Tuesday, August 31, 2010

From my kitchen: Roasted Garlic Salsa

Here is another recipe of mine, and again all organic ingredients.

Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned we were blessed with an abundance of jalapenos? Well now it's time to make some fresh salsa.

Feel free to tailor the recipe to your heat tolerance and you can use any variety of chiles.
I must warn you it did turn out very spicy, so of course you can remove the seeds for a milder version or cut down on the quantity. But astonishingly hubby enjoyed a full bowl without drinking anything.


  • Jalapenos or any variety of chiles, I used about 15 of them since they were small-medium size but you can use less.
  • Tomatoes about 2lbs or I used 10 large ones
  • Garlic cloves, husked removed, I used about 9 cloves but don't worry once they are roasted they actually taste sweet.
  • 1 Teaspoon lemon juice


    Roast the garlic cloves first (about 2 minutes) by placing them on a hot grill or on a hot comal or skillet. Then roast the chiles, turn them frequently until all the skin is charred. (See How to Roast Chiles for more details). Then do the same for the tomatoes, and don't worry they will smell like they are burning and will start releasing the juice but the longer you grill them the smokier the flavor.

    Remove the charred skins from the chiles and tomatoes as well as the seeds and the entire stem. Place mixture in a blender or food processor and add the lemon juice. Process until well combined and slightly chunky, but not completely liquified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Smoky, spicy and completely flavorful. Believe me, this is so good you will stop buying salsa from the grocery store!

    These two jars were in the refrigerator for less than 5 days because we added salsa to every meal. I will admit that making the salsa was labor intensive (peeling all those jalapenos!) but worth every bite. If you do try the recipe, stop by and let me know how it turned out and what changes you made to it.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A movie at the park

Saturday night we enjoyed a film under the starry sky at the park Zvončac, right across Hotel Jadran. To my surprise it was a free event and this was the fourth year that the city hosted the event. When my Mother-in-law told us about the event, I thought, "hmm, I wonder what or where we were that we missed attending the event last year." The Zvončac film festival will run from August 27 thru September 10. The volunteers organized games and activities for the kids beginning at 6pm then at 8pm a movie followed.We only made it to the movie but we are hoping next weekend we can go earlier for the games.

(image via google)

We saw,Arthur and the revenge of Maltazard. I wasn't sure how Beli would react to the idea of being outdoors and watching a movie but she seemed interested. At times she will cuddle with hubby and I, or she would look up at the sky and point to the stars and start counting, "jedan, dva, tri." There where moments that she would sit up and pay attention to the movie and ask, "que es Mami?" as she pointed to the characters on the screen. I wasn't sure what to say about Arthur other than, "he is a small boy who likes animals." The movie was in Croatian and I was able to pick up a few words but hubby had to translate most of the movie for me. Next Friday they will be showing, The Great Buck Howard and the following Friday, the Astro boy. Have you seen any of these movies?

For more info on the Zvončac film festival you can click here. And if you should decide to go don't forget your blankets and snacks. See you there!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A shoebox and play-doh

Do you like the art I drew inside the box? It's my best work ever. Maybe?

I'm surprised that she can spend hours entertained by such a simple concept as play-doh.. She asked me to create cats, dogs, and elephants. I'm pretty good with cats, which consist of two small round balls and triangles for the ears on the cat, for the dog the ears are smaller round circles, but the elephant I have no idea. I passed that task to hubby.

My childhood version of play-doh was mud and water. From what I recall as a kid it was just as fun. But the advantage of having the play-doh versus mud is that cleaning up is much easier!

I was trying to make handprints but Beli only wanted prints of her feet.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Beautiful views of Split, Croatia

In case you are wondering if that's the actual name of the city, it is and go ahead you can make the jokes. I was surprised with the name as well when I first met my hubby and he said, "yes I'm from Split, pronounced like a banana split!" I giggled as suddenly I had a craving for ice cream. Even though I have lived here for over a year, everyday I'm discovering new panoramic views of the city.
This hotel is owned by the mayor of the city, and it has been under construction for years. Politics and lack of money are to blame for the slow process.
My friends from Italy, South Africa and France. I do wonder what's on their mind.

