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Chorizo-Filled Dates Wrapped in Bacon

This easy and super pop-pop-popular tapa has only three ingredients and takes only a couple of minutes to throw together.

3 ingredients

Sometimes the Spanish chorizo can be difficult to find. I found it at Cost Plus World Market.

Chorizo Filled Dates  in Bacon

Chorizo-Filled Dates Wrapped in Bacon

Spanish chorizo sausage, casing removed
14 Medjool dates, pitted
7 slices thick-cut bacon, halved crosswise

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

pit

Make an incision in one side of each date and remove the pit. Discard the pits and set aside the pitted dates.

Cut the chorizo sausage into 14 little sticks about twice the size of the pits you removed.

stuff with chorizo

Tuck a chorizo stick into each date and pinch the dates closed. Wrap a half strip of bacon around each date and secure with a toothpick.

stuff

 

 

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April 23, 2014   1 Comment

paella

some tapas

On Saturday night we had our Spain Reunion Dinner.

the table

Peggy & Jim and Lorraine & John plus Dave & I spent a relaxing evening drinking sangria, nibbling on tapas and dining on my paella.

sangria

I’ll share recipes with you all week. I shall begin with the star of the evening – the paella!

paella pan

Begin this recipe the day before to marinate the chicken overnight. Up to 4 hours before serving, brown the chicken and cook the onion, garlic and tomato base in the same pan. You can finish the dish when your guests arrive by bringing the base back up to heat and taking turns stirring as you enjoy your tapas and sip sangria.

A couple disclaimers before I get to the recipe. I forgot to add the peas. I had a bag of fresh peas in the fridge and just forgot, much to the dismay of my husband, who loves peas. Sorry!

And the final photo was taken at the dinner table which was outside, in the dark, and I should have used a flash. Oh well, it will have to do.

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April 22, 2014   4 Comments

Spain revisited

ingredients

Tomorrow night we’re having Peggy and Lorraine and their significant others over for a dinner of tapas, sangria, and paella. We’ll exchange photos and basically relive our dreamy trip to Barcelona. Plus, I have to put my money where my mouth is when I assured them that my paella is superior to what we had in Spain.

Here is the recipe for one of the many tapas I’ll be serving.

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April 18, 2014   1 Comment

Good news

The good news is that I did not have an ounce of jet lag!

jet lag

Staying awake for 24 hours and then going to bed at 7:30 PM once arriving home from the airport was the key. I was still tired the next day, the day our company arrived, but I again went to bed early, by 9:00 and have slept well ever since. That is the first time I’ve ever returned from Europe and beaten it!

beat it!

We had a wonderful time with Dave’s brother and sister-in-law, Tom and Beth.

cubs park

We checked out Cubs Park in Mesa which replaced the old Hohokam Stadium and is now of the home of the Chicago Cubs for spring training.

desert botanical garden

We visited the Desert Botanical Gardens for the Chihuly in the Garden event.

Chihuly in the Garden

If you haven’t seen it yet, it is a must.

Chihuly at Desert Botanical Garden

It runs through May 18, 2014.

Chihuly

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March 28, 2014   No Comments

last day in Spain

ham

Friday of last week was our last day in Barca. Peggy and I spent it shopping for gifts for friends and family and just relaxing as we walked the pretty cobblestone streets.

roman walls

We stopped for wine or sangria each and every time either of us needed to use the WC, which was often since we were drinking so much wine and sangria!

robin thicke

For dinner we finally had the “tapa toothpick” experience we had heard so much about.

buffet

This is a tapas bar where you choose your tapas from a counter…

8 euro

…and then are charged by the amount of toothpicks left on your plate at the end of your meal.

toothpicks

We returned to the apartment earlier than we had any night other night since the first day we arrived. That first night, we were in bed by 7:30 PM. This last night we packed and were in bed by 10:00 PM.  A far cry from the 1:00 AM or later nights we’d been doing for the last 10 days.

Instead of the bus/metro/airport excursion of that first day, we took a cab. Even at $25 euro each, it was totally worth it to not heave heavy suitcases up and down the metro stairs over and over again!

