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.

Spanish-style Mussels ~ Mexilhões à moda Espanhola

Photo by Priscillakittycat, Recipe by Rosa Cocinera y Madre

The Spaniards know how to prepare seafood.  Their recipes are simple and they conserve the taste of the seafood.  Uncle Google helped me find the recipe you see here.  Literally translated, the title of the accompanying YouTube video includes, in bold letters, the phrase: “to suck your fingers”.  I have to laugh at the way it sounds when you translate it literally…but I also agree with Rosa, the YouTube chef.  You could hear the slurping and sucking sounds as our guests ate these on New Year’s Eve.

1 kg mussels (cleaned and rinsed)
2 bay leaves
½ an onion, chopped (I used a whole one)
2 garlic cloves (I used 5 or more)
½ tablespoon of paprika (I used 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon flour (I used 2 tablespoons)
½ cup good quality white wine (I used a little more)
salt, olive oil
chopped flat-leaf parsley

Boil water in a large sauté pan.  Add the mussels and cover the pan.  Shake the pan around a bit, with the lid on, to distribute the heat.  When all of the mussels have opened (about 4-6 minutes), turn off the heat, drain the mussels and reserve the broth.  Separate the mussels by removing the side of the shell that doesn’t contain meat.  Set the meat-containing shells aside.

In the same large sauté pan, add a generous amount of olive oil.  Turn on the heat.  When the oil is heated, add the garlic and onions.  Stir occasionally until the garlic is golden and the onion is soft.  Add the paprika and stir for about one minute.  Add the flour and continue stirring.  Add the wine.  Continue stirring and allow the mixture to evaporate and thicken.  Add some of the mussels’ broth (about 1 cup, maybe more).  Stir and let thicken again.  Add most of the chopped parsley.  Add the mussels in their half-shell.  Stir well so that all the mussels soak in the sauce.  Pour into a nice serving dish and garnish with more parsley.


Os espanhóis sabem preparar frutos do mar.  O que gosto das receitas espanholas é que elas são simples e conservam o sabor do fruto do mar.  O Tio Google me ajudou encontrar esta receita.  O titulo do vídeo é “Mejillones a la marinera…PARA CHUPARSE LOS DEDOS!!!” Ja gostei.  Também gostei que é uma dona de casa legitima que ensina preparar os mexilhões.  Acredite em mim quando digo que esta receita vale a pena guardar.

1 kilo de mexilhões
2 folhas de louro
1/2 cebola picada (usei uma enteira)
2 dentes de alho picados (usei 5)
1/2 colher de sopa de paprica (usei 2 colheres e poderia ter usado mais)
1 colher de copa de farinha de trigo
1/2 copo de vinho branco de boa qualidade
sal, azeite de oliva
salsinha picada

Coloque a água e as folhas de louro para ferver numa panela ou frigideira funda.  Quando ferver, coloque os mexilhões e tampe.  Aperte a tampa e chacoalhe algumas vezes.  Quando os mexilhões estiverem abertos, retire e reserve o caldo em que se cozinharam os mexilhões.  Remova o lado da casca que não tem a carne do mexilhão e reserve os lados que tem a carne.

Despeje o azeite (bastante) na mesma frigideira em que se cozinharam os mexilhões e ligue o fogo.  Adicione o alho e a cebola.  Deixe dourar.  Acrescente a paprica e misture bem durante um minuto.  Junte a farinha e misture.  Despeje o vinho e sal a gosto.  Misture até engrossar um pouco.  Acrescente o caldo dos mexilhões e deixe engrossar.  Adicione a salsinha picada.  Abaixe o fogo e adicione os mexilhoes.  Misture bem para incorporar o molho.  Despeje num prato de servir e enfeite com mais salsinha.



Winter Wonderland Snowman Cake ~ Bolo Boneco de Neve

Photos by Priscillakittycat, Recipe by Wilton

The New Year is upon us.  Reflecting on the past year, I am thankful for so much.  At the top of the list are friends of all kinds.  There are work friends, yogi friends, cat lady friends, animal friends, cooking friends, classmate friends, teacher friends, far-away friends, and forever friends.  I am thankful for family, good health, legs to run with, eyes to see and admire through, hands to caress and care for animals with, to draw, paint and cook with and a heart to love all sentient beings.

The mind is a gift, too.  It is where the compassion resides and grows.  It is a work in progress. If we train the mind, more compassion will flow through and the New Year will become beautiful, pure and white, like a snow-filled wonderland.

My wish for all humansk is that you be curious, explore and discover what makes your heart glow.  When you find the way, be assured the path will lead to light and love.  Happy New Year!

This Winter Wonderland Snowman Cake takes two days to prepare because the decorations (snowmen and trees) have to be made one day in advance of baking and icing the cake.

Meringue Cookies (Snowmen)

1/4 cup Meringue Powder
2 teaspoons Imitation Clear Vanilla Extract – 8 oz.
1/2 cup water
1-1/3 cups granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 250°F. Prepare cookie pans with parchment paper.

In large bowl, whip Meringue Powder and water with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. With mixer running, gradually add sugar. Whip until stiff peaks. Add vanilla and icing color and whip until well combined, scraping down bottom and sides of bowl as necessary.

Prepare 16 in. decorating bag with tip 2A and meringue batter.

Prepare cookie pan with parchment paper. Use straight side of “B”, “C”, “D” and “E” cut-outs (see Wilton online) to trace circles on back of parchment paper (trace two to three of each size). Additionally, draw two to three circles measuring 1½ in. in size (slightly smaller than “D” cut-out).

Pipe balls following outlines on parchment paper. Bake and cool following recipe instructions.

Bake 45-50 minutes or until outsides of meringues feel firm and crisp. Cool completely on pan. Peel cooled meringues off the parchment paper.

Prepare parchment bag with reserved royal icing.

Using royal icing, assemble snowmen pieces. For large snowman, combine “B” circle for body with “D” circle for head. For medium snowman, combine “C” circle for body with 1½ in. circle for head. For small snowman, combine “D” circle for body with “E” circle for head. You’ll have extra meringues to chose from, so select the best ones!

Using Black icing color, tint ¼ cup royal icing black.

Prepare parchment bag with tip 2 and black icing. Pipe eyes and buttons on snowmen. Using reserved white royal icing, attach jumbo orange nonpareils for noses.

Using decorating brush and Deep Pink Color Dust, brush on cheeks.

Royal Icing (Trees)

3 tablespoons 4 oz. Meringue Powder
4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners’ sugar
5 tablespoons warm water

Beat all ingredients together until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).

Helpful Hints:

  • Keep all utensils completely grease-free for proper icing consistency.
  • For stiff icing: Use 1 tablespoon less water.
  • When using large countertop mixer or for stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.
  • For thin icing: To thin for pouring, add 1 teaspoon water per cup of royal icing. Use grease-free spoon or spatula to stir slowly. Add 1/2 teaspoon water at a time until you reach proper consistency.
  • Meringue Powder is a must for this recipe. Do not substitute with raw egg whites (which can be a food safety issue) or dried egg whites; neither will produce the same results as Meringue Powder.
  • To store: Store royal icing in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks. Before reusing, re-whip using a paddle attachment on low speed until it’s back to the correct consistency.Using serrated knife, cut four sugar cones ranging in height from 2½ in. to 4 in. high (leave remaining cone untrimmed).

Helpful Hint: Using a food-safe marker, mark cone at cut line. Dip bottom of cone to mark in hot water. Using a serrated knife, cut off bottom of cone.

Using tapered spatula, ice cones with royal icing. Use spatula to pull out icing from cone, making branches. Immediately sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar (use a sifter or tea strainer to dust trees); set aside to dry overnight. Reserve remaining royal icing.


Prepare cake batter following recipe instructions. I used a Dulce de Leche Layer Cake recipe for this cake, as it is white, fluffy and yummy.  You can use a chocolate cake recipe, too.  Bake and cool two cake layers. Level, fill and stack cake layers. Using spatula, ice cake, leaving spatula marks on top and on sides of cake.  Top cake with trees and snowmen. Sprinkle with remaining confectioners’ sugar.

Dulce de Leche Layer Cake


One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons nut-flavored liqueur, such as Frangelico or biscotti liqueur.  I used Disaronno.  Italian, of course.


2 1/2 cups cake flour 1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch of salt 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups plus 6 tablespoons sugar
4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk


4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons Frangelico or biscotti liqueur
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Submerge the unopened can of condensed milk in a large, deep pot of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat for 2 hours, adding water as needed to keep the can completely submerged. Carefully remove the can and let cool slightly. Carefully open the can with tongs and transfer the dulce de leche to a bowl: It should resemble creamy caramel. Whisk until smooth, then gradually whisk in the nut liqueur. Let cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 350° and butter two 9-inch cake pans. Line with parchment paper and butter and flour the pans. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with the 1 1/2 cups of sugar at medium speed until fluffy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat until smooth. Beat in the dry ingredients and the milk in 3 alternating batches, scraping down the side of the bowl occasionally.

In a clean bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar and beat until glossy. Fold the egg whites into the batter.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pans. Bake in the center of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, until the cakes are golden and a toothpick in the centers comes out clean. Transfer the cakes to a rack to cool slightly. Run the tip of a knife around the edges and invert the cakes onto the rack to cool completely. Using a serrated knife, split each layer horizontally in half.

In a clean bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil over high heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved and a candy thermometer in the syrup registers 235° for soft-ball stage. Remove from the heat and add the liqueur. With the mixer at medium speed, carefully drizzle the hot sugar syrup into the egg whites. Beat in the lime juice, then beat at high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy and slightly warm to the touch.

Place a cake layer on a large cake plate and top with one-third of the dulce de leche filling. Repeat with the remaining layers and filling, ending with a layer of cake. Spread the frosting all over the cake, swirling decoratively. Let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.



Garlic Soup ~ Sopa de Alho

Photo by Priscillakittycat, Recipe by Food Wishes

Mom has been sick with a bad cold.  Time for a soup marathon.  I’ll share a few of the recipes with you-only the good ones…which is basically all of them.  The one featured today is a traditional Spanish soup, “sopa de ajo” or garlic soup.  It will lift the spirits and help fight bad infections, not to mention scare away any lurking vampires.

About 6 cups of cubed day-old French or Italian bread
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle on bread cubes
6-10 thinly sliced garlic cloves (I suggest using more)
2 oz ham diced (optional)
1-2 tsp paprika or to taste
6 cups chicken broth
4 large eggs
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
salt, pepper, cayenne to taste

Preheat the oven to 350.  Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread the cubed bread on the baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil.  (as much as you’d like) Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the bread is crunchy.  Remove from oven and set aside.

