Category Archives: Recetas

cena casera

       

Last night, Dan and I enjoyed the delicious homemade dinner that we wished we had had time for on Valentine’s Day.  It was so fun to cook a great meal together; back in Boston this was at the very least, a weekly occurrence.  Cooking is something that we both really enjoy, so it has always been fun for us to try out new recipes together.

Last night was no exception!  We tackled a recipe I’ve been dying to try for a while and one of my favorite foods.  We started off with cocktail shrimp and an arugula spinach salad with oranges & a citrus vinaigrette.  The inspiration came from this recipe, which I definitely plan on making this summer.  That was followed by the star of the show, Baked Lobster Mac and Cheese.  I chose this recipe because it’s Ina Garten’s recipe from the Barefoot Contessa, just adapted for two people instead of six.  Even after cutting the recipe size significantly it was still a ton of food, but leftovers are always welcome on Sundays here in Spain (since NO grocery stores are open).  Of course, we had to have dessert, so we finished with Strawberry Shortcake.  I made the shortcake using this recipe and tossed the heart-shaped strawberries in balsamic vinegar to give it an added flavor.  I know what you’re thinking, no chocolate?  But between the Valentine’s Day packages from Rina and my mom and the Cadbury chocolate that Mikey brought us back from London, I’m all chocolate-ed out… if you can believe that!

We spent the night drinking white wine, watching another Woody Allen movie and enjoying this delicious meal.  I guess I can stop celebrating Valentine’s Day now, but I’m still planning on making heart-shaped sugar cookies this week thanks to some of the American Valentine’s things Rina sent me:)

Hope you all had a great weekend!  We’re off for a run to work off the pounds of macaroni and cheese we ate for dinner!  Ciao, amores:)

P.S. Dan putting the lobster in the boiling water!!!

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hoy: la cena

I just had to share with you what I had for dinner tonight!  After a long day of classes, a co-op interview and running around in the freezing cold, I was in the mood for something warm and delicious, but not very labor-intensive or time-consuming.  Here I present to you, my new favorite (as of 30 minutes ago) go-to super fast and healthy pasta dish: Creamy Avocado Pasta <– click for recipe!

The water boiling and pasta cooking lasted more time than needed to prepare the sauce.  I also just smashed the avocados with a fork and then whisked it all together instead of using a food processor (mostly because I don’t have one), but it was really so easy anyway.  Also, I added some fresh cherry tomatoes, and would maybe add parmesan cheese, grilled chicken, etc. to it in the future or if I wanted to add some depth to the dish for a dinner party.

Do you have any go-to quick but delicious recipes you’d like to share?  Hope you try this one out and enjoy it just as much as I did!  Buen provecho, amores:)

My photo via Instagram.

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celebraciones para mi cumpleaños

I’m here to finish the story of my birthday weekend.  I know, I left you guys hanging by saying there was more to come, and then never updating you, but the thing is, with 30+ hours of class this week, I just couldn’t quite find the time!  Anyway, back to the birthday!

Friday night after being in Segovia for the afternoon, I had plenty of time to relax, eat dinner and get ready before heading over to Kathryn’s house.  A few friends came over, and we sat around drinking champagne and playing my favorite drinking game. We then went to a really fun club called Coco right near Puerta del Sol for the rest of the night.  A few other friends met us there, and it was a really fun time.  Dan, Gabby and I even got Churros at San Gines when we left the club, and they were so amazing.  I don’t think I even looked up from the churros & chocolate until I had finished all of mine!

Saturday afternoon, I had an amazingly delicious brunch at VIPS with Gabby, Lauren and Kathryn.  We were all so hungry (despite the late night churros), and I was so happy that we were all awake and awake enough to make it over to VIPS together.  I relaxed for the rest of the day, watching movies and lazing around at Dan’s.

Kathryn and I made a delicious Earl Grey birthday cake (click for recipe) before I headed back to Dan’s for absolutely delicious fish francaise, homemade rice pilaf, and my favorite broccoli.  The rice pilaf was so easy to make – and who knew that classic rice pilaf flavor came from buttery-toasted spaghetti?

Kathryn and Gabby came over for champagne at midnight when I officially turned 22, but I actually popped the bottle 1 minute early, hehe.  Some other friends came over, and we just hung out and talked until it was too late for us to leave to go out.  It was a really relaxing night though and was perfect, especially after the long night we had the night before.

