A Trip Down Memory Lane

Hey ya’ll! Hope everyone is doing pretty good. I’ve had a pretty lazy day, which in my mind is awesome because I’m trying to get as much relaxation as possible before I go back to graduate school to get on my nutrition grind. I’m looking forward to getting into more serious and in depth classes since I love nutrition so much. Anyways back to the last meal of my trip to DC. We ended up going to a tapas restaurant. For the three of us, it was like going down memory lane to our trip this summer to Spain. Oh how I miss you Spain, you were so wonderful. We ended up at Estadio, which was a quick walk from our hotel. Luckily it was a quick walk because at this point the temps had dropped to 17 degrees and it was incredibly windy. Weather.com said it felt like 3 degrees. Brrr. Literally no one was out except us. Okay shut up Lindsay and get to the food.

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Some of the pictures are a little dark because the restaurant decided to have a “romantic” feeling to it, which was kind of weird since there were only a few people inside. Everything was tapas style, which means that it is small plates. I love this because you get to sample a bunch of things. This was a pintxo, which is just a skewered appetizer type of thing. On this one there was chorizo, manchego, and pistachio crusted quince. I like getting a little bite of something. All of the things on the toothpick blended nicely together. My favorite part was the pistachio crusted quince. It was a little sweet with a little saltiness. I was glad we started the meal off with this.

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The sandwich king would have been proud. This was a bocadillo with pork belly and pickled shishito peppers. Oh man. I loved that it was served on a ciabata roll. Definitely wasn’t expecting that from a Spanish restaurant. The pork belly was incredibly tender and fell apart as you bite into it. The pickles were a nice simple topping to go on the sandwich because they added a little spice, but didn’t take away from the star of the dish that was the pork. My brother and I gobbled this down in probably five seconds.

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Of course you can’t go to a Spanish tapas restaurant and not order a plate of croquetas. These were wild mushroom croquetas with argula and roasted peppers. These were so simple, but tasty. The outside was nice and crispy while the inside focused solely on the freshness and flavors of the mushrooms. The inside was creamy and delicious. I definitely would have gotten these again.

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Now this was a colorful dish. Very tasty too. It was a montaditos, which is an open faced semi-sandwich like tapas. On this one there was beets, heirloom tomatoes, and whipped goat cheese. It was delicious. I liked that the goat cheese was minimal on the sandwich because it allowed the vegetables to be the main focus of the dish. The bread was lightly toasted, so there was a slight crunch with the bread as the vegetables were smooth and soft to bite into. I am a huge fan of beets right now and these were cooked perfectly.

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This was definitely one of the best dishes of the night. It was another montaditos. This time there was foie gras involved. If there is anything ya’ll remember about my Spain posts it is that I am obsessed with foie gras and we pretty much ate it at every meal if it was possible. This was foie gras scrambled eggs with black truffle butter. You pretty much can’t get better than that. It was so exquisite for such a small plate. The eggs were fluffy and creamy. It provided a nice texture to the hardness of the toasted bread. I could have eaten about ten of these. I had to split one piece with my dad while my brother got to eat an entire one to himself.

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What a beautiful plate. This was from the pescado part of the menu, which is simply just fish. It was a sherry glazed halibut served over nuts and sauteed spinach. It was a nice piece of fish with a delicious sauce. The fish was incredibly flaky and paired well with the spinach. I liked that it was a small portion of fish that we got to all taste. If the fish was any bigger I don’t think I would have made it through the rest of the meal.

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Ya’ll know my family and I couldn’t have gone to a meal and not have gotten mussels to eat. We wanted to try every restaurant’s mussels in order to compare. These were probably the most simple of all the mussels we had tried on the trip, but that didn’t mean they lacked flavor or weren’t delicious. In fact I liked them quite a bit. Not as much as the mushroom ones from Brasserie Beck, but they were pretty great. Plus there was a ton of bread to dip in the sauce, which I am always a fan of.

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Oh man, this was the other favorite of the night. It was a delicious carne selection (meat, which is pretty obvious if you don’t know Spanish). It was crispy braised bacon served on top of a butternut puree and topped with crispy brussel sprouts. This meat was probably some of the most tender meat I have had in a long time. As soon as your fork ripped into the bacon it just fell apart. The crispy brussel sprouts were a nice addition. It gave each bite a little crunch to go along with it. The butternut puree was very creamy and gave a sweet addition to the smokiness of the bacon. I was in meat heaven. I don’t eat a lot of meat, but I would definitely be a meat eater all the time for this bad boy.

