Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bananas in Coconut Milk with a Thai Tea Caramel + Mango Sticky Rice + Northern Thailand


Bananas in Coconut Milk & Mango Sticky Rice  | Adventures in Cooking

After going through the thousands (not an exaggeration, sadly) of photos I took on our trip to Thailand, I realized that I could not fit everything about Thailand into one post. So, I am breaking it up into three posts, the north, the south, and the center. Each post will be paired with a delicious Thai recipe (or in this case, two!) as an excuse for me to make, eat, and share as much tasty Thai food as possible. For this post, I'm sharing recipes for mango with sticky rice and bananas in coconut milk, but I put a little twist on these traditional desserts by making a Thai tea caramel with the palm sugar we bought on our trip. I used coconut milk instead of heavy cream for the caramel and steeped 1 tablespoon of Thai tea in it. But the rest of the caramel was pretty standard aside from the use of palm, or coconut, sugar, which is made from the sap of the coconut palm tree. You can get palm sugar at most natural food stores and there's a ton of it on amazon, too. I really feel like I created something momentous with this caramel, you guys. Like a benchmark to hold all my other recipes up to. I've never tasted anything like it before, it has a rich, nutty, creamy flavor and tastes like a warm cup of thai tea that you added the tastiest butter and cream and sugar you could find to. If you enjoy caramel on any level, it's worth tracking down the palm sugar and Thai tea to give this recipe a go. And now, Thailand...

Dhara Dhevi | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi | Adventures in Cooking

We began our journey in the north in a large city called Chiang Mai, where we spent about two and a half days. While that ended up being not nearly enough time to see all the amazing things the city had to offer (namely checking out this amazing elephant reserve that all the other travelers we befriended throughout our trip couldn't stop raving about. You get to help bathe baby elephants. BABY ELEPHANTS, YOU GUYS.), that really just means that a return trip to Thailand is most definitely in our future.

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

We began our journey at the Dhara Dhevi in Chiang Mai, which was unlike any hotel either of us had ever stayed at before. The entire resort is modeled after an ancient city, complete with its own organic gardens and rice paddies.The entire property spans about 60 acres and employs a large portion of the local townspeople, so it really is like its own little functioning town. They even have a farmer's markey every weekend where local craftsman come set up stalls and sell beautiful handmade goods and wares. Being on our honeymoon, we made sure to stop by the dhevi spa while we were there, since I'd never been to a spa before and figured honeymooning was probably the best time to visit one. We were immediately greeted with the tastiest glass of iced sweet ginger tea (still attempting to recreate this one), and then I went on to have a neroli jasmine body scrub, which kind of blew my mind. I'd never really believed in aromatherapy before that point, but afterwards I was pretty much sold, since I hadn't felt that relaxed for nearly a decade.

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

We also had dinner at their Thai restaurant, Le Grand Lanna, where we ate a lot of amazing food. We had fried marinated black pepper prawn rolls, spicy pomelo salad with prawns and coconut, stir fried sweet and sour sea bass, yellow curry with cherry tomatoes and indian flatbread, wok fried broccoli with oyster sauce, and of course, coconut ice cream. You know, writing it out makes me realize what a huge amount of food we ate, but it was honestly so ridiculously good that we kind of just flew right through the dishes. Also, I think the jet lag sent my stomach into a bit of a tizzy and, since it didn't know when it was supposed to be eating, it just decided "Hey! Since I don't know what time it is, I'm just going to be hungry ALL OF THE TIME." This lasted the first three days of the trip, which ended up being for the best, since the breakfast spread at Dhara Dhevi included pretty much any food you could think of, including sushi, curry, fresh baked bread, toasty waffles, dim sum, and homemade yogurt. I mainly got fresh fruit and yogurt every morning just because I was kind of overwhelmed by the choices, but I picked a lot of stuff of of Jeremy's plate and it was all wonderful. After the first half day we spent wandering around the grounds of Dhara Dhevi, we ventured out into the city and countryside for another food-related activity.

Thai Farm Cooking School | Adventures in Cooking

Chiang Mai, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Thai Farm Cooking School | Adventures in Cooking

Thai Farm Cooking School | Adventures in Cooking

Thai Farm Cooking School | Adventures in Cooking

Thai Farm Cooking School | Adventures in Cooking

Thai Farm Cooking School | Adventures in Cooking

Thai Farm Cooking School | Adventures in Cooking

Thai Farm Cooking School | Adventures in Cooking

Appropriately, we started our first full day in Chiang Mai (and Thailand!), with a jaunt in cooking school. We signed up for the Thai Farm Cooking School because it took place out on a farm in Northern Thailand and included an up-close-and-personal Thai ingredient tour at a local market and our on the farm. We met at the market on the outskirts of the city, and our guide took us through the winding pathways between the stalls, explaining various ingredients to us. I think what surprised me most was the incredibly wide variety of rice there was, (i.e. I never knew that sticky rice was actually a special variety of rice, I always thought it was just jasmine rice prepared in a way to make it sticky). Sticky rice is usually younger rice, since young rice is softer and mushier. Old rice is firmer in texture, but the texture can change depending on how long you steam it and and with how much water. Generally, the more water you steam it with and the longer you steam it, the softer and stickier the rice will become. So once you take into account the variety, grain length, age, and cooking time/water amount, there are a lot of factors that can affect the way the rice tastes, which is why it is important to use the exact type of rice called for in any given Thai recipe and to prepare it in the exact way indicated.

Thai Farm Cooking School | Adventures in Cooking

Thai Farm Cooking School | Adventures in Cooking

Thai Farm Cooking School | Adventures in Cooking

Thai Farm Cooking School | Adventures in Cooking

Chiang Mai | Adventures in Cooking

Thai Farm Cooking School | Adventures in Cooking

From the market, they took us an hour outside the city into the beautiful farmlands of Northern Thailand. The fields we drove past were mostly rice paddies, which were amazing to see up close because I didn't realize that rice grew on stalks like wheat until I got face-to-stalk with them. They look almost identical, except the rice stalks are greener and instead of wheat kernels at the top it's just little grains of rice. So neat!! Once we arrived at the farm, our guide took us around the property and explained the organic practices they used (composting ftw!) and showed us some of the Thai fruits and vegetables we'd be working with that day. It was really interesting to see how some of the plants grew, like the pineapple for example. I'd never seen a pineapple plant before and for some reason I thought they just grew on tall trees like coconuts, but they actually grow on a low-to-the-ground palm-like shrub and just kind of weirdly sprout out of it, which you can see above. Notice the adorable sprouting action, like it's just kind of popping out to say "HEY! I'm a pineapple!!!" (which I imagine being said in this voice).

Dhara Dhevi | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi | Adventures in Cooking

Thai Farm Cooking School | Adventures in Cooking

Thai Farm Cooking School | Adventures in Cooking

Thai Farm Cooking School | Adventures in Cooking

At the school, we were able to make a five-course meal and had three different choices of what to make for each course, which was great because Jeremy and I were each able to learn a different dish from each other, so that when we got back home we'd be able to teach each other the dishes we didn't try out first-hand. I decided to make chicken and galangal coconut soup, red curry, fried chicken with basil leaves, pad thai, and bananas in coconut milk; but what I was most excited to learn about was making  red curry paste from scratch. I'd tried to make it once before, but once I saw the mortar and pestle the class was using, I realized the one I was using back home was much too small and not gritty enough to really break down the pepper and seeds (that's what I get for buying a stainless steel one instead of stone. NEVER AGAIN.) We had a bit of a competition to see who could break their ingredients down into a paste the fastest, which ended up devolving into jokes about who would make the best Thai wife, and our instructor kindly pointed to me since I was using the pestle with two hands (Ah, Thai humor! Just as raunchy as the American stuff.) We had a really great time with the people in our group, it was an incredibly enriching experience to cook with people form all over the world and talk to them about the dishes they like to make in their own countries.

