Saffron Corn and Chorizo Risotto with Argentinian Red Shrimp

Hello friends, can you believe it's the end of 2018? Where did it go. For me it's been a very busy, exciting, emotional and dynamic year. Lots of firsts. I became a grandmother, Carlos become our town's Mayor, youngest in the town's history and one of the first Portuguese mayors in the United Kingdom's history! I went to Portugal, the U.S.A and to France. The blog's popularity has soared and I am finally drafting my book. Phew...that is alot. With our busy schedules, I decided to stay in this year. Just us and a few of our closest friends. A little dinner, music and two surprise Champagne cocktails at midnight. They aren't new, but you are gonna love them. This risotto is creamy and deliciou

Rabanadas ❦ Portuguese French Toast

Wheather we call them rabanadas, fatias douradas or fatias partidas, the taste is still the same. Yummy, golden slices of heaven, fried to perfection, tossed in cinnamon sugar and topped with a boozy, honey and Port wine, infused syrup. Unlike their breakfast cousins, they usually only make an appearance at Christmas and Easter. I am sure you will agree, they are delicious anytime. Carlos helped me make them this year, which is always nice. I love when my husband cooks with me. So grab your favourite human and get cooking. You can leave out the Port wine and just make the simple syrup. Rabanadas ❦ Portuguese French Toast Makes about 12, 2cm. thick pieces 1 French baguette style bread. Day ol

Condensed Milk Flan ❦ Pudim de Leite Condensado

Ahhhh flan. Who doesn't enjoy this silky, rich and indulgent slice of heaven. My husband will do anything...and I mean anything, if I make him one. Years ago when my parents were my neighbours, I would need to make two at a time. One for us and one for them. Carlos and my mother actually fought over who would eat the last piece one time. It is that good, best of all it is sooo easy. I do recommend you make it 8 hours minimum or 24 maximum, before you plan to serve it. It really needs a good 6 hours in the refrigerator, before serving. Some people ask me how I get my flan so smooth. Essentially, cooking the flan at a very high temperature will make it curdle, resulting in a very unsightly app

Christmas Table Style 2018

Many of you have been emailing to ask if I buy new dinnerware every year. The answer is simple, no. I have three sets of nicer porcelain and I will usually play with these. Dressing them up or down. I do keep it fresh by changing the linen, charger plates and sometimes I mix them. Whenever I do buy new plates or pasta bowls, I always think about how their colours or patterns will work with my existing sets. I can probably say, remarkably, I have never set the table the same... ever. I use napkins, cups and cutlery to set the mood. The centerpiece will usually be floral and candles are a must. I think I have over 20 different candle holders. We have a very modern light wood and white glass di

Rice Pudding ❦ Arroz Doce

This recipe was one of the first things I learned to cook alongside my mother. She, as I am, wasn't a big dessert maker or eater. This dish, however, was always present at our Christmas table and most other occasions to be fair. It is a Portuguese classic and one that mom made well. Sweet, smooth and delicious with the faintest hint of lemon and topped with cinnamon. I love how it is sweet and rich, yet not overwhelming. You can use pretty stencils to make lovely designs on the rice before serving. We serve this cold/room temperature. Funny...as a child I couldn'y wait for this to cool, so I would take spoonfuls of it when my mom wasn't looking. LOL...she would always say that hot rice pudd

Bacalhau da Consoada ❦ Christmas Eve's Salt Cod Dinner

This recipe is so simple. It is so humble. It is sooo easy...you can almost walk away, yet it is so meaningful...isn't that always the case. If you ask me about tradition, about a tradional Portuguese dish on a specific day...Then salt-cod boil takes the cake....most mainland Portuguese households will have this dish on Christmas Eve. Although octopus is a common substitute for the salt-cod, across the country. Leftovers on Christmas day are then turned into another Portuguese classic, Roupa Velha, which literally means old clothes. Terrible name for a dish, LOL, but very delicious. The islands of Madeira and Azores typically do not have salt-cod on Christmas Eve, opting instead for grilled

Portuguese King Cake ❦ Bolo Rei

I think I speak for most Portuguese people, when I say that a Christmas table without Bolo Rei, is just not the same. We owe the delicious cake and tradition to Confeitaria Nacional pastry shop in Lisbon. The owner brought the recipe back to Lisbon, from Paris, in 1870. The, super secret, recipe is under lock and key. It's popularity remains to this day due to the cake's moistness and the use of crystallised fruit without artiicial colours. Bolo Rei traditionally had a fava bean inside and a small toy or token. Whoever found the fava bean would have to pay for next year's Bolo Rei, and who found the toy/token would be showered with luck in the coming year. These were banned by the EU some y

