Taste of Travel

Parisian Macarons

Social distancing and working from home can be a huge strain on outgoing personalities such as most of the team members of Chloe Johnston Experiences. While on some days you’re tackling the video call presentation, skype hiring interviews, and looking after the household all at the same time, on other days, it can be hard to feel motivated, stay positive and to even get out of bed. 

With the lockdown in place, we have often found ourselves with lopsided overstocked resources, after all it’s often hard to gauge the accurate needs until they are staring at us in the face. 

And with that, we often find ourselves with bunches of over ripe bananas but very little milk or three huge packs of legumes or lentils but very little seasoning. So we suggest that at your next grocery excursion to buy responsibly and only purchase things you may need, writing a list before you go seems to be incredibly helpful. It’s important during these unprecedented times, to share and not go overboard with stockpiling. 

OK, ok back to the fun stuff: we have put together some simple recipes and resources that will help you make the best of the situation. 


Parisian Crepes

The crepe culture in the French Capital is gourmet level intense. While pastries reign supreme here, you’ll pass by the dozens of patisseries with their display cabinets packed to the brim. Tarts, cakes, croissants, macarons, chocolates; you name it, they’ve got it! 

Lurking near every patisserie, is a crêperie. 

In Philadelphia, Café L’Aube near Fairmount offers a delicious French escape. 

Recreate your favorite crepe, and have a piece of Paris right in your kitchen. 

Ingredients for Parisian Crepes:

  1. 2 cups (241 grams) of flour or for a healthier option, opt for oats or whole wheat flour
  2. ½ teaspoon of salt
  3. 1½ cups (340g) of milk
  4. 4 large eggs
  5. ¼ cup (57g) of butter
  6. maple syrup or honey
  7. fresh berries
  8. Walnuts
  9. almonds

Recipe Steps for Parisian Crepes:

  1. Combine the 2 cups (241 grams) of flour and ½ teaspoon of salt in a mixing bowl. 
  2. In another, smaller bowl, beat together 1½ cups or (340g) of milk and 4 large eggs.
  3. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in about half the liquid mixture. Blend well, then add the remaining liquid and stir until fairly smooth; a few lumps can remain. 
  4. Stir in the ¼ cup or 57 grams of butter. Cover and let sit for at least an hour. 
  5. Heat a pan until it’s medium-hot; a 10″ skillet works well here. Use a paper towel to carefully wipe the bottom of the pan with a bit of butter.
  6. In the frying pan on medium heat, spread some batter evenly in a circular motion. Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. 
  7. Serve it with some maple syrup or honey and some fresh berries. If you’re feeling particularly healthy, you can opt for oats or whole wheat flour and serve it with some delicious walnuts and almonds and skip the sugary condiments completely. 

Recipe courtesy of Sweet as Honey

While these are the basics of a classic french crepe, you can experiment and have fun with ALL the ingredients in your pantry. From fresh, juicy citrus fruits to ground nuts and nut butter. You make them sweet or savory. You can make a lunch crepe with ham and cheese, and finish it off with our personal favorite, a nutella crepe. Go wild and see what amazing concoctions you can come up with! So unleash your inner chef and have fun with this recipe. If you run out of activities with your kids, get in the kitchen and start cooking! 

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Falafel and Hummus

The American food industry is well versed with these Mediterranean staples. Part comfort food and part small window into Middle Eastern culture, hummus is no stranger in our household.

Goldie, a vegan falafel joint, offers such a delicious meal that they still get lunchtime lines out the door at their Samson street flagship location.

It’s fairly simple to create and of course quite tasty!

Ingredients for Falafel:

  1. 15 ounces of chickpeas
  2. ¼ cup of onions
  3.  3 tablespoons of flour
  4. 2 ½ teaspoons of salt-free garlic pepper spice blend
  5. 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  6. 1 teaspoon of cumin
  7. ½ teaspoon of salt
  8. 2 tablespoons of chopped Italian parsley

Recipe Steps for Falafel:

  1. Pulse 15 ounces of garbanzo beans or chickpeas, ¼ cup of onions, 3 tablespoons of flour, 2 ½ teaspoons of salt-free garlic pepper spice blend, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of cumin and ½ teaspoon of salt in a food processor until coarse puree forms. 
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of chopped Italian parsley; blend in the food processor. 
  3. Generously sprinkle plate with all-purpose flour. 
  4. Roll and flatten the tablespoonfuls of garbanzo bean mixture into balls; transfer balls to plate.
  5. Roll falafel in flour to coat generously; flatten balls slightly.
  6. Pour enough vegetable oil into a heavy large skillet to reach depth of ½”. Heat oil to 375°.
  7. Working in 2 batches, fry falafel patties until deep brown, turning once, about 3 minutes. Transfer falafel patties to paper towels to drain. 

Ingredients for Hummus:

  1. 15 ounces of Chickpeas
  2. 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  3. 3 tablespoons of tahini
  4. 1 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice
  5. 1 clove of garlic
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. ½ pepperand

Recipe Steps for Hummus:

  1. Combine 15 ounces of Chickpeas, 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons of tahini or ground sesame, 1 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 clove of garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ pepper and blend until it’s smooth. 

Recipe of Falafel and Hummus courtesy of Bon Appetit.

This delicious combination is sure to transport you into a middle eastern haven. 

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Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Caribbean Balmy beaches might not be in the cards right now, but you can have this Jamaican dish right in your kitchen. 

If you’re in Pennsylvania, enjoy this authentic experience at Miss Winnie’s in West Chester. Below is a recipe for the Jamaican Jerk chicken but if you are craving an authentic fare, have Grubhub deliver you the best from Miss Winnie’s.

Ingredients for Jamaican Jerk Chicken:

  1. 3 tablespoons of rum
  2. 2 tablespoons of water
  3. ½ cup of malt vinegar
  4. 10 chopped green onions
  5. 4 peeled and chopped cloves of garlic
  6. 2 tablespoons of dried thyme
  7. 2 chopped habanero chillies
  8. 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  9. 4 teaspoons of  ground allspice
  10. 4 teaspoons of ginger
  11. 4 teaspoons of cinnamon
  12. 2 teaspoons of nutmeg
  13.  2 teaspoons of salt
  14. 2 teaspoons of black pepper
  15. 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
  16. 1 cup of ketchup
  17. 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  18. Two 3 ½ pound chickens
  19. ½ cup of lime juice

Recipe Steps for Jamaican Jerk Chicken:

  1. Boil 3 tablespoons of rum and 2 tablespoons of water.
  2. Transfer the rum and water mixture to a blender and add ½ cup of malt vinegar, 10 chopped green onions, 4 peeled and chopped cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons of dried thyme, 2 chopped habanero chillies, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 4 teaspoons of ground allspice, 4 teaspoons of ginger, 4 teaspoons of cinnamon, 2 teaspoons of nutmeg, 2 teaspoons of salt, 2 teaspoons of black pepper, and 2 teaspoons brown sugar, and blend.
  3. Mix 1 cup of ketchup and 3 tablespoons of soy sauce in a bowl.
  4. Take two 3 ½ pound chickens and cut them in half lengthwise. Rinse and pat them dry. 
  5. Arrange chicken in a baking dish, and pour ½ cup of lime juice over it on all sides.
  6. Rub in the jerk seasoning on the chicken pieces and refrigerate the marinated chicken for at least 4 hours. Let all the seasoning soak.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350°F or prepare barbecue (medium heat).
  8. Remove chicken from jerk seasoning marinade; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  9. If roasting chicken in the oven, arrange chicken, skin side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear when thickest part of thigh is pierced with a fork, about 50 minutes.
  10. If grilling chicken, place chicken, skin side down, on grill rack, cover, and grill until chicken is cooked through, turning occasionally and adjusting heat if browning too quickly, about 50 minutes. Cut each chicken half into pieces and serve with sauce

Recipe courtesy of Epicurious

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British Fish and Chips

Classic fish and chips are a cornerstone of the ultimate British experience. Peppered at every turn on the streets of London, small mom and pop shops to gourmet restaurants have found innovative ways to serve this popular snack. King George Inn in Philadelphia is a great option. But in the current coronavirus restrictions, if you are missing out on your British Spring, fret not!

Ingredients for British fish and chips:

  1. 2 tablespoons of flour
  2. 2 ounces of cornstarch
  3. 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  4. ½ teaspoon of salt
  5. 1 teaspoon of pepper
  6. ⅓ cup of beer
  7. ⅓ cup of sparkling water
  8. 2 pounds of potatoes
  9. 7 ounces of fish (white preferably, sustainably cod, haddock, or pollock) fillets
  10. Sea salt
  11. 2 tablespoons of flour

Recipe Steps for British fish and chips:

  1. In a large bowl, mix two tablespoons of flour with 2 ounces of cornstarch and 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
  2. Add ½ teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Use a fork and whisk continuously.
  3. Add ⅓ cup of beer and ⅓ cup of sparkling water to the mixture and continue mixing until you have a smooth batter.
  4. Cut 2 pounds of potatoes into thin slices and rinse it in a colander under cold water.
  5. Place the washed chips into a pan of cold water, bring to a gentle boil and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Drain carefully through a colander then dry with kitchen paper. Keep in the fridge covered with kitchen paper until needed.
  7. Meanwhile, lay 7 ounces of  fish (white preferably, sustainably cod, haddock, or pollock)  fillets on a sheet of kitchen paper and pat dry.
  8. Season very lightly with a little sea salt.
  9. Heat the oil to 350 F in a deep-fat fryer or large, deep saucepan. Blanch the chips a few handfuls at a time in the fat for a couple of minutes. Do not brown them.
  10. Once the chips are slightly cooked remove them from the fat and drain. Keep to one side.
  11. Place the 2 tablespoons of flour reserved from the batter mix into a shallow bowl.
  12. Toss each fish fillet in the flour and shake off any excess. Dip into the batter.
  13. Then carefully lower each fillet into the hot oil. Fry for approximately 8 minutes, or until the batter is crisp and golden, turning the fillets from time to time with a large slotted spoon.
  14. Using the same slotted spoon once cooked, remove the fillets from the hot oil, drain on kitchen paper, cover with grease proof paper and keep hot.
  15. Heat the oil to 400 F then cook the chips until golden and crisp about 5 minutes. Serve immediately with the hot fish accompanied by your favorite condiment. 

Recipe courtesy of Spruce Eats

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Spanish Paella

Paella is a crowd pleaser and for good reason. This internationally known rice dish from Spain has become a source of inspiration and innovation in the kitchen for years. Unique combinations with chicken, pork, shellfish, fish, eel, squid, beans, peas, artichokes, or peppers have been welcomed with much enthusiasm. It’s a great project to take over if you’re bored at home. If you’re looking for a local spot to get your paella fix, we recommend Amada, in center city.

Ingredients for Spanish Paella:

  1. 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  2. 1 tablespoon of paprika
  3. 1 teaspoon of oregano
  4. Salt to taste
  5. Pepper to taste
  6. 2 pounds of chicken
  7. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  8. 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  9. 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (crushed)
  10. 2 cups of uncooked rice
  11. 1 pinch of saffron threads
  12. 1 bay leaf
  13. ½ bunch of parsley
  14. 1 quart of chicken stock
  15. 2 lemons
  16. 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  17. 1 Spanish onion (chopped)
  18. 1 chopped red bell pepper
  19. 1 pound of crumbled sausage
  20. 1 pound of peeled and deveined shrimp 

Recipe Steps for Spanish Paella:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of oregano, and salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Stir in 2 pounds of chicken cut into 2 inch pieces to coat. Cover, and refrigerate.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet or paella pan over medium heat.
  4. Stir in 2 cloves of garlic (crushed) ,1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (crushed), and 2 cups of uncooked rice. Cook, stirring, to coat rice with oil, about 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in 1 pinch of saffron threads, 1 bay leaf, ½ bunch of parsley, 1 quart of  chicken stock, and zest from 2 lemons.
  6. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to medium low. Let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a separate skillet over medium heat.
  8. Stir in marinated chicken and 1 spanish onion (chopped); cook for 5 minutes.
  9. Stir in 1 chopped red bell pepper and 1 pound of crumbled sausage; cook for 5 minutes.
  10. Stir in shrimp; cook, turning the 1 pound of peeled and deveined shrimp, until both sides are pink.
  11. Spread rice mixture onto a serving tray.
  12. Top with meat and seafood mixture. Check out lobster delivery to door to get fresh seafood for your next cooking session.

Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light

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Jamaican rice and peas

This one is a home recipe from the Johnston-Hawrylak household! The co-founder of Miss Winnie’s, Bert, may never let go of the secret ingredients of his authentic Jamaican Jerk Chicken recipe but he is happy to dish out the steps to this crowd pleaser, and family favorite. 

Ingredients for Jamaican Rice and Peas:

  1. 1 cup of dried kidney beans (rinsed, soaked overnight and drained)
  2. 3 cups of water
  3. 1 finely chopped onion
  4. 2 finely chopped scallions
  5. 3 cloves of minced garlic
  6. 5 allspice berries
  7. 5 sprigs of thyme
  8. 1 Scotch bonnet pepper
  9. ½ teaspoon of grated ginger
  10. Salt to taste
  11. 1 teaspoon pepper
  12. 13.5 ounces of coconut milk
  13. 2 cups of long grain rice

Recipe Steps for Jamaican Rice and Peas:

  1. In a large saucepan, cover the 1 cup of dried kidney beans (rinsed, soaked overnight and drained) with the 3 cups of water and bring to a boil over moderately high heat.
  2. Add in 1 finely chopped onion, 2 finely chopped scallions, 3 cloves of minced garlic, 5 allspice berries, 5 sprigs of thyme, 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, ½ teaspoon of grated ginger, salt to taste and 1 teaspoon pepper. You can be creative and measure your portions depending on how you like the flavors to be.
  3. Next, stir in the 13.5 ounces of coconut milk and bring to a simmer.
  4. Cover and simmer over low heat until beans are tender for about 1 hour. You may adjust the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. 
  5. Stir in 2 cups of long grain rice, cover and simmer over low heat until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and let steam for 10 minutes, then discard the thyme stems, allspice berries and Scotch bonnet.
  7. Using a fork, fluff the rice and beans and season with salt

Recipe courtesy of Elbert Johnston, the founder and owner of Miss Winnie’s

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Indian Chickpea Curry

India is known for its diversity. From clothes to food and from language to customs, every household has unique traditions influenced by their ancestors and where they currently live. The local foods are also products of history, trade and customs that make Indians uncompromising food critics. That’s why they carry their spices and curry wherever they go. Whether it’s indo-chinese, vegetarian burmese, aloo tikki burgers, or tandoori paneer pizza, Indians have managed to take the best of the international food offerings and blend it with their local favorites. Take for example, Indeblue in Philly. Reinventing saag paneer with halloumi cheese is like paying homage to the best of Indian and Mediterranean favorites.

However, creating the Chickpea curry is like stepping into the kitchens of north india or stopping by at a street food vendor for a delicious spread.

Ingredients for Indian Chickpea curry : This recipe uses an Instant Pot

  1. Dried beans or three 15 ounces of chickpeas
  2. 3 tablespoons of coconut or vegetable oil
  3. 2 teaspoons of black mustard seeds
  4. 1½ teaspoons of cumin seeds
  5. 2 medium sized onions (diced)
  6. 4 cloves of chopped garlic
  7. 1½ inches of fresh ginger (minced)
  8. 2 serrano peppers
  9. 2 bay leaves
  10. ground spices and seasonings (2 teaspoons of coriander,1 teaspoon of ground turmeric, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, 1 tablespoon of garam masala, 1 tablespoon of black pepper, 1 and ½ teaspoon of salt)
  11. tablespoon of water
  12. 14 ounces of canned tomatoes
  13. 1½  cups of vegetable broth

Recipe Steps for Indian Chickpea curry :

  1. If you are using dried beans then take 12 ounces of chickpeas, place them in a large bowl and soak in cold water overnight
  2. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
  3. If you are using canned chickpeas, open the three 15 ounce cans, drain and rinse.
  4. On the Instant Pot, select the Sauté setting. Add the 3 tablespoons of coconut or vegetable oil and once it is shimmering, add the 2 teaspoons of black mustard seeds and 1 ½ teaspoons of cumin seeds. They might sputter a bit so stand back.
  5. After 30 seconds, add 2 medium sized onions (diced), stirring frequently until the onion starts to brown, (6-7 minutes).
  6. Add the 4 cloves of chopped garlic, 1 ½ inches of fresh ginger (minced), 2 Serrano peppers and 2 bay leaves and stir to combine until garlic is golden brown (1-2 minutes).
  7. Add the ground spices and seasonings (2 teaspoons of coriander,1 teaspoon of ground turmeric, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, 1 tablespoon of garam masala, 1 tablespoon of black pepper, 1 and ½ teaspoon of salt) and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. You may need to add a tablespoon of water to prevent the mixture from drying out and/or burning.
  8. Stir in the 14 ounces of canned tomatoes, chickpeas, 1½  cups of vegetable broth. Stir well to combine.
  9. Select the Keep Warm/Cancel setting.
  10. Secure the Instant Pot lid and set the Pressure Release valve to Sealing.
  11. Select the Manual setting on the Instant Pot and set to high pressure for 8 minutes if using canned chickpeas (35 minutes if using soaked, dried chickpeas).
  12. Once the 8 minute timer is up, allow the Instant Pot to come to a natural pressure release. The little metal pin next to the pressure valve will go down once the pressure is released (should take 10-15 minutes).
  13. Open the pot and stir in the lemon juice and cilantro.
  14. Serve over rice or with naan bread.

Recipe courtesy of Rainbow Plant Life

Indeblue on 13th street has a menu potent with flavors and spices. Their channa masala is a modern day version of this Indian household staple.

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Gooey Butter Cake

When you arrive in St Louis, the unique vibe, beer, bowling and baseball immediately catch your attention. Dig deeper and you can see the history and culture, much of it linked with the Mississippi river, are a vital part of the area. Home to music legends such as Miles Davis and Tina Turner, St Louis is also the birthplace of the Gooey Butter Cake culture. With it’s very own Wikipedia page, St Louis’s Gooey Butter Cake is the perfect comfort food that we need right now.

