Yes. Granada. Southern Spain. Home of the Alhambra. Incredibly rich in history, architecture, art, gypsies living in caves on the sides of hills...
And the whole time that I was in this beautiful city, I honestly felt like crap. I was homesick, and physically sick. Completely worn down from all the traveling I'd been doing for the two months prior.
I mean, I'm walking around these beautiful streets, cobblestone pathways, and insanely beautiful palace...
...and all I can think about is how I'd like to go back to the hostel and plop myself down on the hammock and eat oranges. Or be at home, letting my mom make me cinnamon rolls and watching crap television.
Okay, I didn't really want to be doing that. I was having the experience of a lifetime. But I was sick and thinking irrational thoughts.
And maybe sometimes it just takes a little bit of time, and reflection after the experience to really understand and appreciate the whole thing.
Because even if I was dripping buckets of snot and hardly had enough energy to stand, at least, one very, very different year later, I can say "I was THERE!!!"
I want you to do you and me a favor. I want you to get into your kitchen right now and make this recipe. It's Polenta Apple Rosemary Bread. And it will change your life.
Finding this gem of a recipe was pure luck. I was just looking for something to go with the already bomb chili that we were having for dinner. And what with all the apples...
Well, as it turns out, its so much more than just cornbread. Its cake-like, almost like a pound cake, and lightly crispy on the outside. We literally sat down at the table, took a bite, then looked up at each other and said "Oh my god. This is good!!!"
Sorry, no photos of the final product. It got dark. And we got hungry.
What the heck are you waiting for? Go. Do it. Make bread.
What do you do when you make a trip to THE cheese factory and you end up buying way more cheese than any two people could ever dream of consuming? And then, later that week, you also go to an apple tasting, where you end up buying some ridiculous amount of apples? What do you do then?
One of my favorite things about flour is that it can hold neat shapes like this:
One of my other favorite things about flour is that you can use it to make your own Pop Tarts. For real.
I did that today. Because my lover likes Pop Tarts in the morning. And even though these are probably just as unhealthy as the real thing, at least they have a good dose of love in them. That makes them better for you. Its true.
You can put anything you like in them. Cinnamon and brown sugar. Or raspberry jam. I even filled one with gorgonzola and basil and ate it for lunch.
They were surprisingly easy to make, too. And its fun to poke holes in the top. Poke. Poke. Poke.
I even sprinkled some blue sugar on the top of a few. You know, to make them more authentic.
The actual birthday of my Libra is tomorrow. What will I be giving this special one? Would it surprise you that he'll be receiving a really healthy dose of...
I began by blending chocolate cookies with melted butter.
I put some peanut butter in there, because peanut butter + chocolate = magic.
And whipped cream. That makes it really special too.
The result: Mud Pie for Grown Ups?
I don't know what to call it, but it is delicious! And sinful... the type of thing you really probably should avoid 364 days a year... or probably make an extra trip to the gym for... but it is worth the trip... because, HELLO!, peanut butter and chocolate!!!
Mud Pie for Grown Ups
3/4 bag chocolate cookies (I used the Newman Alphabet Cookies)
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
Put the cookies in a food processor and make crumbs.
Pour the cookie crumbs into a bowl with the butter and stir thoroughly.
Pour the crust into serving dishes and press down.
Place serving dishes into the freezer while you prepare the other layers.
Put the peanut butter, cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk in a bowl.
Beat with an electric mixer on low until just combined.
In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream to form soft peaks.
Spoon about half the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture.
Gently fold until just combined. I will have a nice light texture.
This weekend I celebrated the birthday of my very special Libra by taking him to the beach.
Can you believe it? Look at this weather. Its the first weekend in October, and somehow we are totally comfortable walking around in t-shirts. Lucky us!
We walked around on the beach in Cape Meare, just north of Tillamook. We examined things that had washed up, like this hairy thing:
This dragon was very close to our car. Rad!
Then we drove up to the Cape Meare lighthouse, which offered these incredible views:
We saved the best for last. No trip to Tillamook is complete without a tour of the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Especially when your boyfriend designs and programs machines for a living. And when they have 38 flavors of ice cream.
Did you know cheese factories were so yellow? Go figure!
This one I liked so much, I made it my desktop background:
And I've been thinking about it a lot. The way I interpret it is that you need to make the most of every experience. For me, make sketches, write about, and take photos of everything. Every idea, every book I read, everything I bake. Everything.
And blog about it. Make it work for me. Tell people about it. Get my name out there. Promote myself. Let everyone know that I am a great fucking designer. Capitalize on the fucking experience!