It’s already the end of the year and I can’t frickin believe it! One year ago, though it seems like yesterday, I was starting research for my thesis here with gleaming eyes and high aspirations as I took my first steps in the unknown yet exciting world of academic research. I wanted to write a paper that would change the world and uncover some kind of shattering truth (as it so often happens when you study smallholder agriculture right?), go on the field and bring back ground-breaking data, roll up my sleeves and argue with top researchers, basically do all those crazy things that hot, glamorous academic scholars do. Twelve strenuous months later, the only ground-breaking truth I discovered is that probably no-one will have the slightest interest in reading 200 pages on how to create commitment in buyer-supplier relationships linking private multinationals to smallholder farmers in Brazil (I know, crazy!) and the only arguing I saw was a tepid discussion on the premises of game theory between a Danish scholar and an Argentinean economist. I also discovered the less than glamorous reality of “no-that-person-that-you-emailed-three-weeks-ago-and-who-is-a-key-informant-for-your-topic-does-not-give-a-rat’s-ass-about-your-research” and “it’s-been-a-month-since-you’ve-submitted-it-and-your-advisor-still-hasn’t-opened-your-thesis”. After all of that, and loving almost every second of it regardless, I am proud to say that I have finished my thesis, submitted it, defended it and been approved. Yay! I’m officially done with my master’s and it’s as much a relief as it is scary. There are so many things happening and changes coming, and I can’t wait to tell you about them, but I need to leave some suspense for future posts. Continue reading
Everyone’s celebrating Thanksgiving and making pumpkin pie and leftover Turkey sandwiches, getting into the Winter holidays spirit with mulled cider and hot cocoa, baking Christmas cookies and lighting their chimneys…. and I’m sleeping in the starfish position in my bed without the sheets on because it’s getting hotter and hotter around here. Aah yes, Summer is upon us in Brazil. And it just feels awkward when I’m strolling down São Paulo’s big Paulista Avenue with my flip flops and sunglasses on and there’s a gigantic inflated Snowman standing there with a scarf on and Santa Clause’s just cruising along with his reindeer pals. It just feels… wrong. Continue reading
This is the recipe that I have wanted to post the most on this blog since the beginning because it is truly the first recipe that I appropriated and made my own after I eliminated gluten from my diet. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to post it. I’ve recommended it to many friends who have asked me advice on what to have for breakfast that was not eggs and bacon on a paleo diet. Since I myself am not much of an eggs and bacon kind of gal, this porridge recipe has been a go-to breakfast for me for the last year. I love oatmeal, especially the way my mom would make it for our lazy Sunday afternoon snacks when I was a kid: with raisins, a dash of cinnamon, and topped with a pat of butter that melts into the cooked oats and some maple syrup. Jeez louise goddammit. Sometimes, just sometimes, I wish I were 13 all over again when I think of those moments. Without the acne and awkward braces that is. Continue reading
Hi everyone! I feel like I haven’t posted in forever… well, it’s *only* been 10 days. This is how I know I’m completely hooked on blogging. Life is just not as sweet without it. But I’ve been crazy busy with some very exciting work projects lately, and as a result I have completely and utterly abandoned the kitchen. I barely even know what’s in the fridge these days and have been eating sardines and almond butter for dinner since Sunday. Gasp. It’s completely disorienting. I feel bad, I haven’t even had time to make Freddy a breakfast bread like I usually do every week and he’s one day away from falling back into the comforting arms of gluten.
