Indonesia: Temple hopping in Bali

Another interesting activity to do in Bali is temple hopping, as the island is home to thousands of Hindu temples. Each temple (pura in Balinese) has its own intricate architecture, great views, charming courtyards, and beautiful story. So, during our trip to Bali, we made sure we could visit a few of them.

The Temple of Tirta Empul

It is located in the village of Manukaya in Central Bali. The name Tirta Empul means “holy water spring” because it houses a mountain spring that is the source of a river. This temple is one of the most important temple complex in Bali built circa 960 AD, and considered as a national heritage site. According to the legend, the spring was created by the Hindu god Indra who pricked the earth to let out a spring of sacred water. This temple is popular among locals and tourists alike. Many people go there for a dip in the bathing pools as they believed that its waters have curative properties.

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The Temple of Tirta Empul

The holy water spring at the Temple of Tirta Empul

The Temple of Tirta Empul

The Temple of Tirta Empul

The Temple of Tirta Empul

The Temple of Tirta Empul

The Temple of Tirta Empul

The Temple of Tirta Empul

The Temple of Tanah Lot

Tanah Lot Temple (which means a small island floating on the sea) is one of the photogenic sites in Bali, situated on a rocky islet off the south-west coast surrounded by gently crashing waves in the ocean. The temple can only be reached at low tide, and only the staff can go inside for ceremonies and to preserve the place from further damage. We went there in the morning even though we heard that the sunset there is spectacular just to ditch the crowd. To me, the place is more than the temple itself – it’s good to visit with family, it’s very leisurely and calm.

The Temple of Tanah Lot

The Temple of Tanah Lot

The Temple of Tanah Lot

Behind me is the Temple of Tanah Lot

The Temple of Tanah Lot

The Temple of Tanah Lot

The Temple of Uluwatu

Uluwatu Temple, one of Bali’s iconic landmark, has stunning and dramatic views, especially views of waves lapping onto the rocks below. It’s built on a cliff about 70m above the sea on the south-western tip of the island. The tourists can walk along the cliff and enjoy the sea breeze and breathtaking views. What I love the most there is the elevated vistas stretching as far as the eye can see. Since many people go there at sunset when the sky is painted with a thousand shades of orange, pink and yellow, my family and I opted to visit the temple early in the afternoon to avoid the sunset crowds. It’s an amazing sight – to see this 11th century temple perched on a towering precipice overlooking the Indian Ocean.

The Temple of Uluwatu

The Temple of Uluwatu

The Temple of Uluwatu

The Temple of Uluwatu

The Temple of Uluwatu

The Temple of Uluwatu

The Temple of Uluwatu

We truly enjoyed our time there and the temples are absolutely well worth a visit if you’re in Bali.

 Little Lilly travel tips:

  • Beware of the notorious monkeys at the Temple of Uluwatu. They are awful. They might steal your mobile phone, glasses, cap, bag, etc.
  • We heard that there’s a dance show at the Temple of Uluwatu at every 6PM.
  • The entrance fee for every temple was very reasonable and it covers the cost of the use of a sarong.

 

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Taste of Home: Sweet Cinnamon Rolls with Cream-cheese Glaze

It took me several tries to perfect this easy sweet cinnamon rolls recipe – a new addition to our family recipe book. I like this recipe because it is quite simple to make, and each time I make it, they always have turned out perfectly moist and fragrant and tasty.

sweet cinnamon rolls

sweet cinnamon rolls

These squishy spirals of buttery dough are incredibly delicious. And became one of our simple indulgence for afternoon snacks served with homemade passion ginger tea.

My family enjoys cinnamon rolls especially when it’s fresh and still warm from the oven. These pillow-y  rolls are just sweet enough, so if you don’t like too much sugar, this recipe is ideal for you.

