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edible + wildlifefriendly

El Paso & Southern New Mexico

gardens ®

inspiration ideas resources

outdoor living  

Southwest-style spa-worthy showers

Vol. 6 no. 3 SUMMER 2018

El Paso & Southern New Mexico


Brian Wancho

inspiration ideas resources


A love for interior design inspires the stylish remodel of an Upper Valley home.

42 A Different Kind of Home

In Horizon City, a transitional home combines chic design and comfy amenities.

in every issue


Inside Su Casa


Life+Style Southwest


Design Studio


Su Libro


Tuscan-style outdoor living in Las Cruces; pollinator plants for your Southwestern garden; expert advice for growing veggies at home; spa-worthy showers; elements of outdoor living; and Steve Thomas on functional, well-designed kitchens.

Moll Anderson brings joy through color; charming, historic homes in El Paso; and a roundup of sophisticated, minimalist furniture. Tacos and ice cream? Yes, please! Two new cookbooks with delicious, seasonal recipes.

Vida Buena

There’s plenty of summer fun to be had in Chicago; and the thrill of cycling in the borderland.


Live Performance Calendar


Su Cocina



From country music to classic movies at the historic Palace Theatre, here’s a lineup of the season’s most exciting live events. A local couple shares their love of alfresco dining in West El Paso; craft ice cream on wheels; and a lesson in smoky mezcal from James Selby—plus delicious mezcal cocktail recipes.

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Bill Faulkner

On the cover: Cooking and dining alfresco are some of the greatest joys of summer, and this El Paso couple does it right. Read more on page 66. Photograph by Nohemy Gonzalez.

Inside Su Casa


Bruce Adams



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e are so lucky to live here. While West Texas and Southern New Mexico have unique challenges, our generally temperate climate allows for year-round outdoor home enjoyment. In Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico, we often show homes where the outdoors are connected to the home through wonderfully designed patios, cooking areas, and gardens. In this issue we talk about ways to make your outdoor living more fun, too. Houses in this region have, for the most part, been designed to manage heat and intense sun. Many of these designs and construction techniques were developed before the days of air conditioners—but they still work today. As we see in this issue, ideas from other places can be applied to our region. One couple utilized Tuscan design features for their patio to help create shade, not to mention an attractive space to entertain and lounge. I created a patio on the shady side of my own house, so that as the afternoon sun moves to the other side, my patio area becomes cool and comfortable. Greenery is an important ingredient for enjoyable living, and we love our gardens. Of course, our infrequent rain poses some interesting gardening challenges, but like many people, I have had great success growing chile and succulents. Chile loves the intense sun, doesn’t like its leaves wet—only its roots—and grows very well with irrigated or drip watering systems. It’s no wonder it thrives in the Southwest. Within these pages we talk about beautiful, spa-like showers, and in our story about the many possibilities for comfortable outdoor living, you’ll see how one homeowner created their own home spa, outside. Their outdoor shower makes them feel like they’re in a resort, not just their backyard. Summer and outdoor living would not be complete without seasonal foods and beverages, served alfresco, of course. Check out the books reviewed in Su Libro for delicious taco and ice cream recipes. Our wine expert, James Selby, serves up some light and enjoyable summer cocktails made with mezcal. Summer living is sounding better and better, isn’t it? Summer is for relaxing. Give your home a summer resort feel, and you might be happiest right at home. I hope you can find your summertime bliss, however you envision it.

El Paso & Southern New Mexico

inspiration ideas resources

Published by Bella Media, LLC Publisher Bruce Adams Business Development Bob Skolnick Edwin Rosario Managing Editor Amy Gross Editor Danielle Urbina Contributors Moll Anderson, Elenie Gonzalez, Cassie McClure Teresa Odle, Jessica Salopek, Donna Schillinger James Selby, Steve Thomas Art/Production Director B. Y. Cooper Senior Designer Allie Salazar Graphic Designer Sonja Berthrong Photography Bill Faulkner, Nohemy Gonzalez Jesse Ramirez, Brian Wancho

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Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico Volume 06, Number 3, Summer 2018. Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico is published quarterly in December, March, June, and September by Bella Media, LLC, at Pacheco Park, 1512 Pacheco St, Ste D-105, Santa Fe, NM 87505, USA, Phone (505) 983-1444. ŠCopyright 2018 by Bella Media, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. Basic annual subscription rate is $9.95, Canada & Mexico is $23.95, other international countries is $27.95. U.S. single-copy price is $5.95; back issues are $6.95 each. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico, P.O. Box 15305, North Hollywood, CA 91615-5305. Subscription Customer Service: Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico, P.O. Box 15305, North Hollywood, CA 91615-5305, Phone (818) 286-3164, Fax (800) 869-0040,

Life+Style Southwest

by Jessica Salopek

photographs by Jesse Ramirez

old world getaway Tuscan design that brings the indoors out Above: April and Ernest Arzate thoughtfully designed outdoor living into their new Las Cruces home.

Simply put, the Arzate family’s new home is a gathering place. With Ernest on the grill, the family gets together often for poolside barbecues.


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t took nearly three years of first, house-hunting and then, researching builders, before April and Ernest Arzate finally took the plunge and moved from Austin, Texas, to Las Cruces. Both native New Mexicans—he’s from Deming, she grew up in Albuquerque—they’d grown weary of Austin’s sprawl and the humidity that plagues Central Texas. During their search, they found their attention returning to Trinity Homes again and again for one primary reason: “We loved the way they incorporated outdoor living into all of their floor plans,” April notes. “They really emphasized that element, and it was something that appealed to the lifestyle we wanted to live here in New Mexico.” Trinity is also well known for their Tuscan-style builds, and the Arzates were after that old world charm both inside and out. The patio that extends the back length of the home is laid out for ideal alfresco living. A living room complete with a television set mounted above a wood-burning fireplace is tucked into one corner. At the other end: a full kitchen with a grill, smoker, sink, refrigerator, and under-cabinet storage. “I love all the little touches they added, like how they shaped the niches and put in the mantel,” says April. “We’re never going to live in Italy, so this is as close as we’re going to get!” She loves the solid-beamed pergolas extending directly off the porch. “We didn’t want everything completely covered, so this makes a really great transition.”

To incorporate the authentic Tuscan ambience into the landscape, April worked with George Ocampo of GO Designs in El Paso. Ocampo is the visionary behind the grass turf that springs up between the concrete stepping stones. He also installed the travertine and paver pool decking and designed the rest of the landscape, and the plant installation was contracted out to Las Cruces–based Green Guys Landscaping. Ocampo also added lighting elements and two additional pergolas, and selected a textural aggregate finish for the pool. “The Arzates hired us to make sure their new home would be more than just somewhere to live; they wanted a sanctuary, a place that would speak to them for all occasions of their life,” Ocampo explains. “The landscape shows a combination of evergreen, flowering shrubs, and perennials. Placement was the most important part of the project; the layers create a balance that completes the vibe our homeowners wanted to feel.” The design called for narrow, non-obstructive Italian Cyprus trees and planting an oak in the far corner. Raised garden beds running along the stone and wrought iron back wall, custom-designed by Right: In this house, time spent outdoors doesn’t end after summer—a cozy fire pit beside the outdoor kitchen allows for yearround hangs. Below: Complete with fountains, the pool is the azure centerpiece of the backyard. An elevated spa overlooks mountain and valley views.



Above: Several lounging areas situated throughout the backyard capture the New Mexico vistas.

the Arzates and welded by ironworker Ruben Morales, are home to vitex, cherry sage, damianita, and bright purple agapanthus flowers. True to Tuscan form, the property includes an herb and vegetable garden from which Ernest, the cook in the family, pulls whenever possible. Outdoors, he often grills up steak, corn, seafood, and kebabs, or smokes turkeys and chickens. “The layout works really well,” April notes. “It’s comfortable, not like some of those huge, fancy outdoor kitchens with all the extras, like a wood pizza oven.” “That’s coming next!” Ernest chimes in. With extended family on both sides living in the area, there are plenty of mouths to feed. When the clan isn’t gathered around the dining table, they’re cooling off in the swimming pool. Designed by Frank Wells of Pools by Design, the eye-catching design is highlighted by shimmering blue glass tiles, a sun ledge, and an elevated hot tub. Any time of day, April says everyone ultimately ends up around the fire pit. “Lit up at night, it’s fantastic, but even without the fire, it’s a cozy, comfy place to curl up and enjoy the view. We get great sunrises here,” she notes. “People ask us all the time if we miss Austin, and when we’re out here, we can honestly say we have no regrets. We haven’t looked back once.”

“People ask us all the time if we miss Austin, and when we’re out here, we can honestly say we have no regrets. We haven’t looked back once.” —April Arzate

resources GO Designs Green Guys Landscaping Pools by Design Trinity Homes


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Life+Style Southwest

by Danielle Urbina

wildlife-friendly welcome bees, birds, and butterflies with heat-resistant pollinator plants


esigning a garden is about more than just beautifying your outdoor spaces; in many homes, gardens are also places of refuge for important pollinators like butterflies, birds, and bees. While these wildlife-friendly gardens aren’t hard to maintain, they do take some planning and special consideration—especially when it comes to plants that work best, not only in desert climates, but also for the wildlife inhabiting them. Whether your design plan is all about overflowing beds with grasses and blooms, or something a little more simple— like desert landscaping—here are a few plants that add color and pizzazz to your yard, but are also magnets for pollinators.

COWPEN DAISY Verbesina encelioides Habit: Herb Duration: Annual Appearance: A grayish-green stem with toothed, triangular-shaped leaves. The daisy’s flower heads are bright yellow and can grow up to 2 inches. Maintenance: This plant uses very little water and requires full sun—cut back when the plant begins to grow too tall. The cowpen daisy self-seeds, so you won’t ever have to replant it; allow the seeds to dry, then remove and collect. Attracts: Butterflies and bees

TEXAS LANTANA Lantana urticoides Habit: Shrub Duration: Perennial Appearance: Pointed, green leaves that are flattened at the base, with red, orange, and yellow flowers at the end of long stems. Flowers grow in bunches and often reach up to 6 feet in height. Maintenance: Use a well-draining sandy or loamy soil and make sure the plant gets full sunlight. Texas lantana is very heat-resistant and requires little water, but should be pruned back in the winter. Attracts: Birds and butterflies

BUTTERFLY MILKWEED Asclepias tuberosa Habit: Herb Duration: Perennial Appearance: Linear to oblong green leaves with flowers in shades of orange, red, and yellow; grows 1–2 feet in height. Maintenance: Plant butterfly milkweed among other perennials and make sure it gets plenty of sun. This plant prefers welldraining, sandy soil and is ideal for Southwestern gardens because of its distinct tolerance to drought. Attracts: Butterflies and hummingbirds

resources Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center 10

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DESERT HONEYSUCKLE Anisacanthus thurberi Habit: Shrub Duration: Perennial Appearance: A shrub that grows from 5–8 feet tall with stout branches showcasing white bark. Its tubular flowers are red, yellow, or orange with a seeded pod. Maintenance: This plant prefers full sun and rocky soil. Its bloom period is in spring, but blooms will continue to grow throughout the year if the plant is watered. Attracts: Hummingbirds

Life+Style Southwest

by Teresa Odle

fresh from the garden

Bill Faulkner

growing fruits and veggies at home

Above: Gardening in containers and raised beds is a great way to get your vegetable and herb gardens started. The owner of this Las Cruces garden is able to pick fresh basil, mint, and other herbs. Below: There’s a reason why chile is so popular in the Southwest. Peppers, as well as tomatoes, grow well in Southwestern climates thanks to their ability to withstand sizzling temperatures.


rowing fruits and vegetables in home gardens is one of the smartest moves you can make. “Nothing tastes like fresh-picked food from your own garden, or from a farm or orchard,” says Gary Guzman, owner of Guzman’s Garden Centers in Las Cruces. “You can pick food at its peak ripeness, unlike what you might get from the supermarket.” Freshness is a huge plus, and a reason many gardeners grow at least some fruits, herbs, and vegetables at home. You also know exactly how the food was grown and can avoid residual chemicals on produce. A big plus, according to Ross Hall, manager of Sunset Gardens in El Paso: “You can grow organically if you so desire with organic fertilizers and compost.”

