Paradise in Portugal

27 02 2012

Consolacao (Sunbathing on the Rock Beach) - That's me!

The waves can be very high in the area of Cabo Carvoeiro.   Beautiful landscapes here. There is a lighthouse and a restaurant called Nau dos Corvos which means Crow’s Nest.  It is a great spot for 360 degree picture taking on the roof of the restaurant and sightseeing.  It’s a nice drive along the shoreline and there are many spots to stop along the way for more pictures.  You can see the Berlengas Islands.  If you want you can take a ferry to the Berlengas Islands.  Sometimes the ride can sometimes be a little rough (it’s ocean) .  It is an hour and a half trip but well worth it.  There is a bird sanctuary and it is a great way to spend the day.

We are leaving for Portugal very soon to visit family and friends.  My husband’s father is having his 90th birthday and our nephew is getting married.  So much to celebrate!!  I have been twice already and really enjoy it there.  I find the culture so different than what I grew up with in Canada.  I find the people very warm, family people and they really embrace their roots and look forward to their festas and Carnival, beaches, parties, and barbeques.  It seems as life is less stressful there.  Sometimes when one is on a holiday it can seem that way but I think it may be true of the Portuguese.  I do not miss the fast-paced life of city-living while we are there.  Last time we were in Portugal we saw a farmer and his wife riding home from the farm after a long day on their cart being pulled by a mule.  I will miss Mia, my new kitty.  When I get home it will be back to reality.  I would like to get a part-time job in April.  I am planning to have international students stay with us in the summer.  We hosted 2 young girls from Taiwan a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it – I still keep in touch with both by email.  Maybe one day we will see them again.  While I am gone I would be thrilled if you would check out my website at  (it’s called “Julie’s Cooking”) and you can have a look around and if you feel like shopping there are a variety of stores you can order from online too.  So I won’t say goodbye – instead  ate logo which means see you later in Portuguese. Please check out my other blog at: and if I would love your comments!! See you again in March!


Love Squid – Makes me miss Portugal!

22 11 2011

Marinated Grilled Squid with Sambal Vinaigrette
by Chef Rob Feenie

20 tubes squid, cleaned and rinsed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 lemon, segments only
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped thyme and parsley
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp cracked black pepper
2 to 3 tbsp Sambal Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Frisée to garnish

Cut a few slashes in the squid with the tip of a sharp knife. Combine olive oil, garlic, lemon segments and juice, fresh herbs, salt and pepper in a bowl. Pour over squid and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat grill to high heat. Cook the squid 20 to 30 seconds on each side. Place squid in the middle of a bowl or plate. Top with frisée and drizzle with vinaigrette. Serves 4.

Sambal Vinaigrette
1 tbsp sambal (chili relish)
¼ tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp rice vinegar
¼ cup olive oil

In a small bowl whisk together sambal, garlic, lemon juice and rice vinegar. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes about ⅔ cup.

We do miss Lulas in Portugal.  You can have them in a salad, room temperature, barbequed or sauteed in a frying pan.  They are good for an appetizer or you can eat them as an entree.  In Canada we fry them up with batter and call them calamari and it is a popular starter on menus.  After having Lulas naturally I don’t care much for calamari as much.  In our local Greek restaurant we asked for squid and it was done nicely -very natural but not everyone in Canada is used to that.  I , on the other hand and of course my Portuguese husband was mpressed!

If you want to go to Portugal for a vacation we would be happy to let you know of some of my husband’s recommends.  I have been twice now and am looking forward to our next trip.  Scenery, food, wine, beaches – you can’t miss!  If you have family there too – you are lucky!