Thursday, November 29, 2007


"A day came a man consult this philosopher for to know at o'clock it was owe to eat. "If thou art rich," told him, "eat when you shall wish; if you are poor, when you may do." "

from English as She is Spoke.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

*Middle East in a Sandwich*

Hmmmmm, what's cooking? As far as I still don't know what I would like to eat today, last night I killed another of my cravings. And cravings are an evil thing... like temptation. The only way to get rid of one is giving in to it and indulging.
So I had this big eggplant in the fridge that needed use. Urgently. And some frozen chick peas. I had already tried out the Tuna patty recipe previously, but I decided to use cracked wheat this time to give it a Middle Eastern twist. Obviously it turned out into a tuna kibbeh patty. The Mister loved it. Ok, He likes anything that involves Babaganoush and Tuna.
I guess I'm not feeling very eloquent today. So maybe I'll bake some muffins later on. Baking always warms the heart. And if it doesn't, cupcakes do.
Tuna Patty, adapted from Recipezaar.

1 can tuna, drained
1 egg
1 onion minced
2 cloves garlic minced
salt to taste
pepper to taste
chopped mint to taste
sesame seeds to taste
4 tablespoons cracked wheat (after soaking for an hour and draining)

mix all ingredients well
form two patties, and fry in heated skillet in olive oil.


1 large eggplant
1 tbspoon tahine
salt to taste
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
parsley or mint, to taste
olive oil (I forgot to add it, and it still tasted great)

Hold the eggplant directly over the flame. Let the peel burn so it will taste smoked (or you can use a grill). Remove the skin under running water. In food processor, mix all ingredients until you have a smooth paste. Garnish with mint leafs and serve cold.


Horseradish, raw onions, tomatoes, mint leafs, and chick peas in a dressing made with 1/2 skimmed yogurt, 1/4 light milk cream and 1/4 mayonnaise with lemon juice. It was light and refreshing and gave the tuna sandwiches, along with some romaine and iceberg lettuce the perfect crunch.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


I know, I know. Everyone is blogging about it. It's Thanksgiving. But this is Brazil. And, unfortunately, it is not celebrated here.
But that is no reason to not have a pumpkin and clover chocolate chip mini-cake. Or to cook a special dinner tonight. Maybe.
Btw, nice to meet you. This is my kitchen:
I had a craving for Omuraisu today, thanks to Cooking Mama. So I decided to give it a try. How difficult can a rice omelet be? Honestly, it was much easier than I feared it to be. That salad took me much longer to make.
I followed the recipe from JustHungry. I only couldn't make myself add ketchup to the rice. So I used tomato paste instead. And I also added one of my favorite: chicken baloney. Yum!
You will need:

- 1 cup rice (white or brown)
- 1 small onion
- 1 clove garlic
- Chicken or ham
- Ketchup
- 2 large eggs
- salt and pepper to taste

(click on photos to enlarge)

And some new yummies I picked up this morning:

Poppy seeds. This will be interesting. And that pineapple and mint tea is really good.
And off to work. If you do, have a great thanksgiving meal!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

*thinking food*

Maybe yesterday in the afternoon was a turning point. A trigger to force me through a complete food "rehabilitation", for good. I hope. But it is bad that it had to get to the point of me fainting after a hefty lunch to feel the real extension of the worst of my habits: skipping meals.
Its not that I don't like to eat. On the contrary. I appreciate food so much some times I actually fear it. You know, that old love and hate relationship. Neither is it that I don't know what to eat. Food to me is as much a remedy to the soul as it is to the body. And I love to cook, oh I do...
"So why do you skip meals?". Well, because I do not like to eat alone. Its not just the eating alone. Food to me is a social event. Something to be shared and enjoyed, savored and talked about.
But no matter how I put it, it is very very hard to have more than one meal a day with the Mister. Except for the weekends, when we usually set out to explore new menus. And eating alone is... It's just sad.
I guess that even if it is sad, one must eat. And at this point I am very stubborn: Food is not supposed to be boring and sad. Its supposed to be enjoyed and uplifting. After a lot of food porn skimming, the answer dawned on me: Bento. That is the way I can enjoy cooking once a day, preparing the ingredients for the next days meal in advance and experiment, inside a box.
Last Friday I set out on a journey for Bento supplies in the Oriental neighborhood. Although I still lack a few staples, right now I have enough to get me started on my favorite part of this new interesting universe. And that is cooking cute.

Takoyaki in the making.
Takoyaki: Japanese octopus dumplings!
A traditional Japanese grocery store in Liberdade. This place has the best bento trays for sale, but they don't carry much of the hardware required for making your own.
Corean coffee icecream.
I also had a Yam and milk black pearl drink this day, and that is my favorite flavor, definitely.
Ume-boshi, Onigiri molds, Temaki kit, and Chinese plum candy (low cal).
This cotton candy is supposed to become bubble gum. Hmmmm... sugar.
A lot of chinese preserves. I specially like the mustard leaf one.
And my brand new first bento box.
According to Just Bento, cooking in advance and freezing makes the task of creating healthy and enjoyable meals a walk in the park. So that is what I did today (actually, today was busier than the whole of last week - and it feels as if it were a full week too): I cooked, and cooked, and cooked. And also ate. Yum!

