Spa weekend in Seville and two restaurant reviews

I haven´t been doing much wandering lately since I got pregnant and having Chloe but finally about a month ago now, we managed to escape for a short weekend break at a spa in Seville, taking Chloe with us of course. We met up with my parents in Seville and they also stayed at the spa, Andalusi Park, with us to help look after Chloe while we enjoyed the spa. We also gave them a night and a spa circuit as a favour for them looking after Chloe. The Andalusi Park is a lovely hotel, very clean and modern, with spacious rooms and we were really lucky and had the biggest balcony to sit out on and enjoy!Breakfast was included and comprised of a buffet which you could help yourself to as little or as much as you wanted. The spa, although fairly small was very relaxing and just what I needed after all those sleepless nights after Chloe came along. I´ve never been to a spa before but thoroughly enjoyed it, from the sauna-style room, to the water jets, jacuzzi and massage. My fav part was the jacuzzi and massage and my least favourite was the hot shower followed by a swinging bucket which when you pull the cord, drenches you in freezing cold water. Now why would anyone willingly tip freezing cold water over their heads? I would definitely reccomend this hotel & spa with it only being a hop,skip and a jump away from Seville city centre (about 10mins drive and there is also a shuttle service from the hotel) and it is also a reasonable price, around 65 euros per night with breakfast included.

The first night we arrived, we decided to eat locally at a restaurant within a short walk of the hotel. We ended up at a lovely restaurant, La Alacena (Cabo de Gata, Benacazón), which was decorated really nicely for Christmas.It was quite spacious so there was enough room for Chloe´s buggy. For starters we ordered some seafood bits & pieces (I can´t remember what exactly as I didn´t eat any of it seeing as I don´t like seafood very much) and some ham croquettes, which were very tasty. My mum and I ordered the "presa iberíca",a pork cut from the shoulder blade as far as I can gather with apples and a toffee sauce, which was absolutely delicious. The pork was lovely and tender and the sauce not too sweet or heavy.

My husband had fish and my stepdad had lamb chops. We were all too stuffed to order any dessert. I´m not sure what the bill was but dishes cost between 15-25 euros. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.

We spent a lovely day in Seville seeing the sights. I don´t know who enjoyed it more, us or Chloe...she loved taking in all the new sights and sounds and hardly slept a wink all day.That evening we decided to go back into Seville and try a Japanese restaurant.I haven´t eaten in many true Japanese restaurants and they don´t really grab my attention much as I don´t like fish or seafood much so sushi is definitely a no-no! It took us awhile to find it but with the help of the SatNav we finally arrived at Sakura (Avda.San Francisco Javier 19). It is a fairly small restaurant with modern decor and Japanese touches such as prints and pictures. I had a meat & vegetable dumpling to start with, which was tasty although I don´t know where the vegetable was as it tasted a bit sausagey! I then had rice and if I remember rightly duck teriyaki. Everything was delicious but the portions were fairly small and it probably cost the same as the previous night but for a lot less food. The food was very nice and I´d reccomend this restaurant if you want something a bit different but for me the portions were a little on the small side. Unfortunately, I didn´t get any photos of the food as I didn´t have my camera with me!


Food Bloggers Unplugged

I was very excited the other day when I found out that Anne of Anne´s Kitchen had tagged me for Food Bloggers Unplugged- I´ve never been tagged before!!! It is an event created by Susan from on a A Little Bit of Heaven on a Plate in order to get to know other food bloggers. The aim is to answer 10 questions about yourself and than tag 5 other bloggers to participate if they want to.

So here goes:
What, or who, inspired you to write a blog?
I started reading blogs such as Anne´s Kitchen and Gourmet Traveller, which I really admired and as I had time on my hands at that moment in time and I was getting more and more into cooking and baking, thought it would be a good idea to start my own blog as a way of pushing myself and honing my skills to become a better cook!

Who is your foodie inspiration?
My wonderful Gran as she was an excellent cook and made the most delicious cakes-she was always baking and cooking and I used to help her with the easy stuff and then licked the bowl clean!! So she was the one who probably sparked my interest in baking and cooking more! Her homemade apricot jam was to die for too!!

Your greasiest, batter-splattered food/drink book is?

Oh, a difficult one as I´m always flicking through all my cookbooks but it definitely has to be a toss-up between Delia Smith´s Complete Cookery Course and Better Homes & Gardens Cook Book, which I bought the first time I stayed in the USA, as all the recipes from it are yummy and usually turn out really well!

Tell us about the best thing you have ever eaten in another country, where was it, what was it?

Another difficult one!! It´s really hard to narrow it down and remember!! I´m going to cheat and say a couple of things as I find it impossible to narrow it down to just one! Roast duck a l´orange in a Portuguese restaurant or roast suckling pig in Spain (particularly good in Segovia!), Eggs Benedict in the buffet breakfast in Niagra Falls (see Discovering Niagra post) and sweet things either the blueberry hotcake at Pamela´s Diner in the Strip District in Pittsburgh or cherry pie in the USA.

Another food bloggers table you´d like to eat at is?

I love Asian food so I´d probably pick something from either Gourmet Traveller´s or Sunflower´s Food Galore table but there are plenty of things I´d love to try on all the blogs I read, visit or follow!!

What is the one kitchen gadget you would ask Santa for this year (money no object of course)?

Probably a Kitchen Aid mixer for all my baked goods!!

Who taught you how to cook?

Apart from helping my Gran and Mum when I was little, I mainly taught myself how to cook using recipe books and I also did a GCSE in Food Technology, which also helped!!

I´m coming to you for dinner what´s your signature dish?

My signature dessert is definitely cherry cheesecake, not sure what my main course signature dish is! Maybe my Don Quijote burgers but since I´ve only made them for me and my OH not sure what everyone else thinks about them!

What is your guilty food pleasure?

I have a really sweet tooth so anything like chocolate etc. I absolutely love marzipan-in fact I used to prefer the icing and marzipan to the fruit cake-still do actually!!

Reveal something about yourself that others would be surprised to learn?

Don´t know! I don´t like coffee, beer or wine! Or maybe that I have lived in the UK, Germany, Spain and the USA!

Anyway,here´s the five I´ve tagged to join in although it´s not compulsory:

Gill at Gillthepainter

Extra Relish

Debs at thespanishwok

The Rambling Chef

and last but not least: Mamacook


Cheesy Mushroom Slice & weaning differences

I have noticed that there are a few differences in weaning in Spain and the UK. While Baby Led Weaning seems all the rage in the UK, I´m not so sure it´s very popular in Spain. I was given a rough guide from the doctor about weaning, however on this guide it says not to introduce veg till 6 1/2 months whereas in the UK, it is reccommended to start with veg before fruit, due to fruit being naturally sweeter and therefore babies liking it more.Chloe turned 6 months recently and we went along to the doctor´s for her injections and 6 mnth check-up. The nurse was asking what we had given her and when I mentioned that I´d already given her veg such as carrot & sweet potato, one of the nurses asked me why I didn´t give her something more normal! I immediately got annoyed and replied that it was normal to give sweet potato to babies in my country, which it is. In fact, many of the baby food jars have sweet potato & carrot combos! One of the nurses then replied but you´re not in your country, you´re here! I was fuming! Ok, I know the doctor´s have their reasons but if there aren´t any problems for babies in the UK, why would there be any problem for Spanish babies?Especially as I have read that sweet potato doesn´t cause much allergy! I just want her to have a healthy, varied diet so that she doesn´t grow up fussy, like me!!

Anyway, rant over! I made this dish at least a month ago but haven´t got round to blogging it! I´m getting quite a backlog of things I want to blog but haven´t had time to yet! This is another vegetarian recipe from my school days when we did a project about vegetarianism in Home Economics and is one of my favs!

Ingredients (for 2 people)

25g butter or margarine

3 spring onions, sliced

1/2 green pepper, chopped

1/2 red pepper, chopped

167g mushrooms, sliced

3-6 slices of bread

62g Cheddar cheese

3 eggs

1/2 pint milk

1/2 tsp mustard (I used Dijon but you can use English or whichever mustard you like)

1/2 tsp Worcester sauce


1. Fry chopped vegetables in butter or margarine till tender.

2. Cut crusts off bread and cut into rectangles. Place a layer in a greased casserole dish:

3.Spoon fried vegetables on top of bread:

4. Top with another layer of remaining bread.

5. Grate the cheese and sprinkle on top:

6.Whisk eggs, milk, mustard and Worcester sauce together and pour over the bread and mushroom mixture.

7. Bake in a preheated oven for 40 -60 mins at 180ºC or till cheese has melted and the top is a nice golden colour:
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