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Buenos Aires Cookie Club #2

7 Nov

Day of the Dead Cookies

The time has arrived! The much-anticipated Buenos Aires Cookie Club #2 will be held on Sunday, December 9th, 2012.

To get more details and sign up for the event, please visit our Facebook page! You can also read a fanastic write-up in the Argentina Independent about the event.

If you can’t make it to the event and still want cookies, no problem! I’ve been practicing all sorts of cute decorated sugar cookies (see the Day of the Dead cookies above) and they are available for order. Order a dozen today and share with your friends! Stay tuned for some new and very, very cute cookie shapes that I’ll be selling at the San Telmo market, as well as the Underground Market. I’m talking cookies so cute that you won’t want to eat them, but they taste so good that you’ll just have to.

Viva los cookies!

Behind the scenes with NOLA chef and rose water profiteroles

19 Oct

On my recent trip to lands far-away, culinary inspiration hit me hard. I love trying new foods, flavors and combinations. But I must admit that after two years of living in Buenos Aires, even a medialuna filled with dulce de leche was seeming exciting to me. But after travelling around the US for three weeks, seeing the variety and endless possibilities of tastes and textures, I knew I had to step out of my fruit pie comfort zone and do something different.

This must-needed change came in the form of a bottle of rose-water extract and a request from NOLA chef for profiteroles to serve as a dessert at her weekly Mexican pop-up night at Tout le monde café.

NOLA chef Mexican

I had never played with rose water before, mostly because I have traumatic childhood memories of a strongly-perfumed rose soap, but I won’t bore you with that story. Rose water is strong and must be used sparingly. A little goes a long way. It’s got an amazingly fresh and floral (duh) flavor that complements perfectly fresh fruit. I chose to go with strawberries since they are in season right now. Continue reading

Buenos Aires Cookie Club!

27 Aug

Buenos Aires Cookie ClubI’ve said it before, I’m a fan of clubs. Nothing beats getting together with people who share your same passion. For that reason, Juliana from Horneando Algo and myself are organizing the Buenos Aires Cookie Club! The club is a chance for bakers to get together and exchange cookies, recipes and a good conversation.

The Buenos Aires Cookie Club was founded on the idea that many other cookie clubs have had; to bake only one type of cookie (but lots of them) and host a cookie exchange, this way you end up with dozens of delicious types of cookies! This idea orginated at Christmas time, when we don’t have time to bake as much as we’d like, but since we love cookies so much, we decided to host the event every 3 months! Our first event is September 9th at 3pm in Palermo!

Below are some rules and requirements for members of our club:

1) All participating members are asked to pay a $25 membership fee. This fee covers refreshments such as tea and coffee, as well as a recipe book with that event’s cookie recipes, as well as materials to pack and take-away your cookie treats!

2) All participating members are asked to come to the event with at least (X dozen) of the same cookies. The exact quantity will be based on the number of participants.

3) All participating members are asked to send their cookie recipe one week in advance, in order to be included in the quarterly recipe book as well as to avoid cookie repeats!

4) All participants must be ready to eat lots of homemade cookies and of course, share our passion for baking!
To sign up for the September 9th Cookie Club visit our Facebook page!

Afterwork Snack in Microcentro

17 Aug

Cafe Paulin Buenos AiresAfter a long rain-soaked week of working downtown, the only thing you want to do is take the subway home, kick off your shoes and order empanadas. But wait! There’s an awesome bar in microcentro where you can grab a quick beer and tostado while waiting for the rush hour to pass.

I have a secret affection for old bars and restaurants that seem to be stuck in the 1970’s. If the main clientele are old men, even better. Wait, no-I’m not like into old men or anything! I just like the grandpa ambiance…ok, nevermind…ANYWAY.

Cafe Paulin (Sarmiento 653) is supposedly known for having the best sandwiches in Buenos Aires. So being the fan of toasty goodness that I am, I decided to check it out one night after work.
Continue reading

NOLA in Buenos Aires

7 Aug

NOLA Puerta Cerrada

I first fell in love with New Orleans cuisine while working as a waitress at Thanksgiving in Paris. The owner and cook, Judith Bluysen, is a native New Jerseyian (although she’ll tell you New York) who fell in love with New Orleans and decided to open a restaurant dedicated to cajun cooking. I couldn’t have asked for a better boss. Judith is one of those cooks who just makes everything she touches taste a-ma-zing. She’s also one of those cooks who does pastry just as good as salty. Bitch.

Every Saturday and Sunday after brunch, we’d sit down to a staff meal: spicy potato gratin, jambalaya, pecan pancakes…I got fat and I liked it.

Then I moved to Buenos Aires, the land of no spice, and felt lost. Until I met Liza Puglia one fine spring day. Liza is a good person to befriend. She loves food, good food, and she’s got a positive energy that just makes you feel good. So, Liza is indeed the perfect owner for a puerta cerrada.

Liza’s been making waves in Buenos Aires with her New Orleans and Mexican pop-up nights. But she’s also been planning for several months to open up a closed-door restaurant with her Argentine boyfriend who is currently studying wines at a local institute.

I’ll be honest here. I’ve never been to a closed-door restaurant before. Something about having dinner with a group of strangers makes me start sweating. I am, by nature, an incredibly shy person. But, I called up a friend and we decided to face the awkwardness together.

NOLA Buenos Aires

The night started with a glass of champagne and a bit of chit-chat with our fellow diners. NOLA seats 8 diners (for now, as they plan on doubling their capacity in the near future), so the atmosphere is quite intimate and friendly. Luckily, the other guests that night were fellow lovers of food (and wine) and the night absolutely flew by as we all got to know each other and enjoy the dinner.

Liza prepares a 4 course menu with New Orleans and Mexican-inspired flavors and her boyfriend pairs and serves the wine.

The first course was a warming chorizo, crab and shrimp gumbo. This was by far my favorite dish of the night. The flavors were complex, the shrimp was cooked perfectly and the chorizo provided just the right amount of spice. The Torrontes was paired beautifully with this spicy dish.

For the second course an endive, hazelnut and haricots verts salad with a creole mustard sauce was served to freshen and cool our palettes. The vegetables were crisp, perfectly seasoned and most importantly- the endive was delicious…I’ve never had good endive in Buenos Aires. The salad was served with a fruity shiraz, perfection.NOLA Salad

The third course was a slow-roasted pork served with a creamy polenta and a smoky chili ancho sauce. The wine was…red. Hey, I had already have a glass of champagne and two glasses of wine by this point!

The dessert (my favorite) was a classic Bourbon Pecan Pie, served warmed and with a dollop of whipped cream. The crust was absolutely divine: flaky, buttery and tender. The pie was served with a sweet, but not too sweet, white wine.

NOLA Pecan PieAll in all, the night was the perfect combination of elements: great company, amazing food and wine and all in a beautiful, intimate dining space. I’ll definitely be coming back, and so should you.

Make your reservations for NOLA here.

Join the pie of the week club!

25 Jun

Pie of the week clubI always wanted to be in a club. When I was a young girl in Wisconsin, I’d devour the Babysitter’s Club books, as well at the Sweet Valley Twins (remember the Unicorn club?!). My friends and I would create clubs that would flourish and die within a day. There was the sexy club (our idea in 1994 of being sexy was wearing pink scrunchie socks), the skirt club, the pink club, the brothers and sisters club…rules were made, vows were taken, all within the 15 minute constraints of recess. And membership was always highly exclusive.

In honor of my optimistic, pig-tailed 10 year-old self, I’ve decided to create a pie of the week club, for all you pie lovers!

How does it work?

1) Subscribe to the pie of the week club on my pastry page.

2) Receive an update every Sunday directly to your inbox with the new pie of the week.

3) Place your order through my order page with at least 24 hours of anticipation.

4) Pick up your pie, or if you live in Palermo Hollywood or Soho, we’ll deliver it directly to your doorstep!

So, what are you waiting for?! Sign up for the pie of the week club and wait for our first pie of the week update, this Sunday, July 1st (no pink scrunchie socks required.)

