October 6, 2015

Simple Orange & Mint Macerated Berries

Summer has slowly faded away, crisp air, chilly mornings, the leaves are burning up in reds, oranges and yellows, time for sweaters and boots, but... look at these gorgeous-looking strawberries. I took this picture on September 29! 

I bought this pot in an organic farm in the middle of Spring, I was told to keep it in a sunny spot, but it was doing very poorly. About a month and a half ago I placed it in an area where it would get just the morning sun, and now look at this beauty, it keeps blooming even tough it should be gone by now.

So I had to do it again, I had to take more pictures of them. 

I hope you love them as much I do because I feel I am on a real fresh strawberry mood

I was surprised, however, how juicy and sweet and flavorful they still were, so I decided to prepare them in a simple and light way - I made an Orange and Mint Macerated Berries, where my homegrown strawberries were the star, and had it over homemade yogurt for breakfast, just because I never get tired of strawberries!

Orange & Mint Macerated Berries

♥ Fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries
♥ orange zest
♥ orange juice
♥ brown sugar
♥ some fresh mint leaves

Cut half of the berries in half. Place whole berries and berry halves in a bowl,
add orange juice,
add brown sugar,
add orange zest - do not add much otherwise it will be bitter,
add some mint leaves

Cover and chill for about an hour. Before serving remove the mint leaves.

A deliciously easy and healthy way to satisfy any sweet tooth.

October 3, 2015

Happy weekend!

"Se a gente cresce com os golpes duros da vida,
também podemos crescer com os toques suaves na alma".
Cora Coralina

"Happiness does not depend on
what you have or who you are
it solely relies on what you think."

Bom final de semana!

September 29, 2015

Wow! You've got to try this Chia Pudding & Mango Gelatin

I am someone who likes to get things done immediately, I don't like to put off to tomorrow things I can accomplished today, but somehow I've being procrastinating my posts.

I have been taking lots of pictures and I want to share them with you. Tell you stories about my visits to organic farms, share recipes from produce grown in our garden, and new craft projects.

So many ideas taking shape in my mind, yet I have not been able to translate them into words that would make sense.

So this morning, I knew I had to start somewhere, and without much fuss, I want to share a recipe, with some twist, that was featured in the free Summer Craft online magazine, organized by Claire from Heart Handmake UK.

Chia Pudding & Mango Gelatin
Makes about 2

For the Gelatin:
 150grs fresh, or frozen fruit. This time I used frozen mango.
♥ 7grs / 1 envelope unflavored gelatin powder
♥ 100ml water
♥ Sugar, to taste

* The first time I made this recipe I did not add sugar to the gelatin, but when I tasted the mango puree it was asking for some sweet, so I added a couple of sugar spoons to it.

Puree the fruit using a hand mixer, or blender.
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water according to package instruction.
Add the dissolved gelatin on the fruit puree and stir until all is blended.
Pour mixture into individual glass dishes, and chill in the fridge until firm, about 2 hours.

For the Pudding:
♥ 400ml / 2 cups milk (I used coconut milk)
♥ 3 tbsp sugar, or other substitute like honey (I was craving sweet so I used condensed milk)
♥ 6 tbsp chia seeds

Stir all ingredients together in a jar with a cap, shake and shake it until all ingredients are well mixed.
Gently, spoon the pudding mix over the gelatin, leaving some room to garnish with fruits.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Top with fruit, toasted coconut or whatever sounds good to you.

It's a deliciously amazing sweet treat, and the possibilities are endless with this recipe, you can always adapt it to your taste and imagination.

September 13, 2015

Farewell to Summer

"It's a smile, it's a kiss, it's a sip of wine... it's summertime!"
                                         Kenny Chesney

I'm lucky enough to live in an area teeming with farmer's markets and small farms, and not to sound corny but it feels so good to live surrounded by such beautiful landscape.

Early mornings, I like to find a special area for a walk, a place where I can appreciate the beauty of this season that soon will be gone.

Sweet pea anyone?

Saturday mornings are specially good when I go to a farmer market and stroll around from one stand to the next one looking at fresh vegetables and fruits. The beautiful produce inspire me so much that sometimes I end up coming back home with more than I had planned to buy.

There is something about strolling around farmer markets that just puts on a smile on my face, the colors, the textures, the aromas...

I see myself surrounded by vibrant colors, not only colorful vegetables and fruits but also gourgeous flower bouquets, an incredible patchwork of late summer bright colors.

