Monday, September 30, 2013

Levantate! Hoy es Lunes!

Willy always seems to spend a little more time in bed on Monday mornings...

Monday, September 23, 2013

Recipe :: Tomas' Ground Beef & Chorizo Soft Tacos

Mexican food ranks pretty high among my favorite food genres, along with Japanese and Middle Eastern food. Tomas and I pride ourselves in making Mexican food at the house because we know that it is better than what you will find at most Mexican restaurants in Buenos Aires (in our HUMBLE opinion).  Although, it is always a challenge to make Mexican food here because we lack many of the classic ingredients for Mexican meals.

While I am not the biggest fan of ground beef or tacos, Tomas' Ground Beef & Chorizo Soft Tacos are OUT OF THIS WORLD amazing. Whenever we make them, I usually end up eating about four or five tacos (Don't judge me. We only have Mexican about once a month). They are super easy to make and in the time it takes me to prepare the guacamole, Tomas has the meat ready.

Tomas' Ground Beef & Chorizo Soft Tacos
Serves 2-4 (depending on your level of self-control)
-.125kg dried chorizo(or dried sausage if you can't find chorizo)
-.500kg (1 package) ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil (for sautéing onions)
- For seasoning: salt, pepper, cayenne pepper powder or crushed red pepper, Long's Peak Pork Chop Spice
- 1 glass of dark beer
- pre-made flour tortillas

-Remove beef from package, transfer to bowl and add salt, pepper and Long's Peak Pork Chop Spice. The Long's Peak Pork chop spice was purchased at the Savory Spice Shop in Princeton, NJ, but you could also just use a combination of spices such as: garlic powder, onion powder, mustard seeds, ginger. Those are just a few of the spices in the Long's Peak Pork Chop Spice.
-Add olive oil to large pan and heat slightly (medium heat). Then, add onions and sauté until onions start to become translucent.
-Add ground beef and cook until browned(stirring occasionally) about 5-7 minutes. 
-Add chopped chorizo to pan and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
-Add glass of beer to pan with beef mixture, lower heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes (until most of the liquid is absorbed).
-Serve with tortillas,homemade guacamole & sour cream (and sliced jalapeños, if you are feeling daring)!

Step-by-Step Photos:

Dinner Time!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Recipe :: Strawberry, Banana & Cream Icebox Cake

Having sweets in the house is a must for me, and if the sweets are homemade it's even better. Last weekend I decided that I wanted to make something without following a recipe, (which is very much out of my comfort zone), so I knew that I needed to make something simple. I looked at several recipes for icebox cakes online to get an idea of how to make one and see the many flavor combinations.

Icebox cakes have a retro charm to them, and what's even better is they are easy to make, but at the same time are an impressive dessert to serve to guests. Tomas told me it was the best icebox cake he's ever had. He might be a little biased though.

Strawberry, Banana & Cream Icebox Cake
-3 bags(160g. each,480g. total)Boca de Dama cookies (You can use any simple cookie for the cake. I chose plain vanilla with some texture).
-1/2 liter container heavy cream
-1/2 kilo strawberries
-2 bananas
-1/2- 1 cup confectioner's sugar,depending on how sweet you like your whipped cream.To be honest I didn't really measure, I would pour and taste until the cream was to my liking.
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-cinnamon for sprinkling

1.) Thinly slice your strawberries and bananas and set aside.
2.) Pour all of cream into a bowl and add vanilla extract.
3.) Start whipping cream with electric mixer and slowly add in confectioner's sugar. Taste as you go, and keeping adding more sugar until it is to your liking.
4.)Line the bottom of your cake pan with cookies. I used a round spring form cake pan, but you could also use a square or rectangular pan.
5.)Begin to layer your cake. My cake included 10 layers and were placed as follows: Cookies, Bananas, Cream (sprinkle some cinnamon here to enhance the bananas & cream flavor), Cookies, Cream, Strawberries, Cream, Cookies, Cream, & Strawberries.
6.)Store in refrigerator and wait a few hours before serving to make sure cake sets.
7.) Be ready to impress your guests & enjoy!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thursday Travel Shot

Here, life is a bit more simple...

*Every now and then, take some time to stop and eat the flowers*

Carmelo, Uruguay.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Kitchen Organization & Repurposed Yogurt Jars

Every few months I like to reorganize and rearrange the house. I find that I easily get bored of the appearance of a room and I always think there is a better way to display certain things.
Recently, I took on one corner of the kitchen. Yes, just one corner. Our tiny kitchen is jam-packed, so you have to work in sections to accomplish anything.

The biggest change I made to our storage rack/counter was store all of our spices in glass yogurt jars. I really love buying the yogurt in the glass jars at the health food store. I feel that the glass jar enhances the yogurt-eating experience. But, since they are more expensive than buying regular yogurt in a disposable container, I did not purchase them that often. I'm not sure why it took me so long before I realized that I could convert the jars into the perfect spice jars. The size of the jar is just about the same size as a spice jar you would buy at the store, and the white plastic tops are great for labeling with a Sharpie marker. Storing the spices in this way has made cooking a lot easier, and now I know exactly what I have in stock at all times!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Recipe :: Sweet Potato & Jalapeño Hash

I found this recipe from Tasty Yummies a few months ago and have already made it several times. It's a great weekend breakfast, brunch or lunch option when you have some free time to make the preparations. The cooking part is easy, it just takes some time to prepare all of the ingredients.

Red peppers & jalapeño peppers, onion, ham, scallions, cilantro and eggs

Cook the sweet potatoes with onions, crushed red pepper, salt & black pepper.

What's great about this recipe is that it can be easily altered to your liking. You have the option of making it vegetarian or vegan if you'd like (Tomas and I usually don't go that route though). The only change that I have made to the original recipe, in terms of ingredients, is that I have substituted jalapeño peppers for poblano peppers. This was done for the sole reason that hot peppers are hard to come by here, and jalapeños are the easiest to find. In the spring and summer we have two blooming hot pepper plants (those tiny ones that burn your fingers for the rest of the day after you touch them), but since we are off-season now, we have to buy our hot peppers.

Add in ham, peppers and garlic. 
Add half of the chopped scallions & cilantro.

In terms of cooking the eggs, I prefer to make two little holes in my hash mixture and cook the eggs there, closer to the bottom of the pan. They cook faster this way and leave less room for error (I found that when I have cooked the eggs on top of the hash, the hash underneath burns and gets stuck to the bottom of the pan while the eggs are cooking). I also don't cook my eggs as long as the suggested time, since I prefer my yolks gooey and runny. YUM.

Finally, add in your eggs to cook.

And..... taaa daaa!

The finishing touch: garnish with the remaining freshly chopped scallions & cilantro.

This is a very filling dish; one that makes you feel satisfied, but not guilty! I would say that this is one of my favorite recipes that I have made so far. Hope you all get a chance to make it and enjoy it too!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thursday Travel Shot

It must be the fact that today is "Throwback Thursday" which is why I feel so nostalgic. I just spent almost an hour going through some old photos on my computer and decided that I want to start sharing some of my favorite travel shots from the past (and when I say past, I'm pretty much referring to my early 20's) with you all.

Does anyone recognize the location of the photo below?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

These are a few of my favorite things...

...from the Free People September Catalogue.

The September Catalogue from Free People debuted yesterday, and as usual they did not disappoint. I absolutely love the dreamy, bohemian feel of all of their clothing. If I had the means to shop exclusively at FP, I probably would.

Here are a few of my favorite looks:

Cult of Beauty Hooded Cloak

Midnight Light Romper

Magic Rose Pullover
In Bloom Flannel Maxi

Venitia Dress

Make My Day Poncho

Ruffle Me Up Striped Blouse

Breaker Tee

First Kiss Dress

Ex Ex Heel

I love it all! 

But for now, I will just have to cherish the FP pieces that I already have in my closet.

To check out all of the items in the September Catalogue, click here.