Friday, November 25, 2011

Six ways I've changed in the past six months.

Today marks six months in Paraguay. I wanted to celebrate with a little reflection. I've changed in many ways, yet certainly still feel true to myself. However, here are six things that weren't so before I left for the Heart of America.

The good life.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gone Awesome-ing, be back later

If war in 90% boredom, 10% pure adrenalin, then Peace Corps is 70% boredom, 30% the craziest shit that's ever happened to you.

With that in mind, I bring you the 70%.
Probably listening to Lady Gaga.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

More Adventures in Vegetarianism: Baked Eggplant Chips

My most recent veggie creation, baked eggplant chips!

Normally I frown upon anything that has the word 'baked', where the word 'fried' is supposed be. Generally speaking this switcheroo happens when some near anorexic "health guru" is trying to pretend that "they taste the same if not better than french fries!" No they don't, and neither do these. My eggplant chips aren't gonna replace a good potato chip, but they are yummy independent of any comparison.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

This Is What They Mean by Cultural Context

Anyone who has ever lived alone will tell you that it has it's perks. Not only do you not have to deal with others, but others don't have to deal with you. Your little chamber of solitude shelters you and your quirks from judgment. You can have that out loud conversation with your cat, or eat Doritos for breakfast. Who's gonna say anything? But sometimes our little worlds are exposed.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pot Sticker Post: FOR THE WIN!

May Bourdain smite me as I say this: I like vegetables! In fact, I love them so much I've stopped eating meat. Please don't look at me that way. I know what you're thinking. "Oh, the horror she's become a VEGETARIAN!"

Well, not really. Meat is expensive here, and I don't think it tastes good. Furthermore, Paraguay and I have different definitions of "butchering." While I won't refuse meat, I don't purchase it myself. So rest assured, I won't be feeding you tempe or vegan-aise next time we meet. I still love to eat God's good creatures. 

It really is a shame that vegetarians are soul-less, terrible people. You would think that people who sustain themselves, in fact, define themselves by vegetables would treat them better. I've been looking on vegetarian food blogs and I'm finding that most any recipe that begins with "vegetarian" is horrifying. This is all without mentioning their fetish-esque relationship with tofu. It's all very sad.

So what's a girl to do? As with all things in Peace Corps, make it up as I go along. So here is my first "vegetarian" recipe.

Vegetarian Pot Stickers! 

They were awesome. 

By "vegetarian" I mean converting something that traditionally has meat, to a meatless version without hating myself for eating it. I want to concede that there are a whole plethora of dishes that don't need meat nor even consider it and are still scrumptiliuptious. It's just when people start trying to pretend substitutions are or taste like meat, that's when things go wrong. Like Hindenburg wrong.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I did a post on straining yogurt a week ago.  While a huge improvement over the semen-esque sludge they try to pass for yogurt here, there were some drawbacks: Natural flavor was unavailable, high sugar content, low yield, and higher than necessary price. The solution, make yogurt from scratch.

Working with dairy frightens me a bit. Milk is temperamental, and if it scalds, generally there is no saving it. Yogurt, however, was pretty simple. I'm gonna give all the credit to Micheal Ruhlman, who had a great post on yogurt making, that guided me through the process. I couldn't do it step by step, but he gave enough reason behind the process so that I could improvise. I'm essentially reblogging his post, but translated for a less than ideal kitchen.

Monday, November 7, 2011

GARDEN! Ok, not yet but almost.

This isn't the most exciting post, except it is for me. I just planted seeds!

Seeds, I tell you!

Who knew seeds were pink? I think they might lose me my "organic" status.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Meet Johnny.
What you looking at?

Isn't he just a big blob of cute! No?

Ok, try this picture.


SO CUTE! I love that his tongue is never in his mouth, ever.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Making Edible, Not Drinkable Yogurt in Paraguay

As Peace Corps volunteers we agreed to work "under conditions of hardship." Usually this conjures up ideas of no electricity, pulling water up from a well or a stream, and cooking over fire. Yeah, none of that really applies to me. My condition of hardship?

Drinkable Yogurt.

Maybe I'm a yogurt snob, but I like me some full-fat, super-creamy, carve-able yogurt. In Paraguay they like yogurt that can be drank from a sippy cup. I hate it. I could explore the ways I hate it but I won't waste your time. I'm just glad there's a solution.