Category Archives: rambling

How did you get so big?

And no, I´m not talking about my hips, I´m talking about Phoebe. I´m still trying to figure out how she managed to go from 1 pound to 64 pounds in just a year, and from adorable puppy to adorable adult dog… or semi-adult really, especially if we take her behavior into account.

But anyways, she turned 1 on Xmas day, and we celebrated in style, birthday hat and all. But before you all kill me and call animal services, I swear I didn´t make her wear that just to laugh at her… well, yeah, that did play a part, but it was mainly because my older brother (the one that´s visiting from Spain) says he hates dogs (oh yeah, can´t figure that one out either), so he complains about how spoiled Phoebe is and everything. So my younger brother and I decided it was a good idea to tease him by buying Phoebe a bday hat and sing her Happy Birthday, and oh yeah, it worked like a charm, though he didn´t get so annoyed really, it was more of a mix of “can´t believe my eyes” and “this is hilarious”.

So this is a photographic journal of Phoebe´s first year, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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A full year

I seriously can´t believe it´s already been a year since I started this blog. After 130 some entries, some things have come to feel normal… even stalling people before they can dig in so I can take pictures of food (and pretending they don´t hate me for it), but I still marvel at many things that foodblogging has brought into my life, especially all the wonderful people I´ve met this year, both virtually and in person.

Even though I don´t talk much here about my life unrelated to food, I think our attitude towards food and our memories or experiences can be easily associated to different areas in our lives, and are a good reflection of our personalities. I would still like to talk more about other aspects of life sometimes, but something usually stops me, I don´t know if it´s lack of writing skills, shyness or what, but I´m going to be working on that for this second year of blogging.

For our little blog-anniversary celebration, I´m bringing some brownie-like chocolate cookies Molly posted about last week that I´ve already made twice: both in the very same version and with a touch of cinnamon, and even a lemon version for my grandma because she´s allergic to chocolate.

chocolate and lemon cookies

What´s remarkable about these cookies is that they don´t have obscene amounts of butter, which is always a welcome change.

The full recipe comes at the end of the post, but first I want to thank Deb for the inspiration to start this little blog of mine, and each and every one of you for reading my recipes and rantings, and for taking the time to comment, since I just love our little conversations (and to the many lurkers as well, because I know we don´t always have the time to comment). This has been a full year for me in many, many ways, and this blog has been a great companion while I try to grow both as a person and a cook. Thanks for tagging along!

Now for the second year, I need to get some stuff done, one of which is doing a recipe index (coming soon) and also finding out how to do those “one year ago” links at the end of each post, do any of you know how to do that? If so, please give me a hand, because I´m still sadly incompetent with many technical things.

chocolate and lemon cookies

Chewy Cocoa Cookies with Chocolate Chips Adapted from Alice Medrich, as seen in Orangette
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. (½ stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
7 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup plain yogurt, preferably not low- or nonfat
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup chocolate chips, preferably Ghirardelli brand, either semisweet or bittersweet

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (about 175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

3. Place the butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl, and microwave briefly, until just melted. Add the sugars, and sift in the cocoa. Stir to blend well. The mixture will be somewhat thick and pasty, like wet sand. Add the yogurt and vanilla and stir to mix thoroughly. Add the dry flour mixture, and stir to just combine. Add the chocolate chips and stir to incorporate.

4. Drop the dough by generous tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet. You should be able to fit about 8 or 9 cookies, nicely spaced, on a standard sheet pan. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies have crackled slightly and look set. Transfer the sheet pan to a wire rack, and cool the cookies on the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer them to the rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

Yield: About 15 cookies

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Filed under food, rambling, sweet

Good day sunshine

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Today is the first day of Spring here in Buenos Aires… which means tons of picnics all over the city, usually involving more alcohol than food, as excited teenagers celebrate both spring and what is also officially student´s day here in Argentina. So as you can imagine, there are sandwiches, mate (a typical Argentine drink I need to explain someday), tons of gossiping, checking out students from other schools, making out in the wilderness and the like, I´m sure you are getting the idea.

Of course, I´m much too old for such a high-school celebration of spring, and being an “adult” I had to work today, but since spring is my favorite season and work has kept me away from blogging for a while, I figured I´d celebrate spring with you all through pictures. Enjoy!

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Filed under Argentina, Buenos Aires, rambling

Buenos Aires in bits and bites

When you live in such a huge city, it´s hard to feel like you´ve got a good grip on it since there´s no way to know it all. And sometimes that hugeness can make you block out your surroundings and not pay attention to the little bits of beauty that can be found all around if only you keep your eyes open.

And having grown up in the suburbs, there´s just so much I have left to discover. So I decided to make an effort to explore more and to drag my camera everywhere so I could capture it.

Which is why I´m planning to make this a weekly, bi-weekly or at least a monthly series, so those of you abroad can get to know the city a bit more along with me, and those of you who live here or have already visited can see it under a different light. Hope you like it!

Iglesia de Guadalupe
Iglesia de Guadalupe (between Charcas and Medrano)

Iglesia de Guadalupe

Iglesia de Guadalupe

graffity shrine
Shrine to all things graffiti (check out the monkeys above the columns!)

graffity shrine

art
Art in the park (in Plaza Armenia, between Costa Rica and Armenia)

the body, deconstructed

city art

Jewish food
Jewish New Year celebrations (in this case, just the food)

Jewish New Year

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Filed under Argentina, Buenos Aires, rambling

Random

No, the Daring Baker challenge didn´t kill me or induce a blissful buttery-chocolatey comma, I just haven´t been cooking that many note-worthy recipes lately.

