I’ve written a few times about Colombian breakfast, especially in the country, where breakfast is done BIG…But if you’re spending only a few days in Bogota and you want to maximize your cultural experience and eat like a local (good for you!). Here’s the secret: ditch your hotel breakfast and go for a walk.
Walk around Bogota in El Centro or El Parque 93, Quinta Camacho, Zona G, Usaquen, Zona Rosa… where ever it is that you might be staying and buy a fresh juice on the corner or fruit cup to enjoy in the sunshine and try not to get by cab driver.
A truly authentic experience would include stopping by a local bakery (my favorite: Colombiano Pandebono on 95 and 15th) for piping hot pan de yuccas, pan de bonos, almohabanas, or areaps con queso (all various styles of cheese breads and the most typical Colombian thing you can eat) (yay carbs!) and enjoy one or all of them with a coffee. Remember gringos: if you order “un cafe“, they will serve you a coffee with milk (cafe con leche). If you order “un tinto“, you will get a black coffee. If you’re really feeling the vibe, go ahead and order “un avena”. It’s an oatmeal drink thats kind of like a cross between an spiced oat smoothie and horchata (but not made of rice). I promise you’ll like it! And it’s cheap! (5 mil pesos for 2 pan de yuccas and a tinto).
But maybe you’re kind of hungover and really need some solid food to start your day… in that case, I would recommend walking (or Uber-ing) your behind to the nearest Andres Carne de Res (which I’ve mentioned in this post). AndresCDR is a Colombian party institution with roots just outside the city, but has grown into various locations around Bogota (Andres DC, La Plaza de Andres, and Andres Express) for both the food and the party! The menu offers every typical dish in Colombia from regions like Antioquia to Boyaca. The breakfast menu is solid… with some standard dishes like scrambled eggs, calentado, caldo de costilla or arepas–pero wait! You said you wanted to eat super local and you had a hangover?
Skip the tourist menu and ask for: un consomme (like a caldo, although little lighter and with shredded meat and potato and cilantro), arepa de choclo (sweet, yellow corn, pancake-like and filled with cheese), and some coffee. All for about 15 mil pesos ($5)
As soon as you finish that consomme your hang over will be long gone and you’ll be ready for another day of touristing!
Paris. Paris was difficult for me… It was beautiful and romantic and full of everything I wanted it to give me. But it was also overwhelming, far from our flat (the airBnb description was a bit misleading), and harder to navigate than I expected (on account of everything I wanted to see in just 3 days was spread across the entire city).
Also, I noticed, after traveling 3 out of 5 days, one’s cooperation and patience stores are depleted.
Perhaps my real problem was that I went in with too many expectations and too many siblings (like I said, there’s a serious lack of communal cooperation after 3 days of exhausting travel..)
The things I did see, however, were beautiful. Everywhere I turned the architecture amazed me. Giant, ornate buildings. Romantic Windows above narrow streets. Locals and tourists intertwining like the streets in front of us.
I took myself to the Pompidou one morning while my brothers explored Notre Dame and spent hours zig zagging through the exhibits and admiring the view from the top. Another day we spent a few hours in the Picasso which was beautiful and a great collection. I admit, we missed the Louvre but the crowds were massive and we didn’t have much time. Next time.
Basically we just walked and walked, crossing bridges and sometimes getting lost until we stumbled upon sites and cafes. Delicious croissants, croque monsieurs, picnics of baguettes and cheese near Shakespeare and Co. We drank wine under the Eiffel Tower and watched it sparkle before meeting a friend of mine to drink by the Canal Saint Martin with the locals. We read our books in the shade of the parks, while we sipped champagne and rode bikes through the Paris Zoo park.
Our flat was just outside of Paris proper (Saint Mandé is right on the edge of the 12th arrondissement). I was looking forward to living in the hustle and bustle of Paris, but in the end, we were able to experience the true Parisian lifestyle without English or tourist traps and significantly cheaper.
On Sunday morning we were lucky enough to catch a local marche en plein aire and picked up a few snacks.
So yeah, France was difficult for me. I regret not taking more initiative in planning and a day by myself to explore without my (very slow walking) brothers. But I guess that’s more reason to go back. I still loved what I saw. And we still had a lot of fun.
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
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).
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!!
I’ve made and posted this cake a few times already to the blog and to Instagram, but really it’s such a perfect cake that I can’t stop making it! As mentioned, I adopted the original recipe from this Bon Appetit recipe, but have since tweaked and altered it until I got exactly what I wanted: a fluffy and light, yet moist and zesty cake that could be enjoyed with coffee, cava, or early in the morning on your way out the door.
The flavor combos are a delicate mix of earthy and summery ingredients that make me dream of fresh spring mornings back when I was a kid.
So here’s my version of this bad boy:
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
½cup(1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1cup fresh wild berries, divided
zest of one whole lemon
zest of half an orange
tbsp lemon juice
8 sprigs of fresh thyme (stems removed and slightly crushed)
Pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F while you whip up all your ingredients.
Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper and non-stick spray OR (like I did) butter that bad boy thoroughly (all around the sides and bottom) and dust lightly with flour.
In a large bowl, mix your dry goods: flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and zest, and ricotta. Fold this mix carefully into your dry goods with a spatula until just blended (try not to over do this part or your cake might fall a little flat!). Follow this step by folding your melted butter in and then your thyme and 3/4 cup of berries (Remember!! Fold, don’t mix! You don’t want to smash your berries.)
Pour your batter into your greased/parchment-ed pan and sprinkle the rest of the berries on top of your beautiful and delicious cake. I also added a few dehydrated mandarin oranges to mine to accompany the orange zest.
Pop your cake into the oven until golden and your tester comes out clean (about 50-60 minutes, but give it a peak around 40 minutes!) Let rest about 15-20 minutes and share with loved ones.
Easy-peasy right?? Let me know how impressed your friends and family are with you after! 😉
This post is strictly for the foodies. And those who like food pics. And those who are interested in food porn.
One thing to know about my family is that we really love to eat and drink well. Some members of my family would prefer not to eat all than to eat something prepackaged or processed. It’s a preference I am completely on board with and wish to incorporate into my life…except that I am hungry 24/7.
When we get together for family events, there is always wine, fantastic cheeses, homemade bread, homemade honey (from my aunt and uncles farm), or the best cuts of meat, farm fresh veggies and eggs, decadent desserts or, occasionally, sushi being hand rolled in the kitchen or the little cousins are mixing ingredients for a dessert. It’s always 100% delicious and full of Jaramillo love.
So, a weekend spent in Raquira with my grandpa and family is always going to be a good one. In other words: Foodie Heaven. Should you ever join us on one of these weekends, please don’t arrive with notions of a diet. Leave those in Bogota. The food is too good to pass up!
As I said, wine and cheese are always a staple in our family. So is homemade cheese (queso campesino, from the cows on the farm) and homemade bread.
I still remember waking up every morning as a child during my summer vacations at my grandparents house in Bogota to the smell of warm, fresh baked bread. I think, 18 years later, I still wake up every morning, subconsciously looking for that smell and running to the dining room for it. That’s probably why I have such an affinity to artisanal breads.
[Colombian custom lesson!] In previous posts I’ve mentioned that dinner isn’t the meal of the day in Colombia. Lunch typically is, with dinner usually being a small tapa, leftovers, or an arepa with some cheese. I think the custom stems from el almuerzo (lunch) being a long, drawn out affair on most days. Unlike American’s, Colombians refuse to take their lunch at their desk in front of a computer or paper work. Instead, you head home (or to a friend/family’s home) for a 3-course lunch: first caldo (a soup or broth), next meat or fish with rice and some kind of veggie/plantain. After that is dessert, which could be as simple as guava and cheese, a spoonful of arequipe (dulce de leche-esque), or a beautiful cake. The meal ends when your cafe tinto (black coffee) arrives to wash everything down. [Now you’re familiar with some lunch culture down here!]
Because of the aforementioned custom, dinner with my family is basically bread and cheese and some ham (unless it’s a special event), but don’t be fooled by the simplicity! We love a good, strong cheese and some imported ham with our wine. This particular late night feast as seen on my FB and Instagram was a variety of Stilton, Roquefort, Truffled sheeps milk, homemade queso campesino, bread, wine, and jamon iberico. I told you, foodie heaven.
The following day was Sunday and Sunday’s always mean brunch, no matter where you are or who you’re with. My grandpa whipped up a salchicha and veggie scramble, accompanied by arepas, queso campesino, honey, papaya and a special reserve cava.
Everyone needed a nap after that so we dispersed to the hammocks and sat and chatted for a few hours. Right before lunch, I decided to whip up a cake for my grandpa to celebrate Father’s Day a bit early. It was a spin on the Bon Appetite ricotta cake I made for Easter, but with an added twist: Wild berry, orange, and thyme. The night before my grandpa dehydrated mandarin oranges so I used some of those for an extra kick. Recipe to come soon!
When the champagne buzz finally wore off, we started on a few tapas: slow cooked oxtail tartine on potatoes, foie gras drizzled with truffled honey (ohmagawd, I was loving every crumb of that) and a tuna and onions cooked in white wine and vinegar. Sorry, but more foodie heaven.
Eventually the cake came out of the oven and that was devoured too.
More wine and reading and naps in hammocks. And eventually a card game that lasted late into the night with my great grandmother.
The next morning (our last morning), after a long walk and some coffee, we feasted on a calentado. Calentado is essentially “leftovers” or rice, meat, maybe some beans and veggies if you have them on hand. For breakfast, an egg is thrown on top or scrambled in, but not always. It’s very classically Colombian and you can find it in most homes and even local restaurants.
We paired it with more coffee, cheese, arepas, and bread and some fresh green tomatoes (picked that day on the farm!) and indulged.
After returning from a day in town, we lunched on some excellent cuts of meat (which I never snapped a photo of) and leftover tapas. Eventually it was time for dessert!
We decided to stick with the theme from the previous day’s dessert. Before lunch, my grandpa and I made an agraz(blueberry), orange, and thyme marmalade to drizzle on top of a Normandy brie my uncle picked up on the way to Raquira. Let me just tell you: I will never buy marmalade again! My grandpa’s recipe is the only way to go and it’s SO simple!
Look at how beautiful it is:
I love being able to come together with my family, share amazing food, and make all these memories. It’s one of the reasons I love living in Colombia.
Living alone is definitely much different than not living alone.
Not only are most of your hours spent alone (until, of course, you begin to make friends)… but I never realized how much my food schedule revolved around someone else’s. My usual routine is to head to the store once a week for basics (eggs, cheese, bread, fruit, coffee and almond milk) and then, depending on what was decided about dinner, we would go to the store or order in daily. Breakfast was toast and coffee and lunch was always some variation of basics or leftovers.
Now that dinner is a one-woman-show, I find myself not really needing it. Or wanting it. Since I moved in alone, I’ve been sustaining myself on coffee, arepas (a kind of Colombian corn tortilla) and queso campesino (every day cheese)…. until last night.
I realized last night (Saturday) at about 11pm that I was utterly and completely starving! Picking at this and that like a pigeon had finally caught up to me. My instinct was to go to the fridge, but I knew the contents would likely disappoint: you can only eat so much cheese and arepa. Then I reached for my phone to order take out… Quickly realized I didn’t know of any local places who delivered after 11 pm.
I subdued my appetite with a little wine and Danish cookies, however this morning pangs of hunger reminded me that I should eat properly again. Didn’t you notice a lack of foodie photos on my Instagram this week!?
I spent a lazy Sunday morning drinking coffee and eating papaya on the porch, (again, serious appetite suppressants) but when 4pm called, I decided to raid my fridge of the last random bits and ends for a proper meal.
After tossing last weeks carpaccio and some chicken, I decided to sauté up everything else that was left: Arugula, garlic and rosemary, capers, and some iberico cheese in a little white wine. I topped that with 2 over medium eggs and called it a day.
Not too shabby for an impromptu kitchen fridge clean out!