Friday, December 05, 2014

Blogmas 2014 - Day 5 Favorite Christmas Food

NOW we're talking. If you know me, you know my love affair with food and cooking.

Being Portuguese, a lot of our family get togethers center around the food and what is being served.  We like eating, we like food and we go out of our way to make it special.

Growing up in Portugal, Christmas wasn't really Christmas until we went down to Lisbon, walked around looking at the lights and the store windows, and stopped at one of the street vendors to grab a cone of newspaper filled with freshly roasted Chestnuts.  Oh my word, it's like I can still smell them and imagine their taste.  They were always roasted to perfection.

Oven Roasted Chestnuts

I can't roast them like they do, but every year, I buy some chestnuts at the grocery store and roast them in the oven. It is not, nor will it ever be, the same, but it does the job. If you want to try for yourself, you can try my recipe over on my food blog.

Oven Roasted Chestnuts

Now, remember I told you that we do the big celebration on Christmas Eve?  We don't do a specific dinner, though many times it would be Bacalhau Cozido com Grao  (Boiled Cod with Chickpeas), or Bacalhau a Gomes de Sa (Cod Fish with Potatoes and Eggs).  Love them both and haven't had any in many many years because trying to find Salted Cod here in Idaho is quite the pain in the bum.

As soon as dinner would be finished, the dishes would be removed, the table cleaned and cleared, a fresh tablecloth put on and then the snacky food would start being piled on, and oh my goodness that is one thing I really looked forward to.

The plan was, sitting around the table, talking, laughing, playing games and snacking all night long until midnight.  Then opening the presents, then back to the table to snack a little more, then everyone to sleep.  Another tablecloth would be draped over the whole table, covering the food, and the next morning we would just wake up, wander in there and snack off the table again.  Wonderful memories!

So let me show you my favorites for Christmas food, and these are usually what you will find on my table to this day.

Croquetes de Carne

 Rissois de queijo e fiambre

Pasteis de Massa Tenra

Bolo Rei - King's Cake


There are many many more, but for me, this is usually what I love the most.  These are the ones I always make sure to have on the table because it wouldn't be Christmas without them.


  1. YUMMY - your favorite foods are making me super hungry this morning.

    We go to the a light display at the coast (which we are doing tomorrow) and always stop at the gift shop for hot peppermint cocoa to drink while we tour the light displays. I'll have to suggest they do the roasted chestnuts in the future.

  2. I want to celebrate the holidays at your house...yumm!

  3. Everything looks so scrumptious! Sounds like a beautiful celebration. I enjoyed all of your pictures and now, I am sooo hungry!

  4. I've never had roasted chestnuts but have always heard about them. Your foods sound so great.

  5. So many delicious things!! You have amazing food, I love that you keep and celebrate your heritage. You used to be able to buy roasted chestnuts on the street in London years ago, I don't know if you still can or not, but I do remember the wonderful taste and the aroma of them, nothing quite like it is there! xx

  6. Everything looks so yummy Sandra!
    I've never had a roasted chestnut and always wondered what they taste like? Do they have a really nutty taste? Would love for you to sometime describe what they taste like if you could? Lol

    The thing that I just want to reach through the pc screen and get is that rice pudding!! It looks SO delicious and I LOVE rice pudding.

    Yay for yummy!!

  7. looks delich
    loved rice pudding..

  8. The Kings cake was the only photo I could see.... but my computer has been very slow lately... waht a marvelous tradition.. YOur other food sounds very special as well!!!

  9. I'm so jealous of your beautiful traditions. We never really had anything like that. I think I'm going to try and put something like that in place now, so my kids will always have memories like yours. I remember roasting chestnuts last year off of your advice and they were wonderful. I'd never had chestnuts before then. Your food pictures, as always, look mouth wateringly amazing!

  10. This has been so much fun reading about the different traditions and such different types of food!! Never thought about actually roasting chestnuts, we only just sing about it, LOL. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Oh my....I LOVE Portuguese food! Those shrimp rissoles are DELICIOUS! And the cake? Never eaten it but it looks AMAZING! And the rice pudding? YUM! I am so going to make shrimp rissoles this week.....and do you have the recipe for the cake?? And - wow- definitely going to be making the rice pudding from that recipe...can you tell I LOVE to cook/eat??!!!

  12. Yum, yum and yum. Growing there was always a huge dinner on Christmas eve. My mom cooked for days. Fried chicken drumsticks, Hungarian sausage, homemade chicken noodle soup, red cabbage was just the beginning.


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