Thai Farm Cooking School | Adventures in Cooking

Thai Farm Cooking School | Adventures in Cooking

Thai Farm Cooking School | Adventures in Cooking

At the end of the curry course, I was shocked at how much more depth of flavor there was to the curry made with the homemade curry paste than the curry I make at home with store-bought thai chili paste. And when we moved on to the pad thai, I made an especially exciting discovery. There is a signature smell to authentic pad thai, (those of you out there who are as addicted to this noodle dish as I am know what I am talking about), and the ingredient that brings that smell to the forefront is garlic greens. Yes, the green stalks that sprout out of a garlic bulb. You can't really get them anywhere here in  the states, but if you just let a garlic bulb from the store sit out long enough you'll see some green poking out it the top of it. Break the bulb into the individual cloves and plant them, trimming the greens for kitchen use as you please. The texture of it is just like the greens of a green onion, but the flavor is wonderfully garlicky instead. Very much worth the minimal effort involved in maintaining it. We made several more  dishes after the pad thai, including the banana in coconut milk I'm sharing in this post, and ended the afternoon with some iced tea and another brief walk around the farm. Once the class came to a close, they took us back to the hotel where we relaxed until the next morning, when we drove up into the rainforest for a bit of an adventure.

Chiang Mai, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Chiang Mai, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Chiang Mai, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Chiang Mai, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Chiang Mai, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Chiang Mai | Adventures in Cooking

Chiang Mai, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

The northern Thailand rainforest is about a 2 hour drive outside of Chiang Mai, and in the middle of this dense brush of trees and palms, there's a zip lining canopy called Flight of the Gibbon built throughout the tree tops. I'd never been zip lining before, and honestly didn't really understand the process of it until we were actually there doing it (don't know why I never thought to watch a video of it before the trip, buuuuut I just didn't.) Basically, there's a cable running from one tree to another, you're in a harness, and your harness gets strapped to the cable, you walk off the platform, you get pulled along on the cable, and it just feels like you're flying through the air from one tree to another. You're so high up and you're surrounded by such lush and vivid scenery, it's an incredible rush. And because you can physically see that your strapped in to the harness and onto the cable, you feel very safe doing so. And I mean it, I am kind of a big baby when it comes to most adventurous things like bungee jumping and skydiving (i.e. I will never do either of those things). But with this, I really felt super safe, so much so that I didn't worry about any of it once and just enjoyed the fresh air and scenic views. Also, we got to see actual gibbon monkeys in the jungle, which was AMAZING, and there was even a baby one!! That combined with the zip lining through the treetops made for one of my favorite days of the trip.

137 Pillars House

137 Pillars House

137 Pillars House
Above images of the hotel and pomelo salad below provided by 137 Pillars House ('twas too dark outside for me to take pictures)
Later that night we went out for dinner at the Palette restaurant inside 137 Pillars House in Chiang Mai. 137 Pillars House is a boutique resort hidden inside the city that has a colonial east-meets-west vibe to it. The main structure that houses the restaurant and Jack Bain's Bar was built in the 1896 out of teak, and rested upon 137 pillars, hence the resort's name. Teak was the mainstay of the logging industry in Northern Thailand in the late 19th century, and the house was built by one of the largest logging companies in the area as a home for the company's superintendent Louis Leonowens, whose mother was Anna from the famed historical tale and movie "Anna and the King". The house changed ownership over the years and didn't become the hotel it is today until 2002, when one of the present owners came across some property with a large old teak house still standing on it and had a vision for the resort. It was really amazing to eat an authentic Thai meal inside a building that had such an astounding amount of history behind it, and to see how beautifully they restored the structure was very moving. It honestly feels like you're being transported back to 1898 colonial Thailand the moment you walk inside. If you're really interested in historical structures, the resort offers a weekly guided tour of Chiang Mai's historical buildings, another thing we've added to the docket for our next trip. The main house is surrounded by newer structures that contain the various rooms and suites of the resort, and each one has its own private outdoor rain shower (!!!!). Also, there's gorgeous old trees all over the property because the current owner's wife insisted they leave all the trees on the property intact during construction. A very smart woman, indeed.

