New Nikon camera

I am often asked which camera do we use for the pictures? Therefore I don’t think that camera is the main aspect of making cool photos, but it makes sense when you have to make a choice of the brand. We chose Nikon camera years ago. And we have a lot of stuff for it including different lenses and from that time we are loyal customers of Nikon brand.

And since the new camera was released, we want to sell the one which made all of those and many other wonderful pictures. So D800 is for sale now.

Thai style mussels recipe and kaffir lime tree growing from a seed

kaffir-lime-treeAs far as you don’t know yet I am addicted to Thai food. I love to cook Thai curries all ways and noodles and everything about that. I adapt it to myself as far i don’t eat so hot dishes as they usually are. One day I decided to have Thai herbs garden. Well, it’s cold outside and I was thinking about starting indoors. I bought seeds of thai basils and the Kaffir lime at thaiseeds.com and started to propagate the Kaffir.

The first experience was bad. They died under mildew. I gave it a try for a second time with extra re-hydrating them in wet cotton for 24 hours before I put them into Jiffy’s tablets. The tablets are made from substrate for propagating seeds and easy transplanting them in a pot or a garden.

After almost 2 weeks I saw the seed raised a bit and the next day it was like on the picture one. After 4 more days it looked like at the picture two. It’s growing fast. i transplanted it in a pot and covered with a jar until it gets bigger.

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Kaffir lime leaves are most often used as an essential ingredient for flavoring many Asian dishes. I found fresh in local Mars and Spenser store for USD2.5 for just 4 leaves.

The dark green leaves come in double form – a more pointed top leaf joined to a more rounded bottom leaf. They impart not only a sweet, lemony scent but a wondrous flavor of their own to soups, salads, curries and stir-fried dishes. For watery simmered dishes, the leaves are bruised and added whole; for dry dishes, they are cut into very fine hair-like slivers. To sliver, stack a few leaves at a time and cut at a slanted angle with a sharp knife; or use scissors.

let’s return to our muttons, I meant mussels. We stuck to some Belgian restaurants for a couple of months and, of course, all that is about mussels. We tried different but the most favorite is Thai style in coconut milk.

Remembering mussel’s evenings in France we decided to repeat it here. We bought 4 kg of fresh mussels (it should be for 5 persons). My husband always wash and clean them. I tried once and all my hands was scratched and in pain, mussels still were not good enough and since then I have never tried it again. This is the most unpleasant part about cooking mussels.

The recipe contains two parts: mussels boiled in white wine with celery and onion and Thai sauce.

I prepared spices and herbs for the Thai sauce.

You need:

  • lime juice
  • lemongrass 2-3 sticks
  • ginger (I love to eat it cooked if to cut in thin pieces)
  • galangal (optional but worth to find) It’s a type of ginger but it has more specific aroma. It’s not edible by the way. Too hard.
  • chili fresh or dried
  • 2-4 kaffir lime leaves
  • coconut milk 1-2 cans depends on how thick sauce would you prefer
  • a pinch of brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp of green curry paste (as for me it would be good enough and without it)
  • 1 tsp of coconut oil or any oil

Preheat oil and curry paste, add one tablespoon of coconut milk and stir the paste.

Add all milk and all ingredients all together (except lime juice) and cook for 5-10 minutes after boiling. Add lime juice at the end and leave by side.

For mussels you need:

  • about 1 kg of them per person if it’s a main dish
  • 1 celery
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bottle of dry white wine

Cut celery and onion into small pieces. Put mussels and vegetables in a pot and add wine. Cook them about 3-5 minutes after boiling. Than pour off the wine to another pot. You will probably want to mix it in Thai sauce later. Put mussels in a big pan by portions. Pour Thai sauce and wine sauce on top.

Precooked mussels and prepared herbs and spices.

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Can be eaten with jasmine or basmati rice.

Ready to eat

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Day 23. Captain Cook trail. Honaunau park and coconut hunting.

This funny film where I am snorkeling and cracking whole coconut speaking Russian.

And the day 23 – trail to Captain Cook monument.

You have to be scared before the trail. Not all trails in Hawaii are like that but we chose challenging ones. It the trail is not as missed workout, it doesn’t worth doing. This one is short but good. Even to go downhill is challenging enough. My husband fall on the rocks and miraculously didn’t get crashed himself and the camera. After that he put in in the backpack and we don’t see any pictures from this trail until the very end.

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The only I have from my camera. 1/3 of the way is in high grass, which you can spot on the video above. Its disgusting enough, so you’d better wear long sleeve AND long shorts, which I didn’t have.

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February update

I decided to order skating dress from Thuono and I have to say it was right. The dress is super warm so I don’t need to wear many layers anymore. The only thing it is made as a body, so if you need to go to the restroom that would be a problem.

I was advised to buy L size because of the length and still, despite I am not a tall person, I feel a kind of short in the shoulders inside the dress. I wish it would be longer.

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I had long flue and after flue recovery. I lost more than one month in total. Finally I feel I am as healthy as I was before the flue. But unfortunately I am not as strong as I was what makes me quite sad.

February is here and its windy. I gained few kilos this winter and started 100% protein diet for two days today, then I am going to continue with high protein meal plan to be ready for the spring.

