Thursday Throwback-Why Lentil Soup and Spain go hand in hand

Hi!

First of all, can you believe its December already?! 1st day of my chocolate advent calender!

So a couple of days ago I made a batch of Lentil Soup, and it took me back to my month studying abroad in Spain, which I already blogged about a few weeks ago.

But since the trip was so great I decided it would be acceptable to do another brief recap

My host mom Rosa (I wish I got a picture with her) was not the best cook, but would always make us some sort of vegetable “stew” for lunch. Now while I loved this, my roommate Tierney would always joke about how much she despised Rosa’s vegetable soup creations.

this picture makes me laugh haha..tierney is on the far left and I’m next to her..this was the ONE time we got food late night at Kabob King..I don’t even know what I ate but all I know is that it tasted like heaven

Anyways back to Rosa..a lot of the vegetable soups she made us had lentils in them. I didn’t think I liked lentils until I started eating Rosa’s soups because I welcomed them as some of the few vegetables I ate while in Spain. I also ate more oranges in Spain than I ever have in my life..

Rosa (my host mom) would always ask me (in spanish mind you) if I was vegetarian because a lot of the time the “meat” she served us was undistinguishable and it freaked me out a little bit..I would also sometimes tell her I wasn’t that hungry if I really didn’t want to eat what she was serving as I inhaled 4 oranges in one sitting..I think she was a little confused by this

One night in particular the dinner she served us was literally inedible..pasta drowned in oil, with chopped deli ham, and marinara sauce on top..when I saw this on my plate I LITERALLY freaked out! Dramatic of me? definitely

So since I refused to eat this creation of hers (and Tierney’s feeling was pretty  much mutual), we knew we couldn’t throw it out in our small trash can because the next day she would ask us if we didn’t like the dinner..this happened on more then one occasion

So I went and got a shopping bag from my room, and we dumped our meals in the shopping bag, brought them outside and threw them in the dump (mind you we were also laughing hysterically..who does what we did? no one..I feel bad thinking about it now but at the time is was pretty hilarious)..thanks to Tierney the picture above documents this..I totally forgot we took a picture of this until she reminded me just now and sent me the picture..thanks tierney!

Then we went to a restaurant on the corner and got Boccadilos for dinner that looked something like this

I would just get plain manchego cheese and bread, carbs and cheese=great combination

So now that my story telling is over, I’ll give you the recipe for Lentil Soup

Here’s how you make it

In a soup pot, put in 2 tbsp olive oil, and add in chopped onion, carrots, celery and 2 cloves of garlic. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes

After 5 minutes add in 1 tbsp italian seasoning, salt and pepper

Then add in the dry lentils (I used about 2 cups) and add in 6 cups of liquid ( I used a mix of chicken stock and water)

Then cover the pot, bring the soup to a boil, and reduce the heat to simmer for about an hour until the lentils are tender

Easy peasy lentil soup squeasy! I realize it doesn’t look all that beautiful..but I promise it tastes a WHOLE lot better

Here’s the full recipe

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Lentil Soup

Servings: 6-8 large bowls

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Ingredients:

3 large carrots, peeled and chopped

1 large onion, roughly chopped

3 celery, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tbsp italian seasoning

2 cups dry lentils 

4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth) + 2-3 cups water

salt to taste

2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions: Bring a soup pot to medium high heat. Add in 2 tbsp olive oil, chopped garlic, onion, carrots and celery. Cook for 5 minutes until onions are translucent. Add in the italian seasoning and lentils. Add in the chicken broth and water and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and cook for an hour, stirring occasionally.

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This soup doesn’t taste quite like Rosa’s creations, but it definitely reminds me of all the fun times I had in Spain.

If you’re in college and debating studying abroad, or just thinking about planning a trip abroad in general, my advice DO IT. I promise it will be beyond worth it!

Like I said before..take me back NOW. Last year around this time I was so anxious about going abroad for a month with a group of strangers, but if I could go back and do the trip all over again with the same group of people, I would in a second. GAH. Take me back now please please please!

I realize this has been a really long post, and if you’re still with me thanks, you’re a trooper.

I hope everyone has a great day!

<3Chelcie

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Thursday Throwback-Favorite childhood foods

Hi!

So for this weeks throwback I decided to do something a little different and do a recap of certain foods I use to eat ALL the time when I was younger

And I decided to throw in this picture of me striking a pose at my first dance recital..I think I was 2 or 3 in this picture

So back to the food..I was never a picky eater, and I would actually get offended when  I would go to restaurants and be handed a kids menu when I was 5, who did they think I was?! a child?! Basically I would always look at a menu, find anything that had goat cheese in it, and order it

I did go through certain phases, especially with breakfast. I went through a phase where I loved to eat pumpernickel bagels

Toasted with cream cheese of course! And I use to only ever eat half of a bagel, never the whole thing.
I hated cereal for the LONGEST time, but then when I decided I liked it, one of my favorites for a while was Cinnamon toast crunch
A couple of favorites:  chedder and sour cream ruffles potato chips and pizza lunchables..
My 21 year old brother may or may not still eat these..blehhhh. I use to go for the cheese and pepperoni combo!
And then there were certain treats that my mom would refuse to buy, but when I would be at my friend’s house I would get SO excited about eating
Dunkaroos!! Seriously, these things are awesome. I would definitely still get excited about eating one now..
And another “friends house only” treat was Toaster Strudels
These particular foods make me think of my childhood, but there are definitely a lot more I could think of!
Sometimes I miss the days where I would just eat whatever I wanted and not think twice about it, oh to be young again..hahhh.
Side note I’m flying home tomorrow for break! and THANKSGIVING IS A WEEK AWAY! So freaaaakinggg excited!! 
Question: What were some of your favorite childhood treats?

Thursday Throwback-Studying Abroad in Spain

When people ask me “what’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done?” I’d say it would have to be a tie between the trip to france and studying abroad in Spain last January. At my school, there is fall semester and spring semester, and then winter term which is the month of January. This month is a very popular time to study abroad. So last year I took it upon myself to look into studying abroad options for freshman, and I found one to Granada, Spain. I went out on a limb and signed up, not knowing anyone going on the trip.

Hands down best decision of my life. There were about 30 of us on the trip, and we all ended up getting along so well. To say I had fun is the biggest understatement, the whole experience was seriously life-changing. One of my “3 credit classes” I took while in Spain was touring around spain! The other 3 credit course was a basic spanish class. I basically did zero work, and ended up with two A’s on my report card. um HELLO? who wouldn’t want that?!

My roommate Tierney and I lived with a women named Rosa. She spoke zero english..like actually not one word. It was definitely an adjustment at first, but we eventually got use to it. She would make us breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and no she was not the best cook. Breakfast was normally plain cereal and coffee, and every morning Tierney and I would stop at a bakery on the corner and get a muffin filled with nutella. It was AMAZING. And then we would walk to the school, which was about a 15 minute walk.

Me and Tierney!:)

Before we went to Granada, we spent the first 4 nights staying in Madrid. We spent the first few days getting to know each other, and touring around Madrid as a group

we made friends with some locals..hahaha

Every weekend we would travel to a different part of Spain,  some stops included Sevilla, Barcelona, and Toledo.

We got to go to a vineyard for a wine tasting (it was a rough life)

We stayed in a hostel in Barcelona

quite the experience..we also went to an ice bar! and a huge discoteca that when I left at 3am had a line 100 people deep outside. at 3am! people in spain are insane

at the ice bar

The amount of sangria that was consumed

insane, insane amounts. Best sangria in the world exists in spain

One of the best days of the trip was skiing the on the Sierra Nevada. A group of us took a day trip, rented equipment, and skied all day long. It was so surreal

No this picture isan’t fake. HOW COOL IS THAT? We were so high up it was crazy! And there was no waiting in lines for the lifts, or ice patches, it was just perfect skiing conditions. (like my all blue ski outfit? haha we rented all of the ski clothing too)

If I could go back and do this trip over again with the same group of people I would in a second.

Another part about the trip, I basically didn’t work out for an entire month, and didn’t eat the healthiest either because we just weren’t given the option. People in Spain are all about the white bread, cheese, and fried food.

We walked EVERYWHERE, danced a TON, and never had the option of “late night” eating. So you know when you wake up and feel like you’ve been hit by a bus? Well ya that happened a LOT. I honestly didn’t gain any weight, and even though I worried from time to time that I was drinking too much (woops) or eating unhealthy foods I didn’t let that fear get in the way of me having an amazing time. Life is too short to be worried about the small things.

 

cheers!

Going back to reality after a month of fun, carefree times, was really hard actually. Spain > Delaware. Everyone in my group had MAJOR spain withdrawals..for a while I couldn’t even look at the pictures because it would make me so sad! We have all still kept in good touch by having spain reunion parties, but they just aren’t the same as actually being in Spain

Take me back to Spain now

Please and thank you

 

 


Throwback Thursday!-Cooking School in France Summer 2011

This summer, my mom and I embarked on the most amazing trip to Perigord in the Dordogne region of Southern France. We attended a week long cooking school, called Le Combe en Perigord, which was started by Wendely Harvey (editor of all the William Sonoma Cook-books, as well as many other credentials) and her husband, Robert Cave-Rogers.

inside the main house (the table is where we ate many dinners, and breakfast every morning

The school only accepts 10 people each week. The week we attended was part of the cooking school’s Guest Chef program with chef’s Johanne Killeen and George Germon, owners of the restaurant Alforno in Providence, RI. Here is a little bio on the restaurant: “Al Forno Restaurant opened in Providence, Rhode Island on January 2, 1980. Chef-owners Johanne Killeen and George Germon bring simple renditions of food rooted in the various regions of Italy and Provence to their riverfront restaurant kitchen. Dishes are re-crafted to reflect the products of New England’s farms and waters cooked in wood-burning ovens and on grills over hardwood charcoal fires.” Source

The Corridor

Johanne and George happen to be close family friends with my friend Eliza’s family, and that is how we found out about the trip. If you haven’t been to Alforno in Providence I HIGHLY suggest you go there, it is my all time favorite restaurant! (and has been featured on the food-network several times!)

