How to make roast pork with crispy crackling golden skin?

My husband and I are pork lovers and we love to eat the crackling skin after roasting the pork. So how to make roast pork with crispy crackling golden skin? Just follow these simple steps and you will have a tasty crackling pork skin ever.

Crispy Crackling Roast Pork

Crispy Crackling Roast Pork

Step 1: Preheat the oven on high.

Step 2: Use a sharp knife to score the skin all the way across about 1 cm apart.

Step 3: Place the pork (with the skin facing up) on the rack over the sink then pour boiling water (not warm) over it. You can see the meat change the colour when it meets hot water.

Step 4: Add salt all over the scored skin, a lot of salt not just sprinkle.

Step 5: When the oven hit the hottest temperature, put the roast in and cook on that temperature for 5 to 10 minutes or until you see the skin has a golden colour. Then turn down to the cooking temperature (around 200*C).

The finish roast pork will give you a very crispy crackling golden skin. Enjoy!

* Thoa Read *

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Portuguese chicken

If you don’t want to do so much cooking but you still want to have a tasty meal for an easy dinner, so let try this recipe. The food is cooking away while you have a shower or doing something else. Here is my detail recipe. Serve 2. Preparation time: 2 minutes. Cooking time: 35 minutes.

Portuguese Chicken

Portuguese ChickenChicken

Ingredients:

–      2 quartered chicken leg (skin on)

–      1 bottle of Portuguese chicken marinate sauce 440gr (brand Fountain)

–      1 bunch of broccoli, cut into small piece

–      2 big carrot, thinly sliced

–      1 handful of snow pea

–      2 teaspoon of sugar

–      2 teaspoon of soy sauce

Marinated the chicken: (optional)

Place the chicken into a container and pour the marinated sauce over the chicken, leave about 1 cup of marinated sauce remain in the bottle to make the finishing sauce later.

Mix well until the meat cover with sauce. Close the lid and put the container into fridge for at least 2 hours (can marinated overnight for 24 hours before cooking).

If you don’t have time, you can skip this step.

Bake the meat:

Preheat the oven on high at 200*C. Place the chicken into a baking tray and put it to the oven. Cooking the meat on high for 15 minutes until the chicken skin is golden brown, turn the heat down to 150*C and cook for another 20 minutes or until the meat is tender. The chicken will have beautiful golden browny colour when it is done.

Make the finishing sauce:

Add a little bit of water, sugar and soy sauce to the remaining marinated sauce. Heat up a small saucepan and stir around the sauce until the liquid is bubbling. Continue cooking until the sauce has a desired thick liquid.

Steam the veggies:

Just put all the veggies into the steamer and it will do the rest for you.

Served immediately after the chicken is cooked with steamed veggies. Place them on the plate and pouring the finishing sauce on top of the chicken. Enjoy!

* Thoa Read *

North QLD Road Trip – Route 4: Cairns – The Tablelands – Townsville

Staying Cairns for 4 days but we haven’t seen much in Cairns city. We just mainly sleeping and walking along the esplanade in the afternoon. Have to give it another occasion to come back here.

From Cairns we head to The Tablelands via Gillies Highway to visit old town Yungaburra, Atherton, Lake Barrine, Lake Eacham and Malanda Falls before heading back to Townsville via Bruce Highway. The bonus for coming back trip is Kurrimine beach which is home of the renowned King Reef Crayfish. King Reef is the closest spot where the Great Barrier Reef comes to the Queensland Coast.

Cairns to Townsville via Gillies Highway

Cairns to Townsville via Gillies Highway

Pyramid mountain in Gordonville

Pyramid mountain in Gordonville

Funny painting on the rock at Gillies Highway.

Funny painting on the rock at Gillies Highway.

The Tablelands is famous with a lot of dairy farms. On the way to Yungaburra we saw a lot of cattle and the road sign warning cattle crossing the road.  We visited 2 famous huge trees in Yungaburra. The Cathedral Fig Tree, like the Curtain Fig Tree, is a gigantic 500 years old strangler tree. Located in the Danbulla State Forest, the Cathedral Fig has the reputation of being the best place to hear an early morning bird ‘singing’ in the Tablelands. Circumnavigate the base of the tree and giant buttress roots on the easily accessible boardwalk.

