Recent Posts

Here’s to 27!

Here’s to 27!

Today is my birthday. It’s been a few years since I’ve been this excited about it. When I was away from Portugal, in New Zealand or in Chile, I missed being with my family and my friends. I’d get super depressed. To be honest, I […]

Grape wine harvesting for the first time

Grape wine harvesting for the first time

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to experience grape wine harvesting. Daniel’s mom makes wine every year and I was super eager to help. Years ago, my grandfather made wine and olive oil, it was their livelihood. He died when I was too small to […]

Prepping for the week in the kitchen

Prepping for the week in the kitchen

I love to cook, but sometimes cooking stresses me out. I don’t particularly like to cook during the work week, frequently (lately almost every day) I don’t have much patience to be in the kitchen, all I want is to enjoy these few hours at home before going to sleep. There’s no pattern really, sometimes I get home excited to try out a new recipe, other times I just want to cook something simple to leave the kitchen as soon as possible.

The truth is that this week I spent a lot of time in the kitchen and it’s been great. I’m putting all of this in a list!

Saturday

  • Tomato sauce with tomatoes that were too soft to eat – to can I used these tips (in portuguese), I never canned tomato sauce before, hope it works out. I usually freeze tomato sauce but canning would save a lot of space in my small freezer.
  • Rice with salmon for lunch – I made four meals so we could eat Monday too – I usually make four meals so we can have leftovers
  • Sweet potato chips for dinner

Sunday

  • Chicken and veggies (cauliflower bought Saturday, bell pepper and carrot that were almost going bad) sauteed with soy sauce, served with rice – also made four meals
  • Super seedy granola bars – you read how much I loved this recipe on the third week of the pantry challenge so I couldn’t not make it again, especially since it uses up some ingredients that I’ve been wanting to spend
  • Bread – it was our dinner, I used the basic no knead bread recipe
  • The rest of the cauliflower was cooked and will be used to accompany the salmon which didn’t have veggies; the cauliflower leaves were cut and frozen to make soup soon
  • Yogurt – I usually do this every Sunday so I can eat it during the week
  • Sauerkraut – I had this red cabbage and I’ve been wanting to try out this recipe, today was the day! I followed Mama Eats Plants‘s instructions. Yesterday I bought two small candle holders at Fleamarket Porto that make perfect fermentation weigths, I already used one of them for this!
  • Melted rapadura – the rapadura (also called panela sugar) that I bought so much time ago? It was one of the ingredientes that I wanted to use up in the pantry challenge but I didn’t have the chance (or rather the will)! I melted it today and it went to the fridge and tomorrow I’ll make cookies out of it since I’m too worn out today.

With this, we already have two lunches to bring to work, snacks for the whole week, yogurt for my breakfast and tomato sauce for a very near future. I do love to have everything prepared on Sunday, it’s not always possible but it allows be to eat healthier during the week and also provides me freedom to not cook in a week night if we don’t want to. Since I like to bring my lunch to work, if I don’t have anything for the next day I feel obligated to cook the day before. Obviously sometimes we go out but I prefer to eat homecooked food. Not only that, having lunch for work the next day also makes it easier when I eat out the night before.

Do you prep your meals for the work week?

5 ways to use carrot peels

5 ways to use carrot peels

I’m in an eternal quest to reduce waste in the kitchen, especially peels, rinds, all those things that are more common to throw away. As someone who lives in an apartment and it’s not composting, I like to make the most out of what I […]

Final week – August Pantry Challenge

Final week – August Pantry Challenge

August Pantry Challenge is officially over! It was truly a challenge and I believe I’ll continue to do this until some of the harder items to use are gone. What did I eat this final week? Ate out a few times which didn’t help the […]

Week 3 – August Pantry Challenge

Week 3 – August Pantry Challenge

I finally spent a little bit of wakame! Above it’s what I made on Saturday, I used some chicken beast bone (that still had meat on it) and cooked it to make it a broth. Meanwhile I put the wakame in water, three tablespoons. I started making the rice and added my broth, once it was two thirds done I added chopped Marron mushrooms and started to take off the meat from the bone and added it on the rice. Once everything was ready I took it out and added my seaweed. It was too much. If I did it now I would add just one tablespoon of dried seaweed, once it expanded it was about 2 cups of it and it just overpowered the dish, we did eat everything but it just made me hate wakame a little bit. I realized that spending all of it in August will be impossible.

Most of last week after the post was spent eating leftovers (like the curry we made last week) or just quick meals.

Tuesday, I spent the last Japanese curry mix cube that had expired in the 15th and used a bunch of zucchini, I now only have about 200gr of zucchini, finally!!!

We also ate a bunch of vegetables that my mom gave me that she didn’t have time to spend: cucumbers, tomatoes and green beans all out of the fridge. We’re kinda lucky that my parents come frequently to Porto for work, they usually bring us something.

Pantry things that I bought: rice, honestly its pretty hard for us to live without rice and I don’t think we could spent the rest of August without it. We still have some risotto rice to spend but regular rice is a must.

I also bought oats and almond butter because I made granola bars! Ideally I would have bought oats in bulk but since it was Sunday none of the bulk stores were open, and I knew that I wouldn’t have time to go shopping during the week. I had lots of seeds to spend and dates (which I had in the pantry for a long time) and decided that this would be the easiest way for me to get rid of them quickly. Oats is something that I use a lot so I guess it’s okay, almond butter I don’t use it often but will come up with ways to use it, I’ve been super curious to try it out but never did.

Granola bar

I used Minimalist baker’s”Super seedy granola bars” recipe and only made half the recipe since I only had half cup dates (I also used dried dates and re hydrated them for 15min). Instead of whole almonds I had sliced almonds and used that too. I replaced hemp seeds with more sunflower seeds. And used honey to sweeten, which kinda turned out great because I ended up spending most of the honey that I had, maybe it will be enough for one more batch with less honey. I have never been much a bar fan, always felt there were other things more interesting to eat, however this made me changed my mind and they disappeared super quickly, I’ll repeat this. Also approved by Daniel which is also good because he’s always suspicious of sweets that are slightly healthier. I always have this mission to make him change his mind 😀

Next week’s post won’t be Wednesday (or Thursday like today), instead it will be at the 31st to complete this challenge.

Curious to finding out what did you guys eat during this week, let me know in the comments!

Week 2 – August Pantry Challenge

Week 2 – August Pantry Challenge

I already knew this would be a tough week for this challenge, specially since I spent the weekend at my parents. It immediately took some time away from the kitchen but it was such a a amazing weekend, I was able to relax. Not only […]

Week 1 – August Pantry Challenge

Week 1 – August Pantry Challenge

The challenge started with such a hot weather, for me this kind of temperature is horrible, I’ve trouble sleeping and don’t feel like doing anything. Fortunately, the temperature has decreased and I’ve been able to sleep so much better. What did I eat this week? […]

August Pantry Challenge

August Pantry Challenge

I don’t have a huge pantry or a huge freezer but lately it has come to my attention how many unused items I have, so why not challenge myself to eat everything that I have during August?

I have very loose rules for this challenge as it’ll be impossible to feed two for a month with only the amount of food that I have in the kitchen. We definitely have some items that were bought and half of the package is still in the pantry so I’m challenging myself to use these.

The Rules

  • Avoid buying anything other than fresh produce, meat, fish
  • Avoid buying something to use up an ingredient, but if required I’ve to make sure it’s used up completely for that meal or it’s an ingredient that’s used often in our home

Here’s my unedited “pantry”, it’s obviously small but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t need some clean up:

Pantry Cupboard

Here are the items that worry me the most, please let me know if you’ve any recipe recommendations!

  • Wakame – that I bought for miso soup but the package was not small
  • Dates – I’ll probably try to make granola bars out of this
  • Puffed rice – I bought this because I thought it’d be funny but it turns out that most of the recipes for this are chocolatey and I don’t particularly enjoy chocolate treats – maybe I’ll do it and bring to work or do more research
  • Zucchini – I’ve been using it a lot but we’re being given so much of this and the seeds that I started in my apartment were transplanted to my parents and it’s giving huge zucchinis – which is so cool but I’m quickly running out of ideas of different ways to use it up – especially because Daniel is not the biggest fan of zucchini 🙂 We’re eating zucchini almost every day to use it up!

Wanna join me?

Removing decorative belts from pants

Removing decorative belts from pants

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Giving clothes a second life

I decided to start a series about mending and making small clothes alterations. As you know, I do love to start new projects but what you might not know is I don’t like to mend very much, I consider it super boring, I’ve been doing […]