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'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 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.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Crispy Chinese Five Spice Duck with Czech Knedlíkem a Zelim

Here's a new version of my Bohemian-style roast duck with dumplings and cabbage Pečená kachna s knedlíkem a zelim with a twist. Instead of the traditional seasoning I'm using Chinese Five Spice which gives duck that perfect crisp heavenly taste. Also a big change is the baking time. This new recipe is quicker with better results.

Chinese Crispy Five Spice Duck

  • Duck;
  • Chinese Five Spice
  • Boiled potatoes, about 750 gr.;
  • 2 eggs;
  • 1 head of red cabbage;
  • 1 large onion;
  • 1 lemon;
  • A twig of Rosemary; 
  • Cumin;
  • Olive oil;
  • Ground black pepper;
  • Salt;
  • Semolina 100 gr.;

  • Wash and dry your duck. Score the skin on both sides and season well with salt, pepper and Chinese Five Spice inside and out.
  • Stuff the duck with a lemon halved and some rosemary.
  • Place the duck in a roasting pan, breast up and cover with foil or a lid.
  • Bake at 375° F for 2.5 hours without opening the lid / foil.

We are going to serve this duck with (Knedlik A Zeli) dumplings and cabbage. Start to prepare the dumplings and cabbage now.

  • Once the duck is baked, remove the lid and set the oven to broil. I would recommend carefully watching this process than setting it on a timer as it is a bit subjective. You want to get that skin nice and crispy and not totally charred. Typically it would take anywhere from 3-7 minutes on each side to get that perfect crispy skin!

Recipe for Czech dumplings (Prepare the dough for about 3 dumplings)
  • Cut the potatoes into chips and boil them in water  for approx. 20 minutes or till soft.
  • Mash the potatoes and add semolina, eggs and salt.
  • Prepare the dough and shape into long bread-roll shapes.
  • Place these rolls in boiling water and cook for about 25 minutes.
  • Drain the dumplings once done. You can check if they're done by piercing with a toothpick.

Preparing the Cabbage
  • Finely chop the onion and red cabbage into thin strips. 
  • Fry onions in oil until golden brown.
  • Add cabbage, salt, and add ground cumin.
  • Pour a little water and simmer about 25 minutes.

Crispy Chinese Five Spice Duck with Czech Knedlíkem a Zelim

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Roast Chicken recipe

It's been a while since I've baked a whole chicken. Partially because I've been making a lot of Indian/European chicken recipes. But when it comes to making Jerk chicken It's best to go native and roast the whole bird. Having brought back a lot of Jerk spice I thought it best to go about it in style!

I had to drive through some lovely farmlands to locate a Mennonite organic meat store. At first I thought the distance might not make this worthwhile on a regular basis but after seeing their fresh hormone-free produce I think I've just found my new meat source!

Whole roasted chicken with Jerk spice | Jerk Chicken

I picked up a nice farm grown big bird just over 3 Kg. When it comes to spicing up a chicken you can't really go wrong as a good bird has so much flavour itself. So you can use your own marinade or just follow mine.

  • Whole chicken 
  • Jerk spice
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 twigs of fresh rosemary 
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil to drizzle 

  • Peel and slice the onion into discs/ do not separate rings. Set the onion as a base in your baking dish.
  • Wash the chicken and place on the onions.
  • Rub the jerk spice all over the chicken. 
  • Use the garlic cloves and lemon to stuff the chicken. Tie the legs with cooking twine to keep things in place.
  • Drizzle the bird with olive oil and cover the baking dish with foil or a lid.
  • Now you're set. 
  • Pre-heat the oven to 425 F and then place the bird in for an hour and 45 minutes.
  • Once done set the oven to grill, remove the lid and let it grill for about 6 minutes. You might want to supervise to get the perfect crust.