Wining and dining on the deck.

Do you ever just get the urge to prepare a beautiful, healthy, love filled dinner at home? Well I know I do. As it often does – the mood to hang out with my little inner chef struck me. So I did what any person would do in that situation; I voyaged straight to the grocery store to stock up on some goodies to wow myself with.

Nothing too fancy and crazy. Just a nice veggie dish is what I was feelin’. In my mind I had decided I would make a Veggie Lasagna, accompanied with a Roasted Spaghetti Squash and Quinoa side dish. Once I was done perusing the store I ended up with Zucchini, Spinach, Sweet Potato, Eggplant, Spaghetti Squash, Ricotta, and some Tomato paste.  Upon returning to my little Zen pad, I opened the deep freeze and took out some northern mushrooms, that were literally picked in my back yard. Ummmm, did I mention – they are darn delicious!! Every time I return to Northern Canada, I always look forward to chowing on some delectable local mushies. I Grabbed the quinoa from the cupboard, and was ready to rock and roll. In order to do that though I needed music, so I got some toe tappin’ tunes going. Music always makes things more fun. I can’t imagine my every day life without it.

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There is nothing like eating healthy. It just makes your mind, body, and soul, so freaken happy and rejuvenated. Fueling my body to be it’s best.

Prior to my prep work I cut the Spaghetti Squash in half, drizzled olive oil on it and a wee bit of sea salt, and put er’ in the oven to roast, while also getting the quinoa cooking. I sliced up all the veggie’s, after which I salted the zucchini slices to get some of the water out of them. Otherwise it all comes out when it’s baking, and then you have to drain it, and well, with that also drains flavor…. So yes, I salted those bad boys and let them sit for a bit before I dried them with paper towel. 

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I spread tomato paste on the bottom of the baking dish, and started to layer the vegetables, adding a nice layer of ricotta cheese in the middle.

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I made two layers of each veg, drizzled it with olive oil and topped it with a bit of grated marble cheese.

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Swapped out the squash from the oven with the veggie dish.

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Baked it at 400 degrees for about an hour – and Voila!! Behold a veggie lasagna.

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I was having issues getting the sweet potato to stay on the top as the dish wasn’t quite deep enough. I pulled it together the best I could though. As you do.

Front deck ambiance? Or back deck ambiance? Decisions, decisions. After a coin toss with myself, it was front deck action that was in order. I checked my watch, and it just so happened to be Wine O’clock. Well look what time it is?? Being known for always being prepared for anything, I had a wine for exactly that time. The wine of choice was of course Canadian, as I always drink locally no matter where in the world I am.

The wine was a delightful Pinot Grigio, with notes of peach and apple, and the name was literally Wine O’clock. One of the best times, if I do say so myself.

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I set the table, and it was show time!

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Who needs to go for dinner when you got it all in your own yard. What time are you coming over?

Marketing It!!!

One thing I love is fresh produce, lots of vibrant colors, and knowing the quality of what I am buying.   Here in Palma there are lots of markets all over the place, to provide you with every colour of the spectrum!! From endless types of Fruit and  Vegetables, to Olives, Cheese,  all your tasty Mediterranean delicacies, the different cured hams that Spain is known for, not to mention fresh butchery’s if that is what you fancy, and fresh fish and seafood.  Happy Days with this beautiful array of endless fresh options!!  Well at least I sure think so…

Today we went on a nice little adventure to the  Mercat de L’Olivar, the biggest market in Palma, located just through the old town, well that’s not the only way to get there.  It’s really just nice to stroll through the streets of the old town, with the narrow streets, the very European building’s, all the shops and cafes…. You never know what you will find around the next corner, there are always things going on around Ptown.  Love it! That just means there is always some sort of little surprise excitement just waiting to be found, and I am always seeking it:)

After our little stroll, we arrived at the Market.

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It’s amazing how unimpressive it appears from the outside, and the drab looking day doesn’t help…. But just remember, ‘Looks can be deceiving’.  Just take a peek at what was awaiting us inside!?

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Immediately we were greeted with all those wonderful colors I mentioned earlier, just in time to give our eye’s a nice little massage.  How could you not want to take it all in??  I will admit though, the fact that I can speak Spanish really does come in handy in these moments, as not so many people here speak English.

