When I told my dad that next up was Lebanon he got excited. He said The food there is amazing!! Lebanon I have been waiting for that one, please make this when you are visiting us! Lebanon is a sophisticated, tolerant and beautiful country, but it has had some issues in the past, I distinctly remember an episode of Anthony Bourdain when he visited Beirut (the capital of Lebanon) at the wrong time when all hell broke loose when the Israeli’s bombed the city because of a kidnapping. The Lebanese are a proud nation proud of their music, dancing, their way of living but above all their food. There is a reason why the food in Lebanon is so good, so many cultures passed through Lebanon; the Greeks, the Romans, the French. So if even if you are not a museum buff it is still a great place to stuff yourself with all sorts of delicacies
Things you didn’t know about Lebanon:
- Lebanon is the only Arab country that has absolutely no dessert
- In springtime, and on the same day, you can ski in the mountains and/or swim in the sea.
- There’s 1 doctor per 10 people in Lebanon. (In Europe and America, there’s around 1 doctor per 100 people).
- There are 4.5 Million Lebanese in Lebanon. There are around 18 Million Lebanese outside Lebanon.
- Byblos (a city in Lebanon) is the oldest continuously living city in the world. The country’s name is known to be the oldest in the world and has remained unchanged for over 4000 years.
- The Phoenicians (Original People of Lebanon) built the 1st boat, and they were the first to sail ever.
This salad is legendary, it wanted to make it with freekeh but I went to 3 stores and couldn’t find it anywhere, so I bought some pearl barley which turned out great!!!
Germany, the biggest and most populated country in the world. I love Germany, every time I go there I am amazed. Especially Berlin! Berlin is sooo refreshing, the city is just buzzing you can feel the creativity everywhere you go! Trendy shops, cutting edge restaurants, all of these juicers that are on almost every corner,… . I know Germans have a bad reputation around the world but guys there is so much more to Germany then just the War! Think about the Oktoberfest, which is basically just drinking beer for about 3 weeks of crazy beer drinking and eating Bratwurst and sauerkraut! The German economy is the most stable one of all the countries in Europe. Angela Merkel figured some shit out! (Wir schaffen Das!) Really guys if you ever get the chance to go to Germany don’t pass it up! It’s an epic country
Things you didn’t know about Germany:
- If you ask a German the time and are told “halb drei” (literally “half three”) the time is in fact half past two (half two in English). Germans count the minutes to the next hour rather than after.
- The Munich Oktoberfest actually starts in late September. Don’t worry too much if you miss it: there are 60 beer gardens in and around the city that are open all summer.
- Fanta originated in Germany as a result of difficulties importing Coca-Cola syrup into Nazi Germany during WW2.
- There is a Barbie doll modelled on Germany’s current Chancellor Angela Merkel.There is a Barbie doll modelled on Germany’s current Chancellor Angela Merkel.
- Berlin is 9 times bigger than Paris and has more bridges than Venice.
- Holocaust denial is either implicitly or explicitly a crime in 17 countries, including Germany and Austria.
The potato salad is nothing like your old school potato salad. This is refreshing with it’s fresh herbs and mustard seeds.
Ingredients: 500 gram jersey potatoes, 50 gram watercress, 3 spring onions, handful of chopped chives, handful of chopped parsley, 1 tbspoon of chopped fresh dill, sundried tomatoes to taste,
Ingredients dressing: 1/4 cup of vegetable stock, 2 teaspoons of vinegar, 1 tsp of whole grain mustard, vegetable oil, pinch of sugar, seasalt, peper
Wash the potatoes thoroughly and cut them roughly in equal pieces. Submerge in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Cook them until they are fork tender not overcooked. Shock with cold water so the cooking process stops and drain them into a clean bowl. Pour the vinegar and hot stock over while the are still hot so they soak up the flavor better. Mix in the mustard, sugar and season well with salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the neutral vegetable oil, until the potatoes are covered in a nice sheen. Toss in all the herbs and greens and the sundried tomatoes. Set a side for a least an hour or preferably overnight so the flavors can mingle.
