Play Like a Grown-up Part 2

"Hey, let's spend an entire year designing, creating, and building a cool monument, put it up for 4 days, and then -- burn it down!" Sounds crazy, no? But that's what they do for the Las Fallas festival in the region of Valencia, Spain. The interesting part, though, is not so much about the monuments (yes, [...]

Play Like a Grown-up Part 1

All summer long, in our neighborhood, we played Cowboys and Indians. I was the horse. It was OK with me. I happen to like horses. Besides, I was the only one old enough and strong enough to pull the wagon, or give horseback rides. The downside for the other kids was that they had [...]

A Little Cheesey

"We should learn to make cheese,"  he said. "Huh?"  I responded. "Cheese.  We should learn how to make it at home," he replied. Poor guy had no idea what he'd just gotten himself into. At first we tried our hand at a couple of simple cheeses made with rennet (the coagulant that's used in [...]

The Rain in Spain….

I tend to be a fair-weather.... everything. I like my soccer teams to be winners, I like my food and wine to be great, and I want the sun to shine. Is that so much to ask?  Don't answer that. This spring in Dénia has been super cloudy and cool. And since I'm from a [...]

Spanish Gold — Smoked Paprika

As Emeril used to say, I wish I had smell-a-blog.  (Well, OK, he said smell-a-vision).  My kitchen in Spain has a heady fragrance of wood fire and smoke.   That's because we're the lucky recipients of 3 kilos  of the magical spice that gives so many Spanish  recipes a distinctive flavor -- Pimentón -- Smoked [...]

Sweet Spanish Serendipity

So... we landed on Saturday night, after a day of many MANY flight delays (on an airline who shall remain nameless -- but is on the "never-again-if-I-can-help-it" list).  We drove to Dénia, stepped out of the car, and walked smack into a friend who was sitting at the outdoor bar beneath our apartment.  He had [...]

A Busy, Busy Season

OK, so that's my way of saying "oops... sorry!"  When we returned to the U.S. from Spain, things started moving at a rapid clip.  The requests kept coming in for classes with Rosario (yes, really, I'm not making this stuff up), and we've hosted lots of wonderful people from all over the world.  Well, technically [...]

Chelo’s Spinach Nests – Nidos de Espinacas

Chelo doesn't cook real often, but when she does, you better be there.  One of my favorites is her "Nidos de Espinacas."  I beg her to make it for me every time I'm there.  This time she said "OK, but you're never gonna learn unless you do it yourself -- so I'll direct and you'll [...]

Summer Sangria!

Rosario, our incredible chef instructor for Tipsy Toro classes in Spain, just sent us her personal recipe for Sangria.  I'm sharing it with you before I've even had a chance to try it myself.  Check it out! ROSARIO'S SANGRIA Mix to your own taste: Red wine (if you wouldn't drink it straight, don't put it [...]

Parteeeeee!!!! Summer in Spain

A few years ago, one of my (many) Spanish teachers got all offended because in my final exam -- which was a little speech in Spanish in front of the class -- I said I read that Spain had more festivals than any other country in the world.  She didn't like that one little bit. [...]