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The Sobo Cookbook



I was lucky to recently receive a copy of The Sobo Cookbook from Random House, with recipes from the popular restaurant located on the west side of Vancouver Island in Tofino. It’s a really beautiful book, filled with photos depicting life on the west coast and recipes shaped by the influence of life on the Pacific and chef/author Lisa Ahier’s Texas roots.

The cookb0ok seemed like a good enough excuse for me to get into the kitchen and, with Julia visiting from Vancouver, we decided to make the Killer Fish Tacos with Fresh Fruit Salsa recipe and take it to Beacon Hill Park for a little al fresco dinner.

A bottle of Sea Cider Pippins to cut the chipotle heat of the tacos and the few remaining hours of lovely sun were a perfect way to spend the evening.

Killer Fish Tacos with Fresh Fruit Salsa

Fresh Fruit Salsa (see below)
1 lb wild salmon, boneless and skinless
1 lb halibut, boneless and skinless
1 Tbsp salt
½ cup olive oil
1 cup small-diced red onion (about 1 onion)
½ cup puréed canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
16 crispy hard taco shells (we used soft tortillas)


  1. Prepare the fresh fruit salsa.
  2. Cut the salmon and halibut into 1-inch cubes and season with the salt.3.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 1minute. Add the fish and fry for about 3 minutes, until just cooked. Add the chipotlechilies and sauté for 2 to 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. Fill the taco shells halfway with the fish mixture, then top with the salsa.
  5. Serve immediately, two tacos per person.
  6. Fresh Fruit Salsa

This salsa should reflect the season, — buy what’s fresh! Makes 5- 6 Cups.

4 kiwi fruits, diced small
½ pineapple, diced small
1 mango, diced small
1 small papaya, diced small
2 avocados, diced small
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine all the ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use. This salsa will stand up for about24 hours, after which time the fruit begins to break down.

Cook’s Note:
The fruit in this salsa should be diced smaller than for a fruit salad, but not sosmall that the fruit turns to mush. It should amount to 5 – 6 cups all together. If you intend to prepare the salsa in advance, don’t add the avocado until immediately before serving as avocado. turns brown quickly.

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Ahier & Andrew Morrison. Photography in Sobo Cookbook © 2014 by Jeremy Koreski. All rights reserved.





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Miss Mason




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Scotty Dogs


I’m going to Scotland today! Me and my parents are going to do a road trip around the country and visit a few places in Northern England too. I’m pretty excited to sip pints in pubs in Edinburgh, see the Isle of Skye, and wander the hills and fells of the Lake District.

The only problem is it’s bloody COLD in the UK right now! I’m hearing talk of snow and zero degrees. Here in Victoria it’s blue skies and blooming trees outside my window. Even when I came back in February, the flowers were out. I went for a walk with Ian and the dogs, Rufus and Leon, and couldn’t help snapping a few photos in the flowers.

Also, a special thanks to Rebecca for lending me her warm and snuggly cloak to fight off the Highlands gusts!


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Follow Me


If you’re like me and use Google Reader for following blogs, websites and everything else on the internet, then the news that Google is shutting Reader down permanently is a big (and annoying) surprise. I follow everything from the Twitter account of the crazy guy who lived in my Vancouver apartment building to endless celebrity gossip at Oh No They Didn’t to my favourite tumblrs whose posts I don’t want to miss.

I’ve been researching alternatives and so far I have heard the most recommendations for Feedly and Blog Lovin.

To follow Rachabees on Blog Lovin, click on the icon below. I’ve added a smaller one to the sidebar too.

Follow on Bloglovin

As well, you can like the Rachabees Facebook page, to receive notification when I update.

In the meantime, I will take hope in predictions like this one, that foresee an even better RSS reader appearing, now that the main competition is shutting down. Fingers crossed!

The photos, by the way, are from Shibu Onsen. Onsen tamago, eggs cooked in hot spring water, are a popular food in onsen towns. The cat is sitting in the window of Kanaguya, an onsen hotel that inspired the bathhouse in Spirited Away. I like to think it’s a magical neko.


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Things Collected (part 1)










Some things collected on my trip up until Tokyo:

1. Wakayama Electric Railway Kishigawa Line tourist maps

2. Super Station Master Tama’s meishi (business card)

3. Ichigo Densha, Tama Densha, Omocha Densha postcard, Wakayama

4. Postcards from Amount of Cats, a cat-themed store in Koenji, Tokyo

5. Gerbils postcard from a stationary store in Kobe

6. Bathing instructions from I♥湯 onsen, Naoshima

7. Yayoi Kusama button from Naoshima

8. Postcards from Arima Onsen

9. Postcard from Arima Onsen / Notebook bought at Swimmer, Harajuku, Tokyo


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Last night at 11:59pm, I was snuggled in a king-sized bed between Cathy and Michelle, a pair of sisters I’ve known for nearly 20 years, and Cathy, who has been one of my closest friends since we met in elementary school, was pointing at the clock on my computer screen, gleefully crooning, “Soon!! Soooooon!”

The clock rolled over to midnight and that was it. The end of my twenties. I am now 30 years old, same as Cathy, who had left her twenties behind a week earlier.

Of course, nothing has really changed and as I am spending my birthday at a beautiful resort on the tropical island of Langkawi, Malaysia, there’s absolutely nothing to complain about. I can’t deny that my life for the last six months has been more than agreeable and celebrating not one, but two New Years (Western and Chinese) in addition to this landmark birthday, has given me a lot to think about in regard to my “real life” back home. It’s strange how leaving home can put it in the forefront of one’s mind.

Happy birthday to me! I’m a lucky girl with a blessed life and I couldn’t be more thankful; hopefully 30 will be as auspicious a year as 29 ♥

Photo taken in Vang Vieng, Laos

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Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas from southern Cambodia! My festive cleavage and I would like to wish you happy holidays and hope that where ever you are, you’re as warm as I am in the Cambodian sun, heh heh. Hope you’re all enjoying good family, friends and FOOD!! What I wouldn’t give for my dad’s mashed potatoes right now. My gift to you all will be catching up this blog with my current whereabouts (SE Asia) eventually.

xoxo Rachel

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Hostel Haiku

Girl snores like Mack truck

Even earplugs are useless

Try rustle bag too?

1:18 am

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Busy Times

July has been a total whirlwind. I’ve been packing as much as I can into my schedule, furiously trying to take advantage of every sunny day in Vancouver and to make sure the people I’ll miss the most are with me at all times. So nice to have (sort of) warm nights in which to bike home, bike across town, bike everywhere. In Vancouver I’ve got a practical but aesthetically boring bike, but whose disc brakes and many gears I always appreciate on the commute to work. In Victoria, I’ve got the Lady Caprice, whose basket is bent from one too many bottles of wine and adorned with dusty white roses and who gets me all around town faster than a car (except when its raining and her brakes become non-existent). Jordan recently upgraded his about-town-cruiser with a snappy Linus. I think it makes a fine and elegant companion to the Lady Caprice.

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Summer Wheels

Originally I tried tying in these photos of my Grandpa and Baba on bicycles with a rant on the weather and how I want to bike in the sun for once, but who needs to talk about the weather*, right? I just love these photos, taken at different times and places, and I especially love the photo bombing dog. Bikes, sunshine, dog friends, etc.

*”Out of June’s 30 days, 25 were cooler than the historical average”, “Vancouver has had only 68 hours of bright sunshine this month, while an average June experiences 229 hours of sunshine”, EVERY DAY IS 12 DEGREES. ARRRGH.

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