Hello from Peru!

Hi everyone! Just a quick hello from Peru!

We’re in Cusco!

Cusco is awesome!

20131117-175807.jpg

I’m pretty much making it a point to eat as many things as possible…

20131117-175714.jpg

Like Aji de Gallina (above) and lomo saltado

20131117-180011.jpg
Now we’re resting up because tomorrow morning we start the Inca Trail/4-Day hike to Machu Picchu! So excited!

Can’t wait to tell you all about the trip when I get back (like how I rode a horse to some Incan ruins today!).

If you’re interested to see more pics, be sure to follow me on Instagram (@karlapd)

Hugs from Peru!

Advertisements

Current Happenings in the World of Foodologie

Hi Guys! Sorry I’ve been MIA.  There so many things I’ve wanted to make but haven’t had time to.  And then, there are some things I made…

Like this orange-chocolate crepe cake, that was slightly underwhelming so I chose not to blog about it.

I also made brownie covered oreos for Halloween, but didn’t have time to photograph so alas, no blog post.

But all that said, exciting things are coming.  In 9 days, I’m off to Peru.  I’m so excited to tell you about all the awesome things I see (and eat).

Also Fall is in full swing, and you know you want to make this Fall Cake:

fall cake5

Trust me, it’s delicious.  Gingerbread cake, pumpkin cheesecake, caramel pecans and a hearty slather of vanilla buttercream.  Amazing.  I want it now.

Or maybe cookies are more your style.pumpkinchocchipcookies1

And if that’s the case, then you need some of these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies.

So make those while I prep for my trip.  I’m having a major desire to bake, but seriously out of ideas.  Any suggestions?

 

As soon as I get back from Peru (the day before Thanksgiving), it’ll be time for Turkey and then Christmas cookies.

So many exciting things to come!

What are you looking forward to most?

Aside from Peru, I’m seriously looking forward to Turducken.  My family has bought one the past two or three years and it’s seriously awesome.

 

Guatemala Trip 2013

Like I mentioned last time, I was in Guatemala the last two weeks visiting family.  About 95% of my family lives in Guatemala.  The last time I went was in 2009, so it was nice to see everyone, especially my grandma.  The last time I saw her was back in 2011, when she came with my parents to visit me in Italy.

That was then, this is now:

IMG_3094

I went with my mom, sister (Laura) and nephew (Graham).  There weren’t too many outings, mostly just visiting people and eating lots of foods I love (i.e. beans and plantains every single day for breakfast).  Since this is a food blog, let me tell you about my trip through food…

The first few days were mainly spent at home.  On Sunday, the best cook in Guatemala came to my grandma’s house to make Pepian.

IMG_3093That’s Tere.  She makes the best Chile Rellenos, Tamales, Rellenitos and Pepian on the planet.  True story.  She made some Rellenitos that I froze and brought home with me.  This time, she taught me how to make Pollo en Crema con Loroco (Chicken in loroco cream sauce).  I’ll give that recipe a whirl then tell you about it as soon as I can.

No trip to Guatemala is complete without two things:

1. Pollo Campero

IMG_1118

Ok this is totally silly, but we had to introduce Graham to Pollo Campero.  It’s Guatemalan fast food that I’m totally obsessed with.  When I was little I remember having a birthday party in their huge play place (when I was little I spent most of my birthdays in Guatemala since we went every summer).  It’s basically fried chicken, but wayy more delicious than KFC (which also exists in Guatemala).  I also just realized I didn’t take a picture of the food… fail.

2. Obleas

IMG_3267

They used to sell these at the entrance of the grocery store (Paiz), but now they sell them in boxes of 8.  My sister bought like 6 boxes to take home with her.

IMG_3274

We broke one open while we were there.  The best way to describe obleas is like the Eucharist.  I’m not saying that as a joke.  But you know in church/mass when you receive the Eucharist and it’s like a dry, bread-like cracker?  That’s sort of what the oblea tastes like, but then you spread it with arequipe (what we call dulce de leche)

IMG_3270

and then you put another one on top and you get a delicious, crunchy snack

IMG_3278 IMG_3273Oh and honorable mention for things you have to eat in Guatemala…

IMG_1144

Pan Dulce (and no it’s not like the Mexican one you find here in the US, although if you’re in LA, I’m pretty sure my mom get pan dulce here, if you go get gusanos and champurradas.  You won’t be sorry.).

Surprisingly, I only had Pan Dulce once, at my mom’s cousin’s house in Escuintla.  Escuintla is about an hour from Guatemala City, and it’s basically where my mom’s whole family is from.

IMG_1121

We spent some time exploring, like the main church and plaza.  Then we headed to my mom’s cousin’s house which is on the land my mom’s family used to own.IMG_1134Very pretty and tropical and HOT.  But our time in Escuintla was pretty short.  We headed back to the city to spend more time with family.

IMG_3242  IMG_3413

Overall, it was a great trip.  I’m glad my grandma got to meet Graham.

IMG_3302

And I’m glad I got to see all my family that I rarely get to see. I hope we can make it back soon to see everyone again.

I promises there are more awesome recipes coming up soon!  Hope you have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

 

Traveling: Planning a Trip to Peru

My blog is a food blog.  I know this, you know this, we all know this, but it’s also a little bit about me.  And you want to know something about me?

