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Sunday share day

Wow! Can you believe it’s already Sunday! This was a pretty good week here on the island. But really (and this may be a humble brag) is there ever really a BAD week on the island?

We were carless for a few days (we are a one car familia so I drive the husband if we want the car) so my father and I got lots done in the house. Everything is pretty much set-up but there’s of things that need hanging and it’s not as simple as one may think. The house here are made of concrete. Concrete. So if you want to hang anything, say a calendar on the wall? You have to drill a hole using a masonry drill. Oh yea. So what may take less than 5 minutes stateside to hang something could take about 20-30 mins here on the island. But at least it gives my dad a chance to use power tools.

Speaking of power tools…we got a coco friiiiiiiiio from the back of a guys pickup truck today and my father decided we should crack it open and get the flesh out. Mind you, we do not own a machete (yet) so he whipped out the trusty ole dremmel. It took some persistence (and coconut flying everywhere) but alas, he cracked it open. Only in PR, right?

breaking into the coco.

breaking into the coco.

We also checked out a new restaurant that opened the other day, TBC. It’s a husband and wife duo from DC and yea, this may definitely become a regular breakfast (and perhaps lunch) spot for us. The colors of the place were bright and lively and the atmosphere was kicked back and relaxed. Oh, and the food was oh-so-good! Gabriela even got dolled up for the occasion of her first brunch out!

Daddy and Gabriela

Daddy and Gabriela

My cooking plan during the week kinda went off without a hitch. I was making pork chops with an apple and onion sauté and unfortunately the apples were not as sweet as I was hoping. It was from Lucinda Scala Quinn’s cookbook and while it wasn’t what I thought it should taste like, it was still pretty good (recipe to follow shortly). I also tackled a _50 shades of chicken_ recipe that I had to alter because of course I didn’t read throughout the whole thing (read through the WHOLE recipe before you start, people). So while the recipe called for a whole chicken, I used chicken thighs and it still turned out well. Delectable. Scrumptious. Ok- I’m just trying to fit the whole 50 Shades word usage here. Friday was pizza Friday from a pizza joint by the hubby’s work that we absolutely LOVE! Next Friday we’ll be trying out a food truck (aka as a guaguita in PR) so stay tuned for that review!

We capped off the week with a beach visit that I had read about from a fellow blogger at Island Canes, Mar Chiquita. We took the scenic way out there via Route 2 and went through many a small towns. It was quite interesting checking out the different little bits of Northern Puerto Rico. The beach was perfect. A clear blue water “pool” surrounded by rocks gave the feel of being out far in the water (the floor drops way deep pretty quickly) complete with medium waves and rock formations under the water, but you’re in the safety of the enclosure. The husband was much braver than me and snorkeled out close to the opening to the ocean and he said it was pretty cool.

With the baby we didn’t stay too terribly long but long enough to try out the guaguita “el saber del norte”. We indulged in some pina coladas, alcapurrias, and empanadillas. A small chunk of change for some huge yummy flavors!

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oh! and probably the BIGGEST share of the week was my drastic need for a new hairdo! I have naturally curly hair that is thick and long (well, shoulder length is pretty long for me) and takes FOREVER to dry. Recently i’ve been wearing a ponytail because 1. it’s too hard to blow dry my hair for 15+mins with a sleeping baby in the next room and 2. I no longer own a blowdryer, that I knew I needed a change. So to go along with the “new chapter” in our lives, I thought I’d start fresh and hack off the hair. WOW! how incredibly light and freeing this new do feels! I’ll be posting some better pics of it soon but I’m still working out the whole “holy crap my hair is short” phase of things.

Meal planning for next week. Trying out a different grocery store for hopefully a better selection of meats. That might actually help with the quality of this FOOD blog if I actually COOK something!

What’s for dinner tonight? Chicken wings with a soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, red pepper flake, and a garlic sorta marinade. Happy sunday night football!

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New adventures!

So I started writing a ‘catch up’ post the other day explaining my absence from my blog, but of course, I got sidetracked and never got around to finishing it. So here’s a quick sum up of the last month and few weeks:

– we had our baby! July 10 at 6.36p little Gabriela Esperanza arrived healthy and happy! She weighed 6lbs10oz and was 21in long. Perhaps I’m biased, but she’s a cutie!

2weeks old

2weeks old

 

– my husband wasn’t able to make the actual birth due to his training in Georgia so my father was with me the whole time: from admission into the hospital to taking the very first pic of Gabi. I can’t ever thank him enough for doing that and being the best birth coach ever!

Going home!

Going home!

– my husband graduated on the 15th, came home that night, and we proceeded to pack up our house in preparation for our move! (For those new to my little blog, we are relocating to Puerto Rico due to my husband getting a new job. How cool is that!?!)

So the last 5 weeks have been a whirlwind, to say the least! The house has been packed and our container is currently en route to the port and then onto a ship, to hopefully arrive in San Juan in 2-3 weeks! Fingers crossed.

