Lime Meringue Pie

When I first began to bake, I loved making a few citrus tarts and pies like this one! They turned any dark wintery day, into summer.

The bright citrus flavors, paired with the sweet condensed milk and a graham cracker crust, creates the perfect balance and also an incredibly easy to make dessert. 

As much as I love eating and baking cakes, I find that sometimes a lighter dessert like this is the way to go, especially in the summer! As the summer is going by so quickly, I am taking advantage of catching some rays by the pool and enjoying a piece of this refreshing pie - best served chilled. Also, if you are looking for a quick recipe to make for a BBQ get together, this is the one! It’ll keep your guests cool and going back for seconds. 

 The meringue topping adds a decorative and elegant touch to this pie. I used a blow torch, but if you do not have one, placing your pie under the broiler for a few minutes will create the same effect.


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Ingredients 

Crust

  • 1 ½ cup graham cracker crumbs

  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • 4 egg yolks, reserve 2 egg-whites for meringue 

  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice

  •  Pinch of kosher salt

Meringue Topping

  • 2 egg-whites

  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar

  • Pinch of kosher salt

Recipe

Crust 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F. In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers until they are fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse to combine.

  2. Press the graham cracker crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake the crust 10-12 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Once it's done, take it out of the oven and allow to cool. 

Filling

  1. While the crust cools, prepare the filling. 

  2. Separate the 4 eggs. Add the egg yolks to a bowl, reserve 2 egg-whites for the meringue. Add 1 can of condensed milk, ½ cup of lime juice, and a pinch of salt. Whisk the mixture until all combined. 

  3. Pour mixture into prepared crust, and bake for 15-20  minutes, or until the center is just slightly jiggly. 

  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Once the pie is cooled, cover and chill for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Meringue Topping

  1. While the pie is chilling, prepare the meringue mixture.

  2. In a stand mixer, whisk the egg whites, sugar, and salt in the bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and whisk the mixture until the sugar has dissolved and is hot. 

  3.  Transfer the bowl to the standing mixer and beat at medium-high speed for about 2 minutes then increase speed to high and beat until mixture is stiff.

  4. Scrape the meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe a ring around the perimeter of the tart or spoon it over the tart and spread with an offset spatula.

  5. Using a culinary torch, hold the torch about a few inches away from the tart, brown the meringue lightly. Alternatively, place the tart in a preheated broiler, watching it carefully, as it will brown very quickly.

Chocolate Birthday Cake

Today is a very special day in our household!

It’s my dog, Oliver’s 4th birthday. Oliver came into my life at a low point, and he has brought so much joy, love, and laughter into our lives. We really couldn’t imagine life without him. 

 In honor of his birthday, I am sharing my absolute favorite birthday cake recipe. If you have followed me along, you know how much I love cheesecake.

 Cheesecake has always been my choice of cake for my birthday, but last year I decided that it was time to change it up! So I celebrated my 22nd birthday with this amazing chocolate cake!

 This chocolate cake is the only recipe you’ll ever need. If you aren’t a big cream cheese frosting fan, no worries, use your favorite frosting and follow along with the rest of the recipe to assemble it.

 This rich chocolate cake is an oil-based cake which makes it extra moist and the cream cheese frosting helps balance out the sweetness of the cake thanks to the tanginess from the cream cheese. 

Anytime I bake, Oliver always joins me in the kitchen to scope out the situation, and of course to get a little treat. Cream cheese frosting is something he loves and knows that if he looks at me with those beautiful brown puppy eyes, he will get to lick the bowl!

 So Happy Birthday to the best dog in the world, Oliver! 

Come along and celebrate with a slice of this delicious chocolate cake.

 

Chocolate Birthday Cake
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Chocolate Birthday Cake
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Ingredients 

Chocolate Cake

  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 cup hot water

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Two 8oz. Packages of cream cheese, room temperature 

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 4 ½ cups of confectioners sugar

  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • 1 tablespoon of heavy cream

  • Assorted gel/food coloring

  • Assorted candies

Recipe

Chocolate Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease  two 8-inch cake pans and flour with cocoa powder, set aside.

  2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat together the oil and both sugars on medium speed for 2 minutes.Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat again. 

  4. With  the mixer on low, carefully add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stop the mixer, and scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl, making sure there are any unmixed pieces. 

  5. With the mixer on low, stream in the hot water. Mix on medium-low until combined.

  6. Evenly divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let them cool on a wire rack before removing the cakes from their pans.

  7. Once they are cool enough to handle, carefully remove them from the pans and set them on a wire rack while you make the frosting.

Frosting

  1. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. 

  2. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. 