Sunday afternoon Dan took me out for a surprise birthday lunch to a great sushi place right around the corner from both of us.  We haven’t had sushi since we got to Spain, and I have been craving it so much lately.  We got a few different rolls and another crazy concoction of salmon filled with avocado and cream cheese and then tempura fried (read: absolutely amazing!).

Everyone came over for a little party afterwards to enjoy all sorts of cakes and sweets.  We had the Earl Grey birthday cake, cupcakes with Nutella buttercream (made by my roommate, Bea), bizcocho (made by my roommate, Eva), banana bread (made by Kathryn), and an assortment of different cake slices from Corte Ingles (thanks to Gabby and Lauren).  The birthday cake was sweet with just a touch of Early Grey flavor in every bite.  I think next time I would follow the Earl Grey method but use on of my favorite vanilla cake recipes instead though.  The bizcocho was definitely my favorite though; I’ll have to get the recipe from Eva!

    

All in all, it was an absolutely perfect birthday weekend.  There was a great balance between crazy and relaxing times, perfect for celebrating my birthday and taking advantage of the break between final exams and the new semester.  I’m so happy I got to spend time with all of my friends here for my birthday, and I even skyped with my parents and a few friends back in the US too. Thank you all so much for everything!  It was absolutely fabulous to spend my birthday weekend with you, and I hope you enjoyed it just as much as I did.  Gracias, amores:)

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recetas

Hello amores!  Just added a new feature to my blog.  You should see a new widget on the right under my Twitter feed called Recetas {Recipes}.  Per my boyfriend’s suggestion, I’ve added the link there in case you’re looking to find the recipe for one of the many delicious foods I’ve made since arriving in Madrid (including yummy birthday cakes).  If you’re confused, you can also click on the photo above.  Buen provecho!:)

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las navidades en praga

{Christmas markets & cathedral in Old Town Square}

One of the places at the top of my list to visit while living in Madrid this year was Prague.  So when my family and Dan’s parents began to entertain the idea of travelling a bit while they were in Europe visiting us for Christmas, I automatically jumped at the chance to persuade everyone that Prague was the best place to go for Christmas.  The good news is that I was right!

I started planning our trip to Prague over Christmas weekend back in November and was just about finished just before el Puente de Navidad when I posted about the itinerary I was working on.  We got to see nearly all of the greatest sites in the city in the three short days that we were there.

Friday night (December 23) we arrived around dinner time to a concert in the square outside of the apartment we were renting.  While everyone else changed and settled in, Dad, Dan, and I went to the grocery store with the hopes of buying all sorts of ingredients for Christmas Eve hors d’oeuvres and Christmas morning breakfast.  However, we realized very quickly that not knowing a word of Czech made it a little difficult to know what exactly we were buying.  Instead of our original plan, we opted for things we could actually tell what they were by looking at them: oranges, eggs, milk, cereal, tea, coffee, etc. and of course the ingredients for Mom’s legendary Christmas breakfast, Pear, Raspberry & Mascarpone Bruschetta (click for recipe… you MUST try it).

Sorry for the digression, but if you try that recipe you will understand that it was completely worth it!!  Dad had found a restaurant that looked good, was open later than most other restaurants in the city, and appeared to be right by where we were staying.  After wandering around the New Town for about 30 minutes with Czechs giving us directions like 50 meters that way, 100 meters that way, etc. we realized it was literally directly behind the apartment.  We toasted to Dan’s birthday, a wonderful Christmas, and that we were all celebrating together, but retired early since I had a long day planned for us.

Saturday morning, Christmas Eve, we woke up a little later than expected, but weren’t bothered since we were all on vacation and were really there to be relaxing after all!  There was a little upset over Dan realizing he had lost his coat between the airport and that moment and his watch also breaking, but we put it behind us and had a really fun-filled day.  (If you’ve been following my Twitter feed, you saw that it actually miraculously appeared in our apartment when we got back from being out all day!)

We headed into the Old Town Square where the largest and greatest Christmas markets are in the city.  There we bought gifts for the yankee swap we had planned for Christmas morning and tried all sorts of sausages, cheeses & hot wines.  When it began to rain we headed into a café for tea and cookies to warm ourselves up.  Afterwards we explored the Jewish quarter and caught a glimpse of the Charles Bridge on our way home.  We had dinner at a great old beer brewery which served 1 liter beers (Oktoberfest status) for the equivalent of 4 EURO!

