Holidays and falafel.


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(Em português)

I've been meaning to post this falafel recipe for so long that I have associated it with quite a few subjects think of the post's text.
For the time being, I figured I could not associate it with anything other than holidays and vacation.
One of the subjects I thought of before had to do with a situation that really annoys me.
Then I thought "Well, how silly. I won't go talking about something annoying at a time like this".
The best thing about vacation is precisely to slow down of everything that has became worn out (or which has worn us out) through the routine - regardless of how long we have to rest, be it a long time or just a couple days.
Even if the pause is short, we have this advantage of counting time in cycles; living day by day, year by year, so that we constantly have endings and new beginnings.
When one span is over, everything that is unnecessary stays behind, we don't have to keep it through the next day, the next year.
Ain't that sweet? All we have to do is remember to leave things behind.

Taking advantage of this gorgeous Summer, let's spend time with family, walk in flip flops all day, cook listening to good music, fight for a place in the hammock,  and try to reduce the pile of books awaiting to be read.

Now, falafel. In case someone in the crow doesn't now it, I'll present you:
It's a savory fritter made out of chickpeas, onions, fresh coriander, pepper and a few other optional seasonings, it's traditional from Arabian cuisine.
The recipe I got came from cooksnaps.

Routine - who would say? - is something likeable. A post about formulas and savory (or not) energy bars.


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(Em português)

I don't know about you, but I am a person who likes food. Really.
It gives me severe bad mood if I get hungry/ crave for food, and have nothing to nibble.
And the plot thickens, as I've been in this healthy-eating-well wave.
Because sometimes I could give it a way having snacks at any bakery down the street, but I haven't been feeling like it lately (besides, each little bite you buy around São Paulo represents a significant percentage of one's monthly budget).
So, in May 2012, gathering information here and there and testing a little, I found myself happy about a recipe/ formula that I came up with for oatmeal granola bars.
You see: they are just the way I like it. Crunchy, and accepting a wide variation of ingredients.
The point is: if I'm hungry, I urge for something savory. And that is just not possible with the recipe mentioned.
There are some options of savory bars being sold out there. But I heard that mostly they taste weird.
Anyway, there are possible.
So, there goes Flora looking in the internet for savory energy bars recipes. But they are not easy to find, not at all.
I had found a website which I really enjoyed, I read it on my mobile in the subway, then never found that link again.
I remember the person who wrote that post worked at a hospital, and s/he commented how clumsy it was to eat trail mixes for a snack.
The idea is good, allright. However, it is not functional:
Picture yourself in the bus/ your car/ in the middle of a film set/ at the office, wherever, holding a bag or a cup of nuts in one hand while feeding yourself with the other one.
So, it seemed like a good idea to merge all of the ingredients into one bar.
This person had some vague ideas of ways to put it together, nothing very concrete.
Going on with my research, I found a post at No meat athlete. Then I figured:
I did not need a recipe, I needed a formula. What a smart guy!
It so happens that his formula wasn't exactly what I was looking for, despite of it filling all nutritional needs etc etc etc.
Next step? Make mess in my kitchen until I found a formula I liked.

Candied orange peels - warming up bellies in the winter.


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(In portuguese)

Another thing I truly enjoy in our Southern Brazilian Winter is the taste of the oranges and tangerines.
They taste stronger and sharper then in the rest of the year, I don't know. I just know I keep waiting for them to show up in farmer's market!
Since I bought a lot of them this year, I wanted to live it up by preparing this incredibly simple and charming sweet: candied orange peels.

Quickbreads from the book Gabriel gave me - made with fine cornmeal and poppy seeds.


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Quickbreads, this wonder of humanity!
In fact, I would call these tiny guys cakes, because they are made with baking powder, not yeast.
And this is the reason why you can whip up a batch so fast.
They are great as last-minute snacks, for those times when someone comes over and you're not ready for it, to serve as an excuse to turn on the oven on chilly days, this kind of thing...
The recipe comes from a book a friend gave me last year, it's called "Marvellous mini cakes" by Ilona Chavancova.

By the way: brush for roots and vegetables.


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You might have noticed before that I really like to cook using the oven.
Breads, tarts, baked omelette, all kinds of oven roasted vegetable, fruits, chimia...
Particularly in the case of roots, I find it interesting to roast them with the peels on. Think beets, carrots, ginger, fresh turmeric, all kinds of potatoes, even some other foods that have slightly hard peels (squashes? apples?).
Baking/ roasting food with their peel helps preserve their nutritional value, even if you take it off later.
But for that, of course, the peels must be perfectly clean - after all, it's not pleasant at all to eat food with dirt.
My best friend in this task is a small nail brush. It's obvious that you need to buy a new one to use exclusively in the kitchen. The good thing about them is they fit nicely in your hand, and these ones that come with a handle don't slip away.
All you have to do is leave a string of running water and kindly brush each vegetable until you remove all of the dirt. Then you cut off the damaged parts, if there are any, and after rinsing you can proceed with the preparation of your food.
Rinse the brush as well, let it dry well hanging on a hook or on the dish drainer before storing (I keep mine on a hook by the tap.

It's always good to remember it is not interesting to eat with peel vegetables that are grown with pesticides, because most of them get stuck in the peels. In this case, you can stills wash them with the brush, but then cut peels off before cooking.

Now, some news: I've created a page on facebook for the blog, it's only in Portuguese, though.
Anyway, there I will publish the new posts & links I find interestig (it's quite possible they won't always be food-related).
If you feel like searching it, look for Blog É o que tem pra hoje.

Black-eyed peas curry: an attempt of Indian food.


