San Diego – Taco Trucks & Extraordinary Desserts

Ximena.

My boyfriend and I don’t go on actual planned out dates very often but I wanted to spend one morning in San Diego just the two of us. This date combined the both of best worlds, classic tacos and a staple dessert spot. First we headed to my favorite taco truck in Linda Vista called Mariscos German, I have to go every time I come home. After we went upscale to the classic Extraordinary Desserts, the original location.

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Suppin’ on Sangria,

thespanishfoodblog

A lot of people ask me ‘what’s the deal with sangria?’, as they invariably sip on a luminous liquid. Well for starters it should look like a drink and not a fruit salad. Trust me, I’ve seen all sort of weird and wonderful things in there; kiwis, pineapple, bananas (?) and even tequila. While it might taste nice (which I doubt – most things that contain tequila, taste like they should be used for cleaning paint brushes) it’s definitely isn’t sangria. So what does make for an authentic sangria?

Well there’s a couple of key elements:

1 – Wine. Sounds obvious, but use something that you wouldn’t be ashamed to put on the table when your mother-in-law comes round for dinner. And yes that does mean no boxed wine, wine in bags or anything except for a classic glass bottle. And don’t scrimp – in Spain that means nothing under…

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Chinese-style cauliflower fried ‘rice’

katielovescooking

Did you know that you can grate cauliflower and fry it, as a delicious rice substitute?  Cook it alongside some red onion, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce and egg, sprinkle it with coriander and chilli and you have a gorgeous, filling, low calorie dinner.  This Chinese-style cauliflower fried ‘rice’ takes 20 minutes to make and is also great with added prawns or tofu!  You could  use spring onions instead of red onions.

cauliflower fried rice

Grating cauliflower is easy and only takes a couple of minutes.  I grate it whole, using what I can of the florets and leaving the stalky bit in the middle.

The recipe is based on one from http://www.domesticsluttery.com and recommended by my very helpful friend Noush!

Chinese-style cauliflower fried ‘rice’ – serves 2

Sesame oil

1/2 red onion or 4 spring onions, chopped

1 large clove garlic, crushed or finely chopped

1 head cauliflower, florets grated

2 eggs…

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20 min cauliflower and broccoli cheese

katielovescooking

cauliflower and broccoli cheese

This speedy 20 minute winter warmer is a twist on cauliflower cheese.  Cauliflower is combined with broccoli (both in season until December!) and onion.   A quick sauce is made by grating cheddar in to creme fraiche then adding a crumbled stock cube.  The whole dish is topped with breadcrumbs and grilled.  It is rich and delicious, with added crunch from the onions.

You could have the cauliflower and broccoli cheese as a main course with sausages or salad, or as a side dish.  It would work well with a roast dinner. My boyfriend reckons the dish would also be nice with added chopped chorizo (he says that about everything though!)

cauliflower and broccoli cheese

If you are making the breadcrumbs yourself you can use frozen, fresh or slightly stale bread (defrost frozen bread in the microwave on full power for 30 seconds).   You could make extra then store the breadcrumbs in freezer bags in…

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Gremolata – a zingy rub to liven up veg!

katielovescooking

gremolata

Gremolata is a brilliant Italian condiment to know about – simply chopped parsley, lemon zest and garlic mixed together to give dishes instant wonderful flavour.  Traditionally it is used with meat or fish but can also be used with roast veg.  In this recipe (based on one from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall) the gremolata is added to roast veg (potatoes, carrots and parsnips) hot out of the oven.  The heat takes the edge off the garlic and it all smells amazing!

gremolata

You can eat the roast veg with gremolata as a side dish or as a main topped with a poached egg.  Delicious!

Ingredients (serves 2)

2 carrots, chopped in to chunks
4 medium potatoes, chopped in to chunks
2 parsnips, chopped in to chunks

Good glug oil (ideally olive oil)
Salt and pepper

For the gremolata

1 clove garlic, crushed/finely chopped
Handful parsley, finely chopped
1 lemon, zest finely grated

Heat the oven to 190 degrees/gas mark 6…

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San Diego – Donut Bar

Ximena.

I feel really good that I crossed another donut place off my list. This time around it is Donut Bar in downtown San Diego. At this point I am calling myself a sort of donut aficionado. This place serves up a more classic donut and is best suited for the insta loving donut eater. What I mean by that is that the donuts are good but the decorations and donut sizes were more exciting. I would come here again but it ranks below Blue Star (Portland) and Doughnut Vault (Chicago).

It’s good to note that my dad and I arrived around 6:45 (15 minutes before opening) and there was still a small line out the door. We had our pick of donuts and were able to people watch from the upstairs seating area. Also the coffee was amazing, but not surprising considering it was Stumpton.

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Batukaru: Sight, Sound, Taste

What an Amazing World!

One Morning at Sarinbuana, Batukaru One Morning at Sarinbuana, Batukaru

The silver minibus speeds through the main highway that connects Bali’s cultural heart at Ubud with the volcanic lakes of Bratan as well as Buyan and Tamblingan further north. Short moments after passing by a roadside traditional market where fresh local fruits and vegetables are on display, our driver, Gede, makes an abrupt turn to a small road.

We are then transported through small villages on Bali’s highlands towards the slopes of Mount Batukaru, an extinct volcano which at 2,276 m is the second tallest peak on the island. The farther we escape the country road, the more tranquil what lies beyond the car’s windows becomes. At this part of Bali, it appears, tourism only plays a minor role in the local economy, unlike in many parts of the island, chiefly in the south.

Gede keeps driving on a seemingly endless village road, until he…

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Cook like a Nyonya

Fantastic Read!

Plus Ultra

Nyonya Cooking Class_1

It’s too late when I notice my pot of duck stew boiling over. In those split seconds between Bama’s warning and the time it takes for me to put down the camera, the damage has already been done.

Quick as a flash, Pearly Kee rushes over to turn down the heat. By now the excess liquid is bubbling and steaming on the hob, with a minor cascade dripping down the drawers and pooling on the floor tiles. “Too much water,” she says. The embarrassment must be evident on my face, because Pearly is telling me not to worry while she wipes down the mess.

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