Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas baking

Well the idea was to start my Christmas baking this weekend, but somehow it got waylaid with the here and now instead. I had grand plans to make some icebox cookies so that they could just be thawed out when it came time, and thrown in the oven and save myself tons of time. But then I noticed I had two lemons to be used, so first I had to make lemon poppyseed muffins and a lemon bread. Then I had a hankering and R. always has a hankering for chocolate chip cookies, so those had to be added to the list. But I wisely started on the famous UBC cinnamon buns first, at least scalding the milk and waiting for it to cool and made the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies while the milk cooled down. While the cookies were in the oven, I continued onto making the dough for the buns.

I have to remind myself next time to halve the recipe. While I love the idea of having 18 buns (or however many I ended up with), the mixer just cannot handle that much dough. It mixed it, but it also went all the way up the mixer and I spent almost as much time cleaning the mixer as I did making the buns.

At least the black and white cookies were also easy to make while the dough was proofing. That's the great thing about cookies, everything goes together so quickly and the baking time isn't that long, it's almost instant gratification.

The best part is how nice the house smells when there's baked goods in the oven, and how warm it gets. It was a good prelude to doing the Christmas baking at least.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Food, in a manner of speaking

We had an administrator's retreat today and for the professional development part of the retreat, a speaker was brought in to do a presentation on the Power of Food (that's what he called it). Now far be it for me to say how much you need to pay a motivational speaker but no matter what the cost, I think it's important that the person does due diligence in researching their topics before speaking.

I'd heard of the talk before, in fact, this gentleman has been on campus to speak a few times now, and he's almost as popular as Rachael Ray. His talk is on how the foods affects how we feel, our energy level, blah, blah, blah. I'll give him credit in not talking about one hit wonders, like the Atkins diet, however, he was there mostly to promote his product line which he sells, along with his motivational books and recipes, and services as a life coach.

The main reason I found this entertaining is that being in the field of Medicine, two of our faculty members attended the session and you could tell that they were not nearly as impressed by his talk as some of the administrators. In fact, in discussion over lunch, our director said that some of his statements were downright false. Of course the faculty members are far too polite to say anything, but I wonder if they were having thoughts like I was. I was sorely tempted to raise my hand during the session and ask if his background was in Nutritional Sciences, or Chemistry, knowing full well from reading his website, that it was neither. Also, as my boss pointed out, the speaker said when he opened his fridge, he could see his cooked quinoa, his flax seeds and hemp seeds and whole oat groats waiting for him; when she opened her fridge, she has a large bottle of wine and some different jars of sauces for flavouring. My boss looks great and so you think I'm going to follow the sayings of some snake oil salesman, I mean speaker, or a doctor who's studied the science of health? I also managed to lose a fair bit of weight in my early 20's, I just wasn't smart enough to make a living out of telling people how I did it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The birthdays that keep giving

Friends of ours took us out for dinner the other night, as part of my birthday gift. It was a dinner at Bacchus Bistro, at Domaine de Chaberton in Langley. My first thought was, what would a place out in Langley know about good food. Well they obviously know a fair bit. The service was impeccable, very friendly server who reminded R of Drew Barrymore, and of course our friends were fun and great conversationalists. We began with appetizers, L had the foie gras which of course came with brioche toast, fig marmalade, pickles and dipping sauces. He'd never had foie gras before, but loved every bite of it. C had the onion tarte, which smelled absolutely divine. For some reason, I think R & I had the seafood bisque, which while it didn't have the salt air about it that the one at The Chef and the Carpenter had, was still absolutely amazing.

Dinner was the venison roast for L (the special of the night), the salmon for R, and I had the halibut special. (don't ask what C had, I can't remember). But everyone definitely oohed and ahhed over their meals. Oh, and they brought us scalloped potatotes to share, which was so rich and yummy, I would've scarfed the whole thing down if I hadn't been feeling so full already. I wasn't thinking of having the menu prix fixe, but it turned out that since I had already ordered two of the specials, I might as well have the dessert as well. I had the lemon tart, which was a perfect way, I thought to finish off the evening. L had the chocolate mousse which looked sinfully delicious.

It was nice sitting outside on the covered patio as there was a large party of 30ish women inside, and we all know how rowdy a group of women can get. We finished off the evening with some chocolate at home to make it the perfect evening.

This past Sunday, N took us out to dinner for his birthday. Silly I know, but he had a gift certificate from the Washington Avenue Grill for a free meal for him. We'd been here before with R's parents for brunch which was very lovely. The one thing about going to White Rock is that you have to pay for parking, all the time practically. They're worse than downtown Vancouver about their pay parking times. But I guess they figure they're a small area, so they're going to milk it for all it's worth. But I digress.

We all began our dinners with the seafood chowder, which was really tasty. It was a difficult choice since so many items looked so good, but that turned out to be a very good decision on our parts. For entrees, N had the mixed seafood trio, I had the ahi tuna and R had the special of the night, Alaskan king crab legs and an 8 oz. steak.

I guess I had expected more out of this restaurant since they do call it fine dining, and the chef had done a really nice job with the food, but the service left something to be desired. I'm not expecting, or even wanting a super bubbly server and a prancing pepper boy, but at least show that you've had some training in service. The girl who re-filled our glasses would reach across the table to re-fill N's glass, rather than going around to his side. The only good server really, was the one who brought us our food and knew to serve from the left. However, they didn't bring R either a shell cracker or the seafood fork so that he could extricate the meat from the crab legs. They completely forgot the crab legs for another table.

I'm not upset by this, but I think that the owners should try and have the servers put a little more effort into their jobs. Or maybe I'm used to Vancouver restaurants where they actually have to compete for business.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

And the free things in life

are best. Got my book from Joanna today (yay!). Can't wait to read it, however, wait it will, until I finish at least a couple more questions for my homework. I flipped through it quickly and it looks like exactly what I need.

We had a surprise farewell for a guy at work today, so of course, that meant more free food. I helped get the food ready and got kudos for presentation. It's amazing how the little things can make people ooh and aah like that. I had placed the strawberries around the outer edge of a plate, all facing the same way and in the middle of the plate, I had placed orange wedges. Then I took some more strawberries and placed them between the oranges. Simple, but people seem to like it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The good things in life

Not the best things, those are free; the good things cost a lot more. well some at least. The surprise bday party hubby threw for me was good. Lots of good food like BBQ duck and soy sauce chicken (which BTW, I didn't get to eat nearly enough of, being the guest/host of honour), fried rice, fried noodles, lasagne, cheeses coming out of the yin yang, spinach dip, hummus, hors d'oeurves, cheesecake, chinese pastries and the birthday cake. Yes, a beautiful cake from PICA which was way too big for the amount of people we had there. It was a lemon flavoured cake with bits of strawberry jam making a checkerboard design on the inside. Absolutely wonderful.

The best thing is unrelated in a way, altho it happened on my birthday (or close enough to it that I'm going to count it as such), I won a prize from The Soapbar Blog. Mind you, it's not nearly as good as winning something that was made by Joanna, however, it was still winning something, and as my dear sister said, maybe this means my luck is turning.
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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Back to reality

Well my sister and her family have gone home again, after two weeks of fun and lots of eating. The best part of when they come to visit, besides the fantastic company, is the eating. Besides the fact that our parents try and kill us by feeding us chicken that's been left out overnight, we do get to eat all sorts of other wonderful things. Our parents would go and get crazy chinese things for us, such as the squid dyed to a bright orange, or the boneless chicken feet (WTF?)

Almost every other day, our parents would go to a chinese bakery and buy all our favourite buns. And because I was off for the whole time this time, I was able to go for dim sum with them. Oh boy did I miss doing that. Just don't get into town enough to do that, although it's probably a good thing.

