Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Green bean, tomato, feta and cannellini bean salad

Salada de vagem, tomate, feta e feijão branco / Green bean, tomato, feta and cannellini bean salad

It is super cold in Sao Paulo today – it is the winter after all – and I have been trying to keep myself warm with lots of clothes and buckets of hot tea (I might make soup for dinner to boot).

However, I know that many of you reading me on the top half of the planet are having a very intense summer, including devastating effects in some places due to extreme heat and storms. I do hope you are well and safe, and that things get back to normal soon.

I will share with you today one of my favorite salads, one that I have made several times and that I like specially to take to the office for lunch. It is not even a recipe to be honest: I start by grilling the green beans in a hot nonstick frying pan with a little bit of olive oil and half a clove of garlic, some salt and pepper (I later discard the garlic – it is only to perfume the beans).

When it is cool, I add halved cherry tomatoes, diced feta cheese and cannellini beans from a can.

The dressing is a very simple vinaigrette made with olive oil, lime or lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper: everything added to an empty jar and shaken until creamy. When I take this salad to work for lunch, I pack the dressing separately and add it to the salad minutes before eating.

A fresh, colorful meal, made in minutes and without using the stove too much – I hope you like it. xx

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Lemon pistachio yogurt cake - yes, cake again :)

Bolo de iogurte, pistache e limão siciliano

Here I am once again with cake. :) 

Days have been pretty busy around here, lots of work, back at the office twice a week, but all in all everything is fine. I took my first vaccine shot two weeks ago and I felt something I hadn’t felt in quite a long time: hope.

It was quite an emotional moment for me, when a mix of feelings emerged: happiness and relief, and at the same time anger because of all the people who have died because the psychopath who is the president of my country refused to buy vaccines, because he wanted to make money out of it – corruption in its most disgusting shape.

One thing I have not changed on my weeks is baking a cake to snack on in the afternoons: my husband and I got completely hooked on that. The Epicurious yogurt cake recipe continues to be a hit in my house, and I have made it so many times since quarantine started that I have lost track of it. So easy to put together, so adaptable. 

This version I made with lemon and pistachio and it turned out amazing – very tender and sort of marzipany in taste, even though I used pistachios instead of almonds. My favorite take on this recipe, tied with the apple version.


Bolo de iogurte, pistache e limão siciliano

Lemon pistachio yogurt cake

adapted from the Epicurious recipe, once again


1 ¼ cups (175g) all-purpose flour

½ cup (50g) pistachio flour (finely ground hazelnuts)

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon table salt

1 cup (200g) granulated sugar

finely grated zest of 2 lemons

¾ cup (180g) plain yogurt

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

2 large eggs, room temperature

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons Cointreau (optional)


To sprinkle to cake:

1 tablespoon granulated sugar


Preheat oven to 180C/350°F. Brush with oil a 6-cup capacity loaf pan (22x11cm/8.5x4.5in), line with baking paper leaving an overhang in the two longer sides and brush the paper as well.

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

In a large bowl, rub sugar and lemon zest with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Whisk in yogurt, oil, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and Cointreau (if using) 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. Sprinkle with the sugar. 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 4 days.

Serves 8

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