La Chureca, Nicaragua

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Third time's the charm and making Breakfast for my Papa!

This morning I woke up and remembered I started to make a third loaf of bread on the morning of my dad's arrival and never baked it.  Now... this would be try number three at bread... maybe if two burned me, three would turn out better?

So I snuck downstairs, put the ol' loaf in and made a loaf for breakfast in the morning. AND it was/is really good! (sigh. relief!) I am actually going to make some french toast out of it i think.... but also leave some slices so Dad can have bread and butter with his coffee (like we Ricans like it!)

I am so glad dad's here. I am totally in one of those God ordained, "love-bombing" missions to just love the heck out of my dad and serve him while he's here. I hope he likes the french toast... and the italian coffee....

ok cooking and getting ready for the day...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bread Making

Thoughts on Bread Making
(and making things twice)

So I have found that in my learning to cook… I have gotten really good at producing an excellent Bread or popcorn batch (on stove)… or cookies… or _________________ (insert what you will) on the first try without really thinking about it. 

My second attempt has proved a little smokey. I’m trying to wonder why that is… maybe I rush through the second time… maybe I …. Maybe I really don’t know…Anyhoo… posting pictures of my Christmas eve breadmaking. 

Bread #1 was perfect! Absolutely beautiful and tasty. 

Good Bread... but not in good lighting...

The Good Bread: Isn't she a BEAUTE?

Proud Bread Maker
Bread #2, I took risks. I tried replicating a Lizzy recipe that I didn’t really see her do, but ate the results. Somehow, I didn’t think about safely securing ALL the honey I inserted in the bread. So 25 minutes later when I saw smoke coming out of the oven, and the honey oozing out from all sides of the bread (10 minutes prior thinking the small amounts of oozing honey could be a good sign), and  trying to rescue the bread out, only to be spattered by a boiling hot bursted bubble of honey coming after me for being naughty… I think second tries just don't work out for me.... how about third time? I haven't gotten there yet...
Bread #2 in Dough Form... it was such a good idea...

Remnants of Boiling hot honey that oozed everywhere

Red area: 2nd degree burn... Later this would blister and look ugly

Bread #2 didn't look so bad either when it was finally out.
And you know what... it tasted good :)
(Sticky, but good)

Proof....Dad Made it! and I gave him a Kebab....

Photo Booth on Mac captured us reuniting ;)

So dad got in looking all stud-ly this morning. I "picked" him up by bus ( Bus #51 leaves from a bus depot that is right next to Trieste Centrale train station--learn something new everyday, the fairs are 3,25 euro each way and they leave every 30 minutes). I did this after I found out that my car rental would be an extra 20 euros a day because I'm under 25 and the guy was not in his normal good mood and wouldn't help me out (he's let it slide for us in the past... sigh... sad).

 SOOO, we will be returning there after dad's recovery nap to try and rent it under dad's name because he's 25 and some change years old.

DAD's IN EUROPE! It's a first for him. It's weird yet so normal having him here.  My favorite pizza place was closed, so I bought him a Kebab to satisfy his hunger... Pizza TONIGHT!


May the adventures begin...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Closing Time

I hear the shouts for Last Calls of 2010... so i'm making them 

Some Pictures first:

on my birthday, Flavio, my favorite chef in Italy surprised me with a delicious birthday cake (the candle had a legitimate flame)

Salzburg at night. The city was magical. It reminded me of Granada, Spain--I think it was the fortress on the hill...kind of like La Alhambra :)

View of the city looking down. It was such a beautiful day to be there... I loved Salzburg!

