Redirecting To New Domain

Hello everybody,

The new blog domain is up and running. Anybody who comes to the homepage on WordPress will be redirect automatically to:

http://deliciouswordflux.com

I already redirected all e-mail subscribers to the new website. If it’s your case, you just need to confirm the e-mail you’ll be receiving from Feedburner.

To all the WordPress and Google readers subscribers, I have no way to redirect automatically. So please subscribe to the new blog.

Here’s the link where you can contact me directly and subscribe on the right side widget:

http://www.deliciouswordflux.com/contact/

Thank you all for being here with me. I hope to see you around the new Delicious Wordflux. Feel free to drop me a comment and/or suggestion on the new design.

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Be Right Back with a New Post and a New Design

I’ve been flowing around with a new post about pretty butterflies, but especially working on a new domain and design for this blog.

I will be launching it really soon, after finishing a few details left. I’ll keep you posted and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I am.

Thank you for keep coming back. I promise I won’t take long.

Cheers!

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Crustless Coconut Pie

As easy as pie. Pleasant and nice. Yellow and white. And so, I made two of them. One for us, other to take away when visiting the in-laws the past weekend. Easter time, softly appropriate dessert. One disappeared within hours; the other… well, it only lasted longer because it was saved for the trip.

Someone even suggested me I should keep this recipe a secret. Just for us. It’s so simple to make, yet turns out so delicious. Normally, those are my favorite recipes. No need to be masked too much, the combination of few ingredients is enough to achieve this small wonder. This pie is crustless, gluten-free and relies on three basic ingredients and a little this and that. It cannot get better than that.

Easy to prepare, easy to bake, no assembly required. That left me plenty of time to enjoy a nice cup of tea in my new tea press, exactly the same I used to have in Portugal, the one the maid broke. It’s alright, these things happen once in a while and now I was able to remember how good it is to make tea with this press. I am a tea drinker, no doubt, so I knew I need to have this again, together with these double wall glasses.

Pies were made and eaten, Easter is gone, visits were done, trip is over. I am only left with my cup of warm tea. No complaints here, life is good.

Crustless Coconut Pie (Gluten-free)

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Serves 8

butter and sugar to grease the pan
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup coconut flakes
5 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
powdered sugar to sprinkle on top

Pre-heat the oven to 350 F degrees. Grease a 9-inch pie pan with butter and coat it with granulated sugar. Set aside.
In a large bowl mix the condensed milk, coconut, eggs and vanilla extract, until well blended. Pour the batter into the pie pan and bake for 25 minutes. Let it cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar on top.
Posted in Food | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Tomato Rice

I was planning to be in Portugal this Easter. For a variety of reasons I had to delay my trip. When I was breaking the news to my parents, whom have been anxiously waiting for the visit, my mom remind me: “I still have the tomatoes your uncle brought to us a while ago. I was hoping you could come and I would make a tomato rice for you.” Oh, the tomatoes she was referring to, were some fabulously tasty tomatoes my uncle grows in his garden, among other vegetables and some fruits. My mom says he has a “good hand” for organic cultivation. It’s true, I don’t know how he does it, but everything he brings from that garden is delicious. Besides, we are sure it’s the real thing, since he doesn’t add any kind of “growing helpers” to the seeds. The nature and his care just make it happen.

Before the tomatoes, it was some juicy bell peppers, red and green. And there are the lemons frequently, sometimes pears. Always whenever they are in season. “Well – my mom continues – maybe I’ll freeze these and you still can try it, they’re really good”. I bet they are. Plus, she knows I love tomato rice. When I was still living with them, and there were some tomatoes sitting in the vegetable bowl, or especially positioned close to the sunny light to mature and turn vibrant red, I knew they probably will end in a pan with rice, the one we call “malandrinho” because of the tomato sauce running through the plate. So good. Sometimes cooked with some green peas or salted cod flakes to be a main dish.

I don’t mind to have that rice waiting for me when I arrive in Portugal, hopefully soon. But while I wait to plan the next months, and since we had some tomatoes sitting around in the kitchen, I decided to make, you guessed, a tomato rice. The trick to get a good tomato rice is to use really mature tomatoes that would be totally blended with the rice while cooking. I didn’t make this one as “malandrinho” as I use to, mostly because I wanted to use basmati rice and with too much sauce would probably end to be a little mushy. In case you want to try it, just substitute the rice for a steady kind, like a long grain, brown basmati or parboiled and add a few more tomatoes.

