Tag Archives: business travel

Barcelona in Review: Food Travels

Gentle Readers, what a week it has been. Exploring the food and culture of Barcelona for a few days, I want to go back for another round, with the Practical Cooks Junior in tow. They have seen the pictures and already volunteered. The cafe culture, the pace, the attention to service in detail, wow, just wow.

I love the tapas concept. Many little plates, ideal for sharing.

I love the tapas concept. Many little plates, ideal for sharing.

My other weakness, padron peppers. They are not spicy, just salty and delicious.

My other weakness, padron peppers. They are not spicy, just salty and delicious.

Though I’m not a huge potato person, I could easily eat patatas braves every day for quite a long time. If I lived in Barcelona, I would quest endlessly to find the best of the best. I ordered potatoes and padron peppers every time we had tapas.

Patates braves are a staple of Barcelona.Try them all.

Patates braves are a staple of Barcelona.Try them all.

One of many plates of patates braves.

One of many plates of patates braves.

Ironically, some of the other winning meals were Italian. I had two amazing mushroom based dishes, one paparadelle and one risotto.

Risotto with mushrooms in a parmesan bowl. Yes, please.

Risotto with mushrooms in a parmesan bowl. Yes, please.

And of course there was pig. In all its forms. You call it jamon, I call it delicious. More than one dispute broke out around the International Bacon Line, with British folks being the most outspoken American Bacon dissers. To them I say, I’m sorry you lost. 🙂

Pure jamon goodness.

Pure jamon goodness.

Another pleasant surprise, and a lingering favorite, street food. This take on tomato bread, with spinach, pine nuts, and golden raisins, was off the charts good. Portable and with a vegetable, brilliant.

Tomato bread with spinach, pine nuts, and golden raisins. One of my favorite things from Barcelona.

Tomato bread with spinach, pine nuts, and golden raisins. One of my favorite things from Barcelona.

Street food in Barcelona: juice bar style.

Street food in Barcelona: juice bar style.

Overall, my only regret is not having more time or more stomachs. I will return to Barcelona, and encourage you to add it t your bucket list if you haven’t already been.

Down every narrow street in Barcelona, great food awaits.

Down every narrow street in Barcelona, great food awaits.

What’s your favorite non-US food city? Post a comment below, or Tweet!

Send your questions, lucrative deals, and extra coffee to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Coming up Sunday: Weekly Menus!

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Filed under Kitchen Philosophy, Restaurant Reviews

Weekly Menus: Week of 10/2/2011 (with Bonus Chocolate Frosting Recipe)

Gentle Readers, it was unclear how this post would turn out. A list of things The Practical Cook’s Mom intended to serve or a list of things The Practical Cook wanted to eat in San Francisco. In the end, it is a menu plan from TPC’s Mom, complete with some commentary re: TPC, unedited. Ahem.

She threw in her chocolate frosting recipe as a bonus, and told me that she’d appreciate it if I stopped tweaking her recipes. Well, where precisely, do you think that habit was developed and honed, said the apple to the tree?

Here we go, weekly menus for 10/2/2011, The Practical Cook’s Mom edition:

Sunday: sandwiches, green salad, macaroni salad, deviled eggs, carrot gelatin. (Probably BLTs)

Monday: ham steak, kale, potato gnocchi, sides from Sunday night, and gingerbread with applesauce

Tuesday: smorgasbord

Wednesday: beef tacos with lettuce, tomato, avocado, sour cream, and a side of creamed corn.

Thursday: some sort of beans, either beans and franks (souped up pork and beans with hot dogs) or pintos (to use up the remainder of the taco meat), cornbread, green vegetable TBD ( probably slaw or steamed cabbage), remainder of corn

Friday: The Practical Cook takes stock of her refrigerator’s contents and shrieks or presents a meal. (Honestly. TPC)

 On hand: various fruit choices for snack and/or dessert

Chocolate icing recipe—super good with a butter recipe yellow cake mix

1 box powdered sugar, sifted
1/3 cup plain baking cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup milk

In a non-stick saucepan, bring milk and butter just to a boil. Stir in other ingredients until smooth. Spread on cooled cake.

Thanks Mom, color commentary notwithstanding. You can now all see why my kids are totally spoiled rotten when they eat with TPC’s Mom: it’s like a Southern buffet, endless optional favorites. Do you find yourself cooking like your parents, or do you have different kitchen styles? Post a comment below.

Send your queries and ideas to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Up next, to celebrate my travels, a video review of Rice-A-Roni, The San Francisco Treat.

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