This #homemadeMonday called for a light dish – not because of any efforts towards a summer body (all bodies are summer bodies) but because it´s Sangria season and that to me means light dishes and heavy Sangria jars. And since the farmers´ market I go to on Saturdays has been displaying an exquisite selection of zucchinis for the past few days, I thought of giving the raw zucchini a chance. Mind you, I´ve only ever tasted cooked zucchini before, but was pleasantly surprised by how the raw version tasted. I inspired myself from this recipe – changing some things like replacing the goat cheese for feta cheese, the pine nuts for walnuts, choosing amaranth microgreens for an even nutty-er flavour and coating it all with honey instead of lemon juice. Read on for my recipe, or check the one I linked.
The thing with sticking to a certain monthly reading theme, especially when one reads a lot, is that by the end of the month one can be quite tired of said theme. So for this #monthlybookclub despite starting with Murakami and having a huge urge to just read Murakami for the rest of my days, I switched it up a bit. I ended up reading two new books – by Murakami and Allende, and two older ones – by Hilton and Ferber, two authors I didn´t know until receiving their books for my birthday this year. I´m always fascinated when discovering new authors that write something I end up loving, especially when we´re talking about late 19th, beginning of 20th century ones. And so, let me tell you all about what I read this month. Spoiler alert: I pretty much loved every book this time!
Perhaps one of my most prized family possessions is this old cooking book which 40 years ago must have been present in every single Romanian household – Silvia Jurcovan´s Carte de Bucate. It was initially my grandma´s, then my mom´s and when I turned 27 my mom gave it to me. Inside its yellow pages, I found more yellow pages, with short and simple dessert recipes, hand written by my grandma and collected from her various friends and relative. That gave me the idea to make my grandma this month´s honorary #guestchef. In her honour I made a simple strawberry cake and improved on it with a cocoa cream and some decorative strawberries. It is so simple to make, tasted deliciously and looked so great, my grandma would have surely loved it. I hope you do too.
I know what you´re thinking – what an odd name for a recipe. How can eggs look like dumplings and what does avo toast have to do with them? Well originally, this was of cooking eggs was supposed to yield us poached eggs. But I realised that if I let them cook just a little bit longer, and get the yolk hard boiled, the egg white ends up looking like a dumpling and it all looks gorgeous on an avocado toast, making an epic brunch menu. So this #homemadeMonday I´ll be showing you how to make eggs that look like dumplings and put them on an avo toast, with a hollandaise topping and sprinkled with chilli flakes.
If you´ve been paying attention on my Instagram this weekend, you surely saw the world´s most beautiful mushrooms – pleurotus djamor. I found them at the farmer´s market on Saturday and was drawn to them like to a beautiful pair of shoes or book. The farmer selling them admitted they didn´t taste any differently than regular pleurotus mushrooms and I suspect they were more expensive (I chose not to check haha), but they looked so beautiful on my plate I regret nothing. I pondered a lot what to do with them and ended up giving an Asia egg noodle soup a try. It ended up pretty yummy, and this #homemadeMonday you´ll be getting the recipe of how I´d do it even yummier. So keep reading.
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.