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Barcelona

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Raw French Raisins

My first project on my new dehydrator. These raisin’s are so delicious. I just washed a bunch of fresh green grapes, cut a slit in each one, and then threw them on the dehydrator tray.

It took them about 4 days at 42 degrees celcius, but so worth it. I read that if you blanch them first on the stove, it quickens up the drying process, but I wanted my to be raw, so I just had to have a little more patience. I’m not sure how long they would last on the shelf, as I didn’t get all of the water out, but I don’t think I would be able to keep them for that long anyways–they’re so so delicious.
I was worried at first, because they were not seedless grapes, but turns out it doesn’t hardly matter, the raisins have a nice texture with the little seed in the middle, and it’s too small to be very bothersome anyways.

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6 AM Breakfast…

Fresh Roasted Chetnuts and Pear

These are the first roasted chetnuts i’ve ever had… and they are so delicious and easy. You just cut a slit in one side of the chestnut and then throw them on the stove. I think it’s better to put them in the oven, but here in France they just throw em on the grill, and all I have is a sauce pan, and it worked great. Then as soon as the skin peals back, you take them off the heat and peel away the skin. Eating warm chetnut’s over juicy pears really helps bring in the winter season.

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A Great Reading Snack

I found this great bar in Vieux Lyon (where I hope to live). Sat there all of Saturday afternoon, got drunk on white wine and reading E.T. Hall.

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Eating Gazpacho in Barcelona

Gazpacho Is one of the most famous staples of Barcelona. It is a cold summertime soup that is all raw, great with a tall glass of Sangria. An interesting bit of history on the soup:

Gazpacho has ancient roots. There are a number of theories of its origin, including as an Arab soup of bread, olive oil, water and garlic that arrived in Spain with the Moors, or via the Romans with the addition of vinegar. Once in Spain it became a part of Andalusian cuisine, particularly Seville, using stale bread, garlic, olive oil, salt, and vinegar, similar to ajoblanco.

Tomato was added to the recipe in the 1700s. Although Cortez found tomatoes growing in Montezuma’s gardens in 1519, and it became part of the culinary bounty brought back to Spain by the 16th-century conquistadors, as part of the Nightshade family of plants it was deemed poisonous and relegated to decorative plant status. A famine in Italy 200 years later caused starving peasants to eat the tomatoes to no ill effect, and the tomato entered the European culinary tradition.

Gazpacho remained popular with field hands as a way to cool off during the summer and to use available ingredients such as fresh vegetables and stale bread.

As I was browing my favorite online cooking site I found this recipe. I can’t wait to try it, while there’s still summer left! http://www.latartinegourmande.com/2010/07/15/tomatoes-rhyme-with-gazpacho/

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Gluten Free, Dairy Free Almond Rhubarb Cheesecake

You can follow this recipe image by image. I used this great and simple gluten free pie crust, but lost the recipe! It’s just a mixed blend of pitted dates, almonds, and walnuts. Put in enough dates to make the crust stick together when you press it between your figures. I used a nut crusher to mix the ingredients.

I didn’t have agar agar in the house when making this recipe so I substituted gelatin, this worked fine, but the almond cream topping got a little too thick after sitting in the fridge overnight. Agar agar is great, and I have since used it in jams and sauces. I would not substitute it again.

It was fun making so many different layers, but the end pie came out tasting a little bland. If I were to make it again, I would use a different dairy free icing…although the almond one was very delicious in and of itself.
It also shows you how to make your own almond milk. Which I highly recommend and will talk about in my next blog.

Here’s a picture of mine:

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Pasteries of Mexico City

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