Carrot Cake Muffins (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

Paleo Carrot Cake Muffins by My Little Jar of Spices

Happy Birthday Blog! One year ago on May 6th, I was having breakfast (Baked eggs in sauteed greens to be precise) in my sunny kitchen in Brazil and said “Screw it. I’m a-starting a food blog man!”. I was terrified to fall flat on my face and have people post awful comments on my page, but I was also feeling so jealous of all the food bloggers I was following. They seemed to be having so much fun. I wanted in on that. I was already cooking so much on a daily basis and wanted to channel that into something that could also involve writing and photography which I also enjoy a lot as hobbies. I of course did not know what managing a food blog actually entailed and had no idea how addictive food blogging was about to become. It really became a true passion and pushed me to improve my cooking skills every day a little more. For the first six months, I was photographing everything I cooked and ate. Even if it looked like meat loaf gone bad. I published recipes three times a week and tracked several times a day how many visitors the blog was getting or how many new facebook likes I could score. I still do that by the way so go like the facebook page here 🙂 Continue reading

Brazilian Love Green Smoothie (Vegan)

Brazilian Love Green Smoothie by My Little Jar of Spices
Ugh, green smoothies. Like what’s new, right? So how about some Brazilian love, exotic fruit and samba grooves to welcome Spring and reboot your green smoothie routine? I just spent a week in Brazil visiting friends and working long-distance, and I had forgotten just how amazing the options of available fresh fruit juices and smoothies was there! Papaya and mango are like currency in this country, and forget about the insane amount of fruit you can squeeze into your happy hour Caipirinhas, from acerola to pineapple, passion fruit and cashew fruit. And man did I drink the life out of all the coconuts while I was there. I used to buy a fresh green coconut every day from a street vendor by my house who would crack it open with an actual machete and sip on it on my way to classes. Ah heaven. And just in general, I realized going back how much I had underestimated Brazil’s level of development when I lived there. I suppose I needed to go live in Peru to actually appreciate the level of comfort and the modernity of services available in Sao Paulo. I almost cried when I jumped into a taxi with a GPS or opened a restaurant menu with an actual salad section. It was really nice to go back for a few days. Now I’m in Lima for a week before going back to Cajamarca, which is cool because I never really got to discover Lima. I have been to Lima a few times but I always passed by for a couple of days or less when travelling to somewhere else and never had time to discover it though I know it’s an amazing city.

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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

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Mug Muffin 2.0 (Paleo, DF, Vegan option)

Cookie Dough Mug Muffin 2.0 by My Little Jar of Spices

It’s no surprise that the most popular recipe on this blog is the paleo (and vegan) 5-minute Cookie Dough Mug Muffin that I published back in June of last year. It has gotten over 3,000 pins and is constantly at the top of the list of most viewed recipes. There’s nothing I can post that will take it down from first place. For a while, my Creamy Chicken, Cauliflower and Broccoli Bake was getting dangerously close to bumping it down and becoming number one, but the Cookie Dough Mug Muffin stuck on for dear life, showed everyone who was boss and let the Creamy Chicken Bake take second place. I’m always wondering if the next recipe I’ll publish will beat it, but nope. And to be fair to the mug muffin, it is a pretty awesome recipe, not to mention it’s adorable. It comes together in 5 minutes – preparation and cooking times combined! -, is the perfect comfort food without any added-sugar, and it tastes like cookie dough for crying out loud. Plus, it’s a single-serving recipe so it’s great for a little sweet craving without actually tempting you to go overboard like if you bake an entire batch of cookies. I should have known it was going to have that kind of mind-blowing success. The funny thing is that when I made it, I had absolutely no intention to post it on the blog. I just wanted to make a mug muffin for Freddy one rainy Sunday afternoon, adapted a  chocolate chip cookie recipe with what I could find lying around my cupboards and popped it in the microwave in a mug. It looked so cute, so I took a pretty lame picture, and it tasted so good that I ended up posting it as a recipe. Continue reading

Cappuccino Pots de Crème

Cappuccino Pots de Crème by My Little Jar of Spices

Well hello there January, my least favorite month of the year. People generally either hate January or September. Not very hard to understand why. Post-holiday blues, post-vacation stress, back to work, back to school, everyone’s all tired, the media are all talking about diets, there’s not much to look forward to for the next few months except maybe Valentine’s Day and that’s not even a real Holiday. And then there’s the pitiful weather, which is the worst whether you are in the Northern or Southern hemisphere. January in Brazil gets HOT. Not “ooh tropical breeze and sipping Mojitos under palm trees” kind of hot, no, more like “unsexy glistening face, I can’t even move my arms because it’s so freaking humid and tropical pouring rain” kind of hot. Bet that snowfall you’ve been having in the US almost sounds kind of nice now eh? 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

Banana Flambée Panna Cotta (Dairy-free, Paleo, Vegan option)

Banana Flambée Panna Cotta

Oh no I didn’t. Did I put a banana flambée in a Panna Cotta dessert AND make it dairy-free too? Why yes I did. Thank me later, try it first. I know in English they’re called Banana Fosters but I just feel so posh saying “Banana Flambée” and that’s the way I’ll keep saying it in this post because I’m French so I’m allowed to use fancy snobbish culinary words. Plus I just can’t picture myself serving this dessert saying “Aaaand for dessert, Bananas Foster!”. Yes, I have to picture myself serving my desserts at a White House Fundraiser to decide on the recipe title. Continue reading

Pumpkin and Chestnut Bread (Nut-free option)

Pumpkin Chestnut Bread
So it’s pumpkin season for everybody… except me. It’s amazing how following the whole food blogging community really gives you the feeling of being in sync with the seasons. In December, everyone is about chocolate and holiday foods. From May to July, everyone is posting recipes with berries. In August, you just know it’s time for peaches. Come September, there’s a friggin’ pumpkin epidemic falling upon the world. That is, in Brazil of course. When everyone was barbecuing and having coleslaw in their backyards this summer, the only thing I wanted to have was a huge bowl of chicken soup with the temperatures nearing 6°C in São Paulo. It’s a bummer being in the opposite hemisphere when you blog about food. Australians can join me on this. Now that everyone is on the soup page and making pumpkin-everything, Summer is coming here and I just want an ice cold fizzy drink and a light salad for lunch.  Continue reading

Chewy Banana and Cashew Butter Cookies

Chewy Banana and Cashew Butter Cookies

The official title of this recipe should be Chewy Banana and Cashew Butter Cookies with Toasted Honey-Cinnamon Cashew Bits on Top but a title that long is just recipe marketing suicide. I stuck to the short version but I did make sure that the long version was right there in the first sentence of the introduction that way you’d really get the whole drool-triggering story from the beginning. 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