Cook Perfect Fluffy Rice

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I usually try to post original recipes in order not to be too boring but today it couldn’t be more bland than simple rice! Yes just how to cook properly rice without any extras. I am actually just posting the recipe for my self, because I keep on forgetting how to do it right and I always need to ask Kris on how he’s doing it (he is the perfect rice cooker!). But why not sharing it with the rest of the world?

So off we go for lovely fluffy non sticky Basmati rice.

What you’ll need? Guess what? Indeed Basmate rice.
How much of it? 1 Cup for maybe 2-3 servings.

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1. First thing: Rinse the rice. How often? A professional cook would tell you “until it is perfectly clean!”.

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I would suggest you about 3 to 5 times. Try to get the water as clear as possible.
After rinsing the rice leave it to rest for about 20 min.

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2. Then put the rice in a cooking pot and add 1 cup and half of cold water. Leave the pot uncovered and cook on medium to high heat until small little ‘craters’ start to appear (do not stir in the meantime!).

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3. Once those ‘craters’ appear, stir the rice ONCE with a fork, turn to low heat and keep on cooking the rice for 8 minutes, this time covered. After 8 minutes turn the stove off and leave the rice to rest. If you want to eat the rice right away still leave it for another 8 to 9 minutes covered without cooking.

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Et voilà now you should have your perfect fluffy non-sticky rice à la Kris!

A little suggestion which might sound strange to many readers: if you eat bland rice, try to add a egg yolk (of course super fresh!) and mix it well, add a bit of salt and pepper. I love it! The family of my friend Catherine showed me their family invention when I was about 7-years-old and until today my Mum cannot understand why I like eating it this way.

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Nathalie

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Brazilian Candy Shop

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So, I’m in Brazil! My husband and I came last week to spend three weeks with our friends and family. That’s why I’ve been away from the blog; and I miss it very much!

First we went to São Paulo.  It’s a busy busy city! I love it there because everyday we always have something different to do; but one thing I couldn’t stand was the crazy traffic. I knew it was like that, but now it’s even worse. Besides traffic, everything was perfect. We went to some very nice restaurants and shops; and today I’ll talk about a specific place.

Do you remember Flora? She writes here sometimes and she is from São Paulo. She was very nice with us there, and we spend a whole afternoon going to malls and shops (without the husbands, of course :P).  We went to a mall called Pátio Paulista first. Things are a bit expensive there, but some things are totally worth it.

For instance, we went to a little shop called Brigaderia. They only sell brigadeiros, it’s very cool! Brigadeiro are very famous (and yummy) Brazilian candies. They are made of cocoa powder, sweet condensed milk and butter. The texture of those candies is very smooth and sticky; they are also very sweet. It’s a very simple recipe, but the owner of Brigadeira created tons of different variations of the same base recipe. We found there brigadeiro with capirinha, lemon, white chocolate, crispy brigadeiro, and, of course, the traditional one too!

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Stay tuned to learn how to make brigadeiro, I’ll soon post the recipe here. 😉

Gabriela

Homemade Biscuits

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This biscuits recipe is a creation of mine and they really turned out well: Everyone at home loved them! And the best of it: It’s so easy to make them, I’ll show you how.

What you’ll need:
2 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
100 g of butter without salt (melted)
2 lemons

So, that’s it, that’s all you need for these delicious biscuits. Let’s start the recipe then.

Put all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix well.
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After you finished mixing all the ingredients, you have to mix the dough by hand to get all the pieces together. 3

The dough has to be like it shows in this below picture, that’s when you know that this is ready to be extended with the rolling pin.
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When your dough  is like in the picture, leave it to rest for a bit until you prepare the next step, which is to put some flour on the counter top so you can extend the ball.
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With the rolling pin, extend the ball until you get more or less 1.1811inchs (3cm), so then you are prepared to cut it out.
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Since I don’t have special cutting shapes for the dough, I got creative and used a wine glass instead. It worked very well, but you can cut it with whatever you want. 🙂
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So, start cutting it and put all the pieces in one pirex already covered with butter and flour to avoid the cookies from sticking in the plate. 
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Now, put them in the oven (preheated at 400ºf) for more or less 30 min.
When you see them turning brown on the top, that’s when you know that they are ready to get out of the oven.
Take them out and let them cool down (if you can wait that long!). Enjoy them with some coffee or tea. 🙂
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Enjoy your biscuits and have a great week! 🙂

Lili

Original Pizza – Newport Beach

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In the past few weeks Kris and I have discovered a few spots in the OC which are some of our new fav’ places to have lunch or dinner.

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This one is about a pizzeria which couldn’t be any more basic than that: Home-made dough, hypnotizing smell on the pavement and a family friendly place with big tables.

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Kris and I were aiming for another place to eat, but where not convinced by it in the end and the smell of “Original Pizza” persuaded us to step in.

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You can even see that the dough is kneaded in the restaurant itself.

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If you’d like a nice American pizza eve’, forget about all those chains and try “Original Pizza“. You will not be deceived!

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Buon appetito!

Nathalie

“7 cães a 1 osso”

7dogs to 1 bone

In Portugal we say “7 cães a 1 osso” which means “7 dogs to 1 bone”, when something has a very high demand and a very low supply, like applying for a job that you think is so good and you might not be able to get it because there’s more people applying and waiting for it, or when you want something that someone wants too and there’s only one left, that will be seven dogs to one bone.

