My what big teeth you have…

Posted by Lisa on January 29th, 2006 — Posted in Misc

Leyna has been losing her baby teeth lately and her big teeth are coming in. She just lost another tooth, so I thought that I would share it with you. Of course Leyna’s baby teeth are 2 times as big as Izzy’s adult teeth. We tried to get a picture of her mouth, but she wanted nothing to do with that. If Leyna sleeps well tonight, maybe the doggie tooth fairy will come…

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Cerro Grande

Posted by Lisa on January 29th, 2006 — Posted in Activities

Today, Steve and I had a nice relaxing day. After a yummy breakfast of waffles we watched the new Harry Potter movie. Overall, I really liked it, but I don’t think it’s my favorite of all the movies, though it is my favorite of the books. Afterwards we all went on a nice almost 2 hr hike to Cerro Grande. While hiking we found the remains of an old house. We’re not sure how old it was, but it was fun to explore. We then spent the rest of the afternoon getting the house ready for the rents and playing ping pong.

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Wine and Cheese Party

Posted by Lisa on January 28th, 2006 — Posted in Activities

Last night, Steve and I threw our first big party here in La Serena. Of course, it was a wine and cheese party, 2 of my favorite things, it was also a despedida for our friends Del and Gary, who will be leaving us next week. Del and I went to the wine shop in town and picked out 3 reds and 3 whites for our blind tasting- 2 carmeneres and a cab sav, and 2 chardonnays and a semillon. We then covered the labels and numbered them, and Del made up questions for everyone to answer. We had a ton of cheese and crackers, veggies and dip, nuts, pretzels, choripan and homemade cookies. Most people brought a bottle of their favorite wine to share with everyone. I was expecting about 20 people, and of course had bought way too much cheese, and in reality we had about 60 or more people at the party. We ended up polishing off about 30 bottle’s of wine in all and some beer. People brought their kids which ranged from infant to 13, and I ended up setting up the kids in our bedroom, pulled out the futon gave them soda, popcorn and candy and they watched movies. We were a little worried about how Leyna would behave, but she did awesome. She played a little with the kids, but mostly hung out with the adults. Everyone was amazed at how well she did, she hardly ever jumped up on people, preferring to snuggle with them on the couch. All in all it was a very successful party, of course, what else would you expect from me?

Juego, set y partido

Posted by Lisa on January 28th, 2006 — Posted in Misc

I finally decided what to do with the room in the back of the house, it is now officially the game room. I bought a ping pong table yesterday from a family that will soon be moving to the states. It was the “hot” item at the yard sale, and everyone was jealous that I got it! It was only 30000 pesos, which is under $60. Leyna loves watching Steve and I play ping pong, she’s our line judge. actually she loves trying to get the ball and eat it. I’m practicing for North Carolina, get ready guys!! (Last year Jerry made a makeshift ping pong table on the dining room table, which we played incessantly during the hurricane). I will be ping pong champion!!

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El Molle

Posted by Lisa on January 28th, 2006 — Posted in Travel

On Tuesday I went to El Molle with some friends. El Molle is about 20 min away in the Valley Elqui. It’s a tiny little town with a church, a couple hotels and a wonderful restaurant, which is where we were headed. We went to Los Hornitos del Molle for parrilla- which is a bunch of grilled meat served to the table in a clay oven type thing with hot coals in it. It was wonderful. We sat outside in the gardens that surround the pool that you can use after eating for an additional 1000 pesos. We opted not to go swimming, but had great food and wine. Afterwards we went on a walk around town and stopped at this little building that was having an art show. They had these beautiful diaguita influenced paintings done by a local artist from La Serena. My parents are coming next Sunday, and I think I’ll take them here for some great chilean barbecue!

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I love the meat!!!!
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Hanging over someone’s fence we found grapes and bougainvillea, I only wish I could have seen their whole garden…
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A map painted on one of the sides of a hotel. Thought you might enjoy it.
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The church, it’s the first thing you see entering town.
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It’s Grillin’ Time!!

Posted by Lisa on January 17th, 2006 — Posted in Uncategorized

Yesterday Steve and I finally bought a grill! We were planning on using it last night, but after 2 hrs of assembly, Steve was done with the grill for the night, so we postponed it to now!! Steve is busy grilling our chori’s which is a chilean sausage. It’s the food of choice at all the barbecues and happy hours. We even found this awesome choripan board for them (choripan is the chori in a roll). Can’t wait for all of you to come visit, and we’ll grill you up some chori’s!!!

