the nuts.)
  • 1 cup COCONUT, dried, shredded
  • 6 HONEYCRISP APPLES (These gorgeous apples are some of the biggest that I’ve ever seen. You may substitute any other variety of apple that you choose, but just keep in mind that this caramel recipe will likely be enough to cover 10-12 medium or smaller apples.)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place nuts on an unlined baking sheet and toast for approximately 5 minutes. Set toasted nuts aside to cool. Once the nuts have cooled, chop roughly and toss with the coconut.

Meanwhile, prepare apples by washing and drying thoroughly. Remove stems and slit the tops of each with a paring knife. Insert large popsicle sticks into the tops of each, wiggling slightly to be sure that they are secure. Arrange the prepared apples on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Place sugars, butter, condensed milk, corn syrup, agave and salt in a large, heavy-bottomed pot and cook over medium heat just until the sugars and salt are dissolved, approximately 5-7 minutes. Clip a candy thermometer in place and raise the heat to medium-high. Boil the caramel mixture until it reaches 240°. Once the mixture has reached the target temperature, remove from heat and pour into a large bowl. Resist the urge to scrape the sides of the pot:  just in case you’ve scorched some of the sugar, you’ll want to leave those burned pieces behind. Stir in the chile and canela/cinnamon.

At this point, you’ll want to be sure that you’ve set up a dipping station so that you can move quickly through assembly and keep your caramel from cooling too much and seizing up on you. I opted to have my bowl of caramel right in between my pile of toppings and the lined baking sheet where the prepared apples can cool and set up. In terms of coating each apple, you’ll want to grasp your popsicle sticks firmly and roll the apples from side to side in the caramel sauce, using the side of the bowl to scrape off any excess sauce. Once the apples are well-coated, immediately roll them in your chopped toppings and set stick-up on the prepared baking sheet. Don’t worry if excess caramel pools at the bottom of the apples.

Allow the prepared apples to cool and firm completely on the parchment before serving or storing.

YIELD:  6 large caramel apples

September 01, 2011

Labor Day BBQ Pays Tribute to Arizona

Observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is celebrated with parties, parades and athletic events.

More than a century later, the true founder of Labor Day has yet to be identified. Many credit Peter J. McGuire, cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, while others have suggested that Matthew Maguire, a secretary of the Central Labor Union, first proposed the holiday.

Labor Day is still celebrated in cities and towns across the United States with parades, picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays and other public gatherings. For many Americans, particularly children and young adults, it represents the end of the summer and the start of the back-to-school season.  (Source: The History Channel website. Retrieved September 1, 2011)

Authentic Arizona recipes were chosen for our Labor Day barbecue this year - Caesar Salad, Honeyed Lamb Chops and Summer Squash - to pay recognition to Phoenix and her unrelenting heat last month (this August is officially the hottest August of all time in Phoenix!).  Kokopelli's Kitchen chose these scrumptious recipes from "The Arizona Cook Book" by Al and Mildred Fischer. Permission to print granted by Golden West Publishers in Phoenix, AZ.

  • 3 quarts SALAD GREENS, bite-sized
  • ½ cup SALAD OIL
  • ½ cup Parmesan CHEESE
  • ¼ cup BLUE CHEESE
  • ½ teaspoon DRY MUSTARD
  • ¼ teaspoon SALT
  • ⅛ teaspoon PEPPER
  • 1 EGG
  • ½ cup fresh LEMON JUICE
  • 2 cups garlic-flavored CROUTONS
 Put crisp, cold salad greens into large , chilled salad bowl that has been rubbed with a clove of garlic. Add oil, cheeses, Worcestershire, mustard, salt and pepper. Break raw egg over greens and pour in lemon juice. Toss very thoroughly so every leaf is coated with seasonings. On the last toss, add croutons. (Makes 8 servings.)

