Healthy lunch in just five minutes?!? Don’t need fast food anymore!!

Hi kitchen lovers,

Yesterday I was in a rush and I had to make my lunch. As I was feeling super creative, I decided to make something up. I thought that it was going to come something horrible because It was very simple and fast, instead of it, came out to be one of the best dishes I’ve ever tasted!!

Now that you’re probably curious, here is the recipe:

  • ½ butternut pumpkin
  • 1 tea cup of gluten-free couscous (I used corn couscous)
  • 1 ½ tea cup of water
  • ½ vegetable broth
  • a handful of Dried grapes
  • a handful of nuts
  • thyme

Sauce

  • 1 soap spoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 soap spoon of olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  1. Cut the butternut pumpkin in small squares and sauté it in a pan with a dash of olive oil and some thyme. Wait until it’s soft;
  2. While you wait for the pumpkin, start to make the couscous. Put them in a bowl with a 1 ½ of water and the vegetable broth melted in it, cover them and wait until they’ve absorbed all the water;
  3. Now that we have all the ingredients cooked, let’s make the sauce!! You just need to mix all the ingredients that I’ve told you to make the sauce and it’s done;
  4. Now mix everything with the nuts and the dried grapes and top the dish with the sauce and that’s it!!

Simple and super-fast right?? The combination of the flavours it’s just perfect and that sauce… Yummy!! I made this gluten-free option as I’m intolerant, but of course you can use other type of couscous. Hope that it was useful for when you’re in a rush or even if you’re not and that you’ll like it as much as I do!!

With love,

Madie

 

New year’s eve in Viseu

Every year, since I was little ,I go to Viseu (a city in the center of Portugal) in the new year’s eve and I totally love it!! It’s always a mystery because, as I grow, I always feel this experience differently and it’s inspiring to see how I’ve changed.

This year, the weather was super sunny, that’s like a miracle because at this time of the year it’s always raining. The views were amazing, as always, but this time was different, I watch them but instead of just watching a view I created like a connection with it. It was magical, I felt truly calm and in harmony with nature. This was perfect for me, at this time of my life, because it helped me to understand and to know myself better and nothing is better than nature to help us do that.

On the first day, I went to the Viseu’s historical centre and saw cute little streets that were all decorated with Christmas stuff and there was even Christmas music in the air!! However, the streets were a little lonely because it was Sunday and all the shops were closed. But, of course, the magic was still there. After, I went to a shopping centre called “Ice palace” that is my favourite one because it has a bar all made of ice (even the cups), a bowling centre (which is perfect to compete a little with family members😝) and a very big and beautiful ice rink. I love ice-skating, the feeling it’s amazing. It’s like you’re flying!! However, be careful, don’t get caught up too much on the feeling because you may fall.😂

On the second day (New Year’s Eve), we were supposed to visit just Guarda, although we end up visiting lots of cute and traditional villages and we even went to Spain. I loved all the tiny villages all made of rocks and with beautiful monuments, but I must admit that my favourite destination was Spain. I guess it was that feeling about being in a different country and to listen to a different language. I don’t know… the atmosphere was just different!! There we went to a kind of a supermarket where they sold traditional products and we bought their famous toffees to all our family. You should have seen those variety of sweets, it was heaven!!

At night, we went to the new year’s hotel party that is amazing, as always. There was a big buffet with lots of food like seafood (love it), sweets (couldn’t eat because of the milk and the gluten) … And the music was amazing, there was a DJ and a person that taught us how to dance afro!! It was supper fun and I felt so grateful for everything, It was just perfect!!

In the beginning of this trip, I decided to eat yogurt and cheese which was like the worst decision I could ever made because I spent three days with stomach aches and always dizzy and it totally ruined my wellbeing and my capacity to enjoy this trip. So I decided for the new year that I really need to accept my food intolerances and to respect my body without feeling sad because, as I could experience, it’s not worth to have just momentary pleasure and then three days of pain. I just need to accept who I’m and that’s what I tell you, just listen to your body and respect it because he always knows what’s best for you.

With love,

Madie

 

Bye 2018!! Are you ready for 2019??

Hi there,

Today it’s the last day of December which means tomorrow is 2019!! OMG time is flying!! So I decided that it was time to stop and to reflect on the way I’m living. Guess what, I found out that all I’ve been doing is surviving. I really need to live more!! For the next year I decided that I need to change my perspective about life. The way you live only depends on your state of mind. So use this power for your wellbeing.