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March 27, 2014   1 Comment

a day of art

outside museu

Thursday of last week was Lorraine and Natalie’s last day with Peggy and me in Barcelona. Lorraine would be leaving on Friday morning to get back to Arizona so she could support her husband (Peggy’s brother) in a bike race he was participating in. And Natalie was leaving the next morning with her study-abroad group for a weekend trip to Madrid.

exterior

After a quick breakfast, we visited the Picasso Museum.

self portrait

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March 26, 2014   No Comments

ice bar

Yesterday I told you about our Wednesday afternoon activities in Barcelona. I neglected to mention our nighttime fun.

buddha

When we returned from the abbey in the late afternoon we enjoyed  Jamón ibérico, cheese, baguette, apples, grapes and wine in our apartment.

slicing the ham

My husband, Dave, has a client, Cliff, who lived in Barcelona for several months earlier this year. Cliff, made many friends while living here and told one of his friends, Kevin, to be sure to entertain us and treat us well when we came to town.

ham

We tried to contact Kevin a few times early in the week, but were unsuccessful, mostly due to our incompetence in using international calling codes, or so we thought. Turns out the real reason was due to the fact that Kevin’s iPhone was stolen and was being replaced during that same time frame. Anyhow, we finally connected, right at the same time that we were eating our “stay in for the night” impromptu dinner of ham, cheese and fruit. It was about 6:00 at the time and Kevin asked to meet us at 9:30 or 10:00 for drinks and dinner.  Yes, that is the normal dinner hour in Spain!

ice bar

We met up at IceBarcelona, a super awesome and cool (COLD!) ice bar on the beach. There’s a steep price to drink at the ice bar. Fifteen euro each allows you entrance into the ice bar plus a heavy jacket and gloves to use and one drink.

drink up

Everyone looks sexy in the same big coat!

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March 25, 2014   2 Comments

a day at the abbey

inside Basilica

On Wednesday we took a long train ride (90 minutes seems long anyhow) to Santa Maria de Montserrat Basilica and Abbey on the mountain of Montserrat.

legs on a train

Here is a shot of all our legs, tangled and spewed about on the train.

the ride up

After the train ride, we boarded a cable car to the top of the mountain.

on the way up

Honestly, I am too tired to write much, so please click on the link above to learn more about the Abbey and then please enjoy the photos I took.

Abbey

After that, if you want to see what we did once we got back to Barca, read down further… it was super cool!

Basilica

candles

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March 24, 2014   No Comments

more birthday wishes

Two of my dear friends are celebrating their birthday today. Here are the most recent photos I have of them….

amy scott

Amy, with her husband Scott, at our Progressive Dinner on March 1st. Cutest couple ever!

37 1-2 weeks

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March 21, 2014   No Comments

a day at the beach

visitant

Tuesday was our most laid back day of the trip this far. Natalie had classes all day, so we took the opportunity to go to the ocean-side town, Sitges.

Sitges is a town about 35 kilometres southwest of Barcelona, renowned worldwide for its Film Festival and Carnival. Located between the Garraf Massif and the sea, it is known for its beaches, nightspots, and historical sites.

more brunch & cake

But before we left, we HAD to go back to Brunch & Cake for breakfast! It was a need, more than just a want!

tile signs 2

It was a 40 minute train ride from Barcelona. Before we saw our first beach, the first thing I noticed was all the beautiful signs made of tiles.

tile signs

They were everywhere, both plastered directly into the walls or inserted in iron frames.

tile signs2

These are just a few of the many pictures I snapped of them all over town.

the girls

Basically what we did all day was walk the pretty shop-lined streets, gaze upon but not venture anywhere near the gorgeous water, eat tapas and drink wine.

Patatas bravas

At our first tapas and vino stop we had these amazing patatas bravas. I will most certainly be recreating them when I get home! With tummies satisfied, down to the ocean we went.

the sea

As we inhaled the fresh sea air and took in the beauty…

the ocean at sitges

… we rounded the corner …

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March 20, 2014   1 Comment