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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Holidays & Entertaining / ZWT8 ~ Tapas Party Spain Challenge
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    ZWT8 ~ Tapas Party Spain Challenge

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    Nancy's Pantry
    Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:52 pm
    Food.com Groupie



    Having just won the lottery, I decided to fly all my team members to Madrid, Spain to celebrate and get to know each other in person.

    Madrid has been the capitol of Spain since the 17th century. It is the largest city in the country and is located on the river Manzanares which winds through the center of the country. Madrid enjoys more cloudless days than any other city in Europe and is 300 km. from the sea.

    After settling in at the Hotel Rafael Orense, we met in the hotel bar to finalize our itinerary and to partake of the local Sangria.

    Our itinerary included:

    Touring Madrid's 3 art galleries including the Bull-fighting Museum
    A football game at the Stadium Bernabeu
    Warner Brothers Movie World
    Live Flamenco dancing
    Hot Air Balloon Flight over Madrid
    Our own private Tapas Party

    Our tapas dishes included:

    Boquerones en vinagre (marinated anchovies)
    Empanade (pastry filled with tuna and tomato)
    Platter of chorizo
    Jamon serrano (cured ham)
    Tortilla de patata (potato omelette)
    Chapinones con ajos y jamon (mushrooms with garlic and ham)
    Plenty of Sangria and Spanish wine

    The balance of our time was spent in the luxury spa at the hotel where we enjoyed complimentary massages. We shopped until we dropped and then we relaxed by the pool for more Sangria.

    We had a wonderful time and we plan to visit Spain again in the very near future (if my lottery money holds out)!!!


    Nancy
    NorthwestGal
    Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:52 pm
    Forum Host
    alligirl wrote:

    Hi, I'll (alligirl) be the tour guide for the JJ's trip to Valencia, for the Falles, which literally means 'the fire.'
    Spain Map Pictures, Images and Photos
    Valencia is the third largest city in Spain, and it is resplendent with amazing architecture, a profound sense of history and beautiful beaches. Many know that this vibrant and cosmopolitan city is home to the European Formula One Grand Prix,

    and it is also a popular destination for those attending La Tomatina, a much publicized annual tomato fight held in a nearby town. Valencia is, however, also home to Spain’s national dish Paella, and Las Fallas (The Falles) festival which runs from March 15th – March 19th every year.

    Las Fallas
    Las Fallas is an ancient and traditional celebration that commemorates Saint Joseph. Preparation for these festivities begins a year in advance with fundraising and construction of the props that will be used during the celebration. Puppets or dolls are constructed, and following a parade they are mounted on elaborate constructions made of paper-mâché and cardboard which is called a falla.
    The preparation for this event is so intense and elaborate that an entire area of the city has been designated as the City of Falles, where artisans of every kind spend months building the props. The celebration itself will see more than 500 different celebratory falla.
    There are a variety of events which occur during this important celebration, including brass bands that march through neighborhood streets, people parading in costume, and plenty of firecrackers. The five days and nights of the actual traditional celebration are a time of continuous partying by people of all ages. Of course, food and drinks are an integral part of any holiday, and there is plenty of sangria, paella and other local dishes available during the festivities.

    Whether you believe that paella is the Spanish national dish or just a regional one, there is no doubt that paella is recognized the world over as being distinctly Spanish. The modern incarnation of this rice dish evolved on the east coast of Spain in the middle of the 19th century. It has, however, ancient roots; the Moors used to make casseroles of rice and fish, and by the 15th century rice was a staple ingredient in most homes. By the 18th century, Valencians used special pans to cook rice dishes for special occasions, and by the end of the 19th century the region was facing increased prosperity and paella’s ingredients changed to include more expensive proteins such as duck, chicken and rabbit. In 1840, a local newspaper referred to this distinctive dish as paella, and this fantastic rice dish with a very specific cooking technique has never been called anything else.
    There are three main kinds of paella: Valencian paella (rabbit, chicken, white bean), seafood paella and mixed paella. The base of the dish is always sofrito (garlic, onion,tomato) The core ingredients include rice, vegetables and some form of protein. Saffron and olive oil are also common – the saffron is what gives the rice its golden yellow color and floral aroma.
    A specific cooking technique is required before the dish can be called paella. It involves a layering of flavors and ingredients in a paella pan, which is a large, round and shallow dish. The rice and other ingredients are not disturbed during the final cooking process which allows the bottom layer to caramelize and build an intense flavor. For something quick, local, and cheap you can get an empanada. The savory pastries are hand-made and filled with meat or vegetables. The local favorite contains tuna, tomato, and peppers. Don’t forget to visit the Mercado Central de Valencia, it’s a must stop for culinary travellers looking for local and regional food specialties, such as the famous ham/cured meat called jamon iberico.


    Valencia Art Museum


    The JJ's will be serving:
    Traditional Horchata
    Agua De Valencia
    Authentic Spanish Paella
    Chicken Drumettes Valencia
    Spicy Tuna Empanadas
    Pastissets (Powdered Sugar Cookies from Spain)
    Cava Sorbet, Spanish
    Arroz Con Leche

    Hopefully, you've enjoyed your Tour of Valencia with the Jammin' Jazzberries!

