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Category Archives: FOOD

Photo Project “52 Bolivian Sundays” [week 42, 'a Hue of Color, from Tarija']

Singani in Tarija

This past week, our family took advantage of the children’s school break and flew out of La Paz, seeking warmer temperatures, good hiking, and a relaxing scenario. Tarija is famous for its warm weather and the colorful winery settings. More to come, as we get our photos organized in the ‘shoe box’. For now, a quick example of what we saw/experienced/enjoyed over there:

The orange shades displayed by the glasses filled with Singani drinks – one of Bolivia’s trademarks – seem to perfectly fit the bill for ‘a hue of me‘… a lovely combination of orange and wood tones…

♥ Enjoy as you please, and thanks for stopping by! ♥

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42 Comments

Posted by on October 19, 2013 in BOLIVIA, FOOD, photography, TRAVEL

 

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Cupcake & Brigadeiro de Capirinha!

Brigadeiro de caipirinha com cachaça e limões

More on ‘high altitude fun baking’… a good combo here: cupcake and brigadeiro de caipirinha, Brazil’s (in)famous drink! For the cupcake (Portuguese recipe below), it’s simple lemon cake batter, and for the frosting, lime chantilly, with a tiny bit of confectioners sugar, and a few drops of cachaça(!!). Add the straws for a more ‘mixed drink look’. Done! :o

Super Fácil:

[Portuguese] Cupcake de Caipirinha: massa de limão com cachaça, recheio de ganache de limão com cachaça e cobertura de chantilly de limão, o finzinho dele é bem azedinho, e o mimozinho ma rodelinha de limão com canudinho.

Remember this one, from when we were back in Brazil? A huge success among expats and locals!

Since I already had a post on two of the most famous foods of Brazil, “feijoada” and “pão de queijo”, I was sent a great idea and recipe, for desert: a bit daring, interesting & intriguing, but for all the Brazilian Food lovers, should be a great suggestion: BRIGADEIRO DE CAIPIRINHA… Why not have two awesome suggestions on Sunday, all before lunch?

Remember “brigadeiro”? Those little chocolate candies that one may find at birthday parties? Well, this one resembles a famous Brazilian drink: “The Caipirinha”… a candy made with ingredients for a mixed drink… The main ingredient? A little bit of cachaça, Brazil’s famous “sugar cane aguardiente”… :o And, obviously: “enjoy responsibly”…. Enjoy at a friend’s house, after a great feijoada… Take a good nap afterwards… find yourself a comfy hammock and forget about getting behind the wheel! :o No “eating and driving”, okay? :o

Here is the imag and recipe, in Portuguese, with comments in English:

Receita do Brigadeiro de Caipirinha

Brigadeiros de caipirinha

Ingredientes

  • 1 lata de leite condensado
  • 2 colheres de sopa de manteiga
  • 50 ml de cachaça / vodka
  • Açúcar cristal
  • Raspas de limão para decorar
  • Opcional: suco de um limão e ½ caixa de creme de leite

Modo de preparo

Leve ao fogo uma panela com o leite condensado, o creme de leite e a manteiga. Vá mexendo em fogo baixo até dar ponto e desgrudar da panela. Tire um pouco do fogo e adicione a cachaça/vodca, e o suco do limão. Volte a panela ao fogo e deixe dar o ponto novamente. Use uma assadeira untada (de manteiga) pra colocar a “massa”, e deixe reservado até esfriar.

Pra fazer as bolinhas: unte as mãos com manteiga, pegue um pouco da “massa” e vá boleando, fazendo movimentos circulares. Passe a bolinha no açúcar cristal, com raspas de limão, para decorar. (Obs: existe um açúcar especial, de confeiteiro, que parece um gelo triturado e também é uma boa opção).

One may add lemon/lime zest over the candy, making it look even more similar to the original drink… Humm!

[Portuguese] Há quem goste de colocar um pouquinho de raspas de limão na massa no lugar do suco. Deve deixar um azedinho bem gostoso!

 
4 Comments

Posted by on August 5, 2013 in FOOD

 

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{Weekly Writing Challenge} How to prepare a ‘serial traveler': Recipe, cooking times and serving suggestions.

 How to serve a ‘serial traveler’, inspired by ‘A Pinch of You’:

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Preparation Steps:

Make sure you’ve got all the ingredients handy. Ensure their good quality and origin. When raising a child, remember to offer him/her a healthy dose of ‘worldly experiences‘: take them on field trips, sightseeing tours, museums, photo exhibits. Share videos and tales from your own childhood. Share with them your curiosity, your concerns, your dreams. Listen to their plans, their ambitions, their fears of the unknown…

[Note from the Chef] These are just suggestions for this dish. Alter as you please, adding or subtracting ingredients. Come up with your own unique recipe and most important of all, have fun cooking! :o

Get the oven going: Take advantage of each and every opportunity to show your growing child that the world is much more than what they’re gathering from social media tools.

Cooking and Serving:

  • Travel, go to places, move. By car, by bus, by train, by boat, on the back of a horse or camel. Try flying, but also, try different transportation methods – the stranger, the better! Dealing with travel difficulties is part of the learning process, and overcoming challenges brings the experience to a whole new level.

where's home?

directions

  • Spend some time planning your trips. Imagine how it would be, what you’d do, who you’d encounter… Dream about it. Enjoy the preparations and be ready to appreciate the reality, when the time comes.
  • Find someone who shares your passions, and share your life with him/her. I did that, and have no regrets: married another serial expat, and he’s helped me raise our 3 little ‘nomads’…

Kal9

  • Try meeting new people. Chat with them. Exchange stories. Build new relationships. Be yourself, be silly, and yet, be smart – care and attention are never excessive when moving out of one’s comfort zone…
  • Try out new foods – it’s an easy and fun way to immerse into the culture. Remember the smells and the tastes. Take a heart picture of the dishes you’re enjoying. Reserve for future use.
  • Check out city maps, newspapers, street posters. Don’t know/don’t speak the language? Go for the pictures, the colors, the textures, the funny images and signs. Remember: your friends or family back home are living vicariously through your travel experiences! IMG_5686
  • When traveling, visiting new places or renewing memories from old ones, take as many photos as possible. Keep them handy for future use. Store in a tight container [but please, not in the fridge!]. You will surely need them for future recipes…

 

[Note from the Chef] When checking out of hotels/hostals/B&Bs remember to always check under the beds for misplaced pieces of clothing, photo gear, baby toys, lost socks… and maybe… a kid or two! :o

  • Recipe preparation and cooking times may vary. Season it to taste. For some, it may take years and many mistakes/missteps before reaching the ‘optimum point’. Be careful: Try not to burn yourself, but if it happens, make sure you’re surrounded by good friends and good memories to help you through the tough times…

my branching tree...

Use your best judgment when traveling, but once you begin improving this recipe, there’s no way back – you’ve certainly become a ‘serial traveler’ like myself, my husband and these three little ones pictured above. We can’t really stay put for long

That said, guess how we’ve been raising these ‘tree branches’ over here?

Thanks for the inspiration!

 

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Got chips?!

 

Apparently, she’s got them… all of them! :o

She ‘knows when to hold them’… ‘when to walk away’… and knows when to run! ♥

 
12 Comments

Posted by on March 24, 2013 in BOLIVIA, children, FOOD, humor, photography

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 11, 'Lunchtime']

Chocolate Kahlua Mousse & Vanilla Bailey's Mousse... pairing the Irish with the Mexican!

Chocolate Kahlua Mousse & Vanilla Bailey’s Mousse… pairing the Irish with the Mexican!

Continuing with my very personal Photo Project throughout this year, called 52 Bolivian Sundays, sharing images that represent this beautiful country, its traditions, cultural events and neat places/things to do.
For this week, pairing with the Daily Post inspiration, “Lunchtime“, we will ‘share’ a few images from our Sunday luncheon with a couple of friends and their children…

As part of the menu, New Mexican stacked Enchiladas, Spanish Rice, Beans, Pico de Gallo, Flautas – all accompanied by Paloma cocktails and an intriguing set of desserts- Fruit BowlChocolate & Kahlua Mousse, and since it’s also Saint Patrick’s Day, why not bring out a new family favorite – Vanilla Baileys Mousse“pairing the Irish with the Mexican” ♥… What if it starts getting too cold outside? Simply head back inside to enjoy dessert and coffee by the fireplace… All, in a very special Bolivian-style! :o

So many details to look forward to! Find here, more impressions from other bloggers… Thank you all for sharing! ♥

 
20 Comments

Posted by on March 17, 2013 in BOLIVIA, FOOD, photography

 

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‘Hardship Homemaking': contributing to the collaborative blog…

Post originally prepared as a contribution to the Hardship Homemaking collaborative blog, which is a back to basics blog for recipes, tricks, and tips to make life overseas at hardship posts easier”. The blog is a collaborative effort, with several authors, each one sharing unique experiences and life backgrounds, most of them, with real examples of life in the Foreign Service, its implications, challenges and strategies to overcome them.

