Tag Archives: cooking class

St. Peter’s Cooking Class

On September 3, 2012, the Carnival Breeze was in Civitavecchia, Italy.  Today was Ivan’s birthday.  Lil Dave gave Ivan his birthday gift (which actually wasn’t bananas!) and said happy birthday and he was off to meet the monkey lads.

We had the breakfast buffet on the ship.  The weather looked nice outside.

We took the train in Civitavecchia to Rome.  Unfortunately, Ivan ran to find a seat.. but it was so crowded there was no way we could both move.  I was on a stair for a long time reading my Stephen King book (Thank goodness I didn’t forget my book).  I thought we’d be on the train and I’d be able to work on the blog on my laptop.  It must have been rush hour (with people going to work) plus people from the cruise ships (one had just debarked). 

We got a taxi to Cooking Classes in Rome place… we were running late.  The class had 11 people in it – a mix of Americans, English and Australians. 

Our teacher was an Italian man named Andrea who looked like Roger Federer.  The kitchen was small but somehow we all fit inside.  The menu for today was deep fried pizzas with 3 different ingredients, fettucine boscaiola, chicken cacciatora, roasted tomatoes and traditional tiramisu.

Andrea would show us how to do something (like chop tomatoes) and then ask for a volunteer or two to do it.  I was chopping tomatoes with an American guy. Ivan was peeling a bunch of potatoes with a guy.

It was raining hard outside – I’m glad we were inside.

Later, we got to make pizza dough and knead it. 

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The class also made pasta dough and got to cut it as well.  We’re definitely going to make our own pasta back home. 

I got to fry pizza dough for the fried pizzas.

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The fried pizzas were really tasty with lovely fresh ingredients on top.

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The pasta and chicken cacciatore were tasty.

The tiramisu was decorated with our names.

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How cute!!

During dessert, Ivan really liked his and I said you should eat more since it’s your birthday.  Andrea heard this and came out with birthday tiramisu cakes and we all sang happy birthday to him.

It was a fun class.  I love cooking classes since you get to make new things and then eat it afterwards.  We went with the wine pairing for 20 euros per person.

The food was very tasty.  I definitely recommend this fun cooking class.  If you’re planning on booking it, do it early since this cooking class gets booked up fast.  The cooking class does e-mail you the recipes from the class.

We walked around Rome… a lovely city that we’ve been to a few times, but still haven’t seen all the sights. 

No matter how many times we got to St. Peter’s Basilica.. it’s still beautiful.

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I posted some postcards at the Vatican.  It started showering.

We got the train back to Civitavecchia.  We were back on the cruise ship at 6:30 pm.

It was time for dinner at the Blush Restaurant.  I asked Ken the singing maitr’d to sing a song for Ivan and wish him a happy birthday.  He said he’d sing a song the next day since a lot of people eat dinner in Rome since everybody gets to board the boat late at 8:30 pm.  Ivan was busy talking dinner and I talked to one of the waiters.  I told him it’s Ivan’s birthday and could he get a candle in his dessert.  The waiter said we already know it’s his birthday.  I said How? He said we just know.  I said Oh it must have been Ken.  He said we just know.

Ken announced Happy Birthday to Ivan at table 733. 

A cake came out with a candle on top and we sang Happy Birthday to Ivan and then he blew out the candle. 

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The cake was good that Ivan was given.  We ordered an apple pie which tasted great.

After dinner, we went to the Red Frog Pub with the English couple and the Latin/French couple. 

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It was a fun night of listening to the singing of Timmy Pearce (he sings modern songs with a backing track), drinking and chatting. 

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We got the fish bowl which has lots of alcohol in it.  Ivan did a few magic tricks as well.  Mark (the muscular English guy) was really drunk and kept high-5ing people.  It was really funny.  It made me think of the status update I wrote about Why do you get the incredible urge to wave at people at the port or a passing boat when you’re on a cruise ship?  My friend said it’s like a high-5, you can’t resist it.  The Latin/French couple said good-night.

We went to the Liquid Nightclub with the English couple Mark and Clare.  Nobody was really there though (Ivan thinks it was only entertainment staff there besides us).  Ivan and I said good night and went to bed.

 

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Donkey Class

Ivan, Lil Dave and I had breakfast at 10:20 am on July 26, 2012.  

We came down at 11 am for our cooking class with Anita.  Vegetable soup and stuffed peppers were the two things we’d be making.  I wrote down the recipe, so we could make it at home.  Whether my writings will make it back to Vegas in one piece or without lost, is another story!

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We chopped up lots of vegetables and stuffed peppers with the rice mixture.  Anita is such a friendly person and a good teacher.  I felt comfortable with her like she was my sister or aunt.