  • 4 loin LAMB CHOPS (1-inch thick)
  • ¼ cup HONEY
  • 2 teaspoons SOY SAUCE
  • ¼ cup LEMON JUICE
  • 4 ONION slices
Combine soy sauce, honey and lemon juice. Mix well. Add lamb and chill one hour, turning occasionally. Remove lamb. Reserve honey mixture. Broil lamb 3 to 4 inches from source of heat for six to seven minutes. Turn and top with onion slices and broil six to seven minutes longer. Brush lamb with honey mixture frequently during cooking.

  • 2 pounds ZUCCHINI, sliced
  • 2 TOMATOES, peeled and chopped
  • 1 ONION, thinly sliced
  • 1½ teaspoons SALT
  • ½ teaspoon PEPPER
  • ½ teaspoon dried or 3 sprigs fresh BASIL
  • ½ teaspoon OREGANO
  • 3 tablespoons BUTTER
Place zucchini, tomatoes and onion in center of large square of heavy duty aluminum foil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Dot with butter. Bring foil up over vegetables and seal with a fold to make a tight package. Cook on grill over a medium fire, shaking occasionally, about 30-40 minutes.

August 01, 2011

Here's to a Peachy August 2011!

On August 3rd, 1492 a journey for our history books began. From the Spanish port of Palos, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus sets sail in command of three ships—the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Nina—on a journey to find a western sea route to China, India, and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia.

On October 12, the expedition sighted land, probably Watling Island in the Bahamas, and went ashore the same day, claiming it for Spain. Later that month, Columbus sighted Cuba, which he thought was mainland China, and in December the expedition landed on Hispaniola, which Columbus thought might be Japan. He established a small colony there with 39 of his men. The explorer returned to Spain with gold, spices, and "Indian" captives in March 1493 and was received with the highest honors by the Spanish court. He was the first European to explore the Americas since the Vikings set up colonies in Greenland and Newfoundland in the 10th century.

During his lifetime, Columbus led a total of four expeditions to the New World, discovering various Caribbean islands, the Gulf of Mexico, and the South and Central American mainland, but never accomplished his original goal—a western ocean route to the great cities of Asia. Columbus died in Spain in 1506 without realizing the great scope of what he did achieve: He had discovered for Europe the New World, whose riches over the next century would help make Spain the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth. 

(Source: The History Channel website. Retrieved July 30, 2011 from:

LET'S CELEBRATE NATIONAL PEACH MONTH:  The Spanish priests planted peach trees near their missions. This fruit became a favorite among the Hopi who dried them and used the peaches for trade with their Navajo neighbors. This great recipe that we've selected is from "Kokopelli's Cook Book" by James & Carol Cunkle. Permission to print granted by Golden West Publishers, 4113 N. Longview, Phoenix, AZ 85014.

  • 6 large ripe PEACHES
  • 1/4 cup HONEY
  • 1 tsp. GINGER, freshly grated
  • 3/4 cup ALL-PURPOSE or enriched WHITE FLOUR
  • 1/4 cup MESQUITE MEAL
  • 3/4 cup BROWN SUGAR, packed
  • 1/2 cup cold BUTTER
  • 1/2 cup PECANS, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make a small cross-slit on stem end of peaches and place in boiling water for about 2 minutes. Rinse peaches under cold water. Skin, pit and slice. Place peach slices in a 2-quart baking dish. Drizzle honey over the top. Add grated ginger and toss. In a small bowl, combine the flour, mesquite meal and brown sugar. Cut in butter until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle flour mixture evenly over the peaches. Sprinkle the top with nuts. Bake until bubbly and brown, about 30 minutes.  Serves 4 to 6.


June 30, 2011

Fun Facts & Hot Seasoning for July 4th, 2011!

HISTORY OF JULY 4th: Variously known as the Fourth of July and Independence Day, July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83). In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

Did You Know?  John Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest. Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826--the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
(Source: The History Channel website. Retrieved June 30, 2011 from:

LET'S GET OUR GRILLS HEATED UP FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY:  Jerk seasoning is actually a delicious, tropical way to barbecue.  Use it to season either pork or poultry; simply rub it into the meat, marinate overnight in the refrigerator, grill or bake, and then enjoy!  This great recipe that we've selected is from "Too Many Chiles" by Dave DeWitt, Nancy Gerlach and Jeff Gerlach.  Permission to print granted by Golden West Publishers, 4113 N. Longview, Phoenix, AZ 85014.

  • 1 tsp. dried ground HABANERO CHILE or substitute other hot powder such as cayenne
  • 2 Tbsp. ONION POWDER
  • 2 tsp. ground THYME
  • 2 tsp. ground ALLSPICE
  • 1 tsp. coarsely ground BLACK PEPPER
  • 1/2 tsp. ground NUTMEG
  • 1/2 tsp. ground CINNAMON
  • 1/2 tsp. GARLIC POWDER
  • 1/4 tsp. ground CLOVES

Combine all the ingredients and mix well.  Store the seasoning in a glass jar.
Yield:  About 1/4 cup     Heat Scale:  Hot

June 10, 2011

Let's Get Ready to Celebrate both Flag Day & Father's Day

History of Flag Day - It was on June 14 in 1777 that Congress decided to adopt the Stars and Stripes. 
During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress adopts a resolution stating that "the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white" and that "the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation." The national flag, which became known as the "Stars and Stripes," was based on the "Grand Union" flag, a banner carried by the Continental Army in 1776 that also consisted of 13 red and white stripes. According to legend, Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross designed the new canton for the Stars and Stripes, which consisted of a circle of 13 stars and a blue background, at the request of General George Washington. Historians have been unable to conclusively prove or disprove this legend.

With the entrance of new states into the United States after independence, new stripes and stars were added to represent new additions to the Union. In 1818, however, Congress enacted a law stipulating that the 13 original stripes be restored and that only stars be added to represent new states.

On June 14, 1877, the first Flag Day observance was held on the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes. As instructed by Congress, the U.S. flag was flown from all public buildings across the country. In the years after the first Flag Day, several states continued to observe the anniversary, and in 1949 Congress officially designated June 14 as Flag Day, a national day of observance.

(Source: The History Channel website. Retrieved June 6, 2011 from:

Don't forget Dad on June 19th!
Father's Day is on June 19th this year. Celebrate with a fun dinner for Dad (or the main man in your life) that he will really enjoy! The recipes that we've selected are from the "The Tequila Cook Book" by Lynn Nusom. Permission to print granted by Golden West Publishers, 4113 N. Longview, Phoenix, AZ 85014.

  • 1 lb. BONELESS BEEF SIRLOIN, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 WHITE ONIONS, cut into eighths
  • 1 RED BELL PEPPER, cut into wedges
  • 1 GREEN BELL PEPPER, cut into wedges
  • 1 tsp. SESAME OIL
  • 2 tsp. LIGHT SOY SAUCE
  • ¼ cup TEQUILA
  • 1 cup WATER
  • 2 cloves GARLIC, cut in half
Thread the beef, onions, and bell pepper on skewers and place in a large plate or pan. Mix together oil, say sauce, tequila, garlic & water and pour over kabobs. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours turning at least twice.

Remove from the refrigerator and let stand until room temperature (about ½ hour). Grill over hot coals for 6 – 7 minutes or until beef is done to taste. Serve with rice or polenta and a green salad.  Serves 4.


  • ½ cup WALNUTS, ground
Melt the butter or margarine, mix with the chocolate wafer crumbs and ground walnuts and press into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. 

  • ¼ cup LEMON JUICE
  • cup LIME JUICE
  • 1 Tbsp. TRIPLE SEC
  • 1 Tbsp. TEQUILA
  • ½ tsp. SALT
  • 1 can (14 oz.) CONDENSED MILK
  • 1 tsp. grated LIME PEEL
  • 1 container (8 oz.) WHIPPED TOPPING
Beat lemon juice, lime juice, triple sec, tequila and salt into the condensed milk. Stir in lime peel, fold in whipped topping and spoon into prepared chocolate crust. Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving. Garnish with chocolate curls and serve.  Yield: 8 servings. 

