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Showing posts from 2017

The Belgian Chocolate Connoisseur

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Belgium, a culinary masterpiece where food is at it's finest in Central Europe. Belgium where the land is fertile and the sea beckons, a country filled with mesmerizing cities and villages, lovely architecture, and cultural stimulation. And it's in Belgium where citizens and tourists alike flock to eating establishments to please their palates with beer, beef stew, fresh seafood, pommes frites, waffles and famous Belgium chocolate.








Chocolate is synonymous with BELGIUM and for good reason because it tastes divine. One of the reasons why Belgium chocolate is the best in the world is because many of the chocolatiers are run by families who make it by hand using simple equipment and mixing the cocoa beans thinly for a smooth texture. A famous chocolatier name is Neuhaus. In 1857 Jean Neuhaus arrived in Brussels from Switzerland and opened a pharmacy at Galerie De la Reine. He covered his medicines with a layer of chocolate to make it easier to handle. Years later (1912) Jean's …

Western Ukraine's Lviv... "Little Paris"

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My roots take me back to Ukraine where my parents are from but Detroit is where I was born. My birth language was Ukrainian and it's all I spoke until I was six years old. I was sent to Ukrainian language school in Detroit and took Ukrainian dance classes and learned how to cook Ukrainian food. It was only fitting that I visit Ukraine one day and the opportunity came back a few years ago when I was invited to teach English to students of all ages in Stryi, not far from the city of Lviv in western Ukraine. Spending over a month teaching three classes per day was extremely fulfilling. My students ranged in age from 4 years old to 70 and each of them left a thumbprint on my heart. These students studied diligently and together we mastered some difficult assignments.

UKRAINE: 

                                 The Carpathian Mountains are a magical place to visit.

Located in Eastern Europe, Ukraine is one of the largest countries on the European continent. It has often been referred to…

Gelato in July (Italy)

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July is the hottest month of the year in Italy. Gelato which tastes magnifico was invented in Italy and is enjoyed year round in Italy but especially in the summer months like July.

Gelato which mean frozen in Italian is made of cream, milk, and sugar and flavored with fruit and nut purees. Italian gelato is rich in taste because it has less air and more flavoring than gelato made in other countries. In Italy by law, gelato must have at least 3.5% butterfat.

Florence native Bernardo Buontalenti and Sicilian born Francesco Procopio are credited for their discovery of "gelato" and now it can be enjoyed all over Italy from Bologna to Sardinia.

Gelaterie is a gelato shop.

A gelato vendor is a gelatai.

There are many flavors of gelato.....bacio, fragola, limone, stracciatella, and zabaione are a few.

When in Italy.....eat lots of gelato.


Buon Appetito!

Norway, the Stunner Country!

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Norway is a stunner. It's truly one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Though expensive it's worthy of a visit for the fjords, mountains, sea, and endless nature at every corner.

My first encounter with NORWAY was in the late 20th century. I was in my 20's and wanted a summer job in Europe. My dream came true when a farmer in Kristiansand invited me to spend three months taking  care of his farm retreat. What a farm it was. Lots of land full of cows, pigs, and sheep. There was a lake for fishing and swimming and furnished cabins scattered along the hilly terrain for visitors who rented the cabins for a relaxing vacation close to Kristiansand and the sea.

I worked seven days a week that summer doing everything from milking cows to painting fences. My dear friends that summer were a brother and sister from Poland who worked on the farm and a local Norwegian girl who managed the office and rented out the cabins. I worked hard on that farm and was able to indulge in l…

Soothing Moments with Japanese Green Tea & Sushi

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I only made one short visit to Japan but in that short visit I was in awe of the culture and cuisine.The Japanese have one of the healthiest diets in the world. Not only is Japanese food healthy but it's very pleasing to the palate.

Taking one hour out of the day to sit down and enjoy sushi with green tea is very soothing. There are multiple ways to enjoy eating sushi but a favorite is to sit at a sushi bar and observe a professional sushi chef prepare sushi with perfection.Another option is to visit a Japanese restaurant with a conveyer belt and handpick plates of sushi and other Japanese specialities. You can enjoy sushi with a glass of sake or a pot of traditional Japanese tea.

Hanaya Yohei is credited for inventing hand formed sushi. He started selling sushi around 1828 in Tokyo. What would the world be without sushi? The Japanese love their sushi and so do many other ethnic cultures.

If you're craving something sweet you'll love Japanese desserts like anmitsu, dango, dai…

Switzerland, Where Life is Good!

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Swiss Chocolate
Swiss Cog Rail
It's only 41, 285 kilometers in size but every inch of Switzerland is filled with splendor. This small alpine country in central Europe is the land of Alps, banks, cows, chocolate, four languages and the magnificent Alps. Switzerland is one of the cleanest and safest countries in the world and although it's expensive a trip to Switzerland is worth the splurge. From first class hotels to family run pensions the Swiss are known for their hospitality and sophistication.

Some Interesting Facts about Switzerland:

The four national languages of Switzerland are German, French, Italian, and Romansh.

Switzerland has a population of 8.3 million people.

Swiss banks are highly regarded. One reason being that they're not allowed to reveal their account holders.

