24 Hours in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

SarajevoWith its extraordinary cultural and religious mix and rich Ottoman heritage, Sarajevo is a city that merits a visit at any time. Surrounded by green hills and bisected by a river, it is a place of spectacular beauty, and though the scars of the siege of the 1990s are still evident, Bosnians display heartening resilience and vitality.

THURSDAY
4PM McDonalds

Oh, the things you do for your kids and the places you stop after driving over five hours to get to Sarajevo. Yes, this American establishment was the first place we visited when we arrived in Sarajevo. The kids were sooo excited because we don’t have a McDonald’s in Montenegro. They ordered their Happy Meals with the “Cut the Rope” toy and enjoyed every bite. Note: you pay for everything when you are at McDonald’s in Bosnia, even the dipping sauce, so use them sparingly. The interesting thing about visiting McDonald’s outside of the US is studying its various menus and facilities. This one had a McCafe that included coffee, desserts and alcoholic beverages.

6PM Window Shopping
Along Sarajevo’s main pedestrian promenade called Ferhadija, we enjoyed a walk under the Christmas lights and brisk air. We found clothing stores, toy stores and many more, along with street vendors selling freshly-pressed pomegranate juice.Ferhadija7PM Dining in Old Town
We headed for Baščaršija – the heart of Ottoman Sarajevo – and enjoy cevapcici (che-VAHP-chee-chee), minced beef sausage-style kebabs served with pita-style bread, raw onions and kajmak – a Bosnian national dish. We stopped at Ćevabdžinica Željo 1, where you order in increments of five. Be prepared to sit close together, as this place is always packed.Zeljo8PM Coffee Talk
For Bosnians, drinking coffee is a ritual for relaxing, not quickening the pulse. Inside the rustic, wood-planked Miris Dunja, we unwounded and drank thick, frothy, slow-brewed Bosnian coffee served in copper pots.BosnianCoffee9PM Rest & Relaxation
We stayed at Marriott’s brand new Residence Inn Sarajevo. Read more about it here and why you should stay here when you visit Sarajevo.ResidenceInn

FRIDAY
9AM Hospitable Breakfast

We love continental breakfasts in Europe. It is not just cereal, processed scrambled eggs and pre-made “Belgium waffles” mix that you make in the waffle maker in the lobby. The breakfast includes cold meats and cheese, freshly cut fruit, muffins and breads, freshly scrambled eggs or hardboiled, if you like, and hot meats. The Residence Inn Sarajevo also had an espresso maker where you could make up to 8 varieties of coffee from freshly grounded beans.RIBreakfast12PM Street Lunch
No one is ambivalent about Sarajevo’s rich street food. One of my family’s favorite is burek, pastry dough filled with beef and potato, cheese or spinach. We headed back to the Baščaršija, Sarajevo’s old bazaar and the historical and cultural center of the city. We ate at Buregdžinica Sač, where we paired these savory pie portions with a glass of yogurt. We walked off our lunch and picked up a bag of freshly grounded coffee, by a man who was pounding it in a large mortar. Who needs an electric grinder when you can do it by hand?! 😉 We completed our lunch at the Cream Shop, a sweet shop with baklava, kadaif and more.BurekIgda1PM Street Shopping
One of the oldest streets of the Baščaršija is Kazandžilu, or the Coppersmith Street. We found an ornately decorated Bosnian coffee set and platter. It was a unique piece because it was hand hammered and decorated.CopperShop

30 Whole Food Recipes for Healthy Living

Let’s get back to the basics with food! Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds have all the nutrients you need. When you eat whole food, that is minimally processed plant-based, you take charge of your health and feel amazing.

These are our healthy guidelines for whole food:

  • Zero animal products
  • No added oils
  • 100% whole grains
  • Minimal added sugar, if at all

Let’s get start living healthy by eating right!

