Apparently Scott is not sick of papaya salad, because last weekend he spent $8 on a green (unripe) papaya. We used it to make a buttload of papaya salad, with basa filet mixed in. It was incredible.

It was easy to shred the papaya with our Thai vegetable shredder thingy. And I used our pressure cooker to perfectly cook the fish and green beans in 4 minutes.

I didn’t really have a recipe, I just mixed shredded green papaya, bean shoots, steamed green beans, cilantro, cherry tomatoes, peanuts, and the basa filets, plus a sauce made from lots of fish sauce and lime juice, and a bit of brown sugar, chili flakes, sesame oil and salt. It was great.

I made mango shakes to go with our papaya salad, to complete the holiday experience. Frozen mango cubes, mango juice, ice cubes, simple syrup and water blended up until it’s silky smooth. So good.

A 15 year old Melbourne kid named Morgan spends all his free time making doughnuts. School is out this week so he had a pop-up shop all week in Windsor, near where we live. I’d heard about him from a bunch of different sources so I went to check it out this morning.

I forgot my phone in the car so I couldn’t take a picture of the exact descriptions, but clockwise from the top: Cookies & Cream with custard syringe, Cinnamon Nutella, Lollies with strawberry filling, and Vanilla Chocolate Glaze with raspberry syringe.

The doughnuts are soft and fluffy, not oily at all. I liked that the glazes are made of chocolate. And the fillings are generous, there must have been a few tbsp of Nutella in the cinnamon one!! My favourite was the Cookies & Cream.

Bistro Morgan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Last month I went to Sydney for a weekend for Rae’s hens party.

A brief timeline of our friendship: Became friends in Beijing in 2008. Visited each other lots of times in Sydney/Melbourne in 2009 and 2010. Last saw her the day we left Australia to move to Canada, at the Sydney airport on our stopover, in 2010.

So it was awesome to see her again and catch up after so long! The first night we stayed up way too late just chatting and laughing.

The next day was Rae’s hens party. It was Great Gatsby themed. We had food and drinks at a restaurant, played lots of games, and then went to a club afterwards. Her friends were really nice. It was fun!

She just got married last week in Germany. <3

The next day we got ramen for lunch at Ryo’s. She said that people come from all over the place to go to this particular ramen restaurant. Then we got there and a man came out and said that they were closing early because they had such a busy morning. But Rae told him that I had come all the way from Melbourne and I was leaving that night (lies! haha) and asked him to PLEASE let us eat! And it actually worked!

I had pork soy sauce ramen with egg and vegetables, and Rae had chicken ramen. My broth was rich and tasty and the pork was super tender and fatty (in a good way). The egg was great, and the noodles nice and chewy. A very good bowl of ramen.

Ryo's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

After lunch we went on a long walk. We walked through Wendy’s Secret Garden, down by Luna Park, Milson’s Point, the place where Rae and Thomas got engaged, and back to her house. It was a beautiful day. Sydney is really pretty.

Then that night Thomas came back from his weekend away and we all had dinner together at home.

Monday I went to the zoo by myself. I had never been before. What a great location! I especially liked the gorillas.

Then Jessie picked me up after finishing work and we went to get Ava from daycare and hang out for a bit before my flight home. Ava likes to drag chairs around and eat cheese.

It’s too bad that Halloween isn’t really a thing here because I think Ava would make the cutest Eleven ever. All she needs is a pink dress, some Eggo’s, and a little facepaint nosebleed. :D

Thanks for a great weekend ladies!

June 24th – June 28th, 2016

It was a bit of an ordeal getting to Lund, Sweden, due to a broken train track combined with a holiday weekend. We waited 5ever in Malmö for the replacement bus that never showed. Finally a very nice Swedish girl offered to let us share her cab, since she was going to be getting reimbursed anyway, so we finally made it to Lund, many hours late.

We found Sarah, and then got ready to go to a Midsummer party at her friends’ place. Lund is a university town, so there are a lot of students, from all over the world. We ate, drank, played games, jumped on the trampoline until the sun finally started going down (2 AMish?) and then caught the bus (yay public services!) back to Sarah’s dorm. It wasn’t long until the sun was already starting to come up again (4 AMish)!

Sarah took us around on a walking tour of Lund. I especially liked the fancy clock in the cathedral. It gives all sorts of information about dates and astrological signs, and other things that we couldn’t figure out. It does a cuckoo clock thingy too but we weren’t there at the right time.

I couldn’t visit Sweden without having a smørrebrød!

It was fun hanging out with Sarah. We marathoned the entire latest season of Game of Thrones so Scott could catch up and Sarah could watch the last episode. We cooked weird meals with all the things she had left in her food supply since she was leaving in a week. We went to sweet Swedish parks with hammocks and outdoor gym equipment and parkour structures. I tried Kalles Kaviar, new types of candy and ciders. We did NOT try surströmming, sorry.

We did a day trip to Copenhagen one day.

We went to a very hip street food market that I had seen on TV. I had a salad wrap where the wrap was made out of egg. We went to the Danish National Museum which was really cool (and free!) but only had time to look at the viking and medieval stuff before it closed. I would want to go back some day because I think there is a whole floor dedicated to Lego!

We took the bus (free with intercity bus ticket!) to the mermaid statue because we are tourists. There were a lot of people there. It reminds me of the girl in a wetsuit statue in Vancouver, although apparently that artist doesn’t think they are similar.

Copenhagen was cool but everything was SO EXPENSIVE! I tried to get over it, because YOLO, but it wasn’t easy! I liked the very photogenic canals, and that there is an amusement park right in the city. They also have the healthiest 7-11 I have ever seen, so many salads!!

June 13th – June 18th, 2016

June 13: Very long bus ride from Bayonne to Paris. I was fine, I just played on my iPad the whole time. But Scott was not feeling very well at all. After barely making it to the AirBnb he went straight to bed. I spent the evening figuring out our travel insurance and finding an English-speaking doctor.

June 14: We spent the whole day bringing Scott to the doctors and tests. I have to say… thank goodness he got sick in France and not in Spain because at least I could speak enough French to figure out all the instructions and stuff. Nothing came back too remarkable so the doctor just said not to have any fat or alcohol to avoid anything else happening until our trip was over. Poor Scott, in France and not allowed to have cheese or wine. :(

A brief stroll through the Louvre property in between appointments.

June 15: Scott was already feeling a little better, so we decided to do a bit of walking around the city. What a trooper! We walked along the Seine to the Eiffel Tower, where they had the fan zone for the Euro. There were tons of groups of people everywhere dressed up in their countries colours. (That’s a giant soccer ball dangling off the tower.) We did one of those 1 hr river tours, and then walked up to the Arc de Triomph. I wanted to go up the Arc instead of the Eiffel because I wanted to be able to SEE the Eiffel Tower. The view was amazing! You can see everything!! I really liked how the panoramas turned out, flattening all the street spokes coming off the roundabout into a flat picture, it’s an interesting perspective.

June 16: Perhaps we walked a bit too much the day before, so this day we just stayed near our AirBnb in Montmartre. We took the little tourist train, which was actually great. Lots of info and cool things to look at, and in English!

This is MY favourite picture from the trip, I think. Poor Scott.

June 17: The night before I googled all the best food places in Paris and arranged them all into a big circuit by bus/metro/walking, also stopping by a few more Paris sights that we hadn’t seen yet.

The flakiest butteriest pain au chocolat of my life.

Laduree was doing a pop up shop that sold all white macarons. It was fun trying to figure out the flavours. Mine came with coconut, marshmallow, rose petal, lemon verbena, orange blossom, and tonka. I also got some other macarons from Pierre Hermé: chocolate passion fruit, yogurt lime, yogurt rose lychee raspberry, and passionfruit rhubarb strawberry.

I also got a slice of chocolate log, some chocolate truffle samples, and a really overpriced éclair that had glitter in the icing, for snacks for the next week.

We went to La Grande Épicerie de Paris, which was the fanciest grocery store I have ever seen. It had 1000s of incredible products, like glass jars filled with super thick hot chocolate, every variety of curd, dozens of types of foie gras, so many types of cheese and butter, and everything else you can think of. If only we had infinite money…

I have a lot of regrat for not buying this truffle and grilled hazelnut mustard that came in a super cool geometric jar.

For dinner I had baguette with paté, and a glass of wine in a very traditional brasserie. Great foodie day (for me).

I LOVED Paris. I want to go back so bad, for like… a month. We saw so much cool stuff and we didn’t even go inside any of the museums or anything!