Tag Archives: dinner

I love to eat

I love to eat and this holiday season I could not be more excited to dig in! However, I wanted this year to somehow be different… I wanted to feel different than I did the previous years. I decided that instead of just eating, I also wanted to contribute to the array of dishes that are made for the holidays….I wanted to cook! Everyone was in absolute shock when I stated that I was going to cook. For some odd reason my family thinks I cannot hold my own in the kitchen…well it was time I proved them wrong.

To me, being able to cook is essential to life. You never know when you will be put in a position to provide for yourself and living on take out is just not the best, healthiest and most economical option. No one really taught me how to cook, which is probably why everyone was in such shock when I told them I was cooking for the holidays. I have mainly watch my aunt, mom (who hates cooking even though her dishes are always delicious) and grandmother throughout the years as I walked around the kitchen. So it was a huge surprise to me when in college I was able to whip up meals for me and my roommates. That is when I started realizing that I actually enjoy being in the kitchen and making a delicious dish. It is actually soothing. Every time I finish I get this sense of accomplishment and self-pride and that is exactly the type of emotions I want to be indulged in this 23rd year of my life.

Now, how did I go about selecting dishes? Simply by searching for recipes online. I even own two cook books that I will take a look at for Christmas dinner. I made three dishes for Thanksgiving dinner and for work festivities I made two.
1. Stuffed Tomatoes
2. Baked Chicken Drumsticks
3. Coconut Custard (I got this recipe from my sorority sister)
4. Mini Pumpkin Pies
5. Green Beans Wrapped in Bacon w/ a Brown Sugar Sauce

My favorite recipe from all of these definitely had to be the Stuffed Tomatoes. It was simple and delicious! Plus you can change up the way you make it every time. All you need is tomatoes, and whatever you wish the stuffing to be.
This is the version I made for work:

Ingredients:
1. Tomatoes
2. Cheese (I chose Cheddar and Mozzarella)
3. Ground Beef
4. Mushrooms
5. Diced Tomatoes in a Can
6. Bread Crumbs

Steps:
1. Cut the top of the tomato and then take out the inside. You do this by using a knife to cut around the inside. Then with a spoon you scoop the inside out. You must be very careful to not break the tomato in the process.
2. Cook the ground beef to your liking. I added the mushrooms as I cooked the ground beef. (My own personal preference.)
3. Make your stuffing. Mix the cook ground beef, diced tomatoes, bread crumbs, and cheese in a bowl.
4. Fill the tomatoes with the stuffing.
5. After the tomatoes are filled add a coat of cheese to the top.
6. Bake in the oven until cheese is golden brown and tomatoes look cooked. (Bake at about 350 degrees.)

Pretty simple right? It tasted amazing and everyone at work loved them! The compliments went on all day!

My challenge to you is to do something that makes you feel accomplished and gives you that feeling of self-pride. It could be something as simple (or challenging for some) as cooking.

Advertisements

Me Enamore… pero de Sevilla

“Me enamore de Sevilla, España.” I am convinced that out of all the cities I have visited, during my study abroad experience, Sevilla has been my favorite (Vienna was second.) I fell in love with absolutely everything, the food, the music, the atmosphere, the language and accent, the people, the architecture…the culture in general consumed you to the point where leaving made you sad.

Off to Sevilla, Spain

I went to Sevilla to meet up with some friends and enjoy my birthday weekend. It turned out to be a greater experience than I expected. I didn’t think I would fall in love with the city. I stayed in a single room in Hostal Florida. It was great! The room was clean, nicely organized, and had a TV. I was satisfied! I payed about 48 Euros for 2 nights. I only slept on the bed one night because Sunday my flight was at 7:45am and we stayed out till 4am partying and celebrating. It was my last time taking Ryanair to travel in Europe. Going back home was the worse experience. There was so much turbulence! I hate turbulence. I was running on no sleep just a 1.5 hour nap, and we took about 5 tequila shots to celebrate our experience that night! It was definitely worth it though.

One of my many Tapas

We ate tapas the entire time I was there. They were so delicious that every time they were placed in front of us we ate them quickly. Ordering a couple would equal to a full meal and all at a really good price! Everything I ate was less than 6 Euros! I loved chorizo it tasted delicious! I kinda wish I had more. I even orederd a tapa of Jamón ibérico “cured meat.” That was interesting. Tasted good though.

Live Flamenco

I was able to see live Flamenco! It was absolutely beautiful! The lyrics just took my breath away and the rhythm was just hypnotizing. There was so much soul in the music I could of listened to it all night! Truly an amazing experience!

la Torre del Oro

On our way to Calle Betis, a street a tad similar to Delirium here in Brussels but just more open and not so narrow, we stopped by the Guadalquivir river. It had an amazing view! Gorgeous just absolutely breathtaking! We also passed by la Torre del Oro. It seriously reminded me of Rapunzel. I always pictured her dropping her hair down from a tower similar to la Torre del Oro. The bars in Calle Betis were more spacious than the bars in Delirium and you were able to dance if you wanted.

Guadalquivir river

The cathedral was absolutely HUGE! It is so big you couldn’t take a picture of the entire thing unless you were taking pictures up from the sky. We had 1 Euro beers in front of la Iglesia de El Salvador. That was different. I never seen something like it! The place was packed! Full of people drinking in front of the church. Afterwards, we went inside the church with beer in our system… no big deal. The details inside the church were absolutely impressive. There were so many intricate details everywhere! It was a lot to take in.

