WanderFood Wednesday: Spooktacular Halloween Treats

by Samantha Scott
( October 21st, 2014 )

Lychee Eyeball Martini

It’s that time of year! Ghouls and goblins are about and they need to eat. With a few tricks in the kitchen it’s easy to craft fun and creepy Halloween treats! Here’s some great ideas to get you started. What are some of your favorites?

Lady Fingers

For the classy cannibal, serve up some dainty lady fingers. These are a simple sugar cookie, and blanched almonds with red food coloring for the nails. You can find a recipe here. And I love this clever fry fake-out display!

Lady Fingers

Mummy Hot Dogs

This easy treat is great for kids! And it’s a classic. I remember many a Halloween party at school where these were an essential part of the menu. They’re tasty and being able to serve with blood red ketchup makes this a win-win! Perfect for dinner before heading out trick-or-treating.

Day of the Dead Inspired Cookies

Use up that leftover food coloring and have fun decorating sugar cookies in the festive style of Day of the Dead skulls. Not exactly a scary item, but super fun and colorful!

Day of the Dead Cookies

Lychee Eyeball Martini, pictured above

For the adult Halloween party, serve up a creepy eyeball Martini. Several Halloween recipes with eyeballs use Lychee’s, so it’s also a nice trick to have up your sleeve! The Martini recipe can be found here and here’s a great video tutorial for how to make the eyeballs.

Share some of your favorite spooktacular Halloween treats in the comment section!

Eat Well, Travel Well ~ Samantha

Photo Credits

Lychee Eyeball Martini: Shanna Schad via Flickr

Day of the Dead Cookies: nicole danielson via Flickr 

Finger Cookies: kinwart via Flickr

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WanderFood Wednesday: Harvest Festivals Around the World

by Samantha Scott
( October 14th, 2014 )

Apple Orchard

It’s Harvest time! Around the world this is an important, often sacred time, signifying prosperity and providing the means to get through a cold winter. Here are a few harvest festivals around the world:

Moon Festival: China

Moon Cakes

Anyone familiar with the novel “The Joy Luck Club” will recognize this. One of my favorite vignettes from that book features this festival, and in fact it was turned into a separate children’s book which I adored as a kid. The Moon Festival is a time for families to gather together and takes place in mid August. It’s especially known for traditional “moon cakes” which feature prominently in the story from “The Joy Luck Club.”

Pongal: India

Pongal Festival

Pongal is an Indian rice dish, served during the festival time of the same name. Symbolizing new opportunities and abundance from the land, this festival spans over four days and involves big gatherings and the honoring of cattle, sun, rain and family.

Yam Festival: West Africa

Yam Festival

A public holiday in Ghana and Nigeria, during this festival yams are offered to the gods as the end of the rainy season is marked. The festival is also known as “Homowow” meaning “To Hoot at Hunger.” It is a celebration hoping for a bountiful harvest with parades, music, dancing and singing.

Thanksgiving: North America

Thanksgiving Turkey

In North America, harvest time culminates in the celebration of Thanksgiving. Turkey is typically served in the United States, a symbol of the first Thanksgiving which occurred in 1621. Other typical Thanksgiving fare includes stuffing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie.

Have you attended any of these harvest festivals around the world? What did you think?

Eat Well, Travel Well ~ Samantha

Photo Credits
Apple Orchard: Jeff Kubina via Flickr
Moon Cakes: Karen via Flickr
Pongal: Byghan via Flickr
Yam Festival: OneVillage Initiative via Flickr
Thanksgiving Turkey: Tim Sackton via Flickr

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5 Destinations I Would Revisit Just for the Food

by Samantha Scott
( October 13th, 2014 )

Discovering local cuisine is one of the things I love most about travel. Here are my top five foodie destinations I would revisit in a heartbeat!

Tuscany, Italy

Obviously Italy has to be on the foodie list! There is nothing quite like eating Italian food in Italy. There’s such reverence for the art of cooking and so much enjoyment surrounding food and gathering with friends and family for meals.  I’ll never forget the deliciousness of a home cooked meal at the Badia a Coltibuono or the divine simplicity of a gelato while roaming the streets of Florence.

Gelato in Tuscany

Vancouver, Canada

Not only does this city boast spectacular oysters and other seafood, the choices are exhausting for fun, interesting restaurants! I love charcuterie and there is a fabulous spot in Gastown called Salt, which is set up like a tasting room and focuses on wine pairings with cheese, spreads and condiments. Interesting wines and knowledgeable, engaging staff make this a wonderful experience.

Salt Tasting Room Wine Pairing

Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne is a bit of a hidden gem for foodies. There’s fabulous Dim Sum to be had at Red Emperor in the beautiful South Bank area, wonderful variety along the St. Kilda beachfront and great markets, especially Prahran Market, home of the best Greek yogurt I’ve ever had, and still crave. For a real neighborhood feel, Di Palma’s pizza on Glenferrie Rd. remains one of my all time favorite pizza joints.

Prahran Market

Boulder, Colorado

Boulder boasts some great restaurants and there is a very strong focus on fresh, organic, non-processed ingredients which is wonderful to see from a place where getting fresh items can be a challenge. The Kitchen is one of my favorite restaurants, with it’s rustic feel and truly exceptional food. Boulder is also home to Frasca, named by food and wine magazine as one of the 100 Best Wine Restaurants in the country, 2014.

Healdsburg, California

Northern California is one of the most versatile foodie places I know of. The climate is temperate, it’s beautiful, and the close proximity to farms and vineyards means that the “Farm to Table” movement is a way of life, and not simply a tourist buzz-word. For one of the best burgers, (and also the best martini EVER) visit Bistro Ralph on the Healdsburg Sq. Spoonbar in the H2 Hotel has made a name for itself, offering spectacular mix drinks and constantly upping their mixology game with new and interesting cocktails. And for a truly unique experience, Madrona Manor offers a classic 5 course meal like nothing you’ve ever seen.

Bistro Ralph Burger, Healdsburg CA
What are your top five foodie destinations?

I was nominated to write this post by Valerie and Valise as part of a promo through booked.net: Booked.netTop Destinations to Go There. I nominate Trupti at Trailbound, Sarah at Luxury Nomad, Mackenzie at Wandering Scribbler, Sarah at Sarah Under the Sea and Becky at The Girl and the Globe!

Eat Well, Travel Well ~ Samantha

Photo Credits
Gelato in Tuscany: Derek Key via Flickr
Salt Tasting Room in Vancouver: kslee via Flickr
Prahran Market in Melbourne: Alpha  via Flickr

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