Tag Archives: spain

Trumpet blowing.

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So lovely when visitors take time to write a review and say Thank-you, and that they’ve gone away with happy memories of their visit …

Subject: Lynsey’s Cooking Class

La Rosilla, Lynsey Drake’s cooking school, is a must for visitors to Spain.  My husband and I, Americans from Texas, met Lynsey in the mountain town of Colmenar, population 4,000, located about an hour from the Costa del Sol.  We chatted over coffee and sandwiches (Pitufu Catalana- Small roll with tomato, garlic, olive oil & Serrano ham) at the Hotel Belen, walked the streets of Colmenar, drinking in the flavor of the local people, shopped for chorizo and blood sausage at the factory and bread at the bakery.

Lynsey then drove us to her mountain home where on her sunny terrace we ate various cheeses and sausages and sampled sherries and olive oils.  We then proceeded to Lynsey’s kitchen where we helped prepare five Spanish dishes including paella and gambas pil pil for our dinner.  Lynsey’s husband, and their daughter,  a gracious teenager, joined us for our meal.

Tasting time .

After dinner they drove us back to Colmenar where we picked up our rental car and returned to the Coast.

What a delightful day experiencing life in a small Spanish town and a Spanish feast, a definite treat for visitors to Spain.

 

 

 

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My life through the eyes of others.

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After our recent ‘Jolly’ to Cordoba, last Sunday morning, whilst laying in bed with a cuppa and my ‘Tablet’, well I can’t get a Sunday paper delivery in the mountains – back of beyond 1st on the right. I received an amazing email which went something like this

Hi Lynsey,

Recently in Cordoba Spain, you met our dear friends from Texas U.S.A in a restaurant, where you shared recipes & chatted. Well we’re from Texas arriving in Andalucia on Monday, and would love to visit you at La Rosilla, and attend your Cookery & Culture Day –

How cool was that. ?

So I speedily replied, and started planning, and juggling to be able to fit in a day in my already full ‘Foodie’ week .

My Cookery & culture day, allows guests, to experience a little of our life in rural,real Spain.

Why I love it, It makes me stop and think, it makes my appreciate why I’m here, it makes me see my life through the eyes of others, it allows us to share food, wine, stories and experiences, and enables me, and my family to meet a diverse and interesting array of people, all with one thing in common the love of food.

My guests were delightful, a 73 year old couple, we baked, stirred, whizzed, ate,sipped, & laughed together. They are making the most of their retirement and traveling from one ‘Foodie’ location to the next , what a life to aspire to.

 

 

 

Catch up !

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Catching up on life, keeping up with traditions, getting some fresh air have all been on our agenda this month. We’ve been blessed by glorious weather up in the mountains so far, clear days, beautiful sunrises & sunsets, skies oh so blue. Crisp mornings, and nights still bearable with an extra blanket or two.

Noo, Rizo & Spencer

We’ve taken country walks, to blow away the cobwebs, and breathe in the clear air, and stop and look at what is happening around us. Flowers still blooming, trees full to bursting with citrus, oranges, lemons & grapefruits. The river is gently flowing, perfect to wade in wellies, play pooh sticks, and for the dogs to have their annual swim, well or Spaniel anyway the Water Dog, does everything she can to avoid getting her paws wet !!

We journeyed a little more inland to the spectacular El Torcal natural park, to climb, trek and picnic with our friends aka @familinspain, enjoying the winter sunshine, and trying to walk off our already indulgent excesses.

El Torcal National Park

In the home, we’ve baked, and cured. Tree decorations, mince pies & sausages rolls, which were meant to be for Crimble, but got munched as soon as out of the oven…well who can resist a hot sausage roll.

Hot Sausage Rolls

Our olives have had their month of being bathed in water to extract their bitter juices, and now have been rinsed and marinated in thyme, rosemary, parsley  caraway, orange zest, sherry vinegar, garlic, bay & olive Oil for us to enjoy over the months to come.

So with a slight lull in proceedings today, perhaps I shouldn’t talk to soon, I’ve taken the time to catch up with my goings on….who knows when I’ll have time in the near future.

Out for 3 festive frolics this weeks, god bless my liver & my sanity 😉

Welcome to your home away from home!!

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A glowing write-up from a recent guest, all the way from Australia.

Welcome to your home away from home!

A food connoisseur’s dream and suitable for all ages. This tour was the highlight of my time spent in Andalucía. There were many things to see and experience that a typical tourist would miss out on.


The day started in Colmenar, where Lynsey met me and took me out to a traditionally scrumptious Spanish breakfast. After that we took a tour of Colmenar Town before heading back home for our cooking session. The recipes were simple but full of flavour.

After an olive oil tasting we indulged in our 4 course meal of Gambas (prawns) pil pil, beetroot gazpacho, albondigas (meatballs) and of course a dessert, orange and almond torte. This went down really well with a bottle of local wine and while soaking in the views. What an afternoon!

After being fully indulged, I retired to ‘La Casa Media Luna,’ a nearby bed & breakfast for a typical Spanish siesta. More spectacular views, a beautifully presented clean room and bathroom to myself, pool and dance studio! Tango lessons are available to immerse even more into the Spanish culture.


After a well-deserved rest and good night’s sleep we were back to our touring. This time off to Comares, the highest village in the area. There we saw the whole valley from the lookouts, explored the shops and indulged for another scrumptious 3 course lunch in a local restaurant. Lynsey’s description of the area, the people and customs gave me an excellent understanding of the local community.

Once again I retired back to the Bed & Breakfast to relax for the afternoon then later was time for the Paella demonstration.

What an amazing and versatile dish. A dish of many flavours and Lynsey taught me many different ways it can be prepared. Another bottle of local wine and another evening of pure indulgence! What a fantastic way to enjoy the flavours of Spain and see some spectacular countryside. All the recipes were nicely bundled into a souvenir pack for home. I can’t wait to share these experiences and recipes with family and friends!

-Jasmine, Australia.

To enjoy real Spain, like traveling & exploring with friends, love cooking traditional dishes & enjoying them in a unique surroundings ????  Why not come and try a Cookery & Culture day at La Rosilla.

Getting back into routine !

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Food is always high on my agenda, sharing, creating & of course eating. I’m always finding new recipes to try, scouring magazines for inspiration, aswell as being asked by friends and family for mine.

I’ve collated on scraps of paper,  favourite recipes over the summer from visitors . I’ve also been fortunate enough to meet clients from far flung places, happy to indulge my passion and whet my appetite with their superb dishes too.

Over the summer, with full on bookings for Classes, luxury food deliveries & my ‘Supperclub” on the terrace, posting recipes seem to have been put on my back burner !

Well hopefully now, as routine slowly gets back into shape, now children are back at school, all birthdays are finished, well In our family anyway and my last visitors leave on Monday I can start once again to do all the ‘foodie’ things I enjoy.

Just a couple of recipes that are easy family favourites that I have cooked and created for guests and clients of La Rosilla, and that I have sent to my ‘Mum’ when she was having a meltdown, as she was having friends to stay for the week-end, and just didn’t know what to cook…

I hope you like them too…

 

Smoked Salmon Pate & Rye

 Serves 4

1 packet of full fat cream cheese

200 gr of Smoked Salmon chopped

Zest of a lemon & juice of ½ a lemon

snipped chives

½ a Red onion finely chopped

1 tbsp of Whole grain mustard

a pinch of salt

 

Packet of Rye bread & Cucumber to serve.

Mix all the above ingredietnst together, for a smooth consitency use a blender.

Put into a pretty serving bowl, and decorate with smoked slamon lemon & chives.

Cut Rye bread into traingles & slice cucumber to decorate plate.

 

Beef in Red wine

 

1kg braising beef (cubed)

Bacon lardons – Or thick cut bacon cut into pieces

Baby mushrooms left whole

1 large onion – Chopped

2 carrots chopped

Shallots / Baby Onions – peeled left whole

2 tbspPlain flour

1 bottle of red wine

Small tin of Tomato Puree

Cranberry Sauce

2 tbsp plain flour

½ pt Beef stock

Bay leaf & bouquet garni

Make in large Casserole dish with lid.

Pan fry the bacon until crispy, remove from pan

Add olive oil to pan and brown the beef, a little at a time so it browns nicely, not

steams.

Add onion & carrot and fry

Sprinkle with plain flour and stir and cook out flour for about 2 mins, will brown.

Add bacon back in.

Pour on whole bottle of red stirring to get all the juicy bits off the bottom for flavour.

Add tomato puree & beef stock

Pop in a 2 bay leaves & bouquet garni.

Lots of seasoning.

Cook slowly for 2 hours in the oven with lid on.

Then add baby onions & mushrooms – cook for another hour.

  • It may need extra cooking just check, and when beef is tender it’s done.

A tip, when its finished cooking stir in 2 tbsp of cranberry sauce, it’s yum.

Good luck & Buen Provecho

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New residents at La Rosilla or should I say visitors ? ;)

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Bumping in to my elderly ‘campesino neighbour Antonio in the local town of Colmenar, he began to chat with me in his deepest Andaluz tongue, something with him now after 7 years I can just about understand. I managed to decipher ‘Your mountain & land’ and the world “Mules’.

 

Yes, yes I agreed, Mules would be good, to eat the shrubbery, nodding vigorously and agreeing that the land would look like the pavement he was pointing to, smooth & flat after they had done their work.

 

What I didn’t know I had agreed too, was that evening having two giant Mules delivered and tethered to my olive trees to go about their business. Funny thing was they were bought in the pitch black, so my dogs were in a frenzy, we too were also wondering who on earth was brave enough or stupid enough, to go mountaineering in the pitch black without a torch.