So, raise your hand if you love cinnamon rolls! And happy journey into the cinnamon roll heaven.

sweet cinnamon rolls

What you will need for the cinnamon dough (for 12 cinnamon rolls):

  • 50 grams of salted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup of fresh milk
  • 1 fresh chicken egg
  • 1 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 pack of instant yeast
  • 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

cinnamon dough

sweet cinnamon rolls

What you will need for the filling:

  • 5 grams of salted butter at room temperature
  • 2 tbsps of brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp of cinnamon powder

What you will need for the glaze:

  • 50 grams of cream cheese
  • 10 grams of butter at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp of sweetened milk

sweet cinnamon rolls

sweet cinnamon rolls

sweet cinnamon rolls

How to make sweet cinnamon rolls:

  • Put the butter, milk and egg in a mixing bowl. Mix well.
  • Add sugar, honey and yeast. Mix well.
  • Add flour. Mix well. Knead with your hand until the dough is not sticky anymore and no more leftover.
  • Form the dough into a big ball.
  • Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm area. Let it rise for an hour or until it doubles its size.
  • While the dough is still rising, prepare the filling. Put the brown sugar and cinnamon powder in a small bowl. Mix together.
  • Once the dough has risen well, flatten it into a rectangular shape.
  • Brush some melted butter and spread out the filling.
  • Roll the dough. Cut it in circular and arranged them in the baking pan. Then let it rise for another 30 minutes or until it has double its size.
  • Put it in a preheated oven and bake it for 20 min at 160⁰C.
  • Prepare the glaze. In another small bowl, put the cream cheese, butter and condensed milk. Mix it well.
  • Let it cool for about 15 minutes.
  • Drizzle the cream-cheese glaze.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Indonesia: Kopi Luwak in Bali

Have you heard or tried Kopi Luwak?

On our way to explore the northern part of Bali, we visited Lumbung Sari, one of the Luwak coffee farms as part of the tour.

Luwak coffee tasting in Bali

Luwak coffee tasting in Bali

As soon as we arrived at the area, a very friendly staff assisted us. He showed and explained to us how they prepare the coffee beans.

We have learned that in Southeast Asia, there are jungle cats called Civet that loves to eat coffee cherries. The civet’s digestive system uses the fruit of the coffee for nourishment but it is only partly digested. The civet then pooped out the coffee beans. They collected the undigested coffee beans out of the Civet cat poop, and proceed to process: roast, grind, brew, and serve them just like any other beans you can buy from the coffee shop.

Luwak coffee tasting in Bali

Luwak coffee tasting in Bali

We’ve also learned that it’s the most expensive coffee in the world probably because of its scarcity and experience value.

At first we were dead set on not drinking the coffee made from animal poop but we figured out “When in Bali…” So we decided to buy a cup of Luwak coffee (and shared it between me and husband).

Luwak coffee tasting in Bali

Our experience of drinking a Luwak coffee was really unique. It had a really distinctive aroma. In fact it was chocolatey, winey and had some sort of hazelnut tones. It was rich and delicious. It wasn’t gross or anything. It wasn’t strong and it had very little aftertaste.

They also offered a sample of various kinds of tea. And we got to meet a few of the Luwak too.

Civet “Luwak” is a nocturnal animal: sleeping the whole day long and very active and aggressive at night.

The view from the terrace over the Rainforest was gorgeous, tranquil and breezy. Great for photographs.

Luwak coffee tasting in Bali

It was certainly a pleasant stop. It was interesting seeing how the coffee was grown and ground into drinkable coffee. It was special and delightful, so combined with its really bizarre story – I think it’s worth a visit. Don’t miss out!

Taste of Home: DIY Family meal – succulent homeburger

Both my husband and I grew up with family dinners every night. So, we try to make it happen in our own family because we reckon it is the best way to connect and find out what’s going on with each other, and it creates memorable family meals.

On top of that, every week, we always have a night assigned for easy fun family meal – either we do a DIY family dinner or we order food for delivery. Thus, for tonight, we decided to make succulent homemade burgers with homemade buns and homemade patties and packed with fresh organic lettuce, tomatoes, and onions and herbs for extra flavor and Emmental cheese.

My customized homeburger – so juicy and tasty

homemade buns and homemade patties

I made the buns and my husband cooked the patties. In his burger recipe, he used minced pork and minced chicken to maintain the softness. He thinks that beef alone makes it too tough, chicken alone too dry and pork alone too fat.

We love juicy burger, but each of us has different opinions about what should be included. Plus, customizing our own burger makes everyone happy. It was certainly fun and we love the interactive dinner vibe. Overall, all of us enjoyed our delicious restaurant-style burgers.

