It´s time of gazpacho

Spanish Version

As you know, the summer has arrived and I´m not sure about you, but in this season I love to eat cool food. So obviously this is my subject for the week, famous Spanish food during this time is Gazpacho or Salmorejo.

I prefer salmorejo because I don´t like peppers, the main difference between salmorejo and gazpacho is switching the peppers and cucumbers for the bread, because salmorejo needs bread to thicken it.

There are people that are fans of the classical gazpacho and wouldn´t like to change its recipe, but I like to try different combinations, some better some worse but here are some recipes of alternative gazpachos:

Watermelon gazpacho (a classic)

el rincón de soniaPicture by ElrincondeSonia

A perfect mixture between the acid of tomato and the sweetness of the watermelon.

The ingredients: 200 gr of watermelon without seeds, bread crumbs, ¼ onion, 1 small garlic clove, ½ cucumber, ½ red pepper, 8 tomatoes and vinegar, cumin, olive oil and salt to taste.

You only have to peel the watermelon, cut it into smaller pieces and then blend all of ingredients, if you want more thickness you can add more bread crumbs.

Advice: peel the tomatoes.

Peach gazpacho

la cocina de rebecaPicture by LacocinadeRebeca

One of my favorite gazpachos, the recipe is like the classical gazpacho but with peaches.

Ingredients: two peaches, 1 small garlic clove, 1 pepper, ¼ onion, 8 tomatoes and basil, vinegar, olive oil and salt to taste.

Pistachio gazpacho

con mucho gusto

Ingredients: 200 gr pistachios, 1 small garlic clove, 1 pepper, ¼ onion, 8 tomatoes and basil, vinegar, olive oil and salt to taste.

Avocado gazpacho

aguacate

Ingredients: two ripe avocados, ½ cucumber, 1 green pepper, bread crumbs and water, vinegar, olive oil and salt to taste.

You can also put chives for garnish.

I´m sure that you know more recipes for these types of soup or gazpachos, share them so we can have a bit of a cooler summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Any entrepreneur?

Spanish Version

Today I´m going to tell you about a startup, succeeding in New York. I believe that it´s a really good idea and is also possible to function in our country.

It´s called Spacious and its purpose is to provide places, mainly restaurants, to freelancers and small companies to “cowork” during the day.

The Spacious´ founders thought there were a lot of restaurants in New York that were closed from Monday to Friday until 6 p.m. because these places didn´t have customers. They decided to start a business to fill these restaurants during this time; the companies that agree to collaborate will be able to appear on Spacious´ web. On the other side the freelancers and small companies can book their spaces.

Spaious

The restaurants must agree to have their space available to work while providing a wifi-network, unlimited coffee, part time employees and if wanted, background music.

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Those renting have to pay a fixed amount daily or monthly. They can choose between the spaces available and book their preferred space.

Spacious puts a device in the entrance of restaurant to check in and out as a record.

Spacious

I believe that it is a great idea for everyone. It benefits the workers that don´t have a space to work as well as the restaurants and its employees because they gain more money and publicity while providing extra work for their employees.

The only problem I see bringing this idea to Spain is that the restaurants here are open for lunch because we eat a multiple course lunch, which is totally different from the USA where a sandwich is a sufficient lunch, but I´m sure that this won´t be a big problem.

What do you think about the idea behind Spacious?

 

 

Time to talk about vermouth.

Spanish version

This week, since the hot is arriving and what we want is to sit on a terrace, I am going to tell you about the latest trend for or before lunch, the comeback of vermouth.

mercado de san miguel 2

Today to be cool in Spain you must drink vermouth, but what is vermouth? It is wine macerated with aromatic herbs, which is usually drunk before lunch. There are people that prefer to drink it with soda to soften the taste and other people prefer to mix with gin to make the taste stronger. It is best to accompany the vermouth with chips, olives or “a marriage” (a popular tapa in Spain with a light and dark anchovy on bread).

matrimonio

The best thing about drinking a vermouth is that you can be with friends while spending time under the sun and talking.

Drinking vermouth has again become popular around Spain in old taverns, like it was when our grandparents were younger.

