Saturday, October 29, 2011

October Unprocessed: Tortellini with Butternut Squash and Mushrooms

Real Simple.  Love this magazine.  I don't actually buy it myself because I wait for it to show up in the staff room at my work.  I may be looking at it one month late, but whatever.  I am getting the same money saving tips, decorating ideas, and fresh recipes as the rest of you. 

Last month I changed my tune and actually purchased the magazine.  Why?  Because it had twenty fresh and easy dinners -- one month of easy and healthy meals.  WIN!  Knowing that the October Unprocessed challenge was coming (this was in September), I shelled out the 5 bucks for the magazine.

Yes, I think about spending five bucks.  I am cheap like that.

Anyway, the point is that I finally tried some of the recipes this week.  Two, actually, and I am planning on another one tomorrow.  I thought I would be all over this magazine for the month, but mostly I have been cooking things I already know how to make, but learning how to make it all unprocessed -- like tacos with my homemade tortillas or soup with with made from scratch vegetable stock.  And I have been baking, a lot.  But finally, a new recipe! 

It was worth the wait.



Before we go on, two things:
  1. If you want to smell something good, go cut some sage with your kitchen shears.  WOW.  I have never actually smelled fresh sage before.  WOW again.
  2. When I googled "how to chop butternut squash" the link I found said, "Once you figure out how easy it is to cut up butternut squash you will want to use this versatile vegetable again and again."  Um, once I figure out how easy it is?  If easy means a stabbed finger, a bruised toe, and butternut squash all over my kitchen, then sure... EASY.  (I think I need to read the directions again.)


I had never heard of Fontina cheese before.  I am a simple girl, really. I know my cheddar, jack, and colby.  Now I have added to my cheese vocabulary.

The tortellini you see below is not homemade.  However, I found one that was preservative free (hip hip horray for Trader Joe's!) and with all ingredients I own, meaning it fits the qualifications for the October Unprocessed challenge. 

(Out of curiosity, I checked out the "fresh" tortellini being sold at my local Lucky, under a brand name we all know.  LOADED with things I do not have in my kitchen nor can I pronounce.  And more expensive, too.)


In true Real Simple fashion, this took about 10 minutes of my time, 35 minutes from start to finish. 

Ingredients
  • 1 small butternut squash (2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 1/2 pound button or cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed and halved if large

  • 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • kosher salt and black pepper

  • 1 pound fresh cheese tortellini (2 packs if from Trader Joe's)

  • 2 ounces fontina or Gruy√®re, grated (1/2 cup), plus more for serving

  •  

    Directions

    1. Heat oven to 450° F. On 2 rimmed baking sheets, toss the squash and mushrooms with the sage, oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast, tossing once and rotating pans halfway through, until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, cook the tortellini according to the package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water; drain the tortellini and return to the pot. Add the vegetables, fontina, ¼ cup of the cooking water, and ½ teaspoon salt and toss gently to coat (add more cooking water if the pasta seems dry). Sprinkle with additional fontina.

    COST: $10.48               PER SERVING (4): $2.75

    

    Friday, October 28, 2011

    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    October Unprocessed: A List I Can Feel Proud Of!

    I went shopping last night, my last trip to the grocery store before the month is over.  I love my list.  It is so fresh and you know what?  It also came out so inexpensive.  Two adjectives I want to describe my grocery list all the time, not just during October Unprocessed.


    The truth is, I feel like Super Woman when I have these ingredients on the conveyor belt and the guy or girl working the lane asks, "What are you making with all of this?"  If I had thrown just pasta and sauce on there, she would have known (and yes, I do throw pasta and sauce on there quite a bit -- I am not really Super Woman).  But these ingredients, so simple all by themselves, can lead to something so magnificent when combined.  It is truly a beautiful thing.

    Two years ago this list would not have made me feel like Super Woman, however.  It would have made me feel inadequate.  "What I am going to do with things?!"  That would have been my response. 

    Two years ago?  Shoot, who am I kidding?  More like six months ago...  Yeah, you would have seen some veggies: onions, garlic, spinach.  Maybe carrots.  And a few years ago?  Good luck finding the veggies.  Except for frozen peas, you would have needed to look elsewhere if you wanted something "fresh". 

    But today, my list is different.  It is a short list, just enough to last for four days until the week is over, but it is a good list.  A healthy list.  My list.



