Susan Miller Astrology Zone

Susan Miller: The Queen of the Zodiac

Celebrating 25 years of Astrology

 

Susan Miller's Wall Calendar
Miller’s calendar has gorgeous illustrations by Izac Zenou. Each image is an inspiration for the month.

 

With a clutch of top celebrity clients, Susan Miller is finding strength in her work to help others—and herself.

“You’re going to walk again,” wrote the editor of a horoscope magazine replying to Susan Miller’s letter when she was a young teenager sitting by the bed of a hospital, a place she knew all too well from the ages of 9 to 14 when walking became a challenge.

Miller didn’t go to school like regular kids, due to continued serious health issues in her youth. Something you can’t tell when you meet her today and get lost in the depth and excitement of her conversation, unless she tells you the story —which she does because it left such a deep print on her soul and impacted all aspects of her life.

Although Miller didn’t have a typical childhood, she did go to college and graduated from New York University with a major in business. “If you have a major in business, you’ll always find work”, she recalls her father’s words.

With a lot of faith and physical therapy Miller rose and left the health challenges she faced all in the past. She got married, had kids, and moved on working for several years as a commercial agency photographer, not embracing what would later become her biggest talent: the study of the zodiac.

“My mom was an astrologer, but she didn’t want me to be one. She knew astrology inside out and backward and told me that you have to study astrology for 12 years to be good at it.”

Her two daughters, Christiane and Diane are now grown adults and Miller is grandmother to a little boy.

Reading a chart is easy but interpreting what you’re reading is what makes all the difference in the world.

“Astrology is not a fortune-telling discipline”, Miller explains. “Instead, astrology is a tool to help people pilot their lives. It has nothing to do with predicting the future or guessing what happened in the past. It has everything to do with math. It’s cracking the code on symbols and interpreting universal signs of the zodiac.”

Astrology Zone

 

With a predisposition to see everyone with positive regard and a deep passion for what she does, Miller has created an empire around astrology and solidified her name as one of the most credited professionals in the field. In 1995, she founded Astrology Zone, a website that is ever-growing, as we speak, to an astonishing 11 million readers a year. She is the author of 12 astrology books and writes monthly columns for six international magazines, from Brazil to Japan to Greece and Turkey.

One immersion on her website AstrologyZone and that’s enough to hook you up. Unlike most horoscopes that give a very generic scoop of each sign, she writes pages and pages about the planetary trends and how they can affect each sign.

There is a lot of attention and respect to details in her writing and she often shares on social media with her readers, how many hours it took to write each sign, the word count, the reason it’s important to read, and how you can use that piece of information to your advantage.

In other words, it’s astrology bearing psychology, bearing therapy, bearing self-reflection — as these fields blend and become one.

I’m not sure if Harry Potter’s approach to the mystical has anything to do to push the occult subject of astrology into the mainstream, but in recent years, it proliferated across the internet.

Susan Miller Calendar
More random pages from the beautiful calendar.

 

Astrology Enterprenuer

In fact, technology and social media were game-changer for Miller’s business. She created an app called “Daily Horoscope Astrology Zone + More by Susan Miller” on Apple Store and Google Play. She posts daily on Instagram, which allows her to engage and create close relationships with a community of readers around the globe. Harvesting the fruits of this relationship happens in so many ways: from getting direct messages and responses about the effects of a lunar eclipse, to knowing how many people got affected by a Mercury retrograde. With a click of a button, the research is available to her.

If you have no idea what the heck is Mercury retrograde, don’t worry. I didn’t know either. “Keeping track of Mercury retrograde periods can allow you to increase your productivity and avoid at least some of the frustration they can bring about” it’s written on her website. In other words, she says “the energy of the planets can sometimes tell us to wait for a better time and avoid the retrograde period.”

Miller manages a team of 17 people across the country, from graphic designers to illustrators to writers, editors, and web developers. It’s a full business and something she does with extreme devotion and pride.

Since the pandemic, Miller’s work has been at an ever-high demand, as everyone is curious to know: what’s next? While many people are a little skeptical to search for a psychic or a tarot card reader, astrology which is based on the study of planets seems to have a fundamental science aspect as an entry point for those who would normally discard such beliefs.

“Astrology is built on math and geometry, and I get all my information from NASA”, Miller tells me.

It takes time to develop such fine-tune confidence when reading charts. Miller’s parents never had any doubt of their daughter’s ability to find her role in life, and she made it a mission to help and motivate other people to embrace life as they see it.

Miller talks about her mother with fond memories of one that left too soon. Listening to her story, it’s pretty clear that the mother-daughter bond was not only a special one but capable of miracles. “My mom always knew I would walk again. When I was back in surgery, I had my mother’s face with me, telling me, you can do this”, Miller recalls. “That’s what I want to do with my clients.”