“Handling Fruits and Vegetables: Sanitary Tips

Living at hardship posts offers more than challenges to all ‘household managers’ out there. If offers us the opportunity to learn – through advice from our peers, through our own research, through experience and why not say, through mistakes – ours or someone else’s – while facing similar situations. A common concern among families living at hardship posts is ‘how to offer the best, healthiest diet to my family?’- and that includes not only how to “optimize” your grocery shopping budget, but how to ensure those beautiful fruits and veggies will be safe for consumption, even before they’re tossed in the fridge, or beautifully displayed on a fruit bowl!…” [continue reading]

Curious to learn more tips on this and other topics? Hope over to the Hardship Homemaking collaborative blog! Thank you for the interest…

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 6, 2013 in expat, FAMILY, FOOD, foreign service

 

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Sweet contribution to a progressive dinner: Trio of Licorice Desserts… yummy!

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Well, Carnaval is over, but the celebrations continue! The same week we offered a typical Brazilian Feijoada for a group of friends and their kids, our family celebrated the 5th Birthday of our Valentine’s Girl, with special ‘mommy-made’ cupcakes… and to top it all off, why not take part at a 16-couple Progressive Dinner? :o

A bit of background: This type of moving feast offers hours of entertainment with a limited amount of prep work. It’s a great way to entertain a group of friends or neighbors without shouldering the whole responsibility (or cost) of a multi-course dinner party — all because a progressive dinner party was held at 16 different homes in succession, with a single course served at each one. In our case, we hosted Dessert.

What was prepared for our special guests?

Considering I’m a mom of 3 very active little kids, with not a lot of ‘free time‘ on any given Saturday, cooking time had to be carefully planned, and all three desserts needed to be simple, easy and tasty. That said, had all kids in the kitchen during prep time, and before I knew it, Voilá – we’re done! ♥

A first-timer Trio of Desserts, each one including a different type of liqueur... [totally made that up… instead of going with one type of dessert for all guests, decided to try something different, and offer a light variety of flavors: dark chocolate, light caramel/’dulce de leche’ and a fruity option, with not-so-sweet elements, for a fresher taste. What’s the deal with the different kinds of liquor - Rum, Kahlua [coffee liqueur] and Brandy? It’s part of the fun… something unusual, something to talk home about!]

Besides the ‘sampler desserts’, guests had an opportunity to enjoy some freshly brewed Brazilian coffee!

Results?

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Liquorish mix of fruits:

Peaches, raisins in rum, Maraschino cherries [as wished], and caramelized peanuts, as the ‘crunchy element‘…

 

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Dark chocolate and Kahlua mousse

 

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Pudim de Dulce de Leche (Caramel Pudding) with Brandy

From our “Paceña Kitchen”, to yours… :o Curious about the simple & easy recipes? Send me a comment with your email and I’ll be happy to share the tips to all “busy bees” out there! 

 
 

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More about “getting high on cupcakes”!

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Cupcake Cocktails? :o

My ‘transcontinental’ margarita cupcakes: approved by Brazilians, Mexicans & Americans!

Taking up on another cooking challenge: our middle daughter’s Valentine’s birthday… and nothing could go better than… cupcakes! ♥

Scrumptious, rich, yellow cake, strawberry and vanilla-based, topped with chocolate frosting or a simple butter cream…

Both my oldest kids (7 and 5) had a blast ‘helping me’ decorate the mini cakes! They came up with interesting choices for toppings – scroll down to check the pics out! I guess, at the end, it all worked well…

That said, for this Friday, I’m getting back into baking. High altitude [and attitude!] baking.

IMG_5868

cupcake tower keeps getting higher and higher! :o

Moving on to the preparations. Simply followed regular yellow cake and vanilla recipes [oh, you, Martha Stewart!], as well as, a simple lemon pound cake recipe, and a fantastic recipe for strawberry cupcakes, from Yummy Cakes from Lynn, discovering [through extensive online research] a few tips/adjustments for baking at high altitudes.

La Paz, Bolivia, can be a great example of how frustrating it might be for a rookie baker! In order to remain in good terms with my kitchen oven, my ‘overactive kids assistants and I’ decided to go for a ‘new & improved first-timer’ cake (batter) step-by-step: :o

Flour: Increased by 2 Tbs per cup of batter

Baking Powder/Soda: Decreased by 1/4 tsp per tsp of mix

Sugar: Decreased by 2 Tbs per cup of mix [we're always advised to go light on the sugar here, it's healthier and better for the body's blood pressure...]

Milk: Increased by 2 Tbs per cup of mix

Extra egg: added one more to the usual 3

Oven Temperature: Increased by 25 degrees

Baking Time: Decreased by five minutes per 30 minutes of baking time.

It looks like a lot of math, right? Adding this, subtracting that…. raising the oven temperature, decreasing the baking time… But it all makes sense – you’re looking for a less ‘runny’ cake mix/batter, and with  hotter oven, it’s logical (!!) to leave your ‘lovies’ in there for less time. At the end, it’s all about a great deal of TLC! ♥

Curious about the results?

Take a look, and let me know how you think this Valentine’s Birthday Bash went with another batch of the ‘highest cupcakes I’ve ever baked’! :o

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In the mood for still more? Take a look at these unique recipes for high altitude baking: from my kitchen to yours! ♥

Cupcakes filled with ‘dulce de leche’ (very popular in Latinamerica, similar to caramel)

Below, strawberry cupcakes, filled with fruit (jam) and topped with ‘bubble gum’ frosting [just came up with this recipe today... let me know if you're curious about it!]

cupcakes topped with caramel

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How to be a wife, a mom, a cook, a household manager, and yet, enjoy Carnaval?

 

Oh well, the answer is actually, quite simple: join forces with other fun friends! Couples willing to help each other during the long 5-day weekend, where kids had no school!

 

Share responsibilities. Tag along with friends and other families, especially the ones facing the same challenges with their lovies…

Cook together. Host group parties. Let the kids run wild while the adults are enjoying some well-deserved quality time! Have the older kids teach the younger ones how to really get into the “Bolivian Carnaval” traditions: the water fight, with latex globes filled with water, water guns and foam!!! Let the good fun begin, keeping a close eye on your ‘little warriors’ while they’ve got each other soaked, covered in foam, running for their lives! :o

[snapshots from our Family Brazilian Feijoada, recipe & instructions below]

Simple, healthy fun. A fantastic time with family and close friends. Learning about the Carnaval Paceño. Dancing. Remembering the old days of high school cheerleading… Eating a lot [why not? It's Carnaval Weekend!]

As I’d promised earlier about making Brazilian Feijoada, here are the steps! Enjoy!

Whenever I meet someone else from Brazil, I ask them what their favorite food is. After steak (picanha), it is almost always feijoada. It’s an old bean, pork and beef recipe, brought to South America, like many foods in many places, by those intrepid, globetrotting spice traders, the Portuguese, and then enhanced, like many other foods in many other places, by African slaves and their descendants.

Feijoada Completa

1 1/2 cups dried black beans (turtle is preferred, for texture)
1/8 lb. carne seca/cesina (about the size of your flat hand)
1/8 lb. pork ribs (about 2 thick ribs)
4 strips smoked bacon, finely chopped
1 paio sausage, cut into thick slices
1/2 lb. of linguiça calabresa (Portuguese-style smoked pork sausage), cut into thick slices
1 white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 orange, peeled (remove all of the white pith!)
8 cups water

The night before, soak the pork meat in cold water. In yet another bowl, soak the beans in cold water.

The next day, cook the pork meat and then drain. Refill the pot with cold water, bring to a boil again and cook until the meats are tender and beginning to fall apart. Drain well.

In a large pot or dutch oven (preferred), place the beans and 8 cups water, bay leaves, and peeled orange. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmering. Cook for 45 minutes. Add all meats, and cook for 20-30 more minutes.

In a saute pan, fry the onion and garlic on olive oil. Add about 1 cup of beans from the pan, cook briefly and mash well with the back of a spoon. Return the whole mess to the dutch oven and adjust for salt. Let simmer for about 20-30 more minutes, until beans are tender and meats are falling apart willingly. Remove from heat and let cool about 10 minutes.

Serve with boiled, medium-grain white rice, orange slices, farofa and (chiffonaded) collard greens (that have been quickly fried in canola oil and drained on paper towels.

 

 
5 Comments

Posted by on February 15, 2013 in BOLIVIA, CARNAVAL, FAMILY, FOOD, foreign service

 

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Getting ready for Carnaval: Making food from Brazil!

Keeping this little tradition: Holidays, talk about food. This weekend, it’ll be no different.

