Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Expat to Expat Q+A: Yummy food!

Cusco, Peru

Hey all! I’m excited for this 2nd expat Q+A hosted by Bailie from Hemborg Wife and Belinda at Found Love Now What. And the theme is a yummy one that we all love…food!! Here comes my sweet tooth...

1. What is your favorite food tradition in your new country?  
Ohhh there’s so many good postres (desserts)!! A few favorites of mine include:
Picarones – basically fried dough with a honey cinnamon infused syrup.
Mazamorra y arroz con leche – this is a warm, pudding-like dessert. Part is made from purple corn and fruit. Mix with arroz con leche and you’ve got a perfect combo.

Peruvian version of doughnuts, picarones!
Also, it’s very typical to have soups with meals and I kind of like this tradition. This one below was a typical one from the selva (jungle) made with a type of banana!

Banana soup!?
2. Where have you traveled to that you thought had the best food to offer?
I love the food in Costa Rica. Platanos fritos (fried plantains), rice and beans are very common. And always lots of fresh fruits and juices.
Tapas and gelato in Southern Spain!
A typical Costa Rican dish, casado. Soooo yum!
And the wide array of international variety in San Francisco.

3. What is the typical breakfast where you currently live and would you eat it back home?
Huevitos – it’s basically potatoes and a hard-boiled egg with a special green sauce called ocopa(made from a herb, huacartay). I would eat it back home but it’s really not as good without the sauce.

4. What type of restaurant, either style or type of food, do you think is lacking in your new home?
Gelato food art, Granada Spain.
Let’s just say that for as ‘international’ of a place Cusco is, it lacks this variety in food. I soooo miss a good burrito (my bf and I found one place, claiming to be Mexican. It’s not, but still is delicious so that’s my sub for Mexican food). Also, I wish there were some affordable Asian restaurants – Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Indian. There are a surprising number of chifas (Peruvian Chinese food) but unfortunately, I can’t highly recommend them.

Missing me some coconut soup and curry!
5. Do you think your home state/city/province has a food everyone should try?
Deli sandwiches with all the good stuff!

6. What is your favorite dish to prepare that you would never have made back home?
Believe it or not…crepes! My roommates taught me how and I’ve been able to practice quite a bit. Not your typical Peruvian food, but definitely delicious. The trick is getting them so thin, which I’m still perfecting.

7. What is the oddest food in your new country?
They really eat all parts of meat…stomach, feet, head, yep. The textures and smells tend to weird me out so I stay pretty far away from them. My boyfriend thinks it’s weird I get queasy seeing all the raw meat parts at the market. Cuy (guinea pig) is also a delicacy here, but it’s enjoyable. Read more here.

8. If you could have a crate of one type of food sent to you from your home country, what would it be?
Dried fruits and all kinds of nuts, spreads and sauces!

9. What three foods remind you of summer?
Watermelon, popsicles, and BBQs.

10. What food from your country are you surprised to enjoy?
Potatoes…there are thousands of varieties and colors here. And the best part, they’re real aka GMO-free. Nope, no grapefruit sized potatoes here!

Bonus: Where was your favorite place you ever took a summer vacation to?
There’s a bunch, but I’ll just pick one: road trip on the US Northwest coast. Firstly, because I just love roadtrips – being with friends, blasting music, and hair blowing in the wind. Secondly, because driving along the coast is so gorgeous.

There you have it, folks! I think I broke some rules because I have trouble picking favorites, oops...What's your favorite cultural food?? 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Photographic Ode to Creatures

Welcome to the second photography series. I noticed that I started taking animal pictures after my 1st trip to Costa Rica. Probably because the creatures are so huge and different than any I had ever seen before. Now I always try to capture interesting creatures on camera. (All photos are taken and edited by myself, unless otherwise noted.)

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Costa Rica 

A little monkey eating fruit up in the trees!

These bright red, purple, and black crabs were
everywhere on our off-the-road adventure in Santa Rosa.

BIG bugs!

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There were a bunch of turtles that came onto shore for a few days. 


On my visit home, I took lots of morning walks in the hills. Pulgas Reserve.

Kisses! Vivid memories of Girl Scout Camp and Outdoor Ed.

Lovely little bees in Sonoma County.

This guy looks like a grump. A day in Muir Woods.

Beautiful dragonfly resting, Silver Lake.

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Cusco and nearby

Family mule, Luquina Chica family homestay.

Rooster of Choquequirao.
Photography: Megan Boyle
Cuy castle in Pisac - read more

Land of llamas at Huchuy Cusco. Photography: Diane Patterson

Gorgeous parrot at Ccotahuasi Animal Rescue.

Puerto Maldonado - Quillabamba (jungle)

We almost stepped on this guy, hanging out under the orange trees.

The tarantula that was in my shoe (and didn't want to come out).

Just a little snack ;)

Aren't creatures magnificent? Hopefully you had as much fun seeing these as I did creating this. Do you have a favorite animal? 

Stay tuned for next Photographic Ode to Funny Things!