Blueberry Muffin Smoothie

Chai Smoothie

Coconut Mango Smoothie

MilletCereal1

Millet Cereal

Mixed Berry Juice

quinoabake

Quinoa Breakfast Bake

Seeing Double Green Juice

Honey Berry Waffles Sandwich

Baked Potato

BlackBeanSoup1

Black Bean Soup

chili

Chili

CollardRolls1

Collard Rolls

Eggplant Bolognese

Hearty Arugula Pizzas

Kale Almond Bruschetta

Lentil Loaf

MightyBowlDS1Mighty Bowls of Goodness, Dinner-Style

Nottingham Wrap

Sesame Peanut Noodles

Sweet Potatoes, Collards and Beans

TempehCurry1

Tempeh Curry

veggieburger

Veggie Burger

veggiechilienchiladas

Veggie Chili Enchiladas

Yellow Split Pea & Sweet Potato Soup

BakedFries

Baked Fries

Image+41Cornbread Muffins

Tahini Mashed Potatoes

CowgirlCrunch

Cowgirl Crunch

Holiday Crunch Time

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Holiday Recipes Made Easy with #Intel2in1

HolidayRecipesAcerEntertain in style with this guide to the best holiday recipes and meal planning ideas that will make your celebrations memorable. Fortunately, I had all that I need in the palm of my hand with my new Intel 2 in 1. The Acer Aspire Switch 10’s docking keyboard offers only one port, a single full-size USB 2.0 port. This worked really well for me to easy download my family’s (mom’s and sister-in-law’s) holiday recipes from years past. The tablet also has 64GB of solid-state storage. This can easily be supplemented with Acer’s own cloud storage (AcerCloud). I also use the Evernote app on the start screen to create my shopping list for the market and also my Christmas menu. Inside, the Aspire Switch 10 boasts dual-band (2.4GHz and 5.0 GHz) 802.11n Wi-Fi, along with Bluetooth 4.0, which helps me out A LOT as I surf the web for new recipe inspirations and syncing my Intel 2 in 1 tablet with my computer.

Brunch

Breakfast Casserole is my easy Christmas dish that we enjoyed many years with my family! This year will be no different. Fortunately, I have the recipe on hand when I go shopping and when I prepare the night before Christmas. 😉 This is also great for holiday brunches at your in-laws or church potlucks.

Main Course

Honey-baked Ham is our family’s traditional meat on Christmas. Since we are stuffed from turkey on Thanksgiving, and we eat lamb on Easter. A sweet ham goes perfect for our Christmas feast. Its spiral slices make it easy to served and an attractive presentation at the dinner table. We think Petit Jean Honey Cured Ham is the best we’ve ever tasted.

Sides

Broccoli Casserole is what my mom used every Christmas when I was little. We kids could never get enough! It was our very favorite Christmas vegetable. If you have children, or have some coming to visit, I guarantee that they will eat and enjoy this veggie side dish! Even though I rarely cook with canned condensed soups, I still make this yummy broccoli casserole during the holiday season. It’s fabulous with a Christmas ham and twice-baked potato too. Be sure to use sharp Cheddar cheese for a nice full flavor!

Twice Baked Potatoes are great to make ahead of time! They’re extra yummy because extras like butter and cheese are mixed in. For variety, sprinkle top of potatoes with real bacon pieces just before serving.

Desserts

Apple Pie has to be the classic dessert for Christmas. I have yet to meet someone who does not enjoy a slice of the pie. Add cinnamon and the pie becomes perfection. It is quick and easy and ensures a perfect result every time. Use a combination of Granny Smith apples and Honeycrisps apples for the best filling, eating apples don’t soften the same way.

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chip Pretzel Cookies takes your chocolate chip cookies to the next level. Why should Santa get the best chocolate chip cookies?! When baking chocolate chip cookie recipe, I am a stickler for using one stick of butter at room temperature AND the combination of brown sugar and granulated sugar which gives the cookies terrific flavor. And do not use a scooper—the tool compacts the cookies too much.

What is your favorite holiday eats? Please share your recipe below!

