For many Portuguese people a yearly trip to the Algarve is an absolute must, and now with many country borders closed, it´s maybe more popular than ever. My own first Algarvian trip was like a rite of passage and I still remember the day I first got in a car to drive down South – it was the day of June 7th 2016. I absolutely loved the Algarve, but took my time to claim my favourite spot. That, dear reader, is the magical island of Tavira – a stretch of land 11km long, with a width varying from 150 m to 1 km at its widest. Other than last year which was pretty unusual, I´ve been going to Tavira every single year. I am currently typing this from our rented villa in the city of Luz de Tavira and I resolved to take some pictures on this trip to show you what this magical place is all about. Full disclosure: I had written about this area on an old blog and will be using some text from back then again. But let´s get to it.
I feel like it´s been a while since I posted a breakfast or brunch recipe and even though this one is 90% shamelessly copied from @povesti.aromate (find theirs here), I made some changes (taking out the brie, bringing in some cherry tomatoes and topping it off with a spicy mango chutney). So I thought to leave you this #homemadeMonday recipe here to inspire some awesome breakfasts and brunches this week.
You know those recipes you return to over and over again? This is one of those. I initially started making penne all´arrabbiata after Jamie Oliver´s recipe, but as per usual we started adapting it to our liking. An Italian might even be outraged to hear we added corn to it! But after regularly making this again and again, on a weekly basis, and it becoming André´s favourite dish, I thought it was time to share it on a #homemadeMonday. Hubby insisted I call it penne alla traviata, instead of all´arrabbiata, as the original Roman dish goes. So here you go. You ca thank me later.
April was a weird reading month, as you might have gathered from the title. I took forever to finish Jane Eyre, a classic I had started in March and ran a book club on in mid April. And then I raced through two books in one week while on holiday. Some months are simply like that. If I crunch down the numbers, I haven´t read that much in April, especially not when I think of how much time off I had and how little of it I spent reading. But the three books I did read in April turned out full of powerful lessons and generated some pretty awesome conversations, both with others, and with myself. And so, let´s see what I read for this #monthlybookclub.
For the final #homemadeMonday of #seafoodApril – I present to you hubby´s grandma´s açorda de camarão – a typical Portuguese dish based on soaked bread with garlic, olive oil and much more. We reproduced André´s grandma´s way of making it and it did not only come out delicious, but also extremely pretty in aspect, as you can hopefully tell from the pictures. So without further ado, here´s a different type of #guestchefseries – one in which grandma, the guest chef, safely offered her guidance through the phone instead of in person. We´re eagerly waiting to eat grandma´s açorda with her, over a nice glass of wine and old family pics. But in the meantime, I´m sharing this with all of you.
Continuing #seafoodapril with another super simple and extremely yummy recipe – clams à bulhão pato. Named after bon vivant poet Raimundo António de Bulhão Pato, this way of cooking clams is extremely easy and no matter how complicated cooking clams might sound, you simply cannot mess it up. Important things to keep in mind for this recipe: use good quality butter and white wine, and if possible fresh coriander and lemon. Without further ado, here comes a most anticipated #homemadeMonday recipe.
Portugal´s South coast is a paradise of green waters, magnificent beaches and what seems like an endless supply of delicious sea food. The Algarve is a mere two and a half hours away from Lisbon, so lots of Portuguese vacation there at least once every summer. I, myself, albeit not Portuguese (yet), love driving down there and exploring all the different nooks and crannies of this wonderful coast line. This time, we stayed in the town of Luz de Tavira, and explored the East side of the Algarve. And while I won´t be writing much in this post, I´d like to share ten pictures from my camera, that I think could be actual postcards – four from the charming town of Vila Real de Santo António – the last town before reaching Spain, and six from the village of Cacela Velha, a nearby white village overlooking a most charming lagoon and beach.
I´ve been thinking long and hard about what to call this recipe. You see, originally we started cooking mussels a la Vila Franca do Campo – aka the Açorean way. But as time went by, we kept tweaking the recipe and the current state of it is a bit far from its origins in method, albeit just as, or dare I say even more? – delicious. So I´m gonna call it “our special mussel recipe”, and proceed to sharing our secrets for this #homemadeMonday on what has become after your votes – #seafoodapril.
Every time we buy an octopus to cook, it feels like we´re going to feast on it for a full week. And while I had no problem with eating french fries every day for a month when I was little, nowadays I get a bit bored of repeating a meal too many days in a row. So I kept some tentacles from last week´s octopus and instead of reheating them, I repurposed them for a typical Portuguese octopus salad. The octopus salad is possibly one of my favourite ways of eating octopus as it is fresh and a perfect blend of flavours drowned in olive oil. I used octopus that we had boiled and even cooked in the oven previously, so please keep that in mind if you trey to reproduce this week´s #homemadeMonday. Also, considering this is an appetiser, the picture here has about two portions of the salad in it so keep that in mind when planning.
Blame it on the arriving of spring and the romanticism that comes with it, but the month of March always makes me want to go back to the classics. And since I had taken advantage of the Christmas sales and bought plenty of them, I picked up a couple, let you also vote for one additional one to read with me for the digital book club, and here we are. I will not be covering Jane Eyre, which I am still reading for the interactive book club discussion mid April, but instead will sum up the other three classics I read in this beautiful month of March.