    ** Yes, you see tortellini up there.  No, I did not make it, as you can tell.  But I think it counts in my October Unprocessed challenge because when I look at the ingredient list I have all of those exact same things in my kitchen, unlike when I check the ingredient list of the package of tortellini at Lucky.  (One of the many reasons I love Trader Joe's.  That, and the fact it is only $1.99 per pack, as opposed to $3.49.)   So, fresh pasta that is preservative free counts for me as unprocessed -- because really, could I make tortellini?  Probably.  But am I gonna?  Not right now.  But maybe someday.  Send me some recipes and let's see :)

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    October Unprocessed: Baking Up Some Love

    I have overcome my fear of baking. 

    "Fear of baking?  What?!" 

    Yeah, yeah.  I hear you.  But here is the thing: every time I bake, it never comes out right.  I comes out OK, but it might be too dry, too fat, too skinny, too whatever.  And that has been alright, because I have not needed to bake because I have had Joe-Joe's around (Trader Joe's Oreo cookies) or another sweet treat.

    October Unprocessed, however, means that I cannot just go out and by cookies whenever I jolly well feel like.  Nope, if I want something sweet, I need to get my butt into the kitchen and make it happen.  Which ultimately means I need to bake.  With my raw sugar and unbleached flour, of course. 


    You know what?  This looks like success to me!  I think in a match Baking v. Tiffany, we know who the winner is.

    Sweet.

    Brownies

    Ingredients
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan.
    2. In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan.
    3. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook.               


    Snickerdoodles

    Ingredients
    • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons white sugar
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
    2. Combine 1 1/2 cups white sugar, butter or margarine, vanilla and eggs. Mix well.
    3. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Blend well. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Combine 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Roll dough in sugar/cinnamon mixture and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Immediately remove from cookie sheets.

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    October Unprocessed: I am a Tortilla Maker!

    It's true: I made flour tortillas from scratch!


    They may not have been the most beautiful tortillas I have ever seen, but they sure were delicious!

     

    Ingredients:
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening or 1/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 cup warm water (may possibly need to add more, up to 3/4 cup) or 1/2 cup milk (may possibly need to add more, up to 3/4 cup)
    Directions:

    1. Sift the flour, salt & baking powder into a large mixing bowl.
    2. Into the dry ingredients cut in the shortening, or add oil if you are using this option, & mix with your fingertips to combine.
    3. Add the milk or water, working the liquid into the dough until a sticky ball forms.
    4. Wrap in plastic and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
    5. Divide into 8-10 little balls.  Keep a damp cloth on top of them so they don't dry out.
    6. Lightly dust a counter or pastry board w/flour & roll out each ball of dough into a circle or oval approximately 1/4" thick. If you want nicely rounded tortillas, trim off any ragged edges & discard. Don't roll the dough out more than once or the tortillas will be tough.
    7. Heat a dry griddle or heavy skillet over high heat for 5 minutes. Cook the tortillas 30 seconds on each side or until the dough looks dry & slightly wrinkled & a few brown spots form on both surfaces. Do not over cook or they will be hard.
    COST: 40 cents              COST PER TORTILLA (8): 5 cents
    How's that for a money saver???

    Cooking With Friends: Melanee & Bonnie (Crepes)

    
    COST: $8.46                   COST PER SERVING (3): $2.82
    (including one avocado and two tomatoes)

    Thursday, October 20, 2011

    Brazil & America, According to MSN

    Msn.com is a page I see frequently everyday.  It is my home page, I go to it for news, and every time I log out of my email that is where I wind up.  Yet, if I log my husband out his email I go to msn as well - but the Brazilian version of it. 

    I can't help but notice some differences. 

    American MSN headings, from left to right:
    News, Entertainment, Sports, Money, Lifestyle, Local, Auto, Halloween, More

    Top Stories:
    Steve Jobs Bio, Gadhafi's Death, 911 Calls from Animal Incident (in Ohio)



    Brazilian MSN headings, from left to right:
    Autos, Money, Meet-ups, Entertainment, Sports, Newspaper, Style, Horoscope, Games, News...

    Top Stories:
    Selena Gomez, Movie Trailer for London Boulevard, Music Video from Coldplay


    Look at that.  The top one has "IMPORTANT" written all over it.  The bottom -- full of smiles and color.

    One could say Americans are too serious (Gadhafi & Tigers running loose?  Steve Jobs' illness?).  Or we might look at the Brazilian page (Selena Gomez?  Autos and Entertainment before News?) and say Brazilians aren't serious enough.  You know what I say?  I am happy to have both in my life.  I like the serious side of life, being in the know.  But I also like focusing on the light hearted things out there. 

