Monday, June 27, 2011

Shrimp, Avocado and Mango Salad

This salad was an invention of mine to try and copycat the salad that is served at Le Pain Quotidien which is a French franchising restaurant/bakery

The salad is so colorful, tasty and its ingredients are to unique!! I love anything with fruit - mango, pineapple, any fruit!

An original picture of the actual salad comes like this:

So lets get into business and try to make one that tastes the same! of course, we are making it beautiful too!

Shrimp, Avocado and Mango Salad
(serves 2 persons)


12 cooked big shrimps (if you like to add more, please do, it depends on the person)
1 ripe avocado
1 mango
3 tomatoes
Rocket leaves (as desired)
Olive oil
Pinch of salt
1 lime


First, cut the avocado in half, peel it, remove the pit, and slice it. Reserve in a plate.

Next, peel mango and slice it as desired, depends on how thick you would like to have it.

Now, cut the tomatoes small cube sized pieces and reserve.

In a separate bowl, mix the washed and drained rocket with the salt, olive oil, and lime. Add to it the cooked shrimps, and mix well so that the shrimps are coated in the sauce.

Now the fun part, put all ingredients in your plate. I did this way:


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blueberry Muffins

Every time we are at Starbucks, we want to have one of these. I never made muffins but have made cupcakes, I was like what the heck, what would be the difference? So I tried this recipe and oh my GOD! I loved it specially because of the topping which is made from lemon and sugar so it gave this zesty taste to it on top of the sweet taste of the blueberry itself.. The recipe says you can use either frozen or fresh blueberries, I just did not bother and got fresh because getting frozen would get a mess since I have tried before baking with frozen blueberries, but if you do not have fresh it is ok, get frozen, do not defrost them, just right there take them out of the freezer and soak them in AP flour and whisk around slowly. That's it! do not worry!!

My son loved it and I got rave reviews!! I tell you, do them as soon as you can!


Lemon-Sugar Topping:
1/3 cup sugar
zest from one lemon

2 cups frozen blueberries (or 2 cups fresh)
1 1/8 cups plus 1 teaspoon of sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
1 cup buttermilk (OR 1 cup of milk mixed in 1 tbsp of white vinegar or lemon juice letting it rest for 2min)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


For the topping, stir together sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl and set aside.

For the muffins, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 190C. Spray a standard muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Rinse one cup frozen berries under cold water and spread on a double layer of paper towels to dry well. Bring remaining one cup berries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing berries with a spoon several times and stirring frequently, until the berries have broken down and the mixture is thickened and reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temperature, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Toss the berries that have dried on the paper towels in with the flour mixture. Whisk remaining 1 1/8 cups sugar and eggs together in a medium bowl until thick, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in the butter and oil until combined. Whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold egg mixture into flour mixture until just moistened. The batter will be lumpy with a few dry spots of flour – don’t overmix. This is the key to moist and tender muffins.

Using ice cream scoop or large spoon, fill the muffin cups until they are about 3/4 full. Spoon a teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into the center of each mound of batter. Using a skewer (or a chopstick), gently swirl the berry filling into the batter using a figure eight motion. Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over the muffins.

Bake until the top of the muffins are golden and just firm, 17-18 minutes. Cool muffins in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool 5 minutes before serving.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Brazilian Beef Strognoff

This recipe is one of our favorites. Its a Brazilian traditional dish, easy to make, and result is yummy! Anyway, there is also a chicken version of it, which of course, is only by replacing the beef for chicken, but having tried both, the beef is the winner! I have another type chicken recipe for it which I will post later on, but for now, you definitely should try this, NOW.


4 tbsp of butter
1kg of file Mignon cut in thin strips
2 chopped onions
Half tsp of salt
Pinch of black pepper
200gr of sliced mushroom - you can use either in can or fresh, I like fresh more
3 medium sized tomatoes - peeled and chopped, you need to remove the seeds as well
2 tbsp of ketchup
1 tbsp of mustard
1 can of Nestle cream
1/2 cup fresh cream


In a medium sized pan melt 3tbsp of butter and stir fry the beef strips - if water accumulates, drop water out of it. Keep on pan frying them until done. Set beef in a tray aside.

Add the remaining tbsp of butter and fry the onion. Once browned add the beef again. Season with the salt and pepper. Add sliced mushroom, and cook for 5 minutes. Then add the diced tomatoes + ketchup + mustard, mix and cook for 8 minutes at low heat. Then finally add the Nestle cream and fresh cream and mix, 2 minutes and turn off heat. Keep the strogonoff pan closed to cook by itself.

Serve with white rice and chips strips (like the ones in the picture can be found at the chips section in the supermarket - in Brazil they are called batata-palha).

Super delicious!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Best Pancake Ever

This recipe is a winner. I never did homemade pancake, but these looked so good I had to give them a try! I didn't have buttermilk, but I did mix 1 cup of milk with 1tbsp of vinegar - mixed them together and put it in the fridge for around 2min to be used. Yes, this means you should try them!!


3 Tbs. unsalted butter; more for serving

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 cups buttermilk
(for 1 cup of milk use 1tbsp of either white vinegar or lemon juice)
2 large eggs

Butter for the griddle

Pure maple syrup or pancake syrup for serving


Melt butter in a small bowl, and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk gently until the dry ingredients are almost incorporated; stop before the batter is evenly moistened. Add the cooled melted butter and mix just until the batter is evenly moistened (there will be lumps). Let the batter rest while you heat the griddle.

