Sunday, 25 December 2011

It's time to set flight again

Well with Christmas over for another year - i hope everyone had a great day - it's time to set flight and visit another country.

A friend of mine – Tegan – suggested I visit Thailand so not to be one to disappoint I added it to my list.

1. Morocco
2. Egypt
3. Canada

4. India

5. Cuba

6. Thailand
So with the list complete i rolled the dice and my tastebuds and I are off to………………………




INDIA!!!!!!

With a population of 1,189,172,906 I am very excited to see what dishes I can find. I'm thinking there might be just a few to choose from. As always I always welcome suggestions. So if you have a dish that you think is spot on please post J

Friday, 23 December 2011

France - c'est magnifique!

Another meal down and another fabulous experience.


Experiencing French food is truly a pleasure – not that I even scratched the surface LOL. The smells in the kitchen when you cook are mouth-watering and the combination of the flavours is exquisite. I am very keen to explore more French dishes.

Once again I took my family along on the adventure and going by the number of empty plates I think my cooking was enjoyed.

So without further adieu  let’s get rating J

Preparation time: (how long does it really take?)

Coq au Vin - 25 minutes to prepare – then about an 70 to 90 minutes to cook – The recipe I used saw me cook the mushrooms separately so you will need to factor that in. The mushrooms take only a few minutes to prepare and 5 minutes to cook – you add them in after the chicken has cooked for around 1 hour.


Tartiflette - 20 minutes to prepare – then about an 25 minutes to cook – depending on how you wish to cook you potatoes before combining the ingredients your preparation time might vary. I used the microwave to help soften the potatoes so for me it was quick.

Mousse au chocolat - 25 minutes to prepare – then a couple of hours to chill in the fridge – Again using the microwave to melt the chocolate will speed up your prep time.

Ease to cook: (what does it involve?)
Coq au VinYou do need to spend a little time to soften the onions and brown the chicken, but once you have done that it is simply a case of adding the remaining ingredients, setting it to simmer and sitting back to enjoy the smells that will fill the kitchen. This is also a great recipe for a slow cooker so if you have 8 hours up your sleeve before serving than cooking this will be a breeze.

TartifletteApart from softening the potatoes and warming the onions and bacon the only hassle with this dish comes in combining the ingredients. Set aside 5-10 minutes to layer everything together.

Mousse au chocolatA few things to do here – melt chocolate, separate eggs, beat egg whites, mix chocolate and egg yolks, fold ingredients together - but well worth it and not too time consuming

Overall: (i'll use a scale of empty bowls - 5 empty bowls is the best - 1 empty bowl not the best J)

Coq au Vin5 empty bowls – this dish was a joy to eat. The meat falls of the bone and when combined with the spices and flavours produced from the onion, mushrooms and wine your taste buds will think they have died and gone to heaven.


Tartiflette5 empty bowls – I have had a few variations on potato bake in my life, but this was simple, filling and didn’t leave you feeling like you had swallowed a bottle of cream.  Potato can be bland, but the white wine combined with the onion ensures isn’t. The cheese layered across the top is also a winner for me and something I will use again. It provided a wonderful flavour and does a great job of holding the potato together when serving.  I definitely recommend you give this one a go – you won’t regret it.

Mousse au chocolat3.5 empty bowls –  you usually can’t go wrong with chocolate, but when you start mixing in raw egg things get interesting. The taste was spot on, but my trouble lay in the setting of the mouse. Unfortunately after 2 hours in the fridge my mousse had not set as hard as I would have liked – not sure if I had not left enough time or if I had missed something, but having said that I will continue to investigate more recipes and practice to find a recipe that will do that trick.

So with that said I wish you all a merry Christmas – may it be safe and happy – I hope Santa finds you all easily enough  – I am trying something a little different from the norm... I decided rather than posting individual pictures for you all I have collated them into a video. Hope you enjoy :-) (If you prefer photos let me know and I can add them)
And for those who are on the edge of their seats waiting to find out where I’m going next my next destination will be decided on Boxing day (26 Dec) J


video

Monday, 12 December 2011

I'm back and ready for a French festival of food!

It has been a long time between meals - unfortunately things, as they do, happened and the French trip was placed on the back burner. But having said that all is good again in the world and so it is time to pack the bags, dust off the cutlery and get back into the adventure :-)

With the help of friends i have managed to whittle down the huge selection of culinary delights down to the following:

Coq au Vin - chicken marinated and cooked in wine.
Tartiflette - A hearty dish of potatoes, bacon, white wine and reblochon cheese.
and for dessert
Mousse au chocolat - aka chocolate mousse.
So with the menu taken care of it is just a matter of sourcing the ingredients ready for Friday night.
Sounds delicious and i look forward to sharing the outcome with you all.
Until then 'feast' on the dishes that i had to choose from:

easy appetizer recipes Easy Appetizer Recipes There are many, many easy French recipes for appetizers. Here you will find some classics like tapenade, eggplant caviar, and that wonderful hot appetizer popular around the world: baked brie en croute.


sauce recipes Sauce Recipes Get started cooking with these classic sauces, such as beurre blanc, bearnaise, hollandaise, soubise, rémoulade, and aioli might stand on their own or be part of a recipe. Dessert sauces are included too.


french entrees French Entrees In France, the starter course is called an entrée. It is an essential step in most dinners, even the most casual. Learn how to make, present, and serve entrees in balance with the rest of your meal.


easy salad recipes Easy Salad Recipes Many of these easy French recipes can serve either as a starter or be made in a larger quantity and eaten as a main course. Serve these with a baguette like they do here in France.


easy soup recipes Easy Soup Recipes Here you will onion soup of course, but also crème du Barry, carrot, potage Saint Germain, potato leek and others. Some of these might be served as a starter course, but there are also soups that can be served as the main dish.


easy vegetable recipes Easy Vegetable Recipes The key to these easy vegetable dishes (and all French food for that matter) is to start with the absolute tastiest vegetables you can get your hands on. Cook what is in season and feature them in one of these easy dishes.


french seafood recipes French Seafood Recipes These seafood and fish dishes feature mussels, salmon, scallops and more. You will find them used to make gratins, papillotes, and chowders, as well as in simpler preparations: poached, baked and fried.


french chicken recipes French Chicken Recipes Like many places in the world, chicken is a very popular meat in France. Learn how to make such classics as chicken cordon bleu, chicken marengo, and chicken Dijon.


easy beef recipes Easy Beef Recipes Find easy recipes for French food classics like boeuf Bourguignon, boeuf aux carottes, daube, and hachis Parmentier. These all make great main dishes.


easy pork recipes Easy Pork Recipes Pork is a very popular meat in France. It gets made into an incredible array of sausages, and pork chops, loins, and tenderloins are used all the time. Find some easy ways to fix these meats.


quiche recipes Quiche Recipes Presenting the incredibly versatile quiche. You will find the classic quiche Lorraine, but also spinach, broccoli, cheese, crab, salmon and zucchini. Quiche makes the perfect food a starter course, main meal, or for taking on picnics and to potlucks.


fruit dessert recipes Fruit Dessert Recipes Fruit gets top billing in many desserts in France. By starting with peak seasonal produce, and making these simple tarts, mousses, and cakes, you will be sure to please yourself and others.


french cake recipes French Cake Recipes These include classic cakes, such as a baba au rhum, moelleux au chocolat, and a galette de rois. I am not a big fan of washing a half dozen mixing bowls and spending hours in the kitchen, so these are quick and easy cakes.


french dessert recipes French Dessert Recipes Here you will find those desserts that are not a cake, cookie or pastry. Petits pots de creme, creme caramel, and lots more. Think chocolate and cream.


crepe recipes Crepe Recipes Learn some tips that will make crepes an easy and fun project. In France, crepes are made into all sorts of yummy treats - both sweet and savory.


french pastry recipes French Pastry Recipes Learn the basic preparations that go into making a variety of pastries, including choux, pâte brisée, pastry cream and other essential ingredients. Some of these may be a little harder, but I have tried to give detailed instructions.


french cookie recipes French Cookie Recipes These might seem a bit elaborate, but I have stuck to the simple ones. Try chouquettes, madeleines, meringues and more.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Je vais à la france :-)

Well as promised it was time to late fate decide the next destination.

Adding Canada to the list (Bec you'll be pleased) :-)

1.Morocco

2. Egypt
3. Canada

4. India

5. Cuba

6. France

the dice was rolled and the winner was.......

FRANCE!!!!


As always love to hear your recipe ideas so start sending them through :-)

Until next time
Au revoir mon ami :-)

Turkey… My tummy salutes you :-)

Another meal down and another fabulous experience.
My trip to Turkey was brilliant. I wasn’t too sure how things would work out this time as when I first found the recipes I thought to myself I could be in trouble here, but once you get into them they actually are really easy to make. And the taste is incredible! The mix of spices really throws your tongue’s tastebuds into a spin. The lamb combined with the eggplant and mash potato – simply divine. Komposto is truly wonderful. Who knew simply boiling fruit in water and adding some sugar could be so good. The boys loved it - can’t wait to try it again with different combinations. Finally the Acı badem kurabiyesi are light and melt in your mouth. Not super sweet, they are just right and would easily go with a coffee at the end of the meal.


Thank you Turkey – my tummy salutes you! J


Preparation time: (how long does it really take?)

Kofte – 10 minutes tops – once you have all the ingredients it’s a simple case of mix and roll.


Dolma – depending on how you cook your rice filling the time will vary. Doesn’t take long to hollow out vegetables and fill them up again.

Hünkar beğendi – 15 minutes to prepare – then about an hour to cook –worth it though J

Sarimsakli Patates Puresi  - say 25minutes – the real time killer is boiling the potatoes .

Komposto – about 5 minutes to prepare, 25 minutes to make and then a couple of hours to cool. My advice is make it the night before and let it cool overnight.

Acı badem kurabiyesi – very simple dessert – about 10 minutes to prepare.

Ease to cook: (what does it involve?)
Kofte – Great for the BBQ. Simply put them on a hot plate and within 5-10 minutes tops you’ll be watching them disappear as they are just so tasty everyone will want one

Dolma – if you can use a spoon and a rice cooker you’ll be fine. Not hard to put together to real skill lies in cooking the rice (I’m still working on perfecting that)

Hünkar beğendi – Not that hard. The fun lies with the egg plant puree – we got there eventually – following the instructions helps LOL

Sarimsakli Patates Puresi  - boil your potatoes, mash whilst adding the extra ingredients and you’re done.

Komposto – Boil water, add sugar and fruit, simmer for around 15 minutes and you’re done.

Acı badem kurabiyesi – anyone could make these – the only time consuming part is separating the egg whites and beating them. Once that is done simply combine the ingredients, place portions onto a tray and put in the oven.


Overall: (i'll use a scale of empty bowls - 5 empty bowls is the best - 1 empty bowl not the best J)

I loved it all, but rather than boring you with my opinion, this time I thought I’d let the my nephews share their overall scores and thoughts.

Kofte

Lachlan – 4.5 empty bowls – this dish was a very tasty and filling - sort of food any kid like – They would have no problem devouring these little tackers.

Josh – 4 empty bowls – they are tasty – I liked the spicy kick it had. It wasn’t too big a kick – just right for a kid.

Dolma

Lachlan – 3 empty bowls – it was a mix between the little amount of rice and the over powering taste of the tomato, but overall they were a sort of interesting dish.

Josh – 3.5 empty bowls – The tomato overpowered the rice a bit too much, but it was good.

Hünkar beğendi

Lachlan – 4 empty bowls – this dish was a very good meal and had lots of different textures and flavours throughout it. But overall it was a regularly nice dish.

Josh – 5 empty bowls – This dish was perfect for me because the meat was cooked just right and the spice was not that big.

Sarimsakli Patates Puresi  -

Lachlan –3 empty bowls – the mashed potato was very strong in the garlic department and if you are going to eat this dish you need to prepare yourself for a really strong hit of garlic.

Josh –3 empty bowls – I thought the garlic in the mashed potato was very overpowering.

Komposto

Lachlan – 5 empty bowls – this was a very nice beverage that would be perfect for any type of meal, especially ideal for a hot summer  day because of the refreshing taste.

Josh – 5 empty bowls – Quite tasty for just water, sugar, apples and cranberries

Acı badem kurabiyesi

Lachlan – 4 empty bowls – It was a nice dessert. Light and fluffy it can be eaten anytime. Would be nice with ice-cream.

Josh – 5 empty bowls – They are delicious. Sweet and chewy they are perfect for a snack.

Enjoy the photos and stay tuned as my next destination will be decided tomorrow J

Kofte






Dolma






Hünkar beğendi










Komposto




Acı badem kurabiyesi







Tuesday, 13 September 2011

A few more tasty treats

Well this Sunday the next stage in my adventure will take place.

Adding to the kofte and dolma i will also attempt hünkar beğendi and Sarimsakli Patates Puresi (Garlic Mashed Potatoes )- both look delicious.

I have also decided to branch out and attempt to make Hoşaf or Komposto. It is a drink usually made of dried or fresh fruit boiled in water with sugar and left to cool and infuse. I found a simple recipe using apples and cranberries should be a nice addition to the meal.

And what are you doing for dessert? i hear you ask... well i am keeping it simple this time round :-) i will be making Acıbadem kurabiyesi (a bitter almond biscuit) - is a traditional Turkish biscuit made of almonds, sugar and egg whites.

So with the feast planned and the guests sorted Turkey here i come :-)

Until then take some time to brush up on a few Turkish Proverbs and Folk Sayings/Türk Atasözleri  :-)

Aðaç yas iken eðilir.
The green twig is easily bent.
Ateþ düþtüðü yeri yakar.
An ember burns where it falls.
Bekarlýk sultanlýktýr.
There is no soverinity like bachelorhood.
Bilmemek ayýp deðil, sormamak ayýp.
Not knowing is not shameful, not asking is (shameful)
or,
It is not a shame not to know, it is a shame not to ask.
Bir elin nesi var, iki elin sesi var.
Two heads are better than one.
Bir tasla iki kus vurmak...
Killing two birds with one stone.
Çabuk parlayan çabuk söner.
What flares up fast, extinguishes soon.
Eþek hoþaftan ne anlar (anlamaz).
An ass does not appreciate fruit compote.
Havlayan köpek ýsýrmaz.
The dog that barks much does not bite.
Ýnsan yedisinde ne ise yetmiþinde de odur.
What a man is at seven is also what he is at seventy.
Ýðneyi kendine batýr çuvaldýzý baþkasýna.
Stick the needle into yourself (to see how it hurts) before you thrust the packing-needle into others.
Kurtlu baklanýn kör alýcýsý olur.
The buyer of the rotten beans is the blind man.
Kuzguna yavrusu þahin görünür.
The raven sees its chickens as falcons.
Ne ekersen, o'nu biçersin.
You harvest what you sow.
Öfke ile kalkan zararla oturur.
He who gets up (starts up) in anger, sits down with a loss.
Öküz altýnda buzaðý aranmaz.
Do not search for a calf under an ox.
Sakýnýlan goze cop batar.
An over-protected eye gets the speck (Being overly careful invites misfortunes).
Sinek küçüktür, ama mide bulandýrýr.
The fly is small, but it is big enough to make one sick.
Sürüden ayrýlan koyunu kurt kapar.
The sheep separated from the flock is eaten by the wolf.
Terzi kendi söküðünü dikemezmiþ.
Fýrýncýnýn çocuðu aç dolaþýrmýþ.
The shoemaker's child goes barefoot.
The baker's child goes hungry.
The plumber's house (roof) always leaks.
Yenilen pehlivan güreþe doymaz.
A defeated wrestler is not tired of wrestling.
Vakitsiz öten horozun baþýný keserler.
They will cut off the head of a cock that crows before it is time.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Two dishes sorted... few more needed to make it a meal

Well it's getting closer to that time where i need to visit Turkey.

