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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Enjoying the Lima Summer

I know I haven't been blogging much lately, I seem to have almost ran out of things to do in Lima? Doubtful, I think I am just being a bit lazy.  I have been filling my time though, having lunches and nights out with the girls and just enjoying the weather.  Here are some photos of a few of those things.  Enjoy, and I will be back with more of the amazing Peru soon!

Josh and I headed down to La Rosa Nautica on his last  day off (over a month ago!) for dinner.  We had a great time, amazing food and a fantastic view.

Before one of our girl's nights out at Panchita.

My new friend Nilma and I at my favorite restaurant Saqra.  Along with pineapple Picarones.  One of my favorite Peruvian sweet treats.

Nilma and I at an Internations girls shopping night.  We met the fabulous Claire, who is here from Minnesota, living with her boyfriend.  We found these great vintage hats.

Sandy, Jules and myself at Lima 27.  Another amazing dining experience before a night of Salsa.

 Drinks with the girls at the Business Towers Hotel.  They had a car in the lobby... I found the sign. 

Enjoying Dom and Nilma's pool with the cutest little guy!

Me and Tonka, before another girls night to La Candelaria, a traditional Peruvian show where they showcase all different styles of song and dance from all over Peru.  Amazing. 

At a ladies champagne night.  I met all sorts of new women, some ambassadors from all over the world and some fellow Canadian girls. 

At the Canadian Embassy watching Canada beat the US in the Olympic semifinal game.  Go CANADA!

And finally, the La Noche En Blanco in Barranco.  Another night with some great women all dressed in white.  Too much fun!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Recipe: Stout and Chicken Stew

It had been a long time since we had comfort food, and I was craving a stew or thick soup.  Not having a crockpot here (and being too cheap to buy one to use for a few months then give away), made it difficult, but I have a really cool rice cooker that I have used as a stand in for pots and a slow cooker.  I actually have no idea where I found this recipe, as it must have just been online because there is no record of it on Pinterest.  It turned out delicious, and if I closed my eyes I could almost pretend I was at home (minus the oppressive heat)!


8 skin on or skinless chicken thighs
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp plus 5 tbsp butter at room temperature
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
4 medium carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks
4 to 6 medium potatoes (I used about 15 baby potatoes cut in halves)
1 medium celery root chopped into 1 inch chunks
2-12 ounce bottles Porter or stout beer
2 cups chicken stock or broth
2 tbsp brown sugar
2tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup all purpose flour
chopped parsley


Season the chicken with the salt and pepper, in a large heavy pot, heat the oil over medium and sear the chicken, turning once and twice until browned on both sides.  Transfer to plate.

Melt 2 tbsp butter into the pot on medium.  Add the onions and sauté until golden.  Add carrots, potatoes and celery.  Stir in the Porter, broth, sugar, mustard, tomato paste and thyme.  Return the chicken to the pot and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to med low and simmer for about 30 mins.  

In a heatproof bowl, mash together the 5 tbsp butter and the flour to form a thick paste.  Gradually whisk in about 2 cups of the hot cooking liquid and slowly stir this into the pot.  Again, cover and simmer until the chicken and vegetables are totally cooked, about 10 mins.

Add any needed salt and pepper and plate the chicken and vegetables.  Pour as much of the liquid as you want over top.  Scatter some parsley overtop if you desire.  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lima's Cemetery City

Last Saturday, on a VERY hot morning, I headed out with Edwin, Santiago, and a fellow Canadian, Vanessa (she is a real journalist!), across the city passed the Shanty towns, to the 2nd largest Cemetery in the world.  
The shanty towns on the way to the cemetery.
When we arrived, I really was unable to grasp the true enormity of the place.  There are over 2 million people buried there.  In my head, to put this in perspective, I thought about the fact that Saskatchewan currently has a population of just over 1 million people.  That's a lot of people.  For as far as the eye could see, over hills and around corners were endless rows of elaborate monuments, family mausoleums, but mostly, simple piles of rocks with a wooden cross marker with a name and date on it.  Some that had not been legible for many years.  
This Saturday morning, the place was eerily quiet.  Just a few people visiting their loved ones and bringing them flowers and gifts.  

We got out to walk up a hill and noticed that near the edge of the cemetery were small shanty homes.  Edwin told us that these people moved in to the cemetery illegally just over a year ago.  They literally are living among the graves.  If you look, in the next picture, all of the small houses on the hillside are inhabited and are on cemetery property.  

We walked up to the top of a hill with a cross, not only depicting Jesus, but that also has ancient Peruvian religious meaning.  There is a moon and a sun and other features that one would not see on a regular cross.  

Beside the cross, was a small building.  An altar where people come to give offerings to god.  While this is set up to be a catholic place of worship, it actually appears to be a Huaca, a building that was again, built as an ancient Peruvian place of worship.  


"There is a place in our hearts, that cannot be occupied again, rest in Peace, until we meet again"
Not gonna lie, this made me tear up a bit.

Seeing the place, filled with color and joy, it made me wonder why at home, most of our tombstones are black and so subdued.  It also made me think that when I die, I want a pink headstone, embellished with thousands of Swaroski crystals.  Everybody take note.  

We placed some flowers and headed back to the car.  On the way we saw some family that had brought fruit and cookies to give to their loved one.  Most of the time, the offerings are sweet treats, everybody loves that.   We had quite an eye opening morning, again, this seems to be nothing new in Lima, but once again it was amazing, and something that I will never see again.
On our way back into the city, we saw this guy.  He is one of the many people that go out in in traffic when it is stopped to entertain and hopefully get a few soles.  He was so adorable and talented, and when he came up to the car he gave us a big smile and thanks.  I almost took him home with me.