 

Sunday, we enjoyed a relaxing morning of the already mentioned amazing breakfast along with pastries Dad bought at the only open bakery (Starbucks, haha!).  We also had a great time of doing the yankee swap, with gifts including marionettes, beer steins and giant Christmas ornaments.  Despite the rain, we decided to walk to the Prague Castle (not my idea).  It was about 30 minutes of uphill in the rain (read: miserable), but it was really cool to see the other area of the city and the entire fortress where the royals used to live.  We stopped to have some soup, beers and pretzels afterwards, which made Rina very happy since she had been dying to try these pretzels since we had seen them.  On the way back to the apartment we took a detour to the John Lennon Wall, which may be my favorite part of the entire city.  It’s just covered in beautiful Beatles and John Lennon quotes about peace and love.  It was a great way to end our touring for the day.

Rina and I had made a reservation for Christmas dinner at COMO Restaurant about a month ago before even realizing that it was directly across the square from where we were staying!  We had a leisurely, delicious meal; the perfect way to end our short but sweet holidays together.  I even got a pink martini (nom) and tiramisu, my absolute favorite!

All in all, the weekend was jam-packed with site-seeing, but we still managed to fit in some quality relaxation time of Christmas movies, cheese and crackers and afternoon naps whenever possible.  It always makes me a little sad to be visiting such amazing cities that I know our families would love, so it was amazing to be exploring a new city with them, especially during Christmas time.  Thank you guys so much for everything, and I hope you had just as much fun as I did!

Feliz navidad (de nuevo y un pocito tarde!), amores:)

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cumpleaños de las gemelas

Friday night I threw a party at my apartment for the twenty second birthdays of my two friends Kathryn and Lauren.  They were born one minute apart on the same day in the same year!!

We had a dinner of stuffed shells and spinach artichoke bread (you can find the recipe here for the dish, which I also made for Gabby’s birthday).  We also gave them their gifts, bracelets from a Spanish jewelry store, Uno de 50, which sells all sorts of interesting and unique bracelets, necklaces, earrings, etc.  Check it out here!

After dinner, some more friends came over, including German and French friends from class that we were excited to see, Lauren & Gabby’s Spanish roommates, and Lauren’s host brother from when she came to Madrid during high school.  It was great to have such an international  party as Rina calls it, haha… but really, it was a lot of fun!!  We enjoyed an amazing cake (click here for the cake recipe, frosting recipe, and homemade buttermilk recipe… since that’s another thing we can add to the list of ingredients Spaniards don’t use) and tequila sangria (read: instant hangover) before heading to Cats, a discoteca near my house that was a ton of fun!

Hope you enjoyed your birthday, chicas!<3

 

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el puente de navidad

Spaniards love celebrating random holidays just as much as they love doing so in the middle of the week, I only had two days of class last week.  It was nice to have some extra time before I left for Sevilla on Thursday (more about that to come), since I knew I wouldn’t be getting anything done while we were there.  However, that meant the short week I did have was filled with homework, group meetings, Christmas shopping, and a few other activities.  I guess I should be thankful for the celebrations of the Constitution Day, which allowed me to get some homework done, and the Immaculate Conception, which let us leave a day early for Sevilla though!

During the craziness of the holiday season, I usually get overwhelmed, but the speed at which it is flying by this year is absolutely insane!  The countdown makes me a little anxious: Dan’s parents – 9 days; my parents – 10 days; Dan’s birthday – 11 days, Prague – 11 days, Christmas – 13 days; and New Years Eve – 19 days.  For now, here are a few of the things I filled my “Puente de Navidad” with, while still in Madrid.

{taking a study break on tuesday for american grilled cheese and homemade tomato soup using this recipe}

{planning an itinerary for christmas in prague, which you can read here}

{making zillions of christmas cookies to enjoy myself and bring to my padres españoles in sevilla using this great recipe & tutorial}

And if you haven’t already noticed, I’ve been filling my spare time (read: procrastinating) by catching up on all sorts of new blogs.  I’ll be adding them to a blog roll soon, but for now the rest of the posts on the two blogs I’ve linked to today are really great.  Enjoy!

Hope you’re having just as much fun during the chaotic holiday season as I am here in Madrid.  Ciao, amores:)

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