Switzerland has about 1.59 million cows; 1 for every 5 people. Farmers put bells around their cows neck because it makes it easier to find them in Alpine meadows.

The Swiss eat more chocolate than any ot…

Masala Chai (The Spice of Life and an Indian tradition)

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Tea is now becoming the more favored beverage around the world and with great reason; tea has antioxidants, it's gentle on the throat, it can be enjoyed in a relaxing environment with friends, and family, and the choices of tea flavors are endless. My favorite? MASALA CHAI

In India, masala chai is the national drink that is consumed by most Indians. The scents of cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger are alluring and they're the key spices that make "MASALA CHAI" so tasty.

Yesterday my good Indian friend from Northern India invited me into the kitchen of her Indian cafe and made me some samosa's, saag panner, and a pot of Masala Chai.Although I've been making masala chai for months it wasa privilege to watch my Indian friend make a divine pot of tea that pleased my tastebuds so much that I consumed a few cups
of this magical tea.

If you want to spice up your life with with a tea that pleases the tastebuds, indulge in some MASALA CHAI and experience some tru…

Coconut Juice and Spring Rolls in Thailand

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Exotic Thailand is the land of Buddhist temples, royal palaces, enchanting islands, jungles, mountains, and sea. You can watch the monkeys swinging from trees, ride an elephant, come close to a tamed tiger and sip on coconut water on a turquoise beach all in the same day The food in Thailand is extraordinary. While spending a few weeks backpacking through Thailand I indulged in everything from street food to meals at a jungle homestay and I didn't gain weight instead I lost weight. Who can resist eating in Thailand with that kind of perk? Coconut Juice and Spring Rolls were one of my many go to treats. As I sip on coconut juice and indulge in vegetable spring rolls back in North America I long to return to this southeast Asian country that is truly one of the best destination spots on the globe.




COCONUT JUICE: Nature's Thirst Quencher

How to enjoy coconut juice: Mark the top of the coconut with a V and cut the V shape with a big vegetable cleaver. Place a tall straw into the …

A Boulangerie in France

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FRANCE, a country where eating is appreciated at every meal and food is always at its finest. When strolling down a winding cobblestone street in France chances are you'll find a boulangerie somewhere. The scent of just made brioche and croissants is enough to make one step inside a local boulangerie and indulge in baked treats. C'est Magnifique! A course in baking in France? Yes it's possible. Perhaps one day you can have a French "Boulangerie" of your own and please the palates of connoisseurs

CROISSANTS on SUNDAY (from a French chef) 


Ingredients:

1 cup milk, 2 teaspoons dry yeast, 3 cups flour (plus 3 tablespoons), 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, 12 tablespoons of (unsalted butter) 

Glaze: one egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon milk

Friday Evening (Day 1)

Heat one cup of milk to lukewarm. Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of the lukewarm milk. Stir in 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk until there are no lumps left. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room …

Bali, a winning tourist destination

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BALI, Indonesia has been named the #1 tourist destination by TripAdvisor for 2017. When you're seeking inner peace, relaxation, and the ultimate yoga retreat BALI is the answer. 



Blooming Lotus Yogawww.blooming-lotus-yoga.com
Kura Kura Yoga Retreat www.kurakurayogaretreat.com
Yoga Barn www.theyogabarn.com




Emerald Green Ireland (the land of cheese, pubs, and sheep)

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I love IRELAND. I fell in love with the Emerald Green Island the moment I exited Shannon Airport. How fortunate I was to meet an Irish couple on the Air Lingus flight from New York City. They were heading to Killarney just like I was and they gave me a ride in their vehicle. We drove through the lush, verdant countryside and past picture perfect towns and villages each with a pub of course. I never saw so many sheep and I lost count of them halfway to Killarney. Once in Killarney the three of us enjoyed a meal with a pint of Guinness at a cozy pub. What a lovely start to my Ireland adventure.

IRELAND, is an island on the Atlantic Ocean with so much to offer. It's the land of cheese, shamrocks and leprechauns, saints and writers, lakes and meadows, pub crawlers and musicians,  farmers and fisherman, cities and countryside, narrow roads with sheep, cows and horses grazing grass, butter and soda bread, biscuits with a cups of tea, and much more. Ireland is a friendly place and while y…

Heading to Iceland?

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HEADING TO ICELAND?

Iceland is "hot" not in temperature but in popularity. Iceland has recently become the go to destination for travelers wanting to experience the safest country in the world. Iceland is indeed a hot destination spot for 2017 and beyond. There are lots of unique things about Iceland and one of them is that the majority of Icelanders don't have a family name or surname. In Iceland children take on their father's name. Heading to Iceland soon? ICELANDAIR Airlines has recently started offering a free stopover in Iceland for up to seven days. When flying across the Atlantic Ocean you can spend a week in Iceland checking out the sights before flying to other countries like Denmark, Norway, Sweden, or France. 
The Blue Lagoon is one of the 25 wonders of the world.

Covered by ice glaciers that are up to 1,000m thick, Iceland also has over 20 active volcano's. The landscape is quite diverse; beaches, national parks, nature reserves, remote farms, and water…