May 21, 2018

A tale of two continents; East meets West in ISTANBUL


    Historically known as Constantinople and Byzantium, the present day ISTANBUL is a magical city that strategically lies on two continents; Asia and Europe making it an East meets West wonder. It's the only city in the world nestled on two continents. Scents of exotic spices, baklava, coffee, fresh fish, and flowers fill the air and stray cats roam the cobblestone streets mingling with locals and tourists alike. Located on both sides of the Bosphorus, a narrow strait between the Black and Marmara Seas. Istanbul has a remarkable architectural heritage and visitors are mesmerized by its mosques, monuments, museums, palaces, and water fountains.

    To truly immerse in Turkish culture, a homestay allows you the benefit of getting a deeper understanding of the everyday life of the locals. If you find the right family to connect with you can receive outstanding recommendations of what to do and see in Istanbul and enjoy authentic homemade family meals with your host. There are those that prefer the luxury and privacy of a hotel and there are plenty of hotels to choose from throughout this large city.

    Things to keep in mind while in ISTANBUL:

    #1.Begin your journey by picking up a Turkish language book. Even a small knowledge of the language will allow you to exchange a few sentences in Turkish with the locals.

    #2.Choose the type of lodging you're most comfortable with. From Airbnb listings to hostels to classy hotels it's important to enjoy your home away from home while in Istanbul.

    #3. Try as many different foods as you can. Turkish food is healthy and delicious and chances are you'll never experience anything quite like it elsewhere. 

    #4. Don't rush if you can help it. It's better to experience the attractions at a moderate pace than rush and miss out on things you might never see again.


    Turkish Coffee:

    Instanbulites enjoy drinking coffee on a daily basis The reason Turkish coffee is so exceptional is because of the preparation and presentation. The coffee is blended with high quality beans then roasted and finally grounded; extra fine. It is made in a metal pot with a long wood handle named "ibrik" or "cezve" and served in a traditional fincan (tiny cup). 

    How to make Authentic Turkish Coffee:

    1 cup of cold pure water
    1 tablespoon of extra fine Arabic ground coffee (powder consistency)
    1 cardamon pod or 1/8 teaspoon cardamon powder
    sugar (optional) 

    Bring water and sugar to a boil in an IBRIK. Remove from heat, add coffee and cardamon. Return IBRIK to heat and allow the coffee to boil. When the coffee foams remove it from the heat. Pour into a fincan (tiny cup) and allow to sit for a few minutes. Sip the coffee slowly. 

    If you wish to avoid sugar, just boil the water by itself without the sugar, then add the coffee and cardamon.

    Turkish Delights: (Lokum)

    Made with exotic ingredients, Turkish Delights are small fragrant cubes of jelly made of chopped dates, hazelnuts, and pistachios and infused with rosewater or citrus fruit juice. You'll find these tasty delights throughout Istanbul. They can be enjoyed with a cup of Turkish coffee too.

    Where to Get Turkish Delights in Istanbul:

    1) Haci Bekir: famous store located at Hamidiye Sad. No. 83 | 34110 Eminonu,
    Istanbul, Turkey

    2) Hafiz Mustafa; Hobyar Mahallesi, Hamidiye Cd. No:84, 34112 Fatih/Istanbul, Turkey

    Highlight on Stray Cats in Istanbul:



    They're found all over ISTANBUL; hundreds of stray cats who roam throughout the city. These furry creatures who make Istanbul their home find bowls of food and water left for them by local residents. They're one of Istanbul's star attractions and part of the community. Some of these felines will even follow you through the streets of ISTANBUL.

    GRAND BAZAAR: (Covered Market in the Fatih district)
    Open: Monday- Saturday, closed Sundays & holidays

    With over 4,000 shops the GRAND BAZAAR is one of the largest covered markets in the world. Here you can spend hours bargaining with shopkeepers on items you wish to purchase.

    Mar 7, 2018

    DUBAI; A World Class Desert City

    A world class city is attracting visitors from all over the globe and it's in a desert.

    D U B A I

    Largest & most populous city in the United Arab Emirates

    Located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf 

    360 sunny days a year

    1.2 million residents

    The world's tallest structure is a mega tall skyscraper known as Burj Khalifa

    D U B A I

    Jumeriah Beach with its soft white sand is on the Persian Gulf coast (enjoy some swimming)

    The Dubai Mall has 1,200 shops all under one roof plus an aquarium, cinema, and ice rink

    The Dubai Museum contains displays and exhibits focusing on the past and present

    Camels abound in Dubai, take a desert camel ride

    DUBAI

    Drink a Jellab; a blend of grape molasses and rose water topped with raisins and pine nuts

    Eat a manousheh (flatbread filled with herbs, cheese, eggs, and meat) with tabbouleh salad


    DUBAI is a world class city in the Arabian desert






    Feb 19, 2018

    Beautiful Bermuda without the Triangle!

    My visit to Bermuda was short but those five days spent there with my sweet Mother are still so vivid. We chose to go in March because the price for airfare and lodging was amazingly cheap. This wouldn't have been the case during the busy tourist months from May to September. It wasn't swimming weather but we could still enjoy the pink sandy beaches and breath the salty air from the Atlantic waters.




    BERMUDA is a British territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. With subtropical temperatures it's free of snow and frigid temperatures. The land of Bermuda is divided into nine parishes. A lot of attractions are centered around the capital city of Hamilton which is a small vibrant city. Front Street is lined with shops and restaurants. Some worthy attractions in Hamilton are the Bank of Bermuda, Fort Hamilton, and Queen Elizabeth Park. St. George on the Eastern end of Bermuda with it's narrow lanes and quaint atmosphere has King's Square. This section of Bermuda has the Tucker House Museum and the Royal Navy Dockyard.

    My Mother and I like to keep things simple so we stayed at the Granaway Guest House & Cottages owned by Carol & Michael Ashton. The homey atmosphere made our stay pleasant and I recommend staying in the "Rose Room." A continental breakfast is served here usually muffins, fruit, coffee, and tea. There's a swimming pool on the property and lush gardens. We even got to see an authentic Bermudian home owned by a famous couple just a short five minute walk away. We walked and took the bus to many attractions. Close to Granaway Guest House & Cottages is the Belmont Ferry, Elbow Beach, and Horseshoe Bay.

    Beaches? Oh yes Bermuda has plenty of them. The iconic Horseshoe Bay Beach is one of the most photographed spots in Bermuda. It gets touristy and crowded but in the warm months from May to September there's a lifeguard on duty. Locals head to Cooper's Island Nature Reserve. It's a gem of a place with beauty and serenity.




    In Bermuda you'll see lots of men wearing shorts. Yes those Bermuda shorts are the national dress for men. They are worn three inches above the knee. Bermudian men wear "Bermuda shorts" for all occasions; business attire, informal evening wear, walking out wear. An average pair of Bermuda shorts costs about $55.00.

    When the day arrived to leave Bermuda my Mother and I were sad to go but the universe worked out a surprise. We were already on the plane bound for New York City when the captain announced that the plane was overbooked and that they desperately needed empty seats to accommodate a group of school children. My Mother and I gave up our two seats and as a reward we were given a complimentary night at the lovely Grotto Bay Beach Resort plus $1,000 vouchers for a future flight with the airline.

    The Grotto Bay Beach Resort is sheer luxury. It's an all inclusive resort that sits on 21 acres. They have a pink sandy beach, a cave spa, woodland preserves, a pool, three restaurants, tennis courts.....
    lots of amenities.

    With a population of only 61,170 people Bermuda has a calm feeling...(Keep Calm and Carry On)
    Bermuda is the perfect vacation destination. A North Atlantic Island with British style.

    Afternoon Tea in Bermuda:

    A British tradition at Sweet P's located in the Bermuda Perfumery:
    Stewart Hall 5, Queen Street, St. Georges,
    website:
    lilibermuda.com


    Places to stay:

    Fairmount Southampton
    101 South Shore Road, Southampton

    Granaway Guest House & Cottages
    One Longford Road, Warwick, Long Bay

    Grotto Bay Beach Resort
    11 Blue Hole Hill, Hamilton Parish

    Royal Palm Hotel
    24 Rosemont Avenue, Pembroke

    Food in Bermuda is expensive. Shopping for groceries and having a meal at the beach or in a park is a fun thing to do:

    Markets:

    Lido's Family Foods
    Miles Market
    Market Place
    Supermart




    Restaurants in Hamilton:

    Art Mel's Spicy Dicy has fresh local caught fish. The fried fish sandwich is quite good.

    Hog Penny is a local favorite pub for comfort food. Try the Bermuda Fish Chowder!

    House of India is an authentic Indian restaurant with a buffet.

    Nanna's Kitchen has a variety of food choices. My Mother and I liked the salad, soup and banana bread.

    Bermuda Interesting Fact:

    The only source of fresh water in Bermuda is from the rainfall.

    Dec 4, 2017

    The Belgian Chocolate Connoisseur






    Chocolate is synonymous with BELGIUM and for good reason because it tastes divine. One of the reasons why Belgium chocolate is the best in the world is because many of the chocolatiers are run by families who make it by hand using simple equipment and mixing the cocoa beans thinly for a smooth texture. A famous chocolatier name is Neuhaus. In 1857 Jean Neuhaus arrived in Brussels from Switzerland and opened a pharmacy at Galerie De la Reine. He covered his medicines with a layer of chocolate to make it easier to handle. Years later (1912) Jean's grandson created a chocolate with cream ganache in the center which he named "praline" and it became Belgium's first filled chocolate.


    The Belgium's love chocolate and 172,000 tons of chocolates are produced per year in Belgium. With more than 2,000 chocolate shops scattered across the country it's hard for Belgium's to resist eating chocolate. What better time to eat chocolate than in the month of December. Chocolate is the perfect Christmas gift and if you happen to be in Belgium during the Christmas season you can visit:


    Chocolate Cedric Van Horebeke, Breydelstraat 1,
    9000 Gent

    Chocolatier Dumon, Eiermarkt 6,
    8000 Brudges

    Neuhaus, 25=27 Galerie de la Reine,
    1000 Brussels

    Mary, 73 rue Royale 
    1000 Brussels

    Pierre Marcolini, Rue des Minimes 1,
    1000 Brussels

    Leonidas, Rue de L'Etuve 43-45,
    1000 Brussels


    MUSEUM OF COCOA AND CHOCOLATE:
    Rue de la Tete d'Or
    1000 Brussels

    Open, Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 4:30
    Ouvert du Mardi au dimanche de 10 h a 16 h 30

    This is the museum for chocolate connoisseurs. Watch a chocolate demonstration, enjoy free taste of chocolate and learn cocoa and chocolate facts.

    Reward yourself this Christmas season with BELGIAN CHOCOLATES!

                                                       
    VROLIJK KERSTFEEST!




    Nov 30, 2017

    Western Ukraine's Lviv... "Little Paris"




    My roots take me back to Ukraine where my parents are from but Detroit is where I was born. My birth language was Ukrainian and it's all I spoke until I was six years old. I was sent to Ukrainian language school in Detroit and took Ukrainian dance classes and learned how to cook Ukrainian food. It was only fitting that I visit Ukraine one day and the opportunity came back a few years ago when I was invited to teach English to students of all ages in Stryi, not far from the city of Lviv in western Ukraine. Spending over a month teaching three classes per day was extremely fulfilling. My students ranged in age from 4 years old to 70 and each of them left a thumbprint on my heart. These students studied diligently and together we mastered some difficult assignments.

    UKRAINE:                            
                               
                                     The Carpathian Mountains are a magical place to visit.
                                           
    Located in Eastern Europe, Ukraine is one of the largest countries on the European continent. It has often been referred to as "the breadbasket of Europe." There's much to explore in Ukraine but certain areas of the country presently aren't safe for traveling. Ukraine no longer requires a visa for entry so if you're arriving by train from nearby border countries like Poland, Slovakia, or Romania a good place to begin your journey is in the beautiful city of Lviv which resembles a smaller version of "Paris, France."

    Yes there's Prague in the Czech Republic, Budapest in Hungary, Belarus in Romania and Krakow in Poland and these enchanting cities in Eastern Europe have millions of tourists visiting each year. However Lviv in western Ukraine has it's own uniqueness and those that have the opportunity to visit Lviv aren't disappointed. With a population of nearly 724,000 inhabitants the cultural and historical city of Lviv is a very walkable city. I have a special fondness for Lviv because my mother was born in Lviv and spent her early years of life living in Lviv. She still has a special place in her heart for Lviv.

    Begin your tour of Lviv at the Market Square (Rynok). Located in the center of historic Lviv the area of the square extends by eight streets with two at each corner. You can climb over 400 steps to the tower at the Lviv City Hall. There's no shortage of museums in Lviv, there's a total of sixty museums to be exact. Not to be missed is the "Under the Black Eagle Pharmacy Museum." Inside this museum is the oldest operating pharmacy in Ukraine. In existence since 1735 the front room of the museum is the functional dispensary where the tour begins. atlasobscura.com/places/under-the-black-eagle-pharmacy-museum

    Europe's beloved opera houses exist in all the grand cities of Europe and the Lviv Opera House with its magnificent architecture is almost as grand as those in Milan, Paris, and Vienna. Built in 1901 the Lviv Opera House is a cultural oasis of extraordinary talent performing in front of large audiences.  opera.lviv.ua

    Buses are available to transport you through Lviv but walking the cobblestone streets is the best way to really feel the sense of the old architecture and to immerse yourself in the local culture. You'll discover small cafe's, churches, shops, street performers, and vendors and almost think you've stumbled across a "little Paris." After all the walking and sightseeing you can follow the fragrant scent of coffee beans to a quaint cafe and enjoy a cappuccino with a delectable pastry.

    Before leaving Lviv, take a short walk to Lviv High Castle and see views of the city below from the highest point in the city. A two to three day visit to Lviv will leave you with fond memories and not too far from Lviv are the lovely Carpathian Mountains an excellent area to visit for hiking lush green mountains and breathing fresh country air.

                                         The Chopin Hotel is a comfortable place to stay.

    Places to stay in Lviv:

    Citadel Inn
    , a former fortress is now a five star hotel.

    Chopin Hotel offers elegance and is located near the Opera House.

    On the Square Guesthouse is conveniently located on central square.


    Popular Coffee Shops in Lviv:

    Coffee Manufacture, sip on coffee and eat mouth watering desserts in a one of a kind atmosphere.

    Svit Kava, enjoy lovely cakes with tasty coffee drinks.


    Good Restaurants for Ukrainian Food:

    Baczewski Restaurant
    is one of the best in town serving well prepared cuisine.

    Kryivka, say the password upon entering and enjoy authentic Ukrainian food with honey vodka.

    Seven Piggies is a bit away from the city center but is known for tasty local cuisine.


    SPOTLIGHT ON PIEROGIES (VARENYKY)

    Ukrainians love their varenyky (pierogies) the way Japanese love their sushi and the Italians their pasta. I grew up on these delicious dumplings filled with mashed potatoes and cheese, or sauerkraut. Pierogis's have been in existence since the 13th century. It's a work of art to make the perfect dough and shape the pierogi's in a way that the filling stays inside. Pierogi's are boiled in hot water and than served with fried onions, mushrooms, and dill. Some people love topping pierogi's with sour cream. Pierogi's can also be fried once they're cooked in the boiling water. 




                                  Delicious Varenyky are a mainstay dish in Eastern Europe!

    Jul 17, 2017

    Gelato in July (Italy)

    July is the hottest month of the year in Italy. Gelato which tastes magnifico was invented in Italy and is enjoyed year round in Italy but especially in the summer months like July.

    Gelato which mean frozen in Italian is made of cream, milk, and sugar and flavored with fruit and nut purees. Italian gelato is rich in taste because it has less air and more flavoring than gelato made in other countries. In Italy by law, gelato must have at least 3.5% butterfat.

    Florence native Bernardo Buontalenti and Sicilian born Francesco Procopio are credited for their discovery of "gelato" and now it can be enjoyed all over Italy from Bologna to Sardinia.

    Gelaterie is a gelato shop.

    A gelato vendor is a gelatai.

    There are many flavors of gelato.....bacio, fragola, limone, stracciatella, and zabaione are a few.

    When in Italy.....eat lots of gelato.


    Buon Appetito!

    Jun 27, 2017

    Norway, the Stunner Country!



    Norway is a stunner. It's truly one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Though expensive it's worthy of a visit for the fjords, mountains, sea, and endless nature at every corner.

    My first encounter with NORWAY was in the late 20th century. I was in my 20's and wanted a summer job in Europe. My dream came true when a farmer in Kristiansand invited me to spend three months taking  care of his farm retreat. What a farm it was. Lots of land full of cows, pigs, and sheep. There was a lake for fishing and swimming and furnished cabins scattered along the hilly terrain for visitors who rented the cabins for a relaxing vacation close to Kristiansand and the sea.

    I worked seven days a week that summer doing everything from milking cows to painting fences. My dear friends that summer were a brother and sister from Poland who worked on the farm and a local Norwegian girl who managed the office and rented out the cabins. I worked hard on that farm and was able to indulge in lots of delicious food without gaining any weight because of all the physical work I did.

    Norway has fresh seafood, yummy cheese, delicious chocolate and amazing ice cream. It was fun to ride my bicycle during my leisure time to the nearby market and indulge in tasty treats that Norwegians are blessed to have. Every once in awhile the farmer gave me a half day off to explore the lovely countryside of Kristiansand. I would bike and hike to my hearts content and swim in amazing swimming holes scattered throughout the region. Sometimes I would ride my bicycle 20 kilometers to Kristiansand .

    Norway has many grand places to visit; Bergen, Boda, Flam, The Lofoten Islands, Oslo, Stavanger, and Tromso just to name a few. Norway is the land of fjords and the northern lights. Summer is an exceptional time to visit Norway for the lush scenery and long warm days. There's a lot to see in Norway and one visit is not enough to experience all the great wonders of this Nordic country.

    The Norwegians are famous for their salmon. It's some of the best salmon in the world. Norwegian salmon is loaded with protein, omega 3's, and vitamins A, D, & B12. Spoil yourself with Norwegian salmon. Surrounded by water galore, it's no wonder Norway is famous for seafood like salmon.


                                              There's lots of fishing boats in NORWAY

    TREASURES FROM NORWAY

      





    NORWAY has some great treasures that can be purchased as a souvenir; chocolates, trolls, and Norwegian sweaters are a few things worth getting while visiting the stunning country of NORWAY.


    WHAT ARE TROLLS?

    Trolls are scary beasts that usually live in the woods. Trolls can be ugly and slow witted. They often dwell in caves, mountains, or isolated rocks. Trolls live together in small family units. Trolls dislike human beings. Trolls are very well known in NORWAY.

    Next Post: A voyage through Kristiansand, Stavanger, Bergen, and Tromso.


    May 30, 2017

    Soothing Moments with Japanese Green Tea & Sushi

    I only made one short visit to Japan but in that short visit I was in awe of the culture and cuisine.The Japanese have one of the healthiest diets in the world. Not only is Japanese food healthy but it's very pleasing to the palate.

    Taking one hour out of the day to sit down and enjoy sushi with green tea is very soothing. There are multiple ways to enjoy eating sushi but a favorite is to sit at a sushi bar and observe a professional sushi chef prepare sushi with perfection. Another option is to visit a Japanese restaurant with a conveyer belt and handpick plates of sushi and other Japanese specialities. You can enjoy sushi with a glass of sake or a pot of traditional Japanese tea.

    Hanaya Yohei is credited for inventing hand formed sushi. He started selling sushi around 1828 in Tokyo. What would the world be without sushi? The Japanese love their sushi and so do many other ethnic cultures.

    If you're craving something sweet you'll love Japanese desserts like anmitsu, dango, daifuku, dorayaki, and mochi. Relaxing with a plate of desserts with a pot of Japanese tea will soon melt away your stresses temporarily.

    Japan has a fascinating culture and it's extraordinary cuisine is just one of its many wonders!

    Japan means "Land of the Rising Sun"
    Most streets in Japan have no name
    Japan has the highest life expectancy
    Japan has 5.52 million vending machines
    Japan has over 6,800 islands
    The Japanese eat more fish than another people in the world
    Cherry Blossoms are Japan's national flower
    The Japanese use about 25 billion chopsticks per year
    In Japan there are more pets than children


                                             Dorayaki (red bean pancakes) are very popular in Japan



                                                          Japanese tea is loaded with antioxidants

    May 17, 2017

    Switzerland, Where Life is Good!


    Swiss Chocolate
      
                                               
                                                                    Swiss Cog Rail
    It's only 41, 285 kilometers in size but every inch of Switzerland is filled with splendor. This small alpine country in central Europe is the land of Alps, banks, cows, chocolate, four languages and the magnificent Alps. Switzerland is one of the cleanest and safest countries in the world and although it's expensive a trip to Switzerland is worth the splurge. From first class hotels to family run pensions the Swiss are known for their hospitality and sophistication.

    Some Interesting Facts about Switzerland:

    The four national languages of Switzerland are German, French, Italian, and Romansh.

    Switzerland has a population of 8.3 million people.

    Swiss banks are highly regarded. One reason being that they're not allowed to reveal their account holders.

    Switzerland has about 1.59 million cows; 1 for every 5 people. Farmers put bells around their cows neck because it makes it easier to find them in Alpine meadows.

    The Swiss eat more chocolate than any other nation in the world.

    Switzerland has one of the lowest crime rates.

    On Sundays it is illegal for the Swiss to engage in activities like moving the grass, hanging out laundry, and washing their car. 

    Albert Einstein developed the formula E=MC2 in Switzerland,

    There are 208 mountains in Switzerland that are over 3,000m,

    The Swiss have to pay taxes for owning a dog.

    Swiss currency is the Swiss franc (not the Euro)

    Instant coffee known as NESCAFE was launched by NESTLE Company on 1 April 1938.

    The best watches are made by the Swiss. That's because Swiss watches are made with surgical steel and the movements are hand assembled with metal gears.. Swiss watches last a long time and are often handed down to the next family generation.


    Spotlight on German speaking Switzerland:

    My first visit to Switzerland was in the late 20th century. I took a train from northern Italy and ended up to Lucerne. A day of sightseeing in Lucerne was all I had time for because my heart was beckoning for solitude in the Alps. From Lucerne I took a train to Interlaken and spent the night at a hostel. Than it was off to Grindelwald where my eyes delighted in the storybook setting. I stayed for five nights and cried when I had to leave. 

    LUCERNE  (LUZERN) SWITZERLAND


    Whether you wish to visit the city on the lake for one day or several days, Lucerne is a good starting point for other German speaking regions of Switzerland.

    From the Bahnof (train station) walk over to Manor department store for stylish shopping. Then visit the Swiss Museum of Transport. Soon you'll be hungry and there's great food choices at Coop or Migros supermarkets. Purchase a bag or two of groceries and walk over to Lake Lucerne and enjoy your meal on the lake as you watch the graceful swans swimming on the lake. No harm in giving the swans a bit of your food.

    You can opt to take a boat cruise on Lake Lucerne and enjoy the beautiful scenery or take a walk on Europe's oldest covered wooden footbridge known as Chapel Bridge. After a day of sightseeing you can spend a night in Lucerne or take a train to nearby Interlaken.

    Places to stay in Lucerne:

    With AIRBNB airbnb.com you can feel connected with Swiss culture staying with a local.