  3. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes until completely combined and creamy. 

*Add more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin, more milk if frosting is too thick, or an extra pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet. 


Assemble

  1. Take 1 cup of frosting and divided into two small bowls, add your choice of coloring and mix it.

  2. Place 1 cake layer on your cake stand or serving plate. Evenly cover the top with non colored cream cheese frosting. Top with 2nd layer and spread remaining non colored cream cheese frosting on top and around the cake using a bench scraper or spatula.

  3.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Take your cake out of the refrigerator, and apply the colored frosting around the cake using again your icing spatula and bench scraper. Top with your assorted candies, if using. 


Garlic Shrimp

My annual Portuguese summer vacation is coming up, and I can hardly wait to dig into all the delicious food! The one type of food I look forward to the most is seafood! From the fresh fish to the shellfish, the seafood tastes incredible. 

Luckily where I live, we get the fresh seafood that helps me kill my cravings throughout the year. One of my favorite dishes to eat in Portugal is Camarões com Alho (Shrimp with Garlic). The shrimp are cooked in olive oil and lots of garlic! The shrimp comes to your table with their legs and tails attached and served with a side of toasty bread to dip in those juices. It’s a simple and insanely delicious dish to cook for a weeknight meal or a crowd!

My Portuguese Mother - Garlic Shrimp
My Portuguese Mother - Garlic Shrimp
My Portuguese Mother - Garlic Shrimp
My Portuguese Mother - Garlic Shrimp
My Portuguese Mother - Garlic Shrimp

Ingredients 

  • 16 extra-large shrimp

  • 1 lemon, juice and zest

  • 2 teaspoons of piri-piri oil

  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil

  • ½ cup of butter

  • 6 cloves garlic

  • 2 bay leaves

  • ½ cup chopped parsley

  • Salt

Recipe

  1. Devein the shrimp, but keep head intact, season well with salt. Reserve.

  2. In a frying pan – I like to use a heavy well-seasoned cast iron pan, place olive oil and butter plenty of garlic crushed with the peel and some chopped. Sauté a little. 

  3. Add the prawns and fry. Season with Piri-Piri oil.  Add the bay leaves, the white wine, a bit at a time and squeeze the lemon to keep the sauce going. It will take no more than 3 to 4 minutes on each side. 

  4. Sprinkle with the lemon zest and parsley and serve immediately.

  5. Serve with toasted bread.

Vanilla layered Berry Cake

Unlike most food holidays, the Fourth of July is a day that tends to sneak up on us. People usually resort to their usual BBQ selection with classic potato salads, and ice cream for dessert. This year, on the other hand, I will not let the day go by without preparation; which begins now with some prideful recipes like this Vanilla layered Berry Cake!

Dessert is especially overlooked at BBQ's because it is hot and let's face it, who wants to be indoors when the fun's outside. Over the years I have come to realize that if you go the extra mile to prepare a wonderfully delicious dessert in advance, 9/10 people will eat it and appreciate you for turning on those ovens in 80° weather!

This layered cake is spongy, light, and the perfect canvas for the whipped cream cheese frosting and berries!

 
My Portuguese Mother - Vanilla layered Berry Cake
My Portuguese Mother - Vanilla layered Berry Cake
My Portuguese Mother - Vanilla layered Berry Cake

Ingredients 

Vanilla Cake 

  • 3 and 2/3 cups cake flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 and 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature

  • 2 egg whites, room temperature

  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract 

  • 1 and 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature

Heavy Cream Frosting 

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 4 oz. cream cheese

  • 2 3/4 cups heavy cream, cold

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 2 cups variety berries, sliced and halved ( such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries)

  • 1 cup sliced pineapple, save the juice for soaking cake

Recipe

Vanilla Cake 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease & line three 8-inch cake pans.

  2. Whisk the cake flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together. Set aside.

  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides, beat in the 3 eggs, 2 egg whites, and vanilla extract until combined. (Mixture will look curdled, don’t worry!)

  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients until just combined. With the mixer running on low speed, pour in the buttermilk, and mix just until combined. Using a whisk or rubber spatula, fold the batter, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl, ensuring there are no lumps. 

  5. Pour batter evenly into pans. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool.

Heavy Cream Frosting 

  1. In a cold mixing bowl, beat the whipping cream, cream cheese, vanilla extract. Add the confectioners' sugar on medium speed until fluffy. 

  2. To assemble, place one of the cooled layers on a cake plate. Using a pastry brush, soak the layer with the pineapple juice. Add a ½ cup of the frosting, roughly spread and top with a ½ cup of the berries and pineapples. Repeat until the last layer. For the top, add the remaining frosting and decorate with berries. 



