A year in the life of a Marbelli (Week 19)

Wow what a week! Elections, Mijas and beetroot brownies – what more could a girl want?!

An old friend from England came over for the weekend and because we share a mutual friend who lives up in Mijas, we decided to take a trip up the mountain road. The sun was shining and the results from the election were still dribbling in, so my fingers needed to work overtime, either on the camera or looking up the latest polling.

Mijas is almost unrecognizable from the place I first visited nearly 30 years ago, but the stunning view from the main terrace, (apart from a few more houses!) is as beautiful as I had remembered it.

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Tourists are of course the lifeblood for Mijas, and judging by the large amount of Japanese riding around on the donkey taxis a cruise ship must have been in the vicinity. I suppose the donkey taxis are Mijas’s answer to a rickshaw, the only difference being that absolutely no one in Andalusia is fit enough to pull it themselves!

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We had been told about the Miniature Museum and a 5-minute ascent walking (yes we walked – well done us!) up the main road brought us to what looked like an oversized railway carriage. The exhibits were really clever, almost invisible to the human eye, there is a magnifying glass to help see how amazing these pieces of art really are.

The Seven wonders of the world carved out of a cocktail stick, the last supper painted on a drawing pin head, dressed up dissected fleas and of course my favourite the shrunken male head – small, ugly and dirty but most importantly unable to talk!

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Our next stop, after an enjoyable 20-minute coffee break in one of the charming squares was the much anticipated Picasso Museum. This is a new attraction for Mijas but I wasn’t convinced by it really – maybe living down here for so long has made me more of a Hockney girl but I felt that Picasso had definitely made the right decision when he gave up on his pottery phase!

After a walk back past the chocolate factory and around the cobbled streets and buildings, our visit finished with a fab lunch at a tiny restaurant/bar called Pampa where we enjoyed a selection of Tapas and finally celebrated the election result with a glass of Malaga wine!

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Not only is Malaga wine really sweet and delicious but also it gave me Dutch courage to get back in the car with Tim, who either needs new glasses or to give back the licence I’m convinced he acquired on some street corner years ago. Four glasses later and we were on our way back home so I could show off my brownie making.

Healthy brownies have become a bit of a challenge in our house between Tash and myself. She started the trend when she was living here after uni, amid the ‘organic pillow, early nights and coconut phase’ so in her honour I have made an effort to keep it up by sticking to the tight regime she ruled the house by! (Hitler has nothing on Tash when she is on a mission, I can tell you).

So beetroot brownies have become my signature ‘I want chocolate’ substitute food. The basic idea is to substitute the fatty ingredients for healthy ones – so flour is substituted by coconut flour, butter by avocados, chocolate by organic dark chocolate and sugar by either coconut sugar or Algarve syrup.

I’ll leave you this week with the recipe below, try them-they are strange but delicious!!!

Anyway, bye for now and see you next week xx

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Beetroot Brownies

500 g fresh cooked beetroot peeled and chopped

200 g dark chocolate

2 Avocados

3 eggs

125 g coconut flour

100 g coconut sugar or Algarve syrup
Heat oven 180c. Blend the beetroot, chocolate and avocado in a mixer, until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar for 2 minutes, Add beetroot mixture and mix. Sift flour into mixture and mix. Pour onto greaseproof paper in a rectangular oven dish. Put in oven and cook for 30 mins.


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