Visit the Laugarvatn Fontana Spa in the village of Laugarvatn, Iceland, where guests can try the famous “Rye Bread Experience,” courtesy of the amazing geothermic sands that can bake bread in bubbling underground “ovens.”
Says traveler and video producer Alison Grasso, “in my research of ‘cool Iceland foods’ (very possibly my actual Google search) I came upon the Rye Bread Experience offered at Laugarvatn Fontana Spa, just about an hour outside of Reykjavik. So my cousin and I went, and we filmed, and we ate dense, sweet, molasses-y bread that Viktor took straight out of the bubbling sand, topped with an alarmingly thick cut of Icelandic butter that looked like cheese, but wasn’t. We learned about the geothermal activity surrounding Laugarvatn, which translates to ‘hot spring lake,’ and how locals from nearby share the six geothermal ‘ovens’ for personal cooking, like slow-cooked lamb.”
Day of the Dead gingerbread cookie. Too pretty to eat!
Siri helps Cookie Monster time his latest fix.
First I cut a few purple wildflowers from our yard:
Then I met up with some friends in Julian for some walking, then after my friend Lynn and I went for brunch at the Candied Apple Pastry Company. I’d heard they were serving proper food now, instead of just sweets. And boy did they deliver. A number of savory crepes stuffed with all sorts of goodness, and also paninni sandwiches, plus breakfasts. I got the “Califoronion” crepe, with smoked ham, brie cheese, and caramelized onions inside, and topped with sliced avocado, a perfectly poached egg, and hollandaise sauce. It was to die for.
In the back you can see Lynn’s “Le Vegetarien” crepe, filled with spinach, cherry tomatoes, portobello mushrooms, brie cheese, and Bechamel sauce.
Later Rich and I enjoyed a killer sunset…
While Mini practiced his stretching skillz…
Then we shared a treat I brought home from the bakery: a Chocolate Bomb. Again, it was to die for.
Death by chocolate.
These delicious snacks could not have been easier to make.
Melted Brie and Cranberry Puff Pastry Cups
Follow package directions to bake the pastry cups.
You’ll need to push the centers down to form the cups. I used the bottom of a small juice glass.
Fill with brie cheese. Rich didn’t want cranberry sauce in his, so two are just plain brie.
Bake at 350 degrees for another 10 minutes or until insides are melted.
Gooey, sweet and savory, warm flaky goodness. Perfect for a snowy winter afternoon.
Canadian restaurant equipment manufacturer Unifiller has created a mesmerizing video highlighting some of the company’s cake finishing equipment, like robots capable of rapidly frosting and decorating cakes.
Gorgeous chalkboard art at The Rabbit Hole. My good friend Throop is the general manager there. Their take on a White Russian, named “The Dude” after The Big Lebowski, is delicious!
Attended a surprise retirement party for our good friend and neighbor, Gary. Another neighbor made this jaw-dropping cake with a custom Bakelite topper. Gary’s a biology teacher, and every element in this creation incorporated some part of his life, from the monkey flower at his feet, to the books titled Darwin, Abbey, Berry, and the PCT (his son has made the attempt twice), to a “Robyn” (his wife’s name) with a beetle in its beak (Robyn studies insects). The compost pile includes apple cores, a (now) unneeded alarm clock, and graded test papers. The binoculars are for bird watching, but the birds are more watching him. He’s also learning to play the guitar. Love the little details like the treasure map, boomerang, the hole in the jeans, and the “dirt shirt.” The little apples, corn, and carrots around the outside edges were made of fondant and totally edible.
I’ve been seeing variations of this recipe all over the net and HAD to try it.
Cheesy Pull-Apart Garlic Bread
1 loaf sourdough bread
Fresh Greens (parsley, rosemary, green onion, or herbs)
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon garlic paste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the butter and garlic in a bowl.
Melt until combined. Set aside.
Score deep crosswise cuts into the bread, taking care to not puncture the bottom.
Work the greens into the bread. Pull it apart a bit to get them deep in there.
Pour the melted garlic butter into the bread.
Top with shredded cheese. Again, pull the bread apart as much as you can the get the cheese down in there.
Bake for 15 minutes or until thoroughly melty.
Pull out individual sections of bread and devour. When you’re completely stuffed, place the remains in a Ziploc bag for the next day.
Next day: Gently re-heat the bread in a 250-degree oven while heating up a can of chili. Pour chili over bread for another delicious and filling meal.
Mmmm… so good.