May 01, 2011

Cinco de Mayo - History

Cinco de Mayo—or the fifth of May—commemorates the Mexican army's 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the French-Mexican War. It is not Mexico's independence day, as is commonly believed.

History of Cinco de Mayo:  In 1861, the liberal Mexican Benito Juárez became president of a country in financial ruin, and he was forced to default on his debts to European governments. In response, France, Britain, and Spain sent naval forces to Veracruz to demand reimbursement. Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew, but France, ruled by Napoleon III, decided to use the opportunity to carve a dependent empire out of Mexican territory. Late in 1861, a well-armed French fleet stormed Veracruz, landing a large French force and driving President Juárez and his government into retreat.

Certain that French victory would come swiftly, 6,000 French troops under General Charles Latrille de Lorencez set out to attack Puebla de Los Angeles, a small town in east-central Mexico. From his new headquarters in the north, Juárez rounded up a rag-tag force of 2,000 loyal men and sent them to Puebla. Led by Texas-born General Ignacio Zaragoza, the vastly outnumbered and poorly supplied Mexicans fortified the town and prepared for the French assault. On May 5, 1862, Lorencez drew his army, well-provisioned and supported by heavy artillery, before the city of Puebla and began their assault from the north. The battle lasted from daybreak to early evening, and when the French finally retreated they had lost nearly 500 soldiers to the fewer than 100 Mexicans killed.

Although not a major strategic victory in the overall war against the French, Zaragoza's success at Puebla represented a great moral victory for the Mexican government and tightened Mexican resistance. Six years later, France withdrew. 
Cinco de Mayo Today:  In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is primarily observed in the state of Puebla, where Zaragoza’s unlikely triumph occurred. In the United States, however, it has taken on significance as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with substantial Mexican-American populations. Revelers mark the holiday with parades, parties, mariachi music, Mexican folk dancing and traditional foods such as tacos and mole poblano. Some of the largest festivals are held in Portland, Denver and Chicago.

(Source: The History Channel website. Retrieved April 27, 2011, from

Foods to Help Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
The recipes that we've selected are from the "Vegi-Mex" Cookbook by Shayne & Lee Fischer. Permission to print granted by Golden West Publishers, 4113 N. Longview, Phoenix, AZ 85014.

Baked Fiesta Dip
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) VEGETARIAN REFRIED BEANS
  • 1 can (4 oz) diced GREEN CHILES
  • 2 JALAPEŇOS , finely chopped
  • 1½ cups shredded JACK CHEESE
  • 1 ONION, chopped
  • 1 GREEN BELL PEPPER, chopped
  • 1 can (4 oz) sliced BLACK OLIVES
  • 1 TOMATO, chopped
  • 3 GREEN ONIONS, chopped
Combine beans, chiles and jalapeños and spread on large oven-proof platter (or pizza pan). Sprinkle with cheese. Add onion, bell pepper and olives. Bake at 325° for 15 minutes. Top with tomatoes and green onions and serve with tortilla chips.

Mexican Stuffed Peppers
  • 1½ cups cooked RICE
  • 1 TOMATO, finely diced
  • 2 GREEN ONIONS, finely chopped
  • 1 can (4 oz) diced GREEN CHILES
  • 1½ cups shredded JACK CHEESE
  • ½ tsp GARLIC SALT
  • ¼ tsp PEPPER
  • ½ tsp OREGANO
  • 3 Tbsp SALSA
  • 1 EGG, slightly beaten
  • 1 can (8 oz) diced TOMATO SAUCE
Try to choose block-shaped bell peppers so they will stand in a baking dish. Wash and seed bell peppers. Set in baking dish. In a large bowl, combine cooked rice, tomato, onions, green chiles, cheese, seasonings, salsa and egg. Blend well. Fill each pepper with rice mixture. Pour tomato sauce over peppers and bake in a pre-heated 350° oven for 45 minutes.  Serves 8.