But other then the language barrier the process is quite simple.  You walk up, tell them what and how much of each product you want, and they weigh it, bag it, and give you a bill.  Just like riding a bicycle.  Come here in the summer and its super packed, but another beauty of the winter is you have all the space in the world.

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Its just ridiculous, in such an amazing way, all the phenomenal things you can get there, your little heart will be so contentIMG_5262    IMG_5267  IMG_5261

So after we bought all the food we had came for(and a little more), of course we couldn’t finish off our market experience without trying some of the Sushi and Oysters from the seafood side.  Now that our eye’s are feeling thoroughly relaxed, it’s time to put our palette to work, and see if it awakens our senses even more.  First stop, we decided to have some Sushi! There are a few sushi stalls, but they weren’t all open, so with the art of elimination, and our keen sense of observation,  we narrowed it down, to the one that was open.  Bar del Piex.

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All of these little stalls make their sushi from the fresh fish from the market, and they are constantly filling up the display case.  You just need to walk up and pick out all the morsels you want, they are yours for the taking, at about one euro a piece.  We picked out a nice little selection, sided it with some edamame, and 1 wonton, that we intended to share, not knowing why we would share ‘A’ wonton and not just have our own… Sometimes though, one too many wontons, and you spoil the next course that you are looking forward to trying, Good ol’Oysters.  We decided though, it would be a good idea to wash our sushi down with a glass of the house white.  The wine was nice, and the Sushi was for sure good, but I wouldn’t put it down to the best I have ever had, but it was worth trying and did the job quite well.

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Next up, it’s time to slurp down some Oysters to finish off our little market adventure.  Conveniently located right next to the sushi stall, IS?? Well yes, you guessed it, it was none other than the oyster stall! You get a menu with a selection of 4 types of Oysters, and on the side you  have some lemon, tabasco, and pepper, to create your taste.  So you can either act like you know what you’re talking about and pick one confidently, or ask for assistance on choosing… However if youIMG_5285 actually are an oyster connoisseur, then just get in there! But before you do that you need toIMG_5276 order a beverage, and well, as its quite typical to have Champagne and oysters, we decided to wash ours down with some Cava.  Which just so happens to be a kind of Spanish version of Champagne, almost the same, but still a bit different, none the less, bubbly and refreshing, and its from an actual region in Spain called Cava.  Huh, who would have thought. Nothing like a good random fact;) This little combo, was delicious!

Is there even a way to make this look classy???

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Well now that we have had our fill of food sampling, it’s time to do some  more  meandering around, before heading home later and preparing a deliciously beautiful dinner with all these fresh ingredients.  Thank you Mercat de L’Olivar for a fantastic and fun filled afternoon!

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Happy Palma Days:)

Sometimes it ok to Wine a little

Ok, so being in Europe, you can’t help but enjoy the fine wine it has to offer.  Well let’s actually narrow that down, being in Palma de Mallorca, you cant help but to also partake in the delicious goodness of the fine wine on offer.  What better spot to choose, to tickle your palette then the lovely little establishment, that is named for this fine art of wine sampling, named none other then ‘Wineing’.

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The concept behind the excellence, is you go in and get a card, similar to a bank card, the only difference is with this one you can only withdraw wine.  I don’t see a problem with that!! More cards should be stocked with the good stuff:)

There is a nice large selection of wines, to provide ample hours of entertainment,  all nicely on display in their glass cases.  You can have just a sample, or a glass that is ‘half full’, or if your feeling thirsty, just get a full one!! Why the heck not.

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Yup, I think we got it down pat!

But lets not forget, there is a term that goes ‘Wine and Dine’… They do also offer a fine array of ‘Tapa’s’,  which are small portion’s of typical Spanish dishes, and there are quite an array of dishes, to choose from.  We opted for some Garlic Shrimps, Sliced Iberica Ham, a Cheese Plate, and last but not least, Dates and Bacon(one of the best tapa’s ever).  The food here is excellent, and so was the friendly service.  Ahhh, ‘Wineing’, it keeps you warm on a cool winters evening, wakes up your senses, and also gives you nothing less then a memorable experience, and if your not careful on the red, it will also give your mouth a nice dark red hue!  Good Times:)