Fava Bean Salad

Beans, Beans... Fava, black, white, red, or soy beans, they are all good for you!

They provide minerals, soluble fiber, protein, and no saturated fat.

Pretty much every culture has their own bean dish.

From black beans served with meat and rice in South America, red baked beans on toast in the UK, to the famous French dish, Cassoulet made with pork, and white beans, every country has their bean signature dish.

Portugal is no exception. We eat a lot of beans, in stews, soups and as a side, we too are crazy for beans.

When I was growing up, I had the typical dishes like feijoada, with white or red beans, or vegetable soups made with kidney beans, but what I loved the most was when my mom made simple salads with beans.

The bite from a bean in a salad creates a different texture from what I was used in stews and soups.

In the warmer months, especially, my favorite thing to do is to add beans to my salad, not only do they add a great bite, but they help you feel fuller for longer.

My Fava Bean Salad is made with blanched fava beans, shaved asparagus, and drizzled with a light lemon & honey dressing. This bright and super easy salad is great for a quick side, appetizer, or meal!

Fava Bean Salad
Fava Beans
Fava Beans

Ingredients 

  • 3 lbs. fresh fava beans in pod

  • ½ cup thinly shaved cooked asparagus

  • A handful of small arugula

  • 1 small shallot, minced

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons honey

  • 1 tablespoon of lemon zest

  • Sea salt & ground pepper

Recipe

  1. Remove the beans from their pods.

  2. Bring a large saucepan with water to boil. Add the beans to the boiling water, cook for about 2-3 minutes, just to really blanch them. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water.

  3. Drain the beans, and add them to the ice water to stop cooking, then remove the skin layer from fava beans by carefully piercing the bean and squeezing it out of its skin. Discard the skins.

  4. Shave the asparagus lengthwise with a peeler.

  5. In a small bowl, add the minced shallot, lemon juice, season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until all combined.

  6. Assemble the salad, add the arugula first, then add the fava beans, shaved asparagus.

  7. Finish with the dressing and lemon zest. Season to taste.

Grilled Lamb Chops with Mint Gremolata

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Ingredients 

Mint Gremolata

  • ¾  cup mint, roughly chopped

  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • zest of 1 lemon

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • salt & pepper

Lamb Chops

  • 4-6 lamb chops

  • Salt & pepper

  • oil

Recipe

Mint Gremolata

  1. Using a mortar and pestle, or a food processor, crush  the mint, lemon juice, garlic cloves, and zest. Drizzle in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. The mixture should remain course, so if using a blender, pulse it until the mixture is just combined. Set aside.

Lamb Chops

  1. Heat up your grill pan. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Lightly oil the pan, and place chops on grill pan, cooking 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium rare.

  2. Once they are done, plate the chops and drizzle the gremolata on top.

Beet & Citrus Salad


Ingredients 

  • 2 medium beets mixed variety , sliced (such as red, gold)

  • 4 oranges mixed variety (such as Cara-Cara, blood orange, or navel)

  • 2 radishes, sliced

  • Handful of fresh mint

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons of  red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon of honey

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 400º.

  2. Place the beets in the middle of a large foil. Drizzle with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Wrap up each bundle to seal it. Roast until tender, 40 minutes to 1 hour (depending on the size of the beets). Peel the beets when they are cool enough to handle. Let cool completely.

  3. Using a sharp knife, peel and pith the oranges. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds; place in a bowl, cover and refrigerate.

  4. Slice the radishes.

  5. Once the beets are cooled, slice them into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Set aside.

  6. For the dressing, whisk the olive oil, red wine vinegar and honey together. Season to taste.

  7. To assemble, arrange the oranges, beets and radishes on a large platter. Drizzle the vinaigrette and top with the fresh mint leaves.

Pea & Mint Risotto

Going green in celebration of Earth Day!

This fresh and vibrant green Pea and Mint Risotto is luxurious while still being a light dish. It’s perfect for a weeknight meal, as it is very quick to whip up.

When the warm weather arrives, my backyard gets taken over by mint! All Spring and Summer long I have plenty of mint to cook, bake and make tea with. So this recipe helps utilize my garden’s herbs and celebrate this wonderful day! GO GREEN!


Ingredients 

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1-½ cups uncooked Arborio rice

  • 4 sprigs fresh mint

  • 4 ½ cups reduced sodium chicken broth

  • ⅓ cup white wine

  • 1/3 cup frozen peas, thawed

  • ½ cup parmesan cheese

Recipe

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the broth and keep warm.