Usually this street is busy with cars and we have to be careful and get out of the way, the drivers are insanely fast!
It was a warm morning and this cute dog was getting a bath under one of many water faucets found all over the city.

What do you enjoy the most about the city you live in? For me, it's the serenity found driving along the coast, the views are spectacular. Although I have to be brave about the windy roads. You don't want to know what happened when we traveled from Italy a few years ago. Ok, I will tell you. I was behind the driver's seat and hubby was driving and his Dad was in the front and his Mom in the back next to me. I began to feel nauseous and had to ask hubby to pull over. You know what happened next right? Then we drove to Opatija, beautiful town along the north coast of Croatia, where we stopped at a pharmacy. I explained to the pharmacist I needed tablets for motion sickness or nausea. Hubby said, "they don't have any." I replied, "I really need dramamine tablets" and the lady behind the counter said with her Croatian accent, "oh you need dramamine, of course we have it!" I guess it was my fault because I assumed the name would be different in Croatian. Lesson of the story, I always carry dramamine in my purse.

Update: (Thank you for your kind comments and prayers for Beli's great-grandfather. He remains hospitalized, still in critical condition.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The day when I get old

My Mother recently told me about a poem she read while visiting her sister in Texas. She said "I only remember a few lines," and I replied, "don't worry Mami I will find it for you." And I did. It really is a beautiful poem. It's in Spanish so I hope the meaning is not lost in my translation. It's a poem about a father expressing his thoughts on aging.

The day when I get old and I'm not the same;
be patient and understand me,
when I spill food on my shirt
and forget how to tie my shoes,
please be patient.
Remember the times I spent teaching you
to do the same things.
If when you converse with me,
I repeat the same words
and you know how I'll finish the sentence
do not interrupt me but listen to me.
When you were little
so you could fall asleep I had to
tell you the same story many times
until you closed your little eyes.
When you are visiting me and I have an accident in my pants please do not be ashamed
but understand that I can no longer control my physiological needs.
Think how many times as a child I helped
you and patiently waited by your side
until you finished what you were doing.
Do not blame me because I will not
wash up when I feel a cold and cough.
Remember the times when you were a child and I ran after you and made
hundreds of excuses to make your bath fun.
When you see me useless
and ignorant with new technologies and gadgets
I beg you to give me all the time
necessary so I won't get hurt with your sarcastic laugh.
Remember that I taught you how to eat, dress yourself and
face the adversities of life which
you do so well and it was due to my efforts and
perseverance. When we are having a conversation and I seem to forget
what we are talking about, please be patient and give me time maybe it wasn't as important
as having your company. And when I don't want to eat, don't force me, I know how much I can eat,
remember I have lost my teeth and my sense of taste.
When my legs are weak and tired give me your warm hand for support
just like I did when you where learning to walk.
Finally, when one day you hear me say I give up and no longer wish to follow the path of life
give me encouragement to go ahead , that with your love and understanding
I will go out persevering. And please don't be mad at me.
One day you will understand this has nothing
to do with you and how much I love you.
Try to understand that I'm not longer living, rather surviving ,waiting quietly for the
inevitable arrival of my sad end.
Don't be sad or angry nor feel helpless to see me like this.
Give me your heart and love just like you did when you
where born. I ask that you accompany me to finish my race,
give me your love and patience.
I will show my gratitude with smiles.
Your old man

Este pensamiento expresa los sentimientos que un padre tiene respecto a su vejez.

