Friday, December 18, 2015

The Time Has Come!

Bags are packed. Double and triple checks have been made. Farewells and holiday wishes have been said. Now it's time to get on the plane because....


To say I'm excited is an understatement. I don't think there is a word to accurately describe my feelings about going home for the holidays. I haven't slept well all week because I'm constantly day dreaming and thinking about what it's going to be like to be home. I love my job, but this week has been LOOONG! But now the time has come! In just about 24 hours, I'll be home in New Brunswick for the holidays. After two Christmas' away, I have a feeling that this one is going to be extra special! 

See you soon, NB! xo

Monday, December 14, 2015

Recipe: Baked Salmon with Lemon Dill Sauce

I eat a lot of salmon. I have one go-to recipe and I usually stick with it every time I eat salmon, which is usually once a week. Sometimes I get bored of said recipe and I need to mix it up a bit. My friend Amanda was telling me about this "Lemon-Dill Sauce" she got at Ikea that she put on her salmon one night and really liked it. Just listening to her describe it made me drool! The next time I made salmon, I decided to try and make my own lemon dill sauce to top my basic go-to salmon recipe with. My first attempt at making it was a flop; way too much dill! The next time was better. And then the third time was OUT OF THIS WORLD good! I definitely don't think I'm a chef, but I certainly like to pretend I am one. My plating needs work (see sad attempt at plating in photo above), but I definitely think I got the taste nailed down! 

My "go-to" salmon recipe is simple: Salmon on a baking sheet; lightly coat with olive oil and squeeze of lemon; sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a little chopped fresh dill; top with two lemon slices; bake for about 15 minutes. 

Lemon-Dill Sauce for Salmon

  • plain yogurt, 7 tbsp
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise 
  • 3 tbsp chopped, minced fresh dill
  • 1 clove garlic, minced finely 
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste


1. Spoon about 7 tablespoons of the plain yogurt and 1 to 1 and a half tablespoons of mayonnaise into a bowl. Mix together with a spoon. 
2. Finely chop the fresh dill and garlic and add to the bowl with the yogurt/mayonnaise mixture. 
3. I like my sauce bright with lots of lemon! So, I add the juice of the full lemon, but this might be too much for you. I suggest adding half a lemon first and tasting and if you want more, then add the other half. 
4. Stir together. 
5. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. 

I served my salmon with rice and a side of garlic roasted asparagus. I garlic roast all my vegetables lately: broccoli, green beans, brussels sprouts. I SLATHER my plate with this sauce. I went "light" for the photo op, but then sat at the table with the bowl of sauce beside me adding more and more. I mean, it's made from yogurt, so it's healthy right?! 

Try out this recipe and please comment and let me know what you think! Was it to lemony? Too dilly? Just right? What ways do you like to cook salmon? Let's share! 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Weekend Getaway to Shanghai.

At the beginning of November, I got a phone call from my friend Ken. He asked me if I'd be interested in going to Shanghai at the end of the month with a couple of other friends. Of course I was on board! Who doesn't love travelling and taking spontaneous trips just for the heck of it!?

So, on Friday (November 27th) I rushed to the train station after work to catch the bullet train to Shanghai with Ken, Alexis, and Andy. (Sidenote: Andy had to work later than he would have wanted and didn't make it in time to catch the train. So, our group of four turned into a trio for the weekend. Sorry Andy!) 

We got to Shanghai around 11:30pm that night and to our hotel at 12:30ish. A little part of us was hoping that Andy would already be at the hotel after maybe hopping a flight to Shanghai. Sadly though, he was not there. After settling in to our rooms and taking a short wander around the streets outside our hotel, we made a plan for the next day: good food, touristy things, see MIGUEL! more good food and drinks. Sounds like a plan to me!

I had visited Shanghai with Amanda in May of 2014. It was a holiday long weekend and we did a great job of seeing as much of the city as we could in such a short amount of time. This time around, I was going for a normal weekend with two people who had never been before. We agreed that the Pearl Tower and the Bund were a must! So after eating an amazing brunch at Boxing Cat Brewery (which I had eaten at last time I was in Shanghai), we hopped the subway to the Bund.

Oh, another thing! The weather in Shanghai was a treat that weekend! We left smoggy, cold Beijing wearing winter coats and scarves. The layers were shed in Shanghai where the sun was shining and the air was (almost) clean! It made for some awesome pictures of the Bund and city skyline.

After getting our scenic shots, we headed across the water to check out the Pearl Tower. Cliche as it sounds, the pictures really don't capture the view from the top of the Pearl Tower. And they also don't capture the feelings you have while you are up there. You really just need to check it out for yourself! I remember thinking to myself while looking out over the vast and enormous city, how eerie yet mind blowing it is that when I'm down there walking around those streets, there's this whole bustling city around me that stretches for what really is MILES! I'm just one little ol' person in a sea of millions of people! It's crazy! Really.

After going back to the hotel to "freshen up", we met up with my kindred spirit, Miguel! I love this little Peruvian. He makes my heart happy! And I'm so excited that he'll be living in Shanghai for the next couple of years because YAY VISITS! We had dinner at a delicious Thai restaurant called "Coconut Palace" and then we went over to the Shanghai Brewery (which I also ate at last time I was in Shanghai) to have some drinks and continue our hilarious night. Seriously guys, I haven't laughed so hard so frequently in a LONG time. My "abs" hurt from laughing so hard on Saturday! I loved it.

Sunday, we had time in the morning to grab some brunch at KABB with Miguel. Miguel and I share a passion for food. We had discussions about how dining out should be an experience. I think Alexis and Ken might have given us a stare down or two, or maybe just an eyebrow raise, but Miguel and I truly are foodies. Brunch was AMAZING! I'm in love with all combinations of eggs benedict, and KABB's eggs benedict, topped with truffle hollandaise was...there are no words. (Dad, I see you drooling!) 

And then to the train station we went back for home. Of course, the train ride back to Beijing felt like an eternity compared to the train ride to Shanghai. Most weekends, I like to spend time with friends while also finding some time to relax from the craziness that is full-time teaching. While there wasn't much relaxing done in Shanghai, there was friends, laughter, good food, good drink, sunshine, and lots of happiness! Now, that's how weekends should be!