Category Archives: FOOD

Photo Project “52 Bolivian Sundays” [week 42, ‘a Hue of Color, from Tarija’]

Singani in Tarija

This past week, our family took advantage of the children’s school break and flew out of La Paz, seeking warmer temperatures, good hiking, and a relaxing scenario. Tarija is famous for its warm weather and the colorful winery settings. More to come, as we get our photos organized in the ‘shoe box’. For now, a quick example of what we saw/experienced/enjoyed over there:

The orange shades displayed by the glasses filled with Singani drinks – one of Bolivia’s trademarks – seem to perfectly fit the bill for ‘a hue of me‘… a lovely combination of orange and wood tones…

♥ Enjoy as you please, and thanks for stopping by! ♥

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Posted by on October 19, 2013 in BOLIVIA, FOOD, photography, TRAVEL


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Cupcake & Brigadeiro de Capirinha!

Brigadeiro de caipirinha com cachaça e limões

More on ‘high altitude fun baking’… a good combo here: cupcake and brigadeiro de caipirinha, Brazil’s (in)famous drink! For the cupcake (Portuguese recipe below), it’s simple lemon cake batter, and for the frosting, lime chantilly, with a tiny bit of confectioners sugar, and a few drops of cachaça(!!). Add the straws for a more ‘mixed drink look’. Done! 😮

Super Fácil:

[Portuguese] Cupcake de Caipirinha: massa de limão com cachaça, recheio de ganache de limão com cachaça e cobertura de chantilly de limão, o finzinho dele é bem azedinho, e o mimozinho ma rodelinha de limão com canudinho.

Remember this one, from when we were back in Brazil? A huge success among expats and locals!

Since I already had a post on two of the most famous foods of Brazil, “feijoada” and “pão de queijo”, I was sent a great idea and recipe, for desert: a bit daring, interesting & intriguing, but for all the Brazilian Food lovers, should be a great suggestion: BRIGADEIRO DE CAIPIRINHA… Why not have two awesome suggestions on Sunday, all before lunch?

Remember “brigadeiro”? Those little chocolate candies that one may find at birthday parties? Well, this one resembles a famous Brazilian drink: “The Caipirinha”… a candy made with ingredients for a mixed drink… The main ingredient? A little bit of cachaça, Brazil’s famous “sugar cane aguardiente”… 😮 And, obviously: “enjoy responsibly”…. Enjoy at a friend’s house, after a great feijoada… Take a good nap afterwards… find yourself a comfy hammock and forget about getting behind the wheel! 😮 No “eating and driving”, okay? 😮

Here is the imag and recipe, in Portuguese, with comments in English:

Receita do Brigadeiro de Caipirinha

Brigadeiros de caipirinha


  • 1 lata de leite condensado
  • 2 colheres de sopa de manteiga
  • 50 ml de cachaça / vodka
  • Açúcar cristal
  • Raspas de limão para decorar
  • Opcional: suco de um limão e ½ caixa de creme de leite

Modo de preparo

Leve ao fogo uma panela com o leite condensado, o creme de leite e a manteiga. Vá mexendo em fogo baixo até dar ponto e desgrudar da panela. Tire um pouco do fogo e adicione a cachaça/vodca, e o suco do limão. Volte a panela ao fogo e deixe dar o ponto novamente. Use uma assadeira untada (de manteiga) pra colocar a “massa”, e deixe reservado até esfriar.

Pra fazer as bolinhas: unte as mãos com manteiga, pegue um pouco da “massa” e vá boleando, fazendo movimentos circulares. Passe a bolinha no açúcar cristal, com raspas de limão, para decorar. (Obs: existe um açúcar especial, de confeiteiro, que parece um gelo triturado e também é uma boa opção).

One may add lemon/lime zest over the candy, making it look even more similar to the original drink… Humm!

[Portuguese] Há quem goste de colocar um pouquinho de raspas de limão na massa no lugar do suco. Deve deixar um azedinho bem gostoso!


