Saturday, December 31, 2011

Feliz Año Nuevo a Mis Amigos Españoles!!

I'm sure all my Spanish friends have these party supplies on hand for tonight's New Year's celebration!  Cava and twelve grapes to ring in the new year..a grape for each of the 12 dongs of the clock at midnight.  from experience, I can say it's hard to eat twelve grapes that quickly!  I'll be drinking champagne and eating Chinese food with family tonight!  Happy New Year to all!  Wishing you all peace and happiness in 2012!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday #81


Look What the Drinking Girls Are Up To...Spanish Cazuela Giveaway!!


 As many of you know, I am one half of a dynamic duo known as the The Drinking Girls who are all about cocktails, food and fun!  Some of you may also have seen on our Drinking Girls facebook fan page, we are giving away a 25cm Spanish Cazuela, a $30 value (cost & shipping from an online Spanish goods provider). This clay cookware is fired at extremely high temperatures, making it very durable.  Once immersed and soaked in water for six hours, you can use them on an electric or gas stove, as well as in the oven or microwave.  It's also dishwasher safe.  We'll send you everything you need to know about how to use your prize should you be the lucky winner.  
Cazuelas filled with our yummy Pollo Loco Asado & Ga-Ga for Garlic Potatoes
So what do you have to do to qualify?  Well, that's easy, just buy one of our cookbooks in the month of December and you are entered in the drawing on January 5th.  The more books you buy, the more chances you have to win.  Order it for yourself, or to have on hand as a hostess gift or for a friend's birthday.  It's a beautiful book anyone would be happy to have for the cocktails alone.  One of our customer's recently posted on our fan page that our sangria was "to die for!"  So really, it's a win/win!  Order your copy of "The Drinking Girls' Guide to Spanish Food" by Thursday and Tiffani will send it out to you or your special someone by priority mail on Friday!  Here's a look at what you could be doing with your cazuela if you win...
We like to use them to roast garlic cloves
Cazuelas also make lovely serving dishes for our Gambas al Ajillo
 or for olives, tapanade, and dips!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A House Divided for El Clásico!!

Tonight at 10pm, Central European Time, much of Spain will be glued to their TV sets, and we'll be among them!  While three of us will be routing for Real Madrid tonight, my youngest will be routing for FC Barcelona! For the past couple of days, GolTV has been running hightlight and preview shows of the game that is simply known as "El Clásico" or "The Classic."  Last year's game in November was very one-sided with Barca beating  Real Madrid 5-0 in Barcelona!  In our living room, we saw a lot of this...
Goooooooool!!!!  Baaaaaaarcelooooooonaaaaaaa!
My oldest got sick of the carrying on and I almost became referee in our own El Clásico!  The rivalry is pretty intense, even for transplants like us!  At my kids' school, my youngest plays soccer at recess nearly everyday and it's almost always Real Madrid vs Barca!  One of the greatest players in Real Madrid history, Hugo Sanchez, coached my youngest's team, fan favorite Raul used to live two doors down from us (this was before we were fans, tragically), the son of Real Madrid's coach goes to their school and we see him regularly dropping off his son and attending assemblies, and let's not forget that Iker Casillas lives down the way from us!  All of these things, being a part of Spain World Cup fever and the kids both playing soccer have turned us into HUGE soccer fans...and don't even get me started about the amount FIFA 11 being played in the this house.  It is out of control!  Here's a bit of what we've been seeing in the build up for tonight's game...
If Real Madrid wins tonight, I know we will be hearing fireworks going off in the neighborhood and horns blowing with every goal!  I don't know what's going to happen, but I anticipate horn blowing by us Madrid fans and shirt twirling by our resident Barca fan...I just hope Real Madrid comes out on top this time!  Hala Madrid!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Go Army!!! Beat Navy!!!

As these guys prepare for their epic nerf battle, they want to make one thing clear...Go Army!  Beat Navy!

