So far, we’re in the clear!

Just because several people have asked us: we are not the swine flu cases being reported upon in Regensburg. We are now 5 days past our exposure in Mexico City and we even did a self-imposed quarantine on Monday to see if either of us became symptomatic before going out and being around other people.

So, thanks to everyone who asked after our health. We’re fine so far – just jetlagged – but still observing carefully, just in case.

Puerto Vallarta, April 2009

We’re back from a great trip down to Puerto Vallarta to visit my parents and some of our best buds N&C. This was the first time we’ve ever been down there without flying through the USA to get there. We learned some stuff; I expect Sarah will post her observations later after we get a chance to deflate and unwind.

For now, here are the best pictures we took while there (slideshow below). You can click the button in the lower-right corner to play the slideshow in full screen mode if you like. N&C may have some good ones to share as well; perhaps we’ll be able to cross-post some of them.

having a great time, wish you were here

Couldn’t sleep past 0700 this morning so I came down to the pool to enjoy the breeze. the past 3 days have been great, except for the fact that my mom departed yesterday (hey. Somebody’s got to work.) and last night there was surprisingly little breeze. it’s kicking now though. Time for a chorizo omelette breakfast with hashbrowns from leftover roasted potatoes (I’m calling it "Bratkartoffeln rancheros").

¡Hasta luego!

Mañana volemos á Puerto Vallarta via Monaco y Amsterdam y México D.F. Vamos a gozar el tiempo y visitar mis padres, quien no hemos visto desde 2007, y el Narguito y su esposa, quien nos traen unos regalos del tipo soprano (mas o menos).

Regresamos cerca del fin de Abril. ¡Que tengan Uds. unos dos semanas buenas mientras que gastamos tiempo en la playa!

Early April Potpourri

A rare (lately, anyway) mid-week post!

Here are some random pictures from random stuff taken by me and Sarah while we were actually doing other stuff:

Dramatic CloudsChokellaAll you can eat!Yes We Can (Move Your Stuff)I got these groceries for a song!

We’re thinking about a fairly cheap but decent quality P&S camera for less than 100€. I’d prefer something with compact flash or SD memory cards and powered by AA-cells (ideally rechargeable NiMH ones) would be ideal. Any recommendations?

And, to take us outta here, check out this cat stalking this other cat, courtesy of icanhascheezburger.com:

French Toast

Man, new recipes seem to appear in groups. Chez Regensblog has been the site of much improvisation lately and I decided it was time for an old (cheap!) favorite.

4 eggs
1 1/3 c milk
1/2 t nutmeg
1 t cinnamon
2 t vanilla
pinch salt
10 slices of bread (we used a round raisin loaf, sliced about 3/4 in. thick)

Heat griddle or skillet to medium. Whisk together eggs, milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Dip bread slices in egg mixture on each side (don’t soak it!), then transfer immediately to griddle and cook until golden brown on each side. Serve immediately with powdered sugar or butter and syrup.

Zippy Crunchy Salad

We bought too many apples for use in a somewhat successful apple pie experiment this weekend. We bought too many carrots for use in a partially satisfying falafel/veggie burger experiment this weekend. I bought a bag of lemons on a whim this weekend and they are already starting to look questionable (Bio-Zitronen…).

So I invented a salad.*

I pulled on my Microplane Kevlar glove purchased at Pryde’s Old Westport, hauled out the mandoline from my mom (thanks Mom!) and julienned up three or four Yellow Delicious apples, crinkle-cut one big carrot’s worth of discs, squished in the juice of one lemon and dumped a little sugar (I’d guess about a teaspoon and a half) to take the edge off the citric acid.

Hol. E. Kau. That is some tasty stuff. Make sure you haven’t burned the roof of your mouth on anything recently though — you’ll be reminded of it during the consumption of this salad.

*I found some recipes online calling for yogurt or mayonnaise and raisins and stuff like that. I’m sure those would be fine, but I’m more than happy with my version. Probably almond slivers would be a nice touch, too. Maybe next time on those.

Pâte Brisée Pie or Quiche Crust

Sarah found this recipe online and we’ve lifted it directly from there with no modifications at all. It is wonderful: easy and tasty for both dessert pies and savory quiches, and we’ve verified that now with a couple of fruit pies and a quiche experiment of our own. Best part: the recipe makes enough for two pie crusts, which means you can freeze one lump of dough for later use, or make a double-crust pie, or do some pretty lattice work.

My French Cuisine: Easy Quiche Crust from Scratch:

  • 250 grams of flour (1 and 3/4 cups or a little over 1/2 pound, unbleached, all-purpose)
  • 125 grams of unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tea spoon of crème fraîche (or sour cream if you can’t find it)
  • 1/2 tea spoon of salt

The base ingredients are the flour, salt and butter. The egg and crème fraîche are here to help them stick together (plus the egg will give the crust a nice golden color).

First sift the flour over a large bowl and add the salt.

Cut the butter in tiny cubes. Incorporate the butter to the flour with your finger tips (you can’t really use a spoon here… You could use a pastry blender but you’d loose all the fun of making your own ‘pâte brisée’). The dough will feel like coarse sand grains between your fingers.

Push the flour and butter mix on the sides of the bowl, digging a hole in the center. Break the egg and pour it in the hole in middle of the bowl. Beat it a little with a fork then use a wooden spoon to incorporate the flour little by little.

Add the crème fraîche or sour cream and mix again until the dough is homogeneous. Use your hands to knead the dough and form two balls of the same weight.

Place the balls of dough in plastic wraps and let them rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour before using or freezing. Let the dough warm up a little before rolling it out.