While we drove around Yungaburra town to have a look, we saw a mango shop at street side. We bought a box of huge Bowen mangoes with a bargain. We’re all mango lovers so it was little win.

In Atherton we only visited The Crystal Cave according to the tourist information flyer that is a must. But we were a bit disappointed with the “cave”. It’s a man-made cave and it’s more for commercial. We got this feeling because after days by days traveling around Far North Queensland and beautiful nature in The Tablelands, we were expected to explore a real nature cave. This “Cave” is located in a main street of Atherton. In front of the “cave” is a shop selling all the stuffs made from gems. It’s not too bad inside that they decorate like a cave and hide the gems all around that. You need to wear a helmet with a light in front of it (to look like a mining worker) but I don’t think many people wearing it (I didn’t). The big disappointing is The Empess – Worlds biggest Amethyst Geode (as they advertised). Yeah, it’s huge but it’s not original. I mean it was made by many small pieces and once again it’s man-made too. I called this “Cave” is a gallery – a gem collection. But we’ve been there and done that.

Malanda Falls is not as big as Milla Milla Falls. People built a swimming pool around the falls so it becomes a very popular area for picnic. But I don’t like that idea at all. I prefer swimming under running water.

Lake Barine and Like Eacham are so beautiful. They are very huge and smooth. This is very truly Tablelands.

Dairy farm.

Dairy farm.

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Cattle road sign near Yungaburra

Cattle road sign near Yungaburra

Cathedral Fig Tree

Cathedral Fig Tree

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Lake Barrine

Lake Barrine

Lake Eacham

Lake Eacham

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Curtain Fig Tree

Curtain Fig Tree

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Red dirt

Red dirt

Grand hotel in Atherton

Grand hotel in Atherton

The Empress at Crystal Cave in Atherton

The Empress at Crystal Cave in Atherton

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Malanda Falls

Malanda Falls

Kurrimine Beach

Kurrimine Beach

Big Bowen Mangoes bought in Yungaburra

Big Bowen Mangoes bought in Yungaburra

The holiday was over. We really enjoyed the trip and would love to come back there. We have planed for another occasion to visit Cooktown – the northernmost town on the east coast of Australia.

Road trip is so interesting and comfortable. It’s just flexible and we don’t rely on anything else. Just do what we love to do and enjoy!

* Thoa Read *

North QLD Road Trip – Route 3: Cairns – Daintree – Cairns

We made this journey after a day visiting Kuranda by train and sky rail. It was wonderful experience because the train was going through the rainforest with significant views and from the sky rail we had a stunning view down to the magnificent tropical rainforest. I had a post about travelling by train to Kuranda before. You’ll find it in category “Australia”.

Cairns to Daintree

Cairns to Daintree

From Cairns we follow Captain Cook Highway to go up Far North QLD. We visit Palm Cove, Port Douglas and Mosman on the way up before reaching Daintree. Palm Cove is lovely place with stunning tropical beach (compare with Cairns). It’s a perfect place for a weekend getaway. Along the esplanade are lot of luxury hotels, resorts and restaurants that can provide you a very comfort stay on your holidays. Port Douglas is a great getaway to Great Barrier Reef and we see a lot of boats here transport people to visit the Reef. Mossman Gorge is a must-see place even if you don’t want to swim; it’s still worth a visit. We can’t go direct to the Gorge by our privet car. The local government set up a centre, which is transfer tourist from here to the Gorge, by shuttles bus every 15 mins. It costs $6/adult and free for children under 4. Daintree is a small town at the end of the road because it doesn’t have a connection road to next town Cooktown (unseal road only recommended for 4WD vehicles as there are a number of creek crossings. People have to go back to Mossman to access to the inland road). Specialty here is crocodile watching and travel on boat along Daintree River to enjoy the rainforest.

