David deSouza

David deSouza

David deSouza

David deSouza

South India

We started our journey in Madurai, the oldest city in Tamil Nadu also known as the Athens of the East. And then on to a lovely traditional wedding in Trichy, Tiruchirapalli, the city of Rock Fort and Temples and then relax at Kodaikanal before heading down to Ramanathapuram and Rameshwaram, the birth place of Rama and all the way to the Land's End at Dhanushkodi.

Traditional Czech Fried Carp and Potato Salad

I joined my good friend Tomas to cook a very traditional Czech Christmas meal together. It was quite an undertaking and turned out delicious.

US Road trips

We've made a few road trips around the US. There's a lot to see here and a lot of distance to cover. Here are some of our trips on the east coast.

Carnival

Panama's carnival celebration in Panama City are supposed to be the second largest in the world. Enjoyed this big party with fantastic street food, dozens of stages and loud music blaring at every corner.

Canada

Canada has some of the most beautiful sceneries and landscapes. I hope to drive across to the West coast some day but till then here's a glimpse of Toronto and beyond.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Winter is here and it's time to feed our little friends

Winter is here and it's time to feed our little friends and make sure they don't go hungry. Our most frequent visitors are the swamp sparrows, black squirrels and blue jays. We have a few Northern Cardinals as well but they are real tricky to photograph.



Thursday, November 27, 2014

Kincardine, Ontario

Took a road trip to Kincardine amidst the ghastly winds that hit Ontario late November. Some of the roads weren't cleared of snow. Let alone chains, the car wall still on all-season tires which made the drive all the more interesting.

We passed several Mennonite communities along the route. It was quite charming to see the odd horse drawn wagons every now and then amidst the intimidating eighteen wheeler semis.

Kincardine is a beautiful quiet little town. There's a nice pub just overlooking the lighthouse which was the perfect setting for lunch. A good lager, hot soup and fish n' chips with the chilly outdoors made it quite special

Here are some pictures from the trip
Kincardine

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ukrainian Boršč recipe

Boršč is a Ukrainian soup popular in many Eastern and Central European countries. You cannot beat this delicious soup on those cold winter evenings. Boršč is typically served with a slice of fresh bread. The best boršč I recall having was during a snow storm up in the mountains near the Czech-Polish border. After trekking for a while through zero visibility I stumbled upon a bouda which served the best boršč until now :) Hope you enjoy this recipe.


Ingredients:-
  • Beef with bone, 300 gr
  • 2 medium sized beetroot
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1/3 head of red cabbage
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 2 liters chicken broth
  • Dried basil
  • Sour cream or thick plain yogurt
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • salt and pepper
Procedure:-
  • Cur the beef into cubes and sear in hot oil till nicely browned. Remove beef from pan and set aside.
  • Fry the onions in the same pan. Add in the celery and carrots.
  • Pour in the chicken broth, add garlic, tomato paste,basil, salt and pepper. 
  • Simmer till the meat softens (approx. 45 minutes) 
  • In the meantime peel the potatoes, beetroot and cabbage. Cut into small pieces and stir into the broth.
  • Serve with a spoonful of sour cream or yogurt.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Thai Tom Kha Gai Soup

Thai Tom Kha Gai has got to be one of the best soups I've tasted. It's just the perfect blend of spice,coconut and that Thai lemony flavor. It's best made with chicken but you can also mix in some fresh shrimps. Here's my recipe of Thai Tom Kha Gai soup.
Thai Coconut Soup - Tom Kha Gai Soup

Ingredients:-
  • 1” piece ginger, peeled
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves 
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 Oxo chicken cube
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1” pieces
  • 7 shiitake mushrooms cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 carrots cut into thin discs
  • Can of coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 stalk of lemongrass
  • Chili oil, cilantro leaves with tender stems and fresh green chilli (for serving)

Preparation:-
  • Slice and lightly smash lemongrass and ginger; 
  • Cut lemongrass into 4” pieces. Bring lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves, and broth to a boil in a large pan. 
  • Let it simmer for 8–10 minutes so that the flavors kick in. 
  • Strain the broth into a clean saucepan and discard the solids.
  • Bring the broth to a boil and place in the chicken.
  • After 2 minutes add in the shiitake mushrooms.
  • Add in the carrots, fish sauce and sugar and cook until chicken,mushrooms and carrots done.
  • Mix in coconut milk and bring to a boil.
  • Turn off the heat and drop in some chili oil, cilantro, and roughly sliced green chilli.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving was low key this year as I'd just undergone dental surgery a week before and was coping with a long and painful recovery. None the less I was not going to miss out on a delicious home cooked lunch. Given that we had a lot of rosemary we decided to put it to good use.
Port Perry
Thanksgiving lunch!
Rosemary Chicken

Ingredients:-
  • 2 chickens; 
  • 1 lemon; 
  • 6 unpeeled cloves of garlic; 
  • 3 cloves peeled garlic; 
  • butter; 
  • fresh rosemary; 
  • salt; 
  • black pepper. 
Procedure:- 
  • Rinse and pat dry the chicken.
  • Place them in a pan with a grid at the bottom. Let the chicken stand for an hour so it's at room temperature before baking. 
  • Stuff the chickens with lemon pieces and unpeeled garlic cloves. 
  • Tie the feet together. 
  • For the garlic butter, place the pieces of butter in a bowl, add finely chopped rosemary and garlic, salt and pepper. 
  • Mix and apply approx 3/4 of the mixture under the skin of the chicken. Coat the top of the chicken with the remainder and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
  • Bake for 45 minutes at 220 ° C (425 ° F) with the choice of the fan on your oven. 
  • Turn the chickens and bake another 45 minutes.

Rosemary potatoes 

Ingredients:-
  • potatoes;
  • 2 cloves of garlic;
  • garlic powder;
  • fresh rosemary;
  • olive oil;
  • salt;
  • black pepper.
Procedure:-
  • Cut the potatoes into chips. Cook them in boiling salted water for about 5 minutes. Drain and let them rest for about 3 minutes in their steam.
  • In a small bowl, mix olive oil, thinly sliced ​​garlic, garlic powder, finely chopped rosemary, salt and pepper. Pour the mixture on the potatoes and leave to marinate for 10 minutes.
  • Place aluminum foil on a baking tray and preheat for approximately 10 minutes at 220 ° C (425 ° F). 
  • Place the potatoes on the tray and bake for about 45 minutes at the same temperature. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fall Colours

Here's a glimpse of the beautiful fall colors here in Ontario.  The drive through this countryside is so beautiful that i'm motivated to someday capture it through HD video.


 


 



Sunday, September 14, 2014

Home-made Strawberry Jam

Spent a lovely afternoon with family making some strawberry jam. It was our first attempt with a canning kit. The secret to great jam is not just having fresh fruit but more importantly the right amount of sugar. You don't want too much for sure and neither too little. We used sugar which was roughly one fourth the weight of the fruit in our jam and it turned out delicious!

Home-made Strawberry Jam


Ingredients:-
  • 2 cups strawberries, 1280 gr.
  • Sugar, 320 gr.
  • 1 tablespoon pectin.

Procedure:-
  • Wash the jam jars thoroughly with soap and water and rinse.
  • Clean and chop the strawberries.
  • Heat water in the canning pot and immerse the washed jars. Keep this boiling.
  • Put hot (not boiling) water into a small pot and place the bottle covers to sterilize.
Now get started on the jam;
  • In a non-stick pot place the strawberries with a spoon of pectin and keep stirring until it boils.  
  • Add sugar and cook for about 1 minute from the time it boils.
  • Remove one jar at a time from the canning pot, drain well and fill with jam, then wipe the rim of the jar and place the lid and seal firmly but not too tight.
  • Place it back in the canning pot. Now repeat the process until you fill all your jars.
  • Now leave to boil for about 10 minutes then turn off the flame and let it stand for another 5 minutes 
  • Remove the jars from the water and leave out for 24 hours in a dark place. 
  • This process should guarantee your jars being perfectly sealed and your jam well preserved.