As I started reading AstrologyZone, I now consult the site before making an important move. Better yet, I bought Susan Miller’s Astrological Wall Calendar; a gorgeous piece of stationery to have on my desk, or hang by the wall, which contains tips and details about the best and worst days of the year.

 

susan miller calendar
Inspired Illustrations for an inspiring year.

Since we are in the middle of year, here are few upcoming exciting dates to look for:

June 24th, 2021 “Fantastic! Good fortune Jupiter will send golden beams to the full moon and Sun, delivering outstanding luck.”

July 9th, 2021 “Happy surprises abound in weeks ahead due to a sparkling vibration from Uranus to Sun + new moon.”

Stability is a fantasy, for sure. But to be certain of nothing is also petrifying. We all need some level of certainty in our lives. Getting a “forecast” from Susan’s horoscope about a divine plan coming from the stars, the sun, the planets, and the universe at large does help me calm my fears. Yes, it’s called astrology. But I also like to call it therapy.

To have more information about Susan Miller’s website, visit

AstrologyZone

Follow Susan on:

Twitter @AstrologyZone

Facebook: Facebook.com/AstrologyZone

Instagram @AstrologyZone

 

 

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Leticia

 

Rhubarb Soup

Chilled Rhubarb Soup

We often associate rhubarb with pie, tarts and crumbles recipes, but it was OMG at first sight when I saw this bunch at the farmer’s market and used it as an inspiration for this gleaming new recipe for Chilled Rhubarb Soup. Think Pink! Sweet and sour, it subtly glimmers for an occasion that blends easy elegance with a casual spirit.

Characterized by a unique tangy taste, each slurp of this soup celebrates your hand in the kitchen. The soup’s distinctive taste is created by slowly cooking rhubarb and some ginger in a sugary syrup. The result is one of the most gorgeous foods you’ll ever create. I’m not kidding! Look at the color of this soup! Rarely we see recipes as photogenic as this.

We are entering rhubarb peak season during the months of May, June and July.

Think Pink! Think Rhubarb!If any association with celery comes to mind, yes, look for crisp, refreshing stalks. You’ll see shades of green turning to shades of pink and it’s that passage of color in this unique vegetable that makes rhubarb so unique in taste and appearance.

When buying rhubarb, choose a bunch as you would celery. You’re looking for crispy stalks. I like to wrap the ends of the rhubarb in a wet paper towel and keep it well wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator. It should last a good two weeks in the fridge.

This soup is so refreshing from the ground up! After many winter months, a new season feels like a miracle and rhubarb has the power to transform an entire menu, whether it’s creating a healthier neutral base or taking center stage as dessert. For a modern spin, garnish the soup with strawberries pistachios and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Every year I like to explore rhubarb in a variety of different recipes. You might like this recipe for Rhubarb Strawberry Pie here on the site and boy, oh boy, oh boy, this recipe is dreamy!

 

Chilled Rhubarb Soup

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Adapted from The Last Course by Claudia Fleming

Simple Syrup

1 ½ cups sugar

1 ¼ cup water

6 ½ cup sliced, trimmed rhubarb (about 2½ pounds untrimmed)

1 ½ ounces fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced into 12 quarter size slices

For Garnish:

Serve with some quartered strawberries or raspberries in the soup.

Chopped pistachios

Green Yogurt

Procedure:

In a large saucepan over medium high-heat combine the sugar and water. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Simmer gently for 1 minute, then turn off the heat.

Add the sliced rhubarb and ginger to the pan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook gently for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to break down the rhubarb. Do not let the soup boil or the foam will turn bitter. Force the soup through a medium sieve discarding the solids. Pour the soup into a bowl and let it cool completely. Chill the coup until cold, at least 3 hours or up to 2 days. To serve, scoop a small mound of Greek yogurt in the middle and ladle each into chilled bowls or soup plates and garnish with strawberries and pistachios.

 

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

If you’re looking for Olympian baking, this Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart is! For those of us crazy for the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, this is the apex in a tart format.

There are 3 components to this tart: the cookie crust, the peanut mousse and the chocolate ganache.  Don’t fret. It really doesn’t take that long, and the entire tart can be prepared and assembled up to 5 days ahead of time and you’re all set.

This recipe is adapted from one of the most respected bakers in the U.S, Rose Levy Beranbaum, and it’s her attention to details that make this recipe work so well. I love how she mixes a bit of milk and bittersweet chocolate in the ganache. However, if you’d like to incline one way or the other, feel free to use just milk, or just semisweet.

Respect the ingredients – this recipe can handle season patterns from misty rain to artic blast to summer vibes. Remember, because we care about the ingredients, we also care about temperature. When baking, make sure to bring all ingredients to room temperature before starting.

