Guatemala, home of the ancient civilization of the Mayans. Nowadays known for it’s stunning rural beauty; breathtaking highlands and volcanos of which some are still active. The highlands are populated by indigenous people or indians they represent about 55% of the entire population.
The old Mayan temples are stunning to visit. But the beauty of a country doesn’t necessarily mean the country is rich, 1/8 people has to survive with less then 1 dollar a day! Guatemala has gone through a lot of trouble with coups. A lot of Guatemalans fled to Mexico for safety.
Things you didn’t know about Guatemala:
- A Guatemalan woman invented the Happy Meal. She came up with the idea in the mid-70s to make kid sized meals .She got the “Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World” recognition in Paris, France. Now, ‘Happy Meal’ is part of McDonalds menu in over 35,000 restaurants and has sells about 100 million Happy Meals in one week.
- The ancient Mayan city of Chichicastenango retains a 95 percent indigenous population
- Comfortable travel including food, drink, accommodation and activities can be done for around $60 a day, while budget travelers can live for as little as $15.
- The colorful handpainted busses all over the country take you anywhere you want to go for a very cheap price!
I made this recipe for a group of very good friends they absolutely loved it! The sauce is so nice and sweet. You would expect food from Central America to be spicy but it’s this dish just gives you a very rich sweet flavour.
Dominica a tropical island in the sun, very often confused with Dominican Republic but that’s on the other side of the Caribbean. Dominica was discovered by Christopher Columbus on the 3th November 1493 on his second trip. He thought he had arrived in India. Oh boy was he of by just a few miles… When he discovered Dominica the Arawak people were living there. Soon after Dominica was colonized by Spain these Arawak people started dying of the flue and smallpox. Nowadays there are only 3000 Arawak people left on the island.
Things you didn’t know about Dominica:
- Dominica is the youngest island in the Lesser Antilles and was formed by geothermal volcanic activity.
- The main industry is tourism, however the locals are proud of how well preserved their island is and they’re doing everything they can to avoid deforestation. 40% of local power is generated through hydro-electricity thanks to all the waterfalls and rivers. Conservation and eco-tourism aren’t buzzwords on Dominica, they’re a way of life. Even if tourism increases to Dominica, it will never be a high-rise hotel island. (that’s the way to go guys well done!)
- Dominica is often described as ‘the anti-Caribbean’ and isn’t your average 2-week all-inclusive style island. Since there are now white sandy beaches to be found on Dominica.
This Caribbean Reef Chicken is Sweet and Spicy at the same time! So deliciously caramelized!
Drugs, violence and kidnapping not very long this was a pretty accurate picture the papers painted for us of Colombia, but the sights, sounds and people tell a different kind of story these days. Colombians are taking back their country and are celebrating their culture, their traditions and food. In only 10 years the large drug cartels have quietly fade into the background. To say Colombia is multicultural is an understatement Caribbean, hispanic and native influences are to be found throughout the country.
Here are some things you didn’t know about Colombia
- Colombia is one of seven countries that the United Nations indentified as major food exporters. Just about anything will grow there from kale to mangoes to potatoes.
- Colombians get 70% of their electric power from hydro. Their country’s rivers and winds are able to supply double the amount of energy they need.
- Colombia has more freshwater than the US and Canada put together.
- Medellin, home of the legendary late cocaine trafficker Pablo Escobar is today one of the safest cities in South America.
- Corinto in the department of Cauca, is the only place in the world where chickens learned how to swim, which the do in order to mate with the ducks that live on an island in the local river.
So this recipe was epic! Wow I was sooo impressed! And so was my family, my brother was so dissapointed when het came back from school and there were no leftovers the next day, even though I made extra. The chicken tasted sooo rich.
Sichuan is a province in the West of China, known for its spicy kitchen (chili heaven!), fertile land and off course giant panda’s. The landscape is very diverse, with Qinghai-Tibetan plateau in the West, Sichuan Basin in the middle (basically farm land), and Hilly Region in the East. Large mountains with turbulent rivers and deep valley’s crossing through.
Things you didn’t know about Sichuan
- It is also known as land of abundance since ancient times.
- The population is 90 million, which makes it the fourth most populated province in China. (90 million!!! That is like quadruple the people who live in the Netherlands, and that in 1 province!!!)
- Have I mentioned the GIGANTIC SIZE of the province you can compare it to 12x Switzerland!
- Wildlife to be found in Sichuan: Giant Panda’s, Sichuan Golden Monkey’s, Takin (I never heard of a Takin I actually had to google it!)
I love spicy food, the Sichuan pepper I only discovered a few year ago. It has a really distinctive taste, it sort of numbs your tongue or something it is really hard to explain. I think it tastes great though. Seriously go easy on the salt in this recipe!
The Cayman Islands are know for 2 things tax haven and beach holiday destination. With it’s white beaches, clear waters and colorful marine life it’s the perfect relaxing holiday. The most famous beach is called Seven Mile Beach, it is said to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Diving is a very popular activity around the Cayman Islands just like all the other watersports. The biggest income for the Cayman Islands is the financial market. There are about 70.000 international enterprises, just because of the low taxes, this is also the reason why there are so many luxurious hotels, shops and restaurants to be found.
So here are a few things you probably didn’t know about the Cayman Islands
- Cayman Islands Law prohibits topless sunbathing.
- The Cayman Island Turtle Farm is home to 16,000 green sea turtles at any given time
- The Pirates Week Festival, the island’s largest festival, held each fall is a reminder of Islands’ legendary pirate occupation in the 18th Century which the tales of treasure caches left behind by Edward Blackbeard, Neal Walker, and Henry Morgan. (Blackbeard actually existed!!! WOW)
- The world-famous ‘Seven Mile Beach’ is actually only 5.2 miles long (Why is called 7 mile beach? Anyone?)
- The Batabano Carnival held each spring offers a Caribbean flavor with costumed bands taking to the streets to the sound of steelpan music
This recipe is fantastic, it’s one of the best dishes I have cooked until now! It is a great family style dish! My family suggested to add starts to my recipes: so here we go
– Difficulty: **
– Taste: *****
– Time: 1 1/2 hour
– This recipe is for 6 people
Ingredients: small bunch of spring onions (chopped), thumb-sized piece of ginger (chopped), 4 cloves of garlic, 1 red chili (chopped and seeds removed if you don’t want it to spicy), handful of cilantro stalks (chopped), tbsp of thyme, zest and juice of 1 lime (+extra lime wedges to serve), 2 tbsp of all spice, 2 tbsp of sunflower oil, 12 drumsticks (2 per person), 400 gram long grain rice, can of kidney beans (400 gr), 1l of chicken stock, 1 ripe mango peeled stone cut out and cut in to bit size chunks, 300 grams of mango chutney
Put the spring onions, ginger, garlic, chilli, coriander stalks, thyme, lime zest and juice, allspice and oil in a food processor, then blend to a paste. Pour over the chicken drumsticks and leave to marinate for at least 1 hr, or preferably up to 1 day. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Tip the rice and beans into a large roasting tin with deep sides. Remove the chicken from the marinade and set aside. Mix the stock into the marinade in the bowl and stir well. Pour the stock over the rice and beans, then put the chicken drumsticks and the mango pieces on top. Cover the tray tightly with foil and bake for 30 mins. Take the tray out of the oven and remove the foil. Increase the temperature to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Spoon the mango chutney over the drumsticks and return to the oven, uncovered, for 50-60 mins, to brown the chicken pieces and allow the rice to absorb all the liquid. Before serving, fluff up the rice a little with a fork and scatter with the coriander leaves. Serve with lime wedges and extra mango chutney, if you like.
Cameroon is Africa’s beating heart, a beautifull country with active volcanoes, white sand beaches, thick rainforest and memorable parched landscapes broken up by the bizarre rock formations of the Sahel. So Cameroon has basically everything you expect Africa to have. There are both French and English regions in Cameroon, btw have I mentioned the rest of the 230 local languages they in Cameroon! In contrast with it’s neighbours Cameroon enjoys stability. The infrastrucuture is great, so traveling in Cameroon is safer and easier then in many other parts of Africa.
Here are some fun facts about Cameroon
- Masks of people there carrying different messages are a very important part of their culture.
- Cameroon is the first African country to reach the quarter-final in soccer world cup.
