Drum roll please…..     This is my first anniversary as a member of The Secret Recipe Club!   One year!  Obviously, I was counting the days for this Reveal Day, and jumped on my assigned blog the very minute I got the email notification.  This month I am cooking from Loving Life, a fun blog hosted by Kirstin, the super busy Mom of two teenage daughters, who also home schools them.  I get tired just thinking about it.  The mystery is how does she find the time to cook and blog?   Superpowers?  Probably. I chose a recipe from her blog quite quickly, because it is one of the favorite dishes we used to order at a place called BJ’s in Oklahoma.  Light, refreshing, flavorful,  Phil and I would share that as an appetizer almost every single time, but I had never made it at home.  Great opportunity, which I grabbed right away!  😉

(adapted from Loving Life)

for teriyaki sauce:
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. rice vinegar
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. Sesame oil

for chicken:
3/4 lb. chicken breast or tenders, diced in small pieces
6 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup diced baby-bella mushrooms
3/4 cup chopped cashews
1 tsp. soy sauce
canola oil
6-8 butter lettuce leaves

for topping:
2 carrots, peeled & julienned
1/2 Tbs. Sesame Seeds

Mix all sauce ingredients, making sure the brown sugar dissolves.

Place some canola oil in a non-stick pan and cook chicken till cooked through and lightly browned. Add green onions, mushrooms, cashews and 1 tsp. soy sauce. Cook until mushrooms soften. Add teriyaki sauce. Cook stirring often on medim-high heat until sauce began to caramelize a bit on the chicken. Lower heat to “low” and continue to cook a bit longer or until your desired consistency is reached.
Serve on lettuce cups, adding julienned carrots and sesame seeds on top.

to print the recipe, click here

We absolutely loved this recipe!  Next time I might just up the amount of sauce a little bit, but other than that, no changes…    This post gives me the opportunity to share with you a very special gift we received from our friend Cindy.  She probably got tired of me complaining about the electric stove in our new home, and one day I got this box delivered with an induction-type single burner cooktop!  Not only it works great, but it is a life-saver for me, due to another small problem in our kitchen: no ventilation. I had pretty much given up on frying or sauteing fish or meat.   With this cooktop, I was able to install a cooking area on our patio, and voila’: no more offensive odors!  Plus, it’s is such a nice setting, don’t you agree?

Cindy, thanks so much for such a thoughtful gift!

For the full round-up on the Secret Recipe Club, click on the cute blue frog. To see which recipe was chosen from my blog this month click here to visit Lindsay’s blog…

Kirstin, nice to “meet” your blog!  Have fun with today’s reveal day!

ONE YEAR AGO: Clay-pot Pork Roast

TWO YEARS AGO: Panmarino

THREE YEARS AGO: A Classic Roast Chicken


(texto em portugues na proxima pagina)

On my desk I have only one picture, that of my Dad right around the time he retired.  He had the most beautiful handwritting, that kind we don’t see anymore. Perfect, almost like a drawing.  He did not live to the point of getting a computer with internet connections, but I know he would have a blast with all the possibilities. He was curious about many things and loved to learn. I like to think he would enjoy my blog.

He would be 92 today.   There would be a phone call, and the excitement in his voice when talking to me would warm my soul.  No phone calls anymore, only memories and the realization, stronger as each year goes by, that we have a lot in common.   I hope he was aware of it.

One of my favorite photos of him, dancing with my beautiful niece Fernanda…

One of my favorite photos the three of us, taken by Phil years ago…

For an extra trip down memory lane…. Memories of Pasteis

ONE YEAR AGO: A must-make veggie puree

TWO YEARS AGO: Vegetarian Lasagna

THREE YEARS AGO: Brazilian Pao de Queijo: Love at First Bite!

Na escrivaninha do meu escritorio eu tenho apenas uma foto.  Ela mostra meu pai na epoca em que se aposentou.  Ele tinha uma caligrafia incrivel, dessas que nao se ve mais, quase como um desenho.  Ele nao chegou a comprar um computador e conecta-lo a internet, o que de certa forma e’ uma pena, sei que ele teria curtido demais. Ele tinha uma mente curiosa e adorava aprender coisas novas.  Gosto de imaginar que ele seria fa do meu blog.

Hoje ele completaria 92 anos. Certamente nos falariamos pelo telefone e a  empolgacao dele ao ouvir minha voz vindo de tao longe no planeta como sempre me daria uma calorzinho por dentro.   Telefonemas nao acontecem mais, no lugar deles apenas lembrancas e a constatacao, mais forte a cada ano que passa, que temos muito em comum.  Espero que ele tenha sentido o mesmo.