Bake with love! This recipe is guaranteed to take you to paradise. And dream of Para-para-paradise! Para-para-paradise!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

Adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum, The Pie and Pastry Bible, Scribner 1998

Makes one 9-inch tart, serving 8 to 10 people

 

For the Peanut Butter Mousse

7 tablespoons cream cheese at room temperature

½ cup peanut butter (smooth)

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup heavy cream, softly whipped

 

For the Chocolate Ganache

3 ounces milk chocolate

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1/3 cup heavy cream

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

 

For the Sweet Peanut Butter Cookie Tart Crust

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

¼ cup packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes

½ cup smooth peanut butter, preferably Jif at room temperature

½ large egg (beat the egg lightly before measuring out half of it)

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Equipment: 9-inch tart fluted pan

Prepare the Cookie Tart Crust:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, process the sugars for a few seconds until very fine. With the motor running, add the butter cubes. Add the peanut butter and process until smooth and creamy, about 10 seconds. With the motor running, add the egg and vanilla and process until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture and pulse just until combined. (you can also use an electric mixer if you don’t have a food processor).
  • Scrape the dough into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  • Press the dough evenly into the tart pan. You can use a piece of plastic wrap to do this and invert onto the tart pan and then press against the sides. If the dough softens and sticks, refrigerate it until the plastic wrap doesn’t stick. If the dough tears, simply press it together or use the scraps to press into any empty areas. Cover the tart pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Bake the tart shell, without weights in a preheated 350˚F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. It will puff at first and then settle down at the end of the baking. The sides will be soft but spring back when touched gently with a finger. Cool on a wire rack.

 Prepare the Peanut Butter Mousse:

  • In the bowl of a standing mixer, preferably fit with the whisk beater, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, and sugar just until the mixture is uniform in color. Reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla. Beat in ¼ cup of the whipped cream just until it is incorporated. With a large rubber spatula, fold in the rest of the whipped cream, mixing until the mixture is well blended but still airy.
  • Scrape the mousse into the sweet peanut butter cookie tart crust and smooth the surface so that it is level. Refrigerate the tart while preparing the ganache.

Make the Chocolate Ganache:

  • Chop the milk and bittersweet chocolates with a serrated knife very finely and place it a glass or stainless-steel bowl.
  • Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 1 minute allowing the heat to melt the chocolate. Whisk slowly from the center out until homogeneous and then a bit more vigorously, making sure the ganache is completely smooth. Add the vanilla and whisk again. Cool to temperature before glazing the tart.

Assemble the Tart:

  • Pour the ganache over the peanut butter mousse in a circular motion, being careful so that it does not land too heavily in any one spot and cause a depression in the mousse. Using a small metal spatula, start to spread the ganache to the edges of the pastry, then spread it evenly to cover the entire surface of the tart. Refrigerate the tart for at least 2 hours to set or up to 5 days.
  • Remove the tart from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving. Unmold the tart and cut it with a sharp thin bladed knife, dipping in hot water after each cut to make a clean cut.

 

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Tahini Caramel Tart

Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart

Rhubarb Strawberry Pie

Sweet Potato Pie

Chocolate Custard Pie

 

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See you next time,

Leticia

 

 

 

Steak Tartare Recipe

Steak Tartare Recipe

I made this Steak Tartare Recipe for a very special occasion, my father’s birthday. Knowing his passion for Steak Tartare, from the glory days of Rio de Janeiro, back in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s when Steak Tartare was a delicacy, prepared tableside at special restaurants, I decided to revive the recipe in his honor.

The reason this simple dish is quite extravagant is because you want to make it with the freshest and best quality filet mignon you can possibly find. And let’s be honest here – filet mignon, to this day, can be a little pricey.

It’s important to invest in good quality meat. One gram of fat can virtually threaten the entire dish, given it’s eaten cold and raw. That’s the beauty of Steak Tartare. It’s raw meat seasoned so well, so intensely, that it transforms the flavor of raw meat.

Steak Tartare Mixing

It’s also important to cut the meat by hand. You don’t want to make this with ground meat. Oh no! You want to slowly chop the meat, paying attention to each and every dice and making sure the meat stays cold at all times.

For the potatoes, if you don’t want to make your own shoe-string potatoes, by all means, buy store bought.

Thin Potatoes

Although, if you decide to make it, you’ll be so pleased! Unlike the classic French Fries that need to be fried twice, shoe-string potatoes only need one frying process, making it a much easier operation. Also, you can fry the potatoes up to 3 days ahead of time and store them in a plastic container at room temperature.

For the lettuce, I like to use a combination of arugula and mesclun. Even parsley goes well in the mixture. Be careful not to use a strong dressing for the lettuce or it might overwhelm the meat tartare. I like to use a small drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, with a few twists of pure Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper. If this seems too plain for you, go ahead and use a more complex dressing.

