Tag Archives: Jamon Iberico

Book Club: Literary Snacks for Ladies

There are certain things that only ladies do when they hang out with other ladies.

  • Talk about boys. “He’s so cute, right? Is he cute? I like him so much. Does he like me? Does he notice that I looked at him a little bit longer than normal today? Cause I did. He should’ve noticed it. It meant a lot to me, and I can’t believe he didn’t notice it. He’s an asshole. I hate him.”
  • Talk about lady issues. I won’t go into details for all my male readers. And by male readers, I mean my dad. (HI DAD!!!)
  • Book club.

I’m pretty sure book club is a 100% female activity. Do dudes sit and talk about how they felt when Anna Karenina threw herself in front of the train?*

*I’m fairly well read, but Anna Karenina is not a book I’ve ever read. I’ve seen the Keira Knightley movie version though, so that’s how I know this. And, I’ve seen a Pulitzer Prize winning play about the book…sort of. I’m so fancy. You already know.

Also? Oops. Spoiler Alert.

Anyways, book club is a ladies occupation for ladies.

And this lady (me) hosted her lady book club a few weeks ago.

My friend Nora started the whole book club and, well, I’m glad she did. We’ve read a book I’d heard of but hadn’t gotten to yet (Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn) and read a book that I hadn’t heard of but boy, did it make me cry in the airport (Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala).

But the most recent book club, I hosted. So, I choose the book. It was One More Thing by B.J. Novak (no relation) and it was hilarious. It’s a book of short, humorous essays. Some were dry. Some were almost poignant. But, boy, did they run the gamut. It’s well worth a read. OR, if you’re doing a long car trip, it’s worth downloading and listening to. He’s got an incredible cast of voices like Mindy Kaling, Jason Schwartzman, Rainn Wilson, Emma Thompson, Jenna Fischer and more.

So, what to make for a lady event for ladies?

Well, I like the tortilla española. Why not build a tapas menu? Also,  please note, this is a drinking book club, so boozing required.

  • Tortilla española
  • Jamon serrano because I cannot find ANY jamon iberico here in America. SIGH.
  • Spanish cheeses
  • Apricot and Goat Cheese Bites
  • Peppadews inspired by Leon’s in Decatur, GA
  • Pan con Tomate
  • Olives
  • Beverages, like Red Sangria and White Sangria
Oh dang.

Oh dang.

The apricot and goat cheese bites were the newbies here and #realtalk, they were delicious. And unbelievably simple. Make them right now for whatever lady event you have. I bet even boys would like the salty-sweet combo that they have going on.

Beyond that, sangria is a perfect summer drink. It’s bright and fruity, but has a boozy punch. I gravitate toward the white versus the red, but the red is a much more robust beverage.

I guarantee. This menu? Ladies love it. Girls adore it.

Y’all should trust me because I’m not internationally known, but I’m known to rock the microphone.

Absolutely Fabulous Apricot, Goat Cheese and Almond Bites from YumSugar

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
  • About 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil leaves
  • 40 dried apricots, preferably blenheim
  • 40 almonds, preferably marcona
  • 2 teaspoons honey

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix together the cheese and milk with a fork until spreadable. Thin with more milk if necessary. Add the basil and mix until evenly distributed.
  2. Spread a heaping 1/4 teaspoon cheese on each apricot and top each with an almond. Drizzle with honey.

Please note! If not using marcona almonds, substitute roasted salted almonds (the salt is key to the appetizer’s flavor).

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Mi Viaje a Barcelona: A Carbtastrophe

Those of you who know me as a real life human being know that I studied abroad in Spain junior year of college. I believe it was the fall of 2004 and oh my god that was so long ago and it feels like yesterday. (Call on me, anyone?)

This vacation was my first time back to Spain since then. While I was there, I had some really powerful visceral memories of things I did/did not miss from my time living there.

Things I did not miss:

  • Weird old men that hit on you while you’re walking down the street
  • The smell of sewage that randomly assaults your nostrils as you walk down a picturesque sidewalk
  • Dog shit just all over the aforementioned picturesque sidewalk

Things I did so much miss:

  • The sound of church bells ringing in the hour
  • Cafe con leche
  • The weird, nonsensical graffiti that is so well executed that you can’t even be mad at it, for example:
  • What? But...ok.

    I don’t remember this from the movie.

  • The rapid fire Spanish you both can and can’t understand; and on the flip side, broken English for tourists
  • The amazing sights, including but not limited to beaches, cathedrals, parks and monuments
  • Sigh.

    Sigh.

  • And duh. The food.

For me, this trip was about relaxing and eating. It was like How Stella Got Her Groove Back if Stella had been jilted by a Lean Cuisine and she chose to get her true revenge ON the Lean Cuisine by eating and drinking all of the carbs that there were in the world.*

*I think it’s pretty clear that I’ve never seen the movie. So this is a really bad metaphor based on what I THINK the movie is about. But somehow I don’t think I’m too far off.

Anyway. Barcelona.

Spanish food is generally simple, fresh and so, so good. And, y’all, they have the best ham in the world.

HAM!

If you’re a lover of ham like I am, then you simply haven’t lived until you’ve had jamon iberico. Prosciutto? Garbage compared to jamon iberico. The meat is salty and the fat melts in your mouth. I miss it already. But be warned, it is also a little bit stringy and hard to eat in front of people you think are good looking. But I digress. Jamon iberico is delicious and it’s perfect on my new favorite Spanish delicacy: pan con tomate.

This was a new discovery for me. The Spanish have bread at every meal, but in Barcelona that bread is so much more than just bread. They take sliced crusty bread, toast or grill it, rub it with a bit of garlic, and then rub it with a ripe tomato.

THAT’S IT. It’s effing delicious.

I have more posts about Barcelona to come. A whole post about potatoes. (MMHMM. POTATOES.) And one a restaurant you simply must go find if you’re in en Barthelona.

Cause everyone deserves a chance to get their groove back , y’all.**

**Seriously, I’m not going to see the movie. But I will continue to make references like I have.

Pan Con Tomate adapted from Tapas: Sensational Small Plates from Spain by Joyce Goldstein

Ingredients

  • Crusty Bread
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Ripe Tomato, cut in half

Heat grill pan (or broiler) to medium-high heat.

Cut the bread ½ inch thick. Brush both sides with olive oil. Grill (or broil) until marked on both sides and somewhat crisp. Immediately rub one side with a garlic clove. Then rub the cut side of halved tomato on the still-hot garlic-rubbed bread. If desired, garnish with an anchovy or a slice of Serrano ham, since we cannot easily get the delicious jamon iberico here in America.

Roast salmon, tomato and watermelon salad and pan con tomate.

Roast salmon, tomato and watermelon salad and pan con tomate.

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