Foodie Adventure: Paloquemao

I’ve been sitting on this lot of photos for over six months and decided to finally share with all you foodie adventurists… Last July I took a day trip to Paloquemao, an indoor food market-bazaar in Bogota. From the wee hours of the morning to the afternoon people are hollering and haggling over piled of every kind of food product you could imagine.

It’s off the beaten path if you’re in Bogota for a visit, but worth it if you’re a foodie looking for the real deal. Be prepared to walk a lot and the butcher room is not for the weak at heart. (Gory and awesome and definitely disturbing!) Be sure to stop and have breakfast or lunch at a local food stand. Caldo de costilla hits the spot after a long morning of haggling.

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Foodie Adventure: Paloquemao

Back Again

Yeah, I did it again. I took a three month hiatus and left this blog by the wayside. All it’s thoughts and adventure put away for a another day, nearly forgotten. In fairness, the last few months have been a wild and busy blur; feeling like both yesterday and years ago. Isn’t that weird how that happens? Thanksgiving feels like ages ago, but it was really only 2 months back.

Anyway, a lot has happened to me since I last wrote.

In October, I was on the cusp of packing everything up again and ending this journey to head back someplace I wasn’t absolutely sure I wanted to be. I found my self tangled with “what-ifs”and “I don’t knows”, like any good 20-something should experience. I also felt defeated by the thought of “giving up” before anything got started. Then I met some pretty amazing people who (whether they know it or not) convinced me to take this wild adventure I created for myself and grab it by the horns.

I began to see my new home in a different way (as reflected in my essay Change In My Pocket) and wanted to take advantage of all the opportunity it could give me.

So here I am. Colombian Passport in hand (I became a citizen in October. Funny how two weeks before I was granted dual citizenship, I had a flight outta this joint scheduled!) and ready to continue exploring and loving in Colombia!

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So here’s to writing more. And being more consistent. And sharing these adventures with you so that you might be inspired to go explore life too!

Back Again

Museums: Bogota, DC.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a good museum exhibit. In the states, I would try to get out as often as possible to my favorite museums and lose myself in my thoughts for the day.

There are some great museums in Bogota, but for whatever reason, I haven’t spent much time exploring them. Luckily, my fabulous and amazing friend Collin ventured across the sea to come see me for two weeks! 

Both in need of a heavy dose of culture (especially after more than a few days of consistent partying) we trekked into El Centro (remember when I wrote about it here?) and escaped from the bustling city for a bit.

Our first stop: Museo Del Oro. Honestly, I’ve been to this museum a few too many times but it does hold the largest collection of gold in the world and if you’re visiting Bogota for the first time, it’s absolutely a must-see. It’s only $3.000COP to get in (About a dollar) and is rich in pre-Columbian history. Go get your knowledge on people.

After a great photo op, we schlepped a few blocks and headed for a bite at my fave-not-so-secret-spot La Puerta Falsa (remember my post!?). It was filled with gringos. I guess between my blog post and Anthony Bourdain’s Bogota episode, that shit blew up. You’re welcome Puerta.

After splitting some Ajiaco and a tamale, we headed over to the Museo de Botero. If you’re a fan of Colombia’s most famous artist, head there asap! If you like Picasso and other amazing works also head there! It’s located in a beautiful old house, rich in— you guessed it!–Colombian history and art!

Next door is the Museo de Arte del Banco de la Republica. We rolled over to peruse and ended up stumbling on one of the greatest exhibits I’ve seen since Pierre Huyghe at the LACMA last year… (remember the post!?😉 )

The exhibit was one by Argentine artist Graciela Sacco. It was an amazing installation exhibit reflecting on social issues and movements, particularly migration and finding your place in the world.

The best part was a room made to feel like you were crossing a foot bridge over deep water. Talk about a psychological thrill! I was afraid to look down!

After that, there was more fun to be had exploring all the modern and contemporary art rooms. You know I’m a huge fan of Kinetic art and was more than delighted to play with some of the pieces that I found!

The Sacco exhibit has since closed but stay tuned for more fun art adventures! 

Museums: Bogota, DC.

Lunch: H{ }ME Burgers.

Wanna eat a delicious burger in Bogota without paying $30.000 pesos or sacrificing gourmet-goodness? Than you need to get to H{ }ME Burgers, asap!

