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, December 23, 2010

Christmas cake recipe

Here's an amazing recipe for Christmas cake. You can call in the 500 gram mixture as most of the ingredients are in equal proportions. Merry Christmas!

Ingredients:
  • 8 eggs 500 gr.
  • Flour 500 gr.
  • 1 tsp Baking powder.
  • Butter 500 gr.
  • Sugar 500 gr.
  • 1 cup rum.
Fruit mixture
  • White plums 100 gr.
  • Black currants 100 gr.
  • Dates 250 gr.
  • Dried ginger 50 gr.
  • Candied fruit peel 50 gr.
  • 1 cup flour 200 gr.
Caramel
  • Sugar 200 gr.
  • Water 200 ml.

Procedure:
  • First prepare the caramel. Melt sugar in a frying pan till it turns brown. Add the water and stir well and then switch off the heat and let it cool.
  • Next prepare the fruit mixture. Mix the dried fruit with a cup of flour.
  • Mix the remaining flour with 1 tsp baking powder
  • Whisk egg whites in a seperate pan to a thick snowy consistency
  • Whisk  the butter together with the sugar and egg yolks.
  • Add the cooled Caramel to the butter egg yolk mixture.
  • Stir in the flour and egg whites into this mixture
  • Add the candied fruits and the rum to this mixture and stir gently
  • Set it to bake

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A traditional method of eating a Tamil Nadu meal '' Saapad ''

A traditional method of eating a meal in Tamil Nadu also called '' Saapad '', where your food is served on a cut banana leaf! 

You're expected to sprinkle water on the leaf and wipe it clean.

Once the leaf is sprinkled and wiped clean, you wait for a spoon of payasam which is followed by vadai,  two kinds of dry vegetable, a cooling pachadi, one koottu or stew like dish with coconut, a pickle, banana chips, paruppu, rice and ghee.


Only when the first bowl of sambar is poured on your rice can you start eating.

Do not touch any of your food with your left hand.

You are also not supposed to bite your vadai or sweet but breaks pieces off with your fingers. Drink from the top pouring water into your mouth rather than touching your lips to the vessel.


A traditional method of eating a Tamil Nadu meal 'Saapad'

Evidently eating from a banana leaf is considered hygienic and healthy. Not too sure about that but It's definitely a wonderful experience eating on banana leaves!

Mehndi, Mehendi, Mehandi, Heena, those many names for a hand tattoo

Getting ready for those parties and weddings in India around christmas! I'm seriously thinking about Mehndi for my bald head! :)


Mehndi is applied in a matter of minutes by these experts!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hungarian Goulash Soup Gulyasleves Recipe

Here's a spicy beef soup flavoured with Hungarian paprika, chillies  and caraway seeds. You can use sweet paprika instead if you're not man enough.

Gulyasleves Hungarian Goulash Soup



Ingredients:-
  •  Cayenne red pepper
  •  Hungarian paprika
  •  1/2 kg cubed, boneless beef chuck
  •  1 medium onion, cut in thin slices
  •  1 large carrot diced
  •  4 cups beef broth
  •  1 tablespoon fresh black pepper ground
  •  3/4 teaspoon caraway seeds

Preparation:-
  • Mix 4 tablespoons of the paprika with the beef and fry the beef cubes in bacon fat. Remove and drain.
  • Pressure cook the beef for about 10 minutes unless you have too much time on your hands
  • Add the onions to the oil and saute until they brown.
  • Place all the ingredients in a large pot, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the vegetables and meat are very tender and start to fall apart. Add more water if necessary to thin to desired consistency

Monday, November 01, 2010

Gordon Ramsay's Bacon-wrapped Chicken legs stuffed with Pork and Pistachios

This is one of my favourites. I made a few changes to Gordon Ramsay's version, which can viewed below.

Gordon Ramsay's Bacon-wrapped Chicken legs stuffed with Pork and Pistachios


Ingredients:
  • 3 boned-out chicken legs or thighs
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Approximately 15 pieces of rind-less streaky bacon
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp vinegar + 2 tbsp sherry wine OR 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock
Sausage meat, pistachios, thyme and parsley, salt and pepper.
Stuffing:
  • 350g good-quality pork sausage meat
  • A handful of cleaned pistachio nuts
  • 2 thyme sprigs, leaves stripped and chopped
  • Handful flat parsley, chopped
  • Pepper and chilli
Preparation:
  • Start by making the stuffing. Mix the sausage meat with the pistachio nuts, thyme and parsley, salt and pepper.
  • Layout tin foil large enough to serve as a wrapper for one chicken roll. 
Wrapping the stuffed chicken in bacon
  • Apply olive oil, sea salt and pepper on the surface and Place 5 bacon slices laterally across with a slight overlap.
  • Flatten out the chicken on top of the bacon and place appropriate amount of filling so you can just about make a decent roll. 
  • Make sure you have the roll tightly in foil, twisting the ends to seas. Roll back and forth to even the shape
  • Repeat for the other two rolls.
  • Poach these 3 foil packages in a large pot of boiling water for 25 -30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked. 
Crispy Bacon-wrapped Chicken rolls
  • Remove from heat and cool them down and then refrigerate for 15 minutes - this helps the bacon to set around the chicken. 
  • Remove the foil and drain out any excess liquid.
  • Heat olive oil in a large frying pan and carefully saute the chicken rolls until the bacon is brown and crisp on all sides. Set the rolls aside in a warm place and now add the sherry wine, vinegar and then the stock. Let the sauce thicken and adjust the seasoning.
  • Pour the sauce on the rolls and serve with baked potatoes.





Saturday, October 23, 2010

Char Siu Chinese Red Roast Pork Ribs and Fried Brussels Sprouts

This has got to be the best ribs I've cooked so far! You know you've got them right when the meat just glides off the bone. This time the ribs were marinated with Char Siu, a Cantonese roasted pork recipe. Not your usual side dish but none the less an excellent combination!

Ingredients:-
  • 1 kg pork ribs. Pork spare ribs ideal
  • Char Siu Chinese Red Roast Pork marinade
  • A packet of Brussels Sprouts

Preparation:-
  • Mix the Pork ribs with Char Siu Chinese Red Roast Pork spice and water and set to boil. To get those ribs nice and soft, it's best to let them cook 80% of the way.
  • If you want the spice to get to the meant, you might want to let the ribs cool off and marinade for a couple of hours. If you're in a hurry you might want to skip this step.
  • Set the oven to 200 degrees on the Grill and get those ribs nice and crispy.
  • Clean and Chop The Brussels Sprouts in halves and fry them in olive oil with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon.

That's about it. You can always add a little red chili powder if you need the extra bite!

Char Siu Chinese Red Roast Pork Ribs 
Fried Brussels Sprouts

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Grilled Goat's Cheese Salad with Walnuts and Honey dressing

This is one delicious salad! I'ts like a complete meal in itself. Grilled Goat's Cheese Salad with Walnuts and Honey dressing

Grilled Goat's Cheese Salad with Walnuts and Honey dressing
Ingredients (serves 2 persons) :-
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper
  • A mixture of lettuce (Lollo Rosso, Roman, Rucola)
  • 1 Red onion
  • 2 portions of Goat's Matured Cheese, 100 gr each
  • Wall nuts to sprinkle, 20 gr.
  • Salt and pepper

Make a Dressing of:-
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons  of Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey.

Preparation:-
  • Grill the cheese till it starts to melt.
  • Fry the nuts and coat them with honey.
  • Cut the vegetables and arrange them in a circular fashion and place the cheese on top.
  • Pour the dressing.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Spicy Caramelized Baked Chicken Wings

Here's a nice alternative to those standard barbequed buffalo wings.

Ingredients
  • 1.5 kilo chicken wings
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon red chilli powder
  • 3 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
 
Preperation  
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Place the chicken wings in a big baking dish.
  3. Mix together the oil, soy sauce, ketchup, honey, garlic, chilli powder, salt and pepper. Pour over the chicken.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for about an hour until sauce is caramelized.
Spicy Caramelized Baked Chicken Wings

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Can I be funny? funny. how funny? funny enough for Anna Amenova?