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Most Romantic Restaurant in Montenegro

Not even one month after moving the family to Bar, Montenegro, quickly comes our 14th anniversary. Challenge accepted! Now, where is a romantic place to celebrate our anniversary? How were we going to spend a little more than normal, BUT it would be family-friendly? Fortunately, the Montenegrins are one of the most family-friendly cultures in Europe.  In the heart of the Bar, on the sea , I discovered Restoran Knjaževa Bašta (Prince’s Garden Restaurant). Yes, this would be the place for my love…and my children to celebrate this special day. 14 years of marriage produce these two amazingly fun kids and a global adventure! It seems fitting that we would celebrate it at Restoran Knjaževa Bašta built in 1880.AnniversaryFamily

Restoran Knjaževa Bašta for years carefully preserved princely spirit. With its authentic Montenegrin ambience and carefully selected specialties, it was an experience that we will remember and a feeling that we want to experience again. Restoran Knjaževa Bašta is a short journey through the history. It is part of the complex, which was built by King Nikola in the second half of the 19th century. It probably was a gift of the Italian royal family, built by Joseph Slade.

I ordered the house speciality, “Princezin” Odrezak (Princess’s Steak), which is stuffed veal fillet with proscuitto and cheese in the “princess” sauce. I love the #hashtag garnish. 😉PRINCEZINODREZAKWe also found love in Lignje na Zaru (Grilled Squid). Every bite was fresh and tender. Truly, the best squid that I have ever tasted before. The serving size was perfect, and it made me wanting more.
LIGNJENAZARURestoran Knjaževa Bašta went the extra mile to make your meal flavorful, memorable and very romantic. It all added up to an enchanted evening.

4 Smart Spots for The OC Coffee Break

Whether it is a “triple venti soy no foam latte” (yes, there is such a thing) or a simple cup of strong, black coffee, everyone needs a caffeine fix in the morning. Today marks National Coffee Day (again there is such a thing), and so we thought we would celebrate The OC coffeehouses that have become smart spots for our morning needs. 😉

hiddenhouseHidden House Coffee Roasters, San Juan Capistrano
True to its name, this micro-roaster finds itself nestled between a few oak trees just past the San Juan Capistrano Amtrak station. With hardly much room between the register and the door, Hidden House manages to squeeze its roaster, large sacks of beans, and even a few tables into its establishment. You will appreciate their cold brew coffee, cappuccinos and how they serve their espresso with a glass of mineral water, as is proper in order to cleanse the palate after its consumption.

keancoffeeKéan Coffee, Newport Beach
For Martin Diedrich, founder of Kéan Coffee, great coffee has been part of the family for several generations. As coffee farm owners for much of the last century, the Diedrich family developed a deep, intuitive understanding of coffee. Martin and his wife Karen became business partners, and named Kéan Coffee after their only son. Kéan Coffee sits in a small shopping center with a few outside tables along its long windows. Kéan roasts their own coffee on a drum roaster in the back corner of their store. From its beginnings in 2005, Kéan Coffee has operated as a sustainable, environmentally responsible business, setting an example for many others to follow. Kéan Coffee takes the coffee experience to the next level.

lagunacoffeecoLaguna Coffee Company, Laguna Beach
This coffeehouse is an oasis on the California Coast. The certified Mocha Java beans and Beachcomber blend is the main attraction here, but if you’re hungry they also serve delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner. I first discovered this coffeehouse because of their live jazz music and their posh vibe, and immediately my senses were heightened because of the great smell of freshly roasting coffee right here in-house. Relax with a cup of espresso, listen to some good music and enjoy a delicious panini.

portolacoffeelabPortola Coffee Lab, Costa Mesa
Portola is located in the OC Mart Mix. When you finally happen upon Portola, standing freely in the middle of the mall with baristas in lab coats…it’s a bit unexpected, but in retrospect, completely logical. Beans are carefully sourced and roasted on-site. The coffeehouse’s brewing methods span time and technologies, all with a heavy emphasis on a barista’s skills: the siphon filter method is a throwback to an industrial age that used vapor pressure and a vacuum to produce a clean cup of coffee. Move to the modern-era with the BUNN Trifecta machine, which offers several settings to fine tune each brewed cup, or opt for the manual pour-over. Portola also offers a Japanese cold brew for those warm, California days. Portola has studied the science of the perfect cup of coffee.

