Friday, May 26, 2006


Growing up in Portugal I can remember eating TONS of these. They were by far my favorite pastry. I have spent years looking for the right recipe to make them for my family, and just recently found it through Ina Garten's cookbook. Ina Garten is, of course, The Barefoot Contessa. I LOVE watching her on the Food Network and when I saw that she had this recipe in her book I literally jumped for joy. You guys should give these a try, they are extremely easy to make and SO good.

So here goes:


makes: about 24

1 pound puff pastry dough (2 rectangle sheets)
1 tablespoon soft butter
1/2 cup superfine sugar

Thaw the puff pastry if frozen. Roll one sheet of dough on a lightly floured work surface to 1/4-inch thick. Spread butter over surface of pastry.

Sprinkle with one half of the sugar. Roll second pastry sheet to the sam>e size as first. Place on top of first. Sprinkle remaining sugar over whole surface.

Fold as sketched bringing the ends to within 3/4 inch of each other. Repeat this folding as shown.

Slice into 1/4-inch- thick "palm leaves".

Put leaves on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15 minutes. Turn cookies over with a spatula.

Continue baking until golden brown. Transfer palmiers on a rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Let me know if you try these, they are just soooooo tasty, and my kids love them. Wow do they bring back great memories :)

Click on thumbnail below to download the printable recipe card:

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Salisbury Steak w/ Rice

Salisbury Steak

Melissa asked how I make my Salisbury Steak, so I'm posting the recipe for you all. This is one that I learnt how to make a LONG time ago, about 5 or 6 years. Since then I've made it many times, it's one of those dishes that my kids eat without me having to bribe, coax or threaten LOL

Salisbury Steak

Salisbury Steak

1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 crushed saltines - I've used Ritz crackers before and they worked really good too
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 pound lean ground beef
1 jar (12 ounces) beef gravy
1 small can mushrooms
2 tablespoons water
Hot cooked rice or Mashed Potatoes or Noodles

In a bowl, combine the egg white, onion, cracker crumbs, milk, salt and pepper. Add beef; mix well. Shape into four oval patties. Fry in a skillet over medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through, turning once.

Salisbury Steak

Remove patties and keep warm. Add gravy, mushrooms and water to skillet; heat for 3-5 minutes. Serve over rice.

I've also made the patties smaller, instead of making 4, I've made 8 smaller ones which work really good too. Hope you enjoy it :)

Salisbury Steak

Pasteis de Nata (Cream Cakes)

Recipe courtesy of David Leite

Be sure to check out Leite's Culinaria for tons of delicious recipes. I didn't have time to post the recipe yesterday so I'm doing it today. These are one of Portugals most known desserts. Let me tell you, one bite into these and you can't just put them down, it's amazing. They are these small little "tarts". If you try them out let me know how they turned out. I usually make a bunch of these and they are GONE that same day. 


Pastry Puff Pastry (the longer way you would make the pastry from scratch, but I'm all for shortcuts since I don't have the time to be in the kitchen that long)
Custard 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 1/2 cups heavy cream 1 cup granulated sugar 6 egg yolks
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to 1/16-inch thickness.
  • Cut out 6 (4 1/2-inch) circles.
  • (If you don't have a cookie cutter, a wide-mouth jar works well.) Ease the dough circles into a 12-cup (4-ounce capacity) nonstick muffin tin, pressing out any overlapping folds.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Place the tin in the freezer for 5 minutes.
  • Remove and trim any overhang with the back of a knife so that the pastry cups are flush with the top of the tins.
  • Line dough cups with cupcake papers and fill with dried beans or pastry weights.
  • Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 8 to 10 minutes to set.
  • Make the custard.
  • Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/4 cup of the cream in a medium bowl.
  • Add the remaining cream and sugar, and stir until the mixture is smooth and the sugar dissolves.
  • Check for sugar granules with a spoon; none should remain.
  • In a small bowl, blend the yolks with a fork until smooth.
  • Add the yolks to the cream mixture, stirring gently to combine.
  • Ladle the egg mixture into the partially baked pastry cups, filling to 2/3 capacity.
  • Bake in at 350°F (180°C) until the edges of the custard are puffed and middle is still jiggly, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  • (The custard will continue to cook.) Cool completely in the tin.
  • The pastéis are best when eaten the same day.
Believe me, these may not look that great in the picture, but they are heavenly. Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Menus May 16th - May 31st

Ok here's the menus for the next two weeks. As always this is what I use to make my grocery list from and remember that I don't always follow the day to a tee, if I feel like I can just substitute one day for the other, it makes no difference.

Tuesday 16th
Breakfast: Pancakes, Orange Juice
Lunch: Soup & Sandwiches
Dinner: Salisbury Steak with Rice

Wednesday 17th
Breakfast: Oatmeal, Apple Juice
Lunch: Mini Corndogs, Chips, applesauce
Dinner: Sandra's Chicken/Smoked Sausage Rice

Thursday 18th
Breakfast: French Toast Sticks
Lunch: Hot Pockets & Mac & Cheese
Dinner: Chicken Ring

Friday 19th
Breakfast: Cereal w/milk, Apple Juice
Lunch: Cheese Quesadillas
Dinner: Spaghetti w/ Garlic Bread

Saturday 20th
Breakfast: Bacon, Eggs, Toast
Lunch: BBQ
Dinner: Leftover BBQ

Sunday 21st
Breakfast: Cinnamon Rolls
Lunch: Hotdogs
Dinner: Portuguese Meatballs w/ Fries

Monday 22nd
Breakfast: Cinnamon Toast, Juice
Lunch: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Dinner: Ribs, Fries, Corn

Tuesday 23rd
Breakfast: Pancakes, OJ
Lunch: Soup & Sandwiches
Dinner: Sausage Broccoli Skillet

Wednesday 24th
Breakfast: Oatmeal
Lunch: Beanie Weenies
Dinner: Roast Chicken and Potatoes

Thursday 25th
Breakfast: French Toast Sticks
Lunch: Corndogs, Chips
Dinner: Fettucine Alfredo

Friday 26th
Breakfast: Cinnamon Toast, Apple Juice
Lunch: Taco Bell
Dinner: Baked Ziti

Saturday 27th
Breakfast: Pancakes, Chocolate Milk
Lunch: Mac & Cheese, Fruit cocktail
Dinner: Pizza

Sunday 28th
Breakfast: Bacon, Eggs, Biscuits and Gravy
Lunch: Soup & Sandwiches
Dinner: Yummy Hero Sandwiches

Monday 29th
Breakfast: Cereal w/milk
Lunch: Cheese Quesadillas
Dinner: Mushroom Steaks w/ Rice

Tuesday 30th
Breakfast: French Toast Sticks
Lunch: Hotdogs
Dinner: Chili's Monterey Chicken

Wednesday 31st
Breakfast: Oatmeal, OJ
Lunch: Chicken Tenders, baby carrots
Dinner: Domino's Pizza

Now you may notice that some of the items on the menu are the same from last week, that's because I either ended up NOT making them last time or we went out to eat or something, that's why there are some repeats.

Now for tonight I'm making my own recipe. It's sort of a jambalaya. I was trying to figure out what to make with leftover chicken and smoked sausage that I had, when I started adding my own ingredients and it actually turned out REALLY good. Hubby couldn't get enough and the kids also loved it.

As always, you know that I'm not one to measure things, I eyeball everything, so just stick with me here LOL

1 lb chicken tenders, cut into bite size chunks (or if you have leftover roast chicken you can use that)
1 lb smoked sausage, sliced
1 small onion, diced
1 1/2 cups of prepared rice (I usually cook mine separately and then add it to the pan).
Old bay seasoning to taste
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsps crushed garlic
1 bay leaf
chicken broth

I start off my putting about 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan. Then I add my onions, chicken and sausage and my seasonings. Cook it over medium heat until chicken is brown and cooked through, add about 1 cup of chicken broth and continue cooking for about 15 minutes. You may need to add more broth to keep it from sticking. Like I said, just eyeball here.
Once that is done, you take your cooked rice and add it to the pan. Stir everything together and check the seasonings, may need more salt or old bay seasoning etc. Remove from heat, remove the bay leaf, sprinkle with fresh parsley and that's it.

Let me tell you, I couldn't believe how good it turned out. As always if you try it, let me know :)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Menus May 6th - May 14th

Ok I seriously need to keep this blog updated, I've tried out so many good recipes lately and not just that but, I feel that if I had found a blog like this when I had just gotten married, it would helped immensely.

Making the switch from not making menus to planning meals, is actually really easy and it helps take away that feeling of "what am I going to fix for dinner?".

So here are the menus for the next two weeks. These are what we are eating of course you are more than welcome to copy it or just adjust to your liking, I know not everyone likes the same things. :)

Saturday 6th
Breakfast: Bacon, Biscuits and Gravy
Lunch: Soup & Sandwiches
Dinner: Ribs, Fries, Corn on the Cob

Sunday 7th
Breakfast: Cinnamon Rolls
Lunch: BBQ (hamburgers, potato salad, baked beans)
Dinner: Leftover BBQ

Monday 8th
Breakfast: Oatmeal, OJ
Lunch: Hot Pockets, Chips
Dinner: Chicken Salad Panini

Tuesday 9th
Breakfast: French Toast Sticks
Lunch: Cheese Quesadillas
Dinner: Pork Chops w/ mashed potatoes

Wednesday 10th
Breakfast: Cereal w/ Milk
Lunch: PB & J Sandwiches, Fruit Bowls
Dinner: Shepherds Pie

Thursday 11th
Breakfast: Pancakes
Lunch: Hotdogs
Dinner: Roast Chicken w/ potatoes & veggies

Friday 12th
Breakfast: Cinnamon Toast, Juice
Lunch: Ramen Noodles
Dinner: Steak w/ Pepper Sauce and Rice

Saturday 13th
Breakfast: Bacon, Eggs, Toast
Lunch: Homemade Pizza
Dinner: Slow Cooker Roast

Sunday 14th
Breakfast: Cinnamon Rolls
Lunch: Soup & Sandwiches
Dinner: Salisbury Steak w/ Rice

There ya go. I will post the recipes each day so that you can follow along :)
As I said before, go ahead and substitute whatever you wish according to your families tastes.

Tonight I'm making Ribs. Now us personally, we prefer the Pork Spareribs, so I buy a big slab, usually around 4.5 lbs for $7 which is not bad.

Now if you've never made ribs before, everyone always suggests boiling them first.

Preheat oven to 375 F.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season water with a pinch each of salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper to the water. Boil ribs in seasoned water for 20 minutes. Drain, and let the ribs sit for about a half an hour.

Then I take the ribs, place them in a greased baking dish, make sure it's one of the big ones to fit the ribs, although I usually have the slab cut in half to make more room.
Then I take out a bottle of my favorite Barbecue Sauce and just slather it on there, turn the ribs over and slather it on the other side. Once I have them covered in the sauce, I cover the dish with foil.
Place in the oven for about 2 or 3 hours, about 20 minutes before it's done cooking, remove foil so they can get that nice crispy coating.

I usually serve mine with some Steak Fries, Corn on the Cob and the kids LOVE Onion Rings, so I sometimes do that too :)