Friday, October 21, 2016

Just in time for fall Pumpkin Ice Cream

I served this two weeks ago at our chili cook-off, and it was a super big hit. Make 
sure you freeze your ice cream canister the night before, and give this at least 
four hours freezing time before serving!
2 C cream
3/4 C dark brown sugar
5 egg yolks
1/2 tsp  cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 C pumpkin puree (I make my own from scratch every year but from a can 
works fine)

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the cream and sugar. Cook 5 minutes 
over medium heat to dissolve the sugar.
2. In a small bowl beat the egg yolks, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and salt. Whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture, stirring well.

3. Pour the egg mixture back into the hot cream mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about six minutes until its thick enough to coat the spoon. Do not boil. Stir in the vanilla.
4. Whisk the pumpkin into the egg mixture.

5. Admire the beautiful golden color with flecks of spice.
6. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours (I did mine overnight, along with my ice cream canister). Pour into the ice cream freezer and churn up ice cream according to directions. Scoop into freezer safe container and freeze at least 4 hours.

7. Scoop into bowls or cones and enjoy! Makes just over a quart.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Blueberry and Vanilla Scones with Blueberry Jam

First, I have to qualify this by saying, I don't like blueberries.

Except for one time a year. And that is when we got and pick blueberries from the local blueberry farm. That is when I pull out all my blueberry recipes and make blueberry pie, blueberry jam, blueberry tarts, blueberry muffins.

And this time, I tried blueberry scones. I mean, what else was I supposed to do when we came home with thirteen pounds of blueberries?

Oh my goodness, these are amazing. They're not the "drop-em-and-fry-em-and-coat-them-in-sugar" kind. No, these are the English kind. They cook up nice and crisp on the outside but moist and tender on the inside. I made blueberry jam to go with these (super easy, I'm not a canner) and the whole family is begging for me to do it again next week. Give a try!
8 T butter
3 C flour
1/4 + 1 T sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 C blueberries
1 T vanilla
1 1/2 C cream + more for brushing
sugar for garnish.

Freeze the butter for ten minutes before using.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Cube the butter and cut into the mixture with pastry cutter or fingers.

Mix in the blueberries and vanilla. Stir in the cream. The flour won't fully incorporate at this stage and that's okay.

Turn the batter out onto a floured countertop. Knead the dough, incorporating the flour. (The blueberries will start to burst; don't worry about that.) Flatten the dough with your hands to about a 9-inch round. Fold the dough in half and flatten it again, using your palms. Repeat three more times. On the last time, spread to a six-inch round and use a pizza cutter to cut 8 triangles.

Transfer to a cookie sheet and freeze 10 minutes (this is important so the scones don't cook too quickly on the outside). Remove them from the freezer, brush with the cream and sugar. Bake 20 minutes at 425 degrees (took 20 for me, but start checking at 15. You don't want these to burn).

Since these are definitely drier than American scones, I recommend serving with homemade blueberry jam. Here's this recipe (you can whip it up while they bake, it's that easy. Or do it the night before.)

blueberry jam:
2 lbs blueberries
1/4 C honey
2 T lemon juice

Bring mixture to a boil in a pot. Lower heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for 20-25 minutes, depending on desired consistency. Let cool, pour into jar, and store in the fridge for up to one week.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Summer Blackberry Cobbler


It's a busy time, and not just for me. The berries are ripening, and their time is short.

Try this amazing recipe next time you have some fresh blackberries. The picture doesn't even do it justice. Trust me on this one. So easy and yummy!
2 1/2 C blackberries (fresh or frozen, thawed) plus more for garnish
1 C sugar
1 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 C milk
1/2 C butter, melted
whipped cream for serving

In a medium bowl, stir together blackberries and sugar. Let stand about 20 minutes or until fruit syrup forms. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and milk. Stir in melted butter gently just until blended. Spread batter in ungreased 8-inch square pan. Spoon blackberry mixture evenly over batter. Bake 40-50 minutes or until dough rises and is golden. Serve with cream and fresh blackberries.

What I love about this is you put the batter down first and it bubbles up around the berries!! Could not be easier. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Chicken, apple, and potato salad (Salpicão de frango)

This is the salad that shows up at every barbecue (or churrasco), just like we have potato salad. The sweetness and extra crunch of the apple is perfect complement to the chicken, and the creaminess created by the combination of mayonnaise and heavy cream sets this salad apart from its American counterpart.

If you can't find the shoestring potatoes, just crunch up some potato chips!

Chicken, apple, and potato salad (salpicão de frango)
Servings: 8
Prep time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

1 rotisserie chicken
2 lbs. Potatoes, diced
1 apple
1 t lime juice
3 oz. can green olives, sliced
1 C hearts of palm, diced
1 can corn
1 C mayonnaise
1 C heavy cream
1 t oregano
1 t cumin
1 t basil
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
Shoestring potatoes 

1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook the potatoes ten minutes until soft but maintaining their shape.
2. Core the apple. Dice. Put in a large bowl and sprinkle the lime juice on top.

3. Remove the meat from the chicken and pull apart into small pieces or cut.

 4. Add all the ingredients to the apples except the shoestring potatoes.

5. Refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with the shoestring potatoes before serving.
6. Serve with a green salad and white rice.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Peasant Pan-cooked beef (Carne de panela caipira)

This traditional Brazilian dish combines many vegetables with meat in a thick gravy. It can be eaten alone or—of course—with rice. It smells wonderful while it cooks and is one of my husband's favorite meals!

If you can't find yucca root, just sub with another potato or two!

Peasant Pan-cooked beef (Carne de panela caipira)

Time needed: prep: 1 hour cook: 1 hour total: 2 hours
Servings: 8-10

2 lb. Stew meat or 2 lb. steak, cut into cubes
2 libros de carne cortada em cubos
1/4 t Salt
1/4 colher de chá de sal
1/4 t Black pepper
1/4 colher de chá de pimenta negra
1 t Garlic
1 colher de chá de alho
1 T Apple cider vinegar
1 colher de sopa de vinagre de maçã
2 T fresh Parsley, chopped, or 1 T dried
2 colheres de sopa de cheiro verde
Prepare the marinade. Add the meat and marinate for at least 1 hour.
Junte tudo e deixa pelo menos uma hora.

For the pan:
Na panela:
2 T oil
2 colheres de sopa de óleo
1 onion diced
1 cebola, picada
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 dentes de alho, amassados
3 potatoes, quartered
3 batatas, cortadas em quatro
1 large yucca root or 2 small, peeled and trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 raíz grande de mandioca, cortada em cubos
2 ears of corn, cut in half
2 espigas de milho, cortadas em rodelas
2 C beef broth
2 copos de caldo de carne
1 carrot, quartered
1 cenoura, picada
2 sweet potato, peeled and quartered
2 batatas doce, cortadas em quatro
1 tsp salt
1 colher de chá de sal
Cilantro to garnish


1. In a large heavy saucepan, heat the oil for two minutes. Add the meat (reserve the marinade liquid) and sear for two minutes.
1. Em uma panela grande, coloque o óleo e aqueça por dois minutos. Acrescente a carne (reserve o líquido da marinada) e doure por dois minutos.
2. Add the onion and garlic and slowly add the marinade liquid.
2. Junte a cebola e alho e pingue o líquido da marinada.

3. When everything is well-covered in sauce, add the yucca root and the corn, one cup of broth, and the salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for forty minutes.
3. Quando estiver tudo bem refogado, junte um copo de caldo de carne, a mandioca, o milho, e o sal. Feche a panela e deixe ferver por quarenta minutos.

4. Open the lid, add the potatoes and the carrot and the other cup of broth. Add more water if necessary. Close the lid and simmer for ten more minutes.
4. Abra a panela, junte as batatas, a cenoura, e o outro copo de caldo de carne. Acrescente mais água se for necessário. Tampe novamente e deixe por mais dez minutos.

5. Serve with white rice. Garnish with cilantro. Season with salt and pepper as necessary.
5. Sirva com arroz branco e salsinha.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Candied Papaya (Doce de mamão maduro)

Papaya is a very interesting fruit. Though prized in tropical countries, most Americans don’t care for it. It has a unique flavor that sometimes can be bitter. The spices in this dish negate the odd taste of the papaya, and the raisins add some texture. 

3 lb ripe papaya 
3 libros mamão maduro
1/2 C sugar
1/2 copo de açúcar
1/2 C golden raisins
1/2 copo de uvas-passa douradas
1/2 t crushed cloves
1/2 colher de chá de crave-da-índia
1/2 t salt
1/2 colher de chá de sal
1 t cinnamon
1 colher de chá de canela

1. Peel and seed the papaya (slice in half. Open and remove the seeds with a spoon. Flip over so the cut part faces down on a cutting board. Peel with a vegetable peeler. Slice off the ends).
1. Abra o mamão e retire a casca e as sementes.

2. Cut the papaya into cubes. Place in a medium bowl and smash with a fork, beater, potato masher, etc. 
2. Corte o mamão e amasse bem. 
3. Put the smashed papaya into a medium saucepan. Add the sugar, raisins, and spices and raise the heat to medium.
3. Coloque o mamão numa panela. Acrescente o açúcar, passas, cravo e canela e leve ao fogo moderado.
4. Cook, stirring often to prevent it from sticking, until the mixture thickens. Depending on the moisture content of your papaya, this could take anywhere from 25-35 minutes. Stay close to the pan and read a book while stirring or something.
4. Cozinhe, mexendo sempre para não grudar, até engrossar, 25-35 minutos.
5. Remove from heat.
5. Desligue o fogo.

6. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold with cream cheese and/or toast and crackers. 
6. Sirva gelado com queijo branco e torradas.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Layered Strawberry and Cookie Custard (Pavê com morango)

This versatile dessert was one of the very first ones I ever had in Brazil. It’s generally made with uncooked egg whites, but I prefer this version because all the egg yolks are cooked into a custard. It can be made without strawberries, with chocolate, or with any berry you choose.

The typical cookie for this is the maizena cookie, a long cookie that fits nicely in a square pan. The flavor is mildly sweet with a consistency much like an animal cracker. Really, you could use any cookie, but I like the Mexican Maria cookies, sold at most grocery stores in the ethnic section and all Latino supermarkets.

The longer this sits in the fridge, the better the cookie molds to the custard. Feel free to experiment!

Layered cookies with strawberries (Pavê com morango)
Servings: 10
Time: 30 minutes
Refrigeration: 4 hours
Total time: 4 1/2 hours

24 Maria Mexican cookies
24 bolacha tipo Maria
1 14 oz. Can sweetened condensed milk
1 14 oz. lata leite condensado
1 C heavy cream
1 copo creme pesado
1/2 T unflavored gelatin
1/2 colher de sopa de gelatina sem sabor
1 C whole milk
1 copo leite integral
2 egg yolks
2 gemas 
1 T cornstarch
1 T maisena
2 C strawberries, sliced
2 copos morangos, cortado
1 t vanilla
1 colher de chá baunilha
Extra strawberries and cream to decorate 
Morango e creme para enfeitar

1. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch into 1/4 C of milk. Reserve. 
1. Numa tigela pequena, bate a maisena com 1/4 copo de leite. Reserve.
2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, put the rest of the milk, the sweetened condensed milk, and the cream. Add the unflavored gelatin, mixing well to incorporate. Bring to a simmer (with small bubbles).
2. Numa panela média, bota o resto do leite, leite condensado, e creme. Aumente a gelatina, batendo bem para incorporar. Ferva em fogo brando.
3. Beat the egg yolks gently in a small bowl. Add half a cup of the warmed milk mixture one spoonful at a time to temper the yolk mixture. Stir back into the pan.
3. Bate levamente as gemas. Coloque meio copo dos leites aquecidos nas gemas. Devolve tudo na panela. 
4. Add the vanilla and cornstarch slush.
4. Aumente a baunilha e leite com maisena.
5. Raise the heat to medium. Stir continuously until the mixture thickens, 8 to 10 minutes.
5. Acresente o fogo. Mexa até engrossar, 8 à 10 minutos.
6. Remove from heat.
6. Desligue o fogo.

7. Place twelve cookies in a greased 8x8 dish, staggering to cover the bottom of the dish. Add one cup of strawberries followed by half of the milk mixture. Repeat the layers (reserving a handful of strawberries), ending with the cream.
7. Em um refratário quadrado, coloque na seguinte ordem: uma camada de bolacha, uma camada de morangos picados, metade do creme. Repita as camadas, terminando com o creme.

8. Refrigerate for at least four hours.
8. Congele na geladeira por quatro horas.
9. Decorate with strawberries and whipped cream before serving.
9. Decore a seu gosto com morangos e creme.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Banana Toffee Pie (Banoffee Pie)

Let me preface this by saying, I don't like bananas. I wasn't sure at all about this recipe, but I had extra bananas on my counter and thought I'd give it a try. (I also made chocolate banana pound cake and white chocolate banana ice cream with all those bananas. But anyway...)

But this pie was simply amazing. Really, really good. I highly encourage you to try it.


3/4 C flour
6 T unsalted butter
2 T sugar
1/4 t salt
1/2 C macadamia nuts
1 large egg yolk
1 t vanilla extract

2 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C heavy whipping cream
1 T vanilla extract
4 bananas

1 C chilled heavy whipping cream
1/4 C sugar

Confession: I got a food processor for Christmas, and this was the first time I used it. I loved it!!! Combine flour, butter, sugar, and salt in the food processor. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add nuts; pulse until finely chopped. Add egg yolk and vanilla. Pulse until moist crumbs form. 

Press dough along the bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Freeze 30 minutes.

While the crust is in the freezer, start on the filling. Simmer sweetened condensed milk in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently for about 25 minutes until thick and the color of peanut butter. (hint: the more you stir, the smoother it will be. But if you have lumps, don't worry about it. It will all taste good.)

Remove from heat and stir in whipping cream and vanilla.

It will be a mess! Thick and sticky like candy.

Pour the filling into the cooked crust, spreading evenly.

Cool completely. Slice the bananas and place them on top.

Cover the filling completely.

Whip up the cream and sugar for the topping. Pile on top in beautiful heaping clouds.

Serve whenever you want! Chill uncovered.



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