Double Island

Double Island

Tropical beach in Palm Cove

Tropical beach in Palm Cove

Luxury hotels and resorts along The Esplanade Road in Palm Cove

Luxury hotels and resorts along The Esplanade Road in Palm Cove

Rocky Point

Rocky Point

Captain Cook Highway

Captain Cook Highway

View from Rex Lookout

View from Rex Lookout

Pebbly Beach

Pebbly Beach

View from Flagstaff Hill in Port Douglas

View from Flagstaff Hill in Port Douglas

Anzac park in Port Douglas

Anzac park in Port Douglas

Sugar Wharf at Port Douglas

Sugar Wharf at Port Douglas

Four Miles Beach at Port Douglas

Four Miles Beach at Port Douglas

Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge

Rocky Point

Rocky Point

Daintree Village

Daintree Village

Crocodiles watching trip along Daintree river

Crocodiles watching trip along Daintree river

On the way back to Cairns, we decide to go by the inland road then via Kuranda Range. It’s nothing to see along the road due to the dry season and it’s way to inland so the scenery is totally different from the beautiful coastal road we had gone before. The only thing remained in my mind is there are a lot of termite nest and white gum tree along the road.

Daintree to Cairns by inland road

Daintree to Cairns by inland road

Termite nest near Mareeba

Termite nest near Mareeba

Stunning view from Kuranda Range.

Stunning view from Kuranda Range.

View to Cairns Region from Kuranda Range

View to Cairns Region from Kuranda Range

That was incredible day that we had done a lot of things in a day. Even we are all very tired but we were so excited to look at the photos later in hotel room.

Stay tuned to see what’s next on the last day of the trip before we heading home.

* Thoa Read *

North QLD Road Trip – Route 2: Bramston Beach – Milla Milla – Cairns

We woke up early and hit the road on a beautiful sunny day from Bramston Beach. The early driving gave us a good chance to enjoy the beauty of countryside that we missed it yesterday afternoon when we came here. Bright sky, high cloud and light winds bring a gentle relaxed feeling for the morning. Sometimes we saw cattle leisurely walk on the dairy farm under the brilliant sunshine of the morning. It was a great start for the journey.

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Bramston Beach to Cairns.

Bramston Beach to Cairns.

After leaving Bramston Beach, we are back to Bruce Highway to drive up north. Heading to the next town Babinda where there is a famous national park called The Boulders. Babinda Boulders is surrounded by lush rainforest and is a popular swimming hole for tourists and local people.

Babinda Boulders.

Babinda Boulders.

 

Swimming hole at The Boulders.

Swimming hole at The Boulders.

Lush rainforest at The Boulders.

Lush rainforest at The Boulders.

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We had a very random decision after visiting Babinda (that’s the interesting thing of road trip). We decided to go back Innisfail and followed Palmerston Highway (State Route 25) to get to Milla Milla. Because we had plenty time to travel to Cairns so we just wanted to explore a part of The Tablelands.

Babinda to Milla Milla

Babinda to Milla Milla

There is beautiful countryside on the way to Milla Milla. We go to see Milla Milla Falls first before visiting the town. But unfortunately we are in dry season so the falls does not have much water as we expected. Milla Milla is famous as a dairy town as well.

Tea tree farm on the way to Milla Milla.

Tea tree farm on the way to Milla Milla.

A look out.

A look out.

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Milla Milla Falls.

Milla Milla Falls.

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Very tiny town Milla Milla.

Very tiny town Milla Milla.

Symbol of Milla Milla

Symbol of Milla Milla

On the way to Cairns we drive through Gordonvale and Edmonton. It’s close to the wet tropic now so this area is greener than Townsville. The only thing I am disappointed about Cairns is that it does not have a decent tropical beach. The Esplanade is fantastic but it was built over the mangroves so when you walk along The Esplanade you only can see the muddy beach and the port in a distance.

Gordenvale.

Gordenvale.

Peter Bridge

Peter Bridge

The Esplanade in Cairns.

The Esplanade in Cairns.

Public swimming pool in The Esplanade.

Public swimming pool in The Esplanade.

War Memorial in Cairns.

War Memorial in Cairns.

We had a relaxing night and were ready to explore the Far North QLD. Stay tuned to see what’s on next?

* Thoa Read *

 

North QLD Road Trip – Route 1: Townsville – Bramston Beach

Townsville city.

Townsville city.

We made this trip on Christmas vacation last year when we first moved up to North QLD. Starting from Townsville – capital of North QLD, we followed Bruce Highway to drive to up north. We drove through several small towns called Ingham, Cardwell, Innisfail before reaching to Cairns. We continued the journey to Daintree by following Captain Cook Highway and visited Port Douglas, Mosman on the way. We finished the trip in 5 days and came back home on the day before New Year Eve. That was the longest road trip that our family have ever done. But it was fantastic and we did enjoy the scenery as well as discover the wonderful tropic land.

