Monday, December 31, 2012

NYE in Spain...Twelve Grapes, Twelve Wishes



Perhaps the most famous of all Spanish holiday traditions is the New Year's Eve tradition of Las doce uvas de la suerte or The Twelve Grapes of Luck. With each chime of midnight (based on the clock tower in Puerto del Sol in Madrid), Spaniards eat one grape with the beat of each bell. This is said to promise good luck into the new year.

And for many Spaniards and gringas (like me) alike, each grape eaten encompasses a wish or hope for the new year.

Here in the States, where time is counted in seconds, it's tough to properly space out your grape consumption, but as long as you eat your last grape before 12:01, you should be good to go.

Think about your twelve wishes. Are they for you? For your family? For the world? Visualize your perfect 2013.



As 2012 is washed away, and 2013 takes its place, what changes will you make to create a better life for yourself? For your family? For our world?

Happy New Year, friends. Wishing you much joy in 2013 and always.

Muchos besos.



Friday, December 28, 2012

Wedding Dress Shopping: Friday Flashback

Happy Friday, friends!

One year ago today, I ventured out with my mom on a most memorable rite of passage. . . the search for my wedding dress.

And on this day, one year ago, I found it.


I said yes to the dress.

 
And I would again.
 
 
 
 
 


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Yum! Sugar Free Chocolate Chip Cookies!


A snowy day here in New England means some shoveling and some baking. Lucky for me, that means some much needed, post-holiday exercise and a sugar-free (and butter-free) treat.

I used Hershey's sugar-free chocolate chips (I get them at Walmart) and brown and white Splenda. The recipe is on the back of the bag. The recipe calls for butter, but I used Smart Balance sticks. And you could probably sub out some of the flour and add something like oatmeal. I will definitely try that next time.

Overall, the cookies are delicious. They're not overly sweet. They hold their shape; they don't spread and flatten. I will definitely make these again, but experiment a bit and try to make them with less flour and maybe add some PB2 for some low-fat, peanuty flavor and some extra protein.


Two thumbs up for this girl . . .and hubs loves them too. A win-win.

7 Things x 2013

If building a new habit for 30 days is not your thing, check out this site. My love for my husband, my love of lists and my love of the New Year have collided. The Day 0 Project is a list-lover's personal nirvana, or, I guess, Kryptonite, depending on how you look at it. In addition to their 101 Things in 1001 Days, they have a resolution list, 7 Things x 2013.

Here's how it works. You fill in the blank with your personal to-do list:

1. Learn how to . . .
2. Start . . . .
3. Stop . . .
4. Take a vacation to . . .
5. Find . . . .
6. Try . . . .
7. Be more . . .


Now, are you up for a love challenge? You could mix it up a bit . . .

1. Learn how to . . .cook my partner's favorite comfort food.

2. Start . . . .a random act of romance once a week or once a day.

3. Stop . . .the self doubt. . . .rock your inner sex goddess/god and play!

4. Take a vacation to . . . the first place you went on a date.

5. Find . . . at least 30 minutes each day to talk face to face to your partner. No texting. No tv. No phones. No computers. No interruption.

6. Try . . .something new in the bedroom. Spice it up. Start small or go big. Break out of the norm and see what happens.

7. Be more . . .appreciative of what your partner does right. It's easy to see what irritates us, but what does he or she do that makes you smile? Makes your knees go weak? Make you feel loved?


The possibilities are endless. We made it past the end of the world. . . what a gift. Not everyone made it; not because of the Mayans, but because his or her life was cut too short. This is your time. This is your year. Make 2013 a year to remember. You're worth it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2013...the 30 Day Challenge




Christmas is behind us once again. I can't say that I am terribly disappointed. Christmas is ok, but New Year's is what I am really excited about. It's a new start. A rebirth. Reinvention. Anything you want it to be. . . it's a blank page.

Not sure where to start? Start here . . .