Soo this week I found out that I forgot a country. I was so looking forward to Cuba and Czech Republic that I completely forgot the amazing country of Cyprus! So stupid since I love Mediterranean food!
Cyprus is a complicated place, half Greek and half Turkish but completely part of the European Union. Because of it’s strategic location the history of Cyprus is basically the history between East and West. It’s also an incredibly popular tourist destination. The blue sea, beautiful beaches and rich history attract tons of tourists! And not just the nice kind… amongst Cyprus is know as a party destination. Which means weird people who just came for the cheap booze and hot girls in bikini. Tragic…
There are lots of ancient Greek myths about Cyprus supposedly Aphrodite (Greek goddess of love) was born there.
- Mount Olympus, which is notable in Greek mythology as being the home of the gods, is the tallest mountain in the Troodos range.
- Cyprus was once the wealthiest nation in the known world. It was during the Copper and Bronze Ages when the island’s rich natural copper resources were exported to other countries.
- Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, is now the only capital in the world to be divided between two nations – North Cyprus & South Cyprus.
- One of the world’s most famous shipwrecks lies off the Cypriot coast near Limassol Harbour. The Zenobia, with its cargo of vehicles, sunk in 1980.
I had never tried haloumi cheese but now I am hooked my friends! It has the texture of mozzarella but it tastes like goat cheese, oh come on! This pimps up every salad you make!
Ingredients: about 10 cherry tomatoes, 1/2 bulb of halloumi cheese, cucumber, mint, olive oil
Half the cherry tomatoes, slice the cucumber and slice the halloumi cheese.
Dip the halloumi cheese in olive oil and then fry it in a pan. They are ready when they are a little golden on the outside. Don’t worry it doesn’t melt!
Grab a few mint leaves and put everything in a salad bowl. Sprinkle with a little olive oil and your done!
What I love about this dish is hard to describe I guess it’s the combination since I’m not a big mango lover. I know really really odd but as a kid I couldn’t stand them. I was quite the fussy eater, I am forever grateful to my mum for forcing me to try everything, and making my eat those dreadful mango’s kiwi’s and drink glasses of fresh orange juice she pressed herself every single morning. Yes I did not make mornings easy for my parents, breakfast was always a struggle, since I didn’t like bread or fruit or milk. If it had been up to 4-year-old me I would have eaten dry cereal without yoghurt or milk (yoghurt or milk made my cereal soggy and I hated soggy cereal) or even better nothing at all! I even would have skipped lunch. Luckily I had a strong mom who refused to give in to my tantrums. So mom’s with fussy eaters as children, make them try everything, they will thank you one day! Dinner however was and is the happiest time of day for me, since my mom is an amazing cook! I ate everything I could get my hands to, from oysters to lobster to foie gras to brussels sprouts. But back to the mango salsa, since a few years I love mango. I was looking for a refreshing, colorful salad and stumbled upon a great mango salsa and I found it. It’s quite spicy because of chili but you could always adapt the chili to your own taste. I like a little kick so I added an entire green chili! I served salsa with a nice piece of grilled salmon, but I bet it tastes epic on a taco! This recipe makes enough for 4 people as a side dish Ingredients: 1 fresh mango cut into cubes (learn how to do this the easy way right here), 1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped small, 1 green chili deseeded and finely chopped, 1 red onion, 1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro, juice of 1 lime, salt to taste Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and let stand at room temperature for 15-20 minutes in order for the flavors to marry. That’s it! No oil nothing else! Finito! DONE!
You know the places you used to dream of as a kid. Blue lagoons, white beaches, girls with flowers in their hair etc etc? What if I told you a place like this still exists. On 15 tiny islands in the South Pacific you’ll find a thousand years of Polynesian culture sitting side by side with some of the most spectacular natural scenery in the world. And the best thing is, the Cook Islands are not overrun by mass tourism yet. Probably because it’s very very expensive to go there. The Cook Islands is a representative democracy with a parliamentary system in an associated state relationship with New Zealand. Their currency is New Zealand Dollar.
