Tag Archive | cuisine

Memories Flamenco Resort – All Inclusive is Beyond Excellent

In November of 2014 after the anticipation and impatiently waiting for my southern destination vacation to Cayo Coco, Cuba from November 27 to December 4, 2014 to Memories Flamenco Beach Resort, I automatically fell in love with it when I saw the pictures and did extensive research about Memories Resorts. From the moment I landed and arrived at Jardines Del Rey Airport in Cayo Coco with Sunwing Airlines, I knew it was going to be an excellent week. I just felt it from Toronto Pearson’s YYZ Airport.

As we had checked into Cuba after the customs/Aduana, We ventured off to the Transgaviota Bus to take us to Memories Flamenco Resort, but before we boarded the bus, our rooms and wristbands for the week was all ready for us and very well organized and prepared. From then on, I fell in love with the resort and the excellent service so far. As we arrived to Memories, we were greeted with a welcome cocktail drink in the front lobby area before getting our baggage and the memories Managers and team leaders greeted us happily with friendly smiles which warmed my heart. They are beautiful people whom I had the pleasure of meeting and spending this beautiful week with, which went by so quickly.

All vacations go by so quickly. The resort was so beautiful, everything, the layout, the convenience and everything was greatly thought of. Everything is close by with the bars, restaurants, lobby, the pool, the beach, and easy access to everywhere which was incredible. The food was delicious, clean and the bartenders, waiters and the cooks worked so hard, quickly and efficiently. The place is so spotless and everything is awesome. I also love how the managers, the resort administration staff, the customer service managers were walking all around the resort to ensure that everybody is having a fabulous time and everything is well taken care of.

I couldn’t believe how fast the bartenders, and waiters were. They were faster than the speed of lightning. I do not know how they have so much energy to do that for so many hours. They work so hard and come to work everyday from Ciego De Avila or Moron cities which they travel an hour and a half each way just to make ends meet. They only make so much in a month, and they are always happy and smiling and with a great attitude. They are so friendly and give great customer service. I appreciate them so much and I thank them. God bless them all and continue to give them energy. It is not easy to take care of so many guests, their requests and everything. It is not easy to tend to so many people at once. I have a tremendous respect for each and everyone of them. I was so observant the whole vacation and I tell you, It was awesome.

Our rooms were spotless, everyday I would get freshly washed towels, mopped floors, the bathroom and beds were super clean with new sheets, as well as my fridge stocked daily with water, cola’s, beer/Cristal cervesa’s, and everyday I’d walk into beautiful decorated towels with flowers on them. I was amazed. Best resort I have been to in all the times I have been to Cuba. This was my 12th trip to Cuba. this was by far the best. The resort was super clean with cleaners and housekeepers working around the clock to upkeep the resort. The public washrooms were spotless, the staff presence 24 hours a day was comforting as well.

There are some points though that need to be improved, but its just the beach area needs a little work, which I am told that it is still under construction because its a new resort of over 4 years old and they will be completing it within the year and then just the lighting around the walk ways and the pool area so people will not slip and fall, but no other issues… They will be working on all of that which I heard.

I made new friends from parts of Ontario and Quebec also from the UK, and partied at the disco, got to enjoy the snack bar and all the restaurants, the a la carte restaurants which I booked from the first day and got to enjoy the whole resort. A week sometimes is not enough. 2 weeks is the best way to really enjoy it all thoroughly without rushing to do everything all in one week. Time permitting and it depends on a person’s personal budget and finances and convenience of course. it all depends on your preference.

The entertainment, disco, the nightly shows and audience participation was excellent, there is a Cuban night where people learn about Cuba and then the entertainers give us traditional Cuban dances and give us a crash course on Cuban culture and history.

Everything else is excellent and excellent does not even describe this beautiful resort. Unfortunately when it came time to the last day to leave the warm tropical weather, 3 bus loads of people who were on our flight back to Toronto, The resort manager and other managers greeted us farewell by putting on their memories resorts theme song and gave us a speech before we took off to the airport which left an unforgettable and long lasting impression on my family and I. I cannot wait until I return back to Cuba and to Memories. I am impatiently waiting until my next voyage. I give this resort a 6 star. Not a 4 and a half to 5 stars. Thank you Memories Flamenco resort staff. You all put the most beautiful touch to an awesome and lovely week in warm weather and so much more.

Thank you for giving us memories to cherish for the rest of our lives.

Do you go on all inclusive resorts? Do you travel to sunny destinations for a getaway to relax and enjoy the hot weather? What resort have you been to? Did you enjoy it as much as I did? Would love to hear your stories.

Sushi, Sashimi, Wasabi, Maki Rolls – Love Asian Food

In the many years I have heard about sushi, the maki rolls and Japanese style cuisine, I told myself that I will never try sushi ever in my life and I will stay away from it because I am thinking about all the raw fish and everything and how I do not like things raw, but then I said let’s go to an all you can eat Sushi place, and so I decided, you know what? Why not, so I went and I had the Sushi and I fell in love with it. Now I am so addicted to all that, the Miso Soup, The California, Avocado Rolls, Dragon Rolls, Volcano, there are so many names for them. I tried the Salmon, Tempura, noodles, seaweed green salad, and so much more. I always said that I won’t try it, but now I can’t get enough of sushi. Its healthy and good for you and its so tasty and when you put it in the soya sauce, its extra tasty. I have become a sushi expert now. Been to that restaurant like 10 or more times. Once you get hooked, you will want to go all the time.

My first Sushi experience, my great friend showed me the ins and outs on what to order, the best things on the menu and choosing and selecting different types of sushi’s and rolls for me to try. The first time i went I went with the simple ones, then. They bring you tea when you get into the restaurant, they put soya sauce and this green very spicy hot dip named wasabi where you mix it with your soya sauce to make it have a kick to it, they bring you a little bit of a salmon too. The second time when we went to sushi, I had the more advanced type of sushi and I loved it all. It was so yummy and it depends on how they are made. You can’t eat sushi everywhere.

I always like to try new things and I am very happy and excited that my great friend introduced me to it. I want to try to make sushi myself so that when I entertain at home, we can have a sushi night all prepared by me. I might take a course or learn to do it from online. Maybe I can become a sushi chef later on in future, but now I will just stick to the all you can eat Sushi place I go to. When we went to all you can eat, you could eat as much dessert you want like mango or mousse cake, green tea ice cream or different varieties of them, and as well as you have a selection of soft drinks to choose from as well. There was just a place mat style menu and anything on there you can eat as much as you want.

If you order too much and you leave sushi, maki rolls or something on the plate and do not eat them, depending on the place, they charge you if you leave them. They try not to waste any food.

Now, you can’t try sushi from anywhere. Do not buy the ones in the sushi boxes you see at the malls or whatever. When you go to a sushi restaurant, observe that there is no fish smells, and make sure they bring it fresh to you. Not in a box because you never know how long the ones in the box sits for. always be cautious and mindful of where you buy it.

I love Asian food. Not only Sushi, Sashimi, Maki Rolls, The Wasabi Sauce with Soya Sauce, I love Shanghai Noodles, Korean BBQ Where the waiters bring you the raw meat and you cook it right in front of you sometimes. Depends which restaurant you go to, I also love Vietnamese food, Pho, Pad Thai, Vegetable Pad Thai, Chicken Pad Thai, and other foods. Do you like the peanut and peanut butter sauce you dunk your shrimp and veggie rolls? I get excited when I go to a Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, restaurants. I can eat this weekly. I want to go eat Asian food now. I am craving it.

Do you like sushi and other Asian food? What do you mostly enjoy?

Talin’s — Favourite Sweet Tahini Bread Swirls

Many Years ago, I was at my Armenian Community Center and there was a Bazaar like a flea market type of event, and a couple of days before I went and assisted the Armenian Women’s Guild Group to make Sweet Tahini Bread Swirls to sell, So I learned how to make it from the Armenian Ladies and perfected it. So, I decided to write down the recipe to make it at home. I was so glad I did. It is incredibly tasty, and I enjoy making this. Although I have not made it in over a year, but I was thinking about it today, so I want to make it again this week, and Sweet Tahini Swirls are good anytime, any day. You can serve this with Coffee, Tea, Armenian Coffee, or at anytime. You can have it for Breakfast, or for a snack, whenever your heart desires. Well, Here is the recipe for this delicious dessert.

This is counted as 4 Bread Swirls of 16 Cm’s, but you can play around with the amounts according to how many you are making.

CREDITS: http://www.blago.net/baking/bread/lebanese-sweet-tahini-swirls/

Made some modifications, but full credit goes to the site above

Dough:

  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 120 ml lukewarm water
  • 200 gr all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Filling:

  • 4 small tbsp tahini
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 4x tsp olive oil
  • 4x tsp cinnamon

Use Flour on countertop or big cutting board to work with the dough and filling.

Make the dough

Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water, and add the sugar and oil. Add the flour, a handful at a time. Quickly knead into a floppy, flexible dough that does not stick to the hands anymore. Leave covered in a bowl for about 2 or 3 hours, to rise. As all the air will be rolled out of it later, the stretchiness of the dough is more important than the amount of air in it.

Follow the Following Steps.

tahini scrolls production

When the dough has had some time to rise, divide it into four balls. Roll out one ball at a time, into a rough rectangle of “pizza thickness” – about 2 or 3 mm (1). Scatter the teaspoon of olive oil over it. I combined the tahin with the sugar, added a teaspoon of finely ground lemon rind (packet) to that, and scattered the somewhat dryer tahin mixture, like crumbs, over the dough surface (2). Dust the tahin-sugar layer with cinnamon. Gently press it flat with the back of a spoon. You’re now ready to roll.

Pre-heat the oven to 190° C. If you use a baking stone, put it in the middle rack.

Dust the worktop with a bit of castor sugar and flour to help with the rolling. Cut squares of baking parchment of about 17 x 17 cm. Roll up the dough rectangle, starting at the longest edge. Roll and pull and gently twist a bit, and the resulting sausage will be much longer, about 40 to 50 cm (4). Taking one end as the center, now turn the sausage in on itself, forming a rolled bun (5). Gently press it flat with your hand, then transfer onto a piece of parchment, and use the rolling pin again to gently roll the bun into a 15cm wide flat circle, about a cm in thickness (6). Prepare as much swirls as your oven can hold in one go, leave the rest covered up.

Using a pizza peel or an extra-wide spatula to support the flat tahini swirls sitting on their separate parchment, quickly transfer them into the oven. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or till parts of the surface have turned a deep golden brown. Get them out and leave them to cool and get nice and crispy on a wire rack.

Have some apple tea to go with that. Their taste is not overly sweet; and I love the combination of crunchiness with that slightly caramelized sesame filling. Roll over Swedish cinnamon buns, these tahini swirls are awesome!

CREDITS: http://www.blago.net/baking/bread/lebanese-sweet-tahini-swirls/

Pasta Lovers Unite – Loving All Kinds

I have been loving pasta for as long as I can remember. I remember when I was 8 years old. I made my very first pasta dish with of course the supervision of my mom. She started getting me in the cooking mode since I was 7 years old and she taught me the basics from making pasta sauce from scratch and how long to boil the pasta for and then as I got older when I was 14 years old, I began to do it all myself without supervision anymore and they love my pasta’s I make. Now I do an assortment. I do lasagna, fettuccine Alfredo and a whole bunch of other styles of Pasta. I love tortellini, rigatoni, fuccilli, elbow macaroni, linguine, and among other really awesome styles. For all those connoisseur’s for pasta, I am sure you can all relate to the passion. I think all of us pasta lovers have this different type of food passion and I am sure all of us can eat this everyday. 