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We got to eat the vegetable soup and rice stuffed peppers.  It was so tasty especially the peppers.

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After lunch, we walked down to the lake and the  beach which took about 25 minutes.  It was a lovely warm day out.  There’s no sand, just stones.  Ivan and I went in to the cold water.  Lil Dave watched us – he doesn’t really like water. 

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A bar at the end of the beach was playing reggae.  Tables were in the water, so you could drink while in the water.  It was nice to walk around in the water.

It was time to head back.  The bus would be coming soon.  I spotted a taxi dropping off people.  I rushed to see if he was waiting for a new fare.  He was, I asked if he was free.  He said yes.  I said Can we go to Risto’s?  He didn’t understand.  Ivan pointed to the Risto’s Guest House sign.  The driver said Oh, Risto’s. That’s what I said!  We hopped in and it was a short drive up.  Risto’s has many signs pointing to where their guest house is.  Very smart!

Next up was a donkey ride!.  The guides were named Cleme and Trianka.  Ivan’s horse named his horse Marco and he said mine looked like a Gary. 

Anita said that we had to balance ourselves.  I felt like I was going too much to the right.  My guide Cleme kept telling me to balance, balance!  I kept calling my donkey Gary or Gaz.  My donkey had a habit of running into plants and trees. 

We rode for about 1.5 hours up the mountain. It was very relaxing, and there was amazing views along the way. 

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My guide Cleme thought I was Japanese. I told him I was Filipino. Cleme taught me some Macedonian words, he wanted to hear the word in Filipino.. but I told him I was American. Instead I gave him the Spanish translation (I don’t know much Spanish even though I took years of it at school!).  I found out how to say good which is Dobro.  So, Good Night is Dobro veče and Hello is Dravo.

I found out through my guide that Ivan’s donkey’s name was Marco and mine was a girl named Milka.  Nobody she was running me into plants and trees! She didn’t like the name Gary or Gaz!  I got all cut up with Milka running me into a thorny bush.

We stopped by a church that had an interesting cemetery with the crosses that were placed crooked on the headstone.

Everyone had a rest here, and Trianka decided it would be a good time to have a dance! She grabbed my hand and started leading me in some (no doubt famous) Macedonian dance.

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She was really enjoying herself! And so was I! Trianka kept talking to me in Macedonian and I had no clue what she was saying.  I would nod and laugh.  However she seemed to slap my face a lot! It wasn’t in anger – she would laugh (after I laughed) and then give me a slap. It was hilarious!

After plenty of dancing, we hopped back on the donkeys and headed back down again. We stopped briefly at this house that looked like it had been bombed , or more likely just very shoddily built. Cleme and Trianka did a little bit of looting, looking pleased with their find of a thing that use to make clothes (if our interpretation of Trianka pointing to her socks and Ivan’s shorts were right!).

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The views going back down were even more amazing!

After the ride my butt hurt quite a bit! And I think the donkeys backs hurt quite a bit also from the way they were groaning and moaning! 

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We took some pictures with our guides and I said Falla (not sure on the spelling) which means Thank You and said Good-bye in Macedonian.

That evening we headed into Ohrid town. There were tons of tourists here and it made us glad to be staying where we were staying.

For dinner, we went to MoMir.  Ivan really wanted to try the fish soup, but they were out.  It was rather late.  Lil Dave got a banana soup and fried bananas with a yogurt sauce. 

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Ivan and I shared a MoMir appetizer (beans, pindjur, makalo-garlic, urda, olives – ewww! and lutenka), fried small fish and fried Belvica fish.  Ivan and I also had a smooth Antika brandy which is aged 5 years.  The fried small fish was delicious!!  Everything was very tasty!  Ivan and I chatted about traveling and did some acting by throwing emotions we had to act out.  Ivan’s way better than me. 

We got a taxi back to the guest house and got there at midnight.

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Cooking in the Dark

I slept in until 11 am on July 13, 2012.  Ivan was already up.  We had to get ready since we would be taking a cooking class today.

We walked to BCN Kitchen.  Today, we were taking a Spanish cooking class.  The cooking teacher was a Catalan man named Frank.  He told us that we were making pan con tomate (bread with garlic, tomato and extra virgin olive oil on it), Spanish omelet (Tortilla Española), Catalan Cream, and mixed Paella.  He let us know what ingredients were in each one.  Everybody got to choose which dish we were making.  Ivan wanted to do the paella, but there was squid, pork and chicken in it – so he switched with me to make Spanish omelet.  The group consisted of Ivan, Noelle, Charisse, me and a couple from San Francisco, a girl from the Netherlands and two Australian guys. 

