Matzoh Buttercrunch Toffee

Matzo Buttercrunch

Matzoh Buttercrunch Toffee

I write this recipe for Matzo Buttercrunch with a tight heart. As the world is navigating uncertain times with this pandemic, I wanted to come here to my blog and offer help and hope. If there is one thing that hasn’t changed in my life, is the way I feel about cooking, baking, spending time in the kitchen nourishing those we love. Back then, when life was normal, cooking has always been my anchor. OK, it can also be a source of stress sometimes, when I have a big job. But it’s always a good stress, if you know what I mean. Now that the world has turned upside down, cooking is more therapy than ever.

During Passover, we celebrate the exodus of Jewish slaves from Egypt. We do that with many habits and traditions, like abstaining from eating leavened foods for seven days. Instead of bread, we eat Matzoh. You can find it in just about any supermarket. I’m sharing a classic recipe for Matzo Buttercrunch that I discovered through Arthur Schwartz, adapted from his cookbook Jewish Home Cooking. Even if you’re not Jewish, you’re bound to love this recipe! In fact, I have given these treats to friends from all walks of life and they loved it! Everyone does! If you like toffee covered in caramel, you will like this recipe as well. You can top it with almonds, pecans or just about any nuts of your preference. The photos are quite helpful understanding the process. But if you have any questions at all, reach out to me. I’m always here!

 

Matzo Buttercrunch

Adapted from Arthur Schwartz Jewish Home Cooking

Makes one 12 by 15 inch sheet, or about 50 pieces of buttercrunch

 

Ingredients:

4 to 6 matzo boards

1 cup unsalted butter (or parve margarine)

1 cup light brown sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

12 oz semi-sweet chocolate Callebeaut, chopped

1 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted and roughly chopped

 

  • Pre-heat the 350˚F. Line a baking sheet with silicone mat. Spread the pan with the whole matzo boards, cutting extra pieces to fit any uncovered spaces. You want to leave the matzos as whole as possible, but you don’t want to leave any extra space on the sheet pan without matzah. Also, don’t overlap any pieces of matzo.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and sugar and cook, over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk until the mixture comes to a boil. At first, the mixture will separate, but as you mix constantly, it will come together in a beautiful caramel. Continue boiling and whisking for an extra 3 minutes. Add the cinnamon and whisk well.
  • Immediately pour over the matzos and using an off-set spatula, spread the caramel all over. Do not worry about covering both sides of the matzoh boards; spread only on the side facing up.

Matzoh Buttercrunch Toffee

  • Place the sheet pan with matzoh caramel in the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, checking after 10 minutes to make sure the mixture is not burning.
  • Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle the chocolate all over the sheet pan.

Let it stand for 5 minutes, then use an off-set spatula to spread the melted chocolate evenly and thinly over the matzos.

Matzoh Buttercrunch Toffee

  • Sprinkle with toasted almonds and let it sit for 5 minutes.

Matzoh Buttercrunch Toffee

  • While the matzo is sill “wet”, cut the candy into squares, or simply, just break it into pieces with your hands. Chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Bring it bag to room temperature and let it rest and set. At this point, you can keep the matzo buttercrunch in a covered container for up to 1 week, or in the refrigerator for 3 weeks.

 

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

If you like what you read, tell your friends about it,

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:

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Linked IN

Contact me

See you next time!

Leticia

 

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread Recipe

Irish Soda Bread Recipe

I wish Irish Soda Bread would appear more than once a year during St. Patrick’s Day, a celebration of all things Ireland. Although we are surrounded by baked goods, there is something quite special about the Irish Soda Bread Recipe. This rich and handsome bread is made with bread flour, yeast, butter, buttermilk and it’s studded with raisins.

Every culture has its own bread variation, from Babakas from Eastern Europe, Croissants and Kugelholf in France, Colomba Pasquale in Italy, Cheese Bread in Brazil and many more.

Around the early 2000’s, I was an “stagiere” at Payard Patisserie by acclaimed pastry chef Francoise Payard, when the pastry shop was in its full glory in the Upper East Side location. Each day we used to roll croissants in the morning hours and then we’d bake huge batches of dough in the afternoon. Irish Soda Bread was prepared mostly for St.Patrick’s day and Eastern Holiday.

