Made by hands, expressed from the heart.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Pretty Zucchini Tart.

I had to make a dish for my vegetarian guest, and when I saw that zucchini looking at me at the refrigerator, I knew what was my next adventure.
I remember seeing in an Italian website called Buona Pappa, and they have this beautiful pie with little roses on top, that I assumed were vegetables. So I tried to make it, as best as I could..
I had some carrots from my garden and they looked very appealing.
So used my vegetable peeler to get some slices of carrots.
Next I used the mandolin to slice my zucchini (it ended up to be 1 yellow and 2 green- large zucchinis).
I couldn't roll up the vegetables like in Buona I decided to bake them in the oven at 400 F (200 Celsius) for 8 minutes.
Next I opened a Pillsbury pie dough in a pie dish.
Beat 2 eggs with 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese.
Poured in the dough.
Baked at 370 F (187 C) for 8 minutes.
And started to roll the slices of baked zuchinni to place on the pie.
And a few carrots to spread some color.
Some salt and pepper, sprayed olive oil and baked at 400 F (or 200 C) for 15 minutes.
The whole process took me about 3 hours. And it was approved by everyone.
And I liked so much that I made another one.
Thank you Buona Pappa.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Pirate ship watermelon bowl.

Pirate Ship Fruit Bowl.

Having friends coming over is always a blast, and it is always nice to make a healthy and fun dessert.
This time I had a small watermelon, and I wanted to turn into a pirate ship.

I cut the top and scooped the inside using my melon baller.
Next I made little square windows,and placed blueberries for fake canons.
And cut more details to add more details.
Using the top part of the watermelon, I cut the sails.
For the masts I used large skewers. And for the final touch the kids made the pirate flags. I also had a cantaloupe, that turned into a whale.
First I cut a slice on the bottom, so the fruit can stand and won't roll around.
Then I cut a big smile and scooped the inside with a melon baller.
The corners of the smile where used to make his flippers (attached with toothpicks).
I cut a large black grape and a blueberry to make the eyes.
Using the melon baller, I scooped two small holes to fit the grapes for the eyes. And last I filled with fruit.
They looked well together, even though my son thought the whale was Pac Man.
Which also gave me another idea...

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Cheerios Chocolate Chip Cookies.

There is always a time when you regret buying something wholesale, because nobody else wants to eat it anymore.
So I was stuck with a giant box of Cheerios, that was already opened so I couldn't donate.
That is when I decided to use it like a flour for cooking, and put everything in the blender.
Just when I thought I was being very original, I took a look on the Cheerios website, and other cooking sites, and everybody has been using Cheerios to make cookies and everything you can imagine.
But here is my recipe, that I just substituted a portion of the flour for blended Cheerios:
- 1 cup of Cheerios (after blended)
- 1 1/4 cup of flour
- 2 sticks of butter (room temperature)
- 3/4 cup of brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp of baking soda
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1 tsp of salt
- 2 tsp of vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips

Beat butter until creamy, then add white and brown sugar. Next mix eggs,vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Mix the flour and Cheerios by hand, and after well incorporated, add the chocolate chips.

Bake in 350 F for 8 to 10 minutes.
You can bake small portions at a time, leaving the dough wrapped and left in the refrigerator.
It is probably not considered healthy, but maybe economical, since I got to make those Cheerios more attractive to eat.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Sand Castle Day.

I grew up going to the beach in Brazil. We also went in the month of July, which is actually Winter time, when the temperature is nice.
So now that I live in the northern hemisphere, I go all crazy to enjoy the Summer, before it gets cold.
Between all the things I wanted to do before Summer is over, one of them was to build a sand castle. Something I have been planning for years, but never had a chance to make.
I watched all sorts of videos to learn with the professionals.
Then we packed all of our beach equipment, and drove off with our friends in a beautiful day. I started early in the morning, and following sand castle professionals advice, I made a mountain of sand and water.
I used a technique from the videos, using a bucket with a hole in the end. Pack sand and water, then just unmold nicely (like they say).
Of course for me it didn't work, and all the sand fell to the sides.
And I had to make everything again by hand. It was a lot of shaping, packing more sand and water. And between collapsing parts, adjusting the walls, and changing plans, it started to look like a castle. But the best part was when the little kids started to come around, and get excited about my pile of sand.
In the end I made two little friends. They liked so much, and one of the cute little boys helped me make windows. It was about four hours of work, and it didn't quite looked the way I wanted. But when the little kids were all happy and excited, it really made my day.
Thank you nice litte boys and their mom who I don't know the name. You made it all worth it.