Sunday, January 22, 2012

What a week!

I've been without a computer part of the week since we discovered that there is indeed an Apple store in Cordoba, and the nice tech guy there was able to track down the necessary part and have it sent from Buenos Aires so he could fix it. (How's that for a run-on sentence?!) It turns out the store is in the mall we couldn't find :) But our architect, who told us about the Apple store, was also kind enough to show us on a map where the mall is located. Easy peasy, once you know.

So when we went to Cordoba on Tuesday (a whole 'nother story I talk about on my P365 blog) we took the computer and left it with the nice tech guy.

I spent a good portion of my week in the kitchen, experimenting with different soups, and doing yet more baking. Including an amazing basil garlic bread recipe that I'll share at the end of this post. I also made a batch of brownies to take to the nice tech guy who fixed my computer.

As for the soups, the cold cucumber soup is one of my favorite summer soups. I'll share that recipe at the end of this post, too. A little more versatile, the hearty vegetable soup can be "dressed up" with the addition of whatever you want, at the time you serve it. For example, the first night I added a bit of chopped up chicken, some shredded cheese, a dollop of plain yogurt and a handful of crushed tortilla chips. Another night I added in some leftover vegetables (steamed green beans and roasted butternut squash) along with a bit of shredded cheese.

We put on so much weight while in the U.S., and we really want to not only get those extra pounds off, but just eat healthier in general.

So instead of making more ice cream with our handy-dandy KitchenAid ice cream attachment for the stand mixer, we tried an orange sorbet. It tasted great but was rather more icey than I'd like, so we'll try again with a different recipe.

Our architect sent a preliminary draft of the floor plan, and we loved it but have asked him to make a few minor changes:
One of the bigger changes is moving the house back farther on the lot. We'd like to put it at the required six meters distance from the casita Our street is already a busy one and we expect it to get even busier as the street becomes a main thoroughfare to the new costanera. I'd prefer as much space between the house and street as possible because of the noise. Other changes include a one-car garage door rather than two, moving the toilet and sink in the bathroom (and adding in a bidet), and putting two windows on the long wall in the main living area.

Ivan's spent some time at the lot figuring out that there is indeed a septic tank already in the ground, but we do have to put in a leach field. He's also been trying to track down someone with a back hoe to level out the area on the side of the lot so we can install a fence. He discovered that where we want to put the house is an area that's been filled... to the tune of about two meters. Which means we'll have to have posts sunk every few meters of the perimeter of the building, going down 2-1/2 to 3 meters so it's firmly anchored into solid ground. Not the best of news, but offset by the discovery of the existing septic tank. As anyone who has ever built knows, you can expect to run into the unexpected!

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CUCUMBER SOUP
3 medium cucumbers
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups sour cream
3 T. cider vinegar
2 t. salt
1 clove garlic*
Peel and seed cucumbers. Cut in chunks and puree in blender, along with the broth, in small batches. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in remaining ingredients. Chill for at least four hours. Serve with optional toppings: chopped tomatoes, chopped green onions, chopped avocado, cilantro, slivered and toasted almonds.
*I used three cloves of mashed roasted garlic instead.
(My friend Katie gave me this recipe. She serves it with the most delicious little cheesey scones!)

1 cup fresh basil (hard packed)
6 garlic cloves (peeled)
1/4 cup olive oil
1-1/4 cup lukewarm water
 2 t. sugar
2-1/4 t. active dry yeast
1 t. salt
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Chop basil leaves and garlic finely, or place in a food processor and chop finely. Do not turn into a liquid. Add olive oil slowly. Set aside. In another bowl add lukewarm water and sugar, sprinkle yeast on top of water. Set aside to activate the yeast; about 5 minutes. Add yeast to basil mixture and mix. Add flour 1 cup at a time till dough is smooth. Place dough on a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes. Place dough into a greased bowl. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Let rise till dough doubles in size. Punch down dough. Form dough into a loaf and place in a greased pan. Cover let dough double in size. Place loaf in a 350 F oven for 30-35 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
(This recipe is from the cookingbread.com website.)

4 comments:

Mari said...

I think I'm figuring out the plans now. Glad you found a place to fix your computer! I'm not a fan of cold soup, but the bread sounds fabulous!

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Garlic...Basil.....Bread....are you serious!

Oh My Stars that sounds delish!!!!!!

Can't wait to try it!

Good Luck with the planning...

Blessings
R

The Bug said...

I can't even fathom cold soup right now - but I'll bet I would love it in August. I'll have to book mark the recipe. I wonder if I can pin a blog post to pinterest? I haven't spent very much time on there yet...

skoots1mom said...

gotta try your bread and soup...they sound scrumptious
it's neat to see a more formal house plan

such a dreary day here..cold and rain...no sun; major fog most of the day

i've been washing, cooking chili with cheddar cornbread, and had a little time for thrifting...got four nice tops, some books ... i was happy ;)