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Arugula and Beets Salad with Almond and Cottage Cheese

One of the concerns I have with our family meals, is the portions of vegetables/fruits. Some say they have to be 7, others already speak about 9. Regardless, I choose to incorporate in any dish a vegetable that not only tastes good, but does well for your health.
Many of the times I end up making soup for dinner and I almost always have salad with everything. Even if only a simple grated carrot or just lettuce and tomato.
Other times the salad itself is the star of the meal, only supplemented with a protein: egg, cheese, tuna or meat.
What I particularly like in this one, are the roasted beets (great for the immune system and the blood aswell), which give a sweet and delicious touch to the salad and that contrast beautifully with the cheese.

Enjoy your healthy food!

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SERVES: 2
TIME:
45min

Ingredients:
1 Beet
1 tbsp of Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp of Honey
1 Green Apple
1 sprig of Thyme (optional)
1 bunch of Arugula
1 Cottage Cheese
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp of Almonds

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Peel the beets. Cut into pieces and put them in an oven dish. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, add the honey and thyme and mix. Add 1 tbsp of of water and bake for 25 min. Reserve.
In a dish arrange the cheese cut into slices.
In the center place the rocket.
Add the pieces of beet and the chopped almonds. Add the apple strips.
To make the salad dressing, mix the liquid left over from roasting the beets with the lemon juice and drizzle the salad.
Serve immediately.

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Cottage cheese and almond pudding with Peanut Praline

I love Traditional Portuguese cuisine. It has such a variety of different dishes, and above all it makes use of many ingredients that are little used in other cultures. We have such a diverse, original and unique cuisine and as much as we like to taste dishes from other cultures, we mustn’t forget the gastronomic history of our country.

This pudding is inspired in a recipe much appreciated in the north, and I guarantee that it tastes even better than it looks. It has a velvety, rich, creamy texture and it’s extremely hard to resist … much of this result is also due to the quality of the used products, mainly the cheese.

Warning: inappropriate for foodies!

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SERVES: 4
TIME: 20 + 90min

INGREDIENTS:

Pudding:
300g of Cottage Cheese (I used Tété Goat Cottage Cheese)
60 g of Almonds
250g of White Sugar
1/2 cup of Milk
6 Egg yolks
1 tsp of Cinnamon powder
Liquid caramel for the mold

Peanut Praline:
1/2 cup of Salted Peanuts
1 cup of tea of Sugar

PREPARATION:

Praline:
In a sheet of parchment paper put the scattered peanuts.
In a pan put the sugar and turn on the heat. Let the sugar get a golden/brown color and pour immediately over peanuts. Allow it to cool and completely solidify before use.

Pudding:
Preheat the oven to 175º and inside it place a bowl with water so you can bake the pudding in a water bath.
Start by peeling the almonds. Heat a pan with water and when it boils put the almonds in the hot water for a few minutes. Remove the almonds, place them in cold water for a few minutes and then squeeze them between your fingers so the skin comes off easily.
In a blender place all the ingredients (except the caramel) and mix for a few minutes.
Grease the form with the liquid caramel and fill it with the previous preparation. Place the mold in the water bath and bake for 70-90 minutes. The pudding is ready when it has a firm texture.
Before unmolding let the pudding cool for at least 6 hours in the refrigerator (ideally leave it there overnight).
Unmold and decorate with the pieces of praline.

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Indulgent Chocolate Cake

First of all, a big, big apology for the extended absence. The last few weeks have been full of work: from preparing all the baby’s things that already arrives in September, along with the university exams made me a true automaton with no time available for anything else. The university degree is finally over  and it was not easy to go back to studies after 30 (and pregnant)!

All the baby’s stuff are almost ready … and now all I want is to take time to return to such good things, like reading a book (non-academic), cooking, watching series and movies, or go to the beach.

In this recipe I wanted to make something very, very indulgent … This cake is all that: moist, full of chocolate and ideal for those times when all you want is to put your feet up, sit on the couch and delight yourself with something delicious.

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Original recipe here

SERVES: 6
TIME: 55 min + 2 h

INGREDIENTS:
5 Eggs
275g of Dark Chocolate
125g Butter
1 tea cup of Almond Meal
1/4 tea cup of Wheat Flour
1 tea cup of Brown Sugar
1 pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 170º.
Start by melting the chocolate and the butter in a water bath, chocolate and margarine. Place a bowl of glass or metal over a pan of boiling water (without being in direct contact with the water), stirring occasionally until everything is melted.
Remove the bowl from the heat, add the brown sugar and mix with a spatula.
Add the flour and the almond meal, as well as the salt and the eggs, mixing until a uniform mixture.
Grease a mold of removable bottom. Line the bottom and both sides with baking paper and place the dough in the form. Cover the top with aluminum foil and bake for 50-55 minutes. Do not expect it to be fully cooked at the end of this time.
Allow the cake to cool out of the oven, and when already cold place it in the refrigerator for 2 hours before unmolding.
Unmold and serve with fresh fruit (optional).