Canja de Galinha ❦ Portuguese Chicken Soup

Most recipes I make can transport me to my childhood. In my mother's kitchen, watching her cook...always effortlessly. Somehow this one can has a special place in my heart. It is a soup I make weekly and especially for my youngest daughter, Stela Rose. Like me, she adores it. The store bought soups have nothing on this. It is a prime example of howa few quality ingredients produce so much flavour. All you need is a chicken, preferably organic and corn fed. The cheap, mass produced variety will not get you the intensity of flavour you're after. Some people like this soup with tiny varieties of pasta, like stars or orzo, but I prefer it with rice, just like my Mom used to make. A bay leaf, an

Bacalhau à Zé do Pipo ❦ Salt Cod and Mashed Potato Casserole with Mayonnaise

I have a confession to make. I have never had this dish before. I know, I know...how on earth is that possible? I lived in Porto for eight years, you would think I would come across this dish at some point. I have seen it in magazines, and heard family talk about it, but I never really wanted to make it. It actually originates from Porto. The recipe was created by a gentleman called, José Valentim, or better known as, "Zé do Pipo". He won a cooking competion in the 1940's with this recipe. Us Portuguese eat a lot of salt-Cod. I mean, I could eat it everyday! I love it and I think I just found a new favourite. As I have never had it, coming across the recipe I found it rather intriguing. My v

DIY Evergreen Winter Floral Arrangment

Who doesn't like flowers? I adore them and am never without fresh flowers in my home. Floral arrangments however, can be pricey. I will often make my own arrangements and never settle for the typical supermarket bouquet. Get it home, cut it up and arrange it differently. Today's post didn't cost me a cent. I am lucky to have three varieties of evergreen shrubs in my garden. I used an old wreath with gold eucalyptus leaves and a few pinecones, and that was all I needed to create this look. This centrepiece would have easily cost over £75 in a florist shop. With a little creativity, you too can create beautiful floral arrangements for the upcoming festive holidays. I hope you enjoy the photos

Christmas Bedrooms Tour The Purple Door Supper Club

Hello Darlings, Today I want to share with you two of our four bedrooms decorated for the holidays. The master bedroom and our youngest daughters' cosy bedroom. They share this room and I must admit it is probably one of my favourite rooms in the house. It is bright, cheery and super cosy. They did need to have a bunk bed, which I am not very fond of, and this one is super modern and clean lined. Birch and white is everywhere at the moment. This one is from Wayfair. The Barbie prints I framed about five years ago. The girls absoulutly adore Barbie, and I do too. I would put these prints anywhere in my home. Of course no girly girls' bedroom would be complete without a pink Christmas tree. It

Christmas Home Tour The Purple Door Supper Club

Welcome to my home. I've had so many emails from you asking for a holiday, decor tour of my home. Can you believe I actually put my trees up before Thanksgiving? I hoped to post it way before today, but life happens and I have had no time. Between the kids, Mayoral events, social gatherings and Christmas parties, it has been almost impossible. This is our first Christmas in our new home. We moved in at the end of last year, so last Christmas didn't feel right at all. We were all packed for the move and all I had up was my small tree. This year that tree is in the conservatory. I have had my massive white tree about three years now. I have now used it's original colour scheme on the gold tree

Proscuitto Fig and Camembert Bruschetta

Figs are one of my favourite fruits. Both beautiful and sweet. This simple and elegant starter pairs beautifully with my Pomegranate Champagne cocktail, The Viajante, created especially for my masquerade supper club. I used very creamy spreadable Camembert Creme. It is gloriously smooth and delicious. Feel free to use regular Camembert, in slices, if you wish. Proscuitto Fig and Camembert Bruschetta Serves 4 6 Figs, fresh and thinnly sliced 4 Sourdough bread, thinly sliced 4 Slices prosciutto 135 g. President Camembert Creme Cheese 2 tsps. Balsamic vinegar glaze, to drizzle 1 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle 1 tsp. Tarragon, dried to sprinkle atop (optional) Salt and peppe

The Viajante ❦ Champagne Gin Pomegranate Cocktail

Last night's supper club was a huge success and the cocktail I asked Carlos to invent for the occasion never happened as he has been so busy with Mayoral events. That meant I had to come up with something on the spot. This is my absolute favourite time of year. Dinner parties with friends and family are in full swing. The house is all decorated for Christmas and as the days get shorter and colder, a festive cocktail with some nibbles surrounded by my favourite people is all I need. This cocktail was inspired by the elderflower liquor called St-Germain. It is a gorgeous French liqueur made from fresh, hand-picked elderflowers and produced using traditional French methods. I have a confession.

Crawley,West Sussex UK

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