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.

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.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Plnená kapusta Stuffed cabbage pockets

Here's another traditional Slovakian recipe, Plnená kapusta stuffed cabbage pockets with a spicy twist! They're delicious juicy meaty delights!
Plnená kapusta Stuffed cabbage pockets
 Ingredients:-
  • 1 1/2 cups rice;
  • 1 1/2 pack of minced beef (or pork);
  • 1 head cabbage;
  • 1 onion;
  • 3 packs of tomato puree, 450 gr.
  • 4 cloves of garlic;
  • spices (pepper, oregano, chilli, cumin, paprika, nutmeg, turmeric, paprika);
  • salt.

Procedure:-
  • Rinse the rice in a colander and leave to drain.
  • Create indentations around the cabbage stalks to make it easier to divide the leaves. 
  • Place the cabbage in a large pot of water, let it start to boil. Gradually, peel off the outer layers as they soften. Yes this is time consuming but well worth it.
  • Fry the rice in a spoon of oil. Add half cup of water, boil for a minute, turn off the heat and then let it stand in it's steam.
  • Season the meat with spices, add half a tablespoon of salt, fried onions and fresh garlic. Add in the rice and mix well.
  • Chop the smallest cabbage leaves fine and place at the bottom of the pot which you will be cooking in.You can throw out the central heart/stalk of the cabbage.
  • Cut the larger cabbage leaves in half and remove the thick vein in the center. 
  • Wrap the prepared mixture in the leaves and place in the pot.
  • Prepare the tomato sauce in a separate dish. Mix tomato puree with 3 cups of water. Stir in basil and a tablespoon of salt. You may add a tablespoon of oil. 
  • Pour the sauce over the stuffed cabbage leaves in the pot. 
  • Place a plate or jars over the stuffed cabbage as a weight to hold them leaves down.
  • Cook for about an hour from the time it starts boiling. 
  • Cool slightly and serve.
Making Plnená kapusta is quite an elaborate process but worth the trouble! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Mrežovník Apple cake

My mother-in-law is visiting and taught us how to bake this delicious apple cake. All credit to her until we make it ourselves the next time :)
Mrežovník | Apple cake


Ingredients:-
  • 6 apples;
  • 1 heap tablespoon sugar;
  • cinnamon;
  • chopped nuts;

For the dough:-
  • flour, 600 gr .;
  • sugar, 250 gr .;
  • butter, 250 gr .;
  • 2 eggs;
  • lemon peel;
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder.

Procedure:-
  • Prepare the dough
  • Remove the core and grate the apples. 
  • Squeeze excess apple juice. You can drink the apple juice.
  • Take out a third of the dough and set aside. With the remaining 2/3 flatten out into a rectangular shape. 
  • Grease a baking sheet placed in a baking tray. Move the dough using the support of the rolling-pin onto the sheet. 
  • Press the edges of the dough so they stay in place on the four corners of the baking tray
  • Sprinkle the apple mixture with breadcrumbs to drain any excess juice. 
  • Spread the the apple mixture onto the dough sheet.
  • Roll the remaining third of the dough into strips and place on top of the cake.
  • Bake at 180 ° C (375 ° F) for about 40-45 minutes. 
Mrežovník Apple cake

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Kung Pao Chicken

Had some roasted peanuts lying around so decided to make Kung Pao Chicken. It turned out delicious!
Chicken Kung Pao
 Ingredients:-
  • 3 chicken breasts;
  • 3 tablespoons oil;
  • 1 large red pepper;
  • 1 large green pepper;
  • 2 stalks celery;
  • 1 can bamboo shoots;
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts;
  • 2 green onions;
  • 8 dried chilies;

For the marinade:-
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt;
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper;
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce;
  • 1 tablespoon garlic-ginger paste;
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar;
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar;
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil;
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch;

For the sauce:-
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce;
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar;
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth;
  • 2 tablespoons sugar;
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil;
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch.


Procedure:-
  • Cut the chicken breasts into small chunks and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  • In a bowl, mix the ingredients for the sauce. 
  • Finely chop the peppers, celery and green onions.
  • Fry the chicken in a wok on a high flame. Set aside. 
  • Fry the chopped peppers and celery. Add the chilli and bamboo.
  • Add in the fried chicken, peanuts and green onions, stir. Serve with rice.