Category Archives: Yummy Foods

Food Friday’s :: Orzo Salad

I love good food.  I love that meals often bring families and friends together.  I love that great conversations are often experienced around great food.  I love the tastes, smells and variety!  So, each Friday (I know this is a day late) I am going to post a favorite recipe!

This week – Orzo Salad! A favorite for me (and all my friends). I got this recipe for my great friend Amy and have made it often.  The best things: you can make it a head of time; its great leftovers & although it takes a little bit of time, its totally easy!

Ok…. the recipe!  Enjoy!!!

ORZO Salad

500g package uncooked orzo (3cups)
1/2c. white wine vinegar
1/4c. reg. or grainy mustard
2tbsp honey
2tsp salt
2/3c. olive oil
2c. frozen peas
1/2c. chopped fresh dill
4 green onions
6oz pkg baby spinach, chopped
1c. fresh grated parm. or crumbled feta

Cook orzo. In a small bowl, whisk vinegar with mustard, honey & salt.
Then, slowly whisk in oil. When orzo is cooked drain well and place in
large bowl.  Add half the dressing and stir to coat.  Refrigerate,
stirring occasionally to cool.  Cook peas in boiling water for 3
minutes, drain, then rinse under cold water to cool.  Chip dill,
spinach & onions.  When orzo is cool, stir in peas, onions, dill &
spinach   Pour remaining dressing over salda & stir well, just before
serving.  Sprinkle with cheese. Enjoy!!

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Barcelona :: Sangria

When you travel to Spain, everyone talks about sangria. Like I said earlier, I’ve not quite acquired the taste of wine, I didn’t have high expectations. The 1st night in Barcelona, we did have a pitcher and I didn’t drink much. After the wine tour it seemed better, and on our last night we decided that we should probably drink sangria and eat tapas.

We stopped at 4 places total – 4litres of sangria and yummy tapas. We laughed, and celebrated our time together and agreed that Barcelona was a successful stop on our Europe adventure.

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Barcelona :: Cooking Class

Monica was responsible for most of our planned activities in Barcelona, as you know, yesterday we did a wine tour, and tonight we attending a cooking class. I have never been to one, so truly had no idea what to expect, but my experience tonight is one of my favourites of the trip.

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We arrived at the class and had no idea what it was going to entail, what the kitchen would be like, how big/small the group would be, or any other details. When we arrived we were told that the class would be with 8 people, we were shown into a beautiful kitchen area where we would spend the evening. Starting off the evening right, we were offered wine (which flowed through the entirety of the glass) which is said to be the most important ingredient while cooking!

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Once everyone had arrived we made quick introductions and got the cooking underway. We were learning to cook (and later eating) 5 Spanish recipes: Tomato bread, Spanish omelet, soup, Paella, and crema Catalan. We were broken into groups for prep, and then all watched and helped as we cooked. Monica and Katie worked on the Paella, Katie made the tomato bread, and I made he crema Catalan (which is similar to a Creme brûlée… Phil I definitely am in need of a cooking torch!)

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As the evening rolled on, and as the wine continued, our friendships with those we were cooking its also changed, from casual acquaintances to friends who we laughed and shared a wonderful evening with. One couple was from Russia, one couple was from Australia, and we even had a local Barcelona guy in the group too, it was a perfect mix!

Chef Candido was fantastic to work with, he was very knowledgable, and shared many tips and tricks. He allowed us to be very hands on with our cooking experience and joined in the fun. He is passionate about cooking, and you can see that in how he conducts the class, how he interacts with each individual and truly makes everyone a part of the class.

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Finally, it was time to eat…

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After dinner, I was called back into cooking duty to finish off the crema Catalan. This is where it got fun, I was entrusted to use the kitchen torch! (Dad, don’t worry, my hands weren’t even shaking tonight!)

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After dessert, we visited and relished in the fabulous evening we had, as much as it would have been fun to stay, learn more recipes, the evening had come to an end. And what an evening it was.

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We walked home, laughing, enjoying the warm Barcelona evening, and are now ready for a good sleep. Tomorrow is our last day in the city, who knows what kind of adventures we’ll find next.

Adios!