On our own, we visited tons of great restaurants. Thanks again to my wonderful sister and b-i-l who treated me to all those meals out. I hadn't been to Bridges up until then and I can see why it's so popular. Great food, incredible view and a sunny day doesn't hurt either. We also went to my sister's fave restaurant in Vancouver, the Afghan Horsemen. For once she didn't go with her usual entree of Bandejan Borani, which I'm sure surprised the proprietor more than how much the kids have grown. The food there is always great, and now in their new location, while a little more difficult to find parking, at least you can fit yourself and another personality in the bathroom without hurting yourself.

We also ate from Green Lettuce, various vendors from Granville Island, McQueen's Upstairs and Salmon House on the Hill. The boys were enamoured with Dolce Amore on Commercial Drive, and were very disappointed when they first thought it had changed to be a full time wine tasting establishment. Once they realized it was just more streamlined they happily went there as often as they could with their dad.

Another great thing about my sister's visit is they bring the nice weather with them. Course that meant that the weather was also nice enough to go for long walks at Bunzten Lake, and thankfully they didn't take me along to hike Lynn Headwaters. But we certainly did a fair bit of walking, almost enough to walk off all those calories that we ate.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Lucky number 13

Considering the circumstances, this has been a nice weekend. First I had my friend come over on Saturday for the first time. Then an old, dear friend dropped by on Sunday to offer more moral support. It was a gorgeous day out, as well as our anniversary, and so hubby said that we should go for a walk and then he'd cook me dinner. To me, a walk means a pair of shorts and runners, so I was a little surprised when he was all dressed up in dress pants and a jacket. He finally admitted that we were going out for dinner and he was hoping I'd dress up.

We drove downtown and surprisingly, he didn't bite anyone's head off for being a stupid driver. It took a little while but we managed to find a parking spot and went for a nice long walk from Sunset Beach to Stanley Park. I was a little overdressed for the walk, in my little black dress, with a black blazer and black shoes, but then again, there's a real cross section of people down there, including one guy we saw who was probably only 2 inches taller than me, except he had his hair teased up so high, he must've stood 5'5" to 5'6". Here's a picture of the guy. It's hard to really tell from this picture, but his hair is quite high.

Dinner ended up being at The Fish House at Stanley Park. We began with martinis, I ordered hubby a Lemon Drop (Absolut Citron Vodka, lemon liqueur, Triple Sec with a sugared rim), and I had the Lost Lagoon (a variation on Blue Lagoon). These were our substitutes for our appetizers. Maybe not the smartest alternatives, but they were tasty nonetheless. For our entrees, hubby had the Salmon Wellington, and I decided to indulge (at the server's recommendation) and had the Ahi Tuna "Diane". Both were served with roasted organic new potatoes, asparagus, two types of summer squash, (pattypan and a mashed butternut) and kale. The nice thing about finer restaurants, as I pointed out to hubby, is that the food is about quality, rather than quantity. We were both too stuffed for dessert, but since it was our anniversary, the resatuarnt provides a free dessert, so we shared the raspberry sorbet.

So for us, 13 wasn't such an unlucky number afterall.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Good company, good food

I'm always stressed about having the parties; having enough food, not having people wait for the food, etc. We had a friend over today, a gal I met at work who's over from Ireland. Hubby and I have been wanting to expand our repetoire of friends, and she seemed very nice when I talked to her at work.

We ran a bunch of errands prior to picking her up from they skytrain, and so I didn't have as much time to prepare as I wanted to. I had my menu set out already, but I was thinking of more of a sit down event. We spent part of the time in the kitchen as I had to make the crepes for our entree. Thanks to mom, the chicken broccoli filling was made, and with the addition of some fresh sliced mushrooms, no one seemed to mind (or notice too much) the plastic cheese mom used in the sauce. Or maybe that was because we were drinking sparkling wine at the time which makes everything seem good. To complement the crepes, we had several varieties of cheese, chips and salsa, bread, olives and biscuits.

Hubby had bought a beautiful sauvignon blanc we had that to go with our meal. It had an incredible peach scent and a very light taste which sparkled on the tongue.

For dessert, we moved to banana chocolate chip cookies and a chocolate cake. I whipped up fresh whipping cream and mixed into it, fresh strawberries and blackberries. A delicious way to end the meal.