Bolivia also celebrates Carnaval, and kids are off school, for a grand total of 5 days… (!). Work will also be off, for Monday and Fat Tuesday – the best thing to do? Get together with friends, and plan fantastic meals! Let’s see if I’ll be able to come up with a fairly decent Brazilian feijoada, using my Bolivian ingredients… More to come on this post, but for now, let’s just get our appetites ready for what could be in-store for us! :o

Whenever I meet someone from Brazil, I ask them what their favorite food is. After steak (picanha), it is almost always feijoada. It’s an old bean, pork and beef recipe, brought to South America, like many foods in many places, by those intrepid, globetrotting spice traders, the Portuguese, and then enhanced, like many other foods in many other places, by African slaves and their descendants.

Feijoada Completa

1 1/2 cups dried black beans (turtle is preferred, for texture)
1/8 lb. carne seca/cesina (about the size of your flat hand)
1/8 lb. pork ribs (about 2 thick ribs)
1 pig foot, split
1-2 pig ears
1 pig tail (smoked, if possible)
4 strips smoked bacon, finely chopped
1 paio sausage, cut into thick slices
1/2 lb. of linguiça calabresa (Portuguese-style smoked pork sausage), cut into thick slices
1 white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 orange, peeled (remove all of the white pith!)
8 cups water

The night before, soak the pig foot, tail and ear in cold water to draw out blood/impurities. Separately, soak the cesina in cold water overnight. In yet another bowl, soak the beans in cold water.

The next day, put the foot, tail, ear and cesina in a pot with cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, boilf for 10 minutes and then drain. Refill the pot with cold water, bring to a boil again and cook until the meats are tender and beginning to fall apart. Drain well.

In a large pot or dutch oven (preferred), place the beans and 8 cups water, bay leaves, and peeled orange. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmering. Cook for 45 minutes. Add all meats, and cook for 20-30 more minutes.

In a saute pan, fry the onion and garlic on olive oil. Add about 1 cup of beans from the pan, cook briefly and mash well with the back of a spoon. Return the whole mess to the dutch oven and adjust for salt. Let simmer for about 20-30 more minutes, until beans are tender and meats are falling apart willingly. Remove from heat and let cool about 10 minutes.

Serve with boiled, medium-grain white rice, orange slices, farofa and (chiffonaded) collard greens (that have been quickly fried in canola oil and drained on paper towels.

Farofa
2 tbsp canola oil
1 small onion, minced
4 slices smoked bacon, minced
1 cup toasted manioc flour (farinha de mandioca torrada)
1 bunch scallions – only the dark green tops! – thinly sliced
salt and black pepper to taste

Saute the onion and bacon in the oil over low heat until the bacon is fully rendered and crisp. Add the flour a little at a time, stirring to coat. Add the scallions when the flour has just begun to brown. Remove from heat, mix well.

Serve at any temperature, and refrigerate any unused portion.

 
10 Comments

Posted by on February 8, 2013 in BRASIL, FOOD, foreign service

 

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It’s [Girls Scout] Cookie time! [Sharing information from The Dinoia Family]

This community we’re part of [Foreign Service] is all about networking and sharing… sharing information, advice, comments, experiences… In sharing, we all become stronger, and able to keep moving forward! :o That said, I’m now sharing some information learned from The Dinoia Family‘s Blog, about this year’s Girls Scout Cookies Initiative, involving a couple of other very active ladies [and their daughters!] from the FS community – definitely, a great one! And I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be sharing their initiative and efforts! :o

Quoted from The Dinoia Family’s blog:

“Yep…it’s cookie time!

Girl Scout cookies are back and we are on those orders!  In fact, this year, we are working together with Jill and Riley to spread the cookie goodness far and wide throughout the Foreign Service.  We have made it terribly easy to enjoy those once-a-year treats that you buy en masse because they are so darn yummy (and ship well!).

To make it easy, I have copied the “how to” from Jill’s blog.  Follow these simple instructions and you, too, could be enjoying those cookies very soon!  And now…Spanish homework is calling again…

Want cookies?  Read the excerpt from Jill’s post below and just follow the instructions!

First and foremost, we don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, so our joint efforts are focused on providing Girl Scout Cookies solely to our Foreign Service friends overseas, where we can ship to an APO/FPO/DPO or pouch address.  If you are our family members or personal friends and want to buy from us rather than from the little girlies who are SURE to knock on your door sometime in the next few months, that’s great too.  But we’ll take care of you outside of this joint venture.
Just like the last few years, the cookies are only $4 / box … with all your favorites returning!
  • Thin Mints
  • Samoas
  • Thank You Berry Munch
  • Trefoils
  • Dulce de Leche
  • Tagalongs
  • Do-Si-Dos
  • Savannah Smiles
Here’s how to order:
1) Attempt to narrow down how many boxes you want (versus how many boxes your eyes and stomach want.)
2) Send an email to DSforGS@yahoo.com by Friday, January 18th, with …
* Your Name
* Your Post
* Your Address
* Exactly how many of each kind you’d like
3) When the cookies come in, send us your payment via paypal, and we’ll get them out to you ASAP.  We’ll send you an email invoice letting you know your totals.
It’s THAT simple.
We will be shipping the cookies in the USPS Flat Rate boxes. The current APO/FPO rate is $13.45 for a 12″ x 12″ x 5 1/2″ box … and we can fit 8 boxes of cookies in them.  And as an incentive … you pay the first $10 / box, and we’ll pick up the rest!
A wee bit of additional information  …
** If you are at a post overseas, pass along this information to any of your friends.  We would LOVE to outfit your entire Consulate or Embassy.
** Consider combining orders with your friends to help reduce shipping costs.
** Between the two families, our girls sold over 1100 boxes of cookies to 50+ countries during the last two years to FS personnel.
** We set up the DSforGS@yahoo.com email address so that we could make it easy to get more cookies shipped out to more places.  If you know either of us personally and want our daughters to send out your cookies – no worries.  Just say so in your email.  Otherwise, we have divided up the world behind the scenes so that all you need to do is send in your order, and let us take care of the rest!
Now what are you waiting for?  Happy ordering!”
Please hop back to Jen Dinoia‘s blog for more information! Thank you!♥

 

 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise.

Caught by Surprise!

Surprised when we were asked by the Cooking Chef to come up and show our ‘cooking skills’, while he was preparing our Japanese dinner… Not a very positive result, as the pictures may tell! Couldn’t even break an egg, correctly! :o But works well for this week’s photo inspiration. Happy Holidays!

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32 Comments

Posted by on December 21, 2012 in ART, children, FOOD, humor, photography

 

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Illustrated ‘Bolivian-style’ adapted cooking: Green Bean Casserole!

Now, updated with the promised images! Great fit for this week’s photo theme, as well. How I love coincidences!

Enjoy!

Here is my ‘adapted’ recipe:

Green Bean Casserole, “Bolivian-Style”, totally vegetarian!

Ingredients:

1 cup and some 5 oz of 1 can CAMPBELL’S® Miranda Family’s Kitchen homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

3/4 cup milk

1/8 tsp. black pepper

2 (9 oz. each) pkgs. frozen cut green beans, thawed* 1/2 kg (1 pound and some 4 oz) of freshly cut, cooked [with a bit of salt] green beans

1 1/3 cups FRENCH’S® Original or Cheddar French Fried Onions homemade onion rings (yeah, that one, where you beat one egg with 3 Tb spoons of all-purpouse flour, and a bit of salt!) [hopefully, it'll do the trick... gotta be original, at least!] :o

Directions:

MIX soup, milk and pepper in a 1 1/2 – qt. baking dish. Stir in beans and 2/3 cup homemade onion rings (see the images for a real shock on my recently-discovered cooking skills!) :o

BAKE at 350°F 375°F for 30 35 min.

STIR. Top with remaining 2/3 cup of onion chips/rings. Bake for some 5 min. or until onion chips are golden.

Liked the results? What about my first-time homemade onion rings for the topping? ♥

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Images and instructions for ‘Bolivian-style’ “camote” casserole [Thanksgiving cooking].

detail, Bolivian sweet potato (camote)

The last days of this week are all dedicated to my ‘adventures in the kitchen’… all the perks of a mom of 3 little ones! Again: pre-Thanksgiving recipes! [Using a kids' school event as the perfect excuse for trying things out!] Ohh, the wonders of life in the foreign service…. :o Already shared my semi-successful attempt to make the well-know Green Bean Casserole. I guessed, it worked well – jury’s still out there! Note: HAD NEVER MADE IT BEFORE…. Now it’s time to try it in ‘breathless La Paz“! Here is my ‘adapted’ recipe:

‘Camote’ Casserole with Marshmallows, “Bolivian-Style”

1 (16 oz.) can sweet potatoes 1/2 kg (around 1 pound) of Camote, bought today at my dear neighbor, the Achumani Market
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
4 tbsp. melted butter
1 pkg. marshmallows

Step 1: Get the ‘sweet potatoes’ (camote) ready: cooked, peeled.

cooked and peeled ‘camotes’ (Bolivian sweet potato)

Step 2: Mix (potatoes, cinnamon, brown sugar, egg, butter) in a buttered baking tray, topped with slices of white marshmallows. Place 1/2 of mixture in dish. Dot with marshmallows, then add remaining mixture. Bake at 350 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven, dot top with marshmallows and replace in oven about 10 minutes or until brown.

after baking for 30 mins, cover the top layer with marshmallows, and allow them to melt for about 10 mins in the oven… hummm!

