Celebrations International Travel Blog

Archive for December 2010

I received this recipe in a holiday greeting from Viking River Cruises, and it looks so good I had to share it!

Happy Holidays and enjoy: 

Viking River Cruises' Sachertorte

The year was 1832, and the Austrian minister of foreign affairs, Prince Metternich, ordered his court’s kitchen to create a special dessert for his high-ranking guests. But the head chef of his household was ill that day, so the task fell to his 16-year-old apprentice, Franz Sacher. Fortunately, the delicious chocolate cake he developed on the spot was a rousing success! Herr Sacher went on to become a famous confectioner. In 1876 his son Eduard opened the Hotel Sacher in Vienna, where the treat has been served to honored guests ever since.One of the best things about traveling with Viking River Cruises is the opportunity to sample delicious local cuisine. Here is a recipe from Austria—Sachertorte (pronounced “SOCCER tort”). While the dessert is found in many of Vienna’s coffeehouses, it can also be sampled on many of Viking River Cruises‘ ships.

Cake Ingredients
5 oz. softened butter
A half cup sifted powdered sugar
8 egg yolks
8 egg whites
5 oz. bittersweet chocolate
Two-thirds cup of flour
A half cup sugar
2 tablespoons apricot jam

Glaze Ingredients
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons butter

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Cream together butter and powdered sugar. Add 1 egg yolk at a time, mixing until creamy. Melt the 5 oz. bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler or microwave; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Fold in flour. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and sugar until stiff. Fold into chocolate mixture. Pour batter into a lined 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 50-65 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. Heat apricot jam and smooth over entire torte, including the sides. For glaze, melt the 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate with butter and frost the cake. Serve with whipped cream.

Makes 8-10 servings.

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Did you know?

XMAS:  In Greek, X means Christ.  That is where the word “Xmas” comes from!

The world’s largest Christmas present was the Statue of Liberty. The French gave it to the US in 1886. It is 46.5 meters high and weighs 225 tons!

“Green” Christmas:  It can take up to 15 years to grow an average-sized tree of 6 to 7 feet, sometimes as little as 4 years, but the average growing time is 7!

Christmas Songs:  Bing Crosby ‘s ‘White Christmas’ was released in 1942 and is considered to be the best-selling Christmas song of all time!

Christmas Statistics:

1 in 10:  The number of the presents received that will be broken by the New Year

7 in 10:  The number of dogs who get Christmas gifts from their owners

 25:  The average number of minutes spent waiting in lines while Christmas shopping

6:  The average number of holiday events a family of four can expect to attend this time of year

What would Christmas be without all the traditional food and drink we enjoy?  In the spirit of the holidays, here’s a look at some of the goodies that are traditionally enjoyed around the world. 

FRANCE:  Buche de Noel (a Genoise or other sponge cake, baked in a large Swiss roll pan)

USA:  Pumpkin Cake (with cinnamon and ginger, frosted with cream cheese frosting) I know there are many who would agree with this one, but pumpkin sounds more like a Halloween and Thanksgiving treat to me!  My favorite Christmastime sweet treat is gingerbread!

SPAIN:  Nougat (made with sugar or honey, roasted nuts)

HUNGARY:  Beigli (roll of sweet yeast bread with a dense, rich, bittersweet filling)

ITALY:  Panettone (is a type of sweet bread loaf originally from Milan)

SWEDEN:  Pepparkakor (heart-star and goat-shaped gingerbread biscuit)

UNITED KINGDOM:  Christmas Pudding (steamed pudding, with dried fruit and nuts, usually made with suet)

PORTUGAL:  Pain Perdu (French toast made with bread and eggs, milk, sugar and cinnamon)

GERMANY: Lebkuchen (large cookies made of honey)

Take a look at Princess Cruises’ new Australia & New Zealand destination video.  (Who needs bulky brochures anymore?) 

Enjoy the overview of a Princess cruise or cruisetour to this amazing corner of the world.

Contact us to book your own adventure Downunder with Princess Cruises!

Princess Cruises has just released brand-new videos showcasing their Alaska cruises and cruisetours.  A cruisetour is a vacation that combines a 7-night Voyage of the Glaciers cruise (sailing Alaska’s Inside Passage and Glacier Bay) with a land-based tour of your choice:  A great way to see the wonders of Alaska!

 

 Contact us to take advantage of special reserved cruise pricing on Princess Cruises’ Alaska 2011 sailings today!

Celebrations International Travel - Princess Cruises  Celebrations International Travel - Princess Cruises Certified Experts

New Princess Cruises videos showcasing the onboard experience that guests can expect have been posted on the Celebrations International Travel Web site. 

In addition, explore the world of Princess Cruises with their new destination videos.  They say a picture is worth 1,000 words.  A video is worth even more.  Enjoy!

Norwegian Cruise Line confirms that a crane accident in a Boston shipyard yesterday delayed the final repairs on the Norwegian Jewel.  The ship will arrive in New York today for its next scheduled cruise (one day later than planned), and NCL will cut this voyage one day short (six nights, not seven), calling in Port Canaveral Wednesday and Great Stirrup Cay Thursday. Passengers will receive a $100 onboard credit per cabin and a refund of one-seventh of the cruise fare paid.

Prior to seeing the announcement this morning, I was watching The Today Show, and a couple in the crowd told Al Roker that they were supposed to be in the Caribbean.  They went on to explain that their “ship is in drydock or something” and so they’re stuck in New York. 

First of all, personally I think getting to visit The Today Show in person and meeting Al Roker is a plus for anyone!  Al Roker playfully asked what cruise line they were sailing with, then good-naturedly called out for NCL to take care of these folks and get them on a cruise. 

The Norwegian Jewel is scheduled to depart New York on this delay cruise today, and we hope everyone has a great time.  On the heels of the Carnival Splendor’s recent woes, I hope press coverage such as this won’t cause travelers to hesitate about enjoying all that cruise vacations have to offer.

Celebrations International Travel - NCL Freestyle Certified


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This is blog based on the experiences and interests of travel agency owners Adrienne and Agni Mitra. Through our blog entries, we will share our travel experience and expertise. We will also have other entries of interest to inspire your travels.

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