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Some American travelers are wary of hostels these days. Maybe it’s the Hostel horror movie series that instills in us a fear of cheap rooms in unfamiliar places, or it could be that we find the idea of a communal bathroom to be just unthinkable. But we should be giving hostels a chance; after all, they’re cheap, usually relatively clean, and full of travelers from all over the world who are open to adventure and looking to meet new people.
27 Incredible Hostels for Food (Slideshow)
Plus, every now and then you come across a hostel that serves some of the best food in town. We’re not kidding. Hostel food has come a long way since your parents backpacked through Europe, and hostel owners are increasingly looking for ways to appeal to their foodie guests.
We admit that no hostel meal can come close to Michelin-starred dining or compare to the breakfast buffet at the St. Regis (although one reviewer on our list did say her meal tasted like it came from a five-star restaurant). However, the quality of hostel food is improving as hostels realize the value of feeding guests delicious, local fare. Some establishments offer famous regional specialties like barbecue, ceviche, or poutine; and these are just a sampling of some of the excellent offerings found in hostel dining rooms around the world. "Having good-quality dishes at an affordable price means our guests will always be happy," says Jordi Sinclair, head of marketing for PLUS Hostels. "To us that’s the most important thing, and we like to think that will keep them coming back."
So what makes a hostel’s food stand above the rest? "Food is part of the cultural experience you get when you visit a foreign country," explains Andres Poveda Solano, co-owner of Hostel Pangea in Costa Rica. Lyle Kent of Green Tortoise Hostel in San Francisco adds, "We believe that good food and budget travel are essential partners in discovering the world."
Good food at a hostel can make a huge difference in backpackers’ experience in a new city. One of the charms of staying in a hostel is the opportunity it offers to meet people from all over the world, and for these hostels, the dining room is one place where the magic happens. Whether you’re enjoying a hearty breakfast on a terrace overlooking the scenic French countryside or participating in a free tour of a Spanish city’s tapas bars with fellow travelers, the food at these 20 hostels will create memories you won’t soon forget.
Yes! Lisbon Hostel, Lisbon
One Hostelworld reviewer said that this hostel’s 10 Euro Portuguese dinners “taste like a 5-star restaurant.” They even offer vegetarian options.
Hostel One Paralelo, Barcelona
You won’t find a restaurant with menus in this rave-reviewed hostel, but the food gets five-star testimonies from guests who said the complementary Spanish and Italian style meals were “some of the best” they’d ever seen.
Emily Alford is a special contributor to The Daily Meal.
Click here to see more hostels with the best food.
27 Traditional Foods You Must Try in Peru
One of the best reasons to visit Peru is gastronomy. In fact, Peru has been the best culinary destination in the world for many years now. The wide variety of climates, ecosystems, and environments allow for a multitude of products to be grown, making Peruvian cuisine very diverse.
By the coastal region of Lima, you can have some of the best Peruvian ceviches in the world. While higher up in the mountains in the city of Cusco, dishes using alpaca meat are more common. In the southern part of Peru near Pisco, you will find a region where they produce a liquor called Pisco. Peru has so much diversity when it comes to food.
In fact, the capital of Peru, Lima has 2 of the top 50 restaurants in the world.
However, there are hundreds of Peruvian dishes. Below we have selected our favorite 27 foods you must try in Peru.
27 Amazing Celebrity Wedding Cakes
You can't have a party without cake, but when a celebrity is getting married, everything is taken to an entirely higher level. From cakes taller than the groom, to elaborate sugar-flower displays, to a cake that cost as much as a down payment on a house, these are some of the most amazing celebrity wedding cakes we've ever seen.
By now, we know the Duke and Duchess of Sussex went super untraditional in terms of cake choices: Their unstacked, lemon and elderflower cake was unlike any other royal wedding cake before it . and it looked delicious.
Kardashian and Odom's wedding cake &mdash made by Hansen's Cakes in Los Angeles &mdash was a five-tiered, sleek black-and-white creation, filled with chocolate buttercream and white chocolate chips. Oh, and bonus &mdash it was even taller than Odom. Now that's impressive.
If you fell in love with Vergara's custom Zuhair Murad couture gown, wait until you see her cake. Designed by Sylvia Weinstock, the five-tiered cake featured a quilted design, flowers over each tier, and was topped with a giant floral arrangement.
For Cruise and Holmes's Italian wedding, they chose a five-tiered white chocolate mousse cake covered in marzipan roses.
