My trip to Spain continued to Granada.  After a few days in Sevilla, we packed up the kids and headed to the train station.

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The most useful item I took to Spain had to be my Beco baby carrier. It made traveling with my rambunctious toddlers so much easier. I was able to strap Zekie to my front or back and it allowed me extra hands to push luggage, hold onto Nehe’s hand or simply carry my baby. 

Having my baby sleep on me was absolutely precious

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Baby Ezra was enjoying his Beco baby carrier as well!
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I wanted to share this picture below because it was really during moments like these that I really appreciated my Beco. I’m not sure about you, but my 2 year old wanders. During this 3 hour trip from Sevilla to Granada I kept Zekie strapped onto my front. He was able to sit comfortably on my lap and sleep the entire way. Had I not of had him strapped in, it would have been a battle of wills! My precious baby would have had me chasing him all over the train and pleading with him to sit still. Thank you BECO :D


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After a quick 3 hour nap, I mean train ride we finally arrived in Granada! Granada is absolutely beautiful. The city is clean, vibrant, and full of life.  Everything is taken care of immaculately.  Spring was in the air and the city exemplified Andaluz!  

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From walking the streets, it quickly became apparent that Granada is a University town, home to the prestigious University of Granada. Maybe that’s why this is the city of free tapas! That’s right, near the Cathedral, you can sit down at most bars, order a drink, and receive a free tapita. How AWESOME is that!

One of the highlights of our time in Granda was visiting La Alhambra.

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La Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex constructed during the mid 14th century by the Moorish rulers of the Emirate of Granada in Al-Andalus, occupying the top of the hill of the Assabica on the southeastern border of the city of Granada, now in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain.



According to wikipedia 
The Alhambra’s Moorish palaces were built for the last Muslim Emirs in Spain and its court, of the Nasrid dynasty. After the Reconquista by the Los Reyes Católicos (“The Catholic Monarchs”) in 1492 some portions were used by the Christian rulers. The Palace of Charles V, built by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor in 1527, was inserted in the Alhambra within the Nasrid fortifications. After being allowed to fall into disrepair for centuries, the Alhambra was “discovered” in the 19th century by European scholars and travelers, with restorations commencing. It is now one of Spain’s major tourist attractions, exhibiting the country’s most significant and well known Islamic architecture, together with 16th-century and later Christian building and garden interventions. The Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This Moorish palace is similar to La Alcazar in Sevilla.  The architecture and gardens are breathtaking.

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I’m so glad I had my Beco! I could comfortably go up tiny halls, and tall buildings without fearing for the safety of my baby! AWESOME!
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What surprised me, we even carried the big kids in it!! I knew it could carry up to 45lbs so Nathan strapped on 4 year old Xavier and he fell asleep on his back. The cutest thing ever!



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After a very long day we sat at a local bar for some free tapitas and a fabulous meal!

Delicious Croquetas!
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Tortilla
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Pollo al Chilindron
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Granada was amazing and definitely on my list of places to return! Next stop… Chipiona!!

Green salad fresh from the garden
Spring is the season for salads!  My mesclun mix that I sowed in my garden has been producing abundantly and we’ve been blessed with fresh greens.  As easy as it is to grow from seed I really encourage you to give it a try!  Lettuce has a short root system so you can grow it just about anywhere.  From containers to gutters!  That’s right, roof gutters!  Nail it to a backyard fence, fill it with soil and plant away.  You’ll have lettuce popping up in no time! 

To top your salads, add anything you have growing in your garden or what you can find at your farmers market.  It’s always different when you follow the seasons.  For this salad, I added fresh green onions and strawberries from my garden and local feta cheese from Reichert’s Dairy Air.  With all of the organic raspberries I’ve been finding at my local markets, I couldn’t help but buy some and make a sweet and savory raspberry vinaigrette.  My patch is still ripening ;)

Green Salad Fresh from the Garden with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Raspberry Vinaigrette

  • 1 small package raspberries, mashed (save a few to top your salad)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbls raw honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

For your salad

  1. Toss any variety of fresh lettuce, green onions, and diced ripe strawberries.
  2. Pour raspberry vinaigrette over the salad.
  3. Top with crumbled feta cheese.

Buen Provecho!

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I’m so excited as I finally get to share some photos from my recent trip to Spain.  This by far was the most difficult time that I had ever spent in Spain.  It was really important to me to make the trip this year as I knew my Abuela Rora had begun to have some health issues.  I wanted to see her and have her meet my youngest son, Ezekiel.  Unfortunately, that meant going without my husband as he could not take the vacation time needed.

