a slice of heaven

Slice of Heaven is an association that Pedro and I are members of.
It's current project is to help out Insurupe, a small village in Mozambique. They focus on ways to help the village become self sufficient through sustainable actions. So the first thing they are doing is digging a well so that villagers won't have to walk miles for fresh drinking water. 
More than half the money needed has already been raised but we need your help for the other half. By buying a t-shirt, like the one Pedro is wearing in this promotional stop-motion. Each t-shirt cost 10€ and they come in different colors.
Please spread the word and email me if your interested in helping.

PS: #61 - make a stop-motion: check!

look up


thanksgiving dinner and apple pie

# 94 - apple pie from scratch: from this smitten kitchen recipe (even though I didn't follow it strictly)

# 90: what better way to get into the soon-to-be american way of life than by hosting a thanksgiving dinner a day before! We had friends over and ate turkey (not a whole one cause that wouldn't fit in the oven!) with spicy lentils with feta cheese, baked sweet potatoes and pumpkin, peas and carrots, cranberry wannabe sauce, rice, corn bread, cheese, wine, tuna dip, ice-cream and my beautiful apple pie. 

corn bread

corn bread made in Lisbon. 
tomorrow i'm checking off # 90 and # 94 from my list!

shop local

I wanted wrist warmers. Sandra's are beautiful but I wanted to buy local. 

So I discovered Lisbon based Ana Amorim who is behind the shop wearaddiction and her lovely mustard yellow wrist warmers.

And now they are mine. 


i heart flour
whole wheat


I've been meaning to share this recent creative discovery: Oupas Design, 3 very creative designers and their cat, that work mostly with cardboard. This stopmotion is one of my favorite! It's "school of imagination" and you can find more of their work here.

midnight in paris

Paris in the morning is beautiful,
... in the afternoon is charming
... in the evening is enchanting.
But Paris after midnight is magic!

256 years ago

it was about 9h30 in the morning when Lisbon was hit by a massive earthquake, submerged by a tsunami and then burnt for 6 days.

reading this small book about the great earthquake preparing our next themed tour.

bread baking sunday

Today was bread making day. I followed this recipe from the baker but with a few differences: I added some whole wheat flour and kneaded the dough with this very energetic french kneading technique which I've been wanting to try out.

It came out beautifully, though I do tend not to over bake. (I miss my grandfather's wood oven....) If anyone wants a bit of starter to bake their own bread, I have plenty to share.
I think next time I'll make small little round buns.


here's me being social:
the apple tree is now available on facebook.

Paris mon amour

paris needs not words

it's that time of the year

this is my kind of happiness
(there's a basket full of them in the kitchen!!)

boulangerie á la ancienne

Most people go to Paris to say hello to Mona Lisa and stare at certain metal tower. I went to Paris to check off number 12 and number 7 ;) But on my list of things to do in Paris was also a visit to a special bakery: La Boulangerie par Véronique Mauclerc near the Buttes-Chaumont park. One of Paris's finest bakers... and she's a woman... which makes me feel very inspired!

This is probably the only bakery in Paris that uses a starter, all natural ingredients and bakes the bread in a wood-fire oven from the early 20th century (one of two that still exist in Paris). The whole bakery dates back to that time and still preserves it's original aspect. 

Unfortunately, Veronique wasn't in when we arrived so I wasn't able to ask about her baking process nor have a closer look at the oven. I guess I'll have to go back to Paris someday to have a talk with her, but next time, I'll make sure she's in. (I wonder if she needs an assistant....)

The bread on display is carefully labeled with the flours used. We did buy different types of bread to taste. The weird thing is that you expect the flavors to be out-of-this-world, but in fact they are so simple and natural! Eating industrial bread for so many years has taken away the real flavors of bread and everyone forgot what bread really tastes like. 

Tartine Bread

After several attempts at baking the basic country bread recipe, I realised something wasn't right because all my loaves were coming out pancake styled and nothing like the beautiful loaves in the book. Until one day the Baker enlightened my path and discovered what I (and everyone else who strickly follows recipes) was going wrong. Recipes are meant to be reinvented! When it comes to artisan bread you really have to understand the bread making process. So the problem was the original recipe has too much water. In this wonderful post, the Baker explains exactly what was going wrong and how to fix it.

After testing out my grandfather's amazing stone oven, I tripled the original recipe, plus the extra amount of flour suggested by the Baker and mixed in almost 400gr of organic seeds. The rest of the process went smoothly... exactly as discribed in the book, though I did give the dough some extra turns. 

I don't know if the secret is in the dough or in the oven, but I was astonished at how fast it baked: 15 minutes! I saw it rise and crisp, right before my eyes. In Lisbon, the baking process took more than an hour.

Nine beautiful and perfect loaves: crispy on the outside, soft and moist on the inside. 
In the end, it was a scary feeling because I had just realized that I would be very happy as a bread baker... 

use less

we all have them: useless objects we collect and cherish.
I was never so persistent to the point of sticking to one single object, so I'm not a true collector, maybe just a gatherer.