December 29, 2011

In 2012 visit Guimarães and discover Portuguese Culture


"Guimarães is a unique and special city! It is distinguished by its heritage, its inspiring landscape, its entrepreneurial capacity, its sense of belonging and the dynamism if its inhabitants. 
The origin of the city of Guimarães goes back to the tenth century since it was here, in 1128, that the Portuguese nation was founded and D. Afonso Henriques was recognised as the first king of Portugal.(...)

Come and get to know our unique region where customs and traditions from the past live alongside innovation and progress. There are infinite possibilities, from adventure to relaxation through to cultural pursuits, waiting to greet the visitor who chooses this authentic destination. For further information please consult the pages Guimarães Tourism and Porto and The North of Portugal."

More: go to GUIMARÃES 2012 

December 28, 2011

A TBA for Blooming Hearts stamp!

Blooming hearts stamp


«Love handkerchiefs» are a very old Portuguese tradition. Hearts, flowers, birds and small love poems were embroidered in handkerchiefs that girls gave to sweethearts.  My hearts and flowers cute stamps are inspired by these traditional Portuguese designs of Lovers Handkerchiefs!It's ideal to celebrate love on every occasion, any time!For a special anniversary or for Valentine's Day. For your girlfriend or boyfriend, for your wife and husband, for your partner. These stamps are just for those who wants to celebrate love the oldfashioned way - writting a letter, sending a card!It's still a romantic aproach and very special way to celebrate love hence everyone is using emails and sms! Thank you Zazzle for this TBA!

(This product is not available anymore.)

December 27, 2011

Animation Merry Christmas - Christmas lights in Oporto!



A short animation video - Christmas lights at Oporto streets. Awesome!

What did Portuguese watch, read and listen too in 2011?

The Portuguese movie with more viewers in 2011 was Sangue do meu sangueBlood of my blood, directed by João Canijo. I just heard it on the radio, so, no source!

 

Foreign movie that took most Portuguese to the theatres in 2011 was Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsSource here



Foreign book with more sales in Portugal over 2011 was Heaven is for real  - O céu existe mesmo, Todd Burpo Source here



"A young boy emerges from life-saving surgery with remarkable stories of his visit to heaven.Heaven Is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn't know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear." in Amazon

Portuguese book with more sales in 2011: 
O Último Segredo  de José Rodrigues dos Santos


José Rodrigues dos Santos wrote the portuguese language best-seller of 2011. He is the bestselling novelist in Portugal. His overall sales are above one million books. José is also a journalist and a university lecturer. He works for Portuguese public television. As a reporter he has covered wars around the globe. He has been awarded three times by CNN for his reporting and twice by the Portuguese Press Club. This book, The last secret, got bad reviews from the portuguese church.

Foreign CD that's leading sales on 51st week of the year: 
Amy Winehouse - The lioness/ Hidden treasures
Source here



Portuguese CD that's leading sales on 51st week of the year:

December 26, 2011

Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright.

Beautiful photo from the Iberian Peninsula at night, December 26th! The city lights of Spain and Portugal define the Iberian Peninsula in this photograph from the International Space Station (ISS). Lovely.



December 25, 2011

Christmas food! Prepare Fake Scallops!


One has to be grateful for good food on the table. Yes, food is a great way to celebrate life and not only in Christmas. I am not a good fork but I like to try everything. Fish dishes is what I prefer. I love all kinds of sea food. If I can't afford the real thing I try another option. These aren't the real ones. They are fake scallops ideal for party starters, very  easy to do - again, don't come here for sophisticated food, I am not a cook! But if it lives on the sea I will cook it because I will certainly like it!  You can prepare these with any kind of fish or sea food.What to you need?


Ingredients for 5 shells
A bag of peeled shrimp - you can buy it fresh and boil it and then remove peels. But it's more work around the kitchen!
1 bag of Delícias do Mar - it's crab assembled in little rectangular pieces. Again you can use fresh crab for better results or any other sea food you like.
1 small can of mushrooms

Garlic, parsley, q.b.
For the béchamel sauce 
25 gr of flower
25 gr of butter
300 ml of milk
half onion
2 bay leaves
3 cloves
salt, pepper, nutmeg

How to prepare the béchamel sauce: 
Bring the milk to boil in a saucepan. Remove from the eat and drop the onion and cloves and bay leaves. Stick the cloves through the bay leaves into the onion. This way you can remove it easily when it's not needed anymore. Let it cool down for 5 minutes.
Melt the butter on a saucepan. Add the flower. Stir this for 2 minutes in low eat and then remove it from the flames. 
Add the milk. Careful now: it must boil but you must stir all the time or it will burn. Once it boils you low the flames and watch it gets consistent. Keep stiring. Drop the pepper, salt and nutmeg. Stir a bit more and its ready.

How to prepare the fake shells:
When the sauce is made, add to it the peeled shrimps, the mushrooms and the crab that you previously have mixed with garlic and parsley and put aside to rest.
Then fill the shells, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and get the shells on the oven so it get some color. It's done and it's always a success!


These are porc lambchops with roasted potatoes with peel in the oven. Wash the potatoes very well. Use a brush. Dry it and then make some tiny holes in it with a fork.  Put a drop of olive oil on top of each one. (You can skip these two details if you want.) Put it in the oven for 45 minutes at 200º.Turn it after 20 minutes. With a wooden spoon pressure on top of one potatoe to check if it's already roasted because it depends on potatoe size, temperature, etc. The lambchops were cooked in a saucepan, slowly, before going into the oven for some strong heat on the top of the roasted potatoes. No secrets to it.



And this is one of my favorite rice recipes - it has pinenuts and raisins. Also very easy to prepare. Just pay attention that raisins should go into the saucepan just when you add the rice to the water and not at the beggining, with the onion.