“Nothing tastes like fresh-picked food from your own garden, or from a farm or orchard.”—Gary Guzman

Bill Faulkner

If safety, health, and freshness aren’t reason enough, how about the satisfaction of feeding your family and getting the kids involved in choosing, caring for, and harvesting food for dinner?

from garden to table Desert heat is a plus for growing many fruits and vegetables— green chile, for example, needs heat to ripen and produce its hot, 12

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delicious flavor. Tomatoes also need some heat, but often require shade on the hottest summer afternoons. “We recommend people plant their gardens on the east side of the house when possible, to get early morning sun and less afternoon sun,” says Hall. “Almost all fruits and vegetables require at least eight hours of direct sunlight for best flavor,” adds Guzman. Some of the most popular local crops are peppers (including jalapeños), tomatoes, apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, and strawberries. “Most produce grows here at one time or another,” says Guzman. You can plant cool-season crops such as radishes, carrots, beets, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach in early spring as soon as you can work the ground, or in September. “They grow through November, December, or January,” adds Hall. Many varieties of citrus trees grow well in containers, so they can be brought inside for frost protection in winter.

tips and techniques “You can use containers for just about anything, from veggies to fruit trees,” says Guzman. Growing food in containers is in fact the perfect solution for a small yard or deck, plus you can move containers around a bit to add or lessen sun exposure. Tomato containers should be at least 12 inches in diameter, but herbs and greens grow in all sorts of container sizes and designs. If you choose to grow a perennial herb or fruit tree in a container, keep in mind you’ll eventually have to repot the plant when the soil breaks down and loses nutrients. Otherwise, have fun filling containers right off your kitchen with herbs and vegetables your family loves.

“A lot of people who come to the nursery are doing raised bed gardening,” says Hall. Fill raised beds with good soil and compost to create an excellent growing environment for edibles. Both Hall and Guzman recommend mulching around edibles to cool and retain moisture in the soil. Barks (wood chips), composts, and pecan shells are some effective types of mulch for the Southwest.

Bill Faulkner

Above: The owners of this El Paso garden grow fiery jalapenos right in their own backyard. Cages help to support the plants and keep them growing vertically.

Bill Faulkner

Bill Faulkner

Below: A delicious staple in the Southwest, green chile is a popular choice for vegetable gardeners in this area. Grow ‘em in the summer; roast ‘em in the early fall.

water and enjoy Once planted, water and enjoy your harvest. Guzman recommends using a good drip irrigation system and timer to make watering easier and more efficient. Netting helps protect fruit and crops from birds, and grow cover or floating row cover can shade plants just enough during peak heat. Finally, don’t feel you have to separate your edible foods from the flowers and bushes in your garden; many herbs produce attractive flowers and attract bees.

Above: Broccoli grows in bunches; it’s later picked by the little ones who live in this El Paso home.

contributors Guzman’s Garden Centers Sunset Gardens SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Life+Style Southwest

by Donna Schillinger

bathing bliss a luxurious shower brings the spa to you


t the end of a long, hard day, what better way is there to decompress than with a luxurious spa shower? Now with five-star features widely available to homeowners, the most relaxing and rewarding shower you could imagine can be part of your daily routine.

Jesse Ramirez

an exhilarating experience

Above: In this master bath, interior designer Sherry Franzoy used various materials—blue glass tiles, neutral-toned stone, and pebble tile floors—to give the shower texture, while still maintaining a mod, streamlined look.

Today’s showerheads come in a wealth of syles and unusual shapes, with many relaxing and watersaving capabilities.

“A spa means visual and physical comfort,” says Sherry Franzoy, owner and interior designer at Decorating Den Interiors in Las Cruces. To create this multisensory effect, Franzoy suggests— and often uses in her bathroom designs—frameless enclosures, monochromatic color schemes, stone and textured tile, and rain heads, and amenities like heated towel bars. Franzoy suggests starting by setting the mood with ambient lighting, such as shower-safe, dimmable, canned lighting. Then add water—lots of water, lots of ways, starting with an overhead rain fixture for a light, soothing spray. Larger showers, made with couples in mind, can offer hisand-hers, wall-mounted or hand-held showerheads at varying heights. Add jet sprays—which shoot water straight out from the side—for an aqua massage. Behind the scenes, tankless water heaters provide an unlimited supply of water as hot as you can take it for as long as you want it. Get your H2O in yet another way with a built-in steam generator, which enhances the shower experience with luxuries like aromatic steam and chromatherapy. A simple, elegant, and most importantly, portable teak shower bench for sitting and soaking is Franzoy’s preference over built-in benches. A mosaic of textured tiles and stacked stone in varying sizes and hues creates a fitting backdrop to a sensory shower experience. Large, built-in niches with shelves are a convenient way to store spa accoutrements: essential oils, loofahs, body brushes, soaps, and shower gels. On the shower floor, pebble tiles continue to trend in 2018. “They look like river rock and provide a nice change of texture,” says Franzoy.

serenity and simplicity

Courtesy Kohler

“With such beautiful tile and stone work, why would you want to hide your shower?” asks Mike Robalin, owner of Southwestern Home Products in El Paso. “Clear glass enclosures are about 90 percent of the market right now,” though he notes that an attractive patterned glass is recommended where privacy is important. Floor-to-ceiling clear glass enclosures give the bathroom an expansive feel. New construction and some remodels can accommodate the trending zero-threshold or curbless showers—achieved with a vinyl moisture barrier instead of a shower


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Set the mood with ambient lighting, then add water—lots of water, lots of ways, starting with an overhead rain fixture. “Historically, that has been a major problem, and homeowners have had to be very diligent to prevent water sediment from penetrating the pores of the glass, which results in a white, hazy look,” says Robalin. He also encourages consumers to become informed. Some glass guard products applied as a wet application after the tempering process may have a 10-year warranty, but they can’t match the lifetime warranty of ShowerGuard glass. Everything else is all in the details—step out of the shower and grab a warm towel from the heated towel bar. It’s the perfect finish to the perfect spa-like shower, all in the comfort of home.

contributors Decorating Den Interiors

Southwestern Home Products

Courtesy Southwestern Home Products

pan. The design is not only stylish, but also smart for homeowners with mobility issues or who are planning to age in place. Where glass meets floor, a clear, polycarbonate sweep angles water toward the drain, as does a flexible sweep on the door, Robalin explains. Perhaps the most reassuring feature in newer glass enclosures is ease of care, when equipped with spot protection. Baked on in the tempering process, ShowerGuard glass offers a lifetime promise that you will always be able to clean away any spot.

Above: A frameless shower enclosure by Southwestern Home Products keeps this master bath looking open and airy. Modern fixtures such as a rain showerhead accent the contemporary design and gray and white palette.



Life+Style Southwest

by Steve Thomas

beautiful, versatile workshop


learned my most important lesson about kitchens 30 years ago, when I renovated a 1700s colonial for our family home. I restored the formal living and dining rooms in the front but gutted the back of the house to create an L-shaped kitchen/dining/living area that opened onto the garden. This being our first “grown-up” home I figured we would sit in the formal rooms during gatherings and make intelligent conversation with our friends. But during the housewarming party, our 60 guests wandered through the formal areas, peeked at the garden, then plopped or stood wherever they could find room in the kitchen. By 11 PM the remaining party animals were sitting flank to flank on the island and counters, or standing where there was no room to sit. The formal rooms were completely ignored. It was an “aha” moment, and since then we’ve just focused on the kitchen/dining/ living suite. A few observations on kitchens: “Kitchen” comprises three functional blocks: food prep, dining, and lounging. The blocks should be continuous, or at least inter-visible. They can be “stacked” in layers (picture a galley kitchen, then a dining table layer, then a living room grouping perhaps centered around a fire-


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place), or the blocks can be in an L or U shape. The key is that one must always be able to see the kitchen. Our current kitchen at Sea Cove Cottage is small, but my wife Evy, an excellent cook, claims it’s our best so far. In the renovation I knocked down the wall between the old dining room and kitchen and opened up the original front hall. Now you can see the kitchen from the entire first floor. The kitchen is a workshop. If it’s pretty but doesn’t function well it’s not much good. Excellent design is key. For Sea Cove we used a professional designer, Robin Siegerman, to lay out the floor plan and general cabinet configuration. Cabinet specialist Rick Spencer specified the actual cabinets, door configuration, and working hardware package. We eschewed custom in this kitchen in favor of cost-efficient factory-built cabinets, and they look great. Edit your stuff. To open up the space we used cantilevered upper shelves instead of cabinets. A thin LED strip applied to the underside illuminates the counters. This open concept works great, but only if you scrupulously edit your kitchenware. What you see in the picture is what we

use for every occasion. In terms of batterie de cuisine, Evy kept only her best stuff. Every piece does double or triple duty . . . or it goes. Functionality is key. Most of the surface area of a kitchen is in the countertops. In our last two kitchens I’ve used quartz composite (Silestone), which is now very good, very durable, very heat- and stain-resistant, and easy to clean. Remember: workshop. Spend for quality where it counts. I’m a sucker for beautiful tools so I pushed for the top of the line Wolf/Sub-Zero package. Even at builders prices they’re expensive—but worth it. Like a well-engineered tool they give me pleasure every time I use them, and they don’t break. The takeaway from all this? Focus on design, simplicity, and quality. The kitchen suite is where you and your family will live and your guests will hang out—especially if there is good food and drink to be enjoyed there! Steve Thomas is a home renovation expert. The former host of This Old House and Renovation Nation, he now heads up Steve Thomas Builders.

Left: Steve and Evy’s kitchen at Sea Cove Cottage flows into a compact dining room and then into a small living room. Open shelving takes the place of upper cabinets, creating the feeling of more space.

Sara Holbrook

Steve Thomas

Douglas Merriam

the kitchen is where the real living happens


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uan Carlos and Lorena Rodriguez’s highly successful, twopronged partnership has worked beautifully for them for over 34 years. Life partners as well as business partners, they are the creative forces behind Silver Springs Pool & Spa in El Paso. As both were building their careers, Juan Carlos was working on his degree in architecture. In 1984, the two ventured out to Miami, Florida, to start a family and continue Juan Carlos’s architectural ambitions. Armed with a master’s degree in Urban Design and Landscaping from Florida International University, Juan Carlos began his career working in both residential and commercial site planning. The Miami area offered the opportunity to work on celebrity and upscale homes in El Doral, Naples, and Marco Island, but Juan Carlos, seeing the possibilities of a career in design of outdoor living areas and landscaping, struck out on his own—a decision he and Lorena never regretted. After eight years in South Florida they decided to move to El Paso, Texas, to be closer to family in both El Paso and Mexico. When the Rodriguezes realized the year-round warm climate in El Paso provided a demand for the design and construction of creative pools and spas, they opened Silver Springs Pool & Spa, which rapidly developed into one of the area’s most successful active pool, spa, and landscape businesses. Lorena handles the administration and accounting of the company while Juan Carlos handles the design and construction. Juan Carlos’s knowledge of the varying soil and rock composition in the region helps customers understand what can be built on their selected lots. Often he will bring in soil or remove rock to ensure the building of a sound pool and spa. Visual presentations are important to Juan Carlos, who excels in drawing beautiful visual renderings of possible outdoor living area layouts for prospective clients. He and Lorena have a carefully developed system for providing their clients with the best service, ensuring every single client is satis-

fied and excited for their project. This system, coupled with access to the best pool equipment manufacturers and the latest pool construction techniques, places Silver Springs Pool & Spa as a top quality company in the El Paso and Southern New Mexico region. With their son and daughter completing college and pursuing their careers, Juan Carlos and Lorena have opened a branch in San Antonio, which is managed by their son. Having grown for 20 years in El Paso, Silver Springs Pool & Spa is a family partnership and legacy that will carry on for many years to come. Juan Carlos and Lorena Rodriguez of Silver Springs Pool & Spa

Life+Style Southwest

by Danielle Urbina

endless possibilities

Courtesy Red Oaks Landscaping & Pergolas

get creative with outdoor amenities

Built with lounging in mind, this pergola is big on Southwestern character. Varied lighting, a chiminea, and potted plants are charming additions that make the space cozy and inviting.


n the Southwest, livable outdoor spaces are a priority for homeowners seeking to enjoy our four-season weather all year long. While designers take a lot of care to focus on the big picture—outdoor kitchens, living areas, etc.—they also treat the entire space as an extension of the home itself. Mastering this particular part of the backyard takes a lot of planning, and the trick is to approach the area with the same attention to detail as any other room in your home, making it comfortable, inviting, and useful. Sometimes, however, it’s the smaller details—things like individual seating, lighting, and unexpected amenities—that can be the crowning touch on an already fabulous outdoor space.

Courtesy Modway

a place to land


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Naturally, seating is one of the first things you think of when it comes to outdoor living spaces, but having several areas makes things that much cozier and welcoming. Varied seating offers up space for everyone in the backyard, and when company isn’t around, there’s an advantage to having several places to kick up your feet and enjoy the outdoors in solitude. Left: For the kid at heart, swing chairs are a fun and comfy throwback to ’60s furniture design.

For those special, single seating areas, consider the places you’re most drawn to and decorate them well. When it comes to seating, there’s an abundance of options. Swing chairs are eye-catching and chic; not only are they fun to literally hang out in, but they’re aesthetically pleasing, too, without taking up too much space. Tuck one into a nook in the garden or anchor one someplace where stunning sunsets are in full view, then simply swing life away.

relaxing rinse Besides the enjoyment of being able to rinse off in fresh air, outdoor showers have practical perks, especially if you do a lot of swimming or working around the garden. In the past, outdoor showers were simple stalls, meant purely for function; today, homeowners get the resort experience at home with open-air showers designed to feel more like a luxury retreat. “The novelty of it is what I think makes an outdoor shower so appealing,” says Kiki Suggs, owner of Classic New Mexico Homes. “It’s that feeling of showering with a cool breeze or the stars overhead.” Whether you choose to go the classic route with an enclosed stall, or go au naturel in a shower that’s exposed to the elements, there’s a design that blends in with any architectural style. However, Suggs says there are some important plumbing considerations to keep in mind. “Regular valves [like you would use indoors] are prone to freezing, so it’s good to have separate valves that you can turn on and off in the winter,” she says. When it comes to building your shower, designers suggest blending it in to your home’s surrounding landscape with materials like wood, stone, tile, or glass paneling for a more subtle, contemporary look. Suggs suggests using freeze-proof tile that will stay intact even when the weather becomes chilly. Additionally, be

conscious of what’s underfoot to avoid muddy puddles in your shower and a messy walk back into your home. For the finishing touches, include hooks and benches nearby for towels and other bathing necessities.

Going back to the basics, pergolas are classic architectural features that have been elevated in design within the past few years. Pergolas not only extend your living space from the indoors out, but also help to define separate areas in the backyard. “Pergolas are so popular here because they’re an extra shaded area in the backyard that people can use and escape from this El Paso sun,” says Eddie Vasquez, founder of Red Oaks Landscaping & Pergolas. While the structures do add shade and a refuge from hot summer temperatures, their slatted roofs allow in a bit of sunshine and fresh air. Traditionally, pergolas are constructed with four vertical posts and an open-roof beam structure. They can be a DIY project for handy homeowners, but patio professionals and landscape designers can take pergolas to the next level with different materials and customizable features like lights, ceiling fans, intricate woodwork, even vines and hanging foliage for a whimsical look. In this area, Vasquez says most of his customers go for a Southwestern look. “The logs we use and the design we include on the ends give the pergolas some Southwestern flair,” he says. “We typically use Douglas fir, but we also use cedar, which is a little more high end.” Though most pergolas are typically rustic in design, they can be made out of metal, or stained and painted to fit virtually any style of home. To give it some extra oomph (and shade), wooden slats, awnings, bamboo shading, and billowy curtains are both stylish and functional.

Courtesy Classic New Mexico Homes

stay cool

Tucked away in a secluded area, this colorful outdoor shower designed by Classic New Mexico Homes completely blends in with nature and has all the amenities necessary for an exhilarating experience.

resources Classic New Mexico Homes Red Oaks Landscaping & Pergolas Stenner Pergolas



Enchanted Spaces

by Moll Anderson


moody hues Nathan Schroder Photography

are your color choices helping you live your happiest life?


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t’s no secret that colors symbolize different things: light blue—tranquility; yellow—happiness; red—anger or passion. But are you aware that colors also provide a full sensory experience that is crafted from the day you come into this world? If you have an unconsciously negative feeling toward a color and that color is dominant in your life, you’re probably not going to feel your most comfortable. Embracing colors that speak to you in the most positive way is one great technique to help “capture your happy!” Our color story begins from our childhood and includes all of our senses, emotions, and experiences—good and bad. As mentioned in my latest book, Change Your Home, Change Your Life with Color, “Sense memory plays a significant part in who we are today. Color is a powerful influencer, and the way we feel when we see a color we dislike can affect us physically. We may suddenly feel exhausted, anxious, or angry, and although we may not understand why, it’s definitely a strong aversion. You may have known you hated a color, but didn’t realize the color was actually adding to your anxiety.” So if you have walls painted in your home in the color you dislike, or have upholstered furniture in that same color, your house could literally be making you sick! According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders represent the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults, and it is not uncommon for someone with anxiety to also suffer from depression. Both disorders stem from a variety of risk factors including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events, and affect all ages Left and opposite: Personally, my happy color is a vivid bright blue, so it was extremely important to me to infuse this hue of blue into my home décor. The idea is to see a color and capture the positive feelings derived from your sense memory toward it, and then manifest those feelings into your home and life. For instance, the minute I think of summer, the color blue immediately comes to mind. It’s the color of the ocean that I vacationed near with my family in La Jolla, California, as a little girl; the blue sky that was clear and bright on a hot summer day; and the color of striped beach towels, umbrellas, and cover-ups along the sand.

Jeff Katz Photography

and genders. So if you’re already depressed, then the colors you choose to surround yourself with in your home and life could either help you and create a more comfortable, welcoming space, or they could add to the intensity of your anxiety. Once you’ve identified your happy color, try incorporating it into your life through different ways such as re-covering your sofa or chairs with fabric in that color, or ease into it by picking up a new set of sheets for your bed, or adding throws or pillows to a bench or couch. Fresh flowers are a must-have. If flowers are hard to find year-round in your favorite color, try a gorgeous vase or a piece of art. You can even incorporate a staple piece of clothing in your happy color to wear on those important days where you need a little boost of confidence. Why color? Because color brings joy and can symbolically shift your energy if you’re open to it. I don’t profess to have all of the answers, and I don’t have a degree in psychology. I’m just hoping that by sharing a bit of my color journey, it might encourage you to take a chance on really living a fully sensory aware and colorful life!

Moll Anderson Life stylist, inspirational interior designer, and philanthropist Moll Anderson is an Emmy Award–winning television personality and the New York Times best-selling author of five books, including Change Your Home, Change Your Life™ with Color: What’s Your Color Story?

Design Studio

by Elenie Gonzalez

charm and tradition

Jessica Salopek

El Paso’s historic architecture stands the test of time


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Built in the early 1900s, Trost’s personal home features elements signature to Prairie-style architecture: design that blends itself with the surrounding landscape, hipped roofs, and extensive brickwork.

Jessica Salopek


reathtaking is the only way to describe many of the homes nestled into El Paso’s oldest neighborhoods. All along Montana Avenue into Manhattan Heights, throughout the historic district of Sunset Heights, and up to the mountain around the scenic views of Kern Place and Rim Road, lie some of the oldest and most charming homes the city has to offer. Downtown El Paso and its surrounding neighborhoods have been around for well over a century, and the architecture of the homes within them is what gives El Paso some of the one-of-akind character it’s known for. Henry C. Trost is perhaps El Paso’s most well-known architect, responsible for building many recognizable structures throughout the city. Though he built many of the commercial buildings situated downtown, it’s his homes in Sunset Heights that really make a mark. Trost landed in El Paso in 1903 after relocation from Tucson, Arizona, where he began his architectural firm, Trost & Rust, with business partner Robert Rust. When Rust died in 1905, Trost’s twin brother Gustavus stepped in as a structural engineer, and the two later formed the firm now widely known as Trost & Trost. During his career, Trost built up to 100 residences throughout some of the most prominent neighborhoods in the city, most of which are still lived in today. Texas Trost Society Executive Director Malissa Arras describes Trost as a unique architect who was able to demonstrate his personal style within the small details in his homes. “You can really see what a Trost home is through the interior and exterior because he chose these beautiful, very ornate details wherever

Above: Standing tall in Sunset Heights, the Kohlberg Residence is one of Henry C. Trost’s residential hallmarks. The home showcases Spanish Mediterranean architecture and still features much of its original style and design.