You’d think that I’d be done baking breads by now, but it turns out, I still love to bake at home, especially interesting breads such as this one. I can’t resist a warm oven filling the house with the most wonderful bread aromas. For this Irish Soda Bread, I turned to expert John Barricelli of Sono Baking Company, a lovely bakery in Connecticut.

Bread baking requires patience for sure. Let the yeast do its work and don’t try to rush it. I’m sure you’ll find plenty to do while the dough is resting at various stages. You’ll be rewarded with a delicious and gorgeous bread to enjoy. It also makes a beautiful food gift by the way.

With my recent trip to Belém do Pará, in Brazil, I came back with lots of Cupuacú Jams in the luggage. Turns out, it goes perfectly with Irish Soda Bread. But any jam in the likes of apricots or orange will be nice here! Hope you’ll enjoy this recipe!

 

 

Recipe adapted from Sono Baking Company cookbook

Irish Soda Bread

Makes one loaf

Ingredients:

6 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting the loaves

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt

4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons instant yeast

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes

2 cups buttermilk

1 ½ cups raisins

 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and yeast. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk, and using your hands, mix until the dough just comes together, mix in the raisins. Using a plastic bowl scraper, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it’s smooth and supple, 3 to 4 minutes. Shape into a round loaf.

Irish Soda Bread in the Making

Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled plastic wrap, and let rest in a warm location (at least 70˚F) until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Irish Soda Bread rising

Irish Soda Bread proofed

Punch the dough down to deflate it, reshape it into a round loaf, and let it rest again until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. With a bench scraper, divide it into two pieces, and shape them into two round loaves.

Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Dust the top of each loaf with flour, and with a bench scraper, form an X through the center of the bread, pressing down deeply in both directions with the scraper, almost cutting through the loaf. Place the loaves on a lightly floured baking sheet.

Bake, rotating the sheet halfway through, until the crust is deep golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer the bread to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Serve it with butter and jam of your preference!

 

 

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

If you like what you read, tell your friends about it,

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 Instagram!

Contact me!

See you next time!

Leticia

 

 

 

 

Sheila Neillinger

International Highlight Tours at The Met

Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City

The country’s most important art center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, is located a mere 45 minutes away from my home. Every year, the Met receives around seven million tourists; people travel from across the globe to visit the big apple and the Met.

You’d think that living so close, I’d take advantage of this temple of art, culture, and history and would be, or should be a frequent visitor.

Over the last few years I’ve thought so long and hard about going to the Met and taking my children on occasional Sundays, that sometimes, I’m convinced that my family’s cultivation depends on a visit to the museum.

And then, reality kicks in: going to the Met doesn’t necessarily mean absorbing it all. My children get bored to the bones, and my husband always finds a way to receive a phone call from that college friend he hasn’t spoken to in years. And there I am, desperately trying to belong to a tribe of personally cultivated people, mobilizing my family and making efforts in this direction.

We browse through the exhibition halls, stare at the most important paintings in the world, try listening to the audio and share my learnings with the rest of the family. Picture the scene:

Me: “Wow, Van Gogh was born in 1853 and didn’t start painting until his twenties. Isn’t that fascinating? “

My children: “Yes, it is. Can we go eat now?”

Our last visits were great attempts of culture lessons. Sure. Only to be surpassed by the happiness of a plate of Roasted Carrot Salads at ABC Kitchen, or Ricotta Dumplings at Estella, or a Megamouth Sandwich at Superiority Burger.

The ungarnished truth is that living a life around food, I’ve created such enthusiastic foodies for children, that when it comes to other types of culture, nothing seems to match the excitement of food. At least when coming from me. Until I took part of the International Highlight Tour at the Met with Sheila Neilinger.

Sheila Neillinger

Sheila Neillinger

 

Sheila was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, and started studying arts while in college, later graduating with a major in Visual Communications and a minor in Graphic Design. In 1996, she moved to  New York City to study Buying and Merchandising at FIT. In the years since, Sheila has gone from art admirer to art educationalist, inspiring people who visit the Met not just to look at the most impressive amazing pieces of art in the world, but also to learn about art in a different way, with a focus on fewer pieces at a time, but a deeper understanding and analysis of each one of them.

