Fesenjan (Persian Pomegranate Chicken Stew)

I love Persian food, and Fesenjan is one of my favorite dishes. It’s chicken cooked in a walnut pomegranate sauce. It’s tangy and rich, the perfect accompaniment to rice!

I used Durra’s pomegranate molasses which to me is pretty sour. So I added sugar to mitigate the sourness.

I got my Fesenjan recipe from persianmama. There are many other great Persian recipes on the website so check it out.

Jamie Oliver’s deep pan pizza

I have followed Jamie Oliver for years! I love his casual, easy-going cooking style. It’s never complicated with Jamie.

I came across an easy and quick pizza recipe on his new TV show – Keep Cooking & Carry On. It is now one of my favorite pizzas. You get the taste of the herbs, it’s savory with a bit of heat and tang.

The written recipe for this pizza can be found at Jamie Oliver’s website – https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/bread-recipes/cheat-s-deep-pan-pizza/

You just need a few ingredients for the toppings and the pizza dough is made from self-rising flour so there is no need for proofing the dough. The first time I made this was in a cast iron pan. This time I wanted a thinner crust so I baked the pizza on a preheated inverted baking pan. Comparing both, I feel this topping goes better on a thicker crust.

Since fresh sausages were not readily available for me, I decided to make my own with minced pork. I marinated the pork with cumin, cornstarch, smoked paprika, soy sauce, salt, pepper, and chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley.

 

 

Lusso lab, Jeongdong

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Lusso Lab is located in the quiet historical area of Jeongdong, not far from Deoksugung Palace. The quaint neighborhood is beautiful for a stroll after a meal. The interior is spacious with industrial style decor. There is an enticing display of cakes by the counter. The staff is friendly but spoke minimal English.

The menu offers Western food such as french toast, American breakfast, eggs benedicts, and etc. There are also brunch sets available.

I settled for the brunch set C, which consists of an American breakfast set, a cobb salad, and 2 cups of coffee, we opted for a latte and cappuccino. Also, I ordered a Tiramisu, brioche bread with bechamel sauce, ham, cheese, egg, and grilled asparagus, and a Brioche French toast.

The brioche French toast came with homemade ricotta cheese, bacon, walnuts, blueberries, and maple syrup. The French toast was pillowy soft. The ricotta cheese was creamy and smooth with a hint of sweetness, and the bacon was not too salty – a good balance between sweet and savory. The tiramisu could be better. Some parts of the sponge cake were dry, and the taste of coffee was weak.

Compared to the other dishes, I did not enjoy the American breakfast. It was a bit bland, and I would have preferred toasted bread. The brioche bread with bechamel sauce was good, the creamy bechamel sauce paired with cheese and ham – delicious!

Overall, an excellent spot for brunch!

 

Vanilla french toast  12,800 won

Croque Madame  9,800 won

Brunch set C  25,800 won

 

Lusso Lab, Jeongdong branch

Website: https://www.lussolab.co.kr/main.do

Opening hours:  Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 20:00 p.m

Saturday & Sunday 9:00 a.m. – 20:00 p.m.

Telephone: 02-772-9935

Address: 17 Jeongdong-gil, Jeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul

Silavadee pool spa resort

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Silavadee pool spa resort is nestled on a rocky beach between Chaweng and Lamai beach with breathtaking views of the sea. The tropical style rooms are cozy and comfortable, well equipped, and clean. The complimentary fruit was a nice touch. Facilities at the resort include two infinity pools, a private beach, a spa, and a fitness center.

I stayed for two nights at the resort. I booked the deluxe room with an ocean view and a hot tub. The view from the room was picturesque. There is also a great view of the sea from the bathroom. I stayed in room 213, which was a corner room, and you can view the sunset from the balcony. Unfortunately, I had a noise disturbance at 1 am, at 7 am, and 9 am. I called the reception each time to report the noise. They dealt with it right away. Unexpectedly the next day, they upgraded me to a pool villa with a partial view of the sea. The room was quiet and spacious. I was able to get a good night’s rest.

The staff there were friendly, courteous, and accommodating, one of the highlights of the resort.

In-room dining

Ceaser salad and spaghetti bolognese

Both were delicious.

Breakfast at Moon restaurant

The hotel offers a good breakfast spread of both Asian and Western cuisine. There are a variety of tropical fruit juices, smoothies, and local herbal teas. There is also a menu for made to order/ hot dishes such as eggs benedict, roti, steamed fish fillet and etc.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

All in all, this is a beautiful resort surrounded by lush greens, in balance and harmony with its surroundings. The attentive care of the staff is a testament to Thai hospitality. I left feeling energized and relaxed!

 

Silavadee pool spa resort

Website: https://www.silavadeeresort.com/

Telephone: +66(0)77-960-555

Address: 208/66 Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand

STAR bar, Silavadee

I love this rooftop bar. The view is spectacular with a panoramic view of the sea and mountains. It is the ideal place to grab a drink, relax, and watch the sunset. The atmosphere is laid back yet romantic. Reservation is highly recommended if you prefer a specific seating area. I made a reservation and got a seat at one of the four sunken tables.

There is an excellent selection of cocktails and an international menu for those who would like to order food. For couples, there is a special romantic dinner available which needs to be booked ahead of time.  There is also a live saxophone performance and a seafood barbeque buffet every Thursday evenings at 6:00 p.m.

STAR bar

Website: https://www.silavadeeresort.com/silavadee-dining

Opening hours: Daily 17:00 p.m. – 23:00 p.m.