My friend is a wonderful conversationalist, having travelled to many parts of the world and also gave us a sampling of the Gaellic language. The time just flew past before any of us knew it, and she had to go home again. Next time she might even stay overnight and we can get really drunk.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A silver lining to every cloud

And it was a very dark, ominous cloud too. When it's in the form of your boss, it makes it all the more scary.

Last Thursday, my boss asked me for a moment of my time at 4:20pm. Sure, I say, thinking she's got a project for me. Turns out they're "reorganizing" and my position was no longer needed. Imagine the shock, there was no warning, no performance reviews. Terms of my termination letter was 2 months pay. I went home and had a few glasses of wine and a good cry after telling hubby. Of course I decided not to go in on Friday, preferring to stay home to lick my wounds. I called into my boss and she had the nerve to ask if it was a mental health day. Hubby was sweet enough to come home and take me for a walk on the beach.

The weekend was spent wallowing a little bit, but then I realized that I wasn't happy there anyway, and I would've been leaving if I could. I just wish I could've left before they kicked me out.

Monday, I went to see the management union for advice. I was informed that the letter was missing a number of things, including the options I have in terms of how I would like to be paid out, and better yet, the terms should be based on a month's pay for every year of service at UBC, not just the time I've been in this position. This means I get 15 months pay if I decide not to go back to work right away. I could go to school full-time or sit around and eat bon bons if I so wanted. Life is good afterall.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

What a week!

Stayed in town with mom this week while dad went on a mini vacation (an Alaskan cruise, his 4th). The upside, besides the fact that mom & I got to aggravate each other a little every day (grin) was the good eating.

Not often I get to pretty much eat a half a BBQ duck on my own. Not all in one day, mind you, but still, that's a lot of duck. Plus, I got to enjoy foods from my culture, and some from my youth including the egg and tomato dish, salty fish with pork and dong gua soup. Yummy! It's no wonder I gain weight when I go stay with other people. Between the two weeks at my sister's and a week at mom's, I'm sure I've gained weight. So now it's back home again to try and lose it all. Guess I better get exercising since summer's coming.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Third time's a charm

Hopefully it is, at least in hard lesson's learned.

I'd had a rough week (don't ask and I won't bore you to tears) but by the end of Friday, I was ready to go home and have a drink. Well being asian, I don't tend to tolerate alcohol that well. I had a martini (gin and 2 olives) when I got home, and after I polished it off, I was feeling a little less pain, but decided to go have a second one. This was, afterall, dinner. So I gulped down a second martini and we sat down to watch a video. I decided to have some Pirate's Booty since hubby suggested I should probably eat something. About half an hour into the video, I slumped in the chair and passed out. I was awake enough to pull the now empty booty bag closer to me as I felt like I was going to need a barf bag. I guess hubby knew I wasn't feeling well from my moaning noises, so he grabbed me a bucket, and I unceremoniously proceeded to expel anything and everything I had in my system.

I could feel the earth spinning around me, and it wouldn't listen when I asked it to stop. Hubby carried me to the main floor (I wasn't going to make it to our bedroom without having to throw up again) and I managed to stumble into the bathroom to make sure I didn't have anything else on my stomach before falling into the guest bed. Hubby was kind enough to empty out the bucket (I think I heard him making some puking noises himself) before bringing it back to me in case I needed it. He also brought me a cool towel and a glass of water. I managed to sleep for a few hours before waking up to brush my teeth (there's nothing worse than puke breath) and headed back to bed.

This morning, hubby was very disappointed to find that I didn't suffer from any sort of a hangover, and wasn't going to pursue hair of the dog. This is only the third time in my life that I've gotten this drunk, and the first time that it was truly self-inflicted. I've sworn of gin for at least a week, and any form of alcohol until at least Monday. We'll see what a new week brings.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Home again, home again

I'm happy to be home, if only for my own bed. No offense, but sleeping on an air mattress with spiders ready to crawl into bed with me, for some reason, doesn't appeal to my senses. Although I'm as always, grateful for my own bed, I do miss my sister and her family a ton. We had a great time (I think, the nephews may disagree) together, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

We baked lots, including black bottom coconut bars and my sister re-made chocolate coconut bars for me to try, as well as Mark Bittman's brownies. Yum! The workers working on their shed were also very happy to get to try out the treats as well.

