sexta-feira, 17 de dezembro de 2010

Risoto de Camarão da Vanessa

Mamma Mia! A special thanks to my dear friend Vanessa London who once again shared another delicious recipe with my blog. Obrigada, Vanessa!!!



1. 400 g de camarão cinza limpo

2. 3 xícaras de chá de arroz branco

3. 1/2 xícara de chá de pimentão verde cortado em cubos pequenos

4. 1 tomate sem semente cortado em cubos pequenos

5. Cheiro verde picado

6. 2 colheres de extrato de tomate

7. 1/2 lata de creme de leite

8. 2 dentes de alho

9. 1 colher de sopa de azeite

10. Sal

11. 1/2 limão

Modo de Preparo

1. Tempere o camarão no limão e sal, reserve por 10 minutos

2. Enquanto isso, faça o arroz, fritando ele muito bem

3. Em seguida, coloque água suficiente para cobrir o arroz na panela, sobrando uns 2 centímetros a mais do que o arroz no fundo da panela

4. Coloque pouco sal, pois o molho do camarão levará o cubo de caldo de camarão

5. Cozinhe em fogo baixo até que toda água seque

6. Retire do fogo e deixe a tampa da panela aberta (para o arroz não passar do ponto)

7. Agora, numa frigideira grande, que caiba todo o camarão, doure o alho e coloque todo o camarão sem o suco do limão, junte o tomate, o pimentão, o cheiro verde, o extrato de tomate e o cubo de caldo de camarão
8. Adicione um pouco de água, para que tenha molho suficiente para encobrir o camarão na frigideira

9. Cozinhe em fogo baixo por 5 minutos

10. Enquanto isso, retire o arroz e o ponha em um recipiente de cerâmica ou vidro

11. Solte-o bastante, com o garfo

12. Junte o creme de leite ao molho e depois junte o molho do camarão com o arroz e misture, usando em uma das mãos um garfo, e em outra mão uma colher

13. Decore com camarões grelhados e coentro

14. Servir bem quente
Foto 1 - cozinhando o camarão

Foto 2 - risoto pronto

terça-feira, 30 de novembro de 2010

Polenta and Pumpkin Pie

I keep looking at my calendar and just can't believe today is the last day of the month. What happened to November? Just the other day it was the beginning of he month - when I posted my last recipe, to be more precise. All in all, November was a good month. Well, O.K. to say the least. Of all the good and bad things that happened this month, one thing is for sure: I did eat well. And here is another recipe from me to you.

Polenta and Pumpkin Pie


For the first layer:
2 cups polenta grits or yellow cornmeal
italian seasoning
salt and pepper (or seasoning of your choice such as Sazon)

For the second layer:
tomato sauce or paste
green beans (fresh or frozen)
one package of turkey franks
salt and pepper (or seasoning of your choice such as Sazon)
water (optional)

For the third layer:
one pumpkin
italian seasoning
salt and pepper (or seasoning of your choice such as Sazon)
grated parmesan & romano cheese

First layer: bring 6 cups of water and salt/seasoning to a boil. Reduce to medium heat. Add 2 cups of polenta grits or yellow cornmeal gradually. Cook for 2 minutos approximately or until polenta thickened. Spread polenta in a Pyrex dish.

Second layer: in a separate pan, cook the franks in tomato sauce with desired seasoning. Add beans until completely thawed. Add water if cooking with tomato paste. Once mixture is hot, spread it over polenta.

Third layer: cook pumpkin ahead or in a slow cooker for 6 hours on low or 2 to 3 on high. Once pumpkin pieces are tender, smah them and add seasoning. Spread 'mashed pumpkin' on top of the second layer. Add grated parmesan and romano cheese as desired.

Pre-heat oven (400) for at least 10 minutes. Put pie in the oven until hot. Put it on broil for a few minutes or until cheese is brown. Serve hot with olive oil and fresh homemade bread and/or salad.
This recipe is extremely easy to make and works great with a multitude of other ingredients that I can't even begin to list. Feel free to try your own ingredintes and let me know how it turns out. Thanks!

Special thanks to Adam, Chris & Christel for trying out and approving this recipe!

terça-feira, 2 de novembro de 2010

From blog to blog

For my first post this month, I will post another blog.
Just click on the link below and you will find two delectable recipes from my dear friend Vanessa.
I haven't tried these particular recipes yet but she is a great cook.
As usual... enjoy!

ps: your pictures are gorgeous indeed, my dear... mouthwatering I might add!

quarta-feira, 6 de outubro de 2010

Apple'n'cinnamon tea cake

This super easy recipe is great for a chilly Sunday afternoon in the fall.

Apple'n'Cinnamon Tea Cake


1 Teaspoon Salt

1 Cup Corn Meal yellow

1 Cup Flour

3 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Shortening

1 Cup Milk

1 Medium Egg
1 Cup Apple, diced
2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
Extra cinnamon and confectioner's sugar for decoration.
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl.

3.Mix in shortening with a fork.

4.Add diced apple, milk and egg.

5.Stir with spoon until all ingredients are combined (do not over mix).

6.Spray muffin cups with non-stick coating. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with muffin batter.

7.Bake in oven for 15 minutes.
8. Decorate with cinnamon and confectioner's sugar.
Serve while warm with tea and vanilla ice-cream or frozen yogurt.

terça-feira, 5 de outubro de 2010

Adapted Egg Benedict Casserole


3 to 6 egg whites (*)
4 (entire) eggs
1 can french cut beans
2 to 4 tablespoons of bacon bits
salt and pepper


In a bowl, beat egg whites and seasoning with the help of a whisker. Add french cut beans and bacon. Add mix to a large greased frying pan or skillet. Make four 'wholes' onto mix so that when you add the eggs, they won't move to the sides or center of the pan. Add eggs to 'wholes'. Place lid on top of the pan and let it cook for approx. 10 minutes in medium to high heat or until eggs are fully cooked. 

Serve for breakfast with fresh fruit and biscuits.

(*) use egg white left from the Quindim recipe.

Testing: Quindim do Dr. Oetker

This weekend I tried the Quindim mix from Dr. Oetker.
This mix turned out to be the answer to my prayers... sort of.
Amazingly enough, quindim is the Brazilian dessert I miss the most.
I said 'amazingly' because neither mom nor grandma used to make it at home.
I wouldn't even eat quindim every time we ate out.
But for some reason, every now and then I would have cravings for some quindim.
I had browsed thru several recipes and all of them call for at least 8 eggs which always refrained me from trying them - what if it doesn't work and I end up wasting 8 EGGS!?!?!?!
Anyway, the mix calls for only 6 tablespoons of water, 3 egg yolks (*) and one entire egg.
The only downside of the mix is that is doesn't make many servings - about 8 little squares or a quindim big enough for 4.
For 16 little pieces, you will have to make 2 recipes.
Other than that, the mix is wonderful!
In a scale from 1- 10 where 1 is very poor and 10 is excellent, I'd give it a 9.
Definately, a 'must' in every kitchen.
For decoration, use 16 raspberries and confectioner's sugar.
Very yummy!!!!

(*) save the egg whites for the next recipe.

quarta-feira, 29 de setembro de 2010

Bolo Salgado de Abobrinha

Ficou uma delicia! - segundo minha mãe.


3 xicaras de abobrinha cortada em rodelas ou ralada

1 xicara de farinha de trigo

1 1/2 col chá de fermento em pó

1/2 xic de queijo parmesão ralado ou muzzarella

1/2 xic de cebola bem picada

2 col sopa de salsinha picada

1/2 col chá de orégano

sal e pimenta do reino

1 dente de alho bem picado

1/2 xic de óleo

4 ovos ligeiramente batidos


Aqueça o forno em temperatura moderada (170C). Unte a forma refratária retangular de uns 20 x 20 cm.

Misture todos os ingredientes. Espalhe na forma. asse até que doure por uns 35 min.
Saboreie e refestele-se!
Obrigada pela receita, manhê!

sexta-feira, 24 de setembro de 2010

Potato-bread croissant


1 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 tablespoon italian seasoning
1 1/2 cup of white flour
1 cup potato flour
2 tablespoons nonfat milk (powder, preferable) (optional)
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons quick-rise or bread-machine yeast


Add ingredients in this order into the bread-machine (except for the 1/2 cup of white flour). As the kneading process begins, keep an eye on the dough. After about 5 minutes, you will be able to tell whether the dough needs more flour or not. If so, add some more white flour gradually until the dough forms a ball that doesn't stick onto the bucket walls.
As soon as the kneading process is over, open the dough using a rolling pin and shape it as a croissant. This is how you do it: you open the dough and cut it into small- to medium- size triangles. Roll the wider edge of each triangle towards the third edge. If necessary, use a brush with butter to help the croissant adhere to the desired shape.
Let them rest on a greased tray for about 10 minutes while the oven is pre-heating (set it to 400F). Reduce temperature to 325-350 and bake them until brown (approx. 25 minutes).
Serve hot for breakfast or as a side dish with butter - or my favorite, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 


quinta-feira, 16 de setembro de 2010

My Mom's Zucchini Bread

My Mom's Zucchini Bread


8 oz. zucchini, trimmed
1/2 cup (4 fl. oz.)canola oil + extra for greaing
3/4 cup (6 oz.)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (essence)
1 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour + extra for flouring
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped, pitted moist pack prunes or raisins
1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts


Pre-heat oven at 350 F (180 C). Grease and lightly flour one 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan or 3 6 x 3 inch loaf pans. Using the large wholes of a box grater/shredder or a food processor, shred the zucchini. You should have about one cup. Set aside. In a bowl, combine oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat vigorously with a whisk or with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale and creamy (about one minute). Stir in the shredded zucchini until blended. In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, prunes or raisins and walnuts. Add the flour mixture to the zucchini mixture and stir just until combined. The batter will be stiff. Scrape the batter into prepared pan(s). Bake until bread is firm to the touch and pulls away from pan sides (approx. 50 minutes for a large loaf or 35-40 for small ones). A cake tester inserted in the middle of the loaf should come out clean. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Turn the bread out, place upright on the rack and let it cool completely.

Thanks, mom!

segunda-feira, 13 de setembro de 2010

Ideas for Sunday dinner

Sundays are my favorite day for cooking because there is no rushing. Breakfast is eaten late, then a snack in the middle of the afternoon and a nice dinner in the evening. All done with no hurrying, no running, no clock ticking... in other words, no stress!

