Salt & Straw, duh.

I really wish Salt & Straw would expand to Utah. It would even fit well here (aside from the alcohol references) the majority of adults don’t go to bars as much here due to the strong LDS influence. But they LOVE their ice cream shops (perfect date night- amirite?). AND the shops here aren’t anything special. I almost wrote a letter to Salt & Straw about this. I did some research on LinkedIn to figure out who in their company I should send the email to, then realized the decision maker has lived in Utah recently and I gave up. That person KNOWS, they get it and they didn’t need my encouragement. It’s either going to happen or not. My letter would not be helpful. Sigh. I’m just an internet creep that has to console herself with a decent compromise of Tillamook Marionberry Pie ice cream.

Far Away Foods: Dole Whip

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Yes, this isn’t some far away shack somewhere that is serving indigenous food out their kitchen window but this is just as delightful 😉

Dole Whip. That’s really all I have to say. If you’ve had it you know what I’m talking about. Very rarely is it available. I’ve had it at Wallowa Lake in Oregon. Other places I’ve heard have it: Disneyland, Disney World, and Hawaii.

What is it? It is a fruit flavored soft serve that has no dairy in it so Lactose Intolerants rejoice!!! It is light, creamy, and fruity. Who decided this was a great idea for the monthly blog theme! This is just torture!

Khao Soi

Khao Soi (pronounced: cow soy) was my favorite thing I ate in Thailand, it was widely available and I was shocked that I hadn’t ever tried it in the US as other US Thai staples were all over the menu. Sad news. My assumption was wrong. Nobody makes Khao Soi in the US- especially nobody in Utah. I keep hoping for a return missionary to open up an authentic Northern Thai restaurant, but so far that hasn’t happened.

Anyway Khao Soi isn’t appetizing when I describe it, but it’s incredible. It’s a noodle soup dish that has a drumstick floating in it. The broth was complex and rich, but still cozy and comforting. It has a strong curry flavor with lime and coconut. It was amazing. I should try to figure out how to make it, but in afraid the ingredients will be hard to round up.

You can find Khao Soi all over Thailand, I had it in Chaing Mai & Bankok. If you ever see if on a Thai menu- order it and send me the address please!

Far Away Foods: Spaghetti Eis

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Spaghetti, why would you have to travel to Germany for spaghetti? Well, look a little closer, this is no ordinary warm tomato based spaghetti. This is the amazing desert known as Spaghetti Eis or Spaghetti Ice Cream. Yes, those little noodles are all ice cream and the sauce is an amazing strawberry sauce drizzled over the top. It should just taste like vanilla ice cream and strawberry sauce but you know there is something magical when vanilla ice cream is made into small little noodles. It tastes even better!

Far Away Foods: Döner Kebab

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So many foods in Germany need to be imported to Oregon! This food happens to be from Turkey originally. My funny little American brain completely assumed this would be a chain the way Henri talked about “Döner” being his favorite food. I was picturing that was like saying, “I love Nachos Bell Grande” a name of a certain food from a certain chain restaurant. Döner Kebab was so much more! It was in a variety of places, it was in small little cafe’s and food carts.

Döner Kebab is traditionally lamb roasted on a turning spit constantly being cooked by burners that are parallel with the meat.  Meanwhile the meat gets shaved off so each person gets some crispy cooked pieces of lamb. It is placed on a flatbread (couple different variations here) with lettuce, tomato, cabbage, a white sauce, and if you’d like it spicy some red pepper flakes.

It is so delicious and I just looked it up, there is a new food cart in Portland! I’m so excited! It is called Dönerland!

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I found out that in allergic to all seafood, shellfish & fish in 2012 except for salmon.

I don’t really like much other fish than salmon so it’s not so bad- but I LOVE sushi.

Now, just being in a sushi place makes me nervous and anxious that I’m going to accidentally eat some fish AND I have to be the person that says ‘I know I ordered the veggie roll, but can you let the chef know I’m allergic to seafood?’. That’s the worst sort of person, but I don’t really want to die.

Young Coconut

Young coconut was everywhere in Bali! Fresh coconut juice that you drink right out of the coconut. It was such a refreshing drink when it was hot, which was always. I’ve had coconut water, coconut milk & coconut creme back here but it’s just very different than young coconut juice. Maybe it has to do with the ambiance, freshness or produce,escaping humid heat and the vacation spirit? But nothing has even come close.

imageWhen my friend was in the Peace Corps in Indonesia (she was on an island much more remote than Bali) her afternoon treat was to get a young coconut carved up for drinking for ten cents, in Bali it was usually $1. Totally ripped off- totally worth it.

