Friday, July 22, 2011

F O U R weeks

That's all it took.  Four weeks to lose all the muscle I worked hard to build up over the past year (since June 2010).  Cross Country (running) season is coming up and I won't be allowed to run for at least another month.  Sigh, life sucks.

I've been eating hospital food for a while now... and my perception of typical hospital food hasn't changed.  It tends to be bland (with the rare good meal ie. veggie curry) and boring.  No exciting rainbow trout with green olive & anchovy tapenade, or veal lasagna with a fried spaghetti garnish - we get stuck with VERY unsaucy spaghetti and meat balls, hummus wrap that doesn't taste authentic, or a peanut butter and jam sandwich.  Yum.  I also had a week where I was eating about 6 banana's a day.  No exaggeration.

One thing that I did get to celebrate was my birthday - and with birthdays comes cake... delicate, rich, and heavenly tasting cake.  The one that I had was the High Five Cake at Senova on 57th and West Blvd.

I've had several things from there before such as stuffed trout, linguine puttanesca, lasagna, antipasto platter, caprese salad, etc.  They are ALL so good.  They aren't overly salty, they're light, they appease the taste buds, and give you that "feel good" moment that's possible with amazing food.  Though Senova is a small place, it should not be overlooked.  Often small places tend to be surprising - go check out a local cafe or restaurant that you may pass by and not think about - you might leave the place with a surprise, and possibly a new favourite restaurant.

The Cake to the left is the High Five cake, the tiramisu was also delish, and the Cheesecake was alright (I'm not a huge fan of cheesecake, but everyone else enjoyed it).  Hopefully you'll step out of your comfort bubble and try a new restaurant.  Maybe you'll enjoy it, maybe you wont, but what counts is that you're giving a local a chance to show their skills (or lack of skills).  But the best restaurants, I found, were the small-er independently owned restaurants, rather than chains.
Senova on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 1, 2011


I know this shouldn't be an excuse, but I've been in the hospital for over a week, and haven't been able to do anything for this blog.

I greatly apologize and I promise to start again when I'm out (in a month or so)!

I'll try to keep posted, but stay tuned for something.... 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Poems about not food...?

Don't worry, I'm still alive!

I know I haven't posted anything for A LONG time (a month), and I greatly apologize for that.  I'm been super busy, and since exams are coming soon (I haven't started studying...eeek) I'll defs be kept busy for the next couple weeks too.  So I have a million more recipes to share with you - but those will have to wait for another time.

For this post, I feel as if I need to spread some inspiration and insight... yeah, right.  Well partially right actually.  I have some [badly written] poems that I [had to] write for english class, so here there are!

Enjoy this not food related blog post!

Circadian Rhythm
An inferno blazes amidst the sky,
     the moon and stars hide from its beating.
     If only the world could comply
     what time of day it is without cheating.
The sun surrenders while Sweden's sleeping,
     but that's not the case in Canada's region.
     As I am caught leaping
     from time zone to time zone, I get an abrasive lesion.
But times do change, as you and I, our comforts
     are not to be relied upon,
     for each minute, and hour the day slowly inverts
     and is not repeated until dawn.
Don't wait for daylight to transpire because time doesn't wait
for those who are late.

Life in the Attic
I hear my heart pound like his fists on the door,
A sea of evil has arrived, I ruminate, is this legal?
Though I wait for more.

Dust accumulates on the floor
In that attic, for a moment I get distracted - oh look, a weevil...
I hear my heart pound like his fists on the door.

Will I see another cascade of colours come down in Autumn for 
My lifeless limbs seek to taste my mothers kneidel,
But still, I wait for more.

The rupturing bullets rumbles and roars,
Dear Star of David, please, keep me safe without upheaval;
I hear my heart pound like his fists on the door.

I wish that the horrors were just fabricated lore's,
But the shrieks from below stab me like needles;
As I wait, for more.

The rusted lock separating our two world's soars,
Can these times get any more Medieval?
I hear my heart pound like his fists on the door,
And I close my eyes, as I wait for more.

Don't worry, my next post will be about food.  But until then, maybe make some of that kniedel that the character in the second poem was craving, until next time, I'll gladly take some recipe suggestions.  Also, does anyone know a good granola recipe?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Food & Memories

Sometimes life gets a little hectic, and this is one of those life moments.  AP exams, sports, food, and life - there's no time for anything! So I GREATLY apologize for the lack of posts, and I will try to get back to a regular blogging cycle soon! But for now...