Posted by on August 5, 2013 in FOOD


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{Weekly Writing Challenge} How to prepare a ‘serial traveler’: Recipe, cooking times and serving suggestions.

 How to serve a ‘serial traveler’, inspired by ‘A Pinch of You’:


Preparation Steps:

Make sure you’ve got all the ingredients handy. Ensure their good quality and origin. When raising a child, remember to offer him/her a healthy dose of ‘worldly experiences‘: take them on field trips, sightseeing tours, museums, photo exhibits. Share videos and tales from your own childhood. Share with them your curiosity, your concerns, your dreams. Listen to their plans, their ambitions, their fears of the unknown…

[Note from the Chef] These are just suggestions for this dish. Alter as you please, adding or subtracting ingredients. Come up with your own unique recipe and most important of all, have fun cooking! 😮

Get the oven going: Take advantage of each and every opportunity to show your growing child that the world is much more than what they’re gathering from social media tools.

Cooking and Serving:

  • Travel, go to places, move. By car, by bus, by train, by boat, on the back of a horse or camel. Try flying, but also, try different transportation methods – the stranger, the better! Dealing with travel difficulties is part of the learning process, and overcoming challenges brings the experience to a whole new level.

where's home?


  • Spend some time planning your trips. Imagine how it would be, what you’d do, who you’d encounter… Dream about it. Enjoy the preparations and be ready to appreciate the reality, when the time comes.
  • Find someone who shares your passions, and share your life with him/her. I did that, and have no regrets: married another serial expat, and he’s helped me raise our 3 little ‘nomads’…


  • Try meeting new people. Chat with them. Exchange stories. Build new relationships. Be yourself, be silly, and yet, be smart – care and attention are never excessive when moving out of one’s comfort zone…
  • Try out new foods – it’s an easy and fun way to immerse into the culture. Remember the smells and the tastes. Take a heart picture of the dishes you’re enjoying. Reserve for future use.
  • Check out city maps, newspapers, street posters. Don’t know/don’t speak the language? Go for the pictures, the colors, the textures, the funny images and signs. Remember: your friends or family back home are living vicariously through your travel experiences! IMG_5686
  • When traveling, visiting new places or renewing memories from old ones, take as many photos as possible. Keep them handy for future use. Store in a tight container [but please, not in the fridge!]. You will surely need them for future recipes…


[Note from the Chef] When checking out of hotels/hostals/B&Bs remember to always check under the beds for misplaced pieces of clothing, photo gear, baby toys, lost socks… and maybe… a kid or two! 😮

  • Recipe preparation and cooking times may vary. Season it to taste. For some, it may take years and many mistakes/missteps before reaching the ‘optimum point’. Be careful: Try not to burn yourself, but if it happens, make sure you’re surrounded by good friends and good memories to help you through the tough times…

my branching tree...

Use your best judgment when traveling, but once you begin improving this recipe, there’s no way back – you’ve certainly become a ‘serial traveler’ like myself, my husband and these three little ones pictured above. We can’t really stay put for long

That said, guess how we’ve been raising these ‘tree branches’ over here?

Thanks for the inspiration!


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Got chips?!


Apparently, she’s got them… all of them! 😮

She ‘knows when to hold them’… ‘when to walk away’… and knows when to run! ♥


Posted by on March 24, 2013 in BOLIVIA, children, FOOD, humor, photography


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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 11, ‘Lunchtime’]

Chocolate Kahlua Mousse & Vanilla Bailey's Mousse... pairing the Irish with the Mexican!

Chocolate Kahlua Mousse & Vanilla Bailey’s Mousse… pairing the Irish with the Mexican!

