Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving (or a nice Thursday/weekend for my non-USA readers)! This is my favorite time of the year since there’s a lot of fun stuff going on from weddings to parties to anniversaries and then of course, Christmas! It’s busy season here in Antigua, which means the hotels are pretty full, work hours are a bit longer, and there are gringos everywhere 🙂 When I’m busy, it’s more important than ever for me to slow down for a little time every day. I love going to grab coffee with a friend, since we usually end up talking for hours and taking our coffee to go for a long walk. It’s a time to catch up, discuss, and share what’s happening in our lives.
If we were having coffee together today, I would tell you that I quit my job. I stayed for 8 months, and set up a hotel from start to finish. From setting up reservation systems to dealing with third-party booking sites, marketing, etc., it was a great experience. However- 6 days a week isn’t ideal for me, and I’m incredibly burnt out and not improving as much as I would like to with my spanish. I’m going back to spanish classes for a while, and will have more time to write this blog! Not knowing exactly what I’m going to be doing is terrifying for me; I measured my personal success by my professional success for a long time; that’s changing now, and not knowing is scary but I’m confident that it.will.work.out.
If we were having coffee together today, I would tell you that I feel so very thankful. I cooked a big Thanksgiving dinner for some of Christopher’s family here in Guatemala, and we had a lot of fun drinking good wine and laughing. I love these people so much <3
I made Hot Crab Dip, Creamed Spinach, Potato Gratin, Cranberry Orange Relish, a Fall Salad, Cornbread, Pecan Squares, and ordered a huge Smoked Turkey from a local BBQ restaurant in Antigua. I also picked up our favorite Sweet Corn Tamales from the lady who sells them at the corner gas station (only in Guate) 🙂 We went to the market to grab some flowers for centerpieces; I made 4 for about $5.
We’re in leftover land now (the best part of Thanksgiving food), so last night I mixed the leftover crab dip with some pasta. I gave all of the leftover turkey to the ladies I work with at the hotel and to our maid, Sonia, so now we just have the sides leftover.
If we were having coffee together today, I would tell you about all of the amazing black friday sales online! I’ve done a lot of online Christmas shopping in the past couple of days, and never had to brave the crowds or the weather. Most of these sales will go through until Tuesday so you still have plenty of time…my favorites are below:
- BANANA REPUBLIC: 50% off five items sitewide
- BAUBLE BAR: 30% off with code THANKS30
- BLOOMINGDALES: Up to 60% off
- GORJANA: 30% off selection with code STUFFED
- J.CREW: 40% off entire site with code HOLIDAY
- NORDSTROM: extra 20% off selected sale items
- OLD NAVY: 50% off almost everything!
- SHOPBOP: Buy More, Save More with code GOBIG16
- TORY BURCH: 30% off any purchase of $250+ with code THANKS
- URBAN OUTFITTERS: Buy one, get one 50% off all apparel
If we were having coffee today, I would tell you about this pasta I made for dinner the other day. Christopher was craving burrata, so we grabbed some from Pal Paladar in Antigua (by far the best place to get cheese/charcuterie/specialty items). I also picked up some high quality dried pasta, since the flimsy stuff from the grocery store just doesn’t cut it. I made a quick sauce with pureed San Marzano tomatoes, onion, olive oil, and garlic, and crushed red pepper and then added it to the almost cooked pasta. Then I layered the pasta and burrata in a baking dish, topped it with Pecorino Romano, and baked it on 400 for about 10 minutes, until the top was a little brown and crunchy. High quality ingredients make such a big difference, especially when cooking simple dishes!
If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that my favorite part of the day is taking an evening walk with Christopher & Maya. It’s an hour of mild exercise, ridiculous sunset volcano views, and good conversation and laughs with my little family. Sometimes we stop at the park outside of La Merced, where a lot of food vendors set up. Last time, we got Enchiladas, and Buñuelo’s, which are fried dough soaked in honey and are (obviously) delicious. The Enchiladas are more like what Americans would think of as Tostadas. Most start with Guacamole, and then there’s multiple toppings and salads you can choose from.
Mine had Guacamole, Tomato Sauce, Radish Salad, Parsley, and Sliced Onion. They’re pretty filling, delicious, and somewhat healthy…and very, very, cheap. This was our dinner, and I think we spent about $4 total.
Maya was especially interested in the Buñuelos
Sometimes instead of going for a walk, and if we know the sunset is going to be spectacular, we climb up on our roof with a bottle of wine, which makes for a pretty perfect date night.
Have a great weekend!