Saturday, 25 August 2012

Egypt… You put the ‘E’ in delicious!

Sorry everyone for taking so long to get this up. Lots has been happening and usually when I find 5 mins to sit down I end up falling asleep, but my Egypt write is done so I hope you enjoy J

The trip to Egypt was wonderful.

Every dish I made was enjoyed by all - almost everyone had seconds. It is definitely a place country that loves to eats their carbs –lots of rice and pasta. However mixed with the lentils, tomato sauce, crispy onion and spices I didn’t mind one bit J

Definitely recipes I would use again and again and again - Thank you Egypt.

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

Kushari – 10 minutes tops – once you have all the ingredients it’s a simple case of cook, layer  and serve.

Macaroni Bechamel – 10 mins. Open a bag of pasta, pull the mince out of the fridge and put the jar of béchamel sauce on the bench and you are ready.

Mehalabeya – 5 mins then about 40 mins to cook –worth it though J
Ease to cook: (what does it involve?)
Kushari – really easy to do. Cook the rice, pasta, lentils, onion and tomato sauce. Layer them or you can mix them together and it’s done.

Macaroni Bechamel – if you can cook mince and pasta, use a spoon and a turn on an oven you’ll be fine. Not hard at all to layer everything before putting it in the oven to cook

Mehalabeya – Little time consuming as you have to stand over it to ensure it thickens and doesn’t burn.  
Overall: (i'll use a scale of empty bowls - 5 empty bowls is the best - 1 empty bowl not the best J)

Rather than boring you with my opinion, this time I thought I’d let the boys share their overall scores and thoughts.

Kushari  - 5 empty bowls – this dish was tasty and filling – the combination of the onion and spicy tomato sauce is wonderful. You possibly could leave out the pasta and just have the rice and lentils, but all in all a great, meat free meal.

Macaroni Bechamel – 5 empty bowls – I love lasagne and this in my opinion is a variant on that. Not as creamy as the lasagne mum would make, but it was delicious. I never would have thought to use the pasta in this way. I’ll definitely be keeping this recipe up my sleeve. Really ease to prepare, cook and tastes great along with a salad.

Mehalabeya - 3 empty bowls – was nice, but it didn’t do it for me. I had to add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.  It may have been my cooking, but I felt it lacked something. If I ever do make it to Egypt for real then I would love to try another though.  

Hope as always you enjoy the video of all the pictures. I have chosen my next destination – thanks Nat – but you’ll have to wait a few days before I tell the world where I am going next ;-)

Monday, 2 July 2012

A feast fit for a pharaoh... the Egyptian menu looks good

Well after searching through google and reading a variety of webpages from around the world.

Myself and the boys have decided to try our hand at the following Egyptian favourites. Added and extra main meal as my family is coming round to join in the adventure.

Main meal:

Kushari - a traditional Egyptian dish made with green lentils, pasta and rice mixed together with caramelised onions. It is served with a tomato based topping and finished off with a crispy onion garnish. It is best served hot with a side of garden salad.

Macaroni Bechamel - A ground meat mixture between two layers of macaroni smothered in a creamy bachamel sauce.

Both will be served with a salad

and for dessert....

Mehalabeya - an Egyptian cold dessert like a pudding


The tastebuds are looking forward to these. Hopefully mine turn out as nice as the pictures :-)

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Where to next?

Added Brazil to the list

1. Morocco

2. Egypt

3. Canada

4. Iceland

5. Brazil

6. Thailand

and  with the roll of a dice I’m now off to…….


Land of the mummies, pyramids and one of the greatest rivers on Earth.

I better start reading up on what should be a wonderful adventure destination.

Let’s start with what Wikipedia has to say J

Egypt is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world. Covering an area of about 1,010,000 square kilometers (390,000 sq mi), Egypt is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south and Libya to the west.

 Egypt is one of the most populous countries in Africa and the Middle East. The great majority of its over 82.2 million people[4] live near the banks of the Nile River, in an area of about 40,000 square kilometers (15,000 sq mi), where the only arable land is found. The large areas of the Sahara Desert are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt's residents live in urban areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities in the Nile Delta.

