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


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!

Attachment-1.jpeg
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!

1D3F17D1-90EA-4450-849C-942A122EE6DD.JPG
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.

Mini Cheesecake

I LOVE CHEESECAKE!

If I had to choose one dessert to only eat for the rest of my life, cheesecake would be it!

Cheesecake usually takes a long time to make, from the baking to cooling; it can sometimes be a 24-hour process before you can even take your first bite. So, with that in mind, I wanted to make a quick cheesecake that I can enjoy on the same day and in under two hours!! These mini cheesecakes are the perfect little bite for parties, last minute dessert options, or if you're like me, a quick sweet tooth fix! 

My Portuguese Mother // MINI CHEESECAKE
mini cheesecake6EA86BA7-5FA5-4029-978B-6C1A1F72975B.JPG

Ingredients

  •  1 cup of graham cracker crumbs

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 package of cream cheese, softened (8 oz.)

  • 1/3 cup of sugar

  • 1 egg, room temperature

  • 1 tsp. of almond extract

  • 3-4 large strawberries

  • Small bunch of mint leaves

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and line 12 muffin cup pan.

  2. In a food processor, mix graham crackers (about 1 sleeve) into crumbs. Or in a zip-topped bag, smash the graham crackers until fine crumbs.

  3. Transfer crumbs into a bowl, pour melted butter and stir to combine.

  4. With a spoon, scoop the graham crackers into the buttered lined cups.

  5. Use a flat rounded surface like a shot glass, gently press the graham crackers into an even layer.

  6. In another bowl, beat the softened cream cheese, sugar and almond extract. Then add the egg, and beat until the mixture is smooth.

  7. Pour mixture into muffin cup pan.

  8. Bake for 15 mins or until they are set.

  9. Allow to cool. Transfer each cup to a wire rack to allow them to come to room temperature before placing them in the fridge.

  10. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

  11. In the meantime, cut a few strawberries into small pieces and tear up a few leaves of mint.

  12. Combine both in a small bowl and allow them to set , so the strawberries macerate with the mint.

  13. Top the cheesecakes with this sauce and enjoy!

Heart Surprise Cupcakes

Valentine’s Day is only 5 days away and what a better way to show your sweetheart how much you love them than by making these cute cut out heart cupcakes.

I was inspired by the blog A Cozy Kitchen, which is one of my favorite blogs! Adrianna, not only makes the most delicious meals but also, photographs and presents them beautifully!

When I saw this cut-out heart cupcake, I knew I had to give it a try. I used her method and red velvet cupcake recipe for the cupcake.

I adapted it with my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe that is the ultimate go-to cupcake recipe! This vanilla batter creates a fluffy cupcake, that is an excellent pairing with the red velvet heart and of course, my favorite frosting of all time, cream cheese frosting.

The surprise heart will leave your loved ones speechless!

heart-cutout-cupcakes
heart-cutout-cupcakes
heart-cutout-cupcakes3
heart-cutout-cupcakes4
heart-cutout-cupcakes6
heart-cutout-cupcakes7

Ingredients

Inside Heart

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk shaken

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 8 drops food coloring, less if using gel

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Vanilla Cupcake

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 1/2 cups flour

  • 1 1/4 cups milk

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

  • 3 cups powdered sugar

  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Recipe

Inside Heart

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line the bottom of a sheet baking tray with parchment paper.

  2. In a medium bow, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

  3. In an electric stand-up mixer, with the paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar, beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Pour in the buttermilk, red food coloring and vanilla.

  4. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until just combined.

  5. Pour the batter into the baking tray and spread the cake batter into an even layer. Transfer to the oven to bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.

  6. Allow to cool completely. Stamp out hearts using a 1 1/2-inch heart cookie cutter.

Vanilla Cupcake

  1. Preheat to 375 degrees F.

  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 vanilla. Turing the mixer on low, beat in the dry ingredients. Add the milk, and beat again until the mixer is just combined.

  4. Fill each cupcake tin with two tablespoons of batter, about halfway. Carefully, snuggle cut out hearts in the center of each cupcake batter, make sure to face them all the same way.

  5. Transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the white cake comes out clean. Cool in the pans on the wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until combined. Carefully, add the powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and heavy cream. Beat again until all combined.