Here is an idea for an easy and quick meal for one of those days... ahhh!

'Bife Acebolado' with potatoes + 2 side orders


Meat: three to four steaks (meat of your preference) - 1 cup vinegar or white wine - 1 cup bbq sauce - 1 1/2 onions sliced - salt and pepper.

Potatoes: 5 potatoes, sliced - extra virgin olive oil - salt and paprika.

Salad: 1 bag of frozen vegetables (selection of your choice, I used Italian garden vegetables) - 2 tbsp fat-free mayo - 1 packet Sazon for salads (optional)

Toasts: 6-8 slices of bread cut into 4 triangles - extra virgin olive oil - Italian seasoning (whole wheat rolls served with butter work too!)


The night before: if the meat is frozen, thaw it by placing it in the fridge overnight.

In the morning: in a container or Ziplock plastic bag, add 1 cup vinegar or white wine, 1 cup bbq sauce, salt and pepper and the meat. Let it marinate until you start preparing dinner (or for at least 30 minutes).

In the evening: Thaw a bag of mixed vegetables - oven top or microwave oven - and let it cool down. Mix in 2 tbsps fat-free mayonnaise. For more taste, add one packet of Sazon for salads. Put it in the fridge to serve it cold. Now, the meat. Place frying pan with meat sauce on medium heat. Once sauce is hot, add meat and remaining sauce. Let it cook for 5 minutes before adding onions. Now, the potatoes. Place pan with water and salt on the stove and bring it to a boil. While you wait, wash, peel and slice potatoes. Add potatoes to boiling water, reduce heat and let them cook for 10-15 minutes of until tender. Back to the meat, add onions. While the meat and potatoes are cooking, cut a few slices of bread into 4 triangles. Place them on a greased tray and pour extra virgin olive oil and oregano leaves, or Italian seasoning, on them. Let them stand until potatoes and meat are almost ready to serve. Once potatoes are tender, get rid of the water and cook them some more on 1 tbsp of olive oil and paprika to taste until they are brown. Turn oven to broil and insert bread tray. Serve all 4 dishes together for a delicious and easy Sunday dinner.

And let another week begin!

A few more pictures for you:

sexta-feira, 10 de setembro de 2010

Testing 1,2,3

This is the first post of many in the series 'Testing 1-2-3'.
What exactly is it?
I will as often as I can try out something that it supposed to help us and make life easier in the kitchen such as cake mixes and pasta sauces or other ready-to-go products.
Some work wonders and help a bunch when it comes to serving a family meal or hosting a get together for friends.
Others, just don't work.
This week I tried the passion fruit cake mix from Dona Benta (Bolo de Maracujá). You can find several cake mixes from Dona Benta at the store La Pequenita located on 2740 South State Street. Among the many flavors, my favorite are Lemon, Vanilla, Banana with Cinnamon, Chocolate, Swiss Cake (Chocolatíssimo), Creamy Milho Verde, Cornmeal, Strawberry, Carrot, Whole Wheat, and my all-time favorite: Aipim (Yuca).
Unfortunately, my cake didn't rise too much. It looked more like a pie that a cake, to be quite honest. However, what it lacked in size, it made up beautifully in taste. I added some white icing and it was a hit!
Maybe it is my oven that needs to be cleaned, fixed, regulated... You get the drill.
Anyway, I hope you try one of their products and reports to me what you thought of it.
For more info on their products and delicious recipes, go to (available in Portuguese only).
Here is a picture of what I decided to call My Passion Fruit Cake-Pie:

quinta-feira, 2 de setembro de 2010

Corn Meal Muffins

This recipe came on a corn meal package.
Always check packages for recipes.
Let me know what you find.

Corn Meal Muffins

1 cup enriched corn meal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk (*)
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg
(*) easy substitute for buttermilk - 1 cup milk + 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice - let stand for 5 minutes and it's ready to use.

Preheat oven to 450F. Grease muffin pans. Blend all ingredients throughly. Beat vigorously for about 1 minute. Fill each cup 2/3 full and bake about 15 minutes or until brown. Makes 12 muffins.

Tilapia With Coconut Milk (Ginataang Tilapia)

I personally believe that slow-cookers rock!

Seriously. I leave home for work at 9 am and I don't usually get home until after 8pm. Having a slow cooker and putting it to use to me means that, after being gone all day, I get home and not only do I not have to cook, but I also have fresh homemade preservative-free food ready to serve. I truly believe that the only thing that could make life easier would be to have a Rose (from the Jetsons) at home. Wishful thinking, I know.

Here is a delicious tilapia recipe easily cooked in your slow-cooker. You can also try the same recipe with cod fish, salmon or tuna.