Inside la Iglesia de El Salvador

We met so many interesting people! We had so many cheap drinks! 1.50 Euro shots! Absolutely unbelievable! My friend even got me a Birthday shot! I was so happy! Exactly what I needed to finally feel 21!

Best hot dog ever!

There was also this hot dog stand outside this club we went too. Seriously, best selling strategy ever. That was the best hot dog I have ever tasted in my life!!!! I don’t think I will ever taste something like it again!

Sevilla was absolutely amazing! I need to return!

Birthday Shot!

Time to be Grateful

Happy Birthday to me!

It was really hard being away from home on my 21st Birthday and Thanksgiving. I decided to look on the bright side and take it as an opportunity to just appreciate the many things I have. As I start the 21st first year of my life I have many blessings: my family,  friends, another year of life, and the opportunity to study in Europe. It’s important to be positive during the hard times.

Birthday Cake

It was remembering all the things I have to be grateful for that  really helped me have a good Birthday. I had to write a paper but I did it with a smile on my face. The sun shined bright on a city that’s usually gloomy, wet, and cold. My host sister baked me a delicious marble cake and everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to me in French! We toasted to my 21st year and I took my first ‘legal’ drink (according to USA law.) Afterwards my roommate and I went out with some friends to have a couple of drinks at Delirium. I had a light Busch beer. I couldn’t believe the alcohol percentage in that beer. o_O It did its job though. It was the perfect way to end a “beginning of the week birthday.”

Thanksgiving Dinner

There is no Thanksgiving in Europe because it’s an American holiday. So my roommate and I decided to bring Thanksgiving to Europe. We cooked a small dinner for our host family. We cooked things that would be traditional for our Thanksgiving meals. Thank goodness I had some saźon left over. It was all a success! Thanksgiving is about being grateful and sharing that with others and that’s exactly what I did.   

 

“Chef Moi”

Cooking the meat and sauce

Yesterday, I cooked in Brussels for the first time. I went to Carrefour (European supermarket) with my roommate and I had no idea what to make. There are absolutely no hispanic (I’m Dominican) ingredients in any regular European supermarket. No Adobo, platanos, salami, sopita, “vino de cocinar,” etc.

“C’est fini” It is finished

 Once inside the Carrefour I figured I would get an idea of what to make in the meat section… so I first headed there. I found a small piece of beef for about 2 Euros. I decided to make “bistek guisado” fried beef in red sauce usually with peppers and onions. I went to find some tomato cooking sauce but all I found was sliced tomatoes in a can but luckily it had a lot of tomato juice so I settled for that. Instead of adding onions and peppers (I wasn’t about to complicate my life) I decided to add some mushrooms since I found canned mushrooms. To go along with the “bistek” I bought pre-made Uncle Ben’s rice (it was seasoned with tomato sauce and olive oil.)

Ready to eat

To start off I sliced the beef into strips and seasoned it with the saźon my friend mail me, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. I then put some olive oil in the pan and waited a couple of minutes until it was hot. After the oil was hot I threw the beef in and waited for it to cook. Then added the tomato sauce and mushrooms. I let it all cook for a couple of minutes while I microwaved the Uncle Ben’s rice.

When I took a bite of the food I was so happy because it tasted amazing! I ended up eating the entire thing because it tasted so good! A Dominican can definitely cook in Europe! ^_^

Changes

This rainbow makes me feel like there are
only good things waiting for me at the end of the road!

A lot can change in one day. It’s crazy how by the end of the day everything seems different than from when you woke up this morning. Yesterday, I was excited about the Corporate Communications and Public Relations class I took… well now I have to drop it and take the professor’s other class Business Writing and Social Networking Applications. I figured since it’s a more media related class I can try to scheme some RU credits and maybe try to actually graduate on time! Things can never be easy with RU. My internship offer was finally finalized today so starting next week my trips to the Accessible Art Fair office will become more current. Hope I don’t get as lost as I did the first day I traveled there. eek! I also made my first hair appointment at a “coiffure” hair salon near my current school, Vesalius. That should be an interesting experience.

Today, I had my first Intercultural Communications class and boy was the class full of culture! There was a girl from Argentina, another from Ecuador, and twin boys that were French and Dominican. I had no idea that, that mix even existed! So much for me being the only Dominican at Vesalius! That’s three Dominicans I found already! There was even a handful of kids from Jersey and kids from all over the states! I loved being in that atmosphere!

I’m finally home and call my mom as usual. I like to update her on my abroad activities. Plus is nice to hear her voice. Experiences

Keeping it classy in Belgium!

like these really make you closer to your family and close friends. Makes you appreciate them more. Also makes you see who’s really there for you throughout the distance. I always believed that whatever makes it through long distances is there for the long run! 

Chocolate pie! with Belgian chocolate! ^__^

My host mom arrived last night with her daughter Lou! She is the sweetest girl!!! With the most adorable French accent! In the morning I spoke to her for an hour about my fascination for owl jewelry and talked to her about my family. When they arrived from shopping this afternoon she brought me an owl notebook! She literally made my afternoon with that amazing gesture! She then asked me to help her cook dinner! I can proudly say I officially cooked my first meal in Belgium! It was Paella rice with vegetables, baked cheese on top, ham on the side, and a fresh small tomato! Absolutely DELICIOUS! She even made dessert!!! Chocolate pie and yes! with Belgian Chocolate! We ended the night with “Fashion Victime” Sweet Home Alabama. How that became the name of the movie in French beats me! I love that movie so I was excited to hear the French version!

Now to go to sleep with the sound of raindrops on my window pane! 😀 Sounds like a peaceful sleep ahead of me!