Wednesday, August 20, 2008

august showers bring september flowers

Chile has got their seasons a little mixed up ;). I had the most incredible time at the gym on Tuesday. I hadn't ran the day before because I figured sleep was more important (good choice) but I didn't want to miss the run all together so I decided to go early to the gym and get a quick one in before my class (great choice). Not only was I pleased with how much I enjoyed it but it's also getting easier! It's only been a week, so that may very well be mental, but I'd just prefer to think I'm improving already, lol, hope you don't mind. On top of that, Body Balance was even better than I had remembered. It felt amazing to tone and stretch. And then, the morning reached new heights as I was greeted by my first flowering tree of the season on my walk home. Spring is my total favorite, all thanks to these pretty little things.

By the time I got there my "mom" was in the midst of preparing dinner and I made it just in time to prepare the pebre, a Chilean salsa. I don't know if you've ever made homemade salsa before but this one is definitely a keeper in my book! We made a big portion, about 2 cups, and at this point there's nothing left. It all started with a cracker, a slice of cheese, and a spoonful of salsa... just to taste it... and I was hooked.


1 can of finely diced tomatoes with juices
4 stemmed and minced aji chiles*
1/2 cup of minced onion
Juice from 1 lemon
1 tbsp of red wine vinegar
2 tbsps of olive oil
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup of fresh minced cilantro
1 tsp of oregano
Salt to taste

*If aji chiles are unavailable, substitute 1 jalapeño or 1 haberno chile

1. Combine the olive oil, vinegar, and can of diced tomatoes in a bowl. Beat with a whisk.
2. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
3. Let stand for 2 hours to blend the flavors.
3. Serve and enjoy with whatever your little heart desires :) or more traditionally, alongside grilled/roasted meats. Lunch was a repeat of my beloved Sopa Minestrone as I expected and dinner was the medley you see above. Colorful, huh? Starting at the water glass, counter-clockwise... Lettuce & Pea Salad, Rice, sliced Tomatoes, and Baked Cauliflower. My host-mom literally took a head of cauliflower, grated the entire thing, mashed it, added spices, and then put it in the oven. Yum. Also, please keep in mind that this is my plate before I did any damage. Following the photo I basically added the hot and spicy Pebre on top of everything. It was sooo good! I grew up around authentic Mexican food so I have a high caliente tolerance and I can attest to the fact that my mouth was on fire by the end, the best. My lunch today went by very similarly and breakfast was Apple-Banana Oatmeal. I'm off to buy some cottage cheese so I can try it for the very first time with my oats tomorrow. I'm pretty excited. Take care all!

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