 

Steak Tartare

Serves 6 to 8

 

For the Potatoes:

2 Idaho potatoes

1-quart canola oil to fry

 

For the Meat:

1¼ pound filet mignon, very cold

½ medium onion, minced

2 tablespoons capers

8 cornichons, cut into small dice

2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped

1 anchovy fillet, minced

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, peeled and minced

Kosher salt and Freshly grated black pepper

6 tablespoons mayonnaise

 

For the Lettuce

4 cups mesclun lettuce

Olive oil, Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fry the Potatoes

  • Cut the potatoes into a julienne cut, using a mandoline. Let the potatoes soak in cold water as you cut them, changing the water at least once. This will wash away the starch in the potatoes.
  • Spread the potatoes onto a baking sheet pan or a tray, covered with paper towels, and let them air dry for 5 minutes. Idaho potatoes will hold color up to 5-10 minutes if exposed to air. After that, they will start oxidizing and turning brown, so be careful not to let too much time pass before frying them.
  • Pour the canola oil into a heavy-bottomed pot or casserole and heat the oil to 350˚F as measured by deep-fat thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer, drop one potato into the oil­ – when you hear a sizzling sound and see it turning golden brown, the oil is ready.
  • Fry the potatoes in batches until they are lightly golden brown. It is important not to crowd the pot with too many potatoes or the oil will cool down and the potatoes won’t stay crunchy. Carefully transfer to a plate lined with a double thickness of paper towels and sprinkle them with salt. Set aside until they are ready to be used.
  • You can prepare the potatoes up to 3 days ahead of serving, just be sure to keep them in a plastic container, covered with a tight-fitting lid at room temperature.

Prepare the Meat:

  • Remove the beef from the refrigerator. It should be very cold. Using a very sharp chef’s knife cut the steak into think ¼-inch slices. Stack 3 of the slices and slice lengthwise, every ½-inch holding the stack in place. Then cut across the stack, again every ½-inch, cutting the steak into ½-inch dice. Hold the chopped steak in a bowl set over crushed ice in a larger bowl. When all of the beef is chopped, add the onion, capers, cornichons, parsley, anchovy, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Gently mix with a fork until just combined. Add the mayonnaise and mix gently. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  • Dress the mesclun salad with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Serve on individual plates with the potato and mesclun lettuce on the side.

 

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Onion Soup

Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

Chicken Peperonata

Osso Bucco

 

I’m so happy that you visited today. Thanks for reading and browsing my site.

Make sure to share this story with someone who cares about this topic.

I’d love to know what you think about it too, please send an e-mail.

You can find more about my work on ChefLeticia.com;

You can buy my cookbooks on Amazon:

Latin Superfoods is my latest cookbook,

I’m also the author of The Brazilian Kitchen and My Rio de Janeiro: A cookbook.

Visit my YouTube Chanel @LeticiaMoreinosSchwartz

The easiest and most impactful thing you can to support is subscribe to my newsletter and to my channel on YouTube. And of course, tell your friends about it.

I’d love to connect with you on social media

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Facebook @ChefLeticiaHealthyCooking

Twitter @ChefLeticia

 

See you next time,

Leticia

 

 

 

Gabriela Isman

Alchimista Spiked Ice Cream

From Buenos Aires to São Paulo to Singapore to Connecticut, Gaby Baumatz is making the most spiked (and delicious!) ice cream ever.

 

Alchimista Spiked Ice Cream

 

 

When the government announced plans to lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic, Gaby Baumatz searched for comfort in the kitchen.

“My grandmother used to make ice cream, and I was trying to replicate it a few years ago. I decided to try it again, just for fun”, said Baumatz.

As the pandemic extended beyond our predictions, she continued to experiment in the kitchen and decided to embark upon a new venture devoted to the production of a new style of ice cream rarely seen before: alcohol-based ice cream.  Alchimista Spiked Ice Cream was born.

But before launching a business, a lot had to happen. She reached out to an ice cream expert based in her hometown, Buenos Aires, and learned the ins and outs of ice cream science.

“Once I had the chemistry information, it became easier to understand what I was doing in the kitchen”.

Alchimista Ice Cream
A close up in the science of Alchimista Spiked Ice Cream

 

Her family was astonished by the delicious tastes of alcohol-infused ice cream and jumped in. Her kids, Julia, Sami, and Tomas all came on board to help, especially because everyone was home.

Alchimista Spiked Ice Cream
A family ice cream affair!

 

The vote was unanimous: “Let’s start an ice cream business!” The plan gradually started to evolve. From her home kitchen, she started to produce a small inventory of ice cream. As social distancing was required, Baumatz started to host outdoor ice cream tasting events. “People love it! She says, with a smile on her face.

