The Seasoned Traveler

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


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Summer Berry Mini Tarts

July4TartsTST5For the first time in a long time, we are spending the Fourth of July in the U.S., and it feels great to be part of our nationwide birthday celebration. 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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Rhubarb & Strawberry Parfaits with Mascarpone-Yogurt and Shortbread Crumble

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We have eaten well this week. Heart-healthy veggie salad? Check. More veggies, fresh herbs and whole grains? Check. Now time for something just a bit sweet for our Fiesta Friday virtual get-together over at the Novice Gardener. I’ve missed the last two parties, and there’s no way I’m going to miss out on the amazing eats and conversation this time around. Spring has sprung over here in Germany, and the rhubarb is out. That alone is enough reason to party. I’ll be bringing mini-parfaits of stewed rhubarb, fresh strawberries, a whipped mascarpone yogurt, and some shortbread cookie crumble. Now to find my dance shoes and I’m good to go. (They don’t call me L-Boogie for nothing.) Thanks to Angie once again for her fabulous hosting. Happy Fiesta Friday to everyone!

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Sticky Date Pancakes with Blood-Orange & Honey Syrup

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Sticky Toffee Pudding, or “Sticky Date Pudding,” as some call it, is one of my all-time favorite desserts. And, as you might have noticed, I am enchanted by all things citrus. I started dreaming up a new pancake recipe, and this is what I came up with through some delicious experiments in the kitchen. It’s a sticky date pancake, moist and sweetly spiced with cinnamon, allspice & cloves, with a bright blood-orange and honey syrup and segmented oranges to drizzle over the top. This one is certainly a new favorite in our house; we swooned at the aromas as the pancakes cooked, we oohed and aahed over each warm batch, we licked our plates clean and wanted more. I hope you add this to your repertoire of special breakfasts and enjoy it as much as we did!

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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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Gingerbread Cake

IMG_6383The scent of gingerbread baking has to be one of the loveliest scents that ever filled our home. The blend of cinnamon, ginger and molasses is so cozy and comforting this time of year. After swooning over the scents wafting out of the oven today, I got to taste the first little nibble before anyone else got home. For a moment I was transfixed by the warm, moist, soft cake and the sweetness of all my Christmas memories tucked into one bite. 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


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Jeweled Saffron & Cardamom Rice with Sultanas, Pomegranate & Almond Slivers

IMG_6076For a long time, I’ve been craving a Persian-style jeweled rice with colorful bites of fruit and nuts and savory spices. I adapted this dish from a recipe in The Spice Merchant’s Daughter, a book I treasure for its beautifully alluring, always aromatic, and surprisingly simple recipes. Since the whole family devoured this alongside the Lemon, Saffron & Paprika Roasted Chicken Thighs, I think I need to make this again — soon. Continue reading


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Poached “Sticky Pears” with Orange-Date Glaze and Cardamom Whipped Cream

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This dessert has become a surprising hit in our household, especially with our toddler who calls it “sticky pears.” I’m  happy about this because the recipe comes from the cookbook, Eat Taste Heal, which serves as a guide to the ancient healing wisdom of Ayurvedic medicine. Continue reading