Friday, August 5, 2011

Last Day -- Trip Recap

Well, all good things must come to an end -- the two weeks of paradise and relaxation are officially over! Okay, we're leaving tomorrow morning and staying overnight in Frankfurt, where I plan on consuming some schnitzel, strudel, and spaghetti eis.  So, I still have some vacay left in me!

However, our Croatian adventures are over :( and we definitely ended our trip on an amazing note:
A home-cooked, Croatian meal, made by my "Teta Stanka" -- my great aunt --

We headed over to her place, where we were greeted with a feast!

As an appetizer, we had the traditional prosciutto, cheese, olives, salami & bread :)
we also had a mozzarella and tomato salad that went undocumented

 The main course was amazing. Easily, one of the best meals I've had here (maybe even ever!!)

Homemade gnocchi with a stewed meat.  It's called pasticada, kind of like Croatian pot roast, and it is a specialty along the Dalmatian sea coast. 
The meat just fell apart! Sooo delicious
The gnocchi were cooked to perfection - I had 3rds
 Sister's favorite part of the meal was undoubtedly the home made cherry strudel!!!
It was soooooo goooood. We immediately piled seconds on our plates before we even finished the first one.  The cherry was tart and sweet with hints of citrus... and the crust was perfect.  Our aunt made everything from scratch! Home made is the way to go.

Oh... and we comandeered the leftovers for breakfast tomorrow morning :)
If you think there is a better motivation than strudel to get me out of bed, I don't believe it.

Of course, we had to say goodbye to the Croatian rellies (relatives), which is always sad :(

Croatia, you know how to have a good time.  You will be missed!!!!
Here's a little recap of the highlights from our vacay :) obviously, I've focused a bit on food... duh.

Narrowing down your favorite munchies and your favorite memories is a tough task.
I know, my life is just soo unbearably hard!

Top 5 desserts:

1. The King bar!!
This ice cream bar puts dove, haagen dasz and magnum bars to shame. Sister and I have sampled the pistachio, the almond, the double, the coconut, and the truffle bar.... and we have never been disappointed. We will choose this over gelato any day of the week.

2. Breskvice - or "little peach" cookies.
These cookies are sugary and buttery deliciousness that is filled with a walnut, butter, cream-like center.  We tried these on day 1 and fell in love.  Sister and I call them bobis... pronounced like bow-bees... God knows why.

3. Palańćinke filled with sladoled :) otherwise known as crepes stuffed with ice cream!
The crepes were filled with a scoop of vanilla, strawberry, and rum chocolate ice cream... enough said

4.  Croatian version of tiramisu!
This cake was spongy, creamy, dense, and light -- yes, all at the same time.  It was light a custard filled with layers of sponge cake, topped with a thick chocolate coating.  Um... maybe this should be higher on the list!

5. Krem Pita - or Serbian custard cake.
This had a delicious light and flaky crust with a dense vanilla custard in the middle... sooo good.


Top 5 Pastries:

1. The sugar doughnut -- aka the "healthy donut"
This was a sweet, doughy bread that was sprinkled covered with sugar.  Sister and I ordered this way too many times to count because we deemed them healthy versions of the fried doughnut!

2. Spinach, egg, ham, and cheese pastry.  Much like a quiche!!
This was always sitting out on our neighborhood bakery - warm, right out of the oven.  The pastry dough was always flaky and buttery and the egg, spinach, cheese & ham combo is a winner

3. Burek -- A Croatian specialty!
We love the cheese burek & the meat burek.  It is a warm, flaky pastry filled with meat and cheese.... obviously, we had to have burek like 6 times just to make sure it made the "favorites" list!
Check out how flaky that crust is (second picture)

 4. Strudel. 
Of all varieties... Sister's favorite strudel filling ended up being a tart cherry :) I would have to agree.  Although, the raspberry strudel was a close second.  Any doughy pastry filled with sweet fruit filling and topped with powdered sugar is a topper in my book.

5. Spinach and cheese pie.
This was a thicker crust.. still buttery and delicious and filled with hot spinach and melty cheese - this seemed to come out of the oven of our favorite bakery right as we walked in sooo it was a regular guest at our b-fast table!

Top 5 Meals:
 - in no particular order.....
1. The Mixed Grill platters 
This is one of the most common dishes among locals and tourists... Croats love their meat.  Platters usually came with french fries, chicken, chicken and veggie kebobs, cevapcici, sausage and pork!

2. Pizza.
Enough said.

3. Teta Stanka's homemade gnocchi and stewed meat!!! SOOO GOOOD. The meat was so tender that we could barely keep it together on our forks... and the gnocchi was doughy and delicious.

4. Cold cuts! 
I don't know how the Europeans do it, but their bread, cheese, and freshly-cut meats are too die for.  The combination is heavenly -- we had this meal literally every day, even just for a snack.

5. Cevapcici.
This is the Croatian version of fast food.  It is minced meat patties, grilled to perfection, stuffed into a soft and delicious piece of bread, and filled with cheese, onions, and this red sauce. 
I first tried this two years ago, and I've been craving it ever since.  It's that good... screw McDonalds, I want me some Cevap.

I was planning on doing honorable mentions and even perhaps listing my favorite non-food memories... but I think my suitcase needs a little attention.  I have yet to pack :(
I'll see you all in Frankfurt!

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