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This was a special of the night. In my mind I call it Jewish brisket on crack. It was some of the best brisket I have had in a while surrounded by mashed potatoes that were surrounded by brisket sauce. Noms. It was like Shabbat dinner in a quaint little Spanish restaurant. However it was a Monday night, so definitely no Shabbat was going down. It was so awesome being able to dip the meat into the mashed potatoes. Definitely a good option for those who aren’t able to venture out on the menu and want to stick to the traditional meat and potatoes. BORING, but in this case delicious.

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It took us a million tries to get this dish. All it was is a plate of simple wild mushrooms, but for some reason the waiter kept forgetting that we ordered this. He also forgot our order of patatas bravas, but oh well because I would have barfed if he brought them to the table. This were amazing. They were just sauteed in some oil and herbs. It reminded me of one of my favorite places we went in Spain that only served different types of mushrooms sauteed in oil. It is so simple, but amazing.

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Now it was time for postre. Finally my brother realized he could only handle one dessert that night. He opted for a pear tart with a side of ice cream. It was very tasty. The crust was flaky and the pears were caramelized, but not too sweet. I liked the addition of the dusted powdered sugar. He was in dessert heaven because he is a huge fan of pastries, especially tarts.

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I got to be in pumpkin heaven. Pumpkin is life to me, so when I saw that there was a pumpkin bread pudding dessert I knew that I was getting that immediately. My brother ended up eating half because he can’t keep his spoon to himself. Typical. It was amazing though. The bread pudding was soft and the pumpkin wasn’t too overwhelming. Sometimes people can use too much pumpkin and it doesn’t taste sweet enough. I liked the addition of all the nuts too. It gave it a little crunch.

Overall this was the perfect way to end our trip to DC. It brought back memories of our previous trip together to Spain and it made us have warm bellies to brave the cold weather. If you are in DC this is another recommendation of places to go. Estadio. Don’t forget it.

Have you ever had tapas?
What is your favorite Spanish inspired meal?

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WIAW: While Abroad

Hey ya’ll! It is that awesome time of the week again, What I Ate Wednesday, thanks to the lovely Jenn. Unfortunately I’m going to have to recap some of the past today because I don’t have time to write an elaborate post about what I have been eating lately. Plus I’ve been slacking on the picture taking front. I have been too busy studying for my advanced nutrition midterm and working on my lab skills, such as blood pressure. I’ll probably kick the butt of all of it, but I would rather be overprepared for everything. So I’m going to recap the rest of my Spain trip in this awesome post because I realized that I forgot to share the rest of the trip with ya’ll. Get ready for some delicious, appetizing Spanish food porn coming your way.

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When we were in Barcelona, we went to heaven. Also known as La Boqueria. It is this huge outdoor market. It was amazing. There was so much to see inside. There were also little restaurants spread throughout the place. I pretty much wanted to gobble up everything that was in sight. It was really hard to just choose a few things to snack on because we really wanted to sit down and get some tapas too.

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Isn’t this beautiful? I thought so. I really just wanted to rob the entire candy stand. I’m not gonna lie, but I totally kept taking free samples of everything when the Spanish woman working the shop wasn’t looking. Sometimes it is hard to tell if a candy is good or not, so I thought why not test taste. Since we were getting tapas in a little bit, my brother and I decided to each get a huge bag of candy to take home with us on our long journey. Well he ended up eating his all before we even left Spain, but I got to enjoy mine when I was back in America and on my long journey. This candy was the bomb. I really miss it actually. It was pretty cheap too.

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Since it was a pretty hot day, we ended up getting smoothie/juices. It was a mix between a smoothie and a juice. It was really delicious. I ended up getting the pineapple coconut one. You could taste the fresh pineapple chunks in it mixed with the creaminess of the coconut. My brother got a watermelon one. It was really good too. His was more juice like while mine had the consistency of a smoothie. These were all over the market too. Pretty cheap. At some places, you could get a small one for one euro. I like cheap things.

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After walking around the market a bit, we decided to sit down and get some tapas. We ended up getting calamari of course. This was actually some pretty good calamari. It was salty, but when sprinkled with the lemon juice it became a little more acidic. It was really good. I wish there would have been more to enjoy because you can’t go wrong with ordering anything that is fried. Especially squid. It is definitely always a win win (lies though because I was poisoned by horrible food at this place in Sevilla – trying not to think about it).