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mmmm, humitas

Posted by Lisa on January 17th, 2006 — Posted in Misc

On Monday, Leonor brought us a traditional chilean meal, humitas. Humitas are steam cooked ground corn and spices served in a corn husk, similar to a tamale. I’m trying not to eat carbs right now, so Steve had them and he really enjoyed them. I thought I would pass on a recipe for them. Enjoy! ( I found this recipe on epicurious)

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1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
8 ears fresh corn
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion until soft (do not let it brown), about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Cut around base of each ear of corn and gently remove husks whole. Reserve husks. Brush silk off ears.

Grate kernels off corncobs into medium bowl, or slice off and pulse in processor to rough purée. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in cooked onions, milk, and red pepper flakes. Chill mixture until firm.

Preheat oven to 350° F. To assemble 1 humita, choose a thinner, more flexible inner husk and tie thin end into knot. Split up to knot and set aside to use as tie. Lay 2 of widest husks side by side (narrow ends at top and bottom), overlapping a few inches to form rectangle. Spoon 1/4 cup filling into center, then fold sides over to cover filling. Fold in top and bottom to make enclosed rectangular package. Tie crosswise with knotted husk. Repeat with remaining filling and husks. Place finished humitas on baking sheet and bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.

Leyna’s new friends

Posted by Lisa on January 11th, 2006 — Posted in Misc

While my friends Angie and Sean are in the states, I’m watching their 2 dogs, Townes and Cassidy. Before they left Leyna had started visiting the dogs. Since they’ve been gone, i’ve been bringing Leyna over once a day to play. In the beginning she wasn’t sure how to play and would always just show her belly. Cassidy has now taught her to play and the 2 of them run around the yard together. Townes is the more laid back of the 2, he likes to sit back, relax and be pet. So while the other ones are running around he and I chill and he gets some much needed TLC. Leyna seems to have a new mission to get Townes to play with her, which has just started to kinda work today. Usually he tells her to go away (she’s a little too hyper for him), but today they were actually chasing each other around. Leyna loves to go to their house. If she gets out, she just runs right on down. They live below us. It’s her home away from home.

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Posted by Lisa on January 11th, 2006 — Posted in Activities

Yesterday I had a nice outing with my friends Joanna, Jaime, Rikki and Jenny. We went to Coquimbo (yes, the infamous town where my camera got stolen) and went on a boat ride to Sea Lion Island. It only cost 1500 pesos which is a little under $3. It lasted about an hour, and was fun. I think that there was more sea lions at Isla Damas, but it was nice anyways. Afterwards we went shopping at the outdoor shops (and met a pirate, arrghhh), then went to a fabulous lunch at Costa de Costa. For only 2500 pesos (about $5) each, we got an bread, appetizer, main course, dessert and drink. They also had artwork up from a local artist whose show I went to a few moths ago and bought 2 paintings. We’re planning on going back next week and getting henna tattoo’s that should last about a week.

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Posted by Lisa on January 8th, 2006 — Posted in Travel

Steve left yesterday for a meeting in DC. He’ll be gone for a week. Today, I decided to have a “me” day. It started off getting up at 645 to feed the dogs (I’m dog sitting for a week), then me and the pups went back to bed for a while :) After getting up to a beautiful warm sunny clear sky I ventured to Totoralillo beach. It’s about 18 miles from La Serena. And how do I know exactly? Because some of the people I went with biked there. I opted to be one of the sane and drove. Totoralillo is in a cove and boasts beautiful white sand beaches and crystal blue water. It also has a bunch of tiki huts on it and a restaurant/bar. It was like being in the Caribbean but for one thing. The water was FREEZING!!! Actually it wasn’t so bad, I would compare it to Maine. We hung out there for 4 hours then went to the restaurant for some drinks and came home. WE had a total you know you’re a gringo when moment though. We got to the beach at noon and it was decently full. When we left at 430 it was starting to get packed. Apparently that’s when all the chileans come to the beach probably because
the sun doesn’t set until about 9. Once I got home me and the pups needed some bonding and went for a nice hike. After that I cleaned the kitchen (not so fun) but Leonor is coming tomorrow and I don’t want her to think I’m really messy, had a light dinner and then some friends came over and we watched a movie. They just left, and now I’m hoping to hear from Steve soon. We have the video camera set up so we can talk on IChat and see each other (he has a camera on his laptop). Fancy! So in total it was a wonderful day, it would have been perfect if Steve was here. Now back to the real world, I have homework to do…

(Sorry the pics aren’t that good, but I’m sure I’ll be going back and getting many more).

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