¡Galletas! (Cookies!)

It’s a cooking post!

I once again got together with my dear friend F. to dish about life and to bake something. After wandering around the Jumbo (like a cross between Target and Walmart, plus a big grocery) in South America’s largest mall for a while trying to find ingredients, we went back to her place to get baking some oatmeal craisin cookies.

This post could also be titled, “Adventures in Metric Conversions.” Or, “Adventures in Cooking Without Measuring Tools.” Or, “Adventures in Baking with Unlabeled Ingredients.” Or combine all of those titles into one. We had one large measuring cup. We tasted a white powder from a jar to make sure it wasn’t powdered sugar, and took our chances guessing it was baking soda and not baking powder. We then made shaky metric conversions, mixed it all together, and hoped for the best.

Basic cookie things. In Spanish.

Fun fact: brown sugar is called azúcar rubia here. That means blonde sugar, not brown sugar! It reminded me much more of raw sugar than of traditional, sticky, fragrant brown sugar.

Looks normal to me!

Also, the oven did not have a thermometer. It was either on alto or bajo (high or low). And we used a casserole pan.

Trust me. It works just fine.

Nevertheless, we got edible cookies!

Voilà!

We now move on to the portion of this post where I appreciate that I live with a host family instead of on my own or with other foreigners in an apartment or a dorm. Why? Among a zillion other reasons, they make sure that you don’t unwittingly go out to a bad neighborhood late at night. This is why you tell your host parents where you’re going, guys.

On Saturday I celebrated one month living with them in Santiago. One whole month. That also meant that I signed my contract with them committing myself to stay with them for the rest of the semester (they were like, “Are you sure?” To which I responded, “Are you sure?” Clearly my imperfect Spanish has hidden some of the quirkier aspects of my personality from them. But they’re stuck with me now!). To commemorate all of that goodness, we went out to eat at a traditional Chilean place in one of Santiago’s hipper neighborhoods.

Soooo much food. So much delicious Chilean food. Sopaipillas with pebre. Pan amasado. Some kind of cheesy clam appetizer. Lamb and beef and chorizo with goat cheese. Pastel de choclo. Reineta. And a fairly strong pisco sour. To top it off, I got to write my name on one of the walls, near their previous host daughters’ signatures. It was just a really great night.

And THEN, as if I hadn’t already eaten enough over the weekend, I continued the host family bonding time by making brownie chip cookies with my sister.

Brownie chip cookies are about the easiest recipe I know. Get the recipe here. Buy some brownie mix. You probably have the rest of the ingredients already. Bake them. Done.

Chocolate chips are really expensive here. Just FYI.

I’m sorry. I know what this looks like. I just want to show you that you can bake cookies on a pizza pan.

Lesson learned: don’t be picky about your baking pans. It all works just fine.

While they’re baking, take a break to eat some gummy bears and dish about boys with your sister.

My favorites are the red and the clearish ones.

Ta-da! Yes, they look like cowpies, okay? The Internet tells me that they spread out so much probably because the pan was over-greased. Oh well. They taste just like they should!

Flat, chewy, and good.

We also made a brownie tart. Want to know how? Prepare some brownie mix. Put it in a tart pan. Bake. Fancy, right?

That’s all I’ve got for now! I’m very, very happy to be back in the kitchen. I hope you’re all enjoying the end of your summers/beginnings of the school year. The season is changing here too- from winter to spring! This means that one day it will be 40 and rainy, and the next it will be 76 and sunny. I just have to be ready for everything!

With love,

Gaby

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