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Of course we were getting patatas bravas too. These were very hasbrown like, which was delicious. It is always a safe choice to go with patatas bravas. As long as they aren’t just drenched in sauce then you are good to go. I think we ordered a few other things, but apparently I blacked out at this point in the meal and stopped taking pictures. I think we were in a rush that day because we were taking the train back to Madrid. This feels like forever ago too, which is sad because it was only a few months ago. I definitely miss this trip. It was amazing.

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I know when I was recapping my Spain trip that I wrote about the greatest meal of my life, but I lied. This meal was definitely tied with it. We went on a day trip to Malaga, which was so beautiful. It was a nice coastal town where we could look out at the ocean. I wish we would have gone to the beach while we were there, but it was a long drive from where we were staying, so we couldn’t stay that long. Anyways this restaurant we went to while we were there was AMAZING. This is caramelized apples with foie gras. Ummm YES. It tasted as good as it looks. The crispy sweetness of the apples went well with the foie gras. My life belief is that you should always treat yourself to foie gras. You won’t regret it.

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These were definitely some of the best croquetas I had on my trip. Actually the dipping sauce was amazing. It was like a spicy mayonaisse. That is definitely want you want to be dipping fried cheese balls in. I think that these were just your basic jamon (ham) croquetas. They may have been simple, but definitely packed a ton of flavor. I think that all croquetas should come with a delicious sauce like this.

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These were some really interesting things. At first I thought I was at an Asian restaurant, but then I remembered that I was in Spain. I thought these were eggrolls, but I’m still not really sure what they are. Anyways they were the best things EVER. They had duck in them, which was tender and delicious. The sauce that went with it was sweet and tangy, which went nice with the crunch of the fried wrapper. I was sad that I couldn’t remember the name of these because I am always looking for them at tapas restaurants in the city.

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This was a tapas from the gods in heaven. It was toasted bread with mushrooms, shrimp, and a creamy ranch sauce. It was so good. I was sad that we had only gotten one order because we each only got to enjoy one piece of it. The shrimp was cooked and seasoned perfectly while the mushrooms had been sauteed in butter and oil providing a nice texture along with the crunch of the bread. The sauce was amazing. All creamy, fattening sauces are good anyways, so this was just like mmmmmmmmmmm.

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Well we couldn’t go anywhere without having an order of patatas bravas. Since this was one of the best meals of my life, these were obviously going to be one of the best patatas bravas on the trip. I loved how they used not only the spicy traditional sauce, but also drizzled some mayonaisse based sauce on top too. When the sauces blended together, it gave a creamy spicy combination to go along with the crunchiness of the fried potatoes. Man, how I miss these things. I seriously dream about these little bites of heaven all the time because it is so hard to find traditional and delicious patatas.

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Since we are totally fatties and it was our vacation, so we were treating ourselves, we had to get a dessert. It took a bit to pick because I wanted those eggroll things, but in dessert form. However they had ran out of that, so we settled for this cinnamon apple dessert. It was definitely a winning choice. It was amazing. It had caramel, cooked apples, cinnamon, vanilla icecream, and walnuts. I died. Literally. It was perfection. It was literally gone in about less than a minute. My brother and I of course had our typical spoon fight over the last few bites.

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Breakfast of champions right here. I’m not even sure what any of this is, but my dad stopped at a pastry shop and just picked a bunch of things for my brother to have. I got the doughnut looking thing. It was not your typical doughnut. It sort of reminded me of this cronut craze that is going on. It was more pastry like on the inside and then topped with a sugar glaze.

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Here was my breakfast of champions. I think this was called a bombello or bombom or something along the lines with the letters bom in it. It was like eating cake for breakfast. Actually it literally was. The inside was a sweet buttercream. The pastry was a cream puff that had been dipped in rich dark chocolate. It was good. The other thing was just a basic little pastry roll stuffed with sweet cream. Everyone was grabbing to get a bite of my big pastry. It was that good. I was in a sugar coma though after breakfast. Not a bad way to start the day.

