A trip to Madrid may have you coming home with a new tradition to start your dinners.¬† In some parts of Spain, dinner does not begin with just the meal, rather, tapas are served; and when they are, the socializing commences.
Wikipedia notes ‚ÄúAccording to The Joy of Cooking, the original tapas were the slices of bread or meat which sherry drinkers in Andalusian taverns used to cover their glasses between sips. This was a practical measure meant to prevent fruit flies from hovering over the sweet sherry. The meat used to cover the sherry was normally ham or chorizo, which are both very salty and activate thirst. Because of this, bartenders and restaurant owners began creating a variety of snacks to serve with sherry, thus increasing their alcohol sales. The tapas eventually became as important as the sherry.‚Äù
Not only are tapas a delicious meal starter,¬† but the time spent consuming them also makes for an excellent occasion to catch up with and enjoy those in your company.¬† Today, there is a large variety of tapas, not just meat and bread.¬† On this World Cuisine Wednesday, I will share a recipe for my favorite, empanadillas! (Miniature versions of empanadas.)
Add chorizo mixture into a bowl with paprika, olives, capers salt and pepper and mash together.¬† Set aside.
On a floured surface, roll out pastry to about 1/8” thickness and cut out circles with a 3 inch cookie cutter.¬† Spoon about a teaspoon of the mixture into the center of each circle of dough.¬† Using a pastry brush, brush the outer edges with egg white and fold filled pastries in half to form a crescent. Pinch edges together to seal in mixture, then use a fork along the curved part of the empanadillas.
Bake until golden brown and puffed, approximately 15 minutes.
With summer starting to wrap up and school getting back into session, its time to start looking into those winter travel plans. You‚Äôve probably done the island escape or the Disney trip with the family in the past, so why not think of something new this year. Winter breaks don‚Äôt have to be spent basking in the sun as there are countless ideas for a winter break that will be sure to last a lifetime in your memory. Finland in particular is host to a few activities that you probably never thought of, and are still under the tourist radar.
Finland is a great place to visit during the summer, but the true character of this Scandinavian country really comes out when the mercury starts to drop and the first snow touches the ground. There is so much more to do in Finland than skiing. Take for example dog sledding.
That‚Äôs correct; dog sledding is an activity that can be enjoyed by anybody. Finland offers dog sledding safaris that take you deep into the wilderness and is an experience that you will never forget. No prior dog sledding knowledge is required as you will be briefed by an expert guide on the basics of how to handle the dogs and the sled. After the lesson in dog sledding, your journey commences.
The length of the journey all varies on what you are looking for, whether it is a short 5km tour through the snow or a longer, 20km ride that takes you deep into the Finnish wilderness or even a weeklong safari covering great distances. All safaris include at least a campfire lunch served with tea and coffee to warm you up and the tour companies usually provide thermals to keep you extra warm.
The atmosphere of a dog sled ride through the winter wonderland of Finnish backcountry will leave you breathless the entire time. Whether it‚Äôs the scenery that leaves you speechless, the utter silence that nature emits or the dogs that seem to always find their way into the hearts of the travelers, this activity is something that will forever resonate in you.
While Finnish backcountry is amazing to be seen in the daylight, a whole different scene comes out at night. Taking a nighttime northern lights snowmobile safari will also be a memorable experience that you will never forget. While the tour guides cannot guarantee that you will see the Aurora Borealis, Northern Finland is one of the better places on Earth to see this random natural phenomenon. The journey itself is an experience to be remembered. There are few places on Earth that offer a night skyline like in Northern Finland where the stars seem to go on forever and the sounds that nature produces is unlike anything you‚Äôve heard before. You may even see a few wild reindeer or Elk on your journey as well. And don‚Äôt worry if you are afraid of the dark as an experienced guide leads the way and maintains the safety of the group.
So forget the beach this winter and try something new, something that the whole family will enjoy and never forget. Book your airfare to Finland now and surprise your family with a vacation out of the ordinary!
Think you missed your opportunity for the summer vacation to Europe that you meant to take? Well think again because 1-800-FlyEurope has announced end of summer airfare to Europe with American Airlines. Act now while the weather is still warm and these fares are still low.
These fares are only valid for travel through August 31st and must be purchased by August 20th. So book now for incredible savings. Call us now at 1-800-359-3876 to speak with a travel expert and book that vacation that you‚Äôve always wanted.
Munich is a city in southern Germany that truly has a lot to offer the traveler. A must see destination of Europe, Munich is a seamless blend casual modernity with timeless history. Ageless buildings sit inconspicuously next to modern skyscrapers, cafes scattered amongst historic squares all contribute to the feeling of comfort that Munich emits.
The best place to start your exploration of Munich is at the Marienplatz, located at the heart of historic Munich. Exploration of the city is easy from here as all important locales are easily within reach. Here you will find a number of cafes, restaurants and museums to entertain. The main feature is the Mariensaule, a large column topped with a magnificent gold statute of the Virgin Mary. You will also be impressed by the sights and sounds of the 43 bells of the 280ft tall automated glockenspiel.
From there a trip to the Frauenkirche is a must. The Frauenkirche is Munich‚Äôs Church of our Lady and also one of the more impressive sites Munich has to offer. This church was built between the years of 1468 and 1488, but was almost completely destroyed by World War II. The church was then rebuilt following the war in 1953. The highlight of the Frauenkirche is the two red brick towers that rise up 1065 feet to offer one of the best views of Munich.
Munich is also home to numerous museums that offer a variety of exhibits. Claiming to be the world‚Äôs largest science museum, The Deutsches (German) Museum boasts an 8 story building packed with exhibits that range from windmills to space probes. Seeing everything the museum has to offer would take at least a few days, but organized tours can be arranged to view the highlights of the museum in just one trip. Children will be particularly amused with the interactive displays and exhibits that encourage active learning and fun.
Another place worth noting is the Bavarian Museum. It is a little smaller than the German Museum, but still has 3 stories of exhibits. The displays range from all eras of European art and culture, but have a main focus of Bavarian items and exhibits.
It‚Äôs not worth talking about Munich if you don‚Äôt mention Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest has quickly grown to be the world‚Äôs largest public festival, attracting more than 7 million people each year. The festival is centered on what Munich is best known for, beer, but also offers a lot more to the visitor. Elaborate costumed parades, dancing, concerts and as much sausage and oompah music that one can handle, plus all the beer from all over the world that is on hand to sample. The 2010 dates of Oktoberfest is September 18 through October 4th.
If you have never been to this wonderful city, now is the time. Book your cheap flight to Munich and experience what this Southern German city has to offer!