Argentina: Part II

January 31st, 2009

While in Argentina, J and I visited with his family, who live in the suburbs of Buenos Aires.  I had a fabulous time.  Everyone I met was so open, welcoming and friendly.  I do not speak Spanish but J would sit next to me and translate.  I found that with my knowledge of Italian, I understood a lot and was able to communicate rather well.  Granted I did leave them with the impression that I was quiet…

Being at his grandmother’s house was very relaxing.  Again it felt familar, although it was very new.  One of my favorite memories of our trip is sitting around drinking mate with his grandmother.  Mate is a type of tea.  People get together and pass around the mate.  It is a very intimate and special experience.  I wish I had taken more pictures of everything…

J and his uncle have the same birthday so they threw a party for the two of them. The food was excellent. J’s uncle roasted two pigs, which were served with salads, matambre and chipas!  For dessert we had ice cream and cake.  I recommend trying lemon ice cream with champagne.  We were up until 3am singing Argentine songs.   What an amazing experience!
Chipas are like yummy cheese puffs.  I am addicted to them.  I made a huge batch and probably ate half of them myself.  In Argentina, they have mixes where you just had water and eggs.  Here is a recipe that I was given.  I have not tried it here yet, so watch the cooking time.

1 lb. of yuka flour (can find at Latino grocery stores)
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup grated Fontina cheese, grated
150 grams of butter
milk to wet the dough

Mix it all together and roll into balls. Bake at 350 for 20 min.  Half way through flip them over so they are evenly browned.

IRELAND: PART II and a recipe

August 11th, 2008

The thing I miss most about traveling and moving happens to be the lack of time and often space to cook. When I returned from Ireland, I couldn’t wait to get all floury again and I made Challah. With the some leftovers and the “starting to go stale” challah, I made a really good brie and balsamic onion sandwich that I chowed down as I packed. Now for the rest of Ireland…
Off I went to Galway, a fun, university town on the Western Coast. I spent my days roaming around the town, falling asleep by the river and doing a bit of shopping. I had two fabulous meals…One day for lunch, I stumbled into Anton’s Cafe, a cute and artsy cafe. Craving avocado, I decided on the Smoked Bacon, Avocado & Beef Tomato with Red Onion Marmalade sandwich. It was very good. A few days later, I had a lovely dinner at Ard Bia. This cute restaurant sits on the river near the Spanish Arch. It is like walking into the dinning room of your favorite artsy, bohemian and eclectic friend. Nothing traditionally matched but all the tables and decoration created a welcoming and comforting atmosphere. I had to wait for a moment as the servers finished writing down the menu on the blackboard, which was then placed in a chair next to me so I could decide what to order. I chose a seared white fish fillet with lentils and a fresh summer salad. It was a wonderful meal. They even had fennel and pomegranate seeds in the salad…yummy!
During one of my days in Galway, I took a day trip around the Connemera…a beautiful part of Ireland with mountains, hills and ponies. We went to this Franciscan Abbey and the Kylemore Abbey (below). The countryside was gorgeous!
After Galway, I went back to Dublin for a few days. I went shopping, got my haircut and saw a great art exhibit at Chester Beatty Library and Gallery of Oriental Art. I saw this cake in the window of the cafe, Leon, and like every good foodie…I stopped in for a slice. Although the picture is quite blurry, I think it speaks for itself. Yum!
That kind of sums up the highlights of my trip…The best part of my trip though, which I can not show you in pictures, was the many different people I met. I stayed in hostels and every night I would meet a new crew of people from Germany, France, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland…and the list goes on. Often, we would go sit at the pub together, meet the locals and listen to the music. These people made my trip very fun and interesting. I have many memories and new friends that I will not forget.

Brie and Balsamic Onion Challah Sandwich

2 slices of Challah
Balsamic Caramelized Onions (Jennifer’s recipe)
1/2 Vidalia Onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
2 slices of brie
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1. Peel the Onion and cut in half. Slice the onions into strips.
2. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sautéed the onions moving the onions around with a spatula until they soften and brown.
3. Drizzle the onions with the balsamic vinegar and mix with a spatula.
4. Cover the pan and stir occasionally until the onions have caramelized. Season with salt and pepper. Move to a dish.
5. In the same pan, toast the bread and melt the brie on both sides. Sprinkle with the Italian Seasonings.
6. Top with the onions and eat.

P.S. For more photos from Ireland, check out my flickr.

Challah, I’m Back

July 28th, 2008

Greetings everyone! I am back from Ireland. I had an amazing trip but I’m very glad to be back. This morning, I made some Challah. This recipe came from my roommate last year and it is very good.

Ok, quick post…I’m still unpacking…I’ll have my Ireland pictures on flickr soon for anyone’s enjoyment.


1/2 c oil
4t salt
1/3 c sugar
1 c boiling water
1/2 c cold water
2 pkg dry yeast
1/3 (scant) c warm water
3 eggs
7 c bread flour
poppy or sesame seeds
pour oil, salt and sugar into large mixing bowl. add one c boiling water and stir. add 1/2 c cold water. in a separate cup, dissolve the yeast in the 1/3 c warm water (with a pinch of sugar added). beat eggs and add to oil and water mixture, reserving two T to brush on loaves. add dissolved yeast and stir. add flour gradually and mix well.
turn out onto floured board and knead until dough doesn’t stick. add more flour if necessary. return to bowl and cover with a clean town. let rise one hour.
knead one minute. cut into six pieces. knead each piece with a little flour. roll into strands and braid into two loaves. place loaves on greased pan or baking sheets.

let rise forty-five minutes. brush tops with reserved egg. sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds. bake at 375 for 30 min.