Category Archives: Travel food

How to improve your morning toast

Toast is a classical breakfast ingredient.  Though many people consider it healthier than bread, this is not entirely true and it also depends on the type of bread you are using. Actually, toast does little to change the nutritional value of bread, but it is tastier and it goes better with a lot of toppings.

Two pieces of toast on the table

The key to making great toast is to choose a bread type that provides you with all the necessary nutrients, but also the type of bread toaster you own. A basic, old model will only ensure toasting your normal sliced bread on both sides, at a certain level. Things can be much improved. Modern toasters offer a variety of options and toasting levels. You can not only toast slim slices of bread, but also bagels, muffins and croissants and set the color that you want the toast to acquire when you take it out of the appliance.

wild7Of course, if you want to get all the benefits from your toast, using whole wheat bread will provide your organism with minerals, vitamins and fibers that are not to be found in white bread because of the industrial processes through which this type of flour is obtained, that take most of these nutrients away. However, toast and eventually coffee will not be able to fuel you with enough energy to keep you functional until lunch time. That is why, toast comes with many toppings that add to its energetic values.

 

wild8Buttered toast is popular all-around the world. Unfortunately it is not the healthiest of them all, as butter has a high content of fat. Even so, if you add strawberry jelly on it, it’s highly unlikely that you can resist it. Other popular toppings for toast are peanut butter, fruit jelly, honey (or butter and honey even more yummy), cinnamon and sugar, herbs and garlic, tomatoes, ham, bacon and eggs (this variety is called French toast). Everyone has its favorite, but, even if you adore one type of toast, sometimes you get bored of it. For example, I used to make buttered toast a lot and add honey or jelly, but, at a certain point, I got tired of all combinations. That was when I bought my new toaster, in which I can perfectly fit slices of bread or croissants and muffins. As such I was able to diversify my breakfasts without necessarily wasting more time. For example, if I want to eat poached or boiled eggs, I can use the same toaster for it, as it has a egg cooking system integrated that will have your breakfast ready in a couple of minutes. While your bread is toasted, the eggs are being cooked and you can mind your own business around the house until they’re ready.

Moreover, I can also fry ham, bacon and vegetables on it, if I feel like having a more consistent breakfast. It is a great item to keep around the house if you start your job early.

My recent trip to Australia

My passion for traveling and seeing animals in their natural environment and my constant desire to discover and taste all the amazing food different countries and cultures have to offer have both been satisfied with my recent journey to the Australian land. I went there to explore some of the many National Parks and to catch a glimpse of the wonderful and various fauna.

 

wild1Of course, because I chose not to plan my trip to the minute, I started with the Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, which is the largest of them all and is listed as a World Heritage site. This extensive, preserved area is one full load of archaeological treasures, rich in landscape varieties and, most importantly for me, has one of the greatest preservation indexes for a considerable number of habitats and species. From Leichardt’s colorful grasshopper to the delicate quoll, I’ve had the honor to witness a lot of animals in their natural surroundings. It also gave me the chance to eat a perfectly cooked Barramundi, and that was one of the best fish dishes I’ve ever had.

 

wild2After Kakadu, I went south to Brisbane and took a Bushwalking tour in Springbrook National Park, where I saw the glow-worms of Natural Bridge, a beauty of rock and water itself. I also scouted for rosellas and bowerbirds, but out of the rare bird category, I only saw Albert’s Lyrebird, which is very cool, since you can’t see it anywhere else in the world. I returned to Brisbane in a couple of days and I had to meet some old colleagues, who insisted on going to this Italian restaurant called Bella Tiarnie. I was frankly irritated by their choice, since I wanted to eat as many local dishes as I could in my short trip and I kind of pouted until the lame pizza that I had ordered out of spite was placed in front of me, and this is the story of how I met the best pizza in the world.

 

Next, I traveled to the Simpson Desert and then to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, a place where the aboriginal keep their culture alive and where the desert still dictates the laws of living. I went there with a tour guide that I knew, who was very helpful and introduced me to the people. I had the chance to look for Mai and Tjuratja food together with the women and participate in this old, fascinating way of living.

 

Unfortunately, I had to come back home after the Uluru exploration, so I had to take the first flight to Sydney from the Ayers Airport. I had to move fast, but I still managed to try the blue swimmer crab in a nice carrot and tarragon yummy assembly.

