Eat here: Hansen’s Sno-Bliz, New Orleans, USA

Hansen’s Sno-Bliz
4801 Tchoupitoulas St, New Orleans

If you find yourself in New Orleans, count yourself lucky. Because summer over there is snoball season, and the only place to get them from is Hansen’s. If you live over there, you already know about Hansen’s. If you don’t, keep reading – its much more than just dessert.

It’s a really simple concept for a hot day treat: shaved ice, drenched in flavoured syrup. Starts as a frozen dessert requiring a spoon, ends as a slushie. And they’ve been making their snoballs the exact same way since they started in 1939.

See, Ernest was an enterprising young machinist who created a machine to shave light, fluffy piles of ice. And his wife, Mary, was a whiz in the kitchen where she came up with the syrup recipes (which they still follow to make their syrups in-house to this day).

Now run by the third generation of the family, they open every year while the weather is hot. Walking into their store is like walking back in time to the most perfect cotton candy-pink museum you could imagine. It really is one of those places that make New Orleans what it is, especially these days when there aren’t many family businesses still around. We got lucky last year; with the city experiencing a particularly long summer, they were still open in late October, and we got stuck into this coconut pineapple snoball.


Cook this: quick & healthy – summer prawn & pomelo noodle salad

After almost 6 weeks of cold winter weather in America, it’s actually been kind of nice to have a bit of a warm summer (which is a strong statement from me, because I’m definitely more of a winter person and struggle in Melbourne’s hot weather)!

With warm weather comes the opportunity to put together some quick, healthy meals – the produce we get here is pretty good, and doesn’t need much done to it to make it taste good. It’s also a good time to experiment with salads (things like the pomelo – not an every day ingredient, but I saw it at the market over the weekend and got all excited because I’d used pomelo in a cooking class in Thailand and loved it!), and even though this is crazy easy and really doesn’t require any cooking, I wanted to still put it out there so that people can see that:
a) healthy food doesn’t have to taste like crap
b) salads don’t have to be boring

I think they are both really common misperceptions, and they were certainly big reasons that a lot of my clients struggled with their diets and weight loss goals while I was working as a personal trainer. Anyway, summer salad, get around it!


Summer Prawn & Pomelo Noodle Salad

To make 2 serves, you’ll need…
– 1 bundle soba noodles, cooked as per directions on packet
– 1 carrot, peeled and grated
– 1 cup snow peas, blanched and halved
– 200g shrimp, cooked (I just fried mine lightly in a little cooking spray oil)
– half cup of pomelo segments
– 2-3 tsp sesame oil to pour over the top
– garnishes (if you wish): torn mint leaves, thinly sliced spring onion (green bits only) and toasted sesame seeds

Pretty easy – just throw it all into a bowl and enjoy!

Review: new sunnies by SelectSpecs!


Well this is exciting – I got new sunnies! This is exciting because generally “new sunnies” means a cheap pair of crappy glasses I picked up for a few dollars in Thailand or Vietnam or somewhere like that, which break after a few weeks. I’m not great at caring for sunglasses, so I generally don’t bother wasting my money on them.

A few weeks before I set out to travel the other side of the world, I was approached by the lovely Kathryn at SelectSpecs, a UK based online and brick-and-mortar store for both prescription and sunglasses. I was generously invited to take a pair of their sunnies for a test run, and I was intrigued after receiving a link to their £6 collection. That’s only AUD$11.00, or USD$9.00. Seemed a little too good to be true… but they had my attention. I selected my pair, the black Savannah, and eagerly awaited their arrival. Unfortunately, they didn’t arrive before the trip, but after breaking yet another pair of cheap Vietnamese knock off sunnies in Toronto, it was a lovely surprise to come home to!


First up, delivery actually only took 2 weeks, which was pretty good considering it was only 2 weeks before Christmas. Second, points for the hard case they arrived in; that’s a huge factor pertaining to the safety and longevity of my sunnies. Those little canvas bags do not work when you’re like me and just throw your sunnies into the black hole that is the handbag. These guys are bag safe!

I’m giving a thumbs up for the sunnies themselves – I love the design, and I actually really like the rubber/matt-style finish as opposed to the shiny finish you get on a lot of sunglasses of this style. This makes the arms quite comfy behind the ears, which is good when you’re wearing them for a while. The lenses, which can also accommodate prescriptions, are AC lenses UV400, and have been great against the glare and sunshine.


I have to be honest. I wasn’t expecting much, considering how cheap they were, but these sunnies are actually fantastic! I took them up on the offer figuring they’d be a decent pair of back up sunglasses, but I’ve worn them every time I’ve left the house since I got home last Saturday, and I’m already looking at ordering the tortoise shell ones as a secondary pair! They’ve got a great range at really affordable prices, a well set-out website with fun things like how to pick frames to suit your face shape, and surprisingly good customer service/help department – the only thing I’d recommend is ordering a few pairs at a time (maybe a joint order with friends) to make the shipping costs worthwhile. Jump on their website and enjoy shopping!


* Disclosure: This post was sponsored financially by SelectSpecs. The opinions contained herein are completely my own based on my experience. *