16. Croatia – Bajadera Torte

Today is Croatia National Day. I decided to make something sweet to celebrate, and came across a great recipe on About.com that I’ve adapted slightly. This is a no-bake recipe that combines biscuit crumbs, nuts and chocolate. Bajadera Torte is named after Bajadera chocolates, which are apparently very popular in Croatia. This torte is rich…

15. New Zealand – Individual ‘Mid-Winter Christmas’ Puddings

Mid-winter Christmas is (I think) a uniquely New Zealand/Australian tradition. As it is the middle of summer for us at Christmas time, more and more people are choosing to keep it simple by having a BBQ, salads, seafood and strawberries, rather than the heaviness and hassle of a full traditional Christmas dinner in 25 degree…

14. Argentina – Empanadas

There is a restaurant in Buenos Aires called El Sanjuanino that has the most amazing empanadas, with all kinds of different flavours – and I wanted to have a crack at recreating them. Here’s a beef and cheese and ham empanada that I had from El Sanjuanino An empanada is a stuffed bread or pastry…

13. France – Vichyssoise

Vichyssoise is pretty much leek and potato soup – it’s made from leeks, onions, potatoes, cream and chicken stock. Vichyssoise is thought to have been invented by French chef Louis Diat, who was from the town of Vichy in France. He was the Chef de Cuisine for the Ritz-Carlton hotel in New York and concocted…

12. Austria – Apfel Strudel (Apple Strudel)

June 17 is rather randomly National Apple Strudel Day. The oldest known Apfelstrudel recipe comes from Austria and was hand written in 1696! I tried a few Apfelstrudels in Austria, and they were almost always served with lashings of whipped cream 🙂 This recipe is a quick and easy one for this delicious dessert. Apfelstrudel…

9. USA – Chewy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookies

June 12th is apparently National Peanut Butter Cookie Day in the US. I’m Kiwi-izing these however as I’ve decided to add chocolate to mine – Whittakers Peanut Butter to be precise, and using a recipe from Healthy Food Guide magazine. Peanut butter chocolate – seriously addictive! Chocolate and peanut butter cookies don’t seem to be…

8. Portugal – Pastel de Nata (Portuguese Custard Tart)

The second part of my Portuguese feast was to create delicious Pastel de Nata or Portuguese Custard Tarts. It’s thought these gorgeous tarts were created before the 18th century by Catholic monks in Lisbon. They were looking for a way to use up the excess egg yolks that came as a result of all the…

7. Portugal – Caldeira de Peixe (Portuguese Fish Stew)

June the 10th is Portugal day (dia de Portugal).  I’m making Caldeira de Peixe which is a fish and seafood stew, similar to the French bouillibaise.  The ‘caldeira’ refers to the preparation of the dish, and the copper pot in which it is cooked. For my 30th birthday a few and a bit years ago…

6. Sweden – Swedish Meatballs

Today is Sweden National Day. I haven’t been to Sweden and I do regret not visiting while we lived in Europe. So it’s high on my list of places I want to still visit. I have no idea how authentic Swedish Meatballs are – I know that IKEA has popularised them, but I’m not sure…

5. England – Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding is another English institution. It’s a steamed sponge cake, with dates or prunes, and covered in a toffee sauce. The dish was developed by an English hotelier in the Lake District in the 1960’s. Nigella Lawson has a fantastic easy version of Sticky Toffee Pud. Easy Sticky Toffee Pudding Serves 6-8 For…