Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rise and Shine!

There must be a law in Spain that the more noise that you make in your job the earlier you have to begin work. I swear that the guys starting the remodeling job on the apartment across the back patio from me look at their watches and fire up their power saws the second the clock strikes 8 am.  And there’s another law that says workers have to do all of the noisy shit the first thing in the morning, saving all of the quieter stuff for later. No one ever paints the first thing in the early morning; that’s for using power tools, insane hammering, and the time for making disgusting throat-clearing noises like they are trying to cough something up that is lodged in their lower intestines.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cost of living

EXPATISTAN. This is a great website where expats (and HR-departments) can compare the cost of living in different cities and countries. In case of Globexs the attention was drawn to the difference between Belgium and Spain, more specifically Antwerp and Valencia. The result was not very surprising, life in Antwerp is 27% more expensive than in Valencia. 

Renting a house in Antwerp is 26% more expensive than in Valencia. However, real estate prices are not that far apart. Again a proof of the disproportion between buying a house and renting a house in Spain. However, real estate prices in Valencia are dropping fast because of the crisis.

The biggest difference between cost of living in both countries is shown when going to the local supermarket. Food in Belgium is so much more expensive than in Valencia. 

I invite all expats in valencia to compare their current cost of living with their hometown: www.expatistan.com.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Valencia Community

More beautiful photography from Valencia and the Valencia Community. Even Benidorm looks amazing. Music by Joan Manuel Serrat.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Soupe al L'Oignon (French Onion Soup, Sopa de Cebolla)

You had better hurry and make this French winter classic while it is still a bit cold. By the feel of things here in Valencia it will be summer in a couple of weeks. Here you have a couple of recipes for this simple yet elegant and delicious soup. Bon appetit!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Levante UD vs Valencia CF 21:30

The return match in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey. Valencia won the first match 4-1 so Levante is really on the ropes tonight. The bad news for Valencia is they will probably face Barça in the semi-finals.


Valencia won 0-3. Great news! Now for the bad news: Valencia CF must face FC Barcelona in the semi-finals on February 2nd. The first match is in Mestalla.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Because You Have to Eat Every Day!

A very simple dish I came up with after cooking a few pieces of chicken the other day and adding some white wine. I was thinking about adding the lemon juice to beaten eggs and add them to the sauce like with Avgolemono soup (remember to mix beaten eggs gradually with hot stock before adding to the pot or you will have a pot of scrambled eggs!). Maybe next time. I cut up the chicken as I do when making paella and freeze the parts that I leave out like the back, the wing tips, drumstick tips, and the breastbone. I de-bone the thighs as well as the breast as this just makes the dish a bit more elegant and easier to eat. I used my ginormous new pot for this dish even though it barely fits on my diminutive stove.  
Lemon Chicken Pasta


1 Whole Chicken
2 Zucchinis
3-4 Garlic cloves
1 Glass White Wine
1 Cup Chicken Stock
2 Lemons (juiced)
3 Tbsp. Butter
Penne Pasta
3 Bay Leaves
Parmesan Cheese
Salt, pepper

First slice the zucchini and sauté it in olive oi,l adding a bit of salt. Take it out of the pot and add more oil, the bay leaves, and turn up the heat.

Cut the chicken into small pieces and partially debone it. Cover chicken with flour.  Fry the chicken pieces and brown well.  Deglazed the pan with the wine. Next add the stock and check for seasoning.  Add the lemon juice to taste.  Then add the cooked zucchini. Simmer for a few minutes and then add the cooked penne but make sure it is VERY al dente as it will continue to cook in the sauce. Add Parmesan to individual servings.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Taste of America

The genuine American store in Valencia with American food products. OK, so mostly it has American junk food but there is a lot of fun stuff on sale here. Prices are surprisingly low for the mixed bag of American products due to the fact that the store has franchises in Madrid and Barcelona so it can order high volumes.

Taste of America
Avenida Reino de Valencia 6
Monday - Saturday 10:00 - 21:00
962 066 465

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Infinity Comics

Steer the comic collectors in your life to Infinity Comics, one of the most colorful stores in all of Valencia.

Infinity Comics
Reina Germana, 32
46005 Valencia
Tele: 963 956 140

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Valencia CF vs Levante UD 21:30

The quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey have begun and we have a derby here in Valencia. #3 in La Liga Valencia meets #4 in La Liga Levante. The bad news is that the winner of this round must go on to play the winner of #1 in La Liga Real Madrid or #2 in La Liga Barcelona FC. The return game is the 26th of January at La Ciutat de Valencia.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

How to Make Potato Pancakes

This is, without a doubt, one of the best uses that I have found for the potato.


2 1/4 pounds russet potato, peeled
1/2 yellow onion, peeled
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne
vegetable oil, as needed
3-4 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon
4 tablespoon sour cream
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Best Things in Life (and most museums on Sunday) Are Free!

