Monday, June 13, 2011

Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Frosting

Make these...Now!

Espresso Frosting!
Right now :)
Mocha Cupcakes!

See the recipe here.  (I didn't make the butter cream frosting, I just used 2 cups of powdered sugar whipped with a few tablespoons of chilled espresso).

Saturday, June 11, 2011


I've spent the last ten days meeting with government officials eating my way through Uruguay. I traveled to Montevideo on mission to supervise a WB project. It was my first trip to South America, and it definitely won't be my last.

Here's why.
Sunrise over el Rio de la Plata

Montevideo, Uruguay.
Montevideo is beautiful, the people are welcoming, and the food is amazing. Uruguay, like it's neighbor Argentina, is known outstanding beef, fresh seafood, and sweet dulce de leche. Lots and lots of dulce de leche.
Beef is simply grilled on the parrilla. The smell of the smoke from the parrillas filled the city. 
La Parrilla

Bife de Lomo

Montevideo is surrounded by el Rio de la Plata, so fresh seafood is readily available. Pasta con frutos del mar is one of my favorite dishes and the Uruguayans know how to do it right.
Rio de la Plata

Pasta con Frutos del Mar
Another thing Uruguayan's know how to do right is dulce de leche, which is caramelized sweetened condensed milk. Dulce de leche gelato, alfajores, empanadas and flan are just a few highlights!

I don't normally love flan, but covered in dulce de leche? Yes, please!

Empanadas filled with dulce de leche!

Alfajores (look familiar?) served with Mate.
Lots and lots of dulce de leche!
The mate and alfojores is a great combo. In Uruguay, everyone drinks mate. Mate consists of dried herbs  that are ground into a powdery mixture called yerba. The yerba is traditionally served in a dried and hollowed out gourd, submerged in boiling water, and is drank through a metal straw. Uruguayans carry around their mate and a thermous of hot water so they can continually replenish their drink. Mate has a large social and cultural significance in Uruguayan history. Read about it here.

Another strong custom in Uruguayan culture is their breakfast. Cafe con medialunas is the staple. A medialuna is a sweet and savory pastry shaped like a half-moon. 
Cafe y Medialuna
A typical lunch in Uruguay is the Chivito or Sandwich de Miga. A chivito is a sandwich filled with everything imaginable while a sandwich de miga is much less intimidating and served with crustless bread. I actually didn't eat a chivito or sandwich de miga, but they were everywhere.

Sandwich de Miga
While I loved Montevideo, my favorite place I visited was Colonia del Sacramento. Colonia is the oldest town in Uruguay and is known as a top tourist destination. The small town is lined with cobbled stoned streets, shops, restaurants, and open air markets. The atmosphere is relaxed and is filled with history. It was absolutely adorable. 
Rio de la Plata

Sunset over the river.

A lazy Sunday :)


El Drugstore--a great place for a relaxing lunch

The oldest church in Uruguay.
While ten days might seem like a long time, it flew by and I feel like I barely scratched the surface of what Uruguay has to offer.

Lighthouse in Colonia

Downtown Montevideo

Saturday Market

Until next time Montevideo, hasta luego!