Hope you enjoyed these few spots, and let us know if there are any more! 🙂

Scottsdale’s Best Brunch: T. Cook’s

T Cooks BrunchYou’ve always dreamed of being a master chef, whipping up spontaneous recipes with just the enticing ingredients laid out before you. Unfortunately, not all of us have such skills. Leave the hard work to these masterful chefs at T. Cook’s for their delicious Sunday Harvest Brunch.

At the heart of the Resort, T. Cook’s culinary philosophy of magnifying the purity of fresh, seasonal ingredients is a celebration of its treasured legacy. Chef Paul McCabe’s culinary style can be summed up in three words – crafted, thoughtful and bold – which are all precisely in line with the Mediterranean principles of fresh, seasonal, local and ingredient-driven cooking.

If you prefer dinner over brunch, then T. Cook’s offers #PM31 on Wednesday evenings. Table 31, one of the most cherished tables at T.Cook’s at Royal Palms Resort and Spa, leads adventurous, food-savvy diners through tailored, improvisational cuisine drawing upon premium, handmade ingredients in a concept deemed PM31. Every diner enjoys original and customized 10 to 12 course menus that reflect McCabe’s Mediterranean principles of seasonal, local ingredients and artful presentations.

Haute Dogs

Haute Dogs: Recipes for Delicious Hot Dogs, Buns, and Condiments gives the classic cookout staple a fresh and tasty twist, with recipes inspired by everything from south-of-the-border BBQ to Japanese fusion to modern food-cart cuisine. Handcraft your own top-notch dogs, buns, and condiments with step-by-step from-scratch instructions, and brush up on your hot dog history with an in-depth look at tasty traditions from the U.S. and beyond. Just in time for summer, this indispensable guide will make your grilling extraordinary. (Note: the “Kid Dog” is not in cookbook, just what my kids created.)3HauteDogs I first “met” Russell Van Kraayenburg via Twitter on Monday Nights during #FoodieChats a couple of years ago. We had similar tastes in food. I started following him on Instagram and his blog newsletter. He has wowed me with his kitchen tips and his fun videos that I was sooo excited to see what his first cookbook would be. He does not disappoint. The pictures make your stomach growl, and the knowledge of the hot dog is amazing. This cookbook is also one of my kids favorite to read – yes, read! Here is the recipe of their favorite dog, Fenway Franks-and-Beans Dog.
FenwayFrankandBeansDog Ingredients
Classic bun
Extra-long all-beef hot dog
Yellow mustard
Ketchup
Baked Beans

Get out a classic bun. Simmer an extra-long all-beef hot dog. Place the dog in the bun. Top with a long line of yellow mustard and ketchup. Add a heaping pile of warm baked beans to the finished dog.

Watermelon Salad

WatermelonSaladWatermelon + Feta + Onion Salad
A salad that will impress friends and family at your next get together. Celebrating their 10th Anniversary, Cookwell & Co. gave me a bottle of their Watermelon Vinaigrette to try – just in time for summer! Pair this sweet side dish with grilled chicken, hot dogs or burgers and discover the fresh, refreshing flavor of Cookwell & Co.’s Watermelon Vinaigrette. It is obvious why they have been so successful for the past 10 years, and in the years to come. This dish is close to perfection!

Ingredients
6 cups diced watermelon (well drained and chilled)
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced red onion
1 cup Feta cheese crumbles
1 cup Cookwell & Co.’s Watermelon Vinaigrette

Toss all ingredients together and serve chilled.

