Austrian Potato Salad from Stephan’s Gourmet Blog

I have just returned from Austria , and fascinated with the Austrian Potato salad that is served with the native dish Wiener Schnitzel . trying to replicate it , i came upon Stephans’s blog which describes what i ate to perfection.You have to try these potatoes the way the Austrians do…. it’s a treat!  It keeps better at Summer BBQ as it contains no Mayonnaise. I now have it as a standard side dish to any meal!


Wiener Erdäpfelsalat (Viennese Potato Salad)

Last week I was in Vienna for the first time, on a business trip for a day. We went to a rather tacky restaurant that played Austrian waltz music but served decent food. I decided to order the most Austrian thing I could find on the menu: Wienerschnitzel mit Erdäpfelsalat. Erdäpfelsalat is the Austrian word for what is more widely known as Kartoffelsalat. I was expecting potatoes in mayonnaise, but it turned out that in Austria (and also in southern Germany, it appears), potato salad is not made with mayonnaise but with oil, vinegar and beef stock. It was absolutely delicious and I immediately decided to replicate this at home. The next day we got a very similar potato salad (as well as mini Wiener schnitzels) for lunch during a business meeting, so I figured that this is truly the local style of making potato salad.

Back home I googled and compared a few recipes in German (and some even in Weanarisch, the dialect from Vienna that I could only understand by reading it out loud) and managed to replicate the Wiener Erdäpfelsalat that I tasted in Vienna very closely. The warm potatoes are mixed with warm beef stock and a dressing, and allowed to marinate for half an hour. They are then served while still lukewarm. The starch from the potatoes thickens the sauce and though it is hard to recognize there is beef stock in there, it provides great depth of flavor. Besides beef stock another unusual ingredient is sugar. It is optional according to the recipes I found, but both versions I tried in Vienna included sugar.

This is definitely something I will make again, and if you have never tried this I urge you to give it a try as it is so much better than a mayonnaise-based potato salad. Who would have thought that I would make a culinary discovery in Vienna? I certainly didn’t!

For this recipe small waxy potatoes are recommend. Waxy so they will stay whole when cooked rather than fall apart, and small potatoes such that the slices will have just the right size as well as look pretty. If you have large potatoes, cut them into halves or quarters first. I couldn’t resist and cooked the potatoes sous-vide because it is so easy and a good way to keep the flavor of the potatoes. The traditional preparation is to steam or boil the potatoes without peeling them first, plunging them briefly in cold water, and then removing the peel and slicing them while they are still warm.


For 2 servings

500-600 grams (1.1-1.3 lbs) small waxy potatoes

150 ml (2/3 cup) hot beef stock

3 Tbsp white wine vinegar

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 Tbsp powdered sugar

1 tsp mustard

salt and freshly ground pepper

3 Tbsp minced red onion

3 Tbsp chopped chives


When cooking the potatoes sous-vide like I did, peel them and slice them thinly. Vacuum seal and cook for 45 minutes at 85ºC/185ºF. I explained the traditional preparation without sous-vide above.

Combine the vinegar, oil, powdered sugar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

Whisk to emulsify.

Put the sliced potatoes in a large bowl. Add the dressing while the potatoes are still warm.

Also add the beef stock when the potatoes are still warm.

Stir to mix. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, powdered sugar, oil, white wine vinegar, or mustard.

Add most of the red onion and chives.

Stir again to mix. Allow to marinate for about half an hour at room temperature.


Travel Blog



Savvy Backpacker

Travel is a passion of mine. Be it a weekend getaway or a dream trip that has been planned for years, travel is a way of making the world a smaller place, making us culturally aware and also to appreciate different people and how they live. Today , travel is more accessible to every one, even those on  tight budgets. With airlines and hotels vying for guests, and comparison internet shopping , the prices are  better than ever. If travel is important to you , you will find the means.

I came upon a wonderful blog that I am sharing here today. So much to learn, tips , tricks, lists, what to wear, city guides and pretty much every question is answered here if you are considering visiting Europe. Bookmark this blog – you never know when you will need it. Do not let the blog name fool you , even non backpackers can learn so much from it.

On this  blog I learned what the best travel socks were – who knew cotton was not the best for your feet on vacation!

Check it out!


Moroccan Preserved Lemons



2 months ago I made this recipe and I have delighted in the results. Preserved lemons are used in Moroccan cooking, but I have been using it in almost every dish I make. The lemons give a tangy flavor to anything and disappear in the cooking process, that you do not know what tastes so fabulous. I have very successfully used it in pasta dishes , salads, chicken soup, stews, stir fry’s , curries, rice dishes , Pizza, stuffed tomatoes, store bought rotiserrie chicken,  and even added it into my St Patrick’s’ Day corned beef boil!  I have  not tried it in a sandwich …. yet.

It is a secret the world should know, and its so easy to make. Find a clean Mason Jar and you are well on your way. It has become an ingredient I cannot do without.

This is a Marthe Stewart recipe and I was very happy with the result. Do not worry, the end product is not salty as you think it may be.

INGREDIENTS for making Preserved lemons

  • 8 lemons, plus more as needed
  • Juice of 4 lemons, plus more as needed
  • Coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Leaving one end intact, cut lemons lengthwise into quarters. Using your fingers, stuff about 2 tablespoons salt inside each lemon, close them, and transfer to an 8-cup, sterilized, wide-mouth jar.

  2. Measure juice in a liquid measuring cup, add to jar along with half that amount of water, making sure liquid almost covers lemons. Add more freshly squeezed lemon juice, if necessary.

  3. Loosely cover jar and let stand, at room temperature, for 2 days, shaking the bottle each day.

  4. If there is room, add more cut lemons with salt and add to jar, covering with more lemon juice, if necessary, and olive oil. Cover jar and let stand at room temperature at least 3 weeks.

  5. To use lemons, rinse with water. Remove seeds and pith and discard. Use peel as desired.

    here is the video and let me know if you try it.



 Google Images –

4 Ingredients to a Natural Cleaner





I am so sceptical about using all the many chemicals and cleaners in the stores. They may  work well but almost always will emit chemical smells and contaminate your lungs while being harmful to the environment.Cleaners are expensive and highly toxic . Bleach is never good for the septic/sewer system either. A year ago I tried to go natural with my cleaner and have not looked back since. It is simple to put together and smells pleasant while doing a fabulous job on any surface – Yes even wood!

I make a batch and keep in a spray bottle and this is the only cleaner I use  for everything. The only surface it will not do the job on is mirrors because the lemon oil is present. For Windows and mirrors just use a mixture of vinegar and  water.

Clean out an old spray bottle (24-32 oz.)  well.

Add 3 tablespoons vinegar

4 squirts of Lemon oil

1 tablespoon natural dish liquid soap ( no chemicals)

 Fill the rest of the spray bottle with distilled or filtered water.

Use as you please!


Stop and Restart, a Lesson From Adele

What courage it took for multi Grammy winning songstress Adele to stop mid song  on a live performance at the Grammy’s and say – it’s not right I have to start again ! While millions of viewers around the world watched, she did just that.

Here is a lesson for all of us , we may not be singing at the Grammy’s , but how often do we continue with things even when we know it’s not right. I know I usually tell myself the show must go on , onward and upward( my favorite phrase!) . But sometimes I think it’s better to stop , take a breath, think and restart.

Adele got more respect from the world and her peers, however embarrassing it was for her.You will always get more respect for admitting a mistake and starting again and it takes more courage.  

here are a few instances that we can stop and restart. 

A new recipe you are making and it’s not going right ….. Stop and Restart 

A conversation with a friend which is not going well …. Stop and Restart

Your family has aggravated you and you scream at them …..Stop and Restart

You are on a tight deadline and the job you are doing is not quite up to your standard … Stop and Restart

You make a mistake at work or just in life  … Stop and Restart 

You nervously make an awkward comment at a party … Stop and Restart

You are on a date and you are saying all the wrong things …Stop and Restart

You are having a frustrating day and you are taking it out on those around you …Stop and Restart

Tell me dear reader, if you ever had the courage to do this and how it helped you.


Benefits of Kombucha

What is Kombucha? Kombucha was discovered by the chinese around 2,000 years ago and since of late has been the buzz in the health food world.

Kombucha is a fermented beverage of  sugar and black or green tea   and starts with a SCOBY or bacteria and yeast commonly known as a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast.   Sugar or honey is used in the fermentation process.  Once  fermented, Kombucha becomes carbonated and contains vinegar, b-vitamins, enzymes,  and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic and lactic) and probiotic that have great  benefits. As always keep in mind to check with a doctor and moderation is the key in any health food  or supplements you may take.

Kombucha contains good bacteria for your body , such as,

  • Acetobacter
  • Saccharomyces
  • Brettanomyces
  • Lactobacillus
  • Gluconacetobacter
  • Zygosaccharomyces

Kombucha is,

  • Good for digestion, gas bloating – although highly acidic it becomes Alkaline in your body.
  • Supports weight loss
  • Increased Energy due to it containing iron and some caffeine.
  • Detoxifies the liver
  • Immune Support
  • Probiotic benefits
  • Good for yeast infections
  • Eases joint pain due to levels of glucosamine  in it.


Kombucha can be fermented and made at home, however strict sanitary guidelines must be in place for your safety to avoid contamination of other bacteria present in a non commercial kitchen.


Source of information