Monday Meal Review: Liechtenstein


The timer’s high pitched chirp let’s me know; time to serve the King’s Cake. While I’d rather curl up in bed and wait for the fever to subside, the bright scent of orange zest and warm, sweet raisins lure me onward.

I pull the hot rolls from the oven and brush them with three coats of apricot glaze. They take on a glossy shine and begin to smell like a fruit orchard in autumn. Then comes the sugar – a snowfall of crunchy, sparkly turbinado goodness. It sticks easily to the glaze.

Instantly, my mood lifts. Proudly, I carry the King’s Cake into the living room and offer everyone a slice.

As the first hand reaches to take a piece, I dive forward.

“Wait!” I cry, swipe the tray away, and rush back into the kitchen.

I rummage through the cabinets and emerge a moment later with a single almond.

“Noone look,” I laugh slyly, and slip the almond into one of the small rolls, mentally taking note of the location.

“Ava,” I say, “would you like a piece?” offering her the soft roll which hides the almond. “Who ever finds it will be King or Queen for the day.”

She looks at me and shakes her head, disinterested. “No.”

I pause for a moment, stumped.

In a final attempt to entice Ava, I break the winning roll in half, offering her a smaller piece.

“Just a bite,” I say, quickly tucking the almond back into the crumb as I hand it to her.

She runs off to play. I’m not sure whether to laugh or sigh.

I do neither.

Instead, I nonchalantly pass the roll to my mom.

“You better eat this one.” I say. “Can’t put it to waste.”

It’s good to be queen.

Or so mom tells me.


Triple Cheesy & Sweet Onion Käsknöpfle [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

Everything.  In fact, I’ve already made this dish twice, that’s how much I love it. Using three cheeses really makes for a nice, complex flavor. And eating it with applesauce, as they do in Liechtenstein, goes together as well as “cheddar and apple pie.” One bite in and Mr Picky immediately said to add it to his favorites.

What I liked least about this dish:

Just be sure to salt your water, so the pasta gets adequately seasoned. Also, Ava wasn’t sure what to think of the squiggles so it may be a challenge for toddlers. But, as any parent knows, that can change from moment to moment, so be sure to keep trying! She eventually liked it.

Wooden Spoon Applesauce [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

This applesauce recipe is ridiculously easy – all you need is a wooden spoon. I think it would be fun to play around with the seasonings (did you know that, in the region, they sometimes like to add horseradish?). Yup. Count me in. Plus, it’s a no brainer for Miss Ava – I think it’s part of a two year-old’s job description: eat applesauce!

What I liked least about this dish:

Not much. I will say that Mr. Picky isn’t really into applesauce, apparently. I even tried to entice him to try it with pork chops, but no dice. Maybe if I added extra cinnamon…

A Cake for 3 Kings (Dreikönigskuchen) [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

Everything. The dough cooks like a dream… the crunchy sugar on the outside is fantastic, and the crown makes everyone’s smiles sparkle in anticipation. Win, win.

What I liked least about this dish:

I. could. not. stop. eating. it. Seriously.

Ava’s Corner:


  1. Keith Glennon says

    …special appearances are always neat! Glad Queen Mom ate the lucky almond! Great video production showing the steps of preparation…and Ava’s growing vocabulary!!

    • Sasha Martin says

      Yes, if Ava wasn’t interested, someone had to get it lol. Too bad I broke it in half though… it wasn’t as much of a surprise. She was still happy, as you can see 🙂

  2. Jessica Bennett says

    Was Ava interested in the almond and who got to be queen later on or did she just want to go off and do her own thing that day? Kids definitely keep you guessing- while you may have good intentions, they have their own ideas, and as long as nothing is urgent from your end, I say let them have some control over their lives.

    And I liked seeing how you made the pasta. You should include some more how-to parts in your videos 🙂

    • Sasha Martin says

      She was somewhat intrigued that my mom was wearing a crown, but she was mostly interested in playing 🙂 I wish we were able to do more how-to’s … most of my cooking is now done while Keith is at work, so that makes it hard. I happened to make it a second time since it was so good, so he decided to grab a few shots. He’s doing a great job 🙂

      • Jessica Bennett says

        That makes sense- more insight into your process 🙂 And yes, the videos are wonderful!

  3. John Fairbanks says

    Hi Sasha, heard you call in to NPR this weekend and had to check out the site. Amazing! I’ve been a really big fan of’s series “Around the world in 80 dishes” but you’ve gone so much deeper here with more dishes, pictures, and cultural content. I’m looking forward to following you are sharing this with my own children as we try some of these recipes! You definitely need to turn it into a cookbook once you’re done!

    • Thanks John! It’s been such an amazing learning opportunity for my entire family. I’m so glad you will be sharing it with your children -what a gift to help them experience other cultures via stovetop travel. Oh, and I love that site, too. 🙂

  4. I had to laugh, that is so typical! With kids things never go as planned, although they sometimes turn out even better. I’m sure your mother would agree with me on this one. What did she demand from her subjects?

    • Sasha Martin says

      You’re probably right, although I’m not sure she took full advantage… she pretty much just … enjoying wearing the crown lol.

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