The beauty of recipes is the variations that can be done with them. This is why I love sharing the way my family makes some traditional Portuguese dishes as every family does it a little different but all still so great.
One of my favorite soups growing up is Canja da Galinha which is Chicken Soup. It is perfect for a cold winter’s day and it is just so very yummy! My mom just made this recently and it made me remember some great childhood memories. So I asked her to share her recipe and she was delighted to share it with all of you.
As I was writing my mom’s instructions I realized how simple this soup was to make and will be giving it a try myself very soon.
Canja Da Galinha (Portuguese Chicken Soup) Recipe
Boneless and Skinless Chicken Breast
1 Chicken Bouillon Cube
Onion (Chopped into quarters)
Long Grain Rice (usually 1 – 2 cups, depending on how much you want to make)
Fill a pot with water and add the boneless and skinless chicken breasts.
Once the chicken is cooked. Remove from the water and with a knife cut up the chicken breasts into shredded pieces.
In a new pot, fill it with at least 3 cups of water.
Add some salt, onion (in quarters), 1 chicken bouillon cube, olive oil and the long grain rice.
Stir the ingredients in the pot under medium heat.
Once the rice is expanded and tender, add the cooked chicken breast.
Stir one last time and close the heat.
Optional: There are other ingredients that you can add into the soup and to each their own. 😉 We have added some chicken giblets and gizzards into the soup as well and it has been delish!
And there you have it, Portuguese Chicken Soup! Such a quick and simple way to a nice soup for those cold crisp days. Give it a try and let me know what you think of it!
Growing up in a Portuguese household it was a special treat when my mom would make us malasadas to eat. For those who may not know, a malasada is a Portuguese confection, made of egg-sized balls of yeast dough that are deep-fried in oil and coated with granulated sugar. It really is delicious and it is well known to be a delight that was created from the Azores and Madeira.
Therefore, when I heard about a place called Malasada World, I was extremely excited! How could I have not known that there was a place that specialized in malasadas and where exactly was this place???
Malasada World is located at 33 Ainslie St N in Cambridge (formerly known as Galt City). They are located in a perfect spot, downtown.
So this meant that Momma Braga had to take a road trip! I couldn’t try this place on my own so I had to bring my entourage (my family) with me.
We planned a Saturday outing to Cambridge which is about a 45 minute drive from where we live. We found a parking lot just a few minutes North from where Malasada World is located and it is free for the first two hours (not bad considering that when you park in downtown Toronto, it is never free). Even though we had a gloomy and rainy day, we were still all excited to try a malasada.
We arrived and were greeted by the friendly staff and we got to meet Steve, the face that runs Malasada World!
My impression of Steve surpassed my expectations as he is a nice and humble person to meet. He has a great sense of humor and if you are at his shop and you don’t want your family to know, he will keep your secret! 😉 He is also the one at the back working really hard to delight your taste buds. You can say that he made a great first impression on all of us.
Now it was time for the true test…the taste test. Was the malasada going to pass the Momma Braga taste test? Will Malasada World make it on the #MelandNikkiReview?
Yes! Yes it did!
Since I have been known for my candid honesty on my blog, I have to say that the traditional malasada that I tried was much better than any other malasada that I have ever had before (sorry mom!). It was fluffy, light and had just the right amount of sugar. It was perfection! I don’t say that often but I can in this case. Everyone in my group loved it as much as I did and my group is one of the hardest critics to please, so bravo Malasada World!
So how did Malasada World begin and who exactly is Steve? I got the inside scoop to share with all of you!
Tell me a little about yourself.
“I am a first generation Portuguese Canadian, born in Cambridge Ontario. I am a 43 year old father of two wonderful young women. My family is from Santa Maria in the Azores, Portugal. I am a classic trained Chef with just over 20 years of experience in different segments of the food and hospitality business. Food and hospitality industry runs in the family.”
What inspired you to call your shop, Malasada World?
“I was thinking of a name that would really help make the brand/concept stand out and speak for itself. I narrowed it down to three names. Luso Donuts and Tia Maria’s Malasadas were the others. I even did a little survey on Facebook to see what my friends would pick. In the end, we picked Malasada World! It was the one that made the most sense after much thought.”
When did you start your business?
“I started the vision for this business concept many years ago! About 11 years ago, I told one of my colleagues it would be nice to just make donuts for the rest of my career. That was Chef Andrew Dymond at the Prince of Wales Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The first time I made them for sale was about five years ago in Prince Edward County at a friend’s farm called, Vicki’s Veggies. Our shop in Cambridge has just recently celebrated its one year anniversary! We opened on Portugal Day in 2016.”
Tell me a little bit about what you serve.
“At the shop we offer everything the MALASADA has to offer! Different varieties including the Traditional Style I grew up with. We also make the Hawaiian style that are enjoyed today in bakeries all over Hawaii. We have developed our very own version of the Malasada with different toppings and refer to these as our “Signature Style.” Our most popular is called the DoughNATA. It is a hybrid of the famous Portuguese custard tart called a “Pastel de Nata” and our Malasada. It’s kind of both put together (minus the puff pastry)!
I have also taken the Malasada dough and developed a line of Baked Malasada Buns and Loaves. This Malasada bread is showcased and used in our daily sandwich menu. We are MALASADA WORLD!”
What do you hope your business accomplishes?
“I want Malasada World to be recognized for being the BEST Portuguese inspired fast casual specialty donut shop! I also hope to achieve international success with a location in Sao Miguel in the future.”
Where would you like to see your business in five years?
“I hope to grow the business and have additional locations in and around Southern Ontario. I am currently looking for the right investors to team up with.”
Anything new on the horizon for Malasada World that we can officially announce on Momma Braga?
“We are currently working on the business plan for a mobile unit for Malasada World. Either a food truck or trailer. We would then be able to serve our customers at private parties and corporate events!”
How important was it for you to bring a piece of your culture to share with the world?
“It was very important for me to somehow include my cultural background and family food experiences into my business model. I think that Portuguese cuisine in general is under represented and is not as familiar as other cuisine’s of the world to the general public. Portuguese cuisine is wonderful and I would like to showcase it more.”
Thank you so much Steve for the inside scoop and for allowing Momma Braga the opportunity to feature you!
For this #MelandNikkiReview we give Malasada World, a 5+ DoghNATAs out of 5! This is the first review over 5 and it is much deserved. Malasada World has made it on the #MommaBragaApproved and #Recommended lists. If you are looking for a taste of culture done at its finest then Malasada World is for you! Make sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and please note their posts may cause you to drool.
A Momma Braga tip is to order your malasadas in advance especially if you are travelling from afar as they do sell out fast! To avoid disappointment, feel free to call them at 519.267.7177 or email them at email@example.com. Walk-ins are always welcomed but you will need to arrive early to taste some malasada goodness!
Once again thank you Malasada World and Cambridge for having us and I will be back!
Until next time…Happy Parenting!
*Please note that this is not a paid or sponsored post. Momma Braga did not receive any form of compensation in exchange for this review and all opinions in this post are my own honest opinions.
Beef stew (Carne Guisada) is a favorite in my household and one that I grew up with. Like with many recipes there are so many different ways of making it! Here is how my family makes this popular dish.
Over a pound of chopped beef stew meat
Half of a tomato
Half a cup of red wine
Half a cup of water
5 to 7 potatoes
Marinate your beef stew meat. I usually do this the night before to have the meat soak in the juices for more flavor.
Wash meat well.
Place meat in a bowl and add the following ingredients; salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, half a cup of wine and half a cup of water. Measurements for the ingredients are based on what you normally use in your meat marinating. Then mix well.
Leave the meat covered and in the fridge for the next day cooking.
The following day start by washing the onions, tomato and potatoes. Chop up the onions, tomato and potatoes. Everyone has a preferred style for potatoes in their stew, we like it diced. Set the potatoes aside as you will need them later.
Once the onions and tomato are cut, place them in a pot with some olive oil with a pinch of paprika. On low heat cook the onion and tomato until the onions are a golden color. Then add your meat with it’s sauce that you marinated with the day before.
Let it cook on medium and stir.
Once the meat is almost cooked, add your potatoes and a pinch of salt. This will add flavor to the potatoes you just added. If you feel that you need to add some more water then add another cup of water. Sometimes the meat soaks up a lot of the liquid as you are cooking.
Now cook until the potatoes are cooked and you are done. If a fork goes through the potatoes then that is my sign that they are done.
You can serve your beef stew in a bowl and if you like Portuguese buns, then provide some at the dinner table as they are great for dipping into the stew (my favorite part of the whole meal!).
And there you have it, Momma Braga’s beef stew! Give it a try and let me know what you think of it!
Bifanas is a popular dish in the Portuguese community and I learned how to make it recently with my mom. To my surprise it was really simple and didn’t take too long to make. Normally this dish is done using pork but we use beef instead.
I know that simple and easy to do dishes is always ideal for families and hopefully you will all enjoy this as much as we do.
Beef (Thin cut is best)
Red Pepper (or Green or Yellow)
Tablespoon of butter
Half cup of wine
Half cup of water
Marinate your beef prior to cooking. I usually do this the night before to have the beef soak in the juices for more flavor.
Wash beefs well.
Place beefs in a bowl and add the following ingredients; salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, half cup of wine and half cup of water. Measurements for the ingredients are based on what you normally use in your meat marinating.
Leave the beef covered and in the fridge for the next day cooking.
The following day you can start cutting up your onions and bell peppers to be cooked which will be used in the sandwiches.
In a pot add the onions, bell peppers and the beef (without the sauce that it was in). Also add a tablespoon of butter.
Let it cook and stir as its cooking.
Once it is cooked, add your favourite tomato sauce and let simmer for 5 minutes.
After the 5 minutes, it is ready to be served.
Take buns and place the beef, onions and bell peppers in them.
And there you have it, bifanas in the simplest way! Give it a try and let me know what you think of it!
A couple of weeks ago, I shared my very first recipe blog post and it was a hit! Thank you to everyone who enjoyed it and shared the recipe. Since it was such a hit, I decided to share another recipe and this time it is one from my mom.
Last weekend I went to visit my parents and my mom made me one of my favorite Portuguese dishes that I grew up with. It is called Ervilhas Guisadas which is Portuguese Braised Peas with Eggs and Chourico. This dish is well known in the Portuguese community and many people prepare it differently but the end result is always the same, delicious! Today I am sharing the recipe of how my mom prepares this classic Portuguese dish.
Medium Chopped Onion
Medium Chopped Tomato
1 Portuguese Chorizo, sliced
1 bag of frozen peas
Potatoes, cut into small pieces
In a pot, drizzle olive oil to cover the base of the pot. Then add the chopped onion, chopped tomato, sliced chorizo, paprika and black pepper (paprika and black pepper measurements are based on what you normally use in a dish). Stir the ingredients in the pot.
Cook on medium heat and once onions are cooked, add about 3 cups of water (or to your liking).
Once the water comes to a boil, add frozen peas and potatoes. You can add your sea salt at this point.
In a separate bowl, crack the three eggs.
When the peas and potatoes are cooked, slowly add the eggs and start stirring.
Once the eggs are cooked, your meal is ready to be served.
Optional: I personally like eating this meal with a side of corn bread. It’s the Portuguese in me that just loves to have some bread to accompany the food.
Enjoy this meal and if you do make it, don’t forget to take some pictures and send them to me. You can tag your photos with #MommaBragaRecipe or you can email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Being a daughter of Portuguese parents I have been exposed to the world of Portuguese cuisine and I am a fan of it. I truly enjoy Portuguese food and even though I am not a food expert there are a few things that I have learned to make such as the rice that is usually accompanied by many Portuguese dishes.
Rice is a favorite in my household and goes well with many of the foods that I make. It is always a favorite when I am hosting guests for dinner and when I shared a photo of the latest rice dish I made, I had a special request to share my recipe. I have never done a recipe before as I usually eye and taste my food as I am cooking it. That is a trait that I got from my mom as she has always eyed her ingredients.
So here is my first recipe blog post and hopefully your results will taste as yummy as mine do. However, do keep in mind to considerate your own normal measurements for ingredients as some people may like more salt for example then what I suggest.
Portuguese Style Rice
3 cups of parboiled rice, wash and drained (feeds up to 6 people)
3 cups of water
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or salt whichever you normally use)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 cube of knorr of chicken
1 teaspoon of butter
Optional: tomatoes, red pepper or shrimp
First wash and drain the rice. Once washed and drained place the rice in a pot.
Add the following ingredients to the rice: finely chopped onion; 3 minced garlic cloves; 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt; 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper; 1 teaspoon of paprika; 1 teaspoon of olive oil, 1 cube of Knorr of chicken; 1 teaspoon of butter. Once all the ingredients are added, then you add the 3 cups of water. *Tip: If you only make two cups of rice then you would only use 2 cups of water. Always match the amount of rice and water.
Optional: Many people also add tomatoes, red pepper or shrimp into their rice and it adds that extra flavour. You can add all of them but I would recommend picking just one of those ingredients into your rice. For the tomatoes and red pepper, just finely chop them up before adding them to the pot.
Once all your ingredients are all in the pot, stir it.
Place on the oven and put the heat on medium.
As the rice is cooking, keep stirring to make sure that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the plate. Tip: Rice sticks fast and when the rice sticks to the bottom it smells and taste horrible. So it would be a waste of food. I have done this in my trial and error of cooking.
Once the water is almost all gone then the rice is done.
Remove the rice from the pot to a serving bowl and wait until it cools down a little before serving or just warn your guests of some hot rice.
If you want to add some kick to your rice you can squeeze lemon over the rice (my personal favourite) or you can add some Portugallo Sauces (you will learn more about this awesome product soon on Momma Braga). You can also add some olives on top for a little extra 😉
There you have it, the very first Momma Braga recipe! It is very simple to make and tastes delicious!