The first thing we did in Spain was visit my Abuela Rora, Tita Carlota, and Tita Maria.  Three sisters that live together right in the heart of Sevilla.  El Centro, Downtown.  My Tita Carlota will be 90 years old next March.  She is a strong lady!  She’s still cleaning, cooking, and doing most of the tending for her other sisters.  It was really difficult to see my Abuela Rora as she was sitting in a wheel chair.  It was only three years ago that I last saw her.  She was in great health showing me how to cook, teaching me how to pick the best produce at the plaza, and going out for daily strolls.  Since then she’s had a double hip replacement.  To top that off, she fell at the beginning of this year and hurt her arm.  She was happy to see us yet saddened that she is in a state of immobility.  We usually hit the beach and spend time at the plaza’s in Chipiona and San Lucar.  We’d get up early, walk to the plaza, sit down for pan con tomate and then chat away with all of her market vendor friends.  This year just wouldn’t be the same.  She was confined to the wheelchair and needing assistance from a morning and evening nurse.  My heart hurt.

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Although thin and frail, she is still in good health.  So my prayer is that God can give her the strength to get through this time.  As usual, the kids flock to her.  Ezekiel couldn’t stop playing peek a boo with her.  I love her so much.

Praise the Lord my Tita Maria and Tita Carlota are doing great.

Tita Carlota with Nehe
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Tita Carlota was excited to be able to get away for a few days with us to spend time in Chipiona.  Her beach house.  I’ll get to that post in a couple days.  The first few days we settled in at my mother’s apartment in Sevilla and had a great time just taking in the city and taking the kids to their first bull fight.  Hey… what can I say, we’re Spaniards!

La Macarena. Our neighborhood and the church where my parents wed.

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La Muralla, the ancient walls of Sevilla
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Nehemiah loves public transporation
The elderly out and about.  This is so normal in Spain!
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Tita Susie with Zekie
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Zipi y Zape
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Revuelto de habas y jamon
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Buquerones frito.  Fried Anchovies
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La Plaza de Espana, We had to take the boys to where Star Wars was filmed. 
Yes, they were that excited!
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Parque de Maria Luisa

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On our way to the bull fight!
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After seeing the first bullfighter, Xavier wanted his turn! 
He wants to be a matador when he grows up! My nephew rocks!!!
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The walk back home.  Sevilla tiene un color especial!
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We had a full and busy day!
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Tomorrow I’ll share my pictures from Granada!!  Until then, besitos!

baked strawberry cream and rhubarb oatmeal
One of the many things that I enjoy about our changing seasons is coming up with new baked oatmeal recipes.  My strawberry patch came in with a bang this spring and we have harvested at least 20lbs.  It’s now dwindling but I have frozen many pounds and am looking forward to sharing some jam recipes soon!

Strawberries and rhubarb go great together and what can add to that but fresh cream!  A great added bonus about using fresh or whole un-homogenized milk is that the cream naturally separates from the milk.  Whenever I need some fresh cream, all I do is skim some from the top of our milk.  It tastes great, is convenient and saves us $ from having to go out and buy cream that is usually UHT (ultra high temperature).  Since my berries were picked ripe they were sweet so I only had to add about a tablespoon of organic coconut palm sugar.  (I have a post coming up about the wonderful people at Sweet Tree Sustainable Sweeteners) I used pureed strawberries to naturally sweeten and hint with it’s flavor.  The rhubarb shined and a splash of cream, topped with strawberries, made this baked oatmeal a special seasonal breakfast.

Baked Strawberry Cream and Rhubarb Oatmeal

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of steel cut oatmeal
  • 3/4 cup fresh whole milk, or yogurt.
  • 1/4 cup pureed strawberries
  • 1 1/2 – 2 stalks rhubarb, diced
  • 1 tbls butter
  • 1 tbls organic coconut palm sugar or more to taste (sub rapadura or raw honey)
  • 1 farm fresh egg
  • cream
  • sliced strawberries

Method:

  1. Soak the oatmeal in a baking dish overnight in 3/4 cup milk or yogurt.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In the same dish, add the pureed strawberries, rhubarb, butter, coconut palm sugar, a beaten egg  and mix thoroughly.
  4. Sprinkle with coconut palm sugar.
  5. Bake for 1 hour.
  6. Serve into dishes, splashed with fresh cream and topped with sliced strawberries.  Mix it all together for the kids :D

Buen Provecho!

Is it on or around June 1st?!  Yes it is!  That means it’s my turn to host My Legume Love Affair!  One of my favorite events brought to us by Susan from the Well Seasoned Cook.  I am so excited as I’ve been on a year waiting list to host this very popular event on the blogosphere! 

So what is this event and how do I join?

  • Post a recipe featuring legumes between now and June 30, linking it to this announcement and to the host lineup announcement by Susan.

    Your choice of recipes is very broad. As much as legumes are most commonly known as fresh or dried beans, peas, lentils and pulses, they are also the sometimes edible pods that contain these seeds. Add to the list alfalfa, fenugreek, peanuts, carob, tamarind, and other members of the Fabaceae or Leguminosae family, as well as derivatives such as the saifun mung bean noodles and you’ll have a hard time focusing on just one. All courses and cuisines (vegetarian/vegan/non-vegetarian) are welcome, as long as legumes are the dominant ingredient.

