Cooking Class in Malaga

It's no secret that I love food tours and have written about my positive experiences with them here, here, here, and here. This past August, I really wanted to do a food tour with Devour Malaga, the same company I used for my amazing tours in Madrid and Barcelona. Unfortunately, due to the Malaga feria (a crazy shit show of a "festival" which merits its own post), no tours were operating that week. After a little online sleuthing, I was happy to discover a company called Spain Food Sherpas that was offering a tapas cooking class so I quickly signed up along with three of my travel buddies.

The cooking school is located in the funky art district of Malaga and we were led there by Mayte, a Spain Food Sherpas representative. The kitchen is open, airy, and spacious, and there were multiple stations which allowed each group to contibute to the cooking process. Before starting the cooking portion of the class, however, we enjoyed an extra virgin olive oil tasting of different Spanish oils ranging from grassy to peppery. 

A wonderful mother-son duo were our teachers for the day, showing us how to prepare fresh gazpacho, prawns al pil-pil, Spanish omelette, and meatballs with a traditional almond sauce. I really enjoyed how hands-on the class was, with plenty of opportunity for interaction with the teachers. The highlight was sitting at the table and trying our dishes, sipping on refreshing local white wine from Antequera, and enjoying the company of the other participants, who were from England/Ireland and Germany. The day after the class, we received the recipes in our inbox and I plan on making everything soon. I highly recommend Spain Food Sherpas if you're looking for a food experience in Malaga!

Video of gambas sizzling in action

East coast style subs

Growing up with a mother from Massachusetts, I spent my fair share of vacations in the state. One of the best things about returning to her oceanside hometown is the obligatory visit to Victoria's Subs in in Hingham (the next town over). It's a no-frills joint and one of many excellent sub shops that dot New England towns all the way up to Maine. Locals know to call in their orders ahead of time and I have always the same thing waiting for me: roast beef with provolone, lettuce, tomato, onions, "hots", oil, and spices. Cape Cod potato chips are a must as well. The subs at Victoria's are so good that I, along with the rest of their large clientele, put up with the snarling, grumpy man behind the counter. You'll want to do the same should you find yourself in these parts.

Victoria's Subs is located at 345 Rockland Street in Hingham, MA.
Our last visit was in April during a snowstorm. Ah.....Massachusetts...


Roasted salmon glazed with brown sugar and mustard

Weeknight meals sometimes stump me- I want something tasty, nutritious, and easy to prepare. So when I saw this five-ingredient New York Times recipe for roasted salmon glazed with brown sugar and Dijon mustard, I was sold. It's extremely simple to prepare but packs a lot of flavor. Next time you're overwhelmed on a Wednesday evening, try it out. And here's an added bonus- clean-up is a cinch as well!


New Year's Eve in Boracay

Boracay seemed like the place to spend New Year's Eve, and a good place to get partying out of our system before heading on to calmer Palawan. Our reveling had to be put on hold, however, as our AirAsia flight was delayed for about 4 hrs in Manila. Funnily enough, I had spent a lot of time researching whether to fly into Kalibo Airport or Caticlan, the closer one to Boracay. I eventually decided on Kalibo as there were many (cheaper) flights to chose from and I had read that it wasn't uncommon for Caticlan flights to be canceled due to there being only one runway. In the end, even our flight to Kalibo held us up- it seemed as though everyone was going to Boracay for the New Year and the crowds were taking a toll on the airlines. 

Once we arrived at the Kalibo airport, we exited the building and found a stand outside where we bought bus tickets to Caticlan jetty port. The bus ride took a few hours and again at Caticlan, we had to queue up for the small boat to Boracay. Upon docking in Boracay, there are many vans that can take you to your hostel and we were soon at ours, the lovely MNL Beach Hostel Boracay.

Sunset from the hostel roof- beaches on both sides!

Requisite fire throwers on White Beach
We rented a scooter and took it to the northern part of the island where we had the beach (Puka Shell Beach) to ourselves

Filipinos do fireworks in style. We were treated to a long show at midnight.
Beautiful Boracay beach