Tilapia With Coconut Milk (Ginataang Tilapia)

4 tilapia fillets - 1 cup white rice - 1 cup brown rice - 1/2 cup black beans - 1/2 garbanzo benas (aka chick peas) - 2 carrots cut in chunky pieces - 3 bouillon cubes of seasoning for fish with coconut milk (Tempero para peixe com leite de coco Maggi) - 1 teaspoon set salt - water - black pepper

Place fish first into slow cooker then add remaining ingredients. Place carrots on top. Cover ingredients with hot water. Cook for 3 hours on low. Season with black pepper when ready to serve. Serves 3-4.

quarta-feira, 1 de setembro de 2010

Breakfast Casserole

One of the highlights of my Sundays is - after sleeping in and lounging in bed with the pups for at least an hour - breakfast!
I always make sure I get the day started with a healthy meal for breakfast. But still, weekdays are never as calm and relaxed as Sunday mornings are.
This past weeekend I tried the famous casserole and it was a delicious dish, very easy to prepare too.
For an even more wholesome recipe, I suggest you use homemade bread -just see one of my previous recipes for easy bread-making!

Breakfast Casserole

2-4 slices of bread - preferably whole wheat, but here are other ideas: white, rye, potato, oatmeal
4 eggs
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup diced ham
1 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella chesse
Salt & pepper
Skim milk

Preheat oven at 375F.
Place slices of bread - or cut them into crumb-size pieces - on tray and pour a little milk on top.
In a separate bowl, mix ingredients in the order above. Add salt to taste.
Pour mixture on top of bread in the tray. Put tray in the oven.
Bake casserole for approx. 25min at 350F or until top is brown.
Too make sure the casserole is ready, insert a knife or fork in it. If the utensil comes out dry, it is ready to serve.
If it is still wet, make small wholes on the top and place tray in the oven again until fully cooked.

Utensils needed:
A 9-inch square tray - can be round too

Serve with tea & milk and/or Tang orange juice and fresh strawberries.

Here is my South Beach Diet tip: for an even healthier and lower-calory meal, exclude the cheese from the list of ingredients and serve casserole accompanied with reduced fat cottage cheese.

terça-feira, 31 de agosto de 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

1 cup hot water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon essence vanilla, butter & almond
2 cups white flour
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons rapid-rise yeast

Sugar and cinnamon

White icing

Put ingredients in the order above in a bread machine and select dough
(or mix ingredients using your hands until you have a ball of dough).
Immediately after kneading is over, open dough with a rolling pin into a rectangular shape.
Pour as much sugar and cinnamon as you wish onto open dough.
Roll one of the bigger edges until it reaches the other edge of the dough.
Cut 'snake' into approx 2-inch pieces.
Place them on greased tray and let them rest for approx. 3 hours.
Pre-heat oven to 350F for approx. 10min and bake rolls for 20-25min or until brown.
Let them cool on a rack.
Once they are warm or cool, pour some more sugar & cinnamon on top and glaze with white icing.

Delectable & great for any occasion! I guarantee!  

quinta-feira, 26 de agosto de 2010

Tuna Pasta

Here is another delicious and super easy recipe.
You can make this delicious and healthy dish in less than 20 minutes.
It is the perfect combination for a chilly night or even as a summer salad.

Ingredients: one package pasta - two cans of tuna (in water or oil) - 1 to 2 cups baby spinach - 1 can tomato sauce with garlic - 1 can black olives

Directions: cook pasta according to instructions on the package until tender - just past the al dente stage. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, add the tomato sauce and start cooking it. When it is warm, add the other ingredients. Cook sauce until spinach is tender - you can also used frozen spinach.

When both are ready, add pasta to a bowl and pour the tuna sauce on top.

Serve with olive oil and parmesan cheese.

quarta-feira, 11 de agosto de 2010

Gnocchi della Fortuna

Among the many traditions that my family has, this is the one I like the most.
Every 29th day of the month, my mom makes gnocchi. And she makes it from scratch, really.
I can still remember the smell of gratinated cheese in the kitchen as I anxiously waited in the dining room
to have some of my mom's delicious gnocchi.
You will see here two different recipes.
The first one is the classic recipe for gnocchi made with potatoes that my mom makes every month - except for February (lol!).
The second recipe is from an Italian cookbook that a friend of mine gave me.
I hope you feel inspired to make some gnocchi this month too on the 29th.
In case you were wondering, now you know what i will be doing on the 29th!
Mangia che te fa bene, bella!

Gnocchi di patate - Potato Gnocchi

2 1/4 pounds mealy potatoes, peeled
about 1 1/2 cups flour (*)
a pinch of salt

Steam or boil the potatoes until soft enough to mash them. Add salt and slowly knead in enough flour to obtain a fairly firm, smooth, non-sticky dough - (*) exactly how much flour will depend upon how moist the potatoes are. Roll the dough out into 'snakes' about as thick as your finger. Cu'snakes' into one-inch pieces, and - optional - gently score the pieces crosswise with a fork. Cook the gnocchi in abundant salted boiling water, removing them with a slotted spoon a minute or two after they rise to the surface. Drain them well and top them with tomato sauce, pregano leaves and olive oil. Serves 4-6.

Spinach and squash gnocchi

Cook the spinach and the squash separately. When squash is tender and spinach fully cooked, mix them and add flour as in the recipe above. You might have to use an egg or two for this recipe so that you can work the dough as you blend the vegetables with the flour. Again, the quantity of flour and number of eggs will depend on how moist the mixture is. When the 'dough' is ready, follow the steps below and enjoy. Instead of tomato sauce, try shredded mozzarella on top and a few extra minutes in the broiler to gratinate the cheese. Serve with olive oil and green salad.

Cinnamon Cookies with White Glaze (Cookie Press Recipe)

Here goes a 'must' for small parties and get togethers with the girls!

