WARNING: this post is LONG.
Now that I’ve sorted through my photos from Europe, I can share my trip with you! Instead of boring you with the 160 photos of the beautiful sights in Paris, Prague and Copenhagen, I saved the highlights: the FOOD.
First stop, Paris:

After a long flight, our friend Selim greeted us at the airport with some beers, and brought us back to his apartment for a home made dinner. Pictured above: babaganoosh, rice, and turkey kebabs.

While in Paris we made sure to stop for crepes and churros near the Place de la Bastille.
We visited Monmarte, and I snapped a photo fo these irresistible treats in the window.

… and of course we took the time to stop in a candy store.

Off to Prague…

The highlight of food in Prague is definitely on the street. Sausages, hot wine, hot chocolate, and my favorite, Smayzeny, which is basically a fried cheese sandwich. All of it was so good after miles of walking and lots of beer.
Speaking of Beer…Pilsner, Pilsner and more Pilsner was had. My favorite beer.
And then Jamie brought me to Pivarsky Club, a restaurant we saw on the Prague episode of Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations. They have the largest selection of beer in Europe, and you order meat  by the kilogram. We enjoyed a few beers, bacon dumplings and an incredible pork knuckle. Don’t knock it until you try it!
Bacon Dumplings
Pork Knuckle (before)
Pork Knuckle (after)

While in Prague, it is important to drink the obligatory Absinth. Here it is, all aflame:

I didn’t see any green fairies, but it did get me feeling buzzy.  The last stop in Prague was some goulash, and more bacon dumpling. Mmmm….
And then to Copenhagen…
We enjoyed a good amount of the local Carlsburg and Tuborg brews. I had a hearty burger and fries the first night. We met up with some friends and had many schnaps, bitters, aquavit, etc. I don’t know what you want to call it, but we had it!
After a full day of touring and visiting the Carlsberg Brewery, we found a cozy bar called Von Fressen, and enjoyed some hummus and open sandwiches (smorgasbord?).
I don’t think mine was very traditional, but it was delicous: pancakes, grilled goat cheese, beets, walnuts and maple syrup.
Jamie enjoyed break with ham, cheese, peppers, pesto, etc. Both sandwiches were soo good!
You can’t go to Denmark without having dessert! Pictured below are a traditional danish pastry, along with some cakey, chocolatey strawberry goodness. We also had waffels with soft ice cream. mmm.
And that is my trip in food. For more about my actual trip, feel free to hop on over to The Happy Shopaholic.

Christina’s Birthday Dinner(s) Recap

If you’re a female in your 20s I will put good money on the fact that you likely celebrate your birthday for three nights or more – it is NEVER a one-day event. I myself am no different, despite my strong effort this year to not make a big deal out of my 25th birthday. I had a total of four birthday dinners, and two big nights out on the town. Here is this recap:

Tuesday, January 31FRIENDS COME TO TOWN.  It wasn’t even my birth month yet, but that didn’t stop five of my closest friends from across the river (and across town for some) to my UES apartment for a mini celebration. Some wanted to do restaurant week, but I opted for pizza and wine in the apartment. Per Alycia’s recommendation, I picked up a couple of bottles of Ménage à Trois vino.

Let me tell you, it was a good choice! All of it – the pizza, the wine, staying in – I hadn’t seen these friends in so long, and being able to have a cozy night in was much better than sitting in a noisy restaurant. We wrapped up the night with some birthday ice cream at Serendipity.

Thursday, February 2 DINNER OUT WITH THE BOYFRIEND. Feeling a little restaurant week deprived, my boyfriend Jamie and I ventured out to City Crab for birthday dinner #2. I had scouted their restaurant week menu, and was honestly just itching for some crab cakes. When we got there and saw the extensive seafood menu we just couldn’t help ourselves, we wound up both straying from the restaurant week options and getting delicious pots of assorted seafood. They had clams, mussels, crab, lobster, scallops and I don’t know what else! So good!

Friday, February 3 – MY REAL BIRTHDAY. On Friday I took the day off from work with three intentions: gyming, shopping and cooking. I accomplished all three. I made my first attempt at stuffed pork chops! I butterfly cut each cutlet, and stuffed them with a mixture of spinach, mushrooms, onions, garlic, and goat cheese, most of which I had chopped very finely with the food processor. I then baked them for about 20 minutes and served with a rice, spinach and mushroom medly. They weren’t bad! The only thing I would do differently next time, is brown the outside of the pork chops prior to baking.

Saturday, February 4 – THE FAMILY DINNER. On Saturday, boyfriend and I trekked out to NJ to have a nice family dinner with my parents, brother and grandmother. I chose Jose Tejas, my favorite Mexican restaurant in this world. I usually (always) get the vegetarian empanadas, but this time Jamie suggested that we share the fajitas for two. Another great choice! I went home happy, and had some of my mom’s homemade chocolate cakes (the best!). Sorry – no pictures!

I would say that I exercised my goal to explore pretty much all birthday weekend. This Saturday I leave for Paris, Prague and Copenhagen, and I guarantee I will have more adventurous eats to report on upon my return!

February Goal: Exploration

Another month means another goal. Last month we embarked on setting new habits for the New Year. I have to say, I think I was quite successful. I joined a Wednesday spin class, and also tripled my time in the gym (easy to do when you’re starting from one day a week)! I started eating breakfast at home, and bringing my lunch to work, which has been lovely for my wallet. I think I will keep the January goal in mind for as long as I can, and keep trying to create good, healthy habits.

Now that the healthy stuff is out of the way, I’d like to introduce our much more fun February goal: Exploration. February is always an exciting month for me. My birthday is on the third (TODAY!), Valentine’s Day is in the middle of the month, and just when you thought you couldn’t handle another full work week: BAM! Presidents’ Day lets your off the hook. Not to mention, NYC Restaurant Week is Jan. 20 – Feb. 20, and I’m going to Europe from February 11th to the 21st. A month of exploring through food it will be!
That’s all for now, but look forward to a “Birthday food” recap at the end of this weekend! Here’s a preview: