Cheese-monkey: a classic in the Brazilian family.


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I want to know how many of you have never eaten bread with banana. You know what? I think there is actually plenty of people who never eaten it. Oh my.
Look, you should try. There are millions of possible versions. The sandwich in the picture I have prepared with a soft store bought cornmeal bread, a thin layer of banana chimia (banana sauce? Banana spread? How do I call this thing in English? Anyway, the recipe will be after the jump. It's one I have prepared without sugar, pretty nice), unsalted white cheese, and the banana itself.

By the way: knifes.


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Hey people!
How's everything going in the past few weeks?
In here, it's been intense and full of happenings, of work, and it's brought a few changes to my routine.
Among other things, knifes have much to do with new habits in my kitchen.
It's worth it telling that my knowledge in this subject is quite limited, everything I know comes from blogs and/or books, besides all of my "vast" experience.
This post might be helpful for those who are newbies just like myself.

(Another) squash soup.


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As I often do, I looked into my refrigerator to get some inspiration. I was hungry.
I thought to myself "something that cooks fast".
Therefore I used squash, zucchini and chayote. I think it was the quickest/ yummiest soup I've ever made. The hunger might have influenced this perception...

Crunchy salad with yogurt-tahine sauce


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Since Flávia left me a comment yesterday asking where have I been, I thought I'd better show up.
It will take years and years for me to become a constant person as I would like to be, but then - well... we need to start somewhere, right?
I am now back to São Paulo, honey, dealing with bureaucracy while the rain pours outside.
I have great reasons to have disappeared on the last week. Pretty ones really, which include seeing very dear people who I hadn't seen in ages and to celebrate a beautiful beginning (all of my love to the newly-weds!). 
Now that I am back home, I started eating more nicely again. So, here I come with another salad.

Lemon and poppy seed cake, and absolute truths.


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There are some things we learn as small kids, often times through observation, and they end up becoming absolute truths for us.
One of such things I have learned from my grandmother Nelci: everytime we receive a visit at home, or every time someone from home is coming back from a trip, we make something special to wait for that person. Every time.
It happened that 98% of the time the special thing was to bake a cake.
So in my head, receiving a visit is associated to baking cakes.
A few days ago, I received two very dear people (hi Ire, hi mom), so there it is, lemon and poppy seeds cake.
Of course I got this recipe at technicolor kitchen, the kingdom of sweets made with citrus fruit, and for me, the perfect place to find something good to do with my recently-acquired seeds.

Bifum with shitake. What?


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Maybe I haven't mentioned this before on the blog, but I have a fascination for Japan and Japanese people. I think the foods are pretty, the absurd clothes are pretty, those many colorful things I don't understand, the martial arts movies, the incredibly specific stationary items, the design, the architecture solutions, I find it all pretty.
But I never enjoyed Japanese food, because I think the textures are weird.
Recently I ate at a ramen restaurant with my boyfriend, and I really liked it. Then I went to a place at Liberdade with a couple friends and had yakimeshi, then I went somewhere else in Liberdade with other friends, so forth and so on...
I continue not having interest in seafood and raw fish, but Japanese cuisine has so much more than that.
This was my lunch today, and look how nice: I did it without any recipe, just from the ingredients I had at home.
Bifum is this very thin noodle made from rice, and shitake is the kind of mushroom.
You can improvise something similar substituting the ingredients with what you have around.

By the way: how to wash leafy greens.


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People, to eat salad, what do we need?
We need salad ready to eat. It's that simple.
Properly washing salad takes time and is boring, that's why nobody has patience to do it when they come home from work and cook dinner, or when they make a quick weekday lunch. Or prepare their lunchbox, whatever.
At least, I am like that.
However, I like eating salad, and a lot of it too.
To solve this matter, I adopted an idea I've seen in La Cucinetta - I can't remember in which post nor when - that's to do everything in one single day: go to the farmers market & washing the leafy vegetables all at once.
The remaining vegetables and fruits I wash only when I use them, but for the leafs this has been quite useful, because they last me a whole week.
Of course I'm not able to do that every week, but I would like to.
Below you can see how I prepare my greens to make sure they are clean and fresh for a couple days.

