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About Awesome Travel Stuff

In this edition: Cruises, a Yummy Fall Recipe, and Highlights of a Tropical Experience

Cruise for a great time in Vegas and Anaheim

Star Princess- Anaheim

Star Princess- Las Vegas


Chef's Recipe

Asparagus & Black Truffle Risotto

Serves 5

Inspired by legendary Master Chef Jacques Pépin, the cuisine of Oceania Cruises is renowned as the finest at sea and rivals Michelin-starred restaurants ashore. Our superb gourmet restaurants serve exquisite dishes created à la minute and offer a remarkable array of choices, from Continental cuisine to authentic Italian to classic steakhouse fare. Every restaurant onboard is complimentary and features open seating, so you may dine wherever and whenever suits your taste and schedule.


  • 15 medium asparagus
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 5 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 tablespoon truffle paste
  • 6 tablespoons shredded provolone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


For the Asparagus: Peel the ends of the asparagus and cut into 1½-inch pieces. Blanch in salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain asparagus well and set aside.

For the Risotto: Bring the vegetable stock to a boil and keep it simmering while making the risotto. Sweat the shallots in olive oil for about 4 minutes, or until translucent. Add the rice and stir for 3 minutes. Add the white wine and reduce until all of the liquid evaporates. Add vegetable stock in small amounts to the rice and continue cooking until rice is tender but still firm in the center, stirring constantly about 20 minutes. Add the truffle paste, blanched asparagus, and shredded provolone and cook until the risotto is al dente.

Finish the dish by adding the parmesan cheese, butter, and extra virgin olive oil and stir until incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Keep the texture of the risotto runny. Serve immediately.

Walking on the wild side in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a nature lover’s dream destination. During a two-week trip, writer Mariellen Ward hiked in a remote national park, around an active volcano, in a biological reserve, and through a cloud forest.

I’m walking on the wild side in Costa Rica’s most remote and unspoiled national park. The jungle trail is a bit slippery with moisture from the surrounding rainforest, and it’s surprisingly dark. Sunlight filters through the thick canopy, creating dappled splotches on the verdant forest floor. Yet somehow our guide sees Costa Rica’s most dangerous venomous snake, the fer-de-lance, coiled up beside the path asleep. He says the snake is digesting and therefore not dangerous at that moment, much to our relief.

Read More from Mariellen Ward

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