March 31, 2011

April Fool's Day - How, and Where in the World, Did the Fun Begin?

On this day in 1700, English pranksters begin popularizing the annual tradition of April Fools' Day by playing practical jokes on each other.

Although the day, also called All Fools' Day, has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures, its exact origins remain a mystery. Some historians speculate that April Fools' Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes. These included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as "poisson d'avril" (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.

Historians have also linked April Fools' Day to ancient festivals such as Hilaria, which was celebrated in Rome at the end of March and involved people dressing up in disguises. There's also speculation that April Fools' Day was tied to the vernal equinox, or first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, when Mother Nature fooled people with changing, unpredictable weather.

April Fools' Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century. In Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event, starting with "hunting the gowk," in which people were sent on phony errands (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, a symbol for fool) and followed by Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people's derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or "kick me" signs on them.

In modern times, people have gone to great lengths to create elaborate April Fools' Day hoaxes. Newspapers, radio and TV stations and Web sites have participated in the April 1 tradition of reporting outrageous fictional claims that have fooled their audiences. In 1957, the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record spaghetti crop and showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees; numerous viewers were fooled. In 1985, Sports Illustrated tricked many of its readers when it ran a made-up article about a rookie pitcher named Sidd Finch who could throw a fastball over 168 miles per hour. In 1996, Taco Bell, the fast-food restaurant chain, duped people when it announced it had agreed to purchase Philadelphia's Liberty Bell and intended to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell. In 1998, after Burger King advertised a "Left-Handed Whopper," scores of clueless customers requested the fake sandwich.

(Source: The History Channel website. Retrieved March 31, 2011, from

The beautiful weather here in Arizona has been absolutely ideal for grabbing the leash and taking the dog out for a morning walk or run. Upon return, Kokopelli's Kitchen recommends restoring your energy with some healthy granola that you've made yourself. It's a good source of fiber and vitamins - the best is baked organic, with no added sugar. Unfortunately though, a lot of the granola found for sale on the store shelves today is not a healthy food due to an overabundance of sugar and chocolate pieces.
The recipes that we've selected are from the "Western Breakfast and Brunch Recipes" Cookbook by Bruce & Bobbi Fischer. Permission to print granted by Golden West Publishers, 4113 N. Longview, Phoenix, AZ 85014.

Fourteener's Granola
Compliments of Virginia Nemmers, Innkeeper, River Run Inn Bed & Breakfast, Salida Colorado. Take a step back in time by joining Virginia at this 1892 National Historic Inn. You can enjoy a relaxing sunset on the spacious front porch then awaken to a delicious breakfast. Nancy tells us she has missed and adapted this recipe from many others to bring to you the best tasting granola in the Southwest!
  • 4 cups ROLLED OATS
  • ¼ cup BROWN SUGAR
  • 2 tsp. CINNAMON
  • ½ cup chopped WALNUTS 
  • ½ cup chopped SUNFLOWER SEEDS
  • ½ cup ORANGE JUICE
  • 2 tbsp. HONEY
  • 2 tbsp. VANILLA
  • ½ cup RAISINS
  • ½ cup chopped dried CRANBERRIES
  • ½ cup chopped dried APRICOTS  

In a large bowl, mix together oats, sugar, cinnamon, walnuts and sunflower seeds. Place orange juice, honey and vanilla in a microwaveable bowl and heat for one minute or just until honey is liquefied and mixture can be blended. Pour orange juice mixture over oat mixture and stir well to coat. Spread in a large baking pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes (stir every 10 minutes) or until mixture is golden brown. Remove from oven and add raisins, cranberries and apricots. Cool well before storing in a plastic container in refrigerator.