    (Please note: In France, vegetables of all sorts are known as légumes. They are not included in this event.)

    * Please note, in order to enter this event your dish must feature a legume.  A teaspoon or so does not qualify.

  • Multiple recipes are permitted (although only one submission will be counted towards the random drawings).
     
  • Recipes submitted to other events are also permitted.  Please note that each entry should link to this post and to Susan’s host lineup.
     
  • Recipes from archives can be accepted ONLY if updated and reposted as current and should also include a link to this post and Susan’s host lineup.
     
  • Recipes from those who are not bloggers are welcome and make eligible the participants to win either prize. Please email me your name, location, recipe, and optional photo, and I will ensure you are included in the drawing and round-up.
     
  • The location of each participant is necessary so that I will know who qualifies to win the supplemental Hurst Bean prize, shipped to U.S. residents only. If you don’t want your location published in the round-up, please indicate this in your email so that I can maintain your privacy.
     
  • Use of logo is optional.
     
  • Photo is preferred, but not essential, with a maximum width of 500 pixels.
     
  • I will post the round-up/winners’ announcement during first week of July.

How to submit your entry

Once you have linked your post(s) to this announcement and Susan’s host lineup, please send me an email at diana@phileodesign.com with MLLA 24 in the subject field that must contain the following:

  • Name
  • Blog Name
  • Recipe Name and URL of Recipe Post
  • Location
  • Photo – optional

Prizes

All prizes will be randomly selected by Susan.  My family and personal friends are not eligible to win any prize.

  1. Randomly selected without influence and purchased by Susan (shipped worldwide):  Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express.
  2. Hurst Bean Box – A case of six bags of the winner’s choice of Hurst Bean products, suitable for every diet, provided by Hurst Bean. (Due to shipping restrictions, this prize can only be awarded if the winner is a U.S. resident.)  In May 2010, Susan, at her request, has received two Hurst Bean complimentary products which she has been unable to purchase on her own at her local supermarket.

That’s it!  How fun, right?!  So go ahead and start cooking!!  I can’t wait to see what you send me :)  As for me, I’ve already have some great legume recipes, tips and tricks to share with you during this month!  Also, please share this with whomever else may have that special love affair with legumes ;)

Since my arrival from Spain I have been struggling trying to keep up with life.  Gardening, prepping for summer web courses, and in the midst of it all, I made a wedding cake for 250 people!  Even for me, this past week and a half was simply over whelming!  I’m so happy the wedding cake turned out great, and over this past weekend I had the opportunity to get caught up with my gardening.  I’m still behind on my blog so I have planned to share my gardening updates from the past few weeks and after that, I will roll into my trip from Spain which will include a very special giveaway especially for baby wearing mama’s!

So of course I have to start by showing you the cake I made this past weekend.  It was for my cousin in law Tyler and his beautiful new wife Alishia!

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A little background.  Gabe’s grandmother, Agnus Bauman, made wedding cakes in her day.  She was a farmers wife that adored chickens, her gardens, baked cakes and was a spunky gal!  His family is always joking that I am so much like her.  After she passed a few years back and I took up cake decorating, I was given her supplies.  She made wedding cakes for both of her sons.  What made Tyler and Alishia’s cake so special was that the same pans that made his parents cake also made his.  It was a blessing to sit next to Grandpa Howard and have him talk about Agnus’s cake decorating days.  We walked over to the cake so that he could take a good look and he shared some tips that he had learned from his late wife. He said it turned out beautiful.  Those words made me smile.

Now to the gardening!  I want to share in photos (and for my own documentation) garden updates from the past few weeks.

May 5, 2010

The day before we left for Spain, Nehe and I tended the garden and planted 10 of our heirloom tomato plants that we started from seeds.

Second succession of green onions.  Also planted a second succession of radishes and carrots.
Started four bags of potatoes in burlap coffee bags.  I learned this method from Sustainable Eats.

May 25, 2010

On our return from Spain I was excited to see that the gardens looked great!  Nehemiah was excited that our strawberry patch was starting to produce!!  We’ve harvested at least 16lbs so far!!

Cilantro

Carrots

Peas

Beets

Romaine Lettuce, Radishes

Potatoes growing!!

Covered them with topsoil

Green Onions

Harvesting Lettuce

Radishes

Green Onions

The garden is growing even more and over the weekend my hubby was able to raise me 3 more beds in my community garden.  I was able to plant all of my peppers, tomatillo’s and eggplant varieties.  I still need to sow squash, cucumbers, beans, corn, more tomatoes and peppers.  I’m almost there!!!

So how is your garden growing?  I still have a few more gardening informational posts I’d like to get up.  Topics including how to thin your seedlings, tending tomato plants, diseases and preventatives.  Please feel free to share some photos on my facebook page.  I will for sure be doing a round up of gardening pictures as soon as I finish sharing my Spain trip.

Until then!