Sunday, July 19, 2020

Blackberry Jam

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A few weeks ago, my husband, daughter and I, went blackberry picking.  It was so much fun, and we for pretty cheap we brought home quite a lot of blackberries.

I threw 2 pounds in the freezer for later, and then used some of the rest for homemade Blackberry Jam and a Blackberry Cobbler which was to die for as well.

It was pretty easy to make, it doesn't need pectin which I don't always have on hand, so this is a great recipe if you need to use up fruit for a quick delicious jam.

Blackberry Jam

4 cups of blackberries
2 cups of sugar
2 tablespoons of lemon juice


Mix all ingredients in a saucepan.  Crush the berries using the back of a spoon or a potato masher.

Turn the heat on to medium and bring the contents to a boil, simmer for about 15 or 20 minutes until it is thick and has reached the jam point.  The way my great grandmother taught me was by taking a teaspoon of the jam and putting it on a small plate.  Then running the spoon through the jam, if it separates and doesn't run back together, it is ready.

In Portuguese we call it Ponto de Estrada.

Transfer the jam to clean and sterilized mason jars.  If you're not canning, just let it cool and then place in the refrigerator.  If you're not using right away, then you can proceed with canning the usual way.

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Copycat Wingers Sticky Fingers

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It has been a while since I've updated the food blog, my apologies for that.  If you follow me over on my main blog, you will understand that a lot has been going on, and well, life has just knocked us upside the head.

With that said, I've been trying to cut down on my grocery budget, make delicious filling meals, but not spending too much money, especially on meat products.

I've tried to work with what I can find at the store, since many times the meat I want is either not available, too expensive, or we are only limited to 2 which is not easy for someone who buys for 2 weeks at a time.

Anyway, this is one of the meals I made the other day, and it is definitely going on our rotation of favorites.  It is pretty inexpensive to make, and super tasty.

I chose to serve mine as a salad, so we had some salad fixings and then just topped it with the sticky fingers and drizzled on some ranch dressing.  So good!!!

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Copycat Wingers Sticky Fingers


Bag of crispy frozen chicken strips
1/3 cup Frank's Hot Sauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water


Cook your chicken strips according to package directions.

In a small saucepan, mix the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Stir well, and once the sugar is completely dissolved and it starts bubbling, remove from heat.  Let sit for a few minutes until it thickens slightly.

Place the chicken strips in a bowl, pour on the sauce and stir to coat all the chicken.  Serve immediately with some ranch dressing on the side.


Monday, June 01, 2020

Homemade Cream Cheese

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This recipe should have gone up a long time ago.

It is one of those homemade recipes that needs to be in your binder/folder/recipe box, because I'm pretty sure once you try it you may never go back to store bought cream cheese, again.

It takes but a few ingredients to turn a liter of milk into the creamiest, yummiest cream cheese you've ever tasted.

Let me show you.

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Homemade Cream Cheese

1 litre milk (I used Whole Milk)
4 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons butter
Salt to taste

Add the milk to a saucepan and bring to a boil, just when it starts to bubble up and form that skin on top.  Immediately remove from heat. 

Add the vinegar and stir well.

Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes until the curds start forming and separating from the liquid. 

Next, pour the mixture through a strainer until you get all the liquid out.  Use a spoon if you have to, to help push out all the liquid. 

Put the curds in a blender, add in the butter and salt to taste and blend for 1 to 2 minutes, until it becomes a thick creamy consistency.

Give it a good stir and pour into mason jars.  These will keep in your fridge for about 5 days, though I doubt they'll last that long.


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I slathered the cream cheese on some fresh out of the oven sourdough bread.  It was divine!!!!

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Give it a go and let me know what you think.  I can tell you that for my family we are not interested in store bought any longer, this one is creamier and much tastier.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Beef filled Crepes

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I am so blessed to have a heritage that allows me, and my family, to enjoy a myriad of different dishes from different ethnic cuisines.

As you may know, I was born in Mozambique in the East coast of Africa.  When the independence happened in 1974, just a month after I was born, we temporarily moved to Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe, and then onto Portugal.  Mozambique was a Portuguese colony, so I am Portuguese but I also have Brazilian on my father's side, my great grandfather and grandmother and their ancestors, were all Brazilian.  Goodness!!!

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From Portugal, to South Africa where I spent most of my childhood and then I married my American husband and have lived in the States for the past 22 years.

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So as you see, I have a lot of influence of different cultures around me, which makes for a constant array of dishes from Portuguese, to Brazilian, South African and American.  Not to mention the Italian, Chinese and Mexican food which I love so much, so yes, a plethora of different food is at our disposal.

The recipe I bring you today is Brazilian.  Super easy to make and a dish I think your family will enjoy.

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Beef filled Crepes

Ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 tablespoon Garlic paste
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley
Media Crema

For the crepes:
2 eggs
1 cup of milk
4 tablespoons oil
1 and a half cups of flour
Salt to taste


Add a little drizzle of olive oil to a skillet.  Add in the garlic and onion and cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent.  Next, add in the ground beef and cook until brown.  Once the meat has released all it's liquid and starts to fry, add in your tomato, tomato puree and stir to combine.

Cook over medium heat for a few minutes, until tomato is tender.  You may need to add in a little water.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  I always add parsley, but if you don't like it you can omit it.

Next goes in a small can of Media Crema.   Mix well, and take off the heat.

For the crepes, you can use the recipe I'm giving you or your favorite crepe recipe.

Make the crepes, allowing 2 for each person.  As I make them, I set them on a plate and roll them up, to keep them warm.

When done, fill each crepe with a bit of the beef filling.

Put a little of the beef mixture on the bottom of a casserole dish.  Then as you fill the crepes, set them in the baking dish.  When done, take any leftover beef filling and spoon over the crepes.  Sprinkle on some shredded cheese and bake at 375 for 5 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted.

Serve immediately!!!

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Thursday, May 07, 2020

Caramelized Banana Upside Down Cake

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Basically, I have a ton of bananas that I bought for baking.  Some of them are going to make some Banana Jam, and if you've never tried that you don't know what you're missing.  Go check out the recipe over here.

I didn't want to make banana bread, I think that's been done to death.  No offense to banana bread, but if there's one thing this quarantine time has taught me, is that everyone and their mother is currently eating and baking them, and I'm a bit sick of seeing it everywhere LOL

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My 17 year old son loves caramelized bananas, and any kind of banana cake, so I figured a caramelized banana cake would be the way to go.

I used the recipe for my grandfather's simple vanilla cake, and just made a quick caramel to hold the bananas in place.....if that makes sense.

Let's just bake and I'll show you.


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Caramelized Banana Upside Down Cake

Simple Vanilla Cake
Sliced bananas
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water


In a small saucepan, mix the water and the sugar until sugar is dissolved.  Turn the heat to low, and let the mixture turn into a syrup.  I don't stir it, I just let it sit until it starts turning a nice golden brown.  Don't turn the heat too high or it will crystallize.

Once done, pour into a spring form pan.  Mine was a 9 inch.  Take the sliced bananas and make a layer over the caramel.

Take the vanilla cake batter, and slowly pour over the bananas and caramel.  Bake at 350 for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Pull cake out of the oven, place over a cake plate and carefully invert.  Remove the side and bottom of pan.  If any bananas stick to the bottom, just scoop them out and pop them back on the cake.

That's it.  Simple, easy and soooo yummy.

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