Monday, August 29, 2011

Just another Sunday in Buenos Aires

My friend Hallie brought back some 100%, impossible to find in BA, sugary, delightful maple syrup from Ohio.  It was a HUGE container and I'll be honest, I pilfered it from her and she was kind enough to let me get away with it.  I have slowly but surely made my way through the ENTIRE container and decided to go all out for one last brunch.  I made some french toast and it was amazing.  It's super easy to make french toast, the key is a sturdy, thicker cut bread, and some good soaking time in the egg/milk batter.  For those of you that don't have maple syrup, honey is a pretty delicious substitute.

Soaking the bread in the batter

Good amount of butter in the pan

Get cooking

A couple sunny side up eggs to go along side

The spread
My first plate

And the second....
Ingredients: serves 2-4
Sliced bread (I used challah)
1/2 Cup whole milk
4 Eggs
1 Tsp maple syrup or honey
1/2 tsp of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp almond and/or vanilla extract
Sliced Fruit

Mix together milk, 2 eggs, maple syrup, spices and extracts into a deep dish.  Place the sliced bread in the batter and let sit for 10-15 minutes, turning over half way through.  Make sure it's soaked all the way through. 

Melt butter on a pan over med/high heat.  Place bread in pan and reduce heat to med/low.  Put a lid (another pan) over the bread so that it cooks the inside more quickly and doesn't burn the bread.  Flip once it's nice and toasty.  Cook the other side with the lid on.

Put another pan on high with a bit of oil or butter.  Once it's HOT, crack the other two eggs.  Let it cook on high for about 20-30 seconds and then reduce heat to VERY low.  Cover the eggs with a lid as well so that they cook without having to flip them (if you don't like runny, then flip them).  Turn heat off right before they are cooked through and keep the lid on.  The residual heat will cook them to sunnyside up perfection. 

Serve with sliced fruit.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Need to sublet my apartment for 4 months!

Hola Chicos,

I have decided to take a small step in my move back to the ol' US of A and am going home for 4 months.  I'm looking to sublet my room for october, november, december, and january.  The dates are somewhat flexible. 

It's a two bedroom apartment in the best location in the city.  I've lived in BA for nearly 3 years now out of the 4 places I've lived, this is by far the best.  It's on Charcas between Armenia and Gurruchaga.

Joanna, my amazing roommate from Colombia shares the apartment and has the smaller loft room.  My room is HUGE and the bed is even BIGGER.  It's an awesome deal, cool place, good location, etc, etc.  Biggest perks are the private terrace/parilla, and next door location to the best panaderia in the ciudad! 

$2200 pesos per month with everything included (wifi, cable, etc).

Joanna prefers living with another girl, so please forward this to anyone you know if you're not interested.  I appreciate the help.  Thanks!

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En espanol por las dudas!!

Decidí volver por 4 meses a casa a recargar energías. Quiero alquilar mi cuarto de octubre a enero, las fechas son flexibles, pero esos serían los meses que estaré por fuera. 

Es un departamento de dos habitaciones en la mejor ubicación de la ciudad. He vivido en varios sectores en BA y este es por lejos el mejor. Está en Charcas entre Armenia y Gurruchaga.

Joanna, mi compañera de piso de Colombia, comparte el departamento y tiene el cuarto más pequeño en el entrepiso. Mi cuarto es GIGANTE, y la cama es todavía más grande! La verdad es que es un excelente acuerdo, un lugar genial, buena locación, etc. Además tiene un plus: una terraza/parrila privada y está al lado de la mejor panadería de la ciudad!!

$2200 pesos al mes con todo incluido (wifi, cable, servicios, etc.)

Joanna prefiere vivir con otra chica, así que les pido si pueden reenviar esta info a sus contactos si ustedes no están interesados. Agradezco mucho la ayuda!


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Enorme cama!


Habitacion 2.  Tiene TV tmb

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Drunken Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I love banana bread.  There is nothing much more to say.  No kneading or yeast required.  Just mix, bake, and enjoy.  I make mine without refined sugar and just a bit of honey so that it's healthier and you can add jam or butter or dulce de leche on top without being to overly indulgent.  Check the recipe out below.

