Welcome to World Cuisine Wednesdays, something new I have decided to add to our blog.¬† Please feel free to share your recipes from abroad by emailing me – firstname.lastname@example.org and when I get to the particular country or region your recipe comes from, I will try and post it (giving you credit, of course!).¬† Or if I have already written about that region, please leave a comment on that particular blog sharing your own recipe.
As Oktoberfest starts this coming Saturday (19 September) in Munich, I thought it was appropriate that we begin with some traditional German Oktoberfest fare.¬† This week I will offer you a hot pretzel recipe.
2 packages of active dry yeast
3 tbsp butter
4 c all-purpose flour
1 c lukewarm water
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
TO THE SIDE:
¬Ω cup baking soda
2 quarts water
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Mix flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Form a well in the flour mixture then add the sugar to the center of the well. Pour the yeast/water mixture into the well. Let it rest for 15 minutes before mixing.
Add the softened butter to the mix and knead until smooth. Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough into twelve equal parts, and then roll each piece on an unfloured surface to about 20 inches tapered toward the ends. Make sure the dough rope is not too thin.¬† Avoid letting the dough get too warm,¬† as this will¬†cause tearing.
Refrigerate uncovered for an hour.
Bring the 2 q water to a boil. When it begins to boil, add the baking soda. Using a slotted spoon, gently drop each pretzel into the bath for 10 seconds, and then turn over for another 10 seconds. Place on sheet of parchment paper lining a cookie sheet.¬† (If you prefer salted pretzels, now would be the time to sprinkle with coarse sea salt)
Bake at 400¬∞ for approximately 15 minutes until a rich golden brown color.
Enjoy with a good mustard, such as Stonewall Kitchen‚Äôs Traditional Pub Mustard.
I hope you enjoyed the pretzels as much as I did.¬†¬†Don’t forget to come¬†back next week for another Oktoberfest menu item!
Australia is a land of opportunities for the lover of all things outdoors.¬† There is, of course, the surfing at almost every beach and scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef. There is also a multitude of places for hiking (known locally as ‚Äúbushwalking‚Äù) such as Lamington National Park or the Blue Mountains near Sydney.¬† Or, for those who wish to see what ‚Äúroughing it‚Äù is REALLY like, a visit to the Australian Outback should do the trick.¬† To name a few, there is the famous Ayers Rock, known as Uluru by Aboriginal owners, the East MacDonnell Ranges with its gorges and waterholes or the Alice Springs Desert Park which has a large variety of flora and fauna.¬† The Park even puts on shows and presentations on different desert habitats.¬†
¬†If you are not really the outdoorsy type, there are plenty of things to do to keep busy in Sydney.¬† One could take in a show at the Opera House, enjoy a stroll across the Sydney Harbour Bridge and have dinner at Watson‚Äôs Bay.¬† You could visit the museums and art galleries during the day, and then head to Luna Park for hours of fun.¬† If you are there on a Friday or Saturday evening, then a Comedy Dinner Cruise down the Sydney Harbour is a really fun thing to do.
¬†No matter if your preference of entertainment and downtime is indoors or outdoors, Australia has plenty to see and do.
With fall fast approaching, it‚Äôs that time of the year for those of you who are going to travel abroad for the upcoming holiday season to start planning your trip.¬†
¬†A lot of folks are under the impression that waiting to book their international flights until the last minute is the best option; however, when planning a trip for the high seasons (during winter holidays and¬† in the summer)¬† it is actually best for you go ahead and book as early as possible to ensure availability and the best price. ¬†If you wait until the last minute, the price you pay for a seat (if there are any available) could be up to twice as much the cost of the ticket had you booked in advance. ¬†Plus, better availability means more likely than not, you are bound to get more desirable seat assignments.¬† If you are nervous to book your travel early because you‚Äôre afraid that a sudden emergency might come up to prevent your travel, then, as with any other trip it is highly recommended that you add travel insurance to your package.¬†
¬†Whether you are going to London to do your holiday shopping at Harrods, to Paris to see the sparking lights of the Eiffel Tower or Venice to visit the Rialto Bridge and Saint Mark‚Äôs Square, we have something for you!¬† Call and speak with one of our professional travel experts who will help you find what you are looking for.
There are a large number of things to see and do in Iceland, in all seasons. In winter months, some popular pastimes include skiing at Blafjoll, snowmobiling on Glacier Langjokull and dog sledding on the Myrdalsjokull Glacier in south Iceland. ¬†When else can you say you went snowmobiling or dog sledding across a glacier? ¬†And of course, you can‚Äôt go to Iceland in the winter without visiting the Blue Lagoon!¬† It is said this is the most photographed place in Iceland, and it‚Äôs easy to see why. ¬†The water is a beautiful frosty blue, but the water itself is not frosty. ¬†The mineral rich, soothing geothermal pool reaches an average temperature of about 104 ¬∞F.¬† The Blue Lagoon is open all year.
There are many museums and galleries, theaters and festivals year round to keep the city of Reykjavik alive and thriving.¬† An annual Summer Solstice Festival is held on 21 June to honor the Vikings.¬† Locals get together for midnight events, dress in traditional Viking garb and enjoy singing, dancing, eating and drinking; the bars stay open until the very wee hours of the morning for this event.¬† Due to the midnight sun, 24-hour golf is available during the month of June.¬† There are many golf courses located across Iceland for your 3:00 a.m. golf cravings. If water sports are your preference, you could go white water rafting, kayaking, or deep sea fishing.¬† There are also whale watching safaris operating from April ‚Äì September.
Iceland is also one of the least expensive places to travel to in Europe.¬† 1-800 Fly Europe offers great discounted rates on flights to Reykjavik.¬† Package your flight with sightseeing tours, hotel accommodation and a car rental to receive additional savings; you will be able to pat yourself on the back for not only saving money, but for planning such a great, memorable trip!