Weekend fun: Avocado coconut ice cream

I’m exploring dairy- and citrus-free dessert options for when boyfriend’s dad visits next month. My first experiment, avocado ice cream made with coconut milk, turned out to be a winner. I used David Lebovitz’s recipe, which struck just the right balance between the two really rich flavors of avocado and coconut, resulting in a light […]

Beijing place names and history

As far as cities go, Beijing is very much a planned one, ever since Kublai Khan defeated the last Song dynasty emperor and established a new capital, Dadu (大都, Grand Capital), in 1271. Of course, Beijing’s history dates back further than that, but much of its modern-day layout has its origins here. Kublai Khan wanted […]

24 hours in Suzhou

This past weekend I took the high-speed train down to Suzhou with a friend. She’d never been and wanted to get one last trip in before she leaves China at the end of the month, and I hadn’t been back since the family vacation tour of 2002. At that time I was a rebellious American […]