For typical Brazilian black beans:

Select the desired amount of beans on the night before. Wash well, and leave in water overnight.
Cook in pressure cooker for an hour.
In another pot, stir fry garlic, onions and pepper. Add bacon or desired meat (bacon is traditional in Brazil although I prefer using a poultry sausage of some kind).
Add beans and salt to taste, and some more water.
To make the beans creamier, mash them slightly at this point.
Let boil until the broth has thickened as desired. Serve with rice.

Salad: Romaine and iceberg lettuce, shredded. Sakura and star shaped Roma tomatoes and chayotte, miniature onions and mint leaves, dried parsley.

Right now I have a freezer full of healthy foods. And a heart full of good intentions, food wise. Hope the latter lasts longer than the first.
Maybe "Cooking Mama" will help me. Its truly a fun way to spend even more time in the kitchen. And kitchens sure are fun.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

*Comfort me Carbs*

For about a week every month, the blessing of being a woman seems to turn into a curse. And what a curse!!! Bodies ache, bloat, and seem to betray us ladies. Not to mention those mood swings, and the unstoppable, unfightable craving for... Carbs.

Ok. Chocolate and carbohydrates. What could be better to gobble down in our most comfortable pajamas and granny undies while sipping a nice warm drink and listening to the cheesiest of music? It is raining outside, and I am alone. The laundry is in the tumbler and it was a full day. Sure, it could be worse. I could be watching Bridget Jones and eating a gallon of ice cream. Or bitchin' non-stop (which is my female god-given right during this week and this week only) about how You never give me enough attention. Oh, it could be worse...

So I promise to be a good girl at any other time. Then I will happily eat all of my spinach, count my calories, keep off the food porn and have an apple a day. For this time being, let me be. Turn over the covers and hand me that plate. Warm bread with butter, muffins and jam, mac and cheese, creamy soup with toast, chocolate cookies and ginger tea... My favorite comfort me carbs.

Double chocolate chip muffins with Nutella

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

*Beyond Vanilla*

Vanilla (from

Noun1.vanillavanilla - any of numerous climbing plants of the genus Vanilla having fleshy leaves and clusters of large waxy highly fragrant white or green or topaz flowers
orchid, orchidaceous plant - any of numerous plants of the orchid family usually having flowers of unusual shapes and beautiful colors
genus Vanilla - large genus of tropical climbing orchids; Old and New Worlds
vanilla orchid, Vanilla planifolia - a climbing orchid bearing a podlike fruit yielding vanilla beans; widely cultivated from Florida southward throughout tropical America

2.vanillavanilla - a flavoring prepared from vanilla beans macerated in alcohol (or imitating vanilla beans)
flavorer, flavoring, flavourer, flavouring, seasoning, seasoner - something added to food primarily for the savor it imparts
vanilla bean - long bean-like fruit; seeds are used as flavoring

3.vanillavanilla - a distinctive fragrant flavor characteristic of vanilla beans
sapidity, savor, savour, smack, flavor, flavour, nip, relish, tang - the taste experience when a savoury condiment is taken into the mouth
Adj.1.vanilla - flavored with vanilla extract; "he liked vanilla ice cream"

2.vanilla - plain and without any extras or adornments; "the most common type of bond is the straight or plain vanilla bond"; "the basic car is known as the vanilla version"
plain - not elaborate or elaborated; simple; "plain food"; "stuck to the plain facts"; "a plain blue suit"; "a plain rectangular brick building"



I am not a real cook. I cook for fun. I am probably more of a gourmand than of a gourmet. A lot of what I make lacks refinement. I do make a lot of mistakes. But I am curious. And I deeply appreciate the enormous amount I have learned with all the Food Porn I currently consume. Yes, food porn. Post over post, dish over dish, photo over photo of luxurious foods and new ingredients, near and far, which only incite my lust.

These past few weeks, I have read more about food than I have eaten. I felt urged to make quantities of food i couldn't possibly consume for the joy of sharing my experiments with others. Sometimes, well, most times, I skip meals. But it is not because food does not matter. It is actually the opposite. Food matters way too much to be made trivial. To be vanilla.

So this is my introduction. A newbie to food blogging, but not to writing. A newbie to sharing, although my Italian background cannot help that food has always been the most important socializing means possible. Food regarded, I am a sinner. And this blog intends to cover exactly this: The delight of indulging. Be it Ramen or Pesto, Cheesecake or Cupcakes, let it be special.