The Seasoned Traveler

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


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Cherry Phyllo Tartlets with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

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A while back, I made some phyllo tartlets with some of the first fresh strawberries of the season and loved them for both their flavor and ease. I recently made some with cherries, after cooking them slightly and making a simple syrup from their juices. The tart-sweet cherries combined with the lemon mascarpone cream reminded me of a cheesecake, and the crisp phyllo gave it a great crunch. Just three bites and I was reaching for another one… Continue reading

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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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Seared Duck Breasts with Cherry & Red Wine Sauce

IMG_6545I’m not sure I can convey how phenomenal this dish is. Consider this: We’ve made it about 20 times since discovering the recipe on Williams-Sonoma’s site a few years ago. It was our Christmas dinner last year AND our New Year’s feast. And yes, we are having it again this Christmas!

Oh, we are having it again this Christmas and I cannot wait. Probably New Year’s too, let’s just get it out there now.

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