If you’re in Bog, you probably have heard of them! The brand new burger joint opened up on Cr.9 with 81st. Tucked away in the perfect garden patio, H{ }ME is making burgers cheap and fast, without sacrificing any of the freshness you expect from a quality burger.

The menu is simple: Sencillo o Double (single or double)? Queso, Tocienta, Veggies, Home Sauce? (Cheese, Bacon, Lettuce, Onion, or Home Sauce?). I said yes to everything and picked a seat on the patio.

Our burgers came out shortly after that and I was in HEAVEN!  H{ }ME. 

They were everything I could ask for in a burger (juicy, fresh, satisfying, cheesy, bacony, perfectly cooked, etc etc), without being overwhelming or requiring an immediate nap.

Look at that beauty! Go on, lick the screen… no one’s looking!

And be sure to order fries and a coke with it. You really can’t get a more classic burger combo in Bogota than H{ }ME.

The vibe is super cool and laid back, so I know it’s going to become your new favorite lunch spot. Pick a spot inside or out and enjoy the best burger in town right now! And did I mention it costs less than $20.000 pesos for a loaded burger, fries, and coke?? ((For the gringos: That’s like $6 at the moment)).

Yeah, so you’re welcome. I just changed your life.😉

Lunch: H{ }ME Burgers.

Change In Your Pocket.

Last week, I took a last minute trip to Cali to visit my cousin. After a whirlwind September, I needed a vacation from my vacation.

I spent five days basking in the sun, lulling myself to sleep more than a few times a day in a hammock and listening to good music with beautiful company. The last couple weeks I’ve been sorting through my thoughts and my life and suddenly, last week, all that seemed less and less urgent. I realized how out of the moment I had been living the last few months; disconnected even. I’ve finally found myself in the moment again. Breathing the air that I’m supposed to be breathing; seeing things for what they are and loving them. 

Below is a short essay I wrote while in Cali. Below the essay are photos from the Festival Sultana. Enjoy. 

Change In Your Pocket. 

I walked briskly down the street, catching the last of the evening light as it bathed the city in shades of purple and blue. The breeze was fresh on my face, like taking gulps of sweet water. I listened to the hum of the boulevard below me. The sounds of buses loading and unloading, honking, grinding, screetching. Far enough from the chaos I observed these sounds. City sounds. My city’s sounds. In that moment, despite the chaos, it all felt peaceful. Life was as sweet as the breeze that drenched me.

I reached into the pocket of my vest and pulled out three coins. Pesos. I thought about how, just four months before, my nightstand held small piles of dimes and quarters, waiting to go back home and be used again. Circulated back into my old life. Or how the bottom of my purse always held a spare quarter amongst loose pesos. Where did those quarters and dimes go? When did this change occur?

This must be what it feels like to call some place home; when the change in your pocket no longer seems foreign. When your dollars are replaced with pesos and you understand the weight of them within your hand.

When I made it to the end of the block, I saw the road in front of me, bustling with rush hour commuters and put the coins back in my pocket. Maybe becoming accustomed to your new life and new home is as gradual as the change in your pocket. My thoughts hovered above me, intertwining with smog and soot from the street, mingling until they diluted each other.

I was at a cross roads. I had walked down my quiet, tree-lined street; as safe and comfortable as my old life had been, until I was met with the chaos of this boulevard’s intersection. Fast, ever-changing, and uncertain: this new life of mine. The intersection of old and new, of safe and unknown. I should turn back and go home, relax after a long day, I thought. I turned onto the boulevard and kept walking into the sunset.

Is Tropical creating the best kind of gritty, electro-rock vibes.

Change In Your Pocket.

Lazy-Girl’s Breakfast Bowl and Thoughts.

Can someone tell me when September happened!? It feels like yesterday that I was popping champagne (Morgan, if you’re reading this, than you know the incident “HAPPY NEW YEARS!”)… now, 8 months later I’m like, where did the time go? And, just six months ago I was saying goodbye to a lot of people that I love and left on an adventure, full of ups and downs, which I’m really thankful for.

Recently, I looked back on my New Year’s “desos” (goals and wishes) and realized I’m on way to having completed most of them. That was pleasantly surprising. That’s the thing I like about New Year’s goals: a seed is planted when you write them down and, subconsciously, your mind begins to work on them until they finally rise to the surface. Some years are more proactive than others, sure; but other years, no matter how hard they may seem to be, are a result of you’re heart and mind working together to be a little more productive. That’s what happened to me this year. I grew leaps and bounds by–literally– taking leaps and bounds into the unknown. This is what being in your 20s is all about, isn’t it?

