Sala da Mangiare

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Hello lovely people, how are you doing? I woke up today kind of tired today…for the past two nights I’ve not been able to sleep so good…so I’m kinda sleepy and lazy, but here I am, writing a post to see if I can shake it all away! On Monday, Rafael and I celebrated 2 years of marriage! Can’t believe how time is going by so quickly…8 years has already passed since we met at a samba bar in Campinas, Brazil…and so much has changed since that! We always like to go out for dinner to celebrate and talk while eating (so much eating, as always…hahahha). But this year, I also wanted to do something else, there is a jazz bar one block away from us called Sowieso. It’s been quite a while since I wanted to go there and see some live jazz music, so I said to myself this was a perfect situation! Rafael was having doubts about this place since forever, but I said let’s go and check it out, it may be nice! Guys, I’ve never ever been so wrong in my life! Last Friday was a mix of Portuguese/Berliner jazz, and I thought it would be fun….I swear…we lasted maybe 30 minutes there after the band started playing, it was like I was in my worst nightmare, or if I dare say, purgatory’s soundtrack! I am not kidding! I left the bar so mad, that I started crying in the street. I know…a bit dramatic, maybe? hahaha This has never happened to me before…Now, I may not be a musician, and I don’t understand a lot about music, but I do admire a good melody and arrangement in a song. But when six people start playing their instruments totally uncoordinated (at least that was what it seemed to us) 5 feet away from you, making a lot of weird noises (and faces…haha)…the only alternative we had was to bolt! If there had been an indication on the program that had said, experimental jazz music, I would have never gone to see the band. I know that a lot of people must enjoy these kind of performances (apparently the whole bar was in a trance, even the 70 year old lady sitting next to me was very focused on the band), but this is not our style. What really got me irritated and sad was the fact that one more place I can cross off my list that I’ll never go to anymore here in Berlin. If it’s not the weird music, it’s the fact that people can smoke in bars here (a thing that I really, really hate…I can’t stand smoke!). Of course I don’t know all Berliner bars, but what I do enjoy here are Irish pubs, especially the one that we went to for NYE, Irish Times….just keep them pint of Guinness coming and I’ll be happy all night! hahahaha

I don’t want to complain anymore, so let’s skip to Saturday night! It’s true when they say, when bad things happen, good things come…and this time it came really fast, the next day, at Sala da Mangiare! haha an Italian restaurant also close to our apartment, I have passed by it a couple of times during the day (when they are closed), and after reading about it on the Oooh, Berlin! guide winter edition, I decided it was time to make a reservation…I sent an e-mail (because I don’t like talking on the phone…haha) requesting a table for two, Saturday at 8 pm…but they never responded back, so maybe the phone would’ve been more efficient…haha The restaurant opens from Tuesday to Saturday, from 7 pm to 11 pm. We got there maybe around 7:30, and there where already people there, but we still managed to get a table. Like all little restaurants, this one can maybe fit around 30 people, so I think going early is the trick, in case you have not made a reservation.

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Upside down Pineapple Cake

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TGIF!! This week was a slow one, does anybody else think that?! Managed to wake up early monday and tuesday, but from wednesday on it was so hard getting out of bed…ugh! It was so warm under the covers, and it was grey and rainy outside…sleeping should not feel so good! hahahaha other than that, I did a lot of cooking and baking this week, spent almost the whole morning and afternoons in the kitchen. My life seriously revolves around eating, and I’m very happy about that!! haha I love to browse the web, book and magazines for new recipes, and this week I found one really good! I follow a lot of people on IG, I guess most of them have blogs, but I always forget to check it out when I’m on the computer. I’ve been following Yossy Arefi’s IG for some time now, and I’m always amazed by her food pics, they are so beautiful and mouth watering…these days she posted a photo of a pineapple cake that gave me serious cravings, I love pineapple!!! Until that post, I think I had never noticed that she has a blog, Apt. 2B Baking Co. so I finally entered her blog to see the recipe, and apparently it was easy…I little bit odd for me, because I never put crème fraîche in a cake before, but hey there’s a first time for everything, right?! So I went to the supermarket last friday, to bake the cake during the weekend, but in the end I wasn’t feeling so good due to cramps (that time of month…). I ended up doing the cake on tuesday, by then, my pineapple was very ripe, I almost lost it, but I managed to save it to do the cake…yay!!!

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Bergamote-Sablés

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Hello lovelies!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, filled with good food, family, friends and lots of love! We had an amazing Christmas around here, we made a dinner for our friends, and it was so much fun! Even if we woke up 6 am on Christmas eve to spend the entire day cooking and baking, it was totally worth it! For the first time we cooked a whole Turkey, we were a little bit afraid of doing it, because our oven is small and weren’t sure if we could fit the bird in….so we managed to find a “small” turkey, around 4 kilos and it fit just fine! YAY! We followed a Jamie Oliver recipe for it, and the turkey came out perfectly, juicy and tasty! We were really afraid that it would come out dry, but talk about beginners luck! hahaha Other than that, I only managed to take one picture of the night, it’s impossible to keep taking pictures of the food when you are dying to eat…priorities people! hahahaha

