samedi 24 octobre 2009

garden update

so it turns out that gardens - well, at least "balcony herb gardens" - are not so difficult to maintain. they're like babies. they just need food (water + sun), lots of it, and some lovin' care.

my last garden update dates from june at the end of this post. since that post, my chives/tomatoes/basil pot evolved incredibly! (see below)

but then, something tragic happened...

summer ended.

and gone were the days of glory. for us. and for mr ciboulette, mlle tomate, et baby basilique:

pretty dramatic huh? that's how evil winter is.

well, to be honest, what really happened was - my window frames are made of wood and therefore full of moisture. when it's hot, it's ok, b/c the moisture dries and the windows can open and close no problem. but when it's cold, the moisture stays, the frames expand, and I CAN'T OPEN MY WINDOWS (to feed my babies). and so, i just watch day after day. hopelessly. as they whither away. **

** right right, i should get this window problem fixed. that takes effort though. and i'm a bit lazy.

dimanche 11 octobre 2009

queso de cabra con miel

one very cool thing about europe is that you can decide to go to another country ya know, for dinner.

while riding the epics waves in biarritz this past weekend, we decided to cross the border to st. sebastien for some yummy tapas (also known as "pintxos" in the land of basque).

forty minutes later, we found ourselves (somewhat clueless) on the streets of spain, asking people "donde esta la bahia?" -- the "bay" - as in, the epicenter around which the city is based. (les boulets)

we eventually managed to find the "old town" where the streets are lined with pintxos bar after pintxos bar (bringing back a recollection of a st. sebastien visit with dad three years, where we spent an evening eating lots of jamon and getting drunk off of sangria... good times)

at our first pitxos stop, all seven of us ordered sangria. we were pumped and ready to go.

however ... i'm not sure if it was because we were foreigners or because it was the bartender's "specialty"-- but the version of "sangria" that we were served, consisted of wine mixed not with bits of fruits, but ...with a shot of every single liquor the bartender could find behind the counter!

despite the unpleasant concoction, we washed down our little tapas, and continued on our way.

we eventually ended up at a pretty good place called manto (or munto?). it was PACKED and we quickly realized that you had to be aggressive, methodical, and know what you're doing in order to access those finger-sized treats.

soon enough, our palettes were met with a melange of jamon iberica, croquettas, spicy squid, stuffed peppers... and the best of all (a semi-unanimous decision) was the chevre-miel. or shall we say, queso de cabra con miel.

let me repeat. from top to bottom:

a piece of goat cheese lathered in honey. sitting on...

a bed of onions sauteed with olive oil and a touch of sugar. atop...

a delicious wedge of baguette.

all heated just the right amount so that the cheese has a soft sweet texture that melts in your mouth.

yup. divine.

and well-deserved after a full day of getting "brassé" (beaten) by the gnarly waves......

dimanche 4 octobre 2009

mozzarella di bufala

real quick one.

the italian goddess letizia dazzled us with one of her "light" salads the other night- -

- grilled eggplant
- roquette
- jambon cru
- fresh basil
- cherry tomatoes and....
- mozzarella di bufala

(and just a very generous drizzle of olive oil)

when we were at the supermarket buying the ingredients for the salad, i was all ready to go with the cheap mozzarella, ya know the one i usually get.. and she was like, no! bufala is much much tastier. and i was a little skeptic that this buffalo mozzarella that was about 3 times the price of the other was going to be better than the normal one. so we got both. to test.

and ya know what ?? the mozzarella di bufala was not 3 times better than the normal one.

it was 10 times better!!!!!!!

and apparently it really does come from the milk of a water buffalo.

i'm not sure how i feel about that. i'm just not going to think about it.

and i'm just super excited about the salad i'm going to eat tomorrow (yup, i already bought me some buffalo mozzarella and roquette to replicate the salad. hehehe).

sign off.