October 2014 ~ The Blonde B

18 October 2014

Oven Baked Chicken Enchiladas

Have you ever had instant foodspiration from walking in to a shop?

That's exactly what happened to me the other day.

I was minding my own business in town when a bunch of flower pots decided to trip me up right in front of an independent greengrocers. Bloody flowers, I mumbled. I was about to walk buy but the colourful fruit and veg from within were calling my name "Chaaarlotte... Oh Chaaarlotte", not in a creepy Halloween-ie way though.

So I stepped in and was like a kid in a candy store.

"Over here, over here!" the vibrant peppers were calling. "Wanna check out our layers?" said the onion. Then the avocado in his deep Mexican accent sauntered over and said "Chica, I know what-chu wanna do. Take me home and lets have a Mexican fiesta!"

A Mexican fiesta indeed, I thought. A spicy, cheesy, Mexican and delicious one!

3 October 2014

Cloudy Casares

On one of my last few days in Spain I decided to go on an adventure.

We jumped in the car and drove and drove and drove with no fixed destination or route. 

The uncertainty was all part of the fun. 

We drove along the coastal road towards Estepona, taking whichever road took our fancy, high up in to the mountains...

...until we reached Casares. 

We're not in Marbella anymore...

Casares is a little pueblo with cliff-hugging buildings looking over the entire coast, Africa and Gibraltar.

Too bad the weather was so poor.

It was a few degrees colder up here in the mountains, the wind was harsh and cold and we were blinded by a sea of low clouds.

We were in summer dresses. Trying to prolong the Summer as much as we possibly could.

Did I mention it was windy?

Mamma B and I had more than a couple of Marylin Monroe moments in our long floaty skirts.

I was mesmerised by the stunningly green trees that grew here. They looked almost fake, as if a painter had freshly created the green branches with a few swoops of his paintbrush this very morning. 

When our skin was positively covered in goose pimples and the cold breeze got to much we took shelter at a Venta to warm ourselves aaand eat. 
Venta Maricruz was a huuge restaurant with stunning views over the mountains. We were also about the only people in there eating.

A sweet little old man who could hardly hear served us our drinks and a sweet little lady, who must have been his wife, cooked us some grub. 
We shared a Sopa de Picadillo, a mixed salad, croquetas and solomillo de lomo (pork) between us.
And home-made Natillas de Oreo for dessert. Yum!

The place was rustic, old and typically Spanish. 

It's so easy to get caught up in the life on the Costa del Sol. It's face-paced, glamourous, expensive and so full of tourists that you forget what real Spain is like: slow, rustic, empty and full of traditions, like the ferias!
Over dinner my parents retold stories of when they first met and did exactly this. Jump in a car and drive into the country-side with no idea of where they would end up, only stopping when their tummies started grumbling or Mum needed a wee. 

Sounds like a pretty perfect day to me. 

That evening we went for dinner at El Olivo in La Cala. 

I can't say the photos were in tip top condition, because they weren't... But here are the ones that survived. 

We were too busy eating/chatting/drinking to take exquisite photos of the food. 

Oh well. I will just have to come back to El Olivo again for a truly scrumptious dinner. What a tire! It might not be for some time though, as I have moved to England now. 

I also had another milestones this week:

On the 29th September, I had my final presentation for my masters' dissertation, which I was super nervous about, but don't you always find that things are never as bad as you think they are going to be? I ended up with a 95% score (out of 100%) on my diss which I am very proud of!

Then on the 30th September, I moved back to England. On this very day 5 years ago I was starting my chapter at Durham. Flash-forward 5 years and I'm a postgraduate with a masters about to start my career in Marketing back in the UK. 

I'm very excited for what's to come!

Anything new or exciting to look forward to in your life?