Monday, July 28, 2014

Benfica Market trip

I went to a great local arts/crafts market this weekend.  It is full of handmade items - paintings, sculptures, jewelry, animal skins, ivory, food and more.  


Some of the ivory products available for purchase which is illegal to buy or sell. (new article about it here)


masks

baskets

paintings


prepping the fish 

Grilled octopus, whole fish, and more available for purchase.  Sadly, I ran out of time and didn't  get to sample the food.  But I will be back!

Preparing funge, a local porridge-like side dish

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Garlic Parmesan Biscuits

This is an easy, delicious drop biscuit recipe.  That means no rolling, no kneading, no worries.  These are way better than Red Lobster biscuits.  I promise.



Topping
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil
 1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 teaspoons fresh herbs (I used parsley and tarragon)

Biscuits
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
 5 tablespoons cold butter
 1 cup milk
 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
Heat 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon  oil over med high heat.  Once melted add the minced garlic and stir for about a minute.  Remove from heat and add the fresh herbs. Set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of flour mixture. Add the milk, garlic, and parmesan cheese and stir just until combined. Drop batter by spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet. (Mine stuff a little so will probably use parchment paper next time)
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes then brush garlic/herb butter over tops.  Return to oven for 2-5 more minutes, until lightly browned.

Unbelievably good and super easy.  Enjoy!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Photos from Luanda (July)

Kind of a lazy post because it's mostly just pictures.  We are pretty much all set up now.  We have pictures hung and boxes are empty/gone. We have a favorite grocery store (although, we are still grocery store-hopping to make sure).  We also have several go-to restaurants near our house that we walk to on the weekends (Lebanese, Chinese, bakery, ice cream). We are hoping to get plates on the car soon so we can explore more soon.  Here are a few pictures I've taken recently (some are a little blurry because they were taken from a moving vehicle).  Enjoy!

Our church

Weeks worth of fruits/veggies after soaking in a bleach solution (very necessary)



Rooftop restaurant 

Amazing steakhouse
crazy banana I found 

roadside fútbol game

seafood at the grocery store

our favorite grocery store (so far).  It's as large as a Super Walmart.

Roadside fruits/veggies (you can find these everywhere here) 


Women here carry crazy amounts of stuff on their heads.  It is amazing to see!
Our home

Monday, July 14, 2014

Kookoo Kadoo (Persian Zucchini Frittata)

I'm a big fan of frittatas.  When I saw an email about a persian frittata, that got me googling recipes for a while.  After reading several that sounded really good and then figuring out what ingredients I had on hand, this is what I came up with.  It is really good.  The only thing I will change for next time is to use a smaller baking dish.  I used a 9x13 and it was a little too thin for me.  I would love to use more cayenne too but a certain little five year old I know would complain about it being too spicy.  Ah, such is life.


3 large zucchini, washed, peeled and grated
4 large eggs
1 medium onion, peeled and grated, discard juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cumin
cayenne pepper to taste
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375F.  Sprinkle the grated zucchini with salt and let sit in a colander for 15 minutes to get the moisture out and drain.
In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients.  Mix thoroughly.

Pour the mixture in a greased oven-proof dish and bake for about 30-40 minutes till it starts to set and the edges turn brown.


Easy and delicious!


Monday, June 30, 2014

Cottage Pie...so yummy!

Growing up we called it shepherds pie.  Once I reached adulthood, I found out that it was actually cottage pie because it's made with ground beef instead of lamb.  Whatever you call it, this recipe is delicious.  It isn't the one I grew up with, but it's now my go-to recipe.


Mashed Potatoes
2 lbs potatoes
1/4c milk
2 oz butter
1/2 c feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Filling
2 tablespoons oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 carrots, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 oz tomato paste
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 cup beef broth
2 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 large can corn
1 regular can peas
1 1/2 lbs ground beef


Preheat the oven to 400 F/200C degrees.

First start the mashed potatoes -

Cut potatoes and cut into small chunks (peel them first, if you prefer). Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water and add some salt. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender (easily pierced with a fork), about 15 minutes. Place the milk and butter into a microwave-safe container and heat about 30 seconds. Drain the potatoes and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the milk, butter, salt and pepper and continue to mash until smooth. Add cheese if you'd like (I added feta but you can use parmesan or any other cheese you prefer)

Prepare the filling -

Place the canola oil into a 12-inch saute pan and set over medium high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the ground beef, salt and pepper and cook until browned. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, beef broth, Worcestershire, chipotle powder and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.

Add the corn and peas and spread evenly into an 9x 13 baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes. Place on a baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

A few notes - I made the filling while the potatoes were boiling.  I assembled it ahead of time and then just brought it up to room temp before baking it.  If you took it straight from the fridge to the oven, you would probably need to cook it a little longer.

I served it with garlic bread and a pretty roasted beet/feta salad.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Luanda, Angola - the first two weeks

I can't believe that we've only been here two weeks!  A lot has happened in that short time.  We've received (and unpacked) our household goods, taken a trip to the beach, toured the city, and settled into a routine.  Not bad, huh?

A few pictures for a glimpse into our new life...
the best part of moving...making a fort!

Our balcony

our awesome pool 

little friend we found on our deck

trip to Ilha do Mussolo
playing frisbee at the beach


making new friends

playground at work

 
enjoying the wildlife


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Broccoli, Tomato, and Dill Frittata

The best thing about having breakfast of dinner is have leftovers for breakfast!!  BRILLIANT!

Last night for dinner, I made banana pancakes and and a frittata.  Now, I have to warn you, this recipe has very few measurements in it.  I have a good excuse, since I'm in the middle of a move and haven't found my measure cups and spoons yet.  But it's a frittata and doesn't require exact measurements.  Give it a try - it's really delicious!



broccoli florets (about a cup)
med diced tomato
med diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
dill seasoning
salt and pepper
oil
6 eggs
parmesan (I used maybe half a cup)

Preheat oven to broil setting.

Steam the broccoli.  Chop into smaller, bite size pieces.  Whisk eggs, Parmesan, pepper, and salt. Heat an oven safe saute pan over medium high heat. Add some oil to pan (enough to coat). Add onion and garlic and sauté about 5 minutes. Add broccoli and tomatoes.  Pour egg mixture into pan and stir. Sprinkle with dill. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top.

Place pan into oven and broil for 3 - 5 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy. Remove from pan and serve immediately.

I also sliced up some avocado to go with the frittata.  When I reheated it for breakfast this morning, I mashed the avocado and added salt and pepper and put it on top of the frittata.  I think I liked it better mashed.

Hope you enjoy!  Now, back to moving boxes for me.  Oh joy!


Petitchef

All recipes are on Petitchef