I love cake, especially chocolate cake. Budapest is a desert lovers delight, there are treats on every corner and we took advantage in a big way!  This piece of chocolate cake was so good I went back to the cafe to get a second piece, one I didn't have to share!  What made it so good?  See those red bits? Those are cherries, not maraschino cherries, but real, plump, tasty cherries and mixed into the mousse they were the perfect tartness to cut the sweetness of the chocolate. I saw versions of this cake in other cafe's, but we liked this one best. Enjoy! 

Svent Istavan krt 7-9

Learning to Cook Goulash Soup in Budapest

Eliza and I had such a good time at the cooking class we did in Barcelona that I decided it was Eden's turn. We booked a class with Chef Parade in Budapest where the menu was the very traditional Hungarian Goulash Soup with fresh pressed noodles and fruit pastries for dessert. 

Here's what I liked about Chef Parade--they welcomed Eden. She was included in every aspect of the cooking process and so she had a great time. The cooking class was very well organized and there were enough instructors to answer individual questions while keeping the class on track. The food was made with "easy to find" ingredients. There is almost nothing "special" I need to make goulash soup in Saudi Arabia. And lastly, our group was an international mix of individuals from all over the globe so the conversation was always enjoyable. 

A few things to note--Chef Parade is not run by real chefs, at least not our group, so if you are looking for expert cooking advice they don't have it. Our menu was traditional comfort food; food you would make for your family on a week night, but not perhaps for a dinner party. Tasty, but not necessarily show stopping. 

I've included the recipes below. 

Gern: Nymphenburg Neighborhood

I've been working on my 2015 blog book and came across these pictures I took the night before we left Germany. When we first arrived in 2010 we stayed in the neighborhood of Gern and I fell in love with it. Nymphenburg Schloss is nearby, the surrounding homes are regal and it's just a nice part of the city. So, when choosing where to stay our last week we booked the same hotel we stayed in when we arrived. Feeling nostalgic on that last night, I took one more walk through the neighborhood. 

Looking at these photos again makes me miss the beauty of Europe. I might be able to wear shorts in February, but what I wouldn't  give to be back in a place where green carpets the earth. 


Taking a break--we won the bid for a house on the main compound last week and that means we will be moving one last time and finally settling down for the long haul.  We've been living on a small, one square mile compound since last August. It is pleasant enough, it has tennis courts, a swimming pool and bowling alley, but it is 30 minutes from the main compound where Bob works and Eden attends school, so being on Main Camp as it's called, will be much more convenient.

So, I am boxing up again everything that I unpacked to make our temporary home feel "homey." We will be busy with contractors over the next few weeks getting the house painted and a patio built in the backyard to provide a bit of shade, so I don't anticipate getting too many posts out.

My older daughter mentioned she wanted to see pictures of the compound but, I am sorry to say, we are not supposed to take pictures. Supposedly, it is for our safety--whatever the reason, I am complying.

Happy Monday to everyone, enjoy your week. 

Silent Sunday

Dreznik Grad, Croatia

One Day in Bosnia

Our last European family vacation before leaving Germany was to Croatia to see the Plitvice Lakes, but since we were so close to the border of Bosnia, we decided to spend one day/night there. We didn't have a lot of time so we contented ourselves with Una National Park.  Similar to Plitvice, it is known for is milky blue water and many waterfalls. 

We stayed at the Rooms and Apartments Neron Lohovo bb, 77000 Lohovo, Bosnia
It wasn't my favorite accommodation and when I saw what my husband had booked for my daughters to sleep in I laughed out loud. My 10 year old was a good sport, but my 18 year old was a little less enthusiastic.  We only spent $50, so one can hardly complain.

Una is not well developed which may be part of its allure. We found a picnic spot near the waterfalls and sort of crashed a party. A gentleman with an accordion played for an hour while women danced in a circle. It was an unexpected enjoyable surprise.  
We came across rafters floating on the river.  Watch the video below to see what happens when they reach the waterfall.

Farm Stay Cardaklije  Vrtoče bb, Vrtoče, 77250 Kulen Vakuf, Bosnia and Herzegovina

I am not exaggerating when I say the best meal we've ever eaten in all of Europe was from this little farm. Everything made fresh, right there in the outdoor kitchen with ingredients from the farm. As our waiter spoke very little English we just told him to feed us and he brought out enough cheeses, bread,  grilled meat and vegetables to suit everyone's pallet. I had to search the internet to find the name of this place in English, so here you are and I if you ever find yourself in the north of Bosnia near Una National Park, I promise, this place is worth it! Cadaklije is a working farm, a sort of living history museum and also offers rooms for the night. 

Linking with...Friday Photo Journal * My Town Shoot Out * Weekend Bloghop * Photo Friday * Weekend Wanderlust

Reagan Library

Located halfway between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara on top of a beautiful hilltop overlooking Semi Valley sits the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.  We'd never been to a Presidential Library before so we didn't really know what to expect, I wasn't even sure if it would be appropriate for children or if they would be bored.  After hearing that locals elementary schools take field trips there we decided to pile in the car and head up and wow, I am so glad we did! 

Talk about interesting!  Not only is the library the depository for Reagan's personal letters and papers, but it houses a full size Air Force One.  The museum chronicle's Reagan's life from childhood through his acting days and on into his political career. Moving video footage recollects his negotiations with Russia and the peace talks that begged the Berlin Wall to come down. In fact, sitting outside in the garden is a section of the Berlin Wall. 

Obviously, Air Force One is a big hit with the children, but one can also see a replica of Reagan's Oval Office, a selection of Nancy's dresses and his grave site outside in the garden.  
Address: 40 Presidential Dr. Simi Valley, CA 93065
Hours: 10am-5pm 7 days a week
Cost: $16 adults, $9 youth, $6 children
Parking: Free parking onsite

Linking with...Randomocity * Thru My Lens *