Rather good

As charity records go, I think this is really rather good.

90s music + Japan + Bad ass NY attitude + chicken

If there is one thing you SHOULD do today,
its follow this link.

Go on, go on, go on.

You gotta know your chicken.

Whitney Houston & Enrique Iglesias - Could I Have This Kiss Forever (Metro Mix)(2000)

Whitney Houston & Enrique Iglesias - Could I Have This Kiss Forever (Metro Mix)(2000)

Nice things...Coisas bonitas

A climb up memory lane.
Chav on a Spanish hill. What a look. This is a rare photo of Nate smiling, so basically, golden times.

I found this DIY homem in Porto last week.
Helena has fabulous hair and cleans our windows. Mint Portuguese contacts!
Monseiur Gainsbourg revisted is a soundtrack with some rather good chansons. I found this whilst having a cheeky butchers at Karen Elson's recent musical efforts. Unfortunately, they are disastrous. Karen, no.


Click here and listen to an autumn song.

And now you can colour differents pictures:

Edible Art: Sweet Bed

The artist Brusse is all about love. Street art, installations, mixed media pieces all examining and exploring the subject of l-o-v-e. He's done a lot of interesting pieces over the years, but, personally, the piece that I can't get enough of his candy-inspired "Love Injection" bed. And I'm not even a romantic person! Actually, squash that. I am a romantic person. I'm just not attracted to romance in the traditional sense (i.e. candlelit dinners, boxes of chocolates, stuffed bears), but something about this makes me go awwww. Maybe it's the sugar. All I know is that I'd much prefer candy on my sheets than rose petals, although it would probably be a good idea to buy some cheap white sheets that you could toss (or use as rags) if they stained. To check out more of Brusse's love work, you can visit his Web site, right here.


We have got more exercises about the comparatives in our blog. Look the labels on the right and look for the word comparatives.


Look at this story:

Now play these games!
Click on the fish and do the jiwsaw:

Click on the fishing rod:

Muito giro.

Pan Seared Salmon with Creamy Leeks

Wasn't it just a moment ago that I extolled the virtues of whole fish? Hadn’t I declared my love for whole fish over fillets? I am no inconstant lover to be sure, but every girl needs variety don’t you think? :) Especially when buying a whole salmon on these shores would cost one very pretty penny! We also can’t discount the fact that fillets are definitely more convenient. And let’s face it; most of us do need a little convenience once in a while – especially when juggling baby, work, and a household…plus a life outside of that (some quality alone time with the hubby, time with friends, ME time…blogging!)!

Having a few fish fillets in your freezer (ooh, say that 10 times, fast!) means a quick supper is never far away, even on days when you don’t have the time or the energy to think past finishing that last report. They are especially handy when the only time you can make it to the market (because really, some of the “fresh fish” that is in the supermarket these days are a tad worrying) is on the weekends.

So, anyway, this is all to say that, yes, there is a space for fish fillets in my heart and on my table.

Pan Seared Salmon with Creamy Leeks
  • 2 x 160-180 gram fillets of salmon
  • Olive oil
  • 6-5 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced diagonally (about 2 cups sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Heat a swirl of olive oil in a pan. When the oil is hot add the leeks and sauté until they start to soften. Add the cream and let it bubble a bit until the leeks are tender, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add the dill, toss, and take off the heat. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and stir. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside.
- In another skillet heat a couple of glugs of oil. Sprinkle salmon fillets with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot add salmon to the pan skin side down (my fillets here were already skinned but I still cook the side where the skin was first). Cook for a couple of minutes and flip to cook the other side. Cook for a couple of minutes more until done to your liking.
- Place each fillet on a plate and divide the creamy leeks between the two.
- Serves two.

Salmon is nice when it’s a little rare in the middle, but cook it all the way through if that’s how you like it. The great thing about fillets, as opposed to steak cuts, is that you can actually see the fish cooking on the sides (as the fish grows opaque from the bottom up). This makes is easier to predict when the fish is done.

Since neither salmon nor creamy sauces make it to C’s list of favorites this is something I often enjoy when he is not around. I actually love these little meals made solely for my enjoyment. Brings me back to the early days of my cooking --- when I cooked only for myself, and ultimately fell in love with it. Which brings me to another nice attribute of the fillet…it lends itself perfectly to the single serving!

Note: I am trying to groom little C to be a creamy-salmon-dish-eater just like her mama. To make a baby friendly version just steam the salmon and leeks, cut up/mash when cooked (leeks should be soft and salmon cooked through), and mix with a dollop of yogurt (instead of cream). I’ve also done a version with the salmon steamed with cilantro and onions, then mashed with yogurt when cool. Definitely thing I would eat myself!

Caras nas portas

Kae stood in front of this door for quite a while before pointing at it and saying, 'Cara'.
Megumi thought this one looked happier.
Playing 'door'. Its what all the kids are doing.

nous rions

A typical breakfast in Oporto. KEN CLIMB PEACH.

In Leon. Tomomi and Kae in a pre-Gaga moment of meat appreciation.
Today in Porto. Megumi and Kae still love carne. Que fixe!

Today was spent speeding down hillsides in vintage trams, hurtling down cliff edges in funeculars, snailing along the river Douro in a boat full of OAPs, swigging Porto in a celler, and chowing down on japanese food in the house of a perfect stranger.
An Amelie like day of wonderful coincedences and nice cafes.
Ended happily with a cup of cha with my sisterinha Maria-Elena.

Fig & Kindle

Sarah Goldschmidt over at Fig & Kindle recently sent me a link to her Etsy shop and boy, am I glad that she did! Her glass brittles may be the most gorgeous brittles that I have ever seen and the flavors are so creative! This isn't your ordinary peanut brittle. At the Fig & Kindle shop you'll find walnut rosemary, saigon cinnamon, and wasabi pea brittle! I don't know which one I would want to sample first! There are also cocoa cinnamon and almond anise cookies available in their Etsy shop as well. Yum! Besides all of the eye candy, personally, I have a hard time resisting anything with the word "fig" in the title. Love the word...love the fruit! Sarah's brittles (and more) are available right here. Click here to check the Fig & Kindle blog as well. [Thanks, Sarah!]

Serralves no Domingo

Helena and the space projection.
The daaark garden.

Fim da semana

Every eve at nine o'clock, wolves gather outside my apartment and howl.

This noise is becoming part of the soundtrack of my portuguese life, which of late, has been full of arty fun with Helena.

Today we explored the Serralves gallery, a small museum with two contemporary art exhibitions. The first, a selection of cute yet morbid paintings, the second a series of videos which seemed to create the feeling of being on the moon.

The Serralves gallery is surrounded by green-ness. A garden/forrest with many hidden mirrors.
On Saturday we ambled up and down Rua Miguel Bombarda art galleries + free caipirinhas = onehelluvastreet.

Tuhod y Batoc Ragu (Knee and Neck Ragu)

I am a pack rat. I save everything from old credit card receipts to sappy poems written by boys of summers long gone. I hardly ever throw anything away. I have my paid and validated phone bills from years back tucked away in dark corners of my office. Random scraps of paper, scrawled with hurried to-do lists, litter the nether regions of my purses. Proof of this “endearing” habit currently lay in boxes that block our front door and most of our new foyer.

It’s also evident in our fridge and freezer – much to C’s frustration (as if the unpacked boxes of stuff isn’t frustrating enough right?). I keep every drop of bacon dripping, the end slices of sliced bread, every last bit of leftover food. I can’t abide by food waste so all this gets stashed for future use. To my credit, they do, in fact, get used, and for the most part quite successfully.

This dish came together one slow day when I was in the middle of the contemplative work of stock-making. Beef stock making to be specific. I had scored a gorgeous shin bone which I had cut down to kneecaps and marrow pieces (did that sound too serial killer-ish?). To add more meatiness to the stock I threw in a hunk of beef neck. There was quite a bit of neck meat there, which slowly cooked down to a melting softness, and I thought it would shame it to let it go to waste. So I took it, along with the now tender kneecap tendon, and did this.

Tuhod y Batoc Ragu (Knee and Neck Ragu)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 small white onions, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Italian mix seasoning
  • 1 chorizo, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 800-gram can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 clove
  • Dash cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups cooked, deboned beef neck (shredded) and kneecap (the soft, gelatinous tendon part, chopped)
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup beef stock
  • Sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper

- Heat a couple of generous glugs of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. When the oil is hot, add the onions, garlic, and bay leaf and sauté until onions are soft and translucent. Add Italian mix seasoning and stir well, letting the dried herbs release their scent.
- Add the chorizo and cook until it releases its oils. Deglaze the pot with red wine, scraping all the brown bits stuck to the pan as you go. Cook until you can’t smell the alcohol anymore.
- Add the tomatoes, clove, cinnamon, and paprika. Let this simmer until the water has evaporated a bit.
- Add the beef and beef stock and simmer again until it all melds together into a thick and pulpy sauce.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.

You would think that something that had been cooked for hours would have lost a lot of its flavor but the neck meat, which has a lot of flavor to begin with, held up pretty well. The aromatics and spices (and the chorizo) then added whatever was missing. All in all, pretty savory and not at all a dish you would think came from the leavings of something else. It is rich and hearty and stick-to-your bones comforting. You could of course make this with neck and kneecap directly simmered in the tomato sauce until tender, without waiting for a beef stock making session. We had it with a scalloped, shell-like pasta touted as gnocchi on that package. In any case, it worked a charm, catching the hearty sauce in its crevices. It would also go wonderfully with a good thick pasta noodle like a papardelle.

I feel unashamedly smug when I put every last bit of something to good use. Especially when something great comes of it. I only wish it was that easy for those boxes.

Note: It's a bit late to announce but I have some dishes in this month's (September) issue of Yummy magazine :) All made with local cheeses! This isssue is a great one -- chock-full of Filipino recipes, or dishes with local ingredients. There is a spread of different adobo recipes that I know I am going to be trying soon!

DOCE is sweet.

A fun song for the commencing of autumn.

Portugal...a country of discoveries (via my laptop)



In our school we've got a class named "a clase dos peixes". They are the 3-years-old boys and girls.I hope they like this song:

Now you can colour these two fish:


Listen to these two songs about numbers:

And now play this memory game:


Play this game. Try to answer all the questions:



A Rainbow Song


Learn this song about the colours! In the song COLOUR is written COLOR because it's American English.

Vinylshakerz - One Night In Bangkok (Vinylshakerz Screen Cut)(2005)

Vinylshakerz - One Night In Bangkok (Vinylshakerz Screen Cut)(2005)

Inspiration Board: Candy

Oh, wow! Do I love this cake or what?? When I first came across this Rock Candy Cake on Style Me Pretty, I thought, that is the greatest wedding cake I have ever seen. Okay, I admit it, I probably have said that about other cakes in the past, and I think I said it again when I saw the Dots Cake featured below, but it's definitely one of my favorites. It's beautiful and fun and simple all at the same time. Who knew that rock candy could look so sophisticated! If I attended a wedding and there was a Rock Candy Cake, I'd be a happy girl. Seeing this cake actually inspired me to do a little research to find other ways in which candy can be used as a design element in food and this is what I came up with. I hope you enjoy it! {Rock Candy Cake by Cocoa + Fig, photo by Red Ribbon Studio}

Candy Dots Cake, by Lochel’s Bakery, courtesy of Philadelphia Wedding

Gumball Cake by A Sweet Design

Heston Blumenthal’s Popping-Candy Chocolate Cake by Chubby Hubby {This cake is amazing, but if you'd like a simpler approach to incorporating Pop Rocks in your desserts, try sprinkling it on top of a cake or cupcake.}


Click on the picture and do the exercise: