The Seasoned Traveler

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


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Pork & Scallop Shumai (Open-Faced Dumplings)

ShumaiSquare3TSTEarlier this year, when I made Gingery Pork & Chive Pot Stickers, I declared 2014 The Year of the Dumpling. As a second foray into making these bite-sized morsels, I tackled another favorite of mine, shumai (in Japanese) or shãomài (in Chinese). I roughly followed Andrea Nguyen’s lovely recipe for pork-based dumplings (from her exquisite Asian Dumplings cookbook) except combined the pork with scallop to create more of a Yokohama-style shumai that I loved from my time in Japan (true Yokohama style also uses shrimp in the mix). Continue reading

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Summer Fruit Crisp

CrispSquareTSTThe best summer desserts to me take advantage of summer’s bountiful ripe berries and stone fruits and are not too fussy. This one is easy enough to pull together for any occasion, anywhere, even (preferably) at a little rustic cottage. Roll up your sleeves and combine your favorite summer fruit with a simple oat topping. The oven’s magic will turn the fruit jammy and aromatic and the topping crisp; what could be more perfect on a summer evening? It’s delicious served with a scoop of ice cream but is lovely as is, especially if shared with good friends & family. Enjoy! Continue reading


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Shrimp Pad Thai

PadThaiTST There’s so much to love about Thailand’s most famous noodle dish — the variety of fresh ingredients, the ribbons of rice noodles, and the flavorful sauce just to name a few. This version of pad thai gets a mouth-watering tangy-sweet deliciousness from tamarind paste and lime, and lots of vibrant freshness from cilantro and mint. You could easily saute some chicken if you prefer, but I’ve used little sweet shrimp here. Some lightly scrambled egg, chopped peanuts, scallions and chives round out the balance of flavors and textures. With all the protein and fresh ingredients in this, you can enjoy a bowlful or two guilt-free.

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Korean BBQ Short Ribs

KoreanBBQTST2I am eternally grateful to two former college roommates who introduced me to the best of Korean food. There’s nothing like the sweet-salty marinade of kalbi (or galbi), Korean BBQ short ribs. These are great on the grill, but this time I tried baking & broiling them and they were just as delicious. You can serve them up with white sticky rice and a sprinkling of green onions, or tucked inside lettuce wraps. Enjoy! Continue reading


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Refresh: Watermelon, Blackberry & Lime Sparklers

RefreshTST3What’s not to love about a refreshing drink that’s bubbly, fruity, deep red and zesty? I love these sparklers for their flavor, but the health benefits give them even more appeal. With watermelon, blackberries, lime and mint, you’re getting antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits that support a healthy cardiovascular and digestive system, plus loads of nutrients, including Vitamins A and C. Continue reading


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Rose, Berry & Pomegranate Panna Cotta

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I made this little dessert as an ode to moms, but specifically my mom. I wanted it to have a touch of rose, for the bountiful gardens she tends. It had to be multi-layered, for the way she has constantly re-invented herself through the years, from a young wife supporting her husband through graduate school, to a stay-at-home mom, a working mom, a successful business owner, a teacher, and a community leader. It would need a variety of toppings, for she’s worn many hats throughout motherhood, as maker of our home, nurturer, provider and role model. It had to be something solid but with a rounded softness and lots of give, for the many ways my sisters and I have depended on her and the countless ways she is giving to everyone around her. Continue reading


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Aromatic Beef Noodles with Cucumber & Mint

BeefNoodleTST6I have a growing collection of international food staples bought online. It started with spices and teas, then expanded to various grains and flours, and then bloomed with an assortment of oils and pastes. My husband barely raises an eyebrow now when he lugs home a 3-lb. jar of coconut oil or a pallet of rice flour and I gleefully add them to my stash. I’ll say, Just wait til you see what I make with this!

This bowl of noodles started with a little jar of tamarind paste that I ordered online. I had just read The Spice Merchant’s Daughter, Christina Arokiasamy‘s tantalizing account (and recipes) of growing up working in her family’s spice stall and kitchen in Malaysia. Her recipes are rich with exotic and aromatic spices and ingredients, including some unfamiliar ones to me, such as tamarind. Then Bon Appétit featured this mouth-watering spicy tamarind skirt steak, and Steve at Oui, Chef followed suit with this deliciousness; I knew I had to give tamarind a try. Continue reading


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Leek & Ricotta Strata

StrataTST2 A rustic breakfast dish or side, this strata can feed a crowd with minimal effort on the cook’s part. And it’s tasty! I’ve used some light spring flavors of leeks, creamy ricotta, fresh thyme & chives, but you could use whatever veggie-cheese-herb combination appeals to you. Leftover Easter ham would be a great addition too! Happy Easter to all celebrating, and happy Fiesta Friday — come check out this week’s party!

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