Monthly Archives: February 2014

Typical Brazilian Couscous (one of the several versions)

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First time I saw couscous in the UK, I was surprised. First, because it was a savoury dish. Second, because it wasn’t made of white tapioca. I have no idea what couscous is actually made of (is the name of the grain couscous?!), but it’s certainly not tapioca. But then I remembered that there is a savoury couscous in Brazil as well, although I don’t even know how it looks like (not to mention what it is made of).

The couscous I know – and it is cuscuz – it a sweet dish, very popular in Bahia (the whole of the Northeast?) and in Rio. Apparently in São Paulo and in the south they have a different type. As a kid, I was a pain when it came to food and cuscuz was something that I wouldn’t eat in a million years! A few decades later, I changed my mind and tried it (yeap, firt time eating it, despite always saying I didn’t like it) for the first time during our trip to Bahia, in January.

I not only liked it but also learned to make it. And it’s so easy! Wanna see? Sorry i don’t have the step by step photos, but I only thought about posting the recipe now, after the whole thing has been eaten.

What will you need?

500 grams of tapioca (I saw it in supermarkets like Tesco and Sainsbury’s, in the UK, in the “food of the world” section. Brazilian shops abroad might sell it too)
1 liter of milk (we used skimmed, long life one, but some people might prefer to use full fat fresh milk)
1 cup of sugar (it depends on how sweet you like your food – I prefer it to be not so sweet so I can use lots of condensed milk on top. Haha)
Grated coconut (we used two freshly grated coconuts; the brown dried ones, but I don’t think these are easy to find in the UK)
Condensed milk to taste

How do you make it?

Heat – not boil – the milk in a big pan. Once it’s hot, add the tapioca and the sugar to te milk and stir it a bit. Keep it in the fire for 5 minutes or less – this is just to soften the tapioca, not to cook it. Remove it from the fire and pour the content in a baking tray, no need to grease it. Put the grated coconut on top, cover it with a towel and leave it to rest for a few hours. Serve it as it is or with some condensed milk on top.

When we grated the fresh coconut, some milk came out of it. We used part of it in the mixture, but it’s up to you.

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Tapioca granules

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This was the cup of sugar

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The recipe was enough of a medium tray and a little bowl of cuscuz

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One of the several pieces I had. yum yum

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Beatrice: 9 months

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Little Bea is turning 9 months. She is so… adorable. Everybody loves Bea! And Bea loves everybody but she loves her mummy the most, of course.

I’m sure it happens with most mums – we suffer of memory loss. We do remember all the sweet stuff of our first child, but certain things are just gone from our minds. Like this separation anxiety phase. I thought that Beatrice was suffering from that before we came to Brazil. Now I know that it was nothing compared to how she is these days. Geez, Louise, my back is killing me from carrying her several hours a day. She just wants me all the time. And she cries and cries and gets really upset. I hope I won’t come here in a month and say that it got worse.

She had showers, as opposed to baths, most of the time during these holidays and now she cries a lot when having a bath. Oh dear.

She still tries all sort of food – even the wrong ones – and seems alright with everything, but she doesn’t eat much. She looks very healthy though, so nothing to worry.

No sign of teeth yet.

Her sleeping patterns are a mess. From three naps of 40-60 minutes (sometimes longer), she is barely having two naps of 40 minutes each. If I’m lucky and I sleep with her, we can have a one hour nap. And after a few days not sleeping much during the day, she has a long two hour nap – mainly when we need her to be awake. At night, it’s not too bad now – I managed to put her to sleep between 7-8pm a few times, but there are days that she just refuses to sleep and goes to bed after 9pm. And still wakes up at 7am (or 6:30am).

The annoying game of throwing everything on the floor a million times has started.

The annoying game of pulling our hair as hard as she can has started.

The annoying game of slapping our hands when giving her food or a drink has started.

The annoying game of slapping has started.

She has learned to climb – specially mummy.

She always looks for/to Laura when we say “where’s Laura?”, but sometimes she ignores us completely when we call her name.

She loves her sister to bits (and vice-versa).

Her mouth is still the first or second part of her body where objects go to – hands are usually the first, but sometimes she approaches things with her tongue.

She is learning to dance (with her sister).

If she finds a cushion or pillow on her way while crawling, she likes to lie down for a few seconds.

She is “walking” a few steps holding on to stuff, like a coffee table.

She can stay up without support for a few seconds.

She likes to sit down with one leg bent backwards and one leg stretched forward.

She is suffering with the heat, poor thing.

She kissed a dog. Just once.

She said Bella (the name of the dog) a couple of times, repeating after Laura, who calls out for the dog a billion times.

She claps her hands when we sing Happy Birthday (but only sometimes).

When there is a group of adults chatting really loudly, she shouts “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah” non stop, even louder.

When she wants a cuddle from someone (usually grandma), she throws herself to the person with her head, like asking for a kiss.

She loves eating shoes more than any of her toys.

Changing her nappies is just the most difficult thing in the world. I will probably start potty training her soon.

Overall, she loves all the attention she is having here.

My daddy wear silly goggles, in Barra de Jacuipe, Bahia

With daddy in Barra de Jacuipe, Bahia


in Barra de Jacuipe, Bahia

in Barra de Jacuipe, Bahia


With uncle Roberto, in Mangue Seco, Bahia

With uncle Roberto, in Mangue Seco, Bahia


in Baixios, Bahia

in Baixios, Bahia

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Cute little smelly foot

Cute little smelly foot


I kiss and squeeze every day

I kiss and squeeze every day


Always chewing on something

Always chewing on something

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Removing cobwebs

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I don’t read much. I used to, but it was something like this: a whole year without reading a book and then I would start one and then read 10 in a row, then stop again. I love reading, but it’s quite hard for me to focus on a story. After having kids I don’t think i even tried to read a book.

Well, I did. One. I started after my mum left the book with us in London (expecting hubby, an impulse book buyer, to read it). I decided to give it a go and it took me some good 8 months to finish it. The book is good, it was catchy, but life just gives me other priorities (damn you, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WordPress).

The book thief is the book and I finished it yesterday, 4th if February.

(the book, eaten a few times by Beatrice)20x 
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My mum have a few books lying around the house and I have a few that I’m planning to read/have a look. Two of them are the new grammar rules of the Portuguese language. I was already living in the UK when the grammar changed and I completely blanked it. I love grammar and I love being able to write things correctly (at least in Portuguese) but I wasn’t using it enough to justify putting it at the top of my priority list (damn you Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Instagram). So, hopefully, I will be able to, at least, have a look at any major changes to our grammar.

I also found the book below lost in a pile of other stuff. Not sure what to expect from it, but since I want to read only books in Portuguese while I’m here, this will be the next in line (starting as of tomorrow as it’s late and after this post I’m going to sleep).

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I also need to go back to the habit of reading with/for Laura. She used to ask us to read her stories (she still asks us to tell her stories, which we make up on the spot), but lately she has been too busy with her stuff (damn you Facebook, Twitter, TV). I found two book that I want to read with her. The first one I got from a raffle on a website and it’s about cooking with kids. I haven’t read it yet, so I can’t tell much. The second one was illustrated by my brother, when he was 19 years old. Coming back home always brings memories and treasures…

What about you? What books are you reading now? Any recommendations (only in English and Portuguese, unfortunately; I’m not good in any other languages, unless we are talking about books for kids in Spanish)?
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