Pets and Classic Italian

Last weekend Ryan and I took Ginger, our dog, to the beach to see how she would like the sand and ocean.  We saw some people with their dogs the week before and assumed it would be OK if we did too.  Since the summer is very busy at the beach, I think they do not really allow dogs there too much, but in the winter we've seen other dogs there and thought we should take her too.  She was more concerned with walking along the way than actually seeing the ocean.  But we had a nice walk along the beach as a family.

Here are some random pics from throughout the week or so, that I have been collecting since Marie went home. 

I usually make cheese quesadillas on the griddle, but Ryan was making some warmed up soft chicken tacos, so I got creative too and made the same thing, but in place of chicken, I added imitation crab with some old bay seasoning.  These were delicious and I will be making these again.
This was my good use of the left overs from last weeks from scratch black bean burgers.  I had them for lunch, served open faced.
I went to the Modelo in Angra this week, which is 3-4 times the size of the one here in Praia.  I decided to give in and try some of the yogurts I have been continuously eyeing every time we stop there.  This is a fat free, no added sugar apple and kiwi yogurt.  It is so good.  I definitely need to get more.
My biggest treat this week as my brand new MacBook coming in the mail.  It was so hard to order one to be shipped to an APO address, but we managed to get it delivered here.  I am actually using my new computer right now.  I love how it checks the spelling anytime I am typing, including school posts and blog posts.  I love this computer, but yes, there is some getting used to.
I would like to thank my sister for this yummy treat I enjoyed after a workout this past week. 
Yesterday I wrote about being a tourist in my town and sometimes the locals look at me a little crazy cause I take pictures of everything.  Well, here is one you don't see everyday.  This was the "car" in front of me as I was driving to work.  That is a horse drawn cart, complete with a man in the back.
Friday night Ryan and I went to an awards banquet and got to get dressed up and stuff.  I tried to get my iPhone to get a decent picture, but not so much as you can see here.  The man behind me decided to walk, which turned into a blurry mess.  I also misjudged (gotta love humidity) how long my hair would take to dry.  It was only fully dry by the time we were coming home, at which point, it looked really good.  Oh well, what can you do.  
Ryan and I both had the vegetarian option.  No, he is not a veggie like me, but sometimes you never know how the meat will turn out when cooked for a large amount of people, so to be safe, he ordered the vegetarian meal too.  I will say that the last veggie meal they made me for a function was really good and I am sure they helped in Ryan's decision to order the veggie meal.

Everyone started off with a nice salad and rolls.
This was like a lasagna roll up with ricotta, broccoli and spinach.  It was very good, but I couldn't eat it all.  It was served with green beans and brussels sprouts.  This was my first time eating brussels sprouts because I was always scared to try them.  OMG, these were really good.  I was surprised that I actually liked them so much.  Oh, and it was also served with some rice.
Dessert was cake, and I had to go with the chocolate option.  I also could not resist grabbing a whole skewer of fruit from the big fruit platter.  They had kiwis too, so I snagged some of those because kiwis are my favorite fruit.
It was a nice dinner and it was fun to get dressed up since we don't have to many chances for that here.

Last night we went and paid our rent.  I love that when we pay our rent, we often get a goody in return with our receipt.  Our landlords own a local market/grocery store, so we often get bread or something like that.  This time it was these coconut and cherry cakes.  Ryan tried it last night and said it was really good, but I was too full to try one last night, so I will probably dig in tonight.
Last night's dinner was at Buzio's and boy were they jam packed in that place.  Mostly American's of course.  I love this place and was pleased that my favorite special of theirs was on the menu.

Olives to start, and I love them here because they are covered in garlic.
More garlic...with the garlic bread.  Good thing Ryan was eating these too!
This is a caipirnha, which is the national drink of Brazil made with a liquor made from sugar cane.  This is a very popular drink here too.  Holy cow, this was strong.  It tasted like tequila to me, but the server said it is a special liquor from the sugar can plant. 
Here is some additional information I found on this drink online:
Pronounced 'KIE-PUR-REEN-YAH', this fresh, exotic cocktail is becoming as hot among international crowds as it is on Copacabana Beach. Traditional caipirinha is made with cachaça, sugar, and crushed limes, served over ice. It is always muddled (crushed with a masher or the blunt end of a wooden spoon). Make sure to muddle in a shaker or a sturdy, non-breakable glass. You can also try replacing lime with about 1/2 cup of fresh tangerine, star fruit, passion fruit, peach, pear, pineapple, plum, orange, mango, grape, guava, figs, etc.