    It is important to note that beyond this first page you will find the light hearted and humorous on the American page (and a lot of money saving tips, which interestingly enough I did not see on the Brazilian page) and a lot of serious, world-news items on the Brazilian page.  Neither group is one way or the other, to be sure.  I just find it interesting that when the Powers That Be at MSN in either country decide what would be most popular, this is what they came up with.  One more thing that shows me that culture is more than food/clothes/language deep.

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    October Unprocessed: Eggs Benedict & Hollendaise

    You are probably familiar with Eggs Benedict:  English muffin split open, topped with bacon or ham, a poached egg on both sides, with a healthy dose of Hollendaise sauce on the top.  It's good, to be sure, but I give you Eggs Benedict, Tiffany Style --


    The same basic elements are there, just swapped out for something slightly (in my opinion) better. 
    Instead of English muffins, you get Sourdough.
    Pork bacon is swapped out for turkey or beef bacon.
    Poached eggs are replaced with fried eggs.
    Some fresh avocado and tomato slices are added.
    And of course, you can't forget the hollendaise (made with lime, instead of lemon).


    In our house this is not a breakfast food.  Nope, we eat it for dinner.  My husband did not grow up eating eggs for breakfast and whenever I would go through the hassle of making this or scrambled eggs or even cooked potatoes in the morning, he would look at me like I was crazy and then ask, "Where is the bread?  Can I have a bagel?"  As far as he is concerned, breakfast consists of bread and coffee juice. So for us, anything egg-related is automatically dinner food.

    The whole lime-hollendaise was a total accident one day, mind you.  I wish I had the creative genius to think this up, but I do not.  Instead, it was a little misunderstanding that led to this gem.  I asked my husband to pick up two "lemons".  He, being a native Portuguese speaker, went and got two "limons" -- or limes.  I didn't realize the mistake (which, honestly, makes complete sense if you hear the similarities between the words) until we were at home and I had no lemons to make hollendaise sauce with.  Well, that was alright in the end because it turned out to be the best hollendaise sauce I had made!  Isn't it nice when "Oops!" turns into "Yes!!!" ? 

    Speaking of Hollendaise...
    It is really quite simple, and tastes way better than the store bought stuff.  This is one "unprocessed" thing I have been able to do for quite some time.  I get really intense and focused when I am making it because it can easily curdle, but it really isn't that hard as long as you have all your ingredients ready to go. 

    DIRECTIONS:
    First, take 2 egg yolks, 1/2 stick of butter cut into thirds, and 1 T of lime (or lemon) juice.  Set in a place where they are ready to go.  Using a double boiler (or in my case, make one out of a pot and similar size pan -- see below), put 1 T of water plus the eggs and the lime juice on the top and whisk.  Add one piece of butter at a time until all are melted.  Add a pinch of salt and ta-da!  Really, that's it.  Just keep whisking away while you are doing it so that the eggs don't curdle.  (This covers 3 Eggs Benedicts.)

    Since I am not all fancy enough to have a double boiler, this is what I use.  It works just fine.


    COST: $5.80             PER SERVING (3): $1.93

    October Unprocessed: Not so unprocessed...

    This whole October Unprocessed thing has been pretty smooth.  Sure, it takes more planning, but it is worth it because I have been getting to try all these things that I might never try otherwise.  Like vegetable stock or tortillas (tonight my friends, tortillas are going to happen tonight!).  I have figured out where to get fresh bread and how to make sure not to buy too much as it goes bad much faster than the stuff that comes packaged in the bags.  I have become pretty much an expert at making my own salad dressing (I have a blog post living in my head for that one, so look for it soon).  Overall, I feel quite like Ma Ingalls.  And that makes me proud.

    Then came one of our worst enemies: the head cold.

    Last Friday, I came home from work with a list of things I wanted to get done and a bunch of sniffles I didn't want.  We were supposed to be heading out for camping that weekend and I was prepared to make sure I didn't loose my challenge.  I even had all the ingredients to make homemade Cheez-its for crying out loud!  But those darn sniffles kept coming and my body had no energy and my eyes were burning.  We all know the feeling, and we all know that it is a bad feeling.  So instead of dancing to music in my kitchen, whipping up homemade goodies, I was on the couch, TV volume turned up, eating *gasp* Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup.

    I know, I know.  The shame of it all.

    But it tasted so good.  It hit the spot, like Campbell's chicken soup does when you are sick. 