  2. In a large nonstick pot, sauté onion in butter for 2-3 minutes or until tender.

  3. Add the rice, cook and stir 2-3 minutes. Add the wine, cook and stir until all of the liquid is absorbed.

  4. Stir in heated broth, a ladle at a time, stirring constantly. Allow the liquid to absorb between each addition.

  5. Meanwhile, in a blender, add the peas with a splash of water and blend into a puree.

  6. Cook until risotto is creamy and almost tender around 20 minutes. Add the sprigs of mint & the pureed peas. Cook until heated through.

  7. Remove the mint sprigs.  Add Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

    Garnish with pea shoots or asparagus for an added bite.




Passion Fruit & Lemon Tart

Easter is fast approaching, so this week I’ll be posting some of my favorite spring-inspired dishes that are perfect for your Easter table.

Starting with my favorite topic, dessert! During the warmer months, I like to use my oven as less as possible. I love doing desserts that are quick to assemble, bright, and that incorporate fruit! One of my go-to recipe is a citrus tart. You do need to use the oven to bake your crust, but it’s only for 15 minutes, and the rest is done over stove top then chilled in the fridge until it’s all set!

Passion fruit and lemon curd tart will be the star of your table this spring. It’s tart and sweet and a perfect finish for after a heavy Easter meal! Use the leftover egg white to make a meringue to decorate the top of the tart!

 
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Ingredients 

Crust

  • 8 oz  graham crackers

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 6  tablespoons butter, melted

Filling

  • ½ cup  fresh passionfruit pulp

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 4 eggs, plus 3 egg yolks

  • ½ cup of lemon juice

  • Zest of 1 ½ lemons

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Recipe

Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. In a food processor, pulse grahams until finely ground. Pour sugar and melted butter, pulse until mixture resembles wet sand.

  3. Place mixture into tart pan and press evenly into the bottom and sides of the pan. Blind bake the crust by placing a piece of parchment paper, or aluminum foil on top of the crust. Pour in pie weights, or dried beans.

  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes

  5. Carefully remove the parchment/aluminum foil and  the weights, or beans, and allow to cool.

Filling

  1. In a medium-size saucepan, place the sugar and eggs, and whisk until light and pale. Whisk in the zest, and juice of the lemons, and the passion fruit pulp.

  2. Place the saucepan over low-medium heat and constantly whisk until mixture has  thickened. Do not boil.

  3. Remove the saucepan from the stove, and whisk in room temperature butter.

  4. Pass the curd through a sieve, making sure  you have a smooth curd. Let cool.

  5. Once the crust and mixture is cooled, about 30 minutes. Pour the curd into the crust and refrigerate until set.

  6. Decorate with prepared meringue. Best served  cool.

Spring Salmon Pesto Pasta

I love pasta but eating it every day isn’t recommended (apparently). So my new favorite substitute is legume-based pasta, which includes lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas. This past year, legume-based pasta have been having a real moment. It first began with a few new brands, but now popular brand pastas have also launched a legume-based line.

The benefits of switching include fewer carbs, more fiber and more protein than regular pasta. They are also gluten-free and contain iron.

While you may not be sold yet, the flavor and texture of the pasta are not that much different than any old regular boxed pasta. What I have noticed is that most legume-based pasta is very toothsome. Other than that, there isn’t much of a difference in terms of flavor.

GIve the delicious recipe a try and enjoy a new alternative to a week night classic!

MY Portuguese Mother // Salmon Pesto Pasta
MY Portuguese Mother // Salmon Pesto Pasta
MY Portuguese Mother // Salmon Pesto Pasta
 

Ingredients 

Pesto :

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves

  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, plus more for serving

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (or for raw walnuts)

  • 1 medium lemon, juiced & zested

  • 1/3 cup olive oil, more for serving

  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

  • Salt and pepper

Pasta :

  • 12 oz. red lentil pasta (or substitute for whole-grain)

  • Pesto

  • 1 lb. cooked salmon, roughly flaked (great for using leftover grilled or poached salmon)

Recipe

Pesto

  1. In a food processor or blender, pulse basil leaves, mint leaves, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese together. Slowly add the olive oil until pesto is smooth. Set aside.

Pasta

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a generous pinch of salt. Once boiling, add pasta of choice and cook according to package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water, and drain pasta. Set aside in a large bowl.

  2. Add the pesto to the pasta and toss to combine. Add reserved pasta water if needed to loosen pesto pasta. Toss in the flaked salmon. Finish with lemon zest and mint leaves. Serve immediately.

 
 

Butternut Squash Citrus Salad

New Jersey seems to be the only place where it can be 60 degrees one day and 30 the next!

