A Baby! Cookies and the Icing ~ Cookies para um Chá de Bebe!

Cookie Recipe by Taste of Home, Icing Recipe by Allrecipes, Photos by Priscillakittycat

Cookie Recipe by Taste of Home, Icing Recipe by Allrecipes, Photos by Priscillakittycat

My circle of friends that are within childbearing age is dwindling. Which means that whenever there’s a baby on the way…we have to celebrate and go all out! For this baby shower I prepared a number of dishes. I also put myself in charge of the games. I love to play board games, card games, dominoes, trivia games, and pretty much anything along those lines. The games were fun (borrowed from Pinterest) and the theme we chose for the shower was oh so cute, elephants.  Both recipes are fail proof!

Sugar Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Chill for 1 hour or until firm.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-in thickness. Cut out with Christmas cookie cutters of your choice. Using a floured spatula, transfer cookies to greased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on wire racks.
  3. Decorate cookies with frosting and colored sugars.

Cookie Icing

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons milk (I used 3 or 4 tsps)
2 teaspoons light corn syrup (i used 3 or 4 tsps)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
assorted icing coloring

  1. In a small bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
  2. Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush.

 

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Ground Beef and Potato Casserole ~ Escondidinho de Carne Moída

Photos by Priscillakittycat, Recipe by Receitas Caseiras

Photos by Priscillakittycat, Recipe by Receitas Caseiras

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Very rare are the days when I am able to do absolutely nothing.  The recent weeks have been hectic to say the least. The good comes with the bad and it all sort of blends together like a blurry photograph.

Today would have been a beach day were it not for the rain.  Instead, I’m on the couch facing two cream-colored armchairs, a black cat on each, and a black Baby Grand Yamaha piano, orange cat resting on top.  I could be doing nothing as they are.  (The average cat sleeps 18 hours a day)  Alternatively, I could try to catch up and post the rapidly growing backlog of recipes and photos. There’s a championship soccer match on TV.  I can watch it while I type this entry.

You’ve probably noticed that this blog lacks recipes that incorporate red meat. Red meat does not appeal to me. I have a hard time eating parts of sentient beings who once had four legs and walked the earth. However, when the need arises for heartier foods and iron in the diet, ground beef does the job.

The name of this Brazilian dish is “Escondidinho”. The word escondidinho is the dimunutive term for hidden. When translated literally it would mean: Little hidden one. The recipe and the concept are straightforward. Cooked ground beef on the bottom of a casserole dish and mashed potatoes on top. Key things to consider: The texture of the mashed potatoes and cooking time of the ground beef. Aim for moist mashed potatoes and moisture in the meat, as well.

1 kg boiled and peeled and mashed potatoes
1 cup hot milk
1 tbsp butter salt chopped parsley
1 tbsp oil
1 kg ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 chopped tomato
50gr grated parmesan cheese

In a bowl mix together the potato, butter, milk and salt with a spoon until the mixture is smooth and light and set aside. (I used the potato masher to accomplish this task) Heat oil in a pan and cook the ground beef. (The recipe says to allow all the liquid to try but I prefer to leave a little moisture) Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5-10 minutes. Add the tomato, salt and parsley. Stir and cook for a few minutes. Level the cooked ground beef into the bottom of a rectangular glass pyrex and carefully cover with the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
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Nem lembro a última vez que pudi ficar um dia enteiro sem fazer absolutamente nada! Desde fevereiro que a vida tem sido uma correria. Entre as coisas boas e as ruins, tudo se mistura e fica parecendo uma foto desfocada.

Hoje teria sido dia de praia…mas choveu. A vista que aprecio neste momento…Duas poltronas brancas com um gato preto esticado em cada. O adorno de destaque no piano é o Neymar, gato peludo cor de abóbora. Os três dormem profundamente. (Um gato dorme em média 18 horas por dia. Êta vida boa!)

Enquanto assisto um campeonato de futebol tento postar pelo menos uma entrada neste blog. Cozinhar é facil…o que demora mesmo é datilografar. Por falta de tempo as fotos e as receitas vão acumulando.

Quando você for preparar o escondidinho, tente deixar um pouco de caldo na carne. Eu coloquei mais leite e manteiga do que é sugerido na receita para que a batata ficasse bem fofa. Usei a receita de um livrinho de banca de revista, “Receitas Caseiras”.

1 kg de batata cozida e amassada
1 xícara (cha) de leite quente
1 colher (sopa) de manteiga
Sal e salsa picada a gosto
1 colher (sopa) de oleo
1 kg carne moída 1 cebola média picada
2 dentes de alho picados
1 tomato maduro picado
50g de queijo parmesão ralado

Em uma tigela misture a batata com o leite e a manteiga, sal e batata com uma colher até obter uma massa leve e lisa. Reserve. Aqueça uma panela com o óleo e refogue a carne até secar a água (eu prefiro a carne mais molhada) Adicione a cebola, o alho e refogue por 5 minutos. Acrescente o tomate, sal, salsa e misture. Coloque em um refratário médio e cubra com o purê reservado. Polvilhe com o parmesão e leve ao forno médio, preaquecido, por 30 minutos. Decore como desejar e sirva em seguida.

 

 

Colombian Beef Rib Soup (Caldo de Costilla) ~ Sopa Colombiana de Batata e Costela

Recipe from a Colombian friend, Photo by Priscillakittycat

Recipe from a Colombian friend, Photo by Priscillakittycat

Someone I love has been sick.  In the hopes that she will regain strength and recover, I’ve been busy in the kitchen.  The person who taught me how to make this soup is a lovely lady.  Now I prepare this soup for another lovely lady.

