If you have cholesterol-issues,  omit the egg on top, otherwise go for it!  I actually do a lighter version of the “sunny-side-up” using a trick I read somewhere last year.  I spray a very small amount of olive oil on a non-stick pan, once it’s very hot I place the egg, and season it with salt and pepper.  When the bottom part is setting up, I quickly pour 1 tablespoon of water on the side of the egg, and cover the pan with a lid.  It works best with a lid smaller than the frying pan, so that the egg is fully enclosed by a shot of steam.   This makes the top of the yolk set nicely without that slimy white that turns most people off…  and the amount of fat in this “pseudo-fried” egg is pretty negligible.    Eggs are a great source of protein, and since I have super low cholesterol,  I enjoy them many times per week.     And now, let’s go straight to the  heart of the matter…

(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

to cook the grain:
1 cup kamut , soaked in water (6 hours to overnight)
4 cups water for cooking
1/2 tsp salt

recipe for dressing: 
click here

for the salad:

asparagus, finely sliced in tiny “coins”
diced tomatoes
diced cucumber
sliced celery stalks

Cook the soaked kamut by mixing it with water and salt in a saucepan, bringing it to a boil and gently simmering it for 45 minutes to 1 hour  (taste to decide when it’s fully cooked, but don’t let it get mushy).  Once the grain is cooked to your liking, drain the water. Cool it to room temperature.

Make the salad dressing as described in the “roasted lemon vinaigrette” link. Reserve.

Add the asparagus, cucumbers, and celery slices to a small bowl, moisten with some of the salad dressing, mixing to lightly coat the veggies. Amounts are flexible, use as much or as little of each veggie as you feel like.

When ready to serve the salad, mix the cooked kamut with the veggie/vinaigrette mixture, add the tomatoes, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  If you like, add  some lemon zest on top. Enjoy it as a side dish for meats, or with a “figure-friendly” sunny-side egg on top.  It is also excellent all by itself.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  Kamut is a close relative to farro, so you can use either one.  Sometimes farro is hard to find, whereas I never have any trouble getting kamut. I am quite fond of salads made with grains because they are filling, nutritious, and lighter than most types of side-dishes one would pair with meat.

Is this post coming from the new Bewitching Kitchen?  No, not yet.  Life is extremely frantic and won’t get much better in the near future. Until the dust settles,  I will be publishing posts from stuff made before our move.  Rest assured, there will be quite a bit of blog-noise when the first post from the new kitchen is up!  😉

ONE YEAR AGO: Pane de Casa & Crostini

TWO YEARS AGO: Down-home Dig-in Chili (fantastic recipe, by the way!)

THREE YEARS AGO:  Cinnamon Rolls


I knew the last Monday of this month would arrive at a particularly busy time, when we would be barely moved into our  new home, trying to adjust to the new environment.  I didn’t want to miss the party, so I had my  contribution  to “The Secret Recipe Club” taken care as soon as I got my  assignment.  This month I was matched with the blog  “Life and Kitchen”,  hosted by Lindsay, a super-busy young mom with a full-time job and a master’s thesis under way.  In other words, she struggles with a gazillion commitments, but still finds time to keep a great blog going!   Her writing is quite refreshing, I caught myself smiling all the way through reading many of her posts.  I finally settled on a recipe I’ve always wanted to make: granola bars.  They were a major hit in the Bewitching household, as I married a former-hippie.  Hope you try and like them too!   😉

(from Life and Kitchen, originally adapted from Ina Garten)

2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8 x 12 inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Toss the oatmeal and almonds together and then toast them on a sheet pan by baking them for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When you take the toasted mixture out, reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees.  Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the toasted wheat germ.  Then add in the honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt while it is still warm and mix it all together.   Add the raisins and dried cranberries and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and press the mixture evenly into the pan.   Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours at room temperature before cutting into squares.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  No matter how frantic your life might be, it’s good practice to read a recipe carefully before attacking the preparation.  It’s called common sense. Otherwise, you may set yourself up for trouble, like some people.

Indeed, I started by toasting 2 cups of rolled oats instead of oatmeal.  Once everything was nicely toasted, I realized my mistake, and did the only sensible thing to do: frantically ran around the house screaming at myself  “I am SUCH an idiot”;  “I am THE QUEEN of the idiots”!   Where’s George Costanza, my long lost brother?

Crucial decisions had to be made.  I had no time to start all over, and found only about one cup of oatmeal in our pantry.  I grabbed the baking sheet and scooped the mixture with one of those handy Chinese type tools, that kept the almonds and allowed the oats to fall back in the baking sheet.  By the way, oats that fly and fall on the kitchen floor will cool enough during their journey so they won’t pose a risk to your pets. Quite the opposite, they will be happy to do the cleaning for you.  

Once I got toasted rolled oats separated from toasted almonds, I saved 1 cup for the recipe, and mixed with 1 cup of oatmeal.  Proceeded without toasting the oatmeal, as the clock was ticking, and we had tickets to go see Prometheus at the IMAX. No way we could miss that.

As a result, the bars were a bit more crumbly than they should, as oats don’t bind as well as oatmeal, for obvious reasons.  But, you know what? The crumbled pieces made FANTASTIC granola!

I ended up with enough squares to last us for a while, nicely wrapped (just make sure to let them dry well for a full day before wrapping).

Lindsay, it was great to “meet” you through this month’s Secret Recipe adventure!

And a reminder for my readers:  if you click on the crazy looking frog at the bottom of this post, you’ll see the contributions of all other members of Group D for this reveal day.  Make sure to check them out!

