Confiteria San Blas: the Inflation Stumper Bakery (for now)

We just moved offices. We used to be on a nice, although too residential building on the corner of Malabia and Charcas. Its a nice neighborhood, close to other places I guess. But I wont miss it too much. In the immediate area there wasn’t much to write home about. But if there is one thing that I will miss about that neighborhood it would be Confiteria San Blas. 

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The neighborhood was residential enough, with a couple of panaderias, some small supermarkets, a rotisserie or two and a dietetica. Prices were generally in the mid range–neither cheap nor too expensive. Now that we are in the beautiful Palermo Botanico, I know just what expensive smells like: AR 32 for a small coffee and two bad medialunas at Pick Market. Disgraceful.

Confiteria San Blas had always piqued my interested when I walked by it on my way to the subte. It was very unassuming and looked quite old. I went in once to buy an empanada after working straight through lunch one day. I remember thinking that it was surprisingly good, but would be better warm.

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But what really got me and my work mates hooked on it was when prices started shooting up in January due to inflation. Our favorite panaderia raised their prices for tartas from 14 pesos to 17 pesos. That might not sound like a lot, but with our salary staying steady with no raise in sight, we started searching out other options. Remembering my initial interest in San Blas, I finally took the plunge. It should have been my first stop. 

My favorite tarta has been “tarta de calabaza”, or butternut squash quiche. I have a serious love affair with the stuff. I eat butternut squash in ALL forms and have been cautioned more than once that my hands could turn orange if I don’t limit my intake.

That didn’t stop me from trying all the neighborhood options, settling on my three favorites, one of them being from Anita Bakery. But since trying the calabaza creation (better described as a pastel) from San Blas I have been hooked. My freezer is even full of them.

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The pastel de calabaza y pollo has a magically addictive quality that, when I asked the baker, turned out to be the fault of butter. She said good quality chicken breast–I still say butter. The pastry isn’t anything special but the filling is hearty, filling and comfort-food quality. At AR 16 with two rolls (brown or white bread), I see few deals in the city having the potential to trump this one.

Since this discovery, everyone in my office began to get their cheap lunches at my favorite place down the street. We discovered that, although sometimes a little burnt on the bottom, the facturas were tasty and cheap at the frozen-in-time price of AR 2/each. The cookie and homemade cracker selection was also quite nice and I was able to get about 16 pretty cookies (special shout-out to the mini alfajores de maicena) for around 18 pesos. The other tartas (carrot and eggplant; jam and cheese; corn, tomato and swiss chard; butternut squash and carrot etc) were just as cheap and came with bread, but varied in quality; it was really the butternut squash and chicken tart that stole my heart.

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And then we moved. I think I’ll still be making the trek to get my favorite tarta for lunch. Or maybe just to bring them home and stick them in the fridge. I just want to say, thank you San Blas for keeping my belly full and helping me fight inflation when no one else will. I’ll be back very soon. 

Confiteria San Blas, Malabia, between Santa Fe and Guemes
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Top Five Free Reasons to Put on Pants and get OUT this Weekend

Buenos Aires makes my head spin sometimes. Yes, its a big city. And yes it probably has too many people and cars, but that’s not why I get overwhelmed. There is such an overload of things to do and see–so many of them free–that I almost always feel like I am missing out somehow.

I have always been interested in doing the cheap/free events in BA, especially when I studied here. But If I thought I was being frugal then, this is a completely different story.

I have recently given myself a budget of 30 pesos per day…including food. This week my solution has been to ply free meals out of my wonderful, loving boyfriend (3 dinners and 3 lunches to be exact). Thank god for boyfriends. Can I get a holla back from anyone other “en negro” foreign workers who are feeling the effects of the end of the month?

These broke-girl circumstances have led me to search for free activities with a kind of desperate fervor that tends not to make for the best schmoozing conversations. I will admit, I get a little too into it. That and searching for recipes…

So I’m going to ask that you guys help me out. Even though they are free, gratis, SIN CARGO, I couldn’t possibly get to all of these things on my to-do list. I need my beauty sleep, of courseMy new theory is that if I post about all the cool things that there are to do over the weekend I’ll feel a little less guilty about not getting to all of them! I’m no superwoman anyway.

So check ’em out and GET OUT. You’ll have fun. I promise!

