Valentine’s Day <3

[Versão em PORTUGUÊS no fim da publicação]


In Brazil, we don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day the same day (and way) as in other cultures. As I explained here, Brazilian Valentine’s Day is celebrated in June 12th. Nevertheless, thanks to the wonders of the Internet and globalization, all sorts of holidays are becoming more and more popular around the world and Valentine’s couldn’t be different.

As you probably already know, in most western countries, boyfriends and girlfriends usually exchange gifts and (try to) do romantic things together on Valentine’s. In Asians countries, however, girls are traditionally supposed to give chocolate to boys instead (and receive gifts from them on the White Day, a month later).

As for me, I decided to celebrated it in eastern style (since we already have the all-romantic-gift-exchanging-thing in June): I gave a very popular homemade type of chocolate to Felipe. It’s called “Brigadeiro” and it’s certainly one of the most appreciated deserts in Brazil.


The Brigadeirois a common Braziliandelicacy, created in 1940. It is common throughout the entire country, as well as in Portugal, and is present in practically all the major Brazilian celebrations. The Brigadeiro is made from condensed milk, powdered chocolate, butter and chocolate sprinkles to cover the outside layer. It can be cooked in the oven or the microwave, in the form of individual little balls. It can also be eaten straight from the pot once it is done cooking. – Source: Wikipedia


The Brigadeiro I made is a little different from the regular recipe, since I added some cookie layers to it, making it more pastry-like. If you’re willing to try it and be amazed by Brazilian Brigadeiro, here goes the recipe of the one I made (It’s very quick and easy to cook and speechlessly delicious):

Cookie Layered Brigadeiro

Serves: 2 portions

Ingredients:

For the chocolate layers (which is also the regular recipe for traditional Brigadeiro):

  • 1 can of condensed milk
  • 3 tbsp of cocoa/chocolate powder
  • 3 tbsp of fat-free whipped cream
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Chocolate Sprinkles (to cover the outside layer)

(You can use all-veggie options for those ingredients if you want)

For the cookies layer:

  • 200g of medium-sized cookies of your choice (I used a Brazilian brand called “Passtempo” that is Felipe’s favourite.

In a cooking pan, mix the condensed milk, butter and chocolate powder. Take it to medium fire and keep stirring until it boils and gets creamy and more consistent. Turn off the fire, add the whipped cream and stir to combine.

Keep stirring until it boils and gets more consistent

Keep stirring until it boils and gets more consistent 

In a recipient of your choice, crumble half of the cookies to form the first layer, then add half of the previously made chocolate. Add another layer of crumbled cookies and, finally, the last layer of chocolate (you can add more layers if you want). Sprinkle the chocolate sprinkles (lol?), wait until it cools down a little, serve and be marveled! ;P

You can keep it refrigerated for around 2 days.

Cookie Layered Brazilian Brigadeiro for Valentine's!

Cookie Layered Brazilian Brigadeiro for Valentine’s! 

Don’t forget to tell me what you think of it and please share your chocolate recipes too. Happy Valentine’s~!


[Portuguese translation below)

Valentine’s Day – O dia international dos namorados ❤

No Brasil não comemoramos o dia dos namorados da mesma forma (e data) que em outras culturas. Como eu explico aqui, o dia dos namorados no Brasil é festejado somente em Junho. Todavia, graças às maravilhas da Internet, todos os feriados estão se tornando cada vez mais globalizados e não poderia ser diferente com o Valentine’s Day.

Como provavelmente já sabem, na maioria dos países ocidentais os namorados costumam trocar presentes e (tentar) fazer coisas românticas nesta data – que fora do Brasil é celebrada em 14 de Fevereiro, em homenagem à São Valentim (daí o nome Valentine’s Day ou “Dia de Valentim”).

Nos países asiáticos, entretanto, no dia dos namorados as moças costumam dar chocolates (tradicionalmente caseiros) para os rapazes. Estes, por sua vez, devem presentear as moças um mês depois, no White Day.

