Saturday, August 10, 2013

Running of the Bulls and Tapas

Yum
Imagine this...you are standing on a beautiful, cobblestoned street in the middle of Spain, more specifically, Pamplona, Spain.  The beautiful architecture, the sounds of church bells ringing and delectable smells of breads baking in brick ovens has all of your senses just mesmerized.  A totally idyllic experience!  Suddenly, you hear the pounding of hooves and they aren't from a horse drawn carriage.  These hooves are coming from a 1800 lb muscled animal!  You can even see the steam coming from the animals' flaring nostrils as they round a corner and come closer into view.  It is the annual Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain.  Ok, if you can see steam from a bull's nostrils, you are too close.  You better run!



Believe it or not.  The "Running of the Bulls" is coming to America!  The first run is in Virginia and then will continue throughout the United States.  It is even coming to Chicago in 2014.  Not that I am signing up, but may be interested in watching?  Some may see this as barbaric and even senseless, although bulls are no longer being killed in the bull fighting arena.  Others are total adventure seekers and love the adrenaline pump they receive after being chased by a large beast.  I am not one of those people!  I prefer getting my adrenaline rush from a movie while I am sitting in the safety of my own home.



Remember Ferdinand the Bull, a children's book by Munro Leaf ? Ferdinand is a sweet bull who would much rather sit and smell flowers rather than fight.  Thankfully, that doesn't happen anymore but it did get me thinking...thinking about Spain, Ferdinand and the bull run made my mind wander to the tastes of Spain.  Somehow my topics always end up back at food?  Spain+food=tapas.  How's that for a math equation? 

I love having tapas!  Lots of sampling, small food portions and great conversations over the whole process of serving up tapas.  I have lots of favorites, but here is a really good one.



We have a great tapas restaurant close by and this is always the first thing we order.  Queso de Cabra is goat cheese baked in tomato sauce.  It is typically served with toasty slices of a baguette and is absolutely delicious.  The toasty bread is just perfect for scooping and the cheese just melts in your mouth.  I finally found the recipe through Whole Foods.  It is very simple, but looks impressive!

Slice up a baguette, mix up some olive oil and garlic, spread the garlic mixture on the bread.
Toast in a 350 degree oven.
Then, place 8 oz. of goat cheese in a shallow baking dish, spoon 1 1/2 cups of marinara sauce around the cheese, but don't cover the cheese.  Bake until tomato sauce is hot, about 20 minutes or so.
You are good to go!  Of course, a glass of Sangria would be the perfect addition!

Get ready!  A running of the bulls may be coming to a city near you!  If that isn't your thing, how about practicing your math skills:  Spain+food=tapas. 

Take time to celebrate the little things that make life sweet...

Stop, smell the flowers like Ferdinand the Bull and share some tapas.

Until next time,

Christine