wedding reception and cocktail hour snack idea wood fired pizza appetizers

10 Easy, Worldly Recipes Inspired by Travel & Honeymoon Destinations

Just because you can't travel right now doesn't mean you can't bask in the memory or anticipation of your honeymoon in the kitchen!

While travel is on pause as we're sheltering in place during the Coronavirus pandemic, we encourage couples to celebrate their love of traveling by bringing exotic flavors into the kitchen with these tasty dishes from around the globe.

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wedding reception and cocktail hour snack idea wood fired pizza appetizers
Photo: Cacá Santoro for Max & Friends

No one would have ever expected that we would all be following "stay at home" mandates, canceling plans and trips, and stopping travel this spring, but we're all in this new situation together. To help ease the frustration of a postponed destination wedding or honeymoon, many couples are embracing their extra time at home by trying out drinks, cocktails, and recipes that their future travel destinations are best known for. Whether you love to cook or you're new in the kitchen, we encourage you to get creative as a couple to help pass the time, relieve your stress, and look forward to a calmer future together!

To help inspire at-home chefs, the founders of Naya Traveler have compiled a list of their favorite recipes they've collected from their travels over the years. With no-fuss ingredients and easy-to-make recipes, couples can try out a number of recipes popular in the location of their future destination wedding or honeymoon. For those pairs who don't like to follow a recipe or just need a bit more instruction, Traveling Spoon has launched online cooking classes with hosts around the globe. For just $25 per class, you and your beloved can learn how to make traditional dishes over Zoom by cooks from, around the world.

Take a look at some of the recipes below to inspire your next homemade meal – you'll find full-on recipes as well as lists of ingredients to help you prepare for a virtual cooking class, both of which will expand your horizons without ever having to leave your home... until, of course, you and your fiancé or spouse are given the go-ahead to travel to all of these wonderful places once again!

Moroccan Atay Bi Nana (Mint Tea)

Transport you and your fiancé into the heart of Morocco with a sweet, fragrant mint tea that's the marker of great Moroccan hospitality. Sip it with your sweetheart while planning what to see and do on your honeymoon in Morocco.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp loose gunpowder green tea 
  • A handful of fresh mint leaves, washed (spearmint preferred) 
  • 5 cups boiling water 
  • Sugar to taste (2-3 tbsp)

Instructions:

  • Put green tea in teapot. 
  • Pour in boiling water. 
  • Swirl gently to warm pot and rinse tea. 
  • Strain out and discard water, reserving tea leaves in pot. 
  • Add remaining 4 cups boiling water to tea and let steep 2 minutes. 
  • Stir in sugar (to taste) and mint leaves. 
  • Steep 3 to 4 minutes more. 
  • Serve in small heatproof glasses, lifting the teapot high above the cup while pouring to aerate the tea.

Morocco Mint Tea Recipe
Photo: Naya Traveler

Italian Homemade Gnocchi

If you were planning a romantic destination wedding in Italy or hoped to travel to the gorgeous country on your honeymoon, celebrate your future trip in the kitchen by learning to make tiramisu and fresh gnocchi with a pesto, ragu, or mushroom sauce and getting a taste of Italian culinary traditions from an instructor in Firenze!

Gnocchi Ingredients:

  • 4 old, white potatoes 
  • 1 1/2 cups (200 g) flour 
  • 1 egg 
  • Salt 
  • 2-3 porcini (or other type of mushroom) 
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped 
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 sprig rosemary 
  • A few grinds of fresh black pepper 

Tiramisu Ingredients:

  • 1 pack Savoiardi biscuits (Ladyfinger cookies) 
  • 4 eggs, separated 
  • 1 1/4 cups (400 g) mascarpone cheese 
  • 1 2/3 cups (400 g) of heavy cream (it has to be very cold) 
  • 4 1/2 oz (130 g) chocolate bar, broken into small pieces 
  • 1 cup coffee, strong brewed and chilled 
  • 2 tbsp rum or other liquor

Fresh Homemade Gnocchi
Photo: Traveling Spoon

Cambodian Khmer Chicken Mango Salad

For anyone who has been to Cambodia (like the couple highlighted in the "Travel Diaries" feature our upcoming Summer 2020 issue), this salad represents the country's colorful accents. Get to know the authentic flavors of Khmer fare before you even step foot in the country! Note: For a vegetarian version, just substitute with tofu or another form of protein.

Ingredients:

  • 1 green mango, peeled and shredded 
  • 10.5 oz cooked chicken breast, shredded 
  • 3.5 oz carrots, shredded 
  • 3.5 oz roasted peanuts, chopped 
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar 
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce 
  • 1 tsp kosher salt 
  • 2 garlic cloves 
  • 2 shallots 
  • 1 lime 
  • 1.75 oz basil, roughly chopped 
  • 1.75 oz mint, roughly chopped 
  • Green chillies, finely chopped (optional)

Instructions:

  • Heat a small pan over high heat. 
  • Place shallots and garlic to cook until charred. Several minutes. 
  • Transfer garlic and shallots to a bowl and let cool. 
  • Once cooled, peel (discard outer skins) and chop shallots and garlic. Set aside. 
  • In a large bowl, mix together the shredded green mango, chicken, carrots, and peanuts. 
  • Add shallots, garlic, chopped basil and mint. Mix well. 
  • Add juice from the lime (squeeze well, amount to taste), brown sugar, salt, and fish sauce. 
  • Serve on a plate, garnish with a bit of basil and peanuts.

Cambodia Chicken Mango Salad
Photo: Naya Traveler

Moroccan Tajine

Continue your Moroccan culinary journey with this traditional dish. Instructed by a resident of Casablanca, you and your beloved can enjoy a one-on-one online cooking class that will teach you how to make a meatball tajine with orange-and-carrot salad on the very day you originally planned to step foot in Morocco. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef 
  • 1 small grated onion 
  • 2 tbsp of breadcrumbs 
  • 1 tbsp of paprika 
  • 2 tsp cumin 
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon 
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley & cilantro 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 large can of crushed tomatoes 
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil 
  • 3 cloves minced garlic 
  • 1 large grated onion 
  • 1 diced red bell pepper 
  • 1 tbsp of paprika 
  • 4 eggs 
  • 1/2 cup green olives 
  • 5 carrots 
  • 1/4 cup of chopped parsley 
  • 3 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced 
  • 1 orange, wedges without the skin 
  • Salt & pepper

Morocco Tajine Recipe
Photo: Traveling Spoon

Guatemalan Guacamole

Classic guacamole is a favorite around the world, but it originated during the Mayan Empire in Central America. Whether you planned to enjoy a romantic, adventurous trip to Guatemala or a nearby destination, you'll love recreating this tasty, beloved dip from scratch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted 
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice 
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 green chile pepper seeded, chopped 
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Chop red onions, cilantro, and green chillies. Set aside. 
  • Slice avocados in half and remove the pits. 
  • Dice the avocado halves and scoop out with a tablespoon. Place in a bowl. 
  • Add the onion, cilantro, green chillies, lime juice, and salt to the bowl. Stir together (without overdoing it) until all ingredients are mixed enough, but the avocado retains a chunky texture. 
  • Serve with corn tortilla chips.

Guatemala Guacamole Recipe
Photo: Naya Traveler

Argentinian Empanadas

Looking forward to a trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina? Pass the time until your impending trip in the kitchen with a native while making classic Argentinian empanadas and a traditional cake with chocolate and dulce de leche.

Empanada Ingredients:

  • 8 cups flour 
  • 2 tbsp salt 
  • 7/8 cup butter (or other fat like oil, lard, or shortening) 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 lb ground meat (beef, lamb, or chicken) 
  • 1 medium onion, diced 
  • 1 potato, boiled and diced into small cubes 
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (optional) 
  • 1 egg, hardboiled and diced (optional) 
  • 1 egg, raw 
  • 1/2 cup green olives, rough chopped (optional) 
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste (optional) 
  • 1 tsp garlic, crushed 
  • 1 tsp oregano 
  • Salt to taste 

Argentinian Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 zucchinis, diced 
  • 1 medium onion, diced 
  • 1 tsp brown sugar 
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella (or other cheese that melts) 
  • 2 sticks butter 
  • 2 packages chocolate biscuits 
  • 1 bottle dulce de leche (or Nutella) 
  • 3 tsp cocoa 
  • 2 chocolate bars 
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 3 tsp coffee

Argentina Empanada Recipe
Photo: Traveling Spoon

Spanish Gazpacho Andaluz

If your honeymoon to Spain was postponed, try making one of the country's most popular dishes: a nutritious, chilled gazpacho from Spain's southern region of Andalusia. It's the perfect dish for couples to enjoy in the spring and summer months as the weather starts to heat up!