 

Now, vermouth taverns in Madrid:

Ángel Sierra

A classic bar in Chueca, very famous for their vermouth. It´s a good tavern to stand outside and enjoy the atmosphere found in the square. Gravina Street 11

Angel Sierra

Taberna de Corps

Delicious vermouth from a tap (with or without soda). They serve it with olives and they also have a classical authentic menu with tapas and plates. Located in a quiet square, it is relaxing and surrounded by a lot of trees; perfect for the summer. Guardia de Corps square.

La Concha

People with gluten allergies can also drink a good vermouth in this great bar with tapas. They serve it in a beautiful glass with gin spray, delicious. Caba Baja street, 7.

San Miguel Market

They specialize in vermouth brought from different places, you can find whites, reds and rose. To eat, they have olives and little kebabs (with pickled veggies) a typical Spanish tapa for free.

Bomba Bistro

In this bar the vermouth is drunk while sitting at a table and is similar to a cocktail, they call it “Secretary of State”. It´s a perfect drink to have with a good lunch in their restaurant. Pedro Muguruza Street 5.

La Violeta

Located in the classical neighborhood of Chamberí, this tavern was mythical in the eighties and later converted into a vermouth tavern. Vallehermoso street 62.

In Barcelona there are a lot of good vermouth taverns:

La Pineda

A classic tavern in the Gótico neighborhood, that has a variety of simple tapas and meat plates to offer with your vermouth on the rocks.

Quimet & Quimet

This wine cellar in Poble-sec has been around for many generations, aging almost a century. They also offer vermouth on tap, how luxurious!

Morro Fi

The three owners are lovers of tapas and vermouth and started to write a blog where they shared their knowledge about this subject. Later they decided to open a tavern and it has been a successful idea because now they just open the second…

Morro fi

Vinito

A nice and quiet place in the Sant Antoni neighborhood, the vermouth they serve is not theirs but it´s really good.

Tarannà

It´s another tavern located in Sant Antoni as well, that is more modern but is a great place to drink a tasty vermouth.

What do you prefer beer, wine or vermouth? Do you know any good places to drink vermouth?

 

 

To prevent or absorb pollution?

Spanish version

And this week I want to tell you about new trends of construction material that help to drastically reduce pollution levels generated by traffic and factories.

Depolluting, what is this? It´s a substance that has been created by LafargeHolcim company, its mixed with any type of concrete and pavement then it´s possible to use this substance for walls, tunnels, parking lots and highways.

Picture by Materialist

But you ask yourself, how does it work? The depolluting reacts with carbon dioxide, which is produced by the motors, converting carbon dioxide to solid innocuous products similar to salt. This salt then dissolves and is washed away by the rain. Sunlight is not necessary for this process, Depolluting can work day and night. The process is accelerated by more pollution.

Depolluting has been used in Spain and France with good results. We don´t know about the price, but I think that it´s a great system to eliminate pollution.

Bamboo: It´s a quickly renewable resource, a good alternative to wood, their collection doesn´t create deforestation. It´s ecologic, natural and sustainable, and also absorbs 30% more CO2 than the trees.

  • It´s flexible and light in weight
  • It´s cheaper
  • It´s usable in hot and humid weather
  • It´s very durable

The inconvenience of Bamboo is that it isn´t a European crop and it´s necessary to consider the cost of import.

Picture by Eco Planeta verde

Tarps: The big advertising banners, on the walls of buildings, can absorb CO2 like a sponge. The first is already on a building, you can find it on Gran Vía Street in Madrid. It alone can absorb 85% of pollution compared to a thousand trees in a year.

Portada-Lona-de-Shiseido

A Bridge: It works like a plant during photosynthesis. It consumes CO2 and cleans the air. This bridge is in Barcelona and is called Sarajevo Bridge.

The inconvenience is the price because it´s about 15% more expensive.

Lamp microalgae: This lamp is self-sufficient, all it needs is sun rays, CO2 and some nutrients to survive on the street. These algae produce electricity at night when it stops the photosynthesis process. During this time, the algae releases that energy to power LED lights, which illuminate the street.

