Archive for the ‘Expat Bloggers’ Category

Recommended Blogging Resources & Tools

Posted on the August 27th, 2017 under Expat Bloggers by

Recommended Blogging Resources & ToolsBelow is a list of recommended blogging resources that I’ve either personally used (in most cases) or which are highly recommended.
Even though I have had positive experiences with all of these companies and their products, please do not spend any money on them until you have researched them thoroughly and feel that they will help you achieve your goals.
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Tools to Create Your Blog/Website:
 
WordPress

WordPress is a free blogging platform. Before you sign up for a new site, you first need to understand that there are two very different WordPress options – one is WordPress.com (where you use the WordPress blogging platform but your site witll be hosted by WordPress) and the other is WordPress.org (where you also use the WordPress blogging platform but you choose the hosting service such as BlueHost, Siteground, WP Engine etc).
The major difference between signing up with WordPress.com and WordPress.org is where your site is hosted (with .org you have more control over your website). Also, with WordPress.com you cannot put ads on your site. Click here to understand the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
Continue reading at Ginger and Scotch…

Pasta Machine Review: Marcato Atlas vs Cucina Pro Imperia

Posted on the August 22nd, 2017 under Expat Bloggers by

Pasta Machine Review: Marcato Atlas vs Cucina Pro ImperiaWhen your rolling pin can’t get the job done, which pasta machine should you turn to? Here is my review of two Italian-made pasta machines: the Marcato Atlas 150 vs the Imperia 150 pasta machine.
I love the squishy elastic feel of soft dough being kneaded in my bare hands. I enjoy the back and forth motion of rolling out a malleable dough with my rolling pin. I get excited at the final act of wrapping the rolled out dough onto my rolling pin and unfurling it in cascading layers just before it’s cut into long strands of noodles.
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But not all noodle dough is like this. Some, like ramen or udon dough, are tough to roll and takes the fun out of the noodle-making process.
Which is when you need a pasta machine to bring back the fun.
My husband bought a hand-crank pasta machine on a whim one afternoon. He and our son used it that very day to make Italian pasta but it took me weeks before I touched it myself. You see, I wanted to make all my noodles by hand.
But when our ramen dough wouldn’t budge to any amount of fist thumping or rolling pin whacking, I relented to gadget help and took out the pasta machine and it transformed our entire experience.
Continue reading at Ginger and Scotch…

Use a WordPress Plugin for Frequently Used Text or Scripts

Posted on the August 15th, 2017 under Expat Bloggers by

Use a WordPress Plugin for Frequently Used Text or ScriptsAre you tired of typing or copy-pasting the same frequently used text on certain posts over and over again? Like disclaimers for sponsored posts?
Do you use scripts within your posts that stubbornly keeps changing each time you switch from text editor to visual editor?
I had both of these problems.
Especially frustrating was every time I updated a post, my Amazon CPM ad code script would get changed by WordPress (it would get smushed up rendering it useless) so I had to open up the Amazon Affiliate web page, find the code, copy the code, then paste the code onto my blog post and update it.
Some posts had two ads so I would have to remember to find the second add code and update that too. What if I decided to take out all the ads? I’d hate the idea of having to go into every single post to delete the ad code.
A simple soluction to these problems was to install a WordPress shortcode plugin that would create a shortcode where I could specify the text that I wanted. Then I could paste this specific shortcode into the post.
Continue reading at Ginger and Scotch…

How to Make Hong Kong Egg Cakes (鷄蛋仔)

Posted on the May 1st, 2017 under Expat Bloggers by

How to Make Hong Kong Egg Cakes (鷄蛋仔)A popular street food in Hong Kong, I first came across these little egg cakes as a child growing up in New York City’s Chinatown. From a tiny red stall on Mosco Street, Cecilia Tam churned out pan after pan of these eggettes for over a decade but when she closed up shop, she left many die-hard followers forever craving her perfectly fluffy and heavenly egg cakes. This recipe is as satisfying for me as the Cecilia Tam original.

This post contains affiliate links where, at no additional cost to you, we receive a small commission when products are purchased through links on our blog. 
 
I’ve been reminiscing about a part of my childhood in New York’s Chinatown where I attended Chinese school every weekend. After class, mom or dad would walk me over to Mosco Street, where in a tiny red corner stall labored Cecilia Tam (aka the Egg Cake Lady), to buy a bag or two of her legendary egg puffs (aka eggettes) or 鷄蛋仔 – “gai daan jai” in Catonese.
Her stall became so popular over the years that more often than not there were more tourists waiting in line, clutching their cameras and tour books, than regulars.
Continue reading at Ginger and Scotch…

You May Also Like:
Emirati Recipe: Fish Cakes (Sa-mak Koufta)
Inaugural Week, Day 7 – Ginger and Scotch Ice Cream
Wee Scotch Turns One Year Old!
Secret Ingredient Beer-Braised Chicken
Vietnamese Chicken Curry (Ca Ri Ga)

How to Make Hong Kong Egg Cakes (鷄蛋仔)

Posted on the May 1st, 2017 under Expat Bloggers by

How to Make Hong Kong Egg Cakes (鷄蛋仔)A popular street food in Hong Kong, I first came across these little egg cakes as a child growing up in New York City’s Chinatown. From a tiny red stall on Mosco Street, Cecilia Tam churned out pan after pan of these eggettes for over a decade but when she closed up shop, she left many die-hard followers forever craving her perfectly fluffy and heavenly egg cakes. This recipe is as satisfying for me as the Cecilia Tam original.

This post contains affiliate links where, at no additional cost to you, we receive a small commission when products are purchased through links on our blog. 
 
I’ve been reminiscing about a part of my childhood in New York’s Chinatown where I attended Chinese school every weekend. After class, mom or dad would walk me over to Mosco Street, where in a tiny red corner stall labored Cecilia Tam (aka the Egg Cake Lady), to buy a bag or two of her legendary egg puffs (aka eggettes) or 鷄蛋仔 – “gai daan jai” in Catonese.
Her stall became so popular over the years that more often than not there were more tourists waiting in line, clutching their cameras and tour books, than regulars.
Continue reading at Ginger and Scotch…

You May Also Like:
Emirati Recipe: Fish Cakes (Sa-mak Koufta)
Inaugural Week, Day 7 – Ginger and Scotch Ice Cream
Wee Scotch Turns One Year Old!
Secret Ingredient Beer-Braised Chicken
Vietnamese Chicken Curry (Ca Ri Ga)

Where To Find Thai Basil and other Authentic Thai Food in Dubai?

Posted on the May 25th, 2015 under Expat Bloggers by

Fried Sweet Potatoes and BananasFried Sweet Potatoes and Bananas“Where in the world of Dubai do you buy your Thai groceries? Specifically Thai basil?”
That was the question I posed last week to the first Thai person that I had met in Dubai after living here seven years.
And so I learned that every Saturday, at the Royal Thai consulate in Dubai, a lady sets up a stand to sell Thai vegetables grown in her own garden.
I had so many questions for my new Thai friend:
-Can outsiders just walk in and buy these veggies?
-Will it be a problem that I don’t speak Thai?
-What time should I go?
-Are you sure it will be there next Saturday because I really want to check it out?!
And so this past Saturday, joined by Sally @ My Custard Pie, Little Ginger and I ventured into the Royal Thai Consulate in Umm Sequim hopeful for a glimpse of this market.
And we did indeed find it! Just past the security hut, under the car shades with the consulate villa in the background, we strolled into a mini Thai alfresco market.
Royal Thai ConsulateRoyal Thai Consulate (with the market on the left of pic)Sally and I made our rounds of the few vendors that were there while poor Little Ginger (in the yellow stroller below), tired and hot as the Dubai heat was in full swing, not-so-patiently waited for us to finish our gawking shopping.

There were maybe 9 or 10 folding tables manned by friendly Thai ladies who kindly welcomed us and who patiently answered all our questions about what they were selling.
I found the lady that grew her own vegetables and bought a packet of Gai Lan and Shanghai choy (similar to bok choy but with a light green stem instead of white) @ 10 dhs per bag. There were also bags of kang kong (aka water spinach), Sweet Thai Basil (horapha), and others I couldn’t identify.


The vegetable lady also sold beef ball and fish ball skewers and I bought 2 of each at 10 dhs per skewer.  The skewers came with a little baggie of spicy dipping sauce that had a soy sauce and tamarind (or maybe fish sauce?) base.
I enjoyed the fish balls better than the beef which were a bit dry but edible doused in the dipping sauce.
Left: Fried Bananas and Sweet Potatoes: Right: SkewersIt was very hot, at least 100°F (38°C), and although I didn’t mind the heat, Little Ginger being tired, hungry and grumpy began throwing a bit of a fuss. I tried to hurry through the different tables but I couldn’t help stopping at each one a few times because more and more food seemed to be coming out of their carrier bags.
In the end, I made away with more skewers of meat, a bag of deep-fried banana and sweet potato “fries” (for lack of a better word – which by the way, were AMAZING!), and a cup of grass jelly (known as chao kuai in Thailand; gulaman in the Philippines). Sally felt that the grass jelly beverage was too sweet for her taste but I quite enjoyed it. I’ve only tasted grass jelly in cans and this homemade version was different as it had a taste I could not completely identify – the closest flavor I can think of is Root beer.
Grass Jelly and Other Thai DrinksGrass Jelly and Other Thai DrinksSadly for us, the rice and salad dishes neatly packed in take-away containers were off limits as they were all pre-ordered but Sally and I placed a few orders of our own for pick-up next Saturday so…we will be back!

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Practical info:  As far as I know, the market is held on Saturdays from 10:30am to 3pm.  Best to get there 11am onwards as the ladies were still setting up at 10:30am.  I don’t know how long the market will go for or if it will continue through the summer.
Note:  Thai basil and other Thai produce can also be found at Sunflower (aka “Queen Saba Grocery”) inside the Karama Fish Market. ?

Related posts:
Thai Basil, Taro, and Sugarcane
Chicken Stir-Fry with Thai Chilli Kaffir Lime Sauce
Ginger and Scotch Clams with Asian Basil
Eating Out for Under 100 Dhs
Asian Grocery Stores in Dubai