Every day we would travel to different towns, and explore street markets.

Lots and Lots of Duck

potatoes fried in duck fat! (I didn’t try these but at one of the places we had lunch I had french fries that were fried in duck fat, INSANE)

Some other day daily explorations we went on were to a Goat Farm

 

We picked up some FRESH GOAT CHEESE to eat after dinner with our cheese course. Yes I ate the majority of the goat cheese just incase you were wondering

And since we were in a Truffle Region, we went to a truffle farm and went truffle hunting!

this was the owner of the truffle farm who taught us all about truffle hunting. Then off we went with the 2 dogs to find the truffles. For truffle hunting, either pigs or dogs are used to sniff the truffles in the ground. Once the dogs detect the smell of a truffle, they start digging and are then stopped to make sure they don’t damage the truffle.

this was one of the truffle hunters! so precious

After our daily adventures, we would return to La Come and go for a run  take a nap after the Rose wine that was consumed during Lunch:), and then start cooking lessons with George and Joanne! My favorite day of cooking was learning how to make their famous Grilled Pizza  (George brought the idea of Grilled Pizza’s back from Italy and now they have become widely popular in the states..pretty darn cool)

Johanne getting the lesson ready in the AMAZING kitchen at La Combe

 

George grilling the Pizzas!

I wish I took more pictures of the food, because it was by far the most amazing food I have EVER eaten! Oh and side note some of these pictures are courtesy of my friend Nick on the trip because my digital camera decided to die the day my mom and I arrived in France. So we proceeded to buy a couple throw-away cameras..did you know they still even made those?!

I honestly can’t even begin to cover the entire trip in one post, but it was the most amazing trips of my life thus far. I am so fortunate that I am able to travel to a lot of different places, and so thankful to my mom for taking me on this trip!

Group picture at Lunch!

Terrible picture quality ahhh. But this was our lunch one day! The best deviled egg I have EVER had!

Me and mommy!

The dessert course at our last lunch, a strawberry sorbet with some other amazing things (I wish I remembered gah) and homemade rice krispies! may be the best thing I’ve ever eaten.

Did I mention that wine in France is cheaper then buying bottled water? Yup I’m moving to France. End. Of Story.

I hope you enjoyed the thursday throwback! I’ll be back tomorrow with the Recipe for my No-bake pumpkin Granola Bars!

<3Chelcie

 


Throwback Thursday

TGIT everyone! I thought I would start a little series on this blog “throwback thursday’s” because there are so many things I want to share with you that happened before I started this blog, so I figured this would be a good way to do so!

But anyways first we have to start with my breakfast because it was OIAJ!!!

But not just any oats in a jar, overnight banana oats with LOTS of pumpkin pecan butter on top!

Peanut Butter and Company Peanut butter I’m convinced is laced with crack..its just SO DARN GOOD

I got this jar of pumpkin butter when I went Apple Picking..it kind of tastes like heaven

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The first throwback thursday post is about Musical Theater!

My entire life up until pretty much last year was spent singing, dancing, and doing musical theater. I don’t like to say that I “gave up” on following  path in musical theater, but I decided it wasn’t something that I wanted to pursue as a career in the long run. When deciding between colleges, the options were to either A. Go to the University of New Hampshire and major in Musical Theater, or B. Go to the University of Delaware and start out as a University Studies major..I ended up choosing B, however now I’ve declard my major to HRIM-Hotel, Restaurant, Institutional Management (which I LOVE)

Me at theater camp summer 2009..rocking the blonde wig

I have been in a LOT of musicals..and when I say a lot I mean at least 12 different shows. Some of my favorites include Grease (my brother was Kenickie!), 42nd Street, Ragtime, Les Miserables, and Hot Mikado.

This is me as "Marty" in Grease spring of my junior year in high school

I get asked from time to time if I miss singing and performing, and the truth is I do miss it, but not as much as I thought I would. I joined a dance team at Delaware, and get a lot of opportunities to perform with my sorority. I am truly happy in Delaware. There is always the “what if I went to UNH, would I be just as happy?” but I definitely asked myself this question a lot more last year than this year.

But anways I just thought I would share some old videos with you..one being from the musical Hot Mikado, and another being from my senior year spring concert!

(side note in Broadway Baby I messed up the words..even though I had been singing this same song for like 3 years..so I hope its not too noticeable:)

<3Chelcie