Too many carbs though, but I do not care, Pasta is good for you. You may not believe it, but it really is and a good nutrition factor. There are some people who go overboard and go to extremes when dieting, I believe that nobody should diet. All it is, is to watch your portion control and who cares if you have a little more, but pastas have durum semolina, and all kinds of nutrition packed into it.  God bless this food. :) Spaghetti, Penne Rigate, Tagliatelle, Cannelloni. I have come up with so many recipes, and different styles of how to create and make that perfect sauce, and that perfect blend of tastes. Some can be done with Veggies, an array of meats, Seafood pastas, cheese pastas, pasta salads, Olive oils, vinaigrette,  I would love to get the accessories to make pasta from scratch for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, but its so expensive to buy, So for the time being I want to try and do different pastas on my own and get the dough recipes and then cut the dough into Tagliatelle Nests, and get them all pretty. There are also small shells, linguine, and so many several types.

In the world, mostly Italy and few other places, pasta, spaghetti is very well know around the world, and different people make it different ways. what are some of your favourite pasta dishes? What do you work with? I would love to venture off to Italy and go on a Food Trip tour and taste and get the feel of how important Pasta is to those regions and to the cultures. I would love to go on a culinary adventure and get more personal with top chefs, Pasta Experts and so much more. The possibilities are endless and its such a beautiful thing.

  P-A-S-T-A …. yum yum yum. Bon Apetit…..

Welcome 2014! Happy New Year!

Hello everyone, Now that 2013 is behind us, looking forward to brand new year, a fresh start, another 365 days. I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year 2014. I wish you and your loved ones a happy, healthy, prosperous, successful year. Wishing you the best, and may 2014 be full of love, great and happy surprises, great memories and so much more. What are your plans for 2014? What are your resolutions? Do you keep up with your resolutions? What changes do you want to see? We can all make a difference in the world if we all pitch in and do our best to make this world a better place.

Are you planning to travel in 2014? lets see what 2014 has in store for all of us. I hope that everything will go well and we will go through another year. I know every year, we have our ups and downs and things always change in a year, but I hope that everything will be ups for everyone. I cannot believe 2013 is over. It went by so quickly. It seems just like yesterday we were celebrating 2013, but now onto another year. It seems like every passing year, time and the days are going by quicker and quicker.

This year I plan to attain, and accomplish many goals I have already set out. I do a lot of reflection the last week of the year thinking about what to do for the year ahead. Well, Goodbye 2013. Welcome 2014!

Wrapping up 2013 – Highlights of My Year

Wow, what a year it has been. Today is the last day of 2013, and there have been ups and downs, but mostly ups, and I have been so blessed in the past year with such incredible and beautiful Highlights, that I will never forget and I usually jot down all of my highlights in a note so that I can look back to see what I have accomplished, where I traveled, and other important days to remember. Here are the highlights of my year:

Did a Bit of Traveling by air and on the road — traveled to Dominican Republic, Boston, Massachusetts, (Had a Layover at the airport in Newark, New Jersey when I was landing I saw New York City — Yes I consider that A place I went to and saw this year), Visited Michigan, Cambridge, Ontario, and Niagara Falls.

When I visited Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo, went to the Be Live Hamaca Resort where I met incredible and lovely people and we became friends. It was a great gathering.

I had always wanted to go and eat and drink at “CHEERS” Bar in Boston, Massachusetts, It was an iconic TV Show from back in the day in the 80’s and 90’s, and I scratched that off my bucket list. Thank you to my kouyrigs/sisters in Boston for making that possible and for making that happen. Had Nachos and Beer there. Its a must to have The Cheers beer.