Let's make 2013 your year!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Five . . .Thinking about Christmas

It's the Friday before Christmas. Today, December 21st, is the solstice, the end of the Mayan calendar and the longest night of the year. And we're still here.


But now, the final pre-holiday weekend crunch arrives. And it's today, my last day before the holiday break, when I can truly start to think about Christmas.

When I think of Christmas I think of . . .

1. Ornaments

After my husband and I began dating, I began collecting Christmas ornaments from the places we traveled. We now have a nice assortment of mementos from places we explored on weekend getaways, as well as from grand locales around the world. We also have milestone ornaments, like for our first Christmas together (and one for every year thereafter) and now that we're married, special "Just Married" ornaments.  We continue to build our collection each year because Christmas is a nice occasion to recall and reflect on the amazing life we have been blessed to live.



2. Tourtiere

Christmas Eve isn't Christmas Eve without pork pie. Some call it tourtiere; others call it meat pie. Regardless of the name or the inclusion of potatoes, this flavorful treat warms the hearts and fills the bellies of French Canadians and their families every year.


3. Rockefeller Center


Yes, there are millions of people. Yes, it's cold. And yes, the lines to skate at Rockefeller Center seem eternal. But, this pilgrimage makes it worth the wait. If you're lucky enough to score tickets, you can make a weekend out of it and see the Rockettes as well. And if you're too far from the Big Apple, play tourist in your own city and see the best of what home has to offer.


4. Charlie Brown's Christmas


When I hear Vince Guaraldi, I know it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Everyone has a favorite, and for me, it's Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang. 

The dance party is fabulous! What's your stock dance move?


5. A Christmas Carol
Whether we read it or watch it, it's hard to beat Dickens' classic.



Merry Christmas, friends! God bless us, everyone!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fear? Yup . . .It's All Good

I'm leading a blessed life. I have a wonderful husband who is my best friend and  my true soul mate, as well as my life partner. I have a great family, a job I love and friends I adore. I have the opportunity to become well educated, and I have some amazing opportunities to travel.

Yes, I have been blessed. But some of these blessings have resulted from risk. And with risk comes fear.

Much to the dismay of my mother, I've always been the one to test the limits on what she would consider normal behavior.

Whether it be skydiving, shark cage diving, dog sledding, embarking on trans-Atlantic solo travel, or even tackling major weight loss . . . fear may have always been there.

But so what?

What's the alternative, I would ask? 

 
At times, fear of unknown can be a tough obstacle to overcome. But life is so precious, so short . . .why live with what ifs? 

Yes, it's scary. But so is regret.

Start small.

Venture away for the weekend. Explore your capital city. Get a passport. Roam as much as time and money allows. Try a new gym class, a cooking class, a dance class, or try to learn a new language.

Every day is a new opportunity. Make it yours.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Gift Guide: Travel Lover's Must Haves

This is it . . .crunch time. If you have a travel lover on your list and you're stumped for what to get, here's five great last minute gift ideas that will work well.

For their tree . . .a passport ornament.


For their rainy weekends at home . .  .travel inspired movies like . . .



 
 
Or Before Sunrise (Vienna), Before Sunset (Paris), Under the Tuscan Sun, Vicki Christina Barcelona, To Rome with Love, or even Eat, Pray Love. There are so many flicks to feed the wanderlust. Escape, even if only for a couple of hours.
 


For the suitcase . . .packing cubes

For the hostel, or questionable hotel . . .a sleep sack


For when you're not sure about that last shirt or pair of jeans . . .a luggage scale


 And finally . . .one extra for good measure . . . for feeding the perpetual wanderlust . ..  



 Salud!

Date Night . . .Kenny G?

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love went with me . . to hear, not four colly birds, but one other lovely song bird . . .Kenny G.

What was billed as a holiday show, in reality, turned into an musical improv night set to the soundtrack of the Kenny G classics, peppered with only a few holiday classics.



