Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A Few of the Most Memorable Meals of My Life

My favorite café in Frankfurt, Sugar Mama.  One I visited with routine regularity each week.  Loving their huge mugs of green tea, their fudgy brownies and chewy cookies, their towering, frosting laden cakes and cheese saturated grilled sandwiches.  Along with the cozy, living room like atmosphere inside.  It didn't hurt that the girls who worked there all knew my name by heart ;-) making me feel ever welcome.  For my full review and loads of photos of Sugar Mama, click here.

Rudesheim am Rhine, about an hour from Frankfurt, and one of the most magical, scenic little towns you can visit in Germany.  I took a solo trip here one summer afternoon, hopping aboard the train armed with book and camera, ready to explore this little city for the first time.  I realize the memorable meal isn't pictured.  I had a slice of cheesecake and a green tea that afternoon, in a charming little café with an awesome view of the street in the last three photos just above.  So what was memorable wasn't the cheesecake.  It was the atmosphere in which it was eaten.  I returned to this city several times after with loved ones in tow to show them how gorgeous it all was.

This particular meal, while the food itself was totally forgettable, was otherwise poignant, emotional and very much memorable.  My very last night in Frankfurt, Germany, spent with my closest friends over drinks and food, much laughter, as well as punctuated with several quiet/somber moments in tune with my impending departure the following morning.

This place, ever remaining firmly secured at the top within my brunching dreams and most loved eating locales.  Roamers in Berlin, Germany.  Just, wow.  Everything about it.  From the cozy, California ranch/greenhouse like interior, to the beautifully plated food, each item a work of art in itself, to how delicious it actually tastes.  This place is almost worth a trip to Berlin just for brunch.  Cant wait to return and eat there again someday.

For an in-depth essay on brunching coupled by loads more food porn from Roamers, here you go :-D

The Danish Pastry House in Medford, MA.  One of my most loved sweet shops that I've ever happened upon throughout my travels.  And no, its not because I'm biased after having worked there.  Their sweets really are that good.  An authentic European bakery, and a phenomenal one at that.  I recommend any of the following: their gigantic cream puff, the Danish Chocolate cake, an icing snail, the fruit tart (in the first photo above), or their lemon raspberry cake.  All amazing.

These Paleo Carrot Pancakes are awesome.  For those put off by the descriptor "Paleo," ignore that, as it has no bearing on their being totally tasty.  Made with sunflower butter, honey, eggs and shredded carrots.  Topped with maple syrup, they make for a filling, addictive, sweet treat minus grains/gluten, dairy or refined sugar.  Mmmmmm.  Get the recipe here.

This pear gorgonzola gnocchi I sampled in Florence,  Blew my mind.  Those two flavors playing off each other in the most synergetic of duets.  Loved it so much I went back a few days later for more.  Mmmmm. 

For the full blog entry, including lots of food and other photos, of my first solo trip ever to Florence, Italy for a week, here is the link.

These pancakes.  My childhood Saturday mornings right here.  Dubbed by my mom "Mighty Goods," my brother and I begged for them often, so, so good.  Heres my own spin on the same recipe.  Be warned though, they're really addicting.

Reuniting with one of the closest and longest friendships of my life, Lindsay Emery, after not having seen one another in person for a decade!  This was thrilling, absolutely awesome, SUCH fun, as well as comfortable and easy.  Talk about an outstanding and immensely memorable day with her and Kim, her fiancé.  From our starting out over a delicious lunch at Willows Plant Based Eatery (the food here is great), to wandering Concord, driving past some of our old haunts, and sampling sweets at Crust and Crumb.  Loved every second of it.

Bienenstich, my most sought after German dessert to be sure.  Though a Prinzregententorte competes as a close second.  When made right?  Bienenstich is a fluffy, vanilla cake, sandwiched with sweet pastry cream and topped with a layer of crunchy almonds and honey.  Though I've never been a big almond fan, this cake had me swooning at first bite and has had me hooked ever since.

Trdelnik!  The inspiration for my blog name, as its one of the traditional desserts of Czech Republic/Prague, where this very blog was born.  A sweet dough wound around metal cylinders and baked over an open flame.  When finished, the outside covered in any manner of toppings you so desire, including powdered sugar, cinnamon, nuts or Nutella.

