Showing posts from 2015

Christmas Doughnuts in Southern Spain (A Tradition) Feliz Navidad

In Southern Spain it's a tradition during the Christmas season to eat doughnuts called


1 liter of olive oil
2 kg of flour
1/4 litro of Aguardiente
1/4 litro of orange juice
1/4 litro of white wine
1/4 kg of sugar
1 stick of cinnamon
150 grams of anis seeds
rind of one lemon and one orange
2 tablespoons of baking powder

Fry oil with half of the anise seeds along with lemon and orange rinds. Heat cinnamon stick in a pan and then grind it up. Add to the mixture. Strain the oil and add flour, Aguardiente, white wine, orange juice, baking powder and sugar. Once all the ingredients are mixed together knead the dough into a tight ball. Form the dough into doughnut circles. Place doughnuts on a baking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes at an oven temperature of 175 degrees.

Use the remaining anise seeds to add to hot water. The anise seeds and hot water should be like a herbal tea. Dip each doughnut into the tea then ice each doughnut with a powdered sugar icing.

Tarifa Espana es Hermoso! (Tarifa, Spain is beautiful)

An "Ancient Castle" in Tarifa

We never know in our travels what lies ahead of us especially when we're traveling solo to a destination for the first time with no exact itinerary. For me Tarifa, Spain was supposed to just be a stopover before sailing across the Straits of Gibralter on my way to North Africa's Tangler, Morocco. However when the bus from Sevilla arrived in Tarifa it was too late for me to catch a ferry to Morocco. I was fortunate to find a cozy place to stay for only 26 Euro's and the apartment was right on the beach. (Thanks to an AIRBNB host).

Tarifa, Espana (Tarifa, Spain) is the kind of place that you want to call home. It's laid back, the people are friendly, the beaches are gorgeous, there's an abundance of bakeries, cafe's, shops, and restaurants to choose from, and the weather is glorious. 
In Tarifa, the Atlantic and Mediterranean meet together, the sun shines a lot, and it's the perfe…


HALLOWEEN which is celebrated on October 31 in many parts of the world got it's start thousands of years ago by the Celts.

Long ago the Celts celebrated Samhain "the Feast of the Dead" when the dead revisited the mortal world and it was the end of Summer. This took place in what is now the present "Ireland."

The BONFIRE represented the end of summer. The Celts would gather together and light huge fires to ward off bad fortune for the coming year. It was believed that the bonfire encouraged dreams especially of a future husband or wife.

Halloween costumes originated when the community of Celtics would gather around the bonfire dressed in animal skins and heads. If the spirits were wandering the earth and bumped into a living Celt they though that the living Celt was a spirit too and let them go free.

The "Jack-o-Lantern" originated from an Irish myth about a man named "Stingy Jack." The "Jack-o-Lantern" was first carved from large turnip…

China; The Birthplace of Tea

Tea, is one of the most popular beverages in the world and we have China to thank for that. In China tea consumption is a practice of daily life. According to legend tea was discovered many centuries ago by Shen Nung whose name means Divine Farmer. Shen Nung who was a Chinese Emperor always liked to drink his water boiled because he felt that boiled water was cleaner. While on a distant trip, Emperor Shen Nung stopped to rest. A servant began boiling water for the emperor to drink and dried leaves from a nearby bush fell into the boiling water and a brown substance was infused into the water. Being a scientist Emperor Shen Nung tried the liquid and found it to taste very refreshing. Thus tea (cha) was created in 2737 BC.

Originally tea leaves were processed into compressed cake forms. The dried teacake (called brick tea) was ground in a stone mortar. Hot water was added to the powdered tea cakes and was boiled in earthenware kettles than consumed as a hot beverage. Then in the mid 13-c…

Fishing for Answers in Fishtown, Leland Michigan

Michigan is an industrial state, there's no doubt about it but in the northwest corridor of the Great Lakes State is a stunning oasis known as Leelanau County. A combination of the Irish countryside and the Portuguese coast of Europe, Leelanau County is a vacationer's paradise.

A real standout in Leelanau County is Leland (Fishtown). Leland is the kind of place where you can fish for answers you're seeking and feel disconnected from the stresses of a high tech, fast paced society. Leland has pocketfuls of idyllic spots to just relax and recharge. Upon your arrival to Leland head to Neadows Bay Beach on Lake Leelanau for a swim and sit on the sandy beach and just daydream. The lake is so calm and soothing that you might just decide to hang out at Neadows Bay Beach the rest of the day. However there's the mighty pure and unsalted Lake Michigan on the other side of town and Lake Michigan is a real crown jewel. 

On Lake MIchigan you can hang out at either North Beach or Va…

Espana Tapas (Tapas in Spain)

The Spanish have many wonderful things to boast about and one of them is their extraordinary tapas. Eating tapas in Espana is the best culinary experience in the world. 

1/2 pound small shrimp, peeled 1 1/2 cups chick pea flour 1 tablespoon chopped parsley 3 scallions, finely chopped 1/2 teaspoon sweet pimenton a pinch of salt Spanish extra virgin olive oil
In a saucepan combine the shrimp in water. Cover the saucepan and bring the shrimp to a boil over high heat. When water starts boiling lift out the shrimp with a slotted spoon. Set aside the shrimp let them cool and then refrigerate the shrimp. Also set aside one cup of the boiling water that the shrimp was boiled in and allow the water to cool down.
Combine chick pea flour, parsley, scallions, and sweet pimenton in a bowl. Add a pinch of salt and the cooled cooking water used earlier for the shrimp.
Mix well then cover and refrigerate for one hour. Remove shrimp from the refrigerator and mince fine…

Stowe, Vermont U.S.A. (Then & Now)

I'll never forget the first day that I came to Stowe, Vermont. There was a feeling of acceptance so I knew it was meant for me to stay, so I cherished each day that came my way in sweet quaint little Stowe and had the grandest summer of them all.Adrianna

June 29, 1989 is a date that will always be significant to me because for many days Stowe, Vermont was beckoning for me to come and I finally followed my intuition and boarded an Amtrak train to Stowe, Vermont on the 29th of June and was blessed with the most beautiful and memorable summer of my life.

In those days college kids like myself could land a summer job as easy as downloading an app these days. Within one day of arriving in Stowe, Vermont I got a job working at an adorable bed and breakfast. Not only did I get to live in the bed and breakfast and enjoy an array of job duties but I also got to work with the most adventurous and coolest guy ever. There were lots of interesting guests that I got to take care of that summer to…

Mark Twain and Traveling!

Mark Twain

Today of all days I stumbled across a little shop in a little beach town owned by a well travelled woman. This ladies shop was filled with items from various countries and within a few moments the lady and I started discussing our favorite subject "TRAVELING."

We talked for a good half hour about all the benefits of traveling and before saying our goodbye's the lady shared a quote by Mark Twain the famous writer about his viewpoint on traveling.

Mark Twain:

"Travel is fatal to prejudice and bigotry and narrow mindedness and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired  by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."

Portugal and Grilled Sardines

Surrounded by the sea the small picturesque country Portugal is famous for it's fresh seafood. The Portuguese love eating sardines especially "grilled sardines." During the summer months "grilled sardines" are enjoyed throughout the country. Over in Lisbon the Portuguese just celebrated St. Anthony's Day from June 12-13 and "grilled sardines" were the snack of choice. 

When the Portuguese fishermen bring in fresh caught sardines from their boats some of the sardines become canned to be exported to other countries and the others stay right in Portugal ready for traditional grilling by the Portuguese.

GRILLED SARDINES (Portuguese Style)

25 sardines, fresh, cleaned heads and tails left on
1 cup coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
dash of black pepper
lemon wedges

Rinse the sardines in cold water, than drain and dry with paper towels. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of salt on the bottom of a baking dish. Arrange sardines on top of the salt and sprinkle wit…

"Pastel de Nata" in Portugal

The Portuguese like their "pastel de nata." Pastel de Nata are an egg tart (custard) pastry dessert that can be found throughout Portugal.  PASTEL de NATA were created by Catholic monks in Lisbon near the early 18th century. 

Highlight your visit to beautiful Portugal with some PASTEL de NATA!

Pastel de Nata


Dreaming of Portugal

When I arrived in Lisbon, Portugal on the 23rd of April it was love at first sight. The architecture, the food, the lovely language, and the amazing Portuguese people were just a few of the things that made me want to stay in Portugal for as long as possible.

I'm dreaming of returning back to Portugal but in the meantime I have pictures to remind me of that short but wonderful visit to one of Europe's finest countries.

Although Portugal may be small in size it has charming villages, a cosmopolitan city, captivating mountains, some of the best coastline in the world, quaint fishing towns, incredible tasting porto, fresh seafood, and so much more.

I'll be back soon with 5,000 words to describe all there is to know about Portugal.


The ABC'S of Solo Travel

Having recently returned from a solo journey through Morocco, Portugal, and Spain I feel so blessed that things ran so smoothly.I've learned a lot from past mistakes and now I feel that I've become quite the expert when it comes to traveling solo.

Here are a few suggestions to make your travels as easy as
A, B, C……

1) Always keep your passport in a safe place.
2) Travel light, it makes things a lot easier.
3) Learn some basic words and phrases of the country you are visiting. The locals will appreciate it.
4) Book rooms through Airbnb. Hostels are great but staying in someones personal residence makes you feel more at home. Airbnb has countless listings of places to stay throughout the world.
5) Eat meals at simple non tourist restaurants. You'll be rewarded with good food at reasonable prices.
6) Explore the bakeries and food markets in the region you're visiting for tasty treats. You can snack on local favorites and experience culinary wonders.
7) Keep a journal. It…

A Quick Journey Through Morocco

If you have the luxury of spending a month or two in Morocco you'll be able to really immerse yourself in one of the most fascinating countries on the African continent. So much to see and do even a week or two is a marvelous way to experience a truly amazing country.

Get Inspired and take a trip to MOROCCO:


2 cups water, 1 cup couscous, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion, 1 shallot, chopped, 6 cloves of garlic, chopped in quarters, 1/2 cup golden raisins, 1 tablespoon butter, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 cup slivered almonds, 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes dipped in olive oil

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan and stir in the couscous. Cook about 10 to 15 minutes until couscous absorbs all the water. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the yellow onion, shallot, garlic, and then the raisins. Once gently cooked add the couscous to the raisin mixture wit…

The Delights of Morocco

Moroccan Mint Tea is the traditional tea of Morocco that is enjoyed throughout the day. It's a symbol of family, friendship, and hospitality. The North African country of Morocco has some of the most delightful cuisine in the world. Cuisine is not the only star attraction in Morocco. Nature beckons to citizens and tourists alike who can enjoy the desert, mountains, valleys, and sea. Morocco's landscape is very unique. Bordered by the Atlantic and Mediterranean Seas, Morocco is blessed with very pleasant beaches.

The Orient Desert Express train will leave you with fond memories. The 305 kilometer train journey offers panoramic views of the famous Sahara Desert. Ride a camel and experience what "real transportation" is in Morocco.

So much to see and so much to do in the country of Morocco. Start with a few cups of Moroccan Mint Tea and begin your journey through the diverse country known as Morocco.

M O R O C C A N   M I N T    T E A

1 tablespoon gunpowder green tea
5 cups …

Valentines Day in Venice (Romance in Italy)


The Valentines Day celebration derived from Christian & Roman traditions. In 498 AD Pope Gelasius proclaimed February 14th to be the feast day in honor of Saint Valentine; a Roman martyr who lived in the 3rd century,
ITALY is the country of romance and Venice, Italy is truly one of the most romantic cities in the world.Romance shines throughout Venice especially on Valentines Day. Hold hands with your loved one and walk the narrow cobblestone streets of Venice, than take a Venetian gondola boat on one of the canals.
It never hurts to know a little bit of Italian…..
hello- ciao goodbye-arrivederci please-per favore thank you-grazie I love you-ti amo
V  E  N  E  Z  I  A

Boutique del Gelato
Piazza San Marco Basilica di San Marco Gallerie dell' Accademia Rialto Market San Rocco Palazzo Ducale Palazzo Grassi Giardini Pubblici 

Acquastanca Anice Stellato Bentigodi di Chef Domenico Da Marisa  I Figli delle Stelle La Zucca Osteria Enoteca …

POLAND: Krakow to Gdansk

An Eastern European country Poland has lots of culture, history, and scenery to absorb. Whether you travel its landmass from north to south, or south to north you'll be enriched with it's diversity and remarkable people.


One of the few cities in Central Europe to withstand its medieval buildings during the "WAR" days, Krakow is filled with many sights to explore. There is Old Town, Wawal Castle, Wawal Cathedral and the not to be missed Wieliczka Salt Mine. Built in the 13th century the mine has been in operation for over 700 years and is a whirlwind of chapels, galleries, monuments, statues, tunnels and lakes all carved out of rock salt by the miners. There's even an underground sanatorium where people with allergic diseases are treated overnight. Not far from Krakow are the Carpathian Mountains with their majestic high peaks. The resort town of Zakapone that is popular in the winter for skiing and hiking in the sum…

Chopin & Poland

Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quality of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.   Frederic Chopin


Ballads, Chamber Works, Etudes, Impromtus, Mazurkas, Minor Works, Nocturnes, Piano Concertos, Polonaises, Preludes, Rondos, Scherzos, Sonatas, Variations, Waltzes

Zelazowa Wola, a small village located in east-central Poland is where one of the world's most famous composers and pianists was born long ago on March 1, 1810. His name?


The home that Chopin was born in is visited by many people who want to view the "dworek" a little manor house. The house is surrounded by a natural park at the banks of the Utrata River.

A monument of Frederic Chopin designed by artist Josef Goslawski in 1955 was unveiled on July 13, 1969 and is adjacent to the birth house. It's astounding that for such a short life (Chopin died at the age of 39) he was a…