Cinnamon Cookies with White Glaze
(you will need a cookie press for this recipe)

1 1/2 cups butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 375F. Thoroughly cream butter and sugar. Add egg, milk, vanilla and cinnamon; beat well. Stir together flour and baking powder; gradually add to creamed mixture, mixing to make a smiith dough. Do not chill. Place dough into Cookie Press and press cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned around edges. Remove cookies from sheet; cool on rack.
Add white icing glaze as you wish and wait at least 45 minuts to serve or stack them.
Makes 7-8 dozens. 

Try also different flavors of extracts such as banana and orange and play with the glaze! 

The REAL Wonder Bread

I am a firm believer that making bread is indeed one of the easiest things in the world. Seriously! And I have to thank my MOM for making it sound so amazingly easy. First thing you have to do is get yourself a bread machine - from WalMart or Sears to DI or Savers, it doesn't matter how much you spend on one as long as it works. Then, on your way home, make sure you stop at a bookstore like Barnes & Noble or Borders and chose a nice and simple bread making cookbook for bread machine - in case your bread machine doesn't provide you with one. Last stop before you get home is at a local supermarket to buy the ingredients. Never done this before? Here is a list that will help you get started get started:
- white flour
- whole wheat and/or rye flower
- semolina (durum wheat) flower (for pizza dough)
- vegetable and olive oils
- butter or margarine
- salt
- sugar (brown or caster, preferable) and/or honey
- yeast (for bread machine or rapid rise)
- seeds (flax, poppy or sesame)
- nonfat milk powder
- italian seasoning
- a few different extracts (such as: banana, orange, maple, vanilla, butter, almond, coconut) 
- nutmeg and cinnamon

With these basic ingredients in your pantry, you can get the party started in your kitchen with fresh homemade bread everyday! I hope you enjoy and try the recipes below. Ciao!

Bread #1 - Italian Bread

Ingredients: 9oz warm water - 1 tsp salt or Sazon seasoning for salads - 2 tbsp olive oil - italian seasoning (to taste) - 1 cup (approx. 8oz) white flour - 1 cup (approx. 8oz) whole wheat flour - 1 1/4 tbsp set of sugar or honey - 1 1/2 tsp yeast

Directions: add ingredients in the order above into bucket of bread machine. Select 'rapid wheat' and choose crust (light, medium or dark). It will be ready in around 2hrs and 45 mins (dependeing on bread machine). 

Suggestion: serve with soup, black olives and a mixture of extra olive oil and balsamic vinegar on a separate plate. 

Bread# 2 - Sweet & Sour Bread 

Ingredients: 9oz cold water - 1 tsp salt - 2 tbsp butter or margarine - 2 tbsp of butter/almond/maple extract - 1 tbsp nutmeg or 1 tsp cinnamon - 2 cups (approx. 16oz) white flour - 1/4 cup whole wheat or rye flour - 2 tbsp set of sugar - 2 1/2 tsp yeast
Directions: add ingredients in the order above into bucket of bread machine. Select 'rapid white' and choose crust dark. Bread will be ready in less than 2hrs (depending on bread machine).
Suggestion: serve while hot with butter or honey butter, tea w/ milk and fresh fruit or fruit juice. Makes a great addition to breakfast or even just to add a little bit of a  sweet taste to sandwiches and toasts.

Suggestion 2: you can also choose 'dough' to prevent baking in the bread machine. Instead, right after kneading stops, make small balls or rolls using your hands and place them on muffin trays. Let dough rest for at least 1hr. Bake is pre-heated oven at 350 degrees. I call them bruffins!

terça-feira, 10 de agosto de 2010

Another Summer Salad

Atendendo a inúmeros pedidos... here is another recipe for a delicious and refreshing summertime salad. Here is a tip: don't feel tied up to the list of ingredients presented in a recipe. Use your imagination, be bold and try new stuff, or simply replace them for those ingredients found in your fridge and cupboard and turn a hard task into a simple adn easy way to use what is in the fridge before it spoils.

Bom apetite, my friends!

Another Summer Salad: 1 package of pasta tricolore (three colors) - fully cooked, fresh baby spinach leaves, sliced pepperoni, 1 cup chopped green bell pepper, 1/2 cup sun-dried/roma/cherry tomatoes, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Dressing: 1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup olive oil, 1 package salad seasoning - mix and pour over salad.

Mix the salad with all the ingredients above and toss the dressing. Serve cool. Enjoy!

Lentil Salad with Whole Wheat Sourdough-shaped Bread

I (HEART) Salads!

Lentil Salad:
1 package lentils
2 carrots, shredded
1 cup red onions
1 cup raisins
1 cup cabbage
fat-free mayo
2 small packages of Sazon seasoning for salads
salt and pepper
optional: mustard

Cook lentils in slow cooker for at least 3 hours or conventional stove top for approx. 40 minutes. If possible, let it cool. Add ingredients in the order above. Set aside.

Whole Wheat Sourdough-shaped Bread:
9 oz. lukewarm water
2 tbsp of butter or vegetable (or olive) oil
1 teaspoon of salt (or seasoning mix)
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp brown/caster sugar
2 1/4 tsp rapid-rise yeast

Add ingredients in this order to bread machine. Choose dough. Don't let dough rest now. As soon as kneading is done, shape bread into the form you want and let it rest/rise. Pre-heat oven to 400C and bake ir for approx. 30 minutes in 375-350 - the higher the temperature, the darker the crust.
Tip: if you want dough to rise faster, let it on top of the oven while it is pre-heating. The heating coming from the oven will make the dough rise twice as fast as if left in room temperature. 

What a great recipe for both summer and winter time. Serve with juice.

And We Are Back!

I cannot believe an entire month went by since my last post!
I apologize to all my friends who so kindly visit my blog not in search of recipes but just because they feel sorry no one else does... lol!
Nah, I know some of you do log onto my blog and enjoy my posts as well as the recipes.
So here is another recipe that I truly hope you all enjoy - and try it yourselves!

La Vera Pasta Asciutta - Fancy Chicken Noodles

1 package whole wheat egg noodles
1 tray of chicken breats cut in cubes
1 package of tomato soup - powder
italian seasoning
olive oil
salt and pepper
parmesan cheese

Boil water and add chicken and seasoning (soup powder) together. When chicken is almost ready, in a separate pan, cook the noodles in hot water with olive oil and salt - to taste. Add chicken sauce to noodles after they are done. Serve with olive oil, italian seasoning and parmesan cheese on top.


quarta-feira, 7 de julho de 2010

Lasanha de Beringela da Valéria - Valéria's Eggplant Lasagna

Agradeço à participação da Valéria, amiga da minha mãe, que fez esta deliciosa lasanha num final de semana de pizzas e pelo que fiquei sabendo foi um sucesso!!!!

The eggplant lasagna is actually an old friend of mine back from the days I was on the South Beach Diet. Among the many recipes they have for Phase One (No Carbs, Protein Only), this was one of them. You can add ham if you wish but just mozzarella cheese makes it equally delectable. And if you're not counting calories, feel free to play with the chesse and choose among others: provolone, parmiggiano, romano, asiago, or swiss. Even cheddar for a true NO-MAC-and-Cheese! 

Lasanha de Beringela

Ingredientes: 2 beringelas, 300 gramas de queijo mozzarella, molho de tomate, folhas de manjericão. Use uma tijela refratária para forno convencional ou de barro para forno rústico.

Cortar as beringelas ao comprido (fatias finas) depois de lavadas.

Na tijela refratária, por no fundo uma camada de molho de tomate. A seguir, uma camada das fatias de beringela e por cima uma camada de mozzarella. E assim por diante, até preencher toda a tigela, terminando com uma camada de mozzarella (Claro!!). Por no forno (pré-aquecido por 10minutos) para cozinhar e gratinar por 20 minutos. Depois de pronto, enfeitar com folhas de manjericão.

A quantidade de mozzarella e de molho de tomate pode ficar a teu critério.Se quizer bem suculento,capriche no molho e na mussarela.
É bem fácil e gostoso!!!

Bom apetite!!!


Obrigadasso, Valéria!!!!!

Eggplant Lasagna
Ingredients: 2 eggplants, 300 grams of mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, basil leaves. Use a 9X13 inch baking dish for conventional oven or a ceramic/terra cota/clay baker for rustic outdoor/brick/adobe oven.  
Wash eggplants and cut them horizontally in thin slices.
Add a layer of tomato sauce to baking dish followed by a layer of eggplant and another layer of cheese. Repeat layers until baking dish is full. Top layer should be cheese. Pre-heat oven for 10 minutes and bake lasagna for approx. 20 minutes or until cheese is gratinated. After lasagna is out of the oven, add basil leaves.
Use as much tomato sauce and cheese as you wish.

terça-feira, 6 de julho de 2010

Williams-Sonoma Veggie Pizza

Semolina & olive oil (pizza) dough

1 cup (8oz) of lukewarm water
6 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup (8oz) of white flour
1 cup (8oz) of semolina (durum wheat) flour
2 tablespoons of brown sugar (or honey)
1 1/2 teaspoons of bread-active or bread machine yeast

Put all ingredients in your bread machine in the order above and hit the 'dough' button. After the kneading is done, let is rest for at least 3 hours. After that, open dough with the help of a rolling pin.

(*) This dough is amazingly soft and easy to work on. This is actually a recipe for North African bread that I turned into pizza dough. You can also open the dough using your hands and make some rustic focaccia bread.

Williams-Sonoma Veggie Pizza

1 ball of olive oil & semolina dough - see recipe above 
6 tablespoons of Williams-Sonoma pizza sauce
2 cups of fresh vegetables cut into chunky pieces - zucchini (green and yellow), bell peppers (green and yellow), cherry tomatoes, onions.
Mozzarella cheese
Oregano leaves

Pre-heat oven at 400. If you have a pizza stone, leave it in the oven for at least 30 minutes before putting pizza on top of it. Open dough into the shape of pizza. Spread pizza sauce. Toss vegetables and cover them with cheese. Sprinkle oregano leaves or italian seasoning on top. Insert pizza in the oven. It should be ready in 15-20 minutes.

Tip: the more you let the pizza stone in the oven before baking the pizza, the hotter it gets. And thus, the quicker it bakes the pizza.

