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Inspired by Portugal, made in California. Online shop offering premium quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, herbal teas, artisanal honey, hand-blended salts and botanical skin care. Occasionally, specially curated handcrafted and vintage items from Portugal are also available.

Filtering by Tag: Portugal

A Great Read, Cultural Heritage and a Winning Recipe

Nuvea Santos Cobb

Happy November, everyone!  Today I want to share with you some inspiring work created by a couple of very talented people on matters near and dear to my heart: namely, olive oil and Portugal. Plus, I've included one of my recipes for a delicious (and easy) seasonal meal.

If you're into olive oil at all, you've probably come across the New York Times' bestselling book on the olive oil trade by Tom Mueller. It's a fascinating read, well-written and researched, documenting the cultural history of olive oil (did you know archaeologists have found evidence of olive oil dating back to 5,800 BC?)  and the ongoing battle for authenticity between the mass globalization of olive oil production and the small, independent artisan producers.  While some critics have accused the author of exaggerating the claims of fraudulent EVOO labeling,  I think it's still a great  resource for learning about the significance of olive oil around the world.  Plus, he gives you lots of insight on how to choose your own olive oils to ensure quality. Entertaining and informative. Be sure to pick up a copy of Extra Virginity: the sublime and scandalous world of olive oil at your favorite independent bookshop.


Want more natural history and cultural heritage? Check out this

inspiring video

about one of Portugal's vanishing traditions.

Ricardo Guerreiro

is a Portuguese filmmaker and photographer who has produced documentaries for National Geographic Portugal and written books on natural history.

While most of Ricardo's videos are in Portuguese  




, and


are in English.  

To see more of his beautiful images, be sure to check out his


 and follow him on



autumn recipe

Recently, I submitted a photo and recipe to Pelican Hill Resort for their annual

Festa dell'Autunno

 contest and won! Here's the very easy and quick recipe:

Autumn Vegetables with Proscuitto Roasted Sea Bass

2 medium, diced potatoes (2 cups)

3 diced parsnips (2 cups)

1 butternut squash (2 cups)

6 diced carrots (2 cups)

olive oil

salt and pepper

4 cloves of garlic, minced

6 fillets of sea bass (about 7 - 8 ounces)

6 slices of Italian prosciutto or Portuguese presunto

(this was for an Italian event, so I chose prosciutto in this particular instance but would normally choose the Portuguese version)

small bunch of fresh picked rosemary

1 stick of butter

3 tablespoons of lemon juice

Place all the vegetables in a roasting pan or sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Toss with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes in a 400 degree preheated oven, being sure to turn over the vegetables at least once. Add the garlic and continue roasting for another 10 minutes to make sure vegetables are cooked. Brush the fillets with olive oil and place on a baking rack over a foil-lined sheet pan. Season with salt and pepper. Wrap each fillet with a slice of prosciutto all the way around the middle. Roast for 10 - 15 minutes until the the center of the fish is flaky. Melt the butter over low heat and add the rosemary. After 5 minutes, remove the rosemary and add the lemon juice. Serve the the fish surrounded with vegetables on a platter and pour the rosemary butter over the fish.


*If your grocer doesn't stock bass, you can substitute halibut, cod, or orange roughy.

Photos: NuveaPhotography

Casa da Nuvea: part viii the neighborhood

Nuvea Santos Cobb

These are some scenes of what will be my neighborhood for the next few weeks. As you can see, Telhados Grandes is a very teeny, tiny village of a couple dozen houses at my last count, conveniently located in the middle of nowhere with absolutely nothing to do. When's the last time a travel destination offered so much freedom from restless and frenzied activity? Highlights or points of interest include a traditional cistern to catch rainfall for the farm animals to drink, as well as an olive oil press. And there is no real street to my little house, just a cow track.

But that's ok with me.













Progress! New windows & doors, and more...

Nuvea Santos Cobb

Ta Da! And we have progress! A beautiful new door and two windows have been replaced (the old ones were just too rotted away) and I think they look very charming. Electricity is being installed and there is running water! A bathroom has been installed, with a stone/tile floor to avoid any further water damage, and a repurposed wood beam created to house the sink, attached to the wall with a large stone from the garden. The shower has been tiled with local stone and other windows have been replaced with salvaged but more intact ones from a nearby restaurant. I can't wait to share the rest of the photos with you, especially those of you who've patiently followed along since the beginning of this painstakingly long process. xo



Stone Walls

Nuvea Santos Cobb

In a couple of days I’ll be honing my masonry skills. I’ve been frequently teased about my bizarre (to some) affection for rocks. I like to collect them and place them all over the garden, and extra special ones go on window sills and bookshelves. But when my aunt recently published a book about her childhood and growing up in a tiny village of Portugal, there were many stories of the rocky landscape, and of children playing with rocks in lieu of real dolls or toys; for in those days, Portugal was a very poor country. So, maybe my strange affinity for rocks comes from this slightly barren landscape that my eyes have rested on ever since I can remember, and maybe it’s been passed on down through the generations of my family building their homes by hand, one rock at a time. In any case, it will be good to touch these stone walls and imagine the lives of the men and families that built them. And know that in some small way, I am honoring that tradition.







Casa da Nuvea part: v the barn

Nuvea Santos Cobb


Ah, I don't even know where to begin here...


It has so much potential...I get so inspired....and then...


I see this. And it just takes all the wind out of my sails...haha! I mean where does one even start?


With the rotted wood doors? The mold on the walls? The goat poop on the floor? The fact that there really isn't even a floor, just dirt.


It's all just a little overwhelming.




But then I see those beautiful stone walls. It could be so...charming.

One day.


And upstairs, another sleeping loft.




Because right now, it's just a dark, scary abyss.