I was treated to a wonderful dinner at Tallent's for my sisters' birthday. One thing I'm never missing there is good food, beit my brother in law's wonderful cooking and fresh ingredients, or being taken to the nicest restaurants around.

I also got given some wonderful soaps made by my nephews, as well as had the privilege of being their first customer. I'm looking forward to more stuff being made by them (hint, hint) as well as their visit in July.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Good Times Good Food

Staying at my sister's place always means a relaxing time (even if she doesnt' think so) and lots of good food. My b-i-l is the best cook and my sister makes some mean baked goods. Plus, I've gotten her into having pomtinis, so to celebrate, we got some stainless steel martini glasses.

We always eat well, and with the completion of their greenhouse, we've had amazing meals of mixed greens (beet greens, salad greens) and choy sum. Yummy! And organic to boot! Even the simplest meals, such as hummus with pita is kicked up a notch with their own homemade sundried tomato paste in the hummus. The slow cooker curry beef was to die for, and of course, the banana bars were heavenly. I can't remember all the wonderful things we've had, but we sure have plenty.

My sister and I have been enjoying our times, chatting it up and getting caught up on things that just take too long to write by email. Unfortunately, this trip is only two weeks long, but we do cram in as much fun as can.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Chef and the Carpenter

We went out for dinner Monday night, courtesy in part to hubby's workplace. We decided to go somewhere different for a change, and that's probably why we bought the Entertainment book, to have something to look through because heaven knows we've barely used it.

I decided to look up the Chef and the Carpenter, a french restaurant that has been around since god knows when. They don't have their own website, but the reviews I read all said what a great place it was, so we thought we'd give it a try.

Being a Monday night, it was fairly quiet, especially down that stretch of downtown. Not that we mind, we like peace and quiet. What a quaint restaurant it was. As we walked down the street, we saw a group of young asians hanging around, and hubby thought that was where we were going to eat. Turns out it was a noodle house of sorts, must be cheap for so many students to hang out there. The Chef and the Carpenter on the other hand, was very traditionally french. The exterior was painted a french blue, and as you walked in, it was very reminiscent of the french restaurants we visited in Paris.

Hubby started the meal with a potato leek soup, which must've been made with whipping cream, it was so creamy and smooth. I opted for the lobster bisque, which was heavenly. You could smell and taste the sea in the soup. For the main course, I had their roasted halibut in a lemon butter sauce while DH had their chicken breast in a maple syrup cognac sauce. Both of course came with the usual roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables, and the sauces were to die for. Since DH was having the menu fixe prix, he got to have a Creme Brule to end the evening.

Not only were we the only couple in the restaurant that night, it was very Parisian in that there was an old gentleman who was eating htere by himself. We saw many patrons in the Paris restaurants who obviously frequented their neighbourhood restaurants as the chef and the server would greet these diners heartily. This old gentleman was no different, he wandered out after his meal and came back later on to chat with the owners.

I'm sure it gets busy there on the weekends, so we were fortunate to have the attention of the owners all to ourselves that night.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Strange cravings

No, I'm not pregnant, just fluish and feeling run down. And you know how when you're not feeling well, very few foods appeal. So what have I been eating? Soup (even if it is only Knorr out of a box) and Pirate Booty. Not the healthiest thing to get you better in a jiffy, but I'm compensating by drinking green tea. The lovely T-bone steak I have marinating in the fridge will just have to wait another day.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Joys of the West Coast

Mom had invited us for an Alaskan king crab dinner tonight. I knew she'd invited some of their other friends, so I didn't know what to expect. It was a fairly small restaurant close to their home, but the nice part was where we were sitting was tucked away in a corner, away from the rest of the regular patrons.

