Brazilian Looking Salad, Thai Tasting Delight

Delicious, healthy, easy and beautiful...

Inspired by the transition from my trip to Brazil to Thailand, 
here goes a fusion salad.

You will need:

1 handful rocket leaves
1 courgette {I used yellow but you do not have to}
Brazil nuts
2 slices of steamed or boiled japanese pumpkin {kabocha}

Drizzle with fish or soy sauce, rice vinegar and toasted sesame oil. {I drunk the dressing that was left over on the bottom of the bowl...sorry for the oversharing!!!}.

No frills, but flavours and colours that will guarantee you Zen Happiness and Content!!!!!


Brazilian Cornmeal and Fennel Seed Cake

I have just gone back to Brazil for a few weeks 
and I used this opportunity to look at Mum's recipe book. 
I missed baking cakes and I asked her what was her best recipe for cornmeal cake, 
which is my favourite. 
This recipe was given to us by a lovely lady who once worked for us called Sônia and it was transcribed by my Mum to her book with her beautiful writing.
The most beautiful writing I have ever seen.

I missed this cake's deep sweet flavours with the entrancing aroma of the fennel seeds.

 I missed reading my Mum's recipes and looking at her calligraphy.

As it happened, she had all the ingredients necessary to bake 
this moist treat in the pantry, so I went to work.

In 20 minutes we could smell comfort and joy throughout the house and in 45 minutes we were smiling, drinking freshly made coffee and eating this delicious traditional brazilian recipe.

There is one thing I need to say here:
 Thanks, Sônia

You will need:

3 large eggs
1 cup of vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of oil
1 cup of white flour
2 cups of finely ground cornmeal
1 heap tablespoon of baking powder
2 heap{ish} tablespoons of fennel seeds {I love it, so I do not economize here}

Blitz everything in the liquidizer, except the fennel seeds, for about 30 seconds or until all is blended.
Add the fennel seeds, mix with a spoon and pour into a greased and floured baking tin, preferably similar to the one you see in the first picture as it makes the cake very tall and cooks evenly. Also it gives a brazilian traditional look to it.
You can, if you want, add 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese or grated coconut or even 1/2 a cup of tinily diced guava marmalade {goiabada, which you can find in any south american or portuguese shop, just ask for the name and they will know what you are talking about}.

Bake in 200 degrees Celsius for about 40 minutes or until you insert a long toothpick and it comes out clean.

You can also sprinkle with some ground cinnamon after it has been baked and still hot. This is is completely optional and i would suggest you do it only after you have tried the original recipe, so you can see which one you like best...

Enjoy it in the company of people you love and a cup of fresh coffee.
When you cannot be with them sit down, take a deep breath in, cut a thick slice and let the memories come to find you, like I often do...


Chocolate for Vagabonds

I love CHOCOLATE... 
This is a raw chocolate recipe and it is healthy, creamy, chocolatey, easy and delicious.
So quick and a great way to have your coconut oil daily!

There has been a lot of research on cold pressed coconut oil and its health benefits.
You can find out about it online. I encourage you to have a tablespoon
of it every day for good general health .
 I saw a video of a man who took it for h is advanced Alzheimer's and after a couple of months he was considerably healthier and almost symptom free.
I also read that it helps you to slim, so, based on that and the sweet aroma, 
I do have it daily but it can get boring, so when Anita offered me this raw chocolate recipe and I jumped for joy and made a video showing how to make it step by step! 
Watch the video and see how incredibly simple it is to make it!!!

You will need:
the same quantities of good quality, extra virgin coconut oil and cocoa powder
Honey{or any sweetener you choose} to your taste

coarse sea salt, nuts, marmalade, dried fruits, crystalized ginger, goji berries, granulated coffee, spices like cardamom, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, chillies, a drop or two of organic essential oils of your taste like: peppermint, bergamot, orange, basil, black pepper, lavender, jasmine, rose
Please, click here to see how easy it is to make this.

Be creative, have fun and get healthy.
Seriously, it cannot get any better than this!!!

Mix the oil, cocoa powder and honey 
and add any spices or oils to the mix until all is mixed well

This is what it looks like, it very is easy to mix

 Add a pinch of course sea salt, nuts, berries, dried fruits 
or whatever you fancy to the flexy ice tray

 and fill it with the chocolate mixture

Leave it in the freezer for about 10/15 minutes and then it is ready to eat
 {also you can leave them there until you fancy your fix for the day
and try not steal a bombom every time you walk past your kitchen}
ps- delicious with your coffee

See how easily it comes off the tray?

 Anita checking the sweetness of the first batch

 Christopher having a little sample for 'quality control'

 You can dip fruits on it, it is a very healthy and yummy 
way of getting your kids to eat fruit !!!


Moo Krob หมูกรอบ {Crispy Belly of Pork}

My friend Gai took me to this place in Kad Luang {Warorot Market} in Chiang Mai, Thailand, to have a special dinner. It was a great evening and I feel in love with this dish, even more than I already loved it on the numerous times I had before.
The family is Chinese and the recipe has been handed down for generations.

I went back the week after to have some more. And then I did it again...
Until I went over there to film it and show you what the place looks like and also to get a chance to watch her cut the slices with such maestri.
{click here to watch the short video}

As I stood there waiting for her to cut my portion, these 2 slabs came out of the kitchen. 
I was as happy as I can be... I was there for about 10 minutes watching people come and go 
and I sampled it hot from the oven...

She was too busy to talk to me, as you can see on the video
I wanted to ask about what seasoning she uses and how many of these 
they sell every night, amongst other things. 
In the 10 minutes I stood near the chopping board, she sold the 2 bellies 
from the picture you see above. 
The restaurant is open {and incredibly busy} from 6pm to 4am everyday...
Can you calculate how many????


Food for the Soul...

As I sit at the back of the temple, 
I hear the chanting on a hot early evening
and I close my eyes for a while.
Concentrating on my breath, my thoughts come and go 
and I realize how blessed I am to be able to hear the chants of the novices and monks dressed in saffron robes in such peaceful and beautiful surroundings.
Smiling inside, I allow the sounds of their voices to penetrate my Being and feed my Soul...

{please click here to listen to a minute of chanting in a temple in Laos under the gaze of Buddha}


Shameless and Decadent Chocolate Heaven

Open your secret treats cupboard and chop in tiny {about 1 cm square} all the chocolate, chocolate biscuits, seeds and toasted salted nuts you love roughly and then add everything that is yummy and fold it carefully into the slightly softened ice cream... {please click here  to watch the video on how to make it}.

I have actually thought of adding a little shot of vanilla vodka on top of the dessert just before serving and it was just delicious but it is TOTALLY optional.

You can use any flavour of ice cream and add any liquor {if using} you may wish...
You can also add a scoop of this divine and decadent dessert on top of a very hot and strong coffee or pour the coffee on the ice cream...
So yummy... 

Enjoy and let me know what you think!!!!


A Magia do Suco Verde

A Magia do Suco Verde 

1 xícara de uvas verdes lavadas
1/2 xícara de inhame cru e descascado 
1 xícara de grama de trigo ou 1 folha de couve manteiga lavada
1 colher de sopa de suco de limão
3 xícaras de água mineral
Adoce a gosto com açúcar demeraram mel ou stévia

Higienizar todos os ingredientes, bater todos em liquidificador por dois minutos em alta velocidade.
Servir em um copo bem bonito pois com beleza tudo faz bem e beber imediatamente.
Beber coisas geladas não são ideais para a digestão, mas, se você for um ávido 'abridor de geladeira' pode colocar algumas pedras de gelo e bater tudo junto. Gostoso fica, e muito...

A Saúde Agradece:
O inhame é depurador do sangue e desintoxicante. Ele empresta uma qualidade 'leitosa' aos alimentos quando batido cru ou cozido. Eu o uso para fazer vitaminas sem ter que adicionar o leite. Tem gosto de nada e então absorve o sabor dos mais variados alimentos. Rico em amido, fonte de betacaroteno, vitaminas C e complexo B, cálcio, fósforo e ferro.
É reconhecido como um agente eficaz na prevenção da malária, dengue e febre amarela.

A uva verde é rica em carboidratos, mas também apresenta pequenas quantidades de vitaminas do complexo B e vitamina C. Fornece boas doses de minerais como iodo, potássio, cálcio, fósforo, cobre e magnésio. Ajuda a ativar os rins, é um suave laxante e atua contra várias enfermidades do intestino, fígado e abdômen. A uva também é um rico depósito de compostos antioxidantes e anticancerígenos.  O óleo da semente da uva também aumenta o colesterol HDL, considerado o bom colesterol.

grama de trigo (Wheatgrass)
Clorofila NA VEIA!!!! Excelente tratamento para o couro cabeludo para cabelos sem brilho, um produto de limpeza e adstringente para todos os tipos de pele (beleza de dentro para fora), tratamento para cavidades nasais entupidas (pingue algumas gotas em cada narina); um ótimo estimulante para a circulação (adicione algumas gramas à água da banheira e esfregue na pele); tratamento para acelerar a cicatrização de cortes e machucados. Essa maravilha retém 92 dos 102 minerais encontrados no solo. Entre estes minerais estão o fósforo, cálcio, o magnésio de ferro e o potássio. Rica em vitaminas A e C. O wheatgrass possui mais vitamina C do que a laranja e duas vezes mais vitamina A do que a cenoura. É incrivelmente rico em vitaminas do complexo B, E e K.

Combinando tudo isso, sua saúde melhora. Com a saúde melhorada, sua mente se acalma e com a mente calma o corpo agradece.
Um círculo constante de harmonia... Do que mais precisamos????


Thai Hot and Sour Sauce

This sauce is in every table at any of the noodle soup stands in the whole of Thailand.
When you order a noodle soup here they give you a set of four little pots so you can adjust your own soup's seasoning to your taste. In general, you get sugar {in this picture is demerara for a deeper flavour}, dried chillies, vinegar with chopped green chillies and the hot and sour sauce {to watch a short video on how to make it, please click here}.
This one is the easiest and delicious recipe for spicy sauce.

You will need:

Red and green chillies {washed and you can keep the stalk on if they are thin, please look at this video}
Rice vinegar 

Use a handful of chillies and twice the volume of chillies of vinegar. Put everything in a liquidizer and blitz it for 30 seconds and it is then ready to be served.
It will keep for about a week in the fridge and it is best served at room temperature.
I also like to sprinkle it on my BBQ or roast chicken, though some of my Thai friends look at me like I am an alien when I do that.
I don't care what anybody says. In fact, I have to pace myself so I do not drink it...
It is delicious....
Have fun making it!!!!
Let me know what you think!

If you have any ideas or suggestions for further posts you would like to see here, please write to me and let me know!!!


Art and Beauty...

The day before I left Waiheke in New Zealand, I was taken to visit an artist's studio.
It was near the beach and it looked gorgeous from the outside. 
As I stepped into the cozy, beautiful room, I noticed all the gorgeous paintings, all for sale and I, for the first time in a while wished I was settled somewhere so I could hang one of them in my wall.
As I walked around, I spotted my favourite book by a vibrant colour palette and that made me smile. I love those little details that cross my path ever so often.
Our meeting has inspired me to get all my colours out and get drawing again.
No wonder her work has been sold to people from all over the world.

Ingrid, the talented, lovely and inspired artist was kind enough to let me show you what 
Food for the Eyes, Heart and Soul looks like.

Below are some of her acrylic paintings and her contacts, 
should you want any of them shipped to your home!!! 

You can contact Ingrid Berzins
on 0274 935 407

Her studio/gallery is at 39 Palm Road
Palm Beach, Waiheke Island
Auckland, NZ


Herbal Spread...Waiheke's Best....

Sometimes you find some tastes that take you to Heaven.
I am lucky to have found Waiheke Herbs spread on the day I arrived in Waiheke, New Zealand.
It is as green, gorgeous and fresh as the Island itself.
It has left a beautiful taste in my mouth as Waiheke has left in my heart...

Wendy, the alchemist who created the Divine recipe, has studied herbs for many years, has allowed me into her kitchen and if you want to have a look at how she makes her very popular and delicious spread please click here.

Here are some pictures and the link to their site which will give you a deeper understanding 
of their work is on the captions of my video {link above}.

Have fun, I sure did!!!!

Look at this colour!!! it is amazingly green...

The Herbs
Perfect balance of flavours and each and everyone 
of them have healing properties


 Blitzing the Herbs one by one
after they have been carefully weighed and chopped by hand

 Adding the Golden Balm: Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Special Touch...the Petals...

 Steph, bottling the Herb Spread

 This contraption is just fantastic {Wendy has used a keg normally used for beer making and took the top off. She asked a company in Auckland to develop a special blender for it and designed this 'bottom' so the bottling was done efficiently and mess free...Such a great idea!!!!

The labelling machine looks like an old movie projector 
So beautiful...

In case you wanna see the video again, please click here.


Good Bye Chiang Mai...

My Heart is Sad.
I Left Thailand.

This may come as a surprise to you, as I kept saying I would stay there forever, but in life, 
you have to know the right moment to leave and move on...
The moment has arrived so I am on my way to the West.

I want to leave you with a goodbye video {click here} and a few photos that marked the most amazing time in the place where I grew to love the people and the culture and discover myself.

To Chiang Mai and all the people who were part of the richest experiences I ever had: 
I LOVE YOU TA LOT PAI {forever}...