ONE YEAR AGO:  Awesome Broccolini

TWO YEARS AGO:  A Twist on Pesto

THREE YEARS AGO: Ciabatta: Judging a bread by its holes


Remember that New Year Resolution I broke a while ago?  No more cookbooks in 2012?  Well, I should try and keep that going for many, many years…

Two boxes hold exclusively bread books.  Everything else required “only” 8 boxes.

A little update on the moving situation: The company we are working with has been a huge disappointment.  They gave us a window of three days for the move to happen, with the assurance of a confirmation of the exact day and approximate time 48 hours in advance.  That never happened, and when the final day (yesterday) came and went, they told us the sub-contractors “forgot” to schedule us.   We shouldn’t worry, though, they arranged for another sub-contractor to do the job right away.

So, we basically packed the whole house ourselves, and now sit here, hoping the alternative company will indeed park their truck here at 11am and get this adventure going.

Moving brings deep philosophical thoughts to mind.  Yesterday I sat outside for a while, staring at the sky, and wondering how a civilization that landed the man on the moon, that built spacecrafts like the Voyager-1, still boldly going where no one has gone before, failed so miserably at the design of the packing tape dispenser.

UPDATE OF SOAP OPERA:  We won’t be moving today.  Maybe tomorrow, but not even that is sure yet.  Sometimes, the only path to take is the one of least resistance.


When I lived in São Paulo one of my favorite dishes was the paprika schnitzel from a German restaurant called “Jucalemão“.   Sauteed pork cutlets, pounded  thin, were  served hidden beneath a sea of deliciously creamy sauce, bright with the color of paprika, and paired with three big potato dumplings (knodels).   I learned of  Jucalemão at age 19 from my first boyfriend, and my last visit was 14 years  (or…. two boyfriends and a husband ;-)) later.  When I left Brazil for good,  I never returned.  Whenever we come back to São Paulo for a visit I intend to stop by with Phil, but something always  prevents us.   As a result, I have a permanent craving for that fantastic dish.   I’ve ordered pork paprikash in other places (even in Germany!), but it was not as I remember it from Jucalemão.   So, when I got a feed from Martha Stewart Everyday Food with the two magical words on the subject,  a deep feeling of nostalgia hit me. I had to make it, even though I knew it would be a different take on the dish of my past.

(adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food)

Coarse salt and ground pepper
egg noodles
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound), halved lengthwise, cut in slivers
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium shallot, chopped
1 can (14 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes in juice
1/2 cup sour cream

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook noodles until tender; drain and return to pot. Stir in a little olive oil to prevent them from sticking, cover and set aside. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine pork with 1 tablespoon paprika; season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet, when very hot add the pork slivers,  tossing occasionally, until lightly browned on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Return skillet to stove; reduce heat to medium. Add remaining tablespoon oil and shallots; cook until the pieces are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add pork, remaining tablespoon paprika, tomatoes with their juice, and 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cook, until sauce is slightly thickened, breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon,about 5 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat, and stir in sour cream; season with salt and pepper. If necessary, warm it up over very gentle heat, just briefly. Serve paprikash over noodles.

to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  I had never treated pork tenderloin by this method of cutting in slices and stir-frying. I toned down my expectations, assuming it would turn out too dry.  Well,  we both enjoyed our meal quite a bit.  It doesn’t have the complexity of a similar preparation using pork butt or shoulder,  but it was flavorful enough with all the paprika, and cooked so fast that I can see myself adapting other sauces and seasonings to bring tenderloin to our table.   Until now, I’d always resorted to either the 7-6-5 method, or butterflying it and grilling (Phil’s favorite kind).

As to the pork paprikash of my past, maybe I should contact the restaurant.  I got this craving, and January is still pretty far away…    😉

ONE YEAR AGO: Roasted Tomato Soup

TWO YEARS AGO: Auvergne Rye Bread with Bacon

THREE YEARS AGO: Anticipation

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It’s hard to believe it’s been 3 years since I wrote my first post, unsure of where it would take me.  Since then, I’ve published 447 articles, and went from having a couple hundred page views per month to over 20 thousand!

If my life was a smooth, uneventful ride,  I would bake a cake for the occasion. A cake chosen from the several options suggested last year in the comments,  fingers crossed that it would be as gorgeous as this baby:

Instead of uneventful, our life seems to follow the script of North by Northwest. 😉 All kitchen stuff is now divided between two homes, we are surrounded by boxes, and constrained by deadlines. No cake this year, I’m afraid.  Instead, I celebrate by bringing you the first giveaway in the Bewitching Kitchen!

Leave a comment on this post from now until the end of June, and on July 1st I will draw the name of the lucky winner.  The prize?

A copy of   “The Brazilian Kitchen“,  a book I recently fell in love with and wrote a post about.  Everyone is welcome, from all over the planet, as long as the mail service can reach you!  😉

To all my readers, subscribers, followers, friends (in real life and those special friendships formed through the blogosphere) thank you for your support! And a special thank you to Fer, from Chucrute com Salsicha, who (maybe without ever being aware of it), was my main source of inspiration to become a food blogger.

I close this post sharing two photos from our new home: the view from our kitchen window, and a spot at the corner of our backyard.  Just a teaser,  we are not moved in yet, but sort of camped there for a couple of days last week. The two of us, a bed, a kitchen table. and the amazing performance of fireflies outside the window during the night…

ONE YEAR AGO:  The Bewitching Kitchen turns two!

TWO YEARS AGO:  Bewitching Birthday!

THREE YEARS AGO: Welcome to my blog!

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