 

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Everyone loves a Fall Bake Sale!

Well, I already shared here my very first attempt to make Apple & Cinnamon Muffins for my kids school – a humble contribution to a great initiative to have a Fall Bake Sale, even though it feels like Fall, here in La Paz, Bolivia, we’re officially in the middle of Spring… Here is what I spotted during my time there, giving a hand to the other moms and enjoying a fantastic Pumpkin Latte (gotta get that recipe!) :o

 
 

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Getting ‘high’ on [apple & cinnamon] muffins!

Again: my path towards learning how to bake goods in high altitude settings…

Another fundraising bake sale, and, this time, the theme is “FALL BAKE” [even though it's Spring here!]. This week is all dedicated to my ‘adventures in the kitchen’… all the wonders of a mom of 3 little ones! :o

La Paz, Bolivia, can be a great example of how frustrating it might be for a rookie baker! In order to remain in good terms with my kitchen oven, ‘we‘ decided to go for this ‘new & improved first-timer’ apple muffin mix, step-by-step: :o Following this post, I’ll share images from the actual bake sale, with all their goodies: caramel apple, pumpkin pies, pumpkin brownies, honey bread… hummm!

It yields between 12 and 15 muffins. The recipe has already been adapted to the altitude so I should have no problems with it, right? :o

APPLE MUFFINS
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups chopped apples
For the topping:
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp butter
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Prepare muffin tins.
In a medium bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl beat butter, sugar and eggs until smooth. Mix in vanilla extract and milk.
Stir in the chopped apples and gradually mix in the flour mixture. Spoon into prepared muffins tins.
In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture is like coarse crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over muffin batter in tins.
Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle of muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before removing muffins from tins and letting cool completely on wire racks. At the end, it’s all about a great deal of TLC! ♥

Curious about the results?

Related articles

 
 

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Snapshots of husband’s New Mexican stacked enchilada: his first one in Bolivia.

Ingredients:

  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded mild Cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups enchilada sauce, 2 cups of chili sauce (homemade with chili powder, water and flour) – th’s the way my husband does it! Alternatively, it’s also possible to use cans Old El Paso, but this second option is for the ‘weak ones’! :o
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped red tomatoes (garnishing)
  • 1 cup chopped lettuce (garnishing)
  • 4 fried eggs
  • oil for frying tortillas

Preparation:

Put 1 inch of oil in small skillet. Fry tortillas a few seconds until limp. Place on paper towels to drain. Dip a tortilla in sauce and place on plate. Sprinkle on some grated cheese and onion. Repeat for two more layers. Makes 4 stacks. Pour on any remaining sauce and sprinkle on remaining cheese and onions. Top each stack with a fried egg.
 
6 Comments

Posted by on November 5, 2012 in BOLIVIA, FOOD, photography

 

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Getting ‘high’ on cupcakes!

Strawberry cupcakes filled with ‘dulce de leche’ (caramel)

My ‘transcontinental’ margarita cupcakes: (tried and) approved by Brazilians, Mexicans & Americans!

my ‘assistant’…

Taking up on a new cooking challenge: in order to help a fundraising bake sale, I’m getting back into baking. High altitude baking. That said, after having a long conversation with my [American] stove/oven, we came to the agreement that we’d become friends, not rivals.

If I’m able to get my mini cakes out, not deflated, nice looking, and attractive to someone else’s mouth, both of us would win: I’d promised to throughly clean it after I was done.

Both of us [the oven and myself] smiled at the agreement [or at least I did, and maybe, in my crazy mind, my oven's alter-ego did the same].

Moving on to the preparations. Simply followed a regular yellow cake recipe [oh, you, Martha Stewart!], as well as, a simple lemon pound cake recipe, and a fantastic recipe for strawberry cupcakes, from Yummy Cakes from Lynn, discovering [through extensive online research] a few tips/adjustments for baking at high altitudes [that's why I'm calling this post 'getting high (altitude) on cupcakes!].

La Paz, Bolivia, can be a great example of how frustrating it might be for a rookie baker! In order to remain in good terms with my kitchen oven, ‘we‘ decided to go for this ‘new & improved first-timer’ cake (batter) step-by-step: :o

Flour: Increased by 2 Tbs per cup of batter

Baking Powder/Soda: Decreased by 1/4 tsp per tsp of mix

Sugar: Decreased by 2 Tbs per cup of mix [we're always advised to go light on the sugar here, it's healthier and better for the body's blood pressure...]

Milk: Increased by 2 Tbs per cup of mix

Extra egg: added one more to the usual 3

Oven Temperature: Increased by 25 degrees

Baking Time: Decreased by five minutes per 30 minutes of baking time.

It looks like a lot of math, right? Adding this, subtracting that…. raising the oven temperature, decreasing the baking time… But it all makes sense – you’re looking for a less ‘runny’ cake mix/batter, and with  hotter oven, it’s logical (!!) to leave your ‘lovies’ in there for less time. At the end, it’s all about a great deal of TLC! ♥

Curious about the results?

Take a look, and let me know how you think the bake sale went with the ‘highest cupcakes I’ve ever baked’!

baking the strawberry cupcakes


Cupcakes filled with ‘dulce de leche’ (very popular in Latinamerica, similar to caramel)

decorating the cupcakes

Below, strawberry cupcakes, filled with fruit (jam) and topped with ‘bubble gum’ frosting [just came up with this recipe today... let me know if you're curious about it!]

cupcakes topped with caramel

and lastly, a new version of the ‘margarita cupcakes': lemon cake recipe, with light lemon frosting and of course, the mini-straws for the final touch! [again, another 'creation from my kitchen'... happy to share the tips along!] :o

 
 

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How sweet! The Super Sweet Blogging Award!

I simply love cupcakes – even shared before a personal recipe for “Margarita Cupcakes“, with and without alcohol, for little ones… :o
Although I love baking them, especially for my kids’ birthday parties, this year, I’ll take a break – beginning this October, I’ll be BUYING ALL SWEET TREATS for my ones special’ special day… And why? Just because I’m realizing that, between the sweetness of all the planning, and the crude execution, assembling, decorating, there’s  pretty STRESSED PERSON – somebody who ends up changing from a sweet mom into a CRANKY, TIRED, bossy, baker…
And from this point on, I’ve decided: I want the ‘sweet, kind mommy’ back into my kitchen! My kids deserve better than a stormy mother running around the kitchen, before breakfast time! And their dad deserves a caring partner, instead of a screaming wife, telling him to get the decorations ready, while she’s finishing up with the toppings! :o
That said, I’m retiring from my “home-baking goods mommy business” – at least, until one of my girls, now aged 4 and almost 2, are able to jump in and help mom in the kitchen. Until then, dear ‘commercial bakers out there’, I’m all yours! :o
Coincidently, right after I had this ‘realization’, I found out my blog had been nominated for a SUPER SWEET BLOG AWARD! 
Maybe, it’s the sign I was looking for: I can still write, share experiences and images, discuss with other parents about the challenges of raising TCKs all over the map, and enjoy celebrating my kids special days… with ZERO STRESS! Loved it!
So, here is the award, its rules and next steps: Enjoy! ♥

Thanks to Catherine, from Mezzaphonically Speaking for being super sweet and nominating me for the Super Sweet Blogging Award!  I appreciate this special honor and opportunity!

Rules for this award include:
– Thank the super sweet blogger who made the nomination.
– Nominate a baker’s dozen of other bloggers:

They are bloggers talking about life, food, kids, adventures… All in all, a ‘treat’ to read! Go check them out – they’re some of the examples of readings that keep me going!

And answer five questions:

  • Cookie or cake? Cookie
  • Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla
  • What is your favorite sweet treat? Brazilian Dark Chocolate (the tiny ones with caramel!)
  • When do you crave sweet things the most? Night
  • If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be? Cupcake! 

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18 Comments

Posted by on September 11, 2012 in expat, FOOD, LANGUAGE

 

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¡Biénvenidos a la Escuela, con Salteñada! Images and Recipe.

School year just begun… nothing says “Welcome” better than a morning filled with fun activities for the whole family, topped off with typical (and delicious!) “salteñas!

Bolivia is known for its special kind of empanada called a salteña Oddly, the salteña takes it’s name from a city in Argentina (Salta), but it’s definitely a Bolivian specialty. You can recognize salteñas by the repulgue (the braid-like fold that seals the filling inside) which runs across the top of the pastry instead of along the side.

There are many varieties, but in general the meat and vegetable filling in a salteña tends to be runnier and sweeter (yet spicy) than most other empanadas. They are tricky and time-consuming to prepare, with traditional recipes calling for gelatin in the filling, so most salteña fans buy them from restaurants and street food carts. Salteñas are typically enjoyed as a mid-morning snack in Bolivia.