137 Pillars House | Adventures in Cooking

137 Pillars House | Adventures in Cooking

137 Pillars House | Adventures in Cooking

Pomelo salad | 137 Pillars House

For dinner, we had a pomelo and soft shell crab salad, a northern dry curry with lamb shank, wagyu beef cheek chili with hot basil and beef crackling, and mango sticky rice for dessert. I'm usually not a huge fan of beef, but the wagyu beef cheeks were so incredibly tender they *actually* disintegrated in your mouth. Wagyu refers to a type of Japanese cattle that is raised in Japan and known for its distinct meat marbling and its high amount of unsaturated fats. The combination of the marbling and the fat content results in very prized and flavorful cuts of meat. Kind of like the champagne-France argument, some people feel that wagyu isn't truly wagyu unless the cows are raised in Japan, even though at this point wagyu breed cattle have been moved to and are being bred in the United States as well. I'd never had wagyu beef before, but this was hands-down the most amazing beef I've ever had. It really drove home the effect that the cattle's breed and diet has on the flavor and quality of its meat. Their salad was also the first time I'd had soft-shell crab, which I ended up loving. For those of you unfamiliar with them, soft shell crabs are crabs that have just shed their old hard exoskeleton and their new one hasn't completely formed yet, leaving the skin very soft. These crabs can be eaten whole when cooked, without the need to crack apart and remove the shell like you normally do with crab. Because I loved the pomelo salads I had at Dhara Dhevi and 137 Pillars House so much, I'm definitely going to be making one for a future post very soon. And there may even be soft shell crab in it.

Dhara Dhevi | Adventures in Cooking

Dhara Dhevi, Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

Alas, so ended our final night in Chiang Mai. The next day we boarded our flight to southern Thailand, where elephants, canoes, sandy beaches, and even more food was waiting. Till next time...

Thai Dessert Ingredients | Adventures in Cooking

Mango with Sticky Rice


2/3 cup long grain Thai sticky rice (aka Thai sweet rice)
water (enough to cover the rice)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ripe mango, pitted and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices

First, prepare the sticky rice. Begin by soaking the rice in a bowl that will hold twice the volume of the original amount of rice, making sure the water level rests at 3 inches above the top of the rice. Let the rice soak for a minimum of 4 hours and up to 24 hours. If you are soaking it for a shorter time, make sure to use warm water. Drain the rice and steam it for 30 minutes or until it is very soft. Remove the rice from the steamer and transfer it to a bowl, then fluff it gently with a wooden spoon. Set aside. Note: If making the sticky rice ahead of time, keep it in an air-tight container to keep it from drying out.

Bring the coconut milk and 1/2 cup of water to a boil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add the sugar and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add the salt and stir gently to combine. Garnish with the mango slices and serve immediately.




Mango with Sticky Rice | Adventures in Cooking

Thai Tea Caramel


2/3 cup coconut milk, full fat
1 tablespoon thai tea grounds in a tea bag
1 tablespoon water
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon flaked sea salt

Roasted Bananas in Coconut Milk


2 bananas, ripe but firm
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon raw cane sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup of water
pinch of salt


Thai Tea Caramel | Adventures in Cooking

First, prepare the caramel. Steep the tea in the coconut milk in a small thick-bottomed pot over medium heat until simmering. Bring the heat down to low and allow to cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and allow to steep for an additional 10 minutes before removing the tea bag and squeezing out any excess coconut milk from the bag back into the pot. Discard the bag and set the coconut milk aside.

