Making raw food snacks

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Yesterday's batch

Something I have done a lot, when we had our own kitchen, was making raw food chocolate snacks. Often I made lots of it, and then kept it in the freezer to have when people came over.

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Heavenly organic cocoa powder

Some of the good things with raw food snacks are that they are naturally free from gluten, eggs, diary and rafinated sugar. And they are so good!
My niece had asked me to make some while I am here, since she likes it a lot.

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Pumpkin seeds from Whole Foods

So I made one batch yesterday and one today. And since I bought so much ingredients for it, I’ll be able to make one more to put in the freezer.

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Ingredients

Here’s what’s in today’s batch:
Pumpkin seeds
Sunflower kernels, roasted
Dates
Cocoa powder
Coconut oil
A pinch of salt

Since I make these from organic ingredients, I choose to use seeds rather than nuts – that keeps the cost down a little. And if people allergic to nuts come to visit, it won’t be a problem.

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Chocolate snack

When making these, I simply grind all the seeds in a food processor, then add the cocoa powder, dates and salt and blend it all before adding the coconut oil.
It’s the coconut oil and dates that will keep the “dough” together. When the oil is chilled it becomes hard.

It’s been so good to be here in Frisco where the Whole Foods market opened rather recently. Don’t think I have ever eaten this healthy in the US before.

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Whole Foods

My brother and his family has started eating a lot more organic food since the store opened.

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Store filled with good things

Allright, that’s all for now!
//Wivan

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The first things we bought

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Cheese sandwich, candy and coffee

On the train from Copenhagen airport, we got a chance to buy something to eat. This is what we bought: a bun with cheese, a bag of Bilar candy and a cup of coffee with milk.
Let me tell you, a cheese sandwich has probably never tasted so good! And the warm coffee (it was a bit chilly on the train). Anders was so happy to have this type of candy again, last time was in Thailand in December last year.

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Snus, Swedish "chew" tobaco

After lunch, Anders couldn’t wait to get out and by some snus, tobaco, that he ran out of about a month ago and have tried different ways to compensate for. Snus is mostly used in Sweden, and is very rare to find abroad. We did see it in Khao Lak in Thailand, but it was extremely expensive, and Anders have had his own stack up till about a month ago. A friend brought some extra after Christmas when we met in Singapore.

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One way to compensate for missing snus

Among other things, Anders has tried the local uplifting “chew” in Sri Lanka – a combination of green leaves, beetle nut, cardamom seeds and tobaco leaves that both men and women walk around chewing as a stimulant.
He ended up only using the tobaco leaves, folded together and put it under his upper lip.

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Rice ❤

Even though it is tasty and so good to have some of the foods and treats we have missed, my stomach has been aching a lot over the past days, so this morning I went for a breakfast I am more used to – rice. I start off with only some rice and coconut oil, and later today I make a curry to go with it. Feels comforting and very pleasurable in the cold.

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Frost this morning

Full moon ceremony

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Walking to the temple

Yesterday was full moon day, and the Buddhists here in Sri Lanka celebrate that day with a special ceremony.
We’ve now learned that you’re not supposed to eat eggs on a full moon day, and it’s very good to go to the temple and make offerings – especially at around 6 pm.

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Full moon, looks almost like the sun

The family had invited us to come, and told us that it was good to wear white. So we did.
And by Anders wearing a sarong, and I having a white shirt with batik patterns, people were commenting on how Sri Lankan we looked ;-).

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Not everyone wore white

After walking to the village temple we were given flowers to put on the stands in front of the pictures of different gods. Then we walked to a monastary where we got a place in a long line of people, where everybody was supposed to touch and carry the many baskets and trays of offerings before they were handed into the temple.

Above our heads, huge bats started to fly off into the sky when it turned dark. Close to the temple site was a cobra nest (!), and we had to walk quickly between all the statues and holy places to keep up with the others… Oil lamps, incense sticks and flowers – we did it all.

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"Small dinner" after the ceremony

Afterwards we were invited to have what Malika, the amma (mother) of the family calls a small dinner… It’s always lots of food! On a full moon, milk-rice and sambal is good to eat, and we also got coconut roti (bread), fish curry and shrimp. Fresh pinapple and bananas for dessert.

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First time the family ate with us!

This dinner was very special, since for the first time almost all members of the family ate together with us! The men took turns at sitting by the table, and the women sat on chairs beside or behind us. Usually we as guests eat separately, and the family comes in to talk a little, put on more food on our plates and then eat after we have left. Now that has changed, and it feels good!

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"Take away coconuts"

When leaving the dinner we got two coconuts to bring to the hotel, to drink today. And when finally getting through, they were very good!

Happy Sunday!
// Wivan and Anders

First week in Singapore – how was it?

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Orchard Road in Singapore

Coming from many weeks of beach life in small places like Khao Lak in Thailand and Pemuteran in Bali, it was a bit overwhelming to arrive in this fancy business-shopping-eating-city called Singapore. Our house sit is in a nice area close to the river and Robertson Quay with lots of nice restaurants and cafées that does cost a bit to visit.

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Look! A cocoa shop!!!

So, after our first chock of how expensive it really is, we have now settled, found some good places for eating and buying groceries, we have done a bit of sightseeing by foot and really like the many walkable places around.