The weather outside was frightful, but the inside was steamy with hot sax. It was a good night.



Thursday, December 13, 2012

Remembering the Dreamer: John Lennon in A Coruña

This week, on December 8th, marked the 32nd anniversary of the death of John Lennon. 

Here's a picture of a monument to Lennon in coastal A Coruña, Galicia, in the northwest corner of Spain.

 





There are dreamers everywhere.

Here's to the dreamer.
 

On the first date of Christmas . . .

When you don't have children, creating holiday traditions that don't involve kids can be a challenge. We may not be involved in a manic mission for toys, or scouring the house for the latest location of the stealthy Elf on the Shelf, but nonetheless, we look forward to honoring the winter holidays with a little romantic playtime of our own.

And so begins the Dates of Christmas.

Technically, the 12 Days of Christmas falls after the Christmas holiday, and for those of Latin heritage, like my husband, the 12 days build to the Día de los Tres Reyes Magos or Three Kings Day  . . .the Epiphany for his gringa wife.

But this American girl is craving the excitement that builds toward the Christmas holiday.

And so we begin. Now, here's a disclaimer . . .this is in no way a pledge to craftily devise a romantic date for twelve consecutive nights. If I did not work outside the home, and if the planets perfectly aligned and life occured as perfectly as I planned, then maybe . . .but life is not perfect. We do the best we can. And so, on this first date of Christmas, I cooked.

The first day of Christmas may have delivered a partridge in a pear tree, but for my Cariño, this first romantic date of Christmas consisted of muchos besos (many kisses) and dinner for two--chicken with pears and goat cheese.


This was so fast and easy and yummy. Forgive my Droid photo. I'll get better at this . . . Here's what you do.

Chicken with Pears & Goat Cheese
  • BS Chicken Breasts (That's boneless, skinless BTW) I split them to make them thinner. You could use tenderloins or even chop it into nugget size pieces. This also works well with thinly sliced pork chops.
  • Seasoned flour*
  • 2 Ripe Pears, chopped. You could apples as well. But the pear . . . you know . .  . it fits the pear tree motif.
  • One medium onion, chopped (if you like onion)
  • Splash of OJ (you could use stock or broth if you want--it's just to help make a bit of a sauce)
  • Crumbled Goat Cheese (4-8 oz)
  • Slivered or Sliced  Raw Almonds (2-3 oz.)

1. *Mix some flour with salt and pepper to taste. I also sprinkled in cinnamon and a bit of nutmeg, some tarragon and some thyme.

2. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture. You could coat with egg first if you want. It makes it more like a cutlet. Your choice.

3. Use a bit of olive oil, or spray . . .your choice. Brown the chicken and then put it on a plate for a bit.

4.  Sweat out your onion. Add your fruit. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the splash of OJ. Add your chicken back in. Let it simmer about 15 minutes, or until it's all done.

5. Sprinkle with goat cheese.

6. While that's simmering, put dry almonds in a dry skillet. Put heat on medium and shake nuts around to toast. Be careful; they can get away from you quickly and when it's too late, it's too late. They're gone.

7. Sprinkle your perfectly toasted nuts over the top and voila!

Tonight, I also had some leftover spinach, so I mixed that in with the fruit while it was cooking. I served mine with couscous. Quinoa works well too. Or rice. Whatever you like.

Bon provecho!




Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12.12.12

12.12.12 . . .It's Tom Brady Day!

And for everyone else, Patriots fans and non-fans alike, it's a day for wishes.

Today at 12:12 p.m. on 12.12.12, hopefuls around the world closed their eyes and wished their little hearts out. Myself included.

But after I emerged from my wish-induced bliss, it got me thinking. How is a wish different from something I can achieve for myself? And why am I leaving my wishes, what my heart desires most, to a hopeful strike of good luck?



Some people wish for the unattainable. Maybe it's something that is just not possible or plausible, either medically, financially or otherwise.