Bill Faulkner Bill Faulkner

In Manhattan Heights, homeowners Cathy and Mario Gonzalez completely overhauled their Mabel Welch–designed home (above and left), but kept original architectural details intact outdoors, such as the decorative wrought iron, textured walls, and terra-cotta tiles.

Above: Indoors, the couple couldn’t part with an original stained glass window in the entryway. A hand-painted mural by Myriam Montes of Myriam’s Faux Finish Studio brings life to the rest of the space.

he could employ them,” Arras explains. “He used the highest-quality materials he could, including wooden features and hand-painted tile.” Unlike many architects at the time, Trost did not have a particular building style and was most known for his ability to work in a variety of architectural styles, including art deco, Mission Revival, Prairie, and Bhutanese dzong.

“These are the elements that make El Paso, El Paso. You’re not going to find these homes anywhere else.” —Robert Diaz “He tried to orient the homes in a way that made them very energy efficient but maximized windows and light so that the homes were brightly lit,” says Arras. “Also, the interior moldings and any kind of interior details were very refined and usually had specific references to the flora and fauna of the Southwest.” His former personal home—known as the Trost Residence, located in Sunset Heights—showcases elegant, stained glass windows adorned with cacti representing the Chihuahuan Desert landscape.

Not too far from Sunset Heights lies the historic Manhattan Heights district where a Trost contemporary, influential architect Mabel C. Welch, built many homes in the quaint neighborhood. Welch, El Paso’s first woman architect, began working at the same time Trost buildings and homes were starting to go up in the city. Soon after Mabel moved to El Paso with her husband Malcolm in 1916, the couple worked together to design elegant residences, with Malcolm constructing the homes and Mabel decorating them. When Malcolm died from complications due to tuberculosis, Mabel took over the business, completing her late husband’s work, continuing to build homes, even enrolling herself in architecture school and earning her certification in 1939. “She took over that business and she made it her own, and that is a testament, not only as an architect, but to her tenacity as a businessperson,” notes Robert Diaz, president of the El Paso County Historical Society. Welch designed and built as many as 1,500 homes around El Paso, most of which are located in Manhattan Heights and Kern Place, including mansions along Rim Road that were built for some of El Paso’s most prominent families. Take a drive or a stroll through these tree-lined neighborhoods, and the distinct style of a Welch home is immediately obvious— Spanish Colonial Revival design consisting of organically textured white walls, earthy clay tile roofs, wrought iron embellishments, and Roman-style, semicircular balconies. “These are the elements that make El Paso, El Paso. You’re not going to find these homes anywhere else,” says Diaz. “You have the stories of people who not only created tremendous businesses, but left an imprint in our minds. If you go to Manhattan Heights or Kern Place, or if you say those names to El Pasoans, you can picture those houses. It’s architects like Mabel Welch who were able to do that, and it’s great that these places are still in existence.”

contributors El Paso County Historical Society Texas Trost Society SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


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heir name says it all: Classic New Mexico Homes. For over 30 years, Classic New Mexico Homes owners Kiki and Wayne Suggs have specialized in building unique and custom Pueblo- and adobe-style homes with distinctive Southwestern touches and timeless architectural details. “It’s not just a house,” they say. “It’s a fulfillment of our customers’ vision of their dream home.” The company’s signature thick wall construction, whether adobe or framed with insulation, is mastered to be energy- and cost-efficient and comfortable in every season. Wayne and Kiki’s long-standing staff shares their passion and vision. Gregg and Cindy Duff, working out of the company’s woodworking shop, handle the custom cabinetry and woodwork, from hand-carved stair steps to unique vent covers. Adrian Del Muro, who has worked closely for years with Wayne and Kiki on the day-to-day construction, is a key part of the design and planning process. The entire team is involved in the discussions with homeowners, particularly the all-important question of proper placement and orientation of the house on the selected lot. Having built dozens of homes throughout Southern New Mexico, Wayne and Kiki are very familiar with sources for great view lots and understand the soil geology of each area, and know that a properly positioned home ensures unobstructed sight lines and the best use of the solar exposure in this high desert climate.

With every Classic New Mexico Home, the details and finishes are as important as the construction. Wayne, Kiki, Gregg, and Cindy share a passion for traveling the region searching for Southwestern and Mexican design elements to incorporate into their homes, from doors, beams, and columns to aged wood and other antique items. “Everything in earlier Southwestern homes had a purpose,” note Wayne and Kiki. Indeed, these old-time elements give all Classic New Mexico Homes historical presence and the sense that they have been a part of the fabric of the landscape for years. Considering how creatively their homes are designed and appointed, it comes as little surprise that Wayne and Kiki are also accomplished artists—Wayne a photographer, Kiki a painter. With a shared artistic vision, the couple incorporates custom tiles into kitchens and bathrooms, while Kiki’s interior design talents extend to assisting her clients with selecting furniture and décor that harmonizes with their new home. The final finishing touch to any home—landscaping—is an art form in this high desert zone. The design of outdoor living areas and the selection of seasonal, drought-tolerant plants, shrubs, and ground cover are special insights offered by Wayne and Kiki, who love showing their new-to-theSouthwest customers how to fully enjoy outdoor living most of the year. Three decades and counting, a passion for high quality construction meets the timeless beauty of the Southwest, in every Classic New Mexico Home. A deep reverence for traditional craftsmanship and artisan woodworking sets Classic New Mexico Homes apart from the rest.

Design Studio

by Danielle Urbina

subtle + sophisticated minimalist furniture delivers maximum style

Courtesy Zuo Modern


he power of simplicity—it’s become a popular ideal, especially in terms of home style and organization. For many, minimalism is the new way to go. Furniture and décor, too, have taken on an unembellished kind of look with strong, clean lines and less ornamentation. Of course, minimalism doesn’t mean paring down to items with no personality—well-made pieces created with natural textures and unique structures are still strong enough to be statement pieces throughout the home. And simplicity doesn’t necessarily mean free of color either. Here are a few pieces that will have you convinced that less really is more.

Zuo Modern Saints Coffee Table A necessity in every living room, the coffee table is an integral part of the area’s design—so it’s got to look good. In addition to its minimal look, the Saints Coffee Table also showcases chic midcentury modern style with a sawhorse-style base and rectangular top. The rich walnut finish and black metal accents on the base are a sophisticated contrast to the bright white tabletop.

World Market Blush Velvet Jacie Upholstered Platform Bed You’ll want to keep throw pillows and any bedding extras to a minimum to show off the striking simplicity of this bed. Its blush velvet upholstery is an elegant complement to gold, splayed legs, and channel tufting on the headboard brings the entire look together. The bed is constructed with a pine frame, includes a slatted support system, and is available in twin, full, queen, king, and California king sizes.

Opalhouse Myna Tufted Arm Chair This teal accent chair by Opalhouse is a great example of minimalist furniture that makes its statement with color. Upholstered in a sumptuous green-blue fabric and accented with shiny brass legs, this is one comfy seat— perfect for brightening up a space and giving minimalist interiors a lively aesthetic.

Courtesy Target

Courtesy World Market

Price upon request, JV Gallerie,

$270, Target,

Copenhagen Superlight Table Lamp Yes, sculptural pieces can be minimalist, too. This table lamp gives off major modern style, but is also functional for table and desk lighting. The Superlight casts a warm LED glow and slides easily to wherever it’s needed; it can also be adjusted and dimmed to your liking. Additionally, the lamp comes with three colorful felt pads that can be swapped to match different areas around the house. $285, Copenhagen,


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Courtesy Copenhagen

$1,300–$1,500, World Market,

coming home it’s back to El Paso for a couple who loves a good remodeling project


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Terry and Monika Ganey’s Upper Valley home had great bones and timeless architectural details but lacked their style. After a carefully planned remodel, the home retains its Spanish Colonial roots, but now exudes a design that captures the couple’s personalities perfectly.

by Jessica Salopek photographs by Brian Wancho


sk Terry Ganey about the interior design concept in his El Paso home and he’ll give credit to his wife, Monika. “She’s the major design touch,” he says. Monika, however, sees things a little differently. “It’s a collaboration,” she corrects. “Terry’s not the kind of guy to just push it all over to me. He’s a geologist, so the stone finishes are always his department, and he also brings in the art side. We do it together.” “She’s the visionary, and I’m the operations manager,” Terry concedes. The couple’s easygoing synchronicity in creating a home comes from having gone through the process of what they call “remodeling through finishes and furnishings” before. They previously transformed a contemporary townhouse right in the heart of downtown Denver, modeling it after the ultra-chic St. Regis Resort in Aspen. They had two almost-immediate offers on the impeccably designed residence when they put it on the market to be closer to Monika’s family in El Paso.

“We’ve learned to have an eye for remodeling. This house was a good basis to start from.”—Terry Ganey Scouring her hometown for a new place to call home, Monika says they were open to any architectural style and decided to let the right house dictate the design direction. They put an offer in on a rustic Southwestern build with high ceilings and tall doors, but lost out to another buyer. They combed the foothills at the base of the Franklin Mountains, never feeling quite at home. “When we came down into the Upper Valley, we liked the green trees and the large lots—and it’s not as windy as on the mountain,” Monika notes. Their next co-project eventually presented in the form of a sprawling Spanish Colonial with a second-floor balcony spanning the entire length of the home and overlooking a backyard landscape Monika couldn’t wait to put her stamp on. Built in 1996, it was outdated and a bit garish in design, SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Below: Copper and bronze elements gleam in the kitchen, where Terry and Monika eschewed bright whites for dark tones and lighter grays, resulting in a sleek, industrial look.

Above: Artistic, playful touches are everywhere in the home, including the dining room, where bright blue chairs pop against dark leather, wood, and wrought iron.

Opposite, bottom: With a large island, ample cooking space, wine storage, and more, the kitchen is full of modern conveniences and offers plenty of room for gathering.


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but Terry says they know “good bones” when they see ’em. “We’ve learned to have an eye for remodeling. This house was a good basis to start from,” he remembers. “We liked the architectural layout, and it had good floors and a nice pool.” While still tying up loose ends in Colorado, they handed the keys over to father-son general contractor team Bobby and Robbie Rosales of MDEL Corporation, family friends who Terry says became family throughout the almost 12 combined months of construction. The multi-phase remodel started with the fundamentals. “It was really fancy and shiny; we wanted to bring it down to a more comfortable, hacienda-style home,” Monika explains. “First thing we did was paint everything white, inside and out.” Next, they changed out every one of the nearly 100 lights on the property, and removed heavy wooden shutters from all the windows in favor of bright natural light. The high-gloss marble floors were refinished to a softer, more subdued look, while the SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


The formal living room looks effortlessly cool with a combination of patterns and different styles of furniture. A doublesided fireplace blurs the boundary between two rooms.