Salteñas are often served with a plate and a spoon, but expert salteña eaters know how to enjoy them without letting the juices run down their sleeves, by kind of pouring the liquid into their mouth as they take bites!! :o

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And here, the recipe for this delicious treat!

Filling – Ingredients:
1 cup lard or margarine
1 cup ground spicy red pepper (cayenne) mixed with water

½ tablespoon ground cumin
½ tablespoon black ground pepper
½ tablespoon crumbled oregano
1½ tablespoon salt
2 cups white onion, cut into small cubes
1½ cups green onion, finely chopped
3 pounds lean meat, cut into small cubes
1 cup potato, peeled, cooked, and cut into small cubes
½ cup cooked green peas
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ tablespoon vinegar
½ cup parsley, finely chopped
2 spoonfuls unflavored gelatin dissolved in 3 cups water
½ black olive per salteña
3 raisins per salteña
1 slice of boiled egg per salteña

Preparation:

  1. In a casserole add the margarine and the spicy red pepper. Set to boil over high heat until the margarine separates from the pepper. Next add cumin, ground black pepper, oregano, and salt. Let cook for ten minutes over low heat so that the mixture does not stick. Stir constantly. Next add the white onion and let it cook for five more minutes. Finally add the green onion.
  2. Remove the casserole from the heat, add the sugar, vinegar, parsley, potato and cooked peas.
  3. In another casserole add the three gelatin cups. Let it cook over high heat and as soon as it starts to boil, add the meat. Mix quickly and remove from the heat.
  4. Mix the first preparation with the gelatin and meat. Let it cool in the refrigerator one night or until it thickens. If wanted, add the olives, raisins and egg before it thickens or add them directly on the dough when preparing the salteñas.

DOUGH
Ingredients:

12 cups flour
1½ cups lard or margarine (boiling)
6 whole eggs
½ cup sugar
3 teaspoons salt
2¼ cups lukewarm water (more or less)

Preparation:

  1. Sift the flour in a bowl and add the boiling lard or margarine. Mix quickly with a wood spoon. Let it cool for a few minutes and add the eggs, the sugar and lukewarm water with salt. Knead until getting a dry dough. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel  and let it rest for ten minutes.
  2. Divide all the dough into fifty small balls and thin them out one by one with a roller, until getting round-shaped pieces (about ¼ of and inch thick by 5 inches of diameter).
  3. On each round-shaped piece put a spoonful of the filling with the olive, raisins and egg, if these ingredients were not mixed before.
  4. Dampen the edges of each piece with water, fold each one and join the edges very well so that each salteña is closed perfectly. Leave the closing on top.
  5. Put salteñas, on a backing sheet sprinkled with flour. Place each salteña separate from the next one.  Bake them at a high temperature (European oven: 300 C.; American oven  572 F.) between seven to ten minutes. Serve them warm.

NOTE 1: If desired, paint salteñas before baking them. In a frying pan add 6 spoonfuls of lard or margarine, 2 spicy red peppers (ground), 4 spoonfuls of water and a teaspoon of salt. Mix the ingredients and cook them over low heat until the water evaporates. Remove the mixture from the heat and paint eachsalteña with a kitchen brush. NOTE 2: If desired, you can substitute meat with chicken, or you can combine both.

 

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Liked the La Paloma cocktail? Then, you’ll love this one! [sharing the love]

Thank you very much, SaborKitchen, for this fantastic piece! Better than just reblogging from their site, here is the whole description, recipe, and comments! Thanks, thanks for letting me share this! :o

From the original author:

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes ~ Proust

We all know what happened in 1492. Some Italian dude was commissioned by the Spanish King to sail around the world until he found Asia. His name was Christopher Columbus and he failed miserably, missing the Asian continent by several thousand miles and landing on some random island (Haiti) in the middle of the Caribbean – not a bad trade-off, if you ask me.  Vasco de Gama took the trophy instead, reaching India in 1512 and helping Portugal become the first European power with naval access to Asia.  This is what Charlie Sheen would refer to as “winning.”

Our friend Columbus wasn’t a complete failure, though.  He still discovered something, and that something turned out to be pretty damn important.  Ever hear of North and South America?  What about the United States?  Those things probably wouldn’t exist the way they do today if it weren’t for old Christopher’s epic fail.  Maybe we should start waving the Spanish flag on the fourth of July.  Kidding.

You’ve heard this “origins” story before, probably in a seventh-grade history class, so let’s examine what happened afterwards.  It goes without saying that the Spaniards were pretty damn bitter about Portugal making sweet commercial love to China.  They wanted a piece of the action, but all they had was this stupid continent in the middle of the Pacific with endless resources and weak, impressionable people.  Wait a minuteMaybe we can use this worthless landmass, they said in their thick, Iberian accents.  Columbus was totally on board (pun intended), eager to make a name for himself and prove to Vasco de Gama that he wasn’t a complete moron.  He laid out his evil plans quite clearly in his journal, writing that “They [the indigenous] would make fine servants . . . With fifty men we could subjugate them all, and make them do whatever we want.”  Sounds kinky.

So for the next few decades, Columbus organized a series of expeditions to the “New World,” where he discovered new landscapes, new cultures, and new ways of life.  He brought gifts from Spain (mostly diseases) to the indigenous peoples, and returned every so often to share the bounty of the New World (mostly women) with his Spanish compatriots.  This colonization process, known as La Conquista, lasted several hundred years and witnessed a vast expansion of Spain’s empire, which at its height stretched from the tip of Argentina to the Canadian border.   They lost it all within a few hundred years, but that’s a story for another day.

In between episodes of conquest, murder, rape, and pillage, those dirty Spaniards worked up a serious appetite.  They were exposed to an array of new foods and cooking techniques in the New World, many of which were exported back to Spain and western Europe.  Ever hear of apotato?  It came from the Andes mountains and is easily one of the most important starches in European cuisine – without it there would be no french fries, “chips,” papas bravas, or gnocchi.  Other Central and South American ingredients – tomatoes, chiles, peanuts  – made their mark as well.  So from a gastronomic perspective, Spain wasn’t the only nation involved in La Conquista.  Many of the so-called “conquered” lands were, in fact, doing quite a bit of conquering themselves.

Today’s recipe is a tribute to the gastronomic volley that took place between Europe and the Americas during the age of colonization.  Old World meets New World in an 8-ounce pour that combines classic ingredients from each region (orange & sherry from Spain, tequila & lime from Mexico).  It’s a bit of a metaphor, a symbolic harmony of two formerly disparate cultures whose histories remain intrinsically connected – not only in the culinary arts, but in everything.  The synthesis occurs in the best possible medium – a cocktail – to stoke the spirit of cultural celebration.  So raise your glasses, my friends.  Here’s to new flavors in old places (and vice versa).

Ingredients:
2 oz orange juice
2 oz Spanish sherry
1 oz Cointreau (or triple sec)
1 oz tequila
1 oz lime juice
1 tbsp egg white
ice

Directions: Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds and pour into a highball. Garnish with lime wedge.  Bottoms up.”

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And here, remembering the La Paloma drink and the accompanying dessert, published earlier! :o Enjoy!

Sunday is always for food… what about, let’s say… dessert and drinks? 

Our “quasi-Mexican creative juices” are constantly boiling, and when there’s time to “experiment something new in the kitchen”, I’m all for it! This time, snapshots from two quick ideas:

One Mexican drink, “Paloma Cocktail” and one dessert, “Margarita Cupcakes”, all “adjusted” to our reality here in Brazil (it’s not always possible to find the perfect ingredients for that perfect recipe – also, I’m far from perfect, when it comes to cooking/baking/mixing, but I’m pretty venturous for trying to make something intriguing, interesting, or, at least, cool-looking…) :o

How to make the ” La Paloma”?

For a refreshing, thirst quenching cocktail, the Paloma is definitely at the top of the list and it’s a favorite in Mexico. It’s a light, fruity drink with a fizz and one of the smoothest tequila drinks out there. With a splash of soda instead of a grapefruit soda like Squirt (or, in our case here in Brazil, “Sprite”!).

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz blanco or reposado tequila
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • salt for rimming (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Rim a collins glass with salt.
  2. Fill the glass with ice and add the tequila and lime juice. Top it all off with a splash of Sprite. (need to share this with another fellow blogger, who loves “Brazilian challenges“!)

The original recipes for the margarita cupcakes may be found here: Margarita Cupcakes and here Margarita Cupcakes – I had to “adapt” a little, making the frosting myself with lime jello mix and chantilly cream – “Brazilian-style”, but it worked! :o

 

Hey! We’re already missing some cupcakes!!!! :o
 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 18, 2012 in FOOD, photography

 

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Date Night & Thai Cuisine in Rehoboth Beach, DE.

dscn1817

Lily Thai opens 6 days a week for lunch and dinner, closed on Mondays, at this time of the year. They have great specials, and it is very affordable.

