Vacationing in Vancouver Part 1: Prep

It’s Thursday, which is almost Friday, so I’m feeling pretty peppy today!  More so because I’ll be heading to Vancouver soon for a little R&R.  I’m actually surprised it’s taken this long to get up there since it’s a mere +/- 3hr drive from Seattle.

I have heard wonderful things about Vancouver.  Someone told me it’s the Los Angeles of British Columbia (that may be a stretch).  Yes, it will be cold there at this time of year, but there’s nothing I love more than bundling up for a brisk walk in a new city**

This all being said, there is a certain amount of preparation that needs to be done when traveling to a new city/country/culture.

  1. Snacks and drinks must be procured for the duration of the drive so as to avoid hanger
  2. Appropriate clothing must be packed (but I never actually have weather-appropriate clothing, so good luck to me)
  3. Passport must be located from whatever dark recess its been hiding in
  4. Lodging and food must be researched for maximum enjoyment and relaxation

So, good people of the internet, I need advice.  Has anyone been to Vancouver?  Any recommendations on things to see, places to eat, where the best coffee is (I am a Seattleite, after all), people to meet?  Any suggestions will be highly appreciated!

Oh the places I will go …

**as I write that, I realize that this is not necessarily a true fact anymore after my weekend in Montreal this past October–but that’s a whole other post

An exploration of self: Rajas con Crema

My father was born into a poor family in a small village outside of Puebla, Mexico.  My mother was born to two immigrants who hailed from Mexico (my grandmother) and Ecuador (my grandfather).  Therefore, based on the evidence, I am Latina.

You would probably never think it by looking at me.  I just look like a regular ol’ American girl.  But I want to be so much more than that.  I want to grasp at the culture that my family left behind when they came to the states to start over.   Sure, I could paint my house brilliant shades of color, and put a Virgen de la Guadalupe statue in a small grotto in my backyard, but I think the most productive way of going about this would be to cook.  Cooking immerses you in the smells and tastes of a culture.  Spicy, bold, colorful, heated–these words can describe Mexican cooking.

I’ll start with a few recipes that I learned from my father.  When I was in college, there was nothing I looked forward to more than coming home for a break and being able to eat to my father’s famous chile verde, using the thick polenta slices to mop up the sauce so I could get every last bite.

Rajas con Crema–this dish literally means Peppers with Cream, which doesn’t sound too tasty to start.  But don’t let the name fool you.  These peppers refer specifically to poblano peppers–big, dark green peppers that you traditionally use to make chile rellenos.  The cream simply must be crema mexicana-a sort of thin cream.

The recipe I found on The Other Side of the Tortilla does a good job of keeping it simple and straightforward.  Check out my Instagram for a pic of the final product!

http://theothersideofthetortilla.com/2010/02/rajas-con-crema/

November: The Introduction to the Holiday Season!

I was simply amazed this weekend when I started to watch a show on the telly and the commercials had already begun incorporating Christmas into their advertising.  The day after Halloween and I already hear the familiar sounds of sleigh bells and ho-ho-hos leaking through consumer television.  What the what?!  Don’t get me wrong–I love the holiday season more than pretty much anything (alright, not as much as I love my dogs or hot sauce) but this is just WRONG.  How dare this precious season start earlier than necessary merely for the sake of consumer-driven greed!  Just … no.

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On another note, please take heed of the following advice: always take care when shooting down a flaming shot of anything–you will easily singe eyelashes and/or hair (obviously this has happened to me) 

On another another note, please make sure to vote by/on Nov 4th!