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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Pousadas, historic Inns of Portugal



If you love to travel in style
then staying at a Pousada is your ticket.



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Pousadas are an exclusive chain of historic hotels.





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Luxurious Inns, often renovated castles, monasteries and palaces.






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They were created in the forties by the Portuguese government to help the economy of otherwise forgotten medieval villages and, of course, preserve the historic structures, their national treasures. 







jessicajones@the local.com
Should you take a little excursion into Spain, similar accommodations exist in Spain where they are called Paradores. 






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Often, Pousadas and Paradores are situated on hilltops (defense posts in earlier times) where they can be seen from the valley floor a long distance away, saving you the hassle of searching for the next stopover.  






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Regional cuisine is often served at these historic inns.





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You are transported through eight centuries of history.





Hotel Bussaco

Many years ago, we traveled through Portugal by car and visited many Pousadas.  We didn't need reservations then.  Pousadas have become very popular and reservations are recommended. 






So much of the old and historic has been honored while guests enjoy every comfort. 
Every single space has been renovated to a standard of the highest luxury.  





Of course I have picked most of our hotels which have preserved the tradition of hand painted tiles. 





This will be our first night's stopover, the Pousada Convento Evora.






The perfect hotel to rest up after a long flight






Can't think of a better place to become re-acquainted with beautiful and historic Portugal.


Wishing you a great week ahead. 

Gina 



Friday, January 13, 2017

Tulips say the darndest things.


Don't they. 


They stretch and grow in all directions. 





They are talking to you. 






They keep on growing. Don't they know that part of them was left behind?






Some like to show off their faces.





And some like to hide their faces. 





Will they come up again this Spring? 





They will have to work very hard to come through all this snow. 

Have a wonderful weekend dear friends, 
and stay warm. 

Gina  


Saturday, January 7, 2017

There will be more



Snow, that is

The horse trough fountain is without water,  the Christmas tree has lost its splendor.



Only a little puddle is open, the rest of the pond has frozen over.   The geese and most of the ducks have left. 




Looks lonesome doesn't it. It isn't.




As soon as the sun comes out the world changes.




Have to clear the snow from the windows. 
The greenhouse is heated only by the sun.  





The rest of the snow has melted from the glass. 



That is where my geraniums live during the cold months. 
Some of them are more than 20 years old. 




My greenhouse has blue walls...
they absorb the sun's rays and give off the heat at night. 


 


Petunias are like geraniums, they never stop blooming.






One of my most favorite greenhouse flowers are the Nasturtiums.  
They don't ask for much, a little water now and then, that's all. 






Iceland Poppies are easy.  I make sure that I plant a few in pots so that I can bring them inside.  







Many species of cacti. 





In other words, I can have flowers all winter,
even if only a little petite bouquet. 


Stay warm dear friends, 

Gina 


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr



And so it was.
A very good Year.



The Haflingers pulled us into the New Year. 





And  champagne did the rest. 

Happy New Year dear Friends. 

Gina 

Friday, December 30, 2016

A feast for New Year's Eve


 Will Lobster Thermidor do?


Recipe follows.





They arrived from Maine
(with instructions)





It is cold outside 




But my kitchen is warm and the cooktop is busy.




Two large Main Lobsters.  More than enough for two.  




Wishing you a New Year of Health and Happiness. 

Gina 

Recipe

Drop  lobster into boiling, salted  water
add a few lemon slices. Cook for 5 minutes 
reduce to simmer and cook for another 15 minutes
Remove lobster meat.

In frying pan stir 2tsp of flour into 2 tsp butter
add lobster meat. 
add 1/4 cup of heavy cream and 1/4 cup of stock
Simmer for 10 minutes.  Season to taste. 
Remove Lobster from Pan, set aside.

Bread topping
In pan add 1 Tb of dry Sherry or Stock and 3 Tb of butter
and 1 and 1/2 cups  of shredded white bread. 
Cook until all butter is absorbed. 

Fill Lobster shells with lobster mixture,
 top with bread mixture and 
brown under broiler. 

Note: Save Lobster tail shells in Freezer for next Lobster Thermidor dinner.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas



I wish for you health and happiness.


May the beauty of Christmas fill your heart today and always. 

A grateful Thank You to you for your visits.

Gina 
  

Friday, December 23, 2016

Almost Christmas




It's me, Pasha.



May your Heart glow with the magic of Christmas.

Gina 

Monday, December 19, 2016

I'm celebrating, it snowed.



Now it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

I'm sharing a few of my favorites. 



























  













































































































I'm celebrating.  Are You?

Gina