Art in Madrid
Madrid is an exciting city which could leave one's mind exhausted if trying to see too much. I am literally bowled over by the fact that I can be standing in front of Picasso's Guernica or a Dennis Hopper within a short train ride on the Renfe. So as not to feel overwhelmed by the vast availability of art and design alongside keeping the children settled and happy I distilled down where and on what delights I would direct my free-time. To think that I could cover everything would put me into a spin! The big and small art galleries make up most of my list. I'm also tasting typical spanish dishes and trying new spanish recipes, after all there are many mouths to feed in this house. Cooking is something that we can all do together; the children find it relaxing and are learning new vocabulary by following spanish recipes. Another good way to learn the language is by watching the spanish cookery shows - I'm secretly addicted!!
After school at around 5pm the spanish children have what's know as a 'merienda' snack. It's the equivalent of our tea-time - a simple light meal that often consists of a piece of fruit, biscuits, cake, yogurt, and other snacks paired with juice, tea, coffee or hot chocolate. Our kids come home ravenous - the kitchen is chaos around 5pm with 5 hungry mouths to feed.
|Tarta de Santiago (with a hint of Irish)|
After spending a lovely 2 days with friends in the northern city of Burgos (a half way point on the Camino de Santiago), I was inspired to bake a Tarta de Santiago which is a typical Galician cake from that region. Gluten free recipes pique my attention as I'm of the opinion that too much of today's bleached flour puts a lot of pressure on our digestive system. We added a touch of the Irish to our cake with our shamrock stencil! Typically a Tarta de Santiago would have the stencil of the Santiago cross on it - you could add your own choice of stencil by simply cutting out a paper or card design.
Preparation is quite simple and including time in the oven I would allow 1hr.
|Ground almonds, lemon zest and cinnamon.|
- 6 eggs (separated)
- 250 gr of unrefined golden caster sugar
- 250 gr of ground almonds (preferably freshly ground from whole blanched almonds)
- freshly grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- icing sugar to dust
- stencil of your choice
|Separated egg yolks and sugar.|
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (fan 150°C, gas mark 3) and grease an 18cm (7in) springform cake tin.
- Cream the egg yolks and sugar with an electric whisk (or by hand if you're abroad and didn't bring your KitchenAid with you!). Add the ground almonds, lemon zests and cinnamon and mix gently to combine.
|Whisked egg whites and egg yolk mixture.|
- Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Take a large tablespoon of the egg whites and mix into the almond/egg yolk mixture just to loosen as the almond texture is heavy going. Next fold the rest of the egg whites into the almond mixture carefully until combined. Scrape this mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 45 minutes until firm to the touch and pale golden brown - I love simple and easy recipes and don't forget this is gluten free which is a double win.
|Pour mixture into a greased springform tin.|
- Allow to cool on a wire rack. Dust with sifted icing sugar over the stencil of your choice. Enjoyed as a 'merienda' snack and I would recommend a scoop of vanilla ice cream with it!