Spiked Lemon Mousse is prepared with a subtle addition of Cointreau

 

Tasting Events

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been to an ice cream tasting? While this kind of event is barely an American practice, it should become one. I was there, mesmerized by the colors and flavors of the collection, hosted by Gaby Baumtaz herself. First, it’s a social gathering, and in times like these, we all need a really good excuse—like ice cream— to meet. Second, the tasting is conducted in great fashion, not too different than a wine tasting; pen and paper, everyone taking notes and comparing tastes. Third, I ended buying two containers that didn’t last more than three days in my house.

Gaby Baumatz was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After a degree in architecture, she met her now-husband Adrian Isman and the couple have three children, now young adults. By courtesy of Mr. Isman’s job, the family became world travelers, moving first to Brazil, then to Singapore, to Brazil again, and then to Connecticut, where the family arrived in 2017 and is currently established.

 

Alchimista Spiked Ice Cream
Hazelnut Cream infused with Baileys

 

“With all this world experience, I feel like ice cream is a continuation of my creativity. From home designer to ice cream maker”, Baumatz jokes. This ice cream is the apex between flavor, texture, package, and image. “I look for a strong flavor, powerful colors, and ice cream with a personality made with fresh ingredients and excellent quality. It’s a very unique product.”

Another Day, Another Ice Cream

Indeed. Alchimista Spiked Iced Cream presents 12 flavors (more to come!). Different flavors present different opportunities to indulge. The Paloma for example, is a Tequila-infused grapefruit sorbet, very much like a palate cleanser. The Chocolate Truffle is a perfect dessert. The Hazelnut Cream is the perfect snack. There will be a chocolate sorbet for those who are lactose intolerant. Baumatz uses two different bases for the recipes: milk-based (chocolate, hazelnut) and water-based (sorbets, grapefruit, lemons, etc). All ingredients are indicated on the label.

As the tastings grew into frequent events, Baumatz rented a commercial kitchen in Mamaroneck for production. She bought Italian gelato machines and keeps them in a special ice cream freezer. Alchimista Spiked Ice Cream delivers all over New York state. For Connecticut customers, a curb pick can be arranged.

You can find more info about Alchimista Spiked Ice Cream:

www.myalchimista.com

Instagram: alchimista_icecream

Email: [email protected]

 

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

You can buy my cookbooks on Amazon: Latin Superfoods is my latest cookbook.

I’m also the author of The Brazilian Kitchen and My Rio de Janeiro: A Cookbook.

Visit my YouTube Chanel @LeticiaMoreinosSchwartz.

The easiest and most impactful thing you can to support is subscribe to my newsletter and to my channel on YouTube.

And of course, tell your friends about it.

Share this recipe with friends who will enjoy food;

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Leticia

 

Silky Green Pasta Julia Turshen

Silky Green Pasta

Here’s a Silky Green Pasta to add to your cooking repertoire! We’ve all seen pasta made with vegetables become a different color. Variations on pasta, and gnocchi for that matter, come in many colors and flavors: beet, spinach, and carrots result in attractive pasta dishes, flavored and colored by the addition of these vegetables to the dough.

This green pasta, adapted from Simply Julia, the newest cookbook by Julia Turshen, is so intense in flavor and color, that any pasta becomes deeply enrobed in this velvety sauce with exquisite taste. Let’s be honest here, cooking pasta and dressing it with a green sauce is a lot less work than injecting vegetables inside the dough. It’s all in the sauce!

Simply Julia

In the book, Julia tells the story of Llubav, an artist and mother who makes this recipe often on weeknights. It doesn’t require any chopping at all, and the sauce itself is so delicious, it can and should be used in other combinations, like risotto, or boiled potatoes. To honor the artist, she named the recipe Llubav ‘s Green Spaghetti. The name of the recipe is irresistible: Llubav. Is it Russian, Hebrew, or Croatian? As I made the recipe a few times for my family, we gradually ignored its original title and started calling it Silky Green Pasta. (Hope Llubav and Julia will be ok with this!)

Feel free to use the pasta of your preference. I used Orecchiette and it came out amazing. Once you’ve got your sauce and pasta cooked, you can prepare everything ahead of time and assemble it just before serving.

Julia’s work deserves much attention. Not only her cookbooks are an excellent source of delicious recipes (I have cooked many from her previous books) but Julia also has a big voice advocating for women, equity, and LBGTQ. She is the founder of Equity at the Table (EATT), an inclusive digital directory of women/non-binary individuals in food, and the host of keep Calm and Cook on.

Julia Turshen

I love following her videos on Instagram and her scrap notes (also seen on Instagram) reminds me of life before social media. Before computers. Before technology invaded our lives. A world in which a pan and paper still mattered. Coincidence or not, Julia’s recipes also remind me of that world, with the advantage of being practical, modern, simple, and delicious.

