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Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe ❦ Spaghetti with Cheese and Pepper

"I'm hungry Mommy!"... exclaimed my 10 year old. I was distracted and didn't realize it was lunch time. Out of bread, the teenagers in my house are like wild animals, I quickly thought of whipping up some pasta. I offered my hungry child some Macaroni and cheese only to realize, you guessed it, the teenagers have also cleared the cheddar and left only a wedge of Pecorinio Romano. I am assuming the original Roman dish had equally humble beginnings. A quick meal with only 3 ingredients. It may sound easy, spaghetti, cheese and pepper, but believe me that sometimes the easiest things are the most complex. The combination of the starch in the pasta's cooking water is the key to this sauce. I am

Arroz de Tomate Malandrinho ❦ Portuguese Style Tomato Rice

If I had to choose a rice to eat forever, this would be it. I have never in my life eaten a better tomato rice than my mother's. In Portugal this rice is usually served alongside all sorts of fried fish dishes. It just pairs so beautifully with it. Next time you make fried fish, such as battered cod, try this tomato rice recipe. You won't be disappointed. I have added a few ingredients that are not quite in the traditional recipe, but that I feel enhance the rice's flavour. They are Balsamic vinegar and ginger. I love that you'd never guess they were in there, yet elevate the rice's flavour to soaring heights. You can use plain water or vegetable stock for the rice, but I prefer chicken stoc

Rancho com Grão e Couve Moderno ❦ Stewed Meat with Chickpeas, Cabbage and Elbow Macaroni

Having spent my birthday weekend in Lisbon, I came home nostalgic to some of my countries forgotten recipes. Today's recipe is not a particularly southern dish, but arriving in London to this cold, wet and utterly dreary weather, I was reminded of my winter's in Porto. You will see Rancho on menus all over the north of Portugal year round. The definition of rancho in Portuguese is; food for a large quantity or group of people. Truly fitting as this is a crowd pleasing dish. Classic recipes like this one might very well get forgotten with the passing of generations, food trends and to be honest, the fact that modern life has made long braising and elaborate dishes unpractical. These recipes w

Pão de Ló Húmido da Tia Mira ❦ Portuguese Moist Golden Sponge Cake

My husband's lovely Aunt Mira, short for Maria Palmira, made me the most delicious golden sponge I have ever tasted. Growing up in Connecticut, I remember my mother getting one from the local, Portuguese bakery every Easter. When I tasted this one I was instantly transported to my childhood. As an adult, I have only every made one once. It was delicious, but drier, like the one from my childhood. This one was different. Hers was wet in the middle. It was oozing with eggy goodness. Like an eggy custard melting middle cake. It was so decadent. When you see how many eggs are used for this you'll understand why. Cakes like this were made by the convent nuns to use up all their eggs before lent.

A Southern Inspired Floral Easter Table Setting

March is here! Can you believe it? This year we have a late Easter, falling on the the 21st of April, but my inner decorista is already thinking about my table decor. It is my second favourite holiday after Christmas. There is something so nice about spring's new beginnings. Easter really celebrates rebirth. My inspiration for my Easter table this year came from my love of blue and white china. I found these gorgeous bunny planters and fell in love. Blue and white vases always remind me of the American south. Go big or go home. Filled with tulips, hyacinths and hydrangeas, they really make a statement. Have you started to think about your Easter table this year? I hope you enjoy my tablescap

Frango Na Púcara ❦ Portuguese One-Pot Baked Chicken

Frango na pucara is a classic of the Portuguese kitchen. I chose this recipe for my previous post on how to throw a dinner party. The recipe comes from the town of Alcobaça just north of Lisbon, in central Portugal. A púcara is a clay pot with a lid, taller than it is wide. You do not need one to make this recipe. Any lidded clay or cast-iron pot with a lid will do. I actually do not have one so I make it in a cast iron casserole. What can be easier than throwing all ingredients into the pot to marinate and then putting the pot into the oven for an hour. The flavour of this chicken will really knock your guest's socks off. This recipe is simply fool proof, making you the star. Take the pot t

Crawley,West Sussex UK

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