Serve it with fresh salad and tropical punch juice. 


quinta-feira, 1 de julho de 2010

Pizza Doce da Mamãe

Atendendo aos pedidos de receitas de pizza e sobremesa, resolvi juntar as duas idéias. Aliás, eu não mas sim minha mãe. Aqui vai uma receita fresquinha recém saída do forno. Delicie-se!

Pizza Doce
massa de pizza (*)
50-100 gramas de queijo muzzarella
2 bananas cortadas em rodelas
2 colheres de sopa de creme de leite, bem distribuídas pela pizza
3 colheres de sopa de leite condensado, bem distribuídas pela pizza
1/4 xícara de chocolate meio-amargo picado
granulado de chocolate, a gosto

Abra a massa de pizza. Adicione todos os ingredientes acima nesta mesma ordem menos o granulado de chocolate. Coloque no forno (lenha - 5 min, pedra - 10 min, convencional - 20 min). Retire do forno e jogue o granulado.

(*) massa de pizza: para receita completa, veja arquivo Abril 2010 - My Mom's Amazingly Delicious and Easy Pizza Dough.

Obrigada pela receita, mamãe!!!

terça-feira, 29 de junho de 2010

Easy Pasta Salad

A super-easy salad recipe I came up with using whatever I had at home. A major hit at my book club meeting over the weekend and a great idea for a hot summer afternoon. Buon appetito!

Easy Pasta Salad

2 boxes shell pasta
1 cup dried raisins
1 cup shredded carrots
2 cups green leaves
1 package fat-free ranch dressing
Salt and pepper
Cook pasta in water, olive oil and salt according to package instructions (approx. 15 minutes). Let it cool. Add ingredients and serve it cool.

quinta-feira, 24 de junho de 2010

Grilled Pesto Chicken with Spaghetti Squash

Back in the days I was an English teacher, I worked for many years at a private school where we used this unique methodology - which I loved! Its core was drilling from day one. Of course, the more advanced a student got in the course, the less drilling and the more interaction there is. So yesterday night, as I tasted this pesto chicken, I just felt like coming up with a drill that would probably go somewhat like this: This chicken is delicious... tasty... this chicken is tasty... recipe-delectable... this recipe is delectable... food-amazing... this food is amazing... yummy... this food is yummy! And so on... I won't to the whole BUT-AND-OR thing here (sorry, private joke for Brasas English teachers). Anyway, this is just to say that this recipe is delicious and super easy to make. And of course, healthy too. Comment: Enjoy!

Grilled Pesto Chicken with Spaghetti Squash

Grilled Pesto Chicken

1 tray of chicken breast - skinless and boneless
1 package spinach soup
salt and pepper

Add the soup powder to a bowl and add water. Add pieces of chicken and marinate overnight. Add more water if necessary - there should be enough to cover all the chicken.
For this recipe, I used my stove-top grill. With the help of a silicone brush, coat both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken on the grill and pour some of the pesto sauce at the bottom of the grill - don't use it all, leave some pesto sauce for the next recipe. If you have a gas stove, grill chicken for 15 to 20 minutes. If it is an electric stove - like mine - the grilling will take at least 50 minutes.
You can also use a bbq grill or bake the chicken in the oven.  

Tip: the stove-top grill is great, easy to use and by adding water, wine or any other sauce to the bottom of the grill, the meat always turns out to be tender and juicy. And the fat is gone!   

Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash
1 package of spinach soup - use what was left over from the chicken
2 tbsp garlic
olive oil

Cook spaghetti squash in water with salt until tender - don't cut it or make holes. If you use a pan, it will take probably was long as the chicken. I usually use my slow cooker for this. I fill it with water and add salt. Then I eave the spaghetti squash in there on slow for 6 hours. That makes cooking really easy and fast. Actually, since the squash will be cooked, all you have to do is add the seasoning.
When squash is tender, cut it in half and remove seeds. Toss the outer layer. Add a little bit of oil to a stir-fry pan. Add garlic. When garlic is golden brown, add pesto sauce and the spaghetti squash. Cook it for a few more minutes - as I said above, just so the seasoning blends well with the squash.

Place the squash on a tray and the chicken on top of it - see pictures.

Serve with green salad and brown rice. For dessert, peaches and cream.
Again! And again! And again!

quinta-feira, 17 de junho de 2010

A refreshing Summer treat

Here is a delicious and super easy treat for summer time. Whether you are serving a banquet for 20 people or just hosting a get together for a few close friends, you can't go wrong with this simple recipe.

Fruit salad

1 cantaloupe, cut into chunky pieces
2 types of grapes, red and green
1 small box of strawberries, sliced
1 small box of blueberries
1 tbsp brown sugar or sugar substitute

Wash all the fruits and mix them in a large bowl. For more flavor, add brown sugar or sugar substitute - if you are counting calories!!!

Ai que delícia!

segunda-feira, 14 de junho de 2010

The Pampered Chef 2

And the pampered chef strikes again... with an equally delectable recipe for the weekend. The perfect dish for a chilly afternoon in... June! Yes, you heard it right, June is usually rainy and cloudy but I don't remember a month of June this cold since I got here in the U.S. But instead of complaining that I can barely wait for summer time and for long afternoons just laying by the pool working on my tan, I decided to enjoy the bad weather indoors. Hot cocoa for dessert and 'My Fair Lady' on dvd make for a perfect evening.