Here is one of the first blog entries I ever wrote!  From back upon my arrival in Prague.

Edinburgh, Scotland with Judith.  First off, hands down one of my favorite cities in the world.  I love the haunting, dark, mysterious feel and aura to the city.  I could wander for days in thrill and wonder.  But man, oh man, the world famous scones of Scotland

I was eager to sample one, though dubious if they would live up to all the claim.  Its just a scone, how delicious can that be?  I wondered, in my typically finding scones to be rather hard, lacking moistness and flavor.  Like something akin to a tasteless rock.  I was bowled over though my this one, served up at the Sir Walter Scott Tearoom.  It was cakey, lightly sweet, heaven in the form of a breaded good.  Slathered with jam and the further traditional clotted cream?  I had to restrain myself from ordering a second, that's for sure.

Since then, I have sampled scones elsewhere, hoping for a similar experience.  Alas, I have found none that come close as of yet.

For a full blog entry of our adventures through Edinburgh, chock full of photos, here you go.

This brunch, at Café Marlette in Paris.  Hands down one of my most memorable.  The spread was expansive.  Soft boiled eggs, crusty French baguette, jams and butters, green tea and hot chocolate, moist banana bread topped with a river of chocolate, a platter of assorted meats and cheeses, just whoa.  Mouthwatering, luxurious, so yummy.

A recipe from my childhood and still one of my favorites.  Homemade macaroni and cheese, though I put a pumpkin spin on it.  Want to make it?  Super easy, you can do so at this link.

This pasta in Italy, sampled at 13 Gobbi in Florence, to die for.  Perfectly seasoned, atop a layering of stringy buffalo mozzarella.  Simple and classic but wildly satisfying and delicious.  The ultimate comfort food. 

For more recommendations for mouthwatering meals in Italy and loads of fantasy worthy photos, click here.

The green tea torte at Iimori in Frankfurt.  A longtime favorite and ever coveted cake among myself and a couple close Germany friends.  We visited this sweet little Asian inspired café weekly.  Loving it for both the atmosphere and the sweets on offering.

As Ive been asked this question several times (for recommendations), a listing of my own personal favorite cafes in Frankfurt.

This day.  A week prior to my departing from Frankfurt, one way, back to the US.  Two of my best friends (Judith and Melissa), a picnic to celebrate my birthday with just the three of us in attendance.  I loved this.  Much laughter, interesting conversation, each of them brought delicious food (homemade pancakes, fruit, muffins).  My heart ached, looking between the two of them, knowing that within days I wouldn't be able to see them weekly as I had been for the last years.  This was a special, emotionally moving, memorable meal for me, with these two.

This meal with Judith in Italy.  Will you check out that view of Tuscany behind us!?!  We were into it, as well as the desserts we ordered, ooooing and ahhhing over, along with an especially hilarious moment of my eating a whole mint leaf and Judith keeling over in laughter.  So much fun.

Ahhh yes.  Switzerland.  Cheese fondue, an authentic traditional Swiss dish, eaten in Zermatt.  Skiing the Swiss Alps.  Pausing for lunch at this chateau of a restaurant tucked into the mountainside.  All of it, utter magic.  A place I felt sure I would never have the chance to visit.  Zermatt, absolutely in my top three favorite travel experiences ever thus far.

For a plethora of photos and further description of the entire adventure, here you go.

Poffertjes in Amsterdam, the traditional Dutch pancake.  Pillowy, soft, sweet, so tasty.  They melt in your mouth.  Covered with a dusting of powdered sugar.  The dessert, coupled with the situation in which we ate these...(wink, wink, nudge, nudge ;-)), great fun.  My travel companion will remember such.  It was pretty hilarious and memorable.

This green tea cinnamon roll from Iimori in Frankfurt?  To die for.  Filled with a sweet cream AND red bean paste, plus green tea, an explosion of varying textures and tastes.  Incredible.

This brunch with Judith at England, England Café in Dresden, Germany was the bomb diggity.  Talk about luxurious, an awesome spread, and in the most charming of atmospheres.

Check out the full details here.

One of my favorite desserts ever.  Tastes like raw brownie dough, but made with no dairy, refined sugar nor gluten.  You can make this in mere minutes.  Its fudgy, indulgent, rich and semi-healthy.  Mmmmmmmm.

Here's how to toss it together.

