Category: COOKING

cookie time

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Today I woke up and I just felt like baking and blogging… and so I did!

I baked delightful chocolate chip cookies, wrote this post and now I feel like satisfied…

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The cookies are adapted from Mary McCartney’s EAT : Arty’s chocolate chip cookies:

Needed:

115 g salted butter

60 g golden caster sugar (I used 40 g)

1 large free-range egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

170g plain or spelt flour (I used: 60 g rice flour + 60 almond flour + 60 g GF oats flour)

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

175 plain dark chocolate, broken up and bashed into little chunks

(Mary says you can use milk chocolate if you prefer… of course I do! So I used 100 g milk chocolate + 50 g cranberries)

Method:

Preheat your oven to 190 C.

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper baking parchment.

Cream together the butter and the sugar in a large mix bowl. Mix in the egg and the vanilla and beat well. Then mix the rest of the ingredients.

Spoon tablespoonfulls of chocolate dough onto your baking tray, spacing them out well, so they won’t stick together.

Put them in the oven for about 10 min (mine needed about 16 min.) Until they are (de)lightly golden and just firm to touch.

Leave the cookies to cool, preferably on a wire rack. Then eat!

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Wish you all a delightful week!

Lots of love,

dp bye

blending days

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Maybe it is because of the winter : that ‘finally’ arrived… Maybe it is because life is getting busier recently…

Maybe it is because I am getting lazy (and lazier), or maybe it is just a little bit of everything…

The thing is: For the past couple of weeks my cooking was pretty much reduced to blending ! And it is a great thing after all…

Whether if you are busy; lazy or simply in the mood, here is my tip for a delicious and super nutritive ‘anytime smoothie’!

I say anytime, because it is one of my favourite after-yoga smoothies, plus some greens to make it a quick-lunch or dinner!

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The ingredients are light and super detoxifying: apple, lime, currants, poppy seeds, spinach , yogurt or almond milk and if you want some protein powder.

The lime is a very special ingredient to this smoothie flavour! I first decided to add it because my protein powder has a resilient vanilla flavour, and it always felt weird to have both: protein + spinach on the same smoothie – just until I first added limes, and loved the combination – !!!

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Anytime Smoothie

Method:

In a blender mix well: a handful of raw spinach leaves; one peeled apple (I use 1/2 gala + 1/2 granny); 3 sticks of currants; 1/2 peeled lime (I add part of the peel most times); 1 tea-spoon of poppy-seed; 100 ml of almond milk or greek yogurt (I always prefer those who are made of goat’s milk); and a table-spoon of protein powder.

It’s recently my very favourite smoothie! I hope you to prove it, and of course to enjoy it!

extra tip:

If you are going through a busy week, or if it is a very warm week ( which is – unfortunately – not the case in here right now) you can prepare the fruits and leaves and store the portions on your refrigerator to blend whenever you want… I always avoid to freeze  but sometimes I have to because I am short on time, and I have to admit:  that is no better way for you to have a really ‘super smooth’ smoothie than blending frozen fruits !

Have a great week,

dp bye

pão de queijo

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What do you know about ‘pão de queijo’ the most delicious (and so easy to prepare) brazilian snack?

( pão de quijo : pane al formaggio : cheese bread : käse brötchen )

If you have never been to Brasil, and don’t have a brazilian friend, you are going to love me forever – and ever – for this tip/recipe!

And if you are from Brasil, you will also love me…  because this recipe tastes sooo good, you’ll never dare to buy any baking mixture ever again!

This recipe is not one of my own, but after several tries I can say: This one is the ultimate ‘pão de queijo’s recipe! It is one of Carla Pernambuco’s recipes, and if you don’t know either her,  ‘las chicas‘ and ‘carlota‘ – restaurants of her – or ‘brasil no prato‘ – a tv show hosted by herself – it is time for you to do some homework!

At Carla’s recipe she uses ‘queijo coalho’. I’ll suggest a different mix, but you can actually use whatever hard or semi-hard cheese you prefer.

If you can’t manage to find ‘polvilho’ where you live you can mix 1/3 of cornstarch + 2/3 of potato stark + 1 coffee-spoon of baking soda. You’ll have delightful breads when they are still warm, but then they got a little bit too hard (what doesn’t happen to the polvilho one).

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pão de queijo (makes about 24 ):

needed

40 ml. olive oil (Carla uses Corn oil)

90ml.milk

50 ml. water

250 g of sour polvilho starch.

1 egg

125 g of hard cheese ( I use: 75 g. of grana padano + 100 g. of aged goat’s cheese) .Grated in a thick grater.

method

In a pan, put together oil + milk + water and warm it up (don’t bring it to boil ).

Place the polvilho (or your mix) in a large bowl, add the liquids mixture, and then add the egg.

Now add your cheese and let the mixture aside for half an hour (if it’s summer – south Italy or Brasil – bring it to the fridge).

Pre-heat your oven at 190˚, and prepare a tray (about 40 x 30 cm.) with parchment paper.

When your mixture is done make little balls (about 3 x 2 cm.).

Bring it to the oven for about 18 / 20 min.

Tip: I really hate food with a ‘shape’ , so instead of rolling balls I just used a tea-spoon (to collect around the same amount of the mixture) and dropped ‘whatever I caught at my tray!

What else? It is 100% gluten-free!

Enjoy,

dp bye

super foods

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So what about an easy and fulfilling desert or breakfast? Hummm…Yummy right?

And what about a delightful treat full of energy and nothing else but very good calories?

I am not kidding you, you can have it all in this super easy to prepare recipe.

I first read about ‘chia pudding’ in here and after a few tries I developed my own recipe, which I like better because of the texture, and the citric flavour! You can try both and decide what works best for you!

needed:

1/2 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup water

Zest of one lemon

1tea spoon of Stevia

1tea spoon of Agar-Agar (plus needed amount of water)

method:

Mix Chia and water and let it aside. Prepare your Agar-Agar. Mix lemon zest and Stevia.

Put everything together in a pot, mix everything and bring it to the fridge for about 4 hours.

You can serve it with berries, yogurt+honey (delightful combination), fruit jam or just have it plain!

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Bon appétit,dp bye

reading I cooking tip

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Today, I would like to share a very good reading/cooking book(s) tip with you!

As I told you in here, part of my ‘living alone (+my lovely husband) learning process’ was learning how to cook (even boiling an egg was a big challenge some time ago), so as a  good nerdy girl, I bought some books, of course… and started learning things!

Three of this books are today my ‘bibles’  not only because I use each of them at least once in a week but also because they are books from women who also cook in a marvelous way but who are first of all fantastic photographers and super conscient human beans.

Each one of this books reflects the life of the kind of woman I try to be: a talented professional, who uses her time and make her choices based on life quality and sustainable factors. A ‘super-woman’ (wooowwwww) who’s able to deal with every day tasks and also find time to prepare herself and her family a delightful, fresh and beautiful meal, photo shoot it beautifully, and share it with other talented fellow friends!

I am not here to ‘convert’ any of you guys into my ‘kind of’ cooking religion, but I am here to say: Hello! you don’t have to become a chef or a Mamma to cook good food! And you know what? You don’t have to be unable to even boil an egg just because you are a very talented and busy business woman! I mean: look the pretty ones bellow, take a deep breath and embrace all your super-woman tasks! You can make it…

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All this conversation makes me think about one of my very role-models: Ray Eames, the most talented artist who was also known for her marvelous dinners.

Great thing about this dinners? I bet the food was excellent… but they were not really about it, they were actually all about composition, colours, forms and smell mixtures.

A funny story about one of this dinners is the one about Ray bringing marvelous flower bouquets for dessert and warning her guests: You are not supposed to eat it! It is a visual delight… Enjoy it! I MUST write a post about it!

talk to you soon, and have a great weekend…

dp bye

Fattoush

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We love Fattoush around here. The classical Pitta bread  Sallad… Tomatoes, Cucumber, onions and some good yogurt…hummmm…DELIGHTFUL!

It is not only about Fattoush, we really LOVE Arabian and Lebanese food, and used to have it at least once a week back in São Paulo, but now…things have changed, and I cannot choose anymore between a lot of options… This is not a problem. Not at all! Since I have been experimenting with my own Lebanese dishes recently!

Here I offer you my fattoush salad recipe, and as the images may show, I make it two ways: the regular one with Pita Bread, and a Gluten-free version using corn crackers.

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I know I am not proposing a fair change in here, but if you have to avoid gluten and also love fattoush, you might think It may be a quite fair replacement! I tried, and I loved it…

Needed:

(recipe adapted from here)

2 slices of pita bread + 1 cup of organic GF corn crackers.