I was paired up Helen and Jeff, the couple from San Francisco.  I had to take off the fat from the chicken wings and cut the pork in half.  Helen and Jeff had to do the cutlefish, bell peppers and garlic.  Ivan was peeling potatoes and chopping up onions.  Charisse was making Catalan Cream with the girl from the Netherlands.  Noelle was chopping up lots of tomatoes for the gazpacho.  She was making the gazpacho by herself so the pressure was on for her, and there was nobody else to blame if it tasted terrible!

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Ivan had to flip the heavy Spanish omelet onto a plate and then put it back into the pan and cook the other side. He did it like the pro chef he secretly is!

Frank was really friendly and helped everybody out if they needed it.

It’s fun learning new dishes to make.  Hopefully, we can try these out back home.

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We made our own pan de tomate.  Frank toasted the bread in the oven.  We put garlic on it (by pressing a clove against the bread it grates it) – Frank said three swipes.. but we just kept doing it for awhile, Ivan did it for two minutes!  His theory is ‘you can NEVER have too much garlic…unless you are out on a first date!’. Next, you cut a tomato in half and put some tomato on the bread and then drizzle extra virgin olive oil on it, along with just a dash of salt.  Tasty!!

Catalan Crème is similar to a crème brulee.  Ivan got to put sugar on top and burn it with a blow torch.

It was a great cooking class.  Everybody’s dishes turned out good.  The paella turned out very moist and tasted really good. 

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I really enjoyed the gazpacho which wasn’t as tomato-y as when we have it in restaurants.  We got to take away some of the food – we grabbed mixed paella, gazpacho and Spanish omelet. 

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Go take this class and learn to make some Spanish dishes!

We walked back towards the apartment.  Noelle wanted to stop by H&M and browse.  I’m glad we did because Ivan picked up a pair of swimming shorts and I got two cute shorts.  I prefer H&M in Europe to the Vegas one.  The clothes are so much better in Europe.

I worked on the blog and used the internet.  Noelle and Charisse passed out right away.  Ivan and I took a siesta.

We woke up later on and weren’t sure what to do for dinner.  Ivan found something good though.  We got a taxi to Dans Le Noir which means In the Dark in French.

Ivan has been to Dasn Le Noir in London, but Charisse, Noelle and I haven’t been.  I went to a similar dining experience with Ivan in Malaysia. 

We took pictures in the lounge area since we, of course, can’t take pictures in the dining room.

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The lady explained how we would be dining in the dark – complete darkness.  We got to choose what package we wanted.  Charisse got the one that had two main courses and a dessert while Ivan, Noelle and I got the full package with a drink to start, appetizer, two main courses and a dessert – also with a drink with three of the courses.

Ivan, Noelle and I were given a sparkling wine to start off with… it was red and quite tasty. 

We walked in a train with some Spanish people into the dining room.  It was so very dark.  I was sat next to Ivan with Noelle in front of Ivan and Charisse in front of me.  We had to try to guess what wines and food they were giving to us.  Charisse has glow in the dark nail polish.. so that was the only light we could see which wasn’t very bright at all.

It was a very cool experience trying to guess what we were eating.  It was weird being in the dark – Ivan said our brains were getting confused and then our eyes would close since it thought we didn’t need any use for it.  Our waiter is blind – his name is Jose and he didn’t speak much English – good thing Noelle knows some Spanish.  Noelle talked to him and he has worked there for 2 years.  I guess he really learns the layout of the dining room – otherwise he’d be running into things and dropping plates.

One of the stupid Spanish people at the next table kept saying Shhhh.. when they were being just as loud as us.  It just encouraged me and and Ivan to be even louder.  Noelle, Charisse and I were doing the woo woo thing that people do in clubs.  Some foods I didn’t like while others I really liked like the chocolate cake dessert.

Outside, the host told us what we ate.  Some were were dead on, like watermelon in our salad.  Charisse and I had the meat dishes and ate brains.. Eww!!  It was crunchy and small though.  I thought the meat was beef, but it was actually pork.  We tried to guess if the wines were rose, white or red, but we only got one right. The first was a rose and then two white wines. 

Ivan wanted to go to a shot bar, but there was a long line to get in.  I guess it’s popular if there’s a long line.  We didn’t feel like waiting very long, so we walked around the Gothic quarter to find a bar.  Ivan wanted to try some vermouth since they had some on the tapas tour. 

We ended up at a bar called Mirilla.  Everybody each got a vermouth. 

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I thought it was really strong like a port and I didn’t like the taste.  Ivan got me a white wine.  I was pretty drunk at this point. 

It was really warm in the back room at the bar.  We finished our drinks and walked back to the apartment.

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