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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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 holunderblüten, 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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Creamy Fresh Spinach & Artichoke Dip

IMG_6991Football fans, I barely know who’s playing tomorrow, but I do know that this Spinach-Artichoke Dip is a Super Bowl of creamy goodness. It’s a lightened version, with fresh baby spinach and peppery arugula, marinated artichoke hearts, Greek yogurt, a dollop of creamy goat cheese, and an herbaceous bunch of parsley, chives and oregano. And it’s all done on the stovetop in a mere 15 minutes, so you won’t miss any plays. Serve warm with lightly toasted bread or pita chips. Happy Game Day!

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Avocado-Tomato-Feta Stack

IMG_6560This nutritious and scrumptious salad tower can be enjoyed any time of year, but I think it is festive and perfectly color-coordinated for the holidays. Plus, it helps to balance out all those decadent meals and treats consumed at holiday parties. It’s great as an appetizer, as a healthful snack, or for lunch, and can be tweaked with different ingredients to your taste: optional layers of artichokes, olives, crab, tuna or chicken salad. Enjoy! Continue reading


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Oven-Crisped Kale with Sea Salt

IMG_6273Now I’ve done it. I’ve gone to the other side.

You see, I am slow to pick up new fads and fashions, just like I am a slow talker, a slow cooker, and a slow eater. In the last decade, as millions jumped on the bandwagon of kale smoothies and kale chips and kale cookies, I resisted. But everywhere I went, that kale bandwagon followed me. Continue reading