February 23, 2010 - Posted by Erin in Uncategorized

If you’re arriving here you likely didn’t even know that I had a blog, which is because I generally didn’t share my previous blog with much anyone else other than my family. The previous one was much simpler – all I had were my entries and that was it – no travel info, no comments, nada. I had so much more information to share though, so in order to accommodate the content that I am including now, I had to move to a new site. As a result, this new site remains a work in progress. Hopefully this blog can be everything my old one was, though, and more! Contact me with any feedback or ideas! Mil gracias!

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February 18, 2010 - Posted by Erin in Food and wine

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In my effort to practice Spanish and also eat mass quantities of Spanish food, I’ve been spending time with my fiance’s mother learning how to make a lot of delicious Spanish favorites. Yesterday I learned how to make huesos de San Expedito – “huesos” meaning bones (I suppose they are called this because they are shaped a bit like bones?!). They are little pastries that are easy to make, preserve well, and have just the right amount of sweetness! So here’s what you’ll need:

    1 egg
    250 grams of flour
    50 grams of sugar
    1 teaspoon of baking powder (or one envelope if you live here in Spain)
    3 tablespoons of olive oil
    3 tablespoons of water
    2 tablespoons of anis
    1 lemon

First you will want to heat up your three tablespoons of olive oil. While it’s heating up, slice off four pieces of lemon rind and add it to the oil. You will want to fry the lemon rinds so that it flavors the oil – just turn them until they are golden, then remove. Now you will want to let the oil cool.
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In a bowl, beat the egg. Once this is done, stir in the sugar, then the water, then the oil (make sure the oil has cooled prior to adding). In a separate bowl, mix the flower and the baking powder. After this, you will combine both bowls to create the beginning of your dough. Stir the mixture and then once congealed enough, remove and begin kneading (using additional flower to keep it from sticking).

Once the dough has the proper consistency, create a ball and cut a cross on top so that the dough may expand. You will want to cover it and let it rise for about an hour.
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After the dough has risen, you will take small pieces (about a spoonful each) and roll them between your hands to create a stick-like shape (hmm, or shall I say a bone-like shape??). While doing this, fill up a deep pan with oil (preferably olive oil – but note that you can reuse the oil for this same recipe later by just preserving the leftover oil in a jar). Heat up the oil on high.
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Once the oil is hot, add one of the “huesos” to the oil – it should start sizzling intensely. If it’s sizzling, add as many as you can fit in the pan. Now the trick here is that you don’t want it to cook the huesos so fast that the outside cooks, but the inside doesn’t. So once they’ve started to cook a little, turn down the heat, or even remove the pan from the heat in order to let them continue cooking at a lower temperature. Be sure to regularly turn the huesos so that they cook on both sizes. You will want to let them cook for several minutes until they turn a dark golden brown. Once done, remove and place them on a paper towel.

Once cooled (and note, they are best when they are NOT hot), serve with powdered sugar on top. And voila, now you have yourself some lovely Spanish bones, eh hem, huesos!

February 15, 2010 - Posted by Erin in Food and wine, Madrid

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It’s seems I’ve neglected my blog a bit – but for good reason. I’ve spent the new year preparing for my Spanish exams and planning the wedding. This meant that weekend trips around Spain were out of the question for a little while. Last weekend, however, we did take the opportunity to enjoy the sunny, but albeit freezing, weather by spending some time in Madrid.

On Saturday we headed down to Puerta del Sol to run some errands, but didn’t pass up the opportunity to scarf down some tapas (croquetas and manchego cheese – because why not?) and then enjoy a sweet at the amazing Mallorquina pasteleria located right in Puerta del Sol. If you are nearby, don’t pass up the opportunity to stop by this shop and enjoy a sweet treat. It’s always filled to the brim with people, pastries and a mouth-watering scent that just teases you to eat everything in site. It’s been around since 1894, so they surely know what they are doing! I secretly want to get a job there, but I suppose that might not be such a good idea right before the wedding.
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After a Mexican dinner with friends on Saturday night (oh how I’ve missed a little spiciness in my food), we had yet another get together on Sunday, but much more Spanish in style. It wasn’t just any lunch, but instead over 30 pounds of lamb cooked in the outdoor firepit! It was absolutely amazing! I never cared for meat before living in Spain, but it is just so delicious here that you can help but crave it. I still marvel in the difference between the way Americans and Spaniards “hang out.” In the US, a Sunday afternoon get together would include a sport of some sort, beer and some other simple lunch food. But here, it’s just hours of sitting around a table with friends, traditional food, and lots of wine. Is there any question why I still live here??

Now that I’ve passed my exams, I will be starting again with classes, and also hopefully with some weekend trips here and there. In the coming weeks we will be heading to the province of Valladolid and also, finally, to Santander! More to come soon.

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