Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Orange and Vanilla Biscoitos

Recipe by Paula.

I adore these Portuguese cookies. They are flavourful and perfect for dunking into coffee, tea and even some Port wine. These are traditionally made with lemon but I switched it up with orange and vanilla. Form them into any shape you like such as a log or favourite is the twist. Enjoy!

Makes 24

2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 grated zest of 1 orange
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In a large bowl, beat together eggs and sugar for 3 minutes. Add the butter, vanilla, juice and zest and beat for 1 more minute.

2. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix gently until the dough comes together. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

4. Preheat your oven to 350F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

5. Divide the dough into 24 balls and then on a floured surface, roll each ball into whatever shape you want. I did a twist. I rolled a piece of dough into a rope shape then twisted the dough down the middle.

6. Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes until they are slightly golden brown. I like mine pale. Allow the cookies to cool completely.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Roast Potatoes with Tomatoes, Garlic & Wine

Recipe by Paula.

These are my favourite way to serve roast potatoes. The potatoes have crispy edges but are buttery soft at the same time. The tomatoes, garlic and wine combine with the olive oil to create a beautifully flavoured sauce.  Be sure to have lots of fresh bread on hand to mop up the sauce. Enjoy!

Serves: 4-6

2 lbs new baby potatoes
8 oz grape or cherry tomatoes, divided
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


1. Preheat oven to 375F. Cut the potatoes in half or thirds depending on their size. Cut 1/2 of the tomatoes in half and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, cut tomatoes, garlic, bay leaves, olive oil and white wine. Season generously with salt and pepper.

3. Add the mix to a roasting pan and spread out into an even layer. Distribute the butter evenly over the potatoes and cover the roasting pan with foil. Bake for 1 hour or until the potatoes are almost tender.

4. Increase the oven temperature to 425F. Remove the foil and stir in the remaining whole tomatoes. Roast, uncovered for another 1/2 hour or until the potatoes are tender and golden and the whole tomatoes are cooked.

5. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Stir the parsley into the potatoes. Serve immediately and drizzle the pan sauce over the tomatoes.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Cinnamon, Lemon and Vanilla Rice Pudding

Recipe by Paula.

The Portuguese have a love affair with rice pudding because it reminds them of home. I am no different. This beautiful and creamy rice pudding has the magical effect of taking me right back to my childhood with every spoonful. It is pure comfort in a bowl. I like my rice pudding served warm but you can also serve this cold or at room temperature. Enjoy!

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
peel of 1 lemon
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
pinch of salt
1/2 cup arborio rice
2 egg yolks, beaten
Ground cinnamon, garnish


1. In a heavy saucepan over medium high heat, combine cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, lemon peel, cinnamon stick and salt. Bring to a gentle boil.

2. Add the rice and reduce the heat to medium low and cook, uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Stir often or the rice will stick to the bottom of the pan.

3. Take the pan off the heat and remove the lemon peels and cinnamon sticks. Stir the rice vigorously as you add the beaten eggs until well combined.

4. Spoon the rice into serving dishes and sprinkle the tops lightly with the ground cinnamon. Serve warm or at room temperature.