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.


Avocado Shrimp Salad ~ Salada de Abacate com Camarão

Recipe by Natashaskitchen.com, Photo by Priscillakittycat

The rainy season is about to begin.  It’s supposed to rain very hard for the entire week.  Rain is good for the grass, trees and flowers.  The rain is also a welcome visitor for the small garden I keep in the back yard.  While we wait for the rain, let me share this recipe with you.  The recipe comes from Natashaskitchen.com.

Ingredients for Cajun Shrimp

1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tsp Cajun spice
1 cloves garlic, pressed or grated
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter

Ingredients for Salad

1 medium romaine lettuce (5 to 6 cups, chopped)
1/2 lb (3 medium) Roma tomatoes, sliced
1/2 English cucumber (or 3 small) sliced
1 cup corn kernels (from freshly cooked corn)
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

Ingredients for Cilantro-Lemon Dressing

Juice of 1 large lemon
1/2 small bunch of cilantro (1/2 cup finely chopped) or parsley
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt or 3/4 tsp table salt
1/8 tsp black pepper


1-Pat dry shrimp with paper towels and place in a medium bowl.  Add 1 tsp Cajun spice, 2 pressed garlic cloves, and a pinch of salt.  Stir to combine.

2-Place a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat.  Add 2 tbsp butter and once it is melted and hot, add the shrimp in a single layer.  Saute 2 minutes per side or just until cooked through.  Transfer to a plate and set aside.

3-Chop, rinse and spin dry 1 medium head of romaine lettuce.  You should end up with about six cups of lettuce.  Transfer it to a large mixing bowl.  Now add 3 sliced tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, sliced cucumbers, 2 sliced avocados and 1 cup of cooked corn.

4-To make the dressing, start with 3 tbsp of fresh lemon juice.  Now finely chop about 1/2 cup of cilantro and stir that in.  Add 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.  Season with 1 tsp salt.

A época da chuva está chegando.  Esperamos muita chuva para todo o final de semana.  A chuva faz bem para a grama, as flores e as árvores.  Tambem é bem vinda para a pequena horta que tenho no quintal.  Enquanto esperamos a chuva, me deixa compartilhar esta receita. A receita original vem do site: natashaskitchen.com

Ingredientes para o camarão

Meio kilo de camarão descascado
1 colher (chá) de tempero cajun
1 dente de alho amassado ou ralado
Uma pitada de sal
2 colheres (sopa) de manteiga sem sal

Ingredientes para a salada

1 alface romana picada
250 gr de tomate, cortado em rodelas
1/2 pepino inglês, cortado em rodelas
1 copo de milho fresco, cozido
1/2 cebola roxa, em fatias finas

Ingredientes para o molho de cilanto e limão

Suco de um limão grande
1/2 punhado de coentro picado
3 colheres (sopa) de azeite de oliva extra virgem
1 colher (chá) de sal marinho


1-Seque o camarão com papel toalha e coloque numa tigela.  Adicione 1 colher (chá), 2 dentes de alho amassado e uma pitada de sal.  Misture.

2-Coloque uma frigideira no fogo médio-alto.  Adicione 2 colheres (sopa) manteiga e quando estiver derretida e quente, coloque o camarão na frigideira.  Passar durante dois minutos em cada lado.  Transfira para um prato.

3-Pique o alface e seque.  Transfira para uma tigela grande.  Adicione os três tomates fatiados, a cebola, os pepinos, 2 abacates fatiados e 1 copo de milho cozido.

4-Para fazer o molho, misture 3 colheres (sopa) de suco de limão com o coentro picado, três colheres de azeite e uma colher (chá) de sal.

Banana Bread ~ Bolo de Banana

Recipe by fotog foodie.  Photo by Priscillakittycat.

Look at the pretty wood tray!  It shows the moon’s phases.  This was a gift from my friends who live in North Carolina, Monica and Jessy.  Monica is exceptionally talented with wood crafts.  Her work is unique and very pleasing to the eye.  The link is here in case you would like to take a look. https://www.instagram.com/zelowooddesign/

Banana Bread:  My go-to recipe on rainy days to accompany a cup of tea…and on days when there are over-ripe bananas (borderline rotten) sitting in the fruit basket. Banana bread turns out best when the bananas are very ripe.  The original recipe calls for dried cranberries.  I sometimes substitute with walnuts or pecans.  Tastes great either way.

2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter – melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs – beaten
2-3 overripe bananas – mashed
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup dried cranberries (or substitute nuts)

Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease bread loaf pan.  Combine flour, baking soda, salt, chocolate chips and cranberries in large bowl and set aside.  In a separate bowl cream the butter and sugar. Stir in eggs and bananas.  Add banana mixure to flour mixure and mix well.  Bake for 55-65 minutes depending on oven strength. *Instead of mixing the cranberries and chocolate chips with the flour, I wait until the flour is combined with the butter and sugar mixture.  This way, the cranberries and chocolate chips don’t get covered in the white flour.

Olha que bandeja linda!  Ela mostra as fases da lua.  Foi presente que recebi das amigas, Monica e Jessy.  A Monica é marceneira.  As péças dela são únicas e realmente magnificas.  Segue o link para a página da Monica no instragram se você quizer dar uma olhada. https://www.instagram.com/zelowooddesign/

2 copos de farinha de trigo
1 colher de chá de bicarbonato
1/4 de colher chá de sal
1/2 copo de manteiga (derretida)
3/4 copos de açucar mascavo
2 ovos batidos
2-3 bananas bem maduras amassadas com garfo
1/2 copo de chocolate chips
3/4 copo de cranberries (substituir nozes se quizer)

Aqueça o forno 350F e unte uma fôrma de pão.  Junte a farinha, o bicarbonato, e o sal numa tigela grande.  Numa tigela separada, bata o açucar com a manteiga.  Acrescente os ovos e as bananas.  Junte a mistura de banana com a mistura de farinha.  Acrescente o chocolate e as nozes e misture.  Coloque na fôrma e asse durante 55-65 minutos.

Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta recipe by http://www.lacucinaitaliana.it and Strawberry Coulis recipe by Epicurious


We had to prepare a presentation for Italian class this semester.  My classmate and I chose Italian cuisine as our topic.  As part of the presentation we recorded videos (in Italian) for the recipes we chose to highlight:  Bruschetta and Panna Cotta.  She made the Bruschetta, I made the Panna Cotta.

Panna Cotta is a dessert with origins in the region of Piemonte, in the northwest of Italy.  It is a simple and quick dessert to prepare and is adaptable to all seasons. Think of it as a delicate flan without eggs. You can infuse the panna (cream) and milk with all sorts of flavors, including vanilla, lavender, or pistacchio.  Panna Cotta is often topped with a fruit coulis or syrup.  Try maraschino or chocolate sauce, for example.  I lean toward the tangy toppings.  Raspberry and passion fruit are lovely.  I prepared the one in the photo with strawberry sauce.

The recipe for this Panna Cotta comes from the site, http://www.lacucinaitaliana.it  The essential ingredients of a Panna Cotta are the same.   Take a look at other recipe options online and you will see that the main ingredients are sugar, panna or latte, and gelatin.

Panna Cotta

10 gr gelatin sheets
1 dl milk
½ liter whipping cream
100 gr sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add the gelatin sheets to a bowl containing cold water.  In the meantime, heat 1 dl of milk.  Do not allow it to bowl.  Squeeze the water from the gelatin sheets and add it to the hot milk.  Stir until it incorporates into the milk.  In another pot, heat half a liter of fresh cream (whipping cream) and add 100 grams of sugar.  Stir well so that the sugar melts.  Mix the milk with the cream and add the vanilla.  Pour into small molds that have been rinsed with cold water.  Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 5-6 hours.  Turn the Panna Cotta into dessert plates and top with strawberry sauce.

