Since beginning this blog in January of 2013, I have done my best to keep the content light and fun.  Over the years, there have been some short gaps in time where I was busy or the words wouldn’t flow from my mind to the keyboard and that was fine.  I was sparing you.

The gap from March 2020 to October 2020 has been the longest comment-free gap by far.  Believe me, I’ve wanted to write something and share a recipe but couldn’t think of anything positive to offer.  I was hoping things would get better.  I was hoping COVID would go away.   I even launched a baking business, Kitty Cat Artisan Confections, dedicated to the welfare of cats and other animals in our community.

Don’t misunderstand me.  It’s not that I have nothing to be thankful for.  I am surrounded by caring friends and family.  For this I am so grateful.

Unfortunately, despite all the loving people in the world, there are those who live to remind us that evil exists.  My sweet old cat, Bibu, was the victim of animal cruelty on September 23, 2020.  Death is hard to deal with and impossible to forget.  Every being’s death leaves a sore spot on the hearts of those left behind.  The heart hurts for a very long time.  Then hopefully it becomes a little less painful.  I know this.  I’ve been through losses and I have gotten through them.

But it hurts so much more when the death is tragic.  It is harder when the thoughts keep you up at night, thinking and thinking, when you no longer want to eat.  Instead fear and anxiety eat away at you.  It is harder when you want to turn back the clock and re-do that day so that you could have been there, seen something, done something to stop it all from happening.  This grief is intense.

It is ironic that on the very same day Kitty Cat Artisan Confections was launched to support the welfare of cats in our community, my Bibu was harmed.

Bibu, I promise you did not die in vain my sweet boy.  Whether through Kitty Cat Artisan Confections or via other means, I will continue to help the most vulnerable animals who come into my life.  I miss you dearly and am so deeply sorry for your suffering.  You will always be in my heart.

Shrimp Scampi with Pasta ~ Camarão Scampi com Macarrão

Photos by Priscillakittycat, Recipe by JustJen for

In follow up to the last post about setting attainable goals…I read somewhere that October is the month we kick off our downward spiral into holiday obesity.  Combine this shrimp scampi with Fettuccine…and it’s a win-win situation in that you satisfy the extra carbs, wine and butter daily nutritional requirement that will keep you on that downward spiral.  Don’t mind if I do!

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, or to taste

*I almost always double (or triple) these ingredients:  garlic, shrimp, butter, olive oil, and parsley.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; cook linguine in boiling water until nearly tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes in the hot butter and oil until shallots are translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Season shrimp with kosher salt and black pepper; add to the skillet and cook until pink, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove shrimp from skillet and keep warm.

Pour white wine and lemon juice into skillet and bring to a boil while scraping the browned bits of food off of the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in skillet, stir 2 tablespoons olive oil into butter mixture, and bring to a simmer. Toss linguine, shrimp, and parsley in the butter mixture until coated; season with salt and black pepper. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil to serve.

Eita gente…o Natal vem aí.  Chegou a época de nos esbaldar…comida boa, vinho, cerveja, qualquer coisa que os amigos despejarem no nosso copo.  Sem duvida Outubro é o mês em que iniciamos o espiral descendente da obesidade.

Quem ta na chuva é pra molhar, não é?  Este camarão ao molho scampi…com fettuccine…dá pra pre-encher o requerimento diario de gordura (manteiga), sal, carboidrato e vinho!

2 colheres (sopa), azeite de oliva extra-virgem
2 chalotas, picadas
2 dentes de alho, picadinhos
pimenta malagueta seca (a gosto/opcional)
1/2 kilo de camarão descascado e limpo
Sumo de 1 limão siciliano
2 colheres (sopa) de manteiga
2 colheres (sopa) de azeite extra virgem
1/4 copo de salsinha picada
1 colher (chá) de azeite de oliva extra-virgem/a gosto
*Eu sempre adiciono o dobro de quase todos os ingredientes:  alho, manteiga, azeite de oliva e salsinha.

Coloque agua numa panela grande e leve para ferver.  Cozinhe o linguine até o ponto “al dente”, e escorra o macarrão.

Enquanto o macarrão cozinha, derreta 2 colheres (sopa) do azeite com as duas colheres de manteiga numa frigideira grande.  Cozinhe as chalotas, o alho e a pimenta na mistura de manteiga e oleo quente até as chalotas ficarem transparentes (uns 4 minutos).

Tempere os camarões com sal e junte na frigideira, até ficarem rosados (3 minutos).  Retire o camarão e reserve.  Despeje o vinho e o sumo de limão na frigideira e misture com uma colher de pau, raspando o fundo da panela.   Derreta mais duas colheres de manteiga na frigideira e mais azeite de oliva.  Deixe fervilhar.  Adicione o linguine ja cozido, o camarão e a salsinha.  Regue com azeite de oliva e sirva.


Pane Marino (Rosemary and Sea Salt Bread ~ Pão de Alecrim e Sal Marinho)

Photo by Priscillakittycat, Recipe by The Italian Baker

The mercury is still well into the 80s, so it isn’t that.  No leaves turning colors in “The 305”, either.  We do follow the same calendar as the rest of the U.S., though.  That means Halloween is around the corner and pumpkin patches have sprung up around towns across the country.

This Saturday I promised myself I would give up bread and sugar.  Next day was Sunday and I baked two loaves of Pane Marino, recipe taken straight from the book, The Italian Baker.  Look people.  It’s Fall.   Set realistic goals.  Quit carbs after the New Year.

I eagerly started this blog entry because I thought I could just copy and paste the recipe from one of my past posts.  To my dismay…a search of the blog revealed that I have never shared the recipe for Pane Marino with you.  Now comes the dilemma.  To share or not to share?  The answer isn’t that simple.  The recipe comes from a book and books have plagiarism protection.  Sooo…you will have to buy the book to get the recipe.  Or…you can run a Google search and find out if any outlaws dared to share.

