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Morning, brains starting to work (more or less).
Body still warm from the bed, thoughts still delightfully empty, little by little reminding the day’s schedule, if I need to take the umbrella, which clothes to wear.
Chop some fruits, make coffee, heat the milk for the first meal. In the hurry, high heat.

If it’s cow’s milk, it might spill foam allover the stove and there goes the peace of mind.
If it’s vegetable milk, the unpleasant surprise might be something else: that the milk curdles over high heat, you know? It becomes a watery thing with some lumps, not attractive at all.

How to deal with this?


I am lucky to have friends from who I learn a lot. For instance, this girl who I’ve been friends with since forever, Flávia. We’re always exchanging recipes, recommending books, and impressions about life in general. For today, we have the example of peanut milk.
In the way I prepare it, it’s takes about one day. In her way, it’s only a couple of minutes – which comes in handy when I have a cake baking and suddenly remember I don’t have milk for the frosting.


I have been philosofical lately, pensive, reading about different ways of understanding life, routine, spirituality. Maybe it does not make all that sense in the way I speak, but the fact is I have been paying attention to what every situation brings.
Just like I have been hugely interested in studying ways to pay attention to the body, I want to pay attention to the ways I/we relate to people around us and the situations that appear every 5 minutes.

"So what?" you ask me.

So that, cycling around Pomerode I have noticed  the loaded guava trees, giving so much fruit that we barely know what to do with all of it.
I recalled that Dede, a good friend, told me I should published a recipe for frapuccino - a sweet, frothy, refreshing beverage she likes to drink at starkucks.

Strictly speaking, frapuccino is a version of frappé. It's supposed to be a blended drink, airy and frothy, it usually takes coffee, sugar, vanilla, cream.
En what's the difference regarding smoothies, iced coffee, iced capuccino? Well, it not that easy to define. It seems like the difference lies in the bubbles, in the incorporated air. To achieve it, the drink is blended longer.


 

It's been a couple months since I have diminished the consumption of dairy and eggs at home. That's for no specific reason, I just don't feel much like eating those. Besides, they are extremely perishable. It's not something I can buy and leave in the fridge for three hundred years to consume once in a while (I mean, I even could do that with eggs, but anyway). So, in part for these reasons, in part for the challenge of preparing good food without these ingredients - which are in practically every recipe - I kind of stopped buying them.
Funny thing is it takes quite a while for one to think about cooking in fact without dairy or eggs. Mostly we use the same old recipes adapted with substitutes. So I kept experimenting, trying ways to prepare vegetable milk, and today I share what became my basic recipe to make it with nuts.



All images and text in this post are by Gabriel Marzinotto, with collaboration from Catharina Strobel.

In my first article for this column I have talked about donner kebabs [in Brazil known as churrasco grego], and I mentioned that that would be almost the symbol-food for this space. When I think about street food, I said, I think about the carts scattered around downtown exhibiting piles of meat. But there is something else, more famous and popular, defying this reign in my head. Coxinha.

She's the queen of over-the-counter savory pastries, found everywhere - from greasy spoon bars to fine restaurants. And that's all right. It is possible to eat tiny whimsy gourmet versions in a food truck for almost R$10,00 or cross the street and order a huge coxinha at the bar for a couple of bucks. [A note from Flora: coxinha is fried pastry filled with shredded chicken, found literally every-where in Brazil].

When I decided to write about coxinha, soon I thought about going to the famous places to choose the best one. From Frangó, North of São Paulo? Or from Veloso, in Vila Mariana neighborhood? Some defend that the version from Barcelona bakery, in Higienópolis. But then I thought it would be common-place and kind of... silly. There are already a thousand (I have counted) articles like that around the internet, not to mention the annual city guides that vote and choose the best version of this treat.

Which one is the best coxinha? Beats me. I've tasted the famous ones, they are pretty good, yes. But they are small, pricey, and in the end I think the best coxinhas I ate were at parties with my family, when we bought them by the hundred from Dona Maria, a Japanese lady who lives here in Mooca. Mostly because I could have ten of them in a row.