- Cameroon is home to the second wettest place in the world, Debuncha at the foot of the Cameroon mountains records annual rainfalls of 400 inches (10,000mm), this is about 20 times the annual rainfall recorded in England. (and here I was thinking I lived in a rainy country)
- The name Cameroon (also Cameroun in French) is derived from Rio de Camarões (the River of Prawns) the name given to River Wouri by Portuguese Explorers in the 15th century due to its abundance of prawns and crayfish.
So this week I made Kati Kati or African Grilled Chicken! It was a delicious weeknight meal and I served it with spinach.
Ingredients: 3-4 pounds of chicken, skin- on cut up into desired pieces, 1 ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 ½ tablespoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon white pepper, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon bouillon powder (you may replace with salt),
Ingredients sauce: 2 fresh tomatoes, , ½ cup water or more as needed, chicken bouillon to taste
Manu Dibango is one of Cameroon’s most renown musicians.
Exactly 1 year ago I started this blog!!!!! Not my Around The World project but the blog itself is 1 year old! You can’t see it in the archives because I switched I have been looking forward to this for soo long! I absolutely love Brazil and not just because I have some really really awesome friends living there. Who I met during my gap year in Spain. I went to Brazil when I was 14 with an international summer camp called CISV. I immediately fell in love with Brazil: I love the language, I love the vibe on the street, I love the music, I love the people, I love the weather and I love the food! Eventhough I have only been to 1 city Brasilia, I still loved it! Okay enough about me loving Brazil! Here are some reasons why you should totally visit Brazil!
- The world’s best beach – according to TripAdvisor – is Baia do Sancho, in Brazil. Here, 21 islands form a marine park that draws divers from far and wide to see green and hawksbill turtles, whales, lemon and reef sharks, clownfish, anemones and parrotfish.
- Tours of Brazil’s favelas, have become popular in recent years. Among the most famous is colourful Santa Marta in Rio de Janeiro.
- With 82 per cent of its population tracing their ancestry back to the days of slavery, Salvador is described as “the biggest African city outside Africa”.
- The amazing Amazone rainforest is located in Brazil!!! The biggest rainforest in the world.
- Fishermen in Laguna, in the southeast of Brazil, are able to use dolphins to help them catch dinner. The animals will herd fish towards waiting nets, even flicking their head to indicate that the trap has been set.
So because of the anniversary of my blog I made these delicious pao de queijo! I have been dreaming about them since the first time I tasted them! So here is how you make them! The texture of pao de queijo is chewy. Chewy, cheesy and delicious.
This recipe makes 16-24 cheese breads.
Ingredients: 1 large egg, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2/3 cup of milk, 1 1/2 cup of tapioca flour, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Lightly grease a mini muffin tin (this makes about 16-24 little breads so if you don’t have a muffin tin large enough, you can just make separate batches after the first ones come out). In a blender, combine the egg, oil, milk, flour and salt. Process until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender once or twice. Add the cheese and process for just a short bit, 5-10 seconds or a few short pulses, until the cheese is in small bits all throughout the batter. Give the batter a good stir to get any solids off the bottom and pour the mixture into the prepared muffin tin filling the cups nearly to the top. Bake the pao de queijo until very lightly golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Don’t let them get too brown on the bottom or they will be too crusty and not as chewy. Remove them from the oven and let them cool for just a minute or two. They are best eaten warm! Don’t worry if the cute little puffs fall a bit in the middle – that’s completely normal.
So recipe number 2 I made coxinhas they are little chicken croquets chapped in a tear because they are so good that they make you cry! The salsa I made to accompany the coxinhas is to die for! My dad now eats it on toast because he loves it that much! The salsa recipe make a lot of salsa because I use it for other food aswell! I got this recipe from sorted food by the way!
Ingredients salsa: 8 tomatoes, 1 red chili, 1/2 red onion, 5 sprigs fresh parsley, 5 sprigs of fresh coriander, 1 pinch of sugar (I used stevia), 1 pinch of salt, 1 shot of white wine vinegar.