 

A few minutes later, after a yodel to Miguel (said owner of the mules) I confirmed, yes OK I will temporarily be a mule sitter .

Well Hercules & Conejo (Rabbit , don’t ask me !)  seem placid, and are making light work of clearing the land. I’m getting very fond of them, the children too, I’m sure the novelty factor may wear off after the first rains, or when the temperature drops..but hopefully by then they should be homeward bound – Dedos cruzados ! (fingers crossed)

 

 

Have tent will travel !

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In need of a rest, a break, some time out…I was looking forward to a holiday, all be it just for 3 nights, but camping..I thought I could do without. So much to pack, I have to have everything including the kitchen sink, and the arduous task of packing up the ‘Bogey’ our big green van, no not named after what you think, but after a golfing score..OH is a Golf Pro 😉 In 36 degrees of heat, was draining me already.

But pack we did, up early we got..on our way we went.

A new part of Andalucia for us to discover – Cabo de Gata, so Almeria was our destination. A journey of a 4 hours, took us through the flat planes of Almeria, and mile after mile of giant greenhouses, was the only landscape to be seen, apparently I’m informed you can see these greenhouses from outer space !!

Thinking at this stage. This wasn’t the type of view I had planned, I was getting a little anxious, fortunately all 3 kids were flat out asleep, so the groans of ,I prefer Tarifa, were not heard.

But as we took our exit from the Autopista, into the National Park area of Cabo de Gata, its lunaresque landscape, rocky coves and beautiful beaches put a smile on our faces.

We’d chosen the little seaside town of Las Negras, and it’s beach-side Campsite La Caleta, we were not disappointed, location,location, location enough said.

Right on a fabulous rocky and sandy cove, with the clearest , warmest sea, a pool for the non beaching lover of the family (my OH) , and a restaurant with delicious home-cooked menu, for nights after the sun had set. 

Giant mussels, Rabbit cooked in garlic,  Dauphinoise potatoes, and oozing chocolate fondant , my type of camping restaurant which ticked all my ‘Foodie’ boxes.

Snorkelling, surfing, reading, early morning mountain hiking, coastal exploring, friends made..all crammed into 3 glorious days.

A couple of pointers we need a large plot, with our 3 bed-roomed detached 😉 and we need to make note of where the sun will come up and set…that sun beat down on us, from early in the morning, and we would stumble out of the tent when it rose, like 5 turkeys in a Roasting bag. Also remembering the kitchen sink was all good and well, but a table too would be good, that we had forgotten…in our attempts to leave on time.

 

Hasta Pronto Las Negras – Vamos a Volver 🙂

The girls are back in town ;)

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When we arrived on our mountain 7 years ago, one of the first things on our plan was to have chickens, roaming free, chirping and pecking and supplying us with lovely fresh eggs.

So on my Dad’s first visit over, just some 2 weeks after we moved in..we put him to work, he’s very handy, if he has the right tools 😉 ..So scouring the neighborhood, for scrap wood, broken pallets etc, and few days toiling under the hot sun, being regularly refreshed with a cold beer. Our grandiose chicken house was born.

Now the hens arrived, after a few days settling in their house, we let them out..they were in heaven…and so were the local ‘campo’ dogs…:(

So then a large Chicken run had to be made, now we have plenty of land, so that was no problem, but we needed a regular water supply, and fencing and shade. Job done.

So over the next few years , we were blessed with eggs. We even incubated eggs form the U.K that traveled over land 1500 miles with good old Dad ( Now named chicken Grandad), in his car, with Incubator, ready to be watched eagerly, hourly, daily by my 3 children until they started pipping, and our baby chicks were born. With my son, even keeping night vigil watch, eager for the first sign of a tiny beak.

We had a few losses, and gained a few wins, with Ducks being rescued and taking up residence too at La Rosilla, we kept the local community Egg Bound, as my son, traveled with Go-kart and hand made trailer (made again with scrap wood) , selling the daily lay.

Then one very sad, and chilly morning..MR FOX made a visit and ate the heads off everyone. A sad and devastating sight.

So for a few years, we’ve been chicken free…But I’m glad to say

 ‘The girls are back in town’…..

 

 

Out for lunch at a friends house last week, and after a few Vinos 😉 the children had been to visit, ‘Juan the man’ , a local very Andaluz Spanish man who re- homes all manor of animals, in quite poor conditions, but looks after them to the best of his ability . “Mum ,Mum” they shouted “Juan the man has chickens for us.”..So off I go, to collect my birds, huddled into bags, we quickly sped home, and introduced the girls into their new home in the dark…

5.15 am the next morning we were rudely awoken by not 1 but 2 cockerels …that’ll teach me to make spontaneous ‘merry ;)’ choices.

They are not laying yet, they must just be enjoying a holiday, with lush vegetation, shade, fresh water and organic food..

 But come on girls lay a little egg for me …