The Seasoned Traveler

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


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Spring Herb, Asparagus & Emmentaler Omelette

omeletteTSTTrue story: After living in Bosnia for a few months, I once complained to friends how unappetizing I found the eggs there. “They smell like hay, and what’s up with that dark orange yolk?” I said. One friend, who had grown up on a farm in the U.S., started laughing. And then she laughed some more. And when she was able to breathe again, she gave me a little pat on the arm and said, “Laura. They have that smell because the hens are grass-fed. That’s a good thing. And the orange yolk means they’re fresh.”

Ah-ha! Well, I certainly felt dumb. I guess I had grown used to sanitized and odorless industrial eggs with pale yellow yolks. Sure enough, after a couple years in Bosnia, I came to love those farm-fresh eggs, as well as all the other abundant fresh produce there. My lesson: Sometimes it’s good to question your instincts.

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Kohlrabi, Apple & Mâche Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

KohlrabiTSTI decided it was time to try one of these funny-looking vegetables I keep passing by at the grocery store — the kohlrabi. High in Vitamin C and containing heart-healthy nutrients and antioxidant properties, kohlrabi seems to be gaining in popularity and attention; Time Magazine called it the next superfood. Some studies show it might even have protective benefits against certain kinds of cancer (Source: Livestrong/University of Maryland Medical Center). Kohlrabi’s flavor is somewhere between cabbage and broccoli stems, and it has a nice crunch to it when eaten raw. In terms of its appearance, I think it’s kind of an eerie, other-worldly thing:

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Sticky Date Pancakes with Blood-Orange & Honey Syrup

StickyDatePancakeTST

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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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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“Jerusalem” Yogurt Pudding with Poached Cherries

IMG_6788My oh my, we are in love with this dessert. This yogurt-based pudding, much like a panna cotta, makes an elegant presentation, and its tart-and-sweet complexity makes it all the more interesting. Vanilla and orange zest give it intense flavors, while cream, milk, and yogurt combine for a silky-smooth creaminess. The recipe, from the amazing Jerusalem cookbook, calls for fresh peaches, but I improvised some and used frozen cherries instead, and they were a wonderful complement to the vanilla, ouzo, and lemon flavors in the sauce. Delicious! I’m looking forward to making this with summer-ripe peaches too.

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Golden Mashed Potatoes with Leeks

IMG_5979With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I want to share a simple mashed potatoes recipe we’ve enjoyed for a few years now (as in, eat bowl after bowl for the entire week following Thanksgiving). The potatoes get heaps of flavor from sautéd leeks, Greek yogurt, and butter. You can also top with crisped bacon or chives, and if no one is looking, mix in another stick of melted butter (for a once-a-year indulgence, right?). Continue reading