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July 12

Saint of the day:

Saint Giovanni Gualberto

Patron Saint of Forests, Forest workers, Foresters, Park rangers,

Parks, Badia di Passignano Vallumbrosan, Order Italian Forest Corps, Brazilian forests


Saint Giovanni Gualberto's Story

Saint John Gaulbert, Abbot - Feast day is July 12th The city of Florence gave to the world Saint John Gaulbert. Although he enjoyed the benefits of an early Christian education, his youthful heart was soon attracted to the vanities of the world. A painful incident was the means God made use of, to open his eyes. Hugo, his only brother, had been murdered and St. John had resolved to avenge his death. On a certain Good Friday he met his enemy in a place where there was no escape for the latter. St. John drew his sword and would have killed his adversary on the spot, but the latter threw himself on his knees begging him by the passion of Jesus Christ to spare his life. St. John was touched at the words, embraced his enemy, entered a church and prayed with many tears for the pardon of his sins. He now entered the Order of St. Benedict, in which he made such great progress in virtue that after the death of the Abbot, the monks wished to impose this dignity upon him, but the Saint absolutely refused to accept it. Sometime later, he left the monastery with one companion in quest of greater solitude.




our father prayer_edited.jpg




Baptistery of San Giovanni in Fonte, Naples







Mousse de Maracujá

It is said that if Brazil had to declare a national dessert, it would most likely be mousse de maracujá, or passion fruit mousse. It is a staple of numerous Brazilian bakeries, restaurants, and dinner parties. It is recommended to serve the mousse in parfait glasses and top it with whipped cream as the best way to enjoy its decadent, tropical flavors.


  • 2 envelopes unsweetened gelatin 1.8 grs or 0.25 oz per envelope

  • ¼ cup water

  • 1 ½ cups passion fruit concentrate or frozen pulp unsweetened

  • 1 tbs lime juice

  • 1 2/3 cups heavy whipping cream or 14 oz can of condensed milk

  • 6 egg whites

  • ½ tsp tartar cream

  • 2 cups sugar use only 1 cup of sugar if using condensed milk instead of cream

  • 2-3 passion fruits pulp and seeds - optional


  • Fresh passion fruit pulp from ~ 6 passion fruits

  • Whipped cream

  • Passion fruit sorbet


  1. Combine the passion fruit juice, sugar (use only 1 cup of sugar if using condensed milk instead of cream or 1 ½ cup if using half condensed milk and half cream), and lime juice in a sauce pan and heat until the sugar dissolves, remove and let it cool down completely.

  2. Sprinkle the unsweetened gelatin over ¼ cup water in glass heatproof bowl, let soften for about 5 minutes.

  3. Place the heatproof bowl over a simmering pot of water and stir until it dissolves, then stir in the passion fruit juice.

  4. Place the passion fruit and gelatin mixture in a bowl of cold water and let it cool down for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  5. Use an electric mixer to whip the cream until peaks form, and then use a spoon to mix in the passion fruit juice mixture – (if using condensed milk just mix it with the passion fruit juice or if using half condensed milk and half cream then whip the cream and then stir in the passion fruit juice and condensed milk).

  6. Combine the egg whites and tartar cream in a large whipping bowl and mix until stiff peaks form.

  7. Whisk 1/3 of the egg whites with the passion fruit and whipped cream mix.

  8. Next use a spatula to gently fold in the remaining stiff egg whites.

  9. Gently mix in the fresh passion fruit pulp and seeds if using.

  10. Place the mousse in a large dessert mold or small individual ones, cover and refrigerate for 6-8 hours, overnight is ideal.

  11. To remove the mousse from the small molds place them in a bowl with room temperature water before serving to loosen them, then slide a knife along the edges of the mold to help release the individual mousses.

  12. Serve with a spoon of fresh passion fruit pulp on top, other optional garnishes include whipped cream and/or passion fruit sorbet.





Bobó de Camarão
The dish is traditionally accompanied by rice on the side, and is a staple of
most traditional Brazilian eateries and Bahian self-service restaurants.

For the Bobo 

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1/2 red bell pepper, skin removed with a vegetable peeler

  • 4 ripe red tomatoes, chopped

  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce or tomato puree

  • 2 cups manioc puree (see recipe below)

  • 1 cup of requeijão (cream cheese can be substituted)

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 1/2 peperoncino pepper, sliced thinly

  • 1 tablespoon azeite de dendê (dendê oil)

  • 1 cup shrimp stock (see recipe below, or use purchased seafood stock)

  • 2 pounds shrimp, size large, peeled & deveined, tails removed

  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley

  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro

  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced chives

For the Shrimp Stock 

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1/2 pound shrimp shells

  • 1 large carrot, peeled & cut into chunks

  • 2 celery stalks, cut into chunks

  • 1 leek, cleaned & cut into chunks

  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed

  • 1 onion, peeled & quartered

  • 4 cloves

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 12 cups water

For the Manioc Puree

  • 4 cups shrimp stock

  • 1 pound manioc root (also called cassava or yucca)

  • salt

  • pepper


For the Shrimp Stock: 

  1. Place all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off heat and let mixture cool. Strain and discard solids. Refrigerate stock until needed.

For the Manioc Puree: 

  1. Place stock and manioc in a pot and bring to a boil. Cook about 40 minutes, until manioc is very soft. Break the manioc pieces apart and remove the tough sinew that runs through the center. Puree the manioc and stock until very smooth.


For the Bobo: 

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the garlic until fragrant. Add the onion and cook until transparent, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes.

  2. Add the tomatoes and the red bell pepper and cook 8 minutes more.

  3. Add the tomato sauce, the manioc puree, the requeijão, the coconut milk, salt, pepper, peperoncino, dendê oil and the rest of the shrimp stock as needed for a stew-like consistency.

  4. Taste and adjust seasoning.

  5. Cook the shrimp: Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add some olive oil. Add shrimp and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Add the shrimp to the stew, then stir in the chopped herbs, reserving some for garnish.

  6. Serve with rice and enjoy!



Galinhada (Brazilian Chicken and Saffron Rice)

Galinhada is one-pot Chicken and Saffron Rice perfect for busy days because you can prepare a complete dinner in 30 minutes.

It’s one of those traditional Brazilian foods that you can’t miss out: it’s mess-free, quick and easy, and quite comforting!


  • 2 lbs chicken, thighs about 4-5 thighs 

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/2 tsp black ground pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 cup hot water

  • 5 saffron threads

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 small white onion small diced

  • 1 large green bell pepper small diced

  • 4 cloves garlic minced

  • 2 cups parboiled white rice long-grain

  • 1/2 cup white wine

  • 3 cups chicken broth

  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 3 large diced tomatoes skin and seeds removed
    (or about 1 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained)

  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas

  • 1/2 lemon

  • 2 tbsp green onions chopped


  1. Take the chicken thighs out of the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking to ensure even cooking. Season them with a mixture of salt, pepper, and cumin, rubbing well on both sides. Let rest at room temperature for those 30 minutes. Then, add saffron threads to the hot water and let it steep for 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, dice and chop the vegetables. Reserve. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoon of oil and sear the chicken thighs, skin side down (or top of the thighs side down), for 3-4 minutes without moving or until skin is golden. Flip chicken to the other side and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

  3. Transfer thighs to a plate and reserve. Remove excess oil/grease (leave about 1 tbsp). Meanwhile, add and cook the onion and bell pepper over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes, or until onion is soft. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Then add the rice and sauté for about 1-2 minutes, stirring every now and then.

  4. Add the wine and let almost evaporate about 2 minutes. Stir in the steeped saffron, the broth, the tomato paste, and the bay leaf. Transfer the chicken back to the pan, nestling them on top of the rice. Let come to a boil!

  5. Then cover the pan with a lid and let cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked and rice is al dente. The rice will absorb the liquids. About 3 minutes before the end of this cooking time, add the diced tomatoes and the peas, cover, and let it cook. Right before serving, squeeze lemon over the thighs and add the chopped herb.

  6. OPTIONAL: Before adding the lemon juice and herbs, you may brush the top of the chicken thighs with a hint of honey and broil for a couple of minutes if desired.

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