This is my collection of cookbooks….I have more that I left back home in Miami (grr). I shouldn’t worry, I’m going down for Thanksgiving and will be picking the rest back up. Whenever I travel anywhere around the world, I always end up buying cookbooks. Why not right? I love learning different recipes everyday, it’s my thing. Gives me inspiration and happiness.
(Photo Credits: My Father)
This past summer I went to Europe on the Royal Caribbean: Brilliance of the Seas 12 Night Mediterranean Cruise. I had an amazing time visiting Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, and Greece! I’m in need of going back, I loved it all. But this time I want to spend more time in each country, getting to know it in detail. The cruise experience isn’t so much my kind of thing. I was left with just a bite of it….I want more, I want to see and experience more. I loved how different the people, culture, and food was. That’s my kind of thing.
2 days before the cruise I arrived with my father, sister (and her boyfriend), family friends Nacho, his wife Patricia, and Andres to Barcelona, Spain. Jetlag was horrible we had to nap in the hotels lobby because our rooms weren’t ready. I’ve been to Spain before, back when I was 13 with my mother and sister. The 3 gals roaming the country (fun times). Barcelona hadn’t changed a bit except I appreciated it more. When you’re younger you don’t pay much attention to things. We visited monuments, famous streets, did some shopping, and of course ate paella. Frankly, I didn’t really like the paella in Barcelona….Madrid’s is better. It seemed too greasy. Am I right?
In Cannes, France visiting the food market was nothing I’ve ever seen before. Freshly picked vegetables and fruits, the air-filled with the aroma of herbs, the colors of spices around me, the smell of the ocean fishes, the taste of home-made cheese melting in my mouth (I was melting too). I was in heaven. Girls topless on the beach drove my father and his friend Andres crazy. Our tour guide would just roll his eyes and compare how the French are different from Americans. That the French are too mature for these things (Hehe). It’s normal to be topless!
In Italy I got to visit Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Naples (Salerno/Capri), Civitavecchia (Rome), and Venice. The historical landmarks, the friendly/loving people, and of course the food was all delightful. I think I gained weight here….I wouldn’t stop eating the freshly made pasta and sauces. But the food wasn’t so heavy like it is here. It was quite light. I was inspired to start making my own pasta and marinara sauce in batches.
Dubrovnik, Croatia was not what I had expected it to be. So clean, beautiful, the beaches were crystal clear, and lunch there was superb! They served pan seared turkey breast with a butter/caper sauce, potato dumplings, and haricot vert. I was amazed, it was delicious. I try making those potato dumplings but I can never get it right! I’m always searching online for those Croatian style dumplings, and it’s not gnocchi. All in all, I really would love to go back .
Our final stop was in Corfu, Greece. It’s beautiful there but we went on this hiking trip….Which we didn’t sign up for. The details for this tour was A nice walk along the shoreline, light lunch by the beach, and swim in the water. NOT REALLY. I was all dressed up for a nice day by the beach, bathing suit under dress and sandals….Noticed our tour guides were dressed up in hiking gear. 4 straight hours hiking up and down the mountain, on a cliff overlooking the ocean (very scary). Dangerous but adventurous. I would’ve enjoyed it if I were also in hiking gear. After that we indeed had a light lunch. Bread with salad of vegetables and feta cheese. Don’t get me wrong this salad was delicious it tasted very fresh, the restaurant grew their own vegetables, but I was too hungry for this. Hiking in the sun for a long time gets one hungry. Afterwards we swam a bit, water was freeeeezing. So to sum up, I would’ve preferred to visit Santorini or Athens =).
Now I’m back in New York City inspired by soooo much that I saw and experienced. Funny thing is I bought many cookbooks from my trip and haven’t opened them up…..Yup….So can’t wait to actually cook recipes from these books, put my twist on things, and share it with you.