Friday, 12 April 2013

Cabbage Rolls!

After a very successful borscht adventure, Lisa and I decided to stretch our talents even further to making cabbage rolls!

Here's Lisa making the mountain of cabbage leaves.
The ingredients all lines up: rice, cabbage, onions, butter,
garlic, bacon and ground pork.
Hm, I wonder what temperature "3" is for the oven??
Delicious, gooey cabbage rolls made in a
Mexican cazuela (casserole)!

And for your viewing pleasure, an action-packed video of cabbage roll making!

Thanks Lisa!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013


I've known Lisa since kindergarten. Our paths have crossed in our adult lives, but until recently, other things always seemed to get in the way of us holding on to a consistent connection. Now, it seems like our paths of "meaningful relationships" have intersected and we are getting to know each other while hanging out in Playa del Carmen!

One of our common interests is food! Another is that we are both from Ukrainian heritage. So, what else to do but make borscht in Mexico (ie: beet soup)!

Note A: Dill is nowhere to be found in Playa.
Note B: Some use sour cream, some use sweet cream to finish the borscht. However, the common thing to find here in Playa is crema, a cross between the two, more like a thick creme fraiche. I must say it was the perfect finish, one I liked better than either sour cream or sweet cream.

Lisa peels the beets and preps the other vegetables.

Rich, red goodness simmering away!

Manuel gives his hearty approval of our Ukrainian meal!

 Next on our agenda is cabbage rolls!

Monday, 18 March 2013


My gorgeous and talented friend, Veroniek, along with her handsome and talented husband, Jamie came to visit me for 4 days. Much bonding, talking, eating, laughing and walking took place! I believe that I successfully helped them to achieve a bit of a crush on Playa.

I'm thrilled that when the question was "what was your favourite meal in Playa", each of them named a meal that was prepared at home! However, a nearby Italian restaurant was also near the top of the list.

Here is Jamie's grilled salmon with handmade spaghetti.

Caprese salad.

Handmade meat ravioli in roquefort sauce.

Tiny empanadas.

Friday, 15 March 2013


I've been asked by a few people now to do henna for money. I've never charged for my work before. Help me price my henna. What would you pay for some of these different designs, ranging from simple to elaborate?

Adventure Day!

I had the opportunity to explore a Mayan adventure in the jungle: ziplining, repelling, and the most beautiful cenote that I have ever seen. It was booked through Aventural Mayas; a little more expensive than some of the other tours, but also a little more polished. Compared to some other activities I've done, the safety standards were a little higher, the ziplines longer and faster, the cenote much more beautiful, and the lunch buffet at the end was outstanding!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Yal-ku Lagoon

Darla is visiting! Yay!

We planned a day trip to Yal-ku lagoon in Akumal, which is a protected sweet water lagoon.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Breakfast of Champions

Mexico is amazing, but it does have its downsides. For example, the other day in the middle of cooking lunch, I ran out of gas. Now, for you Canadians and Americans, I'm going to have to explain that the gas that operates the hot water heaters and stoves does not come in from a central line. There are individual tanks in the back yard that feed into the house. You would think that when it gets low, that we could just call someone to top it up. But no, that's not how it works here. You wait until it's empty, then you call someone. So, when I ran out of gas, I called my landlord who promptly called the gas company.

That was 2 days ago. I'm getting tired of sandwiches and cold showers.

So, this morning hot food was in order for breakfast! What else do you have for breakfast in Mexico but empanadas from a food cart on the sidewalk?

Here is the cart surrounded by wise Mexicans, with mama at the back making empanadas as fast as she can. Each one is handmade before deep-fried (notice the huge pile of corn dough in the green bowl). The corn dough is filled with different fillings: bean, cheese, or chicharron. What is chicharron, you ask? It is deep fried pork skin with bits of pork meat... or otherwise known as the most delicious heart attack on a plate known to man. Less than 100 pesos got enough to feed at least 3 people.