My name is Miss Slovak Republic


The very beautiful Anna Amenova at her funniest :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Change SMS service center number on HTC Touch Diamond

To change the  sms service center number on your htc touch diamond
Go to Settings> Personal> Phone> Services> Voice Mail and Text Messages
Click on Get Settings
You can now change it to another SMS center. Use this only if you want to change your default SMS center.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Banana Fritters

Flat banana fritters made in a pan
Here's a quick recipe for Banana Fritters. 

Ingredients 
(serves 2 people)
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • A small pinch of baking powder
  • 2  Tablespoons brown sugar
  • A pinch of Cinnamon

Preparation
  • Mash up all the ingredients into a thick paste
  • You can prepare the fritters in two ways. Either fry them in a little butter on the pan or on the grill in molds. 

Banana fritters without oil / butter

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hummus, stuffed pita bread with Harissa, salad, grilled chicken and Dolmades

It's Arabic dinner tonight. Hummus, stuffed pita bread with Harissa, Salad, grilled chicken and Dolmades (Stuffed Vine Leaves)


First let's get started with the Hummus.

Ingredients
  • 4 spoons tahini
  • 6 spoons lemon juice
  • 2 spoons olive oil
  • 2 big flakes of garlic
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/5 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 2/5 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/5 teaspoon salt

Preperation
  • Grind the tahini,black pepper,chilli powder,cumin,salt and garlic to a paste.
  • Add the olive oil,lemon juice and chick peas and a little water till you get to a thick consistency

Now onto the Stuffed Pita with Harissa and chopped onions. 

Harissa is a North African hot chilli sauce commonly eaten in Morocco whose main ingredients are Piri piri chili peppers, tomatoes and Paprika.
  • Cut the Pita bread in half and apply some Harissa paste on the inner surface.
  • Add some of the chopped onion inside and grill it.
Chop up a nice salad, grill some chicken with indian spices.

Another great addition is Dolmades stuffed grape leaves. These were ready made. I hope to make them sometime soon.























Hummus, stuffed pita bread with Harissa, salad, grilled chicken

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Gordon Ramsay hamburger recipe with Bill Granger fries

Time to beef it up! The choice was Hamburgers with fries. When searching for recipes, two popular names often pop up. Gordon Ramsay, a footballer turned chef and famous for Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, and Bill Granger a self taught cook from down under. So it was to be Gordon Ramsay's hamburger recipe and a superb recipe from Bill Granger for fries/chips

 Gordon Ramsay hamburger with Bill Granger fries





Gordon Ramsay hamburger recipe

Ingredients:-

The caramelized onions:-
  •  2 red onions, finely chopped
  • 50 grams butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Burger filling: -
  • 1 kg minced beef bio
  • salt and freshly crushed pepper
  • Olive oil

Burger dressing:-
  • 4 large hamburger buns sprinkled with sesame seeds
  • 4 large pickled gherkins
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into slices
  • 1 lettuce
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large red onion, cut into fine slices

Preparation:-
  • Fry the onions till golden brown and caramelized. Do i need to spell such a simple process out?
  • Let the caramelized onions cool before mixing it up with the burger filling.
  • Form them up into round balls and then flatten them into discs.
  • Fry the burgers on a saucepan.
  • Once done dress them up with the ingredients shown above.


Bill Granger chips recipe

Ingredients:-
  • 4 large potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sweet red peppers
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • salt

Preparation:-
  • Cut the potatoes up, mix with the ingredients up set to bake!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Desi Chicken Liver - Indian spices

Chicken Liver with Indian spices
Here's a quick recipe for that last minute magic.

Ingredients
  • 1 tablepoon ground coriander 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 10 chicken livers
  • 1 Onion

Preparation
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and mix the above ingredients all together with the chicken liver and onion rings in a pan and cook stirring from time to time till the liver is done.
  • Add Salt at the end.

Serve Desi Chicken Liver with Steamed rice and sliced Beetroot

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Stuffed Jacket Potatoes with Spiced Chicken and Cheddar

 Stuffed Jacket Potatoes with Spiced Chicken and Cheddar

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hennessy Cognac Cheesecake!

I haven't made dessert for a while now. Well time for some Hennessy Cheesecake!

Soak some raisens in Hennessy Cognac. Have a shot of Hennessy too as this ain't gonna be that easy :)

Ok let's start off...

The Ingredients
150g Butter
250g Cottage cheese
400g Dark chocolate
250g Whipped cream
Chocolate biscuits
Hennessy Cognac


Layer 1
Crush Chocolate biscuits in a baking tray and settle it into a base with melted butter.
Stick in in the fridge.

Layer 2
Beat up cottage cheese with cream and melted 200g of dark chocolate
Apply once done on layer 1 and stick it back in the fridge.

Layer 3a
Add a layer of Hennessy soaked raisens

Layer 3b
Heat up whipped cream and melt 100g of dark chocolate which will form the final glazed layer and mix it with layer 3a and stick in back you know where :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pimp out your Windows Mobile device with SPB Mobile Shell 3.5

A great shell for your Windows Mobile device. Love this skin with it's custom widgets. It makes my beaten up HTC diamond like a brand new device.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Shehabake Pastry an Karachi Chicken

Shehabake Pastry

Ingredients:-

- Spicy sausage
- Pizza Cheese
- Sliced Ham
- Herbs de Provence Mix
- Pastry

Preperation:-

- Arrange the ingredients on two layers of the patry and bake it.



Karachi Chicken

Ingredients:-

- 1 kg chicken pcs.
- 1/2 cup oil
- 3 teaspoons salt
- teaspoon ground cumin
- teaspoon tumeric
- teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
- teaspoon cayenne pepper
- teaspoon garam masala
- 2 onions chopped
- tablespoon garlic minced
- tablespoon ginger minced
- 2 teaspoons chilli pepper
- cup of chopped tomatoes
- tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh coriander finely chopped
- cup of plain yougurt(or sour cream)
- 1/2 cup water

Preperation:-

- Heat oil in a large saucepan  and saute onions
- Add salt,cumin,tumeric,ground coriander,ground fennel seeds and cayenne for another 5 minutes.
- Add water,tomatoes,lemon juice and yougurt and mix to a paste.
- Add garlic,ginger and jalapeno and mix.
- Add chicken and stir until all meat is coated.
- Place lid on pot and simmer for 10 minutes check
- Continue until meat is cooked and sauce has reached desired thickness.
- Garnish with freshly chopped coriander and garam masala.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Crispy Duck Breast

Not had much time to go shopping or come up with anything special. None the less here's a quick and easy way to make excellent Crispy Duck Breasts with those basic ingredients and maybe drop in a few extras.

Crispy Duck Breast

Ingredients:-
  • Red chilli
  • Salt and pepper
  • Garlic and Ginger paste
  • Lemon grass
  • Honey
  • 3 onions chopped fine

Preparation-
  • Immerse the duck in 2 cm of water, drop in the ingredients cover with a lid, turn the oven heat to 150 ° C for approximately three hours.
  • Dab some Honey on the skin towards the end when the duck is almost ready.
  • That's about it.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Pepper Steak with Oyster Mushrooms





For starters:-

Baked Hermelin with Habanero chili and onions.

Be prepared to have your lips burn out! But if you do have an apetite for spice then this may just be for you.

And some good red wine to go along with it.


* You might also want to bake the potatoes in the main course with the starter. Scroll down for the details.


Main Course:-

Pepper Steak with Oyster Mushrooms

Ingredients
• A packet of Oyster mushrooms
• Two Sirloin steaks
• 1 dcl white wine
• 1 dcl beef broth
• 100 grams butter
•  salt and pepper
• 4-5 potatoes cut into small pieces
• 1 large onion


Cooking instructions
• Marinate the steaks in Olive oil and pepper overnight

• Chop the mushrooms to a manageable size
• Melt the butter in a pan and fry the mushrooms till golden brown

• Add the beef broth and white wine to this and let it simmer till it thickens a bit. Your sauce is ready.

• Cut the potatoes into wedges and bake them in the oven.

• Fry your steaks in a pan without oil on a medium flame for 4 mins each side.




This was definitely one of the best cookouts till date. A great start for 2010!


Forgot to include the perfectly done potatoe wedges. Guess I'll have to cook this again :)