So I changed the approach and dropped by a place I love, where they have a delightful version of this dish - this one, I can say, is the best in town: the Coxa-creme do Estadão. Wait, that is not a coxinha! No, you're right, but it kind of is. Plus, it's huge, cheap and underestimated.


Do you remember that time when I talked about one of the reasons why I consider Grandmothers to be so ninja?
They are awesome! It doesn't matter if something goes wrong or different from the expected, they have this unbelievable ability to transform something into something else. A thing that is good.
This is particularly true in the kitchen, but applies to other knowledge areas, for sure.
I am very far from being a Grandmother, but at least I can start training my ninja side now.

It happens that lately my boyfriend and I are very interested in coffee. We have tried special varieties, different roasts, acidity like this, aroma like that... Not that we are experts in this subject, only we enjoy it a lot.

Then, one day I just *had* to drink coffee along with this cake I baked, and there was not a single coffee bean in my pantry.
Well, I didn't hesitate. I went downstairs and bought a bag of common ground coffe at the corner store.
I was surprised when my palate just didn't like it at all. It wasn't even ok. Well, check this out! I got spoiled.
Then I needed to put my mind to work to find a way to deal with 1/2kg of a coffee I didn't enjoy.


Quickbreads, this wonder of humanity!

In fact, I would call these tiny guys cakes, because they are made with baking powder, not yeast.

And this is the reason why you can whip up a batch so fast.

They are great as last-minute snacks, for those times when someone comes over and you're not ready for it, to serve as an excuse to turn on the oven on chilly days, this kind of thing...

The recipe comes from a book a friend gave me last year, it's called "Marvellous mini cakes" by Ilona Chavancova.


5

Birthday flan

05/06/2014 - 5 Comments - Recipes | Milk, Condensed milk, Egg

After two weeks without new posts, here am I again. Already in São Paulo, already working (and very glad about it! Self employed people out there know how it is), already getting to see the friends from here I've been missing, already missing too much my family and friends from Santa Catarina.

I hope you had great vacation, and have plenty of ideas for the year that's beginning.

It won't be easy, it never is. But it will be very productive, and will be fun, for sure.

I always thought that making flan was complicated and had everything it takes to go wrong.

I have tried it before, and it didn't work out.

But it was my brother's birthday, so I thought I should try again.

The recipe is the classic 1, 2, 3: 1 can condensed milk, 2 measures equal to the can of milk, 3 eggs, process it in the blender. Any mother around would that you that and think you'd be able to make the flan all by yourself. What about the details?

The details I got at Technicolor Kitchen.

Results: my first flan that goes right!


In the next posts, probably I'll increase the quantity of all natural food lunches.

I'm making an effort to improve eating habits, and this quiche was the first attempt.

I was successful!

I took the recipe from here, and made up the filling, based in a couple of recipes I read.


0

Anybody home?

25/12/2010 - 0 Comments - Recipes | Milk, Omelette, Pepper, Cheese, No waste, Tomato

I know, I know.
It's today that most families unite to celebrate christmas. But in our case, we celebrated ahead schedule, because now not everyone can be here. So today lunch was really simple, and at night we attended a dinner party thrown by a family we're friends with.


The thing is: food belongs either over the table or inside bellies, never in the trash can. The other day, I baked a lot of christmas cookies. And because of a whim of mine, I have cut them again after baking, so that they would all be round and equal.
Well, what to do with 3 cups leftover cookie crumble? Bread!


This time I was inspired byFlavia, I made pancakes for lunch.

I like them because they're easy to make and always delicious.


0

Super fast bread.

22/11/2010 - 0 Comments - Recipes | Brown sugar, Oats, All purpose flour, Instant yeast, Milk




To demonstrate my gratitude, the way that works best for me is to bake something sweet.

I chose this recipe because I think it's sophisticated, and as this is a big thanks, I also baked some chocolate and nut cookies that I adapted from Patrícia.