A splendid tomato rice almost doesn’t have any water added to it. The juice of the tomatoes is reasonably enough to cook the rice. In this case, I had vegetable broth left from collard greens, carrots and parsley I cooked for my daughter in the morning and I couldn’t waste such vitaminated water. A couple of spoons gave it an intensive extra flavor.

This rice taste like old memories around my mother’s kitchen or eaten by the sea together with a good fresh fish in a sunny day, before running through the sand and getting the feet into the salty water. Its warmness tastes like laughs and happy faces.

Tomato Rice
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves 4

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
5 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
a bunch of fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cup of basmati rice
1 cup of vegetable broth (to use as pleased)
1 tsp salt
fresh parsley, chopped to sprinkle on top

On the stovetop, heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook for about 3-5 minutes, until the onion start to get translucent and golden. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes, the fresh parsley and cook, stirring once in a while for 20 minutes. Wash and rinse the rice and add it to the pan, stirring to mix it with the sauce. Add the salt and the vegetable broth, a little at a time when the sauce starts to evaporate. Cook for 10 minutes. Serve with fresh parsley sprinkled on top.
Posted in Food | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Baileys Marbled Cheesecake

There was a time I used to travel to Ireland for a couple of days almost every week. Of course I didn’t have children by then and these trips were part of my job, sometimes even happening during weekends. During this period I was going one week to London and another to Dublin. I love London, but in Dublin I basically felt like home. It’s just the way people are, so welcoming and gentle. A few meetings and I would start to consider many of the people I met my friends. Pleasant times.

Going to Dublin always meant having wonderful dinners in a multitude of fine restaurants spread around the city. Dubliners know how to spend a great time. They’re extremely social and don’t miss an opportunity to have fun. Which of course includes drinks galore. No wonder they’ve created beverages like Guinness, whiskey, Irish coffee, cider and Baileys. In their vibrant nightlife, the pubs are always full all-night long especially in the most touristic area around Temple Bar. Or in the prestigious Lillie’s Bordello, where often you can mingle with rock stars like Bono or Bob Geldof.

During day, and after work hours it was nice to walk through the peaceful St. Stephen’s Green Park, really close to the main shopping street, the Grafton Street. I would normally stay at the Westin or the Westbury Hotel, right in the city-centre, allowing me to go everywhere within walking distance. I love walkable cities. Other times, when these hotels were booked I would stay in the Fitzwilliam, which houses one of the Dublin’s finest restaurant, the Thornton’s. Yes, Dublin is that delicious.

Another thing that comes to my mind when I think about Dublin are the colorful doors. Red, green, yellow, the townhouses doors are really something else. In the city of prominent literary figures and artists, you could also find me in the National Gallery, admiring and getting to know a little more about the extensive collection of Irish paintings.  In this museum I found some masterpieces of other notable artists, like Velasquez, Caravaggio, Vermeer, Rubens, Rembrandt, William Hogarth, Degas, Picasso, Turner and so many more. Definitely a must visit.

Yet, in the middle of the most amazing castles and landmarks I want to emphasize one of the newest monuments: the spire of Dublin, known as the monument of the light.Why? Because this conical spire that seems to be touching the sky was the point of encounter to many meetings. Certainly, you can’t get lost with that one. But you might want to get lost with this cheesecake, the ultimate taste of Ireland. From my kingdom to yours. Enjoy.

Baileys Marbled Cheesecake

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 70-80 minutes
Serves 12-14

For the crust:
1 cup crumbled Maria cookies (or graham cracker)
1/2 cup walnuts
3 tbsp unsalted butter (I use European style)
1 tsp pure cocoa powder

For the filling:
24 oz (3 packages) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs (room temperature)
2 tbsp corn starch
1 cup Baileys irish cream liqueur
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted

For decoration:
1 oz semi-sweet chocolate
1 oz white chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.

To make the crust:
Combine the Maria cookies with the walnuts in a food processor and pulse until you get fine crumbs. Add the butter and cocoa powder and pulse again until all well mixed. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 10 Inch Springform Pan that previously has been lined with parchment paper and lightly greased with butter. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set it aside.

To make the filling:
In a large bowl of a stand or hand mixer, mix the cream cheese with the sugar. Add the eggs, one by one, mixing quickly after each addition. Then beat in 2 tbsp of corn starch, 1 cup of Baileys and the vanilla extract. Separate about 1/3 of the mixture in another bowl, add the melted chocolate (melted in the microwave for 30 second intervals, whisked until smooth and let cool a bit), whisking well. Pour the plain mixture in the prepared springform pan and top with the chocolate mixture. Make a marbled design by swirling the batter with a knife.
Bake 10 minutes in the oven set to 350 F degrees. Reduce the heat to 250 F degrees and bake for more 60-70 minutes. The edges will be firm and the center a little jiggle. As it cools it will firm up.
Immediately run a thin knife around the edge to loosen it from the pan, but allow it to cool completely and then refrigerate it for at least an hour before you remove the sides of the springform pan.

To decorate:
Using a vegetable peeler, cut both chocolate (semi-sweet and white) in small curls. Spread the curls on top of the cheesecake.
Posted in Food | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Homemade “Snickers” Chocolate Cake

This cake was envisioned while I was half asleep-half awake in bed. It happens to me many times, is it normal? Not only with food, I think I always have the best ideas when I use my early morning boosted brain power, lying in bed. It was like that before some major exams at the university, some years, a few years yesterday (winks). If I had visualized all the subjects in my head during sleep, I knew I will be successful. And now dreaming with cakes. What does this mean?

At least I woke up with plenty enthusiasm and ready to put my hands to work in the kitchen. Since every single add-on in this cake is made from scratch I knew I would be busy for a few hours, until I could achieve my lucid daydream cake. It started with the peanuts, needing to be roasted, peeled and caramelized. Then making the shortbread cookie to go in the middle, baking the chocolate cake, preparing the dulce de leche made from sweetened condensed milk and finally the chocolate ganache frosting.

After all the first steps accomplished, it was time to assemble the cake. Naturally, the best part is to test the work done and evaluate the result. Something I don’t mind to do, trust me. Maybe you’ve already guessed that.

Layer by layer, chocolate cake, dulce de leche, shortbread cookie, caramelized peanuts, dulce de leche, chocolate cake, more caramelized peanuts and dulce de leche, chocolate ganache frosting and caramelized peanuts on top. Here you have my version of Snickers in the form of a cake. Chocolate, peanuts and dulce de leche overload.

The best part of the day was when my husband arrived, opened the fridge  and exclaimed “wow”. More than words, it was his meaningful expressive eyes that said it all. And I rejoiced. My day was fulfilled.

Homemade “Snickers” Chocolate Cake

Preparation time: About 1 hour
Cook time: 15 minutes (roasting peanuts) + 10 minutes (caramelized peanuts) + 60 minutes (dulce de leche) + 15 minutes shortbread cookie + 30 minutes (chocolate cake) + 5 minutes (chocolate ganache) = 2:15 hours

A few utensils used: 1 cookie sheet, 3 9-inch round cake pans and a spatula, besides the saucepan and lots of bowls.
Kitchen appliances: food processor and mixer.

Serves 12

8 oz raw peanuts

For caramelized peanuts:
1/2 cup sugar (I use organic pure cane sugar)
3 tbsp water

For dulce de leche:
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

For shortbread cookie:
1 cup unbleached white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp icing sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut in little squares and cold
1 egg yolk

For chocolate cake:
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups cocoa powder
3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup hot herbal tea (I used wild berry)
butter and flour to grease the pans

For chocolate ganache frosting:
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp unsalted butter
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate (1 bar)

Roast the peanuts:
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Place the raw peanuts in a cookie sheet and bake for around 15 minutes, stirring once or twice during process. Let it cool for about 10 minutes (peanuts will continue to cook out of oven, so don’t overcook it). Rub the skins to remove them and set aside.

Make the caramelized peanuts:
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a small sauce pan, add 1/2 cup of sugar and 3 tablespoons of water over high-heat. Once it starts to boil, reduce to medium-high and let it cook for about 10 minutes or until the sugar dissolves and becomes amber. Turn off the heat and add the peanuts, tossing to get all well coated. Spread the caramelized peanuts on the prepared cookie sheet in a single layer. Let it cool to room temperature and break into small pieces. Set aside.

Dulce de Leche: I have a tutorial here. You can prepare this in advance.
When dulce de leche is ready and at room temperature mix 2/3 with the caramelized peanuts in a bowl, leaving some peanuts aside for decoration. Set aside.