  2. Before frosting, it's important to give yourself an indicator to know which way to cut the cupcake. I lined them all in the same direction before frosting and then used a my sprinkle on top of the frosting to remind me which way to cut.

  3. Enjoy the surprise !


Adapted from A Cozy Kitchen


Pulled Pork

 Happy Friday!

I have your weekend plans covered with a delicious and juicy roasted pulled pork shoulder!

Dry rubbed with paprika, mustard and brown sugar; these spices create a crispy crust.

After cooling, and pulling apart, the pork is submerged in its juices, rehydrating the meat.

This recipe allows you to create a variety of dishes, like pulled pork sandwiches topped with pickled red onions and your slaw of choice, tacos or just as a topping on a nice bowl of rice!

JPEG image-AEE0F81F4340-2.jpeg
JPEG image-AEE0F81F4340-1.jpeg
JPEG image-AEE0F81F4340-3.jpeg
JPEG image-AEE0F81F4340-4.jpeg
JPEG image-AEE0F81F4340-6.jpeg
JPEG image-AEE0F81F4340-7.jpeg
 

Ingredients 

  • 1 (5-7 lb.)  pork shoulder

  • 3 tbsp. paprika

  • 3 tbsp. Sea salt

  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder

  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar

  • 1 tbsp. dry mustard

Recipe

  1. Mix the paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, dry mustard, and salt together in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork. Cover and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.

  2. Preheat the oven to 300° F. Place the pork in a roasting pan and roast it for about 6 hours, or until the pork is falling apart.

  3. Once the pork is done, transfer the meat to a larger platter and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes.

  4. While the pork is resting, deglaze the pan with ¾ cup of water over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, scrape all the browned bits, and allow the juices to reduce by half. Once reduced, pour the remaining juices into a saucepan, and cook for 5-7 minutes.

  5. Grab two forks, and pull shreds of the meat off the pork shoulder. Put the shredded meat in a large bowl, and pour half the sauce over it. Stir well until all the pork is coated with the sauce.

  6. At this point you may add any barbecue sauce, serve as is in tacos, or burgers.

 

Raspberry Chia Seed Jam

Store bought jams are usually filled with  preservatives, and unwanted sugars, but making your own jam at home allows you to control what you are putting into it.

This superfood jam is made with 4 ingredients, and perfect for spooning over toast, crackers, oatmeal and yogurt.

The addition of the Chia Seeds not only adds more texture but adds an additional list of health benefits, such as omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber and antioxidants.

Make this jam and store it for the week for a quick topping for your breakfasts and snacks.

Tip: If raspberries aren’t your favorite berry, swap it for blueberries, blackberries or strawberries, or a combination of all.

 

 
chiaseed3.JPG
chiaseed2.JPG
IMG_9388.JPG
 

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups frozen raspberries

  • Zest & juice of ½ lemon

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

  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

Recipe

  1. In  a small saucepan over medium heat, add the raspberries, honey, lemon juice, and zest and allow it to cook 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 jar for about 1 week. Serve over your yogurt, oatmeal, toast or waffles/pancakes.

 

Buckwheat Waffles

Eating a healthy breakfast doesn't mean you need to limit the good stuff!

Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, these Buckwheat waffles are rich in flavor, filled with fiber and protein and are gluten free!

Easily frozen, making these waffles ahead for the week can ease your mornings!

Top them off with this deliciously tangy Raspberry Chia Seed Jam, or with yogurt or maple syrup.

 

waffles4.JPG
waffles3.JPG
waffles2.JPG
waffles1.JPG
 

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour

  • 2 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk, shaken

  • 4 tbsp. melted butter

Recipe

  1. Preheat your waffle iron.

  2. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together.

  3. In small bowl, or measuring cup, whisk the egg, buttermilk and melted butter together. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined.

  4. Oil your waffle iron, pour the mixture into the heated waffle iron, cook the waffles until light and crispy.

  5. Serve with maple syrup, or with a dollop of raspberry chia seed jam.

*Waffles 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 crispy.

 

Coconut Granola

Happy New Year!

Getting back into a routine after the holidays, or in my case after a trip is always difficult. This year, I spent NYE in Portugal, so my new year resolutions got slightly pushed back!

Now that I am officially back and in cooking mode, I am dedicating this month to healthy recipes and whole foods. Being Portuguese, I was raised eating a Mediterranean diet which if you haven’t heard is 2019 diet of the year!

So kicking off, I whipped up this quick granola recipe that can be enjoyed for breakfast or as a snack! This 8 ingredient granola could not be easier to make! Packed with nuts, chia seeds and big chunks of coconut, this recipe is also easily adaptable for your preferred flavors.

Once you try out this recipe and see how easy it is to make, you will never go back to store bought granola again!

 
3D5A8A0A-ECE8-4960-8A1F-CD99DC3CCD5B.jpg
9968EDB8-7687-445B-900F-614FC3877DE4.JPG
granola 3
 

Ingredients 

  • 4 cups of rolled oats

  • ½ tsp cinnamon

  • ½ cup unsweetened large coconut flakes

  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds

  • 1 ½ cup sliced or slivered almonds

  • ¼ cup pistachios

  • ½  cup coconut oil, melted

  • ½  cup maple syrup, or honey

Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone matt or parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, cinnamon, coconut flakes, chia seeds, almonds, pistachios and mix to combine.

  3. In a small saucepan, heat the coconut oil and maple syrup until the coconut oil is completely melted and mixture is slightly warm. Whisking frequently, whisk  until the two mixtures are totally combined. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients, gently stir until the entire oat mixture is coated.

  4. Pour the granola onto prepared pan in an even layer. Bake until lightly golden, about 20-25 minutes.

  5. Let the granola cool completely. Break into clumps.

  6. Store the granola in an airtight container or sealed bag, at room temperature for 1-2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months.

 

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Merry Christmas Eve! Today we are making Chocolate Crinkle Cookies!

These chewy and crispy cookies are irresistible and should definitely be a part of your Christmas dessert table this year!

I have made different versions of these cookies, from only using cocoa powder or to just using melted chocolate, but I found that both of those methods make the cookies cakey.

I found this recipe from America's Test Kitchens which uses both melted chocolate and cocoa powder.

In addition to those ingredients, unlike most crinkle cookies, these use both baking powder and baking soda which gave the cookies a lift and a good spread, creating a thinner and crispier cookie.

One of my favorite things that I learned from making this cookie was how they use both powdered sugar and granulated sugar for the coating of the cookie. Most crinkle cookies use only powdered sugar, but from my own experience, and from this recipe, I learned that just using powdered sugar does not allow the sugar to adhere to the cookie. When both sugars are used, the granulated sugar creates a crystallized crust allowing the powdered sugar to adhere better and creates a crispier, more attractive crack.

This is my absolute new favorite cookie recipe, and I hope after trying it, it becomes yours too!

 
CHOCcrinkleCOOKIE
JPEG image-B1B7FBEAFA36-1.jpeg
 

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • ½  cup Dutch-process cocoa powder

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • ½ tsp. baking soda

  • ½  tsp. kosher salt

  • 1 ½  cup brown sugar

  • 3 large egg

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped

  • 4 tbsp, unsalted butter

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • ½ cup confectioner’ sugar

Recipe

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

  2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

  3. Combine the unsweetened chocolate and butter in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, stir pieces and return to microwave for another 30-second interval until chocolate is melted, allow to cool.

  4. In an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add the cooled chocolate to the beaten eggs and sugar mixture, beat until combined.

  5. Add the dry ingredients, beat until just combined. Let the dough sit for 10 minutes at room temperature.

  6. Place the granulated sugar and powdered sugar in separate shallow bowls. Working with a cookie scoop, roll the dough into balls. Drop dough balls directly into granulated sugar and roll to coat. Transfer dough balls to powdered sugar and roll to coat evenly. Evenly space the dough balls on the prepared baking sheets.

  7. Bake the cookies until puffed and cracked have just begun to set but center is still soft, about 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool completely.

    Recipe by America’s Test Kitchens

 

Sugar Christmas Funfetti Cookies

Day 3 of Christmas Cookie Countdown and today I'm featuring a simple Sugar Christmas Funfetti Cookies!