In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and garlic on medium low heat until the garlic just begins to look golden.  Add the diced ham and stir for about a minute.  Next add the paprika and stir.  Add the bread and stir to coat.  Add the chicken broth as well as the salt, pepper and cayenne to taste.  Bring to a boil.  Turn the heat to medium or low and add the chopped parsley.  When you are ready to serve the soup, add the eggs, cover and poach.  If you plan to serve more people later, you can re-heat the soup and poach more eggs in the soup.


A mãe está gripada.  Aí vem uma maratona de sopas.  Vou compartilhar as melhores receitas…todas são boas.  A sopa de hoje é de origem espanhola e se chama, “sopa de ajo” ou sopa de alho.  Essa levanta qualquer doente, ajuda a combater infecção e também serve para espantar os vampiros.

6 copos de pão frances ou italiano, cortado em cubos
1/4 copo de azeite extra virgem e mais para torrar o pão
6-10 dentes de alho cortados em rodelas finas (eu sugiro usar mais)
100 g de presunto cortado em cubos pequenos
1-2 colheres de chá de páprica
6 copos de caldo de galinha
4 ovos grandes
1/4 copo de salsinha italiana picada
sal e pimenta à gosto

Aqueça o forno 350F (160C).  Forre uma assadeira raza com papél alumínio e coloca o pão.  Jogue azeite de oliva por cima e misture para incorporar no pão.

Asse no forno durante 15 minutos ou até o pão ficar crocante.  Retire do forno e reserve.

Numa panela de fundo pesado, esquente o azeite com o alho no fogo médio até o alho começar a dourar.  Adicione o presunto (opcional) e misture por um minuto.  Acrescente a páprica e misture.  Adicione o pão torrado e misture para o pão pegar a cor do azeite com a páprica.  Adicione o caldo de frango, o sal e a pimenta.  Deixe ferver.  Abaixe o fogo e acrescente a salsinha picada.  Pouco antes de servir a sopa, cuidadosamente coloque os ovos na sopa, por cima do pão.  Tampe e deixe cozinhar por 3 ou 4 minutos, sem mexer.  Quando o ovo estiver no ponto, sirva a sopa em tigelas.  Depois coloque um ovo em cada tigela.  Jogue mais salsinha por cima.

Aqui em casa sempre aparece um com fome.  Se for servir outras pessoas mais tarde, basta requentar a sopa e colocar mais ovos para cozinhar.



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.

Lemon Bundt Cake ~ Bolo de Limão ~ Ciambellone al limone

Recipe by Ricette della Nonna, Photo by Priscillakittycat

It has taken some time… but I am able to read, understand and prepare recipes that are written in Italian.  My goal is to include authentic Italian recipes on this blog.  The drawback is that the more languages I use, the more time it takes to prepare and post entries.  In this case, the original recipe was written in Italian, so it’s a “piece of cake”.  Literally…

120 grams all-purpose flour or cake flour
120 grams corn flour
80 grams sunflower or seed oil
250 grams sugar
4 eggs
16 grams baking powder
2 lemons
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 160C (320F) Grate the lemons’ peels and reserve.  Squeeze the juice from the lemons and place in a small bowl.  Separate the egg yolks from the whites.  Whip/beat the yolks with the sugar.  Combine the flour, corn flour and baking powder.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the yolk mixture alternating with the lemon juice.  Add the grated lemon.  Mix until the batter is creamy and homogenous.  Add the seed oil and mix well on the low setting.

Pour the batter into a greased and flowered Bundt cake pan.  Bake at 160C (320F) for about 1 hour.  Before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Demorou, mas finalmente entendo suficiente italiano para ler, compreender e preparar receitas escritas em italiano.  A minha meta é poder acrescentar ao blog, receitas italianas.  Sendo que isto vai exigir mais tempo.  Então fica assim:  farei a medida que for possível.

Esta primeira receitinha ’tá fácil.  Um bolo de limão é bom demais, no café da manha, para o café da tarde…ou até à noite, acompanhado de um chá quente, antes de cair nos braços de morfeu.

120 gramas de farinha de trigo
120 gramas de farinha de milho
80 gramas de óleo de girassol
250 gramas de açucar
4 ovos
16 gramas de pó royal
2 limões
açucar de confeiteiro

Ligue o forno (160C).  Raspe as cascas dos limões e reserve.  Esprema o suco dos limões e coloque numa tigela pequena.  Separe as claras da gema.  Bata as  gemas com o açucar.  Acrescente a farinha de trigo, de milho e o pó royal.  Adicione a mistura das farinhas às gemas batitas, revesando com o açucar e o suco do limão, pouco a pouco.  Adicione as raspas do limão.  Misture até ficar cremoso.  Por último adicione o óleo e misture na velocidade mais baixa.

Despeja na forma untada com manteiga e farinha.  Asse durante mais ou menos uma hora.  Antes de servir, polvilhe com o açucar de confeiteiro.


120 gr di farina
120 gr di maizena
80 gr di olio di semi
250 gr di zucchero
4 uova
1 bustina di lievito per dolci (16 gr)
2 limoni non trattati
zucchero a velo

Spremete i due limoni e grattugiatene la scorza.
Separate i tuorli dagli albumi e montateli con lo zucchero. Tenete gli albumi da parte.

Setacciate insieme farina, maizena e lievito. Aggiungete a poco a poco le farine ai tuorli montati, alternando il succo dei limoni spremuti. Aggiungete anche le scorze grattugiate. Amalgamate fino ad ottenere un composto cremoso e omogeneo.

