In this post, I try to narrow down my favorite photos of 2022.
I love to take photos - flowers, food, animals ... you name it!
In this post, I try to narrow down my favorite photos of 2022.
Cats (cat sitting clients as well as cats seen on my daily adventures or travels)
Dogs (all of these photos are dog sitting clients)
Doors, Tiles and Windows
Food (check out my other post of my favorite restaurant meals of 2022)
Hair Moments (apparently it's quite windy in Portugal)
Sunrises and Sunsets
Wildlife (most of these photos are from Portugal but a few are from when I still lived in Florida).
It's the final week (actually the final couple of days) of 2022 and here's photos of my restaurant meals that stood out this year and where to get them.
Suckling Pig Sandwich from Timeout Market in Lisbon.
Banana, chocolate & caramel pancake from Eat Pray Love Lisboa near to TimeOut Market in Lisbon.
Grilled Octopus from Solar 31 in Lisbon.
Duck Meatballs and fries with homemade catsup from Pharmacy Museum restaurant in Lisbon.
Octopus Salad and Sea Bass from Bastardo's in Lisbon.
Banana Power Pancakes from The Therapist Alvalade.
Melon With Parma Ham And Mint Mayonnaise (appetizer) and Breast Of Duck With Port Sauce And Clementines (main course) from Restaurante Sabores D'Itália, Caldas da Rainha.
Fish Sandwich from Bastardo's
Monkfish Stew from a little seaside cafe in Nazare (sorry I didn't get the name)
Octopus Salad and Grilled Sardines at Arcada in Coimbra.
Scallop, Mussels and Salad from OSTRAS & COISAS in Porto.
Anything from Honest Greens (both in Lisbon and Porto)
I was in Lisbon last November (2021) when the Christmas decorations were going up but hadn't been lit yet. It seems that Lisbon (actually all of Portugal) goes all out with their Christmas decorations around town. So I couldn't wait to check them out.
Unfortunately lots of rain and a cold kept me from exploring more.
After being sick for 8 days with a cold (thankfully it wasn't COVID) and during Christmas, I finally felt well. Since I had an extreme case of cabin fever, last night I decided to venture out to see the holiday lights around downtown Lisbon.
I decided to get off the metro at Rossio station, meander to Baixa and then down to Praça do Comércio.
On Rua Agusta on my way to Praça do Comércio.
Praça do Comércio
Walking back to Rossio Station
I love to color! I try to do a bit everyday as it seems to keep me calm and anxiety free.
Here are my favorite colorings of 2022.
and Christmas related colorings
I love to try new foods and 2022 didn't disappoint!
Should we start with desserts first?! But of course!
This beauty is Sachertorte! This pastry was created by chef Franz Sacher in Vienna, Austria in 1832. It is one of the most famous Viennese culinary specialties and I've wanted to try it for years.
I would have liked to try it in Austria but alas I tasted it right here in Lisbon! At Kaffeehaus, located at Rua Anchieta 3, 1200-023.
It was delicious but very rich. A friend and I shared this slice and we couldn't even finish it.
Love gelato? How about a rose-shaped Italian gelato. That's what you can get at Amorino. You can get unlimited favors as they build the flower for you.
I always thought it was an Italian company because of the Italian gelato but it turns out the company is of French origins hence the French macaron you can get on top of the flower.
I've actually had two this year (and I've definitely had to control myself because I love gelato). But do yourself a favor and just get the medium. I got a small the first time and it definitely wasn't enough and not nearly as pretty of a rose-shape.
Bola de Berlim
Bola de Berlim is Portugal’s version of a Berliner, a German doughnut without a central hole. But what makes Bola de Berlim really stand out from the regular fried treat we all know is that the dough is rolled in sugar and normally filled with sweet custard cream.
However, when I went to Figueira da Foz with friends, we found a pasteleria that had it with Hazelnut creme. Delicious!
A friend and I visited Porto (my first visit) in September and we simply had to try the Eclair - Porto's pastry speciality.
We read several blog posts and found the best place to try these is Leitaria da Quinta do Paço.
I ordered the chocolate eclair. My friend, Richie, ordered the maracujá (passion fruit) and we split them. I preferred the chocolate, so when another friend and I went back to Porto in October, that's the one I had.
Rolled Ice Cream
When I visited Coimbra in September for my SEF appointment, I stayed on the Santa Clara side (because it's much quieter). While walking across the bridge, a friend and I discovered an ice cream shop. It looked interesting as it was rolled ice cream so we went in. Yummy but very, very, very sweet!
Okay, now that desserts have been covered, let's move on to the savory dishes.
When I had to go back to the United States in June to get my Portuguese temporary visa stamped in my Passport, my friend took me to eat Afghan food. She's vegetarian. Since we decided to share, we ordered the Vegetarian sampler.
As with many cultures, bread is not only a staple but it is where the cuisine begins and ends. Afghan bread which is often made in an oval or rectangular shape and traditionally made in a Tandoor. Often eaten at every meal and used as a utensil to pick up food.
I'm not a big fan of super spicy food, so my friend warned me which foods were spicy and I either tried a little bit or steered clear.
A Rabbit Sandwich
In between visiting the Amalia Rodriguez museum and the Castelo Sao Jorge, friends LeEllen, Derek and I stopped for lunch at a cafe near to the castle.
We decided to order several dishes and split them. One of them was this rabbit sandwich.
It was delicious! It was served on the famous Bolo de Caco, a flatbread from Madeira Island.
Also while visiting Figueira da Foz (where I had the Bolo de Berliner from above), I tried cuttlefish at a seaside cafe.
If you've never had cuttlefish before, it's in the middle of squid and octopus - more flavorful than squid but not as rich as the octopus.
My first completely vegan meal
I've had completely vegetarian meals and a few vegan dishes, but I've never had a completely vegan meal. Until I ate at Kind Kitchen located at Rua do Bonjardim 302, 4000-115 Porto, Portugal.
I've had tofu before and was never really fond of it, but my friend Richie encouraged me to try his BBQ Tofu Nuggets. I'll have to admit it was quite tasty!
While touring with my friend who was visiting from the U.S., we were hungry just as it started to rain. We quickly looked for a nearby restaurant and we stumbled on Prima Pasta located at Rua da Madalena 27 in the Baixa barrio.
I ordered black pasta with shrimp. It was delicious! I'm still not sure if this was black squid ink pasta. I asked but the waitress didn't speak much English and I think something got lost in the translation.
Pork Secreto is cut from the outside of the pork shoulder. I had this dish for the first time while visiting Aveiro. Most restaurants in Portugal don't open until 7 p.m. but we were hungry at 6ish so we wandered the streets until we stumbled on this small restaurant on a plaza. The meal was delicious and the owners (also the waiters) were so nice and friendly.
My first Michelin Star Restaurant Experience
In November, I was pet sitting two friends' dog and two cats in Caldas da Rainha. Another friend had told me about a Michelin Starred Restaurant located there so I decided to go.
The restaurant is called Restaurante Sabores D'Itáliawww.saboresditalia.com/en/ located at Praça 5 de Outubro nº40, 2500-111 Caldas da Rainha, Portugal.
I had Melon With Parma Ham And Mint Mayonnaise for my starter. For the main course, I ordered the Breast Of Duck With Port Sauce And Clementines as duck is one of my all-time favorite proteins.
When I visited Australia back in 2004 and saw several kangaroos, I never thought I would ever be eating Kangaroo 18 years in the future. But I saw a package of them (along with Ostrich mentioned right below) at my local Lidl so I thought what the heck and bought them.
Kangaroo is a very lean meat and tastes like beef. Here's how I cooked it.
Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil. Heat frying pan to medium-high. Cook for 4–5 minutes on each side for a medium-rare finish. Rest for 10 minutes under foil before serving.
Ostrich is a very lean meat that looks more like a beef steak than poultry and less calories than either chicken or turkey. It has a subtle flavor with no gamey taste. Ostrich is best served cooked rare to medium-rare. It cooks quickly so don’t take your eyes off the steak while it’s frying. Ostrich steak needs about 2½ minutes a side to cook up to a nice medium-rare.
I love French macarons - they are one of my favorite desserts. But a savory macaron? What?!
Found salmon macarons at (you guessed it) Lidl (they always have such interesting food items)!
I've been having them as a side for breakfast with eggs or lunch with a seafood soup. Very yummy and apparently you make them the same way as the sweet ones but with the salmon mousse they don't taste as sweet.
I've always wanted to make goose for Christmas dinner but they are so big (in the U.S.), but here I found a Goose breast at Lidl back in November. I got it then and put it in the freezer and it's a good thing, because it didn't come back after they sold out.
On the menu for dinner
Goose breast (only ate half - for the leftovers I made goose tacos)
Hasselback sweet potato (only ate half)
Pão de queijo
Persimmon Mouse with Keto granola
I really liked it! I'll definitely look for this again!
Well that's it for the new foods I tried in 2022! I can't wait to see what culinary adventures await in 2023!
Chief taste-tester and food finder