Alfredo's Pasta with His sauce (lol!)

1 package of durum wheat pasta (approx. 400g)
1 polish sausage - sliced
1 can of cheesy Alfredo sauce
1 small package frozen bell pepper - chopped
1/2 package cauliflower

1. Cook pasta according to instructions on the package in large pan.
2. While pasta is in hot water, cook or fry sliced polish sausage on vegetable or canola oil. Use stir-fry pan.
3. Add frozen bell peppers and cauliflower to sttir-fry pan. When no longer frozen, add Alfredo sauce.
4. When pasta and sauce are ready, mix them together.

Serve with salad, toasted french bread and fruit or chocolate for dessert. 


Frango e Abóbora ao molho de leite de coco

I believe most of you know how much I like.. love... adore... am hopelessly devoted to... my slow cooker!!! It did indeed change my life. Isn't it wonderful that we can prepare pretty much everything we want to that requires a pressure cooker in a slow cooker? Part of my amazement comes from the fact that I am actually afraid of pressure cookers - ok, I said it! And this is not easy for me to admit, there are very few things I am afraid of - cockroaches, bridal/baby showers and mom when she's angry are equally scary to me! Putting all those things aside, the slow cooker is indeed one of the best inventions of the 21st Century. Now that I am done bearing my slow-cooker-mony, let's talk about recipes! Browsing thru the shelves of my fridge and cupboards, I came up with this amazing recipe that deserves to be shared if all of you. Bom apetite!

Frango & Abóbora ao molho de leite de coco - Acorn squash & Chicken Casserole with coconut milk seasoning

1 tray of chicken - any cut, from chicken breast to drumsticks
1 acorn squash, cut in chunky pieces
1 cup brown rice or bulgur
1/2 cup bell peppers, chopped
1/2 cup onions. chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cups of water - approx.
3-4 bouillons of  Maggi's coconut milk seasoning
1 teaspoon of salt
Pepper to taste

1. Cut acorn squash into chunky pieces. If you have a good knife, you can easily do it without cooking the squash first. If you find it too hard, cook it it in very hot to boiling water for approx. 20 minutes or until soft enought to cut - but not too soft. You don't want to cook it entirely.
2. Cook pices of chicken on olive oil using a stir-fry pan until slightly brown.
3. Add ingredients in this order to slow cooker: onions, bell peppers, squash, rice, chicken, seasoning.
4. Let it cook on high for 4 hrs or slow for 6hrs.

Serve with green salad and french bread toast.

Any changes?
New ideas?
Keep me POSTED!

quinta-feira, 10 de junho de 2010

Summer Jello

This is a very refreshing and colorful idea for dessert in the summer. And may I add, super simple too.
All you need here is one seedless watermelon and 4 packages of cherry jello (or any other flavor like strawberry or raspberry).
      Cut no more than 1/2 inch from the bottom of the watermelon so that it can stand on its own. You will use it to serve the dessert in it. Cut the top part of the watermelon and toss the cap. Take the pulp out of the fruit. Put it aside. Make the jello according to instructions on the package. 
Add fruit to jello and then pour mixture into the watermelon. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Stir mixture every 15-20 minutes. Best if done overnight.
Serve with angel food cake.
     Ahhh, so refreshing!
     If you want to count down on calories, use fat free jello. The result is the same.  

segunda-feira, 7 de junho de 2010

Egyptian Salad

Every first Sunday of the month we have a Break-The-Fast lunch after Church. And every month, we have a different theme. This month the theme was Egyptian food. I had never actually stopped to think about what kind of food they serve in Egypt - though I have dreamed about going to Egypt several times. As I googled 'egyptian food', I found a website with amazing recipes and was extremely surprised. The Egyptian cuisine is very rich in flavor and very close to the Middle Eastern cuisine - having been to North Africa and the Saharan desert, that shouldn't have surprised me at all! The website contained mostly recipes of salads, soups and spicy or curried meat. Since I had signed up to bring a salad, I chose this recipe and it was a delicious treat for a hot summer-like afternoon - it's still spring! Several other ingredients can be added such as feta cheese, olives, cucumbers and celery.  Here is the website:
Bom apetite! (bil hana wish shifa'!) بالهنا و الشفاء!


1 cabbage, sliced
1 can chickpeas
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cup bell peppers, sliced
1 large tomato, diced
1 small red onion, chopped
1/4 cup fat-free cranberry salad dressing

Just mix all the ingredients and toss with the dressing. Serve it fresh!


terça-feira, 1 de junho de 2010

Mom's Black-Eyed-Beans-and-Tuna Salad


2 bags of frozen black eyed beans/peas
2 cups bulgur or steel-cut oats
2 cans tuna in water
1 small onion, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 tbs garlic
2 cups non-fat mayo
Salt and pepper
Olive oil


In a small pan, cook bulgur and/or oats according to instructions or just like rice - see The Amazing Bulgur.
In a large pan, cook beans according to package instructions.
Let bulgur/oats and benas rest for at least an hour or untill cool.
In a large bowl, add other ingredients in the order above and mix them well.

Servings: 3-4. Serve with green salad and bread or crackers.

A great recipe for a light summer dinner or a fancy picnic. Mangia che te fa bene!