Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mini Barley Flatbreads with Tomato Confit & Homemade Farmer's Cheese: Cretan Dakos, with a Difference, for the 5 Star Makeover Greek Mezze Challenge

This theme for this month's 5 Star Makeover Challenge - hosted as always by the lovely and talented Natasha of Five Star Foodie and Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks - is Greek mezze, and it couldn't have come at a better time. I don't know about what it's like in your neck of the woods, but where I live it is hot and sticky as Hades, and light bites are just about all I want to make, or eat.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Lighter Side of Křenovou Pěnou (Horseradish Cream), an UnRecipe Recipe

In Prague last year, my husband (Poppa Trix) and I became addicted to a relatively simple dish: Prague ham with horseradish cream. This has proven to be a bit of a problem for two reasons: 1. Until recently, we despaired of finding a fair approximation for Prague ham in these parts, and 2. What with the cream cheese and whipped heavy cream, that horseradish cream is seriously fattening. Not that I usually obsess about that sort of thing, but ... I can't stop eating the stuff. Completely powerless.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Y Mucho Mas, Part 1: More Mexico City Adventures for a Rather Warbly Wendesday

Believe it or not,  I actually do more than eat on my trips.  I sightsee. I wander around. I walk - a lot. I go to museums and historical sites. Sometimes I even sleep!

Here I am at Teotihuacan, a pre-hispanic city 30 miles outside of Mexico City. Climbing the narrow, uneven steps to the tops of the pyramids was an exercise in overcoming fear and vertigo, but I did it, and so naturally I wanted to take few moments to savor the accomplishment and contemplate the incredible view from the top.

I'm a huge dog lover, and I was  on the lookout for the wild dogs I heard live in and around the ancient archeological site. You're supposed to leave them alone, but I couldn't resist making a little "smooch" sound when I saw this beauty. She was very intrigued!
You can take the tourist bus to Teotihuacan if you're so inclined, but  I never join tour groups. Why would you want to have a pre-packaged experience? I prefer to find my own way and seek out adventure. So instead I took a regular city bus - and we certainly found adventure. In one tense moment, armed guards boarded the bus and made all of the men get out to be searched.

All's well that ends well, however, and this small scare was well worth the rest of the ride. (Not to mention not having to be around a bunch of tourists.) At various stops along the way, musicians boarded the bus and serenaded the passengers for tips - these are the guys who put the "warble" in warbly Wednesday. One of them even took a stab at John Lennon's Imagine!:
Autobus to Teotihiuacan, Mexico City from Tasty Trix on Vimeo.

Speaking of dogs ...  I was keen to visit the zoo in Chapultepec, primarily because of the Xoloitzcuintle, or Mexican hairless dogs. So cute!!
Next I  climbed the steep hill to the Castillo de Chapultepec, where Mexican emperor Maximilian I (of the Austrian Habsburgs - man, they got around!) lived ... until his execution, that is.
 Incredible painting on the Castillo's ceiling:

On my first full day in Mexico City, I was walking back from my meal at Fonda El Refugio in Zona Rosa when I happened upon this evening dancing event at Plaza del Danzon - people of all ages were participating, and I think it was in this moment that I first fell completely in love with the city:

Two girls for every guy!
Indeed,  sometimes the most memorable things happen when you simply let yourself wander. I strolled through Viveros Park and became obsessed with the friendly squirrels there:

And after visiting Frieda Kahlo's house (that is a post all its own!), as I walked around admiring the beautiful Coyoacan neighborhood, we met high school student Carlos.  He asked if he could interview me for his English class. I hope you got an A, Carlos! (I am sure he did, his English was fabulous):
This is not to say that I abjure planning. Seeing the Diego Rivera mural "Exploitation of Mexico by the Spanish Conquistadors" for example, was the high point of my (planned) visit to the Palacio National. It's hard to give a sense of the scale in photographs, it's really awe inspiring:

The courtyard had a very European feel:
But walking around for hours and hours on a hot day is truly exhausting, isn't it?
And so I will leave you on this dramatic note until next time - there's plenty more Mexico City adventure that I want to share!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Broccoli Rabe & Provolone Ravioli with Pork Ragu, My Fourth of July Guest Post for Spicie Foodie

My good friend Nancy of Spicie Foodie is celebrating her third blogoversary, and to kick it off she asked me to contribute a guest post. If you don't know her, she is awesomeness personified,  and of course I was more than happy to oblige. I chose this broccoli rabe and provolone ravioli with pork ragu to share with her readers, so please go check out my post and say hello to her.

And for my U.S. readers, Happy Independence Day!