why not

Why not?

It’s been over a year and a half that I moved to Texas and after a good handful of attempts to ignite my passion into a business. They all have failed.

I don’t look at the failure as a bad thing, so it’s kinda of awesome to have tried and to really know what DOES NOT WORK here (North Texas). All jokes aside. It takes guts to put yourself out there and try it and I have to forever thank my better half who has encouraged and supported me through every single crazy idea I had.

McKinney, Texas has a piece of my heart. I love this town, one of my favorite things to do from spring to fall is to go their Farmer’s Market. I know most of the vendors, it’s real small and authentic. It makes you feel like you are really helping a community and their residents.

So, a couple weeks ago I decided to be a part of this amazing community I admire so much. It will be hard, but I am going to try.

Once or twice a month (depending on availability), from June to October. I will have a table as a vendor at the farmer’s market I love so much, for the first time ever.

What will I sell?
Two homemade products. Wella’s Crisps & Helena’s Preserves.
Wella’s Crisps are a nutty cheesy buttery crisp baked with love.
Helena’s Preserves are my grandma’s “geléia de bergamotas”, bergamot jam per say.

Excited to start.

Stay Hungry,
XO
Manoela

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bacalhau

Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá
Who was Gomes de Sá?  Gomes de Sá was the son of a rich 19th century merchant (apparently he dealt in cod) in Porto. The family fortune dwindled and the son had to find a job at Restaurante Lisbonense, a restaurant in downtown Porto where he created this recipe.
Bare with me since I don’t like to follow or write down recipes, but I will try my best to describe what I have done last night.
Need: salted cod, potatoes, onions, parsley, evoo (extra virgin olive oil), black olives, salt and hard boiled eggs (I forgot lol).
To do: soak the cod, peel the potatoes and boil them for 15min whole, cut them in thick slices, sauteed the onions with a little butter and oil (want them soft but not caramelized), chop the parsley.  
To Assemble: grab a pyrex, drizzle some evoo, add some onions, place the potatoes, add the cod, add the parsley & olives, repeat, evoo, onions, potatoes, cod, parsley, olives and  evoo.
Oven: 400F for 20 min uncovered. Then 15min at 300F to crisp up the potatoes.
This is inspired by the original recipe, but like I said I don’t like to follow anything 100% by the book.
So here is my take on a dish that sends me back to my childhood in Brazil.
Stay Hungry,
Manoela

 

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austin

Saturday, February 19, 2017.

I overslept, woke up at noon. Laid in the couch on my husband’s lap and contemplated the beautiful day that was. Even though I slept the entire morning. We never know what to do in the weekends. It’s the same things over and over, we either go downtown, walk around and grab a bite and drinks somewhere. Or we stay in, watch movies, cook and relax. We hate shopping, we are super picky when it comes to food and we don’t really like it here (texas in general). So, I said: Mhmmm. Would be nice to do something different and go to Austin, maybe? I said it without thinking it too much. He said yeah, I am down. And in less than an hour we were on Dallas Tollway heading south to Austin.

We arrived in Austin 5:30pm. Drove straight to Uchiko, this hip cool looking japanese restaurant that serves sake in a bamboo cube and delicious food. We sat at the bar, ordered a sake and a couple appetizers. We had the cupid’s arrow oyster, mussels, wagyu tartare and the masu. One hundred dollars spent in a very unnecessary way. The servings were so small, I wish I had taken a picture to prove it.

Contigo was next on our list, the place is a open set up. Looks pretty much like a rustic barn. They didn’t have a seat for two at 7pm, so we grabbed a drink each and sat in their patio. I peeked their food menu and wasn’t too impressed. So we left to our next stop.

Shangri-la on East 6th Street is a locals spot. You won’t find any tourists here, which is awesome! They have a dive bar feel, two pool tables and backyard that serves food from a food truck. We had some Crawfish Etouffe and Pulled Pork Sliders. They were decent, nothing extraordinary but a good bang for your buck.

We decided to walk a little since the street were closed for the Mardi Gras Celebrations. Coincidentally we were in Austin last year at the same time. We stumbled on this place called the Bat Bar, The Boss Street Band was playing and we decided to go inside to check it out. The Boss Street Band is awesome! They play with passion and they sounds really good. We had a couple ciders and I got to dance a little, I miss dancing. It was really fun! We decided to leave before the crazy drunk people overcrowd the street, lol.

Last stop was The Liberty, similar setup to Shangri-la but the food seemed to be a thousand times better! They were so so packed that we didn’t have a chance to order any food. Next time I am in Austin I am definitely coming back to this place.

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Mesero Dallas

Being the food addict that I am, I have the habit of asking Texans where is their favorite place to eat. Unanimously, the answer is always bbq or tex mex. Under Tex Mex answers, the answers are usually Mi Cocina, Taco Diner and Mesero.

For those of you not from Texas, all those 3 places belong to the same restaurant group. I have eaten at all three. Mi Cocina is a simple set up, food is good, comes out fast and there’s no fuzz. Taco Diner has a terrific set of salsas paired with warm salty chips, the tacos are okay, almost meh.

Took me a year to finally go to Mesero. Hearing so much about it, I unfortunately created a huge expectation in my mind. We went there last saturday, we were walking down Katy Trail as usual, and decided to check it out.

We sat down, no one came for a good 5 minutes. The server was not very friendly, even after I mentioned it was my first time there. Someone once told me they make mad margaritas, so we got two originals. The waiter brought us the salsa trio and chips. They are exactly like the ones from Taco Diner. We ordered the Tacos Callejeros & Queso Mesero (House Favorite). Food came in fast and I must say the Queso is really tasty, a little too small for $10.95 but still good. Now, the tacos were a complete disappointment, under seasoned, rice was not freshly made and to top it all off I took a bite and I almost broke a tooth, yes, there was a huge piece of bone in it.  

The waiter came, didn’t apologize and brought me a piece of napkin to place the bone onto. She said she was going to take it to the chef. Note: She did not remove my plate immediately. Oh, when that happened I was done with everything. No one came over to apologize, or to replace my plate.

I salvaged what was left, being extra careful to not find anything else.

The bill came, we paid and left. They didn’t charge me for the taco, obviously. But i can’t still wrap my head around the fact that NO ONE came to apologize for what happened.

In my opinion Mesero like so many other tex mex restaurants in Dallas miss one thing that us latinos know it too well. Good latin food needs to be made fresh, from scratch and with passion. It’s that simple.

There is not a picture to post for obvious reasons. 

Stay Hungry!

Manoela

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012917

012917

Today.

This new morning.

Bright and warm.

I love you earth.

I believe in love.

Resilience is something you can’t give it away.

Life teaches you to be stronger.

So, to the orange person I say:

“Love Wins”

 

So, let’s get the politics out of the way and talk about food, right?

Last night we went to this little place in my favorite town, McKinney, TX.

Rye is the name of the place, it has a soul of it’s own.

It sits close to 40 people, not bigger than your living room, it’s cozy and unique.

Their cocktail list is a masterpiece. Turning the old into new seamlessly.

Fritto Misti x 2 – yes, I ordered again. (that only happens at places I fall in love with)

“Book Club” Peppers

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Pork Belly

Lamb Meatballs

 

If you ever in McKinney, TX. Do your taste a favor and go to Rye.

Trust me.

 

Stay Hungry,
Manoela

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pizza

Last night we left work and grabbed a bite at the sushi place we like by our home: Blue Fish. We had two rolls, the Lava and Rock Manhattan.

Forgot to take a picture, so here is what’s in it:

  • Lava – Spicy Albacore tuna, jalapeño mix, Shrimp,  avocado, and cilantro. Served tempura fried over creamy wasabi, eel sauce, spicy mayo, and siracha.

  • Rock Manhattan – Shrimp tempura, snow crab mix, fresh jalapeños, topped with spicy tuna and crab meat, three types of caviar with creamy wasabi, eel sauce, spicy mayo, and siracha.

We were still hungry and wanted to use what we had in the fridge. So, this is what we made.

Voile! Sweet Potato Pizza my way! #create #eat #foodlover #foodartist #healthyfood #smokedsalmon #yum #goodbye2016 #welcome2017

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I am calling this a pizza, but it’s actually a thin sweet potato cake, goat cheese mousse, smoked salmon and sardines. I have a thing for sweet potatoes and goat cheese and the husband has a thing for sardines and smoked salmon. So I combined them and it turned out pretty delicious.

