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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?


Admittedly, "I don't have time" is an expression that defines priorities. After all, the point isn't "how much" time one has, it is which activities this person chooses to dedicate time and importance to.
If we accupy ourselves too much with things that don't make us thrive or smile (preferrably, thrive and smile), seems like it's time to change. When we realize something is important, we find a way to make that happen often.

For instance: having breakfast calmly on a daily basis is a luxury? It might even be, I guess, but when I start my day slowly, my moof and ability to concentrate are so much better, so I come up with ways to ensure this little luxury.


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.


I am not sure why, but in the last 5 years coconut oil has won the public favour. I ask myself how does that happen.
I wonder if at the same time several studies and articles have been published about it's fantastic properties obtained through topical and internal use? If Bono Vox or a real good-looking celebrity has given a speech on it?
It's always the same thing with these "super foods" - they leave me intrigued and suspicious.
I am not saying that kale, goji, chia, açaí, don't have excellent nutrients, but I don't know... I don't think that concentrating all hopes in a few specific items will save the world.

Anyway, at some point in the last year or the previous one, I decided to experiment the blessed coconut oil. And you know what? I really liked it. I am sure I have bought it during the cold months, for I remember it remained solid at room temperature in the cabinet (and that happens only below 25oC, as stated in the oil packaging label).
Soon I acquired the habit of spreading it over bread as I was did with butter.


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.


I want to know how many of you have never eaten bread with banana. You know what? I think there is actually plenty of people who never eaten it. Oh my. Look, you should try. There are millions of possible versions. The sandwich in the picture I have prepared with a soft store bought cornmeal bread, a thin layer of banana chimia (banana sauce? Banana spread? How do I call this thing in English? Anyway, the recipe will be after the jump. It's one I have prepared without sugar, pretty nice), unsalted white cheese, and the banana itself. 


At last, here I come with a recipe, people.

On Sundays in which it's possible, I like to tidy up my place, bake fresh bread and wash salad.

Talk about this Sunday then, considering tomorrow I'll receive a very special visit - a friend I haven't seen in some 5 years. And on Wednesday my mother will come to visit too.

I have prepared cornmeal rolls before, with a recipe from wild yeast, but this one is different because it's a loaf. And because I adapted it from Dona Benta.

Truth be told, I adapted it quite a bit. But considering Dona Benta's loaf was the spark to bake the bread, I'll have it written down in the end of the post.


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Real fruit jelly. In this case, mango.

05/06/2014 - 1 Comments - Recipes | Breakfast, Fruit, Gelatin, Mango

(Ignore the fork in the first picture. The breakfast table was set, so there was a spoon nearby as well...)

(Em português)

About 300 years ago I bookmarked this recipe in Patricia's blog, and I really wanted to test it.

Ana Elisa posted another real fruit jelly, and I started to like the idea very much.

People say jelly is good for many things, and it's quite easy to prepare but, honestly, those boxed jello flavors can't be appealing.

So the other day I stumbled upon the agar agar package almost expiring in the back of the drawer, I looked at the overripe mango crying for help, and I knew what would I have for breakfast. 

And why agar agar instead of regular jelly?

Well, because it's hard to stop myself from buying cute packaged things  in the grocery stores of Liberdade. Anyway, I try to keep those purchases down to things that might be useful, even though they're not necessary in my life.

Confessions set aside, let's get to the recipe.


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My mother called me about two weeks ago, and at some point in the conversation she said "when I come to visit you, I'm bringing a surprise".

The damage was done. Miss Curiosity here spent this whole time forgetting and remembering to think

whether it would be something to eat, something for my home, to dress myself, if it had something to do with cinema...

She arrived at last, and what a beautiful surprise!

It was that huge book "Dona Benta - Comer bem". The best selling Brazilian cook book in the country ever since it's first edition - in 1940 -, according to the foreword. 

It comes with many traditional recipes, the ones that might end up forgotten once in a while.

The ones that feel great to be reminded of suddenly.

As soon as I could, I spent hours browsing the book and reading recipes.

To start it up, I cooked these waffles this morning.