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Sweet Potato and Almonds Tarts

Last week I published this recipe, where I used sweet potatoes. I liked the result so much, that I also made these small tarts, very similar to the traditional portuguese bean tarts. Like the beans, sweet potato is also very rich in starch, and acts as a great natural thickener for any recipe. These cakes were a hit here at home, and because I baked a dozen of them I had to give some…lucky me or else I couldn’t get in my pants tomorrow.

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But if you’re not a big fan of sweet potatoes (I don’t like them on savory dishes) you may be completely rested with this recipe, because it’s flavor is very discreet and soft, and the filling is flavored with cinnamon, so you won’t feel a lot of the sweet potato.

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SERVES: 12
TIME: 60 MIN

INGREDIENTS:

dough:
200g Wheat Flour
80g butter
1 egg
Warm water
Butter and flour for the molds

filling:
1 tsp of powdered cinnamon
250g sweet potato
50g grated almonds
200g Sugar
200 g Butter
100g Wheat Flour
5 Egg yolks + 3 eggs
Powdered sugar and cinnamon for dusting

PREPARATION:

dough:
Sift the flour into a bowl, add the softened butter and the egg. Add enough water to knead it.
Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. After this time, grease the molds with butter and sprinkle with flour. Line them with the dough and place them in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

filling:
Bake the potatoes. Peel them and mash them into a puree.
In a bowl place the grated almonds and the mashed potatoes. Add the egg yolks and eggs, stirring between additions. Incorporate the flour, the sugar and the softened butter. Mix.
Put the filling in the molds and bake in a preheated oven at 160°C for 30-40 minutes.
When the tarts are cooked, remove them, let them cool before unmolding and serve sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon.

Tosca Cake

Sometimes we walk around life kind of lost, looking for something we don’t even know. Occasionally we even find things we didn’t know we needed, as we seek what we think is good for us, without ever finding it. Life has this irony: sometimes we give so many turns and turns that even without knowing, we end up in the same place.

This period of my life it’s a bit like that. Cycles that were open and forgotten for years, now to be closed. It’s nothing bad … just things that we keep delaying and delaying … until the day that we can’t delay any longer. I guess the next few months will be demanding for me, but it must be done.

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Therefore, this cake is to celebrate this very reason: the challenges we face every day!
Life sometimes it’s a bit like this cake … after passing the hard crust, we find a fluffy and delicious prize. The important thing is to have that in mind – every day. Even in those days that cost us the most.
Still there?
In fact, the crust of this cake is not hard. Just crispy and delicious! I think this was the first cake I made that has cream in the dough itself, and although it seems a detail, the flavor of the cake turns out to be different. This recipe is from Miisa Mink and came from this book. Did you know this is one of the most popular cakes in Sweden?

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SERVES: 6
TIME: 60MIN

INGREDIENTS:
4 eggs
120g White Sugar
200ml double cream
100g butter
1 tsp of vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
260g plain flour

topping:
75g of butter
75g sugar
50ml cream
25g flour
125g flaked almonds

Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
Beat the eggs and sugar for 10 to 15 minutes, until a soft whitish mass.
Add the cream, the melted butter and the vanilla and beat for 1 minute.
Add the stifed flour and baking powder beat until combined.
Place the dough in a mold with the bottom lined with parchment paper and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the topping.
In a saucepan place all the remaining ingredients and place over low heat until it boils slightly.
When the cake’s out of the oven, spread the topping and bake again for 10 to 15 minutes, until you get a golden crust.
Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before unmolding.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Cinnamon Rolls

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SERVES: 1 Kg Dough
TIME: Approx . 2h

INGREDIENTS:
1 kg Wheat Flour
570 ml warm Milk
150g of sugar
1 package of dehydrated baker’s Yeast
180g melted butter
1 egg

stuffing:
150g butter
Brown Sugar 100g
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp Cinnamon Powder
Chopped Walnuts and Almonds ( Optional )

icing:
2 tbsp Honey
1 tbsp Hot Water

I use a food processer , and basically I just put all the ingredients and let beat until a smooth dough about 3 minuts). Pay attention to the volume that your blender allows, because in this case is a significant amount of dough.
If you do it manually start by dissolving the yeast in warm milk . Then just add all the ingredients and knead for a good 5 minutes to obtain a homogeneous dough.
One way or another, place the dough in a recipicente and cover with a cloth .
Allow to rise until double in size ( the time it takes depends greatly on the temperature of the milk and the very room in the house where you leave it to rise) .
After rising, stretch the dough to 2 cm height.
In a bowl , place the filling ingredients , except the dried fruits , and place it in the microwave , just to partially soften the butter. Not fully melt , because it becomes more difficult to spread.
Spread the filling on the dough and sprinkle with the nuts.
Roll the dough like a log.
Cut into slices (approximately 5 cm wide) and put them in a greased baking tray with butter (aprox 2 cm from each other ) .

Let them rise again until double in size and bake in preheated oven ( 160 ° ) for 30 to 40 minutes .
As soon as they’re out of the oven, brush them with the honey dissolved in water.