Tag: Barcelona

Chicken Paella Recipe

Paella in Barcelona – Photo by Peter Morton

We had a wonderful meal of chicken paella whilst on holiday in Barcelona.

The dish was so sumptuous that I still think about it today. LOL  I have tried to make my own version and I found Jamie Oliver’s version is a good starting point for a truly delicious Spanish paella.

Below is a Jamie Oliver recipe:

Chicken Paella Recipe


• 6 boneless chicken breasts or thighs, preferably free-range or organic, skin on, each quartered
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• plain flour, for dusting
• olive oil
• 100g chorizo, sliced
• 6 slices pancetta or streaky bacon
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
• 2 litres hot chicken stock, preferably organic
• 2 large pinches of saffron
• 1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika
• 500g paella rice
• small bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped, stalks chopped
• 2 handfuls peas, fresh or frozen
• 10 king prawns
optional: 500g mussels, scrubbed
• optional: 2 small squid, halved and scored


Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Season the chicken pieces and dust with flour. Heat a little olive oil in a large deep pan and fry the chicken until golden brown on both sides. Place the pieces on a baking tray and into the oven for 30 minutes.

Put the pan back on the heat. Add the sliced chorizo and pancetta or bacon and fry until browned and crispy. Then add the onion and garlic and cook until soft. Meanwhile infuse half the hot chicken stock with the saffron. Add the smoked paprika, rice and infused stock and leave to cook on a medium heat, stirring from time to time.

After 20 minutes the rice should be nearly cooked. At this point, pour in the rest of the stock along with the peas, prawns, and the mussels and squid if you are using them. Place a lid on the pan and cook for 10 minutes more.

Finally, add the cooked chicken and serve sprinkled with chopped parsley and a wedge of lemon.


Christmas Arch & Bazaar 033
Flamenco Dancer
Photo by Jean Morton

I love this little Spanish Flamenco dancer figurine that my husband bought from Barcelona for me.  I first saw it and really loved it.  Told him I liked it but because our holiday was so hectic and I seemed to have developed an allergy to the bathroom water in our plush hotel room, my mind was always somewhere else, i.e. the itch.  So forgot all about my Spanish senorita.

I was so ecstatic and really surprised when we unpacked our holiday things and found this little figurine.  My husband was very thoughtful like that.  He also once bought me a teddy bear when we were in Chicago whilst I was raiding the duty free (LOL), again found this teddy in our luggage afterwards.

Sometimes husbands can be useful. LOL

Antoni Gaudi

gaudi gaudi 2

Today is the 161 anniversary of Antoni Gaudi’s birth.

Gaudi was born on 25 June 1852 in Reus, in the Catalonia region of Spain.

My husband and I celebrated our 25 wedding anniversary in Barcelona in November 2011. We went all over Barcelona, it is a beautiful city.

Many buildings in Barcelona had the touch of the great man. Gaudi was certainly a very productive man.  We spent most of the day at Gaudi’s Magnum Opus, the Sagrada Familia.

The Sagradia is without a doubt a work of great achitectural art.  To get into the cathedral, you had to pay an entrance fee, the fee goes into the work that still goes on.  I am rather chuffed to think that my Peter and I contributed a little bit into the making of the Sagrada Familia. 🙂


The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família



I have to admit that at first glance, I thought the Sagrada was my idea of what hell would look like. It was a bit unnerving.  The cathedral was all spiky with uneven facade. From across the road, the building looked like stalagmites. But as you go nearer, you will be blown away by the many figures that adorn or even sculpted on the walls.  No word can express how wonderful they were, perfection perhaps!!!

Interior ceiling

Interior ceiling


The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família




Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona-SpainJust googled Rizal and Barcelona and GASP!!! I promenaded at the same La Rambla that he used to perambulate at. The La Rambla is considered the centre of Barcelona which is near Placa de Catalunya; there was a little coffee house, called Cafe del Catalunya that Rizal used to visit to meet up with kapwa Filipinos (compatriots). I had espresso there, it must be a Filipino thing!!! 🙂 We stayed at Rivoli Rambla overlooking the Rambla itself and I can attest that the city never bloody sleep. Last Thursday there was a long parade mostly of students in protests. There were a handful of tents at the Place de Catalunya – their version of Occupy stay-in protest.

Rizal apparently thought at first that Barcelona was dirty and the people rather insular but he changed his mind fairly quickly. I supposed it is different now as Barcelona must be one of the super cleanest city in the world. And their street cleaners are beautiful young girls and gorgeous men. I must say that the Barcelonians are lovely, friendly, helpful and polite people. They offer elderly and those with young children seats in their public transport. Much, much, much better than the French….. Sorry Susie!!!!

If you had to go to Barcelona, make sure to get tickets to their hop-in – hop-off buses. There were so many places to see. I must say my slumbering inner Catholicism is very much awake at the moment. I visited so many churches that I ended up douching myself with holy water and touching feet of statues, etc. The churches are so beautiful, you can see that the state and its people look after the places so well. Even the smallest ones have vergers or sacristans on hand.

We also went to one of the monasteries, not the Montserrat one as the train or tram was out of season. You have to climb the mountains on foot!! eeeckkk We went to Pedralbes instead. It was so beautifully kept. I was thinking all the way the visit that I would really have been happy being a nun in there.

I wonder whether Rizal met or have heard of Gaudi?!!! Gaudi’s work is everywhere in Barcelona. A site that Christians must see is the Sagrada Familia. SF is just like the Collesium in Rome. You come out of the metro and they are there in front of you. I have to confess that at first I found the Sagrada rather alien. Sorry I thought it was rather hellish, it was so spikey, gaudish!!! But majestic all the same, very in your face. Once you get inside the cathedral, it was a totally different story. Very modern and high ceiling. GloriousIly religious with Jesus on the cross floating at the altar!