This past weekend was a real tease! I am so ready for the warmer weather, flowers blooming, and more importantly, spring produce!

For me, once the warmer weather begins I automatically feel like I want to eat healthier foods that are light, bright and packed with nutrients! Salads are one of my go-to everyday foods. For warmer weather days, I love to add refreshing raw ingredients like shaved carrots, and fresh fruit. But for days like today, it’s hard to crave a cold salad when it’s 30 degrees outside. So what I like to do is incorporate warm ingredients into my salad instead. Some of my favorite ingredients are roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes. I usually roast a big batch, so I always have them available to toss into my salad or use them as a side. The roasted squash really helps fill you up while still keeping your salad healthy and vibrant! Paired with a citrus vinaigrette, this salad will have you fall in love with salads even during the colder months!

Warm weather will be here shortly but until then, warm up with this butternut squash salad!

My Portuguese Mother // Butternut Squash Citrus Salad
My Portuguese Mother // Butternut Squash Citrus Salad

Ingredients 

  • 5 cups arugula or baby kale, loosely packed

  • 2 cara-cara oranges, segmented

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts  

  • 2 cups roasted butternut squash, cubed

  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 3/4 cup olive oil

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

  • Salt and pepper

Recipe

  1. Whisk together the ingredients for the vinaigrette, adjust salt and pepper to taste, set aside.

  2. Arrange the greens in a large bow. Add the roasted butternut squash, segmented oranges, and chopped walnuts. Dress the salad with the vinaigrette. Serve immediately

 

Strawberry Mint Scones

We are a week into Spring and although the weather may have not gotten the memo yet, my kitchen sure has! Spring cooking makes me happy!

The slightly warmer weather and sunshine gives me so much inspiration and motivation to bake with light and bright ingredients.

My favorite ingredients around this time are fruit! From citrus fruit to berries, I love to incorporate them in any way I can. And for my first bake of Spring 2019, I chose scones! To tell you the truth, scones always looked very heavy and dense and I have never had the desire to eat one, not until I tried this recipe. With one bite, I was hooked! From the light and buttery dough to the strawberry and mint filling, they scream spring!

This recipe was taken and adapted from one of my absolute favorite magazines, Bake from Scratch where they use basil instead of mint. What's great about this recipe is how versatile it is, so if mint or basil aren't your favorite herbs, you can easily substitute with thyme, or rosemary, or leave it out entirely.

Bake up a batch and enjoy them with a lovely cup of coffee or tea.

my Portuguese Mother // Strawberry Mint Scones
my Portuguese Mother // Strawberry Mint Scones
my Portuguese Mother // Strawberry Mint Scones
My Portuguese Mother // Strawberry Mint Scones

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¾ cup cold unsalted butter, grated

  • 1 cup diced fresh strawberries

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

  • ¾ cup whole milk

  • 2 large eggs, divided

  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream

  • Garnish: sanding sugar

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add cold butter, tossing to coat. Cover and freeze for 15 minutes. Stir in strawberries and mint.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together milk and 1 egg. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring and folding just until moistened. Turn out dough onto a heavily floured surface. Using well-floured hands, knead dough 5 to 10 times, about 1 minute. Roll dough to ¾- to 1-inch thickness. Using a bench scraper, cut the dough into triangles or use 2¾-inch round cutter, cut dough, rerolling scraps only once. Place on prepared pan.

  4. In a small bowl, whisk together cream and remaining 1 egg. Brush egg wash onto scones. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, if desired.

  5. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

  6. Let cool slightly; serve warm.

    Recipe by Bake from Scratch


Chicken Tinga Tinga Tacos


If there is one cuisine I can have over and over again, it would be Mexican. I love the combination of flavors , from the salt to the sweet and heat, everything comes together in a perfect harmony. These Chicken Tinga Tinga tacos are the perfect example! 

I dare you to eat just one! From the spicy sauce to the layer of toppings, this is the taco recipe you didn't know you needed! 

The sauce is made with adobo peppers, and fire roasted tomatoes that gives a kick and a layer a sweetness to the sauce. Top a nice bowl of rice, or drizzle some on your morning eggs! Delicious!!

MY Portuguese Mother // Chicken Tinga Tinga Tacos
 
My Portuguese Mother // Chicken Tinga Tinga Tacos
 
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Ingredients 

Tacos :

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 cup sweet onion roughly chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1–2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 3/4 cup canned crushed fire-roasted tomatoes

  • 1/4 cup chicken stock

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3 cups rotisserie chicken shredded

For serving :

  • Corn tortillas

  • 2 ripe avocados, sliced

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1/2 cup pico de gallo

  • crumbled cotija

  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Recipe

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium. Once warm, add the oil and onion. Sauté for 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add in the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Stir in the chipotles, oregano, and cumin, and toast for 1 minute. Add in the tomatoes, stock, and salt. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 7 minutes.

