Traveling for food is such an important aspect for learning about a culture. Not only do we try to find the best local food to try, we look into the history, and we bring home a recipe or two.

Mongolian Food – Khuushuur Recipe

Mongolia Food Khuushuur Recipe.

A bit travel weary and dirty since we hadn’t had a shower in three days, our adventure was still in its early stages when we learned a couple important lessons. What is traditional Mongolian food, and what is khuushuur? We had been in Mongolia for about three days, and we had hired a Russian van and driver to take six of us around the country, hitting the all the major sights.  We were excited, and maybe a bit naive to what this would mean.  We didn’t even take the hint when Jack, our driver, made a supermarket stop on the edge of Ulaanbaatar right at the beginning of our nine day journey.  None of us really stocked up on much, …

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Mont Blanc Top 5 Things to Do if You are Not Skiing

View from the top of the ski run on Mont Blanc.

So yeah, we’re living in Germany, and it is a Christmasy kind of place.  For over a month, we’ve been inundated with Christmas markets, mulled wine, gorgeous wooden ornaments, and the like.  Now all we needed was some snow.  It has been raining off and on for two weeks here, so we decided to drive south to Mont Blanc in France.  As I’ve said before, with the kids all grown up, we have new traditions to keep alive.  One of them is to do something really fun on Christmas day, and who won’t agree that skiing Mont Blanc is totally fun?!! We actually skiied Les Houches since we are a bit rusty, and the slopes of Chamonix looked frightening!  We …

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Lithuanian Recipe Apple Cake

Lithuanian Recipe Apple Cake

Nijole’s (Lithuanian) Apple Cake and Recipe Jump directly to the recipe, here! I stayed with a an amazing host family while I was in Kaunas, Lithuania and Nijole was a fantastic cook. One of her favorite things was the little garden plot the family owned a little outside of the city. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see it, but it sounded lovely. While we were there, Nijole served us all manner of apple products that she had made from the apples in her garden. In fact, she had at least three apple trees, planted and named after her three children.  The apples that we were enjoying came from her first daughter, Victoria’s tree. They were delicious as cider, cake, jam, …

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Lithuania’s National Snack! Fried Bread

Lithuania - Fried Bread

You don’t have to be in Lithuania long to figure out what their favorite snack is.  I had never heard of this food before, let alone,  it being someone’s national snack.  When most of the western world has elevated French fries to the apex of snackdom, Lithuania just chomps away on its own slice of toast. Have you figured it out yet?  It’s fried bread.  Yep, that’s it.  Fried bread. Now, when some of us hear the title of “fried bread” visions of carnival elephant ears covered with granulated sugar comes to mind.  The American version, as in most American versions, is fatty and sugary, which, of course is…well, delicious! So we were keen to give the Lithuanian version a try.  …

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Turkish Food – Fasulye – White Beans Recipe

Turkish white beans.

A delicious Turkish dish that can easily be converted to vegetarian, fasulye is a staple in Turkish households.  Follow this recipe with any white bean, White Northern beans might be the closest to Turkish beans in the States.   Ingredients: 2 Tablespoons oil (sunflower, if possible) 1 Tablespoon butter 1 small onion – diced 4 medium cloves garlic – diced 1/2 can crushed tomatoes 1 small can tomato paste 2 Tablespoons of red pepper paste beans, already moistened or use canned as well 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon paprika Optional:  Sausage*, skinned and sliced (one or two links) Directions: In large pot, heat oil and butter.  Saute onions and garlic, until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes, …

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Turkish Food – Fried Eggplant and Peppers with Sauces

Eggplant and peppers.

Patlican Biber Kizartmasi or Fried Eggplant and Peppers with Yogurt and Tomato Sauce On a lazy afternoon, thinking about food, of course. This picture and the memory of the taste comes unbidden to mind.  Luckily, I got this recipe from my good friend, Fusun. I discovered this dish at one of my favorite restaurants in Ankara. I just love it! 4 Asian eggplants, the long skinny ones salt 2 spicy green peppers, like a 2 jalapeno peppers 1 large can of crushed tomatoes 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon vinegar 1 teaspoon sugar salt and pepper to taste 4-5 cloves crushed garlic Sunflower Oil Plain yogurt Eggplant: 1. “Stripe” peel the eggplant and slice 2. Salt in a collander and …

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Lapping the Black Cat in Zell

After leaving one of our favorite cities in the world, we drove along the gorgeous Mosel river which is studded with imposing castles and fortresses and steep, steep vineyards.  Any given weekend, you can find a wine festival to attend and try the local product. On this particular weekend, we were heading to the town of Zell that holds a “long table” celebration every June.  Down the main walking road, each business adds a table and a booth for food and wine.  The table is estimated to be about 400 meters long. Trying to park was the most frustrating thing!  We ended up down by the river with only about a 10 minute walk, which was fine.  We were spending …

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