Outubro nos Estados Unidos.  Enquanto os residentes do norte desfilam pelas ruas de casaco e cachecol…o povo de Miami anda quase pelado.  A praia está otima.  Ainda pegamos aquele sol de rachar.

No sabado coloquei o bikini…em pleno outono…e resolvi deixar de comer pães e açucar.  No dia seguinte (domingo) fiz este pão Italiano.  Tem de ser realista, gente.  Escolher metas atingiveis.  Façamos o regime depois das festas.

Quanto ao pão, nota dez.  Pena que não posso compartilhar os detalhes sobre a receita porque tirei de um livro…e os livros não podem ser copiados.  Mas ’tá ai pra voces, a foto do livro, “The Italian Baker”.  Recomendo para quem coleciona livros de receita.  A escritora do livro morou na Italia durante muitos anos e conviveu com padeiros em todas as regiões para aprender os truques, detalhe por detalhe.  Alem disso ela adaptou as receitas para o publico Americano e oferece opções para quem prepara o bolo a mão ou quem prepara usando processador.  Arrasou!


Corn-Studded Corn Muffins ~ Muffins de Fubá e Milho Fresco

Recipe by Food & Wine Magazine, Photo by Priscillakittycat

People often consider Buddhists, yogis and meditators the same thing.  I suppose in some ways they are.  For example, each is based on the belief that we should let things come to us as they are instead of resisting what is here and now.  In yoga, the body is capable of certain things one day and other things another day.  You pay attention to the body and you do what you can, without stressing or straining.  Meditators let the mind go where it wishes, without trying to change thoughts or emotions because eventually they will pass.  Meditators are taught to be present for the thoughts and to accept them.  Buddhism also teaches that we should not resist or try to change the natural order of things that happen in our lives.  But even with some accumulated knowledge of and respect for the three practices, it isn’t easy to accept everything that happens in our world.

Environmental disasters are especially hard to accept.  A deep pain grips at my heart.  There is also some anger at the human race for ultimately being the source of environmental disasters.  Very recently, an environmental disaster occurred in Brazil.  A dam that held residue from an iron-ore mine in the state of Minas Gerais collapsed after heavy rains.  The collapse sent a river of mud through the mining area and facility.  Hundreds of mine employees and workers are missing.  Entire farms and ranches in the area were wiped out.  How do you accept something like this?  Impossible.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup finely ground cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
Kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from about 1 1/2 ears)
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons honey

Preheat the oven to 350° and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or foil liners. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and 1 teaspoon of salt. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the buttermilk and melted butter. Whisk in the dry ingredients, then fold in the corn kernels.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean. Let the corn muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

In a small bowl, whisk the mascarpone with the honey and a pinch of salt. Serve with the muffins.  (The corn muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.)

O Budismo ensina que devemos aceitar o que acontece ao nosso redor sem tentar resistir os eventos ou as emoções ruíns que surgem.  A prática de meditação ensina o mesmo.  E, a yoga é uma forma de meditação em que a pessoa aprende a se aceitar, aceitar o seu proprio corpo, do jeito que ele é, com todas as limitações.  Eu entendo e respeito muito as três praticas, mas tem coisa que não dá para aceitar.  A tragédia da Mina de Brumadinho.  Não é possível aceitar quando acontece uma coisa assim.  É um crime causado pelos homens contra a natureza, contra eles mesmo.  Não dá.

1 copo de farinha de trigo
1 copo de farinha de milho, extra fina
½ copo de açucar
1 colher de sopa de pó royal
2 ovos grandes
1 copo de soro de leite (buttermilk), temperatura ambiente
1 copo de grãos de milho verde
½ copo de queijo mascarpone
1 ½ colheres de sopa de mel de abelha

Aqueça o forno e forre as fôrmas de muffin com fôrminhas de papél tipo as de cupcake.  Numa tigela bata a farinha, a farinha de milho, o açucar, o pó royal e uma colher de chá de sal.  Bata os ovos, o leite e a manteiga derretida numa tigela grande.  Incorpore os ingredientes secos e logo acrescente os grãos de milho (não bata a mistura depois de ter acrescentado os grãos.

Use uma colher para despejar a mistura nas fôrminhas.  Leve para assar durante 15-18 minutos.  Deixe os muffins na fôrma por 10 minutos e depois coloque numa grêlha para esfriarem.

Numa tigela pequena bata o mascarpone com o mel de abelha e uma pitada de sal.  Sirva com os muffins.  Os muffins podem ser conservados num Tupperware por até três dias.

Pain au Chocolat ~ Croissant de Chocolate

Recipe by King Arthur Flour Blog, Photo by Priscillakittycat

Oh là là!  I’m feeling so French!  Look at the photo and see how beautiful this croissant dough turned out.

Recently, all the stars aligned for me to prepare these treats.  It takes 3 days to make Pain au Chocolat.  Last Monday was a holiday, which means there was one extra day to bake.  And, today is a rainy day, which, as you can see from the length of the text for this recipe, is perfect for writing and translating.

Don’t be dissuaded when you scroll and see how long the recipe is.  Yes, there are various steps in the process and it’s important to pay attention to each step.  But, this recipe is straightforward and the steps are easy to follow. Pan au Chocolat is made with the same dough as the kind used for croissants.  Therefore, if you “crush it”, you can go out there and tell the world you make homemade croissants.

1 1/2 cups water, milk or a combination
1/4 cup sugar
4 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

24 tablespoons (1 1/2 cups, 3 sticks) unsalted butter, cold

16 or 32 Pain au Chocolat Sticks (depending on whether you want one or two sticks inside each roll)

1 large egg beaten with a pinch of salt

To make the dough: In a large mixing bowl, stir together the water, sugar, 2 cups of the flour, yeast, salt, and butter. Mix until fairly evenly blended.

Add the remaining flour and stir until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Turn the dough out and knead it until it just starts to smooth out. You don’t want to over-knead it at this point, since it’s going to spend a considerable amount of time rising.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise for about an hour, until puffy. (The dough can be prepared to this point in a bread machine with at least a 1 1/2 pound capacity. Simply place all of the ingredients in the bucket, select dough or manual, and press start.)

