Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Julie's Fantabulous Pomegranate Salad

This salad is one of my all-time favourite salads! It packs a wallop of flavour, the crispness is out of control and it has cheese in it!...what more could a girl ask for?  It's great as a side salad with dinner, it works well as a main for lunch, but my favourite way to eat it is as my afternoon snack at work...keeps my mouth watering all day long!   Jules, I owe you big time for introducing me to this recipe.

  • The seeds from 1 pomegranate (word to the wise, wear a red shirt when de-seeding)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1 head of romaine or green leaf lettuce
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Wash and tear the lettuce up into bite-sized pieces.  Sprinkle the pine nuts, feta and pomegranate seeds on the salad.  Mix the remaining ingredients to form the dressing.  Drizzle over and either toss or eat as is.  Either way your taste buds will thank you!  Serves 4 solid salad servings.

Why hello Mr. Salad...my taste buds are looking forward to meeting you!

Friday, 25 October 2013

A Falafully Goulish Night

Last Friday I had one of the funnest (yes I still believe that if I use that word enough, it will actually get added to the dictionary) nights ever!  It all started with fabulous company and a trip to Oak and 16th.  It had been so long since I'd been to this neck of the woods (five years to be exact) that I almost forgot how much I enjoyed it.  Calm and quiet enough to feel like you're in a suburb, but busy enough to let you know you're still downtown.  Add to that that we discovered Falafully Good...the night was definitely off to a good start!

The thing that I liked most about Falafully good was obviously their food (yummy in my tummy) but also the fact that they have a liquor license.  I don't think I've ever been able to grab a plate of Shawarma and a beer at the same place...genius!  Plus, the prices were right.  Two plates of shawarma, a gingerale and a beer for $25.75, tax in.  Look out McDonald's two can dine for $9.99, Falafully Good is gunning for you!

Top the night off with an eerie drive through the foggy streets of Vancouver to the Dunbar Haunted House...you couldn't ask for a better night out in October!  And for those of you who haven't been to the Dunbar Haunted House, get your butts down there.  It's very well done, will scare you silly, this is its last year, and all proceeds go to charity.  Word to the wise, though, the peak line time seems to be from 8pm to 9:30pm.

Hope you all have a Falafully Goulish Halloween! 

My Chicken Shawarma Plate: chicken shawarma, rice, salad, tabbouleh, hummus and pita.  (Approximately $10 before tax)

The X that marks the spot!

Friday, 18 October 2013

Helen's Grill

As I'm sure you've guessed by now, I love brunch.  There's something so warm and comforting about breakfast food.  Add to that the treat of going out and enjoying it...it's just the funnest weekend outing! 

A couple weeks ago, my brunching partner in crime and I decided to get out of our regular brunching routine and check out Helen's Grill on Main Street.  I thoroughly enjoyed it!  A diner that hasn't updated a thing since the day it opened, employees who are real, thoughtful and friendly, down to earth local patrons, and a reasonably priced menu with classic breakfast meals...I felt like I'd time travelled into a small town where I could relax and enjoy my meal.  It was great.  That being said, I'm not going to lie, if you're looking for a fancy breakfast in a trendy restaurant, this is probably not the place for you.  But if you're looking for a solid breakfast at a decent price, check Helen's Grill out.

My brunching partner in crime's two eggs, over easy, bacon, hashbrowns and toast.  ($7.95)

My two eggs, scrambled, sausage, toast and hashbrowns.  Yummy in my tummy!  Also, word to the wise, you can substitute your hashbrowns for fried tomatoes or fresh tomatoes at no additional charge.  I'm definitely going to take this offer up next time!  ($7.95)

The view from our table.

The X that marks the spot.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

September's Snackbox

Yes, folks it's true, I was treated to yet another month of Snackbox's yummy goodness!  And let me tell you, it was just as fun and exciting to get it this month as it was last month.  I couldn't resist sharing some photos and details on the products that my taste buds got to enjoy this month, so here you go...
Things to note: (1) Snackbox's $15 savings for first-time customers is still in effect until October 31, 2013.  Simply enter the coupon code "LOVEOFFOOD" when checking out.  (2) For further details on Snackbox, please see my post on August's Snackbox (http://myloveoffood-shayne.blogspot.ca/2013/09/snackbox.html).

The official opening of September's Snackbox!

Discovering my plunder...

