My recreation :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

While my palette still lingers for Spanish bread and patatas bravas (which the patatas, I'm ashamed to admit, should be the last thing I miss :), I have been pretty excited about the new kitchen Jose and I finally have. I cannot begin to tell you how much we hate crappy knives. Since leaving home, I've lived in either a college campus, or rented. For some reason, even after having a full time job, I couldn't justify spending hundreds on a knife set so I just used what was available. Though I admit Jose has given me the "do's and don'ts" of 'expensive knife' use (along with the new pots & pans) that made me really hesitant about using these knives incorrectly.

So as I sat with boxes around me, tired of unpacking, I managed to feel inspired to cook something fresh. After scanning the refrigerator I knew I was limited, but I had very key ingredients: chicken, mango, avocado, FOOD PROCESSOR (this is a highlight for me), lime, and other miscellaneous items. I can't believe I almost forgot this one: a George Foreman Grill. Pathetic because I could afford this before, but just never got around to buying one. Why?! It makes the BEST sandwich melts AND cooks chicken so fast, leaving it's delicious grill marks. So when I came across this post on She Eats Bears, I hopped over the boxes and yanked out the new goodies.

I admit I had to learn the following:
1) Roast tomatoes in the oven (well)
2) Cut mango into squares

Along with cutting the mangoes, I managed to cut my pinky. Like I said, I'm used to crappy knives. I was a little too aggressive with my slicing, and did not realize expensive knives cut mango skin like SILK. Yep, cut my pinky like silk too!

The results? GREAT!! You can see my home-made avocado dressing is more of a home-made tomato dressing because I only had one avocado and 3 tomatoes. That happens. She doesn't specify measurements in this particular dish, but let me just say it is worth a shot. Mango goes SO well with chicken salads, especially with a smoky dressing. YUM. Note that I didn't have almost half of her ingredients but it still worked.

Did I mention we don't have plates yet?

Who cares? We have A/C! We'll get around to the plates this week...



Sunday, June 6, 2010

PHEW. Can you believe it?! A year of planning and then that moment finally gets here. The good news is.. Im still in SPAIN!! The reason I am writing is because we are staying with a friend´s Aunt here in Madrid and right now the family is watching tennis with Jose. We leave tomorrow for Sevilla. The bad news is that I won´t really get to all the details until the end of June when we get back to the States.

Geez.. the immensity of that day was overwhelming. But, as you can FINALLY see, I DID make my brooch bouquet and you can see my Spanish dress. Also, I ditched the birdcage and went with a mantilla. It was a decision made closer to the wedding day, but the birdcage was kind of awkward on me.

(By Raya Carlisle -- our photographer :):) :)

Do you like my hair?!? Remember my last post?? Well, I decided to do my hair myself! But clearly that´s crazy, right? I knew I couldn´t do it ALL by myself, but I needed to try. The night I found out about the girl canceling, I guided Jose´s Aunt and cousin to do a hair trial with me. I needed help curling the back, and LOTS of teasing, with some bumpits and stuff thrown in there (haha), we made it WORK!! They were pretty nervous, because I mean.. DUH, you are asked to do someone´s WEDDING HAIR just days before the event (AND you are not a hair stylist), who wouldn´t freak out? If it turned out badly during our ¨trial¨then I would have just gone with a stylist, but I LOVED it. I´ll try to get some detail shots of the back because it´s more than just volume and curls.

If there are any brides out there that haven´t gotten married yet, let me tell you that the MOST stressful moment was before the rehearsal. In short, I should have expected this but I simply didn´t. My phone would not STOP ringing and my entire family didn´t have the freaking directions to the VENUE!! Then one of them gets lost and of course calls me. Someone else wants me to text them the address (HELLO?! What are the invitations for?!) and my phone just continued to ring away, elevating my stress. SO, if you know that this very well could be your family - PLEASE -- designate an INFORMATION person!!! Make one person solely responsible of these calls. They should have the address, directions, access to an i-phone (yup, the stoneagers here still don´t have one :P), and you should let all of your family know BEFORE your rehearsal that they can ONLY call them. And that designated person can call you if need be.

But thank God... that was the only big stresser. The actual wedding day was incredible. I am going to write several posts breaking down the moments to give you a better idea once I´m back from Spain. In the mean time, I´m having a crazy time here! We went HANG GLIDING in the coast of San Sebastian!!! We walk a LOT, which is good because we eat bread almost ALL of the time. And patatas bravas - diced potatoes with ketchup & mayo -- YES, please! Gotta love that cholesterol! haha. I also bought my first vintage camera!! Err, well, I bought two. I also bought a vintage kodak ad from Spain. I KNOW. But you guys, I am going to furnish my FIRST place!! You know I´m going to go crazy there with all my obsession with decor.

Time to go! Gonna eat some straciatella now! Ok. That´s Italian gelatto, but they have them everywhere here and well... Italy is much closer now. So that counts right?! ;)

p.s. We performed a salsa version to Dirty Dancing´s ¨Time of Your Life¨ at the wedding -- and yes, there was a video which I will post!!

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