David deSouza

David deSouza

David deSouza

David deSouza

Raised Vegetable Garden

It's been a joy and truly a labor of love piecing our raised bed garden together. We learnt a lot from our last/first attempt at gardening and this time we were better planned.

The Best Pizza Dough

We got a bit tired of our whole wheat pizza dough I think we got too accustomed to it and decided it needed some tweaking.

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.

Panama

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.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

The Vegetable Garden

Last year we truly enjoyed the experience from our raised bed vegetable garden project. This year brought a significant addition into our lives. We weren't sure if we'd be able to manage growing our own vegetables this year. There was only one way to find out. And while we're at it why not raise the bar. So this year we'd set out with two raised beds!

Below you'll find a weekly update with the progress of our vegetable garden.




Week 1: Switching from a single raised bed to two had its challenges. We'd have to assemble the new bed and then empty the original bed and move it to its new location. The lawn had to be moved as well. After juggling the design on paper we were all set and ready for the the heavy lifting.

The lawn was moved, the beds lined with weed block and then, in went twenty 6 Kg bags of triple mix soil, some manure from our compost bin and some peat moss.

Despite trying to follow the square foot gardening techniques last year, we had cut corners and as a result our tomato crop got damaged. So this year we'd have to be more careful with the layout.

The vegetables that made the list were tomatoes, strawberries, onions, peas, cucumber, radish, lettuce, Swiss chard,cilantro,spinach,beet,broccoli,chives,dill, parsley and beans
Week 1: The raised beds are set.



Sunday, April 19, 2015

Čokoládová torta

Mamka made a lovely cake called Čokoládová torta for tea today.
Čokoládová torta


Ingredients:-
  • 6 eggs;
  • powdered sugar, 120 gr .;
  • flour, 100 gr .;
  • 1/2 baking powder;
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa;
  • 1 tablespoon of warm water;

Filling/Icing:
  • 4 eggs;
  • granulated sugar, 200 gr .;
  • 1 vanilla sugar;
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa;
  • 1 butter 200 gr .;
Frosting:
  • Chocolate, 50 gr .;
  • butter, 10 gr .;

Procedure:-
  • Whisk the egg whites to snow. 
  • Mix the egg yolks with sugar and a tablespoon of water. Add in sifted cocoa. 
  • Mix the flour with baking powder. Now add in the yolks and egg white snow, make sure to stir it in slowly. 
  • Pour the batter into a baking tray lined with baking paper. 
  • Bake at 180 ° C (360 ° F), about 20-30 minutes. 
  • After baking, allow to cool. Flip it over and remove the baking paper. 
  • Cut the cake in half lengthwise.This makes two layers to the cake.
  • Whisk the ingredients for the filling/icing (excluding butter) over steam until the mix melts and starts to thicken. 
  • Leave to cool slightly. Cut butter into thin slices and stir it in.
  • For the bottom section coat the top with part of the icing. 
  • Place the top section over the bottom. They are sandwiched by the icing. 
  • Cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining icing. 
  • Prepare the frosting over steam like you did for the icing. 
  • Decorate the cake with the frosting. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Chicken Lollipops

Chicken lollipops used to be one of my favorites and I had completely forgotten about them for almost a decade until recently when I had them at a Hakka restaurant. I simply had to make them.

After a bit of research here's my take on chicken lollipops! they're delicious!!
Chicken Lollipops

Ingredients:-
  • 7 Chicken wings,
  • 3 Tbsp Sambal ground fresh chilli paste,
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce,
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch,
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour,
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper ,
  • salt.
Preparation:-