So I’m here to make amends, with a post I’ve been meaning to write up for a long time now on the quintessential ingredients and foods of Brazil – the Must-tries if you will -, and depending on my inspiration, I might make it a monthly series. So let’s talk about Brazilian gastronomy a little. After a year and a half or so of living here, I have got a pretty good vibe of what the customs around food are here and what the typical ingredients are. Here’s the top 5 of foods and ingredients you just cannot miss on if you are in Brazil or just want to have some fun trying out Brazilian gastronomy. Continue reading
How was everybody’s Halloween and morning-after sugar crash? We had a Halloween party over at our spooky haunted-looking house. Come on now, fess up – what’s your secret number? Mine is 4. As in 2 pieces of delicious carrot cake topped with coconut cream cheese frosting (I promise to share the recipe) and 2 bite-sized coconut chocolate brownies. All gluten-free, all somewhat paleo, all definitely faithful to the traditions of this sweet and sugary holiday. Oh well. Since I’ve never been a candy person, staying away from the lollipops and butter toffees was no problem for me. Staying away from the peanuts on the other hand… peanuts and me are a whole other story. I bought some raw peanuts and roasted, salted and curried them in the oven for our Halloween party that night. How could I resist that? There are a few things in life that I can’t just stop at one. Or fifteen. Peanuts, chocolate covered raisins, cherry tomatoes and episodes of Californication. Continue reading
Yummers. Crusty on the outside, melt-in-your-mouth tender meat on the inside, you can’t go more right with this cooking technique for pork chops. Pair them with this delightful Sweet Apple Cabbage Salad and braise it all in the oven, and you have yourself a very satisfying, healthy and beautiful (don’t forget beautiful!) dinner.
Before I start rambling, don’t forget to go like my Facebook page and stay connected with me on Pinterest if you like the content of this blog and want to receive updates on what’s cooking around here! I have a couple Latino and South American cuisine recipes in the works for the month of November that I think you’ll like! Stay tuned for that. Continue reading
Delectable little plums poached with vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves in the pressure cooker, ready in just 15 minutes. This recipe can be used to serve warm on top of a fruit cobbler or cake, mixed with yogurt or eaten as is!
I’ve had the strongest urge to poach things lately. Eggs, meat, fruit. And actually it’s not just poaching, but also braising, steaming, stewing. Yes those are different things. Wanna know why? I know you do. Because I gots me a pressure cooker, that’s why! Woop woop. My very first kitchen appliance investment! And I already buy a lot of different kitchen items, stocking our kitchen pretty well with colorful-looking mugs, wine glasses, little jars for our spices (but of course I did), a julienne peeler, a measuring cup, cake pans, baking dishes, knives… I’m kind of the only person to use most of that stuff, but I know the roommates are happy to have those things on hand when they need them. Continue reading
This recipe confirms the theory that the simpler the recipe, the more delicious. I threw this casserole together with what I had on hand the other night without imagining I could make a blog post out of this recipe, but it hit such a big home run and was so I-can’t-believe-my-tastebuds amazing that I photographed what was leftover to publish the recipe. Continue reading
I’m SO excited! Think 5-year-old-on-Christmas-morning-with-ADD-and-a-sugar-high excited. And in fact, Christmas came early. My package from Vitacost finally arrived!! Let me rewind a little. On August 28th, exactly 45 days ago, I placed a big order on Vitacost.com for a couple of things I absolutely can’t find in Brazil. Roasted almond butter, Rapunzel organic vegetable broth, raw 100% cacao nibs (weird for such a big cacao producer like Brazil), Chicory root coffee, Green Chai Yogi Tea (I finally have my Yogi Tea sayings of the day back!). Yes, it was a little out of my budget and the shipment was almost as much as the total value of the products, but I decided to not guilt-trip myself over it, after all I’ve worked hard and deserve to indulge a little. Plus, it’s not like I’m buying an umpteenth pair of shoes, I’m paying for healthy stuff here. Continue reading
Sometimes, food is like art, and cooking like painting it. Beautiful, colorful, meditative. You assemble your material, take out your cutting board and knife, chop your vegetables one by one in a repeated, patient, practiced gesture, select the spices, herbs and condiments that will allow for the flavors to burst and intertwine. And with perfect synchronicity, you then turn up the heat, drizzle the olive oil, stir in the onions, then the vegetables one by one, let it smoke, sprinkle some salt, crack in some pepper, bring it back to a slow simmer, take a few risks, contemplate with satisfaction as your ingredients sizzle in the hot oil, release their wonderful flavors and come together in the most beautiful of meals. Every time I cook something, I look at it and think it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve made. Until the next meal comes around of course. Continue reading