Baires Birthday

I think as I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to love my birthday more and more.  I don’t know why, but maybe its because of an accumulation of wonderful birthday memories from years passed.  I remember ice cream birthday parties, events at the roller-skating rink (with a fuzzy green dinosaur skating around), slot car racing, ski trips, a Chilean 21st birthday celebration, and countless cupcakes, flowers, and balloons.  All have been so fun and unforgettable, and remind me of happy times with friends and family.


This year I was really looking forward to the big 2-3 and all of the things I had planned for the week.  After spa Sunday, Steph and I made a trip to Barrio Chino to ring in Chinese New Year.  We got giant dumplings, spring rolls, and chicken meatballs, and finished our feast off with some fortune cookies (which had the same exact fortune!).  Before leaving we browsed some of the stores in search of the perfect Chinese New Year trinket, and found adorable golden elephants to take home as keepsakes.  Later that night we went to a new favorite summer spot Soria.  The outdoor bar makes a great old fashioned and is a cool place to go on a beautiful summer evening.


The next night we had to work at Pub Crawl in San Telmo.  Upon hearing that it was my birthday at mid-night, my co-workers made it their mission to get me a little drunk.  The owner of La Barceloneta gave us all tequila shots on the house, and wished me the very best birthday.  After, my friend pulled me up on the bar so that all of the pub-crawlers could sing me happy birthday (I almost peed my pants I was so embarrassed).  It was such a fun night and a great start to my actual day of birth.



My birthday usually falls on the same week as Mardi Gras.  This year was no exception, and February 12 actually fell on Fat Tuesday.  We had learned from some Irish friends that Fat Tuesday is called Pancake Tuesday in Ireland since people normally make a big breakfast the day before Ash Wednesday.  I got overly excited by this bit of information, and decided to do round two of roommate brunch.  We changed the menu this time around and made banana and apple pancakes (with a hint of cinnamon and brown sugar), home fries, a quiche, toast, and a fruit salad.  It was the first time I made a quiche, and I must say it came out very good.





Later that day, Pat took us to a cute French café called Bar du Marche.  I loved the black and white tiled floors, and the chic yet cozy feel of the bar.  We ordered the wine and cheese tasting that the café offers, and were each given three different types of wine which were paired with different kinds of cheese.  Along with the wine and cheese came crusty bread, apple preserve, mini pickles, and delicious olive oil.  It was such a wonderful place to go and I am so glad that Pat suggested it as a birthday activity.  After our wine tasting we got a few cortados closer to home to wake us up, and then started getting ready to go out.




Everyone on Pub Crawl’s favorite night to go out is Tuesday because of Hype at Kika…and I of course was the only member of the staff to never have gone before.  Since it was a Tuesday, it seemed appropriate to celebrate my birthday with our PC family at Hype.  We went on Pub Crawl for a little, then stopped at my favorite spot, Acabar, for some Jenga and caipirinhas, and finally made our way back to meet everyone at Kika.  On the way we came across a Carnaval celebration in the street, with music and tons of people dressed in crazy costumes dancing and singing.  At last we made it to Hype, and it was everything I hoped it would be.  The music was awesome and the party was so much fun.






To finally wrap my birthday celebration week up, my roommates and I went out to a nice dinner thanks to my wonderful parents.  After working at a barbecue restaurant in East Hampton, I have become a huge fan of BBQ food.  I decided to have my birthday dinner at El Tejano (the place behind our Thanksgiving turkey), a closed-door restaurant known for its outrageous Texas BBQ.  The meal was all you can eat smoked brisket, ribs, and matambre, along with jalapeño cornbread, coleslaw, baked potatoes, and sweet pickles.  I would have to say that this dinner was probably one of the best meals I have ever had in my life.  The smoked brisket was perfectly charred on the outside and tender on the inside.  Topped with the sweet pickles and El Tejano’s BBQ sauce, and eaten with the coleslaw, it was beyond delicious and definitely my favorite part of the meal (round 1 out of 4).  The ribs were amazing as well, falling right off the bone and full of flavor.  I could not have been happier to share this meal with my friends, and to celebrate my birthday in South America.  The week was so wonderful and definitely adds to all of my fond birthday memories.





Sangria Spa Sunday

This year I am very excited for my birthday.  We have a lot of fun things planned and I can’t wait to celebrate with everyone here in Buenos Aires.  It’s also extra special this year because my birthday falls on a national holiday, giving us all a nice long four-day weekend.  To kick-off a week of festivities, Steph and I decided to treat ourselves to a spa day.  We gave ourselves good pedicures (after being appalled by the state of our feet), deep conditioned our hair, and did açaí facials.  We also decided to make a nice pitcher of white sangria (similar to this).  One of my favorite summer beverages, white sangria is always the perfect compliment to a hot day.  We chopped up green apples, peaches, mangos and oranges, and added it to a mixture of Sauvignon Blanc and 7Up (we unfortunately could not find Triple Sec).  The sangria was great and made our spa day extra enjoyable.




Super Bowl

Super Bowl Sunday is always a day I look forward to at home.  Even when my team is not playing in the game (which they usually are not), I love the excitement of the game, spending time with friends and relatives, and of course the food.  Knowing it would probably not be the same as being home, we originally planned on going to an American-owned bar to watch the game.  Fortunately, a friend of ours invited us to a Super Bowl party.  Our boss has lots of friends who work at the U.S. Embassy, some of which are Marines who were hosting a party at their house in Belgrano.  Upon arriving, we were greeted by a few of the guys who live there and some other workers from the embassy…we were also led to a gigantic pot of “man dip,” which was outrageously good and extremely addicting.  We enjoyed a delicious asado and Patagonia beers, and eventually made it inside to watch the game.  I could not have envisioned a better set-up.  The living room at the Marine house has lots of huge comfy couches and movie projector.  Although the commercials were different, it was a really great game (go Flacco!!) and an even better day.  It really felt like home and was just what we all needed to curb our homesickness.




San Telmo Market

One of the classes I teach is in San Telmo, and to get to my office I have to walk a few blocks through my favorite part of the city.  I love the art on the walls of the buildings and the narrow cobblestone streets, and constantly feel the urge to snap pictures on my walk.  However, to avoid looking like even more of a tourist than I already do, I usually refrain from taking any photos.  Instead, I made a plan to visit San Telmo on a Sunday when the weekly market takes over the streets and is filled with people from out of town.  After our successful brunch, Steph and I headed over to San Telmo.  It was really lovely to go to the market again, especially since it was so cloudy and cold the first time we went.  There are so many interesting things to see, and I had to tell myself not to buy anything just yet.  We weaved through the streets taking pictures and exploring, and found so many new places we had never heard of before.









After walking around for a few hours, we stopped at a local pub for beers and a snack.  Gibraltar is a really cozy spot, with dark wood walls adorned with Groucho Marx quotes, floor to ceiling bookshelves and huge black leather couches.  Steph and I made ourselves at home on a couch and ordered some Coronas and Thai chicken to share.  We joked later that it was funny being in a pub, drinking Mexican beer, listening to French music, eating Thai food, all while in Argentina.  It was overall a really lovely afternoon, and I look forward to my next trip to the San Telmo Market.




Sunday Brunch

One lazy night I was procrastinating writing lesson plans by browsing Pinterest.  I came across a French toast recipe that instantly made me hungry and got me thinking about making Sunday brunch.  After sharing what I thought was a brilliant idea, I was completely shot-down by the boys, who argued that I sleep far to late on Sundays to serve a meal that could even be considered brunch.  Always one to accept a challenge and prove someone wrong, I vowed that I would make brunch that Sunday and have it on the table by 11am.  Sunday came and after sleeping for approximately four hours, I woke up (half-dead) to make our brunch.  After a few minor panic attacks and lots of help from Steph, brunch was served (eighteen minutes past 11 according to the boys).  We made French toast with Nutella and berries, scrambled eggs, homemade hash browns, facon (its pretty difficult to find regular bacon here, so we had to settle for ham), and fresh-squeezed orange juice.  Sunday brunch was definitely a success, and I hope its something we start to do more often.




Simple Meals with Steph

As I’ve said before, I’m not the best cook.  However its something that I’d really like to change, so I’m glad to be living with my friend Steph who has agreed to teach me some of her cooking skills.  As soon as we got settled into our new apartment back in Buenos Aires, Steph and I went right to work on making me less useless in the kitchen.  Trying to be a little healthy and detox after indulging on our vacation, we’ve been eating a lot of vegetarian meals.  We successfully made cauliflower cakes, which came out really delicious especially when paired with a yummy zucchini sauce.  Steph made a pizza with a cauliflower crust that I could not stop eating it was so fantastic. We also created our own spicy pasta salad with chickpeas, onions, red peppers and tomatoes (so freaking good).  Being the sugar-addict that I am, we of course had to follow-up all of these dishes with something extra sweet. We decided to make fried bananas with dulce de leche, which was a delicious combination and just the right amount of sweet that I was craving.  Although I still have a lot to learn, I am really excited that my cooking is getting much better!