Downey House Granola
Compliments of Downey House Bed & Breakfast, La Conner, Washington. This granola can be served with milk, over yogurt, or over hot applesauce. For a tasty desert, add whipped cream to applesauce and sprinkle with granola.
  • 4 cups ROLLED OATS
  • 2/3 cup WHEAT GERM
  • 6 tbsp. SESAME SEEDS
  • 6 tbsp. shelled SUNFLOWER SEEDS
  • ½ cup chopped RAW CASHEWS or sliced ALMONDS
  • 2/3 cup CORN OIL
  • 1/3 cup HONEY
  • 1 tsp. VANILLA
  • ¼ tsp. SALT
  • ½ cup chopped DRIED FRUIT, or RAISINS
Mix first six ingredients together in a large bowl. In a saucepan, combine corn oil, honey, vanilla and salt. Cook over low heat until honey is melted. Pour over dry mixture and blend thoroughly. Spread on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool and add fruit. Store in freezer in zip lock bags for ready use.

March 03, 2011

Happy St. Pat's Day 2011!

St. Patrick’s Day takes place each year on March 17, his traditional religious feast day. There are 36.5 million U.S. residents with Irish roots. This number is almost nine times the population of Ireland itself (more than four million). 

When March 17th arrives this year, be prepared to raise your glass and toast your Irish friends! Kokopelli's Kitchen has found some recipes for unique southwest drinks that should be fun to share. And rather than simply saying "Slainte", use one of the traditional Irish sayings and proverbs for saying "Cheers" in Ireland that we were lucky enough to find!

The recipes that we've selected are from the "Grand Canyon Cook Book" by Bruce & Bobbi Fischer. Permission to print granted by Golden West Publishers, 4113 N. Longview, Phoenix, AZ 85014.

Arizona Sangria
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) RED WINE
  • 1 ORANGE, peeled & squeezed
  • 1 LEMON, sliced
  • 1 LIME, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. BRANDY
  • 1 fresh PEACH, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh RASPBERRIES
  • 1 bottle (7 oz.) SPARKLING WATER

Pour the wine into a large glass pitcher. Peel the orange in a long spiral strip. Put the peel in the wine, with one end of the spiral curled over the spout of the pitcher. Squeeze the orange, and add the juice to the wine along with the lemon and lime slices and the brandy. Allow this to stand in the refrigerator for three hours. One hour before serving add the remaining fruit.

Before serving, add sparkling water. Pour Sangria into tall glasses half-filled with ice cubes. If desired, add additional fruit to glasses.

Frozen Margaritas
  • 1/2 cup TRIPLE SEC
  • 2 cups TEQUILA
  • 2 cups CRUSHED ICE
In a bowl, mix together the triple sec, tequila, sweet and sour mix and crushed ice and place in the freezer for 24 hours. About one hour before the party starts remove the mixture from the freezer from the freezer and allow to thaw somewhat (you want a good, slushy consistency to the mix). Cut the limes into wedges and run each slice around the lip of the margarita glass. Dip the edge of each glass in the margarita salt, pour in the margarita mix and place the lime wedge on the rim. You're now ready to start your party!  Serves 10 - 12.

Some great phrases to toast your Irish friends.

Health and long life to you
Land without rent to you
The partner of your heart to you
And when you die, may your bones rest in Ireland

May your fire be as warm as the weather is cold.

May you get all your wishes but one,
So you always have something to strive for

As you slide down the banisters of life may the splinters never point the wrong way.

May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.

Here's to your coffin....
May it be built of 100 year old oaks which I will plant tomorrow

May the best day of your past be the worst day of your future.

May your neighbor respect you,
Troubles neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And Heaven accept you.

An old Irish recipe for longevity:
Leave the table hungry.
Leave the bed sleepy.
Leave the bar thirsty.

May you live to be a hundred years, with one extra year to repent.

May you never forget what is worth remembering,
Or remember what is best forgotten.

May you be in heaven one half hour before the devil knows you're dead.

May you have the hindsight to know where you've been,
The insight to know where you are,
and the foresight to known when you've gone too far

May you have warm words on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
And the road downhill all the way to your door.

May God bring good health to your enemies' enemies

May you never make an enemy
When you could make a friend-
Unless you meet a fox among your chickens.

 (Source: The History Channel website. Retrieved March 2, 2011, from

February 01, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day 2011!

Create an unforgettable Valentine's Day experience this year for that special someone in your life. Eat a gourmet home-cooked meal, then settle in for a romantic movie. Kokopelli's Kitchen has found some great recipes for a southwest meal and a Valentine's Day Movie Guide for you and your special someone.

The recipes that we've selected are from the "Gourmet Gringo" by Mari Meyers. Permission to print granted by Golden West Publishers, 4113 N. Longview, Phoenix, AZ 85014.

Tomatillo Chip Dip
Tomatillos are sometimes called Mexican or Spanish green tomatoes.
  • 6 ounces (about 4 medium) fresh TOMATILLOS
  • 1 large, ripe and soft AVOCADO, peeled and seeded
  • ½ tsp. fresh Mexican LIME JUICE
  • dash of GARLIC SALT
Remove husks from tomatillos; wash, halve and scoop out pulp. Purée tomatillos and avocado in processor. Blend in lime juice and garlic salt. Serve in a decorative bowl surrounded with tortilla chips. Makes 1 cup.

Camarones Al Mojo De Ajo
Shrimp can be found on menus anywhere near the Pacific or Sea of Cortéz. Camarones are drenched in buttery garlic sauce that is flavored with wine and cilantro, and just waiting for a splash of fresh lime.
  • 10 to 12 ounces RAW SHRIMP, peeled and deveined
  • ½ cup (1 stick) BUTTER
  • 2 to 4 large GARLIC CLOVES (maybe more), thinly sliced
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. WHITE WINE
  • coarsely chopped CILANTRO
  • fresh Mexican LIME wedges
In a large (10-inch) skillet, melt butter over low heat. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add wine and cilantro; slowly cook another 2 minutes but do not let butter or garlic brown.

Still on low heat, stir in shrimp and sauté about 1 or 2 minutes, turning shrimp and cook another 1 or 2 minutes, so they cook to pinkness on both sides. Watch carefully. (Shrimp toughen when overcooked.) Serve hot on warmed plates, covering shrimp with garlic sauce. Pass lime wedges to squeeze over hot shrimp. Serves 2.

Rice Mexicali
From an authentic old Mexican cookbook comes this advice: The pan used to cook rice should be a shallow one so the weight of the top portion doesn't crush the rice underneath.
  • 1 cup raw LONG GRAIN RICE
  • 2 Tbsp. OLIVE OIL
  • 1⅓ cups chopped ONION
  • ½ cup chopped GREEN BELL PEPPERS
  • ½ cup chopped RED BELL PEPPERS
  • ¾ cup finely chopped CELERY
  • SALT and freshly ground PEPPER
  • 2 tsp. CHILI PEPPER
  • ½ tsp. SAFFRON
  • dash or 2 of GARLIC POWDER
Cook 1 cup of rice according to package directions to yield 3 cups cooked rice.

Meanwhile, use an extra large (12-inch) skillet to heat oil and soften onion, bell peppers and celery. Add all seasonings and incorporate thoroughly. Blend in rice and heat through. Serve hot. Makes 5 cups.


Classic Favorites
Casablanca (1942) — An intense love triangle between a jaded nightclub owner in French-occupied Morocco during World War II (Humphrey Bogart), his ex-lover (Ingrid Bergman) and her husband, a famous Czech rebel and nationalist (Paul Heinreid), is at the center of this movie, which is perhaps the greatest love story ever committed to film.

Gone With the Wind (1939) — The beautiful and scheming Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh) is a Southern belle whose world changes forever with the outbreak of the Civil War. Obsessed by her first love, who is married to another, Scarlett struggles to survive the war and its aftermath, as well as her passionate, tortured relationship with the man who may be her soul mate, Rhett Butler (Clark Gable).

Roman Holiday (1953) — This romantic comedy stars Audrey Hepburn as the bored Princess Anne, who escapes her entourage during a diplomatic visit to Rome and sets out to have fun, aided by a handsome American newspaper reporter (Gregory Peck) who angles for an exclusive interview but ends up--surprise!--falling in love with her.

