sábado, 23 de febrero de 2013

Hot chocolate with churros

The hot chocolate with churros is a typical dish of Spanish cuisine, released in countries like Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Uruguay and Venezuela for more than a century. It is a typical food of Spain that are usually eaten during the cold winter months.

Breakfast with churros in Spain dates back to the early nineteenth century. The churro was highly popular because of its low cost, and then was called fruit pan. Moreover, the chocolate has a longer history, the history and name us back to pre-Hispanic Mexico and its culture, and is also derived from cocoa originating from Mexico, where at the time was often used currency among the pre-Columbian peoples of Mesoamerica .

Given these two elements (Chocolate and churros) is unknown the exact time between the nineteenth and early twentieth century which invented this couple for breakfast.

It's called hot chocolate with churros, indicating that the hot chocolate served in a porcelain cup or bowl accompanied by a plate of fresh churros. This delicacy is usually a typical breakfast Christmas Day and also usually serve the Epiphany (January 6) after the Kings Cake.


For the churros:

- 350 ml of milk.
- 200g of plain flour.
- 5 g of salt.
- 1 fresh egg.
- Sunflower oil.
- Sugar.

For the chocolate:

- 500 ml of milk.
- 120 grams of black chocolate.
- 15 gr cornstarch.



1. Boil the milk. Sift the flour and when the milk boils pour it all into the pot of milk and reduce heat to a minimum.
2. With a kitchen spatula to mix until you go see taking consistency. Stir to prevent sticking to the walls of the pot.
3. Add the egg and mix well.
4. Cool the dough into a pastry bag with a medium size curly tip.
5. In a skillet with a finger sunflower oil, over medium heat, let shredding of churros. fry until well browned.
6. Take the churros, put them on paper towels and sprinkle with sugar.

Hot Chocolate:

1. Boil the milk (reserving a little to dissolve the cornstarch) together with chopped black chocolate.
2. Once it starts to boil add the cornstarch dissolved in cold milk we had booked previously. Stir continuously.
3. Once the chocolate covered spoon already have done.

Note: you can serve hot chocolate with a hint of vanilla or cinnamon sprinkled on top. If you find the chocolate too bitter you can add a little sugar.

miércoles, 20 de febrero de 2013

Sibyl of Fortia. Queen consort of Aragon

Sibyl, called the Forciana (1350 - 1406) was queen consort of Aragon, Valencia, Majorca, Sardinia and Corsica; Duchess consort of Athens and Neopatria and Countess consort of Barcelona, Roussillon, Cerdagne and Ampúrias.

Sybil belonged to the lineage of Fortia, the lower nobility, with holdings in rural within Ampúrias County, which were feudatories.

Sybil, then a young woman of great beauty but without any training, she entered the service of Queen Eleanor of Sicily, who admitted among her ladies possibly because of some real trip Ampúrias County. The Court concluded from his marriage to Foces Artal, elderly Aragonese nobleman protected by King Pedro III, who had no children. The old nobleman died in 1374 and Queen Eleanor in 1375. Soon, the young widow attracted the attention of the monarch, who was just 56, and became his lover.

The princes sons of the late Queen Leonor, especially Martin and John, Duke of Gerona viewed with favor that their father kept this relationship, avoiding a new dynastic marriage and the problems that might entail. But Peter III had other plans, which deeply displeased when his heir came true. Indeed, the announcement of the marriage of true lovers, led to a tense relations between the king and his heir.

In 1377, in Barcelona, Sybil and Peter III were married, becoming Queen. It was an exceptional case among Catalan consorts, because she was not a descendant of a royal family and the nobility.

Marriage between Sybil and Peter III born:

- Alfonso of Aragon. Count of Morella.
- Isabella of Aragon. Countess of Urgel.
- Pedro of Aragon. Died in his first year of life.

After this wedding, Pedro, was surrounded by nobles from the Ampurdán and relatives of Sybil, which led to distrust and enmity of an important side of the court, headed by John (heir to the throne) and his wife Violante of Bar .

With the king's death, in 1387, Sybil, fearing reprisals from her stepchildren, took refuge in the Castle of St. Martin Sarroca. Indeed John and Violante of Bar ordered pursuit and got besiege the castle, the widowed queen gave the new royal couple.

The support of the gentry and the bourgeoisie (especially the Consell de Cent of Barcelona), of some prominent nobles as Count Hugo or the Avignon Pope Benedict XIII, prevented Juan and Violante, and the nobility, may go too far in their revenge.

