Hello May!

delicious links, new classes and celebrating 12 years of my blog!

May 18th 2021

Hello! And welcome to my newsletter in its new home over here on Substack!

(a side note that if you signed up to receive my newsletters on Mailchimp, I imported that subscriber list over here, this is the same content, just on a different platform).

I’ve been publishing the newsletter on Mailchimp for a couple of years, and now I have a nice amount of subscribers (thank you!), I’m moving over here for a couple of reasons.


Substack offers options that I am really excited about! Many of you, over the past two years have told me how much you love reading this newsletter each month. Many of you have also told me you’d pay to read it. And while I’m planning on continuing this free missive each month, I will also introducing a paid subscriber option which will give you not only the free version of the newsletter but a minimum of two subscriber-only posts (including one recipe) each month, class discounts, giveaways and other content of interest from time to time.

I’ll be introducing this in June so stay tuned!

Share eat. live. travel. write.

where we’re at

May is my birthday month! It’s also the month I started my blog… all the way back in 2009! That’s right, my blog is 12 this year, nearly a teenager! I didn’t do a post about it this year (because, hello still being overwhelmed by #pandemiclife) but I wanted to acknowledge that I’ve published 2515 posts since May 15th 2009. Wow, that’s a lot of eating, living, travelling and - especially - writing!

Above you can see the Pavlova Printanier that I was surprised with for my birthday by Neil. It’s from The Tempered Room here in our ‘hood in Toronto - which I highly recommend if you’re ever visiting. “Paris in [Toronto]” indeed!

The pandemic is ongoing and here in Toronto, we’re still under a stay-at-home order (set to expire on June 2 but all depends on the numbers). As we sit back, preparing for the very low bar set by the government of a “one dose summer” (remember, they are spacing vaccine doses FOUR MONTHS APART here so very few people are fully vaccinated), we watch as the world re-opens. And, to be honest, we hold our breath. Because we saw where that went after last summer’s normalcy in many places. Fingers crossed that the vaccine rollouts in other countries (that have been more efficient) are enough to hold together the re-opening plans!

Both Neil and I have had our first dose but aren’t due to receive the second shot until August (!). So we’re not really sure what summer will look like. Again, we wait…

What about you - what is life like where you are these days?

Thanks for reading, stay safe!



upcoming online classes

Classic French Cocktail Hour Snacks for Context Learning, Sunday May 30th 3pm – 4.30pm EDT. Click HERE for details.

Menu du Jour (three course menu)***, Saturday June 12th 11.30am – 1.30pm EDT. Click HERE for details!

Choux Pastry: Profiteroles and Éclairs for Context Learning, Sunday June 27th 1pm – 2.30pm EDT. Click HERE for details.

*** use discount code NEWSLETTERSUBSCRIBER for a 10% discount


This month, one lucky subscriber will win TWO places in the online Menu du Jour cooking class on June 12th with me (read about it here). You and a friend can cook together, apart !

I'll do the random draws at 6pm on May 31st 2021 and contact the winner via email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond otherwise another winner will be chosen. Good luck and thanks for subscribing!

you might have missed

Recent recipes on my blog that you might have missed (click on the recipe names to get the details!):

Top left: Anzac Biscuits (Gluten-Free and Vegan - but you wouldn’t know!)

Top right: Almond and Oat Flour Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Bottom left: Almond-coconut breakfast loaf

Bottom right: Coconut lime financiers

Want to make sure you don’t miss a recipe on the blog?

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links I love

(interesting snippets, roughly grouped under the themes I like to read and write about)


Why don’t banana candies taste like real bananas? via Science Friday. I found this absolutely fascinating. Learn how the history and science of “real” and “fake” banana overlap and merge!

Why we refrigerate eggs in the United States and other countries don’t via Travel & Leisure. We refrigerate eggs here in Canada, too.

Tokyo Lamington makes around 100 versions of Australia’s iconic cake via SBS.com. I love me a good lamington but I’m not sure about some of these flavours…


If you don’t want to go, say no via The New York Times (possible paywall). “Most social obligations would be best left in the Before Times.” Anyone else wondering how they will manage “normal life” again when it returns?

Perspective: what we’ll keep via The Washington Post. What will your “new normal” post-pandemic look like?

The nervous person’s guide to re-entering society via The New York Times (possible paywall). “For those who have remained cautious throughout the pandemic, it’s normal to feel unmoored by fewer safety precautions.” (< yup)


My life-changing trip to Europe as a food-obsessed teenager via The Wall-Street Journal. Paris-based food writer Alec Lobrano first visited Europe in the 1970s on a summer vacation with his mum. “She wanted him to learn about the Roman Empire. He wanted to eat.”

50 reasons to love France via The Good Life France. Just 50? ;)


Love to read books set in France? Join the “Novels set in France” group on Facebook, “a place for authors of fiction set in France to connect with readers".

What we’re watching

Money Heist. “An unusual group of robbers attempt to carry out the most perfect robbery in Spanish history - stealing 2.4 billion euros from the Royal Mint of Spain.” Ah, that thing where you see “4 parts” and think, “Excellent, we won’t have to invest for too many episodes” but then you realise that each “part” is around 8 episodes long (!). It’s really good but we have taken a break after “Part 2”. Will get back to it later, it’s clever and well done.

The Serpent. “The twisting, real-life story of Charles Sobhraj, a murderer, thief and seductive master of disguise, who was a hidden darkness in the mid-70's on Asia's hippie trail.” Whoah. This was creepy and boy was he evil. Couldn’t stop watching it though.

The Handmaid’s Tale. Ok, so maybe this is an unpopular opinion but I am finding this season pretty slow (we’re on Episode 5 of Season 5). I won’t stop watching though. It’s cool to see bits and pieces of Toronto here too!

The Secrets She KeepsA chance encounter between two pregnant women in a supermarket just outside of Sydney.” <<< SERIOUSLY IMDB, this is your description? What started out like a fairly innocuous storyline turned into a twisted tale of jealousy and revenge.

Percy “A Canadian farmer takes on a giant corporation after their GMOs interfere with his crops.” Wow, this was an eye-opening tale of a real-life David vs. Goliath.

The Gloaming. “When an unidentified woman is found brutally murdered, Detective Molly McGee teams up with fellow cop, Alex O'Connell, with whom she shares a tragic past, to solve the crime.“ Ok, this is set in Tasmania and I think it makes it look gorgeous (creepy, but gorgeous!). Neil repeatedly said it didn’t exactly make him want to hop on a plane to Hobart anytime soon. This was a good murder mystery a little spoiled by a heavy focus on witchcraft (also: too much going on, too many plots) but we watched it all so….

buy my book!

“One of the best ways to have fun and bond with young people is to cook with them as partners. Kids are inherently creative; the smell and taste of the dishes produced will stay with them permanently. In the French Kitchen with Kids, a thorough, well-organized, approachable and friendly cookbook, will take your child on a delectable culinary voyage leading to a lifetime of lasting memories.”

– Jacques Pépin

Read more and get your copy here!

rent our holiday home in south-west France!

Can’t you just picture yourself here?

Our charming house in Nérac, halfway between Bordeaux and Toulouse in the heart of Gascony is available to rent if you're able to travel there! Read more and check availability on our site!

Thanks for reading!

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