Going back to talking about food: cornmeal bread.


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At last, here I come with a recipe, people.
On Sundays in which it's possible, I like to tidy up my place, bake fresh bread and wash salad.
Talk about this Sunday then, considering tomorrow I'll receive a very special visit - a friend I haven't seen in some 5 years. And on Wednesday my mother will come to visit too.
I have prepared cornmeal rolls before, with a recipe from wild yeast, but this one is different because it's a loaf. And because I adapted it from Dona Benta.
Truth be told, I adapted it quite a bit. But considering Dona Benta's loaf was the spark to bake the bread, I'll have it written down in the end of the post.

More stories.


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(Em português)

Again, here I come telling stories.
Last time I checked how long had it been since my last post, it was a month. That was, I think, two weeks ago.
Since then, I worked a lot and travelled again, and worked a lot (I'm glad about it) and travelled again.

New flavors, new views - my visit to Acre.


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Well, this is going to be a long post.
What can I do? It's been seven days of getting to know new things, and I have plenty to tell you about.
The ones who are interested only in the recipes and not in the story will have to wait a little longer, since I haven't yet tested in my kitchen the recipes I got there. Some of them will not be tested at all (for example the beans cooked in Brazil nuts milk, considering I don't have access to fresh nuts in São Paulo), but I can write those anyway, as a curiosity. 

In my flickr you can see more tourist-like pictures (here), and in the blog - as you could guess - I will be posting the ones related to food.
Before I get started in here, two questions a few friends have asked when they knew I went to Acre:
1. Does Acre actually exist:
A: Yes it does, I swear. I even took pictures to prove it. haha

2. Geez, Flora, what was the point in visiting such a faraway place?
A: I went there to get to know the place, and to visit my father, who's been living in Rio Branco for about two years now.

I've been to Acre and remembered you.


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Honeys, this is a post with a handful of sentences and no recipe at all.
Today I complete an entire month without posting, that's why I came to quickly give a sign of life, and promise to be back soon with maaany delicious things I got to tell.
During June I have visited a few places, two of them at work, two of them for pleasure.
One of such places was Acre.
I brought nuts, fruit pulp, tapioca flour, a kind of bean, pictures and a few souvenirs.

Lucky me, there is a lot of work now that I am back to São Paulo.
Hope I can sit down on Sunday to write calmly about all of the things I took note of in a little notebook I had in my pocket at all times.
See you soon!

Saturday morning chubbiness - classic waffles by Dona Benta.


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I say: there are some Saturday mornings that simply have not been made for one to feel like being slim or healthy. Period.
I had already worked a lot in the past week, I had already swam a lot too, & I woke up craving for pancakes. Ok.
I remembered the banana waffles, but the were no bananas.
So I opened up Dona Benta's book again, and after browsing a bit, I decided to go for the said classic waffles. You see, I could not have made a better choice.

Oatmeal granola bars.


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Some people just can't live without an afternoon snack, without something to chew.
For example, yours truly.
So I have tested quite a few granola bar recipes, to try and stop eating unhealthy snacks.
This was the one that come out right.
The only thing about it is that I have no clue as to where I got it from. I found it written down in a loose paper inside my organizer. Oh, well.

Pão de queijo (Brazilian "cheese bread").


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People, this post is practically a confession.
Yes, because even being Brazilian (proudly and lovingly) I have used a recipe for pão de queijo found at Joe Pastry - who, as you might guess, is American.
I know it is weird, but after all I didn't have a pão de queijo recipe to call my own, and I was reading his site a few days ago when I stumbled upon this picture.
I thought to myself: the recipe makes sense and could as well have come originally from Minas, the pães de queijo look great, & in this cold weather is seems like a good idea to turn on the oven.
Prepare the batter is the quickest thing in the world. The problem is to have patience and wait for them to bake...

Creamy zucchini soup - and many thanks.