 

Silky Green Pasta

Inspired by Julia Turshen’s cookbook Simply Julia

 

Serves 4

 

Ingredients:

kosher salt

1 lb pasta, preferably whole-wheat spaghetti or whatever pasta you like

5 oz baby fresh spinach

6 large leaves fresh kale (any type), tough stems discarded, torn into large pieces

1 large handful of fresh basil leaves (about 12 large leaves)

1 garlic clove, peeled

½ cup (50g) crumbled feta cheese, plus extra for serving

3 tablespoons cream cheese

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

 

Set a large pot of water to boil and salt it generously. Add the pasta to the pot and cook according to the package instructions.

Meanwhile, place the spinach, kale, basil, garlic, feta cheese, cream cheese, and olive oil in a blender and add 1 cup (250ml) of the boiling salted water from the pasta pot. Puree until smooth and season to taste with salt and pepper (it might need very little salt, depending on how salty your water is).

Drain the pasta in a colander and then return it to the now-empty pot. Add the green sauce and stir well to combine.

Serve immediately with extra crumbled feta cheese on top. Or if you’re like me, why not some Parmesan?

 

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

You can buy my cookbooks on Amazon: Latin Superfoods is my latest cookbook.

I’m also the author of The Brazilian Kitchen and My Rio de Janeiro: A Cookbook.

Visit my YouTube Chanel @LeticiaMoreinosSchwartz

The easiest and most impactful thing you can to support is subscribe to my newsletter and to my channel on YouTube.

And of course, tell your friends about it.

Share this recipe with friends who will enjoy!

For updates on my food adventures, subscribe to my newsletter, which you can find on my web site www.chefleticia.com

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Chicken Peperonata Cooking show

Chicken Peperonata

Talk about celebrity crush, here is mine: Giada De Laurentiis. I’m not sure if “crush” is the proper word, but you get what I mean. Not only I’m one of the millions of fans of her shows on Food Network, I’ve been using her cookbooks since Every Day Italian came out.

This recipe is adapted from Giada’s Italy, another book featuring many Italian inspired recipes great for the home-cook. In the book, she titled the recipe Crispy Chicken Thighs with Peppers and Capers.  She tells the story of her great-aunt Raffy, “who makes the most delicious peperonata” and inspired her to create this recipe. I thought it’s easier to just call it Chicken Peperonata.

Many food aristocrats consider chicken boring. Not me. I love chicken, and this recipe is Italian chicken glory! While white breast meat is 99 percent white fiber muscle and very healthy, dark meat carries more oxygen and myoglobin, which is the reason for the darker color, but it also carries more fat (but not that much) which is the reason it tastes better.

Like Giada, I like to make this recipe with chicken thighs, but if you prefer to use chicken breast, it will be just as wonderful. If you want to be even more productive and buy an entire chicken, go for it, and use every part. Save the bones for brodo and use all other parts of the chicken for this recipe.

Magic in the world of food often relies on the ingredients you have, so be sure to carefully choose nice kalamata olives (over canned), fresh bell peppers and capers in brine. The result is as incredible as any Italian restaurant can provide.

Another bonus of this recipe: it’s year-round-evergreen. When you close your eyes and imagine a table full of friends and family, picture this Chicken Peperonata in the middle of the table. It’s pure cooking, captivating your family with the power of cooking—and the recipes that you find right here at Chef Leticia.

 

Chicken Peperonata

Adapted from Giada’s Italy

Serves 4

 

¼ cup olive oil

4 chicken thighs (about 2 lbs)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 anchovy fillet or ½ teaspoon anchovy paste

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced into thin strips

1 shallot, diced small

½ cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

1 cup dry bread-crumbs

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

 

Pre-heat the oven to 425F.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Dry the chicken very well with paper towels and season evenly on both sides with ¾ of teaspoon of kosher salt.  Place the thighs in the hot pan, skin-side down, and cook without moving for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip the thighs and cook an additional 3 minutes. Transfer the thighs to a baking sheet and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160F.

While the chicken roasts, place the same pan over medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the anchovy and mash it with the back of a wooden spoon until it dissolves into the oil. Add the bell pepper and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt to the pan and cook, stirring often for 5 minutes, until cooked through and soft. Stir in the shallots and cook an additional minute. Add the olives, capers, and oregano to the pan and stir to combine.

Sprinkle the bread-crumbs over the pepper mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until the bread crumbs have soaked up all the flavored oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bread-crumbs are toasted and the flavors have married, about another 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley. Spook the bread-crumb mixture onto a platter. Top with the chicken thighs and drizzle with any accumulated juices from the baking sheet.