Ingredients for St Louis’s Gooey Butter Cake:

  1. Butter or nonstick spray
  2. Cake mix (boxed or from scratch)
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 1 stick of melted butter
  5. 8 ounces of cream cheese
  6. 2 cups of powdered sugar

Recipe Steps for St Louis’s Gooey Butter Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. While the oven is heating up, grease a 9-by-13-inch pan with butter or nonstick spray.
  3. Combine cake mix (boxed or from scratch) with 1 egg and 1 stick of melted butter.
  4. Press this mixture evenly into the prepared pan with your fingers.
  5. In another bowl, blend 8 ounces of cream cheese, the 2 beaten eggs, and 2 cups of powdered sugar until smooth.
  6. Spread over the crust and bake it for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the edges are brown. When the cake has cooled, dust powdered sugar on it.

Recipe courtesy of 

Though it is packed with calories, this dessert is worth every bit of them, and remember calories don’t count on the weekends.

If you are looking for the perfect accompaniment, this Philly ice cream spot will do just the trick. We have yet to find a local spot offering this authentic gooey butter cake, so if you know of something, please send it our way! info@chloejohnston.com!

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Ukrainian Sauerkraut and Kielbasa

Sauerkraut and Kielbasa ( pronounced as kobasa) is straight out of the handbook from someone who has her roots in Ukraine. A patchwork of traditions, Ukraine is big, diverse and largely undiscovered. The travel borders here are literally the last frontiers of Europe filled with warm-hearted people and off-the-map experiences. On googling about the people, our marketing specialist quickly finds articles that rave about the hospitality of the people, but alas she need not look further. Our founder’s mother, the OG European-travel expert, is Ukrainian. She has witnessed more than once the genuine openness and warmth when the meetings constantly switch between personal and professional questions, knick knacks from her personal travels, erudite remarks about the business, and tons of curious questions about the team’s well being.

So this recipe is a little personal, though not Mary Anne’s original recipe, we’ll save that for a rainy day!

Ingredients for Ukrainian Sauerkraut and Kielbasa:

  1. ½ cup of butter
  2. 1 medium onion (diced)
  3. 2 cloves of minced garlic
  4. ½ teaspoon of thyme
  5. Ground pepper
  6. ¼ teaspoon of sage
  7. 16 ounces of sauerkraut (underdrained and not rinsed)
  8. 1 pound of beef kielbasa

Recipe Steps for Ukrainian Sauerkraut and Kielbasa:

  1. Heat ½ cup of butter in a pan and stir 1medium onion (diced) till it simmers on medium heat.
  2. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and let it simmer for 2 mins.
  3. Add ½ teaspoon of thyme, ground pepper to taste and ¼ teaspoon of sage.
  4. Combine the mixture with 16 ounces of sauerkraut (underdrained and not rinsed) and 1 pound of beef kielbasa and bring it to simmer on the stove.
  5. Cover the mixture loosely with a foil and bake it in a preheated (225F) oven for 3 hours.

Recipe courtesy of Food.com, we chose to remove the potatoes as it’s the closest to our family recipe. However you can choose to make it with or without them!

Fun fact: Mary Anne grew up in Pittsburgh after her parents immigrated here from Ukraine. Her father had his own local shop where he made his own kielbasa from scratch. To this day she still has the sausage maker!

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Parisian Macarons

If you have been following us, you’d know that Paris and everything about Paris is celebrated at CJE. Our trips to Paris revolve around the history, culture, food, and wine. Crepes are our go-to snacks but macarons have a special place in our hearts. Often confused with Macaroons, a nutty and sugary snack, these Macarons continue to win the hearts of international dessert chefs.

Here, we have hosted several of our meetings at Delice et Chocolat in Ardmore to take advantage of the delicious macarons they serve.

Ingredients for Parisian Macarons:

  1. ¾ cup of confectioners’ sugar
  2. 1 cup of ground almonds
  3. 3 egg whites
  4. Salt
  5. ¼ cup of granulated sugar
  6. Filling of your choosing! (Strawberry, raspberry, chocolate, caramel, the skys the limit!)

Recipe Steps for Parisian Macarons:

  1. To make the macarons, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together ¾ cup of confectioners’ sugar and 1 cup of ground almonds.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip 3 egg whites with a pinch of salt on medium speed until foamy.
  4. Increase speed to high and gradually add ¼ cup of granulated sugar.
  5. Continue to whip until stiff glossy peaks form.
  6. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the confectioners’ sugar mixture until completely incorporated.
  7. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  8. Fit a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch round tip, and fill with batter.
  9. Pipe 1-inch disks onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. The batter will spread a little.
  10. Let stand at room temperature until dry, and a soft skin forms on the tops of the macarons and the shiny surface turns dull, about 15 minutes.
  11. Bake, with the door of the oven slightly ajar, until the surface of the macarons is completely dry, about 15 minutes.
  12. Remove the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the macarons cool completely on the baking sheet.
  13. Gently peel off the parchment. Their tops are easily crushed, so take care when removing the macarons from the parchment.
  14. Use immediately or store in an airtight container, refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
  15. Fill a pastry bag with the filling.
  16. Turn macarons so their flat bottoms face up. On half of them, pipe about 1 teaspoon filling.
  17. Sandwich these with the remaining macarons, flat-side down, pressing slightly to spread the filling to the edges.
  18. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Recipe courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction

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Vietnamese Pho

With megacities and hill-tribe villages juxtaposed against each other, Vietnam is a staggering natural beauty packed with cultural complexities. For the rest of the world, Thailand is the place to be for street food but for Southeast Asians, nothing comes close to Vietnam; the food in Vietnam is that good. Pho is one of the many culinary delights Vietnam has offered to the world. Brothy soup with slurpy noodles packed with herbs and meat is our go-to on our Saturday-nights-in. As we are ensconced, we rely on this soothing soup more often than not.

Ingredients for Vietnamese Pho:

  1. 2 tablespoons of beef base
  2. 1 quart water
  3. 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
  4. 1 tablespoon of sugar
  5. 2 inches of ginger that is grated
  6. ½ diced yellow onion
  7. Salt to taste
  8. 2 whole cloves
  9. 2 whole star anise
  10. 1 cinnamon stick
  11. ½ pound of rice stick noodles
  12. ½ pound of beef
  13. Basil (arrange for 1 cup of leaves)
  14. Bean sprouts (arrange for 1 cup of)
  15. Cilantro
  16. Sliced jalapeno
  17. 4 scallions
  18. Sliced onion
  19. Lime wedge
  20. Hoisin (optional)
  21. Sriracha sauce (optional)

Recipe Steps for Vietnamese Pho:

  1. Add the 2 tablespoons of beef base and 1 quart water to a 2-quart (1.9-L) saucepan and bring to a low boil.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 2 inches of ginger that is grated, ½ diced yellow onion and a pinch of salt to the stock and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  3. Wrap 2 whole cloves, 2 whole star anise and 1 cinnamon stick in a piece of cheesecloth and tie it into a satchel.
  4. Add the satchel to the broth and simmer for at least 30 minutes, but no more than 45 minutes.
  5. Around the 30 minute mark, taste the broth to see that the spice flavors have been extracted, and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  6. Strain the aromatics and satchel from the broth, return to a sauce pot, and reserve for assembly.
  7. Bring the broth back to a simmer. In a separate pot, bring water to a boil.
  8. Using a sieve or basket, quickly dip ½ pound of rice stick noodles into the water until they are hot and al dente, 10 to 20 seconds.
  9. Drain the excess water from the noodles and distribute the noodles between 4 bowls.
  10. Put in each bowl with some sliced beef (you can arrange for a total of ½ pound of beef), basil (arrange for 1 cup of leaves) , bean sprouts (arrange for 1 cup of), cilantro, sliced jalapeno, 4 scallions and sliced onion, or as each person wishes.
  11. You can have fun with the assembly and add any vegetable that you like, Ladle in enough broth to cover the ingredients in the bowl.
  12. Garnish with a lime wedge, and if you’re feeling adventurous then add hoisin and sriracha sauce.

Recipe courtesy of Allrecipes.com

While we can hop over to Nam Phuong on regular days, it’s our personal preference to improve our home recipe too

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Hungarian Chicken Paprika

The landlocked country of Hungary is the grandeur of the Danube. The astonishing beauty, folk art, and therapeutic thermal springs are its drawing cards. But we can’t help but indulge in their incredible food. One might expect a goulash (gulyás) recipe, which we have in this list, but we are sharing a family recipe from our Parisian expert Erin.

Ingredients for Hungarian Paprika Chicken:

  1. Breast and leg of one chicken
  2. 1 peeled and diced onion
  3. olive oil
  4. 3 tablespoons of hungarian paprika
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Pepper to taste
  7. ¼ teaspoon of caraway seeds
  8. 1 cup of diced tomatoes
  9. 2 cups of diced peppers
  10. Nokedli
  11. sour cream

Recipe Steps for Hungarian Paprika Chicken:

  1. Wash and cut up the chicken.
  2. Start with cutting the chicken breasts in half. Followed by cutting the chicken legs in half.
  3. Chop off the bony end of the drumsticks and reserve for stock. Remove all the skin and fatty bits and discard.
  4. To lower the fat content remove the breast bones. Save the bones to make stock.
  5. In a medium pot slowly sauté 1 peeled and diced onion in olive oil until they are translucent.
  6. Add the chicken pieces and slowly cook them for a couple of minutes.
  7. Add in 3 tablespoons of hungarian paprika.
  8. After this, season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste, and ¼ teaspoon of caraway seeds.
  9. Add 1 cup of diced tomatoes and 2 cups of diced peppers.
  10. Add the water and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover with a lid and let it simmer for a few minutes.
  11. Meanwhile, turn the oven on to 350F. When the oven is the right temperature remove the lid and place the pot in the oven.
  12. Bake until the meat is tender.
  13. Remove from the oven and serve with nokedli and sour cream.