    I would like to say I thought something like, "Well, this is OK, but if I had made it myself it would have been better..."  But that would be a lie.  My real thoughts were more like this: "Mmm mmm good." 

    This day happened to be my husband's birthday and all birthdays need a birthday cake, which of course I was fully prepared to take care of, once again, from scratch.  With raw sugar and unbleached flour.  All super-unprocessed like.

    Yeah... that didn't happen.

    Betty Crocker cupcakes complete with blue frosting from a can (think Cheez-Whiz style) happened.  You know what?  I don't care.  I was sick, and unlike Ma Ingalls, I had another option.  I am sure she would have been grateful to have a box of Betty Crocker once in awhile, too. 


    So there you have it, my confession.  Am I sad?  Sad that I broke my record, yes.  Not that I gave in because I was sick.  I think there are certain times when you just have to do what you just have to do.  I will choose not to look at this as a failure to my challenge, but a hiccup.  It's not like I asked to be sick, after all.  I would have honestly rather enjoyed my time making those homemade Cheez-its and birthday cake.  But, whatever, what is done is done.  All I can do is say that now that I am feeling better (almost all the way, not quite) I have returned to the challenge.  Will it be a perfect 31 days?  No.  Will it still be awesome?  Yes.

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    October Unprocessed: Sweet Find -- Sour Cream

    Usually I go for Knudsen sour cream.  You know the kind -- the good kind

    I had a recipe tonight that called for sour cream, and I thought, "Really, how many ingredients can sour cream have in it?  I can totally use it [even with the October Unprocessed challenge]."  (Yeah, that last part was that kind of thought that you think without words, more like "mdpaibdg" but your brain knows exactly what you are thinking even though no actual words were thought.  However, for you Dear Reader, I know you have enough on your plate without having to read my mind, so I clarified for you.)

    Well, you wanna know the ingredients in sour cream? 

    Ingredients: CULTURED PASTEURIZED GRADE A SKIM MILK AND MILK, DRIED CORN SYRUP, FOOD STARCH-MODIFIED, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF STARCH, ARTIFICIAL COLOR, CREAM**, MALTODEXTRIN, XANTHAN GUM, NATURAL FLAVOR, VITAMIN A PALMITATE. **TRIVIAL SOURCE OF FAT. CONTAINS: MILK.

    I copied and pasted.  So there you have it.  No sour cream for me this month.  {Insert sad face here.}

    Wait!  Not so fast!  Look what I found!


    Yeah, that's right.  No artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, gums, starches, or stabilizers.  Normally I wouldn't go for fat free but they didn't have just regular.  Whatever.  The taste was good; fat free is never my favorite, but out of all the fat free sour creams I have ever tried, definitely the best.  Paulo thinks it tasted normal, no complaints.  And check out the ingredients list:

    Ingredients: CULTURED PASTEURIZED GRADE A NONFAT MILK, VITAMIN D

    Sweet!  I was able to enjoy that dollop of sour cream on the top of my food.  It just makes everything better, you know?

    And at only a buck-99 at your local TJ's, it is a pretty good deal, too.   (You know, I honestly believe Trader Joe's needs to start paying me commission...)

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    October Unprocessed: Split Pea Soup (Tiffany Style)


    I know, I know, that doesn't look like soup, it looks like mush... but it is on purpose, trust me.

    As I have said many times before, I love soup.  LOVE it.  And split pea soup?  Oh man, one of my favorites.  I can't count the numerous times I have opened a can of Andersen's Split Pea Soup, dropped it into the pot with some water, and five minutes later enjoyed the whole thing by myself, completely savoring every bite.  It used to be a staple ingredient in my diet.  And add some Gouda on top... maybe some crumbled bacon... oh yeah.

    However, I have never been a fan of soupy split pea soup.  I have always added less water than it calls for and cooked it until it was thick.  So that gloopy mess you see up there?   That is the way I like it.  Kind of like split pea mashed potatoes.  Paulo on the other hand, likes it soupy.  So we compromised.  Soupy the first night and let it sit, and then mushy the next night.  Ahh... left overs.  Slimy green leftovers.  The dinner of champions.

