Posts tagged ‘food’

February 21, 2011

Exploration

Fashion Week only ran until Friday, so I spent the weekend exploring Valencia. Saturday I searched for a mailbox to send the postcards I had been trying to send for two weeks.  I found the lovely yellow box in front of the Mercado Central which was perfect because I wanted to visit again.

I just love markets: the food, the vendors, the customers. It all converges together in a loud, bustling cluster of excitement.

The day was so beautiful that Mckenzie and I kept walking around and ended up in Plaza Ayuntamiento.  The buildings are so ornate and when the sun hits the white surface los edificios kind of give off this glow.

I love the sun, the way it beats on my skin and the way it warms the air around me, so being in the sun in a beautiful plaza on a beautiful day was quite lovely.

Sunday we trekked to the beach again. This time the sand was warm under my toes (the water was still frigid though).  I painted my nails and took a mini-siesta on the sand.  The weekend was so relaxing and wonderful.

It was necessary because the next weekend we went to Barcelona. More on that later…


February 14, 2011

Flamenco and Fashion Week

So, 10 days later she posts.  I know, but fear not, there will be a more regular schedule on the way. There will be updates on the reg!

Well believe it or not, I do actually have to do this thing called school work here in Spain. The second week, my partner (Mckenzie) and I had to present on Garcilaso de la Vega. We attempted and failed to start working on the presentation for an entire week.  The attempt at the coffee shop was fail number 4. Once I finally started to break down the poetry though, it was incredibly beautiful. I highly recommended looking at his sonetos (there are plenty of translations in English if Spanish isn’t your thing).

Then one Friday night (I can’t really remember which because everything’s starting to run together) a group of us (Bebe, Tiffany, Quintessa, Sofia, Taylor, y yo) went to take in some Flamenco. We were under the impression that there would be dancing, but we were most definitely wrong. Only music, but the music was wonderful. I love Spanish guitar, and the pain in the singer’s voice is tragic in a beautiful way. Also, the food was SO WONDERFUL. It was a nice change from the food in the dinning hall.

Well the next weekend was Fashion Week. I had to miss the Granada Roadtrip, but it was completely worth it! I loved every second of everything I saw. Everyone dressed in such distinct style. Everything was so chic. I really felt inspired by not only the shows but the people attending the shows. I also loved that the shows were open to the public not just press (which I happened to be!). It makes fashion more accessible to everyone, which is how it should be. Fashion is the art in which we clothe our lives and everyone should have the opportunity to experience that on some level.

You could call the picture artistic or you could call it poorly focused!

 

Also the venue was beautiful. All the shows took place at Agora in la Ciudad de Artes and Ciencias. I just can’t believe I covered a Fashion Week! I’m 19! Sometimes I can’t believe that things like that and living in Spain are apart of my real life and not some great dream.

September 29, 2010

First Meal

I have been living at 210 for almost two months now, and it’s finally starting to feel like home. (probably because it’s a little messy.  I kept it pristine for three weeks, and it felt like a hotel room.  Now I have tests and the cleanliness of my bedroom takes a backseat.)  It was crazy the first couple of days living in a completely new place and unpacking everything, trying to make this new apartment feel like home.

This is not my pot, but I'm lazy and my camera's not near me. It is exactly what my pot looks like though.

What makes any place feel like home? Cooking of course!  I made pasta like my mommy makes.  It made it feel homey and made the house smell good. I also used by bright yellow Le Creuset pot, with makes me feel happy and tad bit French.  I would give you the recipe, but it’s just pasta sauce from a jar with some ground turkey added to it. I also had some yogurt with peaches and Kashi cereal sprinkled on top.  All in all, sitting at the coffee table, starting at the place where the tv should have been with my five roommates proved to be a great way to christen the new apartment.

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August 18, 2010

Birthday Cake

So I’ll finally post a week (almost two) late! I know I said I would have lots of fun stuff for you, but I am slacking.  I could use the excuse of FINALLY moving in (you’ll see cute pictures soon!) but I will just say I’m sorry and I will not allow it to happen again!