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, here's a brief history about the Army-Navy Game from Wikipedia...
"The Army–Navy Game, commencing in 1890, has been held at several locations throughout its history, but has most frequently been played in Philadelphia, roughly equidistant from the two academies. Historically played on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the game is now played on the second Saturday in December and is traditionally the last game of the season for both teams and, until the recent advent of conference championship games, it was the last regular-season game played in Division I-A football. With the permanent expansion of the regular season to 12 games starting in 2006, many regular-season games join the Army–Navy Game on the same weekend. In 2009, the game was moved from the first Saturday in December to the second Saturday; this means that it will no longer conflict with conference championship games and once again is the last regular-season contest in college football.[5]
This game has inter-service "bragging rights" at stake; in past decades, when both Army and Navy were often national powers, the game occasionally had national championship implications. However, as the level of play in college football improved nationally, and became fueled by prospects of playing in the National Football League (NFL), the high academic entrance requirements, height and weight limits, and the military commitment required has reduced the overall competitiveness of both academies. Since 1963, only the 1996 and 2010 games have seen both teams enter with winning records.
The tradition of the game has ensured that it remains nationally televised to this day. Arguably, one of the great appeals of this game to many fans is that since few, if any, of the participants will ever play in the NFL, they are playing solely for the love of the game. Due to commitments to serve in their respective branches of the armed services after graduation, many players are simply deemed too old to even consider playing competitively again, much less in the professional ranks. Many have other post-service ambitions that would preclude such a career, or they simply do not want to pursue one. Nevertheless, some participants in the Army-Navy Game have gone on to professional football careers. Quarterback Roger Staubach (Navy, 1965) went on to a Hall of Fame career with the Dallas Cowboys that included being named the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl VI. Wide receiver and kickoff/punt returner Phil McConkey (Navy, 1979) was a popular player on the New York Giants'squad that won Super Bowl XXI. Running back Napoleon McCallum (Navy, 1985) was able to concurrently serve his commitment to the Navy and play for the then-Los Angeles Raiders. After satisfying his Navy commitment, he joined the Raiders full time. Sadly, his career was ended by a gruesome knee injury suffered in a game against the San Francisco 49ers in 1994.
The game is especially emotional for the seniors, called "first classmen" by both academies, since it is typically the last competitive football game they will ever play (the games in 1996 and 2010 were aberrations, as both Army and Navy went to bowl games afterwards, and Navy has played in a bowl game in each season since 2003). During wartime the game is even more emotional, as some seniors will not return once they are deployed. For instance, in the 2004 game, at least one senior from the class of 2003 who was killed in Iraq, Navy's J. P. Blecksmith, was remembered. The players placed their comrade's pads and jerseys on chairs on the sidelines. Much of the sentiment of the game goes out to those who share the uniform and who are overseas.
At the end of the game, the alma maters of the losing team and then the winning team are played and sung. The winning team stands alongside the losing team and faces the losing academy students; then the losing team accompanies the winning team, facing their students. This is done in a show of mutual respect and solidarity.
The rivalry between Annapolis and West Point, while friendly, is intense. Even the mascots (the Navy Goat and Army Mule) have been known to play pranks on each other. The Cadets live and breathe the phrase "Beat Navy", while Midshipmen have the opposite phrase, "Beat Army", dinned into them (even the weight plates in the Navy weight room are stamped with "Beat Army"). They have become a symbol of competitiveness, not just in the Army–Navy Game, but in the service of their country, and are often used at the close of (informal) letters by graduates of both academies.
Occasionally, the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy, awarded to each season's winner of the triangular series between Army, Navy, and Air Force, will be at stake in this game. For most of the 1970s, Navy had held the trophy. After a period of flux for most of the 1980s, Air Force dominated the competition until the early 2000s. Navy has been the dominant team in the rivalry for most of the 2000s, winning every game in the triangular rivalry starting with the 2002 Army–Navy Game and ending with a 2010 loss to Air Force. If there is a tie in the Commander-In-Chief Trophy competition, the trophy remains with the incumbent team.
The rivalries Army and Navy have with the Air Force Academy are much less intense than the Army-Navy rivalry, primarily due to the relative youth of the Air Force Academy and the physical distance between Air Force and the other two schools, with Air Force Academy being located in Colorado Springs. The Army-Air Force and Navy-Air Force games are played at the academies' regular home fields, rather than at a neutral site, although Navy has occasionally moved its home games with Air Force to FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland."