BAFICI Short Films in Microcentro

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If you thought BAFICI was over, think again! You still have today (Friday) to enjoy some independent film action, no matter how odd. Starting at midday today (12:30 PM) you can see the projections BAFICI’s short film selection in Plaza Estado el Vaticano, along side the Teatro Colon. The plaza was inaugurated in 2012 as a modern space integrated with the old opera house. I have to wonder though, can you hear anything over the roar of 9 de Julio? Let me know!

Feria del Libro- Noche de la Ciudad

This yearly festival celebrates books! What a lovely idea. Taking place in La Rural in Plaza Italia, the event runs from yesterday (oops) until May 13th, but has one night of book bliss FREE on Saturday, April 27th starting at 9 PM and running till 1 AM (the feria can be your previa before the boliche!!). Check out the whole schedule here. Also, apparently it will be free for students next week as well? Worth checking out!

A couple of other cool tidbits:

Brazilian musician Toquinho will be playing a free concert, an homage to Vinicius de Moraes, in Plaza Italia starting at 7 PM on Saturday (27).

And if you don’t mind paying the entrance fee, there will be some food authors speaking on Friday (26) and Saturday (27). Including Narda Lepes…oooooo.

Waiter and Waitress Race (Carrera de Mozo y Camarera)

Photo Credit: Agendacultural.buenosaires.gob.ar

Photo Credit: Agendacultural.buenosaires.gob.ar

This event needs no explanation. But I guess blogging demands it: this is a freaking race where waiters and waitress walk carry trays AS FAST as they can. First service member to cross the finish line without spilling their goods wins! Piece of cake. Or cafe con leche y medialunas. Depends what you order.

(Why this event reminds of Washington DC’s Drag Race, aka High Heel Race I don’t know.)

Saturday 27, from 4-6 PM on Avenida de Mayo.

I’ll see you there. I’ll be the one wearing the “I’m a FAN!” apron. 

Theatrical Neighborhood Walking Tours

This is a new thing. Someone in the city thought (rightly) that tourists tend to stick to the same parts of the city too much and needed to be coaxed into discovering more of Buenos Aires! Genius person. Love him/her.

This is one of the most unique free tours I’ve ever heard of! I am totally dying to do one (expect a post about it when I have), but farted around too much before heading to Mataderos last Sunday. No worries, though, because they will be running from now until October. Two cool ones this weekend though, in San Telmo and Boedo. Make sure to check them out!

Foto Credit: bue.gov.ar

Foto Credit: bue.gov.ar

Los Fantasmas de San Telmo, Saturday April 27: this tour shows the well known neighborhood’s mysterious underbelly, giving visitors the chance to see the creepier (and ghost filled?) side of its history. The one-hour tour starts at 6:30 PM from Plaza Dorrego.

Boedo Antigo, Barrio de HistoriasSunday April 28: this tour tells the story of Boedo! I’ve never been there and the description is sparse. Guess that’s a reason to go and check it out. The one hour tour starts at 3:30 PM on Esquina Homero Manzi (Av san Juan y Boedo).

Photo Credit: bue.gov.ar

Photo Credit: bue.gov.ar

Free Concert at the Teatr: Quinteto Filarmonico

Photo Credit: agendadebuenosaires.blogspot.com/

Photo Credit: agendadebuenosaires.blogspot.com/

Want an excuse to see the inside of the incredible Teatro Colon? This Sunday, as part of the “Interpretes Argentinos” series, the Quinteto Filarmonico will be performing for free. The show starts at 11 AM and tickets can  be picked up starting 48 hours in advance in the Teatro Colon ticket office. Its early, but who wouldn’t want to start their Sunday with some beautiful classical musica? Depends on what we did the night before I suppose…

Check this link for a little Mozart played by the Quinteto boys.

Being a Creative Cheapskate: Making Butter and Jam

Sounds neurotic, right? Why would I make two things I could so easily buy? I do have a history of this though (i.e. peanut butter and nutella!).

I have to be honest, it was really just laziness and some plums that were going to go bad, coupled with, of course, a desire to get good food without paying for it. Those were the circumstances that drove me to buckle down and make some homemade goodies. And no, I am not already training to be a grandmother.

So it was my roommates birthday and I promised to make her a cake for the party. She initially fought it (why, I still don’t get) but we settled on a rainbow/tie-dye cake as the special dessert we would shove in her face eat at the party! If you haven’t seen it before, its awesome–reminds me of the t-shirts I made at summer camp, but edible!

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While shopping for ingredients I realized that it was going to take some extra effort to find unsalted butter. I could have just left the salt out if I had wanted to be super lazy, but I also needed buttermilk. So I had a brilliant idea: I would make more work for myself and make my own butter and use the left over liquid–the buttermilk–in the cake as well! Genius.