Grab a saucepan and place the chicken breasts in. Cover with the chicken stock and heat to a boil. Reduce the temperature and simmer gently for 15 minutes until the chicken is just cooked. Remove the chicken to cool slightly and boil the stock to reduce by half, then strain the stock to save for later. Strip the chicken into very fine strips and mix with the cream cheese, juice of the lime and plenty of finely chopped coriander. Season the chicken mixture well and leave to one side. Heat 250ml of the chicken stock in a pan and add in the flour, stirring continually and beating well until it thickens and is smooth. (This will be very stiff) Cook over a heat for a minute, then transfer to a bowl to cool. Mould a golf-ball sized piece of the dough into a flat, very thin disc in your hand. Spoon a tablespoon of the chicken mixture into the middle and carefully bring the dough up around the chicken to form a dome. Pinch the top to seal the chicken in and remove any excessive build up of dough at the top. Dunk the tear-drop shapes into the beaten egg, then into the breadcrumbs to coat. Leave the coxinhas to set for an hour if you have time. Heat some oil to 170°C in a fryer or a half-filled pan, but never leave it unattended. Fry them for 3-4 minutes until golden all over. Blitz the tomatoes, de-seeded pepper, onion, coriander, parsley, salt, sugar and vinegar up in a food processor to form a course salsa. Adjust the salsa to taste and serve alongside the golden coxinhas. Makes 12
So the 3th recipe is FEIJOADA obviously! it is the national dish of Brazil!
Ingredients: 450 g of dry black beans (I apparently took red beans, they were so dark that they looked black, but it tasted good anyway so no problem!), 4 tbsp olive oil, 450 g pork shoulder cut into chunks, 2 large onions sliced, 5 cloves of garlic, 3 fresh sausages, 3 smoked sausages, 3-4 bayleaves, water, 1 can crushed tomatoes, salt.
Pour boiling water over the black beans and let them sit overnight. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and brown the pork shoulder. When it has browned, remove the meat from the pot, set aside and add the onions to the pot. Brown them, stirring occasionally, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle a little salt over the onions and add the garlic. Stir well and sauté 2 more minutes. Add back the pork shoulder, and the other meats and add enough water to cover. Add the bay leaves, cover and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 1 hour. Drain the black beans from their soaking liquid and add them to the stew. Simmer gently, covered, until the beans are tender, about an hour and a half. Add the tomatoes, stir well and taste for salt, adding if it’s needed. Simmer this, uncovered, until the meat begins to fall off the ham hock, which will probably take 2-3 hours. Serve with rice and veggies.
And now for the dessert
Ingredients: 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, 6 tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons butter, chocolate sprinkles
In a small sauce pot combine the sweetened condensed milk and cocoa powder. Place the pot over medium high heat and bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 10 to 15 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and shiny and starts to pull away from bottom and side of sauce pot. The mixture is going to get thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until melted and smooth. Pop the pot into the fridge for at least a half an hour to cool.
Once the mixture is cool, place the sprinkles in a shallow bowl. Rub some softened butter onto your hands and scoop out rounded teaspoon of the chocolate mixture and roll into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll each ball in the chocolate sprinkles, and place on a platter.
Makes 2 or 3 dozen brigadeiros, depending on how big you make them.
Bangladesh a country where the difference between rich and poor is incredibly large. Apart from that Bangladesh also has a lot of positive things.
Here are some things you didn’t know about Bangladesh:
- The worlds largest beach is located in Bangladesh
- It is immature to smile a lot. Hence the Bangladeshis tend not to smile much. (This would not be a country for me)
- Women love to be as colorful and shiny as possible! It is their everyday life to wear colorful saree or saluar khamiz with matching shining earrings, necklaces, bracelets, make up and shoes. Yes, everyday! Whenever you step out your home, you need to look as good as possible, because others are looking at you, you know?
- There are two typical questions that people ask each other every day: “What did you eat? Did you take a shower?” Here everything is about eating! (I can relate to this, the first question my little brother used to ask in the morning was: Mom what’s for dinner tonight?) They eat a lot and in every meal there are lots of items on a table. And because it’s hot here, people sweat, so personal hygiene is very important.
I already love curry but this was extreme!
Ingredients: 1 kg chicken pieces, washed, 2 large onions, finely chopped, 1 1/2 tbsps ginger garlic paste, 1 large tomato, chopped, 1 tsp red chilli pwd, 1/4 tsp turmeric pwd1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, salt to taste, 2-3 tbsps oil, chopped coriander leaves for garnish
Dry roast: 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1″ cinnamon, 2 cardamoms, 5 tbsp grated fresh coconut, 8 cashew nuts, 1 tbsp roasted chickpeas
Roast: (in 2 tsps oil for 5 mts) 6-8 curry leaves, 8-10 shallots/sambar onions, 4 green chills, 3 tbsps chopped coriander leaves, 15 mint leaves
Make a paste of ingredients under ‘dry roast’ and ‘roast’ by adding a few tbsps of water and keep aside. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel, add curry leaves and saute for few moments. Add the chopped onions and fry till transparent. Add ginger-garlic paste and saute for 3 mts. Add red chilli pwd, turmeric pwd and salt and combine. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry for 4-5 mts. Add the ground paste and cook over medium heat for 7-8 mts. Add lemon juice and the chicken pieces and combine. Cook without lid for 5-6 mts. Add 3 cups of water and cook with lid on simmer till the chicken is tender and the gravy thickens. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Turn off heat. Serve with rice
Bahrain is know as the island of one million palmtrees, ancient sights lead the eye to the modern skyline filled with skyscrapers nowadays. It is a land of contrast. The name Bahrain comes means 2 water probably because the sea around Bahrain is so special, fresh water bubbles up from underground springs straight into the sea. A lot of ancient legendes are about the mysterious water springs.
and the first country in the Middle East to discover oil in 1932.
Here are some more facts about Bahrain:
- Many people believe that Bahrain is the Garden of Eden from the Bible (You know the place where Adam & Eve lived)
- Four-fifths of the population lives in cities, the majority in Manama which is the capital and the largest urban center. That city stands on a seabed, parts of which were recently reclaimed from the water.
- Only 1 percent of the land is fertile, the country is unable to produce enough food for its population and relies almost entirely on import
- Political parties are prohibited, but there are several small underground leftist and Islamic fundamentalist groups.
- While arranged marriage is still common, the bride and groom often have a chance to meet before they marry. While it was traditional for girls to be married at twelve or thirteen years of age, they now tend to wait until they have finished their education and have a job. Upon marriage, a sum of money is paid to the bride by the groom’s family. (Well a least they are trying).
Ingredients: 2 large onions, 3 tablespoons of butter, 1 1/2 table spoon baharat (ingredients and recipe below), 1 tablespoon of turmeric, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, combination of chicken thighs, legs and breasts, 1 hot green chile, seeded and diced1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced, 5 large cloves or garlic thinly sliced, 2 large roma tomatoes diced, 2 or 3 limes sliced, 5 cardamon pods, ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, 2½ teaspoons salt, 2½ cups chicken stock, 2 cups basmati rice (soaked for at least 15 minutes, then rinsed and drained), 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped, 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
Ingredients Baharat (you can buy baharat in a jar, but I had everything so I just made it myself): 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon whole cloves, ¼ teaspoon green cardamon seeds, 1 tablespoon paprika powder, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Set the paprika and nutmeg powders aside. Place all remaining ingredients (whole seeds, cinnamon stick and cloves) in a small frying pan and dry roast over medium-high heat, tossing regularly to prevent scorching, for 3-4 minutes or until very fragrant. Transfer to a spicegrinder and let cool. Add the paprika and nutmeg and grind all the ingredients to a fine powder. Store left over baharat in an airtight jar.
Recipe Chicken Machboos
Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat and fry the chicken pieces on both sides until the skin is brown and crispy. Transfer the chicken to a plate and leave the remaining oil in the Dutch oven. Add the ghee (or butter), reduce the heat to medium, and fry the onions until starting to brown, about 10-12 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, and green chile pepper and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the baharat and turmeric and cook for another minute. Return the chicken pieces to the Dutch oven along with the tomatoes, limes, cardamom pods, cinnamon and cloves. Add the chicken stock and stir to combine. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for one hour. Add the cilantro, parsley and drained rice and stir to combine. Return it to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for another 15-20 minutes until the rice is done and has absorbed the liquid. Transfer the chicken and rice to a serving dish (either leave the chicken pieces tossed in with the rice, or place the chicken on top of the rice)