I visited the iconic and popular University of Harvard, touched John Harvard’s Shoe. toured Harvard Square and its vicinity, and ended up Graduating (lol)

Mastered the Boston Accent — MASTAHD THAH BAHSTAN ACCENT

Tried Sushi for the first time ever in the summer and I loved it. Now cannot get enough of it. Thank you to someone who is very dear to me, who introduced sushi, sashimi, maki rolls and so much more in the Japanese Cuisine.

Had the best lobster ever at the Lobster Pool in Massachusetts. I also dined at the Cheesecake factory

Went to a few parties here and there.

Attended Bible Studies and Conferences

Went to the Armenian Toronto Summer fest with my great friend, but I call her my sister from Montreal that I did not see for a while. It was a great reunion.

I am proud to say that this year one of my friends became a Contestant on Jeopardy and I can finally say I know someone who was a contestant on Jeopardy.

Met some of my Online Facebook friends in person, whom are like family to me now.

My Blog and Social Media and marketing success went through a roof, where I got an offer to write recipes in the Food and Drink Magazine, I have Robert Herjavec, Kevin O’Leary, Arlene Dickensen, and Jim Treliving subscribed to my blog. They are from Dragons, Den, I have reached close to 400,000 blog hits, Famous chefs such as Massimo Capra, Jamie Oliver, and Jacques Pepin and more have followed me as well. My LinkedIn Profile has been seen and followed by Arlene Dickensen. Plus so many people around the Globe have viewed and followed my blog from places I had never even heard about. Many people have added my blog site to their websites. So many more highlights that I cannot even remember them all. Thank you all for the support, and I will continue doing my work in 2014 and beyond.

I have written over 700 Articles.

Accomplished many personal goals and achieved excellence

All My cousins and I reunited for the first time since 1999, the summer I came back from Armenia.

Here is to 2014, with many more highlights to come.
Have a lovely New Year and best wishes, Health and happiness.

In The Kitchen With Stefano Faita

Recently, I discovered an incredible, wonderful and not to mention great looking chef on television on CBC. I was flipping through the channels one time and I really enjoy cooking shows, so I stopped on CBC’s channel while I saw this cooking show, and I saw that it was In The Kitchen with Stefano Faita, so I started to watch his cooking show, and I automatically knew it was a show I would like then I began to love it. I cannot wait to watch his show daily and especially, by the way Chef Stefano explains the way to cook food, incredibly easy methods, very tasty, full of flavour foods of which I like. I love to cook myself and I can tell that he is not afraid of adding a lot of flavour and he is always enthusiastic and excited when it comes to food.

This past week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Chef Stefano Faita during his chat that he had set up for his fans to ask him questions, and he gave me tips and tricks on what to do with stir fry when it becomes too liquidy, to always make sure my wok is hot and to make sure the liquid from the meat and vegetables dry out before putting in the soya sauce or whatever seasoning , and I had also asked him how to make pasta from scratch and he explained it to me thoroughly and I got to see his recipes and he answered me so quickly because it was an hour chat with him. He seems to be such a great person all around and I am so glad I got that moment to talk with him. I’d love to meet Chef Stefano Faita someday and enjoy his food that he makes with his magic chef hands. I am really impressed, and there are foods and ingredients that I never knew of until I learned them from Stefano. I enjoy chopping, dicing and the way he handles food. He is a natural.

I have learned so much about cooking from him that, I cannot wait to try his recipes at home to feed my family, friends and when people come over whether it’s for the holidays, occasions or for no reason, just to hang out with great company and great food in the mix, that will keep people coming back for more as Stefano says while he is cooking on Television.

You can catch In The Kitchen with Stefano Faita on CBC at 3:30pm Monday-Friday’s  in Canada or you can go to www.cbc.ca/inthekitchen to obtain more information, Stefano’s recipes, and where you can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and more. You can also go to a taping of his show and be part of his audience. I wish Stefano Faita the best and May you continue working with those Magic Chef hands that you are so gifted with.