Heat a griddle and lightly butter the griddle. Working in batches, pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto the griddle for each pancake, spacing them about 2.5cm apart. Let cook undisturbed until bubbles rise to the surface and the edges look dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Check the underside of each pancake to make sure it’s nicely browned; then flip. Cook until the second side is nicely browned, about 1 minute more. Transfer the pancakes to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you repeat with the remaining batter.

Serve hot with butter and maple syrup or your favorite topping!.

Make Ahead Tips

Cooked pancakes will keep, sealed in freezer bags, for up to 2 days in the refrigerator and up to 1 month in the freezer. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in a 180C oven for 5 minutes.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Best Chocolate Cake Ever

Moist Chocolate Cake

Adapted from

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa (I used unsweetened)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (1 cup of water mixed in 1tbsp of white vinegar or 1tbsp lemon juice; let sit for 2 minutes)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot coffee (or 2 tsp instant coffee in 1 cup boiling water, or simply 1 cup boiling water)

1. Preheat oven to 177 °C. Grease two 9-inch baking pans and set aside. In the large bowl of a standing mixer, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract; beat 2 minutes on medium speed. Stir in hot coffee. Pour batter evenly between the two pans and bake on middle rack of oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks before frosting.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Macaroni Grill Restaurant Bread

Recipe from Jamie Cooks It Up!

1 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup water
3 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Italian Seasoning (Optional)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 tablespoon fresh rosemary, snipped
1 egg
butter and salt

1. In the bottom of your mixer combine water, yeast and sugar. Mix it around a bit with a spoon and let it sit for 5 minutes.
2. Add the salt, oil and 1 C flour. Mix for 30 seconds to incorporate.
3. Add the rest of the flour about 1/2 C at a time, while the mixer continues to mix.
4. When all of the flour is incorporated mix on high for about 7 minutes.
5. While your mixer is doing it's fine work, get your herbs and seasonings ready to go. I like to snip rosemary with scissors. You don't want to eat any of the thick stem that rosemary comes on, only the little needles.
6. When your dough is done mixing add the rosemary, pepper and Italian seasoning. Mix just until incorporated.
7. Cover your mixing bowl with a kitchen towel and let it rise for about 40 minutes, or until doubled in size.

8. Divide the dough into 2 parts (I made smaller batches). Shape into balls and place on a sprayed cookie sheet, or a cooking stone with a bit of olive oil on it.

9. Spray a sharp knife with cooking spray and cut 2 slits in the top of the bread. (I didnt do this but it would be nice if you want to)
10. In a small bowl whisk an egg until frothy. Brush the egg all over the top of the loaf and into the cracks.
11. Place the loaves into a warm oven. (I set mine to 77 °C) Let them rise until doubled in size, about 15 minutes.
12. Turn your oven up to 188 °C and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
13. When the loaves come out of the oven, place them on a cooling rack. Brush butter over the tops and sprinkle a little bit of salt over the top of the butter. Be careful to not get too much.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lemon and Chocolate Tart

This recipe is super easy, fast, and delicious. Its nice to have in this hot weather and lovely to share with family!

For the crust:
200gr of Marie biscuit
4 tbsp of butter

Chocolate filling:
300 gr of bittersweet chocolate (melt in bain-marie)
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 tsp of butter without salt
2 tbsp of nutella
1/2 packet of gelatin without flavor (see instruction and do all the packet since the other 1/2 will be used for the lemon filling)

Lemon filling:
1 can of condensed milk
1/2 the same can lemon juice
1/2 packet of gelatin without flavor (use the remaining 1/2 for this)


Blend to powder the biscuit and add the butter. Press on a removable form the bottom and side ways. Bake for 10 minutes.

Chocolate filling
Mix the melted chocolate with the heavy cream, butter, and nutella, and at the end add the gelatin. Let it cool and pour over the crust and take to the fridge to cool. Meanwhile do the lemon filling.

Lemon filling
Add ingredients together in a blender and blend.

Add the lemon filling on the chocolate on and take to fridge to cool for minimum 4 hours.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Toodler Food: Egg-in-a-hole

This idea is really cool to change up for a new breakfast for your kids! its great for daycare, or any other normal day..! I will be using step by step pictures to show how easy it is to do it! So let's begin:

Photos source: The Pioneer Woman


Monday, June 6, 2011

Tres Leche Cake

  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1-½ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 5 whole Eggs
  • 1 cup Sugar, Divided
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • ⅓ cups Milk
  • 1 can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 can Sweetened, Condensed Milk
  • ¼ cups Heavy Cream
  • 2 cups of Heavy Cream, For Whipping
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar


Preheat oven to 177C. Butter a rectangular form and coat it with flour - shake it and drop down the loo

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Separate eggs.

Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined.

Beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff but not dry.

Fold egg white mixture into the batter very gently until just combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread to even out the surface.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a small pitcher. When cake is still warm, pierce the surface with a fork several times. Slowly drizzle all the milk mixture—try to get as much around the edges of the cake as you can.

Allow the cake to absorb the milk mixture for 30 minutes. To ice the cake, whip 2 cups of heavy cream with 3 tablespoons of sugar until thick and spreadable.

Spread over the surface of the cake. Decorate cake with whole or chopped maraschino cherries. Cut into squares and serve.


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