Above: The home bar is a party starter, with sophisticated design, glass-front cabinetry, and custom-made shelving with space to store wine and liquor bottles. 34

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oak floors were restored and stained with the barest hint of blue-gray. They swapped out the elaborate wrought iron railing on the entryway staircase, along with the ornate chandelier that hung above it, for streamlined versions. “Once everything else was cleaned up, the kitchen stood out like a sore thumb. We were all happy when Monika and Terry said, ‘Don’t worry, we’re doing that next,’” Robbie remembers. “They were great to work with because they always knew exactly what they wanted and were ready to get it done.” During phase two, a total of 24 purely decorative columns were knocked out, opening up nearly every space in the home. A double-sided fireplace spanning the formal and informal living areas got a facelift, and the team created the ultimate entertainer’s bar in the adjacent billiards room. Upstairs, they removed a wall in order to combine an office space into a massive “hers” closet, and adorned the master bath with a hammered nickel tub and matching double sinks.

Above: The couple’s fascination with Mexico and its culture doesn’t stop outdoors. Inside, several pieces of furniture, like this wooden vanity, were crafted by Mexican artisans. Above: The crown jewel of the master bathroom: a glittering, hammered nickel bathtub sectioned off in a space that overlooks the backyard.

Left: The master bedroom is a more contemporary aesthetic, with lots of windows and natural light, simple lines, and elegant but subtle fabrics. A tufted headboard runs from floor to ceiling.



The billiards room (above) adjacent to the bar is also a space for Terry to display his eclectic art collection, including a whimsical drawing of the Cat in the Hat.


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This time around, Monika says she drew inspiration not from one memorable luxury hotel, but from a number of sources: Casa Bohemia: The Spanish-Style House, a vibrant coffee table book; trips to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; and a case of neighborly yard envy. “Our next door neighbor’s yard is an umbrella of trees. It’s 10–20 degrees cooler with a tree cover,” Monika observes. “Someday I hope to get ours where hers is.” She’s already begun transforming the outdoor space by clearing out overgrowth and planting new trees, an herb garden, and wisterias that boast giant purple blooms. Fragrant lavender and jasmine plants also dot the yard, and Monika is coaxing Virginia creeper vines to cover the rock wall lining the back edge of the property.

The Ganeys enjoy the remodeling process too much to say they’ll never do it again, but for now Monika says she still has plenty of plans for this home. While Monika has expertly worked her tastes into both the indoors and outdoors, Terry’s sensibilities make an appearance as well. His personal art gallery, spread throughout the home, includes a Salvador Dalí lithograph, a Dr. Seuss–themed collection, and curvaceous glass sculptures. When asked what draws him to a particular piece, he says simply, “I just like whimsical-type things.” The Ganeys enjoy the remodeling process too much to say they’ll never do it again, but for now Monika says she still has plenty of plans for this home. She and Terry have lived in it for over a year now, but it still feels new to due to all the traveling she does for work. “I haven’t had a chance to really bond with this house yet,” she notes. “I’m retiring this summer, so I’m looking forward to starting some new projects. There’s a lot I want to do, such SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM



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Above: Outside, walls were knocked down to open up the view and provide harmonious flow between the outdoor kitchen and dining area.

as enclosing the small patio to create a courtyard like the ones we saw in Mexico. Ultimately, I think the yard will be my favorite place, but honestly, I just love this house. I love all of it.�

(915) 330-3287

145 E Sunset Rd El Paso, TX – Inside The Substation SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Custom Swimming Pools, Laguna Pools, Ponds, Waterfalls, and More!

LUKE 1:49

(915) 778-5111

8411 Lockheed Dr. #5, El Paso 40

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Above: The rest of the backyard screams “Summer!� with a sparkling pool, lush foliage, and a wraparound balcony from which to take it all in.

resources Drawing inspiration from courtyards in San Miguel de Allende, the Ganeys incorporated greenery into every lounging area outdoors, including a poolside space (left) flanked by potted trees and cactus.

General Contractor MDEL Corporation

Grill and Outdoor Fireplace K.D. Scholten Co.

Appliances Tom’s Appliance

Landscaping Sunset Gardens Tree Lawn Care

Cabinetry A-1 Kitchens by Sierra Countertops Stonehouse Granite & Marble, Inc.

Pool America’s Swimming Pool Co. Woodwork Casa Décor

Fixtures Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery



a different kind of home surprising new style for a family of four


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by Danielle Urbina photographs by Bill Faulkner


hen thinking about what they wanted in a new home, Andy and Patricia weren’t looking for the biggest house in El Paso, nor did they need something with every new amenity imaginable. “We just wanted something different,” says Patricia. After raising their family of four in the same house for the better part of 20 years, the couple decided they were ready for a change—location and all. What Patricia really craved was a light, bright space that didn’t conform to the regional norm of Tuscan or Southwestern design. “I wanted to walk in and not feel like I was in El Paso,” she explains. “So we wanted everything—interior and exterior—to feel like a different kind of home, not something very common in our city.”

“Andy and Patricia wanted an airy, lightweight feeling to their home—a place to take refuge, as well as a great, open space to entertain in.” —Deborah Terrazas

Inspired by a desire for something different, homeowners Patricia and Andy assembled a team of professionals to capture their vision of a transitional-style home with elements that link refreshing design and their Southwestern surroundings.

Most importantly, the goal was to design and build a functional and family-friendly home—theirs is a tight-knit brood. When they aren’t traveling to some of their favorite tropical destinations, Patricia, Andy, and their two daughters spend a lot of time at home watching movies, playing games, and enjoying each other’s company over dinner. Strong in their faith, the couple also wanted a home that they could open up to their church family. But, Patricia admits, putting all their ideas on paper was hard. “It’s overwhelming, really, when you think about building your next dream home, because you’ve been in a home already for a long time,” she says. “There are so many choices when it comes to colors and styles, so it really takes an expert in that area to capture what you want.” After their previous home—furniture and all—sold in just one day, the couple scrambled to find not only a builder, but a designer who could help bring their ideas to life. When they met homebuilders Robert and Torey Baeza of R.C. Baeza and Associates, they knew immediately that the longtime builders were the right fit. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Left: Rustic brick lining a soaring ceiling in the entryway brings texture and an elegant contrast to the smooth white walls. A warm and chic antiquestyle chandelier casts a subtle glow.

That left just one more piece to the puzzle—a designer with an eye for fresh style and the knowledge of how a home should flow. As fate would have it, Patricia and Andy met interior designer Deborah Terrazas while shopping for new furniture at Illume Decor in East El Paso. “We found Deborah and we just loved her style,” says Patricia. “It was so different—not your cookie-cutter type of decorating. She really worked hard alongside the builder and captured our vision for the new home.” With a plan in place, the family chose a lot in a quiet community in Horizon City. As walls went up, Andy and Patricia worked with Terrazas and the Baezas to design a layout. “Andy and Patricia wanted an airy, lightweight feeling to their home—a place to take refuge, as well as a great, open space to entertain in,” says Terrazas. The single-story, transitional-style home not only fit the family’s preferences, but also blended itself nicely into its desert surroundings without being overtly rustic or Southwestern. Outside, clay roof tiles, a stone-lined entryway, and wroughtiron ornamentation are a stark difference from the white, blue, and gray tones that dominate the home’s interior. When it came to the interior design of the space, Terrazas’s one goal was to keep it chic, but cozy. “I wanted to create a space with personality and comfort, without that feeling of a ‘cold’ new build,” she explains. To warm things up, Terrazas infused the space with a variety of different textures, as well as design inspired by the family’s travels and personalities. Neutral wall colors enhance things like bleached wooden elements, antique-style light fixtures, and decorative patinas. Just past the entryway, the living and dining area is a central hub where the family can entertain plenty of guests in both the kitchen and living room. In the kitchen, quartz countertops gleam against custom-built cabinetry and a shimmery stone backsplash. In the center, a large, dusty-blue island is outfitted with comfy chairs facing Andy’s favorite part of the space: the built-in TV. “My challenge was to make that functional, and not an eyesore,” Terrazas laughs. “The solution was to line it up above the microwave and oven.” Situating the TV 44

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Above: Ditching the too-formal approach for the living room, the homeowners instead infused the space with a combination of cozy accents and elegant architectural elements.

Below: In the dining room, a galvanized zinc tabletop lends depth, unique texture, and just a hint of transitional metallic shine.

Above: A cross between art and architecture, the custom-designed fireplace features ornamental details and Moroccaninspired style.



“The goal for the kitchen was clean lines, no prints, no fuss—it feels airy and comfortable,” says interior designer Deborah Terrazas.

overhead allocated space near the cooktop for other practical elements, including the five-foot pull-out spice rack that keeps things organized and efficient. It’s in this central space where function and style collide, with a living room that showcases a collection of globally sourced décor, as well as worldly architectural details. “The fireplace is made to look like a limestone relic found in Marrakesh,” says Terrazas. Additionally, the smooth, matte finish of the floor tile gives way to different pieces of furniture, including a door from India, handcrafted and reimagined as a one-of-a-kind coffee table. Wide glass doors nearby frame sunset views and lead out to the back patio, where the family gathers for some downtime. “It was raining the other day, and even then it was so serene back there,” says Patricia. In their own private space, the cozy master bedroom, hand-carved, wooden pillars border their bed and lend a warm, rustic feel to the otherwise contemporary style of the area. Terrazas calls the master bath a luxurious, “glam” escape for Patricia, and on occasion, her daughters, too. “I 46

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Above: With visible crystals embedded into the stone, the textured, slightly shimmery backsplash makes an unexpected statement.



Above: Comfy armchairs in the master bedroom give the couple an added space to get away and relax.

Right: Inspired by the glam factor of art deco–style architecture, Terrazas used tall, curved mirrors and polished nickel fixtures in the master bath.


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wanted Patricia to have a great space to enjoy while getting ready with her two girls,” she says. “Spaces like this are made for great memories.”

Patricia compares the master bath to a spa, where she can enjoy a soak in the tub after long days of traveling.

It’s in the home’s central space where function and style collide, with a living room that showcases a collection of globally sourced décor, as well as worldly architectural details. Now retired, Andy finds himself spending time outdoors or in his game room, not far from Patricia’s solo space—an office where she runs her business, records podcasts, and films YouTube videos aimed at encouraging others to find positivity and joy in their lives. “Oh my goodness, I love my study,” Patricia gushes. “It feels elegant, but serene.” After learning about Patricia’s love of water and the ocean, Terrazas

Incredible and unique furniture, lighting, and accents for your home.

915.317.7688 6232 Gateway Blvd. East (Geronimo exit, off I-10) El Paso, TX



brightened the space with soothing hues of blue and included all the accents necessary for those productive work-from-home days. In the end, what started as a rush to find the perfect fit became what Patricia calls a team effort. “Everyone—Robert and Torey, Deborah, the landscapers—came together and really captured what we wanted in a package of elegance, class, and functional style,” she says. In one word, she calls their new home a “sanctuary”; it’s a place for family and friends, but also an escape from hectic schedules and the general busyness of day-to-day life. “I feel so blessed to have this new home; we couldn’t have asked for something better,” she says. “It’s changed our lives, and it’s a beautiful place to call home.”