Quanto a mim, decidi celebrar do modo oriental (visto que em Junho já temos a troca de presentes romântica tradicional). Eu preparei para o Felipe um tipo chocolate caseiro muito popular no Brasil: o Brigadeiro – o qual é certamente um dos doces mais apreciados do país (e se você está lendo isto em  português provavelmente já conhece, não é? 😉 ).

Pois bem, o brigadeiro que eu fiz é um pouquinho diferente da receita padrão  – É um tipo de torta de brigadeiro com cookies que é super simples e rápida de fazer mas, ainda assim, incrivelmente deliciosa! Se quiserem experimentar, aqui vai a receita:

Torta em Camadas de Brigadeiro com Cookies

Serve 2 porções

Ingredientes:
Para a camada de chocolate:

  • 1 lata de leite condensado (de preferencia light)
  • 3 colheres de sopa de chocolate em pó
  • 3 colheres de sopa de creme de leite leve ou light (é mais saudável, viu gente?)
  • 1 colher de sopa de manteira ou margarina
  • 1 pacote de Chocolate granulado

(Todos os ingredientes podem ser usados também em suas versões vegetarianas)

Para a camada de cookies:

  • 200g de cookies (de sua preferencia) picados. Eu usei o de Passatempo da Nestlé, que é o favorito do Felipe.

Numa panela, misture o leite condensado, o chocolate em pó e a manteiga. Mexa sempre em fogo médio até levantar fervura e ficar com consistencia de brigadeiro de colher. Apague o fogo, misture o creme de leite e reserve.

Mexa sempre até ficar ferver e ficar com consistencia de brigadeiro de colher

Mexa sempre até ficar ferver e ficar com consistencia de brigadeiro de colher

Num recipiente de sua escolha, adicione metade dos cookies picados para formar a primeira camada. Em seguida, adicione metade do brigadeiro previamente reservado. Adicione a segunda camada de cookies e, por fim, a última camada de brigadeiro (se preferir pode fazer mais camadas, sempre intercalando os cookies com o brigadeiro). Polvilhe o chocolate granulado à gosto, espere esfriar, sirva e se delicie!

Se sobrar (o que acho difícil rs), pode guardar por até dois dias na geladeira.

Torta em Camadas de Brigadeiro com Cookies

Torta em Camadas de Brigadeiro com Cookies

Não esqueçam de me contar o que acharam e também compartilhar suas próprias receitas nos comentários. Feliz Valentine~! ❤

 

What if you could change the past? Orange – Manga series

[Warning: this post is gonna be gloomier than usual]
If time traveling was possible, where would you like to go? Straight to the past so you could erase all of your regrets? Or maybe to the future, so you could learn the consequences of all your actions beforehand?

These fundamental issues are the main scenario where Orange, a Shoujo/slice of life/drama manga by Takano Ichigo, takes place.

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“Orange” by Takano Ichigo

Plot: Naho, a sixteen year old girl receives a mysterious letter from her own future self containing many advises in how to prevent one of her friend’s death in a short time from there – by suicide. It’s a very touching story, with wonderful art style that makes you reconsider your life and ponder about that most fatal question “What if…?” What if a single thing you’ve done differently could have a huge impact such as saving a life?

One leaf clover: I think I’ve lost already too many people in my life. Surely there are ones out there whose lost much more than I did but, among my family and friends, I’m probably the one who has experienced death and all its devastating consequences more often. When I was 10 I lost my maternal grandfather and he was a very important person to me. Since my parents got divorced when I was a baby, my grandfather was the only father figure I ever had. Moreover, he was also my best friend –  We used to spend a lot of time together; telling stories, reading, singing and talking about ordinary things of life. When he passed (he had a stroke) I felt way too lonely. Even though I had a very supportive family, nothing and none could fill that gap. But I guess it is like that with mostly everyone, right? People cannot be replaced. But the ten-year-old-me just couldn’t bear with it in a proper way. And I shut myself in.

