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Wine and Cheese Dinner Tonight

Wine and Cheese Dinner

At least that’s my excuse!

You don’t need to be a connoisseur of wine or cheese to put together a nice dinner like this. Choose a variety of cheese textures, add fruit & nuts, bread & crackers. There are so many change ups you can do! Dried fruit is amazing! Want fresh figs but can’t find them this time of year. Substitute dried ones.

Brie, Parmesan-reggiano, Blue Cheese, Gouda are pictured here and are some of my very favorites. Pinot Noir is one of my favorite wine varietals. It will pair well with the Brie and Parmesan … Blue Cheese, maybe a Port, and Gouda a Merlot. Give your guests a variety of cheeses and wine choices … White wines are great too. It’s just fun to try out for yourself.

I do recommend high quality cheese. Brie is a soft cheese with a distinctive white rind. The rind is edible but is often not consumed because of the strong flavor. Do sample the Brie, rind and all, before you purchase if you can … Flavors differ widely. About Parmesan-reggiano … Fortunately I’ve never met one I didn’t like. The rind is edible as well but really chewy. I prefer to use this rind in a soup or sauce to add flavor. Gouda, a medium soft cheese, is usually covered with a wax. This wax is not edible.

The choices are endless here. Be fearless!

Easy Breakfast Pizza For Brunch

Breakfast Pizza

What do you think of my girls now! It’s not the cheese … It’s the eggs that give this Breakfast Pizza the bright yellow color. Home grown chickens are amazing! So is this pizza! Add your favorite breakfast topping … Bacon, sausage, linguica. Vegetarians know what to do … Spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes. The list is endless!

This is a high protein breakfast everyone will enjoy!

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Chicken SoupChicken Soup Recipe For Gloomy Days

Our weather today was a bit gloomy … time for Chicken Soup. This soup is Portuguese cuisine influenced … Really meant for rabbit. Yep, I’ve been informed hare was on the family menu. My brother couldn’t bring himself to eat rabbit … And if I did, it was purely not knowing. My brother and I were fond of these animals but not for dinner.

We hope you will enjoy this recipe for chicken soup. It can easily convert to a vegan recipe. It has so many delicious full of flavor vegetables! And beans too!

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Almond Wedding Cake Cookies

A Marriage of Two Popular Cookies

Almond Wedding Cake Cookies

The ingredients in these two favorites, Mexican Wedding Cakes and Portuguese Almond Cookies, make a perfect marriage, Almond Wedding Cake Cookies. They’re rich and densely packed with almonds. To make it vegan I suggest vegan butter. I have substituted almond butter for half of the cup of butter called for in the recipe. This I do not recommend. Substituting no more than 1/4 cup of almond butter plus using 3/4 cup butter is doable.

A delicious change up cookie worth trying!

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Greens – A Staple In Portuguese Cuisine

Kale and Turnip Greens are High On The List

Greens - A Staple In Portuguese Cuisine

But this is Swiss Chard! Already picking this from my garden! As a child I would rather have greens over most vegetables and over all fruit. My children laugh when I say it must have been a nutritional need! These greens are amazingly packed with nutrition!

Years ago the variety of greens at the grocer’s was minimal if not because of availability then just because they were old and unappealing. Today, I still have a time finding fresh turnip greens and sometimes turn to the freezer section. It doesn’t matter if it’s fall when they are in season or not.

Turnip greens were often used in my grandmother’s cooking. Kale was hard to find. These two are the most often called for in Portuguese cooking. For the following two simple recipes you can use kale, swiss chard, turnip greens, mustard greens or even spinach. Of these the most bitter are swiss chard, turnip and mustard greens. Blanching the swiss chard may reduce bitterness but this is not recommended for the other greens. Mustard greens, kale (except for the stem) and of course spinach are more tender. Kale and spinach are delicious in fresh salads.

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Portuguese Roast beef or Pot Roast

Leonard Perry’s Family Recipe

Portuguese Roast Beef

Perry can be an English surname … maybe you should use Pereira! But we have no information on the name change and everyone went by Perry. No one believes Steve Perry is English and we’re related! This was the conversation I had with my brother after he noticed Leonard Perry’s Recipe is being posted. How are we related to Steve Perry anyway? Dan went on. Our Grandmothers (my Grandmother Rose) were cousins. Of course, Aunt Lena. Why Aunt Lena? I have no idea. It’s all a little confusing. And the historians, those still with us, are at a loss.

How’s that for name dropping! But it’s all true! Now you know for sure our Perry recipes are authentic. I don’t believe you ever doubted. So, who’s Leonard? He’s my Grandmother Rose’s nephew. There you have it!

Okay, Kathryn and Sandra if you are out there I know you have some delicious recipes you’d like to share. Mary and Eleanor, too! I forgot Uncle Max’s daughters … I know you are excellent cooks. I wonder if anyone remembers how Uncle Tony’s brother prepared that huge octopus … Just curious more than interested in the recipe.

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Easy Bagels

Easy Bagels

35 years ago fresh bagels couldn’t be found in our city, Visalia. In fact, you were lucky if you found frostbitten bagels in the freezer section of your favorite grocer. Rather than driving the long distance to the big city to scout out bakeries for this hard to find treat, I made them!

I was never much at bread making then and was a bit fearful … believing bagels to be more complex. My husband was so impressed … So let’s keep the secret. Bagels are easy!

Bagels are very forgiving. This is a one bowl mix. 2-3 hours start to finish with only about 40 minutes total prep time. Top the water cooked bagels with sesame seeds and poppy seeds before popping them into the oven for the final baking. No one thought beyond plain, egg or onion bagels … not so long ago.

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Portuguese Beans with Linguica-Recipe 2

Portuguese Beans With Linguica Recipe 2

On December 8th I posted my first Portuguese Beans Recipe. Now, a real mystery … I believed that recipe to be my dad’s. My brother was discussing the first recipe … And Dan, who happens to be a Portuguese home cookin’ connoisseur, has convinced me the following recipe is dad’s. The main ingredient change is the pinto beans to pink beans. Other family members have confirmed pintos were only used if pink beans were not available. Compare the two recipes. A few other changes are made here, too.

This is a pretty simple recipe … Only minutes to prep.

Serve it as we ate it … over bread and generous slices of linguica. Amazing!

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Old Fashion Butterscotch Meringue Pie

Updated With A Peanut Butter Cookie Crust

Butterscotch Cream Pie

Butterscotch Meringue Pie is the longtime family favorite cream pie. I’ve noticed cream pies are not in vogue as they once were in the 40’s and 50’s.  We’ve developed such complex desserts these days the simple old fashion ones, it seems, no longer tease our sophisticated palates. For this recipe bringing together butterscotch with peanut butter just seemed a perfect combination to satisfy our tastebuds.

Pies with meringue were passed over by me as a child with the exception of this one. It just seemed to be the only way to top off this pie. If you aren’t into meringue a dollop of whipped cream will do. Or creme fraiche. And frankly, with this crust a topper isn’t even necessary.

If butterscotch pie isn’t your fav but peanut butter is … try this crust with chocolate cream, cheesecake, or ice cream. Beware it is rich and addictive … And vegan!

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