Monday Dreaming/Wanderfood Wednesday: Viennese Cakes

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Two years ago, we were celebrating Christmas in Germany and Austria.  While we were in Vienna, Austria, we ate the oh so famous cakes everywhere we went.  Cafe Demel was one of our favorite places to visit and was worth the wait that we had to make our purchases. 

This past weekend, we had a little bonus visit with my sister, niece, and nephew.  We knew they were coming in town for a wedding so my mom planned our big Thanksgiving dinner for the day we were spending together.  After we were finished stuffing ourselves with turkey, sweet potatoes, and all that other Thanksgiving goodness, it was time for dessert.  My sister surprised me with my very own Esterhazytorte! 

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When I took that first bite, I was quickly transported back to that small restaurant whose name I can’t remember now where my husband and I sat in a dark corner indulging in cakes and wines.  We had left the kids with my dad and stepmom and enjoyed a few hours out on our own.  After trying several slices of cake, we decided that our favorite was Esterhazytorte.

My sister has been perfecting her baking skills.  I think that she has a very bright future of cake and pastry making!  What do you think?

Here is my Esterhazytorte from Vienna:

Esterhazytorte is the black and white cake.

Esterhazytorte is the black and white cake.

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Here is the Esterhazytorte that Marissa made for me:

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Pretty darn close, don’t you think?  And it was delicious!  She did a beautiful job replicating a cake that she has never even tasted.

I am dreaming of that trip to Vienna two years ago.  I am dreaming of other moments like this…moments where we can relive trips that we take and the impact that they made on us…impacts as minor as Viennese cakes and as major as a sister who saved an email with a link to a recipe that you jokingly sent her asking if she could ever make one and that same sister that spent all day (and it actually took all day long) trying to replicate that Viennese cake that you loved so much on a trip that occurred two years ago. 

Stop by Mother of All Tripsto see what everyone else is dreaming about today during Mondays are for Dreaming.  Mara is dreaming about one of my favorite places-the Biltmore Estate!  Also, please visit Wanderfood Wednesday over at Wanderlust and Lipstick.

If you have a moment, stop by our craft blog, Threaded Together, where Marissashares many of her cake decorating strategies.  She also shares them on her Facebook Page, Decorated Decadance.

Swarovski Crystal World–Innsbruck, Austria

According to my husband, this is one of the strangest places we have ever visited. I was so excited to see this place…I am still not sure how I feel about it now. We waited at the train station for the shuttle that runs to Crystal World. It is about a 20 minute drive. While in the bus (with lots of other tourists), we listened to soothing music…almost like windchimes (or crystals!) clinking quietly together. When we arrived, we bought our tickets and headed into this strange place! We walked into the “giant’s lair” and checked out all of the art. There is a whole room dedicated to the Giant (see below). It was a bizarre compilation of art pieces. After exploring the many rooms of art, we were able to wander the Swarovski Crystal store. There were pieces that ranged from just a few bucks to a few thousands. Check out other great photos at Delicious Baby, host of Photo Friday.


The giant’s lair


Jewelry display


The “giant’s” ring


Hmmmm

Fairy Tale Lane — Innsbruck, Austria

Fairy Tale Lane is a wonderful place to take the children during the Christmas holidays. We couldn’t believe our eyes as we walked down the street. Through Old Town Innsbruck, there are fairy tale characters hanging all over the buildings. Of course I love these scenes…I am an English teacher!








Check out the other great travel photos at Delicious Baby, host of Photo Friday!

Wordless Wednesday–Hotel sign in Innsbruck

Photo Friday — The rooftops of Innsbruck

When we were in Innsbruck, we climbed the Stadtturm (148 steps if I remember correctly!) to see the view of the city. As we walked around the outside of the entire tower, I snapped a bunch of pictures of the city. I was excited about how cool some of them turned out when I was reviewing them at home! The rooftops are absolutely beautiful. Some have gardens on them. Many of them are a gorgeous rust red color.


My favorite rooftop picture!


I spotted our hotel–it is the bright pink looking one!


More roofs!

The Stadtturm (City Tower)

See other travel photos at Delicious Baby!

Wordless Wednesday

5 Vienna Sights to See with your Kids

While in Vienna, we saw many of the touristy sights and many off the beaten path sights. These are our top 5 favorite places to take your kids while in Vienna, Austria!

1. The Tiergarten Schonbrunn — Vienna Zoo — This zoo is considered one of the oldest zoos in the world. It is on the grounds of the Schonbrunn Palace, which was built between 1695 and 1713. Much effort was made to keep many of the original buildings so the zoo has an old, fancy feel to it. The kids checked out the animals that were held in buildings that have been around for hundreds of years.

2. The Hofburg Palace — The Hofburg is a beautiful complex that housed many emperors and is now home to offices, tourist stops and the Lipizzaner Horses. We chose to avoid the tourist stops, like the museums, because the kids were getting rowdy. Instead, we wandered through the square and let the kids run around, chase each other, and laugh until they had tears in their eyes!

3. Spanische Reitschule — The Spanish Riding School — When we decided to go to Vienna, I couldn’t wait to see these amazing horses. It is hard to believe that these stark white horses are born with dark hair. We knew that our kids would never make it through a full performance of the Lipizzaner Stallions. The morning exercises are held from 10am-12pm several mornings a week. Tickets are only 12 euro and go on sale at 9:30, according to the office. That being said, we were able to purchase our tickets around 9:15 and then we headed back to Hofburg square to kill some time. Even though the practice is two hours long, we only stayed for about 30 minutes. There were only four or five horses that were working out at the time. They do not do the entire performance…this is just a workout! It was just the right amount of time and the kids had a great time watching the horses practice their dancing. It was noisy so it was okay for the kids to talk out and be excited about the “horseys”! You can also walk across the street and see the horses in their stables. There is a glass window so the kids can see them. If you time it right, you can watch the horses walk across the street to their practice!

4. Cafe Demel — Although I don’t recommend actually taking the children into the cafe unless they are able to keep their hands to themselves, I don’t think anyone should miss this place! It is full of amazing treats and makes for a perfect place to take a break! There is a very small seating area in the back. We chose to just pick up some Sachertortes (a wonderful chocolate cake covered with apricot jam and then covered in a rich chocolate) and a few chocolate bars for the road.

5. The S-Bahn — Even if you live in a big city with public transportation, the underground train never gets boring! We could have ridden it all day long with both our kids. They loved navigating around and looking for the right color train!

Photo Friday

This week’s Photo Friday theme at Delicious Baby is warm weather! Because we are still traveling, I am going to share photos that were taken in the cold (brrrr….really cold) but remind me of the warmth!
While wandering around Salzburg, we decided to take a different route to the car rather than follow the same one back. Boy, was I surprised when I turned the corner and saw this amazing street market. There were fruits and vegetables, flowers, chickens, turkeys, candy, bread, and brats everywhere. The sights and smells were amazing. Everywhere you looked, you saw something different.

Wordless Wednesday

Steaks and Cakes

I missed a few days in my 30 days of blogging challenge because Josh and I escaped to Innsbruck for the night on Monday. We had so much fun exploring the city. If you are planning on going to Innsbruck, you only need a day or so to see the major sights. We saw the Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof), the Stadtturm (City Tower), had dinner at a great beer hall (pfeffer steak mit krauterbutter), and had wine and apfelstrudel at a little bar. We went to Swavorski Crystal World (one of the strangest places I have ever been) and bought cans of beer for 68 cents! More on this portion of the adventure later…I leave you with a few pictures from our trip!
Leaving the Brenner Pass…please note…it is a long way down and there is no guard rail for the train…
The view of Innsbruck from the Stadtturm

The Hofburg

The Goldenes Dachl