After an hour at room temperature, refrigerate the dough (in its covered bowl) for 8 to 16 hours; overnight is your best bet.

To prepare the butter: Just before the dough is ready to come out of the fridge, prepare the butter for rolling into the dough. Cut each of the three sticks in half lengthwise and place all six pieces on a floured piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Sprinkle flour on the top surface of the butter, cover with another piece of paper or plastic and gently pound it with a rolling pin until it becomes malleable. Then roll the butter out until it’s about 8″ x 8″.

To assemble the rolls: Remove the dough from the refrigerator, place it on a lightly floured surface and roll it into a 12″ square. Place the butter in the center of the dough at a 45° angle; it’ll look like a diamond inside the square. Fold the four flaps of dough into the center to enclose the butter, pinching them together as best you can.

Roll the dough into a 10″ x 20″ rectangle. Fold one third into the center, then the opposite third over the first, like you were folding a business letter; this is called a leter fold. Turn the dough 90°F, roll it into a 10″ x 20″ rectangle again, and do another letter fold.

Wrap the dough in lightly floured plastic wrap and refrigerate it again for an hour. Remove the dough from the fridge, and give it two more letter folds: rolling, folding, turning 90°, rolling, and folding. Wrap the dough in lightly floured plastic wrap and refrigerate it again for at least 8 hours (or up to 24 hours, until you’re ready to use it).

To finish your pain au chocolat, remove the dough from the refrigerator, cut it in half and return one half to the refrigerator.

Roll the other half out until it’s a generous 8″ x 24″. With a bench knife, cut the dough into eight 4″ x 6″ pieces.

Place one or two pieces of chocolate at one end of each piece and roll it up into a tube. Place, seam side down, on a lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Press down on the tops of the rolls to flatten them into a rectangle shape. Repeat with the remaining dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until they’re light and puffy looking, about an hour.

Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.

Just before baking, brush the egg/salt glaze over the tops of the rolls. Bake the rolls for 18 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool a bit before you bite into them; the structure needs a chance to set.

Store any leftover rolls, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Não é por nada não, mas gente, eu estou boazona…Na cozinha, é claro. No final de semana passado fiz Pain Au Chocolat.  Demora três dias porque a massa tem que descansar durante varios períodos.  A massa em si, é trabalhada muito pouco, mas o tempo de descanso é longo.  Dá para ver pelas fotos que eu acertei na consistência da massa.  Ficou muito linda.  No sabor nem se fala.  Pretendo repetir a receita logo e da próxima vez farei um recheio de crème de pistache.  Água na boca!

1 1/2 copo agua, leite ou uma mistura
1/4 copo açucar
4 1/2 copo farinha de trigo forte
2 1/2 colheres (chá) fermento em pó

2 1/2 colheres (chá) sal
4 colheres (sopa) manteiga sem sal, amolecida

24 colheres (sopa) de manteiga sem sal, fria

16 ou 32 tacos de chocolate, dependendo de quantos quizer colocar em cada pão

1 ovo grande batido com um pouco de sal

Para preparar a massa:  Misture a água, o açucar, 2 copos da farinha, o fermento, sal e a manteiga até que os ingredientes estejam incorporados.  Adicione o restante da farinha e misture até que a massa começe a desgrudar dos lados da tigela.  Vire no counter e sove a massa até começar a ficar quase lisa.  Não sove muito a massa porque ela vai ficar um bom tempo descansando e crescendo.

Coloque a massa numa tigela que foi anteriormente untada com manteiga.  Cubra a tigela e deixe descansar durante uma hora (fora da geladeira), até ficar leve e fofa.

Depois de uma hora, coloque a massa dentro da geladeira (ainda na tigela coberta) durante 8 horas ou até 16 horas.

Para preparar a manteiga: Um pouquinho antes da hora de tirara a massa da geladeira prepare a manteiga para enrollar na massa.
Corte cada uma das barras de manteiga no sentido longitudinal.  Coloco os pedaços, lado a lado num pedaço de papel de sera.  Polvilhe farinha por cima da manteiga e cubra com outro pedaço de papel de cera e bata levemente com um rolo de massa até ficar maleável.  Abra a manteiga até atingir o tamanho de 8 x 8 polegadas.

Para montar os pães:  Retire a massa da geladeira e coloque no counter que foi previamente polvilhado com farinha de trigo.  Abra a massa em forma quadrada de 12 polegadas.  Coloque a manteiga no centro da massa num angulo de 45 graus.  Ficará parecendo um diamante no meio de um quadrado.  Dobre as quatro pontas para dentro para cubrir a manteiga.  Belisque a massa para fechar.

Abra a massa na medida de 10 x 20 polegadas.  Dobre um terço da massa para o centro, e depois o terço do lado oposto por cima do primeiro, com se fosse dobrar a folha de uma carta.  Vire a massa 90 graus e abra novamente na medida de 10 x 20 graus.  Mais uma vez, faça as dobras de carta.

Enrole a massa no papel plastico polvilhado com farinha de trigo.  Coloque na geladeira por uma hora.

Depois que passar uma hora, tire a massa da geladeira e abra outra vez, dobre como uma carta, vire 90 graus, abra.  Faça duas vezes.  Enrole a massa no papel de plastico e deixe na geladeira durante 8 horas ou até 24 horas, até o horário de fazer os pães.

Para fazer os pães, remova a massa da geladeira, corte na metade e devolva uma para a geladeira.

Abra a massa até ficar de um tamanho generoso de 8 x 24 polegadas.  Com uma faca corte a massa em pedaços de 4 x 6 polegadas.

Coloque uns pedaços de chocolate na ponta de um dos pedaços 4 x 6.  Enrole a massa em forma de um tubo.  Coloque num tabuleiro untado com o lado da bainha para baixo.  Repita com as outras massas.  Cubra e deixe crescer num ambiente morno até ficarem leves e fofos (mais ou menos uma hora).

Estando quase na hora de assar, aqueça o forno a 425 F ou 230 C.  Pouqinho antes de assar, pincele uma mistura do ovo batido com uma pitada sal por cima dos pães.  Asse durante 18 a 20 minutos, até que os pães fiquem marrom dorados.  Remova do forno e deixe esfriar um pouco.  A estrutura do pão precisa firmar.

Os pães que sobrarem podem ser guardados em temperatura ambiental, bem embrulhados.  Para guardar durante um periodo mais longo, congele.

Christmas Cookies ~ Cookies de Natal

Photo by Priscillakittycat

Feeling a little blue tonight.  Long story.  Don’t worry.  It’s just a story. One good way to calm the heart and clear the mind is to bake.  The plan was to bake Christmas cookies next weekend.  The plan has changed, as most plans do.  Instead of having Christmas music in the background, Otis Redding is singing “These Arms of Mine”.  Yeah, it’s pretty bad.  I’ve already overcooked burned a batch of cookies while deep in thought.  Did you ever see the YouTube video for the song from Top Gun, “Take My Breath Away”?  I can’t decide which I like better- Tom Cruise or that bomber jacket he wears over a white t-shirt.  Remember the song, “If You Leave” from the band OMD? “Almost Paradise” by Mike Reno and Ann Wilson?  Madonna’s “Crazy for You”. “Sometimes when we touch” courtesy of Dan Hill.  Cheaptrick’s, “The Flame”.  Journey’s “Faithfully”.  Bon Jovi’s, “Never say Good bye”.  Cyndi Lauper with “All Through the Night”.  “I don’t want to talk about it”.  Thank you, Rod Stewart.

The mind can be quite creative when it comes to story-telling.  Have you ever stopped thinking to think about what you were thinking about?  The mind will take you in circles, if you allow it.  Good thing my made up stories usually have happy endings…when they don’t end in goodbye.  Goodbyes are my weakness.

Let’s make up more stories.  Eric Clapton helped me concoct this one.  You’ve surely heard the song…”Wonderful Tonight”.  He says, “I give her the car keys and she helps me to bed”.  Yes, gals.  This great revelation is for you.  He gives you his car keys and lets you drive.  That’s how a guy tells you he loves you.

Then the mind alerts me to a little problem with Eric Clapton’s song.  (You have to listen a few times to notice.) “I give her the car keys and she helps me to bed”.  This means she didn’t actually drive.  He gave her the keys after they were home.  Pay attention to your mind because the same way it got you to believe a story, it can also clarify misunderstandings and get you out of some serious binds.

How about we try to come up with a better story…while Kenny Loggins sings, “Meet me Halfway”.  Here goes:  An airplane high up in the sky…one person traveling to meet the other – halfway.  Oh, wait, that one has a crappy ending, too.

Alright, you’ve heard enough.  Let’s call it quits with Kenny Chesney’s, “You and Tequila”.  Too bad there’s no tequila tonight.  The only real things here are the cookies.

*Note-I wrote the English version of this post more than a week ago.  Sometimes it takes a while to translate, choose a photo and post.  Feelings come and go.  All is good now.  I’m cozy on the couch, the mind is calm…and helps me draft the Portuguese version.

Estou meio triste.  Tudo começou com um adeus.  Nesta época do ano a gente se despede do ano que passou e as vezes das pessoas que fizeram parte de nossas vidas por uma temporada.  Gosto da época das festas mas penso que esqueçemos o propósito do Natal.  Aqui nos Estados Unidos é uma correria.  Você vai no shopping e as pessoas estão estressadas, brigando por vaga no estacionamento, pela ultima camisa tamanho “medium”.  Compra aquilo. Quero aquele. Quero mais. Ta faltando.  Você fez errado.  Estou cansado.

Não seria melhor ficar em casa com a familia e os amigos, conversando, rindo, bebendo todas…ao inves de se acabar para fazer tudo parecer perfeitinho? (Igual nos filmes Americanos)

Resolvi escutar musica de Natal…mas lembrei de uma outra musica e coloquei para tocar.  Virou sessão de musicas antigas. Bem antigas.  Começou com o Otis Redding cantando, “These Arms of Mine”, seguido por “Almost Paradise” de Mike Reno e Ann Wilson.  Você conhece, “Crazy for You” da Madonna?  “All Through the Night” da Cyndi Lauper?  Pois é…a situação não ésta boa.  Já assistiu o clip da musica “Take My Breath Away” do filme “Top Gun”?  Se não, devia assistir no Youtube.  Uma das minhas favoritas…“Wonderful Tonight” do cantor Eric Clapton.

Dificil descrever a sequencia de pensamentos que vem depois de ouvir todas essas musicas.  Geralmente as historias que invento tem finais felizes.  Desta vez complicou.  Melhor a gente fazer uns cookies de Natal.

Shrimp in a Pumpkin ~ Camarão na Moranga

Recipe by CyberCook, Photos by Priscillakittycat

Notice that we unintentionally skipped Halloween.  Rather than making Halloween and Thanksgiving a month apart, let’s just mesh them together in a series of posts.  My brother and his fiancé are in town for Thanksgiving week.  Between their wedding planning activities (wedding is in May), I have a bit of extra time to blog. There’s this cute uncarved pumpkin left over from Halloween and a house full of people to feed.  We have shrimp in the freezer and the other ingredients are around, too.  Enough to make it happen.

Shrimp in a pumpkin is a very Brazilian dish.  We call it Camarão na Moranga.  If you type the name in the blog’s search bar, you will find a different recipe for the same dish many posts back.  I think this one tastes better and it is easier to prepare.   You can always tell when something you cook tastes good, because people who usually don’t complement your food, or anything for that matter, make a complement.