Left: A suspended branch light fixture gives the illusion of a tree growing out of walls on the back patio. Beneath it, artfully combined patterns also share the spotlight.


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resources Builder R.C. Baeza and Associates, Inc. Interior Designer Deborah Terrazas Appliances, Plumbing Fixtures & Lighting Ferguson Bath, Kitchen, and Lighting Gallery Cabinetry Marcel Sierra Kitchens Countertops Marble & Granite Design Concept Entry Door Artistic Entryways & Millwork Co., Inc. Fireplace Plasterqueen Flooring Interceramic Furniture & Lighting Illume Decor Landscaping El Paso Landscaping, Inc. 52

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Above: Plush wicker chairs arranged around a weathered table and a fireplace encourage outdoor lounging all year long.

Above: The neutral foundation of white walls in Patricia’s office is energized by several shades of blue. Here, Patricia has her own space to work quietly without interruption.

Su Libro

talking food if these two cookbooks don’t inspire you to start creating, you’re not hungry

Guerrilla Tacos: Recipes from the Streets of L.A., by Wesley Avila, with Richard Parks III, Ten Speed Press, hardcover, $30

It’s probably a good thing I don’t live in Los Angeles, else I’d be eating at Guerrilla Tacos at every opportunity, consuming far too many tortillas, and going all fangirl over the former food truck’s affable, intriguing proprietor, Chef Wesley Avila. On a whim one day in 2012, Avila purchased a food cart for $300, and initially served only two kinds of tacos—chicken and steak. Later he launched his now-famous mobile taqueria 54

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that allowed him to bring, as he says, “Guerrilla Tacos to the masses.” Before that, the self-professed “fat kid from Pico Rivera” was a DJ, a teamster, a culinary school student, and a fine dining cook. He is funny, eminently quotable, and threads a truly fivestar narrative throughout his cookbook. His wife Tanya came up with the name Guerrilla Tacos (emphasis on the “LA,” and it stuck. “Sometimes it seems our lives resemble that of soldiers participating in unconventional warfare,” Avila explains. “With the truck, our locations, and with our tacos, everything is always changing, every single day. We keep it small, dynamic, guerrilla.” Avila looks at a taco as a blank canvas and asks, “How do you want to paint it?” The tacos recipes in Guerrilla Tacos are the physical representations of the chef ’s imagined combinations of flavors: green bean and egg; roasted pumpkin, chile, and fig; lobster and habanero. Octopus and chorizo? Tuna poke and sea urchin? Sure, why not. A surprising number of the tacos presented are vegetarian, but there are classic meat versions as well—chile Colorado (on a taco); pork sparerib; and the simple chicken taco that kick-started Avila’s business. “This is not ‘authentic’ Mexican food,” Avila stresses. “The truth is there’s no such thing as an authentic taco. Taco makers have always known this; if you look at the taqueros cooking in Mexico, there is always experimentation.” He dismisses that least inspired of Mexican cheeses, cotija, with a disdainful snort. “It smells like feet.” While most of the recipes in Guerrilla Tacos are Avila’s, the chef is quick to credit those from his mom and dad, who shaped and nurtured his enjoyment of and fascination with food from an early age. “Every day there was something different to eat . . . stuff that’s just undeniably delicious,” he recalls. “No wonder I was such a fat kid, obsessed with food and eating. My favorite place to sit in that house in Pico was on the couch in the living room, taking in the sounds and smells of my mother’s cooking

Above: Roasted Pumpkin Tacos are topped with a very kicky salsa because, says Avila, “There are a lot of sweet components, and we need to cut the sweetness with some spice.”

in the next room.” Avila’s mom passed when he was in high school, leaving the teenager without an anchor. He drifted from job to job, eventually becoming a teamster, but entered the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena at the urging of his wife. He worked in restaurants continuously until the fortuitous day he purchased the food cart and later, the food truck. Since the cookbook’s publishing, Guerrilla Tacos has gone brick and mortar, certainly an appropriate evolution for the guy who loves feeding the masses. Don’t expect restaurant Guerilla Tacos to be like food truck Guerrilla Tacos, though. “There really isn’t a business plan we can write for this,” says Avila. “It’s just about evolving.”—Amy Gross

Chef Wesley Avila made his mark on the Los Angeles food scene with the Guerrilla Tacos food truck, now a restaurant.

©2017 Dylan James Ho and Jeni Afuso


’m a cookbook person. Though I’ve narrowed my collection down to a handful over the years, and these days usually find my next recipe on the internet, I’ll still salivate over a great cookbook. And I’m picky. Creative recipes are a given, color photography is a must, and I’m a sucker for an engaging narrative by the author whom, we are to assume, is a mad foodie. I recently got my hands on two new cookbooks from Ten Speed Press that deserve sharing, especially in this summer season that celebrates flavor, color, and outdoor dining.

©2017 Dylan James Ho and Jeni Afuso

Shrimp and Chorizo Taco

Makes 6 tacos 1 lb U16 shrimp 8 oz chorizo 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 6 corn tortillas, warmed Raw tomatillo salsa for topping (recipe below) or prepared tomatillo salsa Using a paring knife, peel and devein the shrimp. Set aside. In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, render the chorizo for 3 to 4 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you go. Add the shrimp and let brown, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and let blister, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the shrimp and chorizo mixture evenly among the tortillas, then top with a healthy dose of salsa. Serve immediately. To make the tomatillo salsa, combine 1 lb husked and rinsed tomatillos, 1 avocado, garlic, cilantro, and 2 stemmed Serrano chiles in a food processor. Season with salt and lime juice. Cover and pulse three or four times, then let it blend for a while. You’ll start to see the seeds. Keep it chunky. Taste and season with more salt. Reprinted with permission from Guerrilla Tacos, copyright © 2017 by Wes Avila, with Richard Parks III. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Labneh Ice Cream with Pistachio-Sesame Brittle reflects what Lebovitz calls “a renewed interest in the flavors of the Middle East.”

Inspired by a food tour of Japan, Lebovitz’s matchainfused Green Tea Ice Cream has a distinctive flavor and an even more distinctive color.


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©2018 Ed Anderson

The Perfect Scoop Revised and Updated, by David Lebovitz, Ten Speed Press, hardcover, $25

irst published in 2007, The Perfect Scoop has been spiffed up and updated by professional cook and baker David Lebovitz for its 2018 re-release. A lot can happen in a decade, culinarily speaking, and Lebovitz has jumped on the chance to infuse his muchbeloved ice cream cookbook with trending flavors and ingredients that appeal to a hip, food-savvy audience. It’s really hard to review a book about making ice cream without wanting to eat ice cream every second. (Please admire my restraint.) Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how hungry you are for a frozen treat), ice cream isn’t a dish that can be quickly thrown together; it requires a deft hand, loads of patience, and time. If you have those things, and a passion for frozen desserts—ice creams, gelatos, sorbets, granitas—then this is the how-to cookbook for you. Whether you’re new to ice cream-making or a veteran, the first chapter (“Basics”) is worth a visit or revisit. Here is where the author details every piece of equipment you will need to make ice cream (including the all-important primer on ice cream makers), ingredients to use or avoid, and his painstaking, step-by-step instructions for making perfect ice cream custard. From there it’s a matter of practice makes deliciously perfect. If your tastes run vanilla—or chocolate, or strawberry—there are many recipes for simple, single-flavor or fruit-forward ice creams and gelatos to satisfy. More experimental frozen dessert lovers will thrill to exotic flavors, such as basil, prune-Armagnac, and candied bacon and bourbon. While there are over 200 recipes in The Perfect Scoop, only a few come with color photography. But what Lebovitz lacks in visuals he makes up for in charming recollections, anecdotes, and personal observations that precede every recipe. “My first, and only, attempt at being a Boy Scout ended with me kneeling on rocks by a stream, scrubbing burned pots after a campfire dinner while the senior scouts relaxed and ate s’mores,” he recalls. “I didn’t trek 10 miles into the woods weighted down by an overloaded backpack to wash dishes, so I turned in my kerchief.” Lebovitz’s one positive takeaway from the experience: s’mores, which he used to create a favorite recipe for S’mores Ice Cream. And that’s his point. When it comes to ice cream and frozen desserts, you can use your experiences and personal tastes to create what appeals to you and tickles your fancy. Learn the basics of the craft and then experiment. Start here; go . . . wherever. Create, and make memories.—AG

Watermelon Sorbetto Popsicles Makes about 1 quart of sorbetto 3 cups watermelon puree (from a 3 lb watermelon) 1/2 cup sugar Big pinch kosher or sea salt 1 T fresh lime juice 1–2 T vodka (optional) 1–2 T mini semisweet chocolate chips

©2018 Ed Anderson

In a small, nonreactive saucepan, heat 1/2 cup of the watermelon puree with the sugar and salt, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the remaining 2 1/2 cups watermelon puree. Mix in the lime juice and the vodka, if using. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. During the last minute of churning, add the mini chocolate chips. Serve sorbetto in bowls, or pour the just-churned mixture into plastic Popsicle molds and freeze until firm.

Reprinted with permission from The Perfect Scoop Revised and Updated, copyright © 2018 by David Lebovitz. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.



Vida Buena

by Danielle Urbina

summer in the city as a vacation destination, Chicago has it all

A. Alexander

A. Alexander

One of many sculptural and artistic marvels in Chicago, Cloud Gate (known as “The Bean”) is a centerpiece in the city’s Millennium Park.

Courtesy Choose Chigago

F Above: Goose Island Beer Company produces several year-round craft beers, as well as a few tasty seasonals in summer and winter. Visitors can stop by the brewery’s Fulton Street location for an in-depth tour and tap room tasting. 58

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rom the artsy corner of Wicker Park to upscale River North, every neighborhood in Chicago has its own character and personality. As a whole, the Windy City is known for many things: stunning architecture, a historic jazz and blues scene, avid Cubbies and White Sox fans, and of course, bitingly cold temperatures. But, just as the city starts to shake off the chill of winter, Chicago opens itself up to an unexpected—and tremendously fun—summer season chockfull of experiences and activities. Summer in the city is made for every kind of traveler—foodies, festival-goers, adventure seekers, and culture-philes.

the great outdoors

With so many months of bitter cold in the winter, what Chicagoan wouldn’t want to spend as much time as possible in the sun? That’s why the city centers so many of its summer events and activities on being outdoors and enjoying its few months of warm weather. When it comes to beaches, you’ll find locals and tourists alike hitting lakeside hangouts at Oak Street Beach to get a volleyball or soccer game going, working on their tans, or

For many, summer life in Chicago also means hitting open-air markets for some of the best, fresh produce from Midwestern farms in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan. You’ll find everyone, from locals perusing fresh berries and artisan foods, to famous chefs seeking out locally grown, organic items for their seasonal menus at places like Green Street Market, which features a large lineup of vendors and tasty chef demos on the weekends. Head over to the Near West neighborhood and you’re sure to smell amazing aromas coming from Maxwell Street Market. Dating back to the early 1900s, the market was once a hub for immigrant families to sell their goods and traditional dishes. Today, you’ll find a diverse array of international foods, seasonal produce, even collectibles and household items. On the touristy—but necessary—end of things, checking out Chicago’s buildings is a must. Known for its reputation as a pioneer in modern architecture, the city showcases famous buildings designed in various styles. While taking a stroll downtown is one way to check out the sights, some might say a boat tour is a better, more relaxing experience—with buildings in full view and a cool breeze coming up off Lake Michigan. You’ll find yourself in awe of marvels like the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, 875 North Michigan Ave. (the former Hancock building), and Willis Tower.

festival season

Chicago loves its festivals; there’s one for pretty much everything you can imagine, from craft beer and food festivals, to long-standing music festivals, free concert series, and outdoor movie screenings. Most notably, Lollapalooza is a monster of a music festival held every summer in Grant Park, over the span of four days. Every year, music fans of every kind go from stage to stage to see over 130 bands and musical acts that include Radiohead, Lorde, The Weeknd, and Bruno Mars. For those deep into indie rock and discovering rising stars and underground bands, Pitchfork Music Festival is the place to be. Held in Union Park, Pitchfork is a more laid-back type of crowd with musical acts like Tame Impala, Fleet Foxes, Raphael Saadiq, and Ms. Lauryn Hill. Just as there’s no shortage of summer music festivals in the city, there’s no shortage of food and beer fests, either. Taste all of the best local food Chicago has to offer—a heavenly slice of deep dish pizza, Eli’s cheesecake, or a handful of Garrett Mix (caramel and cheese popcorn combined) from Garrett Popcorn, all of which can be found at Taste of Chicago, a five-day festival that’ll have you leaving full and happy. Later in the season, Butler Field at

Above: The Garfield Park Observatory is a gorgeous escape from the city’s urban surroundings, and features more than 10 acres of outdoor gardens.

Courtesy Choose Chicago

Just as the city starts to shake off the chill of winter, Chicago opens itself up to a tremendously fun summer season chock-full of experiences and activities.

Courtesy Choose Chicago

simply enjoying the view—Oak Street Beach has one of the best views of Chicago’s stunning skyline. For something more actionpacked, plan a trip to North Avenue Beach in Lincoln Park to partake in wakeboarding, paddle boarding, kayaking, and jet ski rides. North Avenue is also the focal point of the Chicago Air and Water Show, which takes place every August and showcases daring parachuters and military pilots and aircrafts.

Left: Chicago celebrates its reputation as one of the best in jazz and blues with both the Chicago Blues Festival and the Chicago Jazz Festival.

Grant Park is home to the Chicago Ale Fest, which features craft beer from more than 100 breweries, including locals like Finch Beer Co., Goose Island, and Lagunitas Beer Company.

dining alfresco

No trip to Chi-town is complete without trying some of the city’s best dining spots. Make a stop at one of West Loop’s “best kept secrets,” the back patio at Gideon Sweet, where you can nosh on globally inspired small dishes from chefs Graham Elliot and Matthias Merges. In River West, the garden patio at Piccolo Sogno is draped in lush greenery and canopied by large trees that lend refuge from the heat. There you’ll find traditional Italian dishes from head chef Tony Priolo including polpo con cecina (grilled octopus), pappardelle with a wild boar ragu, and a variety of rustic pizzas. For dessert and a little bit of that “down home” feeling in an urban area, stop by Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits in Logan Square, where you can enjoy malted chocolate, horchata, or rhubarb pie at the restaurant’s picnic table-lined patio. There’s something a little more adventurous about visiting a nontraditional summer destination. With its colorful combination of history, dining, and culture, Chicago checks all the boxes when it comes to laidback summer fun.

resources Choose Chicago SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Vida Buena

by Cassie McClure Mountain biking throughout the borderland has many benefits, not the least of which are incredible, up-close views of the Franklin Mountains.

ready to roll biking in the borderland


f the Franklin Mountains around El Paso capture your attention when you’re zipping by in a car, imagine enjoying them more slowly by bicycle. Popular with all ages, cycling presents not only a challenge for your mind, but also for your health. Locally, there are plenty of options for beginners to get started with cycling in the borderland. The health benefits of cycling are numerous. It improves cardiovascular fitness, meaning that it lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke by exercising the muscle that is your heart. It’s also low impact, so you can work on toning muscles without putting a lot of stress on your knees and ankle joints. “It’s easy on joints so it jump-starts weight loss,” explains Sue O’Connor, president of the El Paso Bicycle Club. “The beauty of El Paso is that you can cycle all year—just change your gear. Plus, we have so many good things to see and do: Upper Valley, in the cotton fields, Madeline Park over Scenic Drive to the Northeast.”

Courtesy Borderland Mountain Bike Association

“The beauty of El Paso is that you can cycle all year—just change your gear.”—Sue O’Connor


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El Paso Bicycle Club is the area’s oldest bicycle club. Established for over 30 years, and with over 90 members, the club hosts monthly rides, with Thursday morning rides also being popular among their members and other cycling enthusiasts in the city. O’Connor says that cycling is also a great way to meet people. “We promote cycling also for its social benefits,” she notes. “If you’re new to town or here on temporary duty, you don’t have to be a member to ride with us. We stop for coffee and socialize afterward to catch up. It’s the people; that’s what brings others back.” Before heading out on a ride, O’Connor asks prospective riders and group members to have a bike in good repair (have it checked by a bike shop), wear a certified helmet, and bring water bottles and the right fuel, such as “energy bars that replace electrolytes because we sweat,” she says.

If you’re up to the challenge of working up more of a sweat, leave the streets and head out into the mountains. “If you learn to mountain bike in this area, you can go anywhere,” says Susie Edwinson, president of the Borderland Mountain Bike Association (BMBA). Mountain biking calls to someone who “likes challenges,” she explains, but stresses taking baby steps. “People get nervous because they don’t have the skills and it can be intimidating. Find a beginner group, especially if you don’t know the trails.”

“Any type of exercise is good for you, mentally and physically, and outdoor exercise has even more benefits.” —Don Baumgardt

Courtesy Borderland Mountain Bike Association

With El Paso’s 150 miles of trail, it’s people like Don Baumgardt who step in to map the areas. A member of BMBA and owner of GeoBetty Tours, Baumgardt shares tips with those new to the area—and mountain biking—regularly. “Like skiing, cyclists tend to look down at their feet instead of further out,” he says. “Once you get comfortable—not worried about shifting or freaking out about rocks—you start to have the opportunity to look around.” “Any type of exercise is good for you, mentally and physically, and outdoor exercise has even more benefits,” Baumgardt explains. “Cycling lets you get away from everyday problems; sometimes you concentrate on the technical terrain, and sometimes you can let your mind wander.” Left: El Paso hosts several thrilling bike races throughout the year including the Chile Pepper Challenge, El Paso Puzzler, and Eagle in the Sun Triathlon.

resources Borderland Mountain Bike Association El Paso Bicycle Club GeoBetty Tours SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM




July through September


Experience the music and magic of Elvis with a performance by talented tribute artist Cody Ray Slaughter. Slaughter is known across the country for his note-for-note renditions of several hit songs like “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Love Me Tender” and has earned several awards for his performances including the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist award by Elvis Presley Enterprises.

Looking for a place to beat the heat? Cool off in nature while enjoying tunes from several El Paso artists at Cool Canyon Nights this summer. The concert series is free and hosts a variety of artists, from tribute bands like Windy City, to local favorites like Radio La Chusma and Brown Betty.


One of the most accomplished bands in Bluegrass, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage have been entertaining audiences with the rhythms of their individual instruments and the soaring voice of powerhouse Rhonda Vincent. Combined with award-winning vocals and exciting riffs on the mandolin, the show is a one-of-akind experience that can’t be missed!


El Paso Community Foundation 62

Courtesy Spencer Theater

The UTEP Department of Theatre puts on a modern version of the story first made famous by composers Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. South Pacific follows the lives of a plucky nurse from Arkansas named Nellie and U.S. Lieutenant Cable, and their respective love stories for a show that combines love, comedy, and culture. See it all come to life this summer at the UTEP Dinner Theatre.


Courtesy Spencer Theater


Back again for its 11th year, The Plaza Classic Film Festival hits downtown El Paso for nearly two weeks this summer. On top of dozens of classic movie screenings, the festival will also welcome acclaimed actress Ali MacGraw during a screening of Love Story. Other movies in the lineup include Aladdin, Roman Holiday, Vertigo, and Glory Road.

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Courtesy Spencer Theater

A well-recognized name in traditional country music, Neal McCoy makes his way to Ruidoso for two nights full of country classics this summer. To date, McCoy has released 15 studio albums, with three being certified platinum. With his distinct baritone, McCoy will get the crowd going with a few of his number one hits including “The Shake,” “No Doubt About It,” and “Wink.”



Take a trip back to the ’70s with one of the most popular funk bands of the decade. Known for combining rock, soul, Latin, jazz, blues, and reggae influences into their music, War continues to draw in large crowds for their exciting shows. They hit the stage at the Inn of the Mountain Gods this season with memorable songs including “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” and “The Cisco Kid.”

One of the most successful and iconic Latin American artists in music history, Luis Miguel hits the road this summer with his North American Tour ¡Mexico Por Siempre! For over 20 years, Miguel has stolen the hearts of fans across the world with hits like “Contigo Aprendi,” “La Media Vuelta,” and “Besame Mucho.”


Formed in 2002, Brooklyn rockers Grizzly Bear have put out a unique style of music that includes hazy choruses, piano, banjo, and dreamy vocal harmonies. After the success of their first few albums— including Horn of Plenty and Yellow House— the band took a short hiatus, only to return in 2017 with new music and a tour to follow. Catch them this September as they tour the United States with music from their latest album Painted Ruins.


Johnny Buzzerio


Acclaimed ’90s band Alice In Chains visits the Abraham Chavez Theatre this September for one night only to perform songs like “Rooster” and “Man in the Box” along with several other heavy metal hits that helped the band rise to fame years ago. Don’t miss the band of rockers as they travel the world this summer on their latest tour.



Su Cocina

by Cassie McClure

the art of entertaining from tailgates to alfresco dinner parties, these West El Pasoans focus on creating good memories


he Muñoz home in West El Paso has a breathtaking view over the valley, with a clear line at Mount Cristo Rey. Since their backyard is the perfect place to entertain, Brenda and Pascual Muñoz often find themselves pairing the view with equally delicious meals. For dinners that are as stunning as the location, they turn to their outdoor kitchen and dining space. Pascual and Brenda delight in inviting guests to share their home and their meals. For the couple, happiness is having a place to connect with family and friends—even with the occasional overflow of extended family. Not only do they welcome their (now grown) children, Carissa, Vanessa, Angie, and PJ, but as it happens with family visits, the party always expands with extra aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. “It’s important to always have enough food—more than enough,” laughs Brenda. “We usually start inside and serve buffet-style, but everyone always gravitates outside, especially at night with the view of the city lights.” On a warm summer day, a menu prepared for Su Casa features some of the family’s go-to dishes for alfresco dining—simple recipes elevated with fresh, often Mexican flavors. To start, a colorful salad with a bit of a twist: baby spinach, juicy cherry tomatoes, red and yellow bell peppers, and mandarin oranges are elevated by two special ingredients. “With the piñones and avocado, it already gets a buttery taste, so you don’t even really need a dressing,” explains Brenda. Hot, grilled quesadillas filled to the brim with muenster cheese sit alongside medium-well (the family’s preference) ribeye steaks. To go over top: rajas con queso, a traditional recipe well-known to many families in this area. The spicy, cheesy concoction consists of melted muenster cheese, onions, fire-roasted strips of green chile, and spices.


