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Shoe making workshop

Shoe making workshop

I discovered this workshop through a Facebook ad. I rarely pay attention to ads, however this one piqued my interest. You know how much I love making things from scratch, from baking bread, knitting, sewing, etc. There’s nothing more fun than to transform materials in […]

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 care about learning how to make wine and olive oil. I loved this day, not only because it was such a fun way to pass a Saturday but also because I felt closer to him.

We started by harvesting the wine grapes, taking grape bunches full of juicy grapes, perfectly shaped like pearls. We occasionally stopped to admire how beautiful the grape bunch that we just took from the vine. It’s a shame that I didn’t take more photos but honestly if I did I’d probably have helped less ahahah.

Vessel full of grapes

Around 2 o’clock, we stopped for lunch, almost all the grapes in the huge vessel. It was so full, I was lucky to see that as well, not every year is so fruitful.

Stomping on grapes

After lunch, with our stomach comforted and our energy restored, me and Daniel’s mom went to stomp the grapes while Daniel and his uncle picked up the rest of the grapes that were more out of reach. Once they were done, they stood by our side while we’re stomping, we were always chatting so it didn’t feel like much even though we ended up being there for about two hours. Here’s the final result:

Grapes turned into liquid

The white grapes were tougher and it became difficult to crush them with our feet so we’d pick them up and crush them with our hands. The next day, Daniel’s uncle spent a little bit more time stomping them in the morning.

And now that it has been one week, Daniel’s mom put everything in another vessel ready for the second fermentation. Nature is really amazing but we need to be patient, you do learn how to be patient when you’re in the countryside. Everything has its process, everything has its time. If we’re patient, we’re rewarded.

I’m not much a wine drinker, however I do occasionally drink this homemade wine. Next year, I’ll be able to taste a wine that I helped make, produced from bunches that I took from vines, grapes crushed with my own feet. I can’t wait! Unfortunately my grandfather won’t be here to taste it with me but he’ll be in my mind when I taste it.

Have you ever gone grape harvesting? How was it?

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 […]

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 cause. Daniel didn’t went two of those times and ended up eating a pork chop that was in the freezer for a while. For the other meal he used up all the shrimp rissoles (I couldn’t find the English name, but in Portugal it’s very common to eat, it’s called “rissóis”) that I made with my mom in the beginning of the year.

Sunday I used the last piece of zucchini in a dish that I do often: vegetable + chicken pieces with soy sauce on top of rice. All the zucchini is gone! Finally 🙂

After the granola bars success from week 3, I decided to try out another Minimalist Baker’s recipe: Chickpea Bolognese, picture above. It was great, I used tomato sauce that I had frozen and finally opened a package of nutritional yeast that I bought three months ago. I didn’t have carrots so I didn’t add them to the sauce and served with pasta, I also didn’t have panko and replaced it with nutritional yeast to coat the chickpeas. I’ve been wanting to cook with nutritional yeast for years but never did and really like the flavor. I’d say the only thing that I didn’t particularly liked in the recipe was that I felt it was too tomatoey. I believe with homemade tomato sauce this wouldn’t be an issue but since it was store-bought it was too strong for me, I added a little bit of wine and then water at the end to tone it down a little bit.

We bought salmon and ate it with puree (store bought) and green beans that my mom gave us. That made three meals for each one of us so less time spent in the kitchen.

Thursday, we used two pieces of pizza dough that were in the freezer to make a pizza for each one of us. Also spent a little bit more of the frozen tomato sauce.

I really wanted to bake some kind of cake to get rid of some cacao powder that it’s in my pantry but honestly didn’t have the patience to do it last week.

Looking back I was kinda of ambitious, thinking I’d spend what’s on my pantry in a month. It wouldn’t be impossible since my pantry is just a cupboard, however it’s it does requires some planning and not as easy when you’re leaving work so late.

Nevertheless, it was still a positive experience, how many meals did I make to use up all that zucchini? A lot! Plus some packages that have been there for years!

What’s the ingredient that you’re struggling the most to use up? Mine is definitely wakame!

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 […]

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?

Frozen curry cubes

I had these curry sauce cubes in the freezer and I made a chicken curry (end result photo at the top!), we really like curry but I don’t have the habit to buy each spice, I like to use this paste. The brand is Patak’s and it comes in a glass jar, I bought it at “Flor D’Açafrão”. I froze everything in cubes and it’s been wonderful, super quick to reach a good flavor. These were the last ones, sometimes I forget they exist to be honest. I added half of a giant zucchini in there to get my veggie fix. I had however to buy cream to make this meal, but totally worth it, since the sauce ended up getting used for two more meals!

Since we had so much sauce for leftovers (the zucchinis watered it down a bit), I divided the sauce into two containers and put them in the fridge. The day after, I cut a huge zucchini and sliced it and sauteed in olive oil. At the end, I added one can of chickpeas. This ended up to give two meals + a little bit that I ate as a side to another meal. Once the food got cold, I added the zucchini and chickpea to each of the two containers with sauce and veggie curry was the result 🙂 I don’t have a picture for this but it was super good!

Courgette com sementes de girassol e ovo

During the week, I went home for lunch and made a quick meal, stir fried zucchini with an egg on the top topped with sunflower seeds/flour. I say flour because most of the seeds were crushed. One of package gone and the meal left me super full!

When the temperature rose, our meals quickly became even more simple to avoid spending time in the kitchen. One of those meals, was grilled turkey breast with salad. In the salads I’ve been adding a little bit of red cabbage that has been in the fridge for 2 weeks and today at lunch I’ll eat the rest, (I prepared it on Sunday and ate it also yesterday). I also been adding carrots that have been on the fridge for a while but since I learned the trick to put them in water, they’ve been lasting so long, not super worried about those. For the salads, I bought tomatoes since Daniel only likes tomato salad and I added some to my red cabbage carrot salad.

Panquecas e topping

Without courage to go out in the weekend, I also made pancakes to avoid going out to buy bread, I used a little bit of the apple cinnamon sugar that I bought in Japan, I honestly don’t know how I’m going to use all of this, it expires in December, maybe I’ll give it to someone. The package is so adorable right? I might have bought mostly because of that, of course I knew enough Japanese to understand that I’d like the topping, but the package is super cute.

Pimentos rugosos e refeição final

Sunday, I used 2 bell peppers that were getting wrinkled in the fridge, I sliced them and added sliced onions as well, off to the skillet they went and once they were soft I added 2 chicken breasts cut in cubes. Separately, I cooked green beans that my mom gave me and at the end I mixed the two together. It was pretty good.

Yesterday, after arriving from the gym I defrosted and heated a soup that I cooked a while ago, quick and healthy dinner with the bonus of cleaning up the freezer. You can see how I made this soup on Instagram, it’s saved in my stories. Even after being frozen, it was good.

And that’s all for this week. I still have tons of zucchini to spend and the heat prevented me to use up the rest. And I’ll go to my parents for the weekend so I’ll probably grate it and freeze it, so it doesn’t spoil. We’ll see.

Anyone participating? What did you cook 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 […]