But for many of us, we wish for all that our heart desires. And when you start to break that down, how much of what we desire is within our own control?

And if it is within our own control, how do we go about achieving it? Do we work for it or do we leave it to the wish granters of the universe, who may magically deliver it to our front door?

I say, go for it. Grab that wish by the horns and show it who's boss.

Make a list. What are your wishes?

Break that down. What do you want now? What can you do this week? This month? This year? Within five years? Before you make your celestial transfer? (as my dad would say)

Pick one at a time. Plan your action steps. One step at a time. One wish at a time.

Clearly, it would be grand for the universe to deliver all that our hearts desire, but more often than not, we're going to have to help the universe along.

On this 12th day of the 12th month in the 12th year of the millennium, what can YOU do to bring about all your own heart's desires?

And then on the next 12:12 or 11:11 or your lucky number of choice, instead of making a wish for the seemingly impossible, give thanks to the universe for the power you have within yourself to make your own wishes come true.

Happy 12.12.12.




Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Flashback . . .I said YES!

Spending Thanksgiving home with our families this year gave my husband and me plenty of time to reflect on the wonderful life we have and the amazing places we've been and seen together. And, it was the perfect opportunity to feed our insatiable wanderlust with travel guides and marathons of House Hunters International.

One of the places that we've been that will always be extraordinarily special is Paris. It was one year ago this week, on the 27th to be exact, that my sweet husband asked told asked me to be his wife. And of course, here we are . . .I said YES.

So today, I remember Paris, the City of Lights and our forever City of Love.

Yes, we have a lock here.


There were plenty of opportunities to ask me here . . .


And everywhere else we went,

but he waited until our last morning in Paris,

and in a little cafe in a little street market, over cafe au lait, he asked.


And I, with my cliched, teary response, said YES! And with all my heart, I still say YES, each and every day.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

There are big buts and I cannot lie . . .

What did you want to do this year that just never got done? What were you hoping to start that got pushed onto the back burner? What got in your way? Was it your but?

The end is near. The downhill of the holiday roller coaster is upon us and we are fast approaching the January 1st whiplash turn, or, if the Mayans are right, the end of the world. For many, it's a time to reflect and reassess . . .to set new goals and banish bad habits.

Change is fabulous. It's a way to start fresh and plan for the future. But, one challenge that continues to superimpose its face into the windows of our dreams is our but . . . .the "Yeah, but . . ."  And it's a big one. Big butts may be fine for some folks, but when these buts stand in the way of our dreams, it's time to trim the fat and show them who's boss.

For example, when my husband and I contemplate our desire to travel around-the-world travel, the "Yeah, buts" shake their tail feather right in the face of our dream:

Yeah, I want to travel, but . . .
  • how will we afford this?
  • how will we find the time to do this?
  • our parents are getting older, and you know we can't trust your/my brother(s) to take care of them.
  • what about our retirement income?
  • what happens if we give up our job/house/car and we can't find/get another one easily?
  • what about our friends and family? How will we stay in touch? Our nieces and  nephews are so young. . .will they think we've abandoned them? Forgotten them?
  • what about health insurance? What if we get sick/hurt?
  • what about language barriers? 
  • what about crime? What if it's dangerous?
  • can we make money on the road?
  • what if we lose our passport? get mugged? get killed?




There's countless others that pop up as quickly as one disappears. And many of them are valid. And many become excuses.

When contemplating big change, can you plan enough or can you over-plan? Is there a right time? Can you just throw caution to the wind and just do it?

As 2013 nears, these questions (and more) become knockers on the door of my brain, like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory...

Kelly (knock, knock, knock)
Kelly (knock, knock, knock)
Kelly (knock, knock, knock)
Answer me (knock, knock, knock)
Answer me (knock, knock, knock)
Answer me.

You get the point.



But then there's the wonderful changes that change brings. When it comes to travel, the benefits are endless . . .and when you're blessed to be able to do it with the one you love, what is there to stop you? Only your big but. And maybe a few logistics.

