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.

Moosewood for Dinner

Bon Appetit magazine named Moosewood  one of the thirteen most influential restaurants of the 20th Century. We had dinner here on our weekend in Ithaca and I think that claim is pretty justified.

Ithaca's world-famous natural foods restaurant has been in business since 1973
The food at Moosewood is truly amazing! but not that different from my best man's cooking! I know know where he get's his delicious vegetarian recipes from.

As you might have guessed, my next cooking post will most probably be a Moosewood recipe

Taughannock Falls, Lucifer Falls, Buttermilk Falls and Ithaca Falls

Distance: 1045 Km

Length: 3 days

Day 1: Arriving at Ithaca

Day2: We woke up to a lovely two course breakfast. I could just sit in the breakfast room by the window for the whole day but we had places to see starting with the famous Taughannock Falls.

The falls is part of the Taughannock State Park located between the Village of Trumansburg and the city of Ithaca. We were quite lucky with the weather despite a bad forecast and were able to cover pretty much all of the Taughannock State Park that morning.

A lovely breakfast to start off the day

A quick sandwich for lunch and we were on our way to the Robert Treman State Park. We head straight past the main entrance and up the long winding uphill drive to see the Lucifer Falls which was quite breathtaking!

The next stop was Buttermilk Falls and finally back to the inn to park Beruška and walk to the Ithaca falls which were just around the corner.

There were a couple of more Falls but we agreed we'd seen quite a few and it was now time to freshen up and head for Dinner at Ithaca's world-famous Moosewood

Taughannock Falls at Taughannock State Park

Lucifer Falls at Robert H. Treman State Park
Buttermilk Falls

Ithaca Falls

Ithaca, New York | Beruška goes to Ithaca NY

Distance: 1045 Km.

Length: 3 days.

" Where will you be going in the US ? " asked the officer at the Canada/US border.

It was around noon on Friday and we were on our way for our surprise weekend, a wedding gift from the best man. It was now just my surprise as the wife had all the details. I was just to follow the GPS.

" Well.. I don't know. You can ask my wife. She has the details.." I replied.
The border officer was a pleasant sort and played along  getting the info from my wife necessary so we could head on our way.

Welland Canal - Lock 3 Viewing Complex
Earlier that morning we stopped by the Welland Canal which is a ship canal in Canada that extends 42 km (26 miles) from Port Weller on Lake Ontario to Port Colborne on Lake Erie. We climbed up the Lock 3 Viewing Complex but unfortunately there were no ships in sight that morning like I'd hoped for.

The Music Room
After crossing the border the traffic thinned out and for most of the way it seemed like we were the only ones going somewhere. The road is very scenic and lined with nice farms and stables.

We stopped for a quick lunch at a nice diner and were soon back on the road.

The trip counter crossed 550km and the Time to reach was around 5 minutes. I knew we were close...

Our faces lit up as we approached the bustling little town of Ithaca in the Finger Lakes area of New York state.

The Breakfast Room
It was soon one pleasant surprise after another as we checked into one of the prettiest Inns in the heart of downtown Ithaca.

It was almost 7pm by the time we got settled. I should have been tired after that long drive but rather was filled with excitement to discover this town.

We were soon headed down Aurora Street which was lined by lovely restaurants and sidewalk cafés
Enjoying a glass of wine after a long drive

Some nice wine and a sumptuous dinner and we were re-energized to hit the clubs. Out here you are asked for ID even if you've lost most of your hair :) That was quite entertaining for us and made us feel a bit younger

I really like this town despite being so tiny it has tonnes of charm. Friday night is definitely the night to party out here!

Day 2: Taughannock Falls, Lucifer Falls, Buttermilk Falls and Ithaca Falls

Gordon Ramsay's Great Escape: Bengali prawn curry

I've read through quite a few cookbooks and I have to say Gordon Ramsay's Great Escape: 100 Of My Favourite Indian Recipes is by far the best so far!

Here's my version of his Bengali prawn curry

Gordon Ramsay's Great Escape: Bengali prawn curry


Ingredients:-
  •  400g large raw prawns, shell on
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • Sea salt
  • 2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2cm ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 green chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp hot chilli powder
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 whole dried chilli
  • 400ml tin coconut milk
  

How to make Bengali prawn curry

1. Shell and devein the prawns, leaving the tails on, if you wish. Place them in a bowl with the turmeric and a pinch of salt. Mix well, then leave to marinate for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, put the onions, ginger, garlic and chillies into a food processor with 2 tablespoons of water. Blend to a fine wet paste.

2. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the mustard seeds, chilli powder, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves and whole chilli. Fry for 1-2 minutes until the spices become fragrant and the mustard seeds begin to sputter. Add the wet paste to the pan and fry over a low heat for 12-15 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Add the coconut milk to the pan and bring to a simmer over a low heat. Add the prawns and simmer for 2-3 minutes, until they are opaque and just cooked through. Transfer to a warm bowl and serve immediately with warm Indian breads or rice.

© Gordon Ramsay


Krasna Horka castle, near Roznava in eastern Slovakia engulfed in flames

It's sad to hear about  Krásna Hôrka , a beautiful 14th century eastern Slovakian castle which has been almost completely destroyed by a fire that broke out yesterday. I have been one of the lucky few to see the treasures that it holds.

I do hope all is not lost and that this important treasure of Slovak history can be restored soon.

The beautiful Krásna Hôrka

Pork Peralan Kerala Recipe

Spicy Kerala Recipe Pork Peralan
Ingredients
  • 1 Kg pork tenderloin diced into medium-sized piece
  • Coriander powder - 5-6 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
  • Chilli powder - 1 tbsp 
  • Pepper powder - 1 tbsp 
  • White vinegar - 2 tbsp
  • Salt - to taste

Preparation
  • Marinate the pork with the above ingredients for half an hour
    Pressure cook with 1/2 cup of water for 20 to 25 minutes. 
  • In a pan, pour three to four tablespoons of oil and saute 10 cloves of crushed garlic.
    Add some sliced ginger and two sliced onions. 
  • Stir till the onion becomes golden. Add a few curry leaves and the pre-cooked pork.
    Cover and cook for a few more minutes till the gravy thickens.