Monday, April 21, 2014

A Wonderful Lunch And An Afternoon In Barcelona

I love Barcelona it is a charming coastal city with history and ruins back to the Romans. It's not hard to imagine some of the mid evil walls and buildings looked very much the same when Christopher Columbus walked these same streets.


I have a new favorite travel app. Trip Advisor City Guides. In the process of checking it out I found a little cafe which looked interesting. I had filtered the thousands of restaurants down to the cheap ones. I may indeed be one of my favorite dates but it doesn't mean I'm going to break the bank on myself either.


My destination was El Casal and without the aid of Trip Advisor City Guides and the map function I would have been very hard pressed to locate this little gem. In making a comment on apps I will point out a weakness of the app. It's map representation  lacks a directional arrow. City Maps to go is another great app and it has the arrow but lacks the depth of ratings and recommendations which City Guides has. Use them both! They are both free.

They have a standard pre fix 10€ lunch. Which gives some limited choices but great pricing. I had a bowl of soup, a beef stew on noodles, a beer, and coffee or desert.  I chose espresso.




The soup was a chorizo lintels and cabbage creation which was excellent. The stew was really more like roast beef and carrots. Really hardy food. The espresso was a fine ending on a great lunch.


My afternoon continued with my next quest. To find the old mid evil synagogue. This was truly an adventure in GPS maps. I knew I had to be right on top of it but couldn't see it and then I saw it.

I was looking for a more impressive entrance for sure. Of course the streets are now 6 or 7 feet higher up. So a little humbled  stoop door to now the entrance to a basement which was once the main Synagogue.  A tour guide gave me and a couple of American college girls a nice presentation. The Christians blamed the Jews for the Black Plague. It seemed the hygienic rituals of washing kept the Jewish community safe from the Plague but not the Christians who were persecuting them. Many were killed during the period. Then along came a more tolerant King and ended the blood shed.



My day continued by winding my way through the tiny streets.


I found this shot interesting showing three distinct periods in the arched windows.





Made my way to the basilica where I prayed for my readers around the world. My day was winding down so I headed to the more tourist laden Las Rambalas for people watching while waiting on my crew for dinner.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Amsterdam's Cafe Piazza

There is a wonderful little quiet Italian restaurant at the end of the canal at Nieuwmarket square in old Amsterdam. The owner is a delight. She is a vivacious young lady from Poland who makes you feel comfortable in her place. Agata will answer your questions and help you pick the correct meal for your tastes.

The laid back quaint nature of the establishment will be a true vacation from the noise and mayhem that can consume the inner city.

Don't forget she has some great local beers on tap to accompany your meal. You won't be disappointed on your experience here. Oh and by the way she also has Polish perogis which may or may not be on the menu so be sure to ask.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Yummy Chicken Tostadas

OK, I was visiting Facebook and a post of the food network got my attention. You know I do enjoy Mexican food or as in the grocery store in Sweden referred to the isle, "Tacos," well not Texas tacos. It is a pathetic selection of "Mexican" food or as they might call it, "Taco food."  Anyway, that is a different story. Back to my blog intent. So I was checking up on my Facebook feed and a wonderful picture of a tostada showed up. I began to crave them and within 20 minutes I knew what was for supper!


The recipe was a little different and it caught my attention. It used shredded chicken.  Well it just so happened I had some cooked chicken just asking to be shredded chicken for a tostada.  But it needed something to kick it off. It needed tang.  I put my head to it and tang...something new was created.

The tang wasn't the typical just add some "taco sauce,"  salsa from the taco isle at the Swedish market. It is based on chorizo. Now I know that just turned a stomach or two, (perhaps the one it was made from...) as the grocery clerk said, "once you know what it's made of..," but it is necessary.

So buy it and cook it in a skillet. I soaked up some excess grease with a paper towel.

I chopped an onion and added it to my skillet.

I then added some chipotle peppers in adobe sauce. I love the flavor but they are hot, even for me. I opened the can and used half and froze the other half. They were so hot the freezer started thawing before taking charge of the situation. No, they are not really that bad.

I also put in a can of green chilies, they are super mild but have a great flavor.

I then added chicken bouillon, and some water.

I cooked it down for a while and it was ready to top a tostada.  I buy the pre-made shells and just toast them up to make them extra crispy.  You need a thin layer of beans spread across the tortilla.  I then put a layer of my Chorizo Chicken and covered it in my world famous Pico De Gallo. If you don't know about that then you need to check out my recipe for it from August of 2012. http://thepilotsplatate.blogspot.com/2012/08/pico-de-gallo.html

If you want to put a little shredded lettuce and cheese or even some sour cream or guacamole. Be my guest, it is an open face crispy sandwich which you can assert your creativity as you customize it.  Go do it!!!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

San Francisco

San Fransico has a special place for all, wheather you've been there or not. Of course we've all been there at least through the movies or TV. As a child I can remember chasing down bad guys on "The Street's of Sanfransico." Humming "Rice a Roni, a San Fransico treat."  Tootsie walking coming down the hills to the apartment. As of recently a bunch of Apes taking the bridge to the man... Oh that list could go on and on.

One of my first encounters with the city was a memory of my father. A young Korean War soldier eating his first pizza, and Chinese food before shipping out. There is something about seeing The Golden Gate Bridge in person, that incredibly awe inspiring achievement of engineering. There is also the joy of walking along fisherman's wharf and smelling the salt and sea. Hearing a sea lion barking and gulls jabbering.



The Golden Gate engulfed in fog.



But of course fisherman's wharf is about fish. The bounty of their labor for those land lubbers who want to feast on the oceans treasures.

Crabs!!

It's lunch time!!!

"Mine! Mine! Mine!" Hey you, this isn't yours, it's mine!

Can't blame them. It was so wonderful. If you are in the city make it a point to get a sampling of the sea. Have a lunch with a gull, and quietly hum, "I left my heart, in San Francisco..."

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I'm back! Or hip???

Ok so I know it's been almost a year since I've last posted. I do have an excuse all be it perhaps weak. Last spring my hip pain had progressively gotten worse to the point I'd go to a great city and not feel like getting out. In May, I had a total hip replacement.





Out of myway!! I'll run you down. Anyway I'm back to 100% and will be taking in the sites and ambiance to share with you.

By the way some friends helped out by cooking meals for a week or two. They were all great and a joy to consume.

I look forward to sharing with you soon.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Diet to die for!!!!

Well this is a keeper whether you are watching the calories or the fat. Tilapia is a great choice and the flash frozen fillets are inexpensive.

This is also pretty quick and easy. Start by making a salsa for the topping, this is where the labor is. My suggestion is getting a good helper to cut up the stuff. No, I didn't get help and it was even my birthday.

It is a strawberry salsa. If you want mango or kiwi that would be good too. It just so happened that the springtime strawberry sales were perfect. $1.99 for a quart of nice berries was perfect.

Chop them up nice and fine. Cut it all very fine. It lets the variety of  flavors marry in a unique way.

Strawberries
Red onion
Cilantro
Jalapenos
Red/yellow bell peppers
Garlic salt
Lime/lemon juice


I put mine on a bed of asparagus because I like it and it was on sale. Cooked rice, squash, green beans, peas...whatever you like.

I put the asparagus in a 400 degree oven after spraying them with Pam butter, garlic salt, pepper, lemon pepper, and paprika.


I cooked them on top of the asparagus. The asparagus got a 5 minute head start. I cooked the fish for about 18 minutes.

Topped it with the salsa and it was great. Maybe 300 calories a serving. I ate two!!!! Enjoy