Thursday, December 29, 2011

Grand Granada

By the time we got to Granada summer was in full force. We were spoilt by the sea breeze in Barcelona and Valencia. Granada is further south, more inland and surrounded by beautiful mountains. So not so much breeze but full on beating down sun.

We had been told to come to Granada by Jakes sister Bryah for one reason, and that reason was to spend a day at The Alhambra.

The Alhambra was built in the mid 14th century by the Moorish rulers of the Emirate of Granada in
 al-Andalus. It was built for the last Muslim Emirs in Spain and its court, of the Nasrid dynasty. After being allowed to fall into disrepair for a few centuries. After being 'rediscovered in the 19th century by European travellers and academics, restorations started and it is now on of Spain's major tourist attractions and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Jake and I spent a whole day at the Alhambra, marvelling in the amazing Islamic architecture, and gorgeous gardens. I particularly loved the the archways and the frame they set for the next room.

Amazing intricate details on every nook and cranny  

So after an amazing day at the Alhambra, we had worked ourselves into a hunger frenzy, we stopped into a restaurant purely cause I loved all the Jamon hanging from the roof.

 Unfortunately the meal wasn't worth a mention here, but hey you cant win them all :(

Although our salad was really nice, and throughout Europe we realised that if you order a salad this is the basically the same dish you get everywhere. Lettuce, tomato, carrot, corn, egg, tuna, olives sometimes beetroot and whit asparagus. You always dress it yourselves with the standard olive oil and vinegar bottles on every table.

Thanks Granada you were lovely... Now off to the party island Ibiza!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wish List

 I know I know, It's been ages since my last post. Well I would just like to let you know I haven't been sitting on my laurels with a box of choccie's watching daytime tv. No, I've been moving house. Just for the record I DO NOT wish to do that again in a loooooonnnng time. I can see how it can break a person. I also understand why people to pay big bucks to get the removalists and white glove ladies to come and do it all for you. But I'm happy to say that there are only a few more boxes to go through. But I'm sad to say a lot of culling had to be done also. Its amazing the amount of Crap a couple can accumulate in 2 years of living together. While it is quite cleansing to part with the old, my partner Jake constantly asked "How many dinner sets does one couple need?" Well in my book a girl can never have enough dinner sets, cooking equipment, or just general kitchen treasures! But, to keep the peace I sadly parted with "some" of my stuff.

So with my 30th Birthday coming, I thought what a great idea to help my fiance with my birthday present but to leave a few hints of my birthday present wish list. As they say 'out with the old, in with the new'!!!

                                                          A BIG red Kitchen Aid
                                                        (To make Yummy Cakes in)
                                                         A Fissler Pressure Cooker
                                                   (To Cook yummy things in...Quickly)

A BIG Chest Freezer
(To Freeze yummy things in)

Le Crueset
(To Cook yummy things in...Slowly)

Cuisinart Ice-Cream Maker
(To make yummy Ice-cream and Sorbets in)

Now just have to be the best fiance a girl can be until December....fingers and toes crossed! x x 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Swedish Chocolate What the....?

My good friend Stina was in Sweden visiting her dad, she uploaded this photo on FB and I couldn't resist not sharing.

Chocolate Anyone....?      I'm sure it's delicious.....

Friday, September 16, 2011

It's Parmarama night!!!

After a few requests for the recipe I thought it was time I shared with you my recipe for the good old Aussie Chicken Parmigiana.
While still in London, Jake and I wanted to thank our friends Stina and Tony for letting us crash at their place. So we decided to make them a good Aussie dinner to remind them of home.

Below is my step by step process to help you have a great 'Parmarama Night'

Shopping List

4 Chicken Breasts ( or 1 per person )
300gm Plain Flour
4 Eggs
1/4 cup Milk
500gm of Bread Crumbs (fine, course or panko)
Handful of your favorite herbs (fresh or dried) chopped
100gm dry Parmesan cheese (optional)
Canola or Vegetable oil
1 Bottle/ Jar Tomato Passata or your favorite pasta sauce
300gm Grated Tasty Cheese
300gn Grated Mozzarella Cheese
Salad stuff

Here goes.........

1) Buy 1 chicken breast for every person you will be feeding
2) Place the chicken breast upside down on the chopping board
3) Place your non knife hand on top of the chicken breast to hold it firmly down on the board, bring the knife to the fattest side of the chicken breast
4) Gently cut through the middle of the chicken breast roughly 1cm til the other side ( Your knife should not come out the other side)

5) Now open up your Chicken breast from the cut and use your palm to flatten it
6) Place chicken breasts on some plastic cling film, then place another layer of cling film on top of the chicken breasts
7) Use a meat mallet, or pot ( or you could use a wine bottle) to bang down the chicken breasts to evenly flatten them out
8) Your breasts should be nice and flat like pic #8 now their ready for crumbing


You will need one tray of Flour, season this with salt and pepper. One bowl of egg wash, whisk up 2-3 eggs you can add a little milk to extend the mixture. One tray of bread crumbs, the store bought ones are fine, we used them here. Normally I would make my own bread crumbs using some stale bread. Panko bread crumbs are excellent to use. You can also flavour your crumbs with any herbs you like really. We used dried Rosemary, but I really like to use fresh chopped Thyme, use can also add grated parmesan cheese.

9) Place 1st chicken breast in the flour coating both sides, be sure to shake off the excess.
10) A handy tip for not getting sticky hands is to use one hand to handle the chicken in the dry ingredients and use your other hand for the egg wash part.
11) Next place that chicken breast in the egg wash and coat both sides, lift chicken breast and allow the extra egg to drip off
12) Lastly put the egg coated chicken into the bread crumbs

13) Be sure to fully coat the chicken, you can help by pressing the crumbs into the breast to make sure they stick
14) Once you have finished with the first chicken breast, place it onto a plate and repeat the process with the remaining breasts. You now have Schnitzels...the first step to your Parmas.


1-2) Heat up some canola or vegetable oil in a pan (these 2 oils have a higher smoking point and so are ideal for shallow frying) Drop a crumb into the oil, if it bubbles and brown the oil is ready.
Gently place the Schnitzel into the oil, lowering it so it falls away from you so the hot oil doesn't splash back at you.
Fry for at least 3-4 mins, check how your schnitzel is going by lifting up an edge. Your looking for a lovely golden colour
3) Once you have the desired colour flip your Schnitzel over and cook other side to same desired colour
4) Take out your Schnitzels and place them in an oven proof tray.

5-6) Top Schnitzels with your favorite pasta sauce, plain tomato passata can also be used but wont give off  as much flavour, a home made Napoli sauce is ideal
7) Now top your Schnitzels with shredded cheese. I use 50% shredded tasty cheese and 50% shredded mozzarella cheese which I mix up in a bowl before topping. I think this is were a lot of people get this wrong. They either use all tasty cheese but then get not stretch in your cheese, or they use all mozzarella for stringy stretchy cheese but get not bite from the tasty cheese.
8) Be sure to top the cheese higher in the centre of the Schnitzel for when the cheese begins to melt as we cook them it will stay on the parma and not end up all over your oven tray.
Now place your Parmas in the oven for roughly 10 mins on 180-200 degrees,once the cheese is looking nicely melting place the tray under your grill to brown and crispen up the cheese, this step should only 1-2 mins

So here's how your Parmas should look when you bring them out from under the griller, and here are some yummy home made potato wedgies we made too.

And now time to eat...Buon Appetit

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Perfect Picnic Hamper Filler

Tell me you wouldn't be the coolest person at the next backyard BBQ or Picnic if you were packing one of these beauties....
Jamon and Emmental cheese ring baguette thingys!!

Attention Coles and Safeway, European supermarket Deli's are kicking your ass in the cool foods department.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

User friendly chopsticks!

I couldn't resist posting this. This little tid bit was from a Chinese restaurant we dined at in Valencia, Spain....go figure! Hey i'm from Melbourne I miss my asian food.

Thank you 

The Best kebab i've ever ever had!

I'm sure there is a Kebab shop on the corner of a street in every country of the world. Each kebab slightly differing depending on the culture, or religion of that country.
My swedish friend Vicky who had lived in Barcelona for a few years insisted we visit a north african kebab shop while we were in Spain. She said that they were sooo much better than the ones we get in Australia.

We had just sadly said good bye to Barcelona and caught the overnight train to Valencia. 8 hours of uncomfortable seating, noisy, snoring and farting passengers. But we survived to tell the tale, and eat again.

Right on the corner of Valencia's main train station is this Gem of a kebab shop, Estacion Doner Kebab
A tiny hole in the wall Kebab shop
We waltz in a take up 2 of the 3 seats in the kebab shop. The owner new a little english, but like all good kebab shops it had the good old picture menu on the wall.