These are just some things I think about while eating my breakfast…

Lazy-Girl’s Breakfast Bowl:

  • 1 c. plain yogurt (non-fat, greek or whatever your go-to is)
  • 1 tbsp homemade chai-spiced gluten free granola (recipe coming soon), or your favorite.
  • 1 tsp marmalade (I used berry-coffee marmalade, new favorite of mine!)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 golden delicious apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp raw honey, drizzled
  • cinnamon, sprinkled

Mix your marmalade* into your yogurt until smooth and well combined. Top with apples, granola*, and chia seeds. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. TA-DA! Super easy, delicious, healthy, and hearty to start your day quickly. Enjoy it with tea on the porch or in any other place you like to sit and spend your mornings.😉

*I prefer homemade, sugar free compotes, but whatever you have on hand will work. I also prefer my homemade GF granola to those weak store bought ones, but I haven’t shared my recipe for that yet so stay tuned!😉 In the meantime, store bought is fine (Ina Garten moment).

Lazy-Girl’s Breakfast Bowl and Thoughts.

Gluten Free Oatmeal Pancakes

One of the things I love most in life is waking up on a rainy Saturday or Sunday with nothing to do but cuddle up in bed with your favorite person/pet, some coffee, and a little music. Luckily, Bogota is chock full of rainy mornings so I get to indulge myself in this simple pleasure often.

A couple Sunday’s ago I woke up to one of these mornings and a serious desire for pancakes (which should never, under any circumstances, be ignored).I probably saw something on Pinterest earlier in the week about fluffy pancakes and the seed was planted. Usually, my brunch game is more of a savory one: fried eggs on avocado toast, a lox breakfast sandwich, the occasional grilled cheese with bacon and avocado if I’m feeling more of the –unch. French toast, pancakes, waffles, and Nutella crepes rarely make it to my plate…

So anyway, I woke up with that unignorable (is that a word?) pancake desire so I pulled my pantry apart for some ingredients. (Not surprisingly) there was no traditional pancake mix, but I did have a ton of oats and chia seeds! In Boulder, I used to make protein pancakes on the reg (ground oats + one scoop of chocolate protein powder) so that was my inspo for these bad boys. All the ingredients** in this recipe you probably already have so they’re perfect for any last minute-rainy day brunch in bed!

**I didn’t have eggs, but I did have quail eggs on hand (more on that in a following post), which worked just fine!

Here’s what you need for 2 people (multiply/divide as needed):

  • 2/3 cup ground oats (I grind mine in my coffee grinder) + 1 tbsp whole oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (coconut milk would be tasty as well!)
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds (optional, I’m currently obsessed so I add them to everything)
  • 3 quail eggs (or one regular egg)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Mix your ground oats, BP, chia seeds, and salt with your almond milk until smooth. In another bowl, lightly beat your egg with your vanilla and combine it with your oats and almond mixture slowly. The lot should be smooth and slightly liquidy. If not, you did it wrong and have to start over… Just kidding! Add a splash more of almond milk to loosen things up if you need. Sprinkle your cinnamon and whole oats into the mix and spoon all those bad boys together.

On the stove heat up you griddle with a tiny bit of butter or coconut oil (<– the preferred choice) and pour a large tablespoon of your batter into the center of the pan. You can make them as large or small you want, but because these don’t have gluten, they will be a lot more manageable if smaller. Let it spread out and sizzle until you see some bubbles on top and give it a flip. Let the other side sizzle for about 3-4 minutes more and move it to a plate. Repeat with all your batter and add a little more butter/oil when necessary.

The night before this brilliant idea, I had a few other brilliant ideas! I had just made a delicious berry compote and some ginger-spiced granola, which were the perfect toppings to my oatmeal pancakes. You could also top them with the traditional butter and maple syrup, or perhaps some warm almond butter and bananas. Or get a little creative and try coconut cream with chocolate chips and berries? The limit does not exist on this one folks. Go wild!

Note: You may have noticed there is no sugar in this recipe. I omitted it because, as I mentioned, my taste buds prefer savory. However, adding about a tablespoon of pure maple syrup will sweeten these right up for you OR balance the heartiness with any sweet-tooth topping combo you desire! 

How do YOU like to spend your weekend mornings? Let me know in the comments!!

Gluten Free Oatmeal Pancakes