Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Lovely Portugal

Porto
This time, I am not going to wait a year to post pictures.

I journeyed to Portugal and Spain in mid-September, the ideal time to hit both countries for their perfect weather, tasty port wines, moist and intensely flavorful Piri Piri chicken, Sangria, Tortilla, Jamon and the freshest of fresh seafood.  Lisbon and Porto are also less touristy than the London's and Paris's of Europe, huge bonus.

A few things that make Portugal unique (this list is by no means exhaustive), besides their cuisine and port wines:

  • Tiles/Colorful Architecture
    • Portugal has buildings crammed together throughout the country with the red roofs you will find throughout southern Europe.  On the front of the buildings you will see a wide array of tiles in every color immaginable but mostly blue.  If the buildings do not have tiles, then they will most likely be colored pink, yellow, blue, green and every other color of the rainbow.  A gorgeous feast for the eyes.  
  • Cork
    • If there is a cork shortage, you would never know by visiting Portugal.  They make everything out of cork; bags, shoes, wallets, coasters, belts, etc.  I have allergic reactions to almost everything, including leather on my skin.  Think for a moment how that limits me with watch bands, shoes, bracelets.  No such issues with cork and it looks a lot like leather.  So, I stocked up.
  • Mosaic Sidewalks
    • A source of national pride in Portugal, with good reason.  They are truly a delight to walk on everyday.

A Tuk-Tuk - the preferred Lisbon mode of transportation
The Duoro

Port next to the vineyard.  I was never a big port drinker, until now.  I wouldn't substitute it for wine but definitely as an after dinner drink, for special occasions and as a wonderful supplement to dessert.

Have you ever walked on a mosaic?  In Portugal, walking on art is a daily occurrence.

Pasteis de Nata - a sweet custard inside a flaky crust

The French have their baguettes and the Portuguese have their Pasteis de Nata.  One shop of many displaying the much loved Pasteis de Nata - a Portuguese treasure and source of intense national pride.

Sangria

Squid, Olive Oil, Cheese, Olives and Sangria after a long day walking the hilly streets of Lisbon

Porto Trolly

Train Station Tiles

Sangria, Bocadillos and Tortilla EspaƱola in Salamanca, Spain

About to be picked grapes for the Port

Grapes for Port Wine

The ubiquitous building tiles seen throughout Portugal


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Cooking in Bali



Last summer, I went to Bali for surfing, yoga, and cooking...and yes, I am just getting around to posting.  I went to a "Goddess Retreat" and it was everything they promised it would be and more.   To describe the experience as anything less than life changing would not be doing it justice.  Bali is an incredible place with a spiritual culture and attitude that swept me off my feet.  If it were not for my son and little dog back home, there is no way I would have come back to the U.S. 

I surfed a lot and found out that I absolutely suck at at it.  That really is the only word to describe my skills.  I would post a surfing picture to give everyone a good laugh but I am not a masochist.  
On the bright side, I loved the two a day yoga sessions and activities like this cooking class.  Outside, fresh, lovely instructors, perfect weather and of course, absolutely delicious.  I loved the use of ingredients and spices I rarely use at home, such as ginger and lemongrass.  They also use produce that I can never find at home, such as dragonfruit.  Even if I can find it at home, it does not taste as sweet as it did in Bali, thinking of papaya and mangoes.