I am going to go ahead and state the obvious: travelling has taken quite a turn this year. For the ones privileged enough to travel at all, it´s mostly meant shorter and more local getaways. It´s meant rediscovering their areas, or at most their countries, and while I understand some feel constrained by this, I think (re)discovering one´s roots is quite magical. So this pandemic´s first travel article had to be about a place very dear to me, the little coquette town of Cascais – one of the first places I ever discovered in Portugal.
From the series of “things we cannot do because of COVID-19” comes: going to the cinema. I don´t know about you but I miss going to the cinema soooo much! The getting dressed up, the choosing the movie, the nachos with cheese sauce. But since humans are creatures of habit, just like home-thrown brunches, I´ve adapted and have thrown now some pretty nice movie nights. As such, I´ve been perfecting a homemade flavoured popcorn recipe that I thought of sharing with you today for #homemadeMonday. Even if, as per Murphy´s Law, I kind of burned this batch. Because if this year has taught us anything, it´s that things rarely work out the way we want them.
Hummus is one of those magical dishes that I crave regularly and always make enough of so I can eat it for days. I can´t quite remember who taught me how to make it but i remember when I first made it for my parents. My mom was quite a fan already, but my dad was shocked at how delicious it was. He immediately asked my mom why she doesn´t make such dishes. My mom rolled her eyes as hard as she could while saying “I make it regularly and you always say you don´t want to try it.”
And since by itself it might seem too bland for some of you, this #homemadeMonday I made hummus toast with three easy toppings. To spice up your life.
This month´s book club theme kind of unveiled to me only towards the end of the month, when I started drawing a line through the books I had read. I intended them to be books by strong women, about strong women. As I was finishing the fifth book of the month, it dawned on me though, that I had somehow chosen books about strong women and their journeys. The journeys transcend geographical borders as well as emotional phases of these women´s lives. They are journeys of self-discovery, a process that sometimes goes unnoticed by our heroines, but never seizes. A couple of the books are extraordinary, a couple are really good and one is just plain bad. There´s fiction and non- fiction, there are American writers and a Turkish one, there are white writers and a black one. I tried to keep it diverse, in an effort of educating myself. I hope you enjoy it and if you read any of these books, I would love to hear your thoughts on them in the comment section.
This #homemadeMonday is an ultra special one as it kicks off a series of recipes from magical guest chefs. Because the food section of this blog seeks to bring you magical dishes, and not just recipes I took from Pinterest, I decided I´ll be inviting a friend/family member to cook us a a delicious dish once a month. This way you´ll get dishes and stories from people with different and fascinating backstories. And I get yummy food and fun dinner parties! Because to me, food is magic. And it´s not nearly half as fun if you cook and eat alone.
The first of its kind guest chef is my friend Ana Paula. I met Ana Paula while surfing on Portuguese beaches, and she became one of my dearest friends since. Ana is Mexican – which incidentally is also one of my favourite cuisines. She cooked these shrimp tacos for me while telling me stories of Mexican beaches and hot summer nights, and they were seriously some of the best things I´ve eaten in a while. It is not a recipe she connects to home cooking, but rather with days spent with friends on the magical Acapulco beach. And to be honest, that sounds simply dreamy to me, as the closest I´ve gotten to Acapulco is listening to this classic. Read on to make your own shrimp tacos!
A thing about me: I love stuffed veggies. Sure, they have little utility, but I just love the process of carving them. It reminds me of carving pumpkins for Halloween with my grandpa. And then there´s the aspect – they just look like adorable little boats, ready to set sail for our stomachs. And while the carving is a bit time consuming and when not done properly you can also lose quite a bit of the veggie (which goes against my #minimalistcooking philosophy), I do love doing these recipes every now and then. As such, this #homemadeMonday brings you my very own stuffed zucchini boat recipe.
This #homemadeMonday brings you the recipe that made me fall in love with asparagus. I have to credit it (or a healthier version of it) to my friend Danny who first cooked it for me on a summer day in Berlin. Danny is an excellent chef and so is his brother who cooks in some of the best restaurants in Tel Aviv. Back then, Danny steamed the asparagus, and while I usually do that too, this time I decided to sautée it in butter. The blend of tastes (the assertive, slightly bitter asparagus combined with the salty, pickled feta) goes excellently with both butter and olive oil. I actually used both this time. This simple recipe literally only has 4 ingredients + salt/pepper and the optional olive oil. And even though I started eating more asparagus since, this remains my favourite use of it!
This #homemadeMonday brings you a recipe inspired by one of my favourite Italian restaurants in town – a colourful and creamy risotto that will delight your senses and your Instagram feed. The gorgeous yellow colour is due to the saffron, and the creaminess is thanks to the cream cheese and butter. While it is a bit time consuming to make (you need to be next to the pot for pretty much the entire time you´re cooking it), it is perfect as both a main dish as well as a side dish next to a nice piece of steak or chicken breast. I chose to accompany it with octopus in the oven. Before giving you this ultra secret recipe, I just wanna say that this and my avocado risotto (recipe coming soon) are my favourite rice recipes out there and I´m super happy to share it with all of you.
You might not know this about me, but spicy food is my guilty pleasure. Except for that one time when I cried after tasting a Carolina Reaper sauce. I wish I could tell you that I did that not knowing that the Carolina Reaper is the spiciest chilli pepper in the world, but I did in fact know it. I just didn´t quite realise how spicy it would be. Just like I always underestimate how spicy the cayenne pepper in my dishes is. And so, these #homemadeMonday vegan tortillas ended up spicier than initially planned. If you´re not on a vegan diet, however, you can always add some Greek yogurt to them and calm your taste buds like that. But regardless of your food preferences, you absolutely need to try this simple recipe. So keep reading…
After April´s book club being focused on non-fiction, psychological readings, I kind of felt like choosing novels this month. But then again, I always had a taste for non fiction books ,which I try to incorporate in my routine. And here´s something you might not know about me: I usually read three books at the same time – one novel, one business book and one book about science. I do this because depending on where I am or what I´m doing I might feel more inclined for one or the other. If I am in the subway, I won´t be able to focus on a book about science and might prefer a light novel for example. If I have total silence and can focus, I´ll enjoy a science reading. And if I have highlighters closeby, I´ll go for a business book. However, since I´ve started the monthly themed bookclubs, I have tried to stick to one category. And since last month on my Instagram the majority of you chose the business book theme, here we are.