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Love those stairs!

Yesterday I took a walk in the morning, and found a super nice park that inspired me to do some interval training in the many stairs. Lots of fun! And it does work to do a bit of exercise even in a shorts/skirt and walking boots!

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Sweaty and happy

We have been using the pool every day since we got here, and we have enjoyed some great coffee from the local Common Man Coffee Roasters, though we got some coffee beans from them and make it ourselves with the beloved Bialetti moka maker that we carry, rather than buying one cup for 5 Singapore dollars. It certainly is something extra with the Bialetti, it is so good!

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Local roast and our well traveled Bialetti

The shopping district of Orchard Road is decorated with Christmas ornaments, glitter and Santa Claus figures all over. To us it feels a bit weird, since its over 25 degrees Celsius and we walk around in flip flop sandals and shorts, nothing like what Christmas used to be to us back in Sweden as kids!

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Decorations

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Orchard Road

The past week we also had the opportunity to meet up with a friend who I have known since we were kids, and the past 20 years she’s been one of my closest friends. She has been living here in Singapore for four years now, so her drawings on a map and tips for getting around sure is great. Not to mention the wonderful feeling of meeting someone who knows us, whom we can talk about anything with, and who cares for us like family. Wonderful!
We will meet up again in January when shes back from the holidays in Sweden.

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Evening at miss C's place

So, all in all, its been a great first week here with some cooking, lots of movies and series – Anders stayed up two whole nights to watch an entire season of Sons of Anarchy, swimming and exercise, cuddling with Bronson the cat, walking, exploring the neighborhood, visiting a dive shop to get some gear and talk about diving, eating fresh fruits, visiting markets and eating local food, washing clothes, sleeping, reading and writing.

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Happy boy after trying out new gear

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Fresh fruits and banana pancake

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Bronson getting combed

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Thai papaya salad in the making

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Neighborhood

Full on city life in Singapore

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Mix between water, green and buildings

Our first outing in Singapore was a nice walk by the river close to where we stay to get some lunch and withdrawl money.

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Noodle soup with pork, coffee and water

The close-by food stall market was closed, so we went to a little local restaurant and didn’t really know how the picture-menu worked… We ended up choosing food by asking what the people around us had, and ordered that. We had was noodles, pork, water and sweet coffee.

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The menu

Then we went to a big westernized shopping mall, got a little overwhelmed by the full-on city experience with big shops, Christmas decorations and sales-offers.

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Huge shopping mall

The place we’re staying at is very modern and comfortable, we have a kitchen (!), a washing maschine, a pool on the area and super fancy cafées on the bottom floor.

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Flowers in the city

What seems to be nice with this city is the mix of green areas, the river and ocean, walking paths, city life and different food places.

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Bronson the cat

Something we enjoy a lot is to have shifts in our life: city life and beach life, simple food and well-made reataurant dinners, lots of people and time alone, living in modern places and staying someplace more simple.

Tonight we’re taking it easy and tomorrow; we’ll see what happens!

Stay cool!
// Anders and Wivan

Thai cooking class

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Ploy taught us basic thai cooking

Lots of fun, tasty food and easy to cook-recepies to bring along wherever we go.

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Qcumber in Khao Lak

It was a good class, very nice setting in the middle of the restaurant and our teacher Ploy was great at explaining, showing and letting us try to do the cooking to learn.

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Mango sticky rice for dessert

The café / restaurant Qcumber  has a simple, clean and very welcoming feeling to it.

Ploy recently started her own business here in Khao Lak, but has years of experience of teaching Thai cooking from Bangkok, Khao Lak and Europe.

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Mango sticky rice, northern Thailand style

We did five dishes/recipies whereof one is a curry paste that we then used to make a Tom Yam soup.

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Tom Yam soup

This was a fun evening together and we got lots of inspiration to try our new skills when having a kitchen to use in Singapore from next week.

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Anders plating Pad thai

It’s our last evening in Khao Lak and tomorrow we’ll go to spend a couple of days in Phuket.

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Green curry with chicken

Learning to actually make some of the popular Thai dishes on our own has been something we’ve talked about since we got here, and we found a great teacher in Ploy!

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Simple gas stove with a wok

Everything was very well prepared and we got to use some of the professional tricks of a chef by preparing all the ingredients before cooking the dishes in the wok.

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Some local herbs and popular ingredients

We don’t need to eat anything more tonight, that’s for sure!

Yummy Saturday dinner for €1,3

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In this place I bought dinner

When passning this place to go for dinner last night, we were amazed by how good it smelled from the grill and how many people were eating outside.

So tonight we decided to bring home some street food, and were totally satisfied with both price and taste.

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Blurry pic of the men packing our food

Not only was the service fast and good, the guys working in the stand were super nice and friendly.

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Small paper packages

Smart food containers made of plastic lined paper, and stampled into shape.

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One portion of rice, meat and sauce

It was so delicious and very much worth the cost of 20.000 Rupiah per portion, that is about 1,30 Euro or 1,5 USD.

Just wanted to share a really good Bali food-moment! Anders is now planning for us to pick up food from the same place two times tomorrow!

//Wivan