Let me know if you tried it and how it turned out. Share your photos too as I would love to see it! If you enjoyed this type of post and would love to hear more recipes, comment below.
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walter E. Disney
I just love this quote from Mr. Disney and one that can be applied to this special feature, our Grandfather of the Month. In honour of Father’s Day I decided that this month we would feature a Dad of the Month and a Grandfather of the Month.
I am so proud to present Joe from Joe’s Grill as our Grandfather of the Month.
Joe was born and raised in Azores, Portugal. Growing up Joe use to help his father work in the fields and also worked at the fruit and vegetable market. In his spare time he would love to watch his mother cook and that is where he developed his passion for cooking at a very young age. Joe then moved to Canada when he was in his late 20s which was not in his plans. However, when his girlfriend (now loving wife) moved to Canada, he realized he couldn’t live without her and packed up his stuff to start a new life in a new country. Now that is what I call love at its finest!
In Canada, Joe worked in construction but never lost his love for cooking and would cook every chance he got. Family could always be guaranteed an amazing meal when they would visit him. When the time came to retire, Joe thought that it was time to follow his dreams and open up his own restaurant. He knew that some people would call him crazy for wanting to open up a restaurant so late in life but he said, “It’s only too late when you’re gone and here I am one year later with a restaurant and I have never been happier.” He further stated, “It’s not about how much I make but that I am finally doing what I love – cooking!”
So what motivated this dream to become a reality? Joe always wanted to open his own restaurant but it never seemed like the “right time” to do it. When Joe retired he had some time to think what his next step in life would be. He felt he was too young to retire but yet too old to stay in construction. So after speaking to his wife and children, they knew it was now or never. This is what inspired Joe’s Grill to go from a dream to a reality. Joe’s Grill then opened up for business on June 6th, 2015 and Joe says, “I can truly say it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”
Joe’s Grill is located at 2291 Kipling Avenue, Unit 111 in Toronto, Ontario. Joe’s Grill offers traditional Portuguese cuisine at affordable prices. They have a variety of different food items available on their menu and some favourites are the Portuguese BBQ Chicken with their signature piri piri sauce served with potatoes and rice. Another favourite is the fillet fish and beef stew. I don’t know about you but my mouth is already watering! I think the neat part about Joe’s Grill is that the food is always made by Joe himself and he always puts his own twist on everything he makes.
So, why the name Joe’s Grill? Joe said, “The name was inspired by my oldest daughter. I think she wanted customers to know who I was so that is where Joe came in and grill came from me constantly talking about all the things I was going to grill.”
When people visit Joe’s Grill, they can expect a friendly and clean environment with fresh food that is cooked daily. Not to mention that the portion sizes are great too! You can also bring their delicious food to your next meeting or event. To learn more about their catering services, please feel free to give them a call at (647) 343-3595. Catering has become a big part of Joe’s Grill and he offers special menus and can even customize the menus for your special event.
Joe’s Grill has recently celebrated their first year anniversary so where does Joe want to see the business in five years? “I would love to see Joe’s Grill grow and become more of a family business. I would like to get my wife and youngest daughter involved.” As you can tell Joe is a family oriented person who just adores his family very much. You would never know that this loving father of two is also a very proud grandfather to an adorable grandson. So how does this dad and grandfather find the time to balance a new growing business and family? “That’s a good question,” says Joe with a smile. “I sometimes feel that there is not enough hours in the day to do it all but then I take a step back and build downtime into my schedule. I have learned over the years that a little relaxation goes a long way.”
Well said Joe! This is why you are our Grandfather of the Month. Not only do you always put your family above anything else, you had the courage to follow your dreams. You have shown your family and friends around you that anything is possible at any age. You are a great example of what can be accomplished if you just believe in yourself.
“For as long as I could remember my father, Joe, has always wanted to open up his own restaurant. I am so proud of him for finally following his dreams. His food is amazing and I’m so happy that other people can now enjoy it as much as my family and I have. No matter how busy he gets at the restaurant he always finds time to come visit his grandson. I was so grateful to have my dad those first few weeks as a new mom as I never had to worry about food. My dad would come over every few days to stock our fridge with enough food to feed a village. He is an amazing father and has already shown to be an amazing grandfather as there is truly nothing he can’t do,” says Chantelle, Joe’s eldest daughter.
Joe exemplifies inspiration in all that he does and continues to do. Joe is such an amazing person that he has offered an exclusive to Momma Braga fans. When you stop by to order food from Joe’s Grill and mention that you read this article, you will receive a little something extra added to your order. How amazing is that?! Thanks Joe as I know my fans and readers will love this!
Joe’s Grill is open from Monday to Friday from 11 AM to 6 PM; Saturday from 11 AM to 5 PM; and Sundays are reserved for catering orders only.