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Chef and Owner Lily Thamibutra worked at her sister’s restaurant, Seaside Thai (now closed for good), for 5 years before venturing out to create Lily Thai.  It’s located on First Street, right next to the original Nicola’s, where Dos Locos used to be many (many) years ago. They have (finally!) acquired their liquor license, so no more BYOB. Pony up for a nice cold beer or some wine. In spite of how long it took to get the nod for booze, Lily’s has already earned a reputation for authentic Thai food served up in pleasing, if not austere surroundings.

The signature dishes are the Pad Thai (with chicken or shrimp) and the Tom Yum soup (chicken or shrimp with lemon grass and cilantro). .

 
7 Comments

Posted by on July 16, 2012 in FOOD, photography, post a day

 

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Date night, sashimi & yacht.

Definitely, not betraying our favorite Sushi & Sashimi Tuesday evening place, not at all! I’ve mentioned it before here, and one of their specialties, but, this time, wanted to share a few images from a different experience: authentic sashimi (while marlin), prepared at a friend’s boat (one of the local yacht clubs) – our deepest appreciation to Mr Jeremere! :o

 

 
20 Comments

Posted by on June 6, 2012 in FOOD, photography, post a day

 

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From our kitchen to yours: Paloma Cocktail & Margarita Cupcakes!

Sunday is always for food… what about, let’s say… dessert and drinks? 

Our “quasi-Mexican creative juices” are constantly boiling, and when there’s time to “experiment something new in the kitchen”, I’m all for it! This time, snapshots from two quick ideas:

One Mexican drink, “Paloma Cocktail” and one dessert, “Margarita Cupcakes”, all “adjusted” to our reality here in Brazil (it’s not always possible to find the perfect ingredients for that perfect recipe – also, I’m far from perfect, when it comes to cooking/baking/mixing, but I’m pretty venturous for trying to make something intriguing, interesting, or, at least, cool-looking…) :o

How to make the “Paloma”?

For a refreshing, thirst quenching cocktail, the Paloma is definitely at the top of the list and it’s a favorite in Mexico. It’s a light, fruity drink with a fizz and one of the smoothest tequila drinks out there. With a splash of soda instead of a grapefruit soda like Squirt (or, in our case here in Brazil, “Sprite”!).

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz blanco or reposado tequila
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • salt for rimming (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Rim a collins glass with salt.
  2. Fill the glass with ice and add the tequila and lime juice. Top it all off with a splash of Sprite. (need to share this with another fellow blogger, who loves “Brazilian challenges“!)

The original recipes for the margarita cupcakes may be found here: Margarita Cupcakes and here Margarita Cupcakes – I had to “adapt” a little, making the frosting myself with lime jello mix and chantilly cream – “Brazilian-style”, but it worked! :o

Hey! We’re already missing some cupcakes!!!! :o
 
8 Comments

Posted by on May 20, 2012 in FOOD, photography

 

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Mexican Luncheon

The best recipe for a successful Sunday: Gather friends and neighbors around good food, great conversation, games (for the children) and wait for the relaxing sunset…

This is the authentic image of a genuine Mole Poblano… The recipe is not mine, unfortunately… Its preparation and execution are all credit to two of our lovely neighbors, both are Mexican families currently living in Recife due to work relocation. Click here for more images and their recipe! This past Sunday our Mexican neighbors brought to our place a quasi-Mexican fiesta, including delicious deserts, and we’ were happy to host [and still embarrassed for not knowing how to cook as well as they did!) :o … making sure everyone finished their plate! …and getting ready to wait for the calming sunset over the sea! Also, check this other post out. It’s about honoring the Mexican Culture, from another fellow blogger, passionate by Mexico, good food and cheerful celebrations!

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 26, 2012 in FAMILY, FOOD, photography

 

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Preparing for Easter Sunday! Bacalhau a Gomes de Sa (Portuguese Codfish)

Suggestion for a delicious Easter Sunday, or in good Portuguese: “Domingo de Páscoa”… Sharing my mother’s favorite recipe: Portuguese Codfish – Bacalhau a Gomes de Sá… Got a lot of positive feedback when I first published this recipe, that, I’m getting it out – again, now, as a great suggestion for Sunday’s luncheon! Showing the deepest appreciation to my Portuguese heritage… thanks, mom! :o

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Originally published:

Although I may be able to take credit for the photo, the “execution” and recipe belong to my mother, and to her Portuguese heritage. For the past ten years, I’ve been promising my husband I’d make it one day. One day… not today… not yet! [smiles!]

 Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá is essentially a casserole of codfish, potatoes, eggs, olives, olive oil and onion. It is a speciality from the northern city of Porto, being today popular throughout Portugal, and is considered one of Portugal’s greatest bacalhau recipes.

Origin of the name
Gomes de Sá was the son of a rich nineteenth century merchant, in Porto. The family fortune dwindled and the son had to find a job at the famous restaurant Restaurante Lisbonense in downtown Porto, where the well-known recipe was created.

 Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá

“É um prato alourado no forno, formado por uma mistura de lascas de bacalhau amaciadas em leite, batatas cozidas e um refogado ligeiro. É enfeitado com ovo cozido, salsa e azeitonas”.

Alguns pratos tradicionais da culinária recebem o nome de seus criadores. Este é o caso do bacalhau à Gomes de Sá, tradicional receita portuguesa deste peixe, de autoria de José Luís Gomes de Sá, falecido em 1926, e na época cozinheiro do Restaurante Lisbonense, no Porto, lugar em que criou a receita. Sua receita tradicional propõe que o bacalhau seja cortado em pequenas lascas marinadas no leite por mais de uma hora. Assado no forno, com azeitealhocebola, acompanhando azeitonas pretas, salsa e ovos cozidos.

Este é um prato típico da região Norte de Portugal. É de preparação simples e relativamente rápida.

O bacalhau à Gomes de Sá foi um dos candidatos finalistas às 7 Maravilhas da Gastronomia portuguesa.

Gomes de Sá era um comerciante do Porto nos finais do Séc. XIX. A ele se deve esta receita de bacalhau que, segundo a lenda, terá sido criada com os mesmos ingredientes (à excepção do leite) com que semanalmente fazia os bolinhos de bacalhau que deliciavam os amigos. Com efeito, os ingredientes são os mesmos, mas a receita resulta de uma confecção cuidada e de grande requinte. A receita que se segue é retirada de um manuscrito atribuído ao próprio Gomes de Sá que terá dado a receita a um seu amigo, João, com a deliciosa nota: “João se alterar qualquer cousa já não fica capaz”

Receita em Portugues:

3 Porções

  • 400 g Bacalhau
  • 500 g Batata
  • 2 Ovos
  • 1 dente Alho
  • 3 Cebolas
  • 0.35 g folhas louro
  • 1 ramo salsa em rama
  • Q.B. Azeitonas Pretas
  • Q.B. Azeite
  • Q.B. Sal
  • Q.B. Pimenta

Cortar o bacalhau em postas e demolhar durante 48 horas. Colocar panela ao lume com água e deixar ferver. Juntar o bacalhau, deixar cozer, retirar e lascar.

Lavar bem as batatas com a pele. Cozer em água, temperada com sal, retirar e deixar arrefecer. Pelar as batatas e cortar em camponesa.
Cozer os ovos (duros), arrefecer e picar.

Descascar os dentes de alho e picar e descascar as cebolas e cortar em meia-lua. Colocar um tacho ao lume, adicionar o azeite. Juntar os dentes de alho, as cebolas e as folhas de louro; deixar refogar lentamente. Temperar com sal e pimenta. Retirar as folhas de louro e guardar.

Colocar uma frigideira ao lume. Adicionar a cebolada e o bacalhau lascado e saltear. Juntar a batata e temperar com sal e pimenta. Colocar dentro de um tabuleiro, regar com azeite aquecido com alho picado e levar ao forno. Retirar e empratar. Decorar com salsa picada, azeitonas pretas e os ovos picados e servir.

And in English: (from EMERIL)

INSTRUCTIONS

Soak the cod in cold water to cover for 24 to 36 hours, changing the water occasionally, drain. Flake the cod into small pieces, removing any bones. Set aside. In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add 1/4 cup of the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until slightly golden, about 6 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Grease a medium ovenproof casserole dish with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper.

Spread half of the potatoes over the bottom of the prepared dish. Sprinkle half of the salt cod over the potatoes. Place half of the onion mixture over the salt cod. Top the onion mixture with more salt cod. Place another layer of potatoes over the top of the cod. Drizzle the entire pan with the remaining 1/4 cup of oil. Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden. Place on a serving platter. Garnish with the sliced eggs, olives, and parsley.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

 

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Beijinho de Côco, com Capirinha!