    And it really is the dinner champions.  You want to know the ingredients?  All natural, all plant based.  No bullion cubes, no dairy, nada.  I took that made-from-scratch vegetable stock left over from the other day, threw in some more carrots, celery, and onion, added a little more water, and of course -- the peas.  Dropped in two bay leaves and a bit of salt, let it simmer for two hours (while I did whatever I jolly well felt like) and ta-da!  Dinner, my friends, was served.  Originally, it looked something like this:

    {SOURCE}

    So, nothing but veggies.  Did it taste good?  Oh yes!  Paulo says we don't even need to go to Pea Soup Andersen's anymore.  I say, "Well... we'll see."  Like I said, I love pea soup, and I cannot imagine ever turning it down.


    INGREDIENTS:
    2 carrots, chopped
    1/2 onion, chopped
    1 stalk celery, chopped
    1 lb. split peas
    2 bay leaves
    3 cups vegetable stock
    2 cups water if you want it mushy, 3 cups if you want it more soupy
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    DIRECTIONS:
    Bring all ingredients to boil in large pot.  Lower heat to medium low and simmer for 1-2 hours, until the peas separate and it reaches the desired consistency. 

    COST: $2.70                    PER SERVING (4): $0.68
    Add bread and butter -- still under a buck.  Woot-woot!

    Friday, October 7, 2011

    October Unprocessed: Tears Shed (Over Vegetables)

     
    These very words were uttered/typed by me six months ago.  It was a part of my cooking philosophy: be healthy, but don't be ridiculous. 

    HA!

    Funny how things change over time.

    No, today did not find me boiling chicken bones to make broth, but it did find me boiling vegetables to do the same thing.  It is a part of this whole October Unprocessed dealio I've got going on... I had to find a substitute for this:

    Oh, how bullion cubes have come to rescue so many times!  Vegetable, chicken, or beef -- it doesn't matter.  They have been a staple ingredient in my cooking.  Countless risottos and various soups, among various other food items, have been put on my table thanks to these little packaged squares of salty-goodness.

    But look at that ingredient list.  Clearly I was putting more than just risotto and soup on the dinner table.  Today was the day I took my stand.  It was time to make risotto, and I needed to do it without the aid of Knorr or Herb Ox.  And it turned out to be a success. 

    You want to know a secret?  I cried a little when I tasted it.  Yep, I did.  For someone who barely knew how to boil an egg when this journey began, this is a huge milestone in my cooking life.  For the first time I felt like I was actually making something, not just putting things together to get the desired result.  I can create food out of plants -- and not just salad!  Take that, Kraft!




    It is so easy.  First, take a whatever vegetables you have in your fridge (ideally with carrots, celery, and an onion, plus whatever else you have).  I had carrots, half a cucumber, some celery, garlic, and collard greens, so I just used those.  Cut into pieces and then saute for about 5-10 minutes.  Add a teaspoon of salt and two quarts of water.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for an hour.  Strain out the vegetable pieces.  Will make about six cups.  (I used three for my risotto tonight and saved the other three for later.  Next time I will make more and freeze it, I just wanted to make sure I liked it first!)

    Thursday, October 6, 2011

    October Unprocessed: Can You Smell It?

    There is a smell that is over taking my house these days.  One that is not causing any complaints, mind you...


    Oh man. 

    One thing I quickly realized when we started the October Unprocessed Challenge was that I would have to find alternatives for our customary bagels/potato bread/sourdough.  Each and everyone one of them tastes great, but when I read the ingredients, well... Knowing myself as I do, I also knew that there was no way I was going to bake all of our bread supply.  Sure, I can bake bread, and I do from time to time, but that just isn't feasible to make all of it -- at least not at this moment in my life.  I work full time, have incredibly busy weekends, and my evenings aren't all too free either.  But that is OK, because the challenge was not to make all of your food, but know that it was freshly made, where ever you get it from, whether your kitchen or elsewhere.  And the bakery makes fresh bread.  That's their claim to fame, folks!  I am so glad they do! 

     
    I may never go back to store bought bread again if I can keep my house smelling like this.  Seriously, all I want to do all day is eat the bread. 

    As an extra bonus, it is cheap.  Three little loaves for a buck, which kicks some serious bread-cost booty when you compare it to a pack of bagels.  Poor Paulo.  He thought he left french rolls for breakfast in Brazil and came to the glorious land of Sarah Lee bagels.  If only I could find some great fresh and cost effective bagels...  Time to pay Noah's a visit tomorrow.

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Comida Brasileira... eu quero!

