Friday, September 30, 2011

Piquillo Peppers

The piquillo pepper is a variety of chili traditionally grown in Northern Spain over the town of Lodosa. Its name is derived from the Spanish word for "little beak" as they have a triangular shape. The peppers are roasted over a wood fire which gives them an incredible sweet and spicy flavor. They are perfect for tapas as they can be easily filled with just about anything you can think of. The good news is that piquillo peppers are pre-roasted and ready to eat right out of the jar or can. I will leave you with this simple yet very elegant recipe from Chef John from Foodwishes.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Another Day in Paradise

Back when I lived in rainy Seattle, as a joke, I used to comment to strangers on the street, “Another day in Paradise.” My irony was blatantly obvious because I would say this to someone at, let’s say, the bus stop in the pouring rain with a cold wind beating us in the face. Truth be told, I loved the terrible weather in Seattle during the winter and most Seattleites just ignore the worst of the weather. Complaining about the weather just isn’t really done there. I still use my “Another day in Paradise” line here in Valencia but with the difference being that I actually mean it. This year—especially the summer and now September—has been unbelievably gorgeous. Every day in September has been a beach day. This morning, for the first time since early May, I actually felt that putting on a shirt wouldn’t be a waste of a layer of clothing while walking around my apartment. Of course, this was at 07:00 and by 10:00 it will be quite a bit warmer.

Amost everyone here has grudgingly gone back to work or school, but the beaches are still there the last time I checked (just yesterday, actaully) and the water is warm.  I mention this just in case you are looking for a quick early-autumn vacation and are trying to decide on a location. Valencia: “Another day in Paradise.”

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Valencia CF vs Chelsea FC 20:45

The last time Valencia faced Chelsea was back in 2007 when Chelsea beat them at Mestalla 0-1 to eliminate us from the Champions League in the quarter finals, so this game has a bit of a revenge element to it. Valencia got off to a slow start in the group play with a draw against Genk.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Real Madrid vs Ajax 20:45

The Champions League action resumes with this classic match-up.

In another Champions League game we'll see Villarreal play Napoli.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Jamie Oliver: 30 Minute Meals

30 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver is one of the best cooking series that I have ever seen. There isn't a single episode where I haven't been tempted to make every dish he lays out for you. He seems to have infinite knowledge of just about every national cuisine on the planet. For added fun if you are watching the show with a group of people you can do shots every time Jamie says "literally" or "brilliant." And then there are all the words and expressions that Jamie invents during his program. In the second half of this video he is talking about buying pre-made chicken stock which he admits to using when he doesn't have time. He says that he makes stock himself, or as he puts it, "on weekends, kind of pushing the boat out." Whatever that means.

Levante UD vs RCD Espanyol 16:00

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pan Pan Atelier

Pan Pan Atelier is my favorite bread bakery in Valencia. They have a great selection of freshly-baked breads and pastries. My personal favorite is the chapata with olives. There are five location in Valencia and if you are lucky you'll have one nearby.

The Pan Pan store in my neighborhood is only three blocks from my door—just a short bike ride. I’m kidding; I’m not that lazy when it comes to walking. However, there is a Valenbisi station on my corner so that’s always an option if I don’t want to walk three whole blocks (six blocks if you count the round trip...maybe I will take the bike).

Monday to Saturday 8 - 21h.
Sunday 9 - 14:30h.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Arte Spiga Bakery

A beautiful boutique bakery in the heart of Canovas, Arte Spiga offers a wide selection of fresh-baked breads and pastries. It lies right on the bike path on Conde Altea with Joaquín Costa, directly on my way home. Needless to say, it's almost impossible for me to ride by this bakery without stopping in for something. Focaccia and nut-grain breads are my favorites.

Arte Spiga

Calle Joaquín Costa, 11
Valencia, 46005
963 316 726

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Spanish Verbs

The best reference that I have found on the web for conjugating Spanish verbs hails from my alma mater, Indiana University. Spanish Verb Forms will answer any thorny question you may have regarding the imperative with vosotros (my biggest weak spot in Spanish grammar). There are also links on this page to help you answer other grammar-related questions you may have in Spanish.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Valencia CF vs FC Barcelona 22:00

Ah yes, there's nothing like a mid-week Liga game. Valencia has been perfect thus far this season at sits and the top of the standings with 9 points. Barça completely destroyed Osasuna on Saturday in a revenge beating after managing only a draw against lowly Real Sociedad the week before.

Rafa Benítez will be the honored guest at the match tonight. For fans of Unai Emery we can only hope this isn't a plan to lure Benítez back to Valencia.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Garlic Oil or Alioli or all i oli

No matter what you call it, garlic oil is a must for many Valencian dishes. As this video notes in the warning at the end, your breath may cause damage to third parties. I really hate that over-used Nietzsche aphorism about that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger but I'm a pretty firm believer that garlic is one of the healthiest things that you can put in your body.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Kiss My Feet

After a long day of sightseeing and hoofing all over Valencia and the environs your feet could use a break. Think of Kiss My Feet as a siesta for your ten little toes, heels, and everything else you had stuffed inside of uncomfortable shoes all day long. Ictiotherapia is what it’s called and what it means is that tiny fish called Gara Rufa clean your feet and give you a micro-massage that will leave you feeling like you can wake up tomorrow and do the tourist thing all over again.

