Baked Sweet Potato Croquettes

Baked Sweet Potato Croquettes by My Little Jar of Spices

I almost never get sick, but this weekend I got hit by the worst case of fatiflusea. What you’ve never heard of it? It’s a weird combination of drop-dead fatigue, intense stomach flu and constant nausea. Fatiflusea. It came down on me yesterday morning and  has just put my body on full stop. I could not get up or keep any food down for the life of me. My parents used to say that when I’d get sick as a baby, they would really start to worry when I wouldn’t want to eat anything. Ha! So true, even today as an adult, I really know something’s wrong if I don’t want to eat anything. And I have literally not been able to get off the couch for the entire weekend. The 20-yard walk from the couch to the bathroom takes me over a minute as I drag my Alpaca socks feeling all sorry for myself and taking a break to catch my breath halfway there. Even picking up my computer from the table leaves me out of breath and in need of a nap. This has never happened to me, but it could be my body’s way of saying it just needs a break? The only thing I’ve been able to eat in the past hours has been some banana and these succulent local Incan Berries that are grown in the Andes. They’re shock full of Vitamin C so maybe that’s been doing the trick. Continue reading

Purple Cabbage Slaw with Hazelnuts and Pomegranate


Winter Red Cabbage Salad with Hazelnuts and Pomegranate by My Little Jar of Spices

This is my new favorite salad. I forgot how Hazelnuts made everything taste Christmassy (or is that just me?), and for the first time in my life, I deseeded a pomegranate. Actually I had given it a go once before but gave up quickly when realizing I was getting roughly ten seeds out per minute. This time I had a plan, thanks to GI 365 and her Pomegranates 101 crash course. We don’t stress this enough, but food blogging is like a constant flow of technology transfers. I have gained so much know-how thanks to the trials and errors of other people. So it’s my turn to give something back to the community, starting with what I have learned NOT TO DO when deseeding a pomegranate… and that is 1) never try to get the seeds out using a fork or a spoon – life WILL go on without you while you pursue this endless and impossible endeavor; 2) never, ever, EVER try to deseed a pomegranate facing a white wall… it will look like you butchered someone in your own kitchen. Continue reading

Brazilian Carne Seca – and a Top 5 Must-try of Brazilian Cuisine


Brazilian Carne Seca - only 5 ingredients!

Hi everyone! I feel like I haven’t posted in forever… well, it’s *only* been 10 days. This is how I know I’m completely hooked on blogging. Life is just not as sweet without it. But I’ve been crazy busy with some very exciting work projects lately, and as a result I have completely and utterly abandoned the kitchen. I barely even know what’s in the fridge these days and have been eating sardines and almond butter for dinner since Sunday. Gasp. It’s completely disorienting. I feel bad, I haven’t even had time to make Freddy a breakfast bread like I usually do every week and he’s one day away from falling back into the comforting arms of gluten.

So I’m here to make amends, with a post I’ve been meaning to write up for a long time now on the quintessential ingredients and foods of Brazil – the Must-tries if you will -, and depending on my inspiration, I might make it a monthly series. So let’s talk about Brazilian gastronomy a little. After a year and a half or so of living here, I have got a pretty good vibe of what the customs around food are here and what the typical ingredients are. Here’s the top 5 of foods and ingredients you just cannot miss on if you are in Brazil or just want to have some fun trying out Brazilian gastronomy. Continue reading

Carrot Mint Gazpacho (Vegan)

Carrot Mint Gazpacho by My Little Jar of Spices

How was everybody’s Halloween and morning-after sugar crash? We had a Halloween party over at our spooky haunted-looking house. Come on now, fess up – what’s your secret number? Mine is 4. As in 2 pieces of delicious carrot cake topped with coconut cream cheese frosting (I promise to share the recipe) and 2 bite-sized coconut chocolate brownies. All gluten-free, all somewhat paleo, all definitely faithful to the traditions of this sweet and sugary holiday. Oh well. Since I’ve never been a candy person, staying away from the lollipops and butter toffees was no problem for me. Staying away from the peanuts on the other hand… peanuts and me are a whole other story. I bought some raw peanuts and roasted, salted and curried them in the oven for our Halloween party that night. How could I resist that? There are a few things in life that I can’t just stop at one. Or fifteen. Peanuts, chocolate covered raisins, cherry tomatoes and episodes of Californication. Continue reading

Mini Fish Cakes with Spicy Tahini Aioli

Mini Fish Cakes with Spicy Tahini Aioli

Last year, one of my at-the-time roommates who is Jewish invited us to join him in celebrating Rosh Hashannah. I have had my share of Chabbat celebrations but this was a first in celebrating Rosh Hashanah, though I knew a lot about the traditions of this holiday from my grandparents. When I was a child I always anticipated the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippour celebrations in Fall with excitement because, even though we never actually celebrated those holidays with my parents, my grandmother would always send us little individual almond and dried fruit filled breads for each member of the family in a package through the mail.  Even when we lived in the US, she’d Fedex us our little Yom Kippour breads across the Atlantic! We’d have them for breakfast for an entire week and it was the best breakfast of the year. Continue reading

Matbucha: Morrocan Roasted Pepper and Tomato Salad

IMG_0200

When I was little, there were two things that I loved more than anything compared to most other children and that I could probably eat without ever getting tired of: olives and roasted peppers (can you tell I grew up in a Mediterranean family?). I also liked to eat spoonfuls of plain butter, so yes, if you were wondering, I was probably not like most children in the food department. For one, I was never full, but let’s not get into that. If you get my parents started on this topic, they’ll tell you that I would eat just about anything at the age of 2, including foie gras, snails and other odd delicacies that us French people like to indulge in. Indeed, not a picky eater at all, just give me some foie gras and champagne and I will be on my way now. Continue reading

Crunchy, Tangy Slaw with an Orange-Balsamic Vinaigrette


Crunchy Tangy Slaw 2

 

My roommate and I have this ritual when we’re deciding on something we want to eat, which consists in enumerating all the adjectives we can think of that best describe what we’re in the mood for, each new one outbidding the previous one. Generally these adjectives, which in the spirit of fun often border on saucy, speak for themselves : when we’re talking about making a mouth-watering, juicy, squeezy (“wait what?? that’s not even a food word!”. I know, but this one is our favorites…), plump, marinated, chicken, we’re already mentally tasting it. Kind of like a food foreplay if you will: instead of an appetizer, we like to create salivating mental images. Continue reading

Asian-style Chicken-Squash Meatballs with a Sweet & Spicy Kumquat Dipping Sauce

IMG_9724

I’ve made these meatballs twice in the past week. The first time, I made regular meatballs as a main course dish for a dinner that my roommate, Lea, and I hosted at our place with about 8 other girlfriends. The second time, I made a mini-meatball version that you could eat using a toothpick, when we hosted a welcome home and happy graduation party for Freddy with about 20 people. Let’s do some quick math: I fed meatballs to about 30 people, rolled 3 kg of ground chicken meat between my hands and made a hundred or so meatballs in less than a week. If the validity of my recipes is based on the experience I have making them, then this one takes the cake (note the little cooking pun right there). Continue reading

Cauliflower Hash Browns

IMG_9463

There was a time when I had blacklisted cauliflower from my shopping list. I found it either bland or not particularly appealing. It’s not that I didn’t like the taste, it’s just that it could never compete next to the much cooler vegetables such as eggplants, zucchinis, sweet potatoes and even cabbage for crying out loud. I would never think “I must absolutely buy one of those gorgeous cauliflowers! ” in the supermarket. I think this is the case of most of us.   Continue reading