My wonderful friend, Jess, lives in Pittsburgh, but comes to visit us 2-3x a year down here in Florida! :) This summer she wanted to go to Europe as her last big hurrah before entering a 28 month intensive graduate program. Unfortunately, she didn't get to go to Europe as planned, but she DID come see us one last time before her life is taken possession of for the next 2 years (she will do great though and then she will be able to come visit lots!!).
So......I spiced things up for this visit and we had a Europe in America week. I went to the internet and found recipes from England, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, and Switzerland. Some recipes I knew of from friends of ours that have visited and/or lived in these countries and some I found from research.
Here was our menu:
Switzerland: Cheese and Chocolate Fondue
England: Bacon Criss-Cross with Earl Grey Tea, Ploughman's lunch, Scones (with liberties)
Spain: Tapas - Stuffed Tomatoes and Spicy Chorzo Tortilla
France: Cheese Souffles, Chocolate Mousse, Brie and bread
Italy: Chicken Scarpariello, Ricotta Sformata
Greece: Gyro meatloaf with tzatziki sauce
To spice things up a bit we also wanted to try out Heather Bailey's Butter Beer recipe ;). This was good and technically English since it is from Harry Potter, right?
Two things you do not yet know this about me,
1. I have a weakness for Pumpkin. In my early 20's I discovered that pumpkin, in all forms, was an amazing thing. Pumpkin rolls, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin candy, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake...and the list goes on. I can't help myself!
2. I LOVE food! I love to cook it, eat it, share it, buy it, etc. I could talk about food for hours while doing all of the above as well. And having such a big job as bringing Europe to America was a fun challenge.
Now to get some of the items, we needed to go to an ethnic store, or a local chain which is easier to find here, World Market. My FAVORITE part of World Market is their food section. During nap time, my husband stayed home, and Jess and I went to World Market.
We went for three items. These three items in fact:
I have to insert a side not here that this ginger beer was NOWHERE near as good as Bundaberg ginger beer (from Australia)I was pretty disappointed that the market didn't have the Australian brand this visit.
But....we also ended up with all of this:
There was a great big pumpkin stand at the entrance and well, my love of pumpkin overtook any sense of reason I had.
And my oh my, all the pumpkin stuff was delicious! We even snuck some of it into our purses for the movies and enjoyed eating wonderful food during Julia & Julie and 500 days of Summer. Two good girl movies, which I don't get to see a lot of in a house full of men. Of course, a small bit of me was waiting for someone to put on a mask and become a hero of some sort...(such conditioning results from hours of comic book and sci-fi movies, video games, & TV shows. lol.)
Jess and I were so busy stuffing our faces, exercising and hanging out that we didn't take pictures of our delicous food! :( I did however get a few snaps of our chocolate mousse with my new self-created recipe (not that it was difficult) of Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream, it's so good you can eat it by itself. ;)