On foot in a new city

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

DSC_0229 DSC_0230 DSC_0231 Barcelona has an incredible public transport system, bikes and vespas galore but for whatever reason we chose to walk.  For hours on end.  Little nooks and crannies, blind-ended streets and a way to discover new without the usual underlined recommendations.  El Born and Gracia were my favourite neighborhoods. Still populated but quieter, an instant sweetness when you enter its path and full of an ambience that blends chic and bohemia without the effort.

Aimless walks in a new city- consistently a favourite pastime. DSC_0234 DSC_0236

A night out, taqueria air + a magic fountain

Saturday, April 23, 2016

DSC_0071 In secondary school when learning a new language, we got to choose a name for ourselves.  In Spanish class mine was Isabella and in French class- Jacqueline. (Not quite sure what those particular name choices say about my 14 year old self, but hey!) Looking back now, it was a fun way to connect quickly and personally with a new language and culture.

Our first night in Barcelona did just the same.  A night out in  El Niño Viejo , a casual but intensely phenomenal Mexican meal (think Albert Adrià and Paco Méndez creations) where we blindly went for Chef's selections.  What came was course after course of combinations and flavour profiles of food that left us both in serious lust for the cuisine.  Fresh cut mango in chamoy sauce with a citrus lift, sea urchin aguachile with lime and avocado purée, jalapeño oysters, octopus ceviche, pork belly carnitas, enchiladas with green sauce and it continued until gratitude was beyond words.
DSC_0056 (1) DSC_0061 (1) DSC_0064 We left only to head to Font màgica de Montjuïc, where we saw music and light illuminate fountains of water for what seemed like much too short of a time.
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A few hours that night was all it took to connect to Barcelona.  No names necessary.

Postcards from Barcelona

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

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This city.  I had heard about the magic of it prior to travelling, the repeated cautionary tale regarding pick-pocketing and the praise of the food and wine scene. What emerged though was an introduction to Barcelona's love letters to Gaudi, a new found appreciation for Modernisme, the mysterious delight of indulging in a chef's selections from the smallest cafes to the more established ventures and of course, the sun (it's light, warmth and shadows).

Absolutely did not want to leave!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

There is no passion to be found playing small- in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.

Nelson Mandela

London | A shared meal

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

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Unearthing recovered images to send on to sweet Tassja who with Ana, Krissy, Joi, Damien, Deborah, Lucy, Roo, myself and a big group of kindreds shared a meal together two years ago in London.

When written lists, DIY and homemade togetherness was all things right that afternoon.

London | Coffee + Market Morning

Monday, April 11, 2016

DSC_0126 DSC_0127 It's been a little while since I've been to London (considering two of my nearest and dearest reside there), it's long past overdue. Our first stops always include coffee and a market visit. Simple and sweet- this city has a vibrancy that always beckons.
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A 'to be continued' sort of post.

Daddy's girl

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

These two = heart quickly turning into a pile of mush.

Enjoy what you have: it sounds so obvious, but there's such an abundance of choice- and we're so constantly bombarded with new options- it can be a challenge to sit back and be grateful for what we have. 

A Monday night in | Red wine pasta

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

DSC_0336 (2) Jill and I often have differing schedules but she is a constant force in reminding me about efforts towards a work-life balance, my appointed live-in guru in affairs of the heart and is just genuinely a lovely, lovely lady.

So last night for the first time we huddled on the couch, shared a meal and teared up to ''Miss you Already'' on the laptop between us. A little effort to take time out and I'm thankful she told me to take a photo because now it's a reminder how much I miss this sort of dining. Casual, intentional and not a take-away (hooray!).

A tomato/mozarella/basil starter, red wine pasta and my favourite dessert to finish (see it here) and suddenly homemade dinners are all I want this week.

Especially when it leaves leftovers the following day . Lots of it.
Red wine spaghetti with Walnuts and Parsley
(from Food & Wine, adapted from New York City pastry chef Gina DePalma)

5 cups water
3 1/4 cups dry red wine
3/4 pound spaghetti (I used wholewheat)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 small garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1 cup walnuts (4 ounces), toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper

In a saucepan, combine the water with 3 cups of the wine and a large pinch of salt and bring to a boil.
Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring, until al dente.
Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.

In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil.
Add garlic, red pepper and season with salt.
Cook over moderate heat for 1 minute.
Add the remaining 1/4 cup of wine and the reserved cooking liquid and bring to a simmer.

Stir in the pasta and cook until the liquid is nearly absorbed, 2 minutes.
Add the parsley, nuts, 1/2 cup of cheese and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and toss.
Season the pasta with salt and pepper and serve with parmesan cheese to share.

p.s. There's a youtube tutorial here if you'd like to try it out.

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