Continuing with my very personal Photo Project throughout this year, called 52 Bolivian Sundays, sharing images that represent this beautiful country, its traditions, cultural events and neat places/things to do.
For this week, pairing with the Daily Post inspiration, “Lunchtime“, we will ‘share’ a few images from our Sunday luncheon with a couple of friends and their children…

As part of the menu, New Mexican stacked Enchiladas, Spanish Rice, Beans, Pico de Gallo, Flautas – all accompanied by Paloma cocktails and an intriguing set of desserts- Fruit BowlChocolate & Kahlua Mousse, and since it’s also Saint Patrick’s Day, why not bring out a new family favorite – Vanilla Baileys Mousse“pairing the Irish with the Mexican” ♥… What if it starts getting too cold outside? Simply head back inside to enjoy dessert and coffee by the fireplace… All, in a very special Bolivian-style! 😮

So many details to look forward to! Find here, more impressions from other bloggers… Thank you all for sharing! ♥


Posted by on March 17, 2013 in BOLIVIA, FOOD, photography


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‘Hardship Homemaking’: contributing to the collaborative blog…

Post originally prepared as a contribution to the Hardship Homemaking collaborative blog, which is a back to basics blog for recipes, tricks, and tips to make life overseas at hardship posts easier”. The blog is a collaborative effort, with several authors, each one sharing unique experiences and life backgrounds, most of them, with real examples of life in the Foreign Service, its implications, challenges and strategies to overcome them.

“Handling Fruits and Vegetables: Sanitary Tips

Living at hardship posts offers more than challenges to all ‘household managers’ out there. If offers us the opportunity to learn – through advice from our peers, through our own research, through experience and why not say, through mistakes – ours or someone else’s – while facing similar situations. A common concern among families living at hardship posts is ‘how to offer the best, healthiest diet to my family?’- and that includes not only how to “optimize” your grocery shopping budget, but how to ensure those beautiful fruits and veggies will be safe for consumption, even before they’re tossed in the fridge, or beautifully displayed on a fruit bowl!…” [continue reading]

Curious to learn more tips on this and other topics? Hope over to the Hardship Homemaking collaborative blog! Thank you for the interest…


Posted by on March 6, 2013 in expat, FAMILY, FOOD, foreign service


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Sweet contribution to a progressive dinner: Trio of Licorice Desserts… yummy!


Well, Carnaval is over, but the celebrations continue! The same week we offered a typical Brazilian Feijoada for a group of friends and their kids, our family celebrated the 5th Birthday of our Valentine’s Girl, with special ‘mommy-made’ cupcakes… and to top it all off, why not take part at a 16-couple Progressive Dinner? 😮

A bit of background: This type of moving feast offers hours of entertainment with a limited amount of prep work. It’s a great way to entertain a group of friends or neighbors without shouldering the whole responsibility (or cost) of a multi-course dinner party — all because a progressive dinner party was held at 16 different homes in succession, with a single course served at each one. In our case, we hosted Dessert.

What was prepared for our special guests?

Considering I’m a mom of 3 very active little kids, with not a lot of ‘free time‘ on any given Saturday, cooking time had to be carefully planned, and all three desserts needed to be simple, easy and tasty. That said, had all kids in the kitchen during prep time, and before I knew it, Voilá – we’re done! ♥

A first-timer Trio of Desserts, each one including a different type of liqueur... [totally made that up… instead of going with one type of dessert for all guests, decided to try something different, and offer a light variety of flavors: dark chocolate, light caramel/’dulce de leche’ and a fruity option, with not-so-sweet elements, for a fresher taste. What’s the deal with the different kinds of liquor – Rum, Kahlua [coffee liqueur] and Brandy? It’s part of the fun… something unusual, something to talk home about!]

Besides the ‘sampler desserts’, guests had an opportunity to enjoy some freshly brewed Brazilian coffee!




Liquorish mix of fruits:

Peaches, raisins in rum, Maraschino cherries [as wished], and caramelized peanuts, as the ‘crunchy element‘…




Dark chocolate and Kahlua mousse




Pudim de Dulce de Leche (Caramel Pudding) with Brandy

From our “Paceña Kitchen”, to yours… 😮 Curious about the simple & easy recipes? Send me a comment with your email and I’ll be happy to share the tips to all “busy bees” out there! 


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