Who loves the end of the school year??? We do! Quite a few of Luis's clients gave him gifts at the end of the school year (because most don't come during the summer because summer holidays mean lots of things shut down and people hang out with their families or take vacation), and this was by far our favorite... a gigantic bottle of delicious wine! (Fleur de Lis trademark, in case any of you Portuguese are interested!)
Monday, July 30th
I remember when I first visited Portugal, I named Luis Miguel's garage the "Love Shack", because the protection on the outside of the windows has iron in the shape of a heart! Now that I walk by them every day, I don't notice them as much anymore, so I thought I would document them today.
Tuesday, July 31st
As we are starting our second round of vacation in the next week, we will be home a few days doing house projects, one of which includes defrosting the fridge and freezer. Since we would like to try to eat more of the things that seem to have been frozen for forever (and save some money!), we pulled out a big container of leitão pieces, which is a delicious pork, or Portuguese piglet, to be exact. It's pretty expensive here, and almost everyone loves it, so we were saving it for a time when we could have people over, etc. We decided it wasn't worth it to wait until our next dinner party, since it was taking up a huge amount of space in our freezer, and after realizing that it was impossible to break apart pieces that were solidly frozen together, we had to defrost all of it at once, forcing us to find some creative recipes to use it, including this delicious one. It was mashed potatoes with various layers of leitão with a great sauce mixed between it. Mashed potato leitão casserole? Yes, please! Better yet, Luis volunteered to make the meat even more delicious if I made the potatoes, and his version of the recipe turned out to be fabulous, contrary to what the sign on the top of the counter says! (Apparently my mother, who gifted me the sign, doesn't think that I inherited her culinary skills!) :)
Wednesday, August 1st
With special permission from his grandparents (the Portuguese are extremely cautious/nervous about anything personal being posted on the internet), I would like to introduce you to Manuel, one of Luis's clientes, and, I admit, one of my favorites. No matter how early we arrive on Wednesday mornings, he is always there with his grandpa waiting for us, wanting to hold our hands as we walk up to the room where he works with Luis, and though a boy of little words, always seems to make me laugh. Though he was pretty exited to stand on the desk, he was a little squirmy for the photo, which made it a bit out of focus, but that's Manuel in a nutshell, and we love him!
Thursday, August 2nd
I love big trees that have leaves hanging down low enough to touch!
Friday, August 3rd
Two sweet colleagues of mine had birthdays this week, so in the spirit of celebrating, I made some cupcakes. And let's just be honest, I love any occasion that allows me to make a new dessert recipe or decorate something fun. Happy birthday Mariana and Carina!
Saturday, August 4th
Today we got to celebrate this great girl and her upcoming marriage! Some close friends of my colleague Rita got together for her bachelorette party, and one of the activities was a photo shoot at a local studio. We brought some accessories to dress her up and had a ball! She'll be a stunning bride, don't you think?