1   package beef ribs
4   russet potatoes peeled and quartered
¼ finely chopped onion
¼ cube vegetable bouillon
¼ cube beef bouillon
1   tablespoon oil a bunch of chopped cilantro

Heat the oil in a heavy pot on med-high heat. Add the beef ribs and cook until browned, stirring often. (You can leave the fat on the ribs but in this instance, I cut off the fat to keep the soup lite). Add the onion and toss for a few minutes. Season with salt. Pour at least eight cups of water into the pot and boil on med-high heat, partially covered, until the meat is tender, approximately 1 hour but sometimes longer. Add water as necessary. When the meat is tender, add the potatoes and bouillon. Cook until the potatoes are soft. Add the chopped cilantro and serve.

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Alguem que eu amo muito tem estado doente. Quero que ela fique melhor logo e por isto tenho passado muitos horas na cozinha, preparando sopas e outras refeiçoes leves. A pessoa que me mostrou com fazer esta sopa é uma pessoa maravilhosa, igual a pessoa para quem cozinho.

1 pacote de costela de boi
4 batatas descascadas, cada uma cortada em quatro pedacos
¼ de uma cebola picada
¼ cubo de caldo de Knorr, sabor legumes
¼ cubo de caldo de Knorr, sabor carne
1 colher de sopa de oleo
Coentro picado

Aqueca o azeite numa panela pesada, no fogo médio-alto. Adicione a costela e cozinhe, mexendo de vez em quando. Acrescente a cebola e mexa por alguns minutos. Tempere com sal. Adicione pelo menos oito copos de água e deixe ferver durante uma hora ou até a carne amolecer. Adicione mais água a medida que for preciso. Quando a carne estiver mole, adicione a batata e os cubos Knorr. Cozinhe ate as batatas amolecerem. Regue com o coentro e sirva.

Lobster Pasta with Herbed Cream Sauce ~ Massa com Lagosta e Molho Cremoso

Recipe by Epicurious, Photos by Priscillakittycat

Recipe by Epicurious, Photos by Priscillakittycat

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Yum, yum yum.  Seafood is my thing and this is a dish that I’ve wanted to prepare for a long time.  We happened to have the main ingredient (Lobster) in the freezer and I found a recipe that had more than 60 good reviews and 92% said they would make it again.  When all the stars line up, go for it!  I jumped at the chance.

A lovely aroma permeated our home and attracted curious beings, including the four-legged kind.  I had to shoo away the kittens and close the kitchen door.  The final product was exactly what I had hoped for…and more.

8 lobster tails
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 large plum tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 fresh tarragon sprigs
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 fresh Italian parsley sprigs
6 cups whipping cream
1 1/2 pounds fettuccine or linguine

Cut open the lobster tails and remove the meat from each, keeping the meat in one piece. Remove the guts.  Heat oil in heavy large pot over high heat. Add lobster meat and shells to the pot. Sauté 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add tomato paste; stir 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, wine, vinegar, garlic, tarragon, thyme, and parsley. Add cream; boil 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer just until lobster flavor infuses cream, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. (I allowed it to simmer longer, to thicken the sauce) Strain sauce into large bowl. Discard contents of strainer. (I kept some of the herbs from the strainer and threw them back into the sauce).

Transfer sauce to a heavy large saucepan. Cut the lobster meat into bite-size pieces. Add to sauce. Gently rewarm over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain; return pasta to pot. Add sauce; toss over medium-high heat until sauce coats pasta, about 5 or 6 minutes. Season with salt, if necessary, and serve.

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Ummm, delicia! Ja faz um bom tempo que quero preparar este prato. Encontrei a receita na net e as lagostas no freezer. Quando as oportunidades se apresentam, agarre! Foi tudo que eu esperava…e mais. Todo mundo de barringuinha cheia, coração feliz.

8 lagostas
2 colheres de sopa de azeite de oliva
¼ de um copo de polpa de tomate
3 tomates ameixa grandes picados
1/3 de um copo de vinho branco seco
2 colheres de sopa de vinagre de vinho branco
4 dentes de alho, fatiados
4 espigas da herva tarragon
4 espigas de tomilho
4 espigas de salsinha picadas
6 copos de crème de leite fresco
2 kilos de massa (fettuccine ou linguine)

Corte as cascas das lagostas e retire a carne. Limpe e remova as tripas.  Aqueça o azeite no fogo médio-alto numa panela pesada e grande. Adicione a carne da lagosta e as cascas. Refogue durante três minutos. Acrescente a polpa do tomate e misture durante mais uns tres minutos. Junte os tomates, o vinho, alho, vinagre, tarragon, tomilho, e a salsa. Adicione o crème de leite fresco e deixe ferver durante 2 minutos. Reduza o fogo. Deixe cozinhar em fogo brando até que o molho pegue o sabor da lagosta e das cascas. A receita manda cozinhar durante 20 minutos, mexendo de vez em quando. Eu deixei quase uma hora para o molho engrossar. Coe o molho, deixando algumas hervas nele.

Corte a carne da lagosta em pedaços pequenos e devolva para o molho. Esquente o molho enquanto a massa cozinha. Quando a massa estiver pronta e coada, junte ao molho e cozinhe no fogo médio-alto durante uns 5 minutos.