Fresh produce and gorgeous-looking fruits. Long walks in lush green pastures.

Birds singing cheerfully. Warm balmy days. Blisfully blue skies. Moist and humid air.

Sitting at the shade of a tree. Watch the clouds floating across the sky.

Cut-grass smell in the air. Mouthwatering treats at picnics. Homemade ice cream.

Sun bathing with friends drinking cold beer.

The smell and sound of rain falling down.

Unforgetable Summer memories.

Brady enjoying a coconut and lemongrass ice cream @ the farmer's market in Great Barrington, MA. The combination of coconut and lemongrass is so good and unique that I want to try and make my own following the steps of this recipe.

September 2, 2015

Back to basics - A simple summer Salad

One of the reasons I enjoy summertime so much it's because it allows me to experiment with fresh foods I buy directly from farmers, or are from my own garden. They are not only beautiful and vibrant, but also delicious and healthy, like this simple and colorful salad.

The idea of eating flowers never crossed my mind before, not that I lack cooking imagination, or anything of the kind, but because having flowers around me causes a shift in my mood, giving me a feeling of wonderment and peace, and I've preferred admiring them than eaten them.

However, as my palate has evolved and my desire to experiment in the kitchen has broadened, I decided to use a few edible flowers and fruits I have in my garden to add a lovely touch to my salad.

I paired the sweeteness of gorgeous strawberries, the mild and fresh flavor of lovely pansies with the peppery taste of vibrant nasturtiums with arugula, radish and boiled egg. Did it work? Probably so, as I prepared this salad twice last week.

When I look at radishes I  keep wondering how delicious and vibrant in color they are, and like gorgeous-looking strawberries, they simply inspire me to photograph them, again and again...

The beauty of this salad is in the freshness of the ingredients, and that's the idea - use ingredients that are local and fresh, ingredients that are your favorites. Salads are such a venue of creativity, have fun while creating your own.

This is a dish full of vitaminstastecolor and texture, it's a simple salad you will want to eat over and over again. 

Summer Salad

♥ radish
♥ boiled egg
♥ strawberry
♥ nasturtium
♥ pansies & herbs you have handy
♥ olive oil, lime juice, salt & ground pepper

Toss all salad ingredients together, add a drizzle of olive oil, salt, freshly ground pepper and freshly squeezed lime (or lemon if you prefer) juice, sprinkle all fresh herbs you have handy. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.

This salad gets better as it sits and the flavors mesh together, so if you can, let it chill for a few minutes before enjoy it.

August 25, 2015

A walk in the garden

I thought I would share with you
a few shots I took of the
many shades of violet
when the light comes to the garden...

August 19, 2015

The simplest treats can be the best - No-Churn Homemade Coconut & Pistachio Ice Cream

We all know ice cream is sweet, soft, creamy and smooth, just to give it a few adjectives, but that it can be homemade without having to be churned, that I did not know!
I would not be surprised if you think of me something such as what kind of world has she been living in?

In my favor, I only have to say I simply never paid attention to it until I saw this post at Marcela's blog, and after that, withouth having to search for them, all kinds of no-churn homemade ice cream recipes were falling on my lap,  and I knew I had to make my own.

It's ridiculous how easy and delicious this recipe is, with just two ingredients, whipping cream and sweeteened condensed milk, along with the flavors I chose, coconut and pistachio, and in a few minutes, not counting freezing time, I made this crazzy good ice cream.

No Churn Homemade Coconut & Pistachio Ice Cream

 1 can sweetened condensed milk
 16 fl oz (473ml) whipping cream
♥ shredded unsweetened coconut, to taste
♥ chopped pistachio, to taste

Pour the whipping cream into a mixing bowl and whip it until it holds stiff. Gently begin folding the condensed milk into the whipped cream. At first, it looks lumpy, but as you continue to fold the mixture will smooth out and become soft and silky. Be careful not to over mix, stop when you see just a few small lumps here and there.

Add the shredded coconut and chopped pistachio to the mixture.

Transfer the mixture to a container. Smooth the top, and press a piece of wax paper against the surface to prevent ice crystals from forming. Cover, and freeze for at least 6 hours.

Flavor possibilities are endless for ice cream, we can add nuts, fruits, caramel, vanilla, chocolate chips, anything to our taste.

It may not last as machine made ice cream, I do not know of that,

but I do know that

it's creamy, 

it's scoopable,

it melts in your mouth.

In resume, it's simply delicious!

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