Tag Archives: cheese

Gazpacho playa!

Picture this: We’re in Spain; we’re dying to try some authentic Spanish food; and we’re broke. We have spent the last four days traveling in the craziest circumstances (you can see the whole trip here) and now all we want is to have a modest picnic lunch. We buy a cheap bottle of red wine (still delicious because we’re in Spain), some manchego cheese and some bread. This meal still doesn’t seem complete. Walking a few more steps we see a sign at a café, “Gazpacho para llevar” (“to go,” cost: 3 euro). Sold!

We spend the next few hours underneath the Arc De Triomf (did you know there was one in Barcelona too? We didn’t.) We enjoyed wine and cheese along with what became our new obsession: gazpacho.

Back in the US I tried (and failed miserably) to recreate the flavors we had so enjoyed in Barcelona. Then one day, while visiting Boston, a Spanish friend of ours picked up a bunch of tomatoes at the farmer’s market and announced he would be making gazpacho tonight and would we like to join him? Heck yes, we would. The taste? The same. The process? Mine at last!

Thanks to a super special holiday gift of a food processor, I decided it was finally time to make it myself! Below is the method I used:

4 tomatoes, 1 red pepper, 1 green pepper, 1 red onion, 1 cucumber, 2 cloves of garlic, the juice of 1 lemon

Chop it all up, then blend it, adding a few tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste












Puree the mixture until it's smoot


Strain carefully and patiently






Yes it must be strained! Don’t pout, it’s worth it. You can even strain in twice if you like it to be super smooth. We like a little texture, so once is plenty for us! Afterward let it chill overnight for maximum flavor!

The next day we decided to turn this gazpacho into our very own walk down the Spanish lane:

I got some Spanish wine down at the local shop.

And we indulged ourselves happily.



Filed under Recipes

The Nacho Blog

As a native Texan and a frequenter of neighborhood pubs everywhere, I consider myself a nacho aficionado. If you are a nacho fiend too perhaps you’ve noticed that this delicacy can often be hit or miss. I’ve had nachos that are too dry, nachos that are too wet, nachos with all the goods on top and nothing but sad plain chips underneath, and nachos so loaded up with sour cream that everything below them is soggy. These are nacho sins. I have set out to perfect the nacho recipe with an unbeatable method for ensuring each chip’s deliciousness. I pair it with guacamole (on the side!) because, for me, nachos just aren’t nachos without guacamole 🙂

To refry beans: sauté garlic, onions and jalapeños for 5 mins, then add beans (with juice) and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer adding beer as necessary (don't let them dry out). Should take 1.5 hours or so.

I used Modelo Especial.. but you can’t tell, because I freaked it. 🙂

Once the beans are finished, you can serve them as a side dish, but I really like to hide them underneath the nachos. A fun little surprise for your guests 🙂

Take care to layer the chips, meat (in this case beef), and cheese in however many layers you have food for. (Can easily be made veggie... just leave out the meat!) Then bake at 350 for about 10 minutes (until the cheese is melted).

I urge you not to rush through this step… this is how you ensure each chip will have ample toppings. Take your time!

While its in the oven, chop up your pico veggies. I kept it simple here... just tomatoes, red onion, and jalapeño all chopped finely.

You’ll want to have a second plate on hand to place the oven-hot plate on!

Guac- chop red onion, garlic and jalapeño, add avocado and citrus (in this case lemon, but lime is fine too). Mash it all together. Then add tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.

If you make the guac ahead of time, be sure to press plastic wrap into the dip so it doesn’t brown (although if it browns a little, just mix it in, as my mom used to say, “it ain’t gonna kill ya!”)

Mmmm... beany surprise...

Perfectly spicy, delightfully cheesy, with just the right ratio of condiments 🙂 Delish.


Filed under Recipes