John, imprisoned for a while Sybil at Castle Montcada and finally she could reside under surveillance in Barcelona. King Martin the Humane improved living conditions and treated with more respect.

Sybil died in Barcelona in 1406. By order of King Martin, was buried with state funeral in the convent of St Francis of Barcelona.

Fig Bread

The fig bread is a typical product of the province of Malaga (Spain) originating in Al-Andalus. In times of famine, when there was nothing to eat, this was a substitute for food and eat alone or with black bread.


- 500 gr of dried figs.
- 500 gr of walnuts.
- 100 grams of almonds.
- 100 grams of flour.
- 5 tablespoons milk.
- 1 glass of anise.
- Flour and butter for pan.


- Chop the figs, chop the almonds and walnuts and mix with the flour in a bowl.
- Add to the above mixture milk and anise. Mix everything.
- Grease a mold and pour the dough in it. Bake at 160 ° for 30 minutes.
- Leave temper and take it out of the mold.

Spanish Curd

This is a milk-like product in nutritional content, typical dessert of Spain (especially the Kingdom of Navarra). In this place, in the month of June, we celebrate the Day of the curd.


- 1 liter of milk from sheep.
- A few drops of rennet.
- Sugar.
- Cinnamon.
- Honey.
- Mint leaves.
- Glasses or clay pots.


- Put the milk in a saucepan, add sugar and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
- When it boils remove from heat, allow to warm slightly and pour into a pitcher.
- Wait until unit reaches body temperature (37 °).
- Put 3 drops of rennet in each container, split up milk curdle and wait without moving the containers.
- Serve with a little honey over sugar and cinnamon and garnish with mint leaves.

Note: Always use chemical rennet sold in pharmacies. Do not use rennet for hygiene reasons and because they have to kill an animal to sell this product only.

Spanish Traditional Magdalenes

There are sources that trace the origin of the Magdalene pilgrimages to Santiago of Compostela. A young, called Magdalene, offered to pilgrims as a pastry shell, symbol of the pilgrimage. The Magdalena spread along the Way of Santiago, which explains its traditional presence in Spain.


- 2 eggs.
- 125 ml of milk.
- 125 ml of olive oil.
- 125 grams of sugar.
- 150 gr of flour.
- Grated peel of one lemon.
- 1 packet of baking powder
- 1 heaping teaspoon of baking soda.
- Moulds Cupcakes.


- We separate the whites from the yolks. We set up 2 whites to stiff peaks with a pinch of salt and set aside.
- In a bowl mix all remaining ingredients until dough is smooth and without lumps.
- Incorporating the 2 whites and mix with stirring motion, being careful not to hit the bowl.
- Fill 3/4 parts of the molds and sprinkle with a little sugar on top.
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees and bake the Magdalenes for 10 minutes at 180 º.

martes, 19 de febrero de 2013

Joanna of Castile. Joanna The Mad

Joanna of Castile, known as Joanna The Mad (1479 - 1555) was Queen of Castile, Aragon and Navarre. By marriage, Archduchess of Austria, Duchess of Burgundy and Brabant and Countess of Flanders. On the death of her brothers John and Isabella and her nephew Miguel de la Paz was Princess of Asturias, Princess of Gerona and Princess of Viana. On the death of her mother, Isabella, was sovereign of the Kingdom of Castile: Queen of Castile, Queen of León, Queen of Galicia, Toledo, Cordoba, Granada, Jaén, Murcia, Seville, Gibraltar, the Canary Islands and the West Indies, Lady of Biscay and Molina. On the death of her father, Fernando, was queen of Aragon, Countess of Barcelona, Queen of Valencia, Naples, Mallorca and Sicily. In 1516 she became the first queen of the crowns that make up present-day Spain, however since 1506 was only nominal her power, with her son Charles, the first king of Spain.

Since childhood itself received a careful education of a princess and heiress of Castile unlikely, based on obedience rather than the government. In the strict environment and itinerant court, Joanna was outstanding student in religious behavior, civility, good manners and proper management, the Court, without underestimating arts such as dance and music training as Amazon and and knowledge of own Romance languages ​​of the Iberian Peninsula, as well as French and Latin.

The management of the Princess's house was completely dominated by her parents. The house included religious personnel (confessor, sacristan, beggar and chaplains) Administrative Officers (butlers, waiters, grooms, accountant, treasurer and secretary), food personnel (cooks, crossbowmen hub, steward, baker, pastry chef, butler and tasters), employed persons and protection of health and service staff (maids and slaves) carefully selected by her parents.

Isabella and Fernando negotiated marriages of all their children in order to secure its strategic and diplomatic objectives. Aware Joanna skills and her potential performance in another court, pledged his daughter Joanna with the Archduke Philip.

When Joanna came to the Northland was not received by her fiance. This was due to the opposition of directors of Philip Francophiles to alliances of marriage contract with his father, the Emperor. The atmosphere of the court with the one found Joanna was radically opposed to that she lived in her native Castile. On one hand, the sober, religious and family Castilian court contrasted with the highly individualistic and uninhibited-Flemish Burgundian court very festive and opulent fabrics through trade that dominated their markets for a century and a half.

While future husbands were not known, fell madly in love to be. However, Philip soon lost interest in the relationship, which gave birth to Joanna pathological jealousy. Soon came the children, that worsened Joanna's jealousy. Joanna watched her husband all the time and despite the heavily pregnant with her second pregnancy, she attended a party at the palace of Ghent. That same day she had her son, Charles, in the toilets of the palace.

Dead her brothers, John and Isabella, Joanna became heiress of Castile and Aragon. When in 1503 her husband, Philip, went to Flanders to some business, leaving Joanna in full gestation, it seems that her mental state deteriorated. She decided from Castile with her parents, especially her mother's request because she was worried about her.

Given the obvious mental imbalance of Queen Joanna, Fernando (father), becomes the ruler of the throne of Castile. Queen's dementia became more acute. She did not want to change clothes, she did not wash ... and finally, her father decided to lock her in Tordesillas, to prevent the formation of a political party around his daughter.

In 1516 the King dies Ferdinand and, by his will, becomes Queen Joanna of Aragon, but the Aragonese institutions did not recognize. Meanwhile, her son Charles, benefited from the inability of Joanna, to be crowned King. So that was added to himself royal titles which belonged to his mother. Joanna never been declared incompetent by the courts. While living in official documents should be included in the first place, the name of Joanna. On the death of Ferdinand, exercised the regency on the throne of Castile Cardinal Cisneros until the arrival of Carlos from Flanders. When Charles came to his mother kept locked and ordered that forced her to hear Mass and confession using torture if necessary.

Since her father confined in 1509, Joanna remained in a house / palace / prison until she died in 1555, after 46 years of forced confinement and always dressed in black with only the company of her daughter Catherine (that leave in 1525 to marry King John III of Portugal), anonymous and battered physically and psychologically by their servers. Especially hard were the years of service of the Marquis of Denia, which gave preference to their own daughters before Joanna and Catherine. The Marquis did the job with zeal and efficiency more than would have been necessary, as it seemed to boast in a letter to the emperor. In that letter the Marquis claimed that Queen Joanna constantly complained saying that had enclosed the "prey" and wanted to see the Great of Spain because "they want to complain about how she had" the Emperor should be quiet because he controlled the situation and knew procrastinating to such requests.

She was never allowed to leave the palace, and that despite the plague was declared in the town where she lived.

With her ​​husband Philip I the Handsome had 6 children:

- Leonor. Queen of Portugal, by her marriage to Manuel I of Portugal, and Queen of France by her marriage with Francis I of France.
- Carlos. King of Spain (as Charles I) and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (under the name of Charles V).
- Isabella. Queen of Denmark and the Kalmar Union, by her marriage to Christian II of Denmark.
- Fernando. King of Spain and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.
- Mary. Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, wife of Louis II, and Governor of the Netherlands.
- Catherine. Queen of Portugal, wife of John III.

In recent years, mental illness is linked to physics, having great difficulty in the legs, which eventually paralyzed her. Then again speak of religious indifference, reaching even to comment that could be possessed. Therefore, her grandson Philip asked a Jesuit, St. Francis Borgia future, to visit her and find out what was true at all. After speaking with her, the Jesuit said the accusations were unfounded and that, given her mental state, perhaps the queen had not been treated properly. Somewhat later, returned to visit the saint, but this time to comfort at the time of her death. And he did so well, he even said that the queen had reason returned, having found, says St. Francis Borgia, "very different meaning in the things of God that there had known in her Highness'. She died in Tordesillas (Valladolid) on April 12, 1555, at age 75.