Normally, we say that in a humorous way because it might be a situation that is not good to laugh at, but it all depends on the situation that you or other person are in.

Hope you like and enjoy saying that. 🙂 Wish you a great week.

Lili

Vinyl Glass Jars

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One of these days I received an email from Pick Your Plum with a vinyl offer. I’ve seen on Pinterest many people making crafts with it, so I thought “Why not?”. I placed my order, but I still had no idea what to do with it.

The vinyl sheets arrived last week and I couldn’t wait to try them out. I browsed Pinterest again, but couldn’t find a craft that I love. I didn’t know I would need some tools to make cool projects with this material.

I don’t remember where I saw some empty glass jars covered with vinyl. I didn’t find the blog, but I decided to improvise. It was a little bit tricky, since I don’t have a cutting machine. It didn’t turn out perfect, but it is still cute and gives a nice touch to old glass jars.

I have many empty glass jars; I don’t like to throw them out. I painted some with spray paint months ago and decided to use them to do this craft. I just used vinyl sheets, scissor, and empty glass jars.

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I won’t make a step-by-step tutorial because this craft doesn’t have any rules to follow. You just need to use your creativity to make the designs. My drawing skills are not great, so my little mustache was a little bit strange. 😛

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I also made zig-zag patterns, just random things.

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I wasn’t able to make pics while I was fixing the patterns on the jars, but I can tell you: It’s very easy. I thought it would be really tricky, that once I put it on, there was no turning back. But I was pleasantly surprised when I realized vinyl is very easy to handle. You can take it off and put it back on the jar to adjust it.

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I liked the results, and I finally found a way to decorate my many empty jars!

I will use the big jar to put coins and one dollar bills. I’ll use the other ones to put my lipsticks and mascaras. It is a fun way to keep your small objects organized.

Just use your creativity and make cool designs! I hope I’ll buy a cutting machine soon, a small one. And of course, I’ll show the results here. 🙂

Gabriela

Is it possible to live a healthy lifestyle in the USA?

Hi guys,
Renatah blog

My name is Renatah, I’m 21 years old and I’m from Horta – Portugal. I have known Lili for a few years now, although we’ve never met in person, we are great friends and our love for music was what brought us together. Now I live in South Windsor, Connecticut and I absolutely love it! New England is a great traditional place to live in!

Like many other people when I first moved to the United States, I was so overwhelmed by all the foods that I never seen before and I wanted to try everything, but for me it didn’t last long, my appetite became different and my taste buds weren’t very happy with my eating habits.

I am a vegetarian by choice and this is a very important subject to me. To me being a vegetarian it means more than respecting all living things, it is also about my health, meat is not good for our type of bodies. When humans in the past moved from the Equador to Northern Regions of the Globe, it was very hard to find food during the winter and that is why, men started eating meat to SURVIVE. But in our days, we go to the supermarket and there are no seasons, everything is available and she should take a little advantage of this commodity. We can pretty much eat anything without eating animals.

So the answer to my question is yes! We can totally live a healthy long life while living here,

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and let me say that it is very hard, but it pays off in the long run.

And here’s why. Take cattle for an example, these animals are given growth hormones to make them gain weight and grow faster, and the public consuming dairy products and meat are exposed to many health risks, like increased risk of cancer. Milk here in America is genetically modified and contains genetically engineered bovine growth hormones (rBGH) and it is very dangerous for our health and it was banned in Canada and Europe.

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What should we do?

When shopping for milk look for “No rBGH” and Organic Milk. You can also look for healthy alternatives like Coconut Milk (great source of protein), Almond Milk (10% of daily recommended Vitamin D), Soy Milk (8% iron).

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When shopping for meat I recommend buying a few alternatives that are much healthier, cheaper and tastier like Tofurkey Italian Sausage which is a vegan product that is cholesterol-free, with 8 grams of fiber, 29 grams of protein as opposed to traditional pork italian sausage that contains 65mg of cholesterol.

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(See how tasty this tofurky pizza looks?)

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Produce is also something we should pay attention to.

Here in America more is always better, so it was necessary to start giving pesticides and genetically modified organisms to our produce, and this is very bad for our health, because pesticides are absorbed and cause cancer and birth defects.

I recommend that when shopping for produce you should look for 100% organic USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) approved produce which are free of any chemicals and have way more nutrients and taste so much better!

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The bottom line is that organic here in America is the key, if you consume organic you shouldn’t worry about any kind of health problems, and your energy levels will be so much higher.

Here are some brands I love and once you try it I guarantee you will not want to go back to your old eating habits:

Nature’s Promise

Organic Valley

Amy’s Kitchen

Newman’s Own Organic

and of course you wanna check out your local farmer’s market!

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Where to find all of these products?

Whole Foods Market

Trader Joe’s

Safeway

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It was a pleasure sharing some of my thoughts food related with all of you, this is a very important matter to me and even though sometimes it might be a little more expensive it pays off in the long run, IT’S OUR HEALTH!

If you have any other tips or ideas please share because I would love to add some new ideas to my plate!

Renatah 😉