Aggiungete l’olio di semi e fatelo incorporare bene all’impasto, quindi montate gli albumi a neve e uniteli a poco a poco al composto, mescolando dal basso verso l’alto per non farli smontare.


Photos by Priscillakittycat, Recipes combined.

We were supposed to have a birthday barbecue for dad a few weekends ago but the rain washed out those plans. I had already made his dessert of choice.  Dad got the entire Tiramisu for himself…and now you get the recipe(s).  I use a combination of recipes when I prepare Tiramisu and adapt them depending on what we have at the bar.  You can use Madeira, Marsala, Port, Brandy, a mixture of Marsala and Dry White Wine or even Rum.  Brandy is what we had available this time.

The key to making a good Tiramisu is the Zabaione.  You have to get the temperatures right, including when you mix the Zabaione with the Mascarpone and whipped cream.  It takes a bit of practice before you get a feel for it.  Here’s a hint.  Remove the Mascarpone from the fridge early in the process because you want it not to clump together when you fold it with the creams.  Also, be sure to cool the coffee before you dip the lady fingers in it and top with the cream.  The heat from the coffee will denature the cream and you’re screwed.

Coffee Dip
1 cup brewed espresso or strong coffee (made of 1 cup hot water mixed with 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules or espresso powder)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar  (I omit the sugar because the cookies already contain sugar)
2 tablespoons coffee or almond liquor, Marsala, dark rum, or brandy (I dip in dark expresso coffee)

3 egg yolks (I use 5)
⅓ cup (70 g/2.5 oz.) granulated sugar
2-3 tablespoons Marsala wine, dark rum, or brandY
¾ cup (180 ml) heavy cream
1 and ½ cups (340 g/12 oz.) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
Ladyfingers or Savoiardi biscuits (you’ll need less if making individual glasses)
Sifted cocoa powder or grated chocolate

For the coffee dip – In a small bowl, combine hot coffee, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1-2 tablespoons alcohol. Mix until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.

For the cream – Place egg yolks, sugar, and Marsala in a medium heatproof bowl and set over a bain marie (i.e. place the heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water on a low heat; the bowl should not touch the water). Whisk constantly using a whisk, or preferably a hand mixer, until the mixture doubles in volume, is hot to the touch, and has a thick, foamy consistency (around 5-7 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a mixer bowl, whisk heavy cream using an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Once egg yolk mixture has cooled, add the mascarpone and whisk until smooth. Then gently fold in the whipped cream in 2 additions until smooth.

Assemble tiramisu – Dip ladyfingers very quickly (less than a second) into the coffee syrup and line them in one layer in an 8-inch baking dish. If necessary, break a few ladyfingers to fit them in the dish. Spoon half of the filling over the ladyfingers and smooth the top. Repeat with a second layer of coffee-dipped ladyfingers, then with the rest of the cream. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 2 days. Right before serving, dust the top with cocoa powder or grated chocolate. Serve cold.

Fiz este Tiramisu para a festinha (churrasco) de aniversario de meu pai há algumas semanas atras.  A festinha não aconteceu por causa da chuva.  Pai ficou com o Tiramisu só para ele-sortudo!

Eu misturo as receitas quando faço Tiramisu e vario os ingredientes dependendo do que tiver no bar. As vezes coloco Marsala (o melhor) ou brandy ou até rum.  A escolha é sua.  O importante mesmo é acertar o Zabaione.  Lembre de tiar o mascarpone da geladeira antes de preparar a receita.  Tambem deixe o café esfriar antes de molhar os biscoitos champagne nele.

Calda de Café
1 copo de espresso ou café forte
2 colheres de licor de amendoa, Marsala, rum ou brandy.

3 gemas (eu uso 5)
1/3 copo de açucar
2-3 colheres de sopa de Marsala, rum ou brandy
1 copo de creme de leite fresco
1 copo e meio de mascarpone, temperatura ambiente
Biscoitos champagne
Cacao em pó

Coloque as gemas, o açucar, e a Marsal num “double boiler”, uma especie de banho maria, mas um em que a tigela de cima não toque a água.  Bata com um batedor, sem parar, até o creme ficar quente, dobrar o volume, e ficar com a consistência espumosa e grossa. Deve demorar uns 5-7 minutos.  Retire do fogo e deixe esfriar um pouco (15 min).  Enquanto o zabaione esfria, bata o creme de leite na batedeira até dar o ponto.  Misture o mascarpone (com o batedor – não a batedeira) até incorporar.  Adicione o chantilly delicadamente.

Molhe os biscoitos rapidamente na calda de café e forre um pirex com uma camada dos biscoitos.  Espalhe a metade do creme por cima dos biscoitos.  Forro com mais uma camada de biscoitos e espalhe o resto do creme por cima.  Cubra com um papel plastico e coloque na geladeira durante 6 horas ou até dois dias.  Pouco antes de servir, polvilhe o chocolate em pó por cima do Tiramisu.  Sirva gelado.

Cherry Pie ~ Torta de Cereja

Recipe by PrettySimpleSweet, Photo by Priscilllakittycat

Several posts back, there is an entry about how much I like dragons (maybe because they are medieval) and how much I like cherries, mostly for their rich color.

Did I tell you I signed up for an art class this semester?  One of the things we will be required to draw for our portfolio is monsters. I hope they let us draw friendly monsters, because I envision a dragon with sleepy eyes, resting beside a big basket of cherries, perhaps leaned against the walls of a dark stone castle.