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We stopped at this interesting little tapas place in Barcelona. You pretty much picked all the tapas you wanted from a bar and went back to your seat to enjoy them. You paid by the amount of toothpick and the size of the toothpick, so that was pretty interesting. It was a good place to go to get a little snack before we went on a long adventure for the day. Some of the stuff was really good while some of the other things were just all right. It was overall an experience.

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I obviously have to share some more sweets, specifically helado. I love ice cream. In Spain, it was actually pretty delicious. This was more of a gelato style kind of ice cream place. I ended up getting white chocolate with raspberry and chocolate chunks in it. It was really good. I think the owner said that it was one of the most popular flavors. After I had a few bites, I knew why. The tartness of the raspberries went along well with the rich flavor of the chocolate. It was so good. A nice treat for a warm day (although the weather was never really that hot while we were there, which was nice).

Well that is all I have for ya’ll today! I hope you guys have an awesome Wednesday. Now it is back to studying for my exams. I am ready to kick some butt though. I know I’m good when I have literally memorized every single thing and can repeat it without looking at any notes. I could practically teach the class.

Where is the best place you have traveled and eaten the best food?
What was the best meal of your life?

Concrete Jungle and Snowcones

Hey ya’ll! Sorry I haven’t been around lately, but I have been on a whirlwind of events. I ended up deciding to go to graduate school at Columbia University in THE New York City. Best decision of my life. I have recently moved up here (recently being this past weekend, I drove all the way from Texas – woooo). I’m now living with my best friend from BU and another girl that went to BU. We all three go to Columbia, but I’m the only one that studies nutrition. I love my program! It is so amazing and I will definitely go on and on and on about it, but right now I’m going to share my first NYC adventure with ya’ll!

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My roommate, Carrianne, and I ended up going to Greenwich Village to go on a hunt for something we needed for the apartment. However we ended up at this really cute pet store that had a ton of puppies on sale. Of course we had to go in and look at all of them just for fun. We definitely will never be getting a dog up here, but it doesn’t hurt to look at them. This cock-a-poo was so cute. I was tapping the glass with my finger and she was chasing it around. You could tell she did not want to be in the container. I wish we could have taken her out for a walk. I have a weak spot for adorable little puppies. After we had our fun, we went on the real adventure: to get a snowcone (ya’ll shouldn’t even be surprised at this point).

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Ya’ll know how I love snowcones, especially New Orleans style. This place was so cute. It was called Imperial Woodpecker Snow-balls. It was tucked away in a street filled with restaurants. It was sort of like a food stand just out on the street. The guy was sitting there with the ice machine in front of him and all the bottles of flavors. This was the huge menu of flavors! It was so hard to pick what I wanted. I am definitely going to have to venture back to Greenwich just to have one of these snowcones before the September 15th close date.

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I eventually decided to go for a booze theme and get flavors that were named after drinks. I chose margarita and mojito. I loved that the snowcone came in a takeout container. It was massive and definitely worth the 5$ price. It was sweet and tangy. The flavors matched each other perfectly as did the color. It was just a visually appealing snowcone with phenomenal flavors. I was in heaven as we walked around Greenwich looking at shop windows. I wish it was a never ending snowcone.

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Just look at the majestic power of this container of shaved ice! It is seriously delicious. There are not enough words to describe the flavor sensation I experienced as I bite into this. The flavors were less fake and syrupy. It tasted as if they had made the syrups themselves instead of ordered them from a standard shaved ice company. They actually even had all natural flavors such as jalapeno watermelon and Meyer-Lemon Basil. Ummm yes. Who doesn’t want exotic flavors like that on a cup of ice?

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Imperial Woodpecker Sno-Balls is the place to go! If you are in NYC currently, make it down to Greenwich village by Sept 15th to enjoy this tasty treat. The sad thing is that the manager is moving out of NYC, so this will be the last summer with Imperial Woodpecker Sno-Balls. I know, right? I discover something delicious in the city, and it is already leaving me! Oh well, I am going to make one more trek out there in order to try another flavor. Carrianne ended up getting the King Cake flavor and said that it was quite delicious!

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Later that night, we were originally going to go out, so we went to this tapas bar, Marcha, in our neighborhood before going out. We ended up getting a couple of cocktails and tapas. Turns out that we didn’t make it out, but we didn’t really care because this place was amazing. The music was great, the cocktails were even better, and the food was so good. I ordered a colada type of drink that had hints of pineapple, coconut, and mango in it. It was like drinking pure fruit with alcohol hidden throughout it. Carrianne got a strawberry drink with champagne and some other alcohol in it. It was delicious, of course.