Explanations about The Ancient Assyrian Palace of Nimrud

 

In 2015, she applied for a tour guide position at the Met, which requires year-long training. Since then, the art connoisseur, who splits her time between Connecticut and New York, finds inspiration in new pieces, each time focusing on a different work of art, so that she can keep a constant self-learning rhythm during the tours.

“It’s all about the teachings of Buddhism in this huge mural” said Sheila of “Paradise of Maitreya” by Chinese artist Zhu Haogu, the first painting on the tour, projecting her voice at the perfect volume for our group of 15 people.

Paradise of Maitreya

We continued to a gallery nearby and learned about “Pentimento”, a technique used by artists to “remove” an image from the painting, as is the case in “Esther Before Ahasuerus” by Italian artist Artemisia Gentileschi. “In this painting, the intention was to create a bigger tension between the king and the queen”, featured on this priceless work.

Explanations about the Painting “Esther Before Ahasuerus”

 

At a time when technology has invaded the biggest part of our lives, going back in time remains one of the most interesting trips for the mind, I realized while enjoying the tour.

“The Harvesters” (1565) was pained from a top angle, as if the artist Pieter Bruegel The Elder (Netherlands, 1525-1569) was positioned in a higher ground than the objects. A man standing with legs apart, forms a triangle shape. A woman bending down, forms a triangle shape. The entry way to the path, is also in the shape of a triangle. Three triangle shapes “hidden” in a painting. Did Bruegel paint like that on purpose? Can this painting really be 455 years old? How can it be so well conserved? Just some of the many questions I asked myself while participating in the tour.

The weather, hazel and humid, are also references on“The Harvesters” featuring a cloudy grayish sky, that once again, I’d have never noticed unless highlighted. What was the artist feeling when he painted this art? What was in his mind? What was he trying to convey? Did he know he was creating a magnificent work of art that all the money in the world could hardly grant ownership of?

Sheila is the last person to think of art as a commodity. Not at the Met. But she is the first to select the work she wants to surround herself with and bring her “students” along for reasons of sensibility, cultural interest and excitement. Her enthusiasm for each painting gets clear and clear as we enter each different gallery. The fact that such incredible names are featured in this museum feels increasingly like an invitation to come again, to take another tour, learn more, learn all, learn everything, and learn constantly.

 

Joe Shapiro Sculpture

Sculpture by Joe Shapiro

 

Claude Monet (French, 1840—1926), painted Garden At Sainte-Adressein 1867, capturing a very specific moment, reflecting light and nature. Now let’s get candid. We all know this painting; we’ve seen it a million times in photos, books, postcards and video. We are talking here about one of the most important, most well-known paintings in the history of the world!

Garden At Sainte-Adresse

Garden At Sainte Adresse

 

When would I stop to examine the light and nature of that painting? The moment reflected on the painting! The blue sky! The many tones of blue! He was just 27 years when he painted this historic piece of art, second only to Mona Lisa, perhaps?

“Art has to pacify our eyes” said once Henry Matisse’s (French, 1869—1954) when he painted “Nasturtiums With the Painting Dance” in which he creates subtle illusions. Are the flowers inside the vase? Or are the flowers painted outside the vase? Notice how the bench has two legs on the ground and one leg on the mountain? Is that supposed to be a mountain? Notice how all the heads follow the shape of a leaf.  Matisse’s intentions of ambiguity are well expressed here. I can finally understand that.

 

Nasturtiums With the Painting Dance

Nasturtiums With the Painting Dance by Henry Matisse

 

See the pattern? Art provokes thoughts, and feelings, and ongoing conversations. It highlights an ambition-stoking view, enlarging a huge exchange of ideas about art’s potential. About life’s potential! Observing things that are right in front of us, but we just can’t see them. What a metaphor!

Is it not the ultimate educational program to visit the Met and appreciate art as it deserves to be appreciated? Especially when accompanied by mother and daughter, who tuned in into in the same spiritual mood.

Van Ghog self-portrait

One of the many self-portraits of Van Ghog

 

Speaking of my mom, Selma, who is Brazilian, there is all but one Brazilian artist represented at the Met, and it’s included in almost every tour—for Brazilians at least. My mom was in an elevated state of mind throughout the entire tour. But when we visited Cat and Turle by Brazilian artist Vicente do Rego Monteiro (1899—1970), ah, she reached paradise and felt really proud.