Olive oil

A pinch of sea salt and oregano

1/2 cup of Greek yogurt

Juice of  ½ a lemon juice

2 unpeeled chopped tomatoes

1 unpeeled chopped cucumber

1 sliced red onion

1 garlic of clove, finely minced

1/2 cup of chopped parsley

1/2 of  fresh mint

Method:

Place the slices of Pita on a baking sheet with some olive oil, salt and  oregano and bring into oven until it’s crispy and golden. When it’s done, crack the slices into smaller pieces.

In a bowl mix together:  yogurt, lemon juice and olive oil. Set it aside.

In a large Bowl combine: tomatoes, cucumber, onion, clove, parsley and mint. Mix it; add the yogurt dressing and mix a bit more!

Serve with your pita or corn crackers, and enjoy it!

dp bye

pasta a fiori di zucca

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What about an easy, not so light… but delightful, beautiful meal?

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This pasta recipe uses one of Campania’s usual treats , ‘le fiore di zucca’, upon gluten-free corn pasta al ‘triplo burro’(butter+cream+parmeggiano).

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In Napoli, you’ll probably have deep-fried flowers, with or without filling. I fill my flowers with ricotta and herbs, and then took into oven… no deep-frying… to make the flowers’ flavor easier to identify!

You can use regular pasta if you want but the corn pasta is a great add to this recipe!

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Needed for 2:

6 or 8 courgette flowers

A cup of ricotta

¼ of cup of thyme and parsley

Olive oil

Pinch of sea salt and pepper

400g of corn pasta

1 table-spoon of butter

2 table-spoons of heavy cream

1 handful of grana padano

Method:

Carefully wash the flowers and remove the bulbs.

Mix the ricotta, the greens and some olive oil. Add salt and pepper (and a bit of grana padano if you want some melting cheese coming out of your flowers!

Carefully fill the flowers using a small spoon. Make it about ¾ filled, and then make a lap with the petals, so the filling won’t come out.

Place the flowers on a baking sheet and bring it to 175˚ oven for about 15 minutes, or sooner if some filling starts to come off!

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In the meanwhile, bring your pasta into boiling water with a little bit of olive oil and salt, and prepare your sauce by  bringing the butter, cream and cheese together in a large skillet until the mixture is uniform.

When the pasta is ready, drain it and add into the sauce skillet. You can add some extra cheese or cream if you judge it necessary.

Place the pasta on the dishes and gently lay the flowers upon it.

I usually unlap the petals very gently so you can see the filling!

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Tip: You can have your pasta with some greeny gin tonic !

Hope you enjoy it!

dp bye

jus du marché

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As I told on this post I still have some days, and a lot of fruits to go before we left to Portugal! I already shared a dessert recipe, so now I would like to share an even easier Smoothie recipe.

I don’t know about you, but I really love smoothies… from the fruity to the greeny ones! This time, I’ve prepared a delightful fruity one…

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I really think bananas are smoothies best friends… but I am pretty aware most people tend to avoid it sometimes… if you feel like it, I would recommend you to replace the almond milk for orange or lemon juice, a combination that I also love.

Good thing about my version: tastes great also with regular milk if that’s your choice, and also with some protein powder, a good add especially if you are a vegetarian!

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If you had a great breakfast and need to have a quick lunch, or even if you are looking for a fulfilling snack, you  can add a bite of fruit+nuts bar to your smoothie.

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Today I had a piece of apple-cinammon ‘raw bite‘ with my smoothie. A delicious organic + sugar, gluten and lactose-free fruit+nuts bar, that I am recently totally in love with!

Enjoy it!

dp bye

dessert du marché

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Today at the market I found a great selection of fruits and couldn’t help myself from bringing  most of them home!  We are leaving to Porto in a week, so I have already planned numerous fruity salads for the next days and of course many fruity deserts!

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After the entire sugar subject, you may think: and now she wants to talk about dessert?

Of course I do! I want to talk about delightful sugar-free desserts and so… I am very pleased to introduce to you:

dessert du marché n.01: Greek yogurt with figs and currant.

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And even if you are very into sugar, I bet you may love this delicious and beyond easy to prepare summer desert, or treaty snack!

The great thing about yogurt + fruits is that you are free to combine whatever fruit you want and obtain fresher, lighter, spicier or sweeter combinations! Depending on your fruits you can also add some honey (as I did today) seeds or nuts… It is up to you!!!

