Today food is synonymous with travel. From cruise ships to hotels and restaurants, you'll find a variety of cooking classes, excursions, and tastings offered as entertainment. Even young children are growing up as foodies and can appreciated relating travel and culture with food.
For me, I enjoy sampling local food from various places that I've visited. Whether it's new countries, states, or cities, each destination has its own flair when it comes to cuisine. I'll even research before traveling to a new city or cruise port to see what food specialties I want to try. Then after returning back home, I'll try to recreate the recipes to remember the new food I've discovered.
I'm asked frequently for a few of my recipes and of course, they are always the ones from my favorite places. I wanted to include a few here so that you'll also have the recipes for the best travel experiences.
Maryland Crab Soup
If you are from the Mid-Atlantic region or have passed through it, you may have tasted traditional Maryland Crab Soup. It's a tomato based soup, loaded with lots of vegetables, spicy seasoning, and fresh crabmeat. It's a delicious way to start any meal or even can be a meal in itself. This is my recipe I've adapted from a Maryland seafood cookbook I picked up on the Eastern Shore many years ago.
3 slices of bacon, finely chopped
2 quarts water
2 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, crushed
2 (14 oz) packages frozen mixed vegetables
2 cups diced potatoes
3 stalks celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1-1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 tablespoons OLD BAY® Seasoning
1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon pepper (more to taste)
2 pounds Maryland crab claws
1 pound Maryland crabmeat
Hot Maryland Crab Dip
Especially during holidays, one of my most requested appetizers is my Hot Maryland Crab Dip. Personally adapted from a recipe from the same cookbook as mentioned above, I love how cheesy and creamy this is. Serve with your choice of a buttery cracker, toasted baguette slices, or tortilla chips and you'll be the hit of the party!
When we were in Bermuda, we experienced Harbor Nights. It's a fantastic celebration of the people and culture of Bermuda that takes place in downtown Hamilton on Wednesday nights during the summertime. Of course, we wanted to taste the savory food the locals were cooking right before our eyes. One of the dishes that caught our eye were these mouthwatering beef skewers. They were in a rich marinade and sizzled the moment they hit the hot grill. Their fragrance was addicting. We stood in the long line and as soon as it was our turn to purchase them, we quickly devoured them.
After we were back home, I tried to reproduce these delicious beef skewers. I think this recipe does a pretty authentic job, although I'll never be able to recreate the magical feeling of Harbor Nights and eating them overlooking the blue water of Bermuda.
Package of wooden skewers
1-1/2 pounds sirloin, sliced in thin strips lengthwise
1/4 cup Tamari Sauce (a more intense version of soy sauce)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 green onions, sliced thin
Celebrity Cruises Slider Sauce
If you've ever eaten at the specialty restaurant Qsine on Celebrity Cruises and ordered the "Slider Party", you'll know what I'm talking about. The sauce they serve to compliment the burgers is phenomenal and I make it every time I have a grilling party now. It brings me back to cruising! This recipe is directly from Celebrity Cruises cookbook "Excite the Senses."
Mix together the following ingredients:
2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup sweet chili sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons TABASCO® brand Sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake
When my boys were younger, we went to Hershey, Pennsylvania every chance we could get! We visited for birthday celebrations and Thanksgivings, went on weekend getaways to the luxurious Hershey Hotel, and took day trips for shopping and chocolatey treats at Hershey's Chocolate World. Once our lives starting getting busier, we couldn't get there for every occasion, but still loved their rich chocolate cakes. I scoured their website and found their infamous Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake. It's delicious and virtually brings up back to Hershey, Pennsylvania with every bite.
"PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE CAKE
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
"PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Oceania Limoncello Cakes
Sometimes I only dream of travel and try to recreate through food. I always enjoy browsing through the beautiful Oceania Cruise brochures and dream about cruising with them one day. Their food is known to be some of the best at sea. I'd love to try Chef Kelly's Drunken Limoncello Cakes actually made by Chef Kelly. Delicious!
Let's keep it going! Email me or include in the comments below any recipes from your own special travel experiences. I'd love to add them to this post!
My Virtual Vacations Blog
About the Author
Thanks for cruising by! Along with creating this website and blog, I work in an office full-time and as a mom to two energetic teenage boys. With our family's busy work and school schedule, we look forward to traveling during holidays. Although it seems that our family can never agree on anything, we do when it comes to vacations. We typically travel on cruises or stay at luxury hotels. We enjoy upscale dining, beautiful decor, excellent service, and spacious accommodations. However, with a family including two teenage boys, we still need family friendly and comfortable.
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Time flies! We are quickly moving into warmer months and that means summer is on the way. We are SO excited to announce we are planning some incredible summer adventures. First, we are heading to south Florida and then we'll be expanding our travel to luxury destinations in the west. Visits to Scottsdale and Sedona, AZ are in the works. If you have suggestions for My Virtual Vacations to visit, reach out to us on our Submission Form. We'd love to hear from you!
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