It´s possible to use these lamps inside because the lamp also runs with artificial light, therefore it is very good to use for parking lots.

Pictures by unocero and ecoesfera

I know many city halls plan to use these materials and products in our cities and communities around Spain. Do you know if these plans exist in your country?

What is better, to prevent or absorb pollution? Do you believe that city halls should subsidize if people use these materials? Or on the contrary, do you think that it is better to reduce traffic?

 

New trends in recruiting

Spanish version

This week I write about new trends in recruiting because from candidates and companies perspective things are changing considerably.

Because of Digital Transformation the Companies need new profiles that are able to face this transformation.

The balance of recruitment is changing; before, the companies decided who the best people were to work but now the candidates decide where they want to work.

The Millennials: people between 18 and 35 years old. They are ambitious, like to be challenged, are always hyper-connected, have strong values, are socially conscious, they are worried about the environment… They are passionate, tech savvy and also able to multitask.

millennials-redes-sociales

Picture by Blog arnoldmadrid

The Companies must provide good values, challenges, and need to have advanced technology. They should give their employees autonomy and independence with a good working environment.

listindiario

Picture by Listindiario

The candidates now look for great career plans, strong values and a good balance between professional and personal life. Currently, it is not enough with just a good salary.

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EMPLOYER BRANDING

Companies should be active in social media to attract the best profiles and engage them. It´s important to achieve the best feedback from current employees, to publicize the Company´s values.

oxagencia

Picture by Oxagencia

OPTIMIZATION PROCESS

The companies need to have the information, about the candidates and the offers, organized.

It´s necessary to have a quick and efficient process which publishes offers automatically to find the best candidates.

ONBOARDING

Good onboarding is crucial for the new employee to last over time and so the employee will be profitable faster.

Now you know that the things are changing therefore we must adapt quickly to have the best talent, if not the future will be more complex.

Coconut: much better than a fruit

Spanish version

Did you know that coconuts provide many advantages for your body? Never before was I a fan of this food because in my childhood I only tasted coconut as shavings covering desserts. However, when I ate the coconut directly from the fruit I liked it. Although the texture is not the best, it´s strong and stays between the teeth, the flavor was a lot different when I tasted it in shavings.

Picture by loquenosabias.net

Lately I have become fond of coconut water, it´s delicious! I love it especially when I finish exercising in a gym because this water fills you with energy. It’s so good for active people and is like Aquarius but of course natural.

The coconut water has the necessary amounts of minerals, like sodium and potassium, that work together to maintain different levels in the body such as: water, pH and blood pressure while preventing cramps. It also has calcium, which is good for blood circulation and muscle contractions. Magnesium and phosphorus are also great minerals for the body, eg. aiding the communication between the nerves and muscles.

agua de coco

Picture by bcampdera

When you drink coconut water, it works inside your body to improve your skin:

-fights against acne, rosacea, eczemas, scars, dermatitis and dry skin.

-helps eliminate oily skin.

-smooths and eliminates spots

-reduces skin irritation after the sun

-increases cell regeneration

I have tasted a lot of types of coconut waters and there are many. You must find your brand because ones are better than others. For me, the best is Genuine Coconut

Another coconut product that is also trendy is coconut milk, which is created by blending the water and meat inside. You can drink it fresh using the coconut itself as a glass or you can buy packaged milk in a supermarket, herbal or specific stores.

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Picture by imujer

This milk has high nutritional value, rich in vitamins and minerals, and also works against viruses and unhealthy bacteria. It doesn´t have much sugar nor any lactose, so it’s a good substitute for cow milk. However, consuming it daily is not advised because it contains saturated fats.

Another product from the coconut, which has recently become popular, is the coconut oil. Lately, this fever has evolved by celebrities and “It-Girls” telling us the amazing advantages of this great product. Truthfully, it is a good product but it isn´t a miracle worker, which some companies claim.

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Pictures by aceitedecoco.org

Coconut oil uses:

Hair: you can apply this oil to the ends of your hair to protect and hydrate them.

After showering, it is recommended to apply the oil to damp hair and wrap it in a towel over night. When you wake up, your hair will be very soft and smooth.