My garden is starting blooming. I have many plans to grow veggies this year. I will keep it updated soon. I propagate a lot of seeds at the moment. Asparagus, 7 kinds of tomatoes, melon cantaloupe which I bought in CA this summer (see below),

melon

4 types of basil (2 of them are Thai for my curries) and normal for pesto and tomatoes.

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And my baby girl was eight this month.

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Ice skating in Prague and autumn pumpkin soup recipe.

Hello everyone!

Seems, I have been lost for a couple of weeks. I am all gone to figure skating and, I must admit, it is not so easy. I decide to work hard and I am so exhausted all the time now. I have long lasted health issue because I have to breathe with my mouth on the ice my throat is sick all the time. I could not run for those reasons, I skipped many swimming workouts but I am very very happy. The ice gives me a feeling of childish joy and forgotten chill on my cheeks. We have almost no freezing here and I found that I missed that a bit.

I am training with Ice Skating Ligue with small girls but I don’t care much about that. The only problem I faced with is that they think I am a trainer and I am better than they what is very very false. I hope every girl soon will understand that fact:)

I got my new skates Riedell Diamond133. We baked them in an oven and they fitted so well that I completely forgot I have skates on after an hour.

Screen shot 2015-11-09 at 6.06.49 PMWhile I am trying to get well I cook a lot of vegetables. The pumpkin season is here now and a very popular pumpkin coconut soup. Easy to cook, warming and delicious.

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Recipe of Pumpkin Coconut Soup

1 small pumpkin about 1kg or 4 lbs

1 can of coconut cream (400 ml)

2 teaspoons of red curry paste

seasoning salt, parsley, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin oil – all optional

  1. Cut pumpkin into halves
  2. Bake in the oven with salt until soft
  3. Peel it and put in the pot with coconut milk and curry paste
  4. Boil it all together for few minutes and blend with a blender
  5. Eat immediately 🙂

Have a good and fit week!

Salsa Verde from unripe cherry tomatoes

The tomato season is winding down here as the days grow shorter and gloomy. I have just one tomato full of green, unripe cherry tomatoes. I feel like that most of them will not turn red. So I decided to cut them and make salsa verde.

My little one was happy to help.

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I took a bowl of green cherry tomatoes, cut them and added chopped

3 gloves of garlic

1 sweet onion

1 jalapeno chili (I had canned)

Juice of ½ lime

1 tsp of cumin seed

1 tbsp of brown sugar

2 tbst of apple vinegar

Black pepper and salt (a pinch)

I fry all ingredients with a rice oil. I use the rice oil because it has no taste for me.

I sterilize glass jars from baby food and put salsa it them. Then I close them. And one tip, I found in a French magazine this year. When you are using baby food jars for jam, to have vacuum sealed, you need to take a pan, fill it with water about 5cm deep, put jars upside down in it and boil for five minutes. After they get cold, the center of the top pops inside the same way it does on an unopened baby food jar.

It was great with bbq ribs!

Sandwich Project: #7 – jamon Serrano and basil pesto sandwich!

The true Italian styled sandwich with

wholegrain ciabatta bread
jamon Serrano
mozzarella
basil pesto
dried tomato

Jamon Serrano is much cheaper than Iberico and it is sold everywhere, so we use it often.

Fresh hams are trimmed and cleaned, then stacked and covered with salt for about two weeks in order to draw off excess moisture and preserve the meat from spoiling. The salt is then washed off and the hams are hung to dry for about six months. Finally, the hams are hung in a cool, dry place for six to eighteen months, depending on the climate, as well as the size and type of ham being cured. The drying sheds (secaderos) are usually built at higher elevations, which is why the ham is called “mountain ham”.

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And for cheering up Italian spirit on this post I will show you some of the pictures with me and my very tiny daughter seven years ago.

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Sandwich Project: #6 – Lomo meat sandwich with grilled zucchini.

I would say this one is more Italian than Spanish, but as far as we have Spanish meat here I should explain.

“Lomo” is the Spanish word for tenderloin. It can be bought cured or uncured.
Lomo embuchado is an air-dried loin of pork that is considered to be a delicacy. The loin of pork is between 19 and 27 inches in length and has all the fat removed. It is marinated in a variety of fine seasonings. The marinated loin is stuffed into a beef skin and then lightly smoked. Thereafter it is air dried for up to four months to maintain its tenderness. You will often see it served as a tapa.

 And we love grilled zucchini. They are amazing even only with Italian bread and olive oil. You can’t feel Italian spirit until you eat like Italians do. Soak a piece of ciabata in fresh olive oil and eat it with wine and meat.

Ingredients for Lomo meat sandwich

wholegrain bread
grilled zucchini
grilled sweet onion
lomo meat
cheddar
dried tomato salsa
beetroot leaves

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Sandwich Project: #5 – Chicken and Chorizo.

I believe that everyone who had visited Spain tried Paella. It is a very traditional dish and it has different variations. To combine chicken breasts and chorizo in this sandwich is about a Spanish spirit.

Here they are:

Grilled chicken breasts

Chorizo

Mustard sauce

Rucola

Wholegrain bread

If you prepare some chicken on weekend, this could be a fast breakfast combination.

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