November Happenings

A few weeks ago, a cruising friend shared the inspirational story of Eduardo Garcia, a friend of his ( cruising people tend to easily make friends, and love sharing stories!) Trained as a chef in the USA, Eduardo went to work on big yachts, travelled all over the world, enjoyed the good life…so far, sounds familiar, right? Then, he had a terrible accident on land, which literally changed his life. He did survive, but my words will never be good enough to tell you about his journey back to health. Instead I encourage you to watch this wonderful video, which is a story of fortitude, determination and positivity, all wrapped into one person. It lifts my spirits and gives me goose bumps everytime I watch it!

Eduardo’s belief that “food is a gateway to other cultures”  totally resonates with me and November was a perfect example of mixing in with different cultures: from Mexico’s Day of the Dead, American Thanksgiving and a visit from an Australian friend…there was plenty to celebrate.

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Pink and Stripes

We’ve had requests from our daughter lately to cook “something soft” (the reasons, I can’t describe on this blog, as I am bound to secrecy by said daughter “Privacy please, Mum!”).

So liquid breakfasts are back on the rotation, and yesterday ‘s was this gorgeous looking strawberry smoothie. I can assure you it tasted as nice as it looks, and got the thumbs up from even the pickiest eater!

What’s in it?

A handful of strawberries (or more to taste!)

2 cups of frozen bananas ( very ripe bananas that no one wants to eat, I cut them in round slices and freeze them for smoothie making later!)

1 cup of yoghurt (I prefer plain, there is enough sugar in the bananas, but that’s up to you)

4-5 ice cubes

How?

Blend the lot for 25 seconds and pour in individual glasses. Voila!

We love having guests on VOAHANGY. We are lucky to have friends and family who occasionnally  are prepared to travel all over the world to catch up with us. Of course, basing ourselves in popular destinations like France, USA or Mexico help, making it easy (if not cheap) to visit us.

We recently said goodbye to our latest guest, Elaine, who decided to join us in Puerto Aventuras for a week. Our friendship goes back over 20 years, when we worked together in Sydney as investment accountants (a lifetime ago in my books!) Sharing a mutual love of food and travel, she has followed us over the years in our crazy sailing adventures and holds the distinction of spending time on ALL of our 4 boats in places as varied as Cairns, Sydney, La Rochelle and Noumea. Which means she is particularly appreciative of the various galley designs we’ve been through, as well as the fun and challenges of putting together great meals with whatever is available.
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Oat Granola

Oats are not my favourite food. I associate their mushy texture and card-boardy taste with stodgy dishes like porridge, vegetarian loaves and other recipes adapted for cholesterol-fighting diets. In fact, many years ago I followed Terry on a cholesterol lowering program, which involved cooking dinner every night from the popular (at the time) 8-Week Cholesterol Cure Cookbook by R.E Kowalski. This combined with a massive amount of daily exercise brought significant health benefits, but did nothing to endear me to oatmeal!

I’ve always had a box or two on the boat though, as an inexpensive standby for when we run out of more palatable options for breakfast. Over the years, I found that with the help of a good dose of brown sugar, cream and cinnamon, porridge could indeed be delicious (not sure however Mr Kowalski would approve of all the trimmings). It wasn’t until my first born was diagnosed with food allergies and we decided to steer away from commercial cereals (amongst many other things!) that  oatmeal made it back on the weekly grocery list.

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Generally after a  period of indulgence, follows a craving for something healthy and simple, yet still tasty. Like this week, when I couldn’t handle the thought of any more meat, sugar or heavy sauces. Not so the kids, who I managed to keep happy with some left over beef curry and rice. But for me, vegetables were calling, zucchinis and capsicums (bell peppers) to be exact. Normally I would have either turned them into some ratatouille-like dish or grilled them on the BBQ. But that would have involved too much for a person who felt like soup or steamed vegies. Then I found the perfect compromise with a Tom Colicchio’s recipe for Zucchini with nicoise olives and burrata. Dainty little cubes of zucchini were stewed in just enough water to cover them and a dash of olive oil to bring out their flavour.  I loved that cooking method. I adapted the original recipe to include what I had on hand (red and yellow capsicums, fresh mozzarella, mint) and didn’t worry about the olives and the squash blossom (not a staple in my pantry I’m afraid), cooked some penne for extra sustenance, and voila! The perfect Tuesday night vegetarian dinner, if you ask me.

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