And you know what? It wasn’t even close to difficult. I describe this method of making butter as “messing up whipped cream”, because you literally over whip whipped cream. And the product is damn good. I know, it surprised me too.

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The cake turned out great, although the colors could have been a bit more artfully placed.  But at least I could say I made the butter in it!!

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And then I turned to my overly soft plums. They were really some office leftovers that I couldn’t bare to see thrown out. There are so many ways to use old-ish fruit and veg there is really no excuse! Except laziness of course…But no one was going to fight me for them anyway, so I took them home and began to google.

Turns out jam is easy to make and doesn’t necessarily require pectin. I also wasn’t about to try and search for pectin because a) I don’t know what its called in the Spanish/Argentine language (pectina, maybe?) and b) why spend more if the internet says it can be left out? I didn’t even buy the plums in the first place so it was a great excuse to test out the method and possibly screw it up.

After a good hour and a half to two hours my mission was complete. Results were stellar and now I have homemade jam in the fridge! Practically free, I may add.

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Best bet to replicate the free part is to ask your fruit/veg people if they have any overly soft fruit. In my experience they are more than happy to get rid of these things, especially in the bulk needed for a nice sized batch of jam. Worst case scenario they say no, but most likely they will at least sell fruit to you at a heavily discounted price. You might have to spend a bit of time paring the brown bits off, but its worth it in the end!

The best part? Eating homemade butter and homemade jam together on my overly whole-wheat toast. Sweet success.

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Homemade Unsalted Butter (and buttermilk)

Ingredients:

4 cups cream*
1/8-1/4 teaspoon fine salt (optional)

Directions:

Beat the heavy cream with a mixer in a bowl on high until it looks like whipped cream. Continue beating until the cream separates. Pour of some of the liquid and reserve, taking care to not let the butter go with it. Beat until as much liquid as possible is extracted and then until smooth.**

*note: when I made it four cups (about 1 L) of cream made about 3-3.5 cups (about 500g) butter and 1.5 cups (375 ml) buttermilk

**note: some recipes say to use a sieve to “dry” the butter, i.e. get as much buttermilk out as possible. I didn’t do this and it came out just fine. 

No-Pectin Plum Jam

adapted from Savory Sweet Life recipe

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups chopped plums, most peels removed, but some left on for color
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

Cook plums and lemon juice on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add sugar and stir until everything is well combined. Cook for an additional 25 minutes until the thickness of the jam has been reduced to the consistency of thick honey, stirring occasionally. The jam should not be too juicy, but thickened (it will also get thicker as it cools).  Skim off the foam, remove from heat, and allow to cool.

So splatter that baby on anything and everything toast or scone-like. With the homemade butter of course!

Happy Munching!

Homemade Peanut Butter and Nutella

Last week I went a little overboard on the purchases when I was shopping at one of my favorite cheap health food stores, Dietetica Tony. Thankfully the place is so cheap that the damge was minimal; double thankfully, I was inspired by the 600 grams of unsalted, untoasted peanuts that I impulse-bought.

And that is how I decided for the first time in my life to make my own peanut butter.

At university in Burlington, Vermont freshly ground peanut butter was a mainstay in my fridge due to the local Co-Op, Citymarket’s nut-butter grinder (almonds included !!). I never once had to think about the possibility of a) expensive and b) uncommon peanut butter supplies. And even if I couldn’t get the fresh stuff, Jiff was at every gas station in the country.

Argentina has a completely different relationship with peanuts. They don’t come with bananas and sliced bread, in milkshakes, on pancakes or covered in chocolate and wrapped in orange plastic –they come salted and with beer, cheese, and chorizo.

And that is 100%+ ok.

I swear I am not complaining. Its just that sometimes I want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, hold the meat. You know?

But I didn’t stop there. I decided to try my hand at making nutella too. I could have probably found it in some specialty shop surrounded by 50 peso bags of dried italian pasta (I think I’ll buy the 8-15 peso variety instead, thanks), but I was inspired by the prospect of making peanut butter. So I decided that my Oscars night snacks didn’t have to be quite so expensive (banana nutella emapandas 4lyfe).

So I bought some hazelnuts, powdered sugar and cocoa powder too.

And you know what? It was shamefully easy.

That being said, you need a food processor. So find a friend who has one and take full advantage. Don’t forget to reward them with a little bit of nut butter too!