  2. Place the tomato mixture in a high-powered or regular blender, and blend until smooth.

  3. Return the blended sauce to the pan over low heat. Add the shredded chicken, and cook for 5 minutes and season to taste.

  4. Prepare the garnishes. Warm your tortillas over an open flame on your stove top. Smash your avocados in a bowl, and squeeze lime and season with salt.

  5. Assemble your tacos, add the avocado, chicken, then top off with pico de gallo, cheese and cilantro. Serve with a lime wedge.

    Recipe from Pinch of Yum

 
 

Bacalhau à Brás (Cod fish with potatoes and eggs)

Tomorrow is Father’s Day in Portugal! In honor of my Dad, I have made his favorite recipe - Bacalhau à Brás, and one that he cooked often when I was growing up. Every bite brings me back to when I was a kid, seating at the dinner table and telling him that I hated olives! But now this is one of my favorites!

It’s such an easy recipe to do, cod mixed with onions, fries, and eggs. If there is a recipe to make someone fall in love with cod, it has to be this one! 

My Portuguese Mother // Bacalhau à Brás
My Portuguese Mother // Bacalhau à Brás
My Portuguese Mother // Bacalhau à Brás
My Portuguese Mother // Bacalhau à Brás
My Portuguese Mother // Bacalhau à Brás

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound dried salt cod

  • 7 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips (about 6 cups)

  • Enough oil to fry potatoes

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced

  • 8 large eggs

  • Salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, divided

  • 18 black or green olives

Recipe

  1. Soak the salted cod in water for 24/36 hours, changing the water 3 or 4 times – depending on the thickness of the cod

  2. Heat oil in deep heavy bottom pot

  3. When hot, add potatoes and fry until golden – you want the potatoes light golden not to crispy

  4. Dry on paper towel to get rid of excess oil

  5. Add the cod to a pot of water, bring to a boil.

  6. Lower the temperature and simmer the cod for about 10 minutes.

  7. Remove the cod pieces with a skimmer and onto a plate.

  8. Remove the skin from the cod and shred it, making sure to discard all the bones

  9. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes while stirring.

  10. Add the cod, mix and continue to cook for 5 minutes.

  11. Add half of the matchstick chips and mix.

  12. In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper.

  13. Add the eggs to the cod mixture and stir until the eggs are half-cooked.

  14. Add half of the matchstick chips, half of parsley and stir one last time.

  15. Remove immediately from heat to avoid overcooking the eggs

  16. Arrange in a dish.

  17. Garnish with leftover parsley and black olives.

Raspberry Overnight Chia Pudding

This 3-ingredient Chia Pudding is the easiest breakfast you will ever make! 

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day but mornings, during the week, are usually quite hectic in my house. So, for me, having a breakfast made and ready to go is the truly a time saver.

These tiny little seeds are a great protein source and are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, omega -3 fatty acids, iron and calcium which makes them one of the most nutritious foods on earth!

Topped with my Raspberry Chia Jam, this overnight pudding will hit all your taste buds and will become your favorite go to breakfast!  

 
My Portuguese Mother // Raspberry Chia Pudding
My Portuguese Mother // Raspberry Chia Pudding
My Portuguese Mother // Raspberry Chia Pudding
My Portuguese Mother // Raspberry Chia Pudding

Ingredients 

Raspberry Chia Jam

  • 2 cups frozen raspberries

  • Zest & juice of ½ lemon

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons honey, agave, maple syrup, or sugar

  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Chia Pudding

  • 1 1/2 cups dairy-free milk

  • 1/2 cup chia seeds

  • 1-2 tablespoons of agave or maple syrup, to taste

Recipe

Raspberry Chia Jam

  1. Add the raspberries, honey (maple syrup or agave), lemon juice, and  zest to a small saucepan and allow it to cook, over medium heat, until the fruit is thawed and the sauce is brought to a boil.

  2. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chia seeds. Bring the pan back to the heat for 2-3 minutes until the jam has thickened.

  3. Store in an airtight jar mason jar for about 1 week.

Chia Pudding

  1. In a bowl, add milk, chia seeds, and agave. Whisk to combine.

  2. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 3-4 hours. The chia pudding should be thick. If it has not thickened, add more chia seeds, stir and refrigerate for another 30 minutes.