The amazing thing about Pitt and Jolie's wedding cake isn't how many tiers it had or the intricate fondant craftwork, but that it was made by their son, Pax. Aww.
A royal wedding requires a show-stopping cake, and Prince William and Kate Middleton did not let us down. Their cake, made by pastry chef Fiona Cairns, was an eight-tiered traditional fruit cake with white icing, decorated with up to 900 sugar-paste flowers, garlands to mirror the architectural details in Buckingham Palace, lattice work, and piped leaf detail. That $80,000 price tag is making more sense now.
Would you expect anything less than classic elegance from Clooney and Alamuddin? The couple cut into a four-tiered, square-style art deco chocolate wedding cake at their Venice wedding.
Cake or decor? For Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting's wedding, they opted to go non-traditional, commissioning an upside-down wedding cake hanging from a chandelier. Created by Kimberly Bailey from The Butter End Cakery, the cake took two hours to install, and had to be held upright by planks and sandbags. When it came time to cut into it, Cuoco had to be assisted by three people to make sure it didn't come crashing down.
Like her sister, Khloe, Kim K. opted for a classic, tuxedo-inspired black and white wedding cake when she married Kris Humphries. The eight-foot tall cake weighed an insane 600 pounds, and was a chocolate-chip marble cake decorated with buttercream frosting&mdashall for $20,000. NBD.
Naked cakes had a moment in the wedding world, and even Duff got in on the trend, opting to go for the more simple, rustic glamour in hers to give it a "vintage homemade look."
If Blake Lively and Ryan Reynold's elegant vanilla-and-sour cream wedding cake with peach-apricot preserves and Earl Grey-milk chocolate buttercream wasn't enough, they also offered a pretty rad dessert buffet at their wedding.
The Dancing With the Stars pros had a four-tier, pink and white masterpiece for their summer 2017 wedding that also featured tons on tons of pearls.
This "vegan, gluten free magic" featured rosewater, orange blossom, lavender, and chocolate flavors, which was spot-on for the low-key Brooklyn wedding Penn and Domino had. Also, it's gorgeous! That fruit!
The oldest Jonas brother and his longtime love had a gigantic, fondant-covered masterpiece at their 2009 wedding. It had edible flowers and a tiara on top, which Danielle enjoyed wearing when they thawed the top layer of the cake out for their anniversary.
This seven-tier (!) cake was ivory and gold and had jewel and flower embellishments throughout. Omarosa raved about the cake after the fact, calling it "divine."
Because Julianne cares a lot about eating clean, this simple cake was fruit-forward. &ldquoEach tier was four layers of cake with a layer of strawberries and cream, a layer of blackberries and cream and a layer of raspberries and cream," her cake designer Kayla Carey told PEOPLE.
The View co-host's lovely cake was vanilla and chocolate and filled with mousse. It was five tiers and custom designed for the couple.
This six-tiered, yellow cake masterpiece (with Elvis and Priscilla's names written on it!) likely would've cost north of $20,000 today. It was filled with apricot marmalade and Bavarian cream and covered with more than 1,000 edible roses.
Clinton and Mezvinsky's nine-tier cake came in around 500 pounds and was vanilla with a dark chocolate mousse filling. Oh, and it was gluten-free.
This magnificent thing (seen here at the 1956 royal wedding) featured an actual 3D replica of Monaco's Pink Palace as well as the royal family of Monaco's crest and two cherubs on top.
Another DWTS wedding, another fantastic cake! This cake was seven tiers of "pink velvet" and a compromise after the pair tried 13 versions before landing on this one.
Yes, another one! This DWTS wedding cake was super colorful. Per Us Weekly, it had five flavors: "layers of Valrhona chocolate cake, vanilla bean cake, carrot cake, almond cake and banana cake."
Though Lauren had this adorable little cake, she and her husband actually opted to serve their guests apple pie instead. She shared her homemade recipe years later on her website.
The iconic duo's cake was made by none other than Sylvia Weinstock. This was a ten-tier, six-foot-tall, vanilla and buttercream work of art that was actually so big, it reportedly had to be dismantled to get into the venue.
Did you know the couple asked their wedding guests to show up to the reception in black and white, then showed up themselves wearing purple? Oh, and then there was the matter of the cake that had a nude sculpture of themselves up top. :)
GOOP queen Gwyneth and her new husband Brad had teeny, tiny, beautifully frosted carrot cakes at their late summer wedding, Betsy Thorleifson of Nine Cakes confirmed via Instagram.