I’m actually reading books about self knowledge and I’m meditating a lot. I’m really focusing on building a relationship with myself because that’s the more important relationship you’ll ever have in your life. In order to have good relationships with others, you need to be in peace with yourself and then you’ll be able to share your light with the world.

To help me connect with my true essence and reflect about my last year, I started to write in a tiny notebook everything about last year, like the good things that happened, the bad ones, the relationships, what I am proud of or what I regret… This really helped me to have a whole picture of my last year and which aspects do I need to focus in order to make the next year the best ever!! And what about you? How was your year? Do you feel like you’re living the life that you deserve? Are you happy?

This is the perfect time for you to reflect about these things!! I really recommend this technique that I used by making a whole view of the previous year in a notebook. However, everyone is different so, feel free to use your own method. But please promise you’ll reflect about your life because remember you are amazing and you deserve all the best in the world.

With love,

Madie

My trip to Óbidos

Yesterday I went to Óbidos which is a beautiful small town in Portugal full of cute shops and lots of traditional products. Like the ginjinha de Óbidos which is an alcoholic drink with the particularly that the cup where you drink is made of chocolate so you can eat it in the end!! Of course I didn’t drink the traditional one, I drunk one non alcoholic (actually made for kids😂) but I guess it’s as good as the normal one because I totally loved it and that chocolate cup in the end was just the cherry on the top of the cake.😍

The shops were all amazing with lots of hand made and old toys, traditional products and cute clothes. I even found this huge bookshop with a tiny organic grocery. I mean books and organic food?? That’s heaven! 😝And by talking about food, at lunch I ate at an amazing restaurant where they actually had a vegetarian option and it was delicious.

Moreover, I went to a Christmas market there called “Vila Natal” and I had soo much fun. Everything was so well decorated and the food… They had so many Christmas sweets like hot chocolate in a very funny cup, waffles, popcorn… I felt like a child again. And the amusments were really cool and on the ice!! Christmas was on the air!!🎄

I had a wonderful day that’s actually a thing that hadn’t happen to me in ages! I really feel that my life is changing for better! So I definitely recommend you to go and visit Óbidos specially in Christmas and I hope that you have an amazing time like I had!! Life is really a suprise!!

With love,

Madie

My Christmas

Helo everyone!!

One more Christmas has gone and I can’t believe it! It went, as always so fast… I just wish I could do it all over again, but I guess that’s why it’s so special, it’s only once a year so we just have to enjoy it as much as possible while it lasts. However, I have good news, Christmas only ends on the sixth of January so, feel free to eat lots of Christmas sweets with the excuse that it’s Christmas😋. Actually, it is whenever you want!! And how was your Christmas?? I’m so curious to hear all the different and amazing traditions that you have in Christmas!!😍

This year my Christmas was completly different… Let’s just say a lot of things have changed in my life and I didn’t spend Christmas, as usual, with my whole family. However, this wasn’t a bad thing at all, it made me realize that Christmas is only Christmas if you are with the people that you really like even if they are family or not because sometimes even family lets you down. You don’t need to be with people that you don’t feel comfortable. 

I’ve always created this huge expectation for Christmas since I was a child, and many times I felt disappointed because I couldn’t feel that huge happiness. However with this change I realized that I had to let go these memories and stop to seek that huge happiness and start to make a new, different and amazing Christmas. Because Christmas it’s all about feeling grateful for everything that you have and even if you don’t feel happy with it, just think that there are lots of people that live way worse than you so, try to feel satisfided with litle things. Because that’s happiness, litle moments of joy, from people that you love or from people that you are not that close but that suprisse you. For me, actions always speak louder than words and the good actions are what make good people not just good talk.

Even thought, in the beginning this change for me looked like the worst thing ever, it made me grow up and it actually turned the best thing ever. I felt genuinely happy, it was magical. I hope that you felt this as well and that you had a magical Christmas.🎄

With love💕

Madie

“Azevias” a portuguese Christmas sweet

Hello kitchen lovers,

Today it’s Christmas eve!! Can you believe it?? I guess we all know what this means… It’s time to start to make some delicious Christmas sweets!! Today I’m going to give you a traditional Portuguese Christmas sweet recipe called “azevias”. This recipe is from one of my favourite cooking books “ cozinha vegetariana para festejar” by Gabriela Oliveira and I totally love it because , it’s vegan and instead of fried, the cakes are made in the oven. Way healthier and in my opinion even more delicious than the traditional ones. For you to understand better, these are like tiny cakes filled with chickpea and almond topped with sugar and cinnamon. Trust me it’s delicious!!