Homeburger

What you need for buns:

  • 3 tbsp salted butter, melted
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 eggs (1 for the dough + 1 for the egg wash)
  • 1 pack instant yeast
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

homemade buns

What you need for patties:

  • 500 grams minced chicken
  • 500 grams minced pork
  • 3 big onions, sliced
  • 4 tbsp Kikkoman soy sauce
  • 2 tsp of flour
  • red pepper, freshly crashed and to taste
  • cooking sunflower oil

homemade patty

What you need for homeburgers:

  • 1 big tomato, sliced
  • lettuce
  • Emmental cheese
  • ketchup
  • mayonnaise
  • Tartare sauce
  • Rouille sauce
  • Aioli sauce
  • Mustard

How to make buns:

  • In a mixing bowl, put in the butter, milk, sugar, egg, yeast and flour.
  • Mix well. Let it rest for 1 hour until the dough has risen well or double in size.
  • Knead the dough until it becomes softer and no more leftover.
  • Form it into small balls. Let it rest for 45 minutes until they double in size.
  • Prepare the egg wash in a separate small bowl. Whisk up 1 egg and 1 tsp of water.
  • Brush the surface of the bread.
  • Spread sesame seeds
  • Bake it in a preheated oven at 160⁰C for about 17 minutes.
  • Take it out from the oven and let it cool down for about 2 hours.

homemade buns

homemade buns

How to make patties:

  • Put the minced pork and minced chicken in a mixing bowl. Add soy sauce and flour. Mix well. Set aside.
  • Sautee the onions until it becomes caramelized.
  • Put in the onions into the meat mixture.
  • Form small balls. Flatten it.
  • Fry the patties in a high fire.
  • Put them on a paper towel to remove some oil and to let it cool down.

meat mixture for homemade patty

Putting together:

  • Assemble your burger your way until it reaches perfection.
  • Enjoy!

Homeburger

Taste of Home: Meat and cheese lover pizza

My family and I were craving for pizza, and since we had some leftover of chicken and pork patty (prepared by hubby), I decided to make meat and cheese lover pizza at home with pizza dough and pizza sauce completely made from scratch. We just love pizza, and we love the combination of how the pizza smells, looks and tastes.

homemade meat and cheese lover pizza

Homemade meat and cheese lover pizza

I always find it satisfying to make good pizza at home because it makes my family on cloud nine. With my go-to pizza recipe, I could make a good pizza with a good pizza crust – that’s soft inside and crispy outside.

My homemade pizza is not a junk food. It deliciously contains a lavish base of homemade tomato sauce prepared with the freshest organic vegetables and low-fat cheeses. It has an exquisite flavor and texture.

Making a really great meat and cheese lover pizza at home was a real treat, and all of us enjoyed our pizza night.

Homemade meat and cheese lover pizza

Ingredients for pizza dough:

  • ½ cup warm milk
  • 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 packet of instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup warm water to activate the yeast

Ingredients for sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 big tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 big onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ cup of water
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Ingredients for toppings:

  • cooked chicken and pork patty, sliced
  • 170 grams white button mushroom
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in striped
  • 250 grams chive and garlic cream cheese

How to make pizza crust:

  1. Activate the yeast. Put warm water in a mixing bowl. Add 1 tbsp of white sugar. Stir. Add instant yeast. Mix together. Set aside for 5 minutes or until the yeast is activated.
  2. Add the wet ingredients into the yeast mixture. Mix together.
  3. Add all the dry ingredients into the mixture. Mix well.
  4. Knead for at least 5 minutes. Then form a ball.
  5. Cover the bowl with a dry cloth. Allow the dough to rest for an hour in a dry non-ventilated area. After an hour the dough will double in size.
  6. Flour your work surface, and put all the dough onto the surface.
  7. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough and form a circular shape.
  8. Pinch a shallow border
  9. Pre-bake the dough in a preheated oven for 10 minutes at 160⁰C.

making pizza crust

How to make pizza sauce:

  1. Put olive oil in a frying pan. Put tomatoes. Mix. Add onion. Stir well.
  2. Add oregano and paprika. Mix well.
  3. Add iodized salt and freshly crashed red pepper. Mix together.
  4. Add water is necessary. Let it cook for about 5 min.

pizza sauce

Top it your way.

  1. Spread pizza sauce on the pizza crust.
  2. Put the meat.
  3. Spread the cooked mushroom.
  4. Add on the cream cheese.

Homemade meat and cheese lover pizza

Bake the pizza.

  • Shoved the pizza in the oven and baked it for 25 minutes at 160⁰C.
  • Et voila! Enjoy your pizza!

Homemade meat and cheese lover pizza