Friday, May 28, 2010

Wedding Favors

Oh right, the wedding. I never got around to doing as many wedding re-caps as I'd thought about but, honestly, when it was over I was pretty burnt out and couldn't bring myself to talk about all of those carefully planned details. But it's been just over 6 months now (how long is one considered a newlywed?) and we were reminiscing the other night with some new friends, trying to explain the favors we gave out to our guests. So, dear friends, here are some photos of our personalized M&Ms, complete with our faces, names, and wedding date.

Of course they were totally cheesy and our faces were a little distorted (Guille's head is super huge in one of the pics) but that just made it even more fun and lighthearted. Plus, M&Ms are kind of gourmet here (being an import) so it was fun to add an American element to the wedding. We ordered them online (uploaded 2 photos) and had my family bring them down. We didn't have wedding colors so we just got silver, gold, and pearl. Oh, and they tasted great.

So, it's been over 6 months and I still don't have permanent residency. I had to go back to immigration and pay (at the bank) another 10 pesos to renew my temporary status AGAIN. There's an additional delay because an E was left off of my name on the Interpol records. And of course we had to fight about it because those immigration workers obviously don't want to be working. The last time I had to go in to provide something they lost, they said that everything was ok. So we were like, why didn't you tell us then?! And the dude helping us actually said, well there are a bunch of people working here it's not my problem. Really, dude? It seems like you all have on the same shirt. You all are suppose to be working together to finish things. Oh, but I forgot that I'm in Argentina and there is no final authority or anyone willing to take responsibility. Sit back, drink your mate, and get paid.

I wasn't the only pissed off immigrant that day. Another guy started yelling about how his worker was so mean and unconcerned, and made him feel so bad about himself. Why was that necessary? He yelled that someone should blow up the place. Did security detain him? HA! What security? The workers laughed.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Veggie Corn Chowder (and a national holiday)

Today's a big day for Argentina - not only are we celebrating the yearly revolution day but today is the country's bicentennial. To me, this equates to even more food and fireworks. Weeee! It's traditional to eat stew today, locro in particular. But Guille's mom is out of town and I'm not going to attempt a family dish (but Katie does a good job here). So I spent all day in the kitchen yesterday working on my soup repertoire.

Corn Chowder
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 t. thyme
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 2 c. corn (I used frozen)
  • 1-2 c. vegetable stock
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1/3 c. cream
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
  • black pepper and salt to taste
Saute onion and garlic in butter, when they start to soften whisk in flour, stirring constantly for a minute. Add in pepper and carrot (Add 1 T. EVOO if it's too stiff). It will be pasty but allow to cook for a few minutes. Season with thyme and a shake of salt. Add one cup veggie stock and simmer until veggies are soft. Add creamed corn, milk, and cream. Bring to a boil and add potato and corn - drop heat to a simmer, add salt and a good amount of black pepper to your taste and cook until potatoes are tender (about 20 minutes), adding stock if necessary to thin stew to your preference. You can re-heat this on the stove top with 1/4 c. milk or stock.

Throw in some empanadas! These are from Safyta (Dorrego, entre Mendoza y San Juan) and, yes, that's a little powdered sugar sprinkled on top of humita empanadas. Super delicious.

Here's the chowder and chili on a plate - yep, these are pretty thick. Happy 200!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Amelie Petit Cafe

Here's a glimpse into an adorable cafe in my favorite part of town...

Desayuno is AR 7.50

San Lorenzo 734 (the block where the street begins) across the street from Museo Estevez.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chili sin Carne

It's been chilly out and I needed something to warm me to my bones - something with spice! This recipe uses a packaged blend of finely chopped dried chilies and other spices that I found at Falabella (Narda Lepes, no 2 HOT) in place of chili powder - only because I couldn't find anything close enough in powder form. The same amount of chili powder can be substituted. The other spices include oregano and cayenne pepper (among other stuff) so I'd toss a little of that in too. I also used dried beans but you could use one can of each - black and kidney beans, drained.

I used fresh tomatoes, peeled and crushed, because I read that canned tomatoes are actually somewhat toxic due to BPA. To easily peel tomatoes, cut an X into the bottom and drop into boiling water for about 15 seconds. Remove and, using a fork and knife, immediately peel skin off. It should almost fall off in 4 pieces. Cut out the core, chop up and smush a little with a fork. Let these rest in a bowl for a little while before adding to chili - they'll get a little juicy.

Chili sin Carne
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup bell pepper (I used half of a red and half of a green)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 zucchini (zapallito)
  • 1 c. corn
  • 2 T. chili mix
  • 3/4 T. cumin
  • Big pinch of salt and a few twists of the pepper mill
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped (and smashed)
  • Beans*
  • Tomato paste to taste (I used about 2 T.) or use a greater quantity of tomato puree
  • 1 c. vegetable stock
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
*3-4 c. cooked or canned beans - I used about 1 1/2 c. (combined) dried black beans and kidney beans. Either soak overnight or bring to a boil, cover, remove from heat and let sit for an hour. Then simmer for one and a half hours - being careful not to let them dry up.

Chop and then saute onion, garlic, pepper and carrot in oil along with bay leaf until they start to soften. Add chopped zucchini and corn kernels and cook until soft, about 7 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, and s&p and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, cooked beans, stock, and tomato paste. Simmer for 30 minutes. Taste to adjust seasonings. Stir in cider vinegar and add water if you want it thiner. Simmer another 5 minutes or so. Remove bay leaf. Add cornbread (I only used 1 T. of sugar with this recipe) and toppings!

Save some for leftovers - it's even better on day 2!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cold Spinach Dip

This one's a quickie, just so I don't forget. I was dying for some dip for my plain lays potato chips and realized that it must be easy to whip one up. I found a ton of recipes when I googled 'cold spinach dip' but I didn't really feel like getting that involved. This is a recipe to play with - maybe add in caramelized onions and other seasonings!

Dip, baby!
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup Casan crem (closest thing to sour cream we've got)
  • 1 T. mayonaise
  • Salt & pepper to taste (garlic salt, if preferred)
Blend until dip-able!