Well, last week I ventured trying to make the most famous Brazilian candy/after meal sweet: Brigadeiro, a bit adapted, thanks to a forwarded recipe, which included adding Caipirinha to it! So, this time, I’m coming with the second most traditional and well-known sweet: Beijinho de Côco (“Coconut Kiss”, if I could translate it). Again, using last week’s recipe, and why not, venturing to discover how the little coconut kiss would taste, if a bit of “caipirinha” was added to the mix! :o The recipe is the same one from last week, just adding 100g of shredded (unsweetened) coconut to the mix. Don’t forget to have the lemon zest for a beautiful topping effect!

Here is the result:

"Beijinho de Côco com Caipirinha!"

Remembering, from last week’s recipe:

Brigadeiro de caipirinha com cachaça e limões

Remember “brigadeiro”? Those little chocolate candies that one may find at birthday parties? Well, this one resembles a famous Brazilian drink: “The Caipirinha”… a candy made with ingredients for a mixed drink… The main ingredient?

A little bit of cachaça, Brazil’s famous “sugar cane aguardiente”… :o And, obviously: “enjoy responsibly”…. Enjoy at a friend’s house, after a great feijoada… Take a good nap afterwards… find yourself a comfy hammock and forget about getting behind the wheel! :o No “eating and driving”, okay? :o

Here is the image, and the recipe, in Portuguese, with comments in English:

Receita do Brigadeiro de Caipirinha

Brigadeiros de caipirinha

Ingredientes

  • 1 lata de leite condensado
  • 2 colheres de sopa de manteiga
  • 50 ml de cachaça
  • Açúcar cristal
  • Raspas de limão para decorar
  • Opcional: suco de um limão e ½ caixa de creme de leite

Modo de preparo

Leve ao fogo uma panela com o leite condensado, o creme de leite e a manteiga. Vá mexendo em fogo baixo até dar ponto e desgrudar da panela. Tire um pouco do fogo e adicione a cachaça/vodca, e o suco do limão. Volte a panela ao fogo e deixe dar o ponto novamente. Use uma assadeira untada (de manteiga) pra colocar a “massa”, e deixe reservado até esfriar.

Pra fazer as bolinhas: unte as mãos com manteiga, pegue um pouco da “massa” e vá boleando, fazendo movimentos circulares. Passe a bolinha no açúcar cristal, com raspas de limão, para decorar. (Obs: existe um açúcar especial, de confeiteiro, que parece um gelo triturado e também é uma boa opção).

One may add lemon/lime zest over the candy, making it look even more similar to the original drink… Humm!

[Portuguese] Há quem goste de colocar um pouquinho de raspas de limão na massa no lugar do suco. Deve deixar um azedinho bem gostoso!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 3, 2012 in FOOD

 

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Eating on a budget: economy restaurants for local food lovers in Recife!

Eating on a budget: economy restaurants for local food lovers in Recife!

Hey there! This past weekend we didn’t wanna cook… Kids had a ton of energy, kept running inside the house, so we decided we had to get the whole family out of the apartment… “let’s enjoy the great weather, while appreciating the local food..“. Our surprise: a lot of eateries, restaurants, even the fast-food places did NOT OPEN UNTIL 5PM! We’re shocked (and a bit frustrated, as well!) “Should we go back and try to cook something?”, we discussed, before asking our toddlers from a savior play date with the neighbors (we’re very thankful for that, BTW!)

As a result, we begin our search, trying to find a place that was kid-friendly, open-setting, good & healthy food and… not too expensive… But, the most important thing, was getting the kiddos out of the house… :o

Here is the result: Always wonderful to share:

Economy Restaurants in Recife

You may be on a budget, but eating well is still possible in Recife. This listing of places to eat covers only restaurants. There are many traditional style restaurants, but Brazil also offers self-service restaurants where you pay by weight. Such restaurants are very popular, especially at lunchtime, but be sure to arrive early to get a good choice. Lunch here starts at 12.00 and popular places will have little left after 1.30pm. The price per kilo varies according to the range and quality of the offering, and by the location of the restaurant. Most shopping centers have food courts with a mix of fast food and self-service restaurants. On the whole we would suggest that the food is over-priced and lacks quality compared to other options outside the shopping centers. Stand-alone restaurants in shopping centers are better quality, but also tend to be over priced compared to similar establishments in other street locations.

Chinese food in Recife is cheap, as it is in many countries. You do get what you pay for and, for the most part, are not recommended.  However, Japanese food is very popular and generally of good quality. Many better self-service buffets also include sushi in their offering.

Cafes, bakery’s (padarias), delicatessens and bars often have good food options, from nibbles and snacks to more substantial meals. You can find more details under the heading bars and cafes

Of course, beach and street food are to be found everywhere in all the destinations covered by this site, so to do justice to the subject all listings and tips are under a separate heading Beach and Street Food

La Plage (Crepes) Good crepes in a very well docorated restaurant. Rua Professor Rui Batista, 120, Boa Viagem. (81) 3465 1654. Tues-Sat 6pm-11.30pm; Sun 5pm-11pm; Mon closed. (R$16+) MAP

Anjo Solto (Crepes) A very popular and well established venue popular with the fashionable crowd. Also gay friendly. Usually lively from 10pm until very late. Galeria Joana DÁrcPina.(81) 3325 0862. Daily 6pm until the last client. (R$18+). MAP www.anjosolto.com.br

Pin Up (Burgers), This place offers fantastic burgers for little more than a McDonald´s in the setting of a very American style diner. Avenida Herculano Bandeira, 204, Pina. (81) 3466 0001.  5.30pm-1.30am tue-sat; 5pm-24.00 sun; closed mon.  MAP www.pinupburgueria.com.br

Laça Burguer (Burgers & Sandwiches) Better than McDonald’s for a similar price, but not as good as Pin Up.  Avenida Visconde de Jequintinhonha 138-ABoa Viagem. (81) 3461 2179.  Mon-Thurs 11.30am-2am; Fri-Sat 11.30am-5am; Sun 12.00-2am. MAP

Entre Amigos o Bode (Regional) A large bar/restaurant serving traditional regional food and meat. This place is very popular with locals. Rua Marquês de Valença 30 Boa Viagem(81) 3312.1000. Mon-Fri 11.30am-2am; Sat & Sun 11.30am-4am . Approx. R$25 per person. MAPwww.entreamigosobode.com.br

Parraxaxá (Regional). The name is of indigenous origin and is pronouncedpahashasha. This very popular self-service (pay by the kilo) restaurant serves regional cuisine in a rustic theme restaurant. A very wide selection of savory and sweet dishes. The plates are massive so make sure your eyes are not bigger than your stomach, or it will cost you! Rua Baltazar Pereira 32, Boa Viagem(81) 3463 7874. Mon-Fri 11am-10pm; Sat & Sun6-11pm. Approx R$20 per person. MAP www.parraxaxa.com.br

Ponteio Grill (Regional) One of the most famous Brazilian eating experiences is the churrascaria (pronounced showhaskaria), a grill where you help your self to the salad bar (including a limited sushi menu) then take what meat you want as it is brought to your table on large spits. Its good to go when you are very hungry, as this is a fixed price restaurant for all you want to eat. The price is less earlier in the week and higher on weekends. There are other similar restaurants that cost more, and some a little less. We recommend this as being the best value for money. Avenida Boa Viagem 4824Boa Viagem. (81) 3326 2386. Mon-Thurs 12pm-4pm and 7-12am midnight; Fri-Sun 12pm-12am midnightApprox R$30 per person. MAP

Feijoada do Vovô Hortêncio (Regional) Feijoada is considered a national dish of Brazil and is served only at lunchtimes, usually on weekends. Folklore suggests feijoada was a “luxury” dish of African slaves on Brazilian colonial farms, as it was prepared with relatively cheap ingredients (beans, rice, collard greens, farofa) and leftovers from salted pork and meat production. Some versions, even in good bars and restaurants, can be disgustingly fatty. The feijoada at this restaurant is excellent, and we recommend it to more adventurous eaters. Definitely it is not for vegetarians. Rua Setúbal 1603, Boa Viagem. (81) 3074 4788. Fri-Sun Lunchtimes only .  Approx. R$20 per person. MAP

Chica Pitanga, (Regional/International) A very popular self-service/pay-per-kilo restaurant with a large buffet offering. Get here early, especially at weekends, to avoid waiting for a table.  Rua Petrolina 19, Boa Viagem. (81) 3465 2224. Mon-Fri 11.30am-3.30pm & 6pm-10pm; Sat & Sun 11.30am-10pm. Approx R$20per person. MAP

O Poeta, (Regional/International) A good quality self-service/per kilo restaurant that is very popular with local office workers. Get here early if you want a good selection. Avenida Rio Branco 243Recife Antigo. (81) 3224-3310. Mon-Fri only 11.30-3.30pmApprox R$20per person MAP