We had our first class this week (Tuesday and Thursday evenings) and I must tell you about it.  It was an amazing introduction to a world that I know so little about.  If they’d done a scan of my brain during those 2.5 hours of class, the scan would be lit like a Christmas tree.  It was heaven.  Our professor, this fascinating man named Brian Curtis, gave us a list of books to read, many of which have nothing to do with Art…that will help us not to think.  Yep, that’s right.  Apparently, to be good at perceptual drawing, you have to stop thinking.

We learned about the right and left brain…and how the right brain is female.  Ninety percent of who we are is in the right brain and we don’t even use it that much.  You’re supposed to use the right brain when you draw.  Our professor promised us that we will learn to use our right brains when we draw, instead of the logical and linear left brain.

While the right brain is priming, let me entice you with this cherry pie, made from scratch.  Shout out to the blog “Pretty, Simple, Sweet”.  Visit the blog for the step-by-step and beautiful photos.

Pie crust recipe (Pâte brisée)

2½ cups (350 grams/12.3 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks/227 grams) cold butter, cut into small cubes
¼ – ½ cup (60-120 ml) very cold water

Process flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor for a few seconds until combined (Instead of food processor, you can do the whole process by hand, using a pastry cutter). Add butter and pulse until mixture becomes crumbly and resembles coarse meal (different size of butter pieces or some large pieces is fine), about 15 pulses. Add ¼ cup water and keep pulsing, adding more water as needed, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough isn’t dry and starts to clump together. Do not process to the point that a large ball of dough is formed, rather the dough should be quite crumbly with large clumps. Another way to check if it’s done, is to take a piece of dough and press it between your thumbs – the dough should stick well together without feeling dry or crumbly.

Turn the dough to a floured surface and form into a ball. It should come together easily without being sticky. Divide ball to half, then flatten each one slightly with your hands to form a 1-inch thick disc. Wrap each disc with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before proceeding with your pie recipe.

If you don’t want to use the dough right away, you can refrigerate it for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to a month, then thaw it overnight in the fridge.

Roll out the dough: Take one disc of dough out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften slightly for easy rolling. On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch circle. Place the dough gently into a 9-inch pie pan; you can do this by flouring a rolling pin and rolling the dough loosely around it, then unrolling it into the pan. Brush away any excess flour on the surface. With a sharp knife, trim the edges of the pastry to fit the pie pan. Cover pan with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Roll out the other disc in the same fashion, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.

Cherry Filling

5 cups stemmed and pitted fresh dark sweet or sour cherries (that’s about 2 pounds whole unpitted cherries)
¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar for sweet cherries, or 1 cup (200 g) for sour cherries
3 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice for sweet cherries, or 1½ teaspoons for sour cherries
Grated zest from ½ lemon
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon Kirsch, optional
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into mini cubes
Cream or milk, for brushing the top crust
Coarse or granulated sugar, for sprinkling

In a medium bowl, mix together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in cherries. Add lemon juice and zest, vanilla extract, and Kirsch and mix to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425F/220C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place in the lower third of the oven.

Spread cherry filling in an even layer onto pie crust, and dot with butter on top. If you choose to make a lattice pie, this is how you do it. Otherwise, place the second crust over the filling. Tuck any excess overhang pastry under the bottom crust, then crimp the edges using your fingers or a fork. Make 4 slits in the center to let steam escape while baking. Brush the crust with a thin coating of milk or cream, then sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375F/190C and continue baking until the crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling through the slits, about 40-50 minutes longer. Cover the edges of the pie loosely with foil if it starts browning too much while baking.

Allow pie to cool for at least 4 hours before serving so that the filling can set. Store pie in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Numa postagem anterior comentei que adoro dragões e cerejas—juntos.  Para mim, os dois combinam perfeitamente.  Este semestre eu me inscrevi numa aula de arte e o professor é um gênio.  Na primeira aula aprendemos que o lado direito do cerebro ê considerado o lado feminino e o lado esquerdo é masculino.  As pessoas que utilizam o lado direito tendem ser melhores artistas.  Noventa porcento de quem somos, vem do lado direito do cerebro.  Mas, mesmo assim, as pessoas usam muito pouco este lado.  Por isto o nosso professor vai nos ensinar como pensar com o lado direito do cerebro.  Não será fácil.  Passaremos por momentos de frustração.  Mas o Professor Brian Curtis explica que a tensão nos pode ser útil.  Ele prometeu que até o final do semestre cada um de nós vai saber desenhar.

O que que isto tudo tem a ver com dragões e cerejas?  É que o portfólio que temos que entregar no final do semestre vai ter que incluir desenho de monstros.  Eu pretendo desenhar um dragão sonolento ao lado de uma cesta de cerejas.






Spinach Filling by Food & Wine Magazine, Photos by Priscillakittycat

Official statistics say there are at least 6 million Lebanese descendants living in Brazil, but the real number is most likely closer to 10 million.  The Lebanese have influenced us in many ways.  The way that interests me is food!  I would like to share the recipe for a Lebanese pastry I love to prepare…and eat.  Esfiha.

The traditional Esfiha filling contains ground meat.  You know what an empanada is, right?  Well, in my opinion, the Esfiha is much better than an empanada.  The dough is remarkably soft and light, almost like an Italian milk bread.  My cousin, Carla, gave me the recipe for her Esfihas and taught me how to prepare them more than 20 years ago.

Esfihas are featured on the blog today because I received a request from my dad: “What’s the name of that thing you make with the meat inside?”  What he meant by the question:  “Can you make that thing with the meat inside?”  The problem with Esfihas is they are just like cats.  You can never have just one.  Let’s make a deal.  Don’t ask me about my cats and I won’t ask you how many Esfihas you ate.

Note: Prepare either of the fillings first and refrigerate. Then work on the dough.

Tangy Spinach Filling

1 small onion, minced
1 tablespoon ground sumac (see Note) or fresh lemon juice
One 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

In a medium bowl, toss the onion with the sumac and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Add the spinach and stir in the pine nuts, lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Sumac is a fruity, tangy spice that is ground from the dried berries of a wild Mediterranean bush. It is available at Middle Eastern markets.

Meat  Filling

Raw ground beef
Vegetable oil
Juice from half a lime
Salt to taste
Chopped tomatoes
Green onions

In a bowl, mix together the ground beef and other ingredients.  Roll the meat into small balls, about 3/4 inch in diameter and place onto a baking sheet and cover the sheet with plastic wrap while you prepare the dough.


1 ½ cups warm milk
3-4 packets Fleishmann’s active dry yeast
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
salt to taste
1 pinch of sugar
1 kilogram flour

Combine the yeast, butter and flour (Don’t add all the flour at once).  Slowly add the milk while the dough forms.  Add more flour until the dough no longer sticks to the hands.  Knead the dough until it becomes soft and silky.  Pinch a small piece of the dough and roll it into a ball the size of an M&M.  Place it in a cup of cold water and set aside in a quiet spot.  Place the dough in a large bowl and cover with a clean, damp dishtowel.  Set in a quiet spot away from drafts or heat sources.

Preheat the oven to 350F.  When the dough floats to the top of the cup, the dough is ready.  Form the dough into balls (the size of a golf balls).  Roll out each one, then place a meatball inside and pinch to seal, in the form shown in the photos.  Brush egg wash on the formed pastry.  Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for approximately 20-30 min.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  If you like Tabasco or hot sauce, use it.

Hoje pai perguntou: “Como é que chama aquele negocio que você faz…aquele de carne?”  Ele explicou mais um pouco e aí eu lembrei (Esfiha).  E tambem entendi que a pergunta era a maneira dele pedir para eu fazer Esfiha.  Realmente, Esfiha é tudo de bom!

A receita para a massa e o recheio de carne vem da minha prima, Carla.


1 1/2 copo de leite morno
3 ou 4 pacotinhos de fermento em pó
1 tablete de manteiga
Sal (a gosto)
1 pitada de açucar
Farinha de trigo (+/- 1 kilo)

Junto e fermento, a farinha e a manteiga (não toda a farinha) e va colocando o leite, pouco a pouco.  Acrescente a farinha até a massa não ficar grudando na mão.  (Coloque uma bolinha da massa no copo de vidro com agua e quando a bolinha subir, já pode fazer a esfiha)

Recheio de Espinafre

1 cebola picada
1 colher de suco le limão
1 pacote de espinafre congelado, descongelado e espremido para secar
1 colher de sopa de pinhões
1 colher de sopa de azeite de oliva, extra virgema

Misture todos os ingredientes.  Abra a massa e coloque uma colher do recheio no meio.  Dobre a massa e aperte para fechar, como mostram as fotos. Passe a gema de ovo por cima da esfiha com um pincel.  Asse no forno entre 20-30 minutos, no fogo (350F).

Recheio de Carne

Carne moida crua
Cheiro verde
Cebolinha verde

Misture todos os ingredientes do recheio e faça os bolinhos de carne.  Abra a massa e coloque o bolinho de carne no meio.  Dobre a massa e aperte para fechar, como mostram as fotos.  Passe a gema de ovo por cima da esfiha com um pincel.  Asse no forno entre 20-30 minutos, no fogo (350F).



Cherries Poached in Red Wine ~ Cerejas Escalfadas no Vinho Tinto

Recipe by Food & Wine Magazine, Photos by Priscillakittycat

The color of cherries makes me think of medieval times.  Those deep-colored, velvet royal cloaks, the echo of voices and footsteps inside cold stone castles.  Long wooden tables overflowing with hearty food and plenty to drink…

Cherries happen to be in season.  So…to commemorate the last week of the Brazilian soap opera, “Deus Salve o Rei” (God Save the King) we will have Cherries Poached in Red Wine.  In our home (not exactly a stone castle where you can wear a cloak but more like a sunlit sauna) the approval rating for this dessert was very high.  My dad made two comments:  “What is this dessert called?” and “This tastes perfect.” Dad knows his sweets.  Mom liked the aroma of wine and savoured her serving of cherries with vanilla ice cream…then she added whipped cream for good measure.

2 1/4 cups red wine
1 cup sugar
1 1-by-3-inch strip orange zest
2 pounds sweet cherries, halved and pitted

In a medium stainless-steel saucepan, combine the wine, sugar, and orange zest. Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat. Add the cherries and bring back to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the cherries are just tender, about 5 minutes. Pour into a glass or stainless-steel bowl so the cherries don’t overcook.  Place in glass serving bowls and add a dollop of whipped cream.  Or…if you’re feeling inspired, mix 2 1/2 tablespoons of honey with 1 cup of mascarpone cheese.

*When I halved and pitted the cherries, I didn’t use gloves on purpose.  I wanted to color my hands and get my fingernails dirty…like they did back in those times.  It’s cool.