Shortbread cookie (The shortbread and caramelized peanuts were adapted from this baking book):
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees and grease and flour a 9-inch round baking pan. In a food processor, mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar and icing sugar), add the pieces of cold butter and pulse it until the mixture resembles like bread crumbs. Pour the egg yolk and pulse once more until combined. Take the mixture out of the food processor, and shape it into a ball. Press it into the baking pan and prick the dough with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Let it cool and set aside.

Chocolate cake (adapted from the Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate, seen on the cocoa powder box):
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Butter and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. In a large bowl of a stand-mixer (or hand-mixer) stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, milk, extra virgin olive oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in hot tea (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

Chocolate Ganache Frosting:
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring to a boil the heavy cream and butter. In another bowl, break the chocolate in pieces and pour the boiling cream over the chocolate, allowing to stand 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Allow the ganache to cool to room temperature before frosting.
Assemble the cake:
In a cake stand or plate of your choice, [place some stripes of parchment paper around the edges and put one chocolate layer on top (this will prevent a mess when frosting). Spread some dulce de leche on top and stack the shortbread cookie on top. Spread half mixture of dulce de leche and peanuts and put the other chocolate layer on top. Spread the remaining dulce de leche/peanut mix on top of the cake.
Frost the cake with the chocolate ganache, using a spatula. Pour the remaining caramelized pieces of peanuts on top for decoration.
Posted in Food | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Orlando Weekend with Food Blog Forum

It was an exciting weekend full of positive energy. I’m very glad for the moment I’ve decided to join this full day event in Orlando, Florida. One of the best things about blogging is being part of a community that creates “magical moments” like this. And that was well-shown during the day: every single person was concentrated to make the most of this reunion. The organization was superb, the speakers excelling on each session and the attendees thrilled to have the most important topics about food blogging so well covered. Plus, the networking and social aspect of a seminar like this is something not to forget. In a word, the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people. Fun!

One of the sessions was held by Helene Dujardin about light and food styling with lots of tips on the basics of camera modes. She did a live demo about styling and composition as you can see from the pictures above. And I took this picture of one of her composed plates.

Outside, the weather was sunny and extremely hot. Inside, we’ve received a warmth welcome and the schedule was almost strictly followed. Impressive! High-five to Floridian Julie Deily, from the organization.  In the other sessions, we talked about the printed publications, including the ethics of traditional media with Jeff Houck and Heather McPherson. Lindsay Landis teached us about design and optimization and how the blog functionality can be beautiful; Peter Scott gave some interesting insights about SEO and social media sponsorships and the sweet Dawn Viola exemplified through her experience the effectiveness of “just ask”.

The day was running really fast. But not before we were elucidated about how to build a personal brand and a blog business by the team Jaden and Scott Hair from Steamy Kitchen. Jaden is a ball of energy and I loved her spontaneity.

Wait, there’s more. And I’m not talking about the fabulous swag bags and prizes poured during every break (but in case you ask, yes it was beyond awesome). The next day, I had the chance to participate in another photography workshop by Helene Dujardin, ellemême.

This was a hands-on approach about food photography and styling, so we got to compose our dish and, at the end, eat it! Isn’t that one of the most enjoyable aspects of food blogging? I would say we have a lot of responsibility on this: since we get to eat our food posts, they better be good!

Check out my fellow bloggers recaps about Food Blog Forum – Orlando:
Aggie’s Kitchen – Food Blog Forum Orlando
Creative Kitchen – Food Blog Forum Orlando ~ An Unforgettable Experience
Dinners & Dreams – Rabbit and Faisselle Flan
Fertile Ground – Food blog forum conference takes the cake
Fork Spoon Knife – Gluten Free Peanut and Almond Chocolate Brownie Pots and the Food Blog Forum Orlando
inspired taste – Breakfast Rolls
My Life as a Mrs – Inspired
My Sweet Zepol – Food Blog Forum in Orlando, Florida
Return to Sunday Supper – Food Blog Forum Seminar – A Wonderful Experience
Steamy Kitchen – Rockin’ Time in Orlando
Sweet Bites – Photography workshop and oh, yeah the Food Blog Forum Conference in Orlando
The Domestic Mama & The Village Cook – Food Blog Forum Orlando
The Little Kitchen – Food Blog Forum Orlando – Connecting with some awesome food bloggers
the merry gourmet – sharing our passion – food blog forum orlando
What a Healthy Family Eats – My Experience at Food Blog Forum Orlando
Wicked Good Dinner – Food Blog Forum Seminar Recap
Posted in Food, Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments