Sunday, May 28, 2017

Gifts from Bali

 The Blog Tech might still do a post about his honeymoon but he and his wife have been so jet lagged that they haven't even unpacked yet.  They did unpack the gifts they brought back though.  He bought his dad this bag of Luwak coffee.

 I've heard about this stuff for years but this was the first chance I had to try it.  You can click and enlarge the description but basically the civet eats the berries, poops them out and they make coffee out of it.  Some people think it is the best coffee in the world.  Not me. I just want to know who the person was that came up with this idea?

 I got this ceremonial rice bowl.

 And this T-shirt. Nasi Goreng is one of the most popular Indonesian dishes.

 It is served at all of the warungs which are small restaurants found all over Bali.

 And as you can see if nasi goreng is made without a fried egg, it is not special.

My favorite gift is this mahogany, hand carved medallion which will look great hanging at the guest house. Thank you Blog Tech and DIL for thinking of us when you were gone!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Spring Gardens

On this rainy, cool Spring morning, I have a very grumpy Chow Chow puppy.  She HATES getting her paws wet.
 Everything is in bloom in  my gardens right now.

 This white Asian lilac's scent is overwhelming.

 Mock orange.

 I have never seen my dogwoods covered in so many blooms.

 Container celery.

 Tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and cucumbers.

 This clematis is about to burst forth with flowers.

 I already have green peppers forming.

 And my most favorite plant of all, Oakleaf Hydrangea!  They are about to flower too.  No wonder my allergies are killing me.

Everything is so lush and green.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

In addition to the Indonesian green beans I made yesterday, I also made the weary travelers two satays. The one on the left is made with thinly sliced chicken breasts. Slice 4 boneless chicken breasts into thin slices. In your food processor, blend 2 stalks of lemongrass, 3 garlic cloves, 6 shallots, 2 tsp. turmeric, 1 tsp. coriander pwd., 1 tsp. chili pwd., 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 T. sugar. Add a little water and marinate the chicken in this for 24 hours. After it's marinaded, skewer it on bamboo skewers which have been soaked in water for at least an hour.  Cook over charcoal until chicken is cooked and begins to scorch.

Serve it with peanut sauce:  1-1/2 cups peanuts chopped.  1 C. water, 1 T. sweet soy sauce (kecap manis), 1-1/2 T. palm sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 C. oil, 1/4 C. tamarind juice.    4 dried chilies, 3 cloves garlic, 3 shallots minced, 2 stalks lemongrass minced, 1 inch cube ginger minced, 1 T. coriander powder.  Saute the last 6 ingredients in the 1/4 cup of oil until aromatic.  Stir in the rest of the ingredients and cook until it begins to thicken.  Serve it drizzled over the cooked chicken.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Indoneasian Green Beans

The Blog Tech and his wife should be landing in Philedelphia as I type this.  They are on their very long trip home from Bali.  Those two foodies are going to go into exotic food shock after eating such a wide array of Indonesian food for the last two weeks.They sent me daily pics of everything they ate.  Lucky for them, I learned how to cook Indonesian food when I lived in Toronto.  I got up early this morning and have been cooking them a Bali feast.  I started by making them the most popular vegetable recipe in that part of the world, green beans.

1/4 kg of green beans
3 tablespoons of chopped onions
1 clove of garlic
1 teaspoon sambal oelek and 1/2 teaspoon terasi – shrimp paste)
1 teaspoon of minced ginger
1 teaspoon of Javanese sugar or brown sugar
1 stalk of lemongrass
1 salam leaf
1/4 cup coconut cream (what's on top of the can)
2 tablespoons of oil
some salt
Bean sprouts
 Clean the green beans and set them aside.  Put the next 7 ingredients in your food processor and blend them into a paste.  Add the paste to a few tablespoons of oil in a heavy pot and cook it stirring for about 4 minutes.  Add the green beans and cook stirring often until they soften.  Don't overcook them.  Sprinkle with some salt.

 Add some water if they are too dry.

Stir in a bag of bean sprouts, cover and let the pot sit for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle chopped peanuts mixed with unsweetened coconut over the top.  I'll post pics of the other dishes tomorrow.  They just texted me from Philly!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Garlic Lemon Butter Salmon

 My daughter and her boyfriend had the day together yesterday which doesn't happen often.  They both work such long hours that when they get a day off, they usually just want to relax.  I offered to make them a good dinner.  Her boyfriend loves birds and that is one thing I have an over abundance of around here.  My bird population is out of control!  So, yesterday evening, they went to the guest house with binoculars and a bird book and I served them dinner.  I was so busy that I forgot to take pics.  I made these caraway breadsticks and wrapped them in proscuitto.

 I made rice cakes and topped them with a truffled parsnip puree and brown butter and thyme seared scallops.  I made lots of other appetizers for them too.

This salmon was a big hit and it is so easy to make:

Monday, May 22, 2017

Playing With My Food

Another entry for the flower show.  I wanted it to look like a parrot but it looks more like a buzzard!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Coconut Cake and a Welsh Flower Show

 I made this cake yesterday for my daughter to take to work.  She said it was so good that people were moaning as they ate it.  If you like coconut, you might want to give it a try:

  • Cake:
  • 1½ cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract 
  • 1¾ cups flour
  • 2 cups flaked coconut

  • Coconut Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • sprinkling of toasted coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Generously grease and flour a bundt pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour and flaked coconut. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter & sugar. Add eggs and mix until mixture is light and fluffy. Add sour cream, baking powder and coconut extract. Mix well.
  4. Add half of the flour mixture to creamed mixture, mix well. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until well combined.
  5. Grease you bundt pan just before pouring in the batter.
  6. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for for 60 - 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 25 minutes. Invert onto serving plate. Frost with coconut glaze.
  7. For the glaze: Mix ingredients together. Pour on top of cake and let the glaze drizzle down the sides of the cake. Top with coconut, if desired. I doubled the glaze recipe.
If you like to play with your food, hop over to Going Gently's blog and enter the Trelawnyd International Novelty Fruit and Vegetable Competition.  It's a flower show held in a small Welsh town. There were 80 entries last year and John is hoping for 100 this year. Above is my first entry this year.  Carrot Miranda....let the fun begin! Send your creation to: