Monthly Archives: December 2012

Twilight in Harajuku. Lights aglow from the shops along Takeshita dori. Hand in hand my BF pauses and says ” kekkon shite kudesai?”. I stare blankly, awaiting a translation. 20 seconds later I give in and awaiting my next lesson in Japanese ask “What does that mean?”. In response he drops to one knee forcing the locals and tourists alike to scatter around us, as a white box with a surreal inner glow materializes in his hand. 13 million people in Tokyo fade away as the voice on the only one who matters asks “Will you marry me?”….

I said yes of course.

Sorry for the radio silence over the past while. I’ve been basking in the glow of our engagement.

Hope 2013 finds everyone healthy and happy!


Arriving at the airport at midnight, we were a bit nackered. We passed through customs and out to meet our driver; a 20 something man holding a sign saying our name and wearing motorcycle style leather jacket. Our driver silently ushered us to our van to take us to the beautiful Serene hotel.

It was dark and the driver was quick but skilled as he darted in and out of lanes, sometimes in the right lane, other times straddling the center line. There was a fine mist falling outside as the driver flew down the expressway. Honda bikes piled high with industrial goods coasted along beside supply trucks and small cars. Our driver liked to be the head of the pack, using his horn to advise other drivers to move over or when cutting someone off to advise them when he was in their blind spot. Sparks and a screech later and we were witness to our first motorcycle accident, the sorry victim skidding across the expressway asphalt (and thankfully getting up somewhat unscathed moments later).

As we cruised into the darkened city streets our driver pulled into a quiet alley. Reversing into the blackness of the street and not saying a word. After three minutes of sitting in a dark car…silently… a friendly representative from Serene hotel came to walk us to the hotel.

The hotel was beautiful and clean. Here are a few snaps of our room.

Best of all the staff were incredibly friendly and helpful. My Dad recently told me that it is warmth that people remember and that is why I won’t be forgetting this unique spot in Hanoi.

Now off to Ha Long Bay! Woot!!

The alleyway the next morning.


My bf sent me an image of this dessert some weeks back and I was inspired. Why hadn’t I thought of using the apple itself as the delivery system for delicious apple crisp?

Having no idea where the image originated I decided to re-create it using my crisp recipe as a guide.

Apple Crisp (Using an Apple Delivery System)

– Apples (Choose your favorite baking apple)

– Quick oats (1/2 cup per apple)
– Canola oil (1/8 tsp per apple)

All other ingredients are to taste.
– Vanilla
– Cinnamon
– Allspice
– Ginger
– Lemon juice
– Brandy
– Raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Dig a hole in your apple (be careful not to go through the bottom of the apple). I used a knife and a serrated grapefruit spoon for this task.
3. Place your apples in a lightly greased baking dish.
4. Mix filling. I’ve provided a rough guide for the quantity of the oats and oil per apple but the rest of the ingredients will really depend on your own preferences. The goal is to have oats that are moist and sticky but not wet and goopy (since the apple juices will also soften the oats).
5. Spoon filling into apple. I packed mine in a little as I like a fairly even apple to crisp ratio.
5. Bake for 25-35 minutes.
6. Serve warm with frozen yogurt.