Strawberry Coulis

1 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon juice

In a medium saucepan, combine the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Transfer to a blender.

Purée until smooth, strain, and set aside.  Drizzle over desserts, like the Panna Cotta you see pictured.

Para a aula de italiano tivemos de fazer uma apresentação.  Eu a minha colega fizemos a nossa apresentação sobre a culinária Italiana.  Incluímos duas receitas e um video mostrando como preparar a Bruschetta e a Panna Cotta.  Foi bem divertido fazer os videos.  Ultimamente só faço rir.  É tanta coisa engraçada que acontece no meu dia a dia.  A nossa professora de Italiano é um barato.  Sera que um dia o blog vai ter tradução para o Italiano também?!

A Panna Cotta vem da região de Piemonte.  Eu já fui lá e amei.  Faz fronteira com a França e a Suiça.  Os três paises são doceiros.  Aquilo sabe fazer doce, viu!

A Panna Cotta tradicional contem quatro ingredientes básicos: leite e/ou creme de leite, açucar, baunilha e gelatina em folha.  Impossível errar uma receita de Panna Cotta.  Experimente!

10 gr de folhas de gelatina
1 dl de leite
1/2 litro de creme de leite
100 gr de açucar
1 colher de sopa de baunilha

Coloque as folhas de gelatina numa tigela com agua fria.  Enquanto a gelatina tome forma na agua, esquente 1 dl de leite numa panela, sem deixar ferver.  Retire a panela do fogo.  Esprema as folhas de gelatina e adicione ao leite.  Misture bem.

Em outra panela, esquente meio litro de creme de leite fresco (whipping cream) e adicione 100 gr de açucar.  Misture até o  açucar derreter.  Junte o leite ao creme e misture.  Adicione um pouco de baunilha.

Despeje em fôrminhas e deixe esfriar.  Leve para a geladeira durante 5-6 horas.

Coulis de Morango

1 copo de morangos congelados
1/2 copo de açucar
1 colher de sopa de suco de limão

Junte os morangos, o açucar e o suco de limão.  Deixe ferver.  Retire do fogo e despeje num liquificador.  Bata até a mistura ficar com a consistência de calda.  Sirva com a Panna Cotta.


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.

Shrimp Pasta with Rosé Sauce ~ Macarrão com Camarão ao Molho Rosé

It’s 11 p.m. I just woke up from a long couch nap. Pretty Woman is playing on TV.  The Canes won again today.  We’re 10-0 and Number 2 in the nation.  That was fun.  Could life be any better?  I’m trying to think of something that would make it better.  Nothing really.  It’s lovely.  As is this pasta dish.

3 tablespoons butter
1 chopped onion
2 chopped garlic cloves
2 lbs peeled shrimp
1 can whole or chopped tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
200 grams table cream
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Melt the butter in a deep saute pan.  Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, stirring.  add the chopped garlic cloves and cook for a minute or two.  Add the peeled shrimp.  When the shrimp turn pink, add the tomatoes and nutmeg.  After a few minutes add the table cream.  Add the pasta that has already been cooked and turn off the heat.  Stir and add two tablespoons chopped parsley.  Serve immediately.

É quase meia noite e acordei neste instante, depois de ter cochilado no sofa.  “Pretty Woman” esta passando na televisão.  (Adoro) Os Miami Hurricanes ganharam hoje outra vez.  Ficamos em segundo lugar entre todos os times de futebol universitário do país e agora vamos para as finais. O jogo de hoje foi muito emocionante.  O estádio tremia com o barulho dos torcedores.  A cerveja descia redonda.  Foi muito bom.  Vida melhor do que esta não existe. Agore prove este macarrão ao molho rosé.