Museo Nacional de Ceramica Gonzalez Marti
(Palacio Del Marques De Dos Aguas)
Rinconada García Sanchiz, 6
96 351 63 92

Even if you don’t even know what ceramics are this museum is well worth the visit. Housed in the insanely Rococo palace Marques de Dos Aguas. Originally built in the XV century (with a few Gothic rooms still intact), this palace kept growing and changing. The unbelievable marble entrance was done in 1740, and the rest of the outside finished in 1854.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Because You Have to Eat Every Day

A mushroom paella but I wouldn't call it that in Spanish. Here in Valencia it's just rice with mushrooms as "paella" only means one thing: Paella Valenciana with chicken and rabbit. ¡Buen Provecho!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sevilla FC vs Valencia CF 22:00

It's another step towards the finals of La Copa del Rey as Valencia travels to Sevilla for the return game against a team that has always been difficult. Valencia won the first game 1-0 in Mestalla. Valencia also pulled off a very determined draw against Villarreal after being down 2-0 in the first half. The club seems determined to make the most of this season as they hang on to 3rd position in La Liga and wait for their match up with Stoke City in the Europa League.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bike Paths in Valencia

Valencia has a fairly adequate network of bike paths around town. You can find a map of the bike path here but as you will see in this video traveling by bike path in Valencia isn’t always easy. No one really respects the right of cyclists in Valencia yet the police have chosen to single out cyclists in a campaign of pacification, handing out outrageous fines to people on bikes while virtually ignoring brutish behavior on the part of drivers.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Feria de Valencia

Valencia counts with one of the best exhibition center in Spain. The Feria de Valencia is massive, and organises nearly 60 events per year. A virtual tour can be donehere: http://recinto3d.feriavalencia.com/pabellones.html.

Recently Alberto Catalá has been reelected as president of the executive committee despite of doubts about the economical situation of the institution. He did not loose the trust of Rita Barbará en stays in his current position until 2016. 

In 2012 he will be bringing the following events to Valencia:

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Death of Fast Food

Cold War Era Food

Over the hurried, inexorable, and giddy gallop towards the modern era Americans were convinced by advertisers that cooking was just not worth the effort. We were too busy to cook. We had better things to do with our precious “free time.” We were given time-saving choices when it came to meals so there was no longer any reason to “slave over a hot stove” (I’m almost certain that expression was created by advertisers).  I can’t remember what was supposed to be so thrilling in our lives that didn’t allow us to prepare our own food but it must have been something wonderful.

Things are changing in the mentality of modern Americans. Cooking shows air 24 hours a day. Chefs are celebrities.  As I have often said, internet sites like YouTube have cooking video instructions coming out of their ears so the Italian grandmother you never had is available to walk you through even the most harrowingly complicated menus. If you have any doubt concerning this tectonic shift of attitudes I propose that you do a Google search of any sort of food that comes to mind.  Ironically, in a search for chicken pot pie*—the former gold standard of crap, pre-prepared food—the first things to come up in the queue are home-made versions.

*The chicken pot pie was a fantastic idea on paper but its execution was nearly that—an execution—for millions of American children during the 1960’s. The chicken pot pie was an individual serving of chicken-related matter (mostly ears, feet, and chicken toe nails) that was wrapped in a pie crust and housed in an aluminum alloy pie pan.

The pies came frozen from the super market and took approximately one school term to defrost. To serve you simply placed the chicken pot pie in the oven at 1,900 degrees at the beginning of the Tom & Jerry cartoons around 3 in the afternoon and the pie would be done later that evening during Green Acres. Chicken pot pies were delicious, so I have been told. The problem was that they took so long to cook that you would be practically fainting from hunger by the time they were ready. I’m sure I’m not the only kid who completely scorched his entire digestive track eating a pot pie while it was bubbling hot. It was like eating chicken-flavored lava.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ryanair Destinations

That I am a Ryanair fan is not a secret, I already showed that in November (http://globexsvalencia.blogspot.com/2011/11/ryanair-rules.html). So obviously I will pick a Ryanair destination for my next citytrip.

These are the options from Valencia:

DOMESTIC: Fuerteventura, Santiago, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Seville, Ibiza, Malaga and Palma.
ITALY: Bari, Trapani, Bolonia, Cagliari, Trieste, Milan, Pisa, Rome and Venice-Treviso.
FRANCE: Paris and Marseille
UK: East Midlands, London, Manchester, Bristol and Dublin
BELGIUM: Brussels Charleroi
GERMANY: Dusseldorf, Munich and Frankfurt
MALTA: Valleta
MORROCO: Marrakech

And on the way back you can of course enjoy the breathtaking views of Valencia. Check out this nice youtube video.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Valencia CF vs. Sevilla FC @ 22:00

Valencia CF beat Cádiz CF rather convincingly 4-0 to go through to the next round of the Copa del Rey. It was the last game of the year and VCF went out in style at Mestalla.This game is the first of the new year and Valencia has their hands full with Sevilla, always a tough rival. Although eliminated from the Champions League, Valencia CF holds a solid position at third in La Liga and will be playing Stoke City in the Europa League.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Know Your Architect: Pere Balaguer & Torres de Serranos

One of the most beautiful structures in Valencia and all of Spain is the old city gate Torres de Serranos. Started in 1392 it was one of the original twelve gates to Valencia when the city was enclosed by a defensive wall. The architect was Pere Balaguer from Valencia. The wall was ordered to be dismantled by the local governor, Cirilio Amorós, in 1865 and all that remains of it is this magnificent gate and the equally majestic Torres de Quart.
Torres de Quart (the other gate)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

El Cocido de la Abuela

For this recipe the grandmother will be YouTube, the Spanish grandmother I never had. Cocido Madrileño, or simply cocido, is probably one of Spain's most important national dishes. It is made almost everywhere in the peninsula with variations in ingredients and even in the name. Here in Valencia it’s known as puchero. As Juanry says in his video, cocido doesn't just differ from region to region, it changes from home to home.

Tradition rules that the ingredients of cocido must be served separately. Each serving is known as a vuelco (overturn), as the pot must be overturned to separate the ingredients.

The first vuelco is the soup: the stock of the cocido is drained and noodles are cooked in it. The second vuelco are the chickpeas and the vegetables. The third vuelco is the meat.

Valencia's Arroz al Horno is traditionally made with the stock from puchero.

VIDEO: how does Globexs work?