Snack 1 - Kind Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew & Antioxidants bar.  Very yummy folks!  Definitely a hunger-curbing and sweet-tooth satisfying snack.
Snack 2 -  Gimme Organic Seaweed Snack.  I'm not going to lie.  I thoroughly enjoy seaweed on my sushi and in my miso soup, but I was having a hard time wrapping my head around eating it as a snack on its own.  When I finally worked up the courage to open the package, I was pleasantly surprised.  The seaweed was dry roasted and lightly flavoured with sea salt.  It was enjoyable and light.  I wouldn't say it would curb your hunger on its own, but it would be a nice accompaniment with a snack.  Plus, according to my boss, kids love it!
Snack 3 - Mary's Gone Crackers Chocolate Chip Cookie.  These were nice.  Personally I'm a fan of soft, gooey cookies straight out of the oven, but for store bought cookies these were enjoyable.  Plus, I would have had no idea that they were gluten-free. 
Snack 4 - Home Free Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I found these to be very similar to Snack 3's cookies: good store-bought cookies, that I would have had no idea were gluten-free.  I liked the fact that these cookies were bite-size. 
Snack 5 - Brothers All Natural Pear Fruit Crisps.  After last month's apple fruit crisps, I knew what texture to expect for the pear fruit crisps, and enjoyed them that much more as a result.  Nice pear flavour, and a good light snack.
Snack 6 - Nature's Path Q'ia Superfood Cereal (Cranberry Vanilla).  I quite enjoyed this cereal.  It was very similar to Feed Your Life's homemade holy crap cereal (http://myloveoffood-shayne.blogspot.ca/2013/02/homemade-holy-crap-cereal-feed-life.html) but it became a bit more porridgy and had a really nice cranberry vanilla flavour to it.  I'd definitely recommend mixing this cereal with milk or almond milk and not citrus water. 
Snack 7  - Brookside Dark Chocolate Fruit.  These acai and blueblerry flavoured nuggets of goodness completely rocked my world this month!  Hands down the highlight of the month.  I will most definitely be picking up some of these at the grocery store in the very near future.  
Snack 8 -  Rocketfood Apple Berry Oatmeal.  I loved this snack as much this month as I did last month!  Easy to transport, easy to make and fills my belly...definitely no complaints here.  I did prefer last month's classic flavours to this month's but, that being said, I enjoyed both.  This will definitely will be making it onto my grocery list sometime soon!
Snack 9 - Mediterranean Snacks Tapaz 2 GoLentil crackers, classic hummus, all in an easy to carry box that turns into a serving tray?  Sold!  Definitely a great snack to carry along for a hike or trip to the beach.  Only word to the wise?  You may want to bring a few more crackers to ensure you're able to use up all of that yummy hummus!
 Snack 10 - Dan-D Pak Maca'damia nuts!!!  I can't even tell you how excited I was to discover an entire container of macadamia nuts in September's Snackbox.  Talk about a score!  >ne of my favourite nuts of all time.  Plus, who knew that they came in handy dandy individual containers like these?  You go Dan-D Pak!

Snack 11 - Angie's Boom Chicka Pop.  Literally the night before I received my Snackbox, I was over at a friend's for dinner and she was raving about this popcorn she'd just bought.  Turns out it is all the rage right now.  I thoroughly enjoyed it so, needless to say, I was a wee bit excited to discover an individual package in my Snackbox the next day!  Definitely worth a try if you're in the market for some pre-made popcorn.  And word on the street is that you can buy big bags at Costco for a fraction of the price!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Marinated Salmon

I was treated to a delicious dinner and an even better visit at a friend's house recently.  Not to bad of a return on a "hey, want to grab a tea tonight?"  I need to try that approach more often!

What was on the menu?  Maple Salmon, 7 super food salad and rice.  The salmon was marinated in an oh so scrumptious marinade which you can find here (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/maple-salmon/).  As for the salad, I'd been told about this yummy goodness by a couple of friends and was really impressed with it.  It's the Sweet Kale 7 Superfood salad kit by Eat Smart.  The kit comes with a blend of 7 superfoods (chicory, green cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts) shredded with a bag of roasted pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and poppyseed dressing for garnish.  Super quick and seriously amazing!  I'm definitely going to pick some up at Costco the next time I'm there.