The best purchase of the trip was when we were walking on a path through a rice paddy and a guy asked us if we wanted coconut juice. We hesitated, but eventually said yes. He climbed a tree (no shoes or harness, coconut trees don’t have handy branches, remember?), dropped a coconut, cut off the fuzzy parts and made us a drink. After we drank it, he motioned that he wanted the coconut back, confused we obliged and he cut it up again so we could eat the coconut flesh. Omg, he was thrilled to have made the sale for $1 and we were awestruck that he only charged $1. Here’s our friend:



Far Away Foods: Pommes Frites and Curry Sauce

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So a very normal snack when I was in Germany was Pommes Frites (French Fries) in a little paper cone. The best part was a curry sauce that was drizzled on top. It was so good and really was the best thing I’ve ever had on french fries. I liked the mayo too. I’ve never been a fan of ketchup with french fries and you don’t have to worry about that in Europe ha ha!

I miss these so much!!!



Far Away Foods: Munich

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I can’t tell you the number of times I have thought, “I wonder how much a trip to Munich is right now?”, in connection to the little sausages I’m about to talk about. I of course look at the price of a trip fairly consistently because I miss my second family there, (love to you Ingo, Ute, and Henri) but these little sausages mmmmm….

So it had been a long day of touristing in Munich (should be considered a sport) and Ingo, Ute, and Henri and I were very hungry. So we stopped at this place. Nuernberger Bratwurst Gloeckl am Dom. Near the Cathedral, Frauenkirche.

Yes, there really are places in Germany that look exactly like you expect places in Germany to look and they are in abundance in Munich. It is really amazing! We walked in and this is what the interior looked like:

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These aren’t my pictures sadly, it was late at night when we ate there and not a single picture turned out. It is such a cozy little place and only dimly lit.

We ordered on the menu that you can now see at their website here is a direct link to downloading the menu in English.

Ingo helped me order the original Nuernberg sausages with either sauerkraut or potato salad. I can’t remember which because I remember trying other people’s sides as well.

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They also had horseradish as a side but it was different than any horseradish I’ve ever seen. I found a picture;

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These sausages are truly the best sausages in the world. Just looking at this picture makes my mouth water like you can’t believe. I’ve tried to get them at our local German Deli but they don’t sell them there. I miss these so much and writing these posts is just cruel and unusual punishment!

Travel Tip: cooking classes

The last couple times I have gone on an international trip, I have taken a cooking class while there and it has been the best decision and one of my favorite memories/souvenirs of the trip.

In Thailand, the cooking class included a trip to the open air market (which included a lot of meat on ice with flies circling & landing and amazing fruits & veggies) to review what we would be cooking with. Did you know that eggplants come in tons of shapes and sizes? My favorite eggplant variety is the size of a cherry and pops in your mouth. In the states, Asian markets/grocery stores have a couple eggplant varieties, grab some for your next stir fry adventure! At the class, we made curry, pad thai, papaya salad and a handful of other things that are leaving me in a pile of drool at my computer now. When I got back home and was excited to try to recreate these recipes, I have had a really hard time finding the local veggies, noodles and spices even at the Asian markets. Even if I have had a hard time recreating these dishes at home, there’s something that feels really authentic about taking a cooking class while abroad, people’s kitchens allow you to understand culture and tradition in a really special way.

I went to Cabo with Tom’s family about a year ago and Aunt Janet recommended a cooking class mentioned in her blog post and you can sign up or bookmark here for your trip. Note: While writing this, I haven’t actually read her post yet- I assumed based on the title, saw the pictures and am hoping to capture our different perspectives blindly. Cabo had been hit pretty hard with a hurricane the month before our arrival and businesses were either repairing from the storm, or elated to have tourists- because of this, my mother in law and I got to have a private class with Donna! She brought us to a tortillarilla- which is actually very rare and she impresses upon us what an honor it was to have one in their community. The women who ran the shop were very kind, their children were in the back of the shop and you could tell that this is a community gathering spot. We also had some amazing tostadas (pictured below), these were filled with corn and mushrooms that grow on corn (illegal in the US because they can carry diseases- but delicious none the less). We went back to her home and learned about the different between northern and southern Mexican cuisine and different cheeses (thankfully- I have been able to find most at the regular grocery store). We made salsa, huevos rancheros, meatballs, potato cakes and a fantastic soup. I have been able to recreate all the things we made at home and am constantly making Donna’s guacamole recipe. The salsa we made is just so fantastic- I’ll post the recipe in another post someday if Aunt Janet didn’t go into detail. Even though Donna is American, I really felt the sense of authentic Mexican culture and tradition since she has lived in Mexico for quite some time. Thanks for the recommendation on this one Aunt Janet!


Guacamole Recipe

Dice up some garlic, throw some salt onto the cutting board with the garlic and press both into each other with  your knife.

Mash an avocado into a bowl with a fork and combine with the garlic/salt mixture, then squeeze a little bit of lime (I usually don’t have fresh lime in my kitchen and skip this part). Enjoy.