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A Week in Mallorca

21 Aug

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Following a whirlwind two months in New York City, I headed to the Spanish island of Mallorca for a week-long family getaway. We stayed in Deía, a quaint village located about 30 minutes from the capital of Palma. After being immersed in the constant hubbub of Manhattan, it felt surreal to stroll through quiet cobblestone streets, breathing in the crisp mountain air and admiring beautiful details we so often overlook during our daily lives. I had nothing on my agenda other than hiking, swimming, and reading the chapter books I had neglected all summer.

Despite its small size, Mallorca is a pretty miraculous place from an agricultural perspective. The island produces almost all of its food stuffs locally, fruits and vegetables flourishing in the mild Mediterranean climate. While farm-to-table eating has recently become popular in the United States, it is not a trend in Mallorca, but a way of life. Every day, I drank pulpy orange juice from nearby groves, enjoyed freshly-caught fish dressed with lemon juice and Mallorcan olive oil, and snacked on succulent figs and roasted Marcona almonds picked from trees on our hotel’s property. Not only was the vacation incredibly relaxing, but I left the island inspired by its elegantly simple cuisine. The olive oil, sea salt, and orange marmalade I brought home are all I need to create delicious meals centered around summer’s bountiful produce. I hope you all enjoy a few snapshots from my trip!

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Freshly squeezed orange juice and zingy orange marmalade.

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We hiked three hours from Deía to the nearby town of Sóller.

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Beach at the Port of Sóller.

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Missing Majorca: Orange Marmalade and Chocolate Crumble Muffins

30 Aug

Oh, sweet summer, where did you go? I long for the lazy afternoons lounging by the pool, soaking in the golden sun rays, the mornings when I would wake up with no plans- those days are gone now as the school year has officially begun. Say goodbye to popsicles and impromptu weeknight barbecues and hello to piles of homework, furious studying, and curfews. One of the most memorable weeks of my vacation was spent on the beautiful Spanish island of Majorca, where my family and I hiked miles to secluded island coves, ate simple meals of fresh seafood, and disovered a quaint citrus stand selling marmalade of oranges plucked from the nearby groves.


We happened upon this stand while strolling through the tiny, mountain village of Deía and knew that we had to purchase a jar to take home with us as a souvenir. I certainly wasn’t going to miss out on the opportunity to capture this fun foodie moment. In classic blogger fashion, I whipped out my Canon and began snapping away photos.

I first sampled the marmalade with a dab of butter spread on a crusty French baguette. The citrusy flavor was so pronounced and vibrant, unlike the overly-sweet jarred stuff we’re used to in The States. I immediately began dreaming up ways to incorporate the marmalade into a baked good and after much deliberation, I ended up with these awesome Orange Marmalade and Chocolate Crumble Muffins. 

The orange flavor really shines in this recipe without being overbearing, contrasting well with the slightly bitter dark chocolate chunks. The interior of the muffin is tender and subtly moist and crowned with a generous crumble topping. Since marmalade is the key ingredient in this recipe, make sure you invest in a quality brand- maybe from your local farmers’ market.


Recipe barely adapted from The Pioneer Woman 

Ingredients 
For the muffin batter:
4 cups all-purpose flour 
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tblsp baking powder 
1/2 cup cold butter  
1 3/4 cups orange marmalade 
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
2 eggs, beaten 
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks

For the crumble topping:
3/4 cup granulated sugar 
1 tsp cinnamon 
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tblsp, plus 1 tsp melted butter 
1/4 tsp salt 

Makes around 24 muffins.

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Sift together the flour, sugar, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Use a pastry cutter or fork to incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients. Mix the marmalade, orange juice, beaten eggs, and vanilla extract in a small bowl and add the mixture to the dry ingredients.   Gently mix all the ingredients together, using fewer than 10 large strokes with a wooden spoon. Do not overmix; the batter should be just barely combined. Before the last few stirs, fold in the chocolate chunks. In a small bowl, mix all the topping ingredients together (the mixture should be clumpy).
2. Fill the lined muffin tins almost to the top with batter. Sprinkle one heaping teaspoon of topping over each muffin. 
3. Bake the muffins for 20-22 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and allow them to cool on a wire rack. 

Abra la Boca: A Visit to Barcelona’s Boqueria Market

25 Jul
 The past 10 days in Barcelona have been incredibly memorable. This beachside city hosts numerous outstanding restaurants, quaint boutiques, and distinctive architecture. On Saturday, my family and I visited the famed Boqueria Market.
Located on the bustling street of La Rambla, the Boqueria remains Barcelona’s largest, most eclectic marketplace. Street-goers hustle in and out of the vast warehouse, seeking only the freshest ingredients from the Boqueria’s various stalls.
I wandered aimlessly through the aisles, marveling at the building’s sheer vastness and its seemingly endless supply of products.

For breakfast, I dined at the Boqueria’s acclaimed Pinotxo Bar. Foodies from around the world flock to this hole-in-the-wall joint, enjoying simple Spanish cuisine of high-quality ingredients. I indulged in one of the bar’s signature treats: the xiuxo (pronounced chucho). The pastry’s flaky, sugar-crusted exterior and its light, custardy interior provide the ideal flavor balance.

In many ways, the Boqueria reflects Barcelona as a whole. With its contagious energy and creative distinctiveness, the widespread marketplace represents the cultural and artistic diversity that defines this vibrant city.

La Pequeña Isla de Mallorca

16 Jul
Earlier this week, my family and I arrived on the beautiful Spanish island of Mallorca. I peered out the car window as we drove through the cascading mountains, staring wide-eyed at chalky Mediterranean villas, rustic vineyards and the rippling, crystal-blue ocean.
With its thousand-year-old olive trees and ripened fruit orchards, Mallorca contains endless natural beauty.

After a relaxing few days on this quiet island, I am ready to absorb the bustling city of Barcelona. ¡Hasta luego!