4 tablespoons cilantro and green onions
½ can table cream (I used the whole can)
1 teaspoon sea salt
250 gr requeijão cremoso (you can buy it at a Brazilian supermarket)
¼ cup milk (I used almost one cup)
1 kg peeled and deveined shrimp
1 cup tomato sauce (I used 1 cup tomato sauce and 1 can diced tomatoes)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil (I used way more)
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 medium sized pumpkin

Cut the top off the pumpkin.  (Make the cut large enough that you can easily serve from the top by inserting a soup ladle inside the pumpkin)  Scrape the inside to remove all the seeds and fibers.  I deviated from the recipe her and sprinkled seasoned salt on the inside of the pumpkin, just for a little added seasoning.

Place the pumpkin, opened side down, on a baking sheet.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven on 350 for 30 minutes.  The cooking time will actually depend on your oven, the size of the pumpkin and the thickness of it’s interior.   I had to cook mine for longer, maybe 45-50 min.

When the pumpkin is almost cooked (tender yet firm—does that make sense?), begin to prepare the shrimp.  Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan and add the onions and garlic.  After a few minutes, add the shrimp (previously seasoned with the sea salt), tomatoes, and tomato sauce, and the flour dissolved in the milk.  Let this cook/boil for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the requeijão and table cream that were previously mixed together.  Check the taste and add salt, if necessary.

Use a ladle to add the shrimp mixture to the inside of the still-hot pumpkin.  Return to the oven and bake for another 30 minutes.  Note-if you fill the pumpkin to the top with the shrimp, the pumpkin may expand and overflow during baking.  The pumpkin is ready when soft to the touch and the shrimp mixture bubbles.  You have to eyeball the “done-ness” of the pumpkin. In this case, I turned up the heat to 375F for about 12 minutes.  If you overbake the filled pumpkin, it could collapse into a blob.  It hasn’t happened to me…but it can happen.  Also, when it’s time to remove the pumpkin from the baking sheet, use a large/wide spatula on either side.  Carefully lift the pumpkin using the spatulas and transfer to the dish.

Saltamos o Halloween, pulamos para a semana de Thanksgiving, voltamos para o Halloween.  Pelo menos assim será na sequencia do blog.  O meu irmão e a noiva dele estão aqui essa semana para planejar o casamento que será em maio.  Tem muita gente em casa para alimentar e sobrou uma moranga do Halloween.  Os outros ingredientes são fáceis de encontrar.  Vamos lá!

4 colheres (sopa) de cheiro-verde
1/2 unidade de creme de leite sem soro
pimenta-do-reino branca a gosto
1 colher (café) de sal marinho
250 gr de requeijão
1/4 xícara (chá) de leite
1 kg de camarão cinza limpo
1 xícara (chá) de molho de tomate
2 unidades de alho picado finamente
1 unidade de cebola picada finamente
2 colheres (sopa) de azeite
2 colheres (sopa) de farinha de trigo
1 unidade de abóbora moranga

Corte uma tampa na superfície superior da moranga e reserve. Retire as sementes com o auxílio de uma colher. Cubra a moranga com papel-alumínio e coloque em uma assadeira com a cavidade voltada para baixo. Leve ao forno pré-aquecido a 180 graus até que a moranga esteja macia e reserve.

Em uma panela aqueça o azeite e refogue a cebola picada e o alho picado. Acrescente o molho de tomate, os camarões temperados com sal e pimenta, a farinha de trigo dissolvida no leite, o sal e a pimenta. Tampe e deixe ferver por 5 minutos. Retire do fogo e misture o requeijão já misturado com o creme de leite sem soro. Faça a correção do sal e da pimenta, se necessário.

Recheie a moranga com este creme e leve ao forno pré-aquecido a 180 graus por aproximadamente 25 minutos. Polvilhe com o cheiro verde e decore a superfície com camarões grandes cozidos em água e sal.

Obs.  No blog tem outra receita para camarão na moranga, mas esta é mais saborosa.

Roasted Vegetable Spread ~ Bruschetta de Legumes

Recipe by my friend Ricardo, Photos by Priscillakittycat

Here’s something you can serve to guests and they’ll think you spent hours in the kitchen.  The superstars here are the herbs and vegetables.  Together they create a lovely taste.  Speaking of hours…there’s this book called “Outliers”.  It’s by Malcolm Gladwell.  In the book, Gladwell says that people who get really good at something spend an average of 10,000 hours practicing the activity.  I’ve got at least that many cooking hours in me.  Now I just need to find that many hours for the drawing and painting.  Does the 10,000 hours theory mean I won’t become a good arteeest for another 20 years?

Spread cubed eggplant, red or yellow onions, and red, yellow and orange peppers on a baking sheet.  Drizzle olive oil on top and add salt.  Cover with foil and bake at 400F until soft, about 40 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake about 15 – 30 minutes longer.  Place vegetables in a bowl and add plenty more olive oil, oregano, salt and chopped green olives.  You may also add italian herb seasoning.  I like to use both italian seasoning and fresh herbs from the garden, including chives, oregano, basil, and thyme.  Refrigerate and serve the following day with baguette slices.

Tem um livro chamado “Outliers”, escrito pelo autor Malcolm Gladwell.  No livro o Gladwell fala que para a pessoa ficar craque numa atividade ela deve praticar em média 10,000 horas.  Posso dizer que já acumulei pelo menos 10,000 horas na cozinha. Cuidando animais, também!  Agora só falta conseguir encaixar 10,000 horas para o desenho e a pintura.
Aqui tá um tira gosto que demora pouco para preparar, mas as pessoas vão pensar que você ficou horas na cozinha.  Corte os legumes (beringela, pimentão vermelho e amarelo, e cebola amarela ou vermelha) em cubos e espalhe sobre uma assadeira.  Cubra com papel alumínio e asse no forno pre-aquecido (200C) durante 40 minutos.  Retire o papel alumínio e deixe assar mais uns 15 a 30 minutos, até os legumes ficarem macios.  Transfira para uma tigela e acrescente bastante azeite de oliva, oregano, manjericão, e tomilho.  As ervas frescas podem ser substituidas por tempero italiano. Sirva com pão francês.  O sabor fica melhor se ficar na geladeira durante algumas horas.

