Travel Tidbits

From our friends at Viking River Cruises comes another of their great recipes; this time it’s Sangria!

Thank you Viking River Cruises!


One orange, peeled, segmented and halved One cup strawberries, hulled and quartered One cup seedless green grapes, halved One 750-ml bottle of rosé wine One-third cup Cointreau or other orange-flavored liqueur The juice of one lemon


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and chill in the refrigerator for three hours. Add three cups ice and serve in wine glasses or large tumblers, making sure that each glass has an ample amount of both fruit and wine.


A two for one cruise AND two for one airfare. That’s the latest enticement from Viking River Cruises for a 15 day cruise from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minn City. To further encourage your participation, they have included one of their great, onboard recipes – Beef Pho, or Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup. Enjoy and thank you to Viking River Cruises for providing this for our readers.



One pound oxtail (or add a pound of beef bones)
One chopped onion
Two pieces star anise
One-half cinnamon stick
One clove
One-half teaspoon peppercorn
One slice fresh ginger root
One-half tablespoon sugar
One-half tablespoon salt
One-half tablespoon fish sauce
NOTE: Beef broth may be substituted for the above—see note in first paragraph of directions.

One pound flat rice noodles
One-quarter pound frozen sirloin

Garnishes to serve on the side:
Sriracha (Vietnamese hot chili pepper sauce)
Hoisin sauce (Chinese dipping sauce)
Thinly sliced onion
Chopped fresh cilantro
Bean sprouts (mung beans)
Sweet Thai basil
Thinly sliced green onion
Limes, quartered


Place the beef knuckle in a large (four-quart) pot. Season with salt, and add one gallon of water. Bring to a boil; simmer for about two hours, then skim fat from the surface of the soup. Add the oxtail and onion. Place star anise, cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorns and ginger in a spice bag (small cloth drawstring bag, or use a tea infuser) and add to the soup. Add sugar, salt and fish sauce. Simmer over medium-low heat for four more hours. Strain broth, and return to the pot to keep at a simmer. Remove the spices and bones. NOTE: This method yields a very tasty and authentic result, but it takes approximately six hours. If you prefer, you may substitute three quarts of high-quality beef broth for ALL of the ingredients in italics above. Simmer for one hour, then proceed with the second paragraph of the directions below.

Slice the frozen beef paper-thin; the meat must be thin enough to cook instantly. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Soak the rice noodles in water for about 20 minutes, then cook in boiling water until soft but not mushy—about five minutes. Place some noodles into each bowl, and top with a few raw beef slices. Ladle boiling broth over the beef and noodles in the bowl. Serve with sriracha and hoisin sauces on the side. Set onion, cilantro, bean sprouts, basil, green onions, and lime out at the table as condiments.

Makes 10 servings


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