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Around the World in 80 Plates: Soda Bread, Ireland 4/80

Soda bread is possibly the easiest, quickest bread you can make.

No kneading, no waiting for the dough to prove and best of all: only one dish to wash.

Soda bread has fast become my go-to loaf when we’re out of bread and I can’t be bothered to run to the shop (and I happen to have buttermilk on hand).

It’s quick, filling and best fresh out of the oven.

Start to finish, it can be made in under an hour. That’s usually unheard of for homemade bread, so this is a great recipe to get your bake on even if you’re strapped for time.
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Around the World in 80 Plates: Miso Soup, Japan 3/80

Ever bought those little packets of instant miso soup? It’s mainly powder with a few pieces of dehydrated tofu and spring onions. Maybe some seaweed if you’re lucky.

It’s as easy to prepare as making a cup of tea but once you’ve made your own from scratch, you’ll never go back to the instant stuff again.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the heartiest (and easiest) miso soup you can have at home, but you’ve got to make it yourself.

Don’t worry, once you know where to get the ingredients, it’s pretty simple to make.
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Around the World in 80 Plates: Hasselback Potatoes, Sweden 2/80

Glorified jacket potatoes? Maybe.

Delicious? Definitely!

Hasselback potatoes are said to have originated at the Hasselbacken Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden. There’s always been a Norwegian-Swedish rivalry in my family with ancestors on both sides, but I must say this is one thing the Swedes have definitely got right.
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Around the World in 80 Plates: Biscotti, Italy 1/80

Biscotti, the stuff Italian dreams are made of, are simple to make twice-baked cookies and are sure to impress your friends.

On a trip to Italy last year, I was given a version of this recipe from Rosana at Agriturismo i Fuochi near Cortona and it was the best souvenir I could have asked for.

As long as you add flavour combinations you love and you keep a close eye on them in the oven, this recipe is a keeper.
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Birthdays while travelling

Four years. Four birthdays. Four celebrations.

Of my 28 birthdays, I’ve spent four abroad and it’s been great. It’s interesting to celebrate in other countries, with new friends and in foreign languages.

Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Italy have all hosted my birthday celebrations (Italy twice) and they been as different as you could expect.
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3 London markets

London is full of sites for tourists. Once you’ve had enough of the guidebook must-dos, there is still plenty more to see.

I enjoy going to markets. You can see where the locals really are (they aren’t at the museums) and experience day-to-day life a little better.

In London, the markets show off the city’s multicultural communities and culinary diversity. With this approach, London’s markets become a tourist attraction by themselves.
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There aren’t enough meals in the day

Two years ago when I started travelling, I was focused on museums, history and whatever else my trusty guidebook said was important. I spent most of my time on the tourist trail.

It was good. It was interesting. But I wasn’t getting the real feel for the place. I remembered each city by what I saw, not what I experienced.

Eventually, that turned into hanging out with new friends through CouchSurfing and I would remember the cities by what I did.

Now, I remember them by what I eat.
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