Archive for the ‘Food’

July 4th Party – Hamburgerfest 2014

July 08, 2014 By: erik Category: Food, Partying

Fourth of July Party 2014 - HamburgerFor the first time in a while, we celebrated our Fourth of July party on that date. Sometimes we do it for lunch, but this time it was for dinner, and it coincided with the Brazil-Colombia World Cup match, which was fun. Ian could sense with all the cleaning and cooking and table clothes that something was up. Although he’s been going to bed at 8pm lately, he was having none of that on July 4th; he wanted to see what all the preparation was for.
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July 4th Party – Hamburgerfest 2013

July 10, 2013 By: erik Category: Food, Partying, Photos, Spain, USA

July Fourth Party InviteIt’s July again, and time for my annual party I’ve dubbed Hamburgerfest, because it’s mostly just be cooking hamburgers for some friends. This year was a little more relaxed than previous years, with a considerable drop in alcohol consumption and general rowdiness that makes parties good, but it was still very nice company and also very nice to have someone to take our children’s laser focus off of us for a few hours. Nora had fun playing with our friend Elena, who was very patient with her, and was immediately accepted into the Grandmother role (a playmate for Nora to boss around). And there were plenty of women queueing up for a chance to hold baby Ian, which is all he needs to be happy.
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Ian is Two Months Old

June 25, 2013 By: erik Category: Food, Offspring, Partying, Photos

Ian is Two Months OldIan has turned two months old today. He’s quite a bit bigger, and seems slightly more aware of his surroundings. He’s quite a demanding lad, always preferring to be held, and not just “sitting on the sofa with a baby in your arms” held, either; his holder must be pacing around the room to satisfy him. He also enjoys being pushed in the pram, but no matter how peacefully he appears to be sleeping, if you stop for a moment, he’ll wake up and complain. When I’m out for a walk with him, I’m often reminded of that bus in Speed.
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Return to Restaurante Solana – Michelin Star Dining in Cantabria

June 22, 2013 By: erik Category: Food, Partying, Photos, Spain, Wine

Coconut and pineapple ravioli with passionfruitWhen our friends Simon and Paola were visiting last week from Brussels, we wanted to show off our local cuisine. As you can see from Simon’s blog, they are fine dining hobbyists, taking advantage of their location in Brussels to try as many Michelin Star restaurants as they can. After I visited them and they took me out to one of Brussels’ finest establishments, the fine dining bug bit me as well. It really is a fun experience.

After I visited them in October, I took my wife out to our local Michelin Star establishment, Restaurante Solana, and we were wowed, especially my wife, who had been dubious about the whole thing. So naturally we wanted to take Simon and Paola to Restaurante Solana to show off what Cantabria has to offer.
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Tamarind – Adventures in African Pod Fruit

May 03, 2013 By: erik Category: Food, Photos, Spain, Travel, Weird

TamarindThe other day, during my bidaily visit to the local grocer, my grocer and friend, Andrés, said, “Hey, Erik, come here for a second. I have something to give you.” From its hiding place behind some yogurt in the display fridge, he pulled out three strange fruit pods. He explained that they are called tamarinds, and that they are native to Africa and are sort of a cross between a peanut and a date. I had never heard of such a thing, but he instructed me on how to peel and eat them, warning that the seeds are very hard and to be careful.
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Spanish Recipe: Arroz con Bogavante (Rice with Lobster)

March 11, 2013 By: erik Category: Food, Partying, Photos, Recipes, Spain

Arroz con BogavanteThis weekend we finally got around to inviting our friends Agustín and Ana over so they could teach us how they make their Rice With Lobster dish that we had one time at their house. The day before, Ana and Marga went shopping to buy the lobster. The first fishmonger they visited had only one living lobster and some dead ones, so they went to another where they purchased two beautiful living lobsters. When they arrived on the day of the meal, they brought their paellera, a big dish for making paella, and their gas stove on which to heat the paellera evenly. These paelleras and stoves are sold at any Spanish hardware store and any self respecting Spanish household owns one. They also brought a lovely bottle of Riesling.
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Christmas Workshops At School

December 17, 2012 By: erik Category: Food, Offspring, Photos, Spain

Talleres de Navidad 2012 - 162Last week the three, four and five-year-old classes at my daughter’s school got together for an hour in the afternoon to do arts and crafts loosely related to Christmas. They were divided up into seven groups and each sent to a different part of the school with a teacher and some volunteering parents to do a craft of some sort. One room was face painting; another was gluing tongue depressors together into Christmas ornaments; another was constructing bits for a big nativity scene; another was baking marzipan cookies. Somehow, my daughter’s teacher’s husband found me and has been following me on Flickr for several months. I’ve yet to determine if his discovery was related to our choice of school and luck of school teacher. His photostream is much more impressive than mine. Anyhow, Nora’s teacher asked me if I could come and take some photographs of all the workshops. I was happy to volunteer.
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Restaurante Solana – Michelin Star Dining in Cantabria

December 10, 2012 By: erik Category: Food, Photos, Reviews, Spain

Restaurante SolanaBack in October, for my birthday, I enjoyed the treat of dining with my favorite gastronomy blogger at a Michelin 2-star restaurant in Brussels. It was an exciting and memorable experience. The worst part of it was not getting to share the experience with my lovely wife. Our neighboring Basque Country has a firmament of Michelin stars, but most of them are an hour or two away, which is not too far to drive to a restaurant, but it’s too far to drive back in a stupor of digestive bliss. So imagine my delight to discover last week that Restaurante Solana, a restaurant in our neighboring town of Ampuero, was awarded a Michelin star last year!
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Autumn Recipe: Pumpkin Almond Risotto

November 06, 2012 By: erik Category: Food, Photos, Recipes

Pumpkin Almond RisottoMy wife and I have been slowly expanding our culinary abilities this year via online recipes, trying about a dozen new recipes this past year. I’m pretty sure my favorite is this pumpkin almond risotto that she made once, and I have repeated twice. It is absolutely delicious and dead simple to make, although it does require some attention and stirring just before serving.
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McDonalds in Spain

October 25, 2012 By: erik Category: Food, Photos, Reviews, Spain, Travel, USA

McRoyale DeluxeI was weak once. On my first ever trip abroad to Scotland as an early teen, when given a day to myself to wander about and choose my schedule, I ate lunch at a Burger King. And later, as a 20-year-old, having moved abroad for the first time, it didn’t take me long to visit the McDonalds in the center of Copenhagen. When in Budapest, someone talked me into entering what was described to me beforehand as “the most beautiful McDonalds in the world”, and, while I can’t speak for the entire world, I must agree that it is quite pretty. Each time, my justification was curiosity about how my American culture had been translated to another culture, but I’d be lying if part of it wasn’t the comfort of familiar food that makes these chains so successful.
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