Panquecas e Saladas(Regional/International) A good quality self-service/pay-per-kilo restaurant in an old house. A more limited choice than others listed here, but still good and fresh. Take a table upstairs for a cheap and cheerful meal in a nice setting. Good juices too. As with all self-service places, get here early. Rua da Guia 93,Recife Antigo(81) 3224 2259. Mon-Fri only 11.30-3pm. Approx R$10 per person.MAP

O Buraquinho (Regional) A simple restaurant in one of the most interesting and picturesque historic squares of Recife. It serves regional dishes for very good prices. Pátio de São Pedro 28, Recife Downtown(81) 3224 6431. Mon-Sat 11.30am-12.00am midnight. Sun closed . R$20, MAP

Royal (Regional) Established in 1944, this restaurant serves traditional regional dishes and focuses on offering value for money. It is only open for breakfast and lunch weekdays to serve its office worker clients. Rua Mariz e Barros 181Recife Antigo (81) 3224 5854. Mon-Fri only 8am-3pm. R$20, MAP

Tio Pepe (Brazilian) This restaurant was founded in 1964 by José Garrido Cid, an immigrant from Galicia, Spain. Before he died, Pepe passed the baton to one of his Brazilian daughters, Mirtes, who has modernized the business. Generous portions of fish, meat and poultry are freshly cooked, most on a traditional coal grill. Rua Almirante Tamandaré 170, Boa Viagem. (81) 3341 7153. Tues-Sat 11.30am-11.30pm; Sun 11.30am-4.30pm Approx R$30. MAP

La Comedie (French) This little French bistro is one of the hidden gems of Recife. It is tucked away behind the French language school Aliança Francesa, and located in a small building with a covered patio area. It offers a selection of high quality French snacks and dishes. The mini quiches are great, so are the soups. Not to forget: the Brazilian spin on the French classic for dessert, the petit gâteau, is amazing, not chocolate but uva (grape) or goiaba (a sweet guava jam). Rua Amaro Bezerra 466Derby. (81) 3222 0245. Mon-Wed 12pm-10pm; Thurs-Sat 12pm-11pm; Close Sun. R$20.MAP

La Cuisine Bistrô (French) We have included this restaurant in the Economy option, but prices here can go from reasonable to expensive, depending on your choice from an extensive menu. Soups, salads, sandwiches and other light options are possible if you are on a budget. They are very good quality and this is a nice restaurant. When I am looking to go budget here I take The French onion soup and the petit gateau, both classic and 95% of the time very well done, a great buless expensive options.Avenida Boa Viagem 560Pina. (81) 3327 4073. Mon-Thurs 12pm-11pm; Fri 12pm-1am; Sat 1pm-1am; Sun 1pm-11pm.R$25 MAP Review Exclusive Offer

 
23 Comments

Posted by on March 28, 2012 in BRASIL, FOOD, resources

 

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Spicy shrimp casserole with curry and coconut milk

Sunday is the best excuse for a great family lunch! Easy, quick, colorful and delicious!

Where hot sauce and curry meet... heaven!

I just started playing with the ingredients, trying different variations of the shrimp casserole, or Brazilian moqueca – a very popular dish among the members of our household, and responding to the husband’s request, here it is, “step-by-step”, or better saying, “image-by-image”… :o

First, get all the fresh ingredients together (or as fresh as possible, but hey, nothing against a convenient bottle of garlic powder!). The shrimp needs to be peeled and cooked. After being cooked, it could be stored in the freezer, if needed. I was able to get a some organic vegetables (tomatoes, bell peppers, onions), as well, and they looked beautiful!

Starting with some heat… curry & hot sauce:

Can you see the heat in action? look at the color of these bad boys!

Adding a very important ingredient to the marinating mix: beer!

Simmering all the ingredients.. allowing for all the flavors to rejoice!

...don't forget to add a bit more "liquid" to the mixture...

Bringing in another surprising ingredient: coconut milk – very popular member of the traditional Brazilian cuisine!

How should it look? Pretty much like this! :o

Now, a quick look over the side dishes:

While you were working your magic with the shrimp casserole, rice was being cooked! It's simple like that!

Rice is done!

quick, easy, fluffy! like gradma's homecooking!

Another side order: organic veggies make a great and tasty salad!

Husband’s plate: [accompanied by his 'favorite' cold drink!]

Two of my most demanding [and happy] customers! Happy Sunday!

 
 

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Our son’s classroom featured on Rede Globo: good eating habits can be taught.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on November 28, 2011 in BRASIL, children, EDUCATION, FOOD, Português

 

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Feijoada, friends, fun, fairly relaxing Sunday…

Spending Sunday surrounded by energetic kids. Lots of fun, good food, great conversation. That’s how Sundays should always be! 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on November 4, 2011 in BRASIL, FAMILY, FOOD, photography

 

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“Cooking traditions from the heart”: great-grandma’s New England squash pie

During our time with family in the USA, one of the things I was being very attentive about, was learning from my mother-in-law some of her “secrets“, “cooking tricks” and delicacies, mainly from her dear New England origins…

Among the experiences, which included a 2-day process for making spaghetti sauce with meatballs and italian spicy sausages, stuffed shells, meatball subs, for the scope of this blogpost, I’ll restrict myself to my favorite desert for the Fall season: (New Englandsquash pie!

I keep following my mother-in-law around, trying not to miss a second from her teachings…

A quick snapshot of one of her well-cared “secrets”:

Once the recipe folder is open, she grabs a hand-written recipe from her own mother, and the rest, is just history! To make things easier, here is a simplified scheme for this delicious pie:

the golden beauties: pumpkin & squash

Ingredients

1 can ONE-PIE Squash
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Ginger
1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
2 Eggs (beaten)
1 1/2 cups Milk or 1 can 12 oz. Evaporated Milk

Directions

Mix sugar, salt, & spices. Blend well into squash. Beat 2 eggs separately, add milk, stir well & blend into squash mixture.

Pour into 9″ pie plate lined with crust. Prehead oven. Bake 20 minutes at 425 degrees F.

Then bake for additional 45 minutes at 375 degrees F.

It looks pretty simple, right? Not really! :o I’ve got a lot of respect for this great-grandma’s recipe, and maybe, one day, I’ll be able to bake it as well as my kids’ grandma does!

For now, just cheers from our current tropical setting, longing for the flavors and tastes we were able to enjoy back home!

 
4 Comments

Posted by on October 21, 2011 in FOOD, photography, recipe/cooking

 

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Homemade Mole: photos and receta for an authentic Mexican Fiesta

Two cheers to our wonderful neighbors! 

Today I had a very special guided tour: through an authentic celebration of Mexican Independence, including getting “secret recipes” from the hosts, one of which I was “allowed” to share here with you all…  (I guess she knew that simply humans, like myself, wouldn’t be able to replicate this delicacy!). At least, not the way I got to enjoy… humm! My very first Mexican Fiesta, and just to make things even better, didn’t have to leave Brazil for that… quite a treat! So good I entertained the idea of joining the other guests during the Grito Mexicano:o (too shy for that, though!)

Also, check this post out. It’s about honoring the Mexican Culture, from another fellow blogger, passionate by Mexico, good food and cheerful celebrations!

beverages for all tastes… and ages!

mole poblano, already mixed with chicken meat… hummm!

How to prepare “Mole Poblano” sauce

{in Spanish, sorry… that’s the original recipe… :o}

Ingredientes 

Normalmente la gente al Mole le suele poner pollo u otro tipo de carne aunque la base son los chiles, el cacao y las especias.

  • 1 Kg. de chile mulato (es un chile seco de color negruzco y de sabor un poco dulzón)
  • 125 g. almendras.
  • 125 g. nueces.
  • 125 g. avellanas peladas.
  • 125 g. piñones.
  • 125 g. cacahuetes.
  • 125 g. pepitas de calabaza peladas.
  • 250 g. uvas pasas.
  • 250 g. ajonjolí o sésamo.
  • 50 g. canela molida.
  • 10 bolitas pimienta negra
  • 10 semillas de chile mulato
  • 1 manojo de hierbas de olor: mejorana, tomillo y laurel.
  • 1 Kg. plátano macho (es un plátano válido solo para cocinar)
  • 1 paquete de galletas maría.
  • 1 paquete de galletas ricas.
  • 2 panecillos con sal.
  • una pizca de semillas de girasol peladas.
  • Comino, anís, clavo, cilantro (una pizca de todo)

Elaboración:

  • Todos esos ingredientes se muelen en un molino de chiles llamado Morcajete (es un mortero de piedra volcánica) hasta que quede una masa espesa de textura fina.
  • Esta masa se disuelve en caldo de hongos o setas (tradicionalmente en caldo de pollo u otra carne) hasta que quede de consistencia parecida al chocolate derretido o chocolate a la taza espeso.
  • Las setas u hongos se pueden trocear o dejarlos enteros mezclándolos con el Mole rojo.
  • Este plato se sirve caliente, acompañado de arroz, frijoles y tortillas mexicanas.

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17 Comments

Posted by on September 16, 2011 in FOOD

 

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