New Years in Argentina

Welcome, welcome 2015!

One of the great things about New Years is that almost every culture celebrates it at some point, in some way or another. I had the great pleasure of ringing in my second “año nuevo” with my Argentine family, and will share with you some of the different foods and traditions they have here in Buenos Aires.

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A relative makes these beautiful cakes which are always the grand finale of the feast, but we began with the picado, or little hors d’oeuvres, of chorizo (sausage), cherry tomatoes, cubed Gouda cheese (Fran’s favorite), and peanuts.

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Since dinner starts late here, around 9 or 10, the picado started around 8:30 and we gathered around the table near the parrilla, or grill. I could be satisfied from the picada alone. But who can resist what came next… The asado! Many are familiar with Argentina’s famous barbecue of grass-fed beef and juicy grilled chicken, and if you’re not I suggest you plan a night out to the nearest Argentine specialty restaurant and try for yourself (although I doubt it’s nothing like the real thing). We accompanied the asado with huevos rellenos (deviled eggs) and potato salad, and leftover picada.

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But my favorite part (since Argentina has brainwashed me into a die-hard postre-lover) was the dessert! A chocolate mousse and lemon meringue pie to die for.

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But what topped the New Years was being so close to the sea. I could live like this…

Chapadmalal, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Chapadmalal, Buenos Aires, Argentina

I hope you decide to add a little bit of Argentine flare to your New Years celebrations in the future (can you believe next year will be 2016?!)

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Platos Argentinos (Typical Argentine Cuisine)

It’s been almost three weeks since I moved here to Buenos Aires and I am just finally settling down with a new part-time job as an English coach to business professionals. It’s only a few hours per week but I’m hoping it will turn into something I can make full-time because I really enjoy it! Aside from the job hunt I’ve been enjoying what Argentine daily life has to offer, including a slew of delicious recipes to try!

Milanesa

I’d say my favorite local dish here is Milanesa a la Napolitana, made with chicken, pork or beef. Different carnicerías (or butcher shops) cut and pound the chicken for you and even put breadcrumbs on it, so all you have to do is place the meat in a deep pan of a centimeter of oil into the oven. Or you can cut it yourself, but I’m lazy. When the chicken is almost done, slather on some red sauce and a slice of cheese, and top with a slice of tomato. Put it back in the oven to finish cooking and you’ve got an Argentine delicacy. It pairs well with mashed potatoes or rice and veggies!

Milanesa

Panqueques con dulce de leche

Yep. Basically the Argentine equivalent of pancakes with syrup, panqueques with dulce de leche are divine. The recipe is so simple:

  • 1 cup flour,
  • 1 cup milk,
  • 1 egg,
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, and
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar

Blend all ingredients in a blender or by hand until you have a thin pancake mixture (it should easily spread in a small frying pan with a teaspoon of melted butter). Fran has already mastered the art of flipping the panqueques without a spatula… I’m still working on it. The end result are very thin pancakes, which you later spread dulce de leche (I prefer one with jam and one with d.d.l. because it’s so sweet) and roll them up to eat by hand. I added my own twist with softened apples so it’s almost like eating caramel apples on your pancakes. YEP.

Panqueques con dulce de leche

Pasta a la creamy red sauce

Ok, so this recipe is pretty much universal, but here in Buenos Aires pasta is a way of life. We cook pasta at least two or three times a week but I try and change up the sauce. A few days ago I tried to make a from-scratch white sauce and it was so good and somewhat easy to make. (Find a similar recipe here!) I have found that the amount of cream you add can make or break the sauce. The second time Fran and I tried to recreate it (without all the ingredients or a recipe, I might add) and went through two batches of ruined sauce before we made one that was actually edible. Fran also set a towel on fire that night, so maybe we were just having bad luck! More recently I experimented with this Tomato Cream Sauce and was even more impressed. For next time, I will modify that recipe to include less cream… I know follow a rule to use less cream than what the recipe calls for. Maybe it’s made differently here!

Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

Future posts will most likely feature Argentine cuisine so I hope you’re prepared to add a little South American twist to your dinner table!

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DC Adventures

What a month it has been! Fran flew back to Buenos Aires on Saturday 😥 but our next reunion is looking closer than we thought! We had so much fun on our adventures this summer; it always seems that we’re busier than we actually are but this year we completed almost everything on our list! Our first trip was to Washington D.C. and it was a lot of fun–I was glad to get back there since I hadn’t visited since my middle school trip in 8th grade. We were there during the World Cup final, too, so it was a great place to watch it. Lucky Bar (not so lucky) was the hot spot for the Argentinians of DC. There wasn’t much room but it was an exciting environment. Fran had a little bit of an accident that required four stitches but it was just what he needed to take his mind off the loss, as much as I hate to say! 

Lucky Bar, Washington D.C.

Lucky Bar, Washington D.C.

Just like last year we had sweltering heat so we couldn’t walk around much. Luckily we discovered Capital Bikeshare which lets you rent bikes by the hour and return them to any station in the city and the stations are everywhere! We took the metro one time too and it was about the same price. The metro is fairly easy to navigate although the pricing was kind of confusing. With the bikes we were able to see all the landmarks we wanted without walking for hours in the heat! I highly recommend it.

We rode the bikes all the way back to New Hampshire!  ;)

We rode the bikes all the way back to New Hampshire! 😉

We stayed in Arlington at the Double Tree Hotel. It was nicely kept and the service was amazing–I had to leave a good comment on Hotels.com! Although Arlington wasn’t our preferred location being right near the metro station was helpful and there was a Capital Bikeshare station right next to the metro (and a huge mall!) Fran and I always have a great time wherever we end up going, even if it’s a hospital for five hours, because we’re just so happy to be together. Either way our trip to D.C. was memorable and a perfect long weekend! 