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photographs by Nohemy Gonzalez

With the arrival of summer, homeowners Pascual and Brenda Muñoz throw open the doors and gravitate outside for family dinners and parties with friends.

Left: When they’re not traveling or away cheering on the Dallas Cowboys, Pascual and Brenda enjoy spending time at home, taking in spectacular sunsets from their West El Paso backyard.

While filets and ribeyes are their favorites for grilling, explains Pascual, Brenda makes a mean teriyaki chicken—chicken breasts or legs marinated overnight with soy sauce, pineapple, Sprite, and heady garlic. The inside of the Muñoz home is always filled with light, sun shining through huge windows in a pristine, all-white kitchen. Brenda calls it a transitional style—modern, but with traditional touches, like ornate vases that add continuity between the kitchen and living room. “I like my bling,” says Brenda as she points out a Dallas Cowboys football covered in Swarovski crystals. “But I focus on pops of color and the use of natural light to get that bright energy inside.”

For the couple, happiness is having a place to connect with family and friends—even with the occasional overflow of extended family. Their home is the base for much of their entertaining, but they’ve also honed their grilling skills in a more portable way. As Cowboys season ticket holders who tailgate with fans who have become friends, Pascual and Brenda have fine-tuned what it means to serve on the go. Back at home, it’s more relaxed and in tune with the area’s traditional dishes: guacamole, grilled veggies, even an elote bar: grilled corn with all the fixings including butter, hot sauce, lime, and crumbly cotija cheese. When it comes to a place to enjoy their delicious spreads, a slightly elevated dining area is set into a corner that allows for panoramic views of the valley. Brenda is big on tablescapes, and fresh flowers and seasonal décor are key. “We use our outdoor space year-round,” she says. “I love changing how it feels with different pillows and textures. It’s in the small details where guests feel that you went out of your way to make them feel entertained; all the pieces work together.”

Above: A typical alfresco dinner for the couple includes ribeye steaks, grilled quesadillas, rajas con queso, and a summer salad. Below: Rajas are spicy, full of flavor, and can be used to top different dishes or as a dip with fresh tortilla chips.

Opposite: Brenda balances out a menu of hearty steaks with a fresh, colorful salad. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Su Cocina

by Cassie McClure

photographs by Nohemy Gonzalez

Ice Creamed Myself craft ice cream—on wheels Dom Airington, co-owner of Ice Creamed Myself, glides through the streets of Union Plaza selling craft ice cream in a smorgasbord of exciting flavors.


le Zorrivas and Dom Airington spent a lot of time in the back of an ice cream shop— learning the ropes, but also dreaming about the future and pitching ideas to each other for the perfect name for a prospective ice cream business. It wasn’t long before Ice Creamed Myself—the quirky name they eventually decided on—came to fruition, and four years later, the two entrepreneurs pride themselves on delivering tasty, handmade craft ice cream to crowds both young and old. Ice Creamed Myself was first available as a traditional vendor at different markets, but now, it’s available in a completely green way—as a pedal push–powered bike that visits various locations, events, and festivals over the weekends across El Paso. Zorrivas serves as the main confectioner and dreams up different flavors for Ice Creamed Myself’s ethically sourced treats, including items like the vegan Trojan bar, a vanilla, cashew, and coconut core dipped into vegan caramel, and double-dipped into homemade, self-hardening chocolate. It’s one of their most popular items, but so are the flavors requested by their customers, including decadent lemon pound cake ice cream. “I really like wacky flavors—like banana bread or cinnamon rolls—mimicking other food, and making them taste exactly like that, only in ice cream form,” explains Zorrivas. Airington is the pedal champ, both the sales part of the business and a cheerleader for those who have never tried homemade ice cream or seen it sold on two wheels. “For some people, it’s nostalgic, and for some, it’s something they’re seeing for the very first time,” she says. “It’s all eye-catching: the name, the bike, and the made-fromscratch ice cream.” The ice cream offerings vary, but a few staples are here to stay, such as the Fruity Pebble ice cream sandwich and rich,

A fan favorite, the Trojan bar (right) is a decadent ice cream bar dipped in vegan caramel and chocolate.


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Above: A chilly cup of ice cream gets two thumbs up from this tiny customer on a hot Saturday in El Paso.

chocolate-covered cheesecake. Another is the hazookie choco bar, filled with fair trade chocolate ice cream, roasted hazelnuts, and self-made shortbread pieces with a chocolate shell. A newer creation is their vegan, Ferrero Rocher–inspired flavor, made with vanilla ice cream, chocolatecovered brown rice crisps, roasted hazelnuts, and a homemade hazelnut swirl. “Many places say ‘made fresh daily,’ but they really aren’t; they’re safe flavors with food colorings,” says Zorrivas. “I use real ingredients like cashews and coconuts, and I welcome flavor suggestions.”

“I think it’s important for small businesses in the city to step up and make El Paso a cool place to be—creating a cool, young entrepreneur scene.”—Dom Airington Ice Creamed Myself’s business isn’t solely about cranking out exciting and better-for-you ice cream, but also about celebrating and supporting the local community, while also collaborating with other local businesses. “I think it’s important for small businesses in the city to step up and make El Paso a cool place to be—creating a cool, young entrepreneur scene. It’s what will bring and keep talent,” says Airington. “As for us, we’re just two girls doing what we love and following our dreams.”

contributors Ice Creamed Myself SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM



by James Selby

a glass sipper mezcal’s Cinderella story This family makes five other village designated mezcals, each uniquely expressive.” In 1995, Del Maguey ($70–$100) was founded by New Mexican and James Beard winner Ron Cooper, who’s largely responsible for introducing single village mezcals into the U.S. Recently, controlling share was sold to conglomerate Pernod Ricard, fueling concerns about sustainability of rarer agave plants. Hopefully higher price tags will govern their exploitation? Made of a wild-harvested subspecies of agave in small batches, El Jolgorio Barril can fetch $160. “Delicate nose of savory herbs introduces citrus, tart fruit, and peppery palate.” Nope, not a wine, but a description of Agaves de Cortés Joven ($40) from the village of Santiago Matatlán. Terroir, variety of agave, and tradition of distillation are celebrated in quality mezcal, much as they are in wine. ¡Salud y Dixeebe! (dee-shee-bay, Oaxacan for “Cheers!”)

Below: A mezcalero from Del Maguey, a producer of single village mezcal, stands atop a pile of roasting hearts of maguey (agave plants). After roasting outdoors in a conical pit for three to five days, the hearts are ground to a mash and fermented.

Street Brothers Beverage Company


ezcal, ancient spirit from the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, is relatively new to the United States. Tequila is a type of mezcal, but mezcal isn’t tequila. While both are distilled from the agave plant, they come from different regions. Tequila is commonly made by steaming agave before distilling, whereas mezcal is baked inside earthen, rock-lined pits fired with wood. Roasted agave is then distilled into smoky alcohol. Tom Street is owner of Street Brothers Beverage Company. “Drinkers are going to mezcal over tequila because they’re getting bored,” he says, leaning on the bar of Eloisa restaurant in Santa Fe where he’s the beverage director. “Fine mezcal should be sipped neat; it loses character over ice. In cocktails, mezcal smoke is an accent. Higher smoke levels stand up to mixers, whereas subtler mezcals won’t.” When asked how to determine “fine” mezcal, Tom grabs two bottles. “The heritage of the spirit should be on the label. This bottle says ‘Mezcal’ and ‘Made from Agave.’ It doesn’t tell you what kind of agave, or where it’s made,” Tom explains. The second bottle is Nuestra Soledad, San Luis Del Rio ($50). “Here you have the region it’s from, the district and town, the palenques (distillery), the agave type, the name of the mezcalero (master distiller), the year it was made, the bottle number, and how many bottles were made.

Above: El Jolgorio Barril is a single village mezcal made from a rare subspecies of the Karwinskii agave, which grows wild at high elevations.

James Selby James Selby has directed wine programs in New York, Portland, and Santa Fe, where he lives and works as a wine consultant and writer. 70

S U C A S A S ummer 2018


This herb-forward cocktail is the creation of bartender Nick White of Sydney, Australia. 2 oz Del Maguey Vida 1/2 oz Oscar 697 Bianco 1/2 oz fresh lime juice 1/2 oz agave syrup Cucumber & Rosemary

Courtesy Eloisa

Paloma Lavanda

Thanks to bartender Zoe Martin of Santa Fe’s Eloisa for this refreshing and fragrant cocktail. 1 1/2 ounces Agave de Cortes Joven Mezcal 1 ounce lavender syrup* 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice Grapefruit soda (like Q or San Pellegrino) Grapefruit wheel for garnish Combine mezcal, syrup, and lime juice with ice in cocktail shaker; shake. Strain into a chilled rocks glass. Add fresh ice, then top with grapefruit soda. Garnish with one quarter of a grapefruit wheel.

Nick White


here’s nothing complicated about any of these refreshing chilled mezcal cocktails, perfect for summer get-togethers. You’ll love the blends of sweet fruit and kicky chile flavors, so stock up on limes and your favorite mezcal and let the party begin! Each recipe makes one cocktail.

Place a 1-inch thick slice of cucumber and the leaves of 1 sprig of rosemary into a Boston shaker and muddle. Fill shaker with ice and shake well. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a small sprig of rosemary on top.

Maggie’s Job Chile liqueur gives this cocktail by Eloisa bartender Andrea Duran a nice kick. 1 1/2 oz Nuestra Soledad San Luis Del Rio Mezcal 1 oz Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur 1 oz fresh grapefruit juice 1/2 oz J.M. Shrubb Liqueur d’Orange

(or good quality orange liqueur) Grapefruit peel for garnish Combine all ingredients with ice in cocktail shaker; vigorously shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with peel of grapefruit.

Smoke and Fire Margarita

Using a lime wedge, wet the rim of an old fashioned glass, salt it, and set aside. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, shake, and double strain over fresh ice into the glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

William Grant & Sons

3/4 part Montelobos Mezcal 3/4 part Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur 3/4 part Milagro Silver Tequila 1 part fresh lime juice 1/2 part agave nectar

* Flavored simple syrups are easy to prepare at home from recipes online, or can be purchased commercially. SUCASAMAGAZINE.COM


Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico Summer 2018 | Digital Edition  
Su Casa El Paso & Southern New Mexico Summer 2018 | Digital Edition