Take your taste buds on a trip with these culinary adventures
I was in the midst of writing about travelling to one of the Gulf Islands for a weekend get-away when further restrictions came down. As a result, I decided to put that on hold for the moment. Instead, I’m giving you a much more useful post full of ways you can satisfy your wanderlust without leaving home.
Just over a year ago, I shared ways to enjoy travel from home so check that out if you missed it. It’s got some great ideas that are very different from what I’m about to share with you. It’s more about armchair travel than culinary adventures. This time we are travelling with our sense of smell and taste. Here are five delicious ideas to help you satisfy your wanderlust.
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Five Ways to Satisfy Your Wanderlust Without Leaving Home
1. Take an online cooking class
There are lots of different virtual cooking classes online so grab your apron and let’s get cooking! Airbnb Experiences offers a multitude of different classes from Mexican Street Tacos to Pasta with the Grandma’s. More into desserts? There’s a Parisian Eclair-making class. Bon appétit!
Want to learn from someone famous? Masterclass offers celebrity cooking classes with Gordon Ramsay, Wolfgang Puck and others. Here you can also learn all about wine appreciation if you’d like to pair your meals.
Vancouver’s own Dirty Apron is currently hosting Saturday Night Live cooking classes every weekend at 6 pm. You will learn how to cook a main course as well as a dessert. The best part? They send you everything you need. It’s all pre-portioned ingredients and it comes with an apron. They also send you a bottle of wine – now we’re talking!
To avoid getting flour and sauce all over your iPad, keep it clean yet accessible with this beautiful cookbook and tablet stand made of reclaimed wood. It may seem unnecessary, but how many times have you propped yours up against the blender? Just me? Didn’t think so.
2. Have a theme night
Just because you can’t host a party, doesn’t mean you can’t have a fun night in. We’ve all heard of Taco Tuesday and that’s a great place to start. Grab a sombrero and start making guacamole. In the video below you can see last year’s Cinco de Mayo-themed dinner for two that I made.
Satisfy your wanderlust with these theme-night dinner ideas:
- Meatless Monday – if you need some veggie recipes, check out the vegan blog hotforfood for some delicious ideas
- French Friday – make both dinner and dessert crêpes, try sizzling Crêpes Suzette if you’re feeling extra fancy
- Spanish Sundays – Paella for dinner, anyone?
- Mid-week Indian – who doesn’t love Butter Chicken?!
- Take-Out Thursday – It’s almost the weekend, let someone else do the cooking tonight, but plate it at home on nice dishes and light some candles
- Friday Date Night – put on your favourite tunes, open a bottle of vino and cook something delicious together
If you’re doing a take-out evening, Parlour restaurant in Vancouver has some really fun packages they have put together. The Wreck Beach package is my favourite. It comes with one appetizer, one pizza and a bottle of wine. All you need to add is music and candles 😉
3. Mix it up
Mix, shake, or stir it up with this one. A Vodka Soda isn’t going to satisfy your wanderlust. It’s time to get creative and fancy AF. The Spanish are known for their Sangria, Canadians for our Caesar’s and Peru for their Pisco Sours. To up the anté, put on accompanying music or a foreign movie from the locale of your beverage of choice.
It’s best to plan this one in advance so you can really bougie it up. Chill your glasses, freeze garnish in your ice cubes, and watch your drinks become elevated. Cucumbers and fruit slices freeze really well and add a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to your drinks.
Envision yourself as that Cuban bartender making your Cucumber Ginger Mohita with lemongrass garnish. I just made that up. I’m not a bartender, but it does sound good, lol! If you need bitters or other cocktail supplies, be sure to get those in advance as well.
Local Vancouver company Honest Cocktails is offering virtual happy hours if you’d like an actual bartender to show you the ropes. They offer the finest in cocktail kits and only use top-quality, cold-pressed juices. The best ingredients always make for the best-tasting drinks.
4. Watch and create
Looking to test your culinary abilities? Watch a travel-related cooking show and replicate what they’re making. Chef’s Table is a great show on Netflix for this. As is Parts Unknown. This idea is more challenging than the rest since no one is providing you with the recipe. But that’s what makes it fun 😉
If you’re already a good cook, why not challenge yourself? Not only will you get to virtually visit other countries in the world while you’re watching the show, but you will create a new, delicious meal as well. Creativity is key with this one. Since it won’t be exactly what they are making in the show, add your own flavour. Have fun with it.
5. Experiment and play with your food
I’m going against what every mother has ever said. I want you to play with your food. Go into the ethnic section of your local grocery store (or order online). Select a few items you have never cooked with before. It might be a new sauce or an imported fruit, vegetable or another ingredient.
Perhaps it’s a type of cheese from France that reminds you of walking along the Seine or watching Emily in Paris walk along the Seine.
Food has a way of evoking emotions and taking us back to a certain place or time. If you have a favourite city you’ve visited, think of something you ate there and make something similar. For me, that would be Crème Caramel, a dessert I made often when I lived in Paris, but have never made back home in Canada.
Want to up the anté even more? Plate your culinary delights without using dishes. I once ate at a restaurant that served my lunch inside a pineapple. It was slit sideways, hollowed out and filled with a delectable rice dish. I’ve also seen dips served inside of peppers. How creative can you get?
And there you have it, five culinary adventures to help satisfy your wanderlust until we can safely travel again. What do you think, will you try a few of these? I know I plan on repeating my Cinco de Mayo feast again this year. Cheers!