Gooood! :)


0

Oatmeal

05/06/2014 - 0 Comments - Recipes | Oats, Breakfast, Frio

This is a classic among the breakfasts in my mom's house, specially in the winter.


Well, we all know what happens in a week with the family during holidays.

We have fun, forget about our lives, and enjoy good food.

So I stole from my uncle and aunt a nice idea, which is to spend the following week "detoxifying" the body with more fresh vegetables and less carbs.

Back to São Paulo, I went to the supermarket to get several vegetables and fruits, had soup for lunch. And at night I decided to make a carrot bread.

The fact is São José has been helping, and I've been working full-time, that's why it took me so long to post. And the other good news is I brought home an old kitchen scale that used to be my grandmother's. It will be properly photographed  and presented when possible.

So, I scaled the carrots' weight, and now I'll be able to write down my recipes with more precision.

Carrot bread

200g raw carrots, peeled and washed (3 medium carrots) - I used 3 small carrots and 1 small red beet

1/2 cup (120ml) lukewarm water

2 tablespoons yogurt

tablespoons honey

tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon instant yeast (1/2 10g package)

1 tablespoons salt

2 1/2 cups (600ml) flour

1 egg

In a bowl, I stirred together 1/4 cup warm water with the yeast and 1 tablespoon flour, I covered with a clean dish cloth, letting the yeast bloom for 5 minutes. (In this post there is a picture of what it looks like ofter starting to bloom.)

Meanwhile, I processed in the blender: the remaining water, yogurt, honey, oil, egg, carrots and salt, until it all turned into a smooth puree.

I poured this mixture in the bowl and stirred with a wooden spoon, adding the flour little by little. The dough was a bit sticky, but I could still knead it.

I let it proof for about an hour, until it doubled in size, using the hot-water bottle trick.

Then I folded the dough, placed it in the greased and floured mold, and let it proof until it doubled in size again.

I baked the bread at 180oC for 25 minutes, then at 210oC for another 7 minutes.

To rise the temperature at the end is a simple and efficient method to make the crust become crunchier and browner.

The color looked nice, and the texture is good for making sandwiches.

After cooling, I would recommend that you keep it in the fridge in a tupperware or plastic bag.

It keeps nicely for about a week.


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When I cook breakfast, I cook breakfast

05/06/2014 - 0 Comments - Recipes | Pumpkin, Breakfast, Pancake

Cooking for some people is more fun than cooking for few people, even more if it is family's breakfast in a holiday. :)

Today we had pumpkin pancakes, quick and easy.


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Red dawn

05/06/2014 - 0 Comments - Recipes | Acidic, Beverages, Breakfast, Warm weather, Walnuts

 

Granola with dried cranberries + iced hibiscus tea.


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Good morning, baby

05/06/2014 - 0 Comments - Recipes | Breakfast, Apple, Pancake

Fluffy pancakes, american style, to start Sunday with nice vibes.


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Dried apple

05/06/2014 - 0 Comments - Recipes | Breakfast, Apple

I bought almost 1,5kg of apples the last time I went to the supermarket, and for my sorrow they were sweet to death (I like more acidy fruits). Well... what to do?

Put in practice an idea that's been in my mind for ages: dry them out.


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Oh, really?

05/06/2014 - 0 Comments - Recipes | Oats, Breakfast, Fail, Walnuts

I was finishing reading some texts last night, thinking I should go to sleep early, because I was very tired.

So, what's better than a cup of tea, right?

So I made some yerba mate tea, cozy and stuff.

Well, I just found out that mate contains a whole lot of caffeine.

In fact, twice as much as there is in coffe.

So I ended up going to sleep at 3am or something, to wake up at 7am.

Anyway, for unknown reasons, I woke up great.

I enjoyed my newly-discovered caffeine source, which made a fabulous breakfast along with the granola.


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Super natural

05/06/2014 - 0 Comments - Recipes | Acidic, Beverages, Breakfast, Warm weather, Carrot, Orange

I got home from work tired, and that happens in part because of the hot weather.

So I thought I deserved a nice fruit juice.


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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...


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!