So with a bit of help from Martin i can announce two dishes i'll attempt so far


Traditional lamb (kofte)

and

Stuffed vegetables (dolma)

but i'm still looking for a few more to add to the experience as well as a mouth watering dessert.

So please feel free to post anything you know of :-)


Did You Know?...

The famous Trojan Wars took place in Western Turkey Truva town.
The first church built by man (St. Peter's Church) is in Antioch (Antakya), Turkey.
The oldest known human settlement in Turkey is Catalhoyuk (7th Millennium B.C.)
Ephesus and Halicarnasus - two of the most famous places of the ancient world - are both in Turkey.
St. Nicholas, also known as Santa Clause, was born in Demre, on Turkey's Mediterranean Coast.
Noah's Ark landed on Mount Ararat (Agri Dagi) in Eastern Turkey.
The last meal on Noah's Ark, a pudding of sweet and sour taste (Asure), is still served throughout Turkey.
The Turks were who introduced coffee to Europe.
The famous Dutch Tulip comes from Turkey.
The biggest city Istanbul is located on two continents.
Turkey is noted for having one of the three (together with French and Chinese) most famous and distinctive traditional cuisines in the world.
The First Ecumenical Council was held in Iznik, Turkey.
Anatolia is the birthplace of historic legends, Homer (the poet), King Midas, Heredotus (the father of history), St. Paul the Apostle and Santa Claus
Julius Caesar proclaimed his celebrated words, "Veni, Vidi, Vici (I came, I saw, I conquered)" in North Anatolia when he defeated the Pontus, a formidable kingdom in the Black Sea region of Turkey.
Female goddesses dominated the Central Anatolian pantheon for thousands of years before these supernatural powers were transformed to male gods.
The Hittites sold Abraham the cave where he buried his wife Sarah, when the Israelites came to Palestine.
Virgin Mary's house where she spent her last days, situated on the top of Bülbüldag (Ephesus), is considered as a holy place for all religions.
Seven Churches of Revelation are all in Aegean Region in Turkey (Ephesus, Sardis, Tyatira, Pergamon, Philadelphia, Smyrna, Collosae).
Turkey houses one of the the richest flora and almost every year new plant species are gained to the world literature.
The Color "Turquoise" comes from the clean see color on the Aegean Cost in Turkey.
Antalya Museum was rewarded specially by European Council as the best museum 1988 in Europe.
In Antalya, in the spring time you can both ski in the mountains & swim on the coast.
UNESCO declares Pamukkale and Zelve Open Air Museum as world heritages.
The millennium stone at Sultanahmet square Istanbul was the zero meridian point of the world once upon a time.
Kasikci diamond one of the greatest piece of the world and is displayed in Topkapi Palace.
Three of the 10 remaining icons of the world and according to the belief of Orthodox, Jesus Christ's cross which he was crucified are in Hagia Yorghi church.
Hereke which is in the world carpeting literature with the quality of the wool and silk rugs is in Izmit (Kocaeli) Turkey.
Homeland of Iskender Döner (Shorma/Gyro) which is very famous all around the world is Bursa Turkey.
The philosopher Aristotales lived in Assos for three years.
Lydia which is one of the greatest civilization lived in Anatolia has still got some remainings around Salihli (Sardis) and it's the first civilization which coined money.
Virgin Mary's House in Ephesus is visited by Pope the 6th Paul and Pope Jean Paul as well.
The world's greatest amphora and glass collection is in Bodrum Museum in Bodrum Castle.
The Best preserved Roman Theater is located in Aspendos Antic City, Antalya, Turkey
The First University in History is in Harran, Turkey