Telephone: +66 77 960 555

Address: 208/66 Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand

The Height, Silavadee

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Height is a Thai restaurant atop the hillside at the Silavadee Pool Spa Resort. The uninterrupted panoramic sea view from the terrace is stunning. The menu is extensive, offering Northern and Southern Thai dishes, including Khantoke whereby food is served on a pedestal tray.

It was a beautiful night with a clear view of the moon shining above the horizon. The perfect setting for a memorable dinner. The staff was friendly and helpful.

The prawn curry was creamy with a mild heat, and the prawns were fresh. There was also petai, also known as stink beans, in the curry. It is widely used in Southeast Asia. Petai has a strong odor, and it lingers in your mouth. As a Malaysian, petai is not foreign to me. The curry helps reduce the strong taste of the petai.

The papaya salad was well seasoned, and the fried chicken wings were crispy and juicy. The fritters were delicious crunchy banana goodness.

The prices are quite high, but the view is definitely worth a trip!

 

Papaya salad – 331.35 baht

Curry prawns with bamboo – 416.31 baht

Deep-fried banana fritters – 212.40 baht

 

The Height

Website: https://www.silavadeeresort.com/silavadee-dining.php

Opening hours: Daily 17:00 p.m. – 22:30 p.m.

Telephone: +66 77 960 555

Address: 208/66 Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84310, Thailand

 

Peanut turnover pancake (Apam Balik)

Apam Balik is a popular Malaysian street food dessert that is a sweet folded pancake filled with sugar, peanuts, and creamy sweet corn. I grew up eating this pancake, as a child, I will always get my mother to buy me some when she takes me to the market.

The traditional filling consists of peanuts, sugar, and cream of corn. Just like pancakes, you can add any fillings you like – fruits, chocolate, jam, honey ..etc. There is a thin and thicker version. I prefer mine thicker, I like the chewier soft mouthfeel.

I got the recipe for this turnover pancake from elmundoeats. (https://www.elmundoeats.com/asian-peanut-pancake-turnover-apam-balik/)

 

Dalgona coffee

 

This whipped coffee has taken social media by storm. It’s velvety, creamy, and luxurious. There’s something about this coffee that makes me feel classy when I have it. It is effortless to make with just 4 ingredients.

I usually have my Dalgona coffee in a rocks glass. I fill two-thirds of the glass with cold milk and 4 ice cubes, then dollop two tablespoons of the whipped coffee topped with a sprinkle of cocoa powder.

The amount of whipped coffee can vary depending on how strong you want your drink to be. If you prefer your drink hot, you can use warm milk.

 

Dalgona coffee

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp instant coffee
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp hot water
  • 1 Cup milk cold/hot

Instructions

  • Add instant coffee powder, sugar, and hot water into a bowl.
  • Whisk it using an electric mixer continuously until creamy, smooth, and light. You can whisk by hand, but it will take longer.
  • Add cold milk with a few ice cubes or hot milk to a glass.
  • Add two tablespoons of whipped coffee or more if you like it creamier.
  • Dust the top with either cocoa powder, cinnamon, or nutmeg powder.
  • Enjoy your Dalgona coffee!

Rustic white bread

I started making bread about 2 months ago. This is the first white rustic bread I have successfully made in a dutch oven, I was overjoyed. The aroma is amazing, and the bread is soft on the inside with a lovely thin crust. The mouthfeel is similar to a baguette.

The dough is quite wet and sticky. To work the dough, I used a plastic dough scraper to pull at one end and fold it over the top to the other side of the dough, rotating the bowl after each fold. I did this for about 2 minutes.

I followed Bruno Albouze’s (a French chef) method of proofing, which is letting the dough rest for 4 hours, deflating every hour, and shaping the dough to proof in a banneton basket. You can view his method in the video below.

 

Because the proofed dough was still very sticky and soft, I placed a parchment paper over the basket, then put a plate on top and flipped the basket over. I then transferred the parchment paper with the dough into a preheated dutch oven. In my tabletop electric oven, it took 50 minutes to bake the bread – 30 minutes with the lid on and 20 minutes with the lid off.

 

The finished product – a beautiful rustic bread with natural splits. Nothing beats a freshly baked bread.

Although wet dough/high hydration dough can be hard to work with, it produces bread with a lovely thin crust that is soft inside.

Original bread recipe from valentinascorner 

Rustic White Bread

  • Servings: yields 1 loaf
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup water, warm ( 33 – 40° C / 91 – 104° F)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, warm
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp oil (Canola or Olive oil)
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 ½ tsp active dry yeast/instant yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Steps

  1. Preheat the oven and dutch oven (with the lid on) at 230° C/ 446° F for 30 minutes.
  2. Add yeast and sugar in the warm water, stir to mix and cover with a towel for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
  3. Sift flour in a large bowl, add in salt, sugar, oil, and warm milk, stir to combine.
  4. Add the water with yeast in the flour mixture and mix with hand until you get a wet sticky dough.
  5. Use either a dough scraper or wet hands, pull one end and fold it over the top to the other side of the dough. Continue this for 2 minutes. Dip mixing hands in water to prevent dough from sticking to your hands. You can rewet your hands a few times during this process. Do not add flour.
  6. Cover with a tea cloth and let it rest 4 hours, deflating the dough every one hour.
  7. After letting the dough rest for 4 hours, gently tip the topside of the dough on a floured surface.
  8. Draw up the edges to the center to create a disc shape and transfer to a well-floured banneton basket to proof for another hour.
  9. Place a parchment paper over the basket, then put a plate on top and flipped the basket over. Carefully transfer parchment paper with the dough into a preheated dutch oven.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, then remove the lid and bake for another 20 minutes or until the loaf is medium brown all around.
  11. Transfer the bread to a wire rack and let it cool down to room temperature before cutting.