"Ola, dos kebabs, patatas and cerveza por favor  (Yep they serve beer at their kebab shops)

May I present my delicious Kebab

Why so great you ask? Firstly it in comes in a beautifully round turkish bread pocket, lots of fresh salad with tomatoes that taste like tomates. Delicious juicy chicken, then its topped with a garlic sour cream ( not your usual natural yoghurt garlic sauce) and an ever so slightly sweet tomato salsa. BAM!!! Kebab yumburgers.
Bung in a couple of crispy salty chips (yes I mean ships in the kebab) and wash down with icy cold beer. For Aus $12 for 2 Kebabs, 2 chips and 2 beers.

Estacion Doner Kebab. Corner Calle de Bailen & Carrer de Xativa,Valencia. (Right hand side of Valencia train station)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back to reality

Well the holiday is well and truly over :(
I'm back home in freezing cold Melbourne. My hope to keep you all updated on my adventures surely did fall by the wayside. What was I thinking...? With all the amazing food I ate and wonderful adventures we had, I would have to spend at least a couple of hours per day on the laptop. Unfortunately I chose more food and more adventures.
But fear not my friends, I will have the posts up as soon as I can. It was too wonderful not to share.

I mean who wouldn't want to read about drinking beers as big as your head...????  ha ha

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Is this the worlds biggest Vending Machine....???

One to remember

It's never usually an amazingly special dish, nor does it have to cost you an arm and a leg. I'm talking about those meals you sit down to, just expecting to enjoy and fill you up, and they end up being a meal you talk about for years......

Sagrada Familia
Jake and I had been doing the tourist thing all day. We visited Goudi's Sagrada familia church which just blew my socks right off!

Inside the church, listening to the Audio guides

The Roof

After a massive day of sightseeing and photo taking, one may find themselves famished, as we did! So I asked Jake what he felt like and he said he was hankering for some Mexican, as you do when your in Spain. 
So as we were walking it's as if the heavens parted and dropped a Mexican restaurant right on our toes.

Because we didn't want to over eat, Jake and I only ordered light ( ha ha..if you can believe it)

We ordered a Nachos, a Tasting plate and Tomato bread.
Now the tomato bread is your usual starter in Spain, and let me tell you its just fantastic. Toast some bread then squish the guts of a tomato all of it. Voila!!!

The Nachos didn't look like much, but they were so wonderful. The salsa was fresh and my favorite was the coriander sauce they drizzled over the plate.

The tasting plate consisted of amazing Jamon, manchego cheese, mixed olives and mini chorizos.
The Jamon speaks for itself really, or should. But if you've never had it, it is fatty, melt in the mouth heaven.
The cheese which was firm and slightly salty and went well with everything on the plate. The mini chorizos popped in your mouth and had delicious paprika flavour through them.
Now let me get to the olives...My absolute favorite were these wonderfully dark green olives, I have never seen them before in Australia nor did I see them again whilst in Spain. They were almost a forrest green. I should have asked the waiter what they were called. Never have I ever tasted olives like this. This is how all olives should taste. They had been marinated in a little garlic and fresh oregano and biting through them brought a smile to our faces.

Well thats what was left of our dinner...not much! Dont worry Jake did find room to polish off the last chorizo.

And was nice enough to pose for a photo.

I love Barcelona x xxx

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A taste for Tapas

My curiosity about the Tapas Bar begun with Anthony Bourdain in one of his Spanish episodes of 'No Reservations'. Its not a hard sell really, whats not to love about a local bar that sells ice cold beer and while your drinking your surrounded by amazing nibblies...??
Jake and I had been walking for a couple of hours and it was well past beer o'oclock when this little beauty fell from the clouds above. "Ahhhhhhhhh - cue the angels"

hmmmm what to order...?

'The Local'
What's not to love about this place, packed with locals, awesome interior, full to the brim with old memorabilia.

Tapas and Beer!
 Left- was Sardines and peppers. Right - Tuna and Olives.
So simple yet so bloody delicious! I could've kept ordering more more more, but one must draw the line dinner time was fast approaching.

Tapas Heaven!
I could definitely get used to this way of life..Eat...snack...Eat...snack...Eat...snack!!!

See I look like a local already.... :)
Maybe I could open up a little place like this back home......

Jamon Heaven - First day in Barcelona

I seriously thought I would have to search all day for the famous Xarcuteria (Charcutrie) shops that sold the wonderful, the sinful, the moorish Jamon. Spanish for 'Ham' There are usually 2 types of Jamon, Jamon Serrano meaning it comes from the mountains or Jamon Iberico which comes from the black Iberian pig. Yes very similar to Italian Proscuitto, but is aged longer and I think tastes soooo much nicer.
A master craftswoman at work
A free taste test...??? Dont mind If I dooooooo!

Jamon Heaven..........
Now for an Icy cold beer!!