October 31, 2013 by jenniebean10
Meet my new set of wheels, which I have aptly named Uvita (little grape, because she’s purple). There are tons of parks around Valencia, bike lanes, and the metro stops running before 11, so having an alternate mode of transportation is a real asset around here. I bought this bike from a shop nearby, and they’ll buy her back when I leave, even fixing her for free if anything goes wrong. I love her! The seat’s not too comfortable, and it’s a single speed, but Valencia is relatively flat so that’s not TERRIBLE. She gets me from Point A to Point B, up until this evening…
Yesterday, I was supposed to go to the beach with a friend, but then rain happened. (Nope, it’s not always perfect weather in Valencia!)
Today was pretty chilly at 65°F, but still sunny enough to bike to the beach. It’s only about 7km away, and I rode most of the way through Turia Park, then past the University. I laid out on the Delta blanket I stole from the plane (best decision ever, as we don’t have enough towels here for me to take one to the beach!) and met up with my couchsurfing friend, Alex.
I headed back just before sunset, but I was still about 5km from home and my rear tire went flat! It came unseated from the rim, and BLAHHH it got all smashed against the chain stay. It wouldn’t budge, so I couldn’t even push the thing home. I tried lifting the seat up and steering it just with the front wheel on the ground, but it’s too heavy and I was too far from home. Bikes aren’t allowed on the metro or buses, most cabs are little Priuses, and this thing obviously doesn’t have quick release wheels, so it wouldn’t fit and there was nothing I could do. I stayed at a bus stop and kept pleading with drivers to let me on with my jacked up bike, but no one would permit me to ride with it. Finally, the fourth bus driver said no, but I turned on the waterworks…because nobody wants to deal with a hysterical girl who doesn’t speak their language! It worked!! He let me on, and tomorrow I’ll take it to get repaired.
After that fiasco, I got home and went to my happy place: baking. Con vino, por supuesto.
I kind of unnecessarily bought an expensive (by American standards, at 3€70) can of cocoa powder, so I want to use it up. I had leftover dark chocolate from making brownies, and so naturally I made double chocolate cookies. I tweaked Nigella Lawson’s recipe and threw these together, and hopefully I can give them away this weekend. Luna had a piece of one before she went to bed, and asked me how I made them so good. ^^ Unintentional compliments from 4 year olds are the best.
Double Chocolate Cookies
adapted from Nigella Lawson to match what I had in the kitchen
yield: 20 reasonably sized cookies
1.5 oz (40 g) bittersweet chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids – I used 82%)
1 c (150 g) flour
1/4 c (30 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 stick (125 g) softened butter
1/2 c (75 g) turbinado or demerara sugar
1/4 c (50 g) white sugar
1 large egg (cold from the fridge)
3 oz (80 g) dark chocolate, roughly chopped (you can add more, I didn’t have much)
Preheat the oven to 325°F (170°C) while you melt the 1.5 oz of dark chocolate in the microwave/a double boiler/heatproof bowl over simmering water. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Cream the butter and sugars together in a large bowl, add the melted chocolate, and mix together. Beat in the egg. Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until combined and the batter is completely wet. Mix in the chocolate chunks, and shape into balls. Place on a cookie sheet without flattening them, leaving two or three fingers between each cookie so they have room to spread. Bake for 15-18 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack and serve warm with milk. Enjoy!
Now that it’s chilly, the only thing that I wish I had packed in my suitcase but couldn’t – too bulky – is a big comfy sweatshirt. Blankets will have to do, but it’s just not the same as getting cozy in a soft hoodie with a cup of tea. My complaints in life are quite trivial right now…