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A Taste (Literally) of Rhode Island

Before I start storytelling I have to say that I’m loving this new WordPress… but I just tried to save a draft of this post and it deleted it. -__-

Map of coastal Rhode Island</center

Map of coastal Rhode Island

Last week I had an AMAZING time on a girls week with my sister, Melissa, and cousin, Danielle, (and I guess a few star appearances by the semi-in-law Kyle and Tucker the cat!) — I never thought I would love Rhode Island as much as I did by the end of the week, although I won’t miss having to drive at least twenty minutes to stores, restaurants, beaches, etc. compared to my five-minute drive to Target and the outlets here in New Hampshire. I guess I’ll never love anywhere as much as New Hampshire! (Beware: here comes the cliché… Home is where the heart is!)

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Narragansett {sunrise?}

Of course, we began our week with a few hours in Boston, as that is common ground for meeting up since it’s practically a half-way point to everywhere. Danielle is from Pittsburgh area so we like to do the typical hot spot locations when she visits, like Faneuil Hall and the North End. After some Yelping I found the North Street Grille, which got amazing reviews. And rightly so… it was so delicious! They had so many varieties of French toast and lunch options, as well. The restaurant, however, was tiny and freezing. But we came at the right time when there was only a twenty-minute wait, and next time I’ll bring a sweater! I still highly recommend it, followed by a macaron from Modern Pastry for dessert!

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One thing I love about Rhode Island are the small quaint towns, and it’s nice because they’re not bombarded with middle-aged ladies on weekend getaways from their overbearing husbands trying to figure out how to work their Canon Powershot cameras (no offense). My favorite town was Wickford, a little coastal village with a few boutiques and small gift shops and restaurants and adorable scenery. Once I saw the boutique with Free People I was thanking the high heavens that I only had $30 on me. Every store we went into we had a conversation with the sales clerk. They were all so friendly and welcoming and I hope to visit again and spend more time there.

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Another day we channeled our inner paparazzi and stalked the hell out of Taylor Swift’s abode in Watch Hill. A beach town, WH is filled with the typical New England shops and cafes serving lobster rolls and hoagies, but the greatest thing was the free town beach we discovered behind T. Swift’s house. (As sketchy as it sounds, there were tons of people coming in and out of the path so we knew we weren’t trespassing!) I will definitely be spending a beach day here in the near future! In town, I recommend St. Clair Annex for hoagies or ice cream!

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Danielle & Melissa {T. Swift’s house!}

After a tease of the beach we decided it would only be right to have a couple beach days. Our first was to Rome Point, a rocky beach just a short hike from a free parking lot. (Yes, we’re all about free!) There was NO ONE there. Literally. It was so awesome. If it was a little less rocky I probably would’ve been in the water the entire time, because the water was so nice compared to sixty degree Hampton Beach water. We bought our lunch earlier at Jitters in North Kingstown after a great iced coffee. If you want to please a New Englander, you serve great iced coffee and Jitters exceeded expectations.

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Rome Point

Our second beach trip was to Narragansett, which was also awesome. It was very crowded, but we still managed to find free parking and only had to pay the $8 fee to use the beach. One day I hope to learn to surf at this beach and conquer my fear of sharks, but that’ll probably never happen. My favorite thing about Narragansett is Monahan’s Clam Shack. They sell “Rhode Island’s most affordable lobster roll” and never fail to satisfy my hunger. This trip I had a fish sandwich which was equally as amazing. I prefer to have a lobster roll when my mom treats. 🙂

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Of course, a trip to Rhode Island isn’t complete without a visit to Newport. One of my favorite places in New England, Newport is filled to the brim with cute shops and fancy shmancy restaurants, and the infamous Cliff Walk next to the Newport Mansions. We ate at the Wharf Pub, which I will HIGHLY recommend because one of their specialty appetizers are TATOR TOTS! Anyone who knows me well knows I love tator tots. So much, in fact, that I used to eat them frozen when I was younger. And I’m still not ashamed because tator tots are amazing. Aside from the tots I had a cranberry chicken salad, and it was so good I couldn’t stop eating even when I felt like I was gonna explode. YUM!

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When we weren’t gallivanting Rhode Island we did try some new recipes and crafts, some good, some bad. We made amazing Carolina Peach Sangria and Bang Bang Chicken Kabobs, and also gave our best shot at DIY beer bottle glasses, which is not as easy as it looks on Pinterest. Stay tuned for those posts because they are sure to be summer hits.

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All in all, it was a great weekend and a nice preview to the summer. (Coming soon: Casco Days vacation with the family!) I hope we continue this tradition in the future — everyone needs a week away with your girls!

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(That was my first .gif and I’m really excited about it!)
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I’m baaaaack!

Hi all!

Long time no talk… The past month has been crazy busy with all my touristy travels with Fran, I’ve had zero time to dedicate to my DIYs. Instead of using my college budget for my crafts I had the opportunity to travel to NYC, Boston, go camping in Mt. Washington, spend a week with my family in Maine and see about four different movies in theaters. Safe to say I kept Fran pretty busy. 🙂

IMG_3011[1]IMG_3016[1] IMG_3025[1] IMG_3045[1] IMG_3095[1] IMG_3147[1] IMG_3190[1] IMG_3242[1] IMG_3243[1] IMG_3267[1] IMG_3015[1]We had a blast!! Anyway, I’m back now! So you can expect you’ll be getting a few new posts soon!

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