Goodbye household belongings!

Goodbye household belongings!

With the house gone, literally, today we start our looooong journey to Puerto Rico. We are currently in a very overpacked VW Jetta wagon consisting of 3 adults, a newborn, 5 pieces of luggage, a stroller, car seat, and a guitar, heading to Jacksonville to drop our car at the port. It’s the darndest thing watching all of your belongings AND car be shipped off into the unknown and hope that it somehow makes it’s way back to you in another location. Talk about letting go!

The car ships today and then we fly off tomorrow night for Aguadilla! And that little experience is going to be filled with angst as it’s the first time I’ve ever gone through airport security with a newborn, fly with a newborn, and go to Puerto Rico for the first time. Out flight is at 6pm, which first goes to New York (who’s brilliant plan was that) and then we arrive in PR at 3 in the morning. Again, another brilliant planner put that one together. Please be saying a little prayer for this mama!

i must say though that I am very lucky for a few things that will most definitely help with my anxiety level: my husband who goes out of his way to make sure I don’t freak out or have an utter meltdown and who is always so kind to me when I do in fact freak out and have an utter meltdown; my father who epitomizes the whole laissez-faire mentality and keeps calm and collected; and my daughter who certainly has the Vizuete gene of being a fabulous napper; and Puerto Rico. What more is there to say?

So stay tuned and read up on our trip (eeeck), our new island life with our new addition, and more musings from my kitchen

 

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An Homage to Julia . . .

(Reblogged from http://vabonvivant.com/2013/10/10/an-homage-to-julia/)

Planning ahead day….

so I didn’t sleep very last night, which meant I spent a good majority of the morning on the couch, curled up with our (surrogate dog) Sonny, basically vegging out- and watching Law & Order! I did, however, have the motivation to create a menu for the next 7 days. Yea ME! So after a bit of nap through an episode with that new lawyer guy (instead of Jack McCoy)– because those are really the best– I finally made it to the grocery store. Does anyone out there take absolute pleasure in going grocery shopping? I do. And let me tell you–I’ve been missing my grocery time! What’s also funny is the deli guys know me as the “meat butter” girl. I normally get prosciutto di parma (which goes for about $26 a pound) on Friday’s for the pizzas I normally make at home. One day I was getting some and the deli guy asked another patron if he’d like to try some and GASP– the guy said he’d never had prosciutto. My deli guy proceeded to explain to him that it tasted like “meat butter”. Is there a better description of it?! I think NOT. So I was getting some Mortadella today and the two constant deli guys BOTH asked if i was getting some “meat butter” today. I like being a regular!

So now I am sitting in my kitchen (on the wonderful stool my hubby thought I would enjoy pondering on) preparing about 3 different dishes…for the next 3 days. It’s a gorgeous day but a bit too hot so I figured I’d catch up on my meal planning. I have a menu – YEA! – and I have all the ingredients, save a few perishables that i’ll pick up later in the week. 

So what have i been preparing? My husband, James, will be on the early shift this coming week (meaning show time at 5.15 am) so I’m getting his breakfast burritos ready for the week. I prepare them ahead of time and them freeze them. Tomorrow I will be doing a Julia Child recipe so i had to get the meat marinating today. And then I so loved the lamb we had the other night so I figured we’d do lamb kabobs tonight, which are also marinating away. 

So that lamb from the other night…I admit that I have been very scared of lamb over the years. Which is odd because I love LOVE gyros! I figured I’d broaden my horizons! I found lamb shoulder chops at my local supermarket and went looking for a recipe. I found one from Martha Stewart (you can find the recipe under my recipes tab) that also included an aioli. While the aioli looked great, I wasn’t in the mood to make it. But the ingredients looked great. So I sorta took the herbs from the aioli and put em towards the lamb. In the morning I chopped up some oregano, thyme, and rosemary (from my little bitty garden) and combined those with some garlic, salt and pepper. I threw everything in a plastic bag with the lamb chops and added some olive and red wine. A bit different than the recipe.

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I wasn’t in the mood for firing up the grill so instead i fired up the indoor grill pan. Love it! I grilled off the lamb and let me tell you– the aroma from the marinade was amazing. I was feeling a bit daring so I cooked it to a medium rare and it was divine! I also made red quinoa to go with it as well as some roma tomatoes with a balsamic and oil vinaigrette topped off with basil and feta. YUM! 

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I was very impressed by the lamb. It was tender and the marinade was perfectly balanced to really bring out the flavor of the lamb. I think next time I need to add a bit more salt and maybe a little heat to the party. But it was pretty darn good!

Pizza Friday was a nod to one of the first homemade pizzas I did: Fig, prosciutto, oven roasted tomatoes, and mozzarella (pearls). This time I added some Fontina cheese for some extra ooey gooey goodness! I’m pretty sure I overload it but I can’t help myself. I used a bit less pizza dough to make it more of a thin crust and yea, it was good too.

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Lamb again tonight and look out…JULIA CHILD tomorrow!!

 

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