Not-So-Traditional Pão de Queijo

May Daring Bakers' Challenge: Not-So-Traditional Pão de Queijo

April was the first month I participated in the Daring Bakers’ Challenge, which challenged us to explore Easter Breads from around the world. This month’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge took us on a trip to beautiful Brazil! Renata of “Testado, Provado & Aprovado!” taught us how to make Pão De Queijo, tasty cheese buns that make the perfect snack or treat, and that will make your taste buds samba!

I was surprised at how easy Pão de Queijo is to make, and it only requires two main ingredients: Tapioca Starch and Queijo Minas Curado.

Tapioca Starch is a white, powdery starch that looks similar to cornstarch. Also known as cassava starch or manioc starch, traditional Pão de Queijo recipes called for a mixture of sour and regular tapioca starch, but I used Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Starch and it worked perfectly!

Queijo Minas Curado for Pão de Queijo (more…)

Folar de Pascoa with Star Anise and Cardamom Spiced Milk

Folar de Pascoa with Star Anise and Cardamom Spiced Milk
I first heard about the Daring Bakers’ Challenge when this absolutely gorgeous post by Lorraine Elliott of Not Quite Nigella popped up on my Feedly. It seemed like a neat concept – a different host each month decides on a recipe or theme, and everyone creates their own delicious variation and posts them on the same day. I love a challenge, so I signed up and was accepted late last month, right in time to complete the April challenge!

The April Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Wolf of Wolf’s Den. She challenged us to Spring into our kitchens and make Easter breads reflecting cultures around the world. I searched through the stacks of family cookbooks for an Easter bread recipe, hoping to find an old traditional Appalachian recipe passed down for generations on my mother’s side of the family and finally written down and preserved by my great grandmother, Bomba, with no luck. I asked a few family members and local cooks from this area, and finally my Dad told me about eating a sugary Portuguese pastry called malasada while growing up in Hawaii, where there was a strong Portuguese influence on the cuisine. A quick Google search later I discovered Folar de Pascoa.

I read that there are tons of variations on the additions to the recipe, ranging from prosciutto and cheese on the savory side like these recipes from Tia Maria to sweeter versions with cinnamon, caramelized sugar, and allspice. Fennel seed is a very traditional addition, and pairs well with the Star Anise and Cardamom Spiced Milk and allspice in this recipe.

Fennel seed, cardamom, allspice and star anise (more…)

“IZM2013: Zine Crush” by Magical Mugz Studios on Flickr
Two years ago I traveled to the eclectic little town of Asheville, North Carolina with my mother and my best friend to attend an open house at my dream school, located right outside the city. After the open house, we walked the streets of Downtown Asheville in order to get a feel for what might be my new home, and stumbled upon a little used book shop called Downtown Books and News. We followed the maze of tall bookcases filled with used books that carried that old book smell until I found a little display of zines, both familiar and ones that I had never heard of before. A somewhat thick zine neatly sewn together with bright orange thread caught my attention, and in that moment my relationship with zines was renewed due to my newly developed zine crush on Morgan Inez Smith and her zine Letters I Will Never Send To You.


A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon the world of Alt Summit and was able to take a few online classes for free through the Alt Channel thanks to Bing. Through those classes, I found out about a ton of amazing blogs, and thanks to them, more amazing resources. One of the resources I came across was Bloglovin’ through Aileen Barker’s blog (which is absolutely gorgeous – go check it out now!), and now you can find Magical Mugz on Bloglovin’ as well!

If you’ve never heard of Bloglovin’ and follow multiple blogs, I highly recommend signing up for a free account! It’s a great place to keep all your blog subscriptions in order, and it also has a lovely interface that is easy to use. My favorite part is that, unlike Google Reader, you visit the actual blog instead of just seeing the post.

Click the link below to start following me on Bloglovin’!

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The Sketchbook Project 2013 - Project Received!

Back in October I discovered The Sketchbook Project and instantly fell in love with the idea of a traveling art library with submissions from all around the world. I signed up, and soon received an adorable little sketchbook with its very own barcode!

I planned on using Prismacolor pens for all of my illustrations, so I knew that the thin paper included with the sketchbook would not do too well. After pulling out the staples and cutting down some Strathmore 400 Medium Drawing paper, I rebound the book using teal embroidery thread.

The Sketchbook Project 2013 - Rebinding