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Monday, October 21, 2013

Baked Buffalo Wings (two sauces)

My husband requested wings for football Sunday.  Since he rarely makes any meal requests and I love wings and I love him, I happily complied.  I wanted to bake the wings so I could at least pretend I was being healthy, so after researching a lot of recipes, I decided to try them three different ways.  I also made two sauces because I wanted the buffalo wings to be spicy and my daughter can't handle a lot of heat.  So, I made a honey ginger glaze and a spicy buffalo sauce.  I also had to make some homemade blue cheese dressing because I couldn't find any here.

The sauces ( can make the day ahead or just before cooking wings)

Honey Ginger Glaze
1/2 c honey
4 Tablespoons soy sauce
6 cloves of garlic, minced
4 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1/4c water

Combine all ingredients and heat to boiling, stirring frequently.  Reduce to simmer and reduce sauce for about 10 minutes. Let stand 15-30 minutes to thicken.

Buffalo Wing Sauce
3 oz unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients. Chill 30 mins.  Reheat before using.

Here are the different methods I used for baking the wings -
1. Steamed then cooled then baked (this was my favorite)
2. Floured and baked (second favorite)
3. Naked - tossed in a little oil, salt and pepper then baked at 400 for 45-50 minutes (good but not crispy)

Blue Cheese Dressing

1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 half of fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup (or to taste) crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon chives

Mix everything (except blue cheese) together until smooth.  Add blue cheese and stir until combined.  Chill 30 minutes.
Also, if you don't have buttermilk (I never do), you can make it by adding a tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of milk and let it sit for 10 minutes.

I'm happy to report the wings were a huge success!  The blue cheese dressing was amazing!

It was a good day for wings and football.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sao Pedro/Lumiar trip - a great weekend getaway

A few weekends ago, we drove to Lumiar and Sao Pedro in Novo Friburgo.  It is a lovely little mountain town area that is only about a 2 1/2 hour drive.  

We did go a longer route so that we could fit in a visit to the Geneve Goat Farm.  This goat farm supplies all the nice french restaurants with their goat cheese.  It was my favorite part of our trip!  There have a nature walk, a play area for children (or kids, ha!), a tour that includes feeding and petting the goats and watching them prepare the goat cheese.  

nature walk

feeding the goats

goat cheese!

We also had lunch at the restaurant there.  It was amazing!  Lots of goat cheese and the vegetables are grown right there on the farm.

duck breast with apple puree

filet mignon and mushroom risotto

vegetable crepe (with goat cheese of course)
After lunch it was on to Lumiar/Sao Pedro.  We loved this area!  It was beautiful and green and peaceful.  We hiked and walked around town.  We saw waterfalls and beautiful landscapes. We had some great food (and beer). It was just a great, relaxing family weekend.


We stayed at this amazing little pousda (inn) in Sao Pedro.  It is only about a year old so everything is new and wonderful.  The rooms are huge with a fireplace in each (ours had a big jacuzzi in it).  It also has a movie room, a game room, a very helpful, friendly staff, a good restaurant and there is a natural spring just next door to it.  
View from the breakfast room at our hotel

The last night, we walked into to the little town area for dinner.  It just so happened that there was a spring festival that night.  There was a clown/magician that put on an excellent show.  There was musicians playing on the street.  It seems as if the whole town came out for it.  It was just wonderful! 
live music at the spring festival

Waiting for the magic show to start

It is such a short distance and easy drive to this area.  It is perfect for a weekend away from Rio. I'd love to return for another weekend before we leave Brazil, but who knows?  So many places to visit and so little time!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Baba Ghanoush

I had been craving it for a few days.  Delicious charred eggplant, lemon, tahini slathered on nice, warm pita bread.  So last night I finally gave in and made it.  So. Worth. It.

First, the scary part.  You have to char the eggplant to get that delicious smokey flavor.  Poke some holes in the eggplant, wrap it with a bunch of foil and place it over the open flame on a gas stove or a grill. Turn every five minutes or so.  It will take 15-30 mins, depending on the size of your eggplant.  I had medium ones and they took about 20 mins. Remove them when they feel squishy.  Yes, that's a technical term.

Let them cool a little then open the foil (watch out for the hot, escaping steam), split them open and place the eggplant pulp (not the skin) into a bowl.  Let it cool slightly then mash them with a fork (or you can put them in the food processor if you prefer a more pureed dip).  Add the rest of the ingredients (adjust for your personal taste) and enjoy.

Serve with pita bread, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, or just eat it straight out of the bowl.

2 eggplants roasted
1/4c tahini
1/8tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp cumin
1 lemon
1/2tsp salt
Drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika 

I can't wait until lunch time so I can eat this (along with the pita bread and hummus).

Friday, October 11, 2013

Homemade yogurt

I've been making my own yogurt for the last couple of months and decided it was time to share.  This is such an easy thing to make and it's a lot cheaper than buying those tiny containers of yogurt at the grocery store.  The nice part is that you know exactly what you're eating.  It is plain yogurt so you still have to add whatever kind of flavor you want but that's the fun part.

1. Pour a 1 liter container of milk (whole, low fat or fat free) into a pot and bring it to a boil.
2.  Allow it to cool until you can just touch it but not completely cool (about 125 degrees)
3. Pour into a container  (with a tight fitting lid) and add 4 teaspoons of plain, live culture yogurt
4. Put lid on container and leave in a dark cabinet for 5-6 hours (longer if it's a cold day)
5. Refrigerate and enjoy

I enjoy a bowl with some fresh fruit, a drizzle of honey and some granola.

Oh, and a little tip - I have forgotten about the yogurt a couple times and left it out overnight.  Now I set a reminder on my phone to ping me and remind me to take it out of the cabinet and stick in the fridge when it's done.


All recipes are on Petitchef