  3. To assemble it:  layer the Raspberry Chia Jam, followed by the Chia Pudding and top it with the jam again.

 

Mickey Mouse Vanilla Cupcakes

I made these adorable cupcakes for my friend nephew’s birthday! 

 From the fluffy texture of the cupcake to the cute decorations, this cupcake was a hit! And because the cupcake is not to sweet, this fluffy vanilla frosting is the perfect pairing!

 Vanilla mix, especially boxed ones, are usually overly sweet and full of artificial flavors. I'm not completely against boxed mixes; however, when it comes to baking for someone you love, I think it is essential to go that extra mile and make it from scratch. Not only they will taste good but your loved one will taste the love and care you have put into them.

 To make these Mickey Mouse themed cupcakes, I topped the frosting with two mini Oreos. And to complete Mickey’s outfit, I took a step further and added little yellow buttons (tiny pieces of paper) to the red cupcake liners.

For any other occasion, leave the Oreos out, and you will have the perfect Vanilla frosted cupcake!

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My Portuguese Mother // Vanilla Cupcakes MICKEY MOUSE
My Portuguese Mother // Vanilla Cupcakes MICKEY MOUSE
My Portuguese Mother // Vanilla Cupcakes MICKEY MOUSE

Ingredients

Vanilla Cupcake

  • 1/4 cup salted butter, softened

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • 2 tsps vanilla extract

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 tsps of baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Vanilla Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 4 cups powdered sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 to 4 tbsp heavy cream

  • Mini Oreos

Recipe

Vanilla Cupcake

  1. Preheat to 350 degrees F.  Prepare a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the baking powder, salt and flour. Set aside.

  3. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat in oil and vanilla. Turning the mixer on low, beat in the dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk, and beat again until the mixture is just combined.

  4. Using a small ice cream scoop, fill the liners half full.

  5. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool  in the pans on a wire rack.

Vanilla Frosting

  1. In an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat butter and powdered sugar. Add the vanilla extract and heavy cream, mix until light and fluffy.

  2. Frost the cupcakes. Using Mini Oreos, place two on the frosting, side by side, to make it look like Mickey Mouse ears.


Buttermilk Pancakes

Happy National Pancake Day! Whether it is a Sunday or a Tuesday morning, pancakes are always the star on the breakfast table.

This year, National Pancake Day happens to fall on Fat Tuesday, so what better way to celebrate than to engorge on a delicious stack of pancakes!

Thick and fluffy, these Buttermilk Pancakes are quick to make and super delicious! They are also easy to freeze and thaw for those mornings you just don't have time to cook!

Whip up a patch this morning or enjoy them for dinner!

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My Portuguese Mother // Buttermilk Waffles
My Portuguese Mother // Buttermilk Waffles
My Portuguese Mother // Buttermilk Waffles

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • ½  tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 3 tbsp. sugar

  • 2  tsp. baking powder

  • ½ tsp. baking soda

  • ¼  tsp. salt

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk

  • 3 tbsp. butter, melted, plus more for serving

  • Maple syrup for serving

Recipe

  1. In a medium bowl whisk all the dry ingredients together.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter, buttermilk, and egg until combined. Add the dry ingredients into the large bowl and whisk until just combined, do not over mix.

  3. Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium high heat. Scoop ⅓ cup of the mix onto the pan. Cook until bubbles begin to form at the surface, flip and cook until the second side in slightly browned.

  4. Serve with a knob of butter, and maple syrup.

    *If not eaten right away, preheat your oven to 200 degree F. Set a rack in the oven, and place the pancakes there to keep warm.

    *Pancakes can be frozen up to 3 months. Allow them to cool completely, then transfer them to airtight plastic bag and place them in freezer.  To thaw, preheat a toaster oven, or a traditional oven and heat them until warm.

Ginger Carrot Sweet Potato Soup

Being raised with my grandmother, one of the things I remember most is how much soup she would make and how much soup I was forced to eat!!

We ate a variety of vegetable soups from carrots and potatoes to spinach soup. Finishing the bowl before being able to go outside and play was a daily struggle.

As I’ve gotten older I’m happy to have been raised that way, I think it helped my palette, and I love a nice warm bowl of vegetable soup!

One of the top three favorite soups is this Ginger Carrot and Sweet Potato soup. Its velvety, and full of flavor. The ginger gives it an extra zing, alongside some fantastic health benefits.

This soup is a time saver! The vegetables are all dumped in a pot cooked until tender, blended and served. Topped with a drizzle of olive oil and some seeds to for added texture, this soup is perfect for all.

