Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Amazon. AMAZON.

In December, Alexandre and I are going to visit MANAUS!!

If you don't know, Manaus is the main city along the Amazon River. In the AMAZON RAINFOREST.

When I went to the Pantanal, I wrote a blog post about all the things I wanted to see. I think it was one of those Secret-type prophecies, because I saw everything except for the jaguar.

So on my trip to the Amazon, dear Universe, I'd like to see:


It's the encontro das aguas, or meeting of waters

and this

and this, which I've dreamed about seeing since I first saw one in the zoo as a child:
it's an ocelot!

and this

and one of these:
 Harpy Eagle!

And one of these, because they actually exist in nature, and because their English name is "cock of the rock":

And one of these:
botos, or what I like to refer to as "pink dinosaur dolphins" (they turn pink as they age)

And the chance that we'll get to see one of these is very big:

And I really, really, really want to hear someone speak Pirahã, which is special among us linguists because it breaks rules of linguistic theory and with its possible lack of recursion (relative clauses/ the ability to make an endless sentence). However, the language only has about 300 native speakers today and they live pretty far from Manaus, so I don't know what my chances are of that happening. But really, I'll be happy hearing any native language of the Amazon being spoken.

And I'm gonna eat whatever food people put in front of me -- hopefully some cool fruits and fish!

Alexandre really wants to go fishing and also try some hallucinatory tea. Pfft.

I have almost a month to research stuff. I'm soooo excited!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Bruschetta Buffet

I had some bureaucratic drama today with DETRAN, the Brazilian DMV (the employees made American DMV employees seem like scholars), but in light of Jennifer Pastiloff's "What are you Manifesting?" logic, I'm not going to complain about it here. (Besides, I imagine that you can imagine.) Instead, I'll talk about this nice idea I came up with last Friday night: a bruschetta buffet.  :)

It started with some perusing on Pinterest on Friday afternoon. I saw a picture of some bruschetta (bruschettas?), and they looked delicious, and I wanted to eat them. There's a romantic little Italian restaurant in town that specializes in bruschetta, but it's expensive. Plus, Alexandre was working until late, and I knew that, by the time he got home, he wouldn't want to shower and get ready to go out again. So I decided to make some of my own bruschetta.

The Italian restaurant offers lots of different toppings on the Italian bread and they call all of the options "bruschetta", so I figured I could do the same thing. But what to put on top? I did a Google images search for ideas. I saw so many delicious combinations, I decided to just make a bunch of stuff and Alexandre and I could mix things together!

  As you can see in the picture, these were the ingredients I ended up choosing:

the bread (of course)
dried oregano
cheese (even though Parmesean would have been better, I chose Minas Padrão because I was going to use it for another recipe over the weekend)
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
steamed mushrooms with honey, thyme, salt, and pepper
grilled onions and garlic
fresh basil
some traditional bruschetta topping
pears (not pictured; they were in the fridge)
ragu (not pictured; it was on the stove)

Even with the wine and the prosciutto, it was still cheaper than the restaurant!

Here are some combinations we came up with:

(1) capers and mushrooms
(2) traditional bruschetta with cheese
(3) onions, garlic, capers, and cheese
(4) traditional bruschetta with capers


(1) prosciutto, mushrooms, and cheese
(2) mushrooms, cheese, and capers
(3) prosciutto, pear, and balsamic vinegar
(4) ragu, cheese, and some of of the baked cheese that fell onto the pan while the first batch was cooked. :)


We put olive oil and oregano on quite a few!

Anyway, I was pretty proud of my idea. I think I'll do it again if we have a party or something. It was easy and delicious! We ate the leftover ragu and cheese with pasta for lunch the next day. Success! 

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