Spanish Chorizo

In Spain is a cured sausage (can be air or smoking). Presumably paprika, appeared on Spanish cuisine from Latin. The chorizo ​​was the first of the appetizers served as tapas in Spain. This recipe dates back to the sixteenth century:


- 2 kg of pork (loin and ham).
- 250 gr of white fresh bacon.
- 3 heaping tablespoons of sweet paprika.
- 1 scoop of red pepper.
- 1 heaping tablespoon of oregano.
- 1 tablespoon salt.
- 1 glass of white wine.
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced.
- 4 meters Natural pork belly.


1. To make the sausages is essential to have a machine that makes the work of chopping and then fill them.

2. Chop the meat and bacon with machine
3. Once the meat is chopped, we add the ingredients: salt, oregano, garlic, paprika and pepper and white wine glass.
4. Knead well to blend all ingredients.
5. We let the meat rest for 24 hours.
6. Now is the time to test the zorza (marinated meat): We take a small portion and fry with a dash of oil and tasted.
7. Put the pork belly in warm water to get the excess salt.
8. A machine grinder, we remove the blade and put the funnel. On this one, we gut carefully so it will not break.
9. We introduced the "Zorza" at the mouth of the machine and turn the crank. Then begins dating the funnel and getting going in the gut. It is at this time when you have to make a knot in the end not to enclose the filling.

10. We end up turning the meat. We end knot and cut the gut.
11. Now, we regularly spaced knots according to the size we want to give the sausages. After the process, we have to hang in a cool dry place until they are cured.

lunes, 18 de febrero de 2013

Isabella I of Castile

Isabella I of Castile (1451 - 1504) was Queen of Castile from 1474 to 1504, Queen Consort of Aragon and Sicily.

Popularly known as Isabella la Católica, a title he gave them to her and her husband Fernando the Pope Alexander VI by a special bull. It is what is known to the royal couple by the name of Catholic Monarchs, who would use title onwards almost all the Kings of Spain.

She married in 1469 with Fernando of Aragon. She and her husband won the Nasrid kingdom of Granada and took part in a net of marriage alliances that made their grandson, Carlos, inherit the crowns of Castile and Aragon, and other European territories were to become Holy Roman Emperor.

Isabella gave support to Christopher Columbus in search of the West Indies, which led to the discovery of America. This event would have on the future conquest of the lands discovered and the creation of the Spanish Empire.

Isabella lived 53 years, of which 30 years he ruled as queen of Castile and 26 as queen consort of Aragon alongside Fernando II.

Isabella of Castile, daughter of Juan of Castile and his second wife Isabella of Portugal, was born on Holy Thursday 1451. Two years later, his brother Alfonso was born. Previously, the fruit of the marriage between John II of Castile and Maria of Aragon, and therefore brother of Isabella, was born Henry, who accede to the throne in 1454 by the name of Henry IV.

On the death of her father in 1454, Isabella was sent with her mother in the Castle of Arevalo, where attacks would witness her mother madness. Although her father had left important testamentary impositions for her mother, King Henry IV of repeatedly fails.

In 1461 Isabella and her brother were taken to the Court, to be near the birth of the daughter of kings, Dona Juana de Castilla.

Some nobles fought and gave King Henry Alfonso support to of 12 years, to depose Henry in what is called the "charade of Avila." Isabella stood beside Alfonso during this time. However, in 1468, Alfonso died poisoned.

Despite pressure from the nobles, Queen Isabella proclaimed rejected while Henry IV was alive. By contrast, her brother got the proclaimed Princess of Asturias (Crown Princess), in a ceremony known as the Concordia Guisando. Isabella was established as heir to the crown, above Juana of Castile, her niece and goddaughter baptism. Thereafter, the king initiated diplomatic contacts with other royal houses to reach an agreement that will bring him a double benefits.

Henry IV agreed the link between Isabella and King Alfonso V of Portugal, as in Guisando Concordia had agreed that the marriage of Isabella be held with the approval of the Castilian monarch. The proposed project also entailed marrying his daughter Juana, with Crown Prince Juan, son of Alfonso V of Portugal. In this way the king wanted to move to Portugal and Isabella, on the death of her husband, the thrones of Castile and Portugal would go directly to John II of Portugal and his wife, Juana. Isabella refused.

Following the refusal of Isabella, the king tried to marry the Duke of Guienne, brother of King Louis XI of France. Again, Isabella refused.