My Portuguese Mother // Carrot Sweet Potato Soup
My Portuguese Mother // Carrot Sweet Potato Soup
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carrot ginger soup JPEG image-2267041C856A-6.jpeg
My Portuguese Mother // Carrot Sweet Potato Soup
 

Ingredients 

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, chopped

  • 4 medium carrots, chopped

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1 tbsp ginger, peeled and grated

  • 1 tbsp thyme

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 5 cups of water

Recipe

  1. Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot. Add the chopped onions, garlic, sweet potato, carrot and ginger, season with salt, pepper and thyme.

  2. With a wooden spoon, stir to mix the ingredients.

  3. Pour the 5 cups of water into the pot. Cover and allow it to come to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the carrots and sweet potatoes are tender when pierced.

  4. Remove from heat and allow it to cool. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.

  5. Transfer back to pot, heat and serve. Dress the soup with a drizzle of olive oil and pumpkin seeds.

Raspberry Macarons

Pucker up, its Valentines day and these Raspberry Macarons are both tart and sweet!

Macarons are a classic French pastry, they are made from almond flour, confectioner sugar, and egg whites.

They are such a treat but usually difficult to make.

However, this recipe is foolproof!

I've made this recipe several times, and each one comes out perfect!

One of the things that I love most about Macarons is how versatile they are.

Because today is Valentines Day, I made a Pink macaron with a delicious cream cheese raspberry filing!

My Portuguese Mother // Raspberry Macarons
My Portuguese Mother // Raspberry Macarons
My Portuguese Mother // Raspberry Macarons



Ingredients 

 Macarons

  • 3/4 cup almond flour

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • Red food coloring

 Raspberry Filling

  • 1 stick butter, softened

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened

  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups powdered sugar

  • ½ fresh raspberries

Recipe

  Macarons

  1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 325 F.

  2. Combine almond flour and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl and whisk together. Pass mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing down on clumps.

  3. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites using a hand-mixer or stand-mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes until soft peaks form. Add the granulated sugar and beat on high for 2 more minutes until stiff, glossy peaks form.

  4. Add red food coloring and beat on high for another 30 seconds.

  5. Gently fold in dry ingredients and repeat until the batter falls into ribbons when spatula is lifted.

  6. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch round tip.

  7. Pipe batter into 3/4-inch round circles, 1 inch apart.

  8. Tap the baking sheet firmly against the counter to release any air bubbles. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes until they form a skin.

  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating halfway, until cookies have risen and just set. Let cool for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.

Raspberry Filling

  1. Puree the 1/2 cup raspberries in a food process, or blender. If you don't want seeds in your frosting, press the puree through a strainer. ( I left the seeds in)

  2. In an electric mixer, beat butter, cream cheese until all combined. Turning mixer on low, add in the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

  3. Add in the pureed raspberries and beat until all combined and smooth.

  4. Transfer the filling into a piping bag with a stared tip.

  5. Pipe a swirl on one half the macarons and sandwich them together.

 

Citrus and Avocado Salad

I live in an area where I am lucky to have four seasons. My least favorite of all of them  has to be winter, from the cold to the mountains of snowfall each year, there is nothing I like about winter, except for citrus season.

Interestingly enough, citrus is at its sweetest during the winter. As it may be obvious, these citrus fruits are grown in temperate regions, such as California, Florida and Texas. Luckily for us, we can pick them up at our grocery store and celebrate the citrus season as if they were grown in our own backyards!

The best way to use citrus fruits in your meals during this season is to make them the star of the show. So, for this recipe, I wanted to keep it simple and compliment the balance of the sweetness of the fruit by adding  salted pistachios and  making a vinaigrette with avocado oil and lime. 

 This salad is a perfect pairing with fish, such as a grilled salmon or a great side to brighten up a steak dinner.

My Portuguese Mother // Citrus and Avocado Salad
My Portuguese Mother :: Citrus and Avocado Salad.JPG
My Portuguese Mother // Citrus and Avocado Salad
 

Ingredients 

  • 2 cara- cara oranges, peeled & sliced

  • 1 grapefruit, peeled & sliced

  • 1 blood orange, peeled & sliced

  • 1 avocado, peeled & sliced

  • ¼ cup avocado oil

  • 3 tbsp. fresh lime juice

  • 1 tbsp. honey

  • 2 tbsp. crushed pistachios

Recipe

  1. Using a paring knife, remove peel and white pith from citrus, being careful not to remove too much of the flesh. Slice citrus into ½"-thick rounds. Cut the avocado into slices. Transfer to a medium serving platter.

  2. For the vinaigrette, using a small bowl, whisk avocado oil,  lime juice, and honey together. Drizzle over the salad.

  3. Scatter pistachios over the salad, finish with sea salt and ground pepper. Serve immediately.