 

More Chicken and Italian Recipes:

Chicken With Mushroom Sauce

Veal Scaloppine

Melon with Prosciutto Di Parma

Penne A la Vodka

 

I’m so happy that you visited today!

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You can buy my cookbooks on Amazon: Latin Superfoods is my latest cookbook.

I’m also the author of The Brazilian Kitchen and My Rio de Janeiro: A Cookbook.

Visit my YouTube Chanel @LeticiaMoreinosSchwartz

 

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Tahini Caramel Tart

Take a bite of this Tahini Caramel Tart! Right through the screen!

Tahini, a sesame seed paste that has long satisfied the Mediterranean palate is finding a much wider audience. It has the potential to rival peanut butter, almond butter, and cashew butter.

According to Adeena Sussman, an expert in Israeli cooking and author of Sababa, where this recipe is featured, “Tahini is made from sesame seeds that are soaked in water (sometimes salted), then crushed so the hull separates from the tender inner germ. The seeds are then run through a centrifuge to separate and dispose of the waste before being roasted and finally ground between huge millstones to produce the tahini everyone in Israel knows.”

In a regular supermarket, among the many brands of tahini available nowadays, you will find Joyva Sesame Tahini, Seed & Mill Organic Tahini, Ziiyad All-Natural Tahini, and Roland Organic Tahini. Whole Foods has also created its own 365 Organic version.

Smooth tahini paste has become a favorite among chefs and home cooks, as Israeli cuisine is gaining more popularity. Not surprisingly, it is on the menu at places that specialize in Mediterranean cooking and home cooks are discovering that it is as handy to have in the kitchen as peanut butter.

It’s also turning up in sweet dishes, like this delicious Tahini Caramel Tart. Caramel Tarts started to show up a good 20 years ago, but this one, made with tahini in the caramel is pretty special. As you see in the recipe, it calls for ½ teaspoon of sea salt. Use it. The caramel really needs this whole amount of salt, or else, it’s going to be too sweet.

When I first made this tart and photographed it for this blog, I ended up skipping the Labaneh whipped cream. Since then, I made this tart a few more times, including the whipped cream, which does add a good complement. As you can tell, this recipe quickly became a regular in my kitchen, and I hope it becomes a regular in your kitchen too.

I’m slowly working my way through Sussman’s book. You might also like this recipe for Eggplant and Tomato Galette from Adeena Sussman’s Sababa.

 

Tahini Caramel Tart Cooking Show

Tahini Caramel Tart

Adapted from Sababa by Adeena Sussman

Serves 12 to 14

 

Chocolate Shortbread Crust

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, slightly softened

½ cup confectioner’s sugar

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

3 tablespoons sesame seeds

 

Tahini Caramel

½ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup heavy cream

½ cup lightly packed light brown sugar

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces

3 tablespoons Asian (date syrup)

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

1/3 cup pure tahini paste

 

Labaneh Whipped Cream

2/3 cup heavy cream

½ cup 4-Hour Labaneh, or Greek Yogurt

1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar

 

Make the Crust: Preheat the oven to 325˚F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and confection sugar at medium-high speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary, until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and sesame seeds. And beat until just incorporated 15 to 20 seconds. Gather the dough, then press it into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Freeze for 10 minutes, then bake until the crust is golden and flaky but still soft, 25 minutes. Cool Completely.

While the tart is cooling, make the caramel: Place the granulated sugar in a medium saucepan (try to use one with a few inches headroom) and sprinkle 3 tablespoons of water on top of it. Turn the heat to medium, bring to a boil, then increase the heat to medium-high and boil until the sugar turns syrupy and the color of light caramel, about 7 minutes ( be careful here; it can burn, so take it off the heat a few seconds early if you’re in doubt and swirl gently if one area begins to darken more than others). Remove the syrup from the heat, then immediately add the cream, brown sugar, butter, and silan and stir until the butter is melted. The mixture will sputter, then may harden in parts, but don’t worry. Place the saucepan back on the stove. Bring the mixture to a low simmer over low heat and simmer until it’s a deep mahogany color, 11 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat, whisk in the salt and then the tahini until smooth, and pour into the baked tart crust. Cool slightly, then chill until the tart is set, at least 4 hours (but overnight is best).

Make the Whipped Cream: just before serving, in a stand mixer fitted with the whish attachment, whip the cream until soft peaks form, 2 minutes. Add the labaneh and confectioner’s sugar and whip until soft peaks return, 1 minute. Remove the tart from the fridge, slice, and serve with the whipped cream.

 

More Israeli Recipes:

Jeweled Rice with Carrots

Passover Brisket with Prunes & Carrots

Short Ribs with Eggplant, Silan, and Nigela Seeds

Matzo Buttercrunch

 

I’m so happy that you visited today!

