Arizona Highways Travel Show

April 26th, 2011 by pattiebell

Love Arizona???   Love Travel???

Join us, The Inns at El Rancho Merlita,  and 100 exhibitors from throughout Arizona at the Arizona Highways Travel Show ~ May 14 & 15 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Discount coupons are available at:

www.arizonahighwaystravelshow.com or www.facebook.com/AZHTS

Golden Rain Pods

April 22nd, 2011 by pattiebell

Green Golden Rain Pods

Golden Rain Blossoms

April 21st, 2011 by pattiebell

Golden Rain Blossoms

The Goldenrain tree or “Pride of India” (tree species: Koelreuteria paniculata) is an ornamental species from Asia that has been widely planted in the Spanish cities of Madrid and Barcelona.  The name “Goldenrain” refers to the bright yellow flowers that cover the tree with a golden color in late spring.

There are 2 of these unusual trees on the property. I have never seen one in Tucson before. They are similar to China Berries, with papery seed pods instead of “berries”.

2011 Top 10 Romantic Inn

March 31st, 2011 by pattiebell

Out of 30,000 Inns and Bed and Breakfast in North America, El Rancho Merlita Ranch House Inn, was chosen as one of the top ten most romantic by iLoveInns.com after months of research and deliberation.  It provides the perfect location, world-class hospitality, personalized touch and loving environment that dreams are made of.  As iLoveInns.com president and 30-year bed and breakfast connoisseur Deborah Sakach remarks, “These kinds of properties deeply touch the hearts of their guests.”

Butterfly Season

September 22nd, 2010 by pattiebell

Recently, when I was at El Rancho Merlita Ranch House Bed and Breakfast in Tucson, AZ, I was impressed by the number of butterflies flitting around.  It greatly enhanced the peacefulness  and the beauty of the ranch.  Here are a few of the butterflies I enjoyed:

The Arizona State Butterfly - The Two-tailed Swallowtail

The state butterfly is marvelous!

The Arizona Sister - Adelpha bredowii eulalia

Mormon Metalmark - Apodemia mormo mormo

COCOA CHILE COINS

July 5th, 2010 by pattiebell

THIS COOKIE RECIPE CAME TOGETHER AS I WAS TRYING TO FIND WAYS TO INCORPORATE MESQUITE FLOUR INTO SOME OF MY BAKING.

SIFT TOGETHER:  1 C FLOUR, ½ C MESQUITE FLOUR, ¾ C UNSWEETENED COCOA POWDER, ¼ t SALT, ½ t CAYENNE POWDER, 2 t CINNAMON, ¼ t CLOVES

CREAM TOGETHER UNTIL LIGHT AND FLUFFY (3 MIN. IN ELECTRIC MIXER): 1 C SUGAR, ¾ C BUTTER

MIX IN: 1 LARGE EGG, 1 ½ t VANILLA

ADD FLOUR MIXTURE. MIX UNTIL JUST COMBINED. TURN OUT DOUGH ONTO PARCHMENT PAPER AND ROLL INTO LOG 2 INCHES IN DIAMETER. ROLL LOG IN THE PARCHMENT PAPER. REFRIGERATE AT LEAST 1 HOUR OR OVERNIGHT.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350. REOMVE LOG FROM PARCHMENT. LET SOFTEN ABOUT 5 MIN. ROLL LOG IN RAW OR SANDING SUGAR, PRESSING DOWN TO ADHERE TO DOUGH. TRANSFER LOG TO CUTTING BOARD. SLICE INTO ¼ INCH ROUNDSNN. PLACE 1 INCH APART ON PARCHMENT LINED COOKIE SHEETS.

BAKE 12 MINUTES AT 350, UNTIL SET AND RICH BROWN. COOL COMPLETELY ON WIRE RACKS. MAKES ABOUT 4 DOZEN.

NOTES: IF YOU DO NOT HAVE MESQUITE FLOUR YOU CAN USE ALL REGULAR FLOUR.  TRY USING OTHER KINDS OF CHILE, LIKE CHIPOTLE, WHICH HAS A NICE SMOKY FLAVOR, OR MILDER CHILE COLORADOS.

Molasses Oat Cookies

July 5th, 2010 by pattiebell

These simple crunchy cookies are packed with flavor and super easy to prepare!  I felt they could handle the addition of whole wheat flour, but you can use all white flour if you wish.

3/4 C white flour, 3/4 C whole wheat flour, 1 C sugar, 1 t baking soda, ½ t salt, 1 t ground ginger,  ½ t ground cloves

½ C melted butter, 1 large egg, ¼ C molasses

¾ C oats

¼ C sugar for rolling

Heat oven to 375. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

Sift first 6 ingredients in large bowl.  Add next 3 wet ingredients. Mix well. Add oats and stir to incorporate.

Scoop dough into balls using 1 oz. scoop.  Roll balls in sugar and place 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Cool on racks. Makes about 18 cookies.

Night Blooming Cereus

June 19th, 2010 by pattiebell

Thanks to West Tucson guest Hope Green for sharing these great photos of our huge night blooming cereus. Thanks too, Hope, for the shoe sharing!!!

More Flora and Fauna courtesy of Ken VanHorn

June 19th, 2010 by pattiebell

Kitty Kitty

June 11th, 2010 by pattiebell

Green Valley guest Ken Van Horn got up close and personal with this Bobcat as he and Mary Ann were about to depart. After posing for this shot, the cat sauntered around to the patio off of our kitchen, where she took a 3 hour nap under the night blooming cereus (more on that subject next week) .  When I went out to water my drooping herb pots she just sat there and watched me before stretching and strolling off.

The Bobcat (Lynx rufus) is a North American mammal of the cat family, Felidae. With twelve recognized subspecies, it ranges from southern Canada to northern Mexico, including most of the continental United States. The Bobcat is an adaptable predator that inhabits wooded areas, as well as semi-desert, urban edge, forest edges and swampland environments. It persists in much of its original range and populations are healthy.

With a gray to brown coat, whiskered face, and black-tufted ears, the Bobcat resembles the other species of the mid-sized Lynx genus. It is smaller than the Canadian Lynx, with which it shares parts of its range, but is about twice as large as the domestic cat. It has distinctive black bars on its forelegs and a black-tipped, stubby tail, from which it derives its name.

Though the Bobcat prefers rabbits and hares, it will hunt anything from insects and small rodents to deer. Prey selection depends on location and habitat, season, and abundance. Like most cats, the bobcat is territorial and largely solitary, although there is some overlap in home ranges. It uses several methods to mark its territorial boundaries, including claw marks and deposits of urine or feces. The Bobcat breeds from winter into spring and has a gestation period of about two months.

Although Bobcats have been hunted extensively by humans, both for sport and fur, their population has proven resilient. The elusive predator features in Native American mythology and the folklore of European settlers.

1924 North Corte El Rancho Merlita, Tucson, AZ 85751-1017
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