Recipe courtesy of Mrs. Donna Burke

In Philadelphia, we haven’t found a whole lot of options for Hungarian cuisine, however we have often escaped to New York city to Andre’s Cafe on the Upper East Side to catch a taste of Budapest.

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The exercise of curating destinations to travel has led us to discovering Erin’s heirloom recipes that we wouldn’t have stumbled upon otherwise. Try both of these styles and tell us which one you liked the best. Or better yet, create your own style and share the recipe with us along with a photo of the dish.

Ingredients for Paprikas Csirke:

  1. ¼ cup of butter
  2. 3.5 pounds of chicken pieces
  3. ½ cup of onion
  4. ¼ cups of flour
  5. 2 tablespoons of paprika
  6. 2 teaspoons of salt
  7. ¼ teaspoon of pepper
  8. 1 can or 13 ¾ oz of chicken broth
  9. 2 cups of sour cream
  10. 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
  11. 8 ounces of noodles

Recipe Steps for Paprikas Csirke:

  1. Melt ¼ cup of butter in a large frying pan.
  2. Sauté 3.5 pounds of chicken pieces until lightly brown.
  3. Remove chicken pieces from pan; add ½ cup of onion to pan drippings.
  4. Blend in ¼ cups of flour, 2 tablespoons of paprika, 2 teaspoons of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper.
  5. Add 1 can or 13 ¾ oz of chicken broth until thick and smooth.
  6. Stir in 2 cups of sour cream and 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce.
  7. Mix ½  of the sauce with noodles and pour into a shallow 3 quarts casserole.
  8. Add chicken pieces over 8 ounces of noodles. Spoon remaining sauce over chicken.
  9. Bake in a slow oven 325 F about 1 hour.

Recipe courtesy of Mrs Donna Burke

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Hungarian Goulash

As we dish our favorite heirloom recipes, we are delivering our promise of a Hungarian Goulash. Gulyás (known as goulash to non-Hungarians) is the iconic Hungarian paprika-spiked beef soup. This is served in nearly every Hungarian restaurant in Budapest. As Hungarian recipes go, gulyás is a fairly simple to make dish and doesn’t require any special ingredients. If done carefully, all you need to do is check it occasionally as the ingredients slowly simmer allowing the aromas to fill the house. Every cook has his or her own preferred ratio, so feel free to be heavy handed with your favorite ingredients.

Ingredients for Hungarian Goulash (gulyás):

  1. 2 medium, diced onions
  2. lard or oil, enough to saute
  3. 3 tablespoons of Hungarian paprika
  4. ¼ teaspoon of caraway seeds
  5. 2 pounds of meat
  6. 2 cups of water
  7. 1 carrot diced
  8. 2 chopped tomatoes
  9. 2 parsnips
  10. 1 potato
  11. 1 pepper

Recipe Steps for Hungarian Goulash:

  1. As with many Hungarian recipes, start by slowly sautéing chopped onions (2 medium, diced) in fat (lard or oil, enough to saute) till they are clear and glassy.
  2. Next, you’ll stir 3 tablespoons of Hungarian paprika and ¼ teaspoon of caraway seeds. Be careful not to burn it, since the paprika can caramelize easily in fat.
  3. Add 2 pounds of meat, and pour in 2 cups of water.
  4. Then, you just wait (sometimes for several hours, depending on the cut of meat you used) until it is nearly ready, which is when you add your vegetables such as 1 carrot diced, 2 chopped tomatoes, 2 parsnips, 1 potato and 1 pepper
  5. If you have time you can make some csipetke (pinched pasta). If you have a bottle of some light red wine, it will go beautifully with the gulyás.

Recipe courtesy of Taste of Hungary

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French Souffle

Opening CJE’s little black book of our local experts, we have asked Erin to spill the beans. This one is from a French friend’s family recipe.

Ingredients for French Souffle:

  1. 50g of salted butter
  2. 40g of flour
  3. 8.5 ounces of milk
  4. Salt
  5. Pepper
  6. Nutmeg
  7. 100 grams of cheese
  8. Egg whites and fluff to a peak

Recipe Steps for French Souffle:

  1. Melt 50g of salted butter in a pan on low heat.
  2. Add 40g of flour and mix it to make roux. Be sure to always stir it in the same direction for 3 minutes.
  3. Add 8.5 ounces of milk and continue stirring it in the same direction, slowly for 5 minutes. The mixture should look like cream.
  4. Turn off the heat, add salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste and 100 grams of cheese.
  5. Continue stirring the mixture and set aside.
  6. Add salt to egg whites and fluff to a peak.
  7. Add the fluffed egg whites to the roux and whisk the mixture quickly to avoid scrambling the eggs.
  8. Butter and flour deep baking rounds, add 100 grams of cheese to bottom and then the mixture on top.
  9. Pop in the oven at 350F or 180c ( 40 mins) and watch it rise and brown.

Recipe courtesy of Erin Burke

There are plenty of French restaurants such as Bibou, Caribou, Townsend and Lacroix that will satisfy your cravings for a souffle.

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Chilean beef empanadas

With gushing rivers and soaring peaks, Chile is a land of colossal beauty. The sites are marked by extremes as the country has glacial peaks and dry deserts, ancient forests, parched dunes, and fjords, all together in harmony. The wine culture here is also intense. A visit to Chile is incomplete without feasting on traditional empanadas. We may not be able to offer you the beauty of Chile, but we are hoping to bring the Chilean vibe to your kitchen.

Ingredients for Chilean Beef Empanadas:

  1. 2 pounds of meat
  2. 2 tablespoons of paprika
  3. ½ teaspoon of salt
  4. ½ teaspoon of pepper
  5. ½ teaspoon of cumin
  6. 1 cup of beef broth
  7. 3 large onions
  8. all purpose flour
  9. 1 cup of milk
  10. 1 cup of warm water
  11. 1 tablespoon of salt
  12. 4 egg yolks
  13. 6.5 ounces of melted shortening
  14. two tablespoons of Pino
  15. a quarter of hard-boiled egg
  16. 20 olives
  17. 40 raisins

Recipe Steps for Chilean Beef Empanadas:

  1. The first 6 steps are making the pino. In a large saucepan heat the oil and fry the 2 pounds of meat until lightly browned. This should take about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the 2 tablespoons of paprika, ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper, and ½ teaspoon of cumin, and saute a few minutes.
  3. Add 1 cup of beef broth and let it simmer for 30 minutes over low heat.
  4. Dice and add 3 large onions and mix well and cook over medium heat until the onion is tender for about 30 minutes.
  5. Add the 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour and stir well, adjust seasoning if necessary, and then let it cook for two more minutes.
  6. Once the mixture is ready, allow it to cool and refrigerate it. A little secret is to get the Pino more delicious is to prepare it a day prior. It allows the meat to soak in the flavors and saves time the next day!
  7. Now we can start preparing the dough. Make a brine with 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of warm water, and 1 tablespoon of salt, and stir it all together until the salt dissolves.
  8. In a large bowl or on a stand mixer with the paddle attachment mix the 2 pounds of all purpose flour and 4 egg yolks, mix for a minute to incorporate.
  9. Add 6.5 ounces of melted shortening and work a little more, at this point you will see only crumbs.
  10. To form the dough start adding the brine with the mixer running on low speed until the dough is soft and flexible. If needed, keep adding water.
  11. Separate the dough into 20 portions and cover with a moist cloth.
  12. Work each piece individually, rolling until thin, cut in a circle about 7″ and fill with two tablespoons of Pino, a quarter of hard-boiled egg, 20 olives and 40 raisins if desired.
  13. Close smearing the edge, press firmly and make the folds. Brush with an egg wash before baking.
  14. Preheat the oven to 350F and then bake the empanadas for 30-35 minutes or until they are golden.
  15. If you have made extra and want to save it for later, you can reheat them in the oven at the same temperature for 15 mins before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Chilean Food and Garden

There are several options for Brazillian and Argentinian food but we are still on the hunt for the perfect Chilean empanadas. Before we head to Chile for that, do tell you if you have an option closer to home!

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Staying positive can be challenging during these times, and we are here to try and help make it as seamless as possible. If staying indoors is a challenge, we are working on creating ideas for you to stay inspired and virtually fulfill your travel bug. Whether it be a virtual happy hour, catching up on your reading, watching a concert from your couch, an online museum tour, or just video chatting with a friend, we hope we can bring just a little levity to the current situation.

In doing so, we hope to bring you the best travel experiences indoors. After all, traveling is not as much about going to a physical destination as it is about going deeper within ourselves and uncovering something new.

Write to us and share how you are keeping yourself busy while keeping those fears at bay, whether it’s a new activity or recipe at info@chloejohnston.com