roamingtaste.com » Where foreign and local combine

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Keeping quiet during the weekend to go as full on crazy during the week isn’t something that happens…ever! I certainly have never turned down plans on the weekend so I have money to go out during a weeknight. But my best friend coming into town for three days also isn’t something that happens ever. Usually we see each other when I amble into LA and stay for a week where we find any and which way to fit as much time as possible catching up face-to-face instead of our faces talking to screens.

Excited isn’t even cutting it for how I feel that for a few days all normalcy will be suspended as I try to show her as much as I possibly can of this incredible city and just be together for three short days that will likely fly by in the blink of an eye and will have to suffice before we catch up with another visit of mine to LA.

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Photo Apr 05, 14 27 52

Not all who wander are lost – J.R.R Tolkien

Having the spent the majority of my twenties with my feet touching countless pieces of earth, it seems only fair to reflect back on what it means to be a wanderer in the most freeing decade of ones life. The vast majority of those travels have been spent as a solo traveler out in the world with not much more than the little research completed, a bag I can wearily carry on my back and a few locals to help me find my way.

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Living with the eyes of a traveler is to be someone who is constantly looking to experience life fully, to have present and satisfying moments that will bring back smiles long after the ink has dried on the passport and the bags have been unpacked. If every memory had a key than my keys would be scattered around the globe.

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Happy Tuesday, after the longest weekend of the year here in old England. How did you spend yours? Needing a reset of batteries and lots of plans next month means I kept it very low key, but not so low key that I didn’t catch up with friends or make these incredible bars. Famous in their own land and they should be famous everywhere, these will leave an impact and they use kitchen staples so should be rather easy to make no matter where you reside.

The next few months are filled with visitors from various locales, a couple of trips and lots of sightseeing of London before I depart in the fall. In fact, there’s so much happening that it’s all a little overwhelming. So for now I’m just enjoying the small pieces of routine I have before they get thrown out the window to accommodate the visitors, especially having my dad around for two months.

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Summer is coming and with that are music festivals and beach days and lots of bare skin that needs to be prepared with fake tan (no real tanning as thats not healthy), exercising and good clean food. I say this in the preparation of Lollapalooza that I’m planning on attending amidst the thousands of other twenty somethings with their stunning bodies so cutting back on cake is definitely on my mind.

Not that it’s a huge deciding factor when I’m face to face with said cake, but one can always have the best intentions and today’s salad has itself in check for a perfect filling of greens to be found at the market with palette of rainbow summer colors that are starting to show up again. Plus, lets be honest, if you eat this salad before the long weekend of chocolate you will nullify Friday’s dietary intake because you were healthy one day and bad the next. It’s fine, balance, it’s what we would call balance.

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My last night of the month followed the last week of the month, watching re runs of Friends with the wind whistling outside. Not bad for the start of the most unsettled season amidst lighter nights out and an exciting couple of months ahead with friends, family and travel planned.

March was busy from start to finish, in the kitchen there were a lot of sandwiches and outside it there was a few new places of cuisines tried in varying parts of this vast city.

How was your March? What was the most memorable part of your month? Here is my month in pictures:

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A few weeks ago on a lazy Friday night, my roomy and I gave cauliflower pizza and raw snacks a go and since we have been addicted.

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Not a weekend has gone by where either of us have made something new to snack on during the week. These are rather pricey to make, but perfectly gluten free and vegan for any diet and packed full of flavour. The pride you’ll feel when you take your first bite into these will have your eyes widen and your palate screaming with surprise at how incredibly tasty these are. It’s a different pride than when you bake something you’ve never made before and have a taste, maybe because these are no bake or because there is no butter, sugar or flour in them, they carry a hit of flavor you’ll want more of.

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When I was ten-years-old, my mother took us to a country she had already fallen in love on a girls trip the previous year. It was our first time on a vacation outside the country together as a family and after only a few hours of flying, we landed on a tiny piece of paradise in the pacific called Vanuatu.

The dense humid air hits like a wall as we exited the plane and in the darkness our first steps in this spectacular land were taken. After getting our inviting beverages and lei’s at the hotel that night, we awoke the next morning to the enveloping warmth that is so constant in the pacific and discovered the gems that are everywhere in this very underrated nation.

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While in Austin with my friend James, our days entailed very late nights of watching Matt Damon movies and hanging out with his friends. They were so late that it would be early morning by the time we fell into the world of sleep. Then we would awaken mid morning and our day would begin, throwing my breakfast routine of eating pre-11am out the window. One morning after another late night of watching movies, we opted to go straight downtown instead of eating granola and soon we were walking into Easy Tiger where we sat in the garden and devoured our midday breaking fast.

When I departed Austin a few days later, that sandwich came under the umbrella of wonderful memories I took from my visit in Austin. It’s a place I look forward to returning to with the culture of the people so chill and embracing of a more natural life, a hippy beach town sitting hours from the ocean. It’s the kind of place that will make you feel comfy real quick.

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Trudging through the warm air south of Liberty Bell towards what has to be the most famous piece of Philadelphia cuisine, I was determined despite having only just landed and the impending darkness. Nothing was going to get in the way of me and my cheese steak, even the warning about the area I was walking to from one of the girls in the hostel could not deter me.

I walked up to the window and despite feeling confident about my order, I fumbled the words out “one with” and within five minutes I had consumed the whole thing. The feeling of success at my first meal in Philly being a home town icon was almost worthy of throwing my hands up in victory. So here today is a truly authentic cheese steak even though the Liberty Bell is thousands of miles away, proving this is a meal you can make almost anywhere.

In the effort to make a truly authentic cheese steak I discovered the need for cheese wiz, in fact, without cheese wiz your sandwich wouldn’t be the real deal like eating one of these incredible pieces of Philadelphia. Once you have cheese wiz in your hands the sandwich is as easy to make as cook sliced steak and some onion if you like them, top with the cheese and consume!

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Spontaneity is something that begins to fall more and more by the wayside the older we get. All plans with friends nowadays always involve the date, time and place we will go and all details can found online (if not, the black hole of ‘what do I expect’ is all that fills the mind). I can probably count on a couple of fingers the times I was truly spontaneous since moving to London.

Yesterday, I received an email from my best friend asking what I’m doing between four days next month. My response was ‘nothing’ and then the plot thickened as to why these dates mattered. Within a few hours I was offering my bed and great meals in London as an idea to visit had come into her mind and I am fully supporting this last minute idea.

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Have you ever kept a journal? Maybe intended to write every day for a year into a perfectly lined book? Or attempted to write your way through a journey? Well, that was my full intention when descending upon Paris. To be fully immersed as a writer and artist for a long weekend, but needless to say, the last half day of that adventure was completed a few months after I had already departed, yes, sticking to a journal is not for the faint hearted.

The city of light and love though is an artists paradise and really, the French love their art and the amount of artists drawn to this country throughout history is innumerable. Maybe it’s the way the language sounds like heaven with each mouthful. Or maybe it’s the French culture where they are partially rigid in certain ways and yet in others are not prudish like the English.

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On my first solo trip overseas, I went from Thanksgiving in Mississippi to Costa Rica and it’s Gallo Pinto to Mexico and it’s tortillas and beans from morning until evening. All this food was tasty, but I yearned for a plain old boring sandwich like I was used to and my two week stay in LA landed me with my now best friend and her mom who have roots in El Salavador so there was more beans.

Now, on one particular day, driving in Hollywood, a lively conversation ensued about some great burritos to buy nearby so off we went. When they asked what I preferred my response was prompt and unthankful “I just want a sandwich” and my best friends mother’s response was affirmative “oh that’s so boring.”

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IMG_9445Being without the other people in an inside joke is somewhat awkward when something reminds you of it. Having to try and withhold a smile for no obvious reason while walking down the street and definitely not laughing out loud at the thought of that joke without those other people there. Than trying to explain aspects of the inside joke to others when you reference it makes things awkward too, because as an outsider they won’t understand the context.

Well for the last few weeks I have returned to listening to my favourite podcast of Fletch, Vaughn and Megan, they are New Zealand morning radio show hosts who have been making me laugh for as long as I can remember. Before I left the land of the long white cloud they were on in the afternoons and ended every day perfectly with laughter on the journey home. Honestly, they are hilarious!

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Have you been pulled into the addictive material that is Serial? Now it seems this was everywhere at the end of last year, I couldn’t turn on my computer without seeing  a reference to this podcast and yet somehow everyone I’ve asked has answered “no,” they haven’t even heard of it so definitely haven’t had a listen. Then last Thursday, after much procrastination I thought ‘let’s give this a go.’ Then I proceeded to listen to all twelve episode in two days and read as many articles and interviews as I could get my hands on. It’s so engaging in this world of murder mystery shows that a real life story unfolding in your ears is almost to take a step back, yet it’s better than any episode of CSI I’ve ever seen.

Yes, this little podcast that blew itself out of the water for it’s real life ‘whodunnit’ is captivating and you’ll likely have a few theories by the end of it. Let’s make this clear though, it’s a podcast, or in better words a story told over twelve episodes of people who are still alive now. And the mystery is very much a huge part of this. It also is worth noting that after listening to all episodes it’s worth doing research and especially reading the Jay interviews and their teachers for a more rounded idea of who these people are/were when this story is set.

I would love to hear your theories? Or even what podcasts you’ve been listening to recently as I need something to accompany my morning walks?

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