For two portions I used 200ml. of a good Greek yogurt (here you can find a great article about Greek yogurt), a handful of currants, one fig and some raw honey.

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Hope you all may find a whole bunch of great fruits at your local market , and also enjoy some delightful fresh bites!

cheers,dp bye

let’s talk about . . .

Sugar

Today I would like to talk about eating (and not eating) sugar!

Recently I have been reading a lot about it, and of course I have been thinking about quitting sugar for a while… Actually I already decided to, but I am always finding my way back to sugar somehow.

The thing is: I understand I don’t have to renounce natural sugar from fruits and vegetables, and I don’t even plan to do such a thing…

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But I am really concerned about the huge amount of sugar we consume every day without even knowing.

First of all, I have to clarify some bitter facts about sweetness: It is addictive, and can be dangerous because most sweeteners available offer some kind of danger to our bodies. From high fructose sweeteners to the artificial ones. (I highly recommend Dr.Lustig’s lecture about sugar to clarify some points about fructose consumption)

So, what’s the big deal about eating sugar? I mean: mankind has been eating sugar for so long and now it is going to kill me???

Well… things are not as simple as they may sound, or taste! For the last couple of centuries we increased our sugar consumption from less than 2 kilos a year up to almost 35 kilos. We are addicted to sugar, an ingredient that brings us nothing but empty calories  (and of course sweetness).

Other important fact: Somewhere back in the seventies regarding the increasing number of heart and blood pressure diseases doctors and society in general made a huge effort to reduce fat consumption. Actually nowadays we consume around 20% less fats than we did before, but you know what?: Obesity increased brutally, especially and most alarming between kids and babies! So did sugar (especially fructose) consumption.

Ok… but why am I here fighting against sugar? I mean: ME (especially if you know me…)? Well, I am not writing this post because I am a sugar-free missionary ,and I really don’t want people to quit on sugar…  I am just trying to change my habits into something I believe is better for my health, and I think it is worth sharing the information with those who might be interested!

For the past couple of years we consumed in our house around three kilos of brown sugar, and I wasn’t even trying to quit on sweetness! After I decided to really cut sugar off, I was surprised to find out how much added sugar we were consuming (and we don’t ever consume canned items + we rarely consume packed stuff, but even though…). Recently I cutted off mostly every flavored yogurt, some cheeses and some gluten-free flours (all this packed stuff contains lots of fructose, especially the light options, as scary as it may sound!).

Still we have sweetness going on around here…

I still crave for my fruit bite after lunch, my apple+sugar-free granola bar for breakfast, and a bite of chocolate some nights… And even knowing I might never say no for a good gelato… I still hope I may decrease my sugar consumption to almost zero during the following years!

In the mean time I’ll share my sugar-free morning treat recipe with you:

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Ingredients:

1.: 1table spoon of chia seeds / 2 table spoons of fresh Flax meal .

2.: ½ cup of buckwheat goats / 1 cup of GF oatmeal / 1 coffee spoon of sea salt.

3.: 1 mashed banana (a small one) / 2 table spoons of unsweetened apple pure / 1table spoon of raw honey / 1 vanilla bean seeds.

4.: 50 g of coconut bites or dried cranberries / ½ cup of nuts (my preferred are pecans and almonds).

Method:

Bring number 1 into a cup with  6 table spoons of water and let it aside for about half an hour. It may look pretty much like glue after a while and the water must be completely absorbed after 30 min.

Bring number 2 to 175˚C oven in a foiled baking trail for about five minutes, and then let it cool outside as you wait for flax+chia gel to be ready!

Bring number 3 to low/medium fire until you obtain a uniform mixture.

When your flax+chia gel is ready, bring all ingredients together, and place the mixture on a foiled baking trail (about 24cm. x 15cm.). Took it into 175˚C pre-heated oven for about 30 min, or until the top is golden!

I usually melt around a coffee spoon of honey in 50 ml. of water and sprinkle it over the mixture before putting it into the oven for extra golden bars!!!

When it is ready, bring it to a stone surface, and let it cool for other 30 min, then cut it into pieces you decide to be your ideal bar! Mine is about 1 X 2 inches!

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About quitting sugar: I highly recommend this month’s national geographic issue , this blog , this post from glutenfreegirl (one of the blogs I follow and highly recommend), and at last this video .

dp bye