Finally. Rain. After a busy Halloween weekend filled with friends, family and a baby shower, I’ve spent a rather relaxing week enjoying the wet days. Somehow, when the outside temperature falls below 70, the indoor temperature of the apartment immediately plummets to arctic. Not that it’s too much of a bother. It only gives me license to fire up the oven, make yummy food and watch movies.
Jess and I started the week off right with some fatty gnocchi carbonara. I mean gnocchi and bacon–what else do you need in life? The cream sauce was light, and we paired it all with some white wine.
Next, I busted out the only baked good with which I can consistently guarantee good results: pumpkin muffins. As usual, I studded them with chocolate bits, but the plain ones are nice and light for breakfast. I shared this recipe last year. It does involve roasting a butternut squash yourself, but honestly I think the light flavor, and and even lighter texture is well worth the extra step. They never disappoint- and they’re seasonal!
Now to a special beverage. Jess and I had spied this product in Cost Plus World Market months ago. Chocovine. I think it owes part of its appeal simply to being sold at Cost Plus, a store which can apprehend me for hours on end (except when they decided they weren’t going to carry mint slices anymore….grrrr). When I see a product in Cost Plus, I’ve usually got high expectations.
The other part of the appeal derives from the label promising a beverage with the taste of Dutch chocolate and fine red wine. Then of course an idyllic windmill and tulip Dutch landscape. Sigh. We were all geared up for some chocolate vino, and Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Trepidation crept in when we examined the bottle further, and noticed the existence of artificial flavors and sulfites. Optimistically, we pressed on, and poured out a couple gray-ish looking glasses of the stuff. Oh Dear God. Do Not Buy This Crap. Please. If you imagine that you are drinking some sort of metallic Bailey’s product, maybe you could make it through a glass. Two sips was all we needed.
Then we witnessed something more disturbing. As we held our glasses under the faucet to clean out the horrible stuff, some sort of unnerving chemical reaction occurred. Our glasses were filled with way more foam and bubbles than is normal without a soaping agent.
Luckily, that movie doesn’t disappoint. Can we talk about Javier Bardem in that? My, my. Also, if you aren’t chomping at the bit to go to Spain after viewing, you may want to consult a mental health professional.
Speaking of Spain…
Yesterday I got the chance to see a short documentary about El Clasico and the intense rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Created by students and a professor from CSU Chico, the hour long film was screened at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica. The crowd was an eclectic group of futbol fans, Spanish, American, young and old. The documentary attempted to highlight the larger social, cultural and political issues at stake when Real Madrid and Barcelona face off. Issues of Catalan identity and centralized power, plus the media frenzy, and fan devotion.
While the short film could not delve too deeply into some of these issues, it still offered some interesting facts, and choice footage of Messi. Because the filmmakers on the whole were not soccer fans, they lacked some of the knowledge and insights which might have pleased some of the more knowledgeable members of the audience. While it wasn’t groundbreaking, it was still a nice way to spend an afternoon.