Valentine’s Day Cookies ~ Cookies Para o Dia dos Namorados

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

Just when you think life is going smoothly…the road gets bumpy.  Things you never thought would happen, happen.  There are two ways I see life.  When all is in order, I picture a white sand beach, gentle waves, sunshine and a light, cool breeze.  After the beach, a nap.  When there is disorder, it’s like a mass of people with muddy sneakers and greasy hair in the street, indulging in food, drink and other pleasurable activities.

Lately it has been a mix of both.  A trip for work here, a vacation there.  A sick pet today, a healthy one tomorrow.  Family in town to brighten two weeks of your life…and help you indulge in the food, drink and other pleasurable activities.  Then the house is quiet again…almost sad.

Red roses surprise you on Valentine’s Day.  Your nephew, even though he is less than one month old, smiles when you say “’Tia Kittycat’ loves you.”  You plan your days and wish there were more time to accomplish all the things you want to do.  Paint, run, practice yoga, cook, write on the blog, play with cats, rescue cats, grant wishes, go to the beach and practice Italian.  Tomorrow I will do this, the next day I will do that.  Then the Ferris Wheel of Life makes another round and you acknowledge that the best days are those you don’t plan for.

I prepared the dough for these cookies on a Monday and planned to bake them that same night so they could be iced on Tuesday…for someone special on Valentine’s Day (Wednesday).  I watched a Brazilian soap opera (novella) while I prepared the dough on Monday night (bad decision) I messed up the dough because—oops, I doubled the amount of butter.  I was sorta (it’s sorta not a proper word) able to fix the error by adding more flour and sugar…but there wasn’t enough time to roll out the dough and bake the cookies.

I left the dough in the fridge and called it a night.  I expected it to become solid as cement and useless for baking the next day.  Valentine’s Day would surely be ruined.  LOL

After work on Tuesday, I took out the dough and let it sit for an hour.  Guess what?  It became workable.  I rolled out the dough, cut out the heart shapes, baked, iced, and decorated the cookies, all on the same night.  What a feat!  Remember, the best days are those that aren’t planned.  By the way, calm and chaos are the best combination.

Note: To find the recipe for the cookies and icing, just type cookies into the search bar and the recipe will pop up.  Or go to the post dated May 26, 2016.

Vejo a vida de duas formas.  As vezes é um dia tranquilo de sol, areia branca, ondas calmas e outras vezes é um carnaval agitado em que as pessoas brincam na rua, soadas, de cabelo molhado e tênis sujo. Ultimamente tem sido as duas coisas.  Um viagem a trabalho aqui, férias alí.  Um gatinho doente hoje, outro com saúde amanha.  A familia chega do Brasil para alegrar a vida, depois vai embora e deixa saudade.  A casa fica triste.

Chega uma caixa de rosas vermelhas no trabalho de surpresa.  O sobrinho lindo sorri quando a tia faz gracinha para ele.  As coisas boas sobressaem.
Estes cookies foram feitos numa semana muito caotica.  Quase desisiti…e chutei o balde.  Resolvi fazer outra tentativa.  Quando é feito com carinho, tudo da certo.
Obs. A receita já esta no blog, em uma postagem anterior…de maio 2016.


Vizcaina Style Codfish ~ Bacalhau à Vizcaína

Recipe by Cocina Criolla, Photos by priscillakittycat

It’s holiday time.  In our house it means we cook for crowds, drink beer and wine, laugh and play.  The cats get happy because I’m home more often.  They stay up late and wreack havoc.  You have no idea the things they do.  A week ago I had to take two of them to the emergency room late at night…because they were acting lethargic and vomiting…and may have ingested poisonous lilies.  The bill was $1,400 for overnight aggressive fluid therapy to flush the kidneys

If you have pets, you should know there are many foods and plants that will poison them:  Avocados, raisins, onions, garlic, macadamia nuts, grapes, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, lilies, and poinsettias, among others.  My brother’s poodle (Pierre) had to have his stomach pumped with that charcoal stuff last year because he found his way into a Christmas gift basket that contained chocolate.  The damage caused by poisons to pets is often irreversible and can lead to death or chronic and acute conditions such as kidney failure.  Take care of your pets this holiday season and keep them away from the stuff that humans eat.  Thankfully, Pierre the dog made it through that ordeal…and my kitties, Neymar and Caipirinha, are fine, too.

All of the aforementioned has a bit to do with the recipe below.  The recipe contains onions and raisins, two ingredients that are toxic to dogs and cats.  Never let raisins/grapes fall on the floor when you have pets!  Most pets shun onions so you don’t have to worry as much about those.


1 lb salted cod-fish filets (I use more)
1 lb peeled and thinly sliced (crosswise) potatoes
2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced (crosswise)
½ cup tomato sauce (I use more)
½ cup water
½ cup olive oil (I use more)
2 red bell peppers, cut in pieces
¼ cup pimiento-stuffed olives
1 tablespoon capers
½ cup raisins (I use more)
3 cloves garlic
2 Bay leaves

The day/night before you prepare this dish, place the codfish filets in a large bowl with cold water. Change the water at least three times over the course of 12 – 18 hours.  When ready to cook, lay the codfish filets in a deep and heavy pot.  Pour boiling water over the codfish, cover the pot and let sit for 20 minutes.  The codfish will cook in the hot water.  No need to turn on the stove. Remove the codfish from the pot and break into small pieces, removing the skin and any stray bones.

In a very large pot, place layers of potatoes and codfish, alternating with the onions.  Distribute the other ingredients between the layers.  I mixed all the other ingredients in a bowl and added them as a sauce to each layer.  You can also just distribute the ingredients item by item, as you wish.

Cook, uncovered, on high heat until the mixture starts to boil.  Reduce the heat, cover and cook for another 30 minutes or until the potatoes are done.  Serve with some good bread or on a bed of rice.

