Hello everyone! I have been enjoying a break from blogging but it is time to get back in the swing of things. We had a wonderful Christmas day relaxing with the family, eating awesome food and exchanging gifts. We are so grateful that Katy was able to come home early from Spain and she missed the bad weather both in Europe and the East coast where she had a layover. Katy is a fellow “foodie” so of course she packed her suitcase with lots of wonderful food treats from Spain for us to sample. That’s my girl!
This is a collection of traditional Christmas Spanish treats. Many of the baked goods shown include ground almonds and lard! They actually melt in your mouth, are slightly sweet and very rich. I have not had anything like them before.
On the plate below, starting at the top left, the white confection is called turrón and it is crunchy like a peanut brittle but it is made with whole almonds. I really liked it. Top right is a soft turrón which is made from eggs, honey, sugar and ground almonds. These are the two traditional types of turrón.
Moving to the lower right the two oval shaped confections are called Polvorón Traditional and Polvorón Chocolate. The ingredient list reads as follows; wheat flour, sugar, animal fat, cinnamon, aromas and antioxidant. They melt in your mouth, must be all that animal fat!
The round sesame seed coated one on the lower left is called Mantecado De Artesania which translates into Artisan lard! I kid you not. It was actually the most flavorful of the cookie type confections.
The almond shaped confections are called Almendras Rellenas which means stuffed almonds. The base is a almond wafer, stuffed with marzipan and coated with chocolate. Very sweet! A little taste goes a long way.
The Violet sweets were my favorite dulces (sweets) that Katy brought us. These hard little dulces (sweets) are made from the essence of violets that grow in the mountains of Spain. These are the original violet dulces made by the well known La Violeta shop in Madrid. They have a delicate sweet flavor that is very pleasing. The flavor is unlike anything I have ever had so there is nothing I can compare it to. Aren’t they cute?
The bakery boxes in Spain are adorable. Just look at the design on this one. It came wrapped in pink paper, tied with twine. Katy said every bakery has their signature design and paper to wrap your purchases in. This bakery was established in 1894.
Empiñonadas happens to be one of Katy’s favorite confections from Spain. The center is marzipan which has been rolled in toasted pine nuts and drizzled with a sweet sticky glaze. Marzipan is a confection made from ground almonds and sugar. This Spanish version originated in Toledo, Spain but is now available all over Spain. This is very rich and dense. They sell for one Euro each which is about $1.30.
There is a much slimmer selection of pre-packaged food for on the go in Spain. It is considered very rude to eat in public unless you are at a Cafe. People don’t snack while riding the metro (subway) or walking. Sometimes Katy has gotten out a granola bar on the metro and she said the old Spanish women give her dirty looks when she does! They have Kellogg’s brand products but she said they mostly taste like cardboard! I tried the mini breaks and thought they were pretty good. Note that they advertise 99 calories for this package.
I had a little taste of everything Katy brought from Spain and the ones I really like I had a full piece of! Not all at once of course, it has been over the past week. I am not use to so much fat and sugar and the mouth feel of all that lard is quite different. I prefer the taste of butter in baked goods.
I got on the scale this morning to see how much damage was done and I am only up 2 pounds! That isn’t bad given all the rich foods we have eaten in the past week and all the eating out we have done. We have been trying to get in all of Katy’s favorite foods at home as well as her favorite restaurants. Christmas dinner was pork ribs with some hefty side dishes but I also made a fresh green salad and I noticed that everyone took a good size serving of salad. I have been getting in my walks and that is helping to counter the extra calories. The two pounds will drop quickly and I am not at all worried about the gain.
Katy and I went shopping yesterday and the lines were so long at the check out counters. I did get some cute new jeans and an adorable peach colored cardigan. It was nice to have my shopping partner with me and she insures that I get stylish jeans that are modern yet appropriate for my age! No “mom” jeans allowed!
I have started planning my New Years Eve menu. I like to keep it simple and this year I will be making a Broccoli Cheese Soup and several appetizers. We will stay at home on New Years Eve and celebrate with Katy and David and any of their friends who want to join us. We will eat, play games and watch movies!
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