Traveling Mamas

Inspiring you to explore our world

  • In Season 5 of No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain heads to exotic locations like Venice, Azores, Sri Lanka and Vietnam and doesn’t hold back on his blunt observations about people, places, cooking and culture. While his travels take him across the globe, he doesn’t forget about the foodie hot spots in Washington DC, Chicago and New York City. This is one season you won’t want to miss. This Mama can’t wait until the season begins,

    In the premiere episode on Monday, January 5th at 10pm ET on the Travel Channel, Tony travels to Mexico for some fresh salsa, fresh lime and of course, fresh meat.

    The new season of No Reservations premieres Monday, January 5 at 10pm ET on the Travel Channel. Don’t miss it!

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  • My favorite week of the year is upon us. It is National Chocolate Week and I take my role as a Traveling Mama very seriously. I make sure that each hotel I recommend has been personally visited. I make sure that each product I review has been personally tested out. I even sacrifice myself, in the name of travel research, to test out each dessert that passes in front of me. So, in honor of National Chocolate Week, I’ve highlighted a few decadent culinary delights that have entertained my taste buds.

    Chocolate Assortment at Angel and Phelps – Daytona Beach, FL

    Chocolate Layer Cake at The Strip House – Key West, FL

    Chocolate Meringue Pie at Lea’s Cafeteria – Lecompte, LA

    Godiva Chess Pie at Watercolor Resort – Watercolor, FL

    Handmade Chocolates at Fish Out of Water – WaterColor, FL

    Death by Chocolate at Les Trois Saisons – Saint-Tropez, France

    Now get out there and celebrate by eating some chocolate and tell me about your favorite chocolate dessert and where it can be found.

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  • My gal pal, Denise (a food writer from Boston) had a swanky assignment in Saint Tropez and asked me to go along. Since I hadn’t stepped foot on French soil yet, this would provide the perfect excuse to do so. I booked a flight on Air France, direct from Houston to Paris, and then into Nice. The hotel we were staying at, Chateau de la Messardiere, arranged for a driver to pick me up at the airport. The driver didn’t speak much English and I spoke just a little French, so the ride was humorous, to say the least.

    I didn’t know too much about the Chateau, except that it is a Leading Hotel of the World, (which is code for too expensive for me to afford). I knew it was a luxurious place when the driver took me through the city center, up a hill, and through a gate. The meticulously manicured drive curved around statues and hidden groves while leading up to the main attraction, the Chateau itself.

    The Chateau was built in the 19th century and is even believed to be haunted. The Chateau sits on 25 acres overlooking the Bay of Saint-Tropez, the vineyards of Ramatuelle, and the Mediterranean. It was restored in 1989 and now offers numerous rooms and suites, restaurants, and most recently a spa.

    I had a chance to sit down with Gerald Hardy, guardian of this lovely hilltop haven. We enjoyed a few glasses of pink Champagne each evening, while Gerald educated me on the history of the Chateau, the future of the Chateau, and the protection of privacy given to each guest. He would not reveal the name of any person still living that frequents the hotel. What a classy gentleman!

    The Three Tropeziennes

    Of course, Denise and I had to explore the city of Saint-Tropez. We first stopped for a light lunch at Tropezina Beach, which has charging privileges at the hotel. We sat outside on wooden benches under red and white striped canopies overlooking the water. It was so Bridget Bardot. I loved it.

    Lunch was followed by a stroll through the old city. We discovered a bakery that served Tarte Tropeziennes, which are little yellow cakes split and filled with a light creamy icing and then topped with powdered sugar. The only prior experience I had with these delights was from the local chain bakery La Madeleine.

    Post dessert shopping was a discovery of a fashion icon – Tropezienne Sandals, which have been hand-made for generations. If I would have done my homework beforehand, I could have sent these shoe artists an outline of my feet, where they would have custom made these sandals just for me. Maybe next time I’ll have the chance to buy a pair.

    Denise and I finished the afternoon with a stroll through an outdoor market, enjoying the smells of street food like Paella and watching old men play bocce ball. What I discovered during this trip is that Saint-Tropez is much more than celebrity pictures in magazines, it is a charming old city filled with history and culture waiting for the unsuspecting to find.

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  • Yup. I’m the crazy mama. I’m the one that thinks Anthony Bourdain rocks. Here’s a sneak peep at his new season, which airs this week on The Travel Channel.

    Can’t leave the US? Follow this cool dude along on his culinary adventures.

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  • I grew up in a typical southern home, where most meals were the stick-to-your ribs comfort food, but every once in a while my mother would break out a cook book and try to make some exotic dish.

    I liken my mother to Martha Stewart without the scandal. Yes, she’s crafty and into made from scratch meals, but there are some things my mama just couldn’t teach me: travel cuisine terms.

    No, I didn’t grow up in a plantation home. Before marriage, my fine dining experiences were limited to Prom and a first date here and there. I wasn’t ever given etiquette lessons, although my English heritage tries to show itself. My freelance writing has allowed me to experience things that are out of the norm for where I live. As CajunMama, I will pass along little nuggets of info I’ve learned along the way, so that you other Mamas out there can impress your friends with your knowledge. You’ll never feel like Julia Roberts from that dining scene in Pretty Woman, ever again.

    See the title up there….Amuse-bouche? Maybe you’ve heard the term, maybe not. Let’s pick it apart. Bouche means mouth. I knew that already from Frere Jaques and high-school French. Amuse? Helloooooo. So you can put those together and figure out something is going to entertain your mouth.

    An amuse-bouche is a sample of what a chef can prepare. It isn’t an appetizer, which is something you’d order off the menu. It comes in one or two bites and everyone at the table gets the same thing. It is a little taste to get your tongue ready for the delights the chef has to offer, and the chef is usually creative and goes all out for these. The best part: they’re free!

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