Make sure to share this story with someone who cares about this topic.

You can buy my cookbooks on Amazon: Latin Superfoods is my latest cookbook;

I’m also the author of The Brazilian Kitchen and My Rio de Janeiro: A Cookbook.

Visit my YouTube Chanel @LeticiaMoreinosSchwartz

I’d love to connect with you!

Follow my food adventures on social media;

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Contact me

See you next time!

Leticia

 

 

Chicken Brodo

Chicken Brodo

From braising to roasting, grilling, sautéing, or poaching, chicken is so universal and I just can get tired of it. In my house, we eat at least once a week, and I make chicken stock and chicken brodo from the bones every time a chicken is served. I have adapted this recipe to this situation- carcass from a chicken that was dinner.

I suggest creating a habit: every time you cook a chicken for dinner, don’t toss the bones out. Not even the bones that were in your husband’s or children’s plate. Make chicken brodo! Even a very small amount of bones, from 1 little bird, will yield about 2 cups of bordo. And with that small amount, it only takes 30 minutes to make brodo. Bird by bird, my freezer is stocked with chicken brodo.

And what is the difference between chicken stock and chicken brodo, you might ask? There is a very fine line between the two. Chicken brodo is chicken stock that has been seasoned and simmered longer than chicken stock. Chicken stock is used for cooking, brodo is used for drinking, like tea. But can you cook with chicken brodo? You can, just remember the brodo is already seasoned.

 

Chicken Brodo

Makes 3 to 4 cups

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 to 2 pounds of chicken bones from a rotisserie chicken

1 onion, peeled and quartered

1 carrot, peeled and cut into chunks

1 stalk of celery, cut into chunks

2 cloves garlic, peeled

2 to 3 bay leaves

Kosher Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Freshly ground nutmeg

 

  1. Remove excess fat from the bones. In a large stockpot, add the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bones, vegetables, and bay leaves. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until bones are hot and vegetables are cooked about 20 minutes. Add enough cold water to cover the bones, about 1 inch above the amount of bones. Don’t add too much water, or the brodo will be watery and lacking flavor. Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for about 30 to 45 minutes, skimming the foam occasionally.
  2. Taste and adjust the seasoning of the liquid. When the brodo has a rich, bright chicken flavor, remove the bones and vegetables with a slotted spoon and strain the stock, first through a medium strainer then through a fine-mesh strainer.
  3. Place the brodo over an ice bath then chill in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours – chilled is the best way to judge the quality of the liquid. The more gelatinous, the better. Carefully remove any fat that accumulates on the top and discard it. Divide the brodo into several small plastic containers, label them, and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

 

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

If you haven’t bought yet, be sure to get your copy of my latest cookbook Latin Superfoods.

Make sure to share this story with someone who cares about this topic.

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Leticia

Superbowl Snacks

Hearts of Palm & Spinach Dip

Super Bowl Sunday! The biggest sports day of the year is here! You can’t watch the game without some delicious snacks. Before the pandemic, I used to host sports parties in my house when my son would bring a bunch of friends home to sit and scream in front of a TV. Growing boys would show up hungry and I needed to feed them.

Now with Covid, it’s just our family, but I still like to prepare foods like chicken wings and dips. Especially this dip. A cousin of the Artichoke-Spinach, this Hearts of Palm & Spinach Dip is the perfect venue and it’s approved by many American boys. You can make it ahead of time and simply stick it in the oven during game time. Serve with whole wheat pita chips or any other chip of your preference. You can find this recipe and many others in my cookbook Latin Superfoods.

Hearts of Palm Spinach Dip

 

Hearts of Palm & Spinach Dip

Serves 6 people

 

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 ½ cups)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Freshly ground nutmeg

Two 14-ounce cans hearts of palm, drained, rinsed, and pat dry

One 10-ounce package of frozen spinach, thawed and excess liquid drained

½ cup light sour cream

1 cup light mayonnaise

½ cup light cream cheese

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Equipment: one 7  X 11-inch baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray

  • In a medium skillet warm the olive oil and cook the garlic until it just starts to turn golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the onion, season with salt, pepper, freshly ground nutmeg and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally for another 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cool completely.
  • Combine the hearts of palm, spinach, sour cream, mayonnaise, cream cheese, Parmesan, and the onion mixture in the bowl of a food processor and buzz until the mixture is smooth and homogeneous. Season again with salt and pepper. Spread the mixture into the baking dish. At this point, you can cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days ahead of time.
  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot with pita, crackers, or tortillas.

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

Make sure to share this story with someone who cares about this topic.

I’d love to connect with you! Please do send comments and suggestions,

If you prepare any of the recipes on the site, snap a photo and send it to me!

Follow my food adventures on social media:

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Contact me

See you next time,

Leticia

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