While we don't know much about Miley and Liam's wedding cake (to be fair, they kept the whole wedding thing pretttty lowkey), we got a glimpse of it in one of her friends' Instagram stories&mdashthe two-tiered, buttercream-frosted, flower-adorned dessert was simple, as was the cake-cutting ceremony that went with it. As far as those cupcakes you see right next to it? Yeah, we don't know anything about them either, but they look pretty sweet, too.
BEFORE BACKPACKING HAWAII: STEP TWO
Like Mainland US, you do not need a Visa for Hawaii for up to 90 days, if the intention of your trip is solely sightseeing, transit or in this case backpacking. For backpacking Hawaii, you will likely be required to purchase an ESTA through the Visa Waiver Program.
As you are visiting Hawaii on a budget, you will be glad to hear an ESTA is relatively cheap and costs $14 (about £9) and generally is valid for multiple trips over a period of two years. Like all trips, check if you require a Visa as everyone’s passport follows different rules.
27 Incredible Examples Of AI And Machine Learning In Practice
There are so many amazing ways artificial intelligence and machine learning are used behind the scenes to impact our everyday lives and inform business decisions and optimize operations for some of the world’s leading companies. Here are 27 amazing practical examples of AI and machine learning.
Using natural language processing, machine learning and advanced analytics, Hello Barbie listens and responds to a child. A microphone on Barbie’s necklace records what is said and transmits it to the servers at ToyTalk. There, the recording is analyzed to determine the appropriate response from 8,000 lines of dialogue. Servers transmit the correct response back to Barbie in under a second so she can respond to the child. Answers to questions such as what their favorite food is are stored so that it can be used in conversation later.
Coca-Cola’s global market and extensive product list—more than 500 drink brands sold in more than 200 countries—make it the largest beverage company in the world. Not only does the company create a lot of data, it has embraced new technology and puts that data into practice to support new product development, capitalize on artificial intelligence bots and even trialing augmented reality in bottling plants.
Even though Dutch company Heineken has been a worldwide brewing leader for the last 150 years, they are looking to catapult their success specifically in the United States by leveraging the vast amount of data they collect. From data-driven marketing to the Internet of Things to improving operations through data analytics, Heineken looks to AI augmentation and data to improve its operations, marketing, advertising and customer service.
Culinary arts require the human touch, right? Yes and no. AI-enabled Chef Watson from IBM offers a glimpse of how artificial intelligence can become a sous-chef in the kitchen to help develop recipes and advise their human counterparts on food combinations to create completely unique flavors. Working together, AI and humans can create more in the kitchen than working alone.
Another way AI and big data can augment creativity is in the world of art and design. In one example, IBM’s machine learning system, Watson, was fed hundreds of images of artist Gaudi’s work along with other complementary material to help the machine learn possible influences for his work including Barcelona, its culture, biographies, historical articles and song lyrics. Watson analyzed all the information and delivered inspiration to the human artists who were charged with the creating a sculpture “informed” by Watson and in the style of Gaudi.
Music-generating algorithms are now inspiring new songs. Given enough input—millions of conversations, newspaper headlines and speeches—insights are gleaned that can help create a theme for lyrics. There are machines such as Watson BEAT that can come up with different musical elements to inspire composers. AI helps musicians understand what their audiences want and to help determine more accurately what songs might ultimately be hits.
Global energy leader, BP is at the forefront of realizing the opportunities big data and artificial intelligence has for the energy industry. They use the technology to drive new levels of performance, improve the use of resources and safety and reliability of oil and gas production and refining. From sensors that relay the conditions at each site to using AI technology to improve operations, BP puts data at the fingertips of engineers, scientists and decision-makers to help drive high performance.
In an attempt to deliver energy into the 21 st century, GE Power uses big data, machine learning and Internet of Things (IoT) technology to build an “internet of energy.” Advanced analytics and machine learning enable predictive maintenance and power, operations and business optimization to help GE Power work toward its vision of a “digital power plant.”
With approximately 3.6 petabytes of data (and growing) about individuals around the world, credit reference agency Experian gets its extraordinary amount of data from marketing databases, transactional records and public information records. They are actively embedding machine learning into their products to allow for quicker and more effective decision-making. Over time, the machines can learn to distinguish what data points are important from those that aren’t. Insight extracted from the machines will allow Experian to optimize its processes.
American Express processes $1 trillion in transaction and has 110 million AmEx cards in operation. They rely heavily on data analytics and machine learning algorithms to help detect fraud in near real time, therefore saving millions in losses. Additionally, AmEx is leveraging its data flows to develop apps that can connect a cardholder with products or services and special offers. They are also giving merchants online business trend analysis and industry peer benchmarking.
AI and deep learning is being put to use to save lives by Infervision. In China, where there aren’t enough radiologists to keep up with the demand of reviewing 1.4 billion CT scans each year to look for early signs of lung cancer. Radiologists need to review hundreds of scans each day which is not only tedious, but human fatigue can lead to errors. Infervision trained and taught algorithms to augment the work of radiologists to allow them to diagnose cancer more accurately and efficiently.
Neuroscience is the inspiration and foundation for Google’s DeepMind, creating a machine that can mimic the thought processes of our own brains. While DeepMind has successfully beaten humans at games, what’s really intriguing are the possibilities for healthcare applications such as reducing the time it takes to plan treatments and using machines to help diagnose ailments.
Cars are increasingly connected and generate data that can be used in a number of ways. Volvo uses data to help predict when parts would fail or when vehicles need servicing, uphold its impressive safety record by monitoring vehicle performance during hazardous situations and to improve driver and passenger convenience. Volvo is also conducting its own research and development on autonomous vehicles.
BMW has big data-related technology at the heart of its business model and data guides decisions throughout the business from design and engineering to sales and aftercare. The company is also a leader in driverless technology and plans for its cars to deliver Level 5 autonomy—the vehicle can drive itself without any human intervention—by 2021.
The AI tech revolution has hit farming as well, and John Deere is getting data-driven analytical tools and automation into the hands of farmers. They acquired Blue River Technology for its solution to use advanced machine learning algorithms to allow robots to make decisions based on visual data about whether or not a plan is a pest to treat it with a pesticide. The company already offers automated farm vehicles to plough and sow with pinpoint-accurate GPS systems and its Farmsight system is designed to help agricultural decision-making.
The BBC project, Talking with Machines is an audio drama that allows listeners to join in and have a two-way conversation via their smart speaker. Listeners get to be a part of the story as it prompts them to answer questions and insert their own lines into the story. Created specifically for smart speakers Amazon Echo and Google Home, the BBC expects to expand to other voice-activated devices in the future.
UK news agency Press Association (PA) is hoping robots and artificial intelligence might be able to save local news. They partnered with news automation specialist Urbs Media to have robots write 30,000 local news stories each month in a project called RADAR (Reporters and Data and Robots). Fed with a variety of data from government, public services and local authorities, the machine uses natural language generation technology to write local news stories. These robots are filling a gap in news coverage that wasn’t being filled by humans.
Big data analytics is helping Netflix predict what its customers will enjoy watching. They are also increasingly a content creator, not just a distributor, and use data to drive what content it will invest in creating. Due to the confidence they have in the data findings, they are willing to buck convention and commission multiple seasons of a new show rather than just a pilot episode.
When you first think of Burberry, you likely consider its luxury fashion and not first consider them a digital business. However, they have been busy reinventing themselves and use big data and AI to combat counterfeit products and improve sales and customer relationships. The company’s strategy for increasing sales is to nurture deep, personal connections with its customers. As part of that, they have reward and loyalty programs that create data to help them personalize the shopping experience for each customer. In fact, they are making the shopping experience at their brick-and-mortar stores just as innovative as an online experience.
As the world’s second-largest retailer, Walmart is on the cutting edge of finding ways to transform retail and provide better service to its customers. They use big data, machine learning, AI and the IoT to ensure a seamless experience between the online customer experience and the in-store experience (with 11,000 brick-and-mortar stores, something rival Amazon isn’t able to do. Enhancements include using the Scan and Go feature on the app, Pick-up Towers and they are experimenting with facial recognition technology to determine if customers are happy or sad.
Central to everything Microsoft does is leveraging smart machines. Microsoft has Cortana, a virtual assistant chatbots that run Skype and answer customer service queries or deliver info such as weather or travel updates and the company has rolled out intelligent features within its Office enterprise. Other companies can use the Microsoft AI Platform to create their own intelligent tools. In the future, Microsoft wants to see intelligent machines with generalized AI capabilities that allow them to complete any task.