Thai Tea Caramel | Adventures in Cooking

Now bring the palm sugar and tablespoon to a boil in a small pot over medium heat. Continue cooking until the sugar is bubbling and darkens to a deep caramel color (it should start to smell pleasantly nutty at this point, too). Remove it from the heat and immediately add the coconut milk, brown sugar, and butter and stir to combine (careful, it will spatter when you add these guys in). The sugar may turn into a clump, which is fine. Place the pot back over the heat and bring back to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes, or until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Thai Tea Caramel | Adventures in Cooking

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the bananas in half both vertically and horizontally so that each banana is in 4 pieces, for a total of 8 banana quarters. Have the tablespoon of vanilla extract in a bowl and lightly brush each piece with a little of it, before rolling each piece in the 1/2 cup of cane sugar to coat it. Place each piece on a cooking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once all the pieces are coated and on the baking sheet, place the sheet in the oven and roast them for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool completely.

Once they're cooled, you can prepare the coconut milk. Bring the coconut milk, water, remaining tablespoon of sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract to a gentle boil over medium-low heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the banana pieces to the mixture and continue to boil for 2 minutes, then remove it from heat, add the salt, and stir gently to incorporate it. Drizzle with the caramel and serve immediately.




Bananas in Coconut Milk with Thai Tea Caramel | Adventures in Cooking

Bananas in Coconut Milk with Thai Tea Caramel | Adventures in Cooking


57 comments:

  1. Wowwww Eva, I was just showing my husband your beaauuuutiful pictures and he loves them like I do! This makes me really want to go to Thailand even more than before, and that dish looks so simple and delicious, def. on my to-make list. I'm so glad I found you a few weeks ago because you are my photography inspiration, Eva. The pictures of nature and the women working in their stands are the best in my opinion. They speak so much life and make me wonder who those people are, and what they're thinking about...anyway, hope you have a beautiful day! :D

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    1. Thank you so, so much Elli. That means so much to me and I am so incredibly flattered. It was an amazing country and I couldn't recommend going there any more strongly, the food, the people, the colors, everything there is so vibrant and full of life and flavor. I hope you have a beautiful day, as well, and let me know if you ever start planning a trip there, I have so many recommendations! :D

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  2. These photos are absolutely incredible.

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    1. Awww thank you SO much Heather! Means a lot from someone whose work I admire so much :)

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  3. A truly incredible post! Your photos from Thailand are so incredible. We've been considering it as a potential honeymoon spot, and this only helps solidify that! Unbelievably beautiful. And the food you ate there... drooling. I love the recipes you included- I've been cooking a lot lately with rice, mango, and coconut milk so this is right up my current obsession's alley! Thank you!

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    1. Thank you so, so much Chelsea :) You should DEFINITELY go!!! The plane ticket there from the west coast is the same as flying to Europe, and once you get there everything is soooo much less expensive. And the scenery and food and people....it's just an incredible country with a whole lot to see. Very relaxing and laid-back atmosphere too, perfect for a honeymoon! ;)

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  4. Beautiful post, such lovely images and enjoyed reading the story of this segment of your trip.

    Regarding the thai thea - can you clarify, is this black tea leaves with spices added or plain black tea?

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    1. Thank you so much, Kavey! I actually learned while I was there thai Thai tea is made from a fruit that it dried and then ground up, there's a dried slice of it in the overhead photo of the tea from the spa that has the bright pink flower on the platter. The dried fruit slice is the dark orange circular thing. You could definitely make the caramel with normal black tea if you wanted to, but I *loved* the way it tasted with the Thai tea, so if you want to purchase it it should specifically say "Thai tea" or "Thai iced tea" grounds on it. You can order it on amazon.com, as well, if you're in the states. Hope this helps!!

