Friday, April 26, 2013

Paella Recipe: Eating Spanish with The Ravenous Traveler


Paella by PincasPhoto


This article originally appeared on EuropeUpClose.com

Getting to know a foreign country through its traditional flavors is a whole-body experience. In Spain, the scent of sofrito—a mix of garlic, onion, peppers, and tomatoes sautéed in olive oil—can open the mind to Spanish culture just as quickly as a visit to Sagrada Família in Barcelona. Throw in a carefully made seafood stock, Spanish paprika, and Valencian-grown rice, and you’re getting closer to experiencing one of the main components of Spain culture: paella.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Goulash Soup Recipe: Eating Hungarian with The Ravenous Traveler


 This article originally appeared on EuropeUpClose.com

Hungarian cuisine merges flavorful spices, such as paprika, with hearty stews and meat dishes, and a trip to Hungary wouldn’t be complete without sampling one of the country’s national dishes, Goulash Soup. Perhaps surprisingly, a lot of controversy surrounds goulash, and the definition of goulash changes depending on which Eastern European country you’re in. To find out why so many people are arguing over a mix of potatoes, beef, and sweet paprika—as well as to get my hands on a traditional goulash soup recipe straight from the source—I contacted The Chefparade Cooking School, which offers cooking class to travelers in Budapest.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Join Me for a Twitter Tasting with R. Stuart & Co., Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

R. Stuart & Co. winery in Willamette Valley is hosting the #bloggersblend Twitter tasting this Tuesday, April 23rd, at 5pm (PST)–Join us with hashtag #bloggersblend!

This Tuesday, you get the chance to see how much I #$*&@*#% at blending wine. At last year's Wine Bloggers Conference, R. Stuart owners Maria and Rob Stuart invited a few fabulous wine bloggers to create our own pinot noir blends using incomparable grapes from select Willamette Valley vineyards, including Daffodil Hill, Hirschy Vineyard, Temperance Hill, Courting Hill, Weber Vineyard, and Elkhorn Vineyard. On Tuesday, we'll open them up and see how we did. Please join us by logging into Twitter and searching for the hashtag "#bloggersblend". Once you search for the hashtag, you will only see a Twitter feed for the tasting, and you can learn about Willamette Valley pinot noir, ask winemaker Rob Stuart questions, and more (just don't make fun of my poor blending skills!).

Here's a photo of the awesome wine label that R. Stuart created for our pinot noir blend, Half-Assed Red. In retrospect, we could have chosen a better name, but we'd run out of time and we're feeling too stellar :-( All the same, I'm super excited to see how we did! (Photo courtesy of blending partner Kim of the D'Vine Wine Time wine blog)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Another Round of Wine Tasting Guides and Recipes from The Ravenous Traveler

Wine Tasting in Barolo is Awesome!

The Ravenous Traveler column on EuropeUpClose.com is in full effect—stuffed to the last iota with recipes straight from cooking schools in Europe as well as detailed wine-tasting guides written by yours truly. With the cooking school articles, you can travel to Europe in your own kitchen using just your stomach; this is one of the most inspiring ways to prepare for a trip or to get over the blues of having just returned. The wine tasting guides are filled with practical information (something most guides seem to excel at leaving out). For each guide, you'll find a list of recommended wineries with opening times, how to go wine tasting facts, and wine tasting fees. Check it:

The Ravenous Traveler's Guide to Wine Tasting in Barolo, Italy
An Italian Easter Photo Story from Puglia (photos by The Awaiting Table cooking school in Lecce)
Guide to Dublin's Newest and Oldest Breweries (beer tasting!)
Recipe for Irish Brown Bread for St. Patrick's Day (recipe by Dublin Cookery School)

In case you love wine—ah and I hope you do or you really shouldn't be reading this blog—the Twitterverse has been hosting a number of exciting Twitter wine tastings featuring wines and winemakers from regions all over. Twitter wine tastings give you the chance to ask winemakers and tourism pros questions about their wines and regions and receive immediately answers. Plus it's fun! Most recently, we sampled Rieslings from the Finger Lakes region of New York as part of the monthly Finger Lakes Virtual Tasting Series. The tasting uses the hashtag #FLXWine, and you can find out about the next tasting by following @FLXWine. Mmm... riesling and Korean BBQ burritos...