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.

Dough
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

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

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

Glaze
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!

Massa
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

Manteiga
24 colheres (sopa) de manteiga sem sal, fria

Montagem
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.

Advertisements

Honey Lavender Hot Chocolate ~ Chocolate Quente com Mel e Lavanda

Recipe by FitFoodieFinds Blog, Photo by Priscillakittycat

Ooooooooo!  I just discovered something so great.  Okay, the discovery actually happened last November when I was in Asheville, NC.  First let me tell you how I ended up in Asheville.  I was there to deliver a very special sentient being named Harley to his new family.  I had helped rescue Harley (and another 9 cats) from a very scary situation in Miami and my good friend Jessy and her partner, Monica, offered to give Harley, a 16 year old kitty, a happy home to live out the rest of his life.  Elated to report that one year later, Harley, who they’ve named Little Buddy, stole the hearts of his family.  He receives so much love and affection.  Little Buddy has a kitty sister, Cutie.  They rule over the household and daily activities revolve around them.  If you’re reading this, “Thank you, Jess and Monica, for all the love you give to Little Buddy!”

Now that you know why I was in Asheville, let’s talk about the hot chocolate part of the story.  There’s this chocolate place called the French Broad in Asheville’s town center.  The name sounded funny and I became curious when the girls told me about it.  I imagined it would be owned by a French Broad or some rough or maybe eccentric red-haired woman with an interesting past.  (Remember, I like to make up my own stories).  Turns out, the history of the French Broad is so unrelated to the story I had come up with.  If you’re curious about the real story, ask Uncle Google.

While at the French Broad, I ordered a Honey Lavender Hot Chocolate.  You can choose to have yours with milk chocolate or dark chocolate.  I love dark chocolate and ohhh boy, do I love lavender.  It was divine!  When I returned to Miami I ordered a bag of Lavender flowers online…but never got around to reproducing the French Broad’s hot chocolate…until today.

Yeah, so what if the temperature in Miami is in the high 70s right now.  In these here parts you can’t wait for cold weather.  Besides, I really want to share this recipe with you…because everyone should have lavender honey simple syrup on hand.  You can use it to sweeten tea, lemonade or anything you’d like.  Make the simple syrup one night ahead of your hot chocolate party. Trust me on this one.  Lavender Honey Hot Chocolate is the cat’s meow!

For the Lavender-Infused Honey Simple Syrup

½ cup filtered water
½ cup all-natural honey
1 tablespoon dried lavender (I used 2 tablespoons)

For the Honey Lavender Hot Chocolate

2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 ounce 60% dark chocolate (i used high quality chocolate)
3 tablespoons cocoa powder (if you use high quality cocoa, which i did, then use only 2 tbsps)
3 tablespoons honey lavender simple syrup (i added a little more)

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and turn to medium/high heat.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and let simmer for 5 minutes. Stirring consistently until honey dissolves into water.

Place into a container and into the fridge. Let sit overnight or for at least 8 hours to let the lavender infuse even more. Strain lavender before serving.

Place 2 cups of almond milk and 1 ounce of dark chocolate in a small saucepan and turn to medium/high heat. Whisk until dissolved.  Add in cocoa powder and honey lavender simple syrup and whisk until dissolved. Continue whisking until hot cocoa comes to a simmer.


Ahhhhh, descobri algo maravilhoso!  Bem, a descoberta aconteceu na Carolina do Norte, nos EUA em novembro de 2017.  Vou explicar.  Eu fui para a Carolina do Norte para fazer uma entrega muito importante.  A entrega se chamava “Harley”.  Eu tinha resgatado o Harley e mais 8 gatos de uma situação muito perigosa em Miami.

A viagem até Asheville durou 13 horas.  Enquanto eu dirigia, o Harley, muito carinhoso, dormia no meu colo ou no banco do meu lado.  Demoramos mas chegamos bem.  Entregei o Harley, que hoje chama “Little Buddy”, para as novas mãs dele, a Jessica e a Monica.  Não tem nada melhor do que quando a gente encontra uma casa boa para um animal.  Hoje o Little Buddy tem uma irmã e vive como um rei.  Agradeço muito a Jessica e a Monica pelo amor que elas tem proporcionado a ele.

Agora que está explicado como fui parar na Carolina do Norte, podemos falar sobre o chocolate quente.  Na cidade de Asheville tem uma loja de chocolates chamada, “The French Broad”.  Eu logo imaginei que a dona do lugar fosse uma francesa velha, durona, porque o termo “broad” em inglês pode significar uma mulher desse tipo.  A história que inventei estava completamente errada.  Se você quizer saber o que é French Broad…pergunte para o Tio Google.

Okay, voltando ao assunto: chocolate quente.  Quando fomos ao French Broad pedi um chocolate quente com lavanda e mel.  Pense numa coisa dos deuses!  Quando voltei para Miami procurei a receita e comprei as flores de lavanda pela Amazon.  Isso faz tanto tempo.  Ainda bem que as flores de lavanda duram dois anos na embalagem.