Monday, December 5, 2011

Art and Science...You Can't Have One Without the Other!

My youngest's self-portrait done in the style of Chuck Close
One of the things I love about living here in Spain, is that the kids's school has a great art program.  Our school district in Texas had dedicated art teachers in only 3 out of its 32 elementary schools.  Teaching art was the responsibility of the classroom teachers.  They did a great job, but what it speaks to is the importance the school district places on art.  Obviously, given the numbers, art was not our former school district's top priority.  Since resources follow priorities, it stands to reason, they probably weren't given much to work with.  I'm of the opinion that even this ever increasing tech-loving world, there is still a place for art...maybe now more than ever.  Advances in technology, innovations and medical miracles, require us to think outside of the bounds of what is already here...sometimes creating something out of nothing!  A perfect metaphor for this is the creation of a work of art.  A blank canvas becomes a Starry, Starry Night...and something that never existed before is born!  What is so wonderful about art, is that you don't need much of anything to create it.  The only thing absolutely required is your imagination!  I don't think art is so much about about what is created, but rather creation itself.  All creation requires inspiration...and what is more inspiring than art itself!

Through the study of art, and the chance to create it, a sense of openness is born...an opening of the mind, the heart, and often the soul!  Obviously, we've all looked at something in a museum...a painting, a sculpture, a rope hanging from the ceiling in an empty room...and said, "That's art???"  The same was said of the works of so many of the people we consider to be masters today...Picasso, Matisse, Serrat, etc.  But they were allowed, and even encouraged to create...to share their imagination with all of us!  This same theme can be seen when you look at the Leonardo DiVinci, Wright Brothers, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and many more...So art and science aren't really so far apart at all, in fact I think they are intrinsically linked.  Two and three year-olds don't know how to write a computer program or build a robot, but they do know how to tap into their imagination and put crayon to paper!  That is where it all begins at the most basic level.  That's why I love art teachers!  They open our kids minds to a whole new world, and if they learn how to tap into their imaginations as children, who knows what they'll create in the future...maybe something that will change the whole world!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I'm a Guest Blogger on GapDaemon!

Here's a little about Gap Daemon from their site, "Gap Daemon is the community and advice site for gap year travellers. [You can] meet other backpackers, keep in touch with friends and family, share travel tips and get advice from the experts. Gap Daemon's name never fails to get a reaction. It's a bit of a tongue twister: many of our backpacking friends go through a few different spellings - gap demon, gap daimon and the like - before hitting on the right one.  We don't blame you for typing in 'gap demon' at all. The "ae" is in the Ancient Greek spelling for a demon, a friendly advisor, which is what we're aiming to be!

I'm super excited to have a post on their blog.  It's called "How to Learn Spanish When You're Surrounded by English Speakers."  I love all this guest blogging stuff.  They have a lot of good articles for lots of great bloggers...Hasta luego...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

DECEMBER COOKBOOK SPECIAL!

For every cookbook you buy in December, you receive an entry in our Drawing for an awesome cazuela. There is something about these Spanish cooking dishes that make Pollo Loco Asado, Ga Ga for Garlic Potatoes, or anything you roast taste delicious! Someone bought 2 cookbooks today...will you be next!  Use the drop-down menu at the top right of this blog to order if you need your shipment mailed to you.  Posted rates apply to US deliveries, and additional shipping charges may apply to locations outside of the US. Good luck!  If you've been thinking about ordering this fun, colorful cookbook, now would be a really good time to do so!  You might just wind up winning a Spanish cazuela for your very own! The drawing will be held on January 5th! Good luck, or as they say in Spain...Buena Suerte!

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