ENTERTAINING: Hot Pre-Fall Special!

EntertainingsliderTime Out

We gave the old tie-dye a new twist – with Sharpies!

By Mary Canovas


Well, it´s almost autumn and politically speaking we´re still back in December with no real government. And while the politicians are cooling their heels, the weather in Spain seems to be getting hotter.

Can you believe they´re forecasting hot – yes hot, not warm –  weather right up ´til the end of September?  So I thought you might enjoy a great grilled cheese sandwich with a satisfying classic drugstore chocolate milkshake – just like back home (I´m from N.J) – to get you going after all those lazy dazy days at the beach. There are some gelatin pinwheels for the younger crowd which even grownups can enjoy and I´ve added a way to show your true colors with a very easy to make Sharpie T-Shirt.


Classic Drugstore Chocolate Milkshake
(See our video tutorial in Spanish)

One secret to a great drugstore milkshake – always make it with vanilla ice cream. The other secret – what gives it that great taste – is your chocolate syrup so splurge and get the best you can buy or make it yourself at home.

• 2 cups – 500 ml vanilla ice cream
• 1/2 cup – 120 ml milk
• 1/4 cup – 4 tablespoons – 50 g chocolate syrup
• Optional – Whipped cream , crushed Oreos
Most importantly, for a proper milkshake you need a thick not liquid consistency that you can actually drink through a straw.
• Place all ingredients in a blender.
• Pulse at low speed about 6 seconds. Don´t beat at high speed or for much longer because the blades will heat and and you´ll have a liquid instead of a milkshake.
• Once completely mixed pour into a tall, wide glass.
• Put a dollop of whipped cream on top.
• Garnish with crushed Oreos or chocolate curls.
• Serve immediately in chilled glasses with a big straw and spoon.

Gelatin Pinwheels – no Gluten, Dairy or Fat
(See our video tutorial in Spanish)

Jello or Gelatin pinwheels are great for kids parties, birthdays or everyday for many who cannot tolerate gluten or dairy but still love sweets.  They also have no chocolate or fat and are both sweet but refreshing.  They are very easy to make and you can make them in any of your favorite gelatin flavors.
• 1 small box of 3.5 oz – 85 gr. gelatin like Jello,  Royal,  etc. – check out size. You need the right ratio of gelatin to water.
• 1/2 cup – 120 ml water
• 1 1/2 cups – 85 gr – mini marshmallows ; if you only have regular, just cut them up
Using a kitchen towel, lightly oil a mold of 20 cm or  8″ square or rectangular.  You can use other sizes but we will be making very thin layers so they should be wide enough – see video.
• Mix gelatin and water in a saucepan and heat until it begins to boil, stirring well to dissolve gelatin completely.
• Remove from heat.
• Add mini marshmallows and stir until the mixture is completely melted and smooth. If they don´t melt completely, you can reheat a little.
• Pour into the prepared pan.
• Refrigerate about 45 minutes or until it has set.
          • Once set, you´ll see the marshmallow mix on top and the clear gelatin on the bottom.
          • Run a knife along the edge to loosen.
• Starting on one side with both hands make a roll.
• Remove from the pan and place the end underneath.
• With a thread cut into slices.  (See video.)
• Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.


Grilled Brie Cheese Panini Sandwich, Bacon and Caramelized Onion Melt
(See our video tutorial in Spanish)

Panini comes from the Italian for small bread or rolls. We know it as a grilled sandwich made from bread other than sliced bread – e.g. baguette, ciabatta, and michetta. Classic Panini sandwiches are usually pressed on a grill. However if you do not have this type of bread on hand, you can make our recipe with sliced sandwich bread.

Our recipe brings together crispy bacon, slowly caramelized onions and the delicate creamy texture of Brie cheese on a buttered rustic bread pressed and melted on a grill. It tastes like nothing else you´ve tried and is well worth the effort of slowly caramelizing the onions.  It´s a crowd pleaser and is actually quite addictive.  
Ingredients (2 to 3 sandwiches)
1. For caramelized onions
• 3 large onions, chopped
• 2 tbsp  olive oil
• ½ tbsp salt
• 4 tbsp brown sugar
• 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2. For the Sandwich / Panini
• 250 g of bacon, cooked until crisp
• 100 g Brie cheese, sliced
• 4-6 slices of bread of your choice – baguette, ciabatta etc. (for 2 to 3 paninis)
1. Make the caramelized onions:
• Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add oil and sauté onions and salt over low heat stirring constantly until they become transparent and golden and there is no liquid left.
• Add sugar and vinegar and heat on medium low heat until they are caramelized. The lower the heat and the longer they cook, the better taste. Put aside.
2. Make the sandwich:
• Fry bacon until crispy and drain on paper towels to absorb the remaining oil.
• Spread each slice of bread with butter or margarine on one side.
• Cover a slice (with the side without butter) with caramelized onions, brie cheese and crispy bacon on top.
• Top the sandwich with the buttered side out.
Heat on a grill, or press or hot skillet already warmed at medium high until browned on one side and cheese begins to melt.
• Turn it over on the other side and if you aren´t using press, press down with a spatula on the sandwich until it has browned on the other side.
• Serve immediately.


You Too Can Be An Artist
Sharpie Faux Tie-Dye T-Shirts
(See our video tutorial in Spanish)

These incredible T-shirts cost so little and use very few materials – even recycled – and they are all the rage these days. Do you recall those exotic, hippy Tie-Dye tops and dresses of the 60s and 70s?  Nowadays we can make something similar but way easier and cheaper and Oh-so-easy!   Each piece is a unique work of art because no two can ever be alike.

All you need is some permanent markers -hence the Sharpie name, alcohol and a white cotton T-Shirt (preferably used or at least washed a few times). What is truly different from the original tie dye is you don´t have to buy special paints or know how to do the specific techniques of tie dye.  It´s as easy as dropping alcohol on a spot or design made with a permanent marker, and you can use a world of colors to make a combination of shapes… to make it very special.

This is a great craft for yourself or to share with your kids of all ages (from 5 yrs up supervised). They will be impressed by their designing ability and will in turn impress all their friends with their creations.
• White T-Shirt 100% cotton or at least 60%. New or used. If it is new, wash, dry and iron it before starting on your design.
• Permanent marker pens – your colors.
• Alcohol, empty spray container or an eye dropper.
• Cardboard, tray, cookie sheet, clothespins.
• Iron – Steam Off.
How To
• Place a piece of cardboard or plastic  inside the shirt so the colors can´t bleed through to the back. You can also put it directly into a tray-like cookie sheet, secure it on all 4 sides with clothes pin to suspend it above the sheet.  This way it won´t bleed onto the back and will make the alcohol flow more easily.
• Paint dots, points, drawings etc. – (See video.)
• Using an eye  dropper, drop alcohol in the center or on the sides, etc. of your dots or designs. You can also spray with alcohol or pour a tablespoon of alcohol directly on the dots.  Each method will give different results. Try anything you can think of.  You can´t make a mistake. Some of the so-called mistakes in arts have produced the most influential trends in painting.
• Remove the cardboard and anchor the shirt on a cookie sheet or similar to air dry in a horizontal position.
• Once dry, iron your t-shirt on hot without steam setting on the wrong side (with a cardboard in between front and back) to set the colors. Or, if you have a clothes dryer, put it in the dryer to set the colors.
• Wash in cold cycle – at first wash by hand until no more color bleeds out, and then always use your cold wash cycle to maintain colors.


Featured image by Paul Downey via Flickr, CC-BY2.0 Generic