Reading Leslie’s writing at the whole plate and seeing Luke’s and Natalie’s photos at him + her inspired me to write about the small things that bring me joy in Bangkok. I’ve been working a lot and feeling dull. It has been too long since I’ve posted.
I’ve fallen in love with mini Asian eggplants. They are full of tiny seeds. Once fried, they burst with flavor. We live a couple of blocks from a beautiful fresh market with so many vegetable choices. Each day I have to resist coming back to the apartment with arms full of cabbage, cilantro, okra, basil, and green, yellow, and red chilis.
Filed under Food, Thailand
E. found these water flowers in the produce section in Cape Town and suggested that we try them for dinner. I was hesitant since the flowers looked like they had recently been sitting on lily pads, but I stepped up to the challenge.
We arrived in Cape Town nearly two weeks ago and found a quaint neighborhood to reside that is close to a good string of restaurants on Long Street. Cape Town’s neighborhoods creep up hills against Table Mountain in the center, each of the homes seeming to jostle others for a better view over the city, mountain, and harbor. It is a great location for hiking, beach living, and city life and has a positive vibe in general. There are good culinary options due to such a mixed population of races.
One of our first side trips was to see the Cape Point nature reserve and to take a rail car to Cape Point.
No matter where we live, my favorite comfort recipe is chocolate banana bread. It has to be the most simple and quick dessert to prepare. After bringing a loaf to a get-together in Buenos Aires, the girls asked me to e-mail the recipe in Spanish. It took me a while to get around to translating it, but I finally sent it out. Please let me know if you make it!
Special thanks to my friend Melissa who is the world’s best banana bread baker. The following English and Spanish translations were inspired by a recipe on Elise.com.
No importa donde viviamos, mi comida favorita que me hace muy comoda es el budín de chocolate y banana. El budín tiene que ser el postre mas sencillo y mas rapido para preparar. Despues de llevar un budín para una fiesta en Buenos Aires, las chicas alla me pidieron por la receta por e-mail. Me tardé por traducirla, pero finalmente la envié. Por favor, avisame si lo haces. 🙂
Gracias a mi amiga que se llama Melissa quien es la mejor chef de budín de bananas y chocolate. La receta que viene fue una inspiración por una receta de Elise.com.
Photo Credit: Dhammza
After reading my last post, my mom was concerned that something was wrong. Things are going well; I can be a melancholy person. Missing old friendships, casualties of moving abroad.
This week I have been visiting V. at her fruit and vegetable stand, drinking mate and chatting. This summer she is studying English, so I’m able to help her with my language. She has one British professor and one American professor at the institute, so we make fun over their fight for her to pronounce English words the “correct” way.
I have some news on a big move coming up but don’t feel ready to share just yet. The move is in a week. Good Lord. I am still looking at our food shelves and trying to create a strategy to use everything up. I’ve done a good job of finishing the oatmeal and Nutella. Couscous? Not so much.
The Tango Goddess suggested that we meet at Buenos Aires Verde for lunch last week. It’s a sweet little organic cafe that opened after we left in December.
The last two days of our trip were spent in Lima, Peru’s capital. I normally like to find the positive in every city’s character, but I found Lima to be gray and dodgy with a negative energy. There is a very lonely and dangerous element there.
Still, there are some sweeter aspects of the city.
Filed under Peru, Vegetarian
I have the homesick blues recently because of the cold weather and gloomy gray of Santiago. I thought it would be fun to describe the things I miss from my pre-expat lifestyle.
Some things I miss most about the United States include:
- Powerbars and Lunabars. These are so great for on the go.
- Dependable customer service.
- Drip coffee. (Starbucks does make it here, but I like to support smaller cafes or make my own.)
- Smoothies. There are a few smoothie shops named Boost, but they are far away from the city center.
- American-style yogurt (like Stonyfield brand).
- Seitan and other vegetarian friendly food products.
- Sunday brunch.
- Shopping at Target.
- Edensoy original soy milk.
- Spicy Mexican food.
- A firm handshake hello.
- Being closer to my family and friends, of course.
I’ve made due without a lot of them. For instance, E. and I started making peanut butter to get a PB&J fix. Without some of the processed food fallbacks we were using before the move, I’ve actually learned how to cook better by using whole foods like beans in place of soy meat.
Also, I have been fine without these things for a year and a half. It’s not a tragedy that I live without them.
Are there any customs or foods that you would miss if you left your country for an extended period?
If you are an expat, what do you miss about your native country right now?
Shelly at Musings from the Fishbowl is hosting a Sweet Freedom cookbook giveaway. Don’t forget to enter by June 27!
Filed under Food, Habitation
So I just found out that my Grandma has been reading my posts. Hi Grandma!
Since I’ve been learning more about cooking in the past year, I decided to make some regional specialties. In one my first tutoring sessions, I told my Spanish prof that I am a foodie. She brought me a little recipe book from the local supermarket chain “Lider.” The book is so great because it highlights typical Chilean dishes like Pastel de Choclo (a casserole with ground, cooked corn, olives, hard boiled eggs, and meat or eggplant), and Guiso de Zapallo, which is a casserole with butternut squash and fresh basil. E. and I don’t usually make casseroles because they can be so unhealthy and cheese centered. I decided to make this guiso as a change of pace.
This recipe has been altered to make it as healthy as possible. It originally called for a half cup milk and a half cup cream. I used one cup skim overall. You are welcome to use the cream if you’d like a rich final product.
Photo Credit: Edú
The language instructors at my Spanish school invited the students to join them for happy hour last night. Some of the instructors were hungry since they usually eat dinner at 9 or 10 in Chile. They ordered a few plates of bife a lo pobre to share. This consists of fried beef and onions over french fries with friend eggs on top. I love the concept of this dish, probably because it’s so close to an American breakfast.