Scenes from Mercado Central de San Pedro

Friday, February 21, 2014
Mercado Central de San Pedro (Peru) // lickmyspoon.com

Mercado Central de San Pedro (Cusco, Peru)

Markets are the heart of a place. The sights and sounds, the smells, the tastes. You can feel the heartbeat of a place and the people who live there when you go to a local market. When we arrived in Cusco, the first place we tracked down was the bustling local market, Mercado Central de San Pedro.

We were rewarded with stalls literally overflowing with vibrant and exotic fruit, all the freshly squeezed juice I could dream of, and a peek into the everyday life of local Peruvians. We saw stacks on stacks of Andean cheeses, slabs of alpaca jerky, bins spilling over with quinoa, and more types of corn than I’ve ever seen.

The women working at the market were remarkable too. Women of all ages, busy selling their wares, cooking, gossiping, even butchering and handling all sorts of offal without the slightest sense of trepidation. Strong, hardworking, and fearless these Peruvian women are.

Come, take a stroll through the market with me and see for yourself!

Warning: some images from the offal aisle are pretty graphic, so avert your eyes if animal parts make you queasy.  You gotta hand it to them though, they really use every part of the animal!

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Posted by Stephanie at 5:55 pm

Peru Food and Travel Guide: Cusco

Monday, February 3, 2014
Peru travel guide // lickmyspoon.com

Hola, from Machu Picchu!

I’m back from 15 days of traveling throughout Peru and I am still reeling from what an incredibly diverse country it is. From breathtaking mountains to pristine lakes, from vibrant cities to a desert oasis…we experienced it all! While planning for this trip, I gathered lots of recos from friends and friends of friends who have either traveled or lived in Peru. I feel so lucky to have gleaned these gems from my team of Peruvian experts, so I thought it would only be right to pay it forward.

Peru food and travel guide // lickmyspoon.com

We’re here! We’re here!

This guide includes travel tips, good places to stay, and of course, since all my itineraries in life typically center on what/where to eat, if you’re looking for eating recos, I’ve got you covered (claro)!

View Map: Lick My Spoon: Cusco

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Chewy Sugar Cookies

Thursday, December 19, 2013
Chewy Sugar Cookies // lickmyspoon.com

Chewy Sugar Cookies

Every year I have grand plans of being super on top of things, with homemade gifts at the ready for friends and family, holiday cards done and mailed well in advance, and nothing to do but admire twinkle lights and watch Love Actually and Elf on a repeat loop. I dream of a stress-free holiday, where I throw festive dinner parties during which I have done all my prep ahead of time so I’m showered and primped for guests instead of frenzied and a little sweaty. I fantasize about making beautifully wrapped presents with things like DIY pom poms and handcrafted gift tags.

Alas, a girl can dream.

This year, I was able to accomplish a fraction of these things, all while frantically getting my last minute travel plans together…to PERU!!! That’s right, friends! As we speak, I am in the land of ceviche and pisco sours. I’ll be headed up to Machu Picchu in a few short days, and then can’t wait to cook and eat and shop with a fellow food blogger in Lima, the lovely Morena of Peru Delights! I have also already made the delightful discovery that alpacas are indeed my spirit animal.

Holiday Sugar Cookies // lickmyspoon.com

Holiday Sugar Cookies

So, I’ll be going dark until the new year. But before I go, I wanted to leave you with this classic sugar cookie recipe. I love it because not only does it give you a delightfully chewy sugar cookie (which is rare), it is so simple and absolutely no fuss. You can whip this up in the midst of holiday craziness no problemo – no electric mixer needed, you don’t even need to have softened butter ready (because, let’s be real, who has time to plan ahead for things like softened butter this time of year).

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Posted by Stephanie at 6:44 pm

Caramel Apple Hot Toddy

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Caramel Apple Hot Toddy // www.lickmyspoon.com

Caramel Apple Hot Toddy

Brrrrrrr! It is chilly out there. This San Francisco cold spell has made me realize exactly how soft I’ve gotten living out here when it comes to winter weather (…as I see pics of snow drifts and frozen windshields back East).

Not to worry, though. I have just the thing to warm you right up! This Caramel Apple Hot Toddy will do the trick quite nicely. Imagine a caramel apple. Liquify it, liqueur it up, and get it warm and toasty. That’s right, you now have the perfect boozy winter beverage for those mittened hands of yours.

This hot toddy is super simple too – just apple cider spiked with Applejack brandy (which by the way is a product of New Jersey! Like me! And diners!), and infused with cinnamon sticks, cardamom, and cloves. As if this isn’t delicious enough as is, we then bring on the salted caramel. Oh hell yes.

Warm, sweet, buttery, and full of Christmas spices, this hot toddy is sure to get you in the holiday spirit.

Merry Merry!!!

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Posted by Stephanie at 3:32 pm