Time passed, I was able to make a few new friends but I also lost many of them… To life, in this case. Then when I was 13, I met someone at school whom I though could finally fill that gap in me. He also had a gap to be filled and we became instant friends. I like to compare our relationship to Peter Pan and Wendy’s – we certainly really liked each other but we were too young (and maybe too damaged) to understand its meaning and, after 4 years of a close (and a little twisted I must add) friendship, we decided to split. Adolescence sure is complicated.

I needed to make this whole introduction because, even though I was no longer his friend, I would think of him from time to time and wonder if he was doing well and one day a mutual friend of ours came to speak to me. She said that friend asked her if I was still mad at him and in case I wasn’t that he would like to speak to me again. I told her it was ok and short after that he called me.

We talked for many hours just like we would back then when we were children. We saw each other a couple of times in person later but I don’t think I wanted to be too close anymore, maybe I was still mad at him after all. And then a few months after messaging me for the last time, saying how great he was feeling, that he quitted smoking, joined some kind of troupe and how wonderful life was, he committed suicide.

Almost ten years have passed since that but I don’t think I was ever able to completely recover from it, and it gets even worse in December (he was born in December).

And last year my paternal grandmother also died of cancer. We were not very close but the fact that people would always say how similar we were to each other, how my father’s relationship with her (and with me) wasn’t so great at that time and how I was the last person to talk to her before she died shook me up a bit. And I gotta mention her birthday was also in December. Yes, I do have a few issues with December (January as well).

Those three were probably the more impactful losses I had. But besides them, I still have been to more funerals than I wished or I’d like to recall.

Now I get to those “What if’s”:

What if I knew my grandpa suffered from hypertension and was really worried about my mother being under a complicated surgery back then? Could I have done anything to prevent his death? Could I? If only I knew he would never wake up again? I deeply regret I haven’t shared that milk chocolate with him the night before.

What if I have putted aside any grudge against my friend and had been more interested in what was really going on in his life, would I have seen earlier the many signs that something wasn’t right I only realized after his death? I was a psychology student back then, I should have recognized that euphoric state he was in the last message.

What if I knew all those things beforehand? What if? Would I be able to save them? Would I be able to fix anything I ever did wrong and/or I regret in my life?

It’s difficult to answer and it’s impossible nevertheless. Albert Einstein said “time is an illusion” therefore we can’t turn it back. And even if we could, wouldn’t we be destroying things we have in the present? So many things happened to me after all that, so many people I met and so many goals I achieved. Would I risk it all? I cannot really tell.

Maybe everything happens for a reason, maybe everything that happens in our lives have a greater meaning, for the better and worse. I guess all we can do is to move forward and try to cherish everyday we have, with the things and the people we have right now.

Maybe because I had so many losses in my life – some to death, some to life, some to people themselves – That I used to think “failure is death“. I used to be absolutely terrified of failing to the point I wouldn’t even try. But lately I realized it’s not like that. Failure is something that gives us the opportunity to make things again and try to make them not only right this time but also better. If we never fail nor ever get to know how devastating is to lose what we love, how would we be able to learn value the moments we spare with them and value life itself?

All those things were pounding in my head while I was reading Orange. Sometimes I really wish I could turn back time and turn all the wrongs right, but maybe I don’t really have to.

Today I have many great friends, the greatest I could ever ask for. I value the family members I still have as the most precious thing in the world and I have Felipe, who’s filled any gaps my soul could possibly still have. And I’m very thankful and feel blessed for having every single one of them in my life. And well, who knows what else future can also bring?

Now back to Orange, a live action movie is coming to Japan Theaters on December 12 and a long trailer was recently released by Warner Music, featuring the song “Mirai” by Kubokuro:

As far as I could see on this video, I’d say the movie is gonna be very faithful to the manga series. Let’s hope it’ll get to the Western countries as soon as possible.

And anyway, I truly recommend Orange, but have some tissues nearby. Best wishes to you all!


And to all the beloved ones I’ve lost: I’m sure you are doing great, thanks for had been a memorable part of my life! We’ll surely meet someday again and have a wonderful time together. ❤