people like chocolate, people like poetry

I'm back and I am playing the pretend game. I am pretending that a month has not gone by without me writing and that I have loads of wonderful stories bubbling up waiting to erupt on to your screen. Want to play? Yes? Ok, lets move on, because the truth is I have been a busy bee, running or buzzing around trying to secure work, find a school to take Spanish classes and nailing down the details for my friend's event, which came and went and was a great success.

Remember the chocolate cakes I was testing, well people loved them and I in the end was very pleased with the outcome. So much so, I inhaled four of them in the matter of minutes and I was left ejoying the coco high. What exactly are these mystery events I speak of? Well, take a peek at poetrybrothelbarcelona.blogspot.com, because it is a bit difficult to explain. My good friend Kiely is the founder and every month I am going to try and bake or cook something, depending on my time and money situation. Basically, for this event I wrapped each cake and had all the poets submit lines of poetry to me, because I wanted to attach in some way their beautiful words to my yummy treats. They were to be given away to those people who received "readings", but I think most of them were gobbled up by the poets themselves at the end of the night. As long as they were eaten with a smile my job was done. Viva la poesia!

Inside peak of what's to come...
*New job cooking for a family of four
*Recipe testing for the next event on October 17th.
*Smattering of bits and bobbles...whatever the hell that means


did i mention it's hot

So sorry. So, so sorry. It has ben too damn hot to cook and too damn hot to think. My mind is melting and my motar skills are slipping. Autumn leaves and crisp, cool breeze, where are you? Give me a couple more days and I will be back with thoughts and goodies to share. I leave you with a photo.  Don't ask me why onions and limes are on my mind, but they are, so here. Enjoy.


death by chocolate

Ohhh my goodness that was an intense wallop of chocolate. Don't mind me, the cakes I baked just came out of the oven and I could not resist stealing a bite. In September I will be making little treats for my friend's poetry event, which she hosts each month, so, I thought it would be a good idea to do a test run. I am tinkering with a few recipes and decided to swap out white flour in favor of almond flour and increase the amount by a smidgeon, because I want the cake to have a bit more stability. As for the chocolate, well I used 85 percent Lindt and I think it could be too overpowering, not sure, need to take a poll. Perhaps I will try using 75 percent next time or switch to a different brand. Lindt produces a fabulous pure chocolate taste, however, there is a slight bitterness to it and I would like a cake that is just a tad sweeter. The texture is not gooey, nor cakey but closer to a decadent truffle-like,  slightly undercooked brownie.  Next time, vanilla extract will be added, because apparently my eyes could not find it any of the five stores I schlepped to in and around my neighborhood. Project vanilla is on! All in all I was pleased with the result. Warm out of the oven and nestled next to a scoop of cool, sweet vanilla icecream and you will be in heaven. 

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Bake 1 hour (toothpick should not be spotless)

12 oz. semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate

3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) butter

3/4 c. plus 2T sugar 

4 eggs

4 egg yolks

1/2 tsp. salt

6T almond flour

3t vanilla extract

  1. Cut chocolate and butter into small pieces and melt over a double boiler. 
  2. While the chocolate is cooling, whisk by hand or with an electric mixer, the yolks, whole eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla until ribbon stage, which will look pale yellow and the batter will be thick enough to fall gracefully into ribbon like streams. 
  3. Pause for one minute breathe in the insane aroma of chocolate and eggy scent of the batter. Once nose is fully sated, fold in almond flour and chocolate. Mix until uniform in color. 
  4. Line a pan with about 16 buttered ramekins. Create a water bath by pouring enough water to reach halfway up the pan.
  5. While baking try to find something to keep you occupied, because you may just want to crawl out of your skin and into the oven. The smell is pretty glorious kiddies.


morning glory

What is it about Sundays? I always seem to feel a tad bit lost, not quite sure what the day expects of me, and frankly a little unsure of what I should expect of the day. Do I just flitter around aimlessly and revel in the fact that it is a day of rest or do I try to force myself to do something productive. Growing up, I would drag myself through the hours watching the minutes slowly wind down until the hourglass stood empty in anticipation for the following school day. Not the greatest feeling. But, but, but, there was a silver lining, because Sunday was also breakfast day in my house, like in the sitdown at the kitchen table all together kind of breakfast, not the slurp your cereal down kind of meal. My mom would whip up either eggs and bacon or oatmeal with apple hash. It was the real kind of oatmeal, you know the slow cooking kind, which as a kid I had not yet learned to appreciate. She would replace the water with apple juice, which I thought that was just brillient at the age of seven. Apart from snooping around the kitchen my job was to grate the apples. Gorgeous, crisp Galas would minutes later yield juicy apple slaw to accompany our hearty oatmeal. I would always mix the two together to make a heaping pile of oatmeal apple goodness. If my dad was manning the stove, breakfast would be pancakes and most likely bacon. He would geefully add sliced bananas, blueberries or as a speacial treat, chocolate chips to each tendor cake. My ritual would be to take the crispy bacon pieces, a drizzle of Aunt Jamina maple syrup and roll them in the fluffy pancakes. Sweet, porky, crunchy and tendor, a beautiful melding of flavors that I savored with each bite and washed down with orange juice, sans pulp.

These days, lost is the sitdown family affair and my treasured pancake rollups. In its place I find myself sipping café con hielo from my regular café steps from my apartment and snacking on a variety of fruit until my stomache pleads for lunch at midday. Clearly not as delicious nor lavish as the Sunday spread of my youth, however, a ritual still remains. Breakfast, or lack there of it, prepares me for the day ahead; it's a time to peruse the paper, write, read or simply daydream as I lose myself in the blackness of my coffee and the melody of song whimpering in the background. Perhaps  the minutes will lazily linger into an hour, and a second café will be ordered, which is certainly ok, because Sunday as it turns out is indeed a day of rest.


wierd, quirky and oh so delicious

I may have had a slight addiction to Hellmann's mayonnaise as a kid. Mayonnaise, cream cheese, and sour cream actually, but mayonnaise reigned number one. Generously slathered on white bread, graced with slices of sweet, juicy tomatoes and a sprinkle of garlic salt and black pepper, made for an utterly mouthwatering after school snack. Tuna salad, potato salad, coleslaw, you name it; if it had mayonnaise I was a happy camper. Cold pizza, chicken cutlets and leftover roasted potatoes right from the fridge dipped in this wondrous condiment was my downfall, but that's neither here nor there, because mayonnaise is seriously good; and people, I am not ashamed. 

We all have our quirks and habits and that is what makes eating and cooking so fun and playful. These days I have upped the sophistication factor, and now olive oil; good, fruity, intense olive oil, has stolen mayo's place. I find myself using it like water, like it does not cost a thing, and like I can afford to buy a new bottle every two weeks or so. I love taking rice cakes, drizzling oil in the little crevices and topping it with salt or a little raw sugar if I am craving something sweet. It's a bit of a habit, that, and finishing off a whole, well quarter size, watermelon standing up at the kitchen counter. Confession is; it's a bit difficult to move after, because you are so outrageously full with water. Confession two; I just can't stop once I start! It must be the heat and the fact that I have kind of been doing this since I was a kid. Old habits never die.

I also tend to go through phases with food, condiments, fruit, or what have you. At the moment I am on a cheese and honey kick. Fresh or aged, it does not matter; flying solo or on a rice cake, take your pick. It's my go to snack and I can, will and do make a meal out of it. Rolling into its second week I may have to change it up soon, but right now I am still content. Another favorite, garbanzo beans: love, love, love them. For lunch I sometimes throw together a little late afternoon bean salad. I quickly sauté cherry tomatoes until they burst, add garbanzos, crumbled blue cheese, and dress them with olive oil, white wine vinegar, pimentón and a smidgen of honey for a smooth sweetness. Then, then I top it all off with a fried egg, sprinkled with sea salt of course and lots of fresh black pepper. It is fast, as simple as it gets and pretty damn satisfying. No picture at the moment, but I will be sure to post the next time I fancy this dish, which I am sure will be very soon.

There is no recipe or groundbreaking news to report here, just a little something to chew on; so, until next time, happy eating.


yours truly

Dear Fellow Foodies,

I must apologize. My, oh my what must you think of me. I started this blog over two weeks ago with no reference to who I am, why I am writing and more importantly why you are reading. Let me introduce myself. I am Señorita Foodie, and I hail from New York City. As you probably know I love food. Cooking it, reading about it, talking about it, shopping for it, and of course eating it. But, before I start waxing poetically about the beauty of a perfectly ripe avocado let's start with the basics shall we?

Six months ago I packed my bags, sold my furniture, stored my belongings and said goodbye to Brooklyn, my friends, my family and yes, my favorite quaint, little coffee shop situated on my favorite quaint, little treelined street. Ohh how I miss my green tea latte and those peanut butter, banana and honey sandwiches served with a side of jazz on a brisk winter's day! Sorry, moving on. So, before I left I was a Private Chef to an Upper East Side well-to-do family, with a food obsession, i.e. obsessed with not eating much of it. Oh, the stories I could share! Before that I was sweating with the best of them at Eleven Madison Park and Gramercy Tavern in New York City, after graduating from culinary school. My plan for the big jump? Immerse myself in Spain's culture, eat as many tortillas as I could, cook my heart out, perfect my Spanish and absorb this gastronomical cuisine.  

A sense of belonging and a new life greeted me back in February when I arrived to my new city with luggage in one hand and bubbly anticipation in the other. I was thousands of miles away from my beautiful family, while standing on the brink of an incredible adventure. After a brief stage at Comerce 24, a well-known tapas restaurant in the El Borne neighborhood, I began teaching English to earn a bit of change. I discovered two things during this time. One, teaching, well teaching is not for me. Screaming, misbehaved kids plus lack of patience equals disaster. Two, I had an overwhelming urge to take my life by the reigns and step out of the restaurant world and into one that would offer me more fulfillment creatively. 

I must confess it took me a while to get back to the root of why I came here. I guess what they call la vida loca snuck up on me and decided to stay longer than I intended, but from day one I knew in my gut Barcelona would provide the backdrop I needed to get my creative juices flowing and to really step out of my comfort zone and accomplish something. I owe it to myself to explore this great city of food and take advantage of each day here. My interests are a plenty and my ideas and visions are always evolving.  So, here I am a few months later soaking up the sun and putting the peddle to the metal. Is that what they say? In other words I got my head and ass in gear and I am ready to make things happen on my own terms and it all begins with this blog. 

First things first. With all my treks back and forth to various markets around the city, ogling the finest looking cheeses, fruits, vegetables and meats I decided I needed to start documenting my whereabouts. With great pleasure I will bring you places I find down right delicious to eat at, shop at and of course a smattering of foodie type musings, stories and recipes. 

Second, before I find myself back in my whites taking orders from a chef I am slowly putting the wheels in motion to start my own catering business. I know, I know, we are in a "crisis" as the Spaniards say or a "recession" as you on the other side of the water call it. Whichever word you fancy, bottom line is, money isn't rolling in. Times are tough folks, but I will endure I say, I will endure! Well, you can be the judge of that, because I will chronicle a bit about this rocky road on my blog.

So, that's who I am and that's what's on the table. I invite you to settle into your favorite chair, nosh on something tasty and daydream about far off lands and scrumptious treats. Buen provecho! 

Yours Truly,
Señorita Foodie


hotdogs and honeybees

I love the power food holds over us, whether it is playing with our emotions, changing our moods, or in the most basic sense, nourishing our body and soul. I love when the most trivial of tastes or smells can instantly transport you to a time in your childhood, magically creating a safe haven for your mind to drift back to those days of ease; slowly waking each memory from its lazy slumber and bringing each detail that lay dormant until that very taste to life.  The other day I was enjoying a leisurely dinner at twilight with a friend, when I had this very experience. What started as a chat over a couple of glasses of wine, comfortably turned into us ordering a large salad with honey mustard chicken to split and a bowl of gazpacho. The food was nothing to write home about, however, I was struck by a taste that has not graced my palate in quite some time. It was mustard. Not the fancy, grainy variety, but instead the neon yellow condiment for hotdogs variety. Living in Barcelona, you don’t come across this taste often, so my senses were clearly caught off guard. 

Seated across from my friend in a plaza we often frequent, surrounded by a mix of street people and tattooed free spirits I was suddenly no longer able to hear the ramblings of Spaniards conversing at the table beside me, but instead now a gaggle of girls giggling and gossiping rang in my ear. I could no longer smell the sweet leaves from the tree looming over me, but now chlorine and hotdogs captured my sense of smell. The scene was my birthday party at our local swim club that my parents had thrown for me many moons ago. It was lunchtime and there was the ubiquitous choice of burgers, hotdogs or pizza and of course fries and sweet fountain soda. I can vividly recall my mother squirting French’s mustard on my bare hotdog, and no sooner then a second later having a bee buzz loudly around my head. Being highly allergic to bees, I swung my hands in a flaring motion and unfortunately my poor, newly adorned dog took a nose dive to the concrete. Tears may or may not have followed, but I am certain that hotdog was gobbled up one way or another. Now, this birthday party no matter how great it had been has not been thought about since that hot day in August, but that bite of chicken coated in mustard grabbed me by the hand and yanked me back to a time I would happily visit over and over again. A time of simplicity, laughter, and innocence. Eating lunch by the pool with friends, family and the scorching sun, while the melody of water splashing and life guard's whistles hummed in the background. The wiff of chlorine from my still wet bathing suit and water logged hair along with the perfumed aroma of sunscreen mingled perfectly with my salty hotdog enrobed in its doughy, white bun. It was these extraneous elements that created a taste all its own and could never be recreated without that same soaking wet bathing suit, thick summer heat and scent of sunscreen dancing in the gentle breeze, but I sure can observe from a distance with a smile on my face.

As my plate was cleared and a third glass of wine was dropped I was quickly whisked back to the plaza, my friend and my full stomach. Although sad to have felt that memory leave me, I now know where I can find it again when perhaps I am in need of a pick-me-up;  yellow mustard on a hot summer's day.