Friday, October 26, 2012


handmade kuna sailoboat. San Blas Islands, Panama
I never believed in this so called "writers block" thing. That was just some lame excuse a few professional writers made up when their publishers called, and they were too hungover, too many days in a row to deliver the goods. So writers block is like some professional procrastination, right?

Well, for the past 2 months, I have looked at my blog title up in my bookmark bar, and can NOT bring myself to hit the button. Laziness, jet lag, busy, bad internet, new computer..... all have been exercised as brilliant excuses to keep me from writing about the Gypsy Chef. And then!! People that actually read this thing brought it to my attention. Like multiple times. It's not as if I have been cooking through 5 countries this summer, and have absolutely nothing to show from it! I do have 3 new sassy Colombian bikinis, and an overwhelming desire to eat areapa de huevo each and everyday, but have still written nothing.

So the night before I get on a plane (AGAIN!!!!) I am writing.

last night in Cartagena, Colombia

Topic to ponder: Shyness.

#1. Discuss shyness in attending to blog (you may re-read above at your convenience)

#2 Shyness of love-
A true Gypsy travels alone, wandering the streets, falling in love with empty bottles of Italian wine, ticket purchases, or the perfect scarf (to add to the backpack full of perfect scarves.) But how can a Gypsy fall in love and keep on Gypsying??? Well, when he has blue eyes, sailor scruff, and equally lacks a home in his quest for worldly connection.... you just figure it out. Oh that reminds me, please insert "Love" to the list of excuses in above paragraph. But there really is no shyness here, not even a twinge of cynical anti-male comments to follow. In fact, its all set and done. We will find a cave in some mountain, some where in the world, and make babies and cheese while growing old together.
Thats if two nomads can decide on one place in the world to live....

#3 Lack of shyness in the form of cookie consumption.
These cookies may have topped any (and I mean any...) childhood or adult dream of the perfect chocolate chip wonder. The craziest part of all, is that they are made completely and entirely with whole wheat flour! Think of the cookie love child from a Digestive biscuit, graham cracker, and chocolate chip cookie- a ménage a trois, or the Holy Trinity of cookie creations. I am sold!!

And as a pledge for forgiveness in my blog negligence, I ask that you take this recipe (even better, just buy the book- It's aaaamazing!) and that you promptly fall in love without any respective shyness.
Shy Kuna girl selling bracelets in San Blas, Panama

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies- Adapted from Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
2 sticks (8 oz.) cold, unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped into ¼- and ½-inch pieces, or bittersweet chips

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, and preheat to 350°F.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, and whisk to blend.

Put the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, mix just until the butter and sugars are blended, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the bowl, and blend on low speed until the flour is just incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the chocolate, and mix on low speed until combined.

Drop approximately 3 T of dough per cookie down onto lined sheet pans, leaving about 3 inches between each cookie. Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes rotating the sheets halfway through, until the cookies are evenly browned. Cool and enjoy!

Gypsy portrait in Cartagena, Colombia

Lots of love from transitional shyness.