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Guerrilla Dinners

May 14th, 2012


This morning, while I was preparing a new post, answering emails and checking the internet, I came across this video, produced and edited by one of my teachers, Philipp Batta.

Usually, I would share things like that on my Facebook page but this is just too good to be left there.

I couldn’t find more about the Guerrilla Dinners, when they started or even if it is still running. But anyway, the project – to gather food and art in a underground way around Chicago –  is truly amazing, starting by the name!

A big inspiration to start your week.



This recipe has been cooking for a while… be more precise, since January when my husband made a trip to India and Sri Lanka.  And being this incredible guy, he brought me beautiful props, cookbooks and lots, lots of inspiration.

The house smelled like India for a couple weeks, in part because of his stuff, backpack, shoes, etc… and in part because I was adding curry powder to almost everything – seriously, to the point we needed a break.

But now that May is around the corner, bringing the ending of school year, increasing expectation of summer along with tons of opportunities to grill, it is time to bring this recipe back.

Let’s say this is a fusion, Indian grilled lamb with Sri Lankan mint sambol. Lamb marinated in yogurt is an old friend. If you’ve never had it, you definitely should try. But what really surprised me was this mint sambol.

Actually, Sri Lankan cuisine was an entire unknown territory to me until then. And the more I get to know, the more I like. So far what I’ve learned is no main meal is served without sambols, chutneys or pickles, little bowls packed with intense flavors intending to give an additional dimension to regular dishes.

This sambol recipe in particular comes from the book Sri Lankan Flavors by Channa Dassanayaka. I feel like apologizing for taking that long to share this incredible recipe.


Wash and dry mint leaves. Place in a food processor or mortar and pestle and grind with onion, garlic, coconut, raisins and chilli. Season with salt, pepper and lime juice. Serve with lamb skewers or keep on the fridge for up to 7 days. It is super versatile and can be used to season soups, curries or even a simple white rice.

Prepare the marinade. Toast cardamom and cumin slightly in a pan. Add nutmeg, onions, garlic, ginger and sauté until fragrant. Let it cool and ad turmeric and yogurt.

Pour the marinade over the lamb and turn to coat evenly. Marinate the lamb for 8h or overnight in the refrigerator.

Thread the lamb onto skewers and allow the excess marinade to drain away.

Pre-heat the grill to 400˚F. Grill each side for about 1 ½ minutes or until desired doneness. Top with mint sambol and serve immediately.


Happy Easter!

April 4th, 2012

Since I am running short of time, I came here this week to share and idea rather than a new recipe: chocolate Easter eggs filled with brigadeiro. I used to make tons of chocolate Easter eggs in Brazil and didn’t really keep up with this tradition here. But last week my daughters started to ask and I could not ignore their desire.

Besides, I feel like my sort of weariness for chocolate is gone. I’ve been eating a lot, I mean, a lot of chocolate lately, which is not good for the scale neither for my relationship.  Not that my husband complains about my extra weight, I can’t even imagine he doing that, no, he is not this kind of guy, lucky me. The problem is he is a crazy chocoholic, the one who buys chocolate and hides it from me and from the girls.

Of course I know all his secret places and never really cared about it. But now, for some reason, I catch myself carving for small bars all the time, eating his secret stock and pretending everything is fine. It can’t be good, can it?


So, back to the chocolate eggs……..

As I said, I used to make and sell a lot of chocolate eggs back in Brazil; if I am not wrong, I got to melt about 120lb of chocolate on the last time, working day and night like crazy to get everything done in time. Stuffed egg was my best seller and I still keep getting comments about it. You can use brigadeiro, a creamy ganache, marshmallow or whatever you like, the important piece here is the surprise factor.

So, chocolate Easter eggs filled with brigadeiro, because there’s always time for some chocolate.

Start with brigadeiro. Mix sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, salt and honey in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes. Add heavy cream and dark chocolate; I told you they are optional but since you are using brigadeiro as a filling, I strongly recommend you add these ingredients for an extra creaminess. Stir, cook for one more minute and turn off the heat. Pour brigadeiro into a plate and let it cool completely before using.

Cut chocolate in small pieces and place in a bowl. Melt chocolate in a microwave on medium power, stirring each 30 seconds. Be careful to not overheat your chocolate.

Now comes the tempering. That’s a quick process I like to use for small batches of chocolate. Place the bowl inside of a cold water bath. Water doesn’t have to be freezing, just cold.

Stir constantly until you notice the first sign of solidification on the bottom. Take the chocolate bowl out of the water bath immediately and keep stirring for a few more minutes.

Chocolate is ready to be used when it feels chilled to your lips. For more tips and a better tutorial you can check this other post here.

Make the egg’s shell. Fill any concavity with tempered chocolate and invert the mold over a bowl to drain off the excess. Cover the mold with foil, turn it upside down let the chocolate set.

Fill concavities with cooled brigadeiro leaving about 3mm (1/8’) of space.

Cover each piece with more tempered chocolate. Lightly, knock the mold against a hard surface to remove any air pocket. Let it stand at room temperature for 15 minutes and then on the fridge for extra 10 minutes.

Invert the mold into a flat surface. Eggs should come out easily. Keep it at room temperature up to 4 days.

Oh, before I forget, I finally got to put some photos on my About page, showing of my face. Super shy to do that though… Happy Easter!

Hi all!

March 30th, 2012

Hello again! Remember last week I told you I’ve been shooting more than cooking? So, I never brought up this subject here before but I think it is about time to share with you what I am up to and what has been making me so busy.

I would say I’ve been walking through paths I never expected when I started this blog. My intent was to build a good source of recipes and exchange cooking experiences with others; and it is not a secret part of this process involves taking pictures.

That’s how I saw, day by day, my kitchen tools been replaced by photography paraphernalia/gear and photography related books. Day by day this fascinating world of photography started to take first place in my life.

So, last September I got back to school and joined the Certificate Program at Chicago Photography Center, aiming to improve my skills and become a professional photographer. It was a bit confusing at the beginning but now things are starting to get shape, and I can officially say I am switching pans for the camera.

WOW, it feels SO GOOD to say that!

I am not saying I am abandoning my kitchen, no! It is just that my goals have changed and my focus is different now. But don’t worry, please. I am busy with my studies and may continue taking more time than I should to post something new but Give me flour will not change, this blog here will always be the place to gather my two favorite words, culinary and photography.

See you soon, I promise.


March 21st, 2012


I feel really, really bad for being away that long my friends. So many things are happening and I’ve been so busy…… it’s not that I’ve been doing nothing; I am still cooking and shooting – shooting more than cooking, I admit – hanging around and visiting some good friends.

Today I stopped at A Clove of Garlic and a Pinch of Salt to share a quick recipe and to talk a little bit about a place I heart the most, Ubatuba. And there is no better blog to talk about that because….oh, just go there and check it out.

 I already told you I am a big fan of Tiffany’s blog right? So, it’s a huge pleasure to be there again!

See you guys soon, I promise!

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