Esta é a ultima semana da novela, “Deus Salve o Rei”.  A cor das cerejas me faz imaginar como era naquela época…os tempos medievais. Eram tão lindas as roupas que usavam.  As capas de veludo que vestiam os membros da realeza, os castelos feitos de pedras pesadas, o frio e o eco dos passos de quem caminhava pelos corredores.  E na sala de jantar… mesas compridas transbordando de comida e bebida.  Para comemorar o final da novela e para destacar a cor daquela época, escolhi esta sobremesa de cerejas.  Foi aprovada por todos aqui em casa.  O meu pai é uma pessoa de poucas palavras.  Ele fez dois comentários:  “Como se chama esta sobremesa?” e “Esta perfeita!”  A mãe saboreou as cerejas e a calda de vinho, ainda quente, com sorvete de baunilha…e depois ela adicionou chantilly.

2 copos e meio de vinho tinto
1 copo de açucar
1 tira de raspa de laranja
1 kilo de cerejas doces, retiradas as sementes, partidas no metade

Numa panela inoxidável, junte o vinho, o açucar, e a raspa de laranja.  Quando começar a ferver, adicione as cerejas e deixe ferver novamente.  Reduz o fogo, tampe a panela parcialmente, e ferva levemente durante uns 5 minutos ou até as cerejas amoleçerem. Despeje-as numa tigela de vidro ou inox para evitar que as cerejas cozinhem demais.  Sirva (frio ou quente) em taças de vidro acompanhadas de chantilly, sorvete de baunilha ou queijo mascarpone com mel.

Bacon and Leek Quiche ~ Quiche de Bacon e Alho-Poró

Recipe by Food & Wine Magazine, Photo by Priscillakittycat

You might have noticed…but it has been a couple of years since I stopped including recipes for foods that contain red meat on this blog.  That’s because I don’t want to promote the purchase or consumption of four legged beings.  I try to eat mostly seafood, but sometimes…there are exceptions.  The FIFA World Cup Finals will be this weekend.  Let’s celebrate France.

The recipe for the bacon and leek filling comes from Food & Wine Magazine.  I’ve never tried a Food & Wine recipe I didn’t like. Their test kitchen only puts through fail-proof (and delicious) recipes.  Wish I could be a fly on the wall in that kitchen.  For the shell I use a recipe that a family friend shared with me many years ago.  It’s the only one I use for quiches and such.  Try making this quiche using your own crust recipe and let me know if the results are good.

1 pound thickly sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 large leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
8 ounces cave-aged Gruyère cheese, shredded (I use more than 8 oz)
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 1/2 cups heavy cream or half-and-half

In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring, until browned and crisp, about 7 minutes. Drain the bacon, leaving 1 tablespoon of the fat in the pan. Add the leeks and thyme to the skillet, season with salt and white pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Stir in the bacon and cheese.

Divide the bacon-and-leek filling between the tart shells. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the egg yolks and heavy cream. Season lightly with salt and white pepper. Pour the custard into the tart shells and bake for about 30 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through for even baking, until puffed and lightly browned. Transfer the quiches to a rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Remove the rings, cut the quiches into wedges and serve.

Você deve ter percebido…faz alguns anos que não aparecem receitas para pratos de carne vermelha no blog.  Isto é porque não quero promover a venda ou o consumo de seres que caminham com as quatro pernas.  Tento comer frutos do mar ao inves de carnes, mas existem exceções.  Por exemplo, a Final de Copa vem aí.  Vamos comemorar a França com um quiche.

A receita para o recheio vem da revista, Food & Wine.  Todas as receitas que aparecem na revista são boas.  Queria ser uma mosca na parede da cozinha que usam para testar as receitas.  Há muitos anos, uma amiga da familia me ensinou fazer a crosta e só usa a receita dela.

1/2 kilo de bacon, em fatias grossas, cortado em pedaços de 1 cm
3 ramos grandes de alho-poró, somente a parte branca e a parte verde mole, cortadas em rodelas finas
1 colher de chá de folhas de tomilho picadas
250 gr de queijo Gruyère, ralado (eu sempre uso mais)
4 ovos grandes
2 gemas de ovos grandes
2 1/2 copos de creme de leite fresco
sal a gosto

Numa frigideira grande, no fogo meio alto, cozinhe o bacon, misturando de vez em quando, até ficar marrom e crocante (+/- 7 minutos).  Escorra quase toda a gordura, reservando 2 colheres de sopa na frigideira. Adicione o alho-poró e o tomilho.  Tempere com sal e pimenta branca (a gosto).  Cozinhe no fogo médio, mexendo de algumas vezes, até o alho-poró amoleçer, uns 7 minutos.  Não deixe dourar.  Transfira para uma tigela e deixe esfriar.  Adicione o bacon e o queijo.

Coloque o recheio nas fôrmas, já forradas com a massa.  Asse no forno (350F) durante 30 minutos.  Aumente o temperatura para 375F e deixe mais uns 15 minutos.  Sirva ainda quente ou em temperatura ambiente.

Breakfast Burritos ~ Burritos no Café da Manhã

Photo by Priscillakittycat

On the days when we need comforting, breakfast burritos help.  We had plenty of eggs, a bunch of herbs in the fridge, and a good selection in the small garden I keep, as well.   For the breakfast burrito you see in the photo, I used shredded cheddar cheese, green peppers, red peppers, onion, fresh basil leaves, cilantro, parsley, and oregano.  You’ll notice there are potatoes in there.  These were an afterthought.  While I cooked the eggs with the cheese and herbs, I took notice of the bowl of potatoes on the counter.  Why not?  I fried the potatoes in another skillet and put them on a plate for serving, thinking my family would eat the potatoes on the side.  They stuffed the potatoes inside the burrito and asked for Tabasco sauce.  The recipe for flour tortillas is somewhere in this blog.  Search and you shall find!