-Thanksgiving: With Kim and Pedro in Brussels, Belgium... Amazing (this was the seed that planted my new revoluntionized  "I can cook" mentality... thank you Kim for being so gracious)-- The Bests of Belgium: Beer, Waffles, People = Kim and Pedro, FOOD, Food, and More food... we ate a lot of delicious treats :)

Students and teacher playing in the snow 

My wonderful hosts: Brother and Sister in-law-in-law, Pedro and Kim 

This is the best beer in the world (according to someone).... It is made by monks in a monastery in Belgium. They figured out how much they needed to brew in one year in order to support their charities, and they do exactly that quota.  and Here's a little quote about it: "WESTVLETEREN: The smallest producer of the brewing abbeys. Their beer is very expensive cause if you want it you have to go there - they don't ship! This is a rare example of a beer with both Trappist and abbey affiliations. St. Bernardus - formerly know as St. Sixtus - is made by a secular brewer under the licsence of the Abbey of St. Sixtus in the town of Westvleteren. Confusingly, the abbey of St. Sixtus makes the Westvleteren ales in a Trappist capacity, but not St. Sixtus ales!" click Here for more info on Beligum Beers.
I can't remember which organization named it the best, but they have it on good authority after trying about a bazillion beers (like how I can't remember the details of the story?)

Belgium Quiche = AMAZING and also called something else I don't remember

TURKEY TURKEY TURKEY... Oh my goodness was this AMAZING... let's talk about how it was lemon zested.... gourmet goodness with incredible stuffing inside

The HOME MADE apple torte that Kim and I made... we made 8 CUPS of crushed to flour like powder bread crumbs... later we found out that we needed 8 cups of BREAD CRUMBS to make 3 CUPS of flour like powder... I blame it on the directions... 

MY THANKSGIVING MEAL.... IT WAS AMAZING.  I don't even know where to begin... looking at the dinner plate makes me wish it were thanksgiving all over again though. I mean thanksgiving is totally and completely my favorite holiday. 
There's my Head Chef... She ROCKED... for real... completely inspired me in culinary arts :) I am forever indebted.

 Non Food Related for a Moment in Brussels:
There were a few really interesting Graffiti walls in the city that caught my eye. I just couldn't stop staring at the eyes.... and the fox on the side of a building. Incredible. Really.

Here's the thing that people are suppose to rub for good luck.

The famous Manequin de Piss (is that what it's called?)
More Belgium Beer....YUM :)


- December 2nd Birthday: "Teach me something new... mainly in the Kitchen"--Learned to make Fumo, Mulled Wine, Bread, Liz's version of Baked Brie, later Chicken Nuggets, Almond Butter, got behind the bar at Mastrobirraio and Learned how to properly pour a Guiness on tap (thank you Daniele!)... Learning never stops, and all of a sudden I LOVE being in the kitchen :)

-December 7-8th: Salzburg, Austria.... The hills were certainly alive with the sound of music and christmas markets. Salzburg is AMAZING.  It is a four hour drive from Trieste (we went through Slovenia on the way there, and came through Udine, Italy on the way back...) Lot's of snow!

-December 16th: -Winter Show... Winter Show... Winter show.... SO CONSUMING :).... EMAIL me for the cutest clips you'll ever see....

-December 18th: Udine in the Snow! Just about an hour and some change train ride away from Trieste. So cute city... Got to listen to some really nice cover music at a bar in the city center. Good Evening activity with friends :)

-December 19th: Staff Christ mas Party at Zoe Foods... YUM....

-Christmas Eve: Learn to Cook Chicken Nuggets with Sarah and Emily
-Christmas Day: Skype with Family: Gift exchange and then hung out with Sarah and Emily

Waiting for DAD to arrive! HAPPY! (he gets here tomorrow...I will post the plans for our Father/daughter Italian road trip soon)

LAST Thought: HOW MANY TIMES DID I WRITE AMAZING IN THIS BLOG POST? I just noticed that was my primary descriptor... but then again, food is amazing.... soooo....ok I still need some new words in my vocabulary :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

End of the Year Craziness

December has been a crazy month that has just flown by within a blink of an eye.

I will be posting a lot when school is out wednesday the 22nd.... So MUCH has happened... I'm excited for time off to reflect... post... and see my dad!