Warm Christmas wishes for all of you and delicious recipes from Antonia

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

This is already my 22nd post, the last one of 2020…. and what an unreal year it has been! Who would have ever imagined that a virus could disrupt the whole world in such a radical way?
For many, it has been a financially and socially challenging year and I hope with all my heart that 2021 will be a better year for everybody.
Like everyone else, 2020 hasn’t been great in many ways for me but I would not be honest if I didn’t admit that this whole corona crisis has brought me a lot of good things too. It is this year that I started this adventure “Living La Doce Vita”, in which I began to study Italian, did a photography course and also a food styling course!
Last but not least I was very fortunate to follow my dream and go to Italy in October to study Italian. I enjoyed every minute of that trip! So, a difficult year but one that has allowed me to follow my dreams too!
Thank you so much for following my blog and for the many kind and positive messages I have received. Your messages have been of great value to me because they often took away my uncertainties and gave me the confidence to continue writing.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my dear friend, Alyson Jones, who saved me from clumsy translation mistakes without changing my writing style. Thank you very much you are a star !
And, of course, a big thank you for Antonia from restaurant “A Vela for all the pleasure she has given us with her delicious recipes.

Wishing you all a happy Christmas and a corona free, healthy 2021!!

Now for the last recipe of 2020….

Recipe for “Filhozes” from Alentejo

In Portugal, these” Filhozes” are very popular at Christmas and Carnival.
It is difficult to say how many filhozes you can make with these ingredients because after kneading the dough has to be finely stretched. This can result in different quantities. Use a rolling pin or, if you have one, you can use a machine to make pasta. In this case you would use the roller that you normally use to make the lasagna sheets, it will save you a lot of work !!

-1/2 teaspoon salt
-3 Eggs
-3 Spoons of refined sugar
-2oz of Water mixed with one teaspoon of fennel powder, two cinnamon sticks, lemon peel and orange peel, boil the mixture    until well combined, strain, then allow it to cool down.
-Mix 1 tablespoon of butter, one tablespoon of lard and two tablespoons of virgin olive oil. Melt everything together and       allow this cool down too.
-1 oz orange juice
-2 ml of brandy
-750 gr of wheat flour


Mix all the ingredients little by little and knead with your hands, this takes approximately 1 hour until the dough is very dry. Alternatively, you can use a bread machine or mixer for the kneading. As soon as the dough is no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl it is ready. Make a roll of this dough and brush with olive oil.
You will need enough working space to stretch out the dough in a very thin layer. Spread flour on the table so the dough does not stick and start rolling it out (or use your pasta machine) to thin sheets. Cut the dough with a knife into rectangular pieces approximately 12cm by 8 cm with a cut in the middle

Fill a large frying pan with frying oil and heat it. When the oil is hot, you fry the filhozes one by one (be careful, the oil must not be too hot). When the filhozes are golden brown, remove them from the oil, draining off the excess oil. Place the filhozes on a plate with paper napkins to help dry them. Once they are cool dip them in the sugar and cinnamon mixture and, voila, your sweet and crispy filhozes are ready.

Apple and nut pies:

Ingredients :

  • The same pastry from the Filhozes above
    3 Apples cut into small cubes.
    Juice of half a lemon
    Juice from one big orange
    Half tablespoon with cinnamon
    Three tablespoons sugar
    10 Walnuts cut in small pieces

Preparation :

Place the apple, walnuts, lemon juice and orange juice in a pan and add the cinnamon and sugar. Put a lid on the pan and let it simmer for a while. The time depends on the quality of the apples, so you have to check once in a while.
When the apples are soft, check if it needs more sugar and let it rest to cool down.

Use the same thin layer dough from the Filhozes recipe above. Cut in little a half-moon shapes and put a small amount of the apple and walnut filling on the dough and close the sides with a fork, press the outsides firmly together, so they do not open. Fry them in the frying oil (not too hot), until golden/brown. When ready, place them on a plate with paper to drain the oil. Then pass them through the mixture of sugar and cinnamon and let them cool. Enjoy ! and have a very good Christmas !

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)



  • Carol 22/12/2020 at 4:52 pm Reply

    And how lovely to follow your travels, both culinary adventures and geographical ones. Looking towards a better 2021 xx

    • johanna 29/12/2020 at 12:38 pm Reply

      Thank you Carol! Hopefully more travel news in the New Year.
      I wish you a healthy and corona free 2021!

  • J.P. Visser 03/01/2021 at 12:55 pm Reply

    wens ook jou een gezond en corona vrij 2021. Succes met schrijven en koken.

    Groet Jeroen

    • johanna 05/01/2021 at 9:51 am Reply

      Hartelijk dank ! Dat het maar een heel gezond, creatief en corona vrij jaar mag worden !

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