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We got an order of patatas bravas. I know this doesn’t look like all the pictures of my patatas bravas from Spain, but this dish was equally delicious. It had a spicy aioli drizzled across perfectly seasoned and cooked sliced potatoes. We inhaled these. The sauce was so creamy and rich. The spiciness was not overpowering either, which was amazing. We also ended up order croquetas, specifically ones with goat cheese, tomatoes, and a red wine dipping sauce. Holy heck! These things were amazing. I wish I would have taken a picture, but at this point we were on our second cocktails and feeling good. I’m so glad that this place is one block from my apartment. We decided last night that this will definitely be one of our neighborhood joints.

I’m so glad to be living in the wonderful city that is New York. Ya’ll we be joining me on my foodie adventures to test out restaurants and cook in my apartment. I am going to be making a ton of different recipes, recreating dishes that I try, doing epic restaurant reviews, and of course sharing nutrition tidbits from my classes and life.

A Day Trip to Toledo

Hey ya’ll! I hope everyone has been having a fantastic weekend. Mine has been pretty relaxed. I’m still trying to figure out everything for graduate school, but I will let ya’ll know as soon as everything is final! I love sharing all my happy news with the community. Ya’ll are such a wonderful group of supportive people! Anyways on to the fun stuff: Spain. The third day in Spain, we ended up taking a day trip to Toledo. Lets just say that this was a very interesting experience. Not thinking about it, we went to the train station in Madrid, called Atocha. We ended up sitting for about an hour and a half in this DMV sort of place. You drew a number and waited and waited and waited until your number was called. It was very odd because we had 535 while they were on like 745…hmmm luckily they did not start all over again at 1 or I may have killed someone. We were smart though and got our tickets for the next trips at the same time!

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So what is there to do in Toledo? Well not very much because that is why it is the perfect early afternoon day trip. The main thing to see is this Alcazar, which is sort of a castle like structure. My dad told stories about how you could walk around throughout the castle, but in 2013 this was not the story. The Alcazar has been updated, so it is now a museum inside. I was definitely not a fan of this. It would have been much cooler to walk around a castle than look at boring exhibits (trust me the exhibits were super boring). There were beautiful views though from the gardens, so that was nice. After we left the Alcazar, we ended up going to an old Sephardic synagogue. I did not take any pictures there, but it was very beautiful. I love seeing old synagogues that have survived terrible times for its people. Finally we were getting to eat (we didn’t eat breakfast), so my stomach was eating itself at this point. We ended up going to this cute place called Tapas 24.

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A nice cold gazpacho came along complimentary with the meal. It was delicious. I am not a fan of gazpacho, but this one was a very simple one. The flavors were very subtle and the texture was enjoyable. Trust me when I say that I have had some weird gazpachos, so I was happy that I could enjoy this dish. It was a refreshing way to start the meal off.

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This sort of looks like a bunch of random things piled on top of each other. However this is an endive salad topped with cherry tomatoes, arugula, shredded carrots, thinly sliced beef, and a delicious dressing that I’m not sure exactly what it was. When you take a look at it, the beef actually looks like red cabbage leaves. The beef was such a nice addition to the salad. We split the salad, but I could have eaten an entire one by myself for my meal. I was surprised that I liked it so much. My brother liked it a lot too.

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Oh another plate of foie gras? Why yes, we are pretty much addicted to that delicacy. I love the taste of foie gras. It is so delicious. I think this one had some thinly sliced ham on it, but I can’t exactly remember. My brother pretty much ordered foie gras wherever we went, but I never complained. When I eat it, I feel sort of sophisticated or that I have a very exquisite palate. I probably do have a great palate since I eat anything haha This dish was delicious though. The meal kept getting better and better.

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Tuna tartare. Gosh how I love raw fish. Lindsay needs her fix of raw fish every once and a while. It is so good. This dish was super interesting because the tuna was on top of guacamole. Ummm yes. As a Texan, we love ourselves some guacamole. This was a little taste of home in my mind. It was delicious. I like that they serve theirs with toast rather than chips. Less salty and more of a focus on the flavors in the dish.

