So Wednesday I was home and my parents were working from home so my mom decided to make me and my dad something special for lunch. Normally we would just get a cup of instant noodels of a slice of bread with Nutella. We are not really the kind of people that go big on lunch. Although our weekend family breakfasts are legendary, complete with danish, fresh squeezed orange juice and home made chicken salad ! In fact our weekend breakfasts are so extensive that we usually skip lunch during the weekends. But Wednesday was special since my dad had been traveling a lot over the past few weeks and my brother got home early from school.
Since my mom is a magician with leftovers, she just grabbed whatever leftovers were in fridge and made us a delicious and incredibly tasty sandwich! This sandwich could be served in a restaurant or a deli! I swear it’s that good!
Ingredients: roasted red pepper in slices, slices of aubergine grilled in a pan with a little oil, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper
Ingredients for the guacamole: avocado, lemon juice, a little bit of mayonaise, knoflook, half a chili, little bit of olive oil
Instructions on who to roast red peppers can be found right here:
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C
- Toast a slice of bread and drizzle it with a little olive oil.
- Start wit a laying a slice of aubergine on the toast.
- Next up is a slice of roasted red pepper.
- And last but certainly not least a slice of cheddar cheese.
- Put in the over for about 5 minutes until the cheese is nice and melted
- In the meanwhile blits up the guacamole in the mixer.
- Grind a little bit of pepper on the toast.
- You ready to go! serve with the guacamole on the side!
Chile, I have always wondered about that long narrow country in South America, what kind of place is this? Well apparently an awesome place with majestic mountains, and overwhelming lakes! And Easter Island I tried to read all the conspiracy theories but there are just too many The craziest of them are: Alien transport, the rats prevented the trees from regrowing so the population died of starvation. I other words some really creative people made up a story.
Here are some fun facts about Chile:
- Chile’s Atacama Desert is the driest place on earth. Some parts of the 363,000 square kilometers desert have never received a drop of rainfall.
- In the year 1554, the Spanish conquistadors brought the first grapes to be planted in South America. As fate would have it, the crop would succeed beyond their wildest dreams. Today, Chile is the 5th largest exporter of wine and the 9th largest producer of grapes in the world.
- According to Global Peace Index, Chile is the most stable and peaceful country in Latin America.
- Chile is the origin of 99% of the world’s potatoes. (Seriously!!!! If you see how many countries have potatoes in their diet, this is huge)
- The Straits of Magellan are popular with humpback whales. They are the only waters outside Antarctica waters where these whales gather for feeding.
My mom sometimes makes this really simple but delicious pasta a la vongole. Maybe I will give you the recipe to that someday,… 😉 This recipe is a very fancy starter! Delicious everything was gone I knew it!
- Heat the oven to 350ºF.
- In a small bowl, mix the wine and lemon juice; set aside. Scrub the clamshells under running water to remove any sand. Shuck the clams: Holding a clam with a thick towel, work an oyster knife between the two shells at the exact point of the hinge.
- Twist the knife, pry open, and scrape out the meat into a small bowl. Reserve the shells. Put the clam meat in a strainer and rinse again under cold running water. Drain. Rinse 24 of the deepest shells again and pat dry.
- Arrange the 24 shells on a baking pan. Divide the clam meat among the shells and top each with a teaspoon of the lemon-wine mixture and a scant grating of black pepper.
- Put a tiny chip of butter on top, and then a sprinkle of the Parmesan, evenly divided.
- Bake 4 to 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the clams are just cooked through. Do not overcook or the clams will become rubbery.
- Serve immediately.
Bolivia a country at the heart of South America, once part of the ancient Inca Empire. The Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire began in 1524, and was mostly completed by 1533. The place we now call Bolivia was known as “Upper Peru”, and was under the authority of the Viceroy of Lima. The locals were enslaved by the Spanish and worked in the silver, tin and salt mines. So yes the Bolivians have been through a lot, and they haven’t recovered. Bolivia is still one of the poorest countries in South America, so that’s why a lot of Bolivians immigrate to neighbouring countries like Argentina.
So here we go some fun facts about Bolivia:
- Bolivia got its name from Simon Bolivar, a leader in the Spanish American wars of Independence.
- La Paz, the capital city of Bolivia is the world’s highest city, located at an elevation of 3,630 meters.
- What do Bolivians do for fun? Fighting cholitas is the Bolivan’s version of Mexican lucha libre, a form of free fighting somewhere between passion-play, a wrestling match and bedlam. Bolivians crowd around the wrestling ring to watch female cholitas dressed in traditional clothing slam each other down and swing each other by their pig tails. (Okaaayy well this is slightly odd to say the least)
- The ‘so-so’ gesture (rocking your hand from side to side with palm down) means ‘no’ in Bolivia.
- It is impolite to show up on time to a social occasion. Guests are expected to be 15 to 30 minutes late for dinner or parties.
Here is a video of the cholitas fighting:
So here is the recipe, this week i made pukacapas, a bolivian pastry.
Ingredients: 3 cups of flour, 2 tsp baking powder, ¾ tsp salt, 1/3 c butter, cold and cut into small cubes, 2 eggs, 1/3 cups milk, 1 egg, beaten (for brushing on top) For the filling: 1 large onion, chopped, 1 red jalapeño minced, 1 green jalapeño minced, 1 tomato, chopped, 1 green onion chopped, 2 tbsp parsley chopped, 2 garlic cloves minced, ½ c green olives chopped, ¼ c vegetable oil, 3 c queso fresco crumbled
I was in Austria last summer, in Linz! Leading an amazing summer camp for 3 weeks! Austria in summer is often said to be boring or not interesting, but that is bullshit! I know what your thinking, why would you want to go to Austria in summer when there is no snow! Exactly what I was thinking! But it was surprisingly hot, so hot that me and the kids had to look for shadow every time we went outside. Everytime we went outside to play soccer or play games everyone was advised to bring a water bottle. And yes the mountains are beautiful and the skiing is amazing in Austria and i’m not even mentioning the epic apres-skiparties with schlagermusic. But Austria also has some really cool cities. Salzburg for instance, picturesque with all the shops that still have their original sign board. I a real sucker for these details. Linz with it’s relaxed and layed-back atmosphere during the yearly international street art festival! I haven’t been to Vienna yet but only heard good stories about it! So here is some stuff you didn’t know about Austria:
- The Austrian flag is one of the oldest national flag in the world. It dates from 1191, when Duke Leopold V fought in the Battle of Acre during the Third Crusade.
- Vienna’s Central Cemetery (Zentralfriedhof) has over 2.5 million tombs (more than the city’s live population), including those of Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert and Strauss.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Hollywood actor and current governor of California, grew up as an Austrian citizen.
- Over 60 % of Austria’s electricity is supplied by renewable sources.
- Vienna is the only capital city to produce its own wine. Vineyards within the city limits produce incredible wine.
- The most famous movie about Austria is of course The sound of music but you knew that already, but did you also know that most Austrians have never seen it nor heard about it! I experienced this myself and I think it’s priceless that half the world knows the songs by hard they haven’t even seen it!
Here is a playlist with austrian music I hope you like it! I sure did! http://8tracks.com/resl/musical-gems-made-in-austria
And now for this weeks recipe I made Spaetzle with gruyere and caramelized onion. It’s the mac and cheese of Austria. It’s a very popular dish for after skiing. But not as easy as I thought it would be making the Spaetzle is actually kind of hard even if you have a special pan for it! , I failed twice before I got it right so you really really really have to stick to the measurements I’m giving you. Because if you add to much milk and you think ooh well it was just a little too much that won’t matter, start over because you will mess up and it will and end up like a big fat burned ugly pancake at the bottom of your pan that it really hard to scrape off!
Ingredients: 2 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 Tbsp butter, 1 onion, sliced thinly,1 shredded Gruyère cheese (to taste, I added a lot because I loovvveee cheese!)
Preheat the oven to 180C or 350F. In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Add flour a 1/2 cup at a time. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. But don’t over stir it because again you will mess up! Let rest 10-20 minutes. The dough should be like pancake batter. While the batter is resting your can sauté the onion in butter and set them aside. Fill a pan with simmering water. Now comes the tricky part if you messed up your gonna notice it right now!
So again here are your guidelines how to not mess it up:
- Do not over-mix the dough will be tough. Just combine ingredients with your hand or a spoon until just mixed.
- Let the dough rest for 10-20 minutes after mixing. This gives time for the dough to relax and become more tender.
- Never boil the dough. Simmering keeps the dough… you guessed it… more tender.
- And last but not least do not add to much milk!
I used a special pan because I was lucky my roommate apparently had one. But you can just use a colander. Pour your batter into the colander above the pan so drops of batter will fall through the colander and you will get perfect spaetzle! They are ready when they start floating. Which takes about a minute. Add the spaetzle to a oven dish and add the caramelized onion as well. Sprinkle over the grated gruyere cheese, and put in the oven for 20 minutes.