The set menu was delicious. They chose a 12 1/2lb king crab. We started with the legs being cooked in a butter garlic sauce, and of course, with king crab, you just pull the meat out of the legs. Hubby, not being one for pulling apart shellfish appendages, enjoyed this one since it was so easy. The next dish was the remaining legs being cooked in egg white/wine concoction with ginger and spices. After that, they came out with what I called nouveau chop suey. A mixture of deep fried julienned taro root, salted mini fish, jicama, peanuts and some other things, all cooked up. Tasty in it's own way, but not nearly as good as the black bean zucchini cod hot pot. The final dishes were noodles which could be mixed with either of the first two sauces, and seafood fried rice in the body of the king crab.

The whole thing little more than what the two of us paid for eating at The William Tell, and suprisingly, the company wasn't bad either.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Tis the season for eating seafood

Or so my mother tells me. Without trying to make my sister drool too much (but at the same time, maybe giving some incentive to come visit at other times of year) mom's getting some friends and us together for Alaskan king crab dinner this Thursday. The only downside is that we'll have to spend time with their loud friends. Gotta remember to get hubby to OD on St. John's Wort prior.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Sometimes I even amaze myself

We had bought 4 lbs of mussels one weekend (okay, I did, hubby could've cared less) and so while we did the steamed mussels the first night, hubby didn't care too much for it, so I had to fiugre out a better way to cook them.

I found a recipe for Thai curry mussels and changed it just enough to make use of what I had, and added some prawns into the mix. Boy was it good! It was one of the few meals I've made that I could eat and eat even when I was full. The base is something that could be used with any type of seafood and it would taste great.

I also made a triple chocolate cake for hubby. 'Nuff said. That's why he loves me.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Ah, the French

Friday was a great food day. I had a (much belated) farewell lunch with a friend and former co-worker (my fault, I kept putting it off with new jobs). He took me to Provence Mediterannean Grill, a french restaurant.

I find french cuisine amazing because it's very simple for the most part, but oh so good. We started the lunch with antipasti. I should've looked at the menu beforehand because just going up to peer through the glass counter doesn't provide enough information. So, I ended up ordering the bocconcini and tomato salad, grilled artichokes and roasted veggies. If I had to do it again, I'd go with the grilled lamb or merguez, eggplant lasagne and grilled squid. Course, that would be a meal in itself, and I could've saved my friend some money that way. LOL.

He had the Queen charlotte wild salmon, and I had the special of the day, arctic char wtih a artichoke tapenade over grilled zucchini and asparagus with roasted potatoes. It was delicious, and the company was a blast.

For dinner, we went to The William Tell with friends. We got there early, so we ordered drinks from their extensive cocktail menu. Hubby asked me to order him a drink, so I ordered him a Razztini, which was raspberry liquer, raspberry Stoli and cranberry juice. For myself, I order a Dragon Queen; Hypnotiq, peach schnapps, and some other stuff. Man was it good, although the server did rib me about being a Dragon Queen. You are what you drink. I had heard that the servers there can be quite obsequious and/or grumpy, but I found it to be nothing like that. Darryl, our server was funny, polite but still professional. It turned out he knew our friend C. She had housemates once upon a time who worked at Lumiere and Darryl, being also in the restaurant business, had been to a party with C once before.

We did the Taste of Vancouver menu, and 3 of us had the vol au vent for an entree, while hubby was written down for the lamb shank. It was, delicious, or at least we thought so. C didn't care for the sauce, I'm not sure why. We also ordered a bottle of Gewurztraminer, which was wow. Who knew that BCers actually knew how to make wine? ;)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

I don't do lunch

One of our temps is leaving so I made the suggestion to take her out for lunch. I don't like to go out for lunch on workdays, it gets too rushed. Today was no exception. We went out for sushi, which I normally love, but an hour is not enough time to appreciate any sushi.

Tomorrow I get to go for french food twice, hopefully those will be more relaxed and more enjoyable.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Just when you think you've got it all worked out

Life decides to make you re-evaluate. No, this isn't some major deep thinking going on here. We needed to buy a new dishwasher, so we went to look. Found what we thought was a great deal for a Bosch dishwasher, but when it came time to pay the final deposit on it, it turned out the sales guy had not given us the correct amount when we first talked to him, and he also wouldn't back down and apologize for his error.

