Tales of Travels & Tastes

Since the beginning of the Jewish New Year last weekend, when I made light, chewy fig and pistachio nougat, I haven’t stopped dipping apples in honey and even made a second batch of nougat.  The tradition is, we wish each other a sweet new year.  I think I’ve got that covered.  I put that extra batch of nougat in the freezer, as it was a bit soft, and eating it straight from there, I was quickly reminded of frozen Charleston Chew bars we used to have as kids.  Remember that candy bar, yellow wrapper and all? Takes me right back to my summer camp canteen.  Just wait until I dip those nougat squares into chocolate and put them back in the freezer, now that will be good! Furthermore, the official opening date for Ladurée in Zürich has been released – October 14th, in less than 3 weeks!  This coming year is sure to be sweet!  I have my usual line-up of adventures ahead, each one with a whole new set of pastry shops, chocolate shops and markets to visit, always fascinating people to meet and local customs to learn about.

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But before I begin a new roll call of sweet tastes and travels, I thought I’d take a quick look at some recipes I made over the past few months.  As I am often asked what my favorite recipe is on the blog, I’ll make an attempt to answer that.  Not easy though.

Ok, if I must… I do love my polka-dot jam tart for its taste and its fun look.  Fun is also my Carambar tart and my totally addictive pumpkin chocolate chip cake.  But then again, my go-to favorites on a regular basis are simply crispy granola and meringues. Ooh, I forgot my espresso marshmallows and my Toblerone molten cake!  Told you it was a difficult question!  Decide what was your favorite – and let me know!

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There will be more adventures outside of my own kitchen too, as you already know about my serious love for travel.  I can’t wait to share my recent finds in New York City, Copenhagen and Denmark’s oldest village (8th century!), as well as in Helsinki and the Finnish town of Porvoo.  My travel wish-list just keeps growing.  Especially with all of your great suggestions along the way.  I’m off for the next week or so to travel around the northernmost regions of Portugal (the Minho and Trás-os-Montes) with my trusty translator (= husband).  Having just returned from Finland, I’ll have to quickly switch gears from salmon soup, reindeer steaks and crisp rye bread… to Portuguese specialties like caldo verde, pasteis de nata and vinho verde.  Then it will be off to Paris for the 15th annual Salon du Chocolat (which begins on October 14th as well) – can’t miss that of course.  Berlin, Lyon and London will follow.  I’m interested to hear about your travel plans for the fall/winter (or your spring/summer) as well, so keep me posted.

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Thanks to the internet, we can pretty much travel wherever and whenever we want.  It seems like I discover a new food and/or travel blog every day, their gorgeous photos bringing me along on vicarious voyages to all corners of the globe.  Do the same here and take in some sun (and plenty of butter –  that would be to salted butter to eat, not cocoa butter for tanning!) on the Emerald Coast of Brittany, or on l’ile du Levant and in Colmar in France.  Or explore Venice in Italy, Baden-Baden in Germany, and Rovinj or the Brioni Islands in Croatia.  If you’re heading to Germany, you’ll want to have this handy German Menu Decoder in your pocket for sure (I will!).  If you’d rather brush up on your knowledge of exotic Balinese fruit, you can do that too.  Last but not least, explore my home of Zürich and the surrounding regions of Switzerland. There’s certainly no lack of authentic Swiss villages to discover (Appenzell, Schwyz, Gruyères).  If you want to get a little insight about a New Yorker living in Zürich, I revealed (almost) all in an interview here!

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I’ll try to share my finds and sweet tastes on Twitter when I can, so be sure to follow me there, and if you’d like to sign up for the blog’s RSS feed or to receive an email whenever I post a new article, it’s never too late to do so.  As always, thank you all so much for reading and for your comments – my very favorite part of blogging.

Be sure to let me know what’s baking in your kitchens, and where your travels take you

11 Responses to “Tales of Travels & Tastes”

  1. Beth says:

    Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake…hmmmm…I may have to try that! I love pumpkin chocolate chip cookies so I imagine I would love it in cake form as well. And were those Magnolia cupcakes I spied? There chocolate/chocolate cupcakes are THE BEST!!! Love all the photos.

  2. Lizounette says:

    Great post and visuals, Kerrin – merci beaucoup! My favorite, and the “search” that lead me to you, is the jam-tart. Just lovely!

    Aussi, L’shana tova to you and yours.