But (here it is again) we're only here for a short time. Do we want our time here to be spent tied to a job/mortgage/debt/lifestyle that keeps us from who we are truly meant to be?

So yes, there are questions and challenges. And there always will be. But, if you don't take a chance on your dream of choice, what's left?

 
 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Married for Six Months...Six Reasons Why

Six months ago, I said, "I do" to the most wonderful man I never knew I always wanted.


Five years and six months ago, I met a man who would forever change my world. He holds my heart as well as he holds my hand. Here are only six reasons why I love him.

1. He loves me. Simply. Completely.

2. He is a patient and respectful man. He never raises his voice in anger. He never rushes me along. He inspires me to be a more patient and tolerant person myself.

3. He always pulls for the underdog. Through his work, he helps many who, for many, through no fault of their own, need a voice to speak up for what is right. My husband gives them their voice.

4. He is my other half . . .the yang to my yin . . .my partner in crime. I am his co-pilot, his first mate. I have married my best friend.

5. He makes me feel beautiful and sexy, even when I have to simply take his word for it.

6. There is no one with whom I would rather travel the world. Or go to the grocery store.

Neither of us are perfect. But we are perfect for each other. Amor para siempre.



Friday, November 16, 2012

Healthy Peanut Butter Cups...Quest Protein's Cravings Line...My New Craving!

My favorite protein bar brand, Quest Protein Bars has launched a new line called Cravings, which, I think, is intended to be a replacement for the treats that those of us with a sweet tooth, may try to avoid. As of now, there are two:

The crunch bar alternative . . .



And the pb cup alternative . . .
 

They ran a special through Facebook and I was able to order a box of each prototype.

They are fabulous!

Both are incredibly rich and the flavors are very authentic. The cups are actually a bit too rich for me to eat both at once, but each flavor will be a welcomed alternative treat at the movies, or for when I just need want that bit of chocolaty decadence.

As of now, they have officially released only the cups. But the entire line of protein bars is fabulous! And they finally sell in stores. As per the website, they now are sold in GNC and in Vitamin Shoppe.

Thank you, Quest, for making protein such a tasty treat!


London...Friday Photo Flashback

Hello, friends! Recently, Thanksgiving has been a time for travel for us, but this year, we're staying put. Thanksgiving at home is bittersweet. We love our families, but we also love to travel, and Europe in the fall is simply lovely. So today, I  am digging through the photo gallery for a Friday Photo Flashback.

Off we go . . .to London . . .



First stop . . . Trafalgar Square and The National Gallery of Art. The sun was setting when I took this picture. I like the post-card-like quality of the shot.

 
Westminster Abbey was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. As an English teacher, seeing Poets' Corner was especially exhilarating for me, matched only by seeing the Globe Theatre. And, knowing the history makes it all come to life. A true field trip of a lifetime.
 

 
The iconic Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. What a treat! When you go, just for fun, call someone near the time Big Ben is set to chime.


Perhaps the highlight of the entire trip, was seeing my all time favorite show, Les Miserables, in London, where it all started. AND, as if that wasn't good enough, I was lucky enough to score second row seats . . .in the pit. Thank you, Expedia.


No trip to London is complete without some foodie fun. In addition to the hundreds of comfy gastro pubs and amazing Indian cafes, the food halls at Harrod's is a must see for any food enthusiast.

Of course, London has so much to see and so many photo-ops to be had. Seeing St. Paul's Cathedral, the London Eye, the Tower of London (with the Crown Jewels) and Buckingham Palace is a must on any tour of the city. And a Jack-the-Ripper tour offers some creepy, nighttime fun.

So, that's it . . .this week's Friday Photo Flashback. Off to check airfares for an adventure in 2013. . . that is, if the Mayans were wrong. Here's hoping. Cheers!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's Always Monday Morning, Even on Tuesday

Everyone has a favorite holiday. For many, it's Thanksgiving because it's all about the food and family, without the pressure of shopping for gifts.

