Amsterdam is Bliss.

Amsterdam was a blissful oasis tucked between the chaos of Paris and Berlin. It was a strange Utopia of calm after a slightly overwhelming weekend in Paris. 


We arrived by train at midmorning to Amsterdam Centraal and I instantly knew I was in my kind of city! 


There’s something about the Dutch that is so comforting! While touristy, there is also a deep sense of locality. And the locals are warm! They welcome you, chat with you, and make you feel like you’re a part of the city. The city and its locals are cool, style-conscious and cosmopolitan; yet nothing is ever pretentious or forced. A beautiful sight after years of LA-designed hipsterism.

Their style is chic and sophisticated; but utilitarian and practical, lending to their constantly active lifestyles. 

And although the city is in constant motion and people always seem to be doing something with a purpose, it’s calm. People don’t scream and honk at bikers who swerve in the way of cars… They just… Let them pass! Everyone is friendly, helpful, and eager to share info about their country or favorite cafe. Frankly, it was refreshing after living in the density of Bogotá. My inner energy really needed those 2 days of peace in Amsterdam.  




I found a local shop called Adam Local, in Jourdaan, which sells souvenirs made my local designers and artisans. Highly recommended if you’re looking for a beautiful trinkets and designs.

It’s easily my favorite city now, though our time was limited. We enjoyed the coffee shops, the cafes, ice cream along one of the canals, explored the red light district and often split up to walk on our own. 






Even if you’re planning on an extended stay in Paris, I highly recommend taking a day trip to Amsterdam! The train leaves from Gard du Nord regularly and it’s only 3 hours from Paris! 

 

Advertisements
Amsterdam is Bliss.

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.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIMG_0498

Foodie Adventure: Paloquemao

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.

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

La Puerta Falsa: Bogota, DC

La Puerta Falsa is one of my favorite places in Bogota. Tucked away in the heart of El Centro (one block from Plaza Simon Bolivar) and a total hole in the wall, it serves up some of THE BEST classic Colombian dishes.

I stumbled upon this place with my cousin a few years ago. We popped in for a quick bite after a long day downtown. It wasn’t until I sat down with a piping hot tamale, that I recognized it as the famed Puerta Falsa, seen on Parts Unknown and other foodie blogs across the web.

The truth is that while this joint happens to be my favorite, there are a dozen like them on the same block, all serving up similar dishes and all fantastically delicious and comforting. The menu is limited, but if you go with a group of 2-4, you can order one or two of each thing and all share (depending on how hungry you are); which is exactly what we did when the squad was in town!

IMG_9309

IMG_9302

We were all pretty hungry after hours (just kidding, not even close) to museum perusing and exploring El Centro, so we each opted for our own tamales and shared a few beverages. The tamales are GIANT so if you only want a nibble, consider sharing. However, I do encourage the challenge of eating your own + chocolate. They’re too delicious and savory to pass up.

Different than a Mexican tamale, they’re wrapped in a banana leaf and the maza is much less sweet than you’d expect. (Did you know: corn is not sweet here like in the U.S.!) It’s filled with giant chunks of chicken and pork and corn kernels and warms you from the inside. True comfort food.

The tamales are a must but so is the Chocolate Completa (hot chocolate, cheese, and bread). If you’re really feeling Colombian, order an Agua de Panela (sugary water, cheese, and bread.) And definitely/absolutely dip your cheese and bread in the chocolate/agua de panela.

IMG_9273

When bae and his tamale photobomb you during lunch.

IMG_9271

IMG_9270

We left with super full bellies and only paid 10 mil (10 thousand) pesos each! (less than $5 a person). For more adventures with the squad check out our album on Facebook! And be sure to give Red Wine and Lipstick a follow on Facebook while you’re at it for BTS updates!

IMG_9281

La Puerta Falsa: Bogota, DC

The Ultimate Impress Your Friends/Family/In-Laws/Bae Cake: Wild Berry & Ricotta

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.

The key to this cake is working with an adorable sous-chef!

So here’s my version of this bad boy:

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • cups ricotta
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup 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! 😉

The Ultimate Impress Your Friends/Family/In-Laws/Bae Cake: Wild Berry & Ricotta