Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Plant - from Chicago to Israel?

As some of you might know, I'm a tree hugger at heart. Not the fanatical kind though. 
I believe that while it's useful (yet slightly naive) to think the world will be saved by recycling paper and bottles, only big ideas will ultimately make the difference. That's because, believe it or not, most of us, will never recycle enough to actually stop the ecological train wreck. I'll just throw numbers out there and assume that at least 50% of the people on the planet would have to give up their car in favor of a bicycle, before we can even talk about cutting carbon dioxide emissions. That's pretty gloom. There is no chance in hell that is ever going to happen, unless people are physically forced to do it and given a more ecological solution (not optional). So here's where I'm going with this rambling.
I recently stumbled upon news of an old meat packing plant in Chicago which was transformed into a self-sufficient (completely off the grid) plant. The concept is just brilliant and the thought of applying it at different scales and in different regions is extremely tempting.
Take a look at the video...

Now you can take a look at the website for more details on the original concept, here.

Inspired already?

I don't know about you, but this is music to my ears. I even wonder if it could be micro scaled in order to cater to smaller communities.
How about South Tel Aviv? 
If you have an interest in taking part of something really big, that will change your life and that of your community, come forward with your thoughts and ideas.

Have a wonderful weekend all! 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Queques de Manteiga "Portuguese Butter Cakes"

While my kitchen is by most standards eye soring, if an Italian would step in he would know I got my priorities straight.  In this small corner of South Tel Aviv, where Turkish and mud coffee reigns supreme, I own a Bezzera Giulia

Frothed milk

Espresso shot from my Bezzera Giulia

Like all things Italian, it not only makes the best espresso I know, it's also beautiful and so shiny that everything else ugly in my kitchen magically vanishes.  But that deserves a post all of it's own. 
Today, I want to share with you a portuguese recipe for queques, which happen to go heavenly with a nice cup of coffee.

Queques are buttery muffin style cakes sold in every single coffee shop in Portugal. While some are just a mass of dough to eat and forget about, others belong to the realm of foodie heaven. This recipe comes straight from the worned out pages of a Teleculinaria from the 80s, which I'm sure rings a bell for many portuguese people, who would eagerly wait for the magazine to come out every month.
These delicious cakes were not made in a traditional wavy mold, but I'm sure you'll forgive me!
Lets just get to the recipe shall we... :-)

Queques de Manteiga

Queques de Manteiga 
"Portuguese Butter Cakes"

0.5 l milk
300 g salted butter
7 eggs
500 g of sugar
zest of a lemon or orange
1 shot of brandy
750 g of flour 
2 teaspoons of baking powder

In a small pan, bring the milk and butter a slow boil.
In a mixing bowl, beat the sugar, eggs, zest and brandy.  While beating, slowly add the hot milk, the flour and baking powder. Cover the bater and keep in the fridge until the next day (you can skip this and make them straight away, but they won't taste the same). Turn on the oven at 180 degrees celcius. Fill 2/3 of  paper muffin cups with batter and bake for about 18 minutes, or until they are nice and golden. You can also sprinkle some granulated sugar or even dried coconut on top, before baking.
This recipe wields about 20 cakes.
I highly recommend using waxed muffin cups by the way. Because these cakes are really buttery, you won't end up with ugly butter-stained paper cups. I bought these here.


Queque de Manteiga