Here are some fun facts about the Cook Islands:
- The Cook Islands are the world’s second largest producer of black pearls.
- It is summer year-round in the Cook Islands. The drier months are from April to November with average temperatures between 20 to 26 degrees Celsius. The hotter, more humid months are from December to March with an average maximum temperature of 28 degrees Celsius. (Seriously??!). Oh yeah the ocean is also 29 degrees Celsius so swimming pool temperature! (Is this the actual paradise?)
- The official language on the Cook Islands is English, but many people speak Maori. Still there is concern of the youth thinking that learning Maori language is irrelevant.
- Cook Islanders are very religious (catholic) they have strong sentimental feelings towards their past, traditions and culture.
- Dancing and music is a very important part of the Cook Island culture.
Ika Mata is sort of a ceviche like salad. I absolutely loved it! I felt like I a wizard when the fish sort of cooked in the lemon juice :P. I put in the fridge raw and took it out cooked! TADAAA!! And it was yummy, tasted so summery and tropical. It would be perfect starter or side dish on hot summer day. Really something to impress people with and believe me it is so easy that you could train a monkey to make it! 😀
Ingredients: salt to taste, 1 cup of coconut cream, 1 cup of lemon juice, 1 kg firm fish (I used monk fish), tabasco to taste, 1 red onion, 1 red bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper, 1 spring onion, 1 cup of chopped coriander, 1 cup of chopped mint leaves, 1 cup of parsley.
- Cut the fish into small dice and put into a bowl. Tip over the lemon juice and stir. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Pour the fish and the juice into a colander and drain.
- Return the fish to a clean bowl and add the coconut cream, salt and Tabasco. Taste and add more salt and Tabasco if desired.
- Stir through the onion, capsicum and spring onion while reserving a little of each to garnish. Refrigerate before serving in small bowls. Garnish, adding optional torn fresh coriander leaves
You could consider Chad as Africa for the advanced. Chad is no place to travel to for the weak. Chad is as real as it gets. Bribing the police is not the exception but the rule. Added to that, the summer heat is mind-melting, travel costs can be astronomical and the security situation remains unpredictable. So why bother going to Chad right? There are plenty of reasons to go Chad, frankly I don’t even know where to start! There are the sublime oases hidden in the northern dessert, the exquisite wild life in the National Parks, and the unforgettable boat trips on Lake Chad.
So here are some fun facts about Chad:
- The average Chadian woman gives birth to six children.
- The flag of Chad has vertical blue, yellow and red stripes. The blue strip symbolizes hope , the yellow stripe symbolizes the sun, the red stripe symbolizes fire and unity.
- Chad is sometimes referred to as ‘The Death Heart of Africa’ due to the desert climate.
- Chad it is about the size of Spain, France and Kansas combined
- Did you know Chad is home to up to 200,000 Sudanese refugees.
It was a real challenge to find a recipe from Chad, they mostly eat tomatoes and onions apparently. So I made a salad. It was good but just so a little too basic for my taste.
Ingredients: 5 tomatoes (thinly sliced), 2 small onions (thinly sliced), 1 red or green chili (de-seeded and lengthways into fine slivers, handful of coriander (finely chopped), juice of 1 lime, 3 tbsp olive oil, black pepper to taste.
Place the tomatoes, sliced onions, chilli and coriander into a large serving bowl. Mix together the limejuice and olive oil and toss this mixture through the salad. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately. This is the traditional version, but shredded cabbage or carrot can be added.
Well this recipe is certainly something. I tried making something super healthy for a change. Just because we all need our vitamins, don’t we. I love healthy food I just mostly prefer the unhealthy food, which I know is bad for me. Luckily this salad is so light and full of flavor, and the best part is no regrets afterwards about eating to many calories! Not saying, I count my calories, I never do, but my mom is worried about hers and mine! So to make her happy I made this refreshing colorful salad.
This salad smells amazing as you make it. By the time you plate it up your diners will be pounding the table!