Tuesday, July 19, 2011

John makes croissants!

John made magnificent croissants from scratch today!
They were delicious!
His first try ever!

 We also had these salads.

goat cheese
pine nuts

Suppli!!! Snacking like the Romans do

When we were in Rome we had these delicious rice balls stuffed with various toppings, like ham and mushroom or tomato and mozzarella. We got them at a pizza shop that had a neon sign that said 'Suppli' over the door. We thought that was the name of the place, then we realized they were advertising this snack. I had no idea it was even possible to squish rice into a ball, bread it, and then deepfry it, but it is delicious!!! So, as usual, we tried to make it, with a recipe courtesy of the Food Network. Mario Batali knows what's up with Italian snacks, but his recipe was slightly different so we also tried to replicate the ones we had in Rome.

Step 1. Cook rice and filling

 Step 2. Mix egg and parmesan in hot rice

Step 3. Squish into a ball

Step 4. Squish cheez into the middle

Step 5. Roll in breadcrumbs 

Step 6. Bake (instead of deep-fry) 

They were good, but baked is not quite as good as fried, unsurprisingly.

Our Roman suppli:

truffle oil
bread crumbs
olive oil

Buttermilk baked chicken

We are on a cooking spree!

Last night we had buttermilk baked chicken and salad.
Another recipe courtesy of the Food Network.

Step 1. Marinate the chicken overnight in delicious buttermilk/onion/lemon/hot saucy goodness 

Step 2. Dip marinated chicken in crushed corn flakes + parmesan 

Step 3. Bake

Step 4. Devour!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Arroz Negro

In my first moments in Spain after our workshop in Portugal, I saw a news clip on the tv at a restaurant about making arroz negro, or black rice, and I have wanted to make it for the past month. Luckily Berkeley Bowl sells the essential ingredient, squid ink.

So I set about making some Spanish Black Rice
with a recipe from the Food Network. 

1. Mix squid ink with stock

2. Saute tomato, onion, and garlic

3. Add paprika, rice, and black stock

4. Stir lots

5. Saute shrimp (or prawns if you can find them) with paprika, garlic, lemon juice and other good stuff

6. Top with rice with shrimp and parsley-olive-lemon mixture

7. Put it in your belly

Great success!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer Cooking

Now that we are back - I am excited to do some summer cooking, even if San Francisco weather is decidedly unsummery. The first things we wanted to eat after months of European food were 1) Mexican and 2) hamburgers. So our first day back we ate breakfast burritos and then cheeseburgerz for dinner!

Cheeseburgers and 'tinto de verano'

I used cheddar gruyere from Trader Joe's and made a green olive sauce.

Totally delicious!!!

Tinto de Verano

 1 part cheap red wine
2 parts lemon soda 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fotomania: Espana

We are back and it is photo time!

This was the first thing we saw in the Barcelona airport:
Barca 2011 League Champions!

This was the second thing:
Casa Batllo by Gaudi

Our first night we went out for Basque-style pintxos:

So many pintxos!!!
(pronounced pint-chos, for those of you who do not speak Basque)

metro art

Our first day we walked around town:
Sagrada Familia by Gaudi
the beach

Spanish care bear

At first we were excited that this place might serve spanish burritos but then we realized they were literally referring to a little donkey...
Later on we saw old people dancing near the cathedral...

...and John chatted with some antique sellers.

 Barcelona has nice drinking fountains...

...and it also has magical fountains...
...the crowd awaits...

(and reminiscent of jello salad)

As it turned out there was a free night at the museums happening:
All museums open until 1am!

There was also free music at various venues...
 ...including a castle!!
Party at the castle

Next day I needed to do some 'research'
for the travel fellowship I received:
We visited Gaudi's Parc Guell

We also rode a funicular to investigate the accessibility of large open spaces at the edge of the city:

Catalan is a crazy language

 Our open space investigations continue with some urban hiking:
Follow the trail blazes.

The view of Sitges from Parc Natural Garraf

Back in Barcelona:

These doors are neighbors.

Barca-flavored gelato!
(Special note to Thadd: This is why you have to go to Spain, in order to eat Barca-flavored gelato.)

We spotted this Obama pub on the Fourth of July.
How auspicious!

We also spotted the most civil game of tug-o-war ever.

The two dogs were both standing there sharing this stick:
Left dog: I think I might take it first, if you don't mind.
Right dog: Well, I was thinking about chewing on it for a minute, as long as that's okay with you.
Left dog: Well, I won't use it for very long. I will give it back to you right away.
Right dog: Yea sure I'm fine either way.
Left dog takes the stick.

Eventually we flew to Seville where it was 40deg C
(i.e. cook-you-in-an-oven-alive hot)
A big old cathedral

Boquerones fritos (fried anchovies) and mojitos

Don't hate - they are delicious.

John gesturing wildly about the arabic tiles

Plaza Espana

 Giant shade structures made life better

Cerveceria 100 Montaditos also made life better
1 euro jugs of beer everyday!!!

Happy customer

In Seville we shared a dorm room with a Canadian who had the same Nikon as me, which meant that I was able to charge that camera, which contains pictures from this moment forward... so now I just need to wait for a new cord to come in mail because Nikon's USB cords are 'proprietary' and can only be purchased from Nikon... :(

For now you can see the rest of the photos at: