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Starting a new life in a new place.


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Breakfast egg tacos!!

Breakfast egg tacos!!

Eureka!

We made our first trip to Eureka! Gourmet Hamburgers this past weekend and we were over-the-top impressed. The first thing to catch my attention was the Spanish Castillo/Mesón style low lighting inside the venue. I loved the patio with misters, although it was WAY to hot to sit outside (like 106°F!), and the outdoor curtains which could turn the place into a quiet, intimate setting once the weather cools off. 

Putting aside the venue itself, our waitress was friendly, but not overbearingly so. When she took our order, she customarily asked how Carlos wanted his Cowboy Burger cooked, but then she proceeded how I wanted the steak in my Balsamic Steak Salad cooked! I was impressed because normally when you get meat on a salad, they just throw on some precooked chicken or whatever, but Eureka! obviously cooks the meat at the moment the order is placed and exactly to your specifications. So, anyway, we both asked that the meat be cooked to medium and you can see in the pics, the small amount of pinkness perfection that the steak had. Impressive!

So, the orders…Carlos got a Cowboy Burger which was a typical burger with cheddar cheese, crisp bacon, BBQ sauce and fried onions! On the side, he got ONION RINGS. I have NEVER seen anything like these in my life (see photo). They were enormous, there were just 3, and I think they might have been bigger than the burger itself. The burger was prepared to perfection and it was obvious through the taste that all the ingredients were high quality. The onion rings…off the hook.

My Balsamic Steak Salad was heavenly, too! As I mentioned, the steak was perfectly cooked and paired with lovely fresh greens, heirloom tomatoes, fried onions, fried goat cheese medallions and a balsamic vinaigrette. Every bite was so fully packed with flavor that I didn’t want it to end. Although, I would say that the portions are perfect. Not to small, but not so huge that you would be stuffed.

I was so impressed with the place that I can’t wait to go back again. There were so many great picks on the menu, so I’ll definitely be back for round 2.

Reblogged from cavetocanvas
It’s a David Hockney kind of day!

cavetocanvas:

David Hockney, The Second Tea Painting, 1961

It’s a David Hockney kind of day!

cavetocanvas:

David Hockney, The Second Tea Painting, 1961

¡Qué miedo! Qué veracidad tiene, madre mía…

¡Qué miedo! Qué veracidad tiene, madre mía…

Homemade Bath Salts

This is a super fun and relatively inexpensive homemade gift that is perfect to give out to friends and family around the holidays. I found the idea HERE and it turned out really well. Homemade bath salts are a great gift, not only for the homemade factor, but also because they turn out really pretty in the jars, flecked with the dried flowers and herbs. Once you gather up the ingredients, the process is super easy and quick. I definitely recommend making bath salts for your friends.

The ingredients that I chose cost about $50 and I made 12, 1-pint jars. There was some left over, but I ran out of jars! I bet I could fill another 6 jars with the leftovers. That’s on today’s agenda…get 6 more jars. So, basically, with what I bought, I could have made 18 jars. The ingredients I chose are as follows, although you can mix and match flowers, herbs, scents as you wish:

8 cups of epsom salt
4 cups of Kosher salt
4 Tbsp of sweet almond oil
40 drops of tangerine oil
2 Tbsp dried Calendula
2 Tbsp dried Hibiscus
4 Tbsp dried Lavender

(I made TWO batches of the above recipe because only 1 fit in my mixing bowl at a time)

Mix everything together really well and then you can fill your jars. Don’t forget to put a pretty label and a festive bow on the jars! Enjoy! 

Merry Christmas!

What to do with your Thanksgiving leftovers (a little late)

I discovered/created an awesome Thanksgiving leftovers recipe!

I found a recipe (from the Costco cookbook) for a chicken salad with dried blueberries in it. I didn’t have any chicken, but I DID have turkey leftovers….a lot! And I didn’t have any dried blueberries, but I DID have fresh cranberries….a lot! So I got the idea to make the recipe, substituting the ingredients I didn’t have for those that I did have. And it turned out SO GOOD! My mom said it was the best turkey leftover dish she has ever had. We ate the salad on toasted croissants and it was heaven! 

OK, so for dish number 2, you must save your Halloween pumpkin! Insane, right? Well, I have SUCH a delicious pumpkin soup with my leftover Halloween pumpkins. Claire, my sister, and I spent a good deal of time chopping, cleaning and peeling our two Halloween pumpkins and we got 16 pounds of pumpkin out of it! The soup turned out so delicious, it was so easy and I still load a ton of pumpkin left to repeat it another day.

So, here are my recipes. Enjoy and make your own twist on them. They’re both really easy and well worth the effort.

TURKEY CRANBERRY SALAD

4 cups of leftover turkey, chopped
1 cup of chopped fresh cranberries (mix in a few tsp of sugar to take away the bitter taste)
2 Tbsp chopped red onion
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds 
1 cup sour cream
sea salt and fresh black pepper 

Mix all ingredients together well and chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve on warm, toasted croissants. (Serves at least 8. You’ll probably have leftovers.)

PUMPKIN SOUP

a big glug of extra virgin olive oil
2 red onions, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 sticks of celery, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeño, chopped (or crushed red chilies would work too)
4 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
salt & pepper
good pinch of fresh sage (dried if you don’t have fresh) 
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves removed
4 pounds of pumpkin meat, chopped into smallish chunks
8 cups of good chicken stock  

This is dead simple. I promise. Grab a big soup pan and heat the olive oil a few seconds before you add the ingredients. Dump in all together the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, jalapeño, salt, pepper, sage and rosemary. Let everything cook together for 10-15 minutes, until a little softened and the flavors have really started working together. Dump in the pumpkin chunks (your Halloween pumpkin!) and cover with the stock. Let it all simmer for about 30 minutes or until soft and smooshy. Blend it together with a hand-held immersion blender and you’re good to go! (Serves at least 8. You’ll probably have leftovers.)

I’ve been a little m.i.a lately as I was super busy with a big move from Spain to the US. It was an intense summer in so many different ways and now I’m finally back in the US after 5 wonderful years in Spain. The past 11 days have been full of re-adjusting to American life and helping my hubbie get situated: driving test, getting a SSN and his first interview in the US! So now that I’m getting a little bit settled, I am some free moments to post pics of what I’ve been cooking up the last few months. And here they are!

BLTAs!!! On mini croissants!!

Bacon + Lettuce + Tomato + Avocado + Mini Croissants = HEAVEN!!

GAZPACHO!!

Por fin, me he atrevido a hacer gazpacho extremeño (!!!), gracias a mi cuñada, Esther, que me ha dado la receta. Creo que ha salido muy rico…por lo menos Carlos lo terminó todo! Super fresquito para el verano, me encanta! Para mí, no pueden faltar los picatostes y el picadillo de pimiento verde, pepino y cebolla. A mi me encanta el toque crujiente y fresco de los picatostes y las verduras crudas. Buenísimo.

Best Hummus Ever.
OMG, I think I just made the best hummus I have ever eaten. I followed a basic recipe, but as it always happens (maybe a skill unconsciously inherited from Denise), it wasn’t good enough and I had to spice it up on my own. So I started with a big jar of garbanzos, a few shakes of salt and cumin, 4 tablespoons of Tahini, the juice of half a lemon, extra virgin olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic and I think that’s about it.
BORING.
Add juice from the other half of the lemon, Spanish green olives, more cumin, more olive oil….still not right….it was too dry. So a splash of pickle juice (next time I will throw in the liquid from the garbanzos), a shake of Cholula hot sauce and a few slices of canned jalapeños. Keep whizzing with the hand mixer and oh.my.god. did the best hummus ever appear.
It’s so cumin-y and creamy, with a hint of spice, but not overwhelming. The flavors really come together nicely and none of them really overpower the others. Hay-zeus this is good. I guess I’ve got dinner covered now!

Best Hummus Ever.

OMG, I think I just made the best hummus I have ever eaten. I followed a basic recipe, but as it always happens (maybe a skill unconsciously inherited from Denise), it wasn’t good enough and I had to spice it up on my own. So I started with a big jar of garbanzos, a few shakes of salt and cumin, 4 tablespoons of Tahini, the juice of half a lemon, extra virgin olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic and I think that’s about it.

BORING.

Add juice from the other half of the lemon, Spanish green olives, more cumin, more olive oil….still not right….it was too dry. So a splash of pickle juice (next time I will throw in the liquid from the garbanzos), a shake of Cholula hot sauce and a few slices of canned jalapeños. Keep whizzing with the hand mixer and oh.my.god. did the best hummus ever appear.

It’s so cumin-y and creamy, with a hint of spice, but not overwhelming. The flavors really come together nicely and none of them really overpower the others. Hay-zeus this is good. I guess I’ve got dinner covered now!

Funky iPod player with phonograph design from The Cool Hunter
I love this little gadget. Maybe I’ll get one next Christmas…

Funky iPod player with phonograph design from The Cool Hunter

I love this little gadget. Maybe I’ll get one next Christmas…

TUMBLRR by Jonathan O’Connor

Check out this cool site if you also have a Tumblr. It creates one collage image from various images from your own blog, using opaque renditions of the images and layering them together. Supposedly it’s especially interesting to use with architecture or design blogs and also with blogs that have animations in them, as the image produced also includes animations.
Tumblrr was created by a recent Industrial Design grad from the Rhode Island School of Design, Jonathan O’Conner.

TUMBLRR by Jonathan O’Connor

Check out this cool site if you also have a Tumblr. It creates one collage image from various images from your own blog, using opaque renditions of the images and layering them together. Supposedly it’s especially interesting to use with architecture or design blogs and also with blogs that have animations in them, as the image produced also includes animations.

Tumblrr was created by a recent Industrial Design grad from the Rhode Island School of Design, Jonathan O’Conner.

Reblogged from bagel
Hello Springtime!

bagel:

383218.jpg

Hello Springtime!

bagel:

383218.jpg

Brownie disaster!!
They were supposed to be oreo brownies with a chocolate peanut butter topping, but it turned out to be a chocolate volcanic mess. Tasted pretty good, but it was sooo rich, I don’t know if I’d repeat this recipe again…

Brownie disaster!!

They were supposed to be oreo brownies with a chocolate peanut butter topping, but it turned out to be a chocolate volcanic mess. Tasted pretty good, but it was sooo rich, I don’t know if I’d repeat this recipe again…