Friday, 27 September 2013

Cattle Baron

Ladies and gents, if you find yourself in Calgary and want to treat yourself to one of the finest steaks that will ever cross your lips, do yourself a favour and make your way to the Cattle Baron.  Unbelievable!  Probably didn't help that the company was superb and many a laugh was had, but even if I'd eaten alone, this meal would have topped the richter scale.
With a menu that looks like that, is there any question that a good steak is coming your way?

Seafood Platter: salt-n-pepper prawns, calamari, mussels and salmon skewers.  Yummy!  ($29)

In the front: Salt-n-pepper Jumbo Wings. ($13)  In the back: Short Dry Ribs.  ($13)  Yummy but the steak anticipation was killing me!

My Steak Neptune: Filet Mignon dressed with asparagus, crab meat and hollandaise sauce, served with a stuffed baked potato.  My mouth started watering just thinking about this again!!!  Unbelievable.  My only regret was getting the steak neptuned.  The Neptune itself was very yummy, but the steak was so good that I wish I'd just gone for a plan filet mignon so I could fully appreciate how amazing the steak was.  Regardless, it was one heck of a steak!  ($34)

Thursday, 26 September 2013

The Charlatan

I recently had my first visit to the Charlatan on Commercial Drive for a burger and beer and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Laid back, local pub feel to it, good pub food and a $14 burger and beer special every Wednesday night that just can't be beat!  So, if you find yourself thirsty on Commercial, don't be afraid to meander into the Charlatan.

My Zeus Burger: lamb patty, smoked feta, cucumbers and tzatziki, served with house salad.  Yummy!  (Regular price $13.95, but on Wednesday night you get it and a beer for $14)

KC Pulled Pork Sandwich: smoked jalapeno-cilantro slaw, house BBQ, served with fries.  I definitely didn't do the size of the sandwich justice in this photo...it was solid!  However, I can vouch that the fries were yummy in my tummy.  (Regular price $13.95, but on Wednesday night you get it and a beer for $14)


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Sweet Obsessions

If ever you're having one of those days when your sweet tooth is begging to be fed, make your way to Sweet Obsessions and treat it to some amazing desserts!  Sweet Obsessions is a cross between what I imagine Willy Wonka's bakery would be like (I couldn't believe all of the desserts!), a tea shop (think Murchie's), and a cozy coffee shop.  Always busy and stocked to the brim with warm beverages and desserts, you really can't go wrong!

My dining partner's chai and slice of Tiramisu cake: layers of Italian sponge, zabaglione, mascarpone cream and espresso.  Now that is one heck of a slice of Tiramisu!

My rooibos tea and Hedgehog cake: layers of hazelnut chiffon and hazelnut chocolate butter cream with Frangelico.  Not quite what I was expecting (I was expecting Purdy's hedgehog flavouring), but still very rich and yummy.

Our view during dessert.

The never ending selection of cakes.  Unreal!

Cookies and other treats.

The X that marks the spot.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Stagette Food Adventures Part 2 - La Bocca

For my friend's big night out on the town we started things off with dinner at La Bocca and that was definitely a good call.  Funky atmosphere, yummy food with solid portions, delicious drinks and great service.  As for the rest of the night...don't you wish you knew!

Things to note: (1) La Bocca is located in Whistler Village, across from Citta's and in behind the Amsterdam Café.  (2) If you happen to get Pam as your server, you are the luckiest sons of guns ever!  Why?  (a) Pam rocks.  (b) Pam has the best suggestions ever to ensure you have a fun night out in Whistler.

My Ginger Mist: gin, muddled lime and cilantro, topped with ginger beer.  AMAZING!  If you're a fan of ginger beer, you'll definitely be a fan of this yummy concoction.  Light and refreshing but with a good 2 oz kick to it.  ($10)
I also tried Phil's Punch but forgot to take a picture of it.  Mandarin vodka, peach schnapps, grenadine, orange, grapefruit, pineapple and cranberry juice.  This drink also made my taste buds do a little happy dance.  The drink was more fruity but not sweet and still just as refreshing, which was nice.  ($10)

My Saffron-seared BC Halibut with oven-dried tomato, artichokes, zucchini and garlic in a Mediterranean orzo toss.  This was very yummy in my tummy!  First of all, I was blown away by the halibut portion...at least 1.5-2 times what I was expecting.  Second of all, the orzo/veggie toss packed a punch of flavour, which I loved.  Thirdly, the orzo/veggie toss was a solid portion, so I definitely filled up.  And last but not least, there was an olive oil/herb ring on the outside of the dish...I love olive oil!  Needless to say, I was happy with my decision.  ($28)


Monday, 23 September 2013

Stagette Food Adventures Part 1 - Sunflower Bakery Cafe

A couple weekends ago, I headed up to Whistler with an amazing group of ladies for a lovely friend's stagette!  The spa, ziplining, scrumptious food, yummy beverages and a lot of laughter...you can't ask for a better weekend than that!  Even though we were sworn to secrecy over the crazy shenanigans we got up to, the bride gave me the A-Okay to divulge the secrets of our food adventures.

