Tag: tortilla soup

smoked-paprika-myvegtable

What is your favorite spice? For me, the award goes to this crimson beauty: smoked paprika. It’s interesting because growing up, paprika had only one purpose as far as I knew: topping the cream cheese-stuffed celery boats that my Grandmother used to make. I remember it not having all that much flavor, but it made that little crudité look fancier and definitely more colorful. I always thought paprika was one of those spices that you should have on hand–you never know when you’ll get a hankering for celery boats–but despite having it, I rarely used it. My attitude towards paprika changed when I discovered its smoky cousin.

Tidbits

avocado-myvegtable

Avocados are one of the new superfoods. That’s all fine and good, but about this time five years ago, you could have told me that eating an avocado magically turns you into a supermodel and I still wouldn’t have touched one. I never saw an avocado enter the house when I was growing up: it just wasn’t something we ate. So, it wasn’t until college that I had my first formal introduction courtesy of my best friend who loved guacamole. She smeared it on all things Mexican–and back then, we ate a lot of Mexican food–it grossed me out every time. I refused to even try it.  I eventually did try it, but I stuck to my guns–yuck! As adventurous as I was with food back then, I just couldn’t get on board the avocado train and I had no rational reason why. In retrospect, it’s funny: I would eat octopus, but avocados were a no-no.

As I started to come around–which was only a few years ago–I would eat them as long as they were buried in whatever it was I was eating: tacos and sushi were the best for hiding. Now that I don’t have to resort to concealment, my favorite way of eating avocados is ordering guacamole from a restaurant that prepares it fresh tableside. I love seeing all of the fresh ingredients coming together in a giant molcajete–you know, that bowl that looks like a pestle made of lava rock–and piling that stuff onto fresh tortilla chips. It could easily be a meal for me. How’s that for an avocado 180?

Tidbits

 

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The Castillo de San Marcos fort in St. Augustine–construction was completed in 1695!

Traveling is my second favorite thing to do–eating is my first. My husband, son and I travel quite a bit and one of our favorite places to visit is Saint Augustine, Florida. Saint Augustine is one of those cities that not only is rich in American and European history, but also full of history for my husband and I as a couple.  It was one of our first trips together when we were dating, it was the place that he proposed, it was the city where we spent our first anniversary, and now it is one of my son’s favorite places to visit. As you walk down the streets of this “ancient” town–ancient by American standards–you can palpate the history. Despite the seemingly endless list of things to see, we have found ourselves on multiple visits without agenda and meandering through the brick streets while taking it all in. Even if you had an agenda, it’s hard to do it all: the Castillo de San Marcos Fort, the art museums, the history museums, the lighthouse and beach, the shops, and wait…did I mention the food?

Travel