Friday, February 26, 2021

Oatmeal porridge - comfort food for troubled times

Mingau de aveia


I have a small notebook in which I write down food ideas I want to test and also the recipes I make at home, so I can then post them here on the blog. The poor notebook has been so forgotten lately it is almost getting dusty, for I haven’t made anything new, but I keep it on the coffee table, with my iPad and my cell phone charger, hoping that maybe, sometime, I’ll look at it and feel like testing new recipes again.

This is how things are going here, some days seem slower and/or longer than others, sometimes I feel a little bit more energy, while other times I have less disposition, but everyday seems like the previous one, very “Groundhog Day” indeed. At least workwise things are truly great, working with a new boss since September 2020, a wonderful woman who is beautiful both on the inside and out, and that makes me eager to face this never-ending quarantine.

I want vaccines, but there aren’t hardly any, I want a better government for my country, which is not possible right now. I want to get up in the morning without feeling I am in an episode of “The Handmaid’s Tale” – not possible now either.

As far as food goes, things are a bit boring around here: very basic recipes, preferably quick dishes that do not result in a sink full of dishes to do. Lots of pasta and salads

Sometimes at night I don’t feel like eating, even when I exercise, which generally makes me hungry. To avoid going to bed on an empty stomach, I make myself some porridge: quick, easy and so comforting – it is like being hugged on the inside. I top it with chia seeds, coconut chips or cashew nuts and serve it with some fruit on the side. It is not a traditional dinner, but it comforts me and makes me feel fed and happy.

 

Oatmeal porridge

own recipe

 

¼ cup (25g) rolled oats

½ cup (120ml) milk or plant-based milk – I like to use cashew nut milk, it is so creamy!

¼ cup (60ml) cold water

pinch of salt

sugar, to taste – you can replace it with honey or agave

pinch of ground cinnamon, or 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder


Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring a few times to dissolve the sugar. When it starts to boil, reduce the heat and stir constantly until mixture thickens. Cook for 2-3 minutes, depending on how thick you want the porridge.

Transfer to a bowl and serve.

Serves 1

 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Marinated zucchini for exhausted people

Abobrinha marinada

I have been super busy lately, it seems that whenever the end of the year is near everything starts to accumulate – I must confess that I cannot wait for the holidays, 2020 was so exhausting (mentally exhausting, especially) and I know you feel the same way. I cannot wait to turn off the computer, to stop cooking in a rush, to take naps after lunch. I just want to be lazy for a few days.

Speaking of lazy, the recipe I bring you today is very much so: quick to put together, lasts a long time in the fridge (and it tastes even better after a few days there), makes any cheese & wine dinner even better. 

The bread you see on the photo is Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread, something I have been making once a week since quarantine started.

 

Marinated zucchini

slightly adapted from a Brazilian cookbook

 

4 medium zucchini

olive oil, for brushing

½ cup (120ml) extra virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half lengthwise

1/3 cup (80ml) white wine vinegar – I used sherry vinegar for it was all I had at home

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the zucchini into 3mm coins.

Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Brush the zucchini slices with the olive oil and cook for about 1 minute each side, or until they become slightly tender. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat the extra virgin olive oil in medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the vinegar and remove from the heat. Cool completely. Season with salt and pepper.

In a shallow dish, make layers with the zucchini slices and the oil mixture, alternating them. Cover and refrigerate for 3 days – we finished the zucchini in 1 week after the first three days of preparation.

Serves 8

Monday, October 5, 2020

Banana hazelnut yogurt cake

Bolo de iogurte, banana e avelã

I hope you are not tired of the Epicurious yogurt cake, for I have made it again with different flavors, and the result was simply amazing! I love how versatile this cake recipe is, and how simple to put together it is – a bowl and whisk and you are good to go.

I wanted to make a banana cake, but different from the usual recipes, in which the banana is called for mashed. I thought of the delicious apple yogurt cake and decided to add the banana in diced form. To make the cake moister and more interesting, I replaced part of the all purpose flour for hazelnut flour and it was such a perfect combination of flavors! Please feel free to use other nut flours if you wish.