Skin: You can hydrate all of your skin, repair lip damage, prevent stretch marks, clean make up off of your face, etc.

Some celebrities have stated that they rinse their mouth with coconut oil and sodium bicarbonate for 20 minutes to whiten their teeth and to prevent cavities, but it has not been professionally tested and the sodium bicarbonate can damage your teeth. Because of this, I don´t do it nor recommend it.

Other research related to drinking coconut oil has found that this product can delay Alzheimer´s disease, but I believe it is important to do more research and tests because it´s too early to confirm this hypothesis.

You can buy coconut oil in supermarkets, but if you want ecologic oil you have to go to a specific store.

All in all, the coconut can be used in many beneficial ways and even though using these products haven´t been popular in the past, it is the future.

Pictures by parapintar

Single product restaurants

Spanish version

The expression “less is more” is starting to become more powerful and is extending the belief that, the shorter the menu, the happier the customer. These restaurants specialize in a single product and nowadays “single product restaurants” have been turning into a new trend. The trick is to choose a traditional food (e.g. omelets), simple and easily reinvented, the Americans call it comfort food.

This trend began in New York and London and now it has spread to Madrid and Barcelona, because there are many advantages. The advertising is clear for the client, a restaurant specializing in a single product guarantees perfectly cooked food with a tasty flavor. Another feature is that this type of restaurant has a lot of ways to cook this product which you could never imagine.

For the owners, there are also many advantages because they need less variety of products, less providers and the menu is easier to prepare.

Here you have some international and national (Spain) examples:

In New York,  The Meatball Shop has been a successful restaurant specializing in meatballs. They only have five types of meatballs, you can eat them in a dish or in a sandwich, and combine them with different sauces, all their products are organic. They already have five restaurants in the Big Apple and always have long queues.

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In London Bubble dogs specializes in hot dogs served with champagne. They have a big variety of hot dogs, different sauces and other sides like fries.

Pomze, in Paris, is a restaurant that revolves around apples, with several ambiences, first you can enjoy a taste of the fabulous cider or original cocktails made with apples at its bar then you can continue to the restaurant area to eat. All their dishes are always well prepared with the main ingredient: apple. Its owners pride in the whole process, from the fields to the table.

In Spain, a lot of “single-product restaurants” also appear. In Barcelona Les Truites has different types of Spanish omelets, sweet and salty, with many ingredients such as vegetables, potatoes, meat, etc. and there are also omelets for dessert.

Another place in Barcelona is Comaxurros a “new churrería.” They specialize in churros and serve them in different ways, with the classical “chocolate with churros” of course, brava sauce, meringue, ice cream, etc.

In Madrid there is a restaurant, Bocadillo de jamón y champán, that specializes in sandwiches with champagne but is best known for their rich (ibérico) ham sandwiches on variety styles of bread: mollete (typical bread in Andalusia), ciabatta…you can choose your preferred bread.

La Hummusería. On their menu, they have a lot of types of hummus. It is a calm and sunny place where you can experience a warm ambience. You can also taste their craft lemonade, very good!

Bolero Meatballs  Every meatball is made with fresh meat from Salamanca and then roasted in the oven. They have four types of meatballs, Grandmother´s meatball: a traditional dish with tomatoe sauce, Oriental: with peanut sauce and coconut milk, (the ones I want to try next), the Chick & Parm: with chicken and parmesan cheese, and the vegans’ meatballs: made with quinoa, tofu shiitake and caramelized onions. You can also ask for your meatballs in a sandwich with brioche bread.

Poncelet Cheesebar. This restaurant has been open for a long time and is owned by the same person as the famous cheese shop Poncelet. Their menu has many types of artisan cheeses, applying creative techniques and using the best seasonal products. They have more than 150 artisan cheeses from 11 different countries.

Restaurante Aire  is a beautiful restaurant with a traditional kitchen. They cook dishes with their principal ingredient of different types of birds. Their menu is based around organic products from the farms. Very recommended!

What do you think about this new trend? Do you like it or do you prefer a menu with variety?