Experience Plus!

Bicycle Tours Since 1972

Experience Plus - Bicycle Tours since 1972

Breton Crêpes

John Giebler (our Director of Tours, and occasional tour leader in France and Italy) shares his favorite crêpe recipe in honor of the new ExperiencePlus! tour in Brittany and Normandy.Full Story

Sweet Crepes

Roasted Asparagus with Hollandaise

April marks the beginning of asparagus season in Germany and in France and is cause for celebration because it also means that spring has finally arrived. In Germany asparagus fever ...

Cremona Stradivari’s Hidden Gem

Bea Tassinari and Silvia Leoni work at our headquarters in Italy and have generously sent in this report on their recent visit to Cremona, Italy. Enjoy! For those of you keen ...

Roasted Kale Chips

In recent years kale has come into its own and this is a delightful, crispy side dish has little in common with the boiled, tasteless recipes of the past.  It’s ...

Cauliflower Calabria

Cauliflower: a white, seemingly boring vegetable that unfortunately suffers from neglect in the grocery store and sometimes in the fridge has just received a facelift. And, no, it’s not cheddar ...

January 2014 Rambler Newsletter

Welcome to the January 2014 Rambler In This Issue… A Note from Monica and Maria Elena Tika’s Secret about Argentina 2013′s Greatest Hits from the ExperiencePlus! Facebook Page Confessions of a Tandem Cyclist Book Review: A Lady ...

Rosticciana with Fruit Sauce

Rosticciana has become a favorite for our travelers on the Bike Across Italy: Venice to Pisa trips. In fact the serving plate always ends up empty which is rare given ...

Culinary Delights Tour Hits the Gelato Lab

The 8 and 11 day ExperiencePlus! Whole Journey’s Culinary Delights tours feature a visit to the lab at the Carpigiani Gelato Museum and University, a fabulous opportunity to study an ...

Belgian Endive and Pear Salad

Endive was discovered in Belgium in 1830 and by the mid-nineteenth century it was being cultivated and sold as “witloof” or white leaf. Endive is now grown in a variety ...

Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta Travelers on the recent Bicycling Sardinia – Alghero to Cagliari trip devoured a wonderful Panna Cotta which inspired Italian tour leader Lisa Merighi to share her grandmother’s recipe with ...

A Taste of Aphrodisiac Diamonds on Tour

By ExperiencePlus! Tour Leader Pia de Richemont What did Marilyn Monroe, Mussolini and President Truman have in common? Fame? Certainly. Insomnia? Quite likely. But the three of them also shared a ...

Chard Quiche – From the Field to Your Plate

Many of you may remember Josette Smyrl who coordinated our hotels and meals in France for years. Josette has retired and lives in Provence with her husband and gardener extraordinaire ...

Fisherman’s Risotto

“My wife’s a better cook than yours” was the common refrain on fishing boats plying the Adriatic Sea. These rugged men would leave home for three or four days at ...

Cyclist Seeks Puglian Cheese and Curious Cows

Selecting a bonus “theme” to take with me on my ExperiencePlus! cycling trips has always enhanced my excitement and sense of discovery about an area. When I found out I ...

Active Foodie Trips: Whole Journeys by Whole Foods Market

Join ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours and Whole Journeys – a division of Whole Foods Market® – on two new “Active Foodie” cycling adventures that explore local landscapes through activities like visiting ...

Tortillas from Catalonia

Spanish omelets or tortillas are one of the most common dishes in Spain and though most are made with potatoes the French influenced Catalan version uses chick peas instead. You ...

(Irish) Snacks and a Movie

Looking for an opportunity to get some Irish culture, to savor the flavor and sound of traditional food and music of the Emerald Isle? Go ahead and rent a movie ...

Scottish Cranachan

Cranachan is a traditional Scottish dessert and we are fortunate that our Scottish coordinators are willing to share their favorite recipe with us. Nowadays, Cranachan is typically made from a mixture ...

Zucchini Salad with Mint and Provençal Rosemary Almonds

Spring comes and you innocently plant not one but two zucchini plants in the garden – after all, one could die. Well, the time of reckoning has arrived! You now ...

Greek Kale Salad

Kale packs a punch, many believe it to be a perfect food, packed with antioxidants, vitamin C and K, high in lutein and beta carotene. But, many folks just don’t ...

Provençal Melon with Beaumes de Venise Muscat

The ExperiencePlus! Bicycling through the Best of Provence Plus! the Luberon and Aix-en-Provence tour now goes through Beaumes de Venise. A lot of France’s melons grow nearby around Cavaillon, and ...

