Making Whipped Cream at Home : How to Get the Perfect Peak

Do you love homemade whipped cream? Wondering what’s the easiest way to make a batch? Here are 2 methods for making whipped cream at home – the sweet complement to ice cream and pie. Or maybe you just like to keep a bowl in the fridge ready to swoop up a spoonful.

cup of hot chocolate with whip cream - making whipped cream

Hot chocolate practically demands a dollop of homemade whipped cream. Photo: Shutterstock

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A Taste of Stellenbosch: Exploring South African Wines and Food

Stellenbosch is the dramatically beautiful, wine-producing region in South Africa. No visit to the country is complete without a Stellenbosch wine tasting (or two). Pair the wine with a food tour and learn about South Africa’s favorite foods, like biltong and bobotie.

Driveway flanked by foliage at Waterford Estate in Stellenbosch, offering South Africa wine tours

What waits at the end of this dramatic driveway? A wine safari at the Waterford Estate in Stellenbosch. Photo: Cathy Bennett Kopf/The Open Suitcase.

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Mangia! Arthur Avenue – NY’s Other Little Italy




If your summer plans include a family trip to the New York Botanical Gardens or Bronx Zoo, take a detour to Arthur Avenue before heading home or back to your hotel. Insiders consider it the real “Little Italy”. Authentic or not, the food was delicious and it’s a worthwhile detour if you’re visiting attractions in the Bronx. Continue reading

When in Edinburgh: Scotch Tasting at The Balmoral Hotel

I subscribe to the “When in Rome…” approach to travel. Why go to Memphis if you’re not going to eat BBQ and sample late night blues, right? So, when planning a trip to Scotland, I included an Edinburgh scotch tasting in my itinerary. Guided by an expert whisky ambassador, I learned about Scotland’s national drink at The Balmoral Hotel.

Table set for an Edinburgh scotch tasting.

Ready for action at The Balmoral Hotel. Photo: The Open Suitcase.

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It’s 3 PM. Do You Know Where Your Coffee Is?

cupI’m an aggressive tourist.

During our recent family trip to Paris, I launched a Napoleonic assault on the city, beginning immediately after my morning croissant and ending with wine on the terrace in the late evening.

“Slow down,” my daughter, advised. “Paris will wait.”

No. It won’t. Continue reading