Saturday, February 6, 2010


Its been a while.

How have you been?

Pretty sure no one checks this blog anymore...I guess 3 posts in a year will do that to someone.

Don't worry, it wasn't you, it was me.

I needed my space.

Now, I have a year of travel under my belt, and a million drink recipes I'd like to try.

so get ready...

I"M BACK!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My first post with ... check it out, it's made my day!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

An Avocado Shake With a View

Cafe Pho Co.

A.K.A. The Secret Cafe.

While Cafe Pho is located in one of the thickest tourist areas in Hanoi, It can still be hard to locate. Even armed with the address, 11 Hang Gai, you might still have trouble.

The reason, the cafe entrance is down an alley that begins within another shop. You might walk around for 20 minutes looking for the entrance, and still never find it. The best advice is to just go to 11 Hang Gai...and don't be deterred by the lack of a cafe looking entrance...push forward.

Once you get to the cafe, go straight to the top of the building. Don't stop one floor short...go all the way...even if you think you are not are allowed...i'll try to stopp with the ...'s ... but I can't promise anything...

Once on the roof, enjoy your sucess at finding the secret cafe with an ice cold drink...or piping hot drink...whatever you fancy. Also, you can laugh at all the idiots packed into Highland have the perfect vantage point to watch them overpaying for coffee...crazy Lonely Planet toting tourists.

As for the actual coffee...its not that great...marginal at best...but thats not why you searched for Cafe came for the views...Init?

Oh yeah...the reason I'm posting this...the Avocado Shake!!! Once again, it's not the best avocado shake I've ever had, but it is marginal. Like much with Cafe Pho, the avocado shake was not the reason for going...the views of the lake and the Lonely Planet drones was my reason for coming.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lemongrass Tea

My wife and I had a bunch of lemongrass leftover from a Thai soup we made. Trying to stick to my mother-in-law’s “no waste” philosophy…as seen on her blog…I decided to find a drink recipe.

After only a few minutes of internet searching, I came across a recipe on one of my favorite drink recipe sites…Indian and Southeast Asian Beverages, a site by Nancy Freeman.

The recipe is called Lemongrass Tea.

Just like the name, the recipe is very simple…but takes a few weeks to complete.

For this recipe, you will need a bunch of lemongrass (8 stalks) and water.

The first step is to chop-off the bottom of the Lemongrass stalks…now throw it in the trash.

Second, you’ll want to wash all the dirt from the stalks.

Finally, chop the stalks into 2” sections and julienne those sections as well. Once you have all the lemongrass cut up, you want to throw it on a cookie sheet for a few weeks…or until it has completely dried out.

Once you have the dried lemongrass, the process gets very easy.

Grab a large sauce pan, and fill it with 2 cups of water and a handful of dried lemongrass.

Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Now, the tea is ready. Simply pour the liquid into cups (minus the lemongrass stalks), and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Blas Meala

While thumbing through Celtic Folklore Cooking, by Joanne Asala, I came across a recipe for a drink called Blas Meala. While I enjoy all the ingredients alone, I wasn't sure how I felt about them all being thrown into one drink. So, I put off making the drink for almost a year.

Then, one night, the urge to make Blas Meala hit me like a bolt of lightning. I jumped up, went to the kitchen, and began assembling all the necessary ingredients...Fresh squeezed orange juice, clover honey, Irish whiskey, whipped cream, and toasted oatmeal.

1.5 Cups Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
3 Tablespoons Clover Honey
2 Shots of Irish Whiskey...I prefer Powers
Whipped Cream
Toasted Oatmeal

Serves 2

First, pour your fresh OJ into a sauce pan and heat on medium heat. You'll want to bring it just short of a boil.

While the OJ is heating, you'll want to toast your oats.

Once the OJ has heated just short of a boil, pull the pan off the heat, and add the honey. Stirring till the honey has fully disolved in the juice.

Now, pull out two coffee cups and pour a shot of Irish whiskey into each cup.

Then, pour the juice/honey on top of the whiskey and stir.

Finish off the drink with a healthy portion of whipped cream and a handful of toasted oats.

Finally, sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Let me just say, after tasting this drink, my wife and I were upset we hadn't tried it sooner. It is amazing! Even my wife, the whiskey hater, enjoyed the wonderful taste...and that is saying something.


The best way to toast oats is on a greased jellyroll pan in the oven at 300 degrees...make sure to keep an eye on the oats, they tend to burn very easily.

While you might not think the fresh orange juice seems like that big of a deal, it makes a huge difference when it comes to the final taste and texture. I honestly think fresh OJ is better for this me, using packaged juice would make my life easier.

The toasted oats also add a very subtle taste to the drink, you might think about leaving them out, but they can make or break this drink.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Salabat (Fresh Ginger Tea)

My wife really enjoys Ginger. Actually, that is a bit of an understatement...If we go out to sushi, I rarely get to the ginger on my plate before she plucks it out from under my chopsticks.

So, Since I love her, I decided to make her ginger tea.

I searched the internet for a recipe, and found a great page of Indian and South-East Asian beverages.

The recipe has a very simple ingredient list...ginger, brown sugar, and water.

3 Inches of Crushed Fresh Ginger
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
5 Cups of Water

First, skin and finely chop the ginger.

Then, bring the water to a boil and add the ginger and brown sugar.

Let the mixture cook for 10 minutes, and then strain out the ginger.

Now, serve the beverage hot and enjoy!!!

I prefer my salabat with a squeeze of lemon, but my wife likes hers straight up...have fun, experiment with different additions and strengths of ginger.

Note: A great way to skin the ginger is with a spoon. Simply scrape the spoon along the skin, and it peels away very easily.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Authentic Thai Iced Coffee (Oliang/Oleang)

After extensive internet research, I found that Thai iced coffee is not just espresso and sweetened condensed milk...rather, a special blend of coffee mixed with sugar and sweetened condensed milk. This might seem like a snobby splitting of hairs, but I assure you, there is a huge difference.

The special blend of coffee is called Oliang powder mix...which is a mixture of coffee, corn, and soya beans. You can find this mix at pretty much any Asian store...or on the internet at this site.

In addition to the special blend of coffee, you'll need a muslin filter...a reusable cloth filter for brewing the coffee. The muslin filter can be found here.

To make Thai iced coffee you will need water, Oliang powder mix, sugar, sweetened condensed milk, crushed ice, a muslin filter, 2 sauce pans, a tall glass, and a straw.

10 oz Water
2 Tablespoons Oliang
3 Tablespoons Sugar
3 Tablespoons Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 Glass Full of Crushed Ice

Serves 1

The first step is to start boiling the water.

While you wait for the water to boil, scoop the Oliang powder into the muslin filter.

Once the water has boiled, hold the muslin filter over an empty pan, and slowly pour the hot water through the filter.

Now, reposition the filter over the other pan, and pour the liquid through the filter a second time.

Then, reposition the filter again, and pour the liquid through a third time.

Once all the liquid has drained from the filter, your coffee is ready.

Now its time to sweeten the coffee.

Stir the sugar and sweetened condensed milk into your coffee. Because the coffee is hot, they should dissolve pretty quickly...leaving you with a tan colored liquid.

Then, let the liquid cool. I like to but the pan in the freezer for about 15 minutes...this gives me time to wash the dishes while it gets nice and cold.

Now that the coffee is cold, its ready to serve. Simply fill a tall glass with crushed ice, pour in the cold coffee, serve with a straw, and enjoy!!!


Since I never have crushed ice lying around, I just wrap cubes in a towel and whack em' with a kitchen hammer...instant crushed ice.

If you love this drink, but don't want to go to this trouble every day...just make a pitcher every few days.