Homemade Peanut Butter

Ingredients:

400 grams ra, un-salted peanuts

3-5 Tbsp. oil (not olive oil)

Salt, sugar, or honey to taste

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to around 350F/180C

Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet and bake until golden. Watch them closely so they don’t burn.

Let the nuts cool completely (and display in a lovely jar until ready to use, for my fellow procrastinators).

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Place nuts in a food processor and process continuously.

First it will look just like chunky nuts. Then it will look a little less chunky, but still dry…

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And thats where you add in the first 3 Tbsp. of oil in a continuous stream. It will start to get creamy…

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Keep processing until you get your favorite texture. I doubt it will every be 100% smooth, but there is definitely some variation possible. This is also a good time to add in salt and/or sugar or honey !!

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Homemade Nutella

This is very similiar to the peanut butter. The only difference really is that the ingredients are added in sooner.

Ingredients:

1 cup (around 150 grams) peeled hazelnuts; if unpeeled, see below

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa power

1/2 cup powdered sugar

3/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

4 Tbsp oil (again, not olive oil)

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to around 350F/180C

Spread the nuts out on a baking sheet and bake until golden. Watch them closely so they don’t burn (which is what happened to me). If you could only find hazelnuts with the skins on them, place them in a dish towel and roll around vigourously. The skins should start to come off on their own. Its a pain though, so try to get them without skins in the first place.

Let the nuts cool completely.

Place the nuts in the food processor and process until they are as smooth as possible, around 3 minutes. They will be dry, so don’t worry if its still pretty chunky.

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Add the dry ingredients remaining ingredients and blend until combined.

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Add half of the first 2 Tbsp of the oil in, poured in a continuous stream. Process until smooth. If the nutella is too dry, add in another Tbsp and continue to process.

Note: I added too much oil in at once and the result was a very liquid-y nutella. Delicious–but not quite the right consistency. It does firm up in the fridge a tiny bit, though, so don’t worry too much.

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Then enjoy the hell out of your homemade and cheap versions of these nut butters. I have been eating my peanut butter with bananas and made some banana-nutella empanadas for the oscar festivities.

I still have a lot left! Any ideas?

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Feature of the Week-er: Nailin’ it


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Summer means exposed feet. It also means (hopefully) lots of schmoozing on rooftop bars with colorful cocktails in your hands. Your hands will be looked at no matter what you do and I am sure you’ve heard that clean hands/nails make a good impression (which means men can definitely get in on the action). Hell, it’s also just nice to have someone massaging your cuticles from time to time. But no one wants to spend a lot; and that’s where I come in.

You can stop by your local hair salon and cross your fingers that the person who does your nail doesn’t leave you with something worse (a little advice: nail rape via nail file in the hands of a very angry woman let me with claws…cringe). As prices currently stands (though not for long…THANKS INFLATION) My suggestion is seeking out some place that specializes. Prices usually run from AR 30+ for a manicure and 60+ for a pedicure, though some vary depending on the nail polish you choose.

Let me introduce you to my favorite, Avanceê in Recoleta. The nice thing about this place is that it specializes in nails, which means they have all the appropriate tools and furniture. The place is white and clean, though not sterile looking by any means. Chairs are comfortable and color choices are varied.

Prices are very fair—AR 35 for manicure and AR 70 for pedicure. Waxing is available.

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Some Tips:

Bring your own nail polish, ladies. They charge an extra AR 15 just to use the “good” stuff (Revlon). I’d rather bring my own anyway.

Call ahead to avoid having to wait, although you might have to anyway.

Study up on your lingo beforehand if you’re Spanish isn’t too strong. The ladies speak mostly Spanish although I already gave them a cheat sheet!nail3

Avanceê, Azcuénaga 1849 (in between Las Heras and the Cemetery)

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Monday, 2 to 9 PM, Tuesday to Saturday, 10 AM to 9 PM, CLOSED Sundays

Saving $$ With Your Iphone in Buenos Aires

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Use your Iphone in Buenos Aires. Seriously.

What  kind of cell phone are you using here? Is it that little Argentine brick that looks like the first Nokias (nicknamed the indestructible nokia for all of those who didn’t drown it in coke accidently…), the one with the nifty flash light at the top? If so, then you can say goodbye to the hand cramp that texting on that baby gives you because I may have a solution. Did you also bring your smartphone?  Because if you have recently arrived to Buenos Aires or are staying for some time you may want to consider using it.

Why? I use my iphone in Argentina, so let me make your pro/con list for you.

.Pro #1: you already have it (or another smartphone), so why buy another?

Pro #2: it will probably cost you close to the same amount to use a smartphone as it would to use the brick. You live your life texting here to avoid expensive calls. But when you have a smartphone, you have the added benefit of having whatsap, which has exploded here between people with smartphones and blackberrys. You get to join that club and just pay for internet (1 peso per day on pre-paid plans).

Pro #3: like with regular phones here, you pay as you go, so you control how much you use. You also get 1 free number to call !

Pro #4: you get to have internet at 1 peso per day. Which means you always have your 1) subte map, 2) app to find the bus you need, 3) camera, 4) spanish-english dictionary, and 5) skype if you are in a pickle.

Pro #5: you can stay in contact with people in your home country/town!

And now for the con list:

Con #1: you may get it stolen. We all know pick-pocketers can be pretty genius here (did you hear about the time that Barbara Bush, daughter of the ex-Prez, had her purse stolen in San Telmo when surrounded by secret service?). So if you tend to get things stole maybe this isn’t the advice for you. 

Con #2: 3g network isn’t thaaat good, but at 1 peso a day who really cares? I turn my phone off and on again and it works just fine.

Con #3: this scheme only works with phones that have sim chips, so if yours doesn’t (sorry to some of you Verizon users in the U.S.), you’ll have to think of something else.

Con #4:  you have to go through the process of unlocking your phone if you haven’t done it already. For ATT users its easy (this page lets you send in a request to unlock your iphone and it was eaaasy), for others I’m not sure. In the past I called and they unlocked it for me, but I have heard of some carriers making you pay.

So yeah. There are some cons, but mostly it’s just the getting it stolen one that’s of real concern as long as you have the other elements in order (sim chip, unlock).

On the Argentina side, getting a sim chip/plan is just as easy as getting a sim chip for any phone. In Personal mine cost AR 30 and worked almost immediately. I put on about 30 pesos every 12-15 days and it lasts. I definitely use less credit this way; totally frugal approved.

So if you are looking for a way to use your iphone/smartphone in Buenos Aires, it’s actually much simpler than you thought. Or as our Argie friends would say, es un boludez !

5 Ways to Use Vegetable Throwaways

Broc

Annoyed when you end up paying for parts of fruit or veg you think you need to throw out? Your man/woman at the veg stand may be very nice, but it IS really annoying (and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise) when you walk out of there with unripe/overripe fruit or broccoli stalks longer than your arm. This is definitely something I have had to get used to in Buenos Aires.

The following are five ways to fill your belly with those bits you used to throw away. Here’s to living up to your true frugal-ness.

1. Broccoli Stalk Salad

I bet you weren’t aware of this ingenious use for broccoli stems. You can grate them and make a salad from them. Whoa. Who knew? Apparently everyone, though, because there are recipes all over the place! This is truly useful because broccoli in BA tends to come with a lotta stem and not so much top. I have gotten some truly ridiculous stems with my broccoli that made me weep large tears (overstatement).
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Try adding toasted sunflower seeds, raisins and a simple olive oil/balsamic dressing (thanks Chocolate & Zucchini! ). Maybe asian inspired or even pickled for your next toothpick soiree.
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2. Spinach Stems
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Oh the spinach stems. I think these may be the worst. Not only are they really long, but ninety-five percent of the time the part below the tie or rubber band that holds my leaves together is brown, wet, and gooey. Its gross. I know this is a “yanqui problem” but I am just not used to having to throw away a good portion of the veg that I just paid for. I often end up chopping off most of the stems to avoid having to touch, let alone eat, the bottom bit. I’ll get over it, but I think making a delicious looking indian curry like this one made specifically with the stems would help. Lots of stir-fried stems, too. But, uh, still cut off the brown bits.
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3. Unripe fruit
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They get you when you’re not looking. Your eyes are sweeping around the verdularia, deciding what you want to ask for next (your mind trying to figure out how to say it in Spanish, perhaps) and you get distracted. And right THERE is when they sneak in the rock-hard fruit that leaves bruises on your legs as you walk away. If you can’t stand to wait the days it can take for your peach pear whatever to ripen, poach it! Or at least that’s what they say. And with the deliciously priced wine you can often find here in the Arg, mmmmmmm.
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Oh, the worst is avocado. People say you can microwave it. I say set a booby trap for pigeons.
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4. Over-ripe fruit
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Overripe fruit is a bit disappointing, but not the worst because there are so many options. We all know to make banana bread (the moosewood recipe was the staple in my household); but what about the other fruits? You can bake them a la banana bread: This scone recipe for over-ripe strawberries looks great and Deb says you can use it with just about any fruit. Also try making smoothies if you have access to a blender. Or cook them on the stove with some sugar and eat over pancakes or ice cream, mash-up and cook INTO your pancakes, or layer with whipped cream, nuts and/or granola to make a decadent and semi-nutritious (ish) fool. Just remember to cut away the brown, bruised, or furry bits. Please.
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On the topic of avocados again, this time overripe, people say you can use it as a hair mask . Ew, but I’m down.
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5. Vegi Scraps
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All of those veg scraps you are so used to dumping could be your next vegi stock turned vegetarian soup. Take one of those million produce bags you have in the cupboard and start squirreling away bits from prep in your freezer. Avoid using cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, artichokes, beets and onion skins. These veggies will overpower your broth or turn it brown. Everything else is a goThese guys explain the process better. This leek and lemon soup sounds perfect for spring.
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So this is why your next beer can be on you. Any other ideas I should know about? You know I’d love them…

Going to the Movies for Cheaper in Buenos Aires

It’s a Sunday or its raining and you feel like a nap movie. You could browse the options on your favorite movie site, but you feel the need to leave the house. An obvious option? The movies, of course! Here are a couple of ways to see movies without using all of your entertainment budget in one go.

CouponStar

 You may have seen the signs for this in the subte. The premise is simple: send a text, recieve a coupon. The great thing is that the coupons are things you would actually spend money on anyway. Couponstar has 2×1 deals at Cinemark, Multiplex, Showcase, and even IMAX Showcase theaters. When I originally saw it I immediately wanted to know just how many spam texts would flood my box after that coupon. Three weeks later I can say that I haven’t gotten any. Each coupon costs AR$ 1.20 + minimal taxes for Movistar, Personal, Nextel and Claro, which is how they make their money. Please, do me a favor and never pay full price again.

Espacio INCAA, Congreso

 If your Spanish is on the rise, and especially if you have already achieved some gold stars in your lunfardo class (please see El Tano Pasman for examples) this is the place for you. This heavily goverment-subsidized theater boasts Argentine films at extremely low prices. A ticket rarely if never goes abouve AR$ 10 and usually floats around AR$ 8. Its also even cheaper for students, averaging a whopping $AR 2 pesos less. So if you can’t wait to see the new Darin movie, this is probably your spot.

Club La Nación

 If you are interested in staying up to date on the news and getting some discounts at the same time then this is your best option. With a subscription to La Nación (can be just the newspaper once a week and a magazine per month) you have unlimited access to the company’s discounts. Many movie theaters throughout the city (the theater in the Abasto Mall, for example) give you a 2×1 price that is rarely available without an Argentine credit card.

Village Cinema

 This is a little chip off the price and good for those who feel the need to buy movie snacks. The movie theater at the mall in Recoleta and Caballito gives students, teachers, and retirees the possibility to apply for a card that gets a bit of a discount. The card costs AR$ 5 for administrative fees but it gets you the Wednesday matinee ticket price (AR$ 32 instead of 42) throughout the week and before 4 PM on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. You also get some sort of discount in popcorn combos (hence why this one is particularly good for you pochoclo fiends). All you need is proof of your status. If you are a retiree or teacher from Argentina I can imagine you know more than I do about this. For students, I know that you can get an offical letter declaring your status at a student (I’ve used this sort of letter to get some really nice dicounts on long distance bus travel) from your Argentine University quite easily, especially the private ones. If you are up for a little bureaucracy maneuvering, try this one out!

Showcase Belgrano 2×1

If you have internet access you can do this. Fillout the form and get 2×1 everyday and 2×1 in 3D movies on Thursdays using your very own scannable code. I saved the image in my iphone, ready for when I need it. Also 2×1 in 1/4 kilos of ice cream at Chungo. Nice. 

Cuevana

 If you really don’t feel like leaving the house afterall and you just want to curl up on your couch/bed/floor with your laptop then this is your best friend. Its self explanatory and entirely free so I’ll let you browse on your own. cuevana.tv

One final tip: If you’ve really gotten into this frugal thing, pop your own instant popcorn at home and buy a box of candy at the kiosko down the street. A good backpack or an over-sized purse will cover your tracks.

Happy Movie-ing!