Solomillo a la Pimienta

Lately, I’ve been missing Spain.  The best way to cope with nostalgia for another country, in my opinion, is go back!

Just joking, I don’t have the money for that.  So I turn to food instead.

solomillo a la pimienta-2

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Huevos Estrellados

Some days, you can just have so many things go slightly wrong that they pile up on you and the only option is to sit on the couch, have a beer, and let the day wash away, hoping that the tide will bring an easier, if not brighter tomorrow.  Those days which flicker with mild to moderate misfortune, like an aging florescent bulb.  This is a meal for one of those days.

 

huevos estrellados-4

 

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Caroline’s Soup

When I first came back from my visit to Atlanta to see Caroline, I mentioned that we had many tasty food reunion moments, including wonderful coffee and my splurge purchase of a Southern cooking bible.  Today we are finally going to wrap up that visit.  This blog has indeed suffered from my good luck in finding a job, as I’ve wriggled into my brother’s home  and tried to get used to an hour-long commute – all the while feeling rather chirpy that I’m getting paid a full-time wage again.  So let me apologize by offering up Caroline’s favorite soup.

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New Year’s Snacking – Hotlanta Style

It’s time for New Year’s!  The last few years, I’ve been wrapped into the Spanish scene – where you go to a house party until 10 in the morning and eat your twelve grapes as the clock chimes twelve times for midnight.  This year I’ll be calming it down back in the Pacific Northwest, and we will probably all go to bed at one.  I’m not upset by that prospect.   In keeping with the calmer party, I will be bringing along some snacks with my bottle of prosecco, so we can all feel fancy.

I made these for Christmas out of the cookbook I bought while visiting my friend Caroline down in Atlanta in October: Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking.   I was a little worried about getting it home in my suitcase as it’s a doozy of a book, but it has been entirely worth it.  Justifying an impulse buy is quite priceless.

Tiny little turnovers of cheddar and pepper jelly, these are crunchy and flaky and delicious and you should totally make them.  They take a little time to put together, which I don’t usually approve of, but these are worth the effort.  I was reminded of my college roommate and her love of pepper jelly from Pike Place – we’d go get some and sit in our dorm looking out the balcony while smearing cream cheese on Ritz and dollops of sweet and spicy red pepper jelly on top.  These are a little more complex and elegant, but you have to start loving pepper jelly somewhere.

I have no more reminiscing or fun things to say about the ingredients – I’m kind of discombobulated right now because I finally landed a job in Seattle, but only on a temp to permanent basis.  So just a few hours ago I loaded up my clothes and toothbrush and moved in temporarily with my brother up north.  My life isn’t looking anything like I had planned, but I’m excited to start work and leery of aggravating my brother and sister-in-law.  Cross your fingers and eat some turnovers, because they help everyone feel more settled and cheery.

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Cranberrry sauce – not just for turkey

On my way to Spain to finish up my Master’s degree, I fell prey to one of my great weaknesses: buying everything in sight at the airport.  When you travel alone internationally, you really don’t have many other choices.  You are required to show up hours early then wander around the terminals amidst happy displays of tourist gear and snacks, bars and miniature shopping centers.  So I’ve now started budgeting my time in the airport into my travel spending plans.  Know thyself.

This time around, I impulse bought the Gourmet Magazine Holiday Special.  I was in love with Gourmet Magazine, then they shut down.  So when I saw that familiar calligraphy on the stand while I bought my anti-ear-squeeze gum for the plane, I snatched it up without an ounce of remorse.  Totally worth it.  It’s a compendium of holiday favorites from years past, and since I came to the game late, a lot of the recipes are new to me, though not all.

One of the recipes was for a delicious eggnog and cranberry cheesecake, which I attempted as my first every cheesecake.  Visually, it was a disaster.  But the flavor came out so beautifully, it’s already queued up as my next attempt – I’ll post it then.  But what did come out beautifully was the cranberry jam component, which ended up doing double duty as our cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving.  It was so good, I snatched up the cranberries when they went on sale to stick in the freezer for future batches.  I did jazz it up ever so slightly, but this is a soul-warmingly good balance of tart and sweet and perfect for any winter table, holiday feast or otherwise.

cranberry sauce-2

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Coffee Break

Hey everyone.  I have a lot of posts already photographed, but I’ve been swamped with 1) the holidays and 2) job searching.  I spend hours on the computer all day amongst the unwashed digital masses combing through job offers and trying to convince HR filters that I am awesome.  It can get tiring, and I get sick of my laptop. So the blog has fallen a bit by the wayside.  I am a sorry excuse for a blogger.  I apologize.  Before I go back to typing tests and parsing through my saved job searches and cover letters, let’s take a coffee break together.

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Hotlanta

Surprise, surprise: I went traveling.  Just after getting back from my mini trip to Sevilla to wrap up paperwork (as if, I am currently gathering more official stamps so I can get permission to begin the application process in the hopes that someday my diploma will come in the mail), I went on down to see my friend Caroline.  I bought the tickets with some sky miles in a fit of frustration after a disappointing breakup and PowerPoint-shaped rage against my thesis.  Fabulous decision.

Caroline was a wonderful hostess. She shared her friends and took me around town to eat in many, many lovely places.  We also got the chance to cook together for the first time in over a year, after buying way too much food at the Dekalb Farmers Market.  Where they don’t let you take pictures, so oh well.  I took a few pictures of my favorite things she prepared for us, and those will be popping up in the next few weeks.  Especially since her breakfast burritos were worth the price of the tickets alone. Also, I bought a gigantic cookbook on southern cooking.  So there’s that.  In the mean time, for anyone thinking of going to Atlanta, please consider…

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Hey, I'm Desa. I've been bouncing between the Pacific Northwest and Sevilla, Spain in the last few years and from tiny apartment to tiny apartment. I cook mainly for one, which means some potentially boring meals, but here I'll be sharing the food that excites me. Feel free to offer suggestions, commiseration, or desires. And thanks for coming by!

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