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or golden raisins
1/2 cup dark rum or frangelica
2 ripe bananas, unpeeled
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk or 200 grams natural yogurt (thicker the better and ESSENTIAL part of the recipe.  Coconut milk is the best and you'll never go back!)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Place the bananas on a cookie sheet. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes, or until the skins are black and they have started to seep. Remove from the oven, set aside, and let cool.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a mixing bowl. Set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and honey until smooth. Add 1 egg. Mix until completely incorporated and then add the second egg. Mix again until completely incorporated.

Meanwhile, squeeze the flesh of the bananas out of the skins and into a small mixing bowl. Add the coconut milk, rum, and vanilla and mash together. Add half of the banana mixture to the butter/honey. Add half of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Add the remaining banana mixture, blend thoroughly, and add the remaining flour mixture; mix just enough to thoroughly blend the ingredients. Fold the chocolate or raisins into the batter and pour it into a lightly greased 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.

Bake in the oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack, slice, and serve warm.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Splendid Trip to Carmelo, Uruguay (with lots of eating)!

Leaving Buenos Aires

The visa challenge strikes again!  My 3 months were up and after passing the mark last time, I figured I'd take the chance to set things straight, leave when required, and explore a little more of Uruguay.  I decided to see what Carmelo was all about.  It's just as easy to get to as Colonia and only costs $200 pesos vs Colonia's $300!  Who knew??  The boat leaves from Tigre and there's a shuttle from 9 de Julio.  Super easy, on time, good service. 

Needing a nice relaxing weekend, we splurged and stayed at the finca y granja narbona.  The website is silly and you need to click on the right property because one man clearly owns all of Carmelo and everything is related.  The finca has 3 perfect rooms, a winery, and a great restaurant.  It was fantastic in every way!

The finca is known for it's pasta and risotto, so we ordered a pasta sampler and veggie risotto.  Good, but the star of the show were the crackers, homemade cheese and dulce de leche.  Other days we ate steak and the classic chivito sandwich and asado.  You heard it here first folks: steak is BETTER in URUGUAY than Argentina.  Everything was delicious.  Carmelo is low key and beautiful.  Colonia definitely has more going on, but I'd choose Carmelo over Colonia for the visa trip any day.

Finca Narbona pasta sampler


Restaurant Don Gato postre

Baked goods and cheeses from Narbona

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Pad Thai

It's been far too long since I've posted a blog and even longer since I've been able to cook.  I miss it and I'm getting back in the action.  My new favorite thing to cook is my version of Pad Thai.  You can buy rice noodles in any dietetica and add whatever veggies, meat, tofu, egg, etc you want.  The sauce is the only tricky part, but you can find the ingredients in Barrio Chino easily and no cheating is required!  With the ingredients, it's an easy meal that shouldn't take more than 30 min to make. 

Pad Thai
Rice Noodles - small package feeds 4
1 package of cut veggies (the ones they prepare for sopa)
Other veggies of choice (I threw in broccoli this time)
1 green onion, chopped
1 chicken breast or tofu cubed
2-3 eggs, scrambled in a separate pan

Sauce: (I am guessing on these proportions because I just add until I like the taste, but they seem about right).
3 LARGE tablespoons of peanut butter
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1/5 cup of rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup of honey
2 tsp of siracha
1 tbsp of diced ginger and garlic
Pinch of dried or fresh chili

1. Bring salted water to a boil.  Add noodles, wait 1 min and turn heat off.  If you buy the thin rice noodles (which i recommend), they just need to be heated until tender.  Takes about 3-5 min.  Drain noodles and set aside.

2. Saute veggies in pan until tender.  Do not add salt.

3. Prepare sauce in small pot.  Add a touch of oil on medium heat.  Add ginger and garlic.  Saute for 1 min.  Add soy sauce, vinegar, oil, and chili.  Stir 1 min on higher heat.  Add peanut butter and honey.  Stir until it's all incorporated.  Keep on med high heat until sauce begins to reduce.  It should taste really strong, so strong you wouldn't want to eat a spoonful straight.  This is good because it needs to coat all the noodles and veggies.  Trust me that it may seem like a lot of sauce with a lot of flavor, but after it's spread out through everything, it's the perfect amount.  Let the sauce reduce until pretty thick.

4. Scramble eggs.  Add veggies to noodles and pour sauce on top.  Mix evenly.  Add eggs, green onions, and peanuts.  Mix lightly.