    Today I was stuck with the unfortunate task of organizing my pictures from trips into a photo book on Kodak.  It should have been fun and exciting, but I say "unfortunate" because their program was driving me bonkers.  BONKERS.  I quickly learned I needed to save every five minutes, because I never knew when it would just automatically refresh and I also figured out that under no circumstances -- and I repeat: UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES -- should you try to rearrange the pages.  Don't do it!  Just say no!  Because if you are like me and you try, well, you might also be like me and want to take of your shoe and beat your computer with it.  Trust me, just don't do it.  If they are in the wrong order, erase the pictures and do it again.  Listen to this advice and life will be easier for you. 

    On the other hand, it is time that I got these pictures put into a book.  I used to be all scrapbook-ish, but that takes way too much time.  And honestly, it gets quite expensive, so I now rely on Kodak Gallery.  Costs about the same amount when all is said and done, and it is easy. 

    Unless you try to rearrange the pages.  Sigh.

    You know what I found?  Pictures of food.  Brazilian food.  Food that Paulo and I enjoyed the last time we went to visit our family in Brazil.  And I couldn't help but almost drool over the keyboard.  Pastel, churrasco, pizza... oh man.  Eu quero!  I want it, and I want it NOW! 

    Remember, Tiffany, patience is a virtue. 

    Sigh again.

    But just because I can't eat it right now doesn't mean I can drool over the pictures of it.  I invite you to drool along with me.  (Just to clarify, we are drooling over what the pictures show, not the pictures themselves.  I know they are not drool-worthy.  The food on the other hand... well...)

    I give you Tiffany's Must-Eat List when visiting Brazil

    Churrasco (Brazilian BBQ)



    Brazilian Pizza (Not even comparable to our pizza... it deserves a class of its own)



    Suco de Abacaxi (Pineapple Juice -- FRESH)



    Sugar Cane Juice
    (with a hint of lime)


    Pastel
    (Deep fried cheese pastry -- or anything else you want inside)




    Home Cooked Goodness (from Tio Nene)

     


    And the best fast food around:
    Habib's!


     If you know what I am talking about, you know what I am talking about.

    Are you needing to wipe away that slobber yet?

    Sunday, October 2, 2011

    Chocolate Chip Cookies -- An American Treat (Receita em portugues)


    I have a little friend.  He is not just little, he is very little.  Two-months-old-little.  And he is the first American in his family.  Being the good auntie that I am, I told his mom that I needed to teach her how to make chocolate chip cookies, because Baby B would need them someday.  He is American, after all, and American children (and adults) love chocolate chip cookies.  His mom was all over it.  She had taught me how to make Brazilian chocolate and coconut cake for my husband, so now it was time for me to teach her how to make the true American cookie.

    
    Dani getting to work on the cookie dough. 
    (You won't see me in any of the pictures, I am behind the camera and barking orders.)
    
    Ahh... the best part of baking!
    Waiting for the cookies to come out of the oven...
    Cookies are done.  Time to try them with milk!  (Is there anything more American than cookies and milk?  I mean, besides apple pie?)
    Baby, I know you can't eat it yet, but someday you will be so grateful Tia Tiffany gave your Mamae this lesson.  Trust me.

    And then, of course, I had to take pictures of our cookies.  (Surprised?  Nah...)




    Receita (in Portuguese, because I know all you who can read English know how to make these... time to spread the love around!  However, on the off chance you do need the recipe, CLICK HERE.)

    (And, by the way, since I am in the October Unprocessed challenge, I used unbleached flour and organic/raw sugar.  Tasted excellent.)

    Ingredientes
    2 1/4 xicaras de farinha de trigo
    1 colher de cha de bicarbonato de sodio
    1 colher de cha de sal
    1 xicara de manteiga amolecida
    3/4 xicara de acucar granulado
    3/4 xicara de acucar mascavo
    1 colher de cha de essencia de baunilha
    2 ovos grandes
    2 xicaras de pedacinhos de chocolate (gotas de chocolate)


    Instrucoes
    Pre-aqueca o forno a 190C.

    Misture a farinha, o bicarbonato eo sal numa tigela pequena.  Bata a manteiga, os acucars, ea baunilha em uma tigela grande, mistura ate ficar cremoso.  Adicione os ovos, um de cada vez, batendo bem cada vez.  Gradualmente adicione a mixtura da farinha na tigela principal .  Mexendo bem.  Adicione os pedacinhos de chocolate.  Faca bolinhas do tomanho de brigadeiro e ponha na assideira.  Use aporcao de uma colher de sopa como referencia.  Deixe tres dedos de distancia para cada bolinha.

    Asse por 9-11 minutos ou ate dourar. 

    Esta receita faz 30 cookies.
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