A falta de dormir, o cansaço, uma dose de tristeza…merecíamos confortar o corpo e a alma.  Estes burritos no café da manhã ajudaram um pouco.  As ervas que usei vieram da pequena horta que temos no quintal.  Ingredientes:  manjericão, pimentão verde e vermelho, coentro, salsinha, oregano, cebola, e queijo cheddar ralado.  A ideia de usar batatas veio depois que os ovos já estavam prontos.  Fritei as batatas à parte e coloquei na mesa para serem servidas como acompanhamento (side dish).  O pessoal entendeu que era para colocar dentro do burrito.  Pediram a malagueta e ficou assim.  A receita para as tortilhas está por aí (no blog).  Procura que você acha!

Herbed Chickpea Bruschetta ~ Brushetta de Homus com Ervas

Recipe by Food and Wine Magazine, Photos by Priscillakittycat

Now here’s a nice little recipe for those weekends when an important soccer match is on the TV.  Sit back, relax and sip (or gulp down) your favorite beer.  Yes, sure you can buy hummus at the supermarket these days…but really?  Do you want all those preservatives? And that strange aftertaste? Once you try this homemade version of hummus, you will never again go for “store-bought”.

I prepare this hummus for special occasions.  While the chickpeas were in the oven on the morning of Mother’s Day, a lovely Mediterranean aroma permeated our home.  (Picture an Italian seaside village on a lazy Sunday afternoon.)  I heard comments like, “Something smells good!”; “What are you making”; “Mmmm”; “What time did you wake up to start making this?”

1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
14 garlic cloves, 4 cloves halved
1 ounce pancetta or prosciutto, diced
1/2 medium yellow onion, halved lengthwise
1/2 medium carrot, halved lengthwise
1/2 celery rib, halved lengthwise
3 sage leaves
1 small rosemary sprig, plus 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped leaves
1 bay leaf
1 dried chile de árbol
2 tablespoons kosher salt
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and drizzling
About 30 baguette slices (1/2 inch thick)
1/2 teaspoon minced thyme leaves
Flaky sea salt, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium Dutch oven, combine the soaked chickpeas with the 10 whole garlic cloves, the pancetta, onion, carrot, celery, sage, rosemary sprig, bay leaf, chile, salt, 1/4 cup of the olive oil and 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and stir. Cover and bake for about 2 hours, until the chickpeas are tender. Remove from the oven, uncover and let the chickpeas cool in the liquid for 1 hour.

Drain the chickpeas, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid; discard all the aromatics except the garlic. Transfer the chickpeas and garlic to a blender. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil and the reserved cooking liquid and puree until smooth.

Arrange the toasts on a platter. Dollop the chickpea puree on top and use a small spoon to form a little well in each dollop. Drizzle the bruschetta with olive oil, sprinkle with the chopped rosemary, minced thyme and sea salt and serve.

Está à procura de uma receita boa para dia de jogo?  Depois que provar esta, vai deixar do comprar aquele homus pronto (de baldinho) que tem no supermercado.  O sabor nem se compara. A copa do mundo vem aí.  Assistiremos alguns jogos lá na Rússia…mas outros vamos ver em casa.  Um bom homus não vai faltar.  É um homus para ocasiões especiais.  No Dia das Mães juntei os ingredients para o caldo e coloquei no forno.  Enquanto cozinhava, os de casa faziam comentários como… “O que está cozinhando?; Que cheiro bom!”; “Que horas voce acordou para fazer isso?”

O aroma criado pelos ingredientes, juntos, é unico.  Imagine uma pequena aldeia com vista pro mar…na Itália, é claro.  Confira a lista de ingredientes e você vai entender…e vai querer estar lá na aldeia.

1 copo de grão de bico, colocado de molho na noite anterior
14 dentes de alho 4 deles partidos no meio
Um bocadinho de prosciutto ou pancetta (eu não uso)
1/2 cebola cortada na meio
1/2 cenoura, cortada no sentido longo
1/2 folha de aipo, cortada no sentido longo
3 folhas de sálvia
1 ramo de alecrim
1 folha de louro
2 colheres (sopa) de sal Kosher
Pão Francês torrado

Aqueça o forno 350F (160C).  Numa panela Le Creuset (à prova do forno), junte o grão de bico, 10 dentes de alho, a pancetta (se usar), a cebola, o aipo, a sálvia, o alecrim, o sal, a folha de louro, 1/4 copo de azeite de oliva e 8 copos de agua.  Coloque para ferver no fogo alto e misture.  Cubra a panela e leve ao forno por 2 horas ou até amolecer o grão de bico.  Retire do forno e destampe.  Deixe esfriar durante uma hora.

Escoe o grão de bico e reserve 1/2 copo do caldo.  Jogue fora os outro temperos (aipo, cenoura, cebola, etc), menos o alho.  Transfira os grãos de bico para o liquificador.  Adicione 1/2 copo do azeite de oliva, o alho e o caldo.  Bata até ficar com a consistência de um homus.

Arranje o pão Francês torrado numa bandeja e espalhe o homus em cada torrada.  Enfeite com qualquer combinação de azeite de oliva, alecrim, sálvia e sal marinho.