Tag Archives: spain

“You must forgive me if I’m up and goin’ to Carolina in my mind”

18 Jun

“In my mind I’m goin’ to Carolina
Can’t you see the sunshine
Can’t you just feel the moonshine
Ain’t it just like a friend of mine
To hit me from behind
And I’m goin’ to Carolina in my mind”

– James Taylor

You guys, I’m home. Well, one of my homes. I have many, but right now, Chapel Hill feels a lot like home and man have I missed this place. It is SO good to be back in this beautiful town. I had an amazing 5 months abroad that I wouldn’t trade for the world, and all you college students thinking about studying abroad: DO IT DO IT DO IT. I had an amazing time and have made best friends I will treasure for the rest of my life.

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Sunset on the river Lee near my *former* apartment in Cork. I will always love this beautiful place.

Nevertheless, I am loving the heat, the blue skies, the scorching sun, the endless tree cover, the ridiculous thunderstorms, driving my bug again, living in a proper house with a real kitchen and no flat mate, and did I mention the fact that it actually feels like summer? I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for warm weather.

I actually go here. And yes, it’s actually this beautiful. (Not my picture)

Alright, enough gushing about how Chapel Hill leaves a stamp on your heart. You guys get the picture. I’ve actually been back for a solid 2 weeks if not more but it’s been a crazy time involving dance competitions, catching up with friends and family, birthday parties and readjusting to American life. This week is finally looking like it’s settling into normal life, so I figured I’d kick it off by getting back to blogging!

I’ve not really cooked much since getting home since my mother dearest is home and she is an amazing cook (thanks for nothing on those genes, mum) so she kind of just does everything for me food wise because she assumes my state of uselessness in the kitchen. I’m trying to do more, but it won’t be as frequent as when I was in Ireland. That being said, as a result of the various parties, I’ve done a fair amount of baking, which I happen to be really good at, so don’t be surprised to see some yummy baked goods in the next few recipes. I can’t promise they’re healthy but they’re really quite easy, and everything in moderation, right? 🙂

Alright, no recipes today because I’m still recovering from a tummy bug and don’t even want to think about food right now, so instead, I’ll leave you with picture highlights of my month abroad, and a little note that while I will try to post consistently over the summer, I’m actually leaving the country (again) for 6 weeks at the beginning of July! This time I’m off to Asia… but more on that later!

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Cork at christmas!

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St. Finbarre’s Cathedral in the winter

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London in January snow

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London from the top of The Shard over Easter, equally as cold as when I was there in the snow in January!!!

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Heineken Cup quarterfinals at Twickenham!

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Buckingham Palace, half mast for Margaret Thatcher

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more London ( I could’ve gone on forever with my pictures from London, really, it’s probably my favorite city ever)

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BEACH!!

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Streets of Malaga

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Streets of Malaga

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Panorama Malaga from the Alcazaba- Moorish fortress

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View of Puento Neuvo from El Tajo Gorge in Ronda. Prettiest place ever.

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View of Granada from the Alhambra

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St. Finbarre’s Cathedral in the Spring (this was actually late May so almost summer but it was the first time it felt like spring in Ireland!!!)

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Celebratory post-finals drink at the college bar. Woo!

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Oats on Toast

27 Apr

Well hey there! It’s been a while… I know. Remember how I told you about that awesome trip to Spain I was going on? Well that happened. I’ve actually been traveling for the past hiatus, hence no cooking. I also can’t promise there will be much in the next month or so either. It is officially exam time, and my mind is about to turn into a mush of information I will forget the minute I walk out of the last exam room. Also I have no money. Turns out, traveling for a month will do that. (This is when I start to realize why people get jobs. Anyways…) My term here is coming to an end soon (unfortunately) and once I am back in the great state of North Carolina (and in a house that has an actual kitchen with proper cooking utensil and parents buying food for me) I will hopefully be posting a lot more! Then again, I’ll also have parents cooking for me (they spoil me to death, especially when they haven’t seen me for 6 months), so yeah we’ll see how that goes.

Alright. Onto today’s recipe. Found on pinterest (where else!) but originally from the lovely Pepper Lynn, this recipe is a breakfast you can prepare the night before and finish off in those 5 minutes you have for getting dressed, eating breakfast, and getting out the door when you wake up half an hour late. So an every day thing for me. Pepper also claims that this wonderfully nutritious breakfast keeps her filled up until about 1pm. I’m currently having it as a snack (and loving it- so much that I couldn’t wait to finish it to type this) thus I can’t speak to how filling it is… but I’ll get back to you on that internet.

I realize I haven’t actually said *what* it is. I should get to that. Well, it’s uncooked oats. Pepper goes for overnight oats… probably a more appealing name. If the thought of uncooked oats turns you off- yeah me too. Bear with me you HAVE to give this a go. The base is a mix of oats, yogurt, and milk. The rest that you do in the morning is flavor- and this can be WHATEVER you want it to be. You automatically have your favorite flavored breakfast.

And it’s so easy. And quick. And yummy. And good for me? I’ll take it.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of rolled oats (and then a little extra for good measure)*

1/2 cup of plain vanilla yogurt**

1/3 cup of milk

~ From here, choose your own flavor. I chose strawberry jam, so I threw in about 3 spoons of jam.

Instructions:

1. Pour out your oats, yogurt and milk in a jar or bowl and mix it all up .

Pro tip 1: The original recipe calls for Greek yogurt and more milk but I can’t stand Greek yogurt so I opted for vanilla yogurt and less milk. Works just as well- just make sure when you’re adding the milk your final consistency is thick and creamy. If the milk makes it too liquidy just add some more oats.

2. Put it in the fridge overnight. If you get the munchies during the day (not those munchies, silly) and fancy a nice snack, this is great too, just make sure it’s been refrigerated for at least 30 mins to let the oats soften.

3. When ready to eat, add your flavor of choice and enjoy.

Pro tip 2: When I first tried it I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure about the texture. I’m still not sure I’m too fond of it on it’s own. So like I do with a lot of things I tried it with bread. DO THIS. Especially if you didn’t like the texture or the feel/taste of the oats. When spread on toast it takes away all of that. The warm toast and cool spread and taste of jam was like heaven. I really wish I hadn’t tried it because I already eat SO MUCH BREAD, but man oh man was it good. I refuse to eat it any other way. It also means I only use about half of it on 2 slices of toast. Could easily see that as a nice afternoon snack or breakfast the next day if it makes it that long.

Pro tip 3: Always say yes to nutella. Nutella is a personal favorite of mine, and if you fancy that sneaky chocolate in the morning, put a light spread of nutella and your jam oats on your toast. YUMMM.

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It doesn’t look that appetizing, I know, but it’s worth trying. Some love it, some hate it. Don’t be that guy that hates it until he tries it…

 

Say Cheese!

20 Mar

Ok internet, first off, apologies. I have been horrendous about posting in March, I know. Here in Ireland, they do this weirdass thing where classes end at the end of March and then you have a month off before exams. It’s pretty great in that I’m going to be traveling for almost all of April (have I mentioned my Spain trip? yes?), but it’s pretty sucky in that all of our end of term papers are due…now. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’ve not really been doing all that much work since I’ve been here. I’m normally really very studious but ehh, I’m on a study abroad! These classes don’t do much for me, so I’m soaking up the Irish culture. The thing with that is I know have all my term papers to write for next week and one of my early finals to study for. That being said, my brother has also been visiting me so we’ve been doing a lot of eating out, absolutely no cooking, and an absurd amount of drinking. That being said, he left today, so I cooked dinner with another friend I have visiting, and I’m really just ignoring the fact that I have a paper to write. 

Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Rice 

This isn’t so much of a put together dish as it is lots of different foods thrown into a bowl together. Either way, it tastes yummy.

Ingredients: (serves 2 people with some left over)

1 head of broccoli

Some grated cheese

1 fillet of chicken*

2 cups of rice

* We had the chicken left over from when we cooked 5 chicken fillets the other day (my brother eats a lot of chicken…) and we cut them up into pieces and put them into sandwich baggies and refrigerated them. I used a baggie of chicken in this because it was all we had left but feel free to use no chicken or more chicken or whatever floats your boat.

Instructions: 

1. Cook the rice.

Pro tip 1: I don’t actually know how to properly cook rice so you’re best off following the instructions on the bag, they probably know best. 

2. Cook the broccoli.

Pro tip 2: We cut up the big head of broccoli into mini heads, threw them in a bowl with some water and microwaved it. After 2 minutes it was still pretty tough so maybe give it 2 minutes, have a feel, and then another 2.

3. Reheat the chicken in the microwave for like, 30 seconds.

4. Take the rice off the heat, sieve out the water and pour into bowls.

5. Add in your chicken and broccoli, and sprinkle grated cheese on top to finish.

Pro tip 3: The cheese adds nice flavor, I suggest adding a lot as it melts into the rice with the heat. Yum yum yum.

So, I didn’t take a picture, but you can imagine what a bowl of rise with chicken, broccoli and cheese looks like. Instead, here is a picture of an Airedale Terrier puppy. Enjoy. 

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Crumbled Spanish Omelette

12 Feb

Internet, I have some very exciting news. I am going on holidays to Spain soon! I have a month off classes for Easter in Spring, so a friend and myself have planned a magnificent trip to Spain. I am extremely excited, and I will most likely not stop thinking about this until April. Yesterday I got busy looking up Spanish food and tapas dishes. If I can’t be in Spain yet, I might as well eat like I am.

So I decided to try a Spanish omelette- apparently a Spanish staple. As for the crumbled part… it was not intentionally crumbled. That part came when I tried to slide the omelette back onto the pan and it fell apart. But it was tasty nonetheless!

I thought it was going to be much harder to make, and taste more bland, but it was actually quite simple, and full of flavor. A must have!

Ingredients: Warning, these portions are a lot, this could easily halved and be enough for 1 person. Then again, I finished it all…so if you’re really hungry…

3 eggs

Dash of Salt

Glug of oil

3 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

Instructions:

1. Crack the eggs in a bowl and mix them together with the salt.

2. Turn the stove on to medium/high and heat the oil

3. Add the potatoes and fry for a few minutes

4. Add the onions to the potatoes and mash together

Pro tip 1: My potato slices may have been too thick, or the potatoes not soft enough, but I struggle to mash them. I ended up just mixing together the potatoes and onions and leaving it at that. Not sure how I would’ve mashed up the potatoes, any advice? Either way, it tasted just fine without them being mashed.

5. As the edges of the potato begin to brown, add the eggs on top. Try and make sure the egg is covering the potato/onion mix.

6. Fry this on a low heat, gently prodding at the edges to keep it loose.

7. As the egg starts to set, place a plate over the pan, and gently flip it so the mixture is on the plate. Carefully slide it back into the pan.

Pro tip 2: Put the plate edge right down touching the pan, if you leave it up at all it will collapse. Also go very slowly- too fast and it will fold over on itself.

8. Let the underside cook for a minute or so, and remove from the heat. Allow it to cool and serve!

As you can see, the outcome isn’t the most beautiful, and chances are what I made is nothing like an actual Spanish omelette, but whatever the hell I did make was damn good, so I’m ok with that.

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….yeah, not exactly what it’s supposed to look like.

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