    Hotel Options:

    Hotel des Alpes
    Hotel Waldstatterhof
    Hotel zum Rebstock
    Rosli Guest House

    Interlaken is a destination that can't be missed. By train from Lucerne you'll arrive at the highest valley railway station in Europe. Right next to the train station is a popular Interlaken Youth Hostel. The Swiss Inn and Apartments is in a prime location and close to the train station.

    While in Interlaken hike the Jungfrau and also take time to visit the Ice Palace and Trummelbach Falls. The Swiss are famous for chocolate and they consume more chocolate than any other country in the world. Indulge in chocolate bars, pralines, and truffles at the Swiss Chocolate Chalet in Interlaken. The chocolate here is some of the best in Switzerland and it's made with Swiss milk.

    For good eats locals and tourists enjoy Husi Bierhaus for a multitude of beers and delicious Swiss fare. Interlaken is a genuine mountain resort town that attracts international travels who are seeking outstanding hiking and spectacular scenery.

    So much to do and see in Switzerland. This country of four languages is diverse in culture and scenery. It's a wonderful place to live and visit. SWITZERLAND, Where Life if Good!




                                                       




    Apr 20, 2017

    Masala Chai (The Spice of Life and an Indian tradition)

    Tea is now becoming the more favored beverage around the world and with great reason; tea has antioxidants, it's gentle on the throat, it can be enjoyed in a relaxing environment with friends, and family, and the choices of tea flavors are endless. My favorite? MASALA CHAI

    In India, masala chai is the national drink that is consumed by most Indians. The scents of cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger are alluring and they're the key spices that make "MASALA CHAI" so tasty.

    Yesterday my good Indian friend from Northern India invited me into the kitchen of her Indian cafe and made me some samosa's, saag panner, and a pot of Masala Chai.Although I've been making masala chai for months it wasa privilege to watch my Indian friend make a divine pot of tea that pleased my tastebuds so much that I consumed a few cups
    of this magical tea.

    If you want to spice up your life with with a tea that pleases the tastebuds, indulge in some MASALA CHAI and experience some true nirvana.


    MASALA CHAI RECIPE:

    2 tsp of fresh ginger root ginger, finely sliced
    2 tsp whole fennel seeds
    1/4 tsp black peppercorns
    1 fresh bay leaf
    15 cardamon pods
    6 whole cloves
    1 cinnamon stick
    1 tsp black tea leaves
    1 cup of milk (you can use a milk alternative like almond milk or coconut milk)
    4 teaspoons of honey or sugar (optional)

    In a saucepan combine cold filtered water with the ginger, fennel seeds, black peppercorns,bay leaf, cardamon pods, cloves, and 1 cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil than cover and simmer for five minutes. Take the pan off the heat, add the tea and let it steep for 5 to 10 minutes.

    Strain the tea through a sieve into a large jug, add the milk and honey or sugar and drink immediately.





    Apr 13, 2017

    Coconut Juice and Spring Rolls in Thailand

    Exotic Thailand is the land of Buddhist temples, royal palaces, enchanting islands, jungles, mountains, and sea. You can watch the monkeys swinging from trees, ride an elephant, come close to a tamed tiger and sip on coconut water on a turquoise beach all in the same day The food in Thailand is extraordinary. While spending a few weeks backpacking through Thailand I indulged in everything from street food to meals at a jungle homestay and I didn't gain weight instead I lost weight. Who can resist eating in Thailand with that kind of perk? Coconut Juice and Spring Rolls were one of my many go to treats. As I sip on coconut juice and indulge in vegetable spring rolls back in North America I long to return to this southeast Asian country that is truly one of the best destination spots on the globe.




    COCONUT JUICE: Nature's Thirst Quencher

    How to enjoy coconut juice: Mark the top of the coconut with a V and cut the V shape with a big vegetable cleaver. Place a tall straw into the coconut and drink the juice. After drinking the juice of the coconut, scoop out the coconut and use it to make coconut ice cream or other Thai dishes.




    A tale of two continents; East meets West in ISTANBUL

    Historically known as Constantinople and Byzantium, the present day ISTANBUL is a magical city that strategically lies on two contine...