 

When Pecan Pies come to Buenos Aires

2 Jun

Pecan Pie in Buenos AiresI have a genetic disorder. It was handed down to me from my mother’s side, which with almost every single woman had been infected. I’ve got the dreaded…pie-making gene, even worse, I’ve got the pie-eating gene, which often leads to excess weight gain and sugar highs. Thankfully, along with this gene, I’ve also been handed down the coveted Pecan Pie recipe. With secret ingredients that only a Wisconsin lady can put together to make one, seriously addictive and delicious pecan pie.

What is it about the pecan pie that makes it so good? Is it the crunchy topping with beautiful toasted pecan aromas? Or is it the smooth, carmel-y filling? One might say that the crust is key. Too bad you can rarely find that buttery, flaky crust with a touch of sweetness that you are often looking and hoping for….But what if you could? What if you could find the perfect pecan pie, and what’s more…find it right here in Buenos Aires?

Guess what? Your life just got worth living for. On Saturday, June 9th, 2012 the Argentine Independent is hosting an Underground Market in Almagro, there will be lots of amazing vendors selling delicious products, incluso me, selling my incredible pecan pie, as well as some other delicious pies…cheesecakes, perhaps?

This is not something you want to miss.

Bad American Diners in Buenos Aires

13 May
A real American diner

A real American diner, note the dear painting.

The classic American diner. Sometimes known as the “greasy spoon” and rightly so. There’s rarely anything gourmet in an American diner, even the best ones like Lou Mitchell’s in Chicago have greasy hashbrowns and fake, processed cheese. People don’t go to diners because they like the food, people go to diners because they have a sentimental value, they make you feel comforatble…something about those red vinyl booths and white ceramic coffee cups that just scream home-sweet-home. At least for me they bring back fond memories of pouring coffee after coffee at the Brady Street Pharmacy in Milwaukee (RIP…)

So why on earth is replicating diners such a fashionable thing in foreign countries? When I first started living abroad, I gobbled up any sliver of America I could…that meant hunting out a bagel place in Amersterdam, eating Dunkin’ Donuts in the Barcelona subway station, and, of the course, spending my precious Euros at the horribly cramped and dirty Breakfast in America…in Paris. Continue reading

Can’t-Miss Brunch in Buenos Aires Province

28 Mar

If you know anything about me, it should be that brunch is my ultimate weakness. I often wake up starving, clutching my stomach from the hunger pains, so desperate that only the heartiest of meals can satisfy me.

You probably remember when I told you what everybody should know about the best brunch in Buenos Aires – and I’m sticking to my claim that Le Blé is the place to brunch, although, hot damn does Home hotel have a delicious brunch burger.

Bueno, pero – we can’t just stay in capital the entire weekend. We must step out and breath the fresh provincial air! And for times like these I only recommend one place…

Villa OcampoVilla Ocampo

Located in San Isidro, just a hop, skip and hour drive from capital is the house of writer Victoria Ocampo, and man was her family loaded. The house is gigantic and there is lots of green space surronding it. Girl was wicked cool too and had everyone visiting her here, from Borges to Gandhi to Virginia Woolf. You can tour the house and check out all her knick-knacks and old timey toilets, my personal favorite was her library, so many wonderful books!

But the real gem of Villa Ocampo is their small restaurant that serves a variety of brunch, lunch and tea-time options. To be honest, the brunch menu is a farse. Way too over-priced for what they offer. But when Victor and I went, being the resourceful little cheapskates we are, we opted for a delicious lomo with papas prensadas, which is like a delicious potato gratin, and one of the tea menu options which included an assortment of sweets, sandwiches, scones and other goodies. Now get this- the price of our two meals combined was equal to the price of one brunch menu! MWAHAHAHAHAA! And we got everything you could possibly want in a good brunch: protein, sugar, carbs and caffiene. Not to mention a beautiful park to stretch out in and take a little snooze afterwards. Continue reading

Why I’m happier than you…and what you should do about it.

27 Mar

I’m happier than you. You may not know or realize it, but I am. Every morning I wake up and I say to myself : “hot damn, I’m one hell of a lucky bitch.”

Now, here’s why and what you can do about it…

5 Reasons I’m Happier than You

1) Grilled Pizza. I have the best recipe for it. You don’t. This pizza will kick the ass of any pizza that you may have thought was good when you were studying abroad for a semester in Italia.

Best Grilled Pizza Continue reading

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