3 colheres de sopa de manteiga
1 cebola picada
2 dentes de alho picados
2 libras de camarão descascado
1 lata de tomates enteiros ou picados
1/2 colher de nóz moscada
200 gramas de creme de leite
3 colheres de sopa de salsinha

Derreta a manteiga numa panela.  Adicione a cebola e cozinhe por alguns minutos, sempre mexendo.  Acrescente o alho e cozinhe um pouco mais.  Logo adicione o camarão.  Quando o camarão ficar cor de rosa adicione os tomates e a nós moscada.  Depois de alguns minutos, despeje o creme de leite no molho.  Desligue o fogo e acrescente o macarrão que foi cozido antes (al dente).  Coloque a salsinha, misture e sirva.





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.

Calm After the Storm ~ Depois da Tempestade

Squirrel Lapping Up the Sap. Photo by Priscillakittycat

I’m writing this blog entry while watching the Canes game (we’re up 45-30), talking to a friend via phone and “paintin’ your toenails pink”.  At this rate it will take hours, maybe days, to finish a paragraph.  I suspect the writing will sound scattered, which is exactly how I feel.  Even before Hurricane Irma came through our region, things seemed a bit off.  I can’t explain it, but I feel it.

I’m not the only one who feels this way.  During my conversations with friends and colleagues they’ve mentioned experiencing a similar sensation.  It’s as if something were missing.  Others say it’s a little bit of anxiety. I’m unable to focus.  But then again, so much has happened in the last couple of months.  I thought my life would move in one direction and it took a turn in another.

I should talk about food.  Well, there was the Costco-size box of Oreo cookies that we bought for the hurricane. We bought Chips Ahoy cookies, as well.  There were bags of potato chips, popcorn and tins of crackers.  Sardines and cans of tuna galore.  One section of our bar contained stacked cases of beer.  In another corner we stored water and Gatorade.

Did I cook for the hurricane?  Yes, I made Guacamole two days in a row.  I ate chips and guacamole uncontrollably. When the Guacamole was gone I finished off the chips.  My cousin and I prepared and baked Lebanese pastries (Esfiha).  I must have had 30 pastries within 12 hours.   Oreo cookies in hand, we watched the wind whipping and the trees on our street fall to the ground.  We played cards in the candlelight and ate bagged popcorn when the lights went out.  I gained 5 lbs in 48 hours.  So this is what it means to binge eat?

And now here we are, alive and well.  We are thankful that the eye of the hurricane deviated from the original projected course but sad to know the Caribbean Islands and Florida Keys were shown no mercy.  I went for a run today to clear the mind. I had to run in the street because there are still piles of trees and trash on the sidewalks. Amidst what appeared to be chaos, there was order. The squirrel in the photo wasn’t fazed by the new surroundings.  She skipped across the street and scurried up the broken tree to lap up some sap. The confusion is just in the mind.  My t-shirt says, “Life is Good”.  And it is.


É Sabado.  Enquanto escrevo o texto para o blog assisto um jogo dos Miami Hurricanes (estamos ganhando 45-30), pinto as unhas, e converso pelo telefone.  Muito mudou depois que o furacão Irma passou pela nossa região. Está tudo confuso.  É dificil explicar mas a mente ficou embaralhada.  Outras pessoas com quem tenho falado sentem o mesmo. É como se estivesse faltando alguma coisa.  Pode ser até uma ansiedade.  Pensei que a minha vida fosse tomar um rumo…mas está deslisando em outra direção.  Não é nada ruím.

Devo falar da comida. Voce quer saber se cozinhei durante o furacão?  Oh, se cozinhei! Eramos três cozinheiras.  Tinha muita comida.  O número de bocas para comer era o mesmo, mas a fome era dobrada.  Eu comia e bebia descontroladamente. Cookies, pasteis, chips, cerveja…Ganhei 2 kilos em 48 horas.

Agora, dias depois…resolvi dar uma corrida pelo bairro.   Tive que correr no meio da rua para desviar das pilhas de árvores caidas.  Apesar da bagunça estava tudo em ordem.  O esquilo nem se preocupou.  Ele deu uns saltinhos e correu para cima da árvore para lamber o mel do tronco.  A confusão esta em nossa mente.  Estamos com vida.  E a vida é boa.