31 December, 2009

Happy 2010 & All I want for Christmas is YOU !! :)

[ Although this post was in Drafts folder since mid December 2009 - the trip back to Portugal knocked me out completely, it's posted today, 2h after the New Year, in Lisbon-Portugal!]


My Best wishes to ALL of you guys and girls, my friends and everyone else :), my blog fans and non-fans :), let's make of 2010 a great year, filled up with Health, Peace, Joy, Happiness, Brightness and fulfilling relationships, finding what we really want to achieve and what we really want for our lives, giving hands and helping each other to reach out our goals and dreams.
Let's do it!!

(cliquem no 'Read more')

19 December, 2009

My Farewell Lunch :)

[this post will be written like a page of my personal diary, full of personal notes, which I dedicate to all my friends, everywhere :) ]

It happened on Dec 5th, Saturday.

For some reason that my logical rational mind does not understand I feel this urge to write about the meaning of this farewell get-together.

Tamara, in my last spiritual session with her told me: "you have grown so much in the past few years, you should write down on a list what was that growth about, what was the change." For instants, I thought that she was reading my mind. I thought several times in writing down these things, like you write your precious events, positive or negative ones, doesn't matter, but I never ended up doing it because I lack vocabulary. What I feel is so intense and big, just one word comes up to my mind immediately: expansion. And void again returns and I just feel. And I can't describe it, I have no words to do it.

Aj, my tango friend, with whom I danced so many songs and improved my Tango skills so much, was the 1st one to kick off me in the direction of a farewell get-together.

Despite the fact that I'm very good to support others and in helping them moving forward, this is one of my best qualities (I remember once, back in Evora, with another friend, it was his birthday, I asked him why wouldn't set up a dinner with his closest friends for that night, to celebrate. At first he didn't like the idea that much and fought it, but I put so much enthusiasm on it that he ended up making the calls to his friends and we all had dinner that night to celebrate his birthday: within a few hours he was able to put together more than 14 people, all of them very meaningful in his life - this is the power of our will!), I'm not so good in doing the same for me. I need some time to digest the idea.

But somehow, instead of fighting it, I actually liked it, and in secret I started to plan it. And I admired my friend Aj for that impulse.
I started to talk with other friends and I noticed that all of them are reacting with a lot of enthusiasm, so I was getting stronger and stronger in my will. I'm gonna do it.

December is not a good month to schedule anything, but I didn't have other choice, fortunately most of the people that I would love their presence there were able to make it. And that meant a lot to me.
It went by very fast and somehow this get together started to feel like a real good-bye, like it's over. I have no idea why these thoughts were popping up in my head all the time, but they drove me in to tears several times. I had to do a hard work to calm down myself.

I think a lot, and when I say a lot, I mean it.
But in the past few years I strove to maintain a healthy thinking process, something that actually can help me moving forward and clarifying situations instead of driving me nuts or in to more confusion.
I think to digest. I put myself in to other people shoes to try to understand their actions and attitudes towards me, either positive or negative ones. But more negative ones.

09 December, 2009

A sort of Pecan Pie :) / Tarte de Nozes Pecan

[A versao em Portugues esta' mais em baixo, descam com o rato :) ]

After baking so many (vegan) Pumpkin pies in the last few weeks, I'd decided to take a break and try to bake other pies and of course, improving my (not-so-wonderful) baking skills :).
Pecan pie was always in my thoughts but I hadn't found yet a recipe that had caught my eye until I came across with this one from Ricki.
I was exploring my options for a Vegan Thanksgiving Menu, browsing my favorite vegan food blogs when I saw the recipe for a Chocolate Pecan Pie and I immediately thought: "hmmmm... that must be interesting, I have to try it".
I was totally convinced after reading the ingredients to make the crust: the recipe calls for coconut oil, so so so healthy for us, in its solid state (below 26C the oil becomes solid and white, like a paste)! It was the 1st recipe for a pie crust that I've seen calling for coconut oil and I soon started to wonder about coconut oil being the healthier substitute for butter, whether if you are using vegan butter or not.

Read here a little bit more about the healthy benefits of virgin coconut oil to help you dissipate all those dark clouds (called doubts) above your head :)

08 December, 2009

Pumpkin Pie...again and again! Tarte de Abobora Picante :) mais uma vez!

[scroll down to read some short comments in English]

Nao 'e a primeira vez que escrevo sobre Pumpkin Pies ou Tarte de Abobora com Especiarias, mas este ano, por ser o 'ultimo, teve um sabor diferente.
Desde que comecou a 'epoca das aboboras, no inicio de Outubro, em preparacao para o Halloween, que o forno la' de casa nao para (ate' hoje 'a noite, pois amanha seguem os 'ultimos caixotes para Lisboa, com os meus utensilios de cozinha e acabou-se, temporariamente, as minhas aventuras culinarias...sniff). Perdi a conta, literalmente, de quantas tartes de abobora fiz!
A receita 'e sempre a mesma, tirada do blogue A Lucid Spoon Ful, que infelizmente ja' nao esta' acessivel ao publico, so' por convite, no Outono de 2007, e ainda continuo a trabalhar nela, dado que o tamanho da abobora utilizada na receita publicada nao 'e explicito, o que quer dizer que, da 1a vez que fiz ficou pudim de abobora com especiarias! LOL
Da 2a vez que fiz falhou a base (mas o recheio foi todo comido!), tenho que treinar mais bases e foi com este objectivo que fiz muitas este ano, finalmente arranjei uma boa base para receber este recheio delicioso de abobora cozida com especiarias!

Deixo-vos umas fotos :)

Antes de entrar no forno/ Unbaked :)

Depois de sair do forno / Baked:

Um beijo gelado de 30F! :}**

[English version]

I don't quite remember how many times I wrote about Pumpkin Pie in this blog (I have to search on my Posts list which is not accessible to me while I'm writing this post and I'm kind in a hurry right now), just because I LOVE Pumpkin Pie, I LOVE its VEGAN version, it's so healthy and so easy to make!
This year is my last year here, truth to be written :) these are my last weeks here, so this year is special, everything seems to have a greater importance and I have been baking more than ever!
Since the harvest season started, in the beginning of October, announcing the Halloween for later on, that my oven did not stop working (more precisely until tonight, tomorrow my last boxes, containing my kitchen utensils, will be shipped to Lisbon and no more cooking experiences until Christmas...sniff), I lost the account of how many pumpkin pies I baked!
I always use the same recipe, that I saw a couple of years ago, in a blog that it's not accessible to the public anymore: A Lucid Spoon Ful, and I'm still working on it: the quantity of pumpkin used in this recipe is not quite well explained ("use a small pumpkin" it says), meaning that the 1st time I baked this recipe I got a pudding instead of a pie! LOL
My 2nd time was much better, more solid, but the crust was not good at all, so I thought I should continuing work on it. :) And with this goal in my mind, I baked many pies this year and I found out a crust recipe entirely approved by my taste buds!

Scroll up to see some pictures of my baking experiences.:)

See you in the next one: more baking, after all is Pie season!

Stay warm in these cold days (30F outside!) :}**

07 December, 2009

O frio esta' de volta! / The cold is back!

(tirada daqui)

(tirada daqui)

It's freaking cold!!!!!
que 'e como quem diz: Esta' um frio do caracas! ou esta' buedaaaa frio!
Ha' uns dias que andamos com umas temperaturas baixas, mas este fsm foi intenso (a lareira fartou-se de trabalhar no Domingo!) e hoje entao, de manha, estava demais! Eram 11h30m e estavam 29F, que sao -1.7 C e para esta noite estao previsto 22F, que andam 'a volta dos -6C!
Hoje, durante o dia, o termometro subiu aos 33F, um pouco acima dos 0C, mas sao 16h37 m e estamos nos negativos outra vez.
Ainda vao ser mais uns dias desta 'fria agitacao' e eu, que me lembro de me terem dito, logo assim que aqui cheguei, que o Inverno nao era rigoroso em Seattle, e que nao era usual termos temperaturas tao baixas.
Deve ser consequencia do aquecimento la' esta'! ;)
E por falar em aquecimento - isto lembra-me os tempos la' de Evora onde o aquecimento nunca funcionava decentemente - aqui tambem nao! :) imaginem la' voces.... estou a trabalhar toda equipada de roupa! pareco um chourico com pernas LOL.

Na 6f passada, uma colega aqui do piso queixou-se do frio dos gabinetes (ela vem da Suica, portanto esta' habituada a estas temperaturas, nao esta' habituada 'e 'as temperaturas - baixas - dos gabinetes) e mandaram chamar a equipa tecnica para averiguar.
Estava eu a trabalhar, vestida com 2 pares de calcas, 2 t-shirts de manga comprida, uma camisola grossa, o cache-col e um casaco de la por cima, quando bate 'e porta um senhor dos seus 50 anos, magrinho, com um avental azul escuro vestido e me pergunta:
"So, are you having any problems with the heater?" (esta' a ter algum problema com o aquecimento desta sala?)
Resposta mental : "do I look like I'm having problems with heater?" (pareco-lhe que estou a ter problemas com o aquecimento?) enquanto olhava para ele com toda aquela roupa em cima.
Resposta verbal: "it's not working" (nao esta' a funcionar).
Ele entrou e colocou a mao em cima do aquecimento: "Geez..... it's cold!" eu so' acenei com a cabeca e ele saiu num 'apice.
Resultado? continuamos sem aquecimento. A fonte principal aqui do campus tinha a camada superficial congelada... da' para os patinhos treinarem a patinagem artistica! Afinal, as festas sao para todos! :)

Um beijo e ate' ao proximo sobre tartes!