Rum-spiked Horchata, grainy refreshment

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The Horchata is a traditional beverage made from ground almonds, sesame seeds, rice, barley, or tigernuts. The name is traditionally from the Spanish region of Catalonia and the drink is served cold in the summer as a natural form of refreshment.

To make the Rum-spiked Horchata, you will need 1 cup uncooked long grain rice, 2 quarts warm water, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 1/4 cups milk, 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract , 1/4 cup rum, or to taste, and 16 cubes ice.

To prepare, mix the the rice and warm water together in a bowl and let it stand for 1/2 hour. Save the water and drain and put the rice in the bowl of a food processor. Next add the cinnamon and process until it forms a paste. Return the rice to the water and let stand it stand for at least 2 hours. Stir the mixture occasionally as the water turns milky white. Strain the rice through a fine sieve into a bowl or pitcher and stir in the milk, condensed milk, vanilla, and rum until it is evenly blended. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

When ready to serve divide the ice cubes between four glasses, and pour the chilled horchata.

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Garbanzo Bean and Tripe soup

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Buseca or Garbanzo Bean and Tripe soup is one of those special tastes of Milan visitors can enjoy. There are several varieties from parts of Europe and Spanish South America.

To make the soup you will need 1 pound honeycomb tripe, 1 cup white vinegar, 7 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon red-pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon dried thyme, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 onions, diced, 4 plum tomatoes, diced, 6 cloves garlic, minced, 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves, 1 gallon beef stock, 1/2 cup dried garbanzo beans,1 c up dried white navy beans, 2 turnips, diced, 4 carrots, sliced, 1/2 head white cabbage, shredded, 1 cup long-grain rice, 12 ounces chorizo sausage, thinly sliced, 12 ounces morcilla sausage, thinly sliced, 1 cup grated queso blanco, 5 sprigs basil.

Rinse the tripe under cold running water and fill a large bowl with ice water and add vinegar. Place the tripe in the bowl and soak for 30 minutes. Remove from the water and cut into small cubes.

In a large pot combine the tripe, bay leaves, pepper flakes, thyme, oregano, 1 gallon water and the remaining vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook at a full boil for 1 hour. Drain the tripe and rinse. In another pot over a high flame, combine the oil, onions, tomatoes, garlic, parsley and remaining bay leaves and cook for 5 minutes. Add the stock, reserved tripe, garbanzo beans, white navy beans and turnips, and boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour. Add the carrots, cabbage and rice and simmer for another hour. Add the chorizo, morcilla, cheese and basil. Stir and simmer 10 minutes.

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Ibiza no longer the place to party

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Ibiza (read here other news) is known as the party place but these days the Spanish isle is becoming highly commercialised and over-developed. The thought is that what is happening there is untenable.

The island which sits in the Mediterranean off the coast of Valencia, Spain has seen a high influx of British tourists that has caused some damage to island’s image.

The fix to that problem was to make the island more expensive which hasn’t done much to address the real issues. High end after parties have been banned on the island but the bad behavior still permeates Ibiza.

While it’s marketed as a big spring break destination the crowds which flock there are not the “good” behaving types.

Tour packages, VIP’s, and the very rich make Ibiza their stomping ground. The new look Ibiza is not sitting well. It’s becoming a haven for the spoilt, the rich, the prostituting, and drug dealers.

Two girls have been the latest to be sent to jail for smuggling cocaine from Peru into the fair isle.

The pair call Ibiza home and claim that they were forced by an armed Spanish gang to do the dirty deed.

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Valencia, the sea of ​​Spain

valencia
Valencia is the third largest city in Spain and is its third largest city in Spain behind Madrid and Barcelona.

The city is on the Mediterranean Sea and the banks of the Turia River.

Major monuments in Valencia include the Valencia Cathedral, Torres de Serranos, Torres Quart, Llotja de la Seda which is a Unesco World Heritage Site, Museu de Belles Arts de Valencia, Ciutat de les Arts i la Ciences, and the Valencian Institute of Modern Art.

The city is well known for the Falles local festival, the La Tomatina tomato fight, and several other catholic festivals held each year. The city is also host of the European Grand Prix Formula One race.

Valencia has a subtropical climate with mild winters and long warm to hot summers.

Valencia is home of one of the traditional Spanish dishes the paella and the cuisine is also world renowned in the city. Other specialties include the fartons, bunuelos, Spanish omelettes, rosquilettas, and squid.

Places to eat include the Raco de Turia which is close to the city’s river banks and is ranked among the top fifty restaurants for Spanish cuisine in the city.

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Antigua, the paradise

antigua
Antigua is an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea and is part of a twin-island country known as Antigua and Barbuda. The name Antigua comes from the Spanish word meaning ancient and was named by Italian explorer Christopher Columbus when he discovered the island.

Antigua is said to have 365 beaches – one for every day of the year- and the economy is heavily reliant on tourism. St. John’s is the island’s capital and largest town.

English Harbour in the island’s southeast is famous and is also site of a restored British Colonial naval station known as Nelson’s Dockyard. The area is famous for yachting and sailing. There is an annual sailing season – Antigua Sailing Week – at the end of April and start of May, which is a world-class regatta.

The island also has legalised, regulated, and licensed online gaming. Sport fishing is also popular and a number of big competitions are held each year. Among the other popular sports are wind-surfing and kite-surfing, both of which take place at Jabbawock Beach.

Several famous persons have homes on Antigua including designer Giorgio Armani, musician Eric Clapton, and cricketer Sir Vivian Richards. The island has one international airport, the VC Bird International Airport.

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Sardinia, very nice

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Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the geologically oldest in Europe. It’s a close neighbour of Corsica to the north, Italy, and Sicily. Its capital city is Cagliari.

The island is mountainous with high rocky coasts and several bays, inlets, and rias. The island has a Mediterranean climate on its coasts, plains, and lowlands while a continental climate exists in the centre.

The island has come under influence from RomansByzantinesItaliansAustrians and theSpanish and some of their traditions are still practised in Sardinia today. Sardinian and Italian are the main languages spoken on the island. It is also site of several megalithic structures and aUnesco World Heritage Site.

The Sardinian diet relies heavily on meat, dairy products, grains, and vegetables. Sardinians also drink more beer per capita than anywhere else in Italy.

Sardinia has three international airports connecting it to the mainland of Italy and other parts of Europe. There are ferry companies which operate between Sardinia and cities in France and there is a rail network which connects towns across the island.

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Havana, Cuba

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One of the oldest cities in the Caribbean and one of the most exotic is Havana, the capital city of Cuba-the largest island in the Caribbean. The city is 90 miles from Florida in North America and used to be the play ground of many wealthy Americans before the embargo of the 1960′s came into effect.

When wants to see vintage American cars driving around Spanish style architecture and streets, Havana is the place to see it. Stepping into Havana is like taking a step back in time.

The city proper is quite large with just over two million inhabitants. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for its mix of culturehistory,architecture, and monuments.

Habana Vieja is the oldest part of the city and just across the bay sits the Fortress San Carlos de Cabana. Here each night a reenactment involving canons being fired takes place.

Among the other interesting buildings are the El Capitol Nacional, which is a replica of the US state capitol buildings and is the centre of government in the city; The Plaza de la Revolucion and the Hotel Nacional de Cuba. The Cuban ballet is also in old Havana.

The Malecon runs along the north coast of the city and is the most popular avenue in the city, known for its spectacular sunsets.

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