When you bring together cloud computing, geo-mapping and machine learning, some really interesting things can happen. Google is using AI and satellite data to prevent illegal fishing. On any given day, 22 million data points are created that show where ships are in the world’s waterways. Google engineers found that when they applied machine learning to the data, they could identify why a vessel was at sea. They ultimately created Global Fishing Watch that shows where fishing is happening and could then identify when fishing was happening illegally.
Always at the top of delivery extraordinary service, Disney is getting even better thanks to big data. Every visitor gets their own MagicBand wristband that serves as ID, hotel room key, tickets, FastPasses and payment system. While guest enough the convenience, Disney gets a lot of data that helps them anticipate guests’ needs and deliver an amazing, personalized experience. They can resolve traffic jams, give extra services to guests who may have been inconvenienced by a closed attraction and data even allows the company to schedule staff more efficiently.
Google is one of the pioneers of deep learning from its initial foray with the Google Brain project in 2011. Google first used deep learning for image recognition and now is able to use it for image enhancement. Google has also applied deep learning to language processing and to provide better video recommendations on YouTube, because it studies viewers’ habits and preferences when they stream content. Next up, Google’s self-driving car division also leverages deep learning. Google also used machine learning to help it figure out the right configuration of hardware and coolers in their data centers to reduce the amount of energy expended to keep them operational. AI and machine learning has helped Google unlock new ways of sustainability.
From what tweets to recommend to fighting inappropriate or racist content and enhancing the user experience, Twitter has begun to use artificial intelligence behind the scenes to enhance their product. They process lots of data through deep neural networks to learn over time what users preferences are.
Deep learning is helping Facebook draw value from a larger portion of its unstructured datasets created by almost 2 billion people updating their statuses 293,000 times per minute. Most of its deep learning technology is built on the Torch platform that focuses on deep learning technologies and neural networks.
Instagram also uses big data and artificial intelligence to target advertising and fight cyberbullying and delete offensive comments. As the amount of content grows in the platform, artificial intelligence is critical to be able to show users of the platform information they might like, fight spam and enhance the user experience.
28 Delicious Dump-and-Bake Casseroles That Can Be Prepared in Minutes
Casseroles are great family comfort food. But sometimes they get complicated with lots of pre-cooking and pans required to bring the components together. That's where "dump casseroles" come in. The unusual name just means that you don't have to do anything besides dump the ingredients together and bake. So when time for whipping up dinner is short but you need a hot meal, try one of these simple casseroles.
Kadir&rsquos Tree House, Olympos, Turkey
Did you love playing in a tree house when you were a kid? Or did you grew up in the city, envious of those TV kids who had one? Enjoy your siesta up in the branches with a terrific view of the National Park of Olympos and gorgeous beach waiting for you down your rope ladder at Kadir&rsquos Tree House!
- Prices: 12&euro for a bed in a 6 beds dorm 22&euro per double private.
- Location: at the heart of marvelous Olympos village.
- Facilities: Air con, Wi-fi, hot showers 24/7, credit cards accepted, washing machine and laundry service, car parking, safety boxes, cool bar and resto.
- Attractions: Olympos national park with famous Mt Olympos at the background turquoise water and splendid golden sand beaches.
Where do you find the most authentic and traditional Italian Recipes? Only at Cooking with Nonna.
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These nutritious nuggets are packed with phytochemicals fat-free, high-quality protein folic acid fiber iron magnesium and small amounts of calcium. Beans are an excellent and inexpensive protein source and a great alternative for low-calorie vegetarian meals.
Eating beans and legumes regularly as part of a healthy eating plan can help reduce the risk of certain cancers lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels and stabilize blood sugar. Beans also play an important role in weight management by filling you up with lots of bulk and few calories.
Think beans when making salads, soups, stews, or dips.
Our Favourite International Cusines
We have so many favourite cuisines and dishes from around the world. Many we have experienced during our travels. While others are recreated closer to home.
While our home country of Australia itself isn’t the most exciting foodie destination, we do have a few desserts worth trying. And of course, there is Vegemite.
Lamb is a popular meat option… especially around Australia Day. Although it’s definitely better in New Zealand. We do have a few desserts worth trying. And of course, there is Vegemite.
Do you love Disney? Bring the Disney inspiration into your kitchen with these copycat recipes from Disneyland & Walt Disney World.
Our last night dinner in Warsaw, Poland
Instead, one of our favourite cuisines is definitely Polish! Traditional Polish food such as pierogi (dumplings), kielbasa (pork sausages) and Golonka (pork knuckle) are a must when visiting Poland!