The cake turned out flavorsome, moist and tender - the baked banana pieces were lovely in the cake. The recipe immediately became a favorite and now it is tied with the apple cake as the most delicious version of the Epicurious yogurt cake I have made so far. :)

 

Banana hazelnut yogurt cake

adapted from the Epicurious recipe, once again

 

180g all-purpose flour

45g hazelnut flour (finely ground hazelnuts)

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon table salt

180g granulated sugar

¾ cup (180g) plain yogurt – I used sheep’s milk yogurt

½ cup (120ml) vegetable oil – I used canola

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 tablespoon Frangelico

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 medium ripe bananas (120g each, weighed before peeling), peeled and diced in about ½-in pieces

 

Preheat oven to 180C/350°F. Lightly brush a 6-cup capacity loaf pan with oil, line it with baking paper and then brush the paper as well.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, hazelnut flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, yogurt, oil, eggs, vanilla and Frangelico until smooth. Fold in reserved dry ingredients – if batter is too lumpy, whisk for a few seconds – do not overmix or the cake will become tough. Stir in the bananas.

Pour the batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a skewer or toothpick inserted into center of the cake comes out clean.

Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Carefully and using the paper as a guide, remove cake from pan and transfer to the rack to cool completely.

The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.


Serves 8

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Pizza flavored whole wheat waffles and very different vacations

Waffles integrais sabor pizza

I was on vacation for most of July and it was very different from all the other previous vacations I ever took: in quarantine, I stayed home all the time. I had plans to go back to NYC this year, but unfortunately had to postpone the trip to god knows when due to the pandemic. On my vacation there was no travelling, no walking around the city, no nothing. I saw one movie a day, some TV shows, cooked a lot. I organized my books and my closet, took naps after lunch and rested.

In one of the afternoons watching movies I felt like nibbling on something, and there was freshly baked cake, but I really wanted something savory. I adapted my recipe for orange olive oil waffles to make it flavored like pizza, with cheese and dried oregano, and also added a bit of whole wheat flour to make the waffles more interesting and nuttier in flavor. The waffles turned out delicious, therefore I share the recipe with you today.

 

Pizza flavored whole wheat waffles

own recipe

 

100g all purpose flour

75g whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

pinch of salt

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 large egg, room temperature

¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil

¾ cup (180ml) whole milk, room temperature

1 cup (70g) coarsely grated yellow mozzarella*

2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan

 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, oregano and salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, olive oil and milk. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir just until incorporated – do not overmix. Stir in the cheeses.

Heat a waffle iron until very hot; lightly coat with nonstick spray – my waffle maker is nonstick, so I do not coat it.

Working in batches, cook waffles until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack set inside a baking sheet and keep warm in oven until ready to serve.

* the yellow mozzarella I used is not like fresh mozzarella balls, therefore it does not release too much liquid. Replace by cheddar or something similar texture wise.

Makes 5-6 waffles


Monday, September 14, 2020

Chocolate yogurt cake for busy days

Bolo de iogurte e chocolate

The past few weeks have been quite busy and I haven’t had much time to bake or write on the blog – lots going on at work, and this never ending quarantine makes most of my days emotionally exhausting. 

I want, however, to share this recipe with you, for I am sure that sometimes a slice of cake and a cup of tea can make the day a little bit better: again, I have used the Epicurious yogurt cake recipe, but this time I turned it into a chocolate cake. Easy to make, moist, tender and delicious, this might become your go-to chocolate cake for busy days, just like it has become mine.

The apple yogurt cake continues to be my favorite version of the Epicurious recipe, but there are times when only chocolate will do, right? :)

Bolo de iogurte e chocolate

Chocolate yogurt cake

once again, adapted from the Epicurious yogurt cake

 

1 ¼ cups (175g) all-purpose flour

1/3 cup (30g) Dutch processed cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon table salt

1 cup (200g) granulated sugar

¾ cup (180g) plain yogurt – I used sheep’s milk yogurt

½ cup (120ml) vegetable oil – I used canola

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Preheat oven to 180C/350°F. Lightly brush a 6-cup capacity loaf pan with oil, line it with baking paper and then brush the paper as well.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, yogurt, oil, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Fold in reserved dry ingredients – if batter is too lumpy, whisk for a few seconds – do not overmix or the cake will become tough.

Pour the batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a skewer or toothpick inserted into center of the cake comes out clean.

Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Carefully and using the paper as a guide, remove cake from pan and transfer to the rack to cool completely.

The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

 

Serves 8

 

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