Another all time favorite.  Matcha blueberry pancakes, made with buckwheat flour so these guys are gluten/grain free, dairy free and with zero refined sugar.  SO yummy, not to mention, pretty to boot.

Coconut Turmeric Pancakes.  Fluffy, light, sweet, totally tasty and filling.  Made with coconut flour, so zero grains/gluten, no dairy nor refined sugar.  These are a cinch to make and even more fun to chow down on.

I know, I know, just one more pancake recipe.  Moody Berry Pancakes, made with a mixture of dark berries, for a tart, sweet, tasty treat.  With buckwheat flour so gluten/grain free, as well as without dairy or sugar.  These make for a perfect brunching entrée.

And man, oh man, for pizza lovers, talk about a life changing recipe right here.  I was hesitant with regards to cauliflower crusts but after sampling this one?  Complete change of tune over here.  This one is cheesy, well herbed, satisfying and totally comfort food-y.  Just, YUM.

This dinner was an especially memorable celebration for meMy first dinner party ever, hosted entirely solo.  Surrounded by several of my closest friends, and a few new ones.  What a hit!  Well over five hours, loads of laughter and awesome food.

Budapest, Hungary stunned me with its offering of, hands down, some of the best food I have ever eaten in my life, and for mere euros.  Whoa.  Does Budapest know how to get down in the food department.  This is a city worthy of travel purely for the chowing down aspect.

This chocolate cake.  One of the best Ive ever inhaled in my life.  And I do mean inhaled, both fortunately and unfortunately ;-)

For the recipe, more photos and such, here is the link.

Harry Potter World with Sarah, back several years ago.  SUCH fun.  We could not get enough of that Butterbeer ;-) nor venturing into the castle for their jaw dropping, heart pounding, incredibly awesome ride.

Crepes in Paris.  Enough said ;-)

This bread in Portugal, my god.  I still dream about it.  Want to know what its called?  Where to get it?  What does it taste like?  Read here for all the delectable details.

This was an incredibly exciting, highly anticipated dinner for me.  My first time back in the US after 2.5 years of living in Germany.  This was my first visit back, since moving away.  Dinner with these close friends of mine (and even especially awesome, Judith, on the far left, decided on visiting Boston from Germany at the same time I was there so she met up with us!!!)

The pre party, if you will, to the black and white photo above with my three girlfriends and our reuniting dinner in Boston.  First, Alex and I hung out at the bar where we demolished a box of Georgetown Cupcakes alongside a few margaritas.  Talk about a fun way to get tipsy, catch up and reconnect.  Our conversation was especially engaging, personal and fun this day as well.  Loved that time with her.

The above five photos, my birthday party one month prior to moving to Europe.  While low key, it was memorable and emotional for me in that it was a last celebration of sorts with several close friends at my moms rustic little lakeside cottage.  A smattering of sweets laid out in array, coupled with lots of laughing, game play and interesting conversation, this day was sweet and special.

A favorite dessert recipe in my arsenal, though I haven't made it in years.  Red velvet cupcakes with white chocolate frosting, man are these guys good.  Moist, sweet, so tasty.

This is my 23rd birthday, spent in Paris with my mom.  Having just finished studying in Italy, she flew over at the tail end of my time there and we traveled a bit together.  Her own first time in Europe as well.  This dinner, while the food was forgettable, both the company and atmosphere are what made it magical, poignant and unforgettable.  We had a view of the Eiffel Tower as we ate.  Giggling, chatting, just an awesome time together.

This picture was taken in Venice, Italy during my time of studying abroad.  My first time ever in Europe :-D.  This cheese pasta, while simple, I remember it being rich and absolutely delicious.  With just a drizzle of balsamic on the side, the two went together amazingly.  Swirling the cheesy pasta through the sauce, mmmmmm.

With Alex and Leanne.

Though I don't have a photo of the actual restaurant, meal nor scene, this night was awesome.  A weekend in New York City, six of us, we dined in Times Square at the top of a skyscraper in a revolving restaurant!  Yes, the restaurant actually turned, albeit slowly, a complete 360 degrees every hour.  Offering diners a slow moving but complete panoramic view of Manhattan, glittering and laid out below.  This dinner was especially entertaining as well.  The food spread, a huge one.  Lots of giggling, funny conversation, playfulness, just really fabulous.

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