The Seasoned Traveler

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


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Rose-Scented Plum Compote with Cardamom Ice Cream

PlumCardamomTST2Last year around this time, I began The Seasoned Traveler, not knowing a thing about blogging and uncertain where it might take me. This year-long adventure has been an amazing experience, one that has taught me a lot about food, photography, and writing, and brought me much joy as a creative outlet, but I’ve decided it’s time to travel onward and tend to new (and old) things. Thank you, all of you who supported and followed my cooking trials, let me open my heart up to you and share 150+ varied recipes along the way. Continue reading

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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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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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Norwegian Rhubarb Cake with Cardamom

RhubarbCakeTST2 I started daydreaming about this Norwegian Rhubarb Cake, or rabarbrakake, the moment I saw it on Outside Oslo, a lovely Scandinavian food blog. The beautiful photos drew me in, and the description of its simplicity had me hooked. Norwegian? Rhubarb? Cake? Sounds like a perfect treat to celebrate the homecoming of my part-Norwegian husband who loves rhubarb. I love that this is not overly sweet, and the cake stays moist and buttery on the inside, with little jewels of tart, soft rhubarb, and a golden, slightly crisp edge. I added my own touch of cardamom to the batter, because I usually associate Scandinavian baking with a good excuse for a dash of my favorite spice, and have to say this cake lived up to my daydreams. Maybe too much so, because, waking from my reveries, I realized the cake was half gone before the hubby came home… Oops! Welcome Home, Honey!

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Lemon & Cardamom Panna Cotta Parfaits

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The sight of crocuses and daffodils sprouting up always cheers me, not only because they signal the arrival of spring, but also because they seem to defy all odds. How something so delicate pushes through the hard earth is beyond me. Yet every year it happens, those bright petals bursting forth without any trace of winter weariness. A triumph of the softer side.

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Cardamom-Coconut Rice Pudding with Mangoes & Nigella Seeds / Films for Foodies & Lovers

CardamomCocoRicenMango You could say I’m on a bit of a mango kick lately. And coconut. Oh, and rice. So when I was dreaming up something I could bring to the online blog party that is Fiesta Friday, hosted by the lovely Angie over at The Novice Gardener, this is what came to mind. It’s a bowl of tropical sunshine and comfort to get you through another February weekend, with or without a valentine. My inspiration came from (wait for it…) Yotam Ottolenghi (I know! I have to stop stalking him, I really do…) and his Cinnamon Rice Pudding with Cherry Compote and Pistachios, but I did it minus the cinnamon, the cherry compote, and the pistachios! But I have rice, and it’s kind of pudding-like, so there you go. It’s a coconut-mango sticky rice with a touch of cardamom and a little sprinkle of nigella seeds, both of which add a subtle peppery flavor. It’s simple, delicious, and apparently makes you loopy. Continue reading


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Monsoon Curry

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An old acquaintance of mine once treated me to a homemade curry dinner. He had lived and worked in rural India and recounted how he learned about spices and herbs from the locals as he traveled from village to village. During monsoon season, he said, there was nothing to do but wait out the rains inside the villagers’ houses, and it was then and there he learned to cook curry. Since his time in India, he continued traveling the world, bringing along stashes of his prized Indian spices everywhere he went.

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Swedish Tea Ring with Cardamom & Cherries

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Christmas morning is the stuff of magic and memories. I can still recall racing downstairs with my sisters to try to catch a glimpse of the tree and piles of presents underneath, the overflowing stockings, or the crumb-scattered plate of Santa’s cookies. Our frenzy was always halted in the kitchen by two words: “Breakfast first.” Quietly yet somehow effectively, our parents enforced this rule, and we would (not so quietly, I’m sure) put up a fuss and  take our seats at the table. And then as we devoured plates of fluffy eggs, buttered cinnamon toast, and fresh oranges sent straight from the Florida groves, our attitudes shifted. The anticipation of opening our presents was still there, palpable, but in those moments we began to savor it, as though when held in suspension our excitement was magnified. The presents would still be there; this family feast came first. All these years later, it’s those moments of suspended joy over Christmas breakfast that I cherish and miss more than the gift-opening that followed. Continue reading


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Spiced Coconut Cream & Banana Smoothie

IMG_6240I am on a coconut kick lately. While there is still debate over the extent of health benefits that coconuts provide, I think studies linking coconuts and improved cardiovascular health, thyroid function, and disease-fighting properties are promising. I have just begun to incorporate coconut oil into my baking and other cooking, swapping out less nutritious fats and oils for this omega-3 rich oil. This smoothie has a double dose of coconut in creamy coconut milk and coconut oil. Sweetened with maple syrup, thickened with blended frozen banana, and seasoned with warming spices, it’s a delicious way to start a healthy week after Thanksgiving. Enjoy! Continue reading