The Seasoned Traveler

Recipes and remedies using herbs, spices, and other natural ingredients from the world's pantry


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Rainy Day Mixed Berry & Spice Bars

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I made these berry and spice bars hoping they would be chewy & crisp, the kind of bars we could pack on a picnic or bring along for a walk in the forest. They instead turned out crumbly and gooey, best eaten right at home, which is what we did during a rainy afternoon yesterday. I’m still on the lookout for a packable & crisp fruit bar for our outings (do you have a good recipe to share?), but these tasty, crumbly ones with jammy fruit oozing out the sides made for a sweet afternoon of nibbling. They’re also a great way to use up a stash of frozen fruit, which I did, to make room for berry-picking season. Continue reading

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Creamy Pasta with Salmon, Asparagus & Peas

PastaSalmonTSTI love wholesome dinners that come together in under 30 minutes and use fresh seasonal produce. I can’t get enough of asparagus! Here it’s cooked up quickly with the pasta and combined with pan-seared salmon, peas (I used frozen, since we don’t have spring peas yet), and a creamy tarragon sauce. This one is easy enough for a weeknight (even our pre-schooler ate seconds!) but fancy enough for a special occasion.

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Date & Cinnamon Baked Bananas

bakedbananasTSTA dessert to go bananas over — this is gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined-sugar free, but you’d never know it. Medjoul dates and maple syrup give this all the natural sweetness it needs, and the cinnamon and cardamom scent imparts comfort and warmth. Inspired by an ayurvedic recipe from Eat-Taste-Heal and a need to use up ripe bananas, this dish comes together in under 20 minutes. The toasted almonds on top give it some extra protein and a satisfying crunch. I made this for a mid-afternoon treat with my daughter, and wished I had more bananas to make it again for breakfast the next day – it’s so simple but satisfying and warming on a chilly spring day.

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Austro-Bavarian Pancake with Plum Compote

KaiserTSTKaiserschmarrn is a traditional breakfast or snack in Austria and Bavaria, and there are many variations to this “torn” pancake. We like it with plum compote, or — my other favorite — sour cherry jam, but many eat it with applesauce, fresh berries, or other seasonal fruit. I also like the addition of quark to give it extra volume and creaminess; this version is called quarkschmarrn or topfenschmarrn. The truly traditional Austro-Bavarian pancake also includes rum-soaked raisins in the batter, and the torn pancake pieces are caramelized in more sugar and butter, but we do without these flourishes. However you eat it, you’ll see why this sweet treat is fit for a … kaiser!

For those curious about how kaiserschmarrn came to be, here is a brief history and description.

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m looking forward this week’s Fiesta Friday – come on over with me to the best party in the blogosphere and see what’s cooking.

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Clementine & Elderflower Jellies

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Elderflowers, or holunderbl├╝ten, are used here in Germany to make juices, jams, and cordials, and are believed to relieve symptoms of flu, colds, and allergies and maintain healthy, clear sinuses. I found a bottle of amber syrup made of these blossoms and decided to try it in little heart-shaped jellies with clementine juice. They came out beautiful and were devoured within a few minutes! I realized this is a great way to make nutritious snacks, controlling the sugar content and loading them with vitamins and immunity-boosting nutrients. Can you find elderflower syrup where you are? If so, give this a try!

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Parmesan & Poppy Seed Crisps

ParmesanPoppyCrisps1Sometimes it seems our preschooler has an insatiable appetite, and now that she can reach the handles to the cupboards, it’s getting harder for us to keep quick but healthful snacks in those little hands. With just two ingredients, these crisps can be whipped up in 10 minutes, and little ones can help prepare them. My little one enjoyed mixing the grated parmesan and poppy seeds, then holding the paper-cup ring in place while I sprinkled the mixture onto the parchment paper. This snack certainly beats salty or sugary processed ones and is simple and fun to make!

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Holiday Sugar Cookies with Natural Red Icing

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‘Tis the season to make cookies, and this year, my friend Sarah challenged me to find a natural red food coloring to use in icing for sugar cookies. Did you know that most artificial red food colorings contain crushed beetle-like cochineal bugs? And those that aren’t derived from bugs often contain coal. (Here’s one helpful link in case this interests you, but be warned, there’s a picture of those red crawlies.) Now that doesn’t sound very festive or appetizing, does it? And recent studies found potential links between artificial dyes and hyperactivity and even cancer. That’s enough to turn me off of artificial food coloring, how about you? Continue reading


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Weeknight Italian Sausage and Pepper Tortiglioni

IMG_5888This is less a recipe and more a simple meal plan to get dinner on the table on a given busy weeknight. Italian sausage, sweet bell peppers, and a simple tomato ragu come together to create a hearty and delicious pasta dish that’s ready in 20 minutes. Continue reading


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Swedish Pancakes with Sweet Clementine Sauce

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My mother-in-law’s Swedish Pancakes are legendary. This dish has long been in her arsenal of recipes, since before she even met her part-Swedish husband and became a mom to my beloved part-Swedish hubby. These are like cr├¬pes, but moister and spongier than any other I’ve had. You can top them or fill them with whatever you’d like: fresh berries, powdered sugar, honey, lemon juice, cinnamon, jam, nutella, bananas, whipped cream, chocolate, syrup, or a combination of these. Continue reading