 Monuments in Egypt such as the Giza pyramid complex and its Great Sphinx were constructed by its ancient civilization. Its ancient ruins, such as those of Memphis, Thebes, and Karnak and the Valley of the Kings outside Luxor, are a significant focus of archaeological study. The tourism industry and the Red Sea Riviera employ about 12% of Egypt's workforce.

 The economy of Egypt is one of the most diversified in the Middle East, with sectors such as tourism, agriculture, industry and service at almost equal production levels.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Austria you were wonderful…My tastebuds could easily enjoy living here for a while!

Well I have thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Austria. The smells and the tastes were well worth the trip and I would happily come back sooner rather than later.

Enjoy the ratings and video J
Preparation time: (how long does it really take?)
Wiener schnitzel
5 minutes – does not take long at all to set up your production line of bread crumbs, flour, and egg whites.
Sachertorte – 10 minutes – takes a little time to measure everything out and separate the eggs, but overall this is nothing compared to how long it takes to put it all together.

Ease to cook: (what does it involve?)

Wiener schnitzel Very simple –anyone could do this – place in a pan and turn it over. Place on paper towel to drain off excess oil… easy.  I cooked mine of the BBQ plate –just as easy and with a little less oil.

Sachertorte– This is one of those desserts that the end justifies the means. It took me over an hour to put this beast together. First you have to combine of all the ingredients and bake the actual cake – it is not as easy as putting everything in a bowl, stir it together and bake. As the recipe shows there are a few steps you need to follow.  Then there are the glazes to make and finally you have to put it all together to get the final result, but saying all that it is well worth it
Overall: (i'll use a scale of empty bowls - 5 empty bowls is the best - 1 empty bowl not the best J)

Wiener schnitzel 5 empty bowls. Simple and delicious the veal combined with the buttered potatoes and salad it made for a wonderful meal.  Easy to prepare and cook this is definitely something I will be making again.

Sachertorte – 5 empty bowls. This is one for the lovers of chocolate. I found it to be super rich and considering the amount of dark chocolate that what went into it the side of cream provided a nice balance to neutralise the bitterness of the dark chocolate. The apricot glaze added to the flavour. It wasn’t overpowering. More subtle, but you knew it was there. Was a just reward for all the effort that was required to make it happen.
As always it’s all documented through a video slideshow –there’s even a few snaps of my kitchen helper Baz – Enjoy! J.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

And the meals are....

To celebrate my time in Austria i'll be attemtping to replicate:


Das Wienerschnitzel

-Wienerschnitzel served with garlic butter baby potatoes and salad.

And for dessert

- Sachertorte

Hopefully it tastes as good as it looks in these pictures :-)

In the meantime here are some Austrian facts:

Capital of Austria


Total Area of Austria

total: 83,870 sq km
land: 82,444 sq km
water: 1,426 sq km

Population of Austria

8,184,691 (July 2005 est.)

Languages of Austria

German (official nationwide), Slovene (official in Carinthia), Croatian (official in Burgenland), Hungarian (official in Burgenland)

Literacy in Austria

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98%
male: NA%
female: NA%

Religions of Austria

Roman Catholic 73.6%, Protestant 4.7%, Muslim 4.2%, other 3.5%, unspecified 2%, none 12% (2001 census)

Life Expectancy in Austria

total population: 78.92 years
male: 76.03 years
female: 81.96 years (2005 est.)

Government Type in Austria

federal republic

Currency of Austria

euro (EUR)
Austria Flag

What is the flag of Austria?

Three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and red.

Coat of Arms of Austria

The Coat of Arms of Austria has been used since the end of World War I to symbolize Austria. The double headed eagle, symbolizing the old Austro-Hungarian Empire was replaced with a single headed eagle.
On the chest of the eagle is located the old shield of the Duchy of Austria, this same design forms the basis for the flag of Austria. The eagle's claws hold a golden sickle and a golden hammer. While at first sight this might lead to an association with communist symbols the golden mural crown on the head of the eagle makes it clear, that these three merely represent the unity of the three "classes" (workers, peasants and bourgeoisie) in the republic - not quite class war.
The broken iron chain between the two claws indicates liberation from the occupation of Austria by Nazi Germany (1938-1945) and was added after World War II.

