Saturday, May 31, 2014

Dine Withlocals Face-to-Face


When you next plan your overseas travel, would you like to taste the local homecooked food that their locals enjoy?  I certainly would!

The picture above is a local dinner in the picturesque village of Mae Wang, Northern Thailand.  You can enjoy the natural surroundings of the village, listen to stories of  their rural life and also have the opportunity to cook with them and learn to prepare their traditional Lana Thai food. 

Now with the newly launched Withlocals you can plan your holiday and at the same time get  to taste the real authentic local food in the comfort of the hostess's home.  So do browse around and check out the home dinners available at   Eat Withlocals   and you'll be spoilt for choice!

Withlocals is a network connecting food lovers and travellers from all parts of the world.  So if you plan to visit any South East Asian countries (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Nepal) you can easily book a home dinner with a local and get to taste their fantastic and mouthwatering cuisine.  Good news for the foodies who are from any of  the Withlocals countries.  If you enjoy cooking and are good at some of your 'homebrand' dishes, do sign up here and you're on your way to earn some extra cash and also get to know fellow foodies from all over the world.

Besides Eat Withlocals, you can also arrange for  Tours Withlocals whereby you'll be able to  discover great places of interest with their experienced local guides.  Not only that, there's also  Activities Withlocals.  Here, you get to pick up new skills and get hands on experience by taking part in a traditional activity or workshop under the supervision of a skilled local.

Another piece of good news is that Withlocals will soon be launching in the Philippines and the sweetener is a 20% launch discount.  So for those of you who are residing in the Philippines and are keen to be a  host, do
sign up early.


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia  - Nyonya cuisine, a fusion between Chinese ingredients and spices used by Malays resulting in tangy, aromatic, spicy and herbal dishes.


Bali, Indonesia - selfmade BBQ of fish, prawns, squid, sate with selfmade sambal and good company.


Nha Trang, Vietnam - Seafood BBQ comprising of snail, oyster, shell, octopus, fish, cuttlefish, shrimp, cleaned and spiced and served with cold beer or rice wine.


Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka - A British/Sri Lankan duo who can serve both Asian and European dishes, for lunch, traditional English afternoon tea or dinner.



Bangkok, Thailand - You get to have an opportunity of cooking your own real Thai dishes.  All ingredietns will be prepared in a professional manner, healthy and clean and you get to  know the basics of local food sytyles and ingredients.



Kathmandu, Nepal - Traditional Nepali food which includes gundruk, traditional curries, Buff and chicken.


Singapore - North Indian, Gujarati style, Vegetarian home cooked dishes.



Continue reading "Dine Withlocals Face-to-Face"

Monday, May 26, 2014

Vermicelli Chicken Salad


This is a lazy man's one-dish meal, quick and easy to prepare, fuss-free.  I just marinated the chicken legs with some sauces,  cooked them in a non-stick pan, cooked the vermicelli, added a sprinkling of carrot, cucumber and greens,  squeezed on some lime juice for that tangy taste and it's done!


Recipe for Vermicelli Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken legs, cut into 2 pieces
  • 100 gm vermicelli or more, soaked and cooked in hot water
  • 3 Tbsp chilli sauce
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 3 tsp brown sugar
  • Carrot, cucumber, some lettuce, red chilli and lime
Method
  1. Marinate the chicken pieces with the sauces and brown sugar for about 2 hours.
  2. Heat up some oil in a non-stick pan and cook the chicken till tender.
  3. Meanwhile blanch the vermicelli in a pot of boiling water, drain well.
  4. Cut up the carrot and cucumber into match stick sizes and mix with the vermicelli.  Toss in some lettuce and red chilli.
  5. Drizzle on some sauces from the chicken.
  6. Serve the salad with some lime.




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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

More of Prague ~ Wordless Wednesday



Wenceslas Square is one of the two main squares in Prague, just 5 mins. away from the Old Town Square.  Lies at the heart of the New Town, it is a vibrant area of hotels, clubs, banks, apartments, international shops and restaurants.  It is the nightlife and entertainment centre of Prague and the main shopping district.  Metro lines intersect at this square and trams run through its centre.






National Museum - the vast Neo-Renaissance building at one end of  Wenceslas Square.  The entrance is reached by a ramp decorated with allegorical statues.






Dancing House is the first masterpiece of modern architecture designed by world renowned architect in Prague since the Velvet revolution 1989. 
Continue reading "More of Prague ~ Wordless Wednesday"

Monday, May 19, 2014

Mixed Choc Craisin Muffins


I had some leftover white and black chocolates which had been hibernating in the fridge for quite a while.  So thought it a good idea to dump them with some craisins into a basic Muffin recipe and create a Mixed Choc Craisin Muffin for my afternoon tea.   I added a sprinkling of granulated sugar and cinnamon on top and this gave the added crispy, sweetish crunch...mmmm.   Saved some leftovers for breakfast and after popping them into the oven toaster, they tasted just as good!





Recipe for Mixed Choc Craisin Muffins

    Ingredients

    • 2 eggs
    • 260 gm plain flour
    • 2.1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 80 gm caster sugar
    • 1/2 cup/113 gm melted butter
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 1.1/2 tsp vanilla
    • 160 ml milk
    • 1 cup of white and dark chocolate and craisins
    • 1 Tbsp  granulated sugar + 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    Method
    1. Melt the butter, set aside.
    2. Sift flour with the baking powder and salt, mix in the sugar, whisk with a ball whisk to mix well.
    3. Add in the chocolates and craisins.
    4. Whisk the eggs by hand, add in milk and vanilla.
    5. With a spatula, fold in the wet ingredients along with the melted butter into the dry ingredients.  Stir until just moistened and combined.  (Do not overmix).
    6. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop the batter into the paper lined muffin pan.
    7. Sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
    8. Bake in a preheated oven @ 190 deg.C for 15 to 20 mins.  Test with a skewer till it comes out clean.
    9. Let cool in pan before removing the muffins onto a wire rack to cool completely.
    10. Serve warm.
    11. Yield :  12 Muffins






     I'm linking this post to the Little Thumbs Up event, theme for this month, May is 'Milk', organised by
    Zoe of  Bake for Happy Kids  and  Doreen of  My Little Favourite DIY
    and hosted by  Tze of  Awayofmind Bakery House
Continue reading " Mixed Choc Craisin Muffins"

Friday, May 16, 2014

'Lor' or Caramalised Pork Shoulder


When I saw Zoe's post on  'Lor Chicken' recently I bookmarked it straightaway.  However, I've substituted chicken with pork and added hard boiled eggs too.  Lovely to go with rice.  Family members gave the thumbs up!




Recipe for ''Lor' or Caramalised Pork Shoulder (adapted from 'here' with modifications)

    Ingredients

    • 3 Tbsp oil
    • 3.1/2 Tbsp sugar
    • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1 star anise
    • 2 Tbsp light soya sauce
    • 1 Tbsp dark soya sauce
    • 1/2 tsp 5 spice powder
    • 1 cup water
    • 800 gm pork shoulder, cut to bite size
    • 2 hardboiled eggs  (optional)
    Method
    1. Put the oil and sugar in a wok and heat on low flame.  Do not stir, just let the sugar dissolve and caramalise.
    2. Add in the garlic, cinnamon stick and star anise.  Add in water and spice powder, stir.
    3. Add in the meat, give it a good stir and once it starts to boil, lower heat and cover the wok.  Let the meat  cook till  tender and the sauce, a little syrupy.
    4. Add in two hardboiled eggs.
    5. Dish out and serve with rice.