What is Cachaça?
Pronounced "KA SHA SA", cachaça is a national product of Brazil. It is also the base ingredient of Brazilian national cocktail, caipirinha. The major difference between cachaça and rum is that rum is usually made from molasses, a by-product from refineries that boil the cane juice to extract as much sugar crystals as possible. And cachaça is made from fresh sugarcane juice that's fermented and distilled.

History of cachaça goes back to 400 year ago when plantation owners began serving the liquid to their slaves after noticing that the drive would increase vigor. It is commonly known that the spirit was first invented by Portuguese settlers in Brazil. Over the years better distilled cachaças were developed and soon people started to drink it on dinner tables in colonial Brazil. Shortly after slavery was banned in 1888, the monarchy was ousted and progressive leaders decleared Brazil a modern Republic, national proide began to sugar throughout the country.

After we had some time to enjoy our drink, and well, get a little tipsy, the food was ready for us to enjoy.  We started with a nice Greek salad to share.
Then we both ordered the baked eggplant parm, which is fantastic here.
I love how it is layered almost like a lasagna.  Oh, and ooey gooey cheesy.
Coffee for the end of the meal.  By now the place was so packed with people, we were ready to head home.
Since I started this post with some pictures of my pets, here are 2 I just took of them.  They have NEVER laid down together, nicey nicey, not ever.  The cat is not feeling so well, so I think she caved and looked to the dog for some warmth and comfort.  I just had to snap some photos of them.

QUESTIONS:  Do you own a Mac or are you considering a Mac?  Do you have 2 pets that don't really get along, but rather just tolerate each other?  Or do they get along?  Have you ever heard of a Caipirinha before?


Unknown said...

aww you look pretty! sometimes it's hard to tame the Jewish fro :)

nom nom nom Greek salad and eggplant parm = my FAVE!

We own 2 macs, but no iPhones.

We have 0 pets, but 1 roomba! The roomba, however, does not get along with the small rugs in the kitchen or the dining room chairs :)

Matt usually gets a Caipirinha @ Mari Luna (the Latin one, not the Mexican one). It's kinda like a mojito, no?

Have a nice weekend, can't wait to see you!!

Mari said...

omg your dog is so beautiful!

that baked eggplant parm looks delish.

Abby said...

I appreciate your comment, although Im takin a break, Ill still be keeping up with your blog.. I truly enjoy it!

You look fabulous, beautiful dress!

chow and chatter said...

you look beautiful and love your dog I need a pestal and mortar

Nicole, RD said...

Melinda, you look wonderful!

I've never heard of Caipirinha, nope! But I love new things!

Ginger is ADORABLE!! Lily doesn't care for our snake too much, and likewise...but the whole snake-in-the-cage thing helps that problem :)

I'm jealous of your Mac Book! I've always had PC's -- first a Sony, then a Dell, and now a Gateway. I've been a biggest fan of the Dell, but I love Windows 5 actually! I want a Mac someday, though...have fun with yours!

Gina; The Candid RD said...

Nick and I can't WAIT to get a dog, but we need a yard first! Our apartment is so small, it would be cruel.

I love your hair. My hair used to air dry and I had times when I mis-judged the time it would take to dry too. Now I blow it dry straight. IN the summer, however, I will do curly again, I'm actually excited :)

I have a Mac, and I LOVE IT. You will love yours. I am jealous you have a new one. We just got a new Mac desktop computer and it's awesome. We'll never go back to PC!

Shannon said...

I have always had a mac and I love it. But this one is getting up there in age and is slowing down a bit.

I love the pet pictures! I have 2 kitties...generally, they like each other and will play and sleep together. But every once in a while, there is a brawl!

Astra Libris said...

Ginger and your kitty are SO adorable!! When Zach and I merged his two cats with my one cat there was a HUGE, long, drawn out battle of wills between the kitties, but now, nearly 4 years later, they all curl up together in a big cozy pile! Yay! :-)

Hooray for getting dressed up! Such fun! You look so gorgeous, girl! :-)

Beth said...

You look so great in that dress!

Our two cats get along...most of the time.

I'm scared to make the jump to a mac...our whole life is on our PC...I don't know what we would do without it!

Melissa said...

I love the pet photos! I've been wanting to take my dog to the beach. I think he'd love to run in the sand.

I have a Mac and I have no complaints. It's user friendly and it's much better about viruses, pop ups, etc. than my PC was.

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