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.


Corn-Studded Corn Muffins with Honey Mascarpone ~ Muffins de Grãos de Milho com Mascarpone


Recipe by Food & Wine Magazine, Photos by Priscillakittycat

Recipe by Food & Wine Magazine, Photos by Priscillakittycat


There are clouds in the sky (tropical depression making it’s way in from the Gulf of Mexico), Copa America on TV and a kitchen that’s calling to me.  “Why not?”  These little muffins are good for breakfast or teatime.  I keep the voices of the soccer match announcers in the background, always soothing to my ears, like a flowing song.  The recipe for corn-studded muffins comes from Food & Wine Magazine.  Enjoy!

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.)


A Copa América teve iniciou ontem.  É tão gostoso ouvir o som de um jogo de futebol na televisão. Me lembro quando eu era criança e os meus pais faziam festas e churrascos em dia de jogo.  Tem o Galvão Bueno que é dos Brasileiros. Felicidade pura ouvir ele cantar Gooooooool.  Tambem gosto da voz do narrador Andres Cantor—o Argentino.  (Ta perdoado) Ao longo dos anos acumulamos caixas de enfeites, a maioria da cor verde e amarelo, e alguns “red, white and blue”.  O time do Brasil tem decepcionado ultimamente, mas isso não nos impede de comemorar e fazer festa.

A previsão do tempo diz que uma tempestade tropical vem vindo do Golfo do México. Com esta ameaça de chuva sem parar durante dois dias, o melhor que podemos fazer é pegar a manta favorita, sentar no sofa em frente a televisão e assistir os jogos da Copa América.

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.


Strawberry Pavé ~ Pavê de Morango

Recipe by Rodrigo Hilbert, Tempero de Familia. Photo by Priscillakittycat

Recipe by Rodrigo Hilbert, Tempero de Familia. Photo by Priscillakittycat

C’et parti, Mon Kiki! (An inside joke at my job). It’s also perfectly fitting for this post and this occasion. It all began this week…on a bittersweet note. My absolutely amazing boss transitioned to a new position within our school and we, his direct reports, threw a little party for him. I prepared something with a French name—Strawberry Pavê.

It has been an enormous privilege to work with him and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from someone like him. I have never felt such complete admiration for a boss. He is an example in his personal and professional life. If I could be like someone when I grow up, it would be him. Among his noteworthy qualities, a very open yet highly focused and sharp mind, a great sense of humor, poise & elegance (it helps that he’s French) and a positive attitude. Most of all, though, the Frenchman’s most beautiful quality is the fact that he sees the good in everyone.  He treats all beings with kindness. For him, everyone deserves a second chance. I am very happy for him and the new role he will have…while at the same time sorry to see my mentor go.

We should trust in the circle of life. Everything happens when it is meant to happen. For years, and I am really serious when I say this, I’ve been looking for a good recipe for Strawberry Pavê. Pavê is a French word. The dessert is characterized by layers of cream, fruits slices, and lady finger cookies dipped in a liquid of choice (milk, fruit syrup, liqueur, etc) The neat thing is that I found this recipe while watching Brazilian TV. The show, Tempero de Familia was on the screen and the chef, Rodrigo Hilbert,—who by the way is cute—prepared this pavê, I could tell right a way that this would be a keeper recipe.

I knew I had to make it for the going away party we held for our boss. Sure enough, this Strawberry Pavé was a winner both at the party and at home. (Smiley face).

2 cups of milk
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 can condensed milk
2 cans table cream
100 g milk chocolate
100 g bittersweet chocolate
2 cartons of strawberries, sliced
2 packages lady finger cookies
300 ml whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar

Place the milk, egg yolks, corn starch and vanilla in a heavy pot and turn the heat to medium. Add the condensed milk and stir continuously until the cream thickens, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and add one can table cream. Stir until blended and set aside.

Melt both chocolates in Bain Marie. Turn off the heat and add one can of table cream. Stir well until blended. Set aside.

Prepare the whipped cream by whipping the heavy cream with one tablespoon of sugar. Set it aside. Place one layer of the vanilla cream on the bottom of a large pyrex. One by one, dip the lady fingers in milk and spread them on top of the cream. Add another layer of the vanilla cream. Layer the strawberries over the cream. Spread the chocolate cream over the layer of strawberries. Add another layer of lady fingers dipped in milk. Top with the whipped cream.

Meu chefe: o melhor do universo. Esta semana foi a última em que trabalho com ele. Foram quase dois anos e foram os melhores anos de carreira que já tive. Ele possui todas as qualidades que admiro em uma pessoa. A melhor destas sendo a capacidade de ver o bem em todas as pessoas. Ele é do bem, da paz, da harmonia…um ser maravilhoso. Não pense que ele é bobo. Além da inteligência emocional, ele tem uma mente altamente produtiva e muito aberta. Pena que tudo que é bom acaba rápido. As despedidas são tristes.

Estou à procura de uma receita boa de Pavê de Morango há muito tempo. Finalmente encontrei. A espera por um chefe bom valeu a pena e agora a espera pela receita também valeu. Fiz este pavê para a festinha de despedida dele. O nome da sobremesa é apropriado pois o meu chefe é Frances. Com certeza vou usar esta receita muitas vezes.

2 xícaras (chá) de leite
2 gemas
2 colheres de amido de milho
15 gotas de baunilha
1 lata de leite condensado
2 latas de creme de leite
100g de chocolate ao leite
100g de chocolate meio amargo
2 caixas de morango
100g de biscoito champagne
300ml de creme de leite fresco
1 colher de açúcar

Em uma panela, leve ao fogo o leite, as gemas, o amido de milho e a baunilha. Acrescente o leite condensado já com o fogo ligado e mexa sem parar, até engrossar. Depois de desligar o fogo, acrescente uma lata de creme de leite e misture bem. Reserve.

Derreta o chocolate ao leite e o chocolate amargo em banho maria. Com o fogo desligado, acrescente uma lata de creme de leite e misture bem. Reserve. Em uma batedeira, prepare o chantilly, batendo o creme de leite fresco com uma colher de açúcar. Reserve.

Em uma travessa, coloque uma camada do creme de baunilha. Adicione uma camada do biscoito champagne molhado no leite e, em seguida, mais uma de creme de baunilha. Depois, distribua os morangos picados e o creme de chocolate e, por cima, mais uma camada de biscoito molhado no leite. Termine com uma camada de chantilly. Decore com morangos inteiros. Leve à geladeira e sirva gelado.

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.


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


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.


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.




On Papaya Cream and Hugs ~ Crème de Papaya e um Abraço

Papayas from our yard, Photos by Priscillakittycat

Papayas from our yard, Photos by Priscillakittycat


I bow to the beauty and bounty of nature and the blessings of life.  It is from the ground that we receive our nourishment, from the sun that we receive warmth and…from the special people in our lives we accept hugs to calm our fears.  This month marks my ninth year as a volunteer Wish Granter for the Make a Wish Foundation.  Nine must be my lucky number.

A few days ago I went to visit my “Chunky Monkey” (his nickname).  He’s nine years old and will soon celebrate his 10th year of life.  He says of his approaching birthday, “I’ll be in the double digits”.  When I come to visit, he’s waiting at the door.  With his arms stretched…he motions his hands forward for me to come in for a hug.  He hugs my wish partner with the same enthusiasm and begins to tells us about his wish.  We look at pictures and at the toys he received while he was on the trip…while he indulges in pizza, cheese sticks and spicy wings (he loves spicy wings).  We have something in common– a love for food.  He shows us his light saber and the moves he learned during Jedi training.  I never thought I would have a favorite wish child but the boy who is witty and smart has won my heart.

What do my Chunky Monkey and Papaya Cream have in common?  Well, they both make me really happy deep inside and they also remind me that nature gives rise to all forms of beauty.  There is the papaya fruit that gives rise to a lovely cream…And there are two people who meet by chance, fall in love and create a beautiful being whose hugs remind me what life is all about.  Happy Birthday, little Jedi!  May you be healthy and may you live as long as the Master Jedi.

Honey Chicken ~ Frango com Mel

Photos by Priscillakittycat, Recipe by The Complete Stir-Fry Cookbook

Photos by Priscillakittycat, Recipe by The Complete Stir-Fry Cookbook

honey chicken 3

I’m in an Asian kinda mood!  This dish is fairly easy to prepare and tastes better than the stuff at restaurants.  It is similar to sweet and sour chicken without all the sugar and thick breading.  A plug for the book, The Complete Stir-Fry Cookbook, because the instructions are easy to follow and the illustrations are lovely.

Oil, for cooking
500 g  chicken thigh filets, cubed
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/3 cup cornflour
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 green capsicum, cubed
2 carrots, cut into batons
100 g snow peas, sliced
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons toasted almonds

Heat the wok until very hot, add 1.5 tbsp of the oil and swirl it around to coat the side.  Dip half the chicken into the egg white, then lightly dust with cornflour.  Stir-fry over high heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown and just cooked.  Remove from the wok and drain on paper towels.  Repeat with the remaining chicken, then remove all the chicken from the wok.

Reheat the wok, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and stir-fry the sliced onion over high heat for 3-4 minutes, or until slightly softened.  Add the capsicum and carrot, and cook, tossing constantly, for 3-4 minutes, or until tender.  Stir in the snow peas and cook for 2 minutes.

Increase the heat, add the honey and toss the vegetables until well coated.  Return the chicken to the wok and toss until it is heated through and is well coated in the honey.  Remove from the heat and season well with salt.  Serve immediately, sprinkled with almonds.


Este frango com mel é relativamente facíl de preparar.  Acompanhado de arroz branco dá um jantar formidável.

500 g filets da coxa e do peito de frango, cortados em cubos
1 branca de ovo, batido levemente
1/3 copo de farinha de milho
2 cebolas, cortadas em rodelas finas
1 pimentão verde, em cubos
2 cenouras, cortadas em tiras
100 g de ervilhas chinesas, em fatias
¼ copo de mel
2 colheres de sopa de amendoas tostadas

Aqueça o wok em fogo alto.  Adicione 1.5 colheres de sopa de óleo.  Gire o wok para forrar os lados da panela com o óleo.  Molhe a métade do frango na clara do ovo que foi batido levemente.  Passe na farinha de milho.  Frite o frango no fogo alto durante 4-5 minutos ou até o frango ficar corado e cozido.  Retire o frango da panela e coloque num prato forrado com papel toalha. Repita com o resto do frango.

Devolva o wok para o fogo.  Ponha 1 colher de sopa de azeite no wok e frite a cebola no fogo alto por 3-4 minutos ou até amolecer.  Adicione o pimentão e a cenoura e cozinhe, misturando continuamente por 3-4 minutos ou até amolecerem.  Acrescente as ervilhas chinesas e cozinhe por 2 minutos.

Aumente o fogo, adicione o mel e misture com as verduras até incorporar.  Adicione o frango e misture bem.  Regue com as amendoas.  Sirva imediatamente.