For others, it's all things Christmas . . .the lights, the carols, the wrapping. Well, maybe not the wrapping...

And then there's the Halloween lovers, who revel in black cats, witches on broomsticks and miniature extortionists who demand candy as payment for the threat of neighborhood mischief-making.

For me, it's all about New Year's Day. I love January 1st. For a long time, I would go to the beach and cleanse my hands in the frigid New England Atlantic in reflection and atonement for the sins of the past year. January makes me giddy with excitement of all that can be. It's a new slate on which I can write my goals, hopes and dreams for the future.

Like New Year's Day, Monday mornings bring a similar excitement. Every Monday is a chance to start anew. Diets typically start on Mondays, a detox from the culinary debauchery of the weekend before. Workouts are popular Monday activities, with the vow that this would be the one, the time for you to get your fitness on. Meatless Monday seems to be a given, but what about Tofu Tuesday? Just kidding...

But what I've learned is that it's all about readiness. And readiness can happen on a Tuesday as well as on a Monday. Or a Wednesday. Or even a Friday.

Ground zero is ground zero. Babies aren't born only on Mondays; why should your life begin again only on a Monday? Every day is ground zero. Every day is a new day to plan and achieve your goals.

What is it you want to do? What's stopping you? Are you ready? I mean, really ready? Only you know. And no one can force you. You have to want it for you. Wanting it for someone else is nice, but you need to want it for you. It is all about you. Accept it. Embrace it.

Achieving a goal, whether it's a goal related to weight loss, fitness, education, your career, travel, you name it . . .it all takes time. And planning. And commitment. 

Every life is gifted with only so many Monday mornings. What if you ran out of Mondays? 








I'm not saying that Monday is a bad day to start anything. Monday makes a lot of sense. But don't put it off thinking there's always next Monday. There could be, but then you've lost a week. What is stopping your success from starting on a Thursday?

I don't need to tell you . . . life is short. We are bombarded with that message every day. As my mom always says, tomorrow is promised to no one.

Today is your Monday morning. Even though it's Tuesday. Make it count.

 




Saturday, November 10, 2012

Social Media, Here We Come!

Beso A Lovely Life, Indeed is on Twitter, Facebook,  Pinterest, and Instagram. Check it out, like the page, follow boards, give a shout out, spread the word. Thanks. See you soon!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Talking About Infertility: Redefining the Baby . . .an Epiphany

I am barren, as in the Biblical sense. While I am only 41, I am in the full throes of menopause, complete with hot flashes, mood swings, and all of the wild rumpus that accompanies the "change" . . . approximately ten years earlier than most of my peers.

[Insert 3-letter acronym here.]

This was a tough diagnosis. While it was suspected for quite some time, confirmation provided an immediately unwelcomed sense of closure. It would not be impossible (until I had no period for a year) but it would be highly unlikely. The idea that I would never bear a child took my breath away. For a while, I lost my sense of value, my sense of purpose. I felt broken and betrayed, feeling like I was less of a woman because my barren body would never produce fruit. I was profoundly devastated and incredibly enraged.

As I wrestled with my anger, I prayed for a sense of meaning. And for forgiveness for the terrible things I said and thought.

Perhaps I am grasping at straws, but I may have achieved some closure. The fruit we would bear would not be of the human variety, but fruit that sweetens our lives as a couple, fruit that enriches us, body and soul.

My definition of baby was starting to shift. Whether the paradigm shift generated from self-preservation or self-actualization, I will never know. But it's there.

I am 41. My love for children is no less, but my desire to parent may have faded. Maybe it's natural. Women younger than me have children for a reason.

I have so blessings in my life. My husband and I are happily married. I love spending time with him and pursuing our own interests, which mostly involve travel. We are both lucky to have good jobs that we love. We have nieces and nephews that we adore, and we also love the freedom afforded to us by a childfree life.

