Escaping with work

Sometimes my job is awesome.

IMG_3763          IMG_3740

IMG_3741

I got to spend the whole day outside in this gorgeous place and sneak a bit of these amazing olives and delicious cheese during a meeting. I know it’s my job but sometimes it feels too special to just be work! Even though the project is just an hour outside of Mendoza city, it can feel worlds away. To top it all off, the day was made even better by these kittens!

IMG_3756                       IMG_3762

But really. Have you ever seen anything cuter? The project’s caretaker has a little farm and it seems like every time we visit there’s a new baby animal to play with! My heart was broken because my extreme allergies meant I couldn’t cuddle one but it was still a magical experience.

What else can I tell you? We’ve been having some unreal sunsets lately.

IMG_3719   IMG_3730

What did you all do for St. Patrick’s day? I went to a bar down the block that was surprisingly packed. Who knew Argentine’s loved green and beer (and sometimes green beer) so much? Seriously though, this was more filled up than anything we saw on Christmas or New Years! It was a really fun night and it felt so great sitting outside now that temperatures have cooled down a bit here in the southern hemisphere.

IMG_3731

Nothing crazy has been going on with my meals lately. A lot of repeats BUT I bought tofu! I had to order it from a health food store and it finally came. I’ll update you on the results tomorrow but hopefully tofu doesn’t vary too much from country to country!

Standard

Hunting for quinoa

Lining up for the sprint at Rally de las Bodegas

Happy Sunday everyone!

This week has been pretty good to me. I’ve had a decent amount of energy and I’ve definitely been kept busy between my two job, starting this blog, and all the daily activities of life. On Thursday, Mateo and I went to the opening day of Rally de las Bodegas, or The Wineries Rally, which began with a sprint. We met the organizers through work and they told us about the race which we wouldn’t have known about otherwise. It was way cooler than expected. See, I am  New Yorker through and through and I never learned to drive because I never really had to. Suffice it to say, I’m not exactly a car connoisseur but even I was blown away by these cars! Some were from the twenties and I was immediately transported to Downton Abbey haha. Others were sleek sports cars but all of them were unique and fun to look at.

IMG_3687

Number two–my favorite

After the race we headed home and made an epic seven-layer bowl. I told you before, I can’t get enough of the Mexican flavors and I don’t see an end in sight. In fact I just found cilantro at the Central Market today so I think you’ll be seeing more of the same soon. Sorry in advance! But really how good does this look…

IMG_3693

From bottom to top: rice, black beans (simmered for four hours…I kid you not…with onion and chili pepper), cheese, spicy salsa, guacamole, plain fat-free yogurt (as satisfying as sour cream!), and homemade hot sauce. Mmmmm. This was a huge bowl and I devoured every bite of it. I slept well last night and I think I have this insane bowl of food to thank.

Today breakfast was eggs plus left over beans and guac but I decided to get more creative with lunch. This afternoon I whipped together a quick quinoa salad. Now, let me tell you about this quinoa that I finally got my hands on. In a land of potatoes and more potatoes, where rice isn’t even very popular, I never thought I would get to eat quinoa! I knew that a few health food stores sold it in Mendoza somewhere but I couldn’t  justify the price so I kept my blinders on and didn’t try to find it. Well, now that we’re making a bit more money I decided to treat myself to some. It was glorious. Once the quinoa was ready I mixed it with one large tomato, one avocado, half a can of garbanzo beans, a drizzle of olive oil, juice from half a lemon, salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of cilantro. It turned out wonderfully and was the perfect bright and healthy lunch! Worth every penny (and it wasn’t even that expensive after all).

IMG_3699

Today is going to be a lazy Sunday. Mateo and I had to work yesterday for more than 12 hours so I’m ready to relax the day away. Hope you can too!

Standard

Welcome to Mendoza everyone

As this blog’s title suggests, I love traveling because I love eating. Half the reason I love going to new places is because I get to experience and taste delicious food from around the world. When I think of traveling I think of trying to order food while stumbling over words like “mohinga” and “lephet thoke”, I think of exciting tastes, and most of all I think of shared meals. When my boyfriend, Mateo, and I traveled to Asia in early 2013 I got to try some of the most divine, spicy, and inexpensive food that I’d ever had. Every day I woke up looking forward to the bowl of noodles I would inevitably be eating and I was seriously in food heaven. I probably overdosed on MSG but it was totally worth every delicious, umami bite.

 

Image

                    Noodles in Japan

When Mateo and I were thinking of where we wanted to live next, we knew we wanted to go to a Spanish speaking country (with delicious food, of course) and we knew that we couldn’t afford Europe. Bye, bye dreams of Spain and paella! But how exactly did we decide on Argentina? When we were in Thailand we met the sweetest couple from Argentina:  Martin and Ceci. They were well into the second-half of their year-long trip around the world and we spent hours talking with them in the lobby of our hostel. When Mateo and I mentioned that we had plans to live in a Spanish-speaking countrythey begin telling us more about Argentina, a country that we hadn’t considered beforehand. While they did mentioned some potential downsides to living their now (namely the economy), what I caught my attention the most was how they lit up when they spoke about what it was like to grow up there, the country’s expansiveness, and all the things they missed. It was obvious that this couple’s enthusiasm for life and their warmness said something about Argentine people as a whole.

Once we returned back to the U.S. We started planning and decided to try our luck living in Mendoza, Argentina the hometown of Martin and the fourth-largest city in Argentina. Martin’s family generously offered to host us for the first two weeks of our visit while we looked for an apartment and for jobs, despite the fact that we had spent no more than 3 hours with their son. Their hospitality meant so much to us our first few days and we would have been much more overwhelmed without a home-cooked meal to come back to every day. Argentines are incredibly genuine and when they say they would love to have you stay with them or that they want to have a asado with you, not only do they mean it but they also make it happen. The first week was a whirlwind of apartment and job hunting. It was also when I started to realize that the food here wasn’t going to be quite what I had expected…

Truthfully, I didn’t do too much research about Argentine cuisine before I came. The summer went by with astounding speed and before I knew it Mateo and I were on a plane to Buenos Aires. Of course, I knew that Argentine the place for beef but that didn’t deter me too much. After all, it was South America! There had to be spice and beans and rice at the very least. Right? Right?! Well, not exactly…

Navigating Argentine cuisine has been quite the challenge but instead of giving up and having French fries for dinner every night, I decided to embrace the challenge. I’ve spent more time in the kitchen these past six months than I think I have in the past six years. Although I am most certainly a cooking novice, at least a few delicious morsels have come out of my dingy kitchen. This blog is for me to share some of these creations as well as my tasty adventures abroad as a twenty-something trying to figure out what’s next.

Image

 

 

 

Standard