Querido Hijo(a):
El día en que este viejo y ya no sea el mismo ten paciencia y compréndeme, cuando derrame comida sobre mi camisa y olvide como atarme mis zapatos, tenme paciencia, recuerda las horas que pase enseñándote hacer las mismas cosas. Si cuando conversas conmigo y repito las mismas palabras y sabes de sobra como terminan, no me interrumpas y escúchame. Cuando eras pequeño, para que te durmieras tuve que contarte miles de veces el mismo cuento hasta que cerraras los ojitos.Cuando estamos reunidos y haga mis necesidades, no te avergüences y comprende que no tengo la culpa de ello pues ya no puedo controlarlas, piensa cuantas veces cuando niño te ayude y estuve paciente a tu lado esperando a que te terminaras lo que estabas haciendo.
No me reproches el que no quiera bañarme, no me regañes por ello, recuerda los momentos en que te perseguí y los mil pretextos que te inventaba para hacer mas agradable tu baño.Cuando me veas inútil e ignorante frente todas las cosas tecnológicas que ya no podré entenderte, suplico que me des todo el tiempo que sea necesario, para no lastimarme con tu sonrisa burlona. Acuérdate que fui yo quien te enseñó tantas cosas comer, vestirte, y como enfrentarte a la vida tan bien como lo haces, todo ello es producto de mi esfuerzo y perseverancia.Cuando un momento mientras conversamos me llegue a olvidar de lo que estamos hablando dame todo el tiempo que sea necesario hasta que me recuerde y si no puedo hacerlo no te impacientes tal vez no era tan importante lo que quería es estar contigo en ese momento.
Si alguna vez ya no quiero comer no me insistas se cuanto puedo y cuando no debo también compréndeme que con el tiempo ya no tengo dientes para morder ni gusto para sentir.Cuando mis piernas fallen por estar cansadas para andar dame tu mano tierna para apoyarme como lo hice o cuando comenzaste a caminar con tus débiles piernitas.Por último, cuando algún día oigas decir que ya no quiero vivir y solo deseo morir, no te enfades. Algún día entenderás que esto no tiene nada que ver con tu cariño o cuanto te ame. Trata de comprender que ya no vivo, sobrevivo y eso ya no es vivir.Siempre quise lo mejor para ti y he preparado los caminos que haz debido recorrer. Piensa entonces que con ese paso me adelantaré.Estaré construyendo para ti , otra ruta en otro tiempo, pero siempre contigo no te sientas triste, enojándote o impotente por verme así.
Dame tu corazón, compréndeme y apoyame como cuando empezaste a vivir. De la misma manera como yo te he apoyado en tu sendero, te ruego me acompañes al terminar el mío. Dame amor, paciencia y te devolveré gratitud y sonrisas con el inmenso amor que te tengo.
Tu Viejo

Beli's great-grandfather is in the hospital and reading this poem touches my heart because as much as we want to see him return home with us we also don't want him to suffer. (He underwent a five hour surgery on Friday and remains in critical condition.)

What thoughts do you have on the day you get old?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A bike and portraits

Saturday I was surprised by hubby and his family to have lunch at this lovely restaurant. Thanks again for your sweet comments and birthday wishes! I'm very blessed to have such kind friends.

From the moment you step inside you are transported to a small place in history. This konoba or family restaurant has been around since 1799. The walls are decorated with portraits of local celebrities, including artists, and politicians. After we ordered our lunch the owner stopped by to ask if everything was to our satisfaction. Now I call that, customer service. If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend it. It's only minutes from Bacvice beach.

Historically konobas were simple cool rooms were wine, olive oil, cured meats
and fish were stored and where food was often prepared which is why they usually had fire places and dining tables. Commercial konobas (or ostarijas) are family owned and offer simple, high quality food made from fresh local ingredients using old recipes and most often focus on sea food and local house wines and spirits. It was around 1pm when we arrived and about half an hour later this place was busy with locals and tourists. (I could see maps and books about Croatia on their tables)You guessed it, that's Beli and hubby peeking through the window. I just love the old typewriter on the wall. They even have an outdoor seating area.

It was a very special day indeed! After lunch we drove to the Makarska Riviera (about 40 minutes from Split) where we stopped in the small coastal town, Baška Voda for coffee and while we waited to meet some friends I noticed a paragliding ad across the street, and you know what happened next right?
We asked for the prices and it was only 100 kunas/person (about 18-19 dollars). This was not planned but that's what made it fun and a memorable day indeed. Have you ever tried paragliding?skydiving?diving? Do share.
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