A Devastating Discovery for my Diet

I like predictability. In my toddler driven and what seems like an uncontrollable life, the more that is the same everyday the better. I can truly autopilot most things and good nutrition is important to me. I literally eat the same thing for breakfast every morning and don’t tire of it.

The title of this post is pretty misleading because in reality, I don’t diet. My motto when it comes to food is everything in moderation. If I want to eat a pint of ice cream in one sitting, I will; if I want to have a kale salad for lunch, I will. I just don’t go to either extreme on a regular basis. Right, so eating a pint of ice cream in one sitting is not at all moderate….but, over the course of time it can be because I only do that on very rare occasions-like when I’m pregnant and couch surfing for four months while my husband goes back and forth between California and Brazil.

ANYWAY…on to my discovery of SWEET POPCORN!

Here in Manaus, popcorn is an easy to come by snack food that isn’t all that expensive. We eat it fairly often and finding new ways to change it up is always welcome. We’re partial to the old standby of just a little salt, or grating fresh Parmesan cheese on top. Especially because it’s easy…but this, THIS is delicious and great when you don’t have much else in the house but need to cure a sweet tooth (of which I have many).

sweet popcorn


Making Tortillas

Cooking is a source of joy for me. Baking, too. Especially baking. Doing both of these things is an adventure in Manaus. Not only do I have to translate ingredients, but I also have to search far and wide for things that simply are not imported. I’ve become a major fan of baking two ingredient desserts, like cookies & cream bars! One thing we cook with a lot is tortillas. Unfortunately, we can’t just run out to the grocery store and buy some. So I’ve learned how. A skill I have honed and love now. Especially since I am importing a tortilla press. WOOHOO!

The recipe:

Put 4 cups of flour (I use all-purpose, but it could probably be made more nutritious with whole wheat, unbleached, etc…there are only two types of flour here) in a bowl.
Mix in 1/8th a teaspoon of baking powder.
Put 1/2 cup of butter on top (any type of fat, really) and then mix with your hands until it looks like a grainy type sand. This should take about 1-2 minutes.
Dissolve 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt (sea salt would probably be delicious) into 1 cup of lukewarm water.
Pour the salt water into the flour/butter mixture and knead with your hands until you can form a ball. If after 2-3 minutes it’s too sticky, add more flour. If it’s not all coming together, add more water.
Put the ball of dough on the counter and put the bowl on top of it.
Wait 20 minutes.
Divide the dough into 12 equal(ish) parts and form into balls.
Roll one ball as flat as you possibly can (and hopefully into a circular shape) and put onto a shallow, non-stick pan pre-heated over medium(ish) heat.
Once the bubbles start popping up, flip it.
When the bubbles re-appear, it’s done.
Wrap it up in a towel (or put it in a tortilla warmer) while you’re cooking the rest.



It’s even more fun when everyone gets dirty ;D