So I thought to myself, “I will make the most beautiful birthday cake.  It will be a vision and people will ooh and aah about its glory.  It can’t be too hard. Can it?”


Well folks, Duff and his people make it look really easy! I learned I cannot carve a cake without taking off a good 2 or 3 inches.  I also learned that I’m not that great of a cake decorator and I either need to stick to easier desserts or take a class or some sort.


I dreamed of an elaborate cake, so I couldn’t just use the white box cake mix I has in my cabinet.  I wanted to add a blackberries, but unfortunately our blackberry bush is all shriveled from the sad little bit of rain we have received.  The blueberries at the farmer’s market looked fabulous though!  They make this really great purpley color that makes me so happy! I don’t think you can taste much difference in the cake batter.  I think it would have to be a more potent blueberry flavor for it to really come through once it’s baked.


The cream between the layers and the icing is really deluxe!  I used a recipe for the blueberry cream from Epicurious and the dark chocolate icing is also from there.  I think the slight bitterness of the dark chocolate balances the sweetness of the cream and the cake.  I just used a whole to-go packet of instant coffee because I couldn’t find instant espresso, and I really liked the extra coffee flavor. If you don’t like coffee at all you could leave it out and be just fine!


Actually icing the cake became quite an ordeal! I can’t cut cakes level for one, and the top layer ended up being about the same size as the middle layers.  It ended up looking a little like the Mad Hatter’s hat from Alice in Wonderland.  Cake decorating takes serious skill!  I tried, but it did not form into a work of art.  It did however taste REALLY good, and it lasted for about a week.  I basically ate cake for breakfast and sometimes lunch until I moved to back to school.  Well here’s how I did it!


Blueberry and Chocolate Birthday Cake

  1. The Cake
  • 2 boxes white cake mix (follow box directions for eggs and oil)
  • Blueberry puree (see blueberry cream recipe) – enough to replace the water the recipe calls for (more if you really like blueberries)
  • lots of cake pans

Mix the cake as directed, replacing the water with blueberry puree for one of the cake mixes. I was just able to use two 8in cake pans, a large tier, and another 7 in. cake pan, so it makes a lot of cake! Bake according to box directions

2.  The Blueberry Cream and Puree (adapted from Epicurious)

  • one container blueberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
  • splash of vanilla extract

Rinse blueberries and without drying them, put them in a food processor with the sugar. Blend to a puree.  The original recipe said to strain it, but I liked the bits so they stayed. Set aside the equivalent of the water in the cake mix.  Beat the cream until peaks form. (You cannot do this by hand! Well maybe if you’re awesome, but don’t waste your time. Break out the electric beaters!) Then fold in around 3/4 cup of the puree.  You now have delicious cream that can be used with lots of things!

3. The Icing (adapted from Epicurious)!

  • 1 pound bittersweet or dark chocolate (I use a combo of both because it’s what I had on hand)
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (or instant coffee)

Put chopped chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl, and set aside. Heat the cream and espresso powder.  Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, then pour it over the chocolate.  Whisk the mixture until all the chocolate is melted.  Let refrigerate for about 2 hours or you can flash cool it in the freezer in about 30 minutes. Just keep checking on it.

Then you put the whole thing together.  Level the cakes.  Put chocolate icing over the bottom layer, then add the second layer to it.   I cut all my layers in two and put the blueberry cream in between them.  Ice the cake and make it beautiful!  Then eat it!

July 27, 2010

Mmmm Banana Bars

So I have been quite lazy sewing wise and have yet to make anymore aprons.  Oh my! So instead I will assuage my  guilt my baking!  I made Gooey Butter Cake for my sister to bribe people to like her (well sort of and because she’s nice), and I also made banana bars.  I will share these with you A) because I actually took half decent pictures of them B) because they are healthy AND delicious and C) because I felt really cool changing the recipe and it turned out well.