Orange food seems to be on everybody’s mind these days, perhaps to match the color of the leaves, with their beautiful shades of red and gold.  Most maple trees in town are already completely red, but from my office’s window on campus, I see a very special tree, one that gets a few more red leaves each day. I like to think it is putting up a special show for me, a newcomer to the Little Apple…  😉   Let me share with you a few recipes to celebrate the season, the first is a new one, and the others come from the Bewitching archives.  An array of golden dishes to hopefully inspire you…

(adapted from  Martha Rose Shulman)

2 tablespoons  olive oil
1 fennel bulb, chopped
4 medium carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
1 cup basmati rice
a pinch of saffron
1  cup water
1 cup vegetable stock
Salt to taste
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Rinse the rice well to remove excess starch. Drain well, and reserve.  Heat the water and stock together in a microwave until very hot.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wide, heavy skillet or saucepan over medium heat and add the carrots, fennel, and salt. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes, and add the rice and the saffron.  Cook, stirring, until the grains of rice are well coated with oil and beginning to crackle. Add the hot water and stock and bring to a boil. Taste the cooking liquid and adjust salt if necessary. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes, until all of the liquid has been absorbed.

Uncover the rice and place a clean towel over the top of the pan, but don’t let it touch the rice.  Put the lid back, and let the rice sit for 10 minutes.  Add the parsley, fluffy the rice with a fork, and serve.


to print the recipe, click here

This pilaf is extremely delicious and good for you, a combination that is always welcome at our table. Fennel and saffron were not in the original recipe, but I think they worked better with the other flavors than onions would.  Feel free to include onions and garlic,  Phil and I are part of the minority who uses those ingredients quite sparingly.

For some more orange glow on your table….
(click on the title for the original post)








ONE YEAR AGO:  San Francisco Sourdough

TWO YEARS AGO: A Real Oscar Winner (two years with the sweetest dog in the world!)

THREE YEARS AGO: Pane Siciliano


Six years ago, Zorra started an event called “World Bread Day“. Bakers from all over the world would bake a loaf of bread and blog about it.  This year I am thrilled to participate and chose my favorite type of bread to join the party.  The recipe comes from a very nice book, Artisan Baking, written by Maggie Glezer.  A country French-style loaf called Essential’s Columbia.   The formula comes from George DePasquale, from Seattle’s Essential Baking Company.

The perfect Sunday starts with a batch of sourdough starter all puffed up from getting fed 12 hours earlier.  Before I even have my morning capuccino, the kitchen still dark, I look at my ingredients waiting, and get all excited anticipating the thrill of getting a nice loaf of bread from our oven.   It does help a lot to weigh it all the night before, all you have to do is heat the water in the microwave for 30 seconds or so,  and you are ready to go…

In Glezer’s book, this bread is listed as “advanced”, but it’s actually quite simple to prepare.  It calls for all purpose flour, bread flour, whole wheat, and a little rye.  Also in the formula a small amount of toasted wheat germ, and barley malt syrup.   It uses a very firm starter, probably the firmest I’ve ever seen in a recipe, it is actually more like a dough that ferments for 12 hours and then is incorporated in the mixture of flours, salt, and water.    A very slow and long fermentation, with the help of my bread proofing box.  Amazing how the two banettons fit just right inside!

After shaping, the oblong loaf proofed for 3 hours, and the round one for almost 4 hours, as I could not bake them at the same time.  Not much difference in the crumb, which was a bit surprising to me. I expected the round loaf to have a slightly more airy inner structure.  But bread is bread,  its temperamental nature one of the things I love the most about it.

I could not find a way to contact Maggie Glezer to get her official ok to publish the full recipe, but it is available online in a couple of blogs, so you can find it.  But the book is a must-have for anyone with a passion for wild yeast, so consider providing that little boost on the economy.

My batard shaping was a little better than usual, but still needs improvement… gotta keep going at it!

The perfect Sunday ends with a couple of loaves resting on the counter….

and the perfect Monday starts with a small gift to the Department!   😉

I am submitting this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting…    and I invite you to visit the roudup of breads at Zorra’s site!

ONE YEAR AGO: The US Listeria Outbreak 2011

TWO YEARS AGO: 36 Hour Sourdough Baguettes

THREE YEARS AGO: October 16 is World Bread Day