Full disclosure: I’ve always liked to cook. It’s one of my hobbies. 

I’ve always had this passion since I was a little kid (I used to eat the dough leftovers whenever my mom was doing some cake).

As I was getting older this passion has grown with me and nowadays I love cooking – baking in particular. I’m always watching TV cooking shows, buying cooking books and gathering new recipes to do later. But, to be honest, sometimes between work, gym, going out, resting and so on I don’t have enough time for it.

My process while I’m cooking something new can be somewhat compared with development as I describe it here. Let’s assume that I have a backlog with recipes and I chose one from there. I usually go through these 4 phases:

  • Grooming: Check for ingredients and buy some that may be missing.
  • Sprint: Do the actual recipe.
  • Review: Tasting what was done and get feedback from others. 
  • Retrospective: What could I’ve done better, what do I need to change to improve the recipe.

Nowadays, due to the COVID-19, we have to spend more time at home and so what do I do to distract myself? Yes, you guessed it, I’m trying to do those things that I’ve always wanted to do but had no time for. 

I’m going to share with you guys some of the things that I’ve been experimenting within the kitchen.

One of the things that I wanted to try for ages was to make bread and so I started to look for some bread recipes and found out a really easy one, made by Filipa Gomes, which she called Pãodemia*

It’s just mixing flour, yeast, salt and lukewarm water until you have a sticky dough and then cover it for at least 12 hours. Then up it to the oven and that’s it! Easy, right? 

I usually do this the night before so I can have fresh bread in the morning. It is delicious as you can see in the picture.

Photo by Pedro Lopes

I can’t even tell you guys how much I love Italian food. A few years ago I went there on vacations and I had some of the best Italian meals ever. 

And, since one of the most affected countries by this pandemic we are going through in Europe is Italy, it seems only fair that I share with you one of the dishes that I did recently. 

It’s a Sausage Carbonara (with egg, not cream, as Italians do it) inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe.

Photo by Pedro Lopes

I know I’ve said before that I love to cook but, as I have a sweet tooth, I think that my favourite thing to do in the culinary world is desserts. Also, one of my favourite things to work with on desserts is salted caramel. That mixture between the sweet and the savoury is just incredible. 

This last photo is dark chocolate and salted caramel pie, with an oreo base and it is just delicious. 

You have that crunchiness of the base mixed with gooey salted caramel and the chocolate on top. Is just to die for. 

Photo by Pedro Lopes

That’s it, guys. This is how I spend my time in this quarantine. Not only I get my mind off things as I’m cooking but I can also taste it when it’s done 😁.

*In Portuguese, the word pandemic is “pandemia” and bread is “pão”. Basically, she made a pun on these two words.

Written by Pedro Lopes  • April 30th, 2020

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