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Happiest place on earth: Doña Clara, Casa de Reposteria

14 Jul

Doña ClaraI told myself I wouldn’t do it. I promised that this weekend I would hold myself back. That I wouldn’t spend another beautiful, sunny weekend inside, happily chained to the oven, covered in flour and listening to punk music. My complexion has been getting paler and paler, that I almost have a strange, transparent gleam in my face. Ok. So I’ll get outside, some fresh air, a bit of sunshine. But what do pastry chefs do when they’re not baking??

They go to the pastry porn shop aka the casa de reposteria de Doña Clara, which has just about anything you could possibly want, no matter how you like it. The shelves are lined with everything you could possibly fantasize about: pastry tips of all shapes and sizes, hard to find ingredients like glucose and fondant, they’ve even got miniature nativity scenes made out of hardened sugar (hey, if that’s your thing).
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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.

How Not to Buy Strawberries in Buenos Aires

8 Oct

They say if it’s too good to be true, it probably is…but you never remember these helpful sayings at the right time! I found out the hard way that street vendors in Buenos Aires are not always to be trusted.

You see, every day I take the subway downtown to work and back home, every day I see the same illegal subway vendors: there’s the coffee  guy parked at the entrance of the subway who always greets me with an “hola hermosa!“, there’s the guy in the stairs selling DVDs who always is yelling at his children not to step on the merchandise, and then there are the fruit guys with the long plyboard tables sagging under the weight of whatever fruit is in season. I must admit, their prices are rather decent, often better than my usual vegetable seller. So the other day when I saw that a kilo of strawberries was only 10 pesos, I started having visions of all the amazing things I would be able to make with delicious, red strawberries.

So for the first time in my life, I approached the vendor and said “1 kilo of strawberries, please!” Except in Spanish, of course. I should have been alerted when instead of grabbing the beautiful strawberries on the top of the pile, he quickly starting shoveling strawberries from the side of the pile (where I couldn’t see them) into a bag. I should have known something was up when he turned his back to measure the strawberries, thus blocking the view of the scale. And I definitely should have said something when, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a few shiny coins on the scale and thought “hm! that’s a strange place to keep coins…hey wait-a…”, but it was too late, I’d handed over my ten pesos and he pushed the bag of strawberries in my hands and shooed me away. Strawberries in Buenos Aires Continue reading

5 Things to Do on a Long Weekend in Buenos Aires

22 Aug

We’ve had the unfortunate luck of being blessed with a long weekend on, what must be, the coldest weekend this year. I’m talking temperatures in the mid 40’s during the day…aka “Springtime in Wisconsin”…bbrrrrrrrr.

Normally, a frigid weekend like this would keep me inside, on the couch, watching re-runs of Sex and the City, but my poor little house, although it is cute and stylish (thanks to my decorating skills), only has two small, powerless heaters and 4 (yes, 4) doors that lead to a sunless patio, which often means that it’s warmer outside than in. So, Vic and I bundled up and headed it, in hopes of finding some warmth in Buenos Aires.

Summer in Buenos Aires

Dreaming of these summer days...

Here are some of the things we planned for this long weekend:

1) Rollerblading. At the Rosedaal in Palermo you can find several roller blade and bicycle rental places. We opted for the roller blades because you have to move a little bit more, thus working up a nice, hot sweat. At 13 pesos for 1/2 hour, or 20p for 1 hour, this is a great deal…if you don’t mind stuffing your feet into some roller blades that hundreds of people have already sweated in. Yes, that’s right….they don’t clean them afterwards…ew. Continue reading

My Gourmet Market in Palermo

28 Jul

I’m a Palermo Hollywood girl through-and-through. I love my neighborhood. I love the big, leafy trees that line the roads. I love the hip, over-priced restaurants and bars. And I love the fact that on a lazy Sunday afternoon, when walking back from yoga in my sweats, I often see celebrities like Ricardo Darín, Federico Aubele or Guillermo Martinez, sitting in a café, enjoying a lunch with friends. I really love the atmosphere.

What I don’t love so much is the lack of acceptable grocery stores in the area. Sure, we have a “chino” around the corner, but we all know how much they jack up their prices. And there’s always Jumbo nearby, but they are almost as bad as the chino with overpricing products. Don’t even get me started on how many times I’ve been “accidently” over-charged at Jumbo. ALWAYS be vigilent and double-check your receipt!

So, I was really happy when I found the Bodega Amparo, the perfect blend of good location, good prices and good quality. What can you get at the Bodega Amparo? Ok, well it’s not your normal supermarket, so you won’t find milk and paper towels here, but they DO have this giant jar of Maille mustard for only 63 pesos! I got addicted to Maille when living in France and am so glad to find a good local hook-up.

Giante jar of Maille Mustard

This mustard means business.

They also have a great selection of cold cuts and cheese, including the best turkey and cheddar cheese I’ve found in Buenos Aires. Friendly tip: beware the sliced turkey in Buenos Aires! It’s often filled with gelatin and fake turkey flavor…yuck.

Their wine selection is pretty decent, with discounts if you buy 6 or more bottles. You’ll find dried herbs and spices, lots and cheap. All different types of flours, brown sugar, chocolates, olive oils, bulk nuts, you got your Mexican products, your Asian products, your gluten-free…look, they’ve pretty much got EVERYTHING a modern, hip chef may need.

OH, and best of all..they have a fruit and vegetable market onsite with pretty decent prices. Although, I won’t vouch for the quality as I’ve never actaully bought from there…we’ve got a nice vegetable man who delivers to our door 🙂

They’ve recently relocated from a creepy location under the bridge, to another location, still under the bridge, but much less creepy and look how beautiful the new store is!

Bodega Amparo

Stolen from the Bodega Amparo Website...Gracias!

If you are in Palermo and looking for some good-quality and hard-to-find gourmet products, check out Bodega Amparo!

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