Thursday, February 23, 2012

This is me NOT sticking to one of my New Year Resolutions

The bangs are back.Did you know one nostril is more dominant than the other?
I made a few New Year Resolutions; stick to a budget, make new friends and the oh so typical eat healthier/loose weight.
I've been amazing at making a budget and sticking to it. I now know we can survive off of just my income and be completely happy, so now when David gets a job it will all be gravy, or savings to buy a house. We've been good about making an effort to meet new people and I feel we have been pretty successful! My down's soo good with that creamy sauce or deep fried.
So while still really trying to change a lifestyle I've been used to for my whole life, I've also eaten some delicious not so healthy food. And why not take pictures of it because food's not only yummy but pretty.
Sushi night with Paulette
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Beer Tastings
Talapia with a curry coconut sauce at Safari Restaurant
Crepes- Gorgonzola, pear, walnuts and honey!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Our first Valentine's Day- Married

Valentine's day in the past really had no significance in Paraguay. Now a days its becoming more and more popular because of the growing American culture influence on Paraguayan adolescents due to the Internet becoming more accessible.
The past two Valentine's days David and I didn't do anything. Its not just that they don't celebrate it in Paraguay its also because I believe its a holiday designed for people to spend money. I know that David loves me and I love him and we don't need to prove it by spending crazy amounts of money. Every day we tell each other how much we love each other therefore Valentine's day is just like any other day.
So now I guess I sound like a hypocrite when I say I was excited for Valentine's Day this year. Maybe it's because we're married, in the states and all of the propaganda got to me and made me want a special night with my husband, who knows. But I was super excited when I came home to this...
And I made this delicious "postre" for us to share!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bomb Falafel فلافل ‎

Last night Patrick came over for dinner and we enjoyed a delicious meal cooked by, me!
Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas and/or fava beans. Falafel is usually served in pita, which acts as a pocket, or wrapped in a flat bread known as lafa. The falafel balls are topped with salads, pickled vegetables, hot sauce, and drizzled with tahini-based sauces. Falafel balls may also be eaten alone as a snack or served as part of a meze. Generally accepted to have first been made in Egypt, falafel has become a dish eaten throughout the Middle East. The copts of Egypt claim to have first made the dish as a replacement for meat during Lent. The fritters are now found around the world as a replacement for meat and as a form of street food. (wikipedia)
Falafel is DELICIOUS. In Barcelona there is a chain called Maoz Vegitarian, a little tiny whole in the wall shop on Las Ramblas that had yummy Falafel and Hummus. The selling point for me was there was a self service salad bar where you would stuff your pita full of veggies from broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes and many many more and then you had your choice of sauces. We would stand there and eat our Maoz when we would run out of veggies you could just fill it up again! It was the most amazing lunch spot ever! See the veggi bar below!
So last night I was craving falafel and decided to make my own. And I don't want to brag but...It was pretty darn good.
The Recipe
- 1 can garbanzo beans
- 1 whole onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Handful of chopped parsley
- 1 Tbs of olive oil
- 1/2 lemon squeezed
- cumin
- coriander
- cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup of bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp of baking powder
I blended all the ingredients together in the blender but a food processor would have worked MUCH better. Then I made a yogurt sauce.
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- dill weed
- lemon juice
- 1/2 cucumber (seeded and finely chopped)
-salt and peeper
Then we stuffed pita with the falafel, sauce, lettuce and tomato and paired it with a nice cold Red Chair Deschutes Brewery Beer!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Paraguayan Food

Without almidon making chipa may be difficult.
Or if you are lazy and live in Seattle and want an empanada

Green Card Interview

5 Months!

It's been 5 months since David and I made our journey to the United States. 5 months of new experiences, good times and changes.

About 30 days after we were married David and I filed the applications for the I-485 (application for permanent residence (green card)) and the I-765 (application for work authorization). The I-765 is filed because the green card usually takes awhile so if you file for the I-765 you can legally work in the meantime.

A month after filing we received an appointment notice for the biometrics interview. So we went to the Department of Homeland Security office in Seattle and David had his picture and finger prints taken and then we were sent home. Not really knowing what was going to happen next. I assumed that the EAD (employment authorization document) would arrive shortly and David could start looking for work...

We then received our notice ( a month after the biometrics interview) for David's permanent residence (green card) interview that would be on February 1, 2012. At this point we still hadn't received the EAD card. Then a week before the interview David received his EAD card!!! Yay! I was excited that he was officially allowed to work but at the same time a little bitter. The application for this work authorization card cost about $100. And it came a week before the interview for permanent residence. I was thinking "what a waste of $100". I was thinking the EAD card was useless because we'd go to the interview, in a week, and the green card would be approved then he'd be a permanent resident and allowed to work and wouldn't need the EAD card.

Well we went to the interview yesterday, February 1st 2012. We took a translator with us because it would have been a conflict of interest if I, the wife, translated for David. The interview was SOO weird.

I had researched about these interviews and we were totally ready for tons of personal questions about each others families and about our marriage. My cousin and her husband also just did the green card interview and they told us to be ready to answer biographical questions about each other and other personal questions. Well the interviewer asked David how we met. He answered in English. She asked me where I worked. She asked us how the wedding was. We then showed her pictures. She asked ME to identify my family members. She asked how many people attended. She asked if we had a ceremony in Paraguay, we showed pictures of our going away party with his family and she asked DAVID to identify his family members. She then asked for proof of shared finances and that we live in the same place and that I've changed my name. I gave her all of our bank statements, lease agreement, health insurance etc. Then she asked the generic questions like if David's been involved in terrorist actives, if he's been involved in prostitution etc.

Then it was over. She asked NO personal questions. She said she didn't think they'd be needing any more documents from us. And that we'd be getting a letter in the mail with the answer. I asked how long and she said "as soon as possible".

Why didn't she ask any personal questions? I guess we should be happy that it went so quickly and was super easy. But its nerve racking that your future is in someone elses hands. What if they are having a bad day and say "no"? Was it so obvious that we are happily married that she didn't need to ask any questions? I had my dad call my aunt to see if my cousin and her husband got an answer the same day as their interview. They didn't. Their interviewer told them it could be 2 weeks to 3 months to get the letter in the mail!!!

So now I don't think the EAD card was a waste of money. Because if it takes 3 months to get the green card David wouldn't be able to start looking for work until then. He's English is improving rapidly and he is anxious to get out of the house. We've started working on his resume and hopefully within the next few days he can start applying for jobs!