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Europe :: Rome – The Spanish Steps

Our original plan was to head up to Verona today, but since we couldn’t find a good train/bus to get us there and back in time that was worth it, we decided to stay in Rome until our flight Friday. It was a beautiful day (we even wore shorts! Which was ok for the morning but we froze in the afternoon), so we decided to buy another bus pass to be able to get around the city. We first headed back out to Vatican City since we had seen lots of cute cafe’s which are great for breakfast and are we ever glad to have made that decision. As our bus was coming up to St. Peter’s we noticed that there was a large crowd and cheering, then we noticed screens and …. The pope! We didn’t get very close, but we did see him from afar, at St. Peter’s in Vatican City! That is very cool.

After this we found a nice looking breakfast spot, maybe too nice, and the menu had no English. We should have known to run. But we stayed, enjoyed, and then got our bill….. Um 72Euro, oh shoot, not what we expected. So since we used up our food budget for the day, it was good we were full.

Once the shock wore off of breakfast we hopped back on the bus to head to the Spanish Steps, which is another important place to see in Rome. It was quite busy down there, so we opted out of going up them, but instead roamed around the markets. I was excited to find a new charm for my bracelet to represent Rome!

I’d also like to mention that while riding the bus, I’ve realized that there are no road rules in Rome. No parking rules (as seen in the photo), there are no lines on the roads, traffic circles may have 2,3,4,5 lanes of traffic, Vespas and bikes sneak in wherever, buses use the gas full throttle, and the breaks just as hard too (must be careful of whiplash

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Europe :: Vatican City

First off, Katie reminded me of a funny encounter I forgot to post in Rome day 1.
While walking I set off a car alarm, Katie quickly ran away from me, laughing historically. I’m sure no one suspected anything.

So, yesterday, we went to Vatican City. First I should say that when we got ready it was nice, so, we obviously decided a) to wear canvas shoes and b) not bring our jackets. Brilliant. I think that since we decided not to dress prepared we tested the weather. We got on the top of the double decker bus, and about 10mins into our bus ride it started to rain. No big deal…. Until it started to pour. Our next thought was this wasn’t going to be so bad because once at the Vatican most things were inside.

Well, it wasn’t. We found a ‘skip the line tour’ that we had to walk 6 blocks to get our ticket in the rain. We did decide to buy an umbrella for the tour as to stay a little dry. We also though the most of the tour would be inside, since we were seeing the Sistine Chapel & St. Paul’s cathedral. But again, the joke was on us, because there are a lot of outside balconies where neat stuff is. But even though it rained, and we weren’t prepared for the 15000 steps we would take in a short time, it was amazing.

The Vatican City is its own little country. Has its own schools, hospital, stores etc. you even have to go through security to get in, the Swiss guards are there to guard all the entrances. The Vatican City also doesn’t pay taxes, me is one of the richest countries! Not like anyone can move there though, popes, their families, etc. We saw pope Benedict’s apartment from before he was elected pope, which was right across the street from the Vatican.

What I didn’t know, was that the collection of art in the Vatican was originally simply for the pleasure of the pope, including the Sistine chapel. Popes back then weren’t so kind as we see them today, Michael Angelo actually tried to refuse the job because he had never painted, but the pope made him come, the first time he was there he lived in the chapel for 5 years completing the ceiling. The second time was 4 years completing the painting at the front of the chapel. Each pope after would add to the collection, statues, old artifacts, marble sculptures, tapestries, and every detail is thought of. The floors are marble mosaics the walls are beautiful. Everything is incredible.

You see a lot before you even get to the Sistine chapel, and the anticipation grows. Once in there there is no talking an no cameras. And all I can say is it is amazing. It is impossible to take in all that is there and the beauty of it, and how amazing the techniques are especially for that time. It is huge, and amazing. We stayed in awe for quite a while, just admiring from everywhere you moved. Imply beautiful.

After the Sistine chapel, we went to St. Peter’s cathedral. Again, every detail is amazing, the walls, floors, ceiling, statues, everything, it was amazing to see in person. It is the biggest church in the world and the 2nd biggest dome in the world. The 2nd biggest church is the Santa Maggiore which we saw on Monday.

The bus ride home was much dryer – well it wasn’t raining, the bus was still wet, and the floor was flooded, which caused me to sit with my legs up. Katie thought it was funny, but my feet had been through enough, so she felt it was necessary to document this.

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