Thursday, November 27, 2014

A little thanks, and a little dirty rice

A very happy Thanksgiving to you! This year, I have so very much to be thankful for, even through the hiccups and stressful situations, I know that the good Lord above never gives us more than we can handle. 

So today, I'm going to share my Dirty Rice A.K.A. Rice Dressin' recipe with you! Maybe you'd like to add a little Cajun side to your next holiday meal!

Dirty Rice

1 pound ground beef
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 each red & green pepper, chopped
2 tsp beef bouillon granules
1/2 tsp each salt, seasoned salt, & ground black pepper
2 cups water
1 cup uncooked white rice.

Heat large skillet over medium heat and stir in the onion, ground beef, red & green peppers, beef bouillon and seasonings. Cook and stir until the beef is browned and no pink remains. Drain and discard any extra grease. Stir in rice and water, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to med-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 20-25 minutes. 

Or, if you have a rice cooker, cook the ground beef mixture, and then stir into the cooked rice. 

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving! 

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Day 17 & 18, Two Free Days in Barcelona

Continuing our Europe Trip from 2013, 
Check out the previous adventures below: 

And, if you want to learn how I did all of this only using ONE pack here... 

This is what Expat Explore had to say, "

Day 17: Visit Barcelona

Today is all yours to do with as you please! Barcelona offers a diversity of options in how to build your day into a lasting memory. The best views of the city can be had from Park Guell, and you can take in the panoramic splendor and skyline of
Barcelona. The park itself offers a very interesting design which is a product of Anton Gaudi’s challenging architectural visualisations. Barcelona is home to many of Gaudi’s building designs and you could spend the whole day, simply locating each one and recognising the signature design features. One of his most famous works, is that of the unfinished Sagrada Familia - an interpretation of a gothic cathedral which is unlike any building you will have ever seen. You can't miss it from Park Guell, or most other vantage points in the city. Harbour tours, La Ramblas, the ‘Old Town’, museums, art galleries and some of Europe’s best shopping - there is much to do in this incredible city. If you wish to participate in our optional excursion, we can organise tickets for you to see a traditional Flamenco show! The dance of passion is performed with style, flair and energy, and is a real experience not to be missed If you prefer to stick to more modern forms of dance, each night the city fills with tourists and locals, who are in search of music and sangrias!
Breakfast. Overnight accommodation.

Day 18: A free day in Barcelona.

Hola! You have another free day in the Spanish city of Barcelona! Today you can make this your own, by continuing to explore the historical and cultural centres, indulge in some high end shopping and retail therapy, and much more. Football fans can
 use the extra day to visit Barcelona FC’s stadium - Camp Nou (there may even be a game on whilst you are here), Why not take advantage of the beaches and hit the shores! Ocean tours depart from the harbour and take you for a cruise up the coast to give you a unique perspective of the city. Barcelona is full of things to do, so there is no excuse not to get out and make the most of things. Fiesta, not siesta!
Breakfast. Overnight accommodation."
So, if you read the last post, we arrived in Barcelona sort of later in the day (I think), and went to the Ibis hotel here, and unpacked, washed up, and went next door for an included dinner of paella. This was the first time Chris and I had tried it, and it was delicious! I've attempted to make this dish, but it won't compare to that dinner in Spain.

The next two days were both free days, and honestly, both a blur. I do know that the next morning, we did a bus ride tour around Barcelona, with our tour guide pointing out things to do, and see. He also said to watch your valuables closely down Las Ramblas.  It was also nice that there was a mall right next door, so if we didn't want to venture out too far for food after a long day about, then we could go next door. We also found a chocolate museum, and I was all for it!

Day 18, the Mr. and I plus our best Australian tour mate went out into the city to see all of the buildings, especially the Gaudi buildings, enjoy our photos!

Yes, it's all made of chocolate!

I hope you've enjoyed Barcelona with us! Stay tuned for Day 19 when we leave Barcelona for Avignon!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

European Tour, Day 16, Arles to Barcelona

Continuing our Europe Trip from 2013, 
Check out the previous adventures below: 

And, if you want to learn how I did all of this only using ONE pack here... 

Today, we wake up and leave the French Riviera. Sad day, because this was really the first time we had a beautiful spot, nice weather, and some relax time off! Normal free breakfast was provided, and we board the bus heading to Barcelona! Here is what Expat Explore had to say:
"Day 16: Visit Arles and Barcelona
Time to brush up on your Spanish greetings - you will need them this afternoon! As you depart Nice and get back on the road headed for Barcelona, you will make a stop in the UNESCO Heritage Site of Arles, famous for its historical buildings and links to such artists as Van Gough (many of his paintings were inspired by this city). Don’t forget to check out the colourful houses and Roman Amphitheatre on this comfort stop. Barcelona is nearing, and you should be getting excited about exploring this cosmopolitan Spanish metropolis. Once you arrive, Expat Explore will acquaint you with its vibrant energy with a city coach tour, so you can decide where to start first on your free days. Keep your eyes open for the famous Sagrada Familia cathedral, and any of Gaudi’s spectacular examples of eclectic architecture. Then there is the lively La Ramblas - a pedestrian walk way down the middle of the city which is full of market stalls, cafes, restaurants, street entertainers and just brimming with life. The city comes alive at night, so after dinner, head back into the heart of the action for some music and atmosphere."

This wasn't a terrible bus ride, distance wise. The stop over in Arles was a bit too long since most of the city was closed due to an annual outdoor market they had. We did walk around, taking in the sites, and eventually a little cafe opened up with us where we had hot chocolate to warm up. I didn't take many photos of this stop over, as we just kinda sauntered through the city. 

After the stop over, we headed into Barcelona where our awesome tour guide briefed us on what we would be doing, a little history on Barcelona, as well as sharing some of the best sangria I've ever had! More on Barcelona tomorrow! 

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