It’s always nice when friends come to town for a visit. I also like it because I often end up getting to be a tourist in my own city by doing different things than I normally do. This past weekend with Lindsey and Adeline was no exception. Continue reading
Ah, summer produce. It’s here in all its glory and abundance. In past summers, I’ve had great success with cucumbers, often having many more at one time than we could eat. This summer is our first one with a garden at our new house, so it’s been a learning experience on what will grow, where the best sun is in our yard, etc. I’ve still gotten quite a few cucumbers from just a couple of plants but they’ve been very small. I don’t think they’re getting quite enough sun but they’re still tasty.
One of my favorite things to do with “too many” cucumbers to make refrigerator dill pickles. They keep in the fridge for a few months (but are generally best within the first few weeks) and are a great snack. I’ve experimented with a few different recipes and have finally put together the one that I think delivers the most crunch and flavor while being QUICK and EASY! Continue reading
I’ll start by saying that I’m a registered Democrat and have been all of my voting life. I still lean Democrat in local and state elections in a very conservative Southern state, so I will remain that way because local politics is more important than many people realize.
However, at the Federal level, I have not been a Democrat since about 2009. Reading the news from places outside the mainstream media shed a light on the massive corruption in both parties with lobbying and campaign contributions. Citizens United lifted the floodgate on this already problematic issue.
I voted for Libertarian Gary Johnson in 2012, even though I voted for Obama in 2008. I felt the Democratic party had lost its way from the people of this great country. Gary Johnson is far from perfect and I am unsure if I will vote for him again, but it was the right choice for me 4 years ago.
Fast forward to 2015 and the media circus around Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was already in full swing. The presentation of Clinton as the de-facto next President was so ridiculous and un-democratic, I was turned off and vowed to not get sucked in this election cycle. Continue reading
Hindsight is 20/20. If I were to do this trip over, I would have spent the extra money to fly into London and out of Madrid, rather than the return tickets for London. It would have meant not having an overnight in Madrid, but the extra flight and travel from Madrid to London was pretty unnecessary.
Oh well. We ended up with one day in Madrid. It was not the worst thing, not by a long shot. In fact, we had a pretty great final full day in Europe – although it did start with getting to the Granada bus station by 6.30 am for the 7:00 am bus. Continue reading
Granada, though in the same region as Sevilla is a completely different city. It’s in the Sierra Nevada Mountains making it very hilly. It has a long and storied history from the time of the Moors and no where is this more visible than the Alhambra, the Moorish palace that overlooks the city. Granada also has a thriving tapas scene and a unique way of serving them – if you order a drink at a tapas bar/restaurant, you get a tapa for free. A second drink will get you a different tapa, and so on. It’s a unique and fun experience.
Needless to say, we were excited to be in this beautiful and historic city. Continue reading
I remember my very first time eating hummus. I was 13 years old and my mom had taken us to a Mediterranean restaurant called Aladdin’s. I remember loving to dip the soft, warm pita into the thick chickpea dip.
Hummus has been a consistent snack in my life since then but up until recently, I always purchased it pre-made from the grocery store. As it grew in popularity, it became more expensive and I found myself wanting to make my own to save money and also experiment with flavors.
After a couple of tries at roasted red pepper and jalapeno-cilantro, I realized I needed to master a good “plain” recipe. I experimented a bit and the final result is great – smooth, slightly tangy and always satisfying. Continue reading
Spain. The most anticipated portion of our trip.
Being Americans with shitty vacation time, we had to prioritize where to spend our precious days. I’d been to Spain 3 times perviously and traveled to many parts of the country. I felt Andalusia was the best region to visit for many reasons – smaller cities, rich history, an amazing tapas culture and the Alhambra – being a few. Continue reading
Originally, our trip to Europe was going to be London, Seville and Granada. Somewhere along the way and partially due to high costs of airfare to get from London to Madrid, I had the crazy and fun idea to take the Eurostar to Paris, spend a day there and then fly from there to Madrid. In hindsight, I would not have done this. I’ve done Paris in a day from London 3 times before, but I was 19 and 20. I think my downfall with this trip in general was that because I’d been to all these places before and generally knew the areas and how to get around, I was so confident we could do a lot. And we did – I was an efficiency queen and we were jam-packed every day. But as a result we didn’t really give Paris a chance and for that, I feel badly because Sean deserved to experience it in a better way.
But, as the French say, c’est la vie. We went, we saw what we could, we exhausted ourselves and if we ever go back, we will stay longer. Continue reading