Monday, November 17, 2014

My Veggie Moussaka

One of the things I love doing, especially when I'm alone, is experimenting in the kitchen. And the recipe I'm going to share today is a healthy Mediterranean dish called Moussaka. Moussaka is an eggplant and potato-based dish dating back to the Ottoman Empire.

There are many versions of Moussaka but with my recipe, I'm only using vegetables. Hope you enjoy! :)

Veggie Moussaka

2 Eggplants
4 Potatoes
1 Can Tomato Sauce
1 Carrot (minced)
200g Champignon Mushroom (minced)
1 Paprika (minced)
1 Onion (chopped)
2 Cloves Garlic (minced)
2 Tsp Parsley
2 Tsp Cinnamon Powder
3 Tbsp Red Wine
Olive Oil

1) Slice the eggplant thinly, marinate with salt.
2) Peel the potatoes, boil them until soft then slice them and set aside.
3) In a large pan with olive oil, fry the thinly sliced eggplants until they turn soft brown. Set aside
4) In the same pan, add a little more olive oil then sauté minced garlic and chopped onions until they are fragrant then add the minced mushrooms, minced carrots and minced paprika. Dash some salt and pepper. Sauté for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
5) Add the can of tomato sauce, stir for 5 mins , add cinnamon powder and red wine. Then season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Bechamel Sauce:
3 Tbsp Butter
3 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
2 Cups Milk
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 Ounce Parmesan Cheese
2 Ounces Grated Cheddar Cheese

1) In a deep pan, turn heat to medium, melt the butter. Add milk.
2) Slowly dash flour into the pan, mixing it with the melted butter and milk.
3) Add Parmesan Cheese and Cheddar Cheese
4) Dash some salt and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Make sure it doesn't burn.

-Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees.
-In an oven safe container (like pyrex), arranged some eggplant and cover the whole container. On top of the eggplant, do the same with the potatoes, cover the container with potatoes. 
-Pour some of the vegetable tomato sauce and spread all over the container. 
-Pour the bechamel sauce all over the container covering the tomato sauce.
-Repeat doing this until they are all finished.
-Dash Parsley on top.
-Then put inside pre-heated oven and cook for 30 minutes.

Serve while hot! :)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Bodegas Salvador Poveda

For my husband's love of Spanish wine, we decided to visit the wineries in Spain during our summer holiday. We went to Monòvar, a small town in the southeastern part of Spain to see Bodegas Salvador Poveda. The winery was founded in 1918 and it's currently managed by the 3rd generation of Poveda's. SP produces high quality wine including the classic Fondillón, a favorite of many influential people including King Louis XIV of France, Ferdinand Magellan and even mentioned by Alexandre Dumas in his fictional novel The Count of Monte Cristo. Fondillón is a red wine produced in an oxidised style from overripe Monastrell grapes, and is typically semi-sweet. SP produces about 3,000,000 bottles of wine per year and the wines are mainly exported to Denmark, Holland, Germany, Sweden, France, Belgium, UK, Russia, Brazil and the USA.

Bodegas Salvador Poveda offers wine tasting to visitors and we were so lucky to have met the very accommodating Rafael Poveda, the Director of Bodegas Salvador Poveda. He offered us different varieties of wine that they're producing like Red wine, White wine and Rosé. And for the first time in my life, I actually finished a glass of nice and smooth SP White wine. Aside from the wonderful smelling and tasting of different wines, Mr. Poveda also showed us the process of making wine, from the grapes to the bottle.

Bodegas Salvador Poveda
Address: CV-830 Ctra. Monóvar – Salinas Km, 3 – 03640 Monóvar- Alicante, Spain
Coordinates: 38°28'02.6"N 0°54'16.1"W

Entrance to Bodegas Salvador Poveda

Wine Tasting! So glad to have finally found the white wine for me.

Rafael Poveda pouring Fondillón for us to try.

My turn to pour the very special style of wine, The Fondillón.

A tour to the Bodega.

With Rafael Poveda, Thank you for showing us around! :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Dolphin Watching in Maldives

Dolphin Watching- one of the very best things to do when in Maldives. Many of the resorts offers this exciting Dolphin watching safari. And for 50USD per person, you will experience a one-of-a-kind nature trip. The tours available are either early morning or late afternoon, as thousands of Spinner dolphins appear into the atolls every morning then leaving again for the open ocean in the late afternoon.

Spinner dolphins, famous for its acrobatic displays, are the most common species in the area and they appear in their tens of thousands. These dolphins are very athletic and many of them leap out of the water as they swim; they can also gracefully flip their bodies round and round in mid-air before splashing back into the water.

My Dolphin Watching in Maldives was truly an amazing experience!