Townsville to Bramston Beach

Townsville to Bramston Beach

Main street in Ingham.

Main street in Ingham.

Cardwell

Cardwell

Cardwell Post Office

Cardwell Post Office

Tully - The wettest town in Australia.

Tully – The wettest town in Australia.

We saw a wild cassowary on the way to Misson Beach.

We saw a wild cassowary on the way to Misson Beach.

Misson Beach

Misson Beach

A big Cassowary Statue in front of Misson Beach Shopping Village.

A big Cassowary Statue in front of Misson Beach Shopping Village.

Wall painting at Rest Room in Flying Fish Point.

Wall painting at Rest Room in Flying Fish Point.

Famous Flying Fish Point Cafe.

Famous Flying Fish Point Cafe.

Beautiful tropical beach at Flying Fish Point.

Beautiful tropical beach at Flying Fish Point.

Getting into Innisfail town.

Getting into Innisfail town.

A suburb in Innisfail.

A suburb in Innisfail.

Halfway through.

Halfway through.

Josephine falls.

Josephine falls.

Water hole below for swimming.

Water hole below for swimming.

Bramston Beach.

Bramston Beach.

We decided to stop at Bramston Beach to make an easy drive tomorrow to Cairns and 5 hours on and off the car was also enough travel for  my daughter. We stayed at Bramston Beach Resort for a transit night. Nothing flash on the beach, we went for walk on the sand and picked up some seashells for our little girl. Then my husband told me about a beautiful Coconut Plantation Camping Site where his family camped for years ago but he didn’t remember exactly where it was. Luckily we have talked to the carer of a caravan park near there and she showed us the way to go. But it was a shame when we got there, now that place is just a fallow land, not a coconut plantation any more. We can see the ruins from camping site with BBQ area, bath area as well as some old camping huts.

That was our first route on the journey up to North QLD. Stay tune for more photos and stories during our road trip.

* Thoa Read *

Suddenly waking up hysterical at night

I have never been penetrating the worries and scary feeling like yesterday when my daughter suddenly woke up hysterical at night. Have you ever experienced this during your motherhood? Here is my story.

Last night my daughter went to bed at 8:30pm and slept through really well. I did come in the room and checked her couple times before I went to bed to make sure everything was ok.

Around 1:00am I heard she crying so I went over and held her in my arms but she seemed not so happy with that. She was crying and screaming and tried to get out of the bed and ran away. She ran to the living room then to the bathroom in the dark. I was so worried that she can hit something and I just wanted to calm her down so I tried to catch her and hold her tight. But the more I tried to settle her down the more she was upset and screaming. She ran into the bathroom and hidden herself in the corner near the toilet and just sitting face to the wall. I was so scary and didn’t know what to do (my husband was away for business trip). When I called her to let her know that I was there with her but it made worse and worse. She stared at me like an enemy with watery scary eyes. She went of her head and freak out when I came near her or when she saw my face. I was shaking and crying a lot. This was the first time I felt helpless to my daughter and it really hurt me.

I stood back, went to my bedroom and kept silence. Then she stopped crying and went quite. I still heard the choked sobs but not screaming any more. This hysterical crying took half an hour to finish. I thought she was calmed herself down so I decided to go back to the bathroom and picked her up. But she was still upset and she hit me when I carried her. She was so exhausted after all and easily went back to sleep in my arm with rocking and paddling.

In the morning, I decided to clear my worries by hopping on Internet and looked up for hysterical waking up at night. I found a very interesting post on BabyCenter from Deborah Lin – Dyken, a paediatric sleep disorders expert. As what she said it is very common for the toddler even for the best of sleepers to suddenly start having sleep problems. And that called “night terrors”, which are similar to sleepwalking but are more dramatic.

With her advices and from my experience last night, I summary things to do when it happens to your kid:

–      Don’t speak to him or try to soothe him. Trying to soothe your kid will only extend and intensify the sleep terror – even saying his name can make him more upset.

–      Don’t try to awake him. He may think you are attacking him.

–      Just let the night terror run its course, and stand nearby to make sure your kid doesn’t hurt himself.

–      When he wakes up after a nightmare, go in and reassure him. Stay with him until he falls back to sleep.

All the best to mums and kids.

* Thoa Read *