Peri Peri Chicken Kebabs

December 29, 2013

Peri Peri Chicken Kebabs

You say piri-piri, I say peri-peri, he says pili pili? Alright. Why does this hot sauce have such a spelling-identity-crisis?
Old-faithful Wikipedia has an answer: “Pili pili is the Swahili word for 'pepper pepper'. Other English language spellings may include pili pili in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or peri peri in Malawi, deriving from the various pronunciations of the word in parts of Bantu languages-speaking Africa. Piri piri is the spelling of the name as used in the Portuguese language.”
In other words, all spellings are correct. Makes sense.
But whichever way you spell it, this spicy, fiery, and lively hot sauce can be better described as *awesome*, *badass* or *da bomb*.
Around the world peri peri is best known as a chili based sauce used as a seasoning or marinade for meat, especially chicken.

Sweet Potato Gratin Dauphinois

December 27, 2013

Sweet Potato Gratin Dauphinois
My mum made a classic potato gratin dauphinois for Christmas Eve dinner. IT.WON.RAVES.I swear I saw guests on the brink of fighting each other over the last bit (I won’t point fingers nor name anyone in particular, I just want YOU to know that I saw what happened!)
That’s something I would have never expected.
I don’t mean to diminish my mom’s cooking, but a gratin dauphinois is a pretty simple dish — potatoes cooked/baked in a milk mixture and topped with some cheese. Easy.
Apparently, just a very few ingredients deliver an irresistible creamy potato side dish that almost caused a brawl between two gentlemen. Who knew?

Have Yourself An Awesome Merry Christmas + (Paleo) Meringues

December 24, 2013


And it is Christmas Eve.
Which has to be my favourite day of the year. All that has to be done, has been done and if it hasn't happened there is little you can do about it now.
There is family, there are friends, there is warmth, and if you’re lucky enough there might be also snow on the ground. There’s nothing quite like a White Christmas, isn't it?

A Simple Fennel, Orange and Pepper Salad

December 23, 2013

Fennel, Orange and Pepper Salad

This salad was a big hit at Christmas’ brunch last Saturday.
Which is kind of ironic.
It was one of the simplest things I served, yet it was gone in a heartbeat; and everybody asked for the recipe.
Which got me thinking: is there really such a thing as a recipe for a salad?
Well if you consider super-fancy salads, then yes. But this...this is more of an idea.
Anyway, as all my guests enjoyed it so much, I decided to share this recipe/idea with you.

Momofuku's Roasted Brussel Sprouts

December 20, 2013

Momofuku's Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I used to hate brussel sprouts, I mean really hate them. I hated them so much one time when I was a kid I gagged at the dinner table because my parents forced me to eat them. They were the most awful thing I have ever put in my mouth, and I will never forget that.
That wasn’t until I went to David Chang’s Momofuku ssäm bar for dinner for my friend Nicole's birthday party a couple of years ago.
Somebody ordered a couple of servings of roasted Brussel sprouts; and for some reason the waiter put them in front of me.
I looked at them for quite some time, trying to decide whether I should give Brussel sprouts another chance.
I hesitated for a couple of minutes, but then I realized I was ripe (and brave) enough to try them again.
And luckily I did, because they blew me away.
See? People change.

Warm Apple Pie Smoothie

December 19, 2013

Warm Apple Pie Smoothie
In the summer I easily get excited about cooling drinks such as smoothies or juices. But in the winter - especially when it’s snowing outside - I crave hot drinks that will warm me up from the inside out.
However, I find it hard to come up with anything more than a cup of coffee, tea or cocoa. I mean, you can call them Mochas, Lattes or’s still coffee with some add-ons.
Don’t get me wrong, coffee (or tea) is awesome, but sometimes it’s nice to mix things up a little.
And I’m not talking about getting your booze on.
In that case there’s a variety of hot drinks to choose from: Hot spiced wine, eggnog with a dash of brandy or hot buttered rum. But as much as the idea of getting wasted in the morning is tempting, that’s not really how I roll.
So...back to square one?
No, not that fast.
How about a warm smoothie?
Don’t turn up your nose just yet; not before you’ve heard it all.

10 Last-Minute Gifts For Health Nuts

December 18, 2013

10 Last-Minute Gifts For Health NutsI know this is very last minute.
Christmas is just a week from now, but if you - just like me - have yet to finish your Christmas shopping, here’s a couple of last-minute holiday fitness gift ideas. 
Now, before we get started, there’s something I ought to tell you. Fitness-related gifts are fraught with danger.  
No matter how many times your significant other, best friend or sister said they want to be more active or get fit; that gym membership under the tree is going to earn some looks; and a “Do you think I’m out of shape or something?” might even be heard.  
Trust me you don't a fitness gift to put you in the middle of the "So, you think I'm fat?" conversation. Dangerous stuff.
On the other hand, there are those who are so into fitness and heathy that they have already all the equipment they need. 
But fear not people, it is possible to give fitness gifts without giving offense and avoiding duplicate (or redundant) gifts. 
I’m talking about these gifts that might also work as little extra incentives start a healthier lifestyle.

Crock-Pot Italian Beef Stew

December 17, 2013

Crock-Pot Italian Beef Stew

It's chilly and snowing outside, and I've got John Mayer singing “Who says I can't be free. From all of the things that I used to be? Rewrite my history. Who says I can't be free?”
I’m glad I'm inside in the warmth and coziness of my apt, and for some reasons it feels like the perfect time to cook something hearty and good.
IMO nothing beats a warm bowl of beef stew on a day like this.
And why make a regular beef stew when you can make the Italian version of it that tastes a hundred times better.
Loads of fresh veggies, lots of herbs, Italian red wine, amazing flavors.
This may be my new favorite stew. I even prefer it to Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon my mom’s makes, and it’s so much easier to make.
When there’s a slow cooked involved it's usually pretty simple...

Cheesy Cauliflower Soufflé (Low Carb & Gluten-Free)

December 15, 2013

Cheesy Cauliflower Soufflé (Low Carb & Gluten-Free)

What are your plans for this coming Christmas?
Spending more time with your family and friends and less time on worrying about getting duped by the Grinch, I suppose.
As for me, I’m hosting a big brunch on Saturday (the 21st) for my clique; on Sunday night dinner with my mom’s side of the family.
Then the traditional Christmas Eve dinner with my parents and siblings; and finally the huge Christmas lunch with my dad’s side of the family.
A bit intense, but it’s Christmas after all.
Loads of food, loads of drinks, quality time with your loved ones...I mean, isn’t it the best time of the year?

"Ugly But Good" Nut Cookies

December 13, 2013

"Ugly But Good" Nut Cookies
*Updated on 12/15/2013. I made a new batch of cookies last night.
I used less sugar and cook the batter on the stove for just 6 minutes. They came out even more awesome than the previous. I took a couple of new shots.
I hope you don't mind...

Do not judge a book by its cover, they say.
I wish I could say that I am one of those people who do not judge a book by its cover but, I am.
I am so one of those who will pick up a book (including cookbooks) solely on the cover.
That doesn’t mean that I won’t read something that sounds good just because it has a bad cover; but if a cover does not capture my eye, it is very unlikely for me to pick up the book.
That’s probably why I still struggle to read on my Kindle. I like to look at the cover, I like to feel the paper in my hands and to flip through real pages rather than clicking. Call me old fashion.
Truth to be told, evaluating things by their appearance is second nature in so many circumstances in life.