Chegou a época das festas.  A nossa casa fica cheia. Fazemos jantares e reuniões, bebemos vinho e cerveja…e quando faz frio…tomamos um chocolate quente com biscoitos. Cantamos, rimos e brincamos.  É nesta época que os meus gatos viram uns terrores.  Eles ficam felizes porque passo mais tempo em casa.  Você nem imagina o trabalho que dão.

Na semana passada, de madrugada, tive de levar o Neymar e a Caipirinha para o hospital porque estavam vomitando e passando mal.  Provavelmente ingeriram plantas venenosas.  A brincadeira custou $1,400.  O Pierre, poodle de meu irmão, também ja foi internado porque comeu chocolate.  Felizmente todos passam bem.
Escrevo tudo isto para alertar as pessoas que tem animais e avisar que existem muitas comidas e plantas venenosas para os seres queridos peludos. Por exemplo, as uvas passas, cebola, o alho, chocolate, álcool, café, abacate, etc.  Quando for preparar esta receita de Bacalhau, não deixe nenhuma das uvas passas ou cebola cairem no chão.
1 kg de bacalhau salgado
1 kg de batatas descascadas e cortadas em rodelas finas
2 cebolas médias, descascadas e cortada em rodelas finas
½ copo de molho pomodoro (eu uso mais)
½ copo de agua
½ copo de azeite de oliva (eu uso mais)
2 pimentões vermelhos, cortados em pedaços
¼ copo de azeitonas
1 colher de sopa de alcaparras
½ copo de uvas passas (eu coloco mais)
3 dentes de alho
2 folhas de loro
Na noite antes de preparar o bacalhau, deixe o bacalhau de molho na água fria.  Troque a água pelo menos três vezes durante a noite ou de manha.  Coloque os filets do bacalhau numa panela e jogue agua fervendo por cima.  Tampe a panela e deixe o bacalhau cozinhar na água quente sem ligar o fogo.  Retire o bacalhau da água e desfie (em lascas).Ponha o bacalhau e as batatas numa panela grande, funda e pesada alternando com os demais ingredientes.  (Fica mais fácil se juntar todos os demais ingredientes numa tigela e despejar sobre cada camada de batata e bacalhau.)  Cozinhe no fogo alto até ferver.  Diminua o fogo e tampe a panela.  Cozinhe por uns 30 minutos ou até as batatas amoleçerem.  Sirva com arroz ou um bom pão.

S’mores Pops

Recipe by Inspired Taste, Photo by Priscillakittycat

I should be studying for Italian class but CSI Miami is on.  I love Horatio Caine.  Tomorrow morning there’s yoga.  Then the ‘Canes game.  Followed by Fritz & Franz for Oktoberfest.  Will there be time for Italian on Sunday?

I made these S’mores Pops for my brother and his wife’s Baby Shower.  They called it a Baby Q.  It was a Barbecue.  Get it?  Baby Q.  It was cute…and the S’mores match the theme.  No effort required for these delectable treats.  The spongy, sweetness in the marshmallow, the silky texture of high-quality dark chocolate and the crunchiness of grahams.  I borrowed this recipe, if you want to call it an official recipe, from a blog called Inspired Taste.

Eu devia estar estudando para a aula de italiano mas tá passando CSI Miami na televisão.  Adoro o Horatio Caine.  O fim de semana promete.  Tem yoga amanha cêdo.  Depois vou no jogo de futebol americano dos Miami Hurricanes.  No bar alemão (Fritz & Franz) tem festa de Oktoberfest.  Será que vou ter tempo para estudar no Domingo?

Fiz estes S’mores Pops para o Chá de Bebê de meu futuro sobrinho.  Foi um “Baby Q“.  (Barbecue).  Os Americanos fazem s’mores a noite, sentados ao redor da fogueira.  Bolachas Graham, marshmallow e chocolate.  A versão tradicional parece um sanduiche. (Veja no Google) Copiei a receita de um blog chamado Inspired Taste.  É só derreter chocolate de alta qualidade, molhar o marshmallow rapidamente no chocolate, e passar nas bolachas amassadas.

Brazilian Shrimp and Yuca Stew ~ Bobó de Camarão

Photo by Priscillakittycat

Photo by Priscillakittycat

This is the food I want to eat and go into a “food coma” with.  There exists nothing better.  You can find the recipe in an old post dated January 18, 2015.

É depois de comer um Bobó de Camarão que eu quero entrar em “coma de comida”.  Você pode ver a receita completa numa postagem anterior (Janeiro 18, 2015).

Ameijoas a Bulhão Pato ~ Portuguese Style Clams

Ameijoas a Bulhao Pato, Photo by Priscillakittycat

Ameijoas a Bulhao Pato, Photo by Priscillakittycat

1 kg clams
4 garlic cloves, minced
A generous bunch of cilantro
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice from one lime
Dry white wine (optional)

Heat the olive oil and garlic in a large saute pan.  Add the clams and the cilantro.  Add a splash of white wine, if desired.  Cover the pan and shake a few times during cooking.  When all the clams have opened, top with lime juice.  It’s quite delightful to dip your bread in the juice that’s left at the bottom of the pan.

1 kg de ameijoas
4 dentes de alho, picados
Varios ramos de coentro
4 colheres de azeite extra virgem
Sumo de um limão
Vinho branco seco (opcional)

Num tacho, aqueça o azeite com o alho.  Acrescente as ameijoas e o coentro.  Regue com vinho branco, se quizer. Tape e agite de vez em quando até as ameijoas abrirem.  Regue com o sumo de limão e sirva.  O melhor de tudo é molhar uns pedaços de pão no caldo que fica no fundo da panela.


Raspberry Clafoutis ~ Clafoutis de Framboesa

Photo by Priscillakittycat, Recipe by Food & Wine Magazine.

Photo by Priscillakittycat, Recipe by Food & Wine Magazine.

Pretty Woman.  One of my favorite scenes is when Julia Roberts, who plays Vivian Ward, is feeling down and is convinced that her heart will be broken.  Vivian’s friend, Kit, tries to cheer her up.  Vivian asks for the name of one person for whom the fairy tale came true.  Kit puts all her thoughts into finding a name and comes up with:  “Cinde-f***ing-rella!”

