Sapporo, Scottsdale

Valentine’s Day this year fell on what was a lovely sunny Friday in Arizona. This, of course, meant only one thing: every bar and restaurant in town was going to be packed by around 5pm.

Being the intelligent creatures that we are, we decided to head out early for Happy Hour and try and avoid the crowds. The fourteenth of February is a special occasion for us, not least because it is also Valentine’s Day, but we usually try and avoid going anywhere on the actual day for fear of getting gouged by set menus and high prices.

When we rocked up to Sapporo they had just opened and there was a great spot on the outside terrace available, so we made ourselves comfortable and perused the menu. This was the first time I’d ever gone out to eat sushi (I know, gasps of horror all round). I’d only ever eaten sushi in to-go pack form, from supermarkets and chain places (I know, more gasps of horror). But I knew enough about it to know that I would love it when done properly.

The menu is fairly overwhelming. They serve sushi and teppanyaki, and the list is extensive, with some creative concoctions on there. We opted for a Spicy Tuna (spicy tuna mix, cucumber and kaiware), Las Vegas (toasted eel, crab, avocado and cream cheese), Friends With Benefits (crab mix and cucumber roll topped with lobster, jalapeno slices and a chipotle mayo) and the Lobster Potstickers.

sapporo scottsdale

My Favourite Amsterdam Restaurants

Prior to moving to Amsterdam this week, I’ve visited the city three times in the last two years, partly due to the affordable accommodation the city has to offer. Part of what I love about the city is the range of food options, particularly the unusual Asian and African cuisine.

What I do find they do really well, though, and what I’ve indulged in every time I’ve stayed in Amsterdam, is pizza and burgers. Here are a list of my favourite restaurants in the city that I’m looking forward to eating at in the next few months, and can definitely recommend.

the butcher

The Butcher

Much like a hole-in-the-wall dive bar, The Butcher is an unassuming little burger joint that produces quality food. From the outside, it doesn’t look like much, and it’s only got a handful of tables inside, but the burgers can rival any of the gourmet burger joints I’ve eaten at around the world. They even do a mean fish and chips, which is what I ordered last time, and that honour isn’t bestowed by me lightly, coming from the home of fish and chips. Also, it apparently has a separate little room in the back where you can enjoy cocktails in the evening.

  • Albert Cuypstraat 129, Amsterdam

Healthy Breakfast Muffins with Apricot and White Chocolate

healthy breakfast muffins

I’m currently in a state of denial. Denial about the fact that I have to fish my backpack and cardboard boxes out and start packing up our stuff.

Luckily, we’re not taking half as much with us to Amsterdam as we brought when we made the road trip out here to Phoenix. Scott’s old coffee table and crockery, for example. It just isn’t worth our while to ship things like that over to another country, when it would probably cost us much less if we buy it all from scratch.

It still seems like such a daunting task. And the cleaning. Oh, the cleaning. Not just the house, but the dog and all of her bedding. It’s actually turning into a mammoth task.

Triple Chocolate Brownie Cookies (Whole Wheat)

triple chocolate brownie cookies

So, apparently, moving to another country requires a lot of work. I will officially be an “expat” in two weeks time and I still have nowhere to live. Gulp.

In my defense, I’m just lazy. Kidding. Kind of.

It does seem as though there aren’t enough hours in the day lately. By the time I’ve managed to get all my work done, which seems to be getting later every day, all I want to do is make dinner and fall asleep in front of the TV. I feel too exhausted and overwhelmed by the whole process of looking for somewhere to live.