But this doesn't mean that we're "baby" free.

We hear others call pet projects their "baby" all the time. They take great pains into nurturing their new business or personal goals they set for themselves. Like a baby, it changes and develops and develops new needs. As time goes on, the demands may be less and tasks may be delegated in a way that infancy didn't allow.

I understand that the value of human life trumps any business or pet project. However, for the person or couple who, either by choice or by chance, have not become parents in the traditional sense, this definition or redefinition of purpose, is no less important.

And their lives . . . our lives. . . . are no less full or meaningful because of our lack of offspring.

Our fruit is our lives in love, always fresh and always sweet . . .not a human fruit, but no less treasured.



Monday, November 5, 2012

Undecided?

As part of National Blogging Month, the kind folks of BlogHer have provided novice and veteran bloggers alike, a month of writing prompts to help generate the creative juices.

It's not difficult to understand why today's prompt deals with tomorrow's election. It is a big deal. And it's important that we all vote. It really is our responsibility as a citizen of democracy.

But, if you're still undecided, this website may help clear it up. I Side With is an interactive quiz that, based on your responses, will align you with the candidate who most reasonably parallels your thinking.

I took the quiz and was curiously optimistic about the results. Try it. And if you're sure, try it anyway. You may be surprised, or nodding with the acknowledgement that they got it right.

Regardless, it's Monday. Thanksgiving is about two weeks away and we're blessed with the opportunity, as well as charged with the responsibility, to voice our choice for our next leaders.

That is a big deal. Please vote.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Tortilla Española: Comfort Food, Spanish Style

My mother-in-law is a Spaniard. She is also an amazing cook. One of my first experiences with her cooking, and a dish in which I now take pride, is the national dish of Spain . . .

No, it's not paella . . .


Tortilla española. This simple, delicious staple of Spanish cuisine can be found on the menu of every restaurant in Spain, every tapas menu here in the States and in the belly of just about every Spaniard at least once a week.


It doesn't get much simpler . . .comfort food at its best. It starts with eggs and potatoes. But then the magic happens. And by magic, I mean all of the other ingredients you can add to change up the flavor, like onion, garlic and pepper (as seen above) or chorizo (Spanish sausage).

And, technically, it doesn't even have to be made with potato. You can use leftover rice or even polenta. It's easy, it's hearty, and it's all muy delicioso.

Serve it with a simple salad drizzled with good Spanish olive oil and a sprinkling of salt, a piece of rustic bread, a glass of rioja and you're good to go.

Here's one link for a recipe and here's another. 

Bon provecho!
 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Paris...Friday Photo Flashback

While most people associate November with Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving with home, we think of November as a time to hit the road and see the world.

For this first Friday Flashback, we go back to Paris, a city of love. I say "a" city of love and not "the" city of love because any city you spend with someone you love becomes a city of love.

We stayed in the 7th arrondissement, the area of the Eiffel Tower and Musee D'Orsay. Here's our first picture we took as a couple in Paris, taken by a stranger as we explored the neighborhood on our first night in the city.


As the blog continues, there will be many more pictures and tales from our travels here in the States and abroad. We are blessed to have seen all that we have. And Friday Flashbacks are a nice way to remember those blessings with a smile and a warm heart.

Thanks for joining us

Thursday, November 1, 2012

And so we begin . . .


November is a big month.
 
In addition to being the start of National Novel Writing Month, Write Non-Fiction NOW and National Blogging Month, it’s also a big month for me.

It’s the month I do a mini vacation (to Europe for the last three years) and it’s the month my sweet husband asked told me to marry him.

So it seems appropriate that I choose November 1st as the birthday of my new blog.
 
Plus, I promised my students that I would give this November writing challenge a try. And what kind of a teacher would I be to inspire my students to embark on a challenge that I was not willing to take myself?

And so we begin. Welcome!