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My brother of course had to get a cheese plate. What I liked about this dish was that the cheese came along with different flavored jams (not pictured). That was my favorite part: mixing the jams with each cheese. At this unfortunate moment in my life, my camera was sitting in my lap. It slid off my lap and crashed to the floor. From then on, it was broken. I had to use my iPhone for the rest of my trip pictures, which upset me a lot. What can you do though? Nothing. I also missed taking pictures of our dessert (a marzipan souffle) and our last dish, which was some shrimp paella sort of thing. After our meal, we walked around a bit and then went to the train station to catch our train back to Madrid.

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They really love their castles in Spain. It was interesting. There were castles probably in every city we visited. The thing about Toledo was that it is super hilly, so if you are every going to go, bring some comfortable walking shoes or money for cabs. You will definitely want one of those options. After we finally made it back to Madrid it was around 7 pm, and we were so exhausted. We ended up not going out to eat that night, but instead going to bed early since we were meeting a 9 am train to go to Cordoba! I hope you enjoyed my day 3 of the trip!

Have you ever seen a castle before?
Would you want to live in a castle?

Baby, I’m back

Guess who is back, back, back, back again?!? MEEEE. I know ya’ll have missed me so much! I have missed ya’ll too. I’ve been crazy busy for the last month. I was working like crazy in a lab, I moved back to Austin, and then as soon as I moved back I was off to Spain! For the next week or so, I will be recapping my entire trip to Spain. Once that fun stuff is over, I have a TON of new recipes to share with ya’ll! I also have some pretty big news for ya’ll! I got accepted into the masters program at Columbia University for my masters of science in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. Go Lindsay. Seriously still so proud of myself. I’m trying to figure out everything right now, so I will let ya’ll know if I end up going there (which I really really really want to go)! Now onto the big topic of Spain.

Oh god the flight was pure hell. I thought I was going to die. It wasn’t long, but it was the fact that we got into Madrid at 8:30 am and we had to wait at JFK for about 5 hours. It was definitely not fun. I was so tired when we got in, but we had to do a full day of activity!

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This guy was hilarious. I am still not even sure what this is, but it was one of the many street performers we saw on our trip. After we checked into our hotel in Madrid, we wondered off into the streets of the city to find something to eat and see some fun things. This is one of the great things we saw that first day. My brother was obsessed with him. He would like move around and make these really weird noises. I was doing some epic stalker pictures of him as he moved around the plaza we randomly walked through.

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When we eventually got to our hotel (we rode the subway all the way), it was around 11 in the afternoon. Then when we went out it was getting closer to 1 pm, so we decided that lunch would be the best option plus breakfast is not very popular there. We ran across this popular market, Mercado de San Miguel. It was actually really beautiful. The entire market was wrapped in glass windows that expanded from the floor to the ceiling, so you could see all the delicious stalls from the outside. As soon as we walked in, the fresh and delicious aroma hit our noses and our stomachs started to grumble. We obviously bee-lined to the first scrumptious looking stall we found, which was this seafood tapas one.

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We got four types of tapas of the many that were offered. They were all different types of seafood on small pieces of toast. One of them was mussels, one was clams, one was salmon, and the other was tuna. They were so delicious. There was a nice blend of textures from the softness of the chopped seafood with the crunch of the toasted bread. It was such a fresh light snack to have. This was what I loved about Spain. You could have multiple tapas or small plates, so you would get to try a multitude of things. You also didn’t feel like you were overeating or anything since everything was very small. I was in foodie heaven at this point.

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My favorite one was the oyster with a little caviar on top. You couldn’t taste the caviar. Only the rich flavor of the chopped oyster mixture. It was so delicious. It was creamy and sweet. I wasn’t even sure that it tasted like oyster, but that is what the label said at the stand. I was definitely not complaining. I could have eaten more than one of these, but there were so many more stands to try, so we had to keep going on.

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Fried food? Yes, sign me up please. My family loves calamari, so as soon as we saw some fried squid we had to grab some to go. It was in a paper cone, which was handy because we were able to walk around the market while holding it and not making a complete mess everywhere. The squid was perfectly fried. It was crispy, but not greasy. Sometimes when people fry things, it gets really greasy and disgusting. The calamari was so fresh too. It was bursting with flavor as you ate each and every piece. My brother and I gobbled this up in a few minutes. We also tried some fried sardines, which was interesting. It tasted like fish sticks.