But since I don´t like to leave you empty-handed for longer than a week or so, I´m gonna share some images of my “little” brother making sushi in an attempt to make him stop bugging me about it and show that everyone, and I mean everyone, can make sushi… this is what I call multi-purpose writing, ladies and gentlemen!

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And then there´s this broccoli sauté from Giada´s book that I loved, and this wonderful broccoli tortilla I invented (in fact, that´s another one of my problems as a food bloggers, there are many times when I just improvise a meal in 20 or 30 minutes so I can´t be bothered to slow down and record the amounts and the whole process.

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But I´m glad to announce this might be my very first sucessful tortilla endeavour… in terms of presentation I mean and the tortilla actually being a whole when I´m done cooking.

Oh, and another one of my excuses for leaving you stranded without much in the way of food or a recipe is the fact that my baby, aka Phoebe, had cataract surgery on her left eye last week so I´ve been occupied with puppy-nursing activities as well. But everything went fine, and even though “the cone” is now gone, it has left us with precious pics like this:

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hahaaha I hope that made reading this mess of an entry worth it.

And I´ll be back in a few days with hopefully some more food and an actual recipe, or maybe some pics of Buenos Aires I´ve started taking lately.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I´m planning to take advantage of the early spring and enjoy the city as much as possible (oh, and we have strawberries, people, can´t believe it, bye bye winter, won´t miss you one bit!).

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Filed under food, Phoebe, rambling, savory

There´s no such thing as too much sugar

Here we go again. Yes, it´s Daring Baker time!!!

Milk chocolate caramel tart

This month, it´s back to the hardcore business of chocolate, cream and sugar, and I couldn´t be happier. Veronica and Patricia chose a marvelous recipe for a milk chocolate and caramel tart from a book called Sweet and Savory Tarts by Eric Kayser.

I know what you are thinking, “caramel AND milk chocolate, that´s waaay too sweet”. Well, I´m here to tell you otherwise. First of all, let´s think for a second, what´s one of the yummiest airport threats? Toblerone. Yes, Toblerone makes duty free shops and airport waits a bit more bearable (well, that and those cute Lind boxes with a selection of tiny chocolates, but I don´t want to get off topic once again.) The typical Toblerone bar is huge, and is made out of milk chocolate and tiny bits of caramel-covered almonds, so I was convinced this tart would work, especially since it had plenty of cream to balance all the sugar.

Milk chocolate caramel tart

Milk chocolate caramel tart

But I still needed to make sure the I chose a brand of milk chocolate that wasn´t tooth-aching sweet. So I bought a Cadbury bar and a Milka bar, and set out to engage in the difficult task of tasting both to see which one made more sense in this tart. I´ve always been a huge fan of Milka chocolate, but in this case, it´d have been too sweet and ruined the tart, so Cadbury it was (but don´t worry, the other bar was saved for further testing.)

Now, if you are waiting for a disaster story, this isn´t the Daring Baker´s recipe for you. In fact, I was surprised because it was fairly easy and not time-consuming since the crust is made ahead and the only tricky part is the caramel cream, which required a bit of patience to dissolve the caramel after the cream and the butter were added, but turned out great.

Milk chocolate caramel tart

I loved the creamy texture of this tart combined with the crunch of the crust, and so did all my testers… my hips sang in gratitude because it was devoured in under a day so I didn´t get to participate much!

As for the flavor, it was delicious as it was, and I omitted the hazelnuts and the cinnamon in the crust because we were allowed to do so and I didn´t want my little cousins to say they didn´t like the cake, but I´m sure it would be even better with the added complexity (if you do add the cinnamon, use a bit less than what the recipe calls for since other DBs said the cinnamon flavor was a bit too strong.)

Milk chocolate caramel tart

Phoebe trying to lure the tart into submission

So all in all, this was a nice break from the more complex DB recipes, and I got to work on my caramel skills, or lack thereof, so I´m ready to tackle whatever next month brings.

In the meantime, go check out how my fellow Daring Bakers fared this month here and see the recipe after the jump.

Continue reading

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Filed under Daring bakers, food, rambling, sweet

Moving

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Exactly one year ago today, I was getting all my earthly belongings to a whole new place. Moving out had been this long exciting process through several months of daydreaming, weekends at my brand new house, design consultations, reform disasters, chickening out, then getting excited again… so when the day came, I was ready, so to speak… there might have been a new freakout incident some days later haha

But all along, I knew deep down that it was the right move for me. I needed to grow up (and still do) and hanging out with my friends and exploring different things was becoming increasingly hard being at the other end of the city without a car.

I feel like I still have a long way to go if I want to be where I want to be inside, but I´m working on it. In the meantime, I´m taking a few punches here and there and learning to get back up on my own, enjoying the freedom that comes with being your own master, weekday lunches and dinners with friends, movie nights with the girls, the peace that comes when you sit down to read a book on the couch, dog resting on your feet and the rain falling gently through the window… all those little things add up.

Hopefully this second year will be filled with even more adventures, growth, and laughter… ultimately, it´s up to me, so I´ll just stop hoping and make it happen.

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