Sunday, August 30, 2009

It's a Cake!

Do you see that little cake in the middle? It's perfect, I love it.

Being that we're dessert people, Guille and I couldn't decide on one dessert so we're serving smaller portions of two desserts on one plate. Later, we'll have cake with champagne but as people will probably be full, we'll only need a little cake. Thus, this is cake perfection.

Our venue serves desserts made by a local baker. Since I've tried a variety of her creations, I have no doubt that she'll make a delicious cake. And now I know exactly what I want!

What is it about Sunday mornings that make them so lovely? Maybe it's that the city has finally quited down and you can hear birds chirping. Maybe it's the calm before the storm of a crazy work week. Whatever it is, Happy Sunday morning. :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Dinner with a side of jazz

Back to wedding planning. It finally seems official that we're getting married and my family will be here to see it. And so, with less than 3 months to plan, we're getting things together. In this episode, we listen.

Of course, it isn't necessary that we provide live music for our small dinner crowd, but it seems like a good excuse for it. We're not stressing over this element of the wedding planning process - our venue will play their usual dinner music if we don't have musicians, and we can even suggest our favorites. And with this relaxed attitude, Guille (the violinist) and I (the former Carnegie Hall employee) went out in search of a sound.

We heard that a jazz quartet was playing at Cafe de la Opera, the sister cafe of Cafe de la Musica, located in Teatro Circulo.

It was a fun time, and good to hear live music again (though in such a small space, amplifiers seem overwhelming). But I think we realized that it's too much for our little wedding. Now we know that we're more interested in background music - something that our guests can enjoy but that doesn't impede conversation. If we had dancing, then it would be a different story - we need meal music. We might be going with a single Spanish guitar player.

The cover for the Jazz Club Rosario show was 15 AR$. Be advised that, as is typical in Argentina, a live performance that is scheduled for 9pm will most likely start closer to 11pm. The menu was much smaller than that of Cafe de la Musica, but they had 2 3-course dinner options for either 29 or 34 AR$. The food was good, though a picada would work just as well. What is it about bread pudding that just fails to excite me?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Under the weather

Last week I came down with a nasty cold that lasted into this week. Sadly, I used up the rest of the DayQuil that I smuggled in on the first day of my cold. This hot pink cough syrup is what I've been taking since then.

And so I've turned to tea for it's soothing powers. While I typically make a special trip to Libertad to buy Twinings tea, they were out of vanilla so I got a variety box of inti zen (made in Argentina).

Flavors include:
  • Silencio Andino: Green tea, chamomile & orange peel
  • Chaman Chai
  • Patagonia Bee: Vanilla, honey & cacao
  • Inca Rose: Earl Grey with rose petals
  • Don Juan: Dulce de leche & berries
  • Tea for Tango: Jasmine Mate
  • Amazonia 12: Tropical Fruits
  • English Breakfast
Maybe I'm a sucker for packaging but these colorful packets and interesting flavor combinations are good for lifting your spirit. Most of these make a good cup of tea, though Patagonia Bee is really really honey-y and the mate tastes like mate (it's not that I'm trying to be un-Argentine, I just don't like it!). The variety box is definitely worth a try and could be a nice 'with love from Argentina' gift. You can find inti zen in just about any supermarket and at La Fazenda.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Alternative Diet

I've been trying to keep myself busy with things to do outside the house besides eating. This is trickier than you might think because I can't just go to the movies, I have to have nachos. I can't bowl without beer. And I love to sample street food, which generally includes pororo (sweet popcorn) on walks. Going out to eat is my favorite thing.

Typically, Rosario shopping doesn't tempt me much. There's not usually a wide selection, nothing spectacular that I have to have, and not much of great value. Plus I hate being bugged by salespeople and having to ask for everything, only to find out that I don't like something. And, inevitably, I'm asked where I'm from and then have to explain why I'm here. Bleh.

But I found this really cool shopping fair. It's a big warehouse space filled with local designers. Cooltura is laid back and easy to peruse. Open every Sunday from 13-19 at Puerte Espana. A perfect alternative to lunching.

I couldn't resist these adorable handmade ballet flats anymore than I could resist a brownie with ice cream. I just eat them up! :) They're by Mujersuela, which may sound a little dirty if you speak Spanish (a mujerzuela is a loose woman), but suela means sole. So it's kinda like sole-woman.

And for 85 pesos, they're quite a steal. That should satisfy my appetite for a while.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Couscous with Roasted Vegetables

I don't know if I'm superstitious or pessimistic, but I'm completely paranoid about jinxing things these days. It seems that as soon as I put something out there, it gets flipped upside down. And so, I've been reluctant to blog about the wedding. You see, we set a date. A date that was all ours, to be remembered annually for the rest of our lives! But of course, within just days, we realized that we had to change it. And all for the better, actually. My mother is thinking about coming and might possibly bring the rest of my immediate family with her. The only problem is that we have to push the wedding back by more than a month. And so, while they figure out what their plans are, I'm on hiatus. I'm not planning one more single bit of this wedding until I know what to plan for. And, well, since I don't really have a goal date for my goal weight, I'm still lovin' on un-whole grains. The latest culprit? Couscous.

I found another "food browser" that helps me understand exactly what I'm eating. One cooked cup of couscous is a single serving with 176 calories. Mix it up with some roasted vegetables and you won't even need to eat that much.

Couscous with Roasted Vegetables
(serves 6)
  • Approximately 6 cups of chopped veggies, which could include:
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 c. mushrooms
  • 1 small zapallito
  • 1 c. broccoli
  • olive oil
  • S & P to taste, pinch of dried sage and oregano
  • 1 cup quick cooking couscous
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • Parmesan cheese
  • flat parsley
Chop veggies into small cubes and toss in a large bowl with enough olive oil to coat. Create a large tinfoil pouch for the veggies on top of a baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 45 minutes at 180C (350F). Bring stock to a boil, stir in couscous, cover and remove from heat. Don't touch for 15 minutes, then fluff with a fork. You can stir in a handful of finely shredded cheese if you like.

Place couscous in the bottom of a serving dish and top with veggies. Dress with a drizzle of olive oil, a handful of shredded cheese, and parsley. Eat and then go out for a walk.