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.

Polenta Cheesecake with Strawberries

Polenta Cheesecake with Strawberries



Ingredients:-
  • 2 cups Ricotta, 450 gr
  • 2 cups Mascarpone
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon crushed anise seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3/4 cup Polenta
  • Strawberries
  • Red wine
  • Icing sugar

Procedure:-
  • In a bowl, mix the Ricotta, Mascarpone, sugar and anise seeds. 
  • Drizzle with vanilla and stir Polenta.
  • Preheat oven to 150 ° C (300 ° F). 
  • Glaze the baking pan 23 cm (9 inches) with butter and then fill in the mixture. Bake for 1 1/4 hours.
  • In the meantime clean the strawberries, cut into slices and place in a small bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and pour in the wine. Brew for 40 minutes and then chill in the refrigerator
  • After baking is complete,  Preheat the oven to 260 ° C (500 ° F) and zap the cake for about 3 minutes. 
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with strawberries.

Canh Chua Ca | Vietnamese Sour Fish Soup

With my friend travelling in Vietnam, I decided to get a glimpse of what i'd be missing out on food wise. Here's a delicious Vietnamese recipe, Canh Chua Ca

Canh Chua Ca Vietnamese Sour Fish Soup


To make it as authentic as possible, I bought fresh fish instead of the more convenient frozen steaks. The fish picking and cutting experience was rather amusing and eventful. It always is..



Ingredients:-
Dried squid and Fresh Sea Bass
  • 2 fresh sea bass
  • olive oil, salt and pepper
  • 3 spring onions sliced
  • 2 shallots halved
  • 2 Thai green/red chillies
  • 3 lemon grass stalks crushed
  • 4 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 5 tbsp fish sauce Nuoc Mam
  • 1 fresh pineapple peeled and diced
  • 10 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 4 cm fresh root ginger peeled and chopped
  • 25 g of dried squid. Soak in water for 30 minutes.
  • 100 g canned sliced bamboo shoots drained
  • a handful of fresh coriander finely chopped
  • bean sprouts to garnish

Preparation:-
  • Cut the fish into bite-size pieces. Set the head, tail and bones aside for the stock
  • Marinate the bite-size pieces with 2 tbsp Nuoc Mam fish sauce and garlic
  • Drain and rinse the soaked dried squid
  • Heat oil in a wok and stir in half the spring onions, the shallots, ginger, dried squid and lemon grass
  • Add the fish heads tails and bones and saute for a minute. Then add just over a liter of water, bring to a boil and then-simmer for 30 minutes
  • Strain the stock into a pot that you will make the soup in.
  • Bring the clear stock to a boil and add in the tamarind paste, chilies and 3 tbsp Nuoc Mam
  • Add in the pineapple, tomatoes and bamboo shoots and simmer for 3 minutes
  • Now stir in the fish pieces and cook until the fish turns opaque
  • Season to taste and pour the soup into bowls
  • Garnish with fresh coriander and beansprouts

Jamie Oliver's Roast Shoulder of Lamb

Jamie Oliver - Roast Shoulder of Lamb


Here's my version of a great slow-roasted lamb shoulder recipe from Jamie Oliver. This has got to be one of the easiest and delicious recipes, which is why I chose it

Ingredients
  1.  2lb boneless lamb shoulder
  2. Salt + freshly ground pepper
  3. Extra-virgin olive oil 
  4. 1 bunch rosemary 
  5. 5 peeled garlic cloves
Gravy
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour 
  • 2 tbsp capers 
  • 2 cups chicken stock 
  • Chopped leaves from 1 bunch mint 
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar 

Preparation
  • Season lamb with salt and pepper, olive oil, rosemary and garlic and place in roasting pan with lid. 
  • Make sure you place lamb over, fat side up. 
  • Cover dish with lid or foil. Place in preheated 550F oven and  immediately reduce heat to 350F. 
  • Roast for about 3 to 4 hours. 
  • Remove meat from the roasting tray and place in your serving dish and cover.

For the gravy
  • Discard the fat from the roasting tray and remove the roast rosemary stalks.
  • Place pan on stove over medium heat. Whisk in some flour and stock.
  • Add in the caper and let it simmer for 2 minutes. 
  • Stir in the mint and vinegar. 

Niagara Falls in Winter

And so another trip to the falls. A beautiful evening walk by the falls before dinner with fireworks.
Towering over the American Falls of New York and the larger Horseshoe Falls of Ontario
Dinner with a view

Wada Pav | Vada Pav

Vada Pav or Wada Pav is the most common and delightful vegetarian road-side food that can be had at every corner around most of India. These spicy potato balls are surprisingly easy to make. Here's a quick and easy recipe to get you making the best veggie snack in no time

Vada Pav


Ingredients:-
  • 4 medium size boiled potatoes  
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 green chilies minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil

For Batter
  • 3/4 cup gram flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1//4 teaspoon red chili powder

Preparation:-

For the Batter
  • Mix gram flour, salt and cilantro. Add water slowly to make a thick but smooth batter.

Make the Potato balls Vada
  • Boil potatoes till 80% cooked. They should be firm yet cooked
  • Peel and coarsely mash the boiled potatoes.
  • Heat two tablespoons of oil in a pan on medium heat.
  • Add mustard seeds and as the seeds crackle, add mashed potatoes, ginger paste, minced green chili, turmeric, and salt.
  • Stir fry on medium heat for 2 minutes and then add cilantro and mix well. Turn of the heat.
  • After this mixture cools off, start making small balls the size that will easily fit in your fist.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan. Make sure there is about 1 ½ inch of oil.
  • Dip the potato patties into the batter one at a time, making sure the patties are completely covered by the batter. Then, slowly drop them into the frying pan.
  • Turn them occasionally until both sides are just done and light brown.
  • Serve in bread with a chili and some garlic chutney or even tamarind sauce.