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  5. Wow Eva, these photos are AMAZING!!! You made me want to go to Thailand as soon as possible! Thank you for sharing with us your wonderful experiences, I absolutely love this blog post!

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    1. Thank you soooo much Lili!! You always leave the best and most kind comments, and I love you for it! I'm so glad you enjoyed looking and reading through my trip :)

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  6. I haven't even had the chance to PROPERLY look at all of the photos yet because I just had to scroll down here to say that this is SUCH a gorgeous post, Eva!! The photos are breathtaking. I'm going to go scroll back up now so I can take my time looking at them all :)

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    1. Awww thank you Izy!!!! You are so sweet and I am so very flattered that you like them so much! :D If you ever get a chance to go there, I'd highly recommend it! A photographer's paradise...

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  7. This makes me want to jump on a plane to Thailand right now! So gorgeous.

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  8. Such stunning photos! Thanks so much for sharing your trip! And this recipe? Unreal!

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    1. Awww thank you, Katrina! You are so kind :)

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  9. Beautiful post, beautiful pictures, gorgeus recipes. Simply great. Congratulations from Spain (Basque Country)

    Virginia "Sweet & Sour"

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    1. Thank you so much, Virginia!! I'm so glad you enjoyed the post :) I've been to Spain before but not the Basque country, perhaps that will be my next destination!

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    1. Oops I replied somewhere else by mistake . . . . just wanted to say I notice that you seem to respond to each commenter's comment . . . . very admirable! I just found your blog recently and really love it; and I read A LOT of food blogs. Were you trained or self-taught in photography? Also, I too live in LA and have been on a mad hunt for fiddlehead ferns that I've seen pop up at some of my favorite Seattle-based food blogs . . . . so if you find some, PLEASE POST!!! :)

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  11. such beautiful pictures.i have never been there before but looking at your pictures, it makes me happy :)

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    1. Awww thank you Dixya! I'm glad they brought you a smile :)

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    2. I just noticed you seem to personally respond to every comment, wow! I just found your blog yesterday and it is amazing, so inspirational. Do you have any plans for a book? Were you trained in photography or are you self taught? Thanks Eva . . . . I'm also in Los Angeles and currently on a mad hunt for fiddlehead ferns . . . if you find some PLEASE POST!!! :)

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  12. Did you have a travel agency set up everything so you'd get to do everything and see everything? I just know if I planned it we wouldn't get to do a quarter of what you did! And I'm totally dying over all of this. I've been drinking in every picture, every word (I told you I wanted to go here for my honeymoon too but we didn't!).
    Would you possibly send me the recipe for the homemade red curry paste (if you remember it)?!?! I'd just love to try it!! Please please please {melissa (at) treatswithatwist (.) com}

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    1. Yes, definitely!!! The cooking class gave us a recipe book with all the recipes from the course in it so I'll send it over to you tonight when I get back home :) And thank you so much!! I actually planned it all myself, doing a lot of reading and searching through a ton of trip advisor reviews haha. I really, reallllly love planning (travel, garden, home remodeling, grocery lists...anything I can plan out ahead of time brings me a strange amount of joy and satisfaction) so I spent a lot of time researching everything before getting the game plan together. It was quite a whirlwind!! I think it was a good first-trip, kind of like a taster of everything, but the next time we go back we'll definitely take it more slowly so we can be a bit more spontaneous :)

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  13. Oh! And in the mangoes and sticky rice recipe you accidentally say bananas a few times :)

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    1. Oh goodness, thank you for the head's up, Melissa!! I knew I would mix match something or other with such a long post, darn it. It's all fixed now, thank you again for letting me know! :)

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    1. Thank you, my dear friend!! That's how I feel when people ask how our trip was haha. There was just so much and it was all so beautiful that I feel like it's hard to describe what an amazing place it was. Thank goodness there are photos for that :)

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  15. Not sure what to do with bananas in the sticky rice.... not in the ingredient list?