For me, one of the weekend's food highlights was the Sunflower Bakery Café in Squamish.  We stopped here on our way up because one of our fellow stagetters had missed breakfast that morning...and you know me, I'll never turn down a second breakfast!  I was expecting a standard café but this café was amazing!  Comfy cozy, welcoming, warm, super duper fresh baked goods made in the natural way (no yeast, sugar, fats or dairy), and reasonable prices.  I definitely think I foresee many pre-boarding second breakfasts in my future this ski season!

Sunflower Bakery Café.

My fellow stagetter's (we'll call her the chocolate lover) cornmeal scone second breakfast/early lunch.  She said it was delicious!  ($2.33)
The chocolate lover's oatmeal chocolate chip second breakfast/early lunch dessert.  This looked absolutely amazing!  I do believe I may have literally lost my hand if I had tried to sneak a bite. 
My Tomato and Cheese Bagel second breakfast/early lunch.  This bagel sandwich was out of control!  First of all, the sesame bagel was the freshest and yummiest bagel I think I've ever tasted in my life.  Second of all, it was toasted to perfection, and just the right amount of cream cheese was spread evenly on either side of the bagel.  Add to that that the tomato, cheddar cheese and lettuce were crazy fresh and cool and crisp...the contrast of the hot and cold and all of the amazing flavours were out of control!  I can't wait to go back and have it again.  (Approximately $5).
My second breakfast/early lunch dessert: a Whole-wheat Raspberry Scone.  To die for!  Period.  ($2.33)

Friday, 20 September 2013

Chewies Steam and Oyster Bar

Ladies and gents, I always had an inkling that Chewies was a fun placed based on what I've seen walking by, but I had no idea it was the Rodney's of Kits...totally made my day!!!  Kick butt caesars, great drinks, amazing oysters, laid back service, and an interesting Southern-inspired menu.  Add to that that they have a nice patio and what looks like a rocking bar...I definitely plan on frequenting this establishment more in the future!  Especially if I can go with as great of company as I did this time.

My oh-so-scrumptious big girl Caesar!  Vodka, fresh horseradish, dill juice, hot sauce, Lee & Perin, pepper, lemon.  Who doesn't love a Caesar that comes with a shrimp?  ($9.50)

My dining companion's Bourbon Sour.  This looked like one heck of a drink!  ($9.50)

A dozen freshly shucked oysters on the half shell.  I'm not going to lie, I can't remember what type we ordered for the life of me...but they were amazing!  (MP) 

BBQ Shrimp and Grits: New Orleans style beer & rosemary BBQ sauce, parmesan cheese grits.  I have always wanted to try shrimp and grits but have never had the chance, so I was super excited to try it out!  The shrimp were delicious, the sauce mouth-watering and the grits smooth and creamy goodness.  ($15)


Thursday, 19 September 2013

A Looneyspoons Brunch

I recently had a lovely family brunch and visit at my Aunt and Uncle's.  There's nothing like catching up over a yummy meal!  When I discovered that two of the yummy in my tummy recipes came from the Looneyspoons cookbook, I couldn't resist including them here.  Since I didn't make them myself, I don't have a "my version" of the recipes, but have included links to the recipes below.

The spread!  Oh so yummy.  Interesting fact: orange juice mixed with a bit of Perrier makes one heck of a non-alcoholic mimosa for all of you DD's and preggers out there.

Looneyspoons' Erik Eggstrata.  Delicious!  I'd definitely make this one for guests in the future.  For the recipe, see this link: http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipes/recipe.html?dishid=9078.
Looneyspoons' Banaberry Bombs.  I was so busy eating these yummy goodies that I forgot to take a photo but, trust me, these puppies are worth trying.  Imagine the yummy goodness of banana bread crossed with a blueberry muffin.  Greatest surprise ever when you bite into them!  http://janetandgreta.com/recipe/bananaberry-bombs/

One heck of a fruit plate...complete with figs fresh off the tree!