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Pão de Queijo

24 Mar

Greetings from Brasil! I arrived in February and will be spending the next year in Lavras, Minas Gerais teaching English at Universidade Federal de Lavras, and doing research on food security!

Importantly, I’m researching food! And guess what, we’ve got some tasty treats from this wonderfully warm country. This pão de queijo is a naturally gluten-free cheese bread. It’s super soft, chewy and delicious. Everyone loves it, and for Brazilians its that wonderful thing that reminds them all of home, and its a native dish for the state I’m in, Minas Gerais. Lucky me, I ended up in the state known for its delicious food.

I made this tasty treat with the supervision of a native Brazilians who also translated the recipe below (thanks Samuel!) and used the kitchen of a friendly pal, Eduardo (thanks Eduardo!) and got to bake with my fellow Americans, Nakeisha and Molly (pictured here with me!).

So, although this cheese bread is anything but healthy, its incredibly easy compared to other breads, and its SUPER tasty. Hope you try this and enjoy!

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The Cookies Everyone Beg For

14 May

All my friends have been asking for my cookie recipe, you know, the one I use on a day-to-day basis, the easy and simple chocolate chip for everyone.

I have to admit to everyone that due to the high volume of cookies I make, I rarely do cook a full batch. Thus, I make a half batch. And when I make a half batch, it is never worth all the liquidity of an entire egg. So… I use liquor! I know it sounds strange, but it gives it a nice crispiness on the outside and a softness on the inside. So its my new favorite trick.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 c brown sugar (100 g)
  • 1/2 c butter (115 g)
  • 1 t vanilla extract (5 ml)
  • 1-2 T liquor (rum, whiskey, a flavored something of your choice!) (15-30 ml)
  • 1 t salt (5 ml)
  • 1 t baking soda (5 ml)
  • 1 c flour (125 g)
  • 1 T corn starch (15 ml)
  • 1/2 c chopped up chocolate or chocolate chips (84 g)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325* F ( 160*C)
  2. Mix brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and liquor until creamy and well blended.
  3. Add salt, baking soda, and corn starch
  4. Add half of the flour and stir until incorporated. Add remaining flour.
  5. Add chocolate.
  6. Divide into round 2T dough balls and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed down with cooking oil.
  7. Bake for 8 minutes in preheated oven.
  8. Makes around 12-18 cookies.
  9. Enjoy!

Easy Variations:

Soft Gingersnap:

  • Use only 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  • Add a couple T of molasses
  • Add 1T freshly grated ginger
  • Add 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice and 1/2 t of cinnamon
  • Roll dough balls in sugar or sesame seeds before baking

White Chocolate and Crasin:

  • Substitute chocolate chips for equal amounts of White Chocolate chips and Crasins

Salvadorian Breakfast Cakes

10 Jan

…They’re so good. I’ve been oogling over this recipe for quite some time and decided to make them today for my Birthday. This is a lightly adapted recipe that I found on Food52, I just tried to make it a little more healthy. Seems to have worked out pretty well- these little cakes are still super super savory, buttery, cheesy delicious and gluten-free.

IMG_3838IMG_3839

Makes 18 cakes.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 grated parmesean
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350* and line muffin tin with cup-cake tins.
  2. Cream together butter, yogurt, and sugar.
  3. Add eggs 1 by one until fully incorporated.
  4. Add grated parmesean and sour cream and mix thouroughly.
  5. Finally, add rice flour, baking powder and salt gradually into the mix.
  6. Divvy batter into 18 cup cakes (filling batter pretty high in the tin, these guys won’t rise so much since they’re made of rice flour so don’t worry about overflow.)
  7. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. You can use either white or black (or none) but I thought the black gave a nice aesthetic touch.
  8. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Enjoy! Continue reading

Lizzy’s Surprise and More from Nuit Blanche!

30 Sep

This year for Nuit Blanche, my roommates and I had a fabulous idea… sell cookies, on our bikes. It made total sense, the entire city of Toronto would be out and about searching for art, and all the restaurants would be full, and there we’d be, on our bikes with hundreds of cookies at our disposal. Indeed, the plan was a success. Jamie, Jill and I baked up 5 different types of cookies: Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Caramel, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Chocolate Craisin, and… Lizzy’s Surprise. All of the cookies baked, except Lizzy’s Surprise, were made from recipes we found online. We decided to make a mixed media cookie, for all the eclectic people out for Nuit Blanche… and it was quite the hit!

Unfortunately, the cookies ALL got eaten (or sold to our very happy surprise), so we do not have any images of a Lizzy’s Surprise. But! the recipe is still here for your viewing pleasure. :-)

Happy Customers:

First Customers

Customers on Bike, like Us!