Lamenting a loss.  I plug along at work.  I meditate my way to reality and run miles and miles until my body begs me to stop…then I prepare a rescue package of the French form – Raspberry Clafoutis.


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 pints raspberries (3 cups)
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Butter a 9-inch gratin dish.  In a bowl, whisk the flour, sugar and a pinch of salt.  Whisk in the eggs, butter and lemon zest until smooth.  Add the milk and whisk until light and very smooth, about 3 minutes.  Pour the batter into the gratin dish and top with raspberries.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the clafoutis is set and golden.  Let cool slightly.  Dust with confectioners’ sugar, cut into wedges and serve.

Lembra do filme da Julia Roberts com o Richard Gere?  Pretty Woman.  A cena melhor do filme é quando a Julia, que faz o papel de Vivian Ward, pergunta para a amiga, Kit, se ela tem um exemplo de final feliz na vida real.  A amiga fecha os olhos e convoca toda a energia para pensar num nome…e a resposta vem.  “Cinde–f***ing-rella”!

Pensando no que perdi, aturando a rotina de trabalho, meditando para voltar à realidade e correndo kilometros e mais kilometros até o corpo dizer basta…O resgate vem em forma de um doce Frances – Raspberry Clafoutis.


1/2 copo de farinha de trigo
1/4 copo mais 2 colheres de açucar
3 ovos grandes
3 colheres de manteiga sem sal, derretida
Raspas de um limão inteiro
1/4 copo mais 2 colheres de sopa de leite
3 copos de framboesas
Açucar de confeiteiro para polvilhar

Aqueça o forno (350F).  Unte um pyrex com manteiga.  Numa tigela bata a farinha, o açucar e uma pitada de sal com um batedor.  Adicione os ovos, a manteiga derretida e as raspas de limão e bata druante 3 minutos.  Despeje no pyrex e coloque as framboesas por cima.

Asse por 30 minutos, até o clafoutis dourar.  Deixe esfriar um pouco.  Polvilhe com açucar de confeiteiro e sirva.

Serendipity: Finding something good without looking for it. ~ Encontramos as coisas boas da vida sem ter que procurar.

Porto - On the Douro River. O Cais da Ribeira

Porto – On the Douro River. O Cais da Ribeira

We are well into our trip to Portugal and so far we have only good things to say.  When we landed in Porto it felt like home.  It was kind of strange for all of us, we later discussed.  My mom loved the fact that we could walk anywhere and that the nearest cold beer was down the stairs from our apartment.  The water, the cool breeze on the Douro River, the sunshine, the wine.  We felt completely relaxed.  Time for sleep was scarce but that didn’t seem to affect our moods.

I couldn’t wait to be on this trip because I intended to entice you with photos of succulent cuisine and accompanying recipes.  But actually, this first post isn’t at all about food.

We spent our last day in Porto at the Ribeira (the banks of the Douro River),   which happens to be one of my favorite places on the planet.  We watched the people walking past, we drank beer and we chatted with the waiters.  By the time we left (and thanks to my mom), we were friends with the entire place.

Next stop was a restaurant, also on the river’s bank.  Before the Portuguese waiter could get our drink orders, my mom complimented his good looks and asked for a photo.  When we joked with her about the waiter and the kiss on the cheek that he gave her…mom told us we were just jealous because no one else in our group had stolen a kiss from a gorgeous Portuguese man.  Okay, better not argue with mom.

We saw some young boys, probably ages 8 or 9, jump off the pier and into the water.  The sun shone on the river and it glistened.  A man played with his dog, a Dalmatian.  A musician with his guitar sat in front of the restaurant and plucked a tune.  After dinner we left a little sad, knowing that it would be our last day in Porto.  I was in a slight daze, half conscious of my surroundings but half-mesmerized by the magic of the sunset.  The sunset is faithful; beautiful every time.  I had my back to the water and heard the voices of children play-fighting.  Something brushed against my back.  When I turned to look, it was the same young boys from the dock, one very blond, the other had light brown hair.  They wore pastel-colored swimming shorts.  One of the boys pulled the other in my direction while the boy twisted and turned trying to free himself.  But before he could get away, his friend pointed to him, then to me and made a heart shape with his two hands.  I giggled and gave him my heart back.  My little love and his friend ran off, laughing and playing.  And just like that…a boy on the Douro River stole my heart.  Life’s most beautiful moments happen unexpectedly.  Spontaneous yet familiar, embracing while freeing.  That is Porto.

Estamos aproveitando muito desta viagem ao Portugal.  Todos os passeios tem sido lindos e os Portugueses sempre acolhedores.  Quando o avião aterissou sentimos que estávamos em casa.  A minha mãe achou otimo a fartura de cerveja bem na praça onde ficava nosso hotel.  Era só descer a escada do apartamento.  A brisa do Rio Douro, o sol, o vinho…Estávamos completamente relaxadas.  Tivemos muito pouco tempo para dormir mas isto não afetou o nosso humor.

Eu esperei tanto esta viagem porque queria provocar você com fotos das comidas e as receitas portuguesas.  Ao invés disso resolvi falar sobre a beleza do Porto.  Quando menos esperamos, aparecem as coisas boas da vida.  Visitei o Porto pela primeira vez porque fui atrás de um amor.  Ele nao me quiz.  Doeu muito.  Mas o resultado positivo desta paixão foi que aprendi mais sobre um pais maravilhoso e agora tenho o prazer de compartilhar com a família e os amigos.  Conhecemos pessoas muito especiais e nos divertimos muito.

As crianças da foto estavam descansando depois de terem passado o dia brincando de pular do cais.  A recordação que marcou muito durante a viagem ao Portugal foi da felicidade de um amor espontâneo e inesperado.  O Porto me ensinou que a vida as vezes tira uma pessoa de nosso caminho sem explicação.  E que talvez um dia virá outra para alegrar o coração e preencher o vazio.