    Alli icon_cool.gif


    Valencia sounds like a Happening kind of town, alli. I see why you chose that region. That you for participating in this challenge.
    Dreamer in Ontario
    Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:03 pm
    Food.com Groupie


    The Honeys Travel to the Aragon Region of Spain!!

    My Uncle Juan and Aunt Abella have invited us to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary with them in the medieval village of Aínsa, in Huesca, of the Aragon Pyrenees.


    Aragon is a community bordering on France with the Pyrenees and is of particular interest for its outstanding mountainous landscapes, with glacier lakes and several natural preserves where you still may observe animals which have been extincted in many other regions of Europe long ago. In total contrast is the plain Ebro valley, which is limited by the mountain range Moncayo, in the east.



    The catering company provided us with this delicious tapas menu:

    Las Magras con Tomate:
    an overwhelmingly tasty dish comprised of slices of slightly fried serrano ham dipped in tomato sauce



    Arroz con todos:
    rice with everything



    Pollo Chilindrón:
    a wonderful dish from the Aragón region of northeastern Spain that uses red bell peppers, a common ingredient in Aragonese cuisine.



    Aragonese Potatoes Au Gratin (Patatas Gratinadas De Aragon) : a potato and cheese dish



    Caracoles picantes a la Aragón:
    Spicy Snails Aragon Style



    Lentils from Upper Aragon: a traditional lentil main dish cooked with morcilla blood sausage, serrano ham bone, vegetables and wine.



    Lamb Knuckles with Artichokes:
    Aragon is famous for its quality lamb



    A neighbour of our aunt and uncle, Jose, played the psaltery for us. It's a harp like instrument with the most amazing sound. We all agreed that it was the perfect entertainment in such an ancient village.



    We will never forget all the wonderful people we met and experiences enjoyed on this trip. Thank you Uncle Juan and Aunt Abella.
    NorthwestGal
    Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:50 pm
    Forum Host
    Dreamer in Ontario wrote:


    The Honeys Travel to the Aragon Region of Spain!!

    My Uncle Juan and Aunt Abella have invited us to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary with them in the medieval village of Aínsa, in Huesca, of the Aragon Pyrenees.


    Aragon is a community bordering on France with the Pyrenees and is of particular interest for its outstanding mountainous landscapes, with glacier lakes and several natural preserves where you still may observe animals which have been extincted in many other regions of Europe long ago. In total contrast is the plain Ebro valley, which is limited by the mountain range Moncayo, in the east.



    The catering company provided us with this delicious tapas menu:

    Las Magras con Tomate:
    an overwhelmingly tasty dish comprised of slices of slightly fried serrano ham dipped in tomato sauce



    Arroz con todos:
    rice with everything



    Pollo Chilindrón:
    a wonderful dish from the Aragón region of northeastern Spain that uses red bell peppers, a common ingredient in Aragonese cuisine.



    Aragonese Potatoes Au Gratin (Patatas Gratinadas De Aragon) : a potato and cheese dish



    Caracoles picantes a la Aragón:
    Spicy Snails Aragon Style



    Lentils from Upper Aragon: a traditional lentil main dish cooked with morcilla blood sausage, serrano ham bone, vegetables and wine.



    Lamb Knuckles with Artichokes:
    Aragon is famous for its quality lamb



    A neighbour of our aunt and uncle, Jose, played the psaltery for us. It's a harp like instrument with the most amazing sound. We all agreed that it was the perfect entertainment in such an ancient village.



    We will never forget all the wonderful people we met and experiences enjoyed on this trip. Thank you Uncle Juan and Aunt Abella.


    A 60th Wedding anniversary in Spain! That sounds exciting, and I really liked your line-up of tapas, Dreamer. Thank you for participating in this challenge. I hope you enjoyed it.
    NorthwestGal
    Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:04 pm
    Forum Host
    Nancy's Pantry wrote:



    Having just won the lottery, I decided to fly all my team members to Madrid, Spain to celebrate and get to know each other in person.

    Madrid has been the capitol of Spain since the 17th century. It is the largest city in the country and is located on the river Manzanares which winds through the center of the country. Madrid enjoys more cloudless days than any other city in Europe and is 300 km. from the sea.

    After settling in at the Hotel Rafael Orense, we met in the hotel bar to finalize our itinerary and to partake of the local Sangria.

    Our itinerary included:

    Touring Madrid's 3 art galleries including the Bull-fighting Museum
    A football game at the Stadium Bernabeu
    Warner Brothers Movie World
    Live Flamenco dancing
    Hot Air Balloon Flight over Madrid
    Our own private Tapas Party

    Our tapas dishes included:

    Boquerones en vinagre (marinated anchovies)
    Empanade (pastry filled with tuna and tomato)
    Platter of chorizo
    Jamon serrano (cured ham)
    Tortilla de patata (potato omelette)
    Chapinones con ajos y jamon (mushrooms with garlic and ham)
    Plenty of Sangria and Spanish wine

    The balance of our time was spent in the luxury spa at the hotel where we enjoyed complimentary massages. We shopped until we dropped and then we relaxed by the pool for more Sangria.

    We had a wonderful time and we plan to visit Spain again in the very near future (if my lottery money holds out)!!!


    Nancy

    I've updated Page 1 and listed your completion, Nancy's Pantry. Thank you for completing this challenge. I hope you enjoyed it.
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