Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Yummy, Savory Bruschetta !

Over the weekend we had another couple over for dinner and I came up with a new bruschetta and it was an instant hit.  Our friends had to share the last bruschetta!
Easy to make!

Savory Bruschetta

Ciabatta bread, sliced about  1/4" or more thick  
            (I like to cut off some of the hard crust - easier to bite into)
Mascarpone  (Italian double-cream cheese)
Fig spread
Proscuitto (thinly sliced)
Marcona Almonds, coursely chopped 

Cut the bread into 2-bite size pieces.   You may opt to toast the bread in the oven that has been brushed with a little olive oil.  
Generously spread some Mascarpone on the bread, followed by a bit of the fig spread.  Bunch up a slice of Proscuitto (I use half a slice) and set on top of the spreads.  Finish with a generous pinch of the Marcona Almonds.

Special Notes: 

I buy Dalmatia Fig Spread from Whole Foods.  It can an also be found at many cheese shops and even some larger grocery stores.

Marcona almonds, the "Queen of Almonds," are imported from Spain. They are shorter, rounder, softer, and sweeter than the California variety.  They are roasted in olive oil and then sprinkled with sea salt, offering a delicious taste.  They are pricey but well worth it.

I buy my Proscuitto at Costco, Proscuitto de Parma - Giuseppe Citterio SPA.  It comes in a double pack, 12 slices per pack and each slice is separated by a waxy paper. 

Bon Appetit! 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Matria, An Art Garden in Oaxaca

Recently I was in Oaxaca and I can upon a really great ruin of a house that is now home to some wild art and container gardening.  The Matria Jardin is an art therapy garden promoting container gardening and re-cycling.  The planting is seasonal.  Education of medicinal plants and there uses is also part of Matria.  The transformation of this architectural space is just spectacular.

I just love the abstract painting on the old adobe wall with the shadows from the pergola above.  The table had a burlap cloth that had been adorned with hemp twine stitched into the fabric.  Holes had been cut into the table so the tops of the galvanized buckets would be flush with the table's top.  What a clever idea.
Beautiful wrought iron gates were part of the space.
 Another great space.   What a great idea by setting an old bath tub in the frame of a bed. 
I was so inspired by this space, that I decided to do something creative once I was back in Denver.  I had two small wood chairs that I had bought in Patzcuaro a while ago in my garage that had just been collecting dust.  I painted them Benjamin Moore "Sunflower." I attached a 2" x 2" wire grid on the bottom of the legs that would act as the armature for the rust colored Eucalyptus, natural wheat and green grasses.  I planted Mexican Grasses in the galvanized buckets.  I installed some bolts into the wall and hung the chairs.  Mission accomplished.  They make me smile and they remind me of the wonderful garden and old ruin I experienced when I was in Oaxaca.
An art therapy garden promoting interaction with the public along with artistic exhibitions and educational programs on cultivation.
In the historic center.
Calle Murgia 103
Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, Mexico

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

My Mom in front of Mama Mia
in San Miguel de Allende. 


With Love,

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Lavanda, Terraza - Cafe in San Miguel de Allende

In the last few months, Victor (who I have known all his life) and his darling girlfriend, Karla, opened a wonderful little breakfast and early lunch spot in San Miguel de Allende.  Lavanda (Spanish for lavender) is located right above Frank Gardner's gallery at Calle Zacateros 75.

A cozy space with a covered terrace and an area draped with natural colored manta cloth to shade one from the sun.
Breakfast includes coffee and fresh juice.  The lattes and cappuccinos are some of the best in town!
One of the many planters with lavender that line the front of Lavanda.
Great decor with a black board listing the many coffees or teas available.  There are a few spots to sit inside too.
Meet Carla and Victor's uncle, Juan.
One morning I had the eggs Benedict.  Perfectly poached eggs and what a pretty presentation. 
Above is Lavanda's version of Huevos Rancheros.  Again, what a great presentation, especially on these blue and white dishes that they bought over in Dolores Hidalgo.   One of my favorite dishes is the baked egg with roasted tomatoes and potatoes served in a cazuela (a Mexican earthenware cooking bowl).  Of course that was the day that did not have my camera with me which rarely happens.
The bread that is served with breakfast is delicious as are the preserves that is made by another relative and can be purchased there.  The preserves are really tasty, some are infused with lavender, others with rosemary.
There is always a new item popping up on the menu, like some of their yummy desserts!
The food is delicious, the decor is charming and the service is excellent.  (Lavanda is open every day.)  Stop by! And tell them Robin sent you in.