Cat and Turtle

Cat and Turtle by Vicente do Rego Monteiro

It is likely that people visit museums since museums exits. Society has been studying painting, sculpture, and music forever. While my main work is mostly around food & media, I love to understand these other art forms, which in most cases I know nothing about, so that I can find patterns that can relate to my own world. After this experience, the Met became so close, so tangible, and so understandable! I’ll visit again—on a tour, of course!

From left to right: me, holding the camera, Sheila Neillinger, my daughter Bianca, and my mom Selma

 

At the moment, there are 8 Brazilians who work as tour guides at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The International Highlight Tours at the Met are available Monday through Friday at 12pm and it lasts about 1 hour. There is NO extra charge to participate in the tour. It’s included in the price of admission. The Met also offers tour guides in 9 other languages: Chinese, Korean, Japanese, German, French, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, and Russian.

If you’d like to visit the Met and participate in the International Highlight Tour, you can find more info below. If you have friends, family, acquaintances who would enjoy a guided tour of the Met, please share this article with them.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1000 5thAvenue

New York, NY 10028

Tickets: $12-25

Tel: (212) 535-7710

 

 

 

 

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

If you like what you read, tell your friends about it.

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

Follow my food adventures on Instagram !

Contact me!

See you next time!

Leticia

 

 

 

Yaniv Cohen is The Spice Detective

Israel! Israel! Israel! All of a sudden whenever anyone talks about Mediterranean cuisine, they inevitably go on about Israeli cuisine and how it’s now infamous at top restaurants, recipes, and cookbooks!

I know Israel is amazing: I spent time in a youth program as a student and visited the country as a tourist. But that was many years ago. I can’t wait to visit again. Right now, I’m traveling to Israel in my own American kitchen. Have you seen the amount of Israeli cookbooks that hit the market in recent years?

I guess Jerusalem, by Yotam Otolenghi started a huge trend, not only highlighting the creativity of its people and the beauty of its ingredients, but putting Israeli cuisine on the map for the first time. And the second, third, and fourth cookbook that followed the success of the first. For a cookbook author myself, falling in love with other cookbooks is a constant in my life.

Then I visited Zahav, in Philadelphia, by acclaimed chef Michael Solomonov, which quickly became another obsession. And it led to more Israeli cookbooks on the shelf. Then another incredible cookbook became my all-time favorite: Sababa, written by my dear friend Adeena Sussman’s tribute to Israeli cuisine.

Lately, I had the honor to meet yet another Israeli chef, whom I had the pleasure to work with on a recent trip to Los Angeles. Yaniv Cohen, also known as The Spice Detective , is based in Miami and operates Jaffa restaurant, a food joint located on the Roch Market Miami that serves Israeli influenced cuisine.

After working on an incredible cooking project, we shared a ride on the way to the airport, and he gave me a copy of his cookbook My Spiced Kitchen.

My Spiced Kitchen

Yaniv’s book takes us through a word of spices, deciphering each and every flavor, pairing ingredients and flavors and creating champion recipes. The more I turned the pages, the more I wanted to cook from his book.

With a dinner party scheduled for two days after landing, it wasn’t a hard decision to choose this Short Ribs recipe with Silan and Nigella Seeds.

In this blog post, I take you step by step through Yaniv’s delicious recipe.

 

Braised Short Ribs with Eggplant and Nigela Seeds

 

Short Ribs with Eggplant, Silan and Nigela Seeds

By Yaniv Cohen

Adapted from My Spiced Kitchen

Serves 4

 

Ingredients:

2 lbs beef short ribs, cut into individual ribs, clean or extra fat

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup white flour

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, slivered

¼ cup Silan (date syrup)

2 tablespoons nigella seeds

1 tablespoon Iraqui Baharar

2 cups chopped tomatoes (peeled and seeded)

1 eggplant cut into medium cubes

3 cups beef stock

2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

 

Procedure:

Center a rack in the middle of the oven and pre-heat it to 325˚F.

Season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper and dredge lightly in flour, shaking the excess. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch-oven pan or any other large pan over medium heat and cook the veal shanks until they are lightly brown and crispy on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and transfer to a bowl. Cover with foil to keep moist.

Add the garlic to the pan (add a bit more oil oif necessary; remove some oil if necessary) and cook until it just starts to get golden, about 1 minute. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until it becomes translucent.