Kiss My Feet
Calle San Valero, 1


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Levante Unión Deportivo vs Real Madrid 20:00

Tonight Levante takes on La Liga co-leader Real Madrid at el Estadio Ciutat de València.

Loquo Valencia: Buy Sell Trade Barter

Loquo Valencia is where to go if you are looking to buy a used bike, or want tango lessons, or you want to teach Pilates, or you're searching for a new job, or almost anything you could possibly need. Craigslist, while very popular in other cities and countries, is a well-kept secret in Valencia as just about everyone uses Loquo. Happy hunting!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sporting de Gijón vs Valencia CF 18:00

Valencia Club de Fútbol travels to Asturias' El Molinón Stadium (capacity 26,000) to face Real Sporting de Gijón for their third encounter of La Liga. So far so good for Valencia after beating Atlético de Madrid last Saturday in Mestalla. With six point afte two games Valencia shares the lead in La Liga iwth Real Madrid after FC Barcelona inexplicably drew with Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Puente del mar

Puente del mar was built in 1598 and designed by Francisco Figuerola and now spans Turia Park, the old river bed of the river Turia. In 1933, the Puente de la Mar was closed to traffic thanks to a project by the architect Javier Goerlich, who also built the magnificent access stairways well into the 20th century. With overhanging benches on the supports, the bridge has ten pointed arches spanning great cutwaters. Along the top, two structures house images of the Virgin Mary and San Pascual Bailón.


forget about Obama, this guy is the most powerful person on earth.

He already bought Spain (2 chinese cafetarias in every street), which country is next?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ensalada Rusa

This ubiquitous dish is served throughout every region of Spain, with little variation. It can be terrible in some bars and exquisite in others.  The best way to insure that your ensaladilla rusa is well above average is to make it at home. If you are going to make it at home go the extra distance and make your own mayonnaise which only takes a few seconds if you have a hand mixer.

  • 3 medium (16 oz) potatoes
  • 1 large (3 oz) carrot, diced
  • 5 tablespoons shelled green peas
  • 2/3 cup  green beans
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cocktail gherkins, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons baby capers
  • 12 anchovy-stuffed olives
  • 1 hard-cooked egg, sliced thin
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

In a saucepan, cook the potatoes and carrot in “aggressively salted water” (chef Mario Batali’s words). Bring to a boil and allow to simmer until almost tender. Fold in the peas and beans, and cook until all the vegetables are tender. Drain the vegetables and transfer them into a serving platter. Add the onion, pepper, gherkins, baby capers, anchovy-stuffed olives, and egg slices.

My version
In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice and mustard. Add this mixture to the serving platter, mixing well to ensure all the ingredients are coated. Sprinkle with pepper and toss. Garnish with chopped parsley and refrigerate. Allow to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour immediately before serving to enhance the salad's flavor. As any dish made with mayonnaise, ensaladilla should be refrigerated and will not keep for more than 1 to 2 days.

Here is the version of José Andrés:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Villarreal vs Bayern Munich 20:45

Villarreal CF get their third taste of the UEFA Champions League when they welcome FC Bayern München to El Madrigal in the first round of Group A games.

The Valencia Community club's debut campaign in the competition in 2005/06 wound up with a semi-final defeat by Arsenal FC, the same opponents who ended their second foray in the last eight in 2008/09. Their latest bid begins with a first meeting against four-time European champions Bayern. Welcome to the Champions League. A tough group for our neighbor to the north.

 Tonight also features Dinamo Zagreb vs Real Madrid 20:45

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

KRC Genk vs Valencia CF 20:45

Valencia CF travels to Belgium for their first round in the group play of the 2011-2012 Champions League. In the group stage for only the second time in team history KRC Genk has a tough road ahead with obstacles like Valencia and Chelsea in Group E.  May the best team win (and may the best team be ours!).

FC Barcelona will play AC Milan at Camp Nou, also at 20:45.

P.S. The Results: Genk 0-0 Valencia CF
                           Barça 2-2 AC Milan (Yikes, I missed the end of the match and originally posted the score as 2-1)

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Spanish Subjuntive (again)

Instead of trying to memorize the seemingly infinite list of expressions in Spanish which trigger the use of the subjunctive, it may be easier to learn this short list of expressions that use the indicative tense. ¡Buena suerte!

  1. creer que - to believe that
  2. no dudar que- to not doubt that
  3. es cierto que - it is certain that
  4. es claro que - it is clear that
  5. es evidente que - it is certain that
  6. es obvio que - it is obvious that
  7. estar seguro que - to be sure that
  8. es verdad que - it is true that
  9. no cabe duda que - there's no doubt that
  10. no es dudoso que - it is not doubtful that
  11. no hay duda que - there is no doubt that

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