Friday, July 29, 2011

Menu for the week

BLT sandwiches/Gazpacho
Grilled chicken breast with harissa/herb quinoa/pan roasted veggies
Spaghetti al Pomodoro/Rolls
Eggplant Parmesan/Salad

Breakdown:

Kroger $22
Aldi $16
Costco $17
Trader Joe's $7

Continuing with the using-the-Summer-veggies-from-our-garden series, this week I made this:
Gazpacho is one of my favorite summer foods. It is a salad in a bowl. Every single vegetable going in the soup has been grown in our garden. So good and refreshing. Here is the recipe I learned from my cousins when we visited them in Southern Spain a few years back.

4 large tomatoes cut in large cubes
2 medium cucumbers cut in large cubes
1 large green pepper cut in large cubes
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
Couple of slices of bread, soaked in a little bit of water (I use old bread that I freeze for making gazpacho and bruschetta)
A good drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a blender, blend the tomatoes, cucumbers, green pepper and bread until smooth with the red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Give the blender another whirl and drizzle some olive oil. Put the mixture through a strainer to get rid of any fiber. Refrigerate.

I like to make a big batch (2 quarts or so) and have it ready to go in the refrigerator for a light lunch or afternoon snack. I like to top my gazpacho with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and a drizzle of olive oil.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hallgrímskirkja reflections

You can't miss her... You can literally see her from everywhere in the city


Situated in the centre of Reykjavík, Hallgrímskirkja is one of the city's best-known landmarks and is visible throughout the city (as you can see above). I have lots more pictures of Hallgrímskirkja that I want to share with you. I will be posting them soon.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mexican style corn on the cob

Sweet corn is everywhere these days. Take advantage of the peak-of-the-season prices and take some home. I'm going to share with you a very delicious way to eat it:

In one bowl mix 3 tbsp of mayonnaise and 2 tsp of lime juice. In another bowl mix 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp ground red pepper, 1/4 tsp ground cumin and 1/8 tsp salt. Grill 4 ears of corn (shucked) until tender (about 10 to15 minutes), then glaze the corn with the mayonnaise mixture and sprinkle the spices on them.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Why did the spider cross the road?

Duh? to get to the other side...
Isn't she creepy?... We found her on the road, when we were on our way out of the Monterverde Preserve... Am I glad I don't live in those mountains... Just the thought of encountering one of those in the backyard gives me the creeps...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pictures from the weekend

Hi there! Did you have a good weekend? Here are some pictures of our weekend...
We drove to the town of Social Circle for some blueberry picking... Almost end of the season!!!

The bushes were full of delicious berries


Who would have thought picking blueberries could be so exhausting?
We picked a total of 10 lbs... You better believe I am going to be busy making all kinds of blueberry goodies... Stay tuned for that.
After picking our berries we headed to Blue Willow Inn for a delicious Southern lunch
We headed home with our bellies full and happy to have spent a wonderful summer day

Friday, July 22, 2011

Menu for the week

Shrimp Po'Boys/Salad
Cannellini bean soup/Panzanella (thanks Caroline for the Panzanella idea... another great way to use all of our summer veggies and some of that day-old bread)
Tortellini with bacon, mushrooms, peas in a creamy sauce/Salad
Fish tacos with mango salsa/Rice and beans

Breakdown:

Aldi $17
Kroger $29
Costco $7

So excited about this weekend, a little outing is in the works (with a big portion of Southern food on the side), lots of soccer watching, maybe some baking and if I have time (or energy) some yard working

Happy weekend everybody!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Meet the other Miss V

I was diligently working on my pictures from Costa Rica (the scrapbooks are piling up, friends...) when I came across this picture:

We met this little girl when we were getting provisions in a local supermarket in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. She heard the husband speaking English with the kids when she decided to make a comment and show us how good her English was (really good actually). She was so friendly, she stayed with us the whole time we were at the store. On our way out I decided to ask for her name... And what do you know?  Her name is the same as Miss V!!! Of course, I had to take a picture of the two V's... Two little girls from two different countries but with a lot more in common than meets the eye...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bruschettas

Sometimes I like to go to the store after the kiddos go to bed. Late at night I have the store all to myself and something I have noticed is that my local supermarket marks down a lot of their stuff. Case in point, the breads that have been baked earlier in the day. I can find bagettes for 45 cents (when thay are usually marked at $2). I know what you are saying, but they are not fresh! Well, I buy them with the purpose of making Bruschetta...
You see, the key to making bruschetta is old bread. Here is how I do it:

Slice your day-old bread (If I buy several loaves I freeze them already sliced so they are ready for when I want to make some Bruschetta) and grill it until the slices are a little charred on both sides. Peel a garlic clove and rub it on the charred bread slices. In a bowl combine cubed tomatoes, torn basil, salt and pepper. Top off a slice of toasted bread with the tomato mixture and drizzle with really good olive oil.

A perfect summer accompaniment for a light dinner of soup or salad. It is also a great appetizer for your next summer soiree...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Our homes away from home

Want a peek at the places we stayed during our vacation? Yes? OK, here we go...

Our quintessential Scandinavian retreat

With our very own Glacier next door
The ultra chic apartment in Reykjavik

And lastly, our Brownstone apartment in the Upper West side of New York City

If you want any information on any of these rentals please let me know. I will be glad to pass the info to you.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Menu for the week

Black bean soup/Salad
Ribollita/Salad
Pizza on the grill with vegetable toppings from our garden/Salad
Arroz con pollo (rice and chicken Spanish style)/Salad

Breakdown:

Aldi $26
Kroger $15
Costco $23

Have I told you I can't get enough of the veggies from our garden? I love them so much. They are keeping me on my toes since we have had a steady production and I don't want them to go to waste...
I will be making some Freezer Cucumbers to take advantage of the crazy amount of cucumbers we have. Try them, they are oh so great!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Through their eyes - New York City Edition

Eating Zabar's bagels (babkas, rugelach, etc) for breakfast... Everyday...
Visiting Lady Liberty at Liberty Island
Visiting MoMA
Walking the Brooklyn Bridge
Visiting Central Park - we had a picnic with friends, attended 2 concerts, walked everywhere and took a pedicab ride. Just lovely
Eating Arepas (and so much more!) at Caracas Arepa Bar in the East Village (What a treat friends... If you go to NYC, you must go to Caracas... It is awesome!)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Through their eyes - Icelancic Edition

Here it is friends... A look through my kiddos eyes...

A boat tour on the glacier lagoon of Jökulsárlón
Taking a dip in a geothermal pool. The water from the Icelandic pools are taken from geothermal hot springs. The pools are set to different temperatures and are perfect for chatting with the locals and relieving stress after a day of sightseeing. They are different from a natural geothermal hot spring - See below.
Getting a facial in the Blue Lagoon
Getting a tour of the Geothermal plant of Orkuverið Jörð (Power Plant Earth)
A boat trip for whale and puffin watching
Taking a trip through time to see the way Icelandic settlers lived at the Viking Festival
Seeing Geysir shoot up
Tomorrow... New York City...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Time for a change

My dreams of living vicariously through the hair of my daughter are over (for now, anyway)
She is done with the long hair (She came to this realization while in Iceland. We forgot the detangling spray so she had to make do without... Not a happy little girl...) She decided it was not worth the trouble and requested to get her hair cut when we got home... All in the name of practicality... After all, she is her mother's daugther...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Menu for the week

Gumbo/Salad
Chicken Teriyaki/fried rice
Red bean soup/Salad
Kibbe served on pita bread/Tabouleh

Breakdown:

Aldi $19
Kroger $28
Costco $30

Our menu this week is like a trip around the world... Have a happy weekend everybody...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hanging in there

The fruit edition
Cashews (Did you know that the cashew nut is inside the seed of the fruit?)

Avocados and bananas


Mangoes

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The breakfast project

And a very happy Independence Day, Icelandic style...

Background: We happened to be in Iceland on their Independence day. We were spending the day in West Iceland when we stopped for a mid afternoon snack in a very small town. The Cafe was full with locals. They were having an Independence Day party. The beautiful Cafe was decked out with flags and they were serving a traditional Independence Day dessert with coffee and hot chocolate: pancakes with whipped cream and blueberries (their version is more like crepes).
Yummy, Yes?

Well, in honor of our Independence Day I decided to recreate it and share the recipe with you... So you too can enjoy a little piece of Icelandic culture even though we are celebrating America's Independence Day...

So for breakfast, on the 4th of July, we partook of this delicious dish. A word of warning though, this a special treat, we will not be enjoying this dish on a regular basis... not that friendly to the waistline... Just thought I'd tell you...

For the pancakes:

1 cup flour
2/3 cup cold milk
2/3 cup cold water
3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for brushing on pan

Directions:
  1. Mix all ingredients until smooth in a blender or with a whisk. Refrigerate.
  2. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Brush with melted butter.
  3. Pour in 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter into the center of the pan and then tilt the pan in all directions to cover the bottom evenly. Cook about 1 minute, or until browned on the bottom. Turn and cook briefly on the other side.
  4. Cool on a plate as you finish making the rest.
To serve:
Whipped cold whipping cream with some powder sugar (adjust to your liking) until soft picks forms. Add a dollop to an unfolded pancake, then add some fresh blue berries. Fold in half and then in half again.

Another way to eat it (my children's favorite) is to sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar before you take your pancake off the pan. Roll the pancake like a cigar...
Enjoy!