Better Than Good Roasted Brussels Sprouts

BrusselsSproutsBaconJamRoasted Brussels Sprouts with Better Than Good Bacon Jam
A sure-fire way to liven up any dish is to add the delicious taste of bacon! Celebrating their 10th Anniversary, Cookwell & Co. gave me a jar of their new Better Than Good Bacon Jam to try – just in time for Easter dinner! Pair this hearty side dish with chicken, pork or pasta and discover the savory flavor of Cookwell & Co.’s Better Than Good Bacon Jam. It is obvious why they have been so successful for the past 10 years, and in the years to come. This stuff is addictive!

Ingredients
1 bag Brussels Sprouts, end trimmed and halved
1 medium yellow onion, diced into 1/4 in pieces
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 jar Better Than Good Bacon Jam

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place Brussels sprouts, onion, garlic, oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and toss or stir to combine and coat.

On a foil lined baking sheet spread out sprout mixture in a single layer. Roast in oven for 30-35 minutes. Sprouts should be fork tender but not mushy.
BTGBaconJam While still hot place Brussels sprouts in a bowl or skillet and pour in 1/2 jar of Better Than Good Bacon Jam. Stir or toss to coat and serve.

Austin-based Cookwell & Company is celebrating 10 years of creating food products that elevate the everyday eating experience by providing the products necessary to prepare quick, easy to make, but great tasting meals that you will feel proud to serve to your friends and family. Check out this Super Bowl commercial featuring their BACON JAM!

Jon Bonnell’s Waters: Fine Coastal Cuisine

Jon_Bonnell_Waters-BookTexas Chef Jon Bonnell has both a passion for sport fishing and maintaining a market for sustainable wild seafood that is evident in both his aptly named restaurant, Waters – Bonnell’s Coastal Cuisine, in Fort Worth and in his forthcoming cookbook.

Jon Bonnell’s Waters: Fine Coastal Cuisine is an impressive cookbook filled with gorgeous photography and more than 100 recipes that showcase the ocean’s bounty. Chef Bonnell shows his mastery of the art of cooking seafood. Throughout the book, he skillfully educates you on a variety of seafood preparations which can be daunting or intimidating. Chef Bonnell shares his vast knowledge and experience preparing seafood, demystifying it in a way that makes it just as approachable as buying a cut of meat and cooking it at home.

Jon Bonnell’s Waters: Fine Coastal Cuisine pays homage to “what’s fresh” and starts off with a tasty selection of Chilled and Raw recipes such as Ceviche of Grilled Striped Bass and Oysters on the Half Shell with Southwestern Serrano Sauce. Bonnell teaches how to home cure smoked salmon and smoke a trout. From the visually appealing Seared Tilefish with Tarragon Cream Sauce to comfort food favorites like Crawpuppies or Lobster Mac and Cheese, each recipe provides something for the novice to the ambitious cook.

Check out this New Orleans-style Barbecued Shrimp, which is as much about the sauce as it is the shrimp. Plenty of bread is a must, as the dark, peppery butter sauce is likely to be the most memorable part of the dish.
NewOrleansBBQ Shrimp Ingredients
8 jumbo wild Gulf shrimp, 10–15 count
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 tsp chopped garlic
4 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp water
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp Texas Red Dirt Rub, Creole Blend (available at waterstexas.com)
1 lemon

Remove shells from shrimp, then rinse and devein, leaving only the tail portion (optional). Cut the butter into 6–8 cubes. In a large nonstick pan, heat the chopped garlic with 1 of the butter cubes just until it begins to bubble, then add all liquids and seasonings.

Once the pan comes to a simmer, add the shrimp. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the pan, then add in the lemon halves as well. Simmer on medium heat until the shrimp are cooked, roughly 2–3 minutes, turning once. Swirl the pan while adding in the remaining butter and continue swirling until the butter has been emulsified into the sauce; then remove the lemon halves and discard.

Transfer the shrimp to a large bowl and pour the sauce over the top. Serve with plenty of bread for sopping.

You can purchase Jon Bonnell’s Waters: Fine Coastal Cuisine at Central Market or online. Also, if you are in Fort Worth, make sure to visit Waters – Bonnell’s Coastal Cuisine! You can experience first-hand how sustainable fish dish should taste. 🙂