Thursday, September 26, 2019

Let Me Take You Far Away -3

‘Once a year go someplace, you have never been before.’
            -Dalai Lama
I have travelled many places, but when it comes to Wales, this place has always fascinated me. 

I have talked about our time outs in Wales over here and here  in past. This place has special connections with me.  

Llanfairfechan- Wales

North wales is blessed with plenty of hiking paths, walking trails, quaint cities, historical castles and the beaches are also very nice. The sea-water is very cold to our standards, but locals find it absolutely comfortable.


I cannot imagine dipping myself in that cold North Wales sea water. Anyways, but I never skip a chance of wetting my toes in sea water whenever I am near to it.

Llanfairfechan pebble beach 

One was pebble beach in llanfairfechan. I also caught a glimpse of jelly fish, and after that I was little skeptical of stepping in to the sea water. The beach has a lovely café where you can relax with cup a coffee or have different flavors of ice creams as well. They have a fantastic menu as well in case you want to grab a quick lunch. 

The corner of that café was very peaceful. As this is a small town, all cafés close early as well. There was no rush to do things. It was a leisurely paced day for us at the beach.
We have spent 5-6 days in a rental and where every night, I used to cook meal after our days out. The coziness of the rental felt home to me as well. Even though, I didn’t have my spice box or our daily pantry, but churning out simple soul food was very satisfying for me. 
Even a simple ‘khichdi’ was delicious, uplifting and satisfying to the soul, which we used to have amidst our banters.

Portmeirion Village- inside

Small Italian replica village was well worth a visit in Minffordd. The interiors of this place resemble like an Italian village with good eating places and cafes. 

A day should be spent over here.There is a hotel as well, in case you need to spend a night. The days are busy over there, as hordes of tourist visit this place, all across the globe. 

Once those tourist buses depart in evenings, you can spend some quiet time over there. As we were visiting during summer holidays, it was very busy and a bustling place.

Portmeirion -Wales

Isle of Anglesey, Holyhead-
Beautiful and peaceful that comes to my mind when I want to write about Holyhead.Isle of Anglesey is a small island connected to mainland through two bridges. Minai Strait runs in between the island and mainland Wales. 
Anglesey is considered an area of outstanding natural beauty with its rugged coastlines, beautiful beaches, towering cliffs and vibrant flora and fauna.South Stack Lighthouse is well worth a stop.

South Stack Lighthouse-Holyhead

We spend a day in the island exploring Holyhead and Lladdwyn beach in Newborogh. 
Holyhead is famous for the south stack lighthouse. The rugged coastlines and vastness of sea was very magnificent. During peak nestling times, Puffins come here and set their nests in May. We were little late though as in August they all fly back to their respective homes. Puffins are endangered species now.
Lladdwyn beach 

The beach with its beautiful sand dunes and landscapes is considered a very lovely place to spend a day with loads of activities- from wind surfing, kite flying to pebble stacking etc. The area is well conserved and has a very minimal toll to enter, but I guess it’s required to maintain the surrounding and its landscape.There are two mini food vans in the premise, in case you want to grab a quick tea/coffee or some snacks. We loved the Victoria sponge cake and hot chocolate also.

Caernarfon Castle-inside

A fantastic port town with a historical castle. The ruins in castle depicts a story from a bygone era. It is here that Prince Charles had his investiture in 1969.The site is now listed in UNESCO world heritage site. 

We spent half of our day in exploring this castle and its various tunnels. The castle has a unique feature with polygonal towers.

 It’s a small town with limited eateries and café. But well worth a visit is a lovely Fish and Chip shop, whose owners have a friendly approach.

Caernarfon Street

They make the fish right in front of you. We ordered Cod with chips, which was delicious. Once in a while fish and chips should be eaten. Let me tell the name of the shop in case you want to have fish and chips-’’ Ainsworth Fish and Chips’’. We also bought some souvenirs as well. Dear daughter bought few for her friends as well. 

I like this coaster and this love spoon a lot. Celtic love spoon is a very memorable gift for someone you love. These fine hand-crafted wooden spoons are very poignant. 

Celtic Lovespoon

The giving and receiving Celtic love spoon between lovers, family and friends is a very old Welsh tradition from 17th century. Young men usually carve these spoons from one piece of wood with symbols such as hearts, Celtic knotwork, bells and horseshoe to give away as everlasting gifts.

Aber falls, Abergwyngregyn-
Aber falls is a fantastic place for a wonderful day out. The walk towards falls is very manageable and passes through significant natural beauty. 

Aber Falls Walk - starting point

There are many points where you can stop and look afar and take pictures. 

The epitome of this walk is the fall itself, which never disappoints. The falls after a rainy spell looks even more beautiful. The only problem is car parking.

Aber Falls

If you can get a fine spot, you are all set to explore this beautiful place.

There were times, when we just did picnic with home packed lunches and lost account of our time. 

And that is how holidays should be-no timetable and no rushing through.
Wales as usual, always give beautiful surprises and is worth a visit. There are still many quaint towns and places we haven’t ventured out, someday those will be visited as well.

You have a great weekend ahead.Wishing every one Shobho Mahalaya in advance.Enjoy and celebrate.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Peach Upside Down Cake

We are embracing colder mornings and evenings last couple of days now, paving up its way for autumn season here. While, I do appreciate every season, as each has its own charm. Autumn is somewhat more colorful and enticing. I got a peek into nature’s cycle with few colorful leaves fallen on my walking trails. I tried to capture with my mobile phone and this is what I got.

 I have completely stopped using DSLR these days and all these food pics that you all keep seeing here are mobile phone camera captures. May be, I am losing the habit of carrying or using DSLR camera these days. I may like to think the quality is passable, as I don’t rely on heavy use of editing software.
 This kills the natural tones and color of that particular shots. 

Although, I can’t imagine completely shunning the use of DSLR cameras, but as of now it’s me, my mobile and my solitudes, that works fine for me.

I want to squeeze in every bit of whatever golden summer days are left over here. I have been buying peaches a lot these days and was thinking of making a cake with them. This cake turned out dense with a nice sweet peachy layer on top-absolutely scrumptious. I have used whole wheat flour with plain flour and am planning to make next batch with whole wheat flour completely. That will make the cake even more dense with a nice textured fruity and peachy cake.

Here is the recipe for peach upside down cake
Peach Upside Down Cake
Recipe requirements
  • 3-4 peaches
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 and half tsp of baking powder
  • ½ tsp of baking soda
  • ¾ cup of caster sugar
  • 3-4 tbs of yogurt
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup spreadable butter
  • 3-4 tbs of light muscovado sugar
  • 2-3 pinches of salt

  • Take out spreadable butter, egg and yogurt and let it all come to the room temperature.
  • Peel the skin and destone peaches and slice them neatly.
  • Sift flour and add in baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In a big mixing bowl, cream together spreadable butter and castor sugar. Add in vanilla essence.
  • Add in 1 egg at a time, mixing very well. Add in yogurt.
  • Now mix this wet mixture with the dry mixture and make a smooth cake batter.
  • Preheat oven at 175 deg and prepare the cake tin. Spread some butter on the tin and then flour.
  • Arrange peach slices well over the sprinkled muscovado sugar.
  • Now pour in the cake batter and tap it gently.
  • Put the cake tin in preheated oven and bake it for 40-45 mints or till the middle of the cake comes out clean, when pricked with a toothpick or wooden skewer.
  • Take out and cool and flip the sides.Peach upside down cake is ready.Enjoy.

Happy Cooking Friends 

Friday, September 6, 2019

Chunky Feta Cheese Mint and Padron pepper Salad

We have been using feta cheese quite often these days and this salad is just one of those ways of preparing it. I have also included Padron peppers which are mild peppers, but imparts a nice crunchy texture and a greenish color to the salad. 

Padron peppers are very much part of Tapas bars in Spanish cuisine, specially the blistered Padron peppers that comes with potatoes etc. Padron pepper originates from a region in Spain known as Galicia. The combination of feta cheese and Padron peppers in this salad was very appetizing and was well received by my folks.

Now to the very simple recipe for this salad 

Chunky Feta cheese Mint and Padron pepper salad
Recipe requirements ( serves 2 )
  •  About a cup of chunky Feta cheese pieces
  •  1 small Onion
  •  Half a Cucumber
  •  10-12 Cherry tomato
  •  6-7 Padron peppers
  • half cup of chopped mint leaves

  • Chop onion, cucumber, tomato into half and Padron peppers.
  • Separate green and healthy leaves of mint and chop them roughly.
  • Cut feta cheese into pieces.
  • Mix all in a salad bowl. Chill for about 1-2 hrs. and serve.
  • You may use some salad dressing as well or drizzle very little olive oil with some black pepper and salt.
Happy Cooking Friends and have a relaxing weekend everyone.