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.

Showing posts with label Christmas traditions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas traditions. Show all posts

Gingerbread cookies


Gingerbread cookies
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter, 125 ml;
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, 175 ml;
  • 1/3 cup molasses, 70 ml;
  • 1 large egg;
  • 2 tablespoons water;
  • 2 2/3 cup flour, 600 ml;
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda;
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt;
  • 2 teaspoon ground dried ginger;
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon;
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg;
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves;

Icing:
  • Icing sugar;
  • lemon juice;

Approach:
  • Mix the butter in a bowl with the sugar. Stir in molasses, egg and water. 
  • Beat up the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. 
  • Add in the butter mixture.
  • Preheat oven to 180 ° C (350 ° F). 
  • Roll the dough into thin slices, use a cookie cutter to mold into various shapes and place on a baking sheet and in a tray.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool. 
  • Decorate with a thick mixture of icing sugar and lemon juice,
  • Let it dry.

Christmas week in New York City

The Christmas decor in New York is fantastic and definitely worth checking out! Here are a few pictures taken during the Christmas week in New York City which hardly do it justice




 

Toronto Christmas Market at the Historic Distillery District

Christmas is around the corner and despite the fact there's no snow yet, we're getting into that festive spirit! We took a trip down to the Christmas markets in the historic distillery district and were quite pleasantly surprised by the scale of the celebrations.










Christmas arrangement - Merry Christmas Djent'l men

Here's a quick musical arrangement I put together for Christmas. Arrangement on the keyboards with guitar tracked in garage band. Hope you like it! Merry Christmas!

Vanilla Rolls and Bear Paws

This Christmas we made some traditional Czechoslovakian cake recipes. Amongst them were vanilla rolls and bear paws. These are nice light and nutty cakes which look and taste great!

[Top] Vanilla Rolls and [Down] Bear Paws




Ingredients:-
  • Flour, 330 gr.;
  • Unsalted Butter, 220 gr;
  • Icing sugar, 120 gr;
  • Ground nuts, 120 gr;
  • 1 egg;
  • 1 sachet vanilla sugar.

Procedure:-
  • Make dough, wrap in foil and place in refrigerator for at least half an hour.
  • Prepare a large baking plan and place baking paper on it.
  • Remove dough from the refrigerator and divide into several pieces. 
  • Roll each piece into rolls roughly the thickness of your index finger, and chop into pieces of equal length. 
  • Bake at 160 ° C (320 F) for about 20 minutes.

Bear Paws

Ingredients:-
  • Flour, 400 gr;
  • Butter, 240 gr;
  • Icing sugar, 240 gr;
  • Ground nuts, 100 gr; 
  • 1 sachet baking powder;
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa;
  • Cinnamon;
  • Lemon peel.

Procedure:-
  • You will need bear paw moulds *
  • Make dough (Sift the cocoa), wrap in foil and place in refrigerator for at least half an hour.
  • Shape the dough by stamping into the moulds.
  • Bake at 160 ° C (320 F) for about 20 minutes.


Fat Bastard! - A Christmas special!

My first attempt at Turkey. After checking out Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver's recipes I took a bit from both and came up with this recipe. Merry Christmas!

Christmas turkey


Ingredients:-
  • A young turkey, 6 kg;
  • Soft butter;
  • Salt, pepper;
  • Olive oil;
  • Juice and zest of 2 lemons;
  • 3 cloves of garlic;
  • A handful of chopped fresh parsley;
  • 1 onion;
  • 1 Grapefruit;
  • Bay leaves
  • Smoked bacon.

Procedure:-
  • Separate gently the skin from the body, so you can fill with the prepared butter mixture.
  • In a bowl mix the butter with salt, pepper and olive oil.
  • Add zest and lemon juice, garlic and parsley to the butter mixture
  • Season the turkey inside with salt, pepper and place chopped onions and grapefruit inside Fat Bastard along with the bay leaves.
  • Push the butter under his turkey skin while massaging him so as to spread evenly across his torso.
  • Place a little of the butter mix on the outer skin as well.
  • Drizzle with oil and place in an oven heated to 220 ° C (430 F) for 10 minutes. You want to zap him for a crisp brown exterior.
  • After the first 10 minutes of baking, remove the bugger from the oven and cover with the released juice in the pan. Coat him neatly with slices of English bacon.
  • Now place him in the oven again and bake about 3 hours (half an hour per kilo) at 180 ° C (360 F).
  • Keep pouring the juice on him every 20 minutes to keep him nice and moist
  • Cool him down and serve.

Christmas Time is Here!

The best time of the year is here! Christmas preperation is now in top gear. Lot of exciting posts to come during this festive season so stay tuned!
 
Our first snow is here!

The Christmas tree is up!

The Gingerbread men lead the sweets preperation
    
Our spirits are higher than ever! The new cellar is getting equipped :)



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

Traditional Czech Fried Carp and Potato Salad

Christmas festivities have begun! I set out with Tomas early morning to pick up some Carp. We selected a whopper five kg Carp from one of the fish farms just on the city outskirts.

It was quite the experience holding such a huge fish that kept jumping around aggressively.

Chopping up the Carp was also quite unnerving. The fish kept jumping in our hands with every stroke of the knife despite being dead over an hour.  We set out to marinate the fish and make a traditional potato salad. Here's the recipe. Merry Christmas!

At the fish farm picking up our Christmas Carp

Cleaning the carp

Marinate the Carp
  • It was a sigh of relief once the Carp was sliced into a dozen pieces. Some salt and lemon was added to the slices and left in the fridge to marinate for a couple of hours.


The ingredients for the Potato Salad
  • 1 Celery root,
  • 3 Parsley roots
  • 10 Potatoes
  • 4 Carrots
  • 3 Onions
  • 1 can of Peas
  • 1 mid size bottle of Mayonnaise
  • Salt & Pepper

Preparing the Potato Salad.
  • Boil the Celery, Parsley, Carrots and Potatoes together with salt. Cook them till they are slightly soft but still firm. Cool them peel them and dice them up into small cubes.
  • Cook the peas separately or if you have a can of boiled peas even better.
  • Boil a couple of eggs as well. You want hard boiled eggs and no runny yokes here.
  • Chop the eggs up and mix them up with the diced vegetables and peas in one big bowl. Add a bottle of Mayonnaise, some pepper and stir it all up.
  • There you go. You’re potato salad is ready. Into the fridge with it!

Preparing the Carp
  • We decided to create two versions of the Carp. The first was the traditional version of breadcrumb coated Carp. Dunk the slices in flour,eggs and breadcrumbs in sequence, standard procedure.
  • The second version was a spicy Reshad version of Carp. We made a  mixture of red chili, crushed cumin, vinegar, olive oil, cloves and garlic, not your typical Reshad but turned out great!
  • The breadcrumb coated carp was deep fried while the Reshad version slowly cooked on the pan. Both versions turned out just great. I'd like to actually combine the two on my next attempt. I guess i need the spice :)
Dobrou Chut'