Ingredients:

  • 2.2 lb plum tomatoes, quartered 
  • Cucumber, peeled, thickly sliced 
  • Red bell pepper, seeded, cut into strips 
  • Shallots, peeled, chopped 
  • Rustic bread 
  • 1 garlic clove, halved (remove the heart) 
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil (preferably Spanish) 
  • 1 tbsp sherry or balsamic vinegar 
  • Fine sea salt 
  • Black pepper 
  • Rustic bread (sourdough preferred, broken into small pieces) for garnish 
  • 1 Egg, boiled, shredded for garnish 
  • Spanish cured ham, thinly chopped, for garnish 
  • 1/2 cucumber, scrubbed, for garnish
  • Dash of extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  • Chop all the vegetables. For the garlic, be sure to remove and discard the heart. 
  • Transfer tomatoes to a blender with a little bit of water. Blend for several minutes until smooth. 
  • Add cucumber, red pepper, shallots, and garlic. Blend on high speed for several minutes until smooth. 
  • Add rustic bread, sherry vinegar, salt & pepper (to taste) and blend some more, until texture becomes silky. 
  • Transfer mixture into a deep bowl. 
  • Stir in olive oil (if you add olive oil while blending, you will lose the texture of the oil and the soup will emulsify). 
  • Cover bowl and refrigerate for several hours. 
  • To serve, pour into a small bowl and garnish with your favorite toppings.

Gazpacho Recipe from Spain
Photo: Naya Traveler

Brazilian Pão de Queijo

Liven up your snack food with oven-baked cheese bites you would have fallen in love with on your trip to Brazil or even across Latin America and South America. Have them while snacking in between wedding planning or enjoy them during a romantic breakfast in bed.

Ingredients:

  • 200ml whole milk 
  • 7/8 cup unsalted butter 
  • 1 tsp kosher salt 
  • 4 cups tapioca flour 
  • 4 large eggs 
  • 1 1/4 cups semi-cured cheese 
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 180°. 
  • Prepare a tray with parchment paper. 
  • Heat milk, butter, salt, and half a cup water in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted and mixture begins to boil (about 4 minutes). 
  • Remove from heat and add tapioca flour.
  • Stir with a wooden spoon until dough is dry and flaky. 
  • Transfer to the bowl and let cool for several minutes. 
  • Beat mixture until dough starts to come together. 
  • Add eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat until incorporated (dough will look broken at first, then come together). 
  • Continue to beat until dough is smooth, sticky, and somewhat stretchy. 
  • Add cheese and beat until evenly distributed. 
  • Shape dough into ping-pong ball-sized pieces with your hands and transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, spacing about 2" apart. 
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the dough balls are golden with dark brown speckles. 
  • Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Brazil Pao de Queijo Recipe
Photo: Naya Traveler

Japanese Character Bento Box

Even though you can't physically be in Japan for your honeymoon right now, get the next best thing by learning to make a Totoro bento box from a resident of Tokyo. You'll find out how to cook a shaped Totoro character, Japanese egg, and shaped side snacks to get a taste of this favorite before you visit!

Ingredients:

  • Cooked sushi rice 
  • Broccoli (pre-boiled or steamed) 
  • Cooked potato 
  • Black sesame seeds (or black food coloring) 
  • Green seaweed flakes or parsley flakes 
  • Salmon flakes (optional) 
  • Nori seaweed sheet 
  • Sausage or hot dog 
  • Egg 
  • Dashi 
  • Soy sauce 
  • Spaghetti (uncooked) 
  • White cheese 
  • Mayonnaise 
  • Ketchup 
  • Sugar 
  • Salt

Bento Box Recipe
Photo: Traveling Spoon

Indian Masala Chai

Though it may be some time before you can take your honeymoon to India, get a taste of the beautiful country by waking up each morning with spiced chai tea to start your day off on the right foot!

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp loose black tea, or 6 black tea bags 
  • 2 cups water 
  • 2 cups whole milk 
  • 10 green cardamom pods, cracked 
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick 
  • 4 cloves 
  • 4 black pepper pods 
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, thinly sliced 
  • Packed brown sugar, to taste

Instructions:

  • In a small pot, bring water to a boil. 
  • Add ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and pepper. 
  • Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until water reduces slightly. 
  • Remove pot from the heat, and add black tea. Steep for several minutes. 
  • Return pot to medium heat and add milk. Stir occasionally, making sure the mixture doesn’t boil. 
  • Stir in sugar to taste. 
  • Once the top becomes frothy, remove from heat and steep for a minute. 
  • Strain tea into a cup or mug.

India Chai Masala Recipe
Photo: Naya Traveler