Monday, June 28, 2010

Good Lord, I'm exhausted

Today, I'm so tired. I feel like I've been run over by a mack truck. But when I looked at my summary of how many people had clicked onto my blog today, well I felt guilty. All those people, clicking over, wanting to be distracted by my blog and what did they see? The same old same-old. Lame! So here I am.

Meredith and I took a wonderful trip to Valencia, Spain. We lay on the beach.

We drank daiquiris.

The waitress had a really hard time understanding what I meant when I said "DAIQ-uri." They say it "dai-QUIR-i."

Don't drink daiquiris and then run for the bus in heels. You will get hurt. I know.

They also had an amazing marketplace that looked like a cathedral.

Inside, there were rows and rows and rows of this:

There were beautiful berries -

- stacks of spices -

- we brought some home with us. I smuggled them in my pockets.

We ate paella - lots of paella.

Paella with chicken.

Paella with garlic mayonnaise.

We couldn't eat it all there was so much.

We ate lots of "salads" that had ham in them and looked like this.

We drank sangria (wine is really really cheap in Spain).

And ate where Hemingway supposedly liked to eat.

I see this picture below of happy relaxedness and I think "ah, good times. Times where I wasn't bone tired with a sore throat."

That's it for Europe, folks! I guess I should cook some more now.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Last post from England!

Here it is folks - my very last post from England. And it only took me.....almost three times the length of time I was actually there. Whoops.

On our last night in England, Meredith and I decided to eat at Jamie Oliver's restaurant. I've been on a Jamie Oliver kick ever since watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution (great show! Way to use the forces of reality television for good, universe. It's not all dancing "celebrities" and wannabe teenage starlets out there). Also, back when I started cooking, The Naked Chef Takes Off was one of the first cookbooks I bought (because it was $1.03 on Amazon. But that's besides the point). Anyways, here we are - at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen.

We were a little early, so we ordered Jamie's version of a Pimm's Cup - gin and fruity goodness.

Strawberries, apples, cucumbers and mint make me happy. You wouldn't think that the cucumbers would work out in there, but they totally do.

We got to our table and started with a big plate of olives.

I used to hate olives, but these are awesome. The color was really striking and the taste? Surprisingly meaty. I don't know how they made a meaty olive but it was really cool.

I started with the risotto - risotto was the first thing I ever made from The Naked Chef cookbook, so I figured I'd give it a try.

It was really creamy with a little bit of bite. The asparagus was great - some of it was more cooked and mixed into the rice and some was crisper and laid on top. There was some creme fraiche as well - it rocked.

Meredith got the ravioli - it was cheesy and amazing.

I can't remember what was in it - I do remember that I wanted to steal it from her. Whoops.

We ended with a pizza. It had mashed potatoes mixed with a soft goat cheese and fresh peas. There were pea shoots on top and the whole thing was really great.

We were too full and rushed to fully enjoy it though. That's my one regret.

Check it out! It's a really fun evening.

Next post - Spain!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Aw man, and I was doing so well

So it's been pointed out to me that I've been neglecting you a little bit. I'm sorry!

So, believe or not, I've still got London posts to do (which is a little absurd. Meredith lives in New York again now. Whoops). So off we go to Borough Market.

Borough Market is totally awesome. You can get fresh produce -

- meat -

- pig heads -

- or just walk around and graze.

You can drink mulled wine.

Meredith loves mulled wine.

If you get lost, there are helpful humorous signs.

There are also giant meringues -

- piles and piles of truffles of every flavor - including tobacco and various booze.

Best of all? There's cheese.

Wheels and wheels of cheese.

Cheese that takes showers (I'm not sure why).

Beautiful amazing cheese.

I took this cheese home with me. It's from Ireland.

I took some Montgomery Cheddar home as well. My dad, an ardent Anglophobe, really liked this cheese. I knew if I stayed in Britain long enough, I'd find something he'd like.

I'll blog more! I promise.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Why doesn't Macy's have a food hall?

Some people go to London for the fashion. But since Meredith and I are all about the food, we managed to go into London's largest department store and see nothing but the food halls. That's right, we're off to Harrods!

They had every kind of food you could think of! There's a butcher counter. In a department store. There aren't butcher counters in grocery stores in most places in the US.

There was Indian food -

- weird pretentious fancy foods -

- a giant statue of freaky wild animals with champagne in front of it for no reason -

I mean, there was so much. I can't convey it with these pictures - it's like an entire floor of food halls. Picture the makeup department of Bloomingdales and cross it with an international food market in your mind. Most importantly, however - there are meat pies.

We took two meat pies home with some vegetables for a salad.

We made a lovely salad (lovely - that's British) with beets and peppers and some shallot dressing -

- and ate it with our two meat pies - a traditional pasty and Chicken of Aragon.

They're so pretty when you crack them open. The chicken was especially good. Meredith (a connoisseur of such things) said that these pies are super good and above the normal level of traditional British pies.

We drank them with some Harrods brand beer and a ginger beer (which was really sweet - almost like if ginger ale was alcoholic).

Beer, meat pies, and our favorite television show -

- Yes, it is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That's how we roll in Britain.