From Here to Eternity (1953) — Set on an army base in Hawaii in the days before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, this film is the story of the love affair between a sergeant (Burt Lancaster) and the wife (Deborah Kerr) of his commanding officer. Watch for the famous beach scene, when Lancaster and Kerr kiss in the sand as the waves crash over them.

An Affair to Remember (1957) — Terry (Deborah Kerr) and Nickie (Cary Grant) meet and fall in love on a ship traveling across the Atlantic Ocean. Both engaged to other people, they say goodbye, but agree to meet atop the Empire State Building in six months if their feelings remain the same.

History, Adventure and Romance
Doctor Zhivago (1965) — Omar Sharif is the poet and doctor Yuri Zhivago, who is married to his childhood sweetheart, Tonya (Geraldine Chaplin) but carries on a passionate affair with the beautiful, troubled Lara (Julie Christie) against the tumultuous backdrop of the Russian Revolution.

Out of Africa (1985) — Based on the autobiography of the Danish writer Isak Dinesen, this movie stars Meryl Streep in one of her most celebrated performances. As a young wife largely abandoned by her husband (Klaus Maria Brandauer) on a plantation in Nairobi, she interacts with the native population and falls in love with an aristocratic hunter (Robert Redford).

The English Patient (1996) — Set against the backdrop of World War II, this beautifully filmed movie flashes back and forth between the love affair of Count Laszlo Almasy (Ralph Fiennes) and a married woman (Kristin Scott Thomas) in North Africa and an abandoned monastery in Italy, where a Canadian nurse (Juliette Binoche) cares for Almasy, now unrecognizable after being horribly burned in a plane crash.

Shakespeare in Love (1998) — A fun imagining of the young William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes), who struggles with writer's block until he meets a rich young woman (Gwyneth Paltrow) who also secretly disguises herself as a man in order to play the lead in Shakespeare's new play, which will become Romeo and Juliet.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) — In pursuit of a stolen jade sword and seeking to avenge the murderer of his master, the great Chinese warrior Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun Fat) enlists the help of Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh). Their barely acknowledged love for each other forms the heart of this fantastic martial arts drama, along with the more openly passionate relationship between a rich, rebellious young woman (Zhang Ziyi) and her bandit lover Lo (Chen Chang).

Offbeat Romances
The Princess Bride (1987) — This comedy, a tongue-in-cheek version of a classic fairy tale, tells the story of Wesley (Cary Elwes), a poor stable boy who returns from adventures at sea to rescue his true love, the beautiful Buttercup (Robin Wright), who has been chosen to marry an evil prince. This sweet, sentimental love story is energized by hilarious supporting performances by Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Mandy Patinkin and Andre the Giant, among others.

Say Anything (1989) — This charming movie about an improbable match--between the sweet, unambitious kickboxer (John Cusack) and the beautiful, sheltered valedictorian of his high school class (Ione Skye)--undoubtedly caused countless teenage girls (and many women) to long for someone to serenade them with a boombox, as Cusack's character does in what is arguably the film's most classic scene.

When Harry Met Sally (1989) — A modern classic for romantic comedy lovers (especially for those who secretly pine for one of their "platonic" friends), this movie follows two college classmates (Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan) into adulthood, exploring the question: Can men and women really be friends?

Out of Sight (1998) — The movie's most talked-about scene takes place in the trunk of a getaway car, where a federal marshal (Jennifer Lopez) is locked with a bank robber and prison escapee (George Clooney), only to have sparks fly. The unlikely romance continues over the course of this crime caper, based on a novel by Elmore Leonard.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) — Jim Carrey stars in this terrifically quirky, sometimes off-the-wall romance as a man who discovers that his girlfriend (Kate Winslet) has had her memories of him erased from her mind through a pioneering experimental procedure. He tracks down the doctor (Tom Wilkinson) to have the same procedure done to himself, only to decide that he doesn't really want to forget her.
(Source: The History Channel website. Retrieved January 27, 2011, from