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I am pretty sure, by all means, that cookies don’t count as “serious eats”. They are treats, tiny gifts to receive someone who comes by to have tea; to cheer up breakfasts by the coffee mug, or afternoon pick-me-ups.
So, the first requirement is to be tasty.
Then, to be good looking.

And, goodness, are there varied ways to look good! The print in today’s cookies is made with the rolling pin by In My Wood (customized with the birds from What is in for Today, in a design by my dear Taís Mahs).

I have tested a couple of recipes to find this one, which is free from animal products (that is to say the recipe is vegan and, consequently, dairy free), and also gluten free. Plus, the cookies hold their shape beautifully.
Let’s get to it.


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.


That good old quiche recipe with whole-wheat flour and olive oil crust is a wild card for lunches at my place, always ending up with a happy tummy.
We are fated to success: it’s quick to prepare, comes with a crunchy crust and creamy filling, is handy to serve (since it can be baked ahead, frozen, re-heated), and along with a bountiful salad is really satisfying.

So, looking at the ingredients at hand, I decided to Brazilianize the filling, exchanging the classic cheese-and-egg filling for (roll the drums) pumpkin and coconut. Oh boy, what a tasty meal!

When I was invited to participate in the #FoodLovers campaign by Filippo Berio, Kara asked me for recipes that would tell the world a little bit of our way of incorporating olive oil to ingredients that are ours. I think that mixing onions, pumpkin and coconut is a nice way ;)

Come along, in one hour we will get tomorrow’s lunch done!


If you choose to use packaged/dehydrated coconut in your recipes instead of the fresh fruit because you think opening the fruit at home is too much work, enjoy today’s post! I’ll explain how simple and quick it is, and what is more, in a classy way ;)
Young coconuts are less common to find, and I agree that these ones are harder to deal with. I prefer to enjoy this version when I am by the seaside.

The ripe coconut though, is easy to find in any supermarket, farmers market, grocery stores etc for great prices, with tender, sweet and fatty flesh. Also, without the disadvantages of buying the processed product: no additives, packages, sugar or defattening.

Let’s face the facts.


Existing isn’t simples business, even though one surely lives absolutely delicious moments in this life.
People say that while in teenage, we go through questionings, doubts and all that. But, seriously, is there any one who’s past 20 and now knows what to do about all this that we are?
I still don’t know, really.

When I lived in São Paulo and this feeling grew too big, in the first day off I’d get I would go to Liberdade. It is a place that has always fascinated me, since the first months I lived in the city. After 4 subway stations, I’d arrive in another world. Beautiful, intriguing, incomprehensible. I’d walk about in the narrow streets, and for a few hours I’d soak in the surroundings with my senses only, not thinking, not trying to understand. I’d get comfort in this feeling of being foreign.
And there is one food that sums up and brings about this mood: ramen.


Do you recall the famous saying, “one thing is one thing, something else is something else”?
Well, it makes sense to me.
If I paint stripes in a horse, is it a zebra? Well, no. It might seem like one, and I don’t really know what the difference is, but I know it exists.
Certainly, there are people who consider me obtuse but, for me, “eggless omelette” sounds counterintuitive (however, I will gladly cook and have for lunch a chickpea frittata).

I suppose, many people consider “all natural”, “vegetarian”, “vegan”, “paleo”, people who don’t consume dairy or gluten, to be all part of one coherent group.
Well, this is not true.
Each one has their own reasons to make the choices they make, and even people who have similar diets might have very different motivations.


 

Just like I measure the short term time (minutes, hours) in musics, due to the habit of having a constant soundtrack playing at home, the medium term time (months, seasons) I measure in foods, weather, events.
It doesn't matter if my world is falling apart, for me when the days start to turn cold, the wind intense, and the Sun yellower, means July vacation is around the corner.
Cold nose, yam, pumpkin,  pine fruit, apples, tangerines, lemons and all kinds of citrus remind me of that mood. And, you see, it's been quite a while since I graduated, but the feeling still remains.

Right now, we cannot possibly consume all of the lemons from the lemon tree in my mothers yard, even if we distribute it to friends. (After all, mostly everyone in here either has a lemon tree in their own yard, or someone in their family do). Two winters ago, I think, picking a load of bitter lemons, I decided to make a jam that took the lemons' juice, rind, and sugar only. Without a recipe, without taking notes, nothing. It came out pretty good.

So I thought this would be a good recipe to shoot in video to show how to prepare the rinds, how to recognize the jam set point etc, it turned out great. Except it didn't work. The taste was too strong.
No wonder! When I prepared it for the first time, a thousand years ago, I did not take any notes. Cooking now off the top of my head, I am sure I did something differently and (obviously) it came out different. That's when I realize it really does make sense to have a notebook with me at all times.

So there was no other way around it: I tood advantage of the lemon's abundance and spent a whole week testing several ways to prepare the jam, until I reached a tasty result - which I did not find anymore with only juice, rind, and sugar.

Anyway, now with the new tested, aproved version - of which I took proper notes - I can give you the recipe to bitter lemon jam!


There is a certain kind of joy that comes from days that one can spend in sweatpants. Because:
a) the temperature has lowered a bit, and that is always welcome when the summer is ending; and
b) leisure takes it's place among days of much planning and accomplishment.