  3. Scribetrotter says:

    Hmmm…. seems I recall another cool interview with you in Women on the Road! 🙂

    Also, I think Annecy should be added to your list of upcoming travels… that end of month antique market, preceded in the morning by the international food market at Ferney-Voltaire – a packed day but not if we start early!!

    Enjoy Portugal – sardines, sempre sardinhas!

  4. Lani says:

    Thank you for sharing all your adventures, recipes and photography with us …all your readers. I know that I just love to read your posts. They come to life in words and photos. I can’t say which one is my favorite either. Just clicking each one gives me great memories of the adventure you wrote about…Thanks once again….such a joy to read each and every word….

  5. Stéphanie says:

    Que de projets de voyages!!!! si tu as le temps et l’envie de passer par la maison quand tu seras à Paris (ou sur le retour) tu sais que tu es la bienvenue.
    Je viens de montrer les photos à Naïs en lui disant “tu as vu le singe sur la banane??”, elle a répondu “ouai, mais tu as vu les macarooooooooons, la chance!”!!!!

  6. Kerrin says:

    Beth, good call on the Magnolia Bakery cupcakes! Absolutely, us fans can spot those anywhere, right?! You love pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, mmm! Do you use a certain recipe online that you can share with us? That sounds like something I must try! Thanks!

    Lizounette, thanks for the new year´s wishes! Glad you love that jam tart, me too! Let me know if you try it for sure…

    Scribetrotter, excellent point – and an excellent interview that was on Women on the Road. Everyone, check it out here: http://www.women-on-the-road.com/mykugelhopf.html
    As for Portugal, I´m still there (here!) – and still feasting on as much sardinhas, bacalhau, polvo and pasteis de natas I can! 🙂 Annecy and Ferney-Voltaire are already on my list…!! When is the question!

    Lani, thanks so much for your comment. No need to pick a favorite – keep enjoying all the adventures!

    Stéphanie, et oui, un programme assez chargé (et vraiment chouette) pour 2009! J´ai trèèèèès envie de passer chez toi (surtout si tu me fais tes sublimes desserts aussi!), encore la question – quand?! 😉 Quant à la petite Naïs, je l´adore! Elle est trop forte ! Dis-lui qu´on va manger les macarons ensemble un jour…

  7. Nicole says:

    Hi Kerrin,
    Your photos are just spectacular!
    I adored those little marzipan chimps on their banana benches.
    And, thanks for reminding me how much I love jam tarts and its cousin:Linzer Tart.
    Happy trails,

  8. Carolina says:

    I absolutely loooooooove you blog, Thanks for giving me so much inspiration and tips:))


  9. Julia @ Mélanger says:

    I don’t know if I could pick a favourite. The selections you have highlighted are all equally delicious. I love simple jam tarts and adore marshmallow ? and the Carambar tart you also included sounds so intriguing ? I wish I could make it now! I couldn?t pick a favourite on my own blog either. Way too hard. So I think it?s fair to say that you have a splendid selection of sweet treats for every palate and taste. 🙂 What a busy traveller you have been lately. I can?t wait to read more about your recent travels to Denmark, Finland and Portugal as well as your upcoming travels to France, England and Germany. I have no further travel plans right now, but I did joke with Mr Mélanger about dropping into a local travel agent before leaving Tasmania to pick up some new brochures! 😉 BTW, in the first set of photos, what?s the item on the top right?

  10. Kerrin says:

    Nicole, thanks! That monkey marzipan is the cutest, right? Just loved it! Oooh, yes Linzer Tarts are fantastic. I just bought a Linzer Tart cutter in fact. Never made my own though – not yet at least!

    Carolina, thank you so very much. Hope you’ll continue to read and enjoy – and find inspiration and more useful tips too.

    Julia, ok, so you don’t reeeaaally have to pick a favorite! 😉 I don’t think I’d ever be able to pick a favorite on your blog – way too many fabulous choices! Yes indeed, lots and lots of travel on my end right now – so very much to share here on the blog. It will all come, in due time! So, you reading through those Tasmania brochures now? Planning the next trip (after Zurich of course!)…

    As for the very top right photo, it is a Springerle rolling pin I saw in this fabulous antique shop in Colmar. (I actually bought an old mini copper kugelhopf mold there!) You roll out your Springerle cookie dough and it leaves the shapes on your cookies. It’s traditionally an anise-flavored dough, common in Germany and Switzerland, more often made with wooden stamps in fact. Check out this link: http://www.fantes.com/springerle.html

  11. Polprav says:

    Hello from Russia!
    Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?

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