For the recipe click here!

Stay Hungry <3

 

 

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family time

This past week was so much fun, family, friends and my favorite places in New England.

The week started in the best note ever: Pickity Place.

So, for those of you that have no idea what it is. This place is a little gem in south of New Hampshire – Mason is the name of the town. They only take reservation by phone and a little piece of advice, have your date and number of guests ready. Their menu changes every month.

The Menu for December was:

  • Dip – Sweet Pepper and Onion

  • Soup – Mulligatawny

  • Salad – Fruits and Roots with Ruby Red Vinaigrette

  • Bread – Herbed Ciabatta

  • Entree – Roasted Boursin Chicken Thigh

  • Entree – Sweet Onion Souffle over Julienne of Savory Vegetables

  • Dessert – Chocolate Silk Pie with Crushed Candy Canes

Simply delicious and unique.

This was my fourth time at Pickity Place. A total group of 8. The tables fit 4 people sitting down. The sitting is always 4 per table, so always multiples of 4 is the best bet.

We went last week, December 18th. A Sunday and not to my surprise, the place was fully booked, duh.

Best of all. I got to share this experience with my family and most importantly with my dear husband and my cousin Roberto, who is a chef and a food lover like me and my husband 😀

 

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holidays

So, this is my first holiday season with an etsy shop!
For $20 bucks you get 24 crisps TWO DOZENS!
So, if you want to have a delicious savory nutty cheesy crisp that melts in your mouth and it goes perfectly with wine!
Your problem is solved!
In case you are wondering. Yes, I make them from scratch every single time!

Wella's Crisps

ORDER HERE!

 

 

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lazy mondays

I don’t like to cook on Mondays. I don’t like Mondays. BUT they come every week anyway!
So, usually on Mondays I make something simple for dinner.
This past Monday was no different. I gathered all the left overs in the fridge and made a snack board for us.

 

Here is what’s in the board, which by the way is just my baking sheet lined with parchment paper 🙂
Clockwise:
  • Pork Belly – slow roasted for 2 hours (will post a recipe soon).
  • Parmesan Crostini – husband loves this, I am not really eating bread. But I had one.
  • Kalamata Olives – our favorite olive, always in my fridge.
  • Roasted Garlic – made at home, citrus olives recipe (coming soon).
  • Dill Honey Mustard – from the package with the smoked salmon.
  • Walnut Pesto – walnuts, basil, s+p, garlic and olive oil (from the citrus olives recipe)
  • Smoked Salmon – from costco.
  • Pickles – polish style, duh.
  • Parsley – I like to add to the salmon for crunch.
Beijos  +  Stay Hungry <3

 

 

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dallas

It’s been over a year now that I live in “the great country of Texas” Y’all.
Being a chef is great, but some days you don’t want to cook, lol.
So, knowing how much I love food and appreciate a good meal.
Here are my favorite places in Texas (restaurant and my favorite food):
  • CBD Provisions – pig’s head and steak tartare.
  • Ida Claire – everything on the menu, literally. Ok, the green fried tomatoes and muffuletta.
  • Whiskey Cake – whiskey cake, duh and three little pigs (pulled pork sliders).
  • 60 Vines – love this place! wood fired cauliflower and c.a.b. burger.
  • Jasper’s – hichory smoked flat iron steak.
  • Filament – red velvet cake.
  • Emporium Pies – think of pie, rethink. it’s a “whole nother level”. drunken nut and lord of the pies.
  • Jorg’s Cafe Vienna – camembert kase and joachim special schnitzel.
  • Origin Kitchen + Bar – Seasonal Hash Bowl. out of this world.
  • The Blue Fish – best sushi I had in Dallas so far. The Rainforest roll has my eternal devotion.
  • Kenny’s Burger Joint – best sweet potato fries and jalapeno poppers.
  • Gordon Biersch – grass fed beef slider and sauerkraut & bacon potato croquettes.
  • Lockhart BBQ – the best bbq joint in town. brisket and ribs. all the sides.
  • Dakota’s – oysters and steaks. be prepared to spend some bills.
  • Braindead Brewery – octopus and the bacon flight.
Beijos <3
&
Stay hungry people!

 

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