Spring Salad

This recipe comes to us from our friends at Cooking Vacations Italy and takes advantage of the spring harvest including fava beans, lemon balm, mint, chives, radishes, spinach, lettuce and ...

Via Emilia – road to Italian culinary history

By Jeff Greenwald. Writer Jeff Greenwald joined ExperiencePlus! on a combined and modified version of our Bicycling Venice to Florence and Cycling Italy’s Culinary Delights: Emilia Romagna Plus! Bologna itineraries that ...

Crème Brûlée

When you travel to France, chances are you’ve got some culinary must-tastes on your list. While crepes and the delicately-crafted pastries in the corner patisseries are delightful, one dessert you ...

Neeps and Tatties

A delicious twist on a traditional Scottish recipe which should technically be accompanied by Cock a Leekie soup, Cranachan,  and haggis all washed down with whisky, but we’ll leave it ...

Dordogne Hazelnut Cake

I, like most of you, find myself excited by local specialties while I’m traveling and I often come home with flavored oils, spices or syrups that then sit in my ...

Vlaamse Stoverij or Belgian Beef Stew

Tour leaders Michele Boglioni and Enrico Dal Monte were recently doing some reconnaissance for our Bicycling Belgium’s Best Brewery tours and stopped in for some authentic Belgian Beef Stew. They ...

Cotechino Sausage with Lentils

Cotechino Sausage with Lentils Though our recipe is a little late for your New Year’s celebration, we thought we’d go ahead and share this traditional New Year’s dish that combines ...

Daube Provençale or Beef Stew with Wine

Daube Provençale or Beef Stew with Wine This month’s recipe comes to us from Josette Smyrl who coordinated hotels and meals for ExperiencePlus! for years. Now retired and living near Aix-en-Provence ...

Risotto with Pear, Gorgonzola, & Walnuts

This month’s recipe comes to us from tour leader Enrico Dal Monte who you may have met on tour in Belgium, Italy, France or Spain.  Pears are in season so ...

New Culinary and Cycling Tour in Italy

If we’ve learned one thing at ExperiencePlus! over the past forty years it is that our cyclists love to eat.  So it was no surprise in 1991 when a group ...

New in France – Cycling the Languedoc

Cycling the Languedoc (Plus! French Catalonia) With a variety of landscapes bathed by the Mediterranean sun and connected with a vast network of small country roads that extend from the sea ...

Piadina or Flatbread

Piadina* or Flatbread Ingredients: 5 cups (500 grams) of unbleached flour, soft flour if you can find it 2 teaspoons (10 grams) salt 5/8 cup (70 grams) of rendered lard (or scant half cup ...

Josette’s Cherry Clafoutis

Josette’s Cherry  Clafoutis Preheat oven to 400F Ingredients: 1/2  pounds pitted Cherries 3/4  cup flour 2/3 cup  sugar 3 eggs 1 cup milk or light cream 1/3 cup melted butter 1 teaspoon powdered or brown sugar In a bowl, ...

Strawberry Lasagna with Cream

Serves Four Sponge Cake: 3 egg yolks 1/3 cup sugar pinch of salt 3 egg whites 3/4 cup flour Zest from half an orange The Filling: 1 cup of fresh strawberries 2 tablespoons of lemon juice 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar 3/4 ...

Celebrate Italy’s 150th Birthday

As the ExperiencePlus! Italia 150 bicycling expedition begins May 7th in Marsala, Sicily we thought it would be the perfect time for all of us to acknowledge Italy’s unification. Unfortunately ...

Ramsons or Bear Garlic Soup

Philipp Alexander Schmitt, one of our Tour Leaders in Germany and Spain, recently shared his version of Bear Garlic Soup which some of our travelers will remember fondly from their ...

Interview with Chef Erick Vedel

Photo Daniele Voirin A local Provençal chef tells us about his passion for food and how it has pervaded other areas of his life. Each year he opens his home to ...

Camargue Red Rice with Ginger and Chickpeas

This recipe comes to us from Chef Erick Vedel and was served on the ExperiencePlus! Bicycling through the Best of Provence tour October 2010. Clinical studies have proven that red rice ...

Per la Cena or What’s for Dinner?

An interview with Bea Tassinari who coordinates meals on ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours in Italy. Bea can you tell us a little about the process of deciding what’s for dinner on a ...

Soufflé of Parmesan Cheese

Sformato di Parmigiano or Soufflé of Parmesan Cheese We often receive requests from customers who have eaten something fabulous on tour and are hopeful that we can find or have a ...

Ragú Pasta Sauce

Ragú is comfort food Italian style for the Malpezzi Price family. Simple ingredients  combine to form a delicious sauce for your favorite pasta. A dinner mainstay (leftovers are even better!) ...

Beet and Feta Salad with Honey-Oregano Vinaigrette

Beet and Feta Salad with Honey-Oregano Vinaigrette This month Paola invites her colleague, Ellen Brinks, to share her beet recipe. “Beet and Feta Salad works well as a side dish, but ...

Potato Soup with a Mediterranean Twist

The common potato is a simple winter vegetable that makes an innovative, warm and creamy soup if paired with a tangy Mediterranean fruit like the olive. The best type of ...

From Mamma Paola’s Kitchen: Cold Borscht Soup

When Rick and I were in Poland about to begin our Krakow to Budapest bike tour in 2009 I tasted a delicious borscht soup. This recipe reminds me of that ...

Summer Couscous with Seafood

This recipe comes from the kitchen of Paola’s nephew, Claudio Malpezzi and the staff at the Titon Restaurant in Cesenatico, Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Some of you may be interested in the ...

French Béchamel Sauce

Ingredients: 3 tbsp butter or margarine 1/3 cup flour 2 cups milk 1/2 cup grated cheese or more salt and pepper to taste la technique Melt the butter or margarine in sauce pan. Add flour and stir ...

Provence: Ruins, History, Artists, Authors, Wine, Culinary ...

Provence: Ruins, History, Artists, Authors, Wine, Culinary and Cycling Delights If you’ve dreamed of bicycling through Provence we have three opportunities for you this fall; our Cycling Provence, Cycling Provence Plus! ...

Panforte with Hazelnut & Almonds

“Panforte” means “tough bread” in Italian. It is somewhat similar to a Christmas fruit cake, American-style. Panforte and Panettone are the ultimate Christmas or holiday Italian dessert. Panforte is originally ...

Baked Lemon Almond Tart

The past several years, Rick and I have discovered the joys and benefits of almonds. We eat them as a snack, put them in our oatmeal or granola, and add ...

Greek Salad

There are as many variations of Greek salad as there are Greeks. We’ve selected our favorite, but feel free to experiment to find your perfect combination. We suggest that you ...

Lebanese Hummus

ExperiencePlus! hosted an Open House at our new office last month and our guests  requested recipe copies. We thought with the Superbowl this week it’s a perfect time to share ...

Parmesan and Radicchio Salad

Parmesan and Radicchio Salad Radicchio is a very prevalent Italian winter vegetable (mostly grown October through February in north-eastern Italy) and comes in several different shapes and sizes—almost always red and ...

Bavarian Apple Torte

Bavarian Apple Torte ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours has a tradition of celebrating birthdays with a dessert from an area that one of our bicycle tours travels through. This month we sampled a ...

Nutrition: Before, During and After Your Bicycle Ride

By Leah Barrett, MS, LCSW Nutritionist / Wellness Counselor at become fit in Fort Collins, Colorado What you eat plays a significant role in how you feel during your bike rides. ...

Hvarska Gregada (Fish Stew)

Hvarska Gregada or Fish Stew Here’s a recipe from our final dinner in Hvar, Croatia on our Bicycling the Islands of the Dalmatian Coast tour. It’s a traditional Dalmatian fish stew ...

Acquacotta or Tuscan Soup

Acquacotta or Tuscan Soup Literally, ‘acquacotta’ means ‘cooked water’. This is the Tuscan version of ‘Stone soup’. This was once a very humble soup made out of a little tomato, onion ...

Panettone, Italian Christmas Bread

Panettone, Italian Christmas Bread My father would bring home at least two or three brightly colored boxes -the color blue dominated – inside a delicious, rounded mound of a cake-like, light ...

Walnut Bread Recipe – Pane di Noci / Pain aux Noix /

Pane di Noci / Pain aux Noix / Walnut Bread You are sure to find this kind of bread wherever there is an abundance of walnuts, like in some parts of ...

Creamy French Pumpkin Soup

Creamy French Pumpkin Soup (A note from Rick Price of ExperiencePlus!) This recipe comes to us from Josette Smyrl, coordinator of our France hotels and restaurants from 1995 through October of ...