 

I warmly recommend you to visit Australia too, and maybe you even get to take a boat to Tasmania, which I couldn’t see this time. And while you’re in the city, make sure you try the meat pie and the sausage sizzle, which I grabbed every time I walked the streets and had to eat while walking.

You need a yogurt maker for your home

Many people have started preparing their own foods using traditional processes, since the food industry seems to have become solely a way of making money for the big producers and not anymore a way of feeding people and keeping them healthy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Just to give you my personal example, I prefer eating yogurt that I combine with cereals or seeds in the morning. However, I have grown so suspicious as to the ingredients that yogurt in supermarkets has, that a while ago I’ve decided to start preparing my own homemade yogurt.

The process of making your own yogurt is simple enough: you just need a little patience, and it doesn’t include any difficult to find ingredients. What you need is fresh milk, a couple of spoons of whole plain yogurt that contains live bacteria cultures and heavy cream, if you want to obtain fat yogurt (thus cream is optional). You put the milk (and cream) in a quality material pot and you bring the mix to a bare simmer, while you stir its contents, until it forms bubbles. After that, you remove the pot and put it in a place with warm temperature. Before that, take enough milk to fill half a cup and add the yogurt you have prepared in the beginning. Then put the mixture into the warm milk pot. Cover the pot with a lid and wrap it in a towel to preserve a comfortable temperature. You need to leave it like this for 6 to 12 hours, depending on how thick you want the yogurt. After 12 hours, take the yogurt and put it in the refrigerator and let it thicken for another 4 hours. Then you can consume it. However, although the process is simple, there are a lot of things that can go wrong when you do it. That is why I recommend a yogurt maker to have for home use.

yogurt m2

Certain products in this category will heat up the milk for you at an ideal temperature, though not all of them so you should check for this feature when you buy one, others will stir the milk in your place and will monitor time. This is very important so that you don’t overcook the yogurt or the opposite, make it too sloppy. So, if you forget the hour at which you’ve left the mix to ferment, the yogurt maker will keep that in mind for you, thus you will be able obtain a creamy yogurt of an ideal consistence.

yogurt m3Another thing that a yogurt maker will provide you with is more than one recipient to keep the yogurt in, thus you can make more yogurt in one round, which will allow you to save time since you won’t need to repeat the preparing process more than once. Once you get used to having one, you’ll never want to go back to making it on your own. Remember,  just because we are using traditional methods, it doesn’t mean we can afford wasting the same amount of time with cooking as our grandmothers did.

Amazing Quesadilla Recipe I Discovered While Visiting Mexico

During all my travels, I try to learn something about the people living in all corners of the planet, about their customs and about the traditional foods they make. When I was in Mexico, I simply loved the quesadilla they make there. I know that you can find quesadilla practically every corner in the US, but it is a totally different thing to eat the stuff they make in Mexico. I have never tasted a more delicious quesadilla, so I had to ask my host for the recipe. Now I am sharing it with you.

Chicken quesadilla

Yes, I know, every quesadilla has some sort of meat and cheese in it. But I honestly think that it is all about in the way people in Mexico are mixing the ingredients and the touch they add that cannot be found so easily someplace else. This is the chicken quesadilla recipe I learned during my visit in Mexico, and I simply love making it at home.

You will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups of shredded cheese
  • 8 tortillas
  • 1 cup of diced chicken meat (baked and seasoned taco style)
  • 1 cup of sautéed onions (make sure they are not cooked all the way, just enough to become a bit glass like)
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream

This recipe is so simple and so delicious that it really makes my mouth water right now. Now here is how you proceed with the ingredients listed above. Take half of the tortillas and put them on baking sheet. Make sure you do not grease the baking sheet, to avoid adding unnecessary fat to your recipe. Spread the ingredients between them in equal parts, less the salsa. Make sure that each of the tortillas placed on the baking sheet has enough ingredients on it. This will be the base for your quesadillas. After you are certain the quantities are more or less equal, cover the mix with the other half of tortillas.

chicken quesadilla

Let the quesadillas cook in the oven for about 5 minutes. My host recommended to have the oven heated at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This way, the quesadillas are made really fast, and there is enough time for the cheese to melt and become just right. When you are done, slice them and pour some salsa or sour cream on them. These quesadillas are so tasty they simply melt in your mouth!