Brown Butter Trout Amandine

Brown Butter Trout Amandine by My Little Jar of Spices

I hope everyone had a great Easter! I am back to home sweet home Cajamarca after a few weeks on the road, first in Brazil then in Lima. I loved loved loved Lima. The fact that it’s by the sea is just the cherry on top of a delectable cake of exciting things this city has to offer. It’s surprisingly modern and buzzing with cultural life, though I have to admit I mostly stayed in the nicer neighborhoods (Miraflores, Barranco) because of work and didn’t have time to venture out to the more “local” parts of town. Fortunately I had visited those parts  a while back during my first visit to Peru. This time I was there during fashion week – because yes, there’s a Peruvian fashion week! I should have known, with all the world-reknown Peruvian crafts and textiles, especially Alpaca which is becoming the new Cashmere, there are loads of fashion industries coming to Peru to source quality materials. Keep your eye out, I have a feeling hand-woven wool ponchos are going to make a comeback this Winter. Continue reading

Roasted Broccoli Tuna Salad

Roasted Broccoli Tuna Salad by My Little Jar of Spices

I think we food bloggers could all stand to be a little more transparent on the truth of what our lives are actually like (I mean, we don’t actually eat sweet potato fries out of newspaper cones or take a bite from a cookie and put it back on the cookie sheet like the photos say). I don’t actually eat small portions of salad on fancy rectangular restaurant plates like you see here. That’s just for good blogging decorum. I wouldn’t want you to see the actual tupperware I ate this HUGE salad out of. This little confession is coming from an e-mail exchange I had with another food blogger this week (Little Red Bird Kitchen, check her out!) about food photography. I told her I take 80% of my pictures on the floor because it makes it easier to get even lighting, block out background “noise” and get better shots from high up, and even though no one openly says it, I can’t be the only one to do that. Let’s be honest, you can see the wooden floorboards in more than half of the pictures on foodgawker 🙂 And since I’m in a truth-telling moment, I might as well say it flat out, my meals are not nearly as exciting as this blog might have you thinking. I’m a very routine person when it comes to food. On most days, I will eat exactly the same thing for lunch (omelet, avocado and salad), cook dinner twice or three times a week and eat leftovers on the other days. Most of the recipes you see here are recipes that I’ve tested and made for friends or family, for specific occasions, when I’m on vacation and don’t have much going on, almost always when there are other people around to try the food. You can be sure, if you see a muffin recipe on the blog, it’s because other people ate it and approved it. Recipe testing method. Continue reading

Basa Fish and Sweet Potato Curry

Fragrant Fish and Sweet Potato Curry by My Little Jar of Spices
I feel like I haven’t blogged in months but it’s only been two weeks or so. But I guess moving to a new country will make you feel like you’ve been that much farther away from the rest of the world. I’ve been in Peru for about a week and it has been a total change of scenery from the bustling, busy, ever-moving, traffic-jammed Sao Paulo. I’m in Cajamarca, in the Northern Andes of Peru, a town of about 200,000 also known for its local specialty of fried guinea pig, its booming Golden Berry farming (Golden Berry, also known as “Incan Berry” or “Pichuberry” was declared one of the superfoods of 2014 in the Huffington Post and withholds a wide range of nutritional benefits), its local dairy and its thermal springs installed in a gem of well-preserved Incan ruins. Not too bad, right? And people, it couldn’t get any more authentic, or “paleo” might I say, than this. Not that I’m living in prehistoric times, Cajamarca is a rather modern, albeit small and traditional, town. But it’s ironic how after talking about the benefits of a paleo diet and lifestyle for months, life put me in a place where I could actually walk the talk. Continue reading

Ecuadorian Coconut Fish Stew (Encocado de Pescado)

Ecuadorian Coconut Fish Stew (Encocado de Pescado) by My Little Jar of Spices

Ecuador is undoubtedly a big part of my life. From the time that I lived there, I quickly developed a strong affection for this small yet unbelievably diverse South American country.  Even after having spent a year there and having traveled several times back, I have never ceased to be amazed by this country’s unmatched beauty and nature. Not to mention its incredibly friendly population and delicious cuisine. And although I have come to know the country rather well , I still feel I have so much to discover and am hoping to go back for a visit next year to travel in some regions I have not yet explored well. Among the many things I have yet to try in Ecuador, one of my top to-dos is to visit a cloud forest… Food-wise, I can never seem to get enough of the huge diversity of available and affordable fresh fruit and seafood you can find in Ecuador. One of my absolute favorite meals is the Viche de Pescado, a delicious and very fulfilling soup made with fish, sweet potatoes, plantain bananas, ground peanuts and lime juice. Continue reading

Mini Fish Cakes with Spicy Tahini Aioli

Mini Fish Cakes with Spicy Tahini Aioli

Last year, one of my at-the-time roommates who is Jewish invited us to join him in celebrating Rosh Hashannah. I have had my share of Chabbat celebrations but this was a first in celebrating Rosh Hashanah, though I knew a lot about the traditions of this holiday from my grandparents. When I was a child I always anticipated the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippour celebrations in Fall with excitement because, even though we never actually celebrated those holidays with my parents, my grandmother would always send us little individual almond and dried fruit filled breads for each member of the family in a package through the mail.  Even when we lived in the US, she’d Fedex us our little Yom Kippour breads across the Atlantic! We’d have them for breakfast for an entire week and it was the best breakfast of the year. Continue reading

Poached Tilapia in Creamy Coconut-Leek Reduction


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I am so excited to share this recipe, because not only is it incredibly flavorful and healthy, it is also simple and takes 20 minutes to make. My roommate bought some fish for us at the market last Sunday, but since he didn’t have time to cook it, he entrusted me with that task. I guess having a food blog will do that. All of a sudden it’s “hey, plus this can be a post for your blog right?”. However, I was more than happy to give it a go since I have a rather poor repertoire in the fish and seafood section. He told me, “make it simple: a light pan-fried fish with some olive oil would be great”. I agreed. But then…

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