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Happy New Year 2019

by Saara

Fresh new year, more vintage cooking & recipe adventures ahead! I hope your 2019 has started with excitement & stress-free. We arrived home just for the NYE after our Christmas holiday trip in Spain and Portugal. Here are few snaps from our trip and the delicious tapas ideas & souveniers that I took home. I’m going to recap how the year ended with travels before whispering new ideas and wishes for the new year.

We visited friends in South of Spain over Christmas & took a short roadtrip to Algarve together. I did carry one camera with me most of the time but I see now that I’ve been very lazy to pick it up from the bag. I only have few photos from our day in Tavira and couple of landscape shots from Ronda. I must say that the Andalusian natural park sceneries were breathtaking even just from the car. I can already see us on a month long summer vacation exploring the hiking routes, eating too much in Seville and then escaping to cooler climate of Madeira. We travel off-season quite a bit & I think its a great way to hunch places where you would like visit again. In this sense, this off-season visit build lots more travel fever for both of us.

The Souveniers

A visit to the local grocery store is always on my bucket list no matter where we are. I’m one of those crazy tourists who loves to smell the fruits, appreciate different kinds label design in jars, canned food and alike. I want to explore the visuals, new flavors and the prices. If I have a chance to visit markets and specialty shops too, even better. On this trip I did all three and I’m very proud of myself that I didn’t go nuts with the shopping. I think this is all thanks to the fact that we home-cooked fifty percent of the time so it was fun to explore different kinds of Jamón ibérico and all the local specialties already during the vacation.

Walnuts and pistachios

So what did I dragg in my luggage? Pistachios and walnuts. Olives and olive oil. Machego. Different kinds of pâté. Only one bottle of Verdejo and one bottle of Moscatel. Paella rice. Normal things. But the best thing was to pick citrus fruits from my friends’ garden! Those green yellowish on the left. Fresh from the garden and very different from the standard lemon shape found in stores (right).

Faro & Tavira


Our roadtrip was a spontaneous one night tour to Algarve. Weather treated us best in Portugal, really nice. I was wise enough to pack a proper jacket and a sweater with me but in Tavira I did not need them. First we had a dinner in Faro, a shared seafood cataplana. The next day we walked the streets of Tavira when the city was just waking up. Long lunch with light tapas was ideal choice when we still had a full day of driving ahead before Ronda and Malaga.

Best Tapas of the Holidays


I enjoyed tapas everyday. Loved it. And no, I did not get bored of jamón and I rather not think how much I ate it. Yet I do have this curious nature and a tendency to choose different things every time. It’s a difficult task, choosing the best tapas of the all tapas we had on our week long holidays. I had two mouthwatering moments when I could have doubled the size of the portion. Maybe that experience sets the mark, don’t you think? The first savouring and beyond moment was fried anchovies accompanied with artichokes & dry white wine. I could have snacked those anchovies all night. Happy times in Malaga! The second top moment was in Ronda where we had carillada as one of the dishes on our dinner. Pork cheek cooked tender as ever. I really would like to cook this at home, too. If you have a recipe or tips regarding carillada, please send them on my way.

I’m very thankful for this holiday trip and time spent with friends. Not too often one can lock the calendars of four busy people and spend a week together without timetables or plans. I do love Christmas but sometimes it’s good to shake routines and not let life get rutted. Gratefulness is what I feel about the past year, too. 2018 was the year of re-focus, re-connecting and relaxing. One of the projects encompassing all these three areas is My Vintage Cooking blog. I started this food photography focused blog three months ago and it’s been exciting to find so much inspiration and support from the Instagram community. I want to thank you for the past autumn with warmest wishes. Let’s share many more meals, recipes and memories!

Saara

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