Cooking is great for improvising.  If you don’t like rosemary, you don’t have to add it to your rosemary chicken.  You can make it basil chicken.  A little bit of this and a little bit of that tossed over a flame can become a great meal without much thought or incredible talent.  On the other hand if mess up with the amount of baking powder you decide to use, the cookies, cake, or brownies you want could explode (okay maybe not, but I like to dramatize things.  And wouldn’t exploding brownies be a little bit funny?)  The point is, chemistry has its evil hand in baking much to my chagrin ( Sorry Mrs. Bradford-Hunt, but you an I both know chemistry is just not my thing!)  I don’t get to just throw stuff, take stuff out, or mess with the fat to flour ratio.

I decided today I would try, and we had REALLY ripe bananas that NOBODY was going to eat in their state.  So out comes the stained recipe for banana bars from my favorite cookie cookbook: Better Homes and Garden’s The Ultimate Cookie Book.  On page 404, I began my journey to the unknown (see, I love the drama. :) It’s the reason I love the Real Housewives series.  I know they’re crazy, but I can’t help myself) I digress.  I want something that didn’t make me feel so bad about eating it.  I would make swaps where I could and I hope that I made up for it with some other swaps so it wouldn’t taste like cardboard.  I say it was a success! I hope you make them and enjoy them.  Hey with the bananas you get a serving for fruit right? ;)

Banana Bars – adapted heavily from The Ultimate Cookie Book

  • 1/2 cup and a little bit butter, softened
  • 1 1/3-1/2 cup dark brown sugar (depending on your sweetness tolerance)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 and a little bit cup of mashed bananas
  • about a 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (if you don’t like whole wheat you can cut in all purpose flour)
  • Icing of your choice ( I chose powdered sugar mixed with milk)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease baking dish.  9×13 and the like work well.  Beat butter until creamy.  Add sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Beat until mixed well.  Beat in egg, banana, sour cream, and vanilla.  Stir in flour (I recommend this instead of beating because it doesn’t make a mess, but I beat it with the mixer near the end to make sure everything is well blended).  Bake about 30 minutes or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean.  Add icing, cut, and savor!

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July 12, 2010

Best Brussel Sprouts Ever!

This year on the meal plan, I thought  I would try Brussel sprouts. If I really hated them, I could get something else. Well, they tasted completely bland and oozed the water in which they were steamed. Not too appetizing! This summer I gave them another try with a recipe my mom made up. Now I love them and how they get a little crunchy and balsamic vinegary on the bottom. Yum!


Best Brussel Sprouts Ever – Donna Lindley

  • enough Brussel sprouts to fit in the bottom of your pan
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt
  • pepper

Cut sprouts in half. In large skillet, pour enough olive oil to cover the bottom and turn on high. Place sprouts cut side down and season with salt and pepper.  Turn down the heat to medium high and let cook for five minutes or until they turn a deep green. (You want a little bit of burn on the bottom) Add a little more oil and pour in the balsamic vinegar. Lower heat, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove lid and turn up heat to medium to let the juices cook out.  Enjoy!

July 6, 2010

Green Bean Chips

I went to Publix with mi mamá, and found veggie chips.  I like all of them, and the mummsy loved the green beans.  So what did  I decide to do?  Why recreate them myself of course!  I dug out the dehydrator from the garage.

We thought dehydrating them first would be a good idea, and then baking them to create the perfect “chip”.  I purchased the green beans from the wonderful Farmers Fresh CSA. I love fresh food.  When I found about the CSA, I did a little dance.  In the store.  Knowing that the food was picked a couple of days ago by people who live no more than 50 miles from me, makes me almost as happy as getting $70 shoes for $9.  The less waste I make the happier I am, so no more processed potato chips! I now have locally grown green bean chips!

They really shrink up! Of course that could have been because I forgot about them overnight.  I don’t recommend dehydrating them for 24 hours.

Green Bean Chips – Katie Lindley

  • Green beans
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Rosemary
  • Garlic powder

Dehydrate green beans for about 12 hours.  (I haven’t tried them in the oven, but you might be able to get the same results with a high temperature oven. If you do try it, tell me how it turns out) In a bowl, cover in enough olive oil to coat them.  Sprinkle rosemary, salt, and garlic powder on top to taste.  Mix and let sit for about 10 minutes then lay out to drain on a paper tower covered cookie sheet.  Enjoy!