Really, it is so good to get up with no alarm clock, read in bed some of that book that has been set aside lately, prepare an easy recipe and turn on the oven to warm the kitchen a little. Not thinking too much about what to do next.
With only one bowl I prepare these soft cookies that have a crunch because of the nuts. They are great for snacking, having breakfast, as a treat. 


 

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.


When we eat out in a buffet restaurant, there are always so much more options than one could civilly put in their plate. Sure, it is kind of a dirty trick they pull to invoke the overeater in every one and make us want to try everything (ahem... it's not too hard to do that with me).
Some times, one of the options that make my mouth water is cottage pie. You know? That one that's kind of a soft pie: takes one layer of ground meat seasoned with vegetables in the bottom of a tray, and one layer of fluffy potato pureé.

Seems to me like a hell of a lunch! Just put a raw salad on the side, and success!
Except I don't like meat, and I don't eat it, so I can never try this. Same thing happens with escondidinho, which is basically the same thing, substituting the potato pureé with manioc pureé, and the ground meat with jerked meat.
Oh life.
Then, one fine day I just made my own version with the vegetables I had at home.
The omnivorous in the audience might go on preferring the usual meat version, but for those who feel like varying a bit, or who don't eat meat too, I recommend trying the recipe.


I sincerely doubt there exists anyone who doesn't like pastel. Of course, I don't mean kind of cold, kind of limp, oil dripping pastéis. No.
I mean fresh, warm, crunchy, neat. Fried in new oil. It's not possible to not like those.
A happy eventual addition to the daily lunch, a quick snack at the farmers market (along with that ice cold glass of sugarcane juice) , or even a nice appetizer to serve with beer: that's today's recipe.
After experimenting the four recipes I found in my grandma Nelci's notebooks, I chose the one that came out just like the pastel she used to prepare, and here it goes.


The cliché the title refers to is myself, yours truly. How's that? Like this:
I have been filming very little in the last couple of months, since the economy has been particularly bad this year. I know it reflects in all professional areas, thus in publicity too (which is mostly the films sets which I am in).
So, I have been at home for a good time, cooking and writing, and organizing the blog, and comes a time when I get fed up and have to change the scenery. There lies the cliché: in spite of the many subjects in mind, I got a certain lack of inspiration for writing. So I went to a cafe, and all out of a sudden I can't stop drawing letters on the paper.

Usually, a nearby park is my backyard. But with this nice soft rain falling, I decided to go see this place I've been willing to visit for a while now. I fell in love with it.
In part because on my way there, walking, ideas started to shape themselves without me even noticing it.

As for the unusual, it's that the other day I stumbled upon a pretty bunch of beetroots at home that had no destiny yet, since I've been more interested in the beets' foliage than on themselves. I remembered this cute video a friend recommended ages ago, where they showed the recipe to a flourless beet chocolate cake. That's a combination in which I would not think if nobody told me of it. And, I got to tell you, it's delicious!


Like many other ideas I enjoy a lot, the first time I saw this was in TheKitchn. After that, I've seen it in many other places all over the internet. No wonder! Just take a look at the recipe: slice ripe bananas into pieces and freeze them. Blend or process until smooth. Serve.
Pffff of course it's become a success. It's something tasty, cheap, easy and "thin". (And frozen, which counts a thousand points in these 35oC or higher). 
Now, I thought to myself, I really think this is a great idea and I really would like to share it with you in here. So... hum... I decided to add something, to make it interesting for those who already know the fantastic one-ingredient-ice-cream: cookie baskets. Except I need to test more to get my baskets right, because it hasn't happened yet.


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.


All images and text in this post are by Gabriel Marzinotto.

 

There are carts selling churros all over the city, always ones with that sweet dough and added dulce de leche filling them. They are good, but I must be honest:
I find them kind of way too sweet, heavy. It is fried sweet pastry, full of oil, filled with even more sweetness. I eat those seldom.
Also because I carry a fond memory of another kind of churro, one I used to have for breakfast with my family on Sunday mornings: the circular version of Churros from Mooca.


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Orange jam.

31/12/2010 - 1 Comments - Recipes | Crystal sugar, Breakfast, Jam, Orange, Lime, Vegan

I needed some orange jam to use in a cake recipe, so I decided to go for a classic take on fruit jam. Actually, the most complicated part was freeing the orange from all of the peel, the skin, the seeds...


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Roasted dinner.

15/12/2010 - 0 Comments - Recipes | Sweet potato, Gluten free, Dairy free, Vegan

I like many things, one of them is food with a roasted crust.
So today I roasted sweet potatoes to eat with some broccoli (apparently, the wad I bought will never end).


Yeah, it's hot.
But I don't mind, I made soup anyway.


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Banana spread.

02/12/2010 - 0 Comments - Recipes | Refined sugar, Banana, Breakfast, Dairy free, Vegan

Banana spread. Yummm.

I still don't know what to do so that it won't acquire that pinkish/lilac tone, which I find a little strange. But it's so good on a bread as a breakfast!


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Hommus.

29/11/2010 - 0 Comments - Recipes | Garlic, Arabian cuisine, Chickpeas, Hommus, Lime, Olive oil, Pepper, Tahine, Vegan

This is a confort food for me, I really like it a lot. It is tasty and fulfilling.

With a little more patience I think it would have been quite alike the hommus I ate in nice restaurants, but for now it's really homemade style.