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As you might have noticed in the righthand upper corner of the page, I have added a link to Instituto Orbitato, which has been supporting me in a few ways.
The first one, super important for me, was the redesign of the page's layout. As I've said before, this was developed by Flávia Vanelli, who works as a graphic designer at the institute.
In this whole redesign story, the illustration is by Celaine Refosco.
[It's not a coincidence we have the same last name, she's my mother.]
Another way I've received support was the opportunity to choose a few pieces of tableware that have been developed by Orbitato to the company Copa e Cia, to become part of my collection of objects used in the pictures.
The first one to be photographed is the placemat you see today, and it will soon be available to purchase in the shop recently launched by Orbitato.
For these things, and so many others, I'd like to say here how much I am grateful.
All of you people interested in design, fashion and architecture, take a look at Orbitato's website, since teaching in these three fields is their biggest strength (besides consultancy and product development). Even if you live far from Brazil, do take a look. They have quite a few foreign students that opted to come and study in here.

Now, to the soup!

Warming up for São João festivities: squash compote made with quicklime.


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(Em português)

This squash compote is one of the most delicious things in our winter. It's different from squash paste (another sweet very common in this time of year here, which is similar to apple sauce), which seems more like a spread. This one is lot more dessert-y and has a texture that I don't think I'd find in any other food.
It's a classic in São João festivities, although it seems to be outmoded lately.
I've taken base in hints from my mother and in this recipe.

Visual news.

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(Em português)

This is a short post, only to let you know some news I've been expecting for a while, and which I'm excited about: I've switched my photographic camera.
I like my cybershot a lot, it's been with me since the beginning of blog.
And I believe you can achieve good results with any camera, I think these and these pictures are examples of that.
Even so, I've been missing very much the possibility to manually focus, expose and white balance photos.
So I opted for a sony nex 5, and ended up receiving it as a gift from my father.
In the last weekend, I finally got it in my hands and started to play with it.
A few of the next posts will still have cybershot's photos, of foods I prepared before I got nex, but soon the transition will be over and hopefully my images will improve.

I'll be right back with a recipe post.
See you!

White cake filled and covered in ganache. As known as all-around cake.


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I got this recipe from my friend Catharina, because she once prepared it and the cake was extremely soft and fluffy and great. I don't know were she originally got it, though.
Anyway, it's been my go-to white cake recipe since then.
Every time I have baked it, I filled covered the cake in dark chocolate ganache.
In one of such times, I also threw in pieces of banana. I'll tell you: this cake can't fail.

Crunchy cookies with walnuts, almonds and dark chocolate.


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(Em português)

During the last holiday, in which I've been with my family, I've baked these cookies for us.
They are super crunchy, hence they were a hit.
I've added chopped dark chocolate, almonds and walnuts. I only think they are a bit too sweet, mas sugar is what makes the cookies crunchy after all.

Julienne pickles.


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This recipe come straight from Germany - to be more specific, from Delicious Days.
Last weekend we were going to have a picnic, and this pickled vegetables seem to go really nice in a sandwich.
The picnic didn't actually happen, but the sandwiches did (eve though I took a picture of the pickles served with another salad and some cheese). They were great.

As the poet once said.


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As the poet once said, "may the ugly ones excuse me, but beauty is essential".
For quite a while I've been longing to improve the blog's layout, and finally this idea was accomplished, with graphic design by Flávia Vanelli and illustration by Celaine Refosco.
I'm happy about the results - simpler, prettier, more organized.
I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday I will be back with a new post.

Wintery gingerbread cookies.


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This recipe from Deb is a version of what we consume here in Brazil as Christmas cookies.
But for me, it makes a whole lot more sense to eat those spice-packed cookies - which would perfectly match hot cocoa - in the Winter.
So, preparing myself for the upcoming cold weather which has come and gone a few times to São Paulo over the past weeks, I tested this recipe that has been in my list since it was posted in Smitten Kitchen.
The cookies are soft and not overly sweet, they feel cozy.
But next time, I will be using less pepper, for sure. Geez, cayenne is hot!

Vegetable curry - as known as one bowl lunch.


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Sometimes I happen to eat mostly out of home for a couple days, or eat mostly junk food, for any other reason.
Then I just need to stop by the farmers market and buy a bunch of veggies and fruits, and eat only fresh food to compensate.
When I'm in that mood, and still very busy, this curry works wonders.
It's quick to prepare, can be done with almost any vegetable you like, and is comforting.
Works best in cold weather, but whatever. I like it in summer too.