Add the tomatoes, silan and baharara and cook until they are hot, about 2 minutes.

Return the short ribs to the pan, and fit them all inside, nestling them one close to the other, preferably in one layer. Cover the pan with the lid and place the pot in the oven. Cook for 1 1/2 hours, checking the liquid level every half an hour, making sure there is plenty of liquid.

After about 1 ½ hours of cooking, Carefully remove the pan from the oven, add the eggplant cubes making sure they are nice distributed in the pan, cover the pan again, and return to the oven for another 1 hours, depending on the sixe of the short ribs. You want the meat to be falling off the bones and the sauce to display greay body and flavor.

When the short ribs are done, remove from the oven, and let the meat rest inside the pan, off the heat, but with the lid still on for a good 2 to 3 hours (just forget about it and go do something else.) You can make this up to 7 days ahead of time, keep in the fridge in a plastic container fitted with a tight lid and reheat the day of serving.

Garnish with nigella seeds and parsley.

Braised Short Ribs wth Eggplant & Nigela Seeds

 

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

If you like what you read, tell your friends about it.

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!

For more inspirations, follow my food adventures on Instagram!

Contact me!

And remember always,

Cook at home! Body Up! Health up! Wise up!

See you next time!

Leticia

 

H.O.P.E Through Community Services

 

It was the late 70’s, and a young girl in Brazil wanted to be like her older sister and do gymnastics. Bibiana Pinto was born in Porto Alegre, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul (south of Brazil), and fell in love with gymnastics at the age of five and then embarked on a 12-year long career as a Rhythmic Gymnastics (RG) athlete.

Bibiana Pinto as a young gymnast

In the early 80’s, RG was a completely unknown sport, just starting to make its first appearances in the national scene. Little did Bibiana know at that point, that rhythmic gymnastics was the sport that would become her passion.

“Looking back, I realize that my team was responsible for establishing the group culture in the sport that is known today. We conquered the first international silver medal for Brazil in the Pan American Games in Cuba 1991. I competed in two world championships: 1989 in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia and 1991 in Athens, Greece”, Bibiana told me.

an old photo from Bibiana’s archives during a competition

After three intense years of competing on the RG Brazilian national team, Bibiana retired from the sport at the age of 17 and went to college to study civil engineering. She then married a young Brazilian man and the couple immigrated to the U.S.

Bibiana Pinto as a teenager

Decades passed since Bibiana did anything with or about RG, but nostalgia hit when her daughter was born in 2012. In 2015 the family moved to Greenwich, CT and Bibiana wondered if there was anything that could possibly be similar to rhythmic gymnastics in the area. When her daughter Amanda was three and a half years old, she found a program in Stamford, CT.

Bibiana and her daughter Amanda

“Stepping again in a gym, handling the apparatus and watching my daughter take her first steps into the world of RG, the gymnast in me started to come out in another role: that of a coach. I was interacting with the little gymnasts and each day I realized that RG was still a huge part of me”, Bibiana said.

Some time in 2016, while participating in a fundraiser for the 9/11 victims, Bibiana felt the urge to give back to the community in return for the many wonderful opportunities that this country gave her and her family.

H.O.P.E, which stands for Humanitarian Organization for Physical Education was created as a non-profit organization a few months after that event with a small group of five girls, all her daughter’s friends. Bibiana found a space available at a local church and decided to send e-mails to other moms asking if they were interested in bringing their daughters to a free RG trial class. The program quickly grew to 15 girls. Then 50 girls. Then 70 girls.

More girls, more classes, more hours; bigger operations, a new space, bigger responsibilities and most importantly, bigger challenges.

H.O.P.E evolving from a tiny gym to a bigger one

The biggest challenge of all, is the unfortunate unpopularity of the sport when compared to Gymnastics Artistic Olympics. Names like Nadja Comaneci, Aly Raisman and Simone Biles immediately come to mind for the sport. What names do we associate for Rhythmic Gymnastics? What do we know about it?

“In the state of Connecticut there are all but three clubs. The vast majority of RG clubs in this country are confined among the Eastern Europeans communities where coaches teach in Russian and parents understand the sport perceiving it as a serious competitive activity and not a girly little dance with a ribbon”, Bibiana explained.

