Tag Archives: pisco sour

San Pedro de Atacama

After the flat tour I was very excited to go across the border back to dear old Chile. Within a one hour bus ride, the temperature changed dramatically to a hot, desert climate which was great after cold Bolivia.

A friend recommended a nice hostel called Sonchek which was the perfect option. It was budget friendly, but had nice hot showers and clean rooms.

The first day I spent walking around the city, enjoying some down time. San Pedro is mostly just a tourist hub and a starting point for tour operations, but I actually really enjoyed the town itself. It has a New Mexico vibe with white washed buildings and dusty roads.

That Sunday I booked a sandboarding tour which was really fun. It ended up being a lot more challenging than I thought  (There are no lifts up the dunes…you just gotta haul it) and kind of a bummer getting sand everywhere, but overall it was an awesome time.

After boarding, we had pisco sours overlooking the valley which was lovely.

That night I took myself out to a fancy dinner at a restaurant called Piedra Blanca. I ordered the Quinoa Cannellon which was like a crunchy  quinoa shell filled with pulled pork in a tangy sauce. It came with a sweet potato ginger mash, zucchini, and porotos verdes with merken.

This dish was a tasty blend of local ingredients with a gourmet twist.

Some people really dislike San Pedro because it is expensive and touristy but I really loved it. You can’t spend more than a few days there unless you want to do a bunch of tours, but I loved the atmosphere of the town and perusing the shops and cafes. It was definitely one of my favorite stops on the trip.

This concludes my travelogue, so to speak. It was an incredible trip and I highly recommend doing the same loop if you get the chance.

Now that I’m back in Santiago its back to teaching and back to cooking! Stay tuned for more recipes and dishes coming soon.



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Cusco and Machu Picchu

And so the saga continues.

Cusco was one of my absolute favorite cities. It’s very touristy, but I fell in love with the old churches and rolling green hills surrounding the Spanish style houses. There is so much to do in Cusco too; not just Machu Picchu. There is the Sacred Valley, horseback riding, and all kinds of adventures sports in addition to exploring the city.

First day in Cusco was spent meandering the churches and the city as a whole. All the the cathedrals were quite spectacular and had such an interesting history, combining local traditions with strong Spanish influence (to put it nicely).

I particularly liked the San Blas neighborhood, where we had a delicious aji de gallina lunch.

Speaking of Peruvian food, there was quite a slew of new foods I got to explore on this trip. Here’s a quick list for those interested:

Aji de gallina


Chicha (fermented corn drink, sometimes with other flavors like blackberry, or chicha de mora) 

Rocoto relleno, or stuffed spicy peppers

Guy or cuy (pronounced goo ey) (guinea pig)


Fried banana

Chupe de Quinoa

I plan on trying to make chupe de quinoa and rocoto relleno sometime soon.

Pictured below was a fabulous dinner out with ceviche, chupe de quinoa and alpaca! And of course, pisco sours.

Unfortunately, this dinner gave me food poisoning, but it was so good, it was almost worth it. Almost.

It definitely made the day of exploring ruins on horseback a bit uncomfortable.

Finally, we set out for Machu Picchu, and it was everything I wanted and more. After a difficult, hour long hike up steep, stone steps  in the morning in Aguas Calientes, we finally made it to the ancient Incan city. It was absolutely magical, surrounded in mist. Definitely a big highlight.

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Salud! A Toast to Santiago with Pisco Sour

It’s been about 10 days since I arrived here in sunny, warm Santiago and I’m in love.

Don’t get me wrong, it has been scary at times. The first few days I woke up saying, where am I? what am I doing?? Why would any sane person hop on a one way flight to Santiago with no apartment and no job? Still, when I walk down the bustling streets, feel the warm sun on my skin, and look around at the bright, colorful buildings, I feel more alive and present then I have in quite some time and I know it’ll be alright. I love hearing the murmurs of people talking in Spanish and continued to be thrilled every time I see a fruit cart selling avocados, tomatoes, bananas, and mangoes (there is one on almost every street corner).

This week has been spent hustling around the city, riding on hot, sweaty, packed metro rides, getting lost and asking for directions, and passing out resumes awkwardly to the receptionist at various English institutes. “Perdon….uh…puedo darte mi currículum?”

But besides the anxiety of finding an apartment (I just moved into my new place today…praise Jesus hallelujah!) and running around the city like a chicken with its head cut off, I’ve felt nothing but warmth from los chilenos. The people here are friendly, lively, open, kind, and happy to help a friend in need. Last weekend, I spent the day with a few chileans and they cooked me dinner, took me to see friends, bought me empanadas, and welcomed me with open arms. I couldn’t have been more grateful.

As part of meeting new people, chileans and gringos alike, there have been quite a few celebrations (carrete! carrete! mucha ropa! mucha ropa!) where the alcohol flowed pretty steadily, sometimes all night long (I got home at about 4 am to my hostel just last night). And a distinct part of my initiation to this wonderful city involved getting on the pisco train.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with South American beverages, pisco is an alcohol which is unique to South America and famous for its association with both Chile and Peru (the two countries fight over whose is best). It is a strong, colorless grape brandy and you can find  bottles ranging in price at any local supermarket. You can drink pisco straight, with coca cola (piscola), juice, or pop, or make the classic pisco sour.

I ordered my first pisco sour just the other day:

¡Que rico!

Pisco sours are typically made with pisco, lemon or lime juice, egg whites, simple syrup, and bitters. I have yet to try to make it myself, but for now here’s a quick and easy recipe to try for yourself!

Pisco Sour:

  • 1 egg white
  • 2 1/2 ounces Pisco Capel (see note)
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Angostura Bitters (see note, below)
  • Grace Geiger


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