Continue reading "'Lor' or Caramalised Pork Shoulder"

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Golden Lane, Prague Castle ~ Wordless Wednesday



Golden Lane ~  named after the goldsmiths who lived here in the 17th Century, this short narrow street is one of the most picturesque in Prague.  One side of the lane is lined with tiny, brightly painted houses which are built right into the arches of the Castle walls.  The ceilings of these cottages are quite low, the houses narrow and small giving  the impression that the people of those days were rather small in size.








The Tailor's house











Another house with a baby cot













Continue reading "Golden Lane, Prague Castle ~ Wordless Wednesday"

Monday, May 12, 2014

Whiskey Chocolate Cake


I've baked cakes with alcohol such as Brandy, Beer, Cointreau, Kahlua and Stout but have never tried one with Whiskey until my trip to Scotland and tasted the Whiskey cake at the Glenfiddich distillery cafetaria.   Upon my return I googled for various recipes using Whiskey and stumbled upon  a recipe from  simplyrecipes.com and was convinced that I must try out their Chocolate Bourbon Cake.   True to the comments from their readers this is indeed a moist and chocolately cake ...... absolutely delicious with a mild hint of  Whiskey!










Recipe for Whiskey Chocolate Cake  (adapted from 'here' with slight modifications)


    Ingredients

    • 8 oz butter
    • 8 oz plain flour
    • 5 oz dark chocolate
    • 3 Tbsp coffee powde
    • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
    • 1 cup Whiskey  (I used Black Label)
    • 1/8 tsp salt  (reduced from 1/2 tsp)
    • 9 oz caster sugar (reduced from 2 cups)
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 Tbsp vanilla
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • Icing sugar for dusting  (optional)

    Method
    1. Sift the flour with the baking soda, set aside.
    2. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, set aside.
    3. Put coffee and cocoa powder in a 2 cup measuring cup.   Add hot water to come up to 1 cup, mix till the two powders dissolve, stir in the Whiskey and salt, let cool.
    4. Beat buter and sugar till fluffy, add in eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.  Add in vanilla and melted chocolate, scrapping down the sides of the mixing bowl.
    5. On low speed, add in 1/3 cup of the  coffee Whiskey mixture, then beat in half the sifted flour.  Repeat, ending  with the Whiskey mixture.  (I did this by hand).
    6. Pour the batter into a greased and flour dusted 10 cup Bundt pan.
    7. Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 deg C for 1 hour and test with a skewer till it comes out clean.
    8. Cool cake in pan for about 20 mins. before unmoulding and letting it cool completely on a wire rack.
    9. Dust with icing sugar before serving.





    I'm linking this post to Bake Along 3rd Anniversary, hosted by
    Joyce from  Kitchen Flavours,  Lena from  Frozen Wings  and  Zoe from  Bake for Happy Kids.



Continue reading "Whiskey Chocolate Cake"

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mint Cookies Ice Cream


This is a rich and indulgent ice cream comprising of vanilla and peppermint choc chip cookies which give the creamy dessert the added crunch.  Perfect as a treat or a snack, any time of the day!


Recipe for Mint Cookies Ice Cream

    Ingredients
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 3 oz sugar
    • 3 egg yolks
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla
    • 10 choc chip peppermint cookies, crushed.
    Method

    1. Bring heavy cream, milk and salt to a simmer, let cool.
    2. Whisk egg yolks with sugar together till pale.
    3. Add the milk mixture to the egg mixture, mix well.
    4. Then pour back the egg yolk milk mixture into the pot, stirring continously till mixture thickens and can coat the back of the wooden spoon.  Add in vanilla.
    5. Pour into a bowl and cover with cling wrap, let cool and keep refrigerated overnight.
    6. Process the mixture in the ice cream maker according to instructions.  Transfer 1/3 ice cream to a container, add in the crushed cookies, mix quickly and continue layering.  Store in freezer before serving.






    I'm linking this post to the Little Thumbs Up event, theme for this month, May is 'Milk', organised by
    and hosted by  Tze of  Awayofmind Bakery House
Continue reading "Mint Cookies Ice Cream"

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