I love to travel.

To me, traveling is more than just a set of experiences.  It’s an enormous privilege that I’ve been lucky to have a large part of my life.  Starting with going to Guatemala every summer as a kid, then having my parents tote me around with them on various trips (Brazil, Europe, Caribbean), then learning to go places on my own (like Argentina and India).  Even just since I’ve had this blog, you’ve followed me to:

Mexico:

  • I went to Chiapas for a week to work on a project while in Grad School.  I didn’t tell my parents I was going, because I thought they’d freak out.  That’s one of my biggest regrets.  Not the trip, but the not telling my parents part.

Rome:

  • I went to Rome from January til June of 2011.
    IMG_0104
    I worked at a UN Agency and ate too much pasta and Nutella.  There were also a few side trips, like Amalfi
    IMG_8963
    Tuscany
    windey road

China:

IMG_0954

Last year I took a 2 week trip to China, and it was pretty awesome.

This time, I’ve got the travel bug again.

Two weeks ago, I bought a plane ticket to Peru.  Last week, I booked a 4-day trip on the Inca Trail.

So this time, instead of just giving you a lighting recap like I did with China.  I’d like to document the trip planning experience for myself to remember and for the world to know.

I think a lot of people have this idea that traveling is too scary, or too expensive, but honestly with some saving strategies, I think anyone can take a fun trip.  I’m not Mr. Money Bags.  If I can take a trip, you probably can too.  It just takes some planning.  So ready for some tips?

Where was your last destination?  Where are you going next?

Mini Road Trip: Grand Canyon

Doesn’t seem like bloggers are always on trips?  Maybe it’s just the blogs I read? But seems like they’re always fluttering around the country.

Aside from my trip to China, I haven’t really gone anywhere for a while.

This weekend, I decided to be one of the cool kids and went on a semi-last-minute trip to the Grand Canyon.

grandcanyon3

That’s about 7 and a half hours way from Orange County, CA.

grandcanyon

Left on Friday, got back on Sunday.

grandcanyon2

Clearly, I did a lot of looking.  I also ate some Buffalo Jerky… tasted like beef jerky to me…

buffalojerky

There were also some super cool Native American ruins.

wupatkiruins

wukoki

with tiny doors…

littledoor

And some two-door not-so-native American relics…

cars

Totally worth the drive

Easter Weekend

Easter weekend was a four and a half day weekend for me, and it was great.

The weekend started Thursday at noon, when Lis and I left work early and headed to the airport for Ibiza!  This also marked the end of countdown to Ibiza.  Success!  Well, I didn’t gain weight, even lost a kg haha!  Although it didn’t really matter because it was wayyy too cold to be in a bathing suit.

After arriving in Ibiza and spending about an hour looking for our hotel, Lis and I made it!  We had a great 1 bedroom apartment with a view of the sea!

Only 29 Euro per night!  That’s what happens when you go to Ibiza in the low season.  Know what else happens?

It’s cloudy and gross.  But we were still happy!

Know what else happens?  No one is there.  You end up being the only ones at the bar and the only ones on the dance floor.  Good enough for us.

The rest of our time in Ibiza was spent walking around.

Surprisingly, we only ate one meal out:

We shared a hamburger, paella and patatas bravas. We like to mix the Spanish and the American… but really that’s the first time I had seen a burger on a bun since I’ve been in Europe.  Truth be told, I miss veggie burgers.

Sadly, we had to leave Ibiza on Saturday.  Just our luck, the sun decided to visit Ibiza as we were leaving.

On Sunday morning, I woke up bright and early and headed to the Vatican.  I had a ticket for the Papal Mass on Easter Sunday.  Can you really pass that up?

There were tons of people and I really couldn’t see anything.  Luckily they do a good job of projecting sound in St. Peter’s Square.

I had never been to a mass in Latin before.  Kinda nice.

The rest of the weekend I was pretty much a bum.  I think that was needed because Sunday night I fell asleep around 6pm and woke up the next morning at 9:30am.  Let’s just say I was pooped!

Then today I made up for all the chocolate I didn’t eat for Easter when my office mate brought in a huge bag of chocolate eggs.

Definitely needing to hit up that gym I dropped major $$$$ for!

Mexico

Sometimes we all do things we regret.  This week I did a few, or maybe  just one.

I didn’t tell my parents I was going to Mexico.

Big mistake.

They freaked out after not hearing from me for days.  My mom called the Cornell Police Department to report me missing.  It was a fiasco.

But I don’t regret going to Mexico.  It was pretty much amazing.

I seem to have anxiety attacks prior to flying, but luckily I had delicious Ghiradelli Chocolate from Foodbuzz Tastemakers to calm me down.  Definitely don’t regret eating those.

I also don’t regret spending my fall break doing research.

I met interesting people.

Tried interesting things… like Pozol… Corn and Cocoa beans milled together, then made into a dough that is then dissolved in water to make a thick drink.

I definitely thought I would regret drinking that after I saw where the water came from.

Also saw some crazy things

Saw thought provoking things

and some really beautiful things

and in the end, I’m glad I went.

Let’s hope our report isn’t a complete failure.  I’m thoroughly concerned for a whole slew of reasons I really don’t want to get into.

Let’s just say, sometimes I think I care a little too much.