A Home-Like Soup

 

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Ajiaco (pronounced AH-HE-AH-CO), is more or less a chicken-potato  soup.

Yet, its so much more.
DSC06846Ajiaco is a traditional Colombian soup that has a thick consistency and is served with avocado, corn, cream, and capers on a chilly winter night.

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I learned how to make this soup from my grandmother. To me this soup always reminds me of home, family, love, and warmth. Sometimes everyone just needs a soup that not only tastes amazing, but also brings memories of happiness.

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Aji is also served with a spicy Colombian sauce that adds great flavor to the soup. It is made with tomatoes, green onions and vinegar.

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Serves 8 cups

1 chicken, shredded

8 cups of water

3 corn cobs halved

1 pound of tiny potatoes  ( papa criollas)*

1 pound of normal sized potatoes peeled and chopped

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 large onion chopped

1 cube of chicken bouillon

1 tablespoon Guascas**

Salt

Pepper

1/2 cup Cilantro leaves plus more for garnish

1/4 cup heavy cream

Avocados

Capers

Put the shredded chicken in a 6- to 8-quart pot and add water, bouillon, onion, guascas, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool slightly, but save the chicken water.

Then add potatoes to pot and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Add papas criollas to pot  and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are falling apart and beginning to thicken broth , 20 to 30 minutes.

Add corn, 1/4 cup cilantro, and 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper and simmer, covered, until corn is tender, 5 to 10 minutes.

Add chicken to stew and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Taste soup, if needed season with salt or pepper.

Serve soup with a teaspoon of capers, 3 slices  of avocado, and leaves of cilantro, in separate bowls. Then add about 1 tablespoon of heavy cream and 1 tablespoon of aji (see recipe below) to each bowl.

Aji

2 bunches green onions

1 large tomato

2 tablespoons cilantro

1 teaspoon Tabasco

1/4 tablespoon of chile pepper

2 tablespoon  white vinegar

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon salt

 Line the green onions up together and use a knife to cut a three slits into the onions length wise. Then chop the onion finely crosswise, using all of the white parts and half of the dark green parts. Cut the onions very finely.
Place the chopped onion in a small bowl . Finely chop the tomato and add it to the onion bowl. Finely chop the cilantro and add them to the bowl as well. Cut the chiles finely and stir into the mix along with the vinegar, water, oil, tabasco and salt.
Let the ají sit in the refrigerator for around 20 minutes, and then taste  to see if it needs more salt, water, vinegar, or tabasco  (if it seems too salty  add a bit more water, if it seems flat, add more salt). Serve 1 tablespoon with each bowl of ajiaco. This sauce can also be served on fish, potatoes, etc.

Enjoy!

*Papa Criollas are traditional Colombian potatoes, that are about the size of teaspoon, yet are difficult to find. If you can not locate these potatoes use peeled and halved russet potatoes.

**Guascas is a traditional Colombian spice that adds much flavor to the soup, however is difficult to find. Guascas is preferred, but  can be substituted. It can be found in Latin American stores, however if unable to locate use dried oregano and chicken spice.

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Enchantingly Poised

 

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For this outfit, I was really a feeling a vibe of an old-fashion Paris movie. Therefore to go with this vibe, I really wanted photos that seemed vintage-y. I really liked how the photos turned with an antique-esque vibe.

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I love this pink button down because it is such a soft pink that it can match with most clothing articles. And since the flowered skirt also has buttons, the outfit looks very organized and symmetrical when the buttons line up.

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Top: Pink long sleeve Collar: From an antique store Skirt: Local Store  Shoes: Nine West

This collar I found while digging around at an antique store. I seen other people wear them, yet I had never worn that type of accessory. However, there was an inkling in that back of my mind that it could really make an outfit. So I bought the collar, and I am happy that I did. It looks really great with long sleeve collared shirts and adds a wow factor to any outfit.

(Side Note: Last Friday I cut 5inches off my hair. It feels so lightweight and short! I’m really liking short hair.)

Stay Elegant, Caroline

Autumn Pumpkin Muffins

The weather has just begun to cool down after a long hot spell. And quite frankly, I’m ready for the cold. Although the temperature has not really dropped, it still feels like autumn. And autumn means pumpkin. In case, you haven’t noticed, there has been a bit of pumpkin craze around the country. I like pumpkins, I may not be craving pumpkin food all day long, but I do enjoy a good pumpkin flavored food.

And truly what’s better than a pumpkin muffin on a lovely autumn day?

Autumn Pumpkin Muffins

2 /3 cup oat flour ( Blend oats until they are fine like flour)

3/4 cup Bread flour*

1 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon pumpkin spice

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon coconut oil (or canola oil)

1 /4 cup almond milk

4 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons honey

2 large eggs

1 can pumpkin purée

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional: 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 400°F. Prepare a 12-cup muffin pan (or two 6-cup muffins pans) by buttering or spraying the pans.

In a medium bowl, sift together the oat and bread flour, baking powder, baking soda. Then sift the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, and salt. Briefly mix with a spatula and set aside.

In another (bigger) bowl, add the coconut oil, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, pumpkin, and almond milk and beat until combined and smooth. (If your coconut oil is in solid form roughly take 2 ½ tablespoons of the oil and put it into the microwave until melted).

Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients bowl, mixing until just combined. The batter should be slightly runny. Do not over mix. (Over mixing will resulting with dense muffins) Add chocolate chips.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups so they are 3/4 of the way full.

Place the muffin tin in the oven. Bake for 20 to 24 minutes, until a tester comes out clean or the muffins spring back when lightly pressed.

Let the muffins cool in pans about 10 minutes, then transfer them out of the muffins pans to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Enjoy!

Stay Elegant, Caroline

*If you don’t have bread flour on hand use the exact amount of all purpose flour. Bread Flour just makes the muffins have a better rise.