Here is the recipe:

Filling

  • 1 tea cup of chickpea;
  • ¼ tea cup of vegetable milk or water;
  • ½ tea cup of coconut or brown sugar;
  • ½ tea cup of laminated almond;
  • 1 tea spoon of cinnamon
  • ½ lemon or orange zest

Pastry

  • 1 tea cup of wheat or spelt flour
  • ½ tea cup of whole-wheat ;
  • 2 soup spoons of brown or coconut sugar
  • ½ coffee spoon of salt;
  • 1 coffee spoon of cinnamon;
  • ½ orange zest;
  • ¼ tea cup of olive oil;
  • ¼ tea cup of water;
  • Brown sugar and cinnamon on the top

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  1. Start with the filling by mashing the chickpea with milk and sugar until you get a purée. Then add the almond, the cinnamon and the lemon zest and mix it all;

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2. Now, make the pastry. In a bowl, mix the flours, sugar, salt, cinnamon and the orange zest. Add water, mix it all and shape a big ball of pastry;

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3. Put the pastry in some baking paper, cover it with cling film and stretch the dough to a slim layer. Cut circles of pastry and fill them with the chickpea and almond filling. Fold and close well (make sure the ends are well closed);

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4. In a baking dish with some baking paper, insert the cakes and put it in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 15-20 mins. In the end, top the warm cakes with some sugar and cinnamon and it’s ready to the Christmas table!

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Hope that you liked this recipe and that this traditional cake contributes to an amazing and magical Christmas.

Merry Christmas everyone,

Madie

Handmade Christmas presents ideas

Hi there,

As we all know Christmas is sooo near, and we all have so many things to do. I mean with all the cooking, decoration, presents… We’re so worried about all of this things that’s is hard to even think about present ideas to give to our family and friends. I get sooo nervous towards this decision. I mean you need to give the perfect present to the people that you love most in order to show them how much you care about and if you are like me, you feel that no present is enough. To help you with this decision, here I have some handmade and easy Christmas present ideas.

1. Hand made post cards

A post card?? That’s so obvious and you can buy them in all shops!! That’s right, but it’s way more personal to do your own postcard. In order to make it special, I normally use some cute materials like cotton to make a Sant Claus bear or red paper to make Rudolf nose or even just some cute sparkles in a Christmas tree draw and, of course, lots of stickers. These are just a few details that give them a special touch.

2. Christmas cookies

Of course, Christmas isn’t Christmas without cookies and made at home they are even more delicious!! Since they’re handmade, you’re completely free to play with the flavours and forms. They can be so diverse… chocolate, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla, orange, lemon… And the forms… they can be little mans, stars, toys, Christmas décor… It  all depends on your taste and of course the present receiver’s. Then, the toppings are endless, it’s a completely piece of art you can make bottoms, eyes, noses, sparkles with the ingredients that you like.

3. Cute photos

A cute photo or a mini photo album with your relative or friend, it’s flawless. It always puts a tear in their eye. I mean you’ re remembering a happy moment that you spent with that person. It feels like you are living it all over again!! To describe this present, I only use a word, MAGICAL! And that’s what Christmas is MAGIC. But, of course, you won’t only give a picture, you’ll need to give it a special touch, like make a cute frame or even make a whole photo album  all designed and with cute mini phrases that describe each photo.

4. Personal vouchers

Make your special voucher like, a voucher to the best mom in the world or a voucher for a big hug or to a cinema date, to a massage, a home cooked dinner… Use your imagination!!!

3. Clay sculptures

This is probably a little harder, but the outcome it’s amazing. You can shape whatever it’s on your mind, like tiny soldiers or a big and bright Christmas star. Last year, I made a tiny Christmas crib with some sparkles to my grand-parents and, although it was really hard to shape it, they totally loved it!! But I warn you, you’ll get all dirty!! Be careful with your clothes.

4. Designed crockery

This one it’s easy. Just buy some basic crockery and some propper inks and design the crockery as you wish. You can draw in it or even write cute phrases like ” to the best grandparents in the world” or inspirational quotes … Whatever you feel like.

And… I just ran out of Christmas ideas. Hope that you like them and that I could help you with your Christmas presents. Remember, Christmas isn’t only about expensive presents. Make them special and personal, make them YOUR presents and build YOUR Christmas!!

Merry Christmas,

Madie