About Me

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Hello! Welcome to my online travel-food-life journal/virtual scrapbook. I am a poet, playwright, journalist, editor and basic jack-of-all-trades writer. I was born in El Salvador and raised in Minnesota. I have just returned home from a year and a half in South Africa.

27 October 2011

Roadtrip! – On the Way Home …

Hiya folks!

Aaron and I are off to camp in the Kalahari!  Can’t tell you how excited we are.  This is a “once in a lifetime” kind of a trip for us and the preparations have been intense!  We’ve got checklists for our checklists!  We’ll be gone for a week and a half so I won’t be posting for a while …

Thought I’d leave you with some of my favorite pictures from our drive back from De Hoop.  As I mentioned previously, we stopped off at Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa!  Stunning, impressive, powerful – there just aren’t words.

Then we climbed up the lighthouse – what is it about lighthouses that are so damn romantic?  We also found our beloved Minnesota’s Split Rock Lighthouse in the Agulhas Lighthouse’s lighthouses-from-around-the-world display!  At Agulhas we also saved a turtle from imminent squashing on the road, collected some beach glass and stuffed ourselves with calamari. 

Afterwards we took the slow way home, stopping at a couple of completely abandoned and completely exquisite beaches.  May the hotel developers never discover these places …

Enjoy the pics, take care, and we’ll be back soon with what I can only assume will be a borderline unhealthy number of pictures!  Smooches!





25 October 2011

September, October Food Roll

Hiya kids!

Just a quick food round up of what we've been eating over at the Duarte-Armstrong household ...

 Breakfast doesn't get better than fruit salad ... (kiwi, pineapple, mandarin and bananas.)

Unless it’s this: Shoulder Bacon.  South Africa has a fantabulous array of bacon products; shoulder bacon isn't as greasy as what we refer to in the States as "bacon" -- they call that "streaky bacon" -- but oh man, it's so good!  Especially with a slice of my potjiekos pan and some grilled tomatoes!

 Homemade Naan (recipe here) topped with chicken, feta cheese, avocado and peppadew peppers.

Beef Stew with carrots, red and green peppers, celery, onions, garlic, herbs and butter beans (this is right before it went in the oven, after baking for a couple of hours the colors were, ah, less vibrant.)

Oven baked potato wedges ... a perfect dinner if you ask me :o)

 Rice Pudding -- for breakfast!  This is a staple for me, especially when my tummy is not feeling great:  cooked rice, rice milk, stevia (a natural sweetener) raisins, cinnamon ... in the microwave for a bit ... YUM.

 Another simple but lovely staple, avo on toast ... this was made with my own homemade bread!

Tamatie Slaai -- A South African favorite, it's a sweet & sour tomato salad ...

Chicken baked with Zataar spice - a very unique and delicious Middle Eastern spice blend.

Salvadoran-style stuffed peppers (this is a quick version of the Chiles Rellenos which take a whole day to make and which my mother makes like no other ... One day I'll make the real deal and give you the recipe ...)

Curry Calamari.  Just yum.

Couscous salad with chicken, zucchini (called marrows in SA) kalamata olives, parsley, onion, mint, olive oil and lemon juice.

Kedgeree -- a British breakfast dish that we like to make for dinner, it's basically a nicely flavored rice with chunks of smoked fish flaked through -- sooo good!  We use a local smoked fish called "Snoek."

So that's it, just a quick culinary tour from our little corner of the world.  I hope this makes you try something new ... it's so fun to experiment in the kitchen!

Oh, and yes, there's cheese in some of this food & I know that I've talked about dairy and how it affects my IBS ... since writing that, I have been able to incorporate small amounts of dairy back in to my diet.  I still have to be very careful, and sometimes my tummy is more sensitive than others, but I can occasionally have some cheese ... BLISS!

Buen provecho ... and let me know if anyone wants the recipes!