This guy bought 1 of each kind from us!

We even found live art work to get cookies from us! ;-)

Finally, us three- as Cookies on Wheels

Great success. So were these cookies. Trust me, they’re pretty good!

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 T instant coffee
  • 2 T peanut butter
  • 2T nutella
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup smashed potato chips
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Melt butter and allow to cool. In a mixing bowl, mix butter, sugars, vanilla, and egg until well combined.
  3. Add peanut butter, nutella, and instant coffee
  4. Next, slowly add Flour, baking soda, and salt into the wet mixture and mix until a dough forms
  5. Add chocolate chips and potato chips
  6. Roll into 2T balls, place on a baking sheet and cook for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies!

27 Mar

I love bananas. My dad loves bananas too. He used to sing this song to me about loving bananas when I was a kid that’s called “I love bananas because they have no bones”. Whenever I’ve sang the song to others, they’ve responded that they’ve never heard the song. It turns out, its an older one… from the 1930’s. If you’re feeling jazzy, you should give it a listen! You can hear the song here – forgive the long intro for the song, but its an awesome song.

Bananas are going extinct. The genus of banana that we eat today is actually dying out due to a fungus, scientists estimate, will wipe out this type of bananas we eat. You can find out more about this unfortunate fate by listening to an informative podcast from NPR.  I feel like I’m giving a PSA to my blog readers, but you ought to cherish your bananas while they’re around! Make some Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies, why not!?

Now… about these cookies… they’re a beautiful dichotomy between a muffin and a cookie. Seriously. Right in the middle. They’re fluffy, sweet, and fun. Hope you enjoy!

You’ll Need: Cookies

  • 2 bananas
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 a lemon- juiced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 2T honey

For THE {Nutella Cream} SAUCE:

(Optional)

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4T Nutella
  • 4 T Confectionar’s Sugar
  • 2T Vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325*F
  2. Mix the bananas, sugar, brown sugar, lemon, vanilla and egg in a bowl. Once the bananas are mixed well, sift the dry ingredients into the mix.
  3. Finally, add the chocolate chips and mix, and finally the honey.
  4. The result is something between a batter and a dough. Divide the batter on trays and bake for 15 minutes
  5. When they are finished, they will be fluffy and light:
  6. If you feel so compelled, you can make a cream for the cookies, and make sadnwiches out of the cookies!
    • Mix 4 tablespoons of the cream with the Nutella, vanilla and confectioner’s sugar in a blender or food processor and make mix until it forms a thick sauce.
    • Whip remaining cream in a separate bowl, until the cream forms soft peaks. Gently fold the Nutella sauce in with the whipped cream until it is evenly combined.
    • Put it in between your cookies, mmmm so delicious. I took a bite from one and too a photo, its so fluffy and nice!

Parmesean and Sriracha Popcorn

16 Feb

You’ll need:

POPCORN:

  • 1/2 cup of kernels
  • oil for cooking

For THE SAUCE:

  • 4T Butter
  • 3T Sriracha
  • 1/8 freshly shaved parmesean
  • Salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat up a large saucepan on high heat with a tablespoon or so of oil.
  2. Throw a couple of popcorn kernels in the pot. Once they’ve popped, throw in the rest of your kernels. When you count to three and you can’t hear them pop anymore, you know you’re done.
  3. Melt butter and sriracha, and apply to popcorn. Toss it around. Cover with parmesean cheese and a sprinkling of salt.
  4. Ohhhh yeah. That’s right. Now, enjoy!

Sweet-Honey-Cinnamon Popcorn

13 Oct Image In Progress...

You never knew your popcorn could get so jazzy… until now.

You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • Splash of Olive Oil/Canola Oil
  • 2tsp salt

For THE SAUCE:

  • 4 Tbs butter/margarine
  • 3 Tbs honey
  • 2 Tbs Cinnamon Sugar (or… 4 tsp sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon)

Let’s Begin:

  • Put your kernels in a pot (non-stick is best) with a splash of oil
  • Heat it up to Medium-High
  • After the pop-interval falls to 3 seconds, take the popcorn off the stove
  • Take your butter and honey and microwave it for about 30 seconds, so that the butter is melted
  • Stir the two nicely
  • Pour it all over the popcorn, and toss it a bit
  • Dash your cinnamon sugar all over the popcorn, and toss it some more
  • Add that salt and toss it one more time.
  • Put it in your mouth. Share it if you want to make friends. Put it in front of the TV if you want to get a movie started.

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