Sunday, December 04, 2005

It is tomorrow….

Yes, it is tomorrow, we are going to Brazil!!!
I have been meaning to come here and post the recipes I have made during the week, but with all the packing, laundry, Christmas shopping, and a few other things I had to get done before going, I simply did not have much time left to post.
But here I am, ready to go! Everything is done and now I just have to be organized and put everything together before we leave. Until tomorrow I will probably find out that something is missing, or that I forgot something important, but I will leave to worry about this part later.
Now on to my favorite subject… Food!!
I had a pretty busy week but still managed to cook and even try new recipes, cooking for me is like a therapy so nothing better than heading to the kitchen after a stressful day. Thursday I decided to make muffins to leave for the husband’s breakfasts during the weeks he will be here alone. He requested banana bran muffins and strawberry muffins, and I also made my new favorite oatmeal muffin (the one from Nic’s site, posted here before!), believe it or not, we were in a muffin mood this week and about half of them is already gone… seems I will be making one more batch before leaving!
I also made an asparagus soup that was very good! I know, it is not asparagus season right now, but I found some frozen asparagus spears for the first time when shopping at whole foods during the week, I was extremely happy with my finding and since it was cold I decided to make soup. Very easy recipe and very good too, and you can vary the vegetables accordingly to what you have on hand.
Another recipe I made was for potato rolls, and this was a new one. I have had this recipe on my “to try pile” for years, and although it looked like a good one (it had a picture with it, which I like!) I had not made it before. And I have no idea why I waited so long, because the rolls were awesome! Simple but so good, they had the perfect texture of the potato rolls we buy at bakeries in Brazil, which usually come filled with a creamy cheese called “catupiry”. Well, I did not have the cheese here so I improvised and stuffed them with small pieces of those laughing cow triangles (Brazilians, read “ polenghinho”). It worked very well and the rolls were delicious! The recipe is in Portuguese, so if you want it just let me know and I will be glad to translate!
Recipe for the rolls can be found here:
Friday night we had Cheese Fondue! What can be better than melted cheese in a cold night, huh?! So good, and very easy to make too! I always make the same recipe, which I got from foodtv. As with usual fondue it is made with wine, but since Matheus was eating with us I made ours with chicken broth, instead (you can use milk too). I turned out very good, but if you have no kids for dinner by any means use the wine!
Finally, today after our obligatory “Sunday Pasta”, we had Cheesecake Ice Cream! This is actually a recipe I created after browsing different other recipes. As I have told you before, the husband loves cheesecake, and I love ice cream, so during the summer I developed this recipe in an attempt to combine both our likings and create one concoction we could happily enjoy together. It worked, we were all happy and now I share my recipe with you! Today I had some cream cheese left that I needed to use, so I made the recipe again, however, I did not have half-half on hand and used plain whole milk yogurt instead, which worked nice! The recipe is super easy to make and makes a creamy and delicious ice cream!
That is it for today. Have to finish up cleaning and getting everything in order for the husband before we go tomorrow. And I promise I will write from Brazil and try to post some pictures. Whish me a good trip!
See you soon, and enjoy the recipes!


Cream of Asparagus Soup (Cooking Light, April 2002)
3 cups (1/2-inch) sliced asparagus (about 1 pound)
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, divided
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups 1% low-fat milk
Dash of ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
Combine asparagus, broth, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, bay leaf, and garlic in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Place asparagus mixture in a blender; process until smooth.
Place flour in pan. Gradually add the milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Add puréed asparagus and ground nutmeg; stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in 1/4 teaspoon thyme, butter, salt, and lemon rind. Yield 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup).

Cream of Carrot Soup: Substitute 2 cups baby carrots for asparagus. Omit bay leaf.
Cream of Leek Soup: Substitute 3 cups sliced leek for asparagus. Substitute 3/4 teaspoon rosemary for thyme. Omit bay leaf.

Cheese Fondue (Tyler Florence)
1/2 pound imported Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 pound Gruyere cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cherry brandy, such as kirsch
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch nutmeg

In a small bowl, coat the cheeses with cornstarch and set aside. Rub the inside of the ceramic fondue pot with the garlic, then discard. Over medium heat, add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a gentle simmer. Gradually stir the cheese into the simmering liquid. Melting the cheese gradually encourages a smooth fondue. Once smooth, stir in cherry brandy, mustard and nutmeg.

My Cheesecake Ice Cream
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream (or heavy cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Blend everything together in a blender and freeze on ice cream machine.


Anonymous said...

Hi, the potato bread sounds and looks awesome. Would you be able to provide a translation of the recipe? Thanks so much! Love your blog by the way!

Joe said...

Have a safe trip to Brazil! I can't wait to hear about it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Ana, have a wonderful, wonderful time in Brasil!!! All the best for you and your beautiful family.

Valentina said...

Sweet Ana, fly safely.enjoy.I've heard that it is already pretty hot in Sao Paulo. Will be looking forward to hearing about your adventures. I'm envious.Lots of love.valentina

Cate said...

I actually have a bunch of asparagus in the fridge, awaiting their next use. Thought it might have been roasted asparagus, but I have a feeling it'll be this soup Wednesday night. Thanks for the heads up on the recipe!