Monday, May 26, 2014

Eating Out with Friends

This past week I had the pleasure of eating out with expat friends at Chili's in Larcomar. I had the biggest craving for nachos and wings and they are exactly what I got. I also had a frozen lemonade and a sparkling mango strawberry drink that was delicious. It was really nice to hang out with my English speaking friends. I definitely get a good amount of English at work but it is different chatting with expats. There is a different connection there and I am super grateful for it. We all decided that it would be a good idea to do this on a monthly basis. I am all for it!
Some of my kindergarten colleagues
I also had the pleasure of eating chinese food with my colleagues last Friday for lunch. The director of the school takes all of the staff and teachers out to lunch once a year to celebrate everyone's birthday. It is a great way to do it and it was so delicious! I stuffed my face with orange chicken and fried wantan.

I have decided I am going to take up swimming twice a week at the pool in the complex next to the military school. I miss swimming a lot and it is such a great workout. I just hope that the pool isn't too cold and that maybe there is hot water in the showers afterward. Worst case scenario, I will just wait to shower when I get back home. The best part is that the pool doesn't cost me anything and it is a short walk away. Beggars can't be choosers!

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day. I was super tired on Sunday so I spent the majority of the day in my bed and it was glorious! I had a nice chat with my mother in the evening as well. Mother's Day is a big deal here in Peru and if it weren't already on a Sunday it would be a national holiday. I witnessed my kindergartners put on a show and a half for their mothers on Thursday. It was absolutely adorable and we never did anything like that when I was in school. Maybe we made a picture but we didn't learn choreographed dances and sing songs. I think it is great that they do that and I think that mothers should be recognized more in the States. I am sure my mom would have been super happy to get a dance, song and present from me when I was in kindergarten.

Anyway, I am going to put up a recipe today for my mother's famous cottage cheese pancakes. She might not take credit for them (since the recipe comes from The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas 1972) but she sure made them famous for me. You can't imagine how excited I got when I found cottage cheese in Plaza vea last week. Hurray! I had to buy it even though a cup costs 10 soles. It was worth it. I miss the cottage cheese that is a bit more moist but it worked and I was able to make delicious cottage cheese pancakes!

Here is the recipe a la Mama Chamberlin:

6 eggs, separated
2 cups small-curd cottage cheese
2/3 cup flour
2 TBS sugar (I add a bit more for a bit more sweetness)
Dash of cinnamon (I definitely add more than a dash.  J)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar (don't worry if you don't have this)
Oil or butter for frying

Optional garnishes: sour cream, preserves, honey, apple butter, powdered sugar, fresh fruit or our family choice: maple syrup

Beat together the egg yolks, cottage cheese, flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until they are stiff but not dry.  Fold the beaten whites gently into the cheese mixture.

Drop the batter by large spoonfuls onto an oiled griddle or skillet.  Fry the pancakes until golden brown on both sides and puffy.  Serve at once (important) with choice of garnishes.  (Do NOT try to make this recipe ahead of time.)

Perfect protein breakfast for a morning sweet-tooth!

Serves 4 generously and is very easy to make a half recipe for two.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Birthday and a Mother's Day Event

Last Saturday I went out to Villa El Salvador with Gabriel to see Patty, my niece, for her 2nd birthday. I had a mass
to sing in later that evening so I couldn't stay for the actual party but it was super fun to see her and to see her and Gabriel play with play doh for 2 hours. It was super cute. I also bought her a book describing different colored things. Since she hadn't napped all day we took a trip to Tottus to pick up the cake and Patty fell asleep in my arms immediately. It was super cute. I can't wait to have children. (Don't worry, I know that when they are sleeping they are always more desirable and that the majority of the time they take all of your energy. Whatever! Bring it on!)

On Thursday of this week we didn't have any school due to it being a national holiday for workers. Marco's promotion took it upon themselves to use the day for their annual mothers' day celebration. It was really really nice and even though there were flies when we were eating (due to stables being very close by) it was a really nice event. There was a trampoline and two huge blow up obstacle courses for the kids' entertainment. There was a dog show demonstration (The location of the event was next to the military vet clinic) and there was an hora loca with lots of dancing. Also, every family brought a gift that was exchanged. Every mother received a gift by raffle. I received a very nice beige tote purse from Ripley. It is super cute and neutral and can work with anything.

We think it would be fun to put Pepe in a training school.

Earlier in the morning Marco and I went to Plaza Lima Sur to pick up a gift to bring and we picked out a cute hand bag from a store called Tizza. I also found a pair of tennis shoes at Traithlon Sports on sale for 179 soles. They are red Nikes that are unisex and I am super happy because I hadn't bought tennis shoes in 4 years! I also bought Gabriel a sweatshirt that he had been eyeing the day before and I surprised him with it when we got home. He definitely needed a sweatshirt since we are getting into colder weather now. It is the least I can do. He has had a lot of changes these past 3 months and he has been a sport.

Anyway, the mothers day event was great. We had lots of meat for lunch and there was lots of dancing. At one point during the hora loca, all of the wives were up dancing in a conga line while the kids were playing and watching. I think it is awesome how dancing happens immediately at every gathering. No need to be drunk at all. The women tend to be the ones to get things started too. If our husbands don't want to dance no problem! We will just dance in a circle.

There was a paintball place right next door and Gabriel and friends wanted to do it but it was a bit expensive and they didn't have enough people to make it worth it. (Too bad they didn't ask me, I would've loved to play some paintball. It is good to know it is there for future reference.) After a good 5 hours we headed home. It was a great way to spend a day off. Unfortunately, we had to go back to work on Friday but the good news is we have Friday off next week since we had no bridge (linking the holiday to the weekend) this week. Then we have May vacation! Not bad at all.

All these pictures were taken on my phone. I am actually impressed with the quality. Not bad Nokia.