Monday, 9 April 2012

And i'm off again

The boys decided it would be nice to add a little European flavour to the list and settled on Austria.
So adding Austria to the list it was time to roll.....

1. Morocco
2. Egypt
3. Canada
4. Iceland
5. Austria
6. Thailand
 ... drum roll please
And the winner is........................
File:Flag of Austria.svg 
Looking forward to see what tempting delights i can find :-)
Until next time - First bake the strudel then sit down and ponder (Austrian Proverb).

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Cuba... I'll be back :-)

Hot and spicy yet cool and creamy… Cuba you have it all J
Enjoy the ratings and video J

Preparation time: (how long does it really take?)
Papas Rellenas – 15 minutes – getting everything ready for the mince , peeling and chopping the potatoes
Ropa Vieja – 15 minutes tops – the time lies in cutting everything up  

Arroz con Leche – 5 minutes – Doesn’t take any effort to gather the ingredients

Ease to cook: (what does it involve?)

Papas Rellenas – Making mash potato is easy – just a little time consuming. The mince takes around 10 minutes to cook, but well worth the effort J The creation of the final product –rolled mashed potato balls filled with mince (Picadillo) takes around 15 minutes – best to set up a production line to put them together – makes things a lot easier.

Ropa Vieja – Very easy to cook – simply brown the meat and then add everything into the slow cooker. Turn on High and 4 hours later your kitchen will be filled with glorious smells from Cuba.  

Arroz con Leche – Need to set aside some time for this one. You have to cook the rice in the water and then in the milk & sugar. For me it took around 40 minutes total, but you may be more of an expert at cooking rice than me so it may be a lot less for you.

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

I enjoyed cooking and eating all the meals especially the Papas Rellenas however, once again I thought it would be fun to let the boys have the final say and tell you what they really thought.

Lachlan -

Papas Rellenas – 4 empty bowls, this dish was a combination of spice and savoury put into one. The spice of the mince added a good kick to the dish and it would have been hotter if the potato wasn’t added to dampen the spice a little bit, but overall a good side dish/entrée to have.

Ropa Vieja – 4 empty bowls, this dish was also a nice dish to have. The spice wasn’t as strong and didn’t really impact me.  I would have it again.

Arroz con Leche – 5 empty bowls, this desert was very nice and was exactly what I was expecting it to be like. The rich and creamy texture with the cinnamon spice added was great. You could have this hot or cold, but I would preferably have this cold because it just hit the spot and satisfied me. I would definitely have this again.

Josh -

Papas Rellenas – empty bowls –5 empty bowls. I say this because it was well cooked with a very nice taste. I liked the combination of the spicy mince and the crispy potato.

Ropa Vieja – empty bowls – 4.5 empty bowls. I say this because it had good taste to it. It lacked the spicy heat of the mince. If it had more heat  that would have made it a little bit more tasty

Arroz con Leche – empty bowls – 0.5 empty bowls. My dislike of rice puddings didn’t help. The only bit of it I ate was the cinnamon sprinkled on the top of it. If it was sweeter and the rice was softer and if it was more solid, it could have been more enjoyable.

Just like India I have documented the adventure through a video slideshow – hope you enjoy it as well as the Cuban music.

As for my  next country the boys are deciding the next country to add to the list – Once they have it we’ll roll the dice and see what comes up. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you travel to Cuba real soon J

The Cuban meals are sorted

It's time to taste Cuba and with the help of my Nephews here is what we will be dining on...

For the Main course:

Papas Rellenas


Ropa Vieja

and for Dessert

Arroz Con Leche

Facts About Cuba

The Caribbean harbors a jewel in the Island of Cuba. The tropical Island extends 750 miles (roughly the size of Pennsylvania) and is a beautiful mix of mountain ranges and plains. There are over 200 bays and 289 sun drenched beaches to explore. The main ports are located in the provinces of Cienfuegos, Havana, Manzanillo, Mariel, Matanzas, Nuevitas and Santiago de Cuba.
Cuba has no plants or animals that are lethal to humans (Yes, this includes poisonous snakes!) The mountain ranges include the Sierra Maestra to the East, the Cordillera de los Organos to the West, and the Sierra del Escambray in the central region.

Full country name: Republic of Cuba
Area: 110,860 sq km
Population: 11 million
Capital City: Havana (pop 2,200,000)
People: 60% Spanish descent, 22% mixed-race, 11% African descent, 1% Chinese
Language: Spanish; Castilian
Religion: 47% Catholic, 4% Protestant, 2% Santería (many Catholics also practice Santería.

The Cuban Flag
The Flag of Cuba was designed in 1850 by rebels that wanted independence form Spain. The 3 blue stripes represent the divisions of the Island at the time, while the white stripes represent freedom. The equilateral triangle stands for freedom, equality and brotherhood. The red color represents the bloodstain necessary to achieve independence. The star represents absolute freedom of the people.

The National Flower
Butterfly Jasmine is the official Flower of Cuba. It represents purity, rebelliousness and independence. It flourishes in humidity. It can be found in the wild along river banks and lagoons. It is also a favorite garden flower.

The National Bird
The national Bird of Cuba is the Tocororo , or the Cuban Trogon. The colorful climbing bird's red white and blue plumage matches the colors of the flag.

The National Tree
The National tree of Cuba is the Royal Palm . Again reflective of the Cuban People it is a strong tropical tree, able to survive the storm force winds of hurricanes.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Next up...

It's time to sit down and plan the next adventure, but where am i to go you ask?

Well adding Iceland to the mix

1. Morocco
2. Egypt
3. Canada
4. Iceland
5. Cuba
6. Thailand

i rolled the dice and ... drum roll please.....

CUBA here i come!!!! Can't wait :-)

Thursday, 5 January 2012

India - You rock!

If you ever have the time, then get yourself to India. My latest adventure was wonderful experience. A mix of hot and spicy with cool, creamy and refreshing what more could you want J

Enjoy the ratings and video J

Preparation time: (how long does it really take?)
Roti/Chipati – 25 minutes – Making the dough is very simple –mix flour and water, but the time is taken in the cooking – you have to heat up the pan and then cook each Chipati individually, turning them etc…
Rogan Josh – 15 minutes - if you cheat like we did J – we used a pre made Rogan Josh sauce so preparation was simply cubing and browning the lamb and cutting up the capsicum, then adding a few spices and herbs.  
Butter Chicken – 10 minutes - if you cheat like we did J – we used a pre made Butter Chicken sauce so once again preparation was simply cubing and browning the chicken breast before adding the sauce.  

Mango Kulfi – 10 minutes – the time consuming parts are beating the cream and pureeing the mango. Once that is done simply mix it all together and place it in the freezer.

Balushahi – Hard to say - We had some fun with this one (see the video). Our Balushahi didn’t exactly turn out as we planned. We followed the recipe we had and all was looking good, but after we placed them into the oil they disintegrated L  So rather than give up we make took out dough and made biscuits – Not very traditional, but we weren’t going to waste food.
Ease to cook: (what does it involve?)

Roti/Chipati – A really easy thing to make. Just mix flour and water then cook on a hot plate.

Rogan Josh – As you know we cheated a little J – Using a pre made Rogan Josh sauce  all we had to do was cube and browning the lamb then add the sauce along with the capsicum, chilli and garlic.  

Butter Chicken – Like the Rogan Josh we cheated again and used a pre made Butter Chicken sauce. Made life easier as all we had to do was brown the cubed chicken breast before adding the sauce and a little coconut milk.  
Mango Kulfi – This is soooooo easy. Beat cream, puree mangos, mix together with condensed milk and freeze.

Balushahi – this is not hard to do (just make sure the recipe you use is a good one) Doesn’t take very long to make the dough and roll the Balushahi then deep fry. Unfortunately our recipe wasn’t the best so it wasn’t as easy to cook for us.
Overall: (i'll use a scale of empty bowls - 5 empty bowls is the best - 1 empty bowl not the best J)
Roti/Chipati – 3 empty bowls – On its own it’s a bit like eating cardboard, but when you mix it with the main dishes it blends well.

Rogan Josh – 5 empty bowls – A pleasure to eat – the lamb, mixed with the spices is a treat. Well worth a try.
Butter Chicken – 4 empty bowls – A very creamy dish it was enjoyed by everyone. Bit to creamy for me, but still a pleasure to eat.

Mango Kulfi 1 000 000 empty bowls – this dish was pure heaven to eat. The ice-cream was creamy and the mango just gave it that something that made it out of this world. Definitely a real winner.

Balushahi – N/A empty bowls – unfortunately I can’t comment on this as the Balushahi we made didn’t turn out as planned. The biscuits turned out well and are nice with a cup of milk or coffee.
As always I have documented the adventure with pictures and building on introduction of using the video feature I have taken it a step further to add to you viewing pleasure. Hope you enjoy the touch of Bollywood ;-)

As for the next destination all I will say at the moment is stay tuned J
Until then as they say in India -  जान है तो जहान है (Jaan hai to Jahan Ha) - (If) there's life, then there's the world.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Let's eat!

मेरे साथी यात्रियों हैलो (Hello my fellow travellers)

My Indian menu has been decided.

To kick the night off i'll be attempting:

Roti/Chipati - flat bread

Rogan Josh

Butter Chicken

and for dessert:

Mango Kulfi - Mango ice-cream

Balushahi - Indian doughnuts

Sounds good on paper and looks fantastic in the pictures. Can't wait! :-)

In the meantime why not brush up on a few simple phrases to help get you around India.

Here's a list of common words, phrases and sentences in major Indian languages - Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada - translated into English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Arabic and Cantonese. Knowing these can prove very useful for people visiting India.

YesHaHaHoye/ Ho
No NahiNaNako
Thank YouDhanyavaadDhanyabadDhanyavaad
Thank you very muchAapakaa bahut bahut dhanyavaadTomake onek dhanyabadTumcha Khup Dhanyavaad
You're welcomeAapakaa svaagat haiSwagatamSuswagatam
Please KripyaaAnugrah koreKrupya
Excuse meShamma kareMaaf korbenMaaf Kara
Hello NamasteNomoskarNamaskar
Goodbye Alavidha (namaste)Accha - AashiAccha Yetho
So long Phir milengayAbar dekha hobeEvada ved
Good morningShubha prabhaatSuprovatSuprabhat
Good afternoonNamasteSubha aparannahNamaskar
Good eveningNamasteSubha sandhyaNamaskar
Good nightShubha raatriSubha ratriShubh Ratri
I do not understand Mai nahii samajta huAmi bujhte parchi naMala samjat nahi
How do you say this in [English]? Aap ise angrezi mei kaise bolengay?Apni eta engraji te ki bolben?Heey engraji madhye Kase mhanaiche?
Do you speak ...Kyaa aap...bolate hain?Apni ki bolte paren?Tumhi ...boltat?
English AngrejiiEngrajiEngraji
French PhransisiPharasiPhransisi
German GermanGermaniGerman
Spanish SpanishSpanishSpanish
Chinese CheeniChineseCheeni
I MaiAamiMe
We HumAmraAamhi
You (singular)TumTumiTu
You (formal)AapApniTumhi
You (plural)Aap sabTomra/ApnaraTumhi
They Vo sabOnaraThyani / Tey
What is your name?Aapka naam kya hai?Aapnar naam ki?Tumche nav kai aahe?
Nice to meet you. Aapse milkar khushii huyiiAapnar sathe dekha kore bhalo lagloTumhala bhetun anand Jhala
How are you?Aap kaise hai?Apni kemon achen?Tumhi kashe ahat?
Good AchchheyBhaloChaangle
Bad BurayBaaje/KharapWayit
So so Thik thakMotamutiThik Thak
Wife PatniSthree/BouBaiko
Husband PatiSwami/BorNavra
Daughter BetiKannya/MeyeMulgi
Son BetaPutra/CheleMulga
Mother MatajiMaaAei
Father PitajiBabaVadil
Friend Dost, mitraBondhuMitr