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    1. Ahhhh my apologies!! That was a mistype, I've revised the recipe and the printable version, it should be the mango, not banana. Seems I've got bananas coming out of my ears, these days!

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  16. Eva, your photos are absolutely beautiful. My jaw dropped when I saw them. This recipe looks amazing too, thanks for sharing!

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  17. Oh my gosh, SO many breathtaking pictures! Thailand is on my bucket list. It looks beautiful. So cool how you learned how to cook authentic Thai food!! Thanks for sharing those recipes, they all look so yummy!

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    1. Thanks Leigha! You should definitely go there someday, a really incredible country with *so* much good food :)

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  18. It's been a week since we came home from our honeymoon in Thailand. We spent the bulk go our time in Bangkok but did hit Chiang Mai to visit the elephant nature park. It was amazing there, inspiring and everything I was hoping it to be.
    Your pictures are beautiful and make me want to head back to take more pix.

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    1. Thank you so much Lan :) We're definitely going to go there on our next trip back, everyone we talkers to just loved it!

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  19. Mango with sticky rice is hands down one of my favorite desserts ever. That caramel sounds amazing. What a great trip!

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  20. Such an amazing post and beautiful photos! I spent a week in Chiang Mai many years ago and loved it! Thailand was one of my most favorite places, the people are incredibly nice and yes the FOOD!!! You kinda made me feel like I was there, I so want to go back! S : )

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    1. Isn't it an incredible place? Everything about it was just amazing...I really want to go back again!

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  21. You seriously had me at mango sticky rice! It sounds absolutely insanely fantastic!!

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  22. I wish I could have one of each right this second.

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  23. What a beautiful post... I'm mesmerized with all the images and the delicious recipes!!! Have a lovely weekend!!!

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    1. Thank you!! I hope you have a lovely weekend, too!!

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  24. i don't have much if any experience with thai food or flavors, but i really like the looks of what you've got going on here! beautiful work!

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    1. Awww thanks Grace!! Definitely give them a try, they're really easy to make and taste sooooooo good!

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  25. We also just got back from our honeymoon in Thailand and your pictures brought us right back! Can't wait to return and follow some of your recommendations!

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    1. Oh awesome!! It is the perfect honeymoon destination, beautiful, tropical, affordable, and with so much tasty food everywhere :)

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  26. Can't wait for my trip to thailand next week! i'll be there for a month. I may take cooking classes, but I am vegetarian, so it may be wasted on me.

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    1. Not to worry, Tim! The cooking class we were at had a lot of vegetarian options so I am sure you will be able to learn recipes you'll be able to use again and again :) Have an amazing trip!!

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  27. Hi-- My husband and I enjoyed a month in Thailand a year ago-- the whole month of March. We ate everything off the street and were there primarily for my husband's bird photography (Chris Mayne Avian Photography on Facebook) and I took my oil paints and did 28 sketches while we drove through the National parks (excellent) from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, then flew to Krabi for a few days. Yes, thousands of photos, too.. So we had a great experience....as did you...AND --your superb photos and focused interests really made this blog post a thrill to read and made me want to go back! Excellent images, writing, and details about the food and where you visited. I can well imagine you are going to be a success and totally enjoy your life! Brava and blessings to you !! I look forward to hearing your next adventure and stories!

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    1. Oh my goodness, your husband's photos are just beautiful! It must have been a particularly stunning trip being able to see so many varieties of tropical birds and you being able to relax and paint the beautiful sceneries you came across :) We went to Kao Sok national park (which I'll be writing about in the next Thailand post) and it was just amazing. Definitely want to check out more national parks the next time we visit. And thank you so, so much for all of your kind words and compliments, Carole! You are a very kind soul. :)

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  28. I just added Thailand to places visit list after your incredible photos! I have always enjoyed coconut sticky rice with mango so this which the caramel twist is right up my alley.

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