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Introducing the Spanish food of croquettes. Fried cylinders filled with different types of creamy mixtures? Ummmm HECK YES. These were so delicious. That day we had a jamon (ham) and cheese one, a lobster one, and a shrimp one. It was hard to pick a favorite. It probably was a tie between the ham and lobster ones. The ham one was so cheesy with small chunks of chopped up Iberian ham while the lobster one was a creamy mixture of lobster and cheese. I was definitely a big fan, so this was the beginning of our croquette obsession on the trip along with our ham obsession (THERE HAM IS SOOOOO GOOD)!

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After we went to the market, we decided to walk around some more. After a little while, we ended up in Sol, which was an area filled with shopping (obviously I was in heaven there). We wanted something sweet for dessert and there was this delicious looking bakery. In the windows, they had shelves of some of the treats they offered. We went in and ordered two things. One of them was a napolitana de chocolate, which is sort of like a chocolate croissant. Although I think this was better than your typical chocolate croissant. The chocolate inside tasted like a fluffy buttercream. The pastry was baked perfectly, so it was only slightly crispy on the top and soft all around. It was topped with some type of sugar. We weren’t really sure nor did we care because we shoved this in our mouth so quickly.

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Hmmm this is interesting. A large white square. It is a meringue. It is definitely one of the more weird meringues that I have ever seen, but who cares since it was so delicious. It was soft and fluffy. It was so hard to eat though and we looked very awkward eating it. Every time my brother or I took a bite, our mouths were covered with meringue. It was very sweet, but I didn’t mind. It was like we were eating a soft cloud. I was sad that we never went back to the bakery because it was definitely my favorite bakery we ate at on the entire trip.

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After all our munching adventures, we walked all the way to the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum of Art. There was a special Pizarro exhibit while we were there, which was very interesting. I have a huge love of art, duh, so I was very happen to explore all the museos that Spain had to offer. I am looking hella exhausted. I am even rocking the glasses look. My brother would get so pissed every time I wanted to take a picture. Too bad. We were definitely needing our siesta at this point though. We were dragging through the museum, which made me kind of sad because I wanted to really absorb the greatness of the art.

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For dinner, we went to this tapas bar called Lateral that was very close to our hotel. We had taken a nice long siesta. It was good. The thing about Spain is that siestas are definitely needed. I haven’t been the one to nap during the day, but there somehow I was able to sleep. For the first dish, we had tortilla espanola. It was delicious. Another classic dish of Spain. It is pretty much a Spanish omelet. It was filled with potatoes and cheese. I was definitely a fan, but I had this dish before at a tapas bar in Boston.

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This tapa was jamon con queso. The cheese was a delicious brie that was topped with Iberian ham. This was delicious. The ham is sliced so thin and it is has a wide variety of flavors in just one piece of meat. The brie was so creamy. This probably was my favorite tapas of the night. It made me fall even more in love with the greatness of Iberian ham.

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The lower tapa was foie gras on top of a steak type of meat and the top was caramelized onions on top of the same type of meat. Oh man, how I love how Spain does caramelized onions. It sort of looks like a tablespoon of jam, but really it is a sweet mixture of cooked onions. We definitely had our fair share of onions after this meal. My brother and I also love foie gras. It was one of our favorite delicacies. We had it probably at almost every place that we ate at. Most people probably think we are weird, but ya’ll are the ones that are missing out!

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These are abondigas, which are Spanish meatballs. I thought these were just okay, but I’ve definitely had better. Like the time I was in New York City. They were served cold rather than hot, so I think that is why I didn’t like the dish as much as the abondigas I have had previously. After our meal here, we ended up exploring a bit more. We ended up at this really cute rustic place that was most famous for mushrooms. We ended up getting a plate of mushrooms that was to die for. I forgot to take a picture because I was so exhausted at this point in the night. After dinner, we strolled around the city a bit, but then went back to the hotel. I was exhausted and passed out easily!

I hope ya’ll enjoyed my first day in Madrid! Get ready for some great pictures of food, sites, and random things. I have missed this community so much while I was gone! But now I’m back with tons of delicious things to entertain ya’ll with!

Have you ever been to Spain? Where?
Have you ever had Spanish cuisine?

