Friday, December 28, 2012


1 small orange, chopped
1 lime, chopped
1 lemon, chopped
1 cup of sugar
1 bottle cachaca
fresh mint and lime slices for garnish

Place the pieces of citrus and the sugar in the bottom of a pitcher. Using a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon, crush and mash the fruits to release the oils and juice from the rind. When you have some nice juice in there and the sugar begins to dissolve, add theliquor and stir to combine. Fill lowball glasses with ice cubes and pour the cocktail over the ice. Do not remove the pieces of crushed fruit. Garnish with mint and lime. Use fresh sugarcane sticks as stirrers, if desired.

Picanha Roast [Brazilian]

5 cloves of garlic
3 Tbl of coarse salt, plus extra for seasoning
5 Tbl of olive oil
1 (2 to 3 lb) tri-tip roast, fat trimmed and connective tissue removed
2 pints of cherry tomatoes
1 (16 oz bag) frozen pearl onions, thawed
fresh ground black pepper

Place the garlic cloves on a cutting board. Slice the cloves in half lengthwise and then smash with the side of a chef's knife. Sprinkle the salt over the garlic and chop and smear the garlic against the cutting board until it makes a paste. (This can also be done using a mortar pestle; smash the garlic halves before placing them in the mortar.) Put the garlic paste in a small bowl and mix in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
Put the meat in a baking pan and prick it all over with a fork or metal skewer. Evenly rub the garlic paste on the meat. Marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Scrape as much of the garlic paste off the meat as possible so it does not burn in the oven.
Heat a large oven-safe skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat. Pour in 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and sear the beef until browned on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes total. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook the roast for about 35 minutes for medium and up to 45 minutes for medium-well. (remember that the roast will continue to cook while resting outside of the oven, so it's best to remove the roast from the oven when it's slightly underdone). Check the color of the roast by making a small slit in the thickest part to check the color (remember that the meat on the edges of the roast will be more well done) or use a digital thermometer to check its temperature (128 to 129 degrees F for medium-rare). Remove the roast from the oven, cover with foil, and set aside to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
While the roast rests, preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Alternately thread the cherry tomatoes and pearl onions onto wood or metal skewers. (If using an outdoor grill, soak the wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes to prevent them from burning.) Brush the tomatoes and onions with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay the vegetable skewers on the grill pan and char on both sides. Serve on a platter alongside the sliced beef.

6 servings
*Note: If you don't have an oven-safe skillet, you can transfer the roast fat side up to a roasting pan and follow the recipe instructions as described above.

Brazilian Codfish Balls [Bolinhos de Bacalhau]

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes;(about 2 to 3 medium), peeled and cut into chunks
3 cups clam juice (or fish or shrimp bouillon)
1 medium yellow onion, quartered
1 bay leaf
1 pound cod fillets, cut into large chunks
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbls of cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
1-1/2 tsp green tabasco sauce
1 tsp salt
1 cup of seasoned dry bread crumbs

Put the potatoes in a pot and cover with the clam juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. To the cooking liquid, add the onion and bay leaf; bring to a simmer for 3 minutes. While the potatoes are still hot,mash with a hand masher and set aside. Add the cod to the simmering broth and cook until the fish is opaque, about 3 minutes. Remove the fish with a slotted spoon and add to the mashed potatoes.
Add the eggs, cilantro, hot sauce, and salt to the fish and potato mixture. Mix until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cooled and firm, at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Spread the bread crumbs on a plate.
Using an ice cream scoop, roll the chilled fish and potato mixture into 2-inch balls. Then roll each ball in bread crumbs to coat completely. Put the codfish balls on the prepared pan and spray the tops lightly with nonstick cooking spray, this will make them really crispy. Bake until the codfish balls are nicely browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Put the codfish balls on a platter and garnish with cilantro.
Makes: 12 balls
Source: (and they got it from Food Network

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

1 tablespoon sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup natural chunky peanut butter
1 cup crushed tomatoes
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon fish sauce
6 ounces rice noodles
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1 cup canned bean sprouts, drained
1/4 cup chopped scallions
Chopped cilantro (optional)
Chopped peanuts (optional)

1. In a soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger and chicken. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink on the outside.

2. Dissolve the peanut butter in the crushed tomatoes; add the mixture to the soup pot along with the chicken broth and fish sauce and bring to a boil. Add the noodles; reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the cabbage and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in the bean sprouts and scallions; turn off heat.

3. Ladle soup into bowls and top each with cilantro and peanuts if desired.

4 servings
Source: Fitness Magazine

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites Printable Recipe

1 (30 oz) package Pillsbury Gingerbread Cookie Dough (refrigerated section)
4 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Roll two teaspoons of cookie dough into a ball for each cookie. Place balls of dough into paper liners mini cupcake/muffin pan. Make a well/indentation into each ball of dough with a flour dipped mini rolling pin or the back of a measurement teaspoon.
Beat room temperature cream cheese with powdered sugar. Stir in vanilla. Place filling into a piping bag, cut off edge of bag. Place one teaspoon or so of filling into each area of cookie dough.
Bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes or until cookie tested with tooth pick comes out almost clean.
Don’t over fill the cookies with filling as they will rise when baked.
Let cool before removing from cupcake pan.
***update*** there is a bit of rise and fall when baking the gingerbread pre-made cookie dough. Add 1/4 cup flour to the cookie mixture and the dough will be a little firmer and will bake up with less puff, then there will be less collapsing of the dough when cooling. The gingerbread cookie and filling can be refrigerated to get them back to a cool temperature before baking and that too will help if the filling is melting or the cookie dough is rising too much. You can also bake the cookie cups empty and add the cheesecake filling when the cookie cups are cooled.