This recipe is an easy and very delicious simple sugar cookie recipe that is packed with Christmas sprinkles and white chocolate.

From the chewy center to the crinkled top; they are by far one of my favorite cookie recipes! I usually bake them a little underdone, just until they begin to brown to ensure a chewy center!

What I really love about this recipe is how delicious they are when baked with and or, without sprinkles!

Whatever you prefer, this cookie recipe is a great one to have under your belt!

 
F95C52E2-AA8B-4E14-B9A9-791F3459F809.JPG
 

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ¾ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1 cup sugar

  • ½ cup brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoons vanilla

  • 1 large egg

  • ½ cup christmas sprinkles

  • ½ white chocolate, chopped

Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F  degrees. Line sheet pans with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

  2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla and egg, beating until incorporated.

  3. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar, and beat on low speed just until the ingredients are combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the sprinkles and white chocolate. Beat just until combined.

  4. Using a cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets.

  5. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies have just begun to crack and the edges are set.

  6. Allow to cool before serving.

 

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Happy day 2 of my Christmas Cookie Countdown! Today I'm featuring my ultimate favorite cookies, Ginger Molasses Cookies!

These cookies are irresistibly delicious, and every time I make them, they are gone in a snap!

Even my mother, who is not a fan of cookies, is obsessed with these!

They are packed with warm flavors and spices. The dough is chilled, rolled in coarse sugar which creates a beautiful crystalized crust and crunch on the outside while still being soft and chewy in the center.

I bang the pan in the middle of the baking process which helps create a crinkle effect to these cookies.

This cookie dough freezes well, so they are great to make ahead for Christmas or any other time of the year!

 
GingerMolassesCookies.MPM1
GingerMolassesCookies.MPM2
JPEG image-E036A5BD3CEE-3.jpeg
 

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups all purpose flour

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 2 tsp. cinnamon

  • 1 tsp. ground cloves

  • 1 tsp. ground ginger

  • 1 tsp. baking soda

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 1/4 cup molasses

  • Coarse sugar, such as Turbinado, or Muscovado

Recipe

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the egg and molasses and continue beating until well combined.

  2. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and baking soda. Add the flour mixture into the  butter mixture and beat until just combined.

  3. Let the dough chill in the refrigerator until firm, at least 2 hours.

  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  5. Line two sheet trays with parchment paper. Using a cookie scoop, scoop the dough and form into a ball.  Roll in coarse sugar. Place on prepared sheet trays leaving at least 2" in between cookies.

  6. Bake for 10 to 12  minutes. Bang the pan half-way through the baking time, or when the cookies have puffed up. ( creates a crinkle effect).

  7. Let cool before serving.

 

Chocolate Tahini Linzer Cookies

My first cookie on my Cookie Countdown to Christmas, are Linzer cookies!

Usually, Linzer cookies are made from a shortbread-like dough and finished with a jam in the center. But instead, this year I saw a recipe on Bon Appetit for Chocolate- Tahini Linzer cookies that I knew immediately I had to try! As mentioned, Linzer cookies usually have a jam filled center but what intrigued me about these Linzer cookies was the tahini chocolate filling!

For those who are unfamiliar with Tahini, it is toasted grounded sesame seeds. Tahini resembles a loose nut butter, it’s rich, nutty and also savory.

Tahini is mostly known for being used with hummus and many other savory middle eastern dishes. But when used in sweet dishes, tahini helps create a nice balance with the sweetness of the dish, and in this case, it helps balance the sugariness of the cookie and the white chocolate filling.

These cookies may seem a little far from the typical Christmas cookies we are used to, but I promise it is worth trying!

 
JPEG image-FD55729BDD02-2.jpeg
 
BB cookies2
 

Ingredients 

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour

  • ¾ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder

  • ¾ tsp. baking powder

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • White sanding sugar (for sprinkling)

  • ½ cup good quality white chocolate

  • 2 Tbsp. tahini

Recipe

  1. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and 1 tsp. salt in a medium bowl to combine. Beat granulated sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat to incorporate, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients. Beat just until dough comes together. Divide in half and pat each into a disk; wrap tightly in plastic. Chill just long enough that dough is rollable and no longer sticky, about 30 minutes.

  2. Working one at a time, roll out dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper until ⅛" thick. Slide onto baking sheets, still sandwiched between parchment, and chill until very firm, about 1 hour.

  3. Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 350°. Carefully peel away top sheets of parchment from dough and punch out cookies with larger cutters. Punch out centers of half of cookies with smaller cutters. Carefully transfer whole cookies with a spatula to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing 1" apart. Sprinkle remaining cut-out cookies with sanding sugar, then transfer to another parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake cookies until edges are set, 7–10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets. Repeat process with scraps (chill dough again before punching out shapes).

  4. Melt chocolate and tahini in a bowl in a microwave in 20-second bursts, stirring after each, until chocolate is melted (or melt in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water; do not let bowl touch water). Stir to combine and season with salt. Spread filling over whole cookies; top with cut-out cookies.

    Recipe by Bon Appétit

 

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whether you like crispy, chewy, or cakey cookies, one should always have their go-to recipe!

Finding the RIGHT chocolate chip cookie recipe can take many tries, for me, from the time I began to bake about four years ago, I only now have found my perfect cookie recipe!

I used to follow the recipes on the back of the morsels chocolate chip bags, and while they are not bad, they certainly aren’t the best. But again, it all depends upon your taste in cookies!

My favorite type of cookie is crispy around the edges and chewy in the middle. After countless attempts, and many packages of butter later, I think I found the perfect cookie recipe.

It’s a salted browned butter chocolate chip cookie!

The browned butter gives these cookies a nutty and caramel flavor. For the chocolate, I only use 60% cacao. I find the semi-sweet too sweet.

Also, I ALWAYS chop my chocolate, even if they are chips. For this recipe, for example, I used Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet morsels and chopped them. Chopping the chocolate allows them to melt into the cookie evenly, giving you more chocolate per cookie and you won’t have whole unmelted chips in the cookies (the worst).

After you give these a try, Im sure they will become a go to!

 
My Portuguese Mother // Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
 
My Portuguese Mother // Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
 
My Portuguese Mother // Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
 

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup unsalted butter

  • 1 cup dark brown sugar

  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1½ cups bittersweet  chocolate, chopped

  • Flaky sea salt

Recipe

  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter stirring the pan occasionally, allow the butter to foam, until it browns, about 5 -7 minutes. Pour into a bowl, and allow it to cool.

  2. In an electric mixer, pour the browned butter into the mixer bowl with the two sugars. Beat them together until all combined.

  3. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

  4. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Reduce speed, beat in the flour mixture until all combined.

  5. Fold in the chopped chocolate.

  6. Chill for at least a half hour, overnight preferably.

  7. Preheat to 375 degrees.

  8. Using a cookie scoop, scoop them onto a lined baking tray. Bake until edges are golden brown, around 10-12 minutes. 6 minutes in, or until they begin to puff up, bang the cookie tray and again when the cookies are done to create a crinkle effect.

  9. Finish them with flaky sea salt.

 

Braised Lamb Shanks & Creamy Polenta

First snowfall of the season and boy did it take us by surprise in New Jersey! 

There is probably nothing that I enjoy about the winter other than the excuse to stay in and cook! 

One of my ultimate favorite comfort foods are these beautiful Lamb Shanks. I think visually they seem a little daunting to people; however, this recipe is easy, foolproof and can make any beginner cook look like a master chef! 

The lamb shanks are rubbed with spices, and cooked in wine (oh yes), and served alongside creamy polenta.

The polenta is simmered to ensure a beautiful creamy and thick consistency that will absorb the sauce from the lamb.

If polenta is not your thing, egg noodles go exceptionally well with this dish!

Happy Weekend and Happy Cooking!

LAMBSHANKS9.jpeg
LAMBSHANKS8.jpeg
LAMBSHANKS6.jpeg
lamb shankJPEG image-017779432289-1.jpeg
lamb shankJPEG image-017779432289-5.jpeg
lamb shankJPEG image-017779432289-3.jpeg
lamb shankJPEG image-017779432289-2.jpeg
lamb shankJPEG image-017779432289-4.jpeg

Ingredients

Lamb Shanks

  • 3 medium lamb shanks

  • 4 medium onions, sliced

  • 6 garlic cloves

  • 4 tbsp of tomato paste

  • 3 tbsp of paprika

  • 1 bunch of parsley, coarsely chopped

  • 8 tbsp of butter, cut in small pieces

  • 1/4 cup of olive oil

  • 2 cups  white wine

  • ½ cup water + 2 tbsp

  • 3 tbsp of coarse salt & pepper

  • 3 bay leaves

Polenta

  • Kosher salt

  • 6 cups water

  • 1½ cups coarse polenta ( I used Bob’s Red Mills)

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter

  • ½ cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley

Recipe

Lamb Shanks

  1. Set the oven to 425 F

  2. In a mortar, grind garlic, parsley and salt into a paste. Mix in the paprika, pepper, tomato paste,  2 tbsp of water and olive oil.

  3. Rub the shanks with the mixture.

  4. Place the seasoned meat in a large roasting pan, top with sliced onions, bay leaves and butter.

  5. Pour in the wine and the rest of the water (½ cup) around the meat.

  6. Roast for 1 ½ hour , basting every half hour .

  7. Serve with Polenta.

Polenta

  1. In a large saucepan, bring 6 cups of salted water to a boil.

  2. Reduce heat to medium-low, whisking constantly, add in the polenta.

  3. Cook, and whisk often  until polenta is thick and smooth, 20–25 minutes.

  4. Season with salt and pepper. Add butter and ½ cup Parmesan to polenta and whisk until melted and incorporated.

  5. Serve warm, top with extra Parmesan.

Spiced Pumpkin Waffles

Fall is officially here! The crisp air, fallen leaves and the smell of warm spices are my favorite things about this season! Like a lot of people, my other favorite thing is pumpkin spiced everything!!

These waffles are packed with flavor, and are cooked into crispy golden brown squares that are fluffy and soft inside.

They will spice up any breakfast and are a great choice for a fall brunch!

They are also easy to make, and perfect for when you don't know what to do with that leftover canned pumpkin. They can easily be frozen which means you can have these pumpkin waffles for breakfast, or dinner and is perfect for those who are rushing to cook breakfast in the morning!

 
Spiced pumpkin waffles3.JPG
Spiced pumpkin waffles .JPG
 
 
Spiced pumpkin waffles5.JPG
Spiced pumpkin waffles6.JPG
 

Oliver is very photogenic, and is always up for a photoshoot.. only if it involves food!


Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • ¼ cup brown sugar

  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 1 tsp. ground ginginger

  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves

  • 1 tsp. Baking powder

  • ½ tsp. Baking soda

  • 1 tsp. Salt

  • 3 eggs

  • ½ cup canned pumpkin

  • 1 ¾ cups milk

  • ½ stick melted butter, plus more for serving

  • Maple syrup

Recipe

  1. Preheat waffle iron.

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

  3. In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter, canned pumpkin, eggs and milk until combined. Add the the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

  4. Lightly oil the waffle iron. Pour ⅓ - 1 cup of batter, depending on your waffle iron. Cook until waffles are golden brown.

  5. Top the waffles with the remaining 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 waffles there to keep warm.

    *Waffles 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 crispy.

Arroz de Grelos (Broccoli Rabe Rice)

There will always be those dishes that the slightest smell or taste brings you right back to childhood. While some might be as simple as a soup or sandwich, mine is Arroz de Grelos, (Broccoli rabe rice).

I know, not your first guess ,but this particular dish is one that from as far as i can remember my mom always made.

I think mostly the memories are so strong because as a kid I was not that big of a fan of this dish. I knew the moment my mom began to boil that broccoli rabe that I would not be happy with the dinner choice.

But of course, as you get older, your taste for certain foods change, and i'm happy to report that i am now a BIG broccoli rabe fan!

A little bit of background on broccoli rabe.. it is a member of the brassica family which is known for being a vegetable family that is packed with all sorts of nutrients, like zinc, potassium, calcium, folate and vitamins A, C and K. ( no wonder my mom made it so much)

The combination of the fluffy rice with the bitterness of the broccoli rabe pairs well with any meat or even a pan fried fish, which is what i grew up eating it with!

Arroz de Grelos (Broccoli Rabe Rice)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of white rice

  • 1 bunch of broccoli rabe

  • 1 large onion

  • ¼ cup of olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 3 cups of boiling water

  • Salt & Pepper

Recipe

  1. Wash the greens and roughly chop them. Peel the onion and garlic and chop finely.

  2. Heat a medium saucepan, saute the onion in the olive oil until translucent. Stir in the garlic and greens and cook until tender.

  3. Add the rice and mix well.

  4. Add the boiling water, season with salt and pepper and allow to boil again.

  5. Cover the pan, reduce the heat and simmer until the rice is cooked around 20 minutes.

Pasteis de Bacalhau (Cod fish fritters)

Pasteis de Bacalhau are one of the most popular foods in traditional portuguese cuisine. Pasteis de Bacalhau ( Cod Fritters), are usually eaten as a snack or an appetizer. they are made with salted cod, potato, onion and lots of parsley, and if that didn't convince you yet… its fried!

These very popular fritters are seen and sold in every cafe around portugal, and even the portuguese cafes in the united states!

While it might be easier to buy some, nothing beats homemade Pasteis de Bacalhau! They are very simple to make and i promise it's worth dealing with the smell of cod fish for a few days..

Pasteis de Bacalhau can be eaten as an accompaniment to a delicious plate of rice, like this one.

Pasteis de Bacalhau 1
Pasteis de Bacalhau 2
Pasteis de Bacalhau 3
Pasteis de Bacalhau 4
Pasteis de Bacalhau

Ingredients

  • 20 oz. (600 g) salted cod fish

  • 30 oz. (800 g) potatoes

  • 4 medium eggs, seperated

  • ¼ cup (100ml) olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 pinch nutmeg

  • ½ cup chopped parsley

  • salt & pepper

  • Vegetable Oil for frying

Recipe

  1. In a bowl, cover the salted cod with cold water, and let it soak for 2 days, changing the water every 8 hours (about 4/5 times)

  2. Boil the potatoes in water with salt for about 20/ 25 minutes, drain and mash them well.

  3. In another pot, boil the cod until tender. Drain, let it cool and flake as small as you can with your hands, making sure all skin and bones are removed.

  4. On a large saucepan, sauté the onions and garlic in a little olive oil, just to sweat the onions, add the flaked cod and let it simmer for about 5 minutes, mixing it occasionally.

  5. Then add the mashed potatoes, nutmeg, parsley and mix it well. Check seasoning, add pepper & salt if needed. Add the yolks one by one.

  6. Beat the egg whites and add them to the potatoes / cod mixture and mix it well.

  7. Pour the oil in a deep heavy skillet or pot and place it on high heat.

  8. Dip 2 tablespoons into oil and shape the pasteis using 2 spoons as if you were making quenelles (egg shape). The mixture will be quite soft. (At this point you can freeze them up to a month.)

  9. Add the pasteis one by one, turning them over until golden brown about 2/3 minutes

  10. When done, remove and place them on a plate with a paper towel to drain any excess of oil.

  11. Makes about 25/30 pasteis

Apple Galette

 

Happy Fall!

Nothing screams Fall more than the smell of a nice apple dessert coming out of the oven! This apple galette is one of my go to recipe because of how delicious and effortless it is to make.

It's one of the simplest desserts to make, thanks to store bought puff pastry! During the holidays, we are all scrambling to make so many dishes that this recipe is a great substitute for when an apple pie is just too much to make!

From the golden pastry crust, to the warm spiced apples in the center, you won’t even think twice about the missing apple pie!

This galette is perfect to make when apples are in season ,but is also great when made with pears, and even stone fruit!

Apple Galette
Apple Galette 2

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

  • 2 - 3 large apples, peeled and sliced

  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 2 tbsp. muscovado sugar

Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a parchment paper lined sheet pan.

  3. In a medium sized bowl, toss the peeled, cored and sliced apples with lemon juice, flour, sugar, and spices. Toss until all the apples are coated.

  4. To assemble, arrange the apple slices evenly in the middle of the dough, leaving a border.

  5. Fold edges of dough over filling, tucking and overlapping as needed.

  6. Beat the egg, and brush the crust with the egg wash, and sprinkle the muscovado sugar over the egg wash.

  7. Bake for 25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

  8. Serve with ice cream