The Best Meal of My Life

Hey ya’ll! Sorry I’ve been gone. Life has been hectic, and yesterday I didn’t have my computer with me since I went to Austin to celebrate my dad’s birthday. So the best meal of my life. Well no, I would have to say it was one of the top 5 best meals of my life in America. So this meal was not on my Healing Diet at all, but you can’t run your life around certain rules because that would make you have a sort of eating disorder. We want to be healthy, not crazy. Anyways on to the greatest meal EVER. My dad picked to go to the Barley Swine for his birthday dinner.

The Barley Swine is a small restaurant off of South Lamar in Austin, TX. You have to get there 30 minutes before opening because that is how great this place is. People line up outside the building to get a spot inside. We had to wait outside in 106 degree heat, but after sweating to death this was totally worth it. The menu is tapas style, which means that you need to order about 3-4 plates per person. These are small plates, so it is not like you are consuming whole racks of lamb. There was five of us, only about 10 things on the menu, and three specials. Being the foodie family we are, we decided to literally get everything except the foie gras.

So the presentation on every plate was BEAUTIFUL. This was a scrambled duck egg, pecans, green bean salad, and morels. This is probably one of my favorite dishes of the night. I never thought a scrambled duck egg would be that mind blowing, but it was. This dish was pretty much on the top of everyone’s lists at the end of the night.

What is this beauty? Well fried head of course? FRIED HEAD!?! I know when I saw the description on the menu, I thought it was like an entire animal head that was fried. No. It was just a shrimp head that was fried served along with a couple of broiled shrimps in a delicious sauce topped with sesame seeds. It was awesome. I am now in love with fried heads. Yes, saying that out loud sounds very weird, but I’m not one for caring what others think.

Yes this soup tastes as good as it looks. Actually it looks sort of chunky and weird, but trust me when I say that the flavors of this soup are the yummiest combination that your mouth will ever experience. It is a corn soup with coconut, tamarind, thai green chiles, and plums. Weird sounding, but so delicious. We gobbled this up in like 5 seconds. My grandpa is a soup connoisseur and he thought it was fantastic.

I’m Jewish and I eat pork, so what. With pork this good, I would never refuse. This dish was pork belly served over curried eggplant puree, cous cous, and pickled peach. Curry with pork belly and peaches? Yes, it is so good. The curry flavor was probably the best part of the entire dish. The pork belly was so soft and tender. It just melted in your mouth. I could have gone for like ten of these.

I love fish. Actually I have recently decided that I am going to go pescatarian once I clean out my fridge, but that is a story for another time. When I saw crispy red fish on the menu, I was like sign me up we are getting two of these. It was served with green chile grits, pickled corn, and avocado. Being from the south, I already love grits, but these were on a whole different level. With the blackened fish, it was the perfect bite. My brother and I were big fans of the dish.

Sort of creepy? Well yes it does look like a circular form of meat. What is this? It is goat shoulder. You ate goat shoulder? Yes, and it was freaking good. Once you put your fork into it the meat pulled apart like pulled pork or something like that. It was extremely tasty. I’m a big fan.

For the rest of the meal, I’m just going to post pictures instead of describing everything because it will be like the longest post in the entire world. I’ll just let you drool over the most amazing meal and make you jealous of what I got to eat and what you didn’t.

Pig face….Yep and it was freaking tasty. It tasted like a Jewish Brisket. Delicious.

I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about anything else, but this was probably my favorite plate of the night. It was quail stuffed with goose liver (pate) served over charred leek and dirty rice with a side of corn cakes. Oh man oh man do I love some goose liver. The quail was so tender and when paired with a bite of the corn cake, it was like pure happiness was inside my mouth.

Lamb with chickpea fritters. mmmmm.

Donut stuffed with jalapeno jam and a side of goat cheeseI lied again. I have to talk about this. It was corn brulee with white chocolate, popcorn, and goat milk’s caramel. This sounds so weird, but it was so good. Definitely one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. My family fought over it because it was so tiny. I only got one bite, which made me sad.

This was the finale of the meal. Grilled peach, marsala, goats milk icecream, and a black pepper crumble. This dish sums up summertime for me. Peaches, the grill, and cold ice cream. It was the best way to end the meal. I was definitely satisfied. It was an amazing meal with my family, and it will definitely go down in the history books! Just another Happy Birthday to my dad! My brother and I are epic fails at life because we forgot his present at the house. Way to go. We are great kids, I know.

I hope everyone is having an amazing week so far! I know I am now that my two tests are out of the way.

Have you ever waiting in line for a long period of time just to eat something?
What is the best meal you have ever had in your life?