Red and White wine from Setúbal region.  Really, folks, I never enjoyed Coca-Cola or any kind of soda drinks. Natural fruit juices and wine and beer for me, please.
More about these Portuguese wines - Quinta da Bacalhôa Winnery

King Cake or Bolo Rei is our Christmas traditional cake. It's a wreath like fruit cake laced with crystallized fruits and pinenuts. When I was a child there was a tiny present inside the cake and a broadbean. Now there's just a broadbean. The person who finds the broadbean in one slice will pay the next "King Cake"!!(This one I did not make!)

December 24, 2011

Sweet Rice and Christmas trees!


Just finished some Sweet Rice and took a photo to show you. There it is with a big cup of black coffee! The rice isn't that yellow but I guess my mobile phone camera can't do better than that! Couldn't wait for dinner because I like to eat it while it's still hot! It's very sweet and has a lemon flavour. I posted the recipe bellow if you're curious and ever want to cook it one of these days! Very easy to prepare, see, I do not like the kitchen space very much...!

Yesterday I went to local mall to buy the rice to make the Sweet Rice  - and a last minute gift, that's right, there was on still missing - and there was this display of Christmas Trees decorated by local kindergarden children. Very cute! 


How to prepare Sweet Rice? Check it righ >> here! <<

Zazzle made Top10 Best Positioned Online Retailers

Guess who made the Top10 list os Retailers best positioned to suceed online this holiday season? Zazzle did!   Market statistics show 80 percent of all online adults use search engines to find products and more than 70 percent of online adults buy products and services using a search engines. Check more about it on Conductor.

December 23, 2011

Friday 4 hour Sale!

Are you ready for all of the exciting events in the upcoming year? Starting right now, you have exactly four hours to save 50% on 4 Christmas "C"s: calendars, cards, cases, and, uh... "keychains" from Zazzle. To help you I made a small selection of Calendars because I know you need one!Use code: FFHSDECEMBER
~


December 22, 2011

Pablo Alborán e Carminho sing the hit Perdóname


Instead of a Christmas song I am sharing a beautiful and romantic song by Pablo Alborán and Carminho. Carminho is a Portuguese fado singer. Pablo is a young Spanish singer only 22 years old and he's the voice of the moment in Madrid. This duet is climbing music tops in Spain and in Portugal we're enjoying it too. It's not fado but the video was shoot in Lisbon.

"Fado" was also the name of the first work of Carminho released in 2009 in Portugal. It was considered by the British magazine "Songlines" one of the ten best albums released this year. Fado has now been published in the British market. Check this song and video from Carminho if you want to listen to some more of this incredible Portuguese voice and also watch a bit more of typical Lisbon. 




Perdóname
Si alguna vez preguntas el por que
No sabré decirte la razón
Yo no la sé
Por eso y más
Perdóname
Ni una sola palabra más
No más besos al alba
Ni una sola caricia habrá
Esto se acaba aquí
No hay manera ni forma
De decir que sí
Ni una sola palabra más
No mas besos al alba
Ni una sola caricia habrá
Esto se acaba aquí
No hay manera ni forma
De decir que sí
Si alguna vez
Creíste que por ti
O por tu culpa me marché
No fuiste tú
Por eso y más
Perdóname
Si alguna vez te hice sonreír
Creístes poco a poco en mi
Fui yo lo sé
Por eso y más
Perdóname
Ni una sola palabra más
No más besos al alba
Ni una sola caricia habrá
Esto se acaba aquí
No hay manera ni forma
De decir que sí
Ni una sola palabra más
No más besos al alba
Ni una sola caricia habrá
Esto se acaba aquí
No hay manera ni forma
De decir que sí
Siento volverte loca
Darte el veneno de mi boca
Siento tener que irme así
Sin decirte adiós
Siento volverte loca
Darte el veneno de mi boca
Siento tener que irme así
Sin decirte adiós
Laralalalaralalarala
Laralaalala
Lalalalara
Ni una sola palabra más
No mas besos al alba
Ni una sola caricia habrá
Esto se acaba aquí
No hay manera ni forma
De decir que sí
Ni una sola palabra más
No mas besos al alba
Ni una sola caricia habrá
Esto se acaba aquí
No hay manera ni forma
De decir que sí

December 21, 2011

Are you ready to celebrate the New Year?

How do you celebrate the arrival of the New Year? Today I went to the post-office to send my Christmas mail. I bought all the gifts already. Everything is done. Now I start to think about the New Year's Eve.  I've tried several things to celebrate the arrival of the new year along the years. Several times I went away to a visit a new place and mix with total strangers; on several occasions I met with friends for dinner at local restaurant and then we went to pubs and then roam the streets waiting for the fireworks; when I was younger I also went dancing all night but it's not a good choice as houses are often too full. I went also to small  private parties; I went to friend's houses and stay up all night eating and talking about memories shared! I stayed home alone watching movies! I went to bad, sick with fever...and more! Everyone has a way to spend the last hours of the year and welcome the new one. The important thing is to enjoy that time.
This year I'll stay home. I am going to decorate the house a little with streamers and balloons as my nephew will be here. And the dog too, Davis, the shar pei, he usually eats the confetti !! We'll have an end-of-the-year meal. Maybe my nephew will bring one of his favorite animation movies and we'll watch it together. At midnight we'll open and pour champagne. We'll eat the 12 raisins, make 12 wishes and have a toast to a better year. Quite simple. If the fog does not show we will be able to watch the fireworks from the window. I checked meteo and it will be very cold over the last week of the year. So I guess we'll stay home all night.
Inspired by the festive thought of New Year's Eve I made a small search on Zazzle for some New Year's t-shirts and buttons. Here it is!Enjoy it!
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