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I have been following Enjoy Indian Food for quite a while now, and everytime I go to an Indian restaurant I enjoy it indeed. But I had never made the move  to prepare it myself.
Silly me! I think it's because the logic of Indian food is quite different from everything I usually prepare, so I didn't really now where to start.
So, one day, I come across this recipe, which takes black-eyed peas.
And guess what? I had cooked and and frozen black-eyed peas, which I hadn't figured how to prepare.
By the way, I have quite a few kinds of beans at home, and I have been trying to think of new ways to prepare them besides the everyday rice-and-beans.
After all, I thought this recipe - Teriwale Lobiya - was a great way to approach Indian cuisine.

Dona Lisete's soft white bread.


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Last Winter I made a tour walking by the borders of the canyons between Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul, do you remember? I'm sure I have talked about it in some post.
In the daytime we walked and saw pretty things, and each night we slept in one different farm-hostel.
It was pretty cold, something around 6oC, and very humid. But with the constant movement of walking  we didn't even get to feel cold. And the air was delicious, so fresh and clean.
The last place we slept at before going back home was Pousada do Morro da Cruizinha.
Like the other hostels, this one was very simple, and the people who received us were very welcoming.
In the morning, before leaving, we had a breakfast all based in wheat flour:
there were several kinds of cookies, cake, cuca (or kuchen, if you will. A kind of sweet bread, heritage from the German immigrants in Southern Brazil), and a bread you can only eat in Rio Grande do Sul.
At first sight, there's nothing extraordinary about it - it's just a white sandwich bread.
But it is so homey! It's a very soft white sandwich bread, with this nice brown top, delicate flavor, and a delicious texture.
It would win anybody's heart. Then I, a sucker for breads, was definitely in love.
There was no way out: I asked for the recipe.
People told me that this bread is prepared by Lisete who, by the way, prepares other titbits that were around, all of them baked in the wood oven.
I felt shy, so I didn't take pictures of her nor of the bread. I was sure they would think it was some sort of weirdness that attacks girls living in big cities.
But if any of you feel like taking a look in person, at the end of the post I will leave the link to the website of the company which guided us in the tour.

Hey, how you doing? Do you come here often?


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I've been thinking about changing the blog's organization, people. And it's appearance too.
Of course, I will plan it slowly than implement all of the changes at once. So there will be a while before you see results, but don't worry - I'll get there.
Before changing anything, it would be nice to understand a little better who am I actually communicating with. After all, I receive very few comments, and very few e-mails, but there is quite some people who come to read. People, I love dialog. Talk to me! haha

You can use the form in this link, and if you'd like to, include suggestions and comments.
For longer conversations, there is the e-mail:

Many thanks to you all!

Bring it on, cold weather. I got chai latte.


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There are people who don't enjoy cold weather, but I do.
Sure, at the end of Winter I become eager for Summer to arrive and vice-versa, but I got this feeling that when the weather is chilly and grey-ish outside, our houses (and ourselves) become cozier, more prone to share the space with others, to eat together.
For me, the prettiest days are sunny Winter days.
They remind me of the school breaks we had in July, which I always found to be more fun than the ones in December.
For some reason, I think it's more family-ish. Maybe because we end up spending more time inside the house.
I remember myself always with a book in my hands, curious about a story.
My mother with paint or pencils, one of my uncles building model aircrafts or something else that would require some engineering, my grandma busy caring for all of us and for whatever delicious food she had in the oven or stovetop, my brother after the household pets, so forth and so on. Each one minding a different business, but everyone close.

Why grandmothers always get a recipe right, and fresh homemade cheese.


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In my humble opinion, the greatest compliment one can pay to a person who likes to cook is when they say "Wow, you make [fill in the blank] just like my grandma". Or "just like my mother" (but bear in mind that grandmother is the superlative form of mother). 
It could be regarding a kitchen technique or a food that is being served.
I think that's because grandmas in general have had at least half a lifetime to learn and test what works best.
Then, even when a recipe goes wrong, quickly they think of a way to fix it that turns it into something delicious.
The other day I got to rescue a recipe that went wrong, and oh did I feel like a ninja! I was preparing yogurt, but the weather was incredibly warm and it stayed out of fridge too long.
It curdled and I thought "all right, what do I do now?".

Fruit fly trap. True story.


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The kitchn's got some great tips. This one, for example:
Honestly, can someone not be annoyed by them in summertime?
With this little simple trick problem is solved. Or at least diminishes a lot:
You pour some apple vinegar in a cup, add one or two drops liquid detergent, and place it next to the fruit bowl. Done.
(I have also tested white vinegar and rice vinegar; apple works a zillion times better)
Vinegar attracts them, detergent kills them. That's it.
The picture below is disgusting, but I'm publishing it so you can see it really works.

Depending on the quantity of flies that usually appear in your kitchen, it's nice to change the vinegar mixture once a day or once a week. 
Also, I'd recommend choosing a ceramic cup or any other non-transparent material, to avoid making your kitchen look bad.

PS: I have tested using a piece of neutral soap, because that's what I have at home and use to wash my dishes, but it didn't do well like the detergent did.

Soup made with tomatoes from the garden.


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Tomatoes are love shaped as vegetables, of that I am sure.
They might be a pretty fresh food, when used in raw salads, as well as they might be comfort food, when grilled, baked, marinated, cooked, transformed in sauce...
And when they in the garden by the bunch? When, in warm weather, we can pick a bowl full of tomatoes every day?
Then it is too much love for one person only. I took advantage of this one afternoon when the rain managed to lower the temperature a bit and made a soup out of them to share with my family.