So we went elsewhere, and ended up at Sears. There was a Kenmore dishwasher for sale, and our first though was, not a Kenmore! That's so middle America. Still, we let the sale guy give his spiel, how Whirlpool makes both Kenmores and Kitchenaids, and showed us the stainless steel interior and the turbo wash feature. We ended up purchasing it with the thought of hanging our tails between our legs in shame.

When we went to unpack it, we found that lo and behold, there was no name on the front of the dishwasher, the only place you could see that it was a Kenmore, was a label just inside the door. And we thought we'd have to ask for a Bosch sticker to put over the Kenmore tag.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Something to be said about tradition

As I mentioned previously, we're going to try and take advantage of Dine Out Vancouver this year. We asked our friends to join us in the festivities, and they agreed. C made some suggestions of restaurants she had tried in the past, but hubby and I figured we'd like to go with something less trendy and has withstood the test of time.

Listening to the news this morning, they mentioned a shooting that happened at Gotham, a trendy restaurant located in the heart of downtown. Now I know that shootings can happen anywhere, anytime, but I think they're less likely to happen in places where people aren't there to be seen, and if I'm going to get caught in cross-fire, I'd rather be enjoying good food at reasonable prices.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Clash of the Titans?

I hear more and more these days about people ordering chai lattes. What the heck is that? Chai, according to the American Heritage dictionary is "A beverage made from spiced black tea, honey, and milk." Lattes, on the other hand, are "hot espresso with steamed milk, usually topped with foamed milk." So is a chai latte a coffee drink or a tea drink? I read, when I googled, someone describing it as chai tea with foamed milk on top. So to me, that's just a chai tea with foamy milk. How the heck does that make it into a latte? If I put foamed milk on top of my hot chocolate, does that make it a hot chocolate latte? Am I just being too obnoxious and persnickety about what should mean what?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Don't try this at home kids

I thought I'd try out a coconut muffin recipe today. It sounded good, really simple, as all muffin recipes are, and it would be good to have during coffee break.

It asked to toast coconut flakes in a 400F oven for 7 mins. No problem, I think to myself, I can sit down for 7 mins. I don't know if it's the type of coconut flakes I have, or what, but 7 mins later, I open the oven door and there's smoke coming out because the coconut is completely burnt. You'd think I'd know by now to check a little more frequently to see if it's burning or not.

Note to self: have more coffee before attempting baking.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I've found my dream site

It's called foodporn. And before you all start making assumptions about me (which are probably true anyway), I found it through an article in the NY Times. The article itself was about food stalls in Thailand, but they had made reference to the foodporn site (or something in the article had linked back to the foodporn site). But anyway, it's a wonderful site full of interesting links to other food sites.

So in case I am remiss in writing here for a while again, you can always go to that site and think of me.

Friday, January 11, 2008

It's been a while

I was told by a friend recently that it's probably a good idea to write something here, just so people know I'm still alive. So I'm here!

Not much to tell of late, baked probably 10 dozen cookies over the Christmas holidays of varying types (gingerbread, shortbread, neopolitan, christmas icebox, candy cane) to give away. This year, hubby put together the care packages; they looked way better than what I usually do, but there were also less cookies per package. More leftovers for me!

Our friends invited us for Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve get together, which was really nice. Instead of the normal turkey dinner for Christmas Eve, our lovely hostess set out a variety of finger foods ranging from goat's cheese with a lovely cranberry sauce to hot swedish meatballs. I love having meals like that, it provides for so much more variety and I probably end up eating more than I would during a regular meal.

We're headed to the Pacific Institute for Culinary Arts on Monday for dinner. They've got a special running right now, and looking at their menu, I can't wait to try it out. There's also Dine Out Vancouver coming up. We'll probably try at least one or two restaurants again this year. Hope we won't be as disappointed as we were going to C a few years ago. The food was alright, but the decor was just too @#$%^ pretentious for our taste