Anyway, it is too late to share a recipe of Christmas cookies I baked last week and the week before that?! haha I wanted so much to share this before Christmas, but I didn’t find the time to do it…but I swear that you can bake this throughout the year, because they are so crazy delicious!!! Buttery, lemony bites of heaven…hahaha This was actually the first time that I baked these cookies, I found the recipe at a supermarket food magazine called Mit Liebe, I really like this magazine, they have so many good recipes! I always get it at the Edeka supermarket when it comes out, plus, it’s free!! I’m getting pretty good at learning to read recipes in german, sometimes it can be a bit confusing, but google translator is a blessing! hahahaha Baking Christmas cookies it a huge thing around here, and this is the second year I do it (last year’s cookies here), I hope it will become a tradition in our house 🙂 but to tell you the truth, I enjoy much more baking them, than eating them! We are not big sugar fans around here, and since the recipes come in big batches, I decided to give them as a little Christmas gift to our friends that came to our Christmas dinner 😀

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My First Bread! Brazil’s Australian Bread

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I don’t know exactly how long it’s been since I said that I wanted to bake my own bread, the first time I said that, I was still in University, and that my friends, was ten years ago 😮 but hey, who’s counting?! am I right?! haha and what do I say a lot around here, better late than never! So last weekend I decided to try my luck….I went to the kitchen and started all from scratch! To tell you the truth, this is not foreign land to me, when I was in my teens and living with my aunt, I would help her to bake breads all the time, I was always in charge of the kneading! And if I would have continued baking bread even after I moved out, I would surely not have struggled as I did this time by kneading a bread for fifteen minutes, talk about weak arms…hahaha It was hard choosing a recipe, I didn’t want an american recipe because sometimes I just don’t wanna do the measurements conversions, its annoying sometimes (couldn’t we just all use the same measurements for everything?!). So I ended up searching for a brazilian recipe, and chose this one! We, Brazilians, know this bread as “Australian Bread”, but I am almost positive that this bread does not exist in Australia! hahaha it has that name because this bread is served at the famous “Outback” restaurants in Brazil…funny right?! hahaha So to make it simple, it’s a black bread! (but I’ll always call it australian bread! haha).

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Focaccino

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Wednesday was Rafael’s birthday (yes folks, we are all getting old around here…haha), what better reason to pick a nice restaurant and empty a little bit more our bank account to celebrate one more year of his life?! This year, I chose the restaurant and didn’t tell him which one it was, or what type of food they serve. I wanted it to be a surprise, a good one I hoped….and it turned out to be the best restaurant that we know here in Berlin (until now). Ok, so we don’t know a lot of restaurants here, but we already had bad experiences. I think that I already talked about this on the blog, how hard it is to find a good and clean restaurant here in Berlin (affordable to our pockets). Call us picky, but we like clean plates, glasses, silverware and napkins! People here most of the times don’t see the use of napkins, and I’m like whaaaat?! you crazy?! I always eat with a napkin by my side, but maybe this is a cultural thing…I don’t know…so I was definitely nervous to try and pick a nice restaurant, and photos on the internet can fool you for sure! I ended up on the Tripadvisor website, I remember that we found some great restaurants through them while we were in France, but we also got one bad experience, but in my opinion, they are almost always right. So I decided to trust them once more and booked a table at an Italian Sicilian restaurant called Focaccino, located in the neighbourhood of Charlottenburg.

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Tarte au Citron

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Despite our very messy house because of the renovation (seriously, we are living in the bedroom, but no complaints here!), I’m trying to cook as much as I can, because eating out everyday can be expensive, and also confusing, like where are we gonna eat today?! And as much as I complain from time to time for cooking every single day, I really miss my food! hahaha Now, I’m craving my rice and beans, the most traditional brazilian food ever! I’m a big rice addict, and it’s been a week that I haven’t made it, we’ve been eating a lot of different style pasta lately. During the weekend, I managed to squeeze a little dessert, because I already had the pastry in the freezer, which I did a few weeks ago, and I don’t want them to go bad, I’ll probably use the last one this weekend. Rafael saw me browsing for desserts a while ago, and asked me to do this whole lemon tart. I’m a big fan o lemon sweets, a love key lime pie, and also a lemon merengue pie that my cousin does in Brazil. If you know me, you already know that I’m not that crazy for sweet stuff, and with lemon you can get that perfect bittersweet balance, that I love!

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Blueberry Cheesecake

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Tuesday, cloudy and windy day in Berlin, I’m sitting at my living room table. Rafael is sitting across me having a meeting through skype, and a construction worker is in our little hall starting our apartment renovation…YAY!!! To tell you the truth, it’s not a big renovation, the apartment doesn’t need that much work…there are some walls that need to be smoothed out (hall, kitchen and living room) and the floors in our bedroom and living room will be changed, can’t wait to get rid of this green laminate! hahahaha I took some photos earlier today of the apartment, because I want to share the before and after 🙂 at least I hope that in the end everything will be good…haha I want to buy more plants for the living room and also a nice carpet, I have never bought a carpet in my entire life, let’s see how this goes, just hope that Rafael and I can come to a mutual decision when choosing one! We also want to change the furniture display, today our wardrobe stays in the living (weird right?!), our bedroom is kinda small and squared, we are going to move the bed in order to fit the wardrobe. Rafael also wants to buy a proper table for work…you can see that we want to change a lot of things around here, let’s see how it goes, especially with the $$$$!

In spite of all of that, I’m really here today to share a recipe that I did recently. As a matter of fact, I did it for Rafael, he requested a dessert for a “just dudes” dinner and since the market is exploding with berries, I decided to do this blueberry cheesecake 🙂 In my head, I always thought that cheesecakes were hard to do, but they aren’t! For me, it’s harder to find the right baking point, I made a cranberry cheesecake last Christmas, but I ended up under baking it. Minutes later after I took it out of the oven, the filling cracked in two places in the middle, and it was also a bit jiggly. So this time I made sure that it came out a bit golden brown, and think that it worked!

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