05 April 2014

Bacalhau à USA

Olá queridos!

It has been a long time since we last met. So very much to tell you...

Bacalhau Boy and I and our 10-month old baby boy and two cats moved to the US in the beginning of December. I started a demanding dream job with a full-on hour commute each way the same week the baby boy turned 1 year old. I had to re-take my driving license road test and pushed through some trauma there, having flashbacks to my 16-year old self. Bacalhau Boy built 15 pieces of IKEA furniture over the course of 2 weeks. And I see my parents every day for the first time in two decades, because they live next door and are taking wonderful care of our munchkin baby while BB and I work.

Annnnnnd, there may be a nervous breakdown or two scattered in there somewhere. And about 20 pounds from stress eating. No biggie.

And we had a Portuguese day! Bacalhau Assado, roast potatoes, boiled eggs, queijo da Serra, olives, and Portuguese wine. Keeping it real, right here in the suburbs of America.

I may not have a new recipe for you, and I may not have much homemade fodder for posts, but I have one picture which proves something very important.

You can take the Bacalhau Boys out of Portugal.

But you can't take the bacalhau out of the boys.

I vow to continue my recipe collecting, for their sake. See you back on the blog soon!

09 April 2013

Bacalhau à Vasca

Warm spring weather gives me an itch to eat the beautiful green veggies showing up at the market. It is a temporary but powerful urge, driven by both the beautiful look of the produce and the knowledge that I will have to wear fewer layers of clothing very soon. A great opportunity to make a greens-filled, springlike bacalhau recipe to welcome the new season, wouldn't you think?

Yes and no. The typical bacalhau dish in Portugal only has one green component: parsley on top. The rest of the dish is nearly always beige: onion, garlic, olive oil, and potato. Sure there are green olives sometimes, spinach or a green pepper here or there. But on the whole, bacalhau recipes suffer from a lack of color.

So just imagine my excitement when I came across this recipe for Bacalhau à Vasca. Asparagus and peas and bacalhau? It may as well be called Bacalhau á Springtime!

04 April 2013

Healthy Chicken Feijoada

I was a confirmed carboholic for most of my pregnancy. No regrets there-- I will always have the fond memory of leveraging my son's metabolism to eat ice cream and french fries with abandon. I kept my weight healthy and on track for all 9 months, which is the first time in my life I have been able to say that. I was a lucky gal.

Continuing the carb-fest for three months afterwards? Errr, my pre-baby wardrobe is seeming more unlikely with each passing day. So unless I want to embrace my maternity pants for another year or two, it is time to stop the madness and put down the fried potatoes.

Enter this dish, an easy, nutritious, and homey meal with no potatoes or refined carbs.  It takes the delicious Portuguese feijoada and spins it into a healthy weekday meal which could even help me lose some of my baby padding.

29 March 2013

Páscoa = Easter = Candy

Easter as an expat can be a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, there are new traditions and treats to try on for size. Here in Portugal, I fight through the crowds at the grocery store to buy almonds. Chocolate almonds, jordan almonds, candied almonds, you name it. There is no Easter in Lisbon without covered almonds, Easter bread with an egg on top of it, and a big piece of lamb. (But mostly-- almonds.)

Alas, here is the double edge I mentioned: as much as I enjoy almonds, the Easter candy of my own youth is nowhere to be found. In particular, do you know what they don't have? Peanut butter eggs.

Easter without peanut butter eggs. It looks sad, as I am typing it.

So what is a girl to do but figure out how to make her own? And in the meantime, why don't I give these almonds a try?

(Bonus: all three recipes are insanely simple.)