Para a Calda de Mel e Lavanda

Esta calda pode ser usada para adoçicar limonada ou até suco de maracuja.  Faça a calda no dia antes ou varios dias antes de fazer o chocolate.
1/2 copo de agua filtrada
1/2 copo mel natural
1 colher de sopa flores de lavanda (eu usei 2 colheres)

Para o Chocolate Quente
2 copos de leite de amendoa sem açucar
1 oz (aproximadamente 30 gramas) de chocolate amargo (60 a 70%)
3 colheres de sopa pó de cacao (eu usei só 2 colheres porque o chocolate era de alta qualidade o que faz o sabor ser mais forte)
3 ou 4 colheres da calda de mel e lavanda

Para a calda de Mel e Lavanda
Coloque todos os ingredientes numa panela pequena e ligue o fogão para o fogo meio alto.  Deixe ferver, reduz o fogo e deixe fervilhar durante 5 minutos sempre mexendo até o mel dissolver na água.

Quando esfriar, transfira para uma jarrinha de vidro e leve para a geladeira durante pelo menos 8 horas.  A calda pode ficar na geladeira varias semanas.

Para o Chocolate Quente
Coloque 2 copos do leite de amendoa e 30 gramas de chocolate numa panela pequena.  Acenda o fogo (meio alto) Use o batedor (não a batedeira) para bater o chocolate no leite até o chocolate derreter.  Adicione o chocolate em pó e o mel (coado).  Bata com o batedor até o leite ferventar.

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.

Cake

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

Filling

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

Cake

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

Frosting

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.

 

 

Christmas Cookies ~ Cookies de Natal

Photo by Priscillakittycat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Brigadeiro

Recipe by Betty Crocker, Photo by Priscillakittycat

On weekends and holiday mornings, you can find me running the perimeter of the campus where I work.  “Why run?” you ask.  The answer is in the photo.  These morsels have “no sugar added”…except for the indirect sugar content in 2 cans of condensed milk-166 grams of sugar per can.

You could look at the positives.  Chug 1 can of condensed milk and you will have satisfied 86% of the daily requirement for calcium, 16% for Vitamin A, 13% Vitamin C…and 48% of Protein.

Brigadeiros are the staple at every Brazilian birthday party.  The ones pictured were produced for Thanksgiving.  To get the recipe, find the June 13, 2013 entry or use the search bar and enter: “Brigadeiro”.

In summary:  It is wise to exercise to get your cardio…but this girl runs to indulge in sugar.


Nos finais de semana e feriados eu corro ao redor do campus onde trabalho.  Me pergunte por que corro.  A resposta está na foto.  A receita de brigadeiro não inclue açucar como ingrediente…só o açucar das duas latas de leite condensado (166 gramas cada lata)…Aí é outra história.  Corro para poder comer Brigadeiro sem limites!

Olhando pelo lado positivo, uma lata de leite condensado contém 85% do valor diário recomendado de cálcio, 16% Vitamina A, 13% Vitamina C e 48% proteina.

Você encontrará a receita se inserir “brigadeiro” na barra de pesquisa do blog.

 

 

Tiramisu

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)

Cream
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.

Creme
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.

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.

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!

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

Instructions:

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

Instruções:

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.

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.

 

Easter ~ A Páscoa

Photos by Priscillakittycat

There is so much to do, so little time.  They say the older we get, the faster time passes.  I concur.  Today, for the first time in several months, I am home on a Saturday night…and I have time to do nothing at all.  I could just sit and watch Diners, Drive-ins and Dives but it seems like a good night to catch up and share some recipes.  By the way, just as I sat down and switched the channel to Guy’s show…he was at the Shrimp Shack in Islamorada.  The Shrimp Shack is now on my list of spots to visit.  I never was into the whole fine dining drama.  Flip flops and t-shirts are so much better.  Besides, what’s the point of paying more for less.

Yes, the Easter holiday has come and gone.  Even so, I believe it’s worth sharing these cookies.  They are the same kind I bake all the time…Maybe you will like the new shapes and get some ideas.  There might be some underlying reason, like repressed childhood desires, to explain this fascination with cookies.  Or it could just be that everywhere I go there are cute-shaped cookie cutters…and I give in to the urge to buy them.  Just Google “cookies” on this blog’s search box and the recipe will pop up.

———————————-

Até tinha esquecido como é bom passar um sabado a noite em casa, sem tarefas para fazer ou compromissos para cumprir.  Na televisão está passando “Triple-D”, um show de Guy Fieri: Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  Quem me conhece sabe que prefiro um “copo sujo” do que qualquer restaurante chique.  Por coincidencia, neste episódio o Guy visita o Shrimp Shack de Islamorada.  Fica perto de Miami.  Posso ir.

A Páscoa foi boa.  Eu fiz cookies.  Já deu para perceber que gosto de fazer cookies?  É que tenho todo tipo de fôrminha que você possa imaginar.  Sempre uso a mesma receita para os cookies.  Procure nas postagens anteriores!

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.

Ingredients

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.
Ingredientes
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.