Meanwhile John II of Aragon tried to negotiate secretly with Isabella's wedding to his son, Fernando. Isabella felt that was the best candidate for husband, but they were cousins ​​needed a papal bull exonerate them of inbreeding. The Pope did not sign this document, fearing the negative consequences that this act could attract him.

People close to an alleged forged Isabella bull issued in 1464 by the late Pope Pius II, in favor of Fernando, which was allowed to marry any princess to join him a bond of consanguinity. Isabella in 1469 was accepted and signed the marriage. For the betrothal and fearing that Henry IV abort their plans, with the excuse of visiting the grave of her brother Alfonso, Isabella escaped Ocaña, where he was guarded by Don Juan Pacheco. For his part, Fernando crossed Castile in secret, disguised as a boy of mule traders. Finally, on 19 October of that same year married in the Palacio de los Vivero in Valladolid.

The marriage of Isabella cost confrontation with his brother, the king. In 1471 Pope Sixtus IV sent Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia as papal legate to arrange the various political issues in the Iberian Peninsula. With him he brought the bull of Simancas that dispensed the princes of consanguinity Isabella and Fernando. Borgia negotiated with them: give them the papal bull in return they grant him the town of Gandia his son Pedro Luis. Isabella and Fernando fulfill their part of the deal in 1485.

The death of Henry IV, was proclaimed Queen Isabella of Castile. War then broke Castilian Succession. Among the supporters of Isabella and her niece Juana. Alcaçovas Treaty ended the dispute, recognizing as kings Ferdinand and Isabella of Castile in exchange for certain concessions to Portugal. After the war he built Isabella Monastery of St John of the Kings.

She was a woman of great character and very choice. He instructed his children that had a range of obligations for their sons of kings, and that they had sacrificed a lot for this reason. He took with him during military campaigns, but also ensured their welfare always, as evidenced by the value before the riot that took place in Segovia Castle in 1476. There had installed the kings court and eldest her daughter lived there under the protection and care of her friend Beatrice of Bobadilla and her husband, the governor Andres de Cabrera. This was of Jewish origin and was accused of wanting to take advantage of the trust that had kings. The tumult became a riot when some provocateurs disguised as peasants, and concealed weapons, harangued the people to oust the governor. Towards the castle dirigó a mass of angry people, peasants armed with tools, stones and sticks. The Queen was with Cardinal Mendoza when she heard what happened. Afraid of risk that could run her daughter, Queen mounted her horse and, accompanied by three guards, rode for 60 miles to Segovia. At the entrance to the city, the bishop tried to stop the great danger, but Isabell did not hear the bishop's advice and went to the castle. She entered and left the door open for them to enter all the mutineers to expose their complaints. After studying the complaints, holds office Andres de Cabrera. Her people kept faith from that time.

During the military campaigns of Fernando, Isabella always remained in the rear with her children and provide the necessary slope. His help was instrumental in the conquest of the Kingdom of Granada.

Isabella believed Columbus projects, despite much criticism and political backlash court and scientists. During her reign there were events of great significance for the history of Spain: the establishment of the Holy Inquisition, the creation of the Holy Brotherhood, the incorporation of the Kingdom of Granada, religious unification of Hispanic Crown and forced conversion (so death penalty) of Jews and Muslims.

Isabella had five children of Ferdinand (who had had other children before their marriage):

- Isabella (1470 - 1489) Princess of Asturias. Queen of Portugal. She died in childbirth with their first child.
- John (1478 - 1497) Prince of Asturias. He died of tuberculosis.
- Joanna I of Castile. Princess of Asturias and later Queen of Castile.
- Mary. Queen of Portugal by her marriage to Manuel I of Portugal (widower of her sister).

- Catalina. Princess of Wales by her marriage to Prince Arthur of Wales (which was widowed) and, later, Queen of England for her marriage to Henry VIII.

At the end of her days, the family misfortunes were primed in her. The death of her only son and abortion of the wife, the death of her eldest daughter and her grandson Michael, the madness of her daughter Joanna and slights of Philip the Handsome, and the uncertainty of her daughter Catalina after English death of her husband, the plunged into a deep depression that made full mourning dress. It is said that upon hearing the sad news of the death of her son said, "The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be your name."

Detained in Medina del Campo, when ill with uterine cancer that led her to the grave, and commanded to give mass for her soul, sure and aware the next order, called Extreme Unction and the Blessed Sacrament. She was buried in the Royal Chapel of Granada.