Category: Food

I have to confess that despite having been living in Andalusia for 3 years, I have never made any cold soup to save my life. There is always someone (Andalusians are fanatical about making you their version of gazpacho or salmorejo, or at least bring you their mother’s) around to make it for me. In a daring move, I set out to make a gazpacho today, but not the traditional recipe with tomatoes, but a variation using melon. I tried it in Madrid last summer, and the sweetness of the fruit and the saltiness of the ham is an addicting combo (think prosciutto with melon, in liquid form). Its quick and easy to prepare. I threw in a whole melon, a clove of garlic, dash of olive oil, and salt in a blender, liquified and after it cooled in the fridge, topped it with Iberian ham.

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Cupcake cravings …

While chatting on the phone with a pregnant friend of mine, the subject of cupcakes came up (as it always does with me and adding a pregnant woman in the equation does not exactly make the topic farfetched). I haven’t been in a baking mood lately and with the summer heat blanketing the city, it’s unthinkable to even think of firing up the oven. But I do miss these moist mocha cupcakes I made over the winter. I used a basic chocolate recipe and added brewed coffee and walnuts and a tad bit more butter. They turned out moist and rich and with an incredible coffee-chocolate flavour.


There is nothing more that makes me feel accomplished early in the day than starting the day right. I love the spring/summer months where I just wake up to a craving of juice and fruit. This week’s staples seem to be mango juice, bananas in honey and a nectarine.

Breakfast in Blue

On a recent trip to Tarifa, wind capital of Europe, a friend introduced me to a charming café. Café Azul, located in the main drag of the town, is a tiny yet airy space that bequeaths the feeling of North Africa, just a few kilometers across the sea.

The interior is inviting and cozy and has managed to achieve a sense of warmth and cool tranquility. Fruit and homemade pastries on display makes one feel like they are entering a friend’s kitchen. Everything about this place conveys health and a ”feel good” sensation.

The breakfast menu is extensive, ranging from the traditional Spanish tomato and olive oil on toast, to American bacon and eggs. But the real gem of this little nook are the crepes. Salty or sweet, they offer toppings from fresh fruit, to veggies, to hams and cheeses -it was a struggle to decide on which to choose. I recommend the ricotta with blueberries. I am a sucker for blueberries.

Café Azul
Calle de la Batalla del Salado 8, 11380 Tarifa

I have never been to a wine tasting or wine pairing of sorts in Spain. Which is quite strange actually, I have has visuals in my head as wine-guzzling sangria fiends. I arrive here to find that the national day-to-day drink is beer. So when a friend invited me to a cata in one of my favorite restaurants around the corner from my house, I jumped at the chance.

Barajas 20 has been open only a few short months, but it has quickly gained popularity with Sevillians. A somewhat out of place tiled portrayal of Jesus carrying the cross marks its entrance to pay respect to Jesús del Gran Poder, one of the most important churches of Seville, just down the street. Inside feels like a small-town (yet busy) train station bistro. The evolving menus are handwritten which compromises of wines beyond the typical Rioja, and classic Spanish cuisine with a touch of the house’s own flavor.

The pairing featured 3 wines – Red, white and rosé. Together with 3 tapas picked to complement each wine’s flavor, acidity and specific flavors from each region. I started off with the red (of course I would), from Ronda in Málaga. Heavy and deep-burgundy, paired well with the cannelloni with Iberian meat. The white, Las Corazas from Castilla, was paired off with a variation of the blood sausage, this one being from squid in its ink, topped with salty algae. I liked how the saltiness of the leaf contrasted with the sweetness of the wine. The best one of the night had to be the rosé, which surprised me since I barely drink sweeter, fruity wines anymore. A Catalan wine, Synera is appealing from the first moment. The smell is tantalizing and strong, a bouquet of berries, wild and fresh. I personally love berried and chicken together and was pleased to find the wine paired of with a brochette of chicken in mushroom sauce.

All in all … good food, good friends, good wine, good night!

Barajas 20 Tapas
Conde de Barajas nº 20 Sevilla

A study in smoothies #1

Growing up a few hundred kilometers above the equator introduced me to a lifestyle of fresh fruit year-round and the (what seemed to be a losing battle) struggle to beat the heat. One can find fruit shakes (as we call them) readily available all over Southeast Asia in a large variety of flavours – mango, banana, coconut, star fruit, lychee … you name it, we got it.

After I moved to the USA, my habitual dose of fruity goodness was put off for a while. For me the fruits just didn’t just ”taste right”, being shipped so far in an early stage, they just don’t get the same flavour. Until I moved to Hawai’i. There I found my long-lost love for the chilled, fruity refreshment that surfers seemed to have adopted as their official drink.

This particular one pictured below is Andalusian by nature. Strawberries from the coast, splashed with orange juice. Just perfect for this already sizzling spring weather.