Shaping your lollipops from the chicken wings:-
  • Star with the wings. If you stretch each wing, they comprise of three sections just like you hand.
  • You need to split the wings at each joint using a knife and twisting at the joints. The three sections are the base the mid and the tip. discard the tips.
  • Loosen the meat at one end of the bone for the base section. Push the flesh past the other fixed end.
  • Similarly for the mid section start at the end where you see two bones. Loosen with a knife and push past the fixed end. You can remove the thinner of the two bones and discard.
  • The mid sections have very little meat so make a stuffing for them. I used turkey bread stuffing with a little milk and an egg. You can use any stuffing you like.
Marinade:-
  • Mix the soy sauce, ground black pepper and salt. Marinate the lollipops for at least 20 minutes in this marinade.
Making the batter:-
  • Mix the Sambal  red chilli paste, corn starch, all-purpose flour and add water to get a nice thick consistency
Deep fry the lollipops:-
  • Heat up olive oil in a deep pot.
  • Coat each wing with the batter and fry for about 10 mins
  • Serve with Schezwan sauce.
Making chicken lollipops 




Thursday, April 02, 2015

Šuhajdy

We're celebrating Easter this year in traditional Slovak style. Here's a recipe for chocolate cakes called Šuhajda.
Šuhajdy

Ingredients (for 80 pieces):-
  • 1 can of sweet condensed milk;
  • raisins;
  • nuts;
  • dried fruits (papaya, zest of lemons and oranges, candied cherries);
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of rum;
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice;

For the frosting:
  • butter, 480 gr;
  • 10 tablespoons cocoa;
  • 5 tablespoons powdered sugar;
  • dark chocolate 370 gr;
Procedure:
  • Immerse the closed tin of condensed into boiling water and let it simmer for about and hour so that the condensed milk caramelizes.
  • After cooling the condensed milk, open the can and divide it into two bowls. 
  • To one of the bowls add rum and to the other add orange juice
  • Chop finely the dried fruit and nuts and raisins and place into both bowls.
  • For the frosting; place the frosting ingredients in the bowl placed in steaming hot water and gradually melt the glaze mixture. 
  • Fill each paper cup with a spoon chocolate icing.
  • Now to each cup, add 1/3 tablespoon of the filling of condensed milk.
  • Finally pour chocolate icing and garnish with a piece of dried fruit or walnut. We used the walnut to differentiate the rum chocolates from the others.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Muffins with cranberries, orange and pecans

Here's another lovely recipe for Muffins.This uses a mix of flours and have a nice orange flavor and taste to them
Muffins with cranberries, orange and pecans

Ingredients (for about 22 pieces):-
  • wholemeal flour, 500 ml;
  • barley flour, 250 ml;
  • flour, 250 ml;
  • sugar, 300 ml;
  • Pecans, 300 ml;
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder;
  • 1 teaspoon salt;
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda;
  • 2 eggs;
  • 1 sour cream, 250 ml;
  • 2 oranges;
  • oil, 100 ml;
  • 1 cup cranberry 300 ml.

Procedure:-
  • Mix the three flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, eggs, sour cream and oil in a mixer. 
  • grate oranges zest (4 tsp) and squeeze out the juice of two large (250 ml). Add the zest and juice to the mixture and mix well.
  • Add finely chopped pecans and cranberries to the mix.
  • Fill into muffin baking tray or paper cups.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes at 190 ° C (375 ° F).
The ingredients

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Čevapčiči

Here's a variation of the popular Serbian Cevapcici.  This recipe uses only pork as opposed to a mix of pork,beef and lamb.
Čevapčiči with baked potatoes
Ingredients:-

  • minced pork meat, 250 gr .;
  • 2 eggs;
  • 1 onion;
  • 6 cloves of garlic;
  • 2 small slices of bread;
  • marjoram;
  • pepper;
  • chili powder;
  • salt;
  • pepper;
  • breadcrumbs.

Procedure:-

  • Cut bread into small cubes. 
  • Mix the bread cubes with the eggs, finely chopped onion and garlic.
  • Add in the minced meat with spices. Mix well and form into little cylindrical shapes. 
  • Coat them in breadcrumbs and Fry in oil on each side, until the meat is well done. Around 20 minutes. 
  • Serve with onion and mustard.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spring ain't here yet..

Spring is just around the corner. Well.. that's what we've been telling ourselves for the last couple of weeks. It snowed this morning so let's hope there's going to be a drastic change in weather in the coming weeks!

It seems some of our neighbors think otherwise. we have two new visitors so far.
Looks like an owl but i'm not sure.

A pigeon studying his nesting possibilities.