Rhythmic Gymnastics is a sport developed by women for girls; it involves ballet, dance, gymnastics and feminine movement. Because the appeal of RG is more feminine, unfortunately the sport attracts little sponsorship and therefore doesn’t appear often on prime-time TV, making it very hard for rhythmic gymnasts to reach the professional level. Without the necessary recognition, there is no demand. Without demand we cannot have children being stimulated to participate in a serious sport. Girls end up playing soccer, basketball, running track, and other mainstream sports.

Up to this point, the Rhythmic Gymnastics community in the USA has made very shy attempts to expand RG programs nationwide. Most of these efforts never succeeded because the officials in charge never tackled the root of the problem: in order to expand, RG needs more exposure to the American public. The sport needs a competitive structure with more public appeal and excitement. However, taking the sport in this direction would counter the current culture of RG in this country, appealing mostly to Eastern European girls and pressuring them to sacrifice their childhood in pursuit of rhythmic gymnastics.

Against all odds, Bibiana steps into a gym full of girls four times a week and every single time, she reaffirms her commitment to be the vessel that brings the right attitude and sets the right example to the girls who look up to her as a role model. In these classes, she teaches cooperation, team spirit, kindness, respect, and effort. “My girls love H.O.P.E. and they are proud to wear their team jackets. They are aware they’re part or something much bigger than themselves”, Bibiana said.

If you are an organization looking to know more about the work of H.O.P.E Gymnastics or are a brand looking to participate in social change through community services, and help unprivileged children to participate in sports through need-based scholarships and affordable classes, I highly encourage you to get in touch with Bibiana Pinto and get on board! Your interest could be the next step toward making this sport a force for girls and teenagers to do good in this country and around the globe.

You can also find more photos of H.O.P.E on Instagram and Facebook.

To get in touch with Bibiana Pinto:

e-mail: [email protected]

Tel: (203) 990-0098

 

 

Thanks for reading this article. If you like what you read, tell your friends about it!

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

Follow my adventures on Instagram!

Contact me!

And remember always,

Cook at home! Body Up! Health up! Wise up!

See you next time!

Leticia

 

 

Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

Sweet Potato Pie

Ok, I’m all about healthy cooking. The proof is in the book, Latin Superfoods. But this time of year is a little special! Let’s dig right into this Sweet Potato Pie, adapted from Gourmet Magazine. Go ahead and celebrate the old-fashioned way with family and friends. No guilt allowed. It’s only once a year! Remember, baking a pie, doesn’t mean gorging! Just a sliver slice is all you need. 

Growing up in Brazil, such a tart was not in the habits, and in fact it took some time for me to get the liking of it. But after 20 years of living here, let me tell you, I’m hooked! And Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays since it’s all about food, friends and family!

 A note about the recipe: You can roast the sweet potatoes and mash it up to 3 days ahead of time.You can also make and bake the whole pie ahead of time, and just bring it out to room temperature before serving. I like to garnish this pie with whipped cream and cocoa puffs, but even plain this pie is so good.

 

Sweet Potato Pie

(adapted from Gourmet Magazine)

Serves 8

For the Crust:

1 cup gingersnap cookies

½ cup walnuts

1 tablespoon organic cane sugar

Pinch salt

5 tablespoons melted butter

 

For the Caramel:

½ cup regular sugar

1/3 cup water

 

For the Filling:

2 cups (510g) mashed sweet potato (about 2 large sweet potatoes)

3 eggs

½ cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To garnish:

Whipped cream and chocolate cocoa crisps

Equipment: one 10-inch glass or ceramic pie plate

1-  Prepare the Crust: Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F.

2-  In the bowl of a food processor, combine the ginger snap cookies, walnuts and sugar. Process until well combined then slowly drizzle in the butter until the crumbs are uniformly moist. Transfer to a bowl.

3-  Using your hands and fingers, press the mixture into the pan, patting an even layer over the bottom and all the way up the sides of the pan. Bake the crust for10 to 12 minutes then transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

4- Prepare the Caramel: In a sauce saucepan, cook the sugar, pure and dry over high heat until it turns amber caramel. Remove from the heat and carefully pour water —it will bubble and steam and harden the sugar— and return to heat to dissolve the caramel. Remove from the heat.

5- in a large bowl, mix with a rubber spatula the mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, cream, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and vanilla and caramel, and mix well, stirring gently.

Pour the filling into the crust. Bake the pie until the filling is slightly puffed and center trembles slightly when gently shaken, 40 to 40 minutes. The top may crack, and that’s ok, and the filling will continue to set as it cools. If the crust begins to brown too much before the filling is done, crimp a ring of foil or use a pie shield to protect it. Cool the pie on a rack for 1 hour.

6- Serve the pie at room temperature garnished with shipped cream and cocoa puffs on top.

 

 

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

If you like what you read, tell your friends about it,

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!

You Tube

Instagram 

Facebook

Contact me!

And remember always,

Cook at home! Body Up! Health up! Wise up!

See you next time!

Leticia

 

 

November Diabetes Awareness Month

A Touch of Sugar

This month is an especially exciting time to talk about Type 2 diabetes as November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Our campaign America’s Diabetes Challenge—and our documentary A Touch of Sugar— are both brining with outstanding awards and also comes with an enormous feeling of pride having just celebrated the Step Out Walk to Fight Diabetes in Philadelphia, and taken a moment to reflect on another impressive year raising awareness about type 2 diabetes. There is so much to share!

When you see the film A Touch of Sugar (click above to see trailer) , you will hear about the amazing stories told through the voices of people living with the disease and their loved ones and advocates. Merck is determined to help raise the education about type 2 diabetes and to increase awareness and barriers to care, to spark action and, ultimately, to confront America’s type 2 diabetes epidemic head on, one community and one patient at a time.

Further in the film, we look at the importance of diet, cooking and exercising, from the personal voice and experience of award-winning actress Viola Davis, to a cooking session with Susie Katona in Yucca Valley, California. And of course, we feature some amazing recipes on our web site so that you can make good use of it.

I’m so inspired by the mission and work of Americas Diabetes Challenge and am equally motivated by the vote of confidence acting as the spokesperson for the campaign and the interaction with Merck as our sponsor. Thanks to Merck’s support, we are able to invest in this documentary, enhance our mission, provide a bigger platform, and continue our journey.

Since the film’s premiere in April, we have received over 800 requests from individuals and organizations to view and host screenings of the film to educate their networks and communities. A Touch of Sugar also continues to be recognized by and accepted into film festivals around the country.

I’m also delighted to report that the documentary airs nationally on A&E on November 17 at 9am ET and FYI Network on November 18 at 10pm ET and November 23 at 10:30am ET and November 25 ay 8:30am ET.

Scene from A Touch of Sugar

You can also head to ATouchofSugarFilm.com to request to watch the film or host a screening. On the website, you’ll find educational resources to help improve diabetes management and a discussion guide to learn more about how you can make a difference in your local community.

Always evolving as a professional, my new cookbook Latin Superfoods, has just released, and the response has been extremely positive! The book is completely inspired by my work with America’s Diabetes Challenge with lots of recipes for the whole family to enjoy. I’ve been touring the tristate area with cooking segments and sharing the incredible recipes that are meant to help you eat better, make good food choices, and perform at your peak in all aspects of your life. And every season there is more cooking, more photos, and more stories that inspire. They are made to be used and to be useful.

Latin Superfoods

With all these advancements, we continue to reach for more. I look forward to the work we are doing, to continue to lead the campaign, and helping people make better food choices, to increase the education for communities affected by type 2 diabetes, and to build prominence in the health and wellness fields via cooking.

I’m so grateful for being part of this important documentary, to share these delicious recipes in a new cookbook, and to partner with others who are also engaged in what we are seeking to accomplish!

I hope you enjoy seeing the interviews, watching the documentary, and cooking from Latin Superfoods!

 

 

Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

If you like what you read, tell your friends about it, share, like it!

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!

Instagram

Facebook

Contact me!

And remember always,

Cook at home! Body Up! Health up! Wise up!

See you next time!

Leticia

 

 

 

Latin Superfoods

My New Cookbook: Latin Superfoods!

Latin Superfoods

My New Cookbook Latin Superfoods is due out October 15th by Skyhorse Publishing! I can’t believe it!

In this book, I write recipes that are super healthy yet unapologetically delicious that help you eat better, make good food choices, and perform at your peak in all aspects of your life. And in every page there is more cooking, more photos, more recipes and more stories that inspire. They are made to be used and to be useful. Want a tease? How about Braised Chicken with Fennel and Oranges (photo below), featured in Latin Superfoods is just one of the many recipes that will have you signing in the kitchen! Oh yeah! We cook through life in the kitchen with a bit of singing and dancing allowed! If you want to see videos that inspire too, check out my YouTube Channel! 

Thank you so much for your support throughout the years! Pre-order your copy today on Amazon to get this recipe and many more!

Chicken with Fennel & Oranges

Braised Chicken with Fennel & Oranges

 

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

Follow my food adventures on social media!

Instagram

Facebook

Contact me!

And remember always,

Cook at home! Body Up! Health up! Wise up!

See you next time!

Leticia

 

 

Chicken in Mushroom Sauce

Chicken With Mushroom Sauce

Chicken in Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients collide. People get crazy. Cooking and recipes become kaleidoscopic matter in my kitchen. And then, BOOM! The unexpected wins out. A recipe that is more than fantastic, it’s a classic. To be added to any cooking school curriculum. After days spent hunkering up and down the pages of Ina Garden’s cookbook collection (I have so many of them! Love Ina!) consider this recipe for Chicken with Mushroom Sauce your caterpillar-butterfly moment, a dish brimming with fresh ingredients, fall flavors, and conversation invitations over dinner. When cooking is this epicurious, why do we need to wake up?

Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

Adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Foolproof

Serves 6

 

1 chicken (3½ lbs), cut into eights

All purpose-flour

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

8 garlic cloves

1 ½ lbs wild mushrooms (such as shitake, chanterelle, oyster, etc)

8 sprigs thyme

¼ cup sherry

2 cups white wine

2 cups chicken stock

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Pre-heat the oven to 325˚F.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Place ½ cup flour in a bowl and dredge the chicken in flour. In a large ovenproof (12-inches) pot such as Le Creuset or any other large pot, heat the oil. Add the chicken in tree batches (don’t crowd the pan) and brown them lightly over medium high heat for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken to a plate and continue until all the chicken is browned.

All the whole garlics, mushrooms, and thyme to the pot and cover over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sherry and cook for 1 minute, scraping up the brown bits. Add the minced garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the wine, chicken stock, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken (large pieces first), cover, and place in the middle of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through (about 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer).

Remove the chicken to a bowl and discard the thyme. With a fork, mash together the butter and ¼ cup flour and add it to the sauce. Simmer, stirring constantly, over medium heat, for 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Season to taste (it should be highly seasoned), put the chicken back in the sauce, and serve hot.

 

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

If you like what you read, tell your friends about it!

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!

Instagram

Facebook

Contact me!

And remember always,

Cook at home! Body Up! Health up! Wise up!

See you next time!

Leticia

 

 

Chocolate Sorbet

Chocolate Sorbet

Chocolate Sorbet

Chocolate Sorbet

 

If there was ever a recipe to sum up a great discovery in the 1980’s, chocolate sorbet was it. Adored for its smooth texture and thin-like silhouette, it was often the choice for restaurant menus with the greats of Le Cirque, or Lutece. Remember those days?

Who did I turn to? Pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini has a great recipe; Revealing in the light taste of summer, this sorbet is very smooth and not too sweet. Keep some in the freezer for a quick chocolate fix.

 

Chocolate Sorbet

Adapted from Johnny Iuzinni’s cookbook Dessert Fourplay.

Makes 1 quart

 

3 cups less 2 tablespoons(690g) water

¼ cup (20g) nonfat milk powder

1 ½ (45g) invert sugar (or corn syrup)

¾ cup (150g) sugar

¼ cup (25g) unsweetened cocoa powder

3 ¼ oz (110g) unsweetened chocolate

  • Set up an ice bath in a large bowl.
  • Whisk the water and powder milk together in a sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until it starts to boil. Whisk in the corn syrup and sugar and continue cooking until it’s all dissolved, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the cocoa powder and chocolate and cook, whisking until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Mix well with an immersion blender. Pour into a bowl and set over the prepared ice bath. Chill completely stirring often
  • Freeze in an ice cream maker. This can take a long time in a home-style ice cream maker. Pack into a plastic container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.

 

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

If you like what you read, tell your friends about it,

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!

Instagram

Facebook

Contact me

And remember always,

Cook at home! Body Up! Health up! Wise up!

See you next time!

Leticia

 

 

 

1 2 3

Search

+