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Category Archives: Food

A Place to Be

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Today I would like to share with you a place where I enjoy going, mainly for a coffee or homemade muffin, but also just to ‘be’. What I mean by that is sometimes I feel I need to get out of the house and a walk simply doesn’t do it. Sometimes I just want to be somewhere. I don’t have to be doing anything (even though I end up doing something). I enjoy not having a plan or time restraints. So I thought I would share with you one of my favorite cafes, where I go to read, write, think, or work.

The name isn’t very creative (Bean Counter Cafe), but the atmosphere is pleasant, with a covered courtyard, indoor seating for rainy days, and outdoor seating for warm days. The coffee is good and the muffins are amazing. Even the background music is desirable, unlike some places that are too loud. I visit this cafe more than others in my neighborhood, which made me think of the reasons why.

Why does that cafe appeal to me more than others? So I made a list of the reasons why I love this cafe most and I encourage you to do the same for the place you go to the most.

Why I Love Bean Counter

  1. Coffee
  2. Close proximity to my house
  3. Homemade Muffins!
  4. Scenic
  5. Variation of seating
  6. Good lighting (necessary for writing)

So what are some reasons that you visit a place over and over? I realized while doing this list that the biggest reason for me is that I can walk there from my place. That appeals to me the most, because even if I find a cafe with better coffee, would I drive there everyday just to getaway? Probably not.

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2013 in Food, Unknown to this World, Writing

 

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Kourabiethes Recipe

Kourabiethes (pronounced Coo-rha-bee-ay-theys) are an almond and vanilla biscuit/cookie from Greece. They are covered in icing sugar and are delicious with bitter/strong black coffee because of their sweetness. When they first come out of the oven, they are warm and can be eaten as such, but are mostly found in shops as being hardened with time. I had the pleasure of learning this recipe from a Greek woman who is the mother of a close friend. It may take several trials for you to perfect, because most ingredients were not measured with a measuring cup but just a plain teacup or hands. This recipe makes a lot of cookies, so beware or give them as gifts.

Ingredients

3 cups sugar

2 small packs of butter (melted)

1 teaspoon of vanilla powder

1.5 cups almonds (crushed)

2 large bags self-rising flour

8 eggs

1 bag icing sugar

Melt butter. Mix sugar & butter for 15-25 minutes until sugar dissolves completely. Add 8 eggs to mixer. Add mixture with almonds in large bowl. Add flour to mixture until feels firm and soft. Knead mixture until soft/firm dough. Preheat oven on low. Start rolling dough and use glass to shape a half-moon or crescent. Put in oven and watch. Sift icing sugar over warm biscuits.

*Never put biscuits in fridge. Store in air-tight container. They will stay good for about 2.5 months.

cutting into crescent shapes with a cup before baking

cutting into crescent shapes with a cup before baking

before and after icing sugar

before and after icing sugar

 

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in Food

 

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Tres Leches

Tres Leches, which literally means ‘three milks’, is a very traditional cake in Colombia and other Latin countries. It is typically served as the designated ‘birthday cake’ at parties. It is delicious and I suggest you have at least one day free to make it perfectly. Do not be intimidated by the amount of ingredients or if you have never baked. It is actually quite an easy dessert and will impress many who eat it, because it is so moist and yummy!

Ingredients:

Cake

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • .5 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, plus some for the pan
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1.5 cups sugar

Three Milks Sauce

  • 2 cups full cream milk
  • 1 (13-14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (10-ounce) can of cream or 1 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350F. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set Aside.

Step 2: In a small saucepan, melt the butter in the milk and set aside to cool.

Step 3: Beat the eggs in a mixer on high for 8-10 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and keep beating for 2 minutes more. Reduce speed to minimum, add sifted mixture, and last the melted butter and milk, and mix for 2 minutes or until well blended.

Step 4: Butter a cake pan; pour the mixture into the pan.

Step 5: Bake for 45-50 minutes.

Step 6: Set aside to cool for 15 minutes. Leave the cake in the pan.

Step 7: While the cake is cooling, make the sauce: In a medium bowl, mix the milk, cream, condensed milk, and vanilla, and whisk to a smooth texture.

Step 8: Pour 75% of the sauce mixture over the warm cake; with a fork or toothpick, make some holes into the cake so it absorbs all the sauce. (Do not overdo it with the holes. It doesn’t take much. It may take a few minutes for the cake to absorb all of the mixture.)

Step 9: Set the cake aside. I refrigerated mine all day (approximately 8 hours). Right before serving, pour the remaining sauce over the cake to absorb. Serve.

 

*For more amazing Colombian dishes, I suggest this book: Secrets of Colombian Cooking by Patricia McCausland-Gallo

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2012 in Colombia, Food

 

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Sonido Soundwave

Yesterday I found this cute little authentic South American restaurant near the city called Sonido (Sound in spanish). Their prices were decent and the decor was fantastic. I walked through the wooden front door with the peeling white paint, and stepped into Colombia. The walls were a pale blue with accents of bright yellow everywhere. The kitchen, which was in the middle of the cafe, looked exactly like a Colombian kitchen with metal pots and pans hanging everywhere, ready to be served with hot chocolate (Colombian style) or perico (coffee with milk).

Hanging on the walls were a variety of knickknacks from the mother country, such as old bus signs, leather pouches and shoes, and stickers of their beer and soda. The menus had jackets of old albums of native music that they played throughout the restaurant. All of the tables and chairs were mismatched in a way that went together. I particularly liked my pale green that had jumped out of the 1970s. On each table, there were a multitude of books about the countries of South America, perfect for flipping through while waiting for your meal.

I ordered jugo de lulo (Lulo juice) and arepas con queso (arepas with cheese). Lulo is a native tropical fruit found in South America that isn’t very sweet, but refreshing with a slight bitter taste, although not as bitter as a grapefruit. Arepas are a kind of corn pancake that Colombians and Venezuelans eat with most of their meals and can come in many different ways: with cheese, eggs, jam, meat, or plain. They are deliciously golden and round that fit perfectly in the palm of your hand. I topped mine with butter, picadillo (salsa), guacamole, and hot sauce. Then I eat it like a one-sided sandwich. Mmmm!

For that short little hour, I felt I was back in Colombia, a country filled with laughter, beer, music, and dancing! It was such a nice feeling… almost like a mini-vacation.

Chao!

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2012 in Colombia, Food

 

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Ramen Noodle Recipe #1

 I going to do a series of ramen noodle recipes throughout my blog, but I don’t know    how many or when, because I tend to eat noodles many nights. I find it difficult to believe that people just eat them plain, with those little packets that come inside for us to trust are chicken or beef. Regardless of being satisfying plain, I am going to share some of my own recipes I have made up in order to ‘spice’ things up a bit.

Sweet Chili Chicken Noodles

1 package of Chicken Ramen Noodles

1 tbsp sweet chili sauce

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp chili flakes

In  a bowl, add all spices, including the chicken packet from the noodles. Then crunch the noodles into four large pieces and to bowl. Add about 2 cups of boiling water. Cover bowl for about 5 minutes. Eat & Enjoy!

Hope you like this recipe!

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2012 in Food, Ramen Noodle Recipes

 
 
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