Food has the magical ability to connect itself with memories, especially from your childhood.  It's able to grab your emotions by the threshold and do whatever it takes to get that comfort of being a kid again.  I recently just returned back to my old hometown, and can you guess where I wanted to eat for lunch & dinner?  Yes, the places I went out to eat at as a kid.  The waitresses and chefs were the same, the decorations were only updated, and the food - never been better.  As I was explaining to our waitress about the time we sat at this exact table and there was a power outage, as result from the thunderstorm, all the lights went off, but luckily there were backup lights so we were able to finish our meal in peace.  6 years later, the waitress still remembers that too, and remembers us :)

But anyways, enough about me, let's get on to food.  Cupcakes & Cakes seem to be a popular item that I bake, and it's true, but thats because I'd find a new variation of a cupcake that I'd want to try, and all the other recipes get shafted.  Sorry savoury recipes, but you just don't taste as delicious and sinful.

One that I recently tried (and loved) was the S'more cupcake (or as Martha Stewart calls it, the Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes).  The graham cracker topping with gooey melted marshmallows was addictive, and with the chocolate cupcake with graham cracker crusted bottom - to die for.  Instead of making the Marshmallow Topping, I just put marshmallows on the top and also put a chunk of chocolate in the middle of each cupcake so that it would melt and be even more s'morey!  And boy was I right.

I had some batter left over (I halved the recipe) so I made a souffle type dessert in a ramekin (I put marshmallows inside the left over batter and topped it with a graham cracker).  Which I found was just as good (or even better possibly) than the cupcakes. It was like a souffle/lava cake/s'more/heaven in a remekin. 

S'more Cupcakes (Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes)
Adapted from Martha Stewart

Yield: 2 Dozen  (this is the full recipe)

  • 2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 20 squares)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners; set aside.
  2. Sift 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix ingredients together on low speed.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl and continue mixing on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add boiling water and stir to combine; set cake batter aside.
  4. Place graham cracker crumbs, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl; stir until well combined.
  5. Place 1 tablespoon graham cracker mixture into the bottom of each prepared muffin cup. Use the bottom of a small glass to pack crumbs into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Reserve remaining graham cracker mixture for topping.
  6. Place 2 teaspoons chocolate in each muffin cup. Transfer muffin tins to oven and bake until the edges of the graham cracker mixture is golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and fill each muffin cup three-quarters full with cake batter. 
    Fill each cupcake with marshmallows, and chocolate chunks. Sprinkle each with remaining chocolate and graham cracker mixture. Return to oven and bake, rotating pans halfway through baking, until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer muffin tins to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely.
    Eat and enjoy your campfire treat, without the hassle of making a fire.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Don't go, Aqua Riva!

Recently both Lumiere's and DB Bistro closed down, 
WITHOUT me having a taste of their fine food before their closing.  I've heard great things about both restaurants, but never got a chance to try them, and I regret that.  Though one restaurant that I have tried, and loved, was Aqua Riva.  After hearing about their future summer closing, I thought "I HAVE to go there again".  My friends and I were literally squealing and jumping out of our seats while waiting for our food.  Why? Because the three course menu looked so damn decadent.  Surprise was a huge element played in our enjoyment of the food of course, when we arrived at Aqua Riva, we never expected a three course menu to be waiting patiently beside the un-touched regular menu.  Not only did it consist of our favourite foods, but the food was made as it should at a fine dining restaurant: fresh, indulgent, and of course, delicious.

Truffle Pizza
Organic Greens with Madrona
Valley Goat Cheese Brulee with
roasted almonds, Chilliwack dried
cranberries, candied salmon
 & lemon basil vinegrette
J started with a pizza, I don't remember what was on it besides truffles (and of course cheese) but god, was it delicious.  T and I started with the Candied Salmon Salad.  Which just happens to be one of my favourite things ever - wait, almost every food is my favourite thing ever.  Slightly drizzled with a refreshing dressing, pieces of candied salmon, nuts, and topped with creamy goat cheese. 

Lamb with Mashed Potatoes

White Asparagus Risotto
For my 
Salmon with Risotto
main course, I couldn't pass up the salmon filet with truffle risotto - salmon and truffles are VERY high up on my "Favourites" list (yes, I said before that I don't play favourites but...).  J, being more of a meat eater ordered the lamb.  Not just any lamb, but Wood Grilled Peace River Lamb Sirloin with roasted shallot & yam puree, date & pistachio marmalade with mashed potatoes.  T, ordered the third option which was the White Asparagus risotto.
Chocolate cake or Apple-cranberry crisp? I don't know about you, but I couldn't decide.  I had to call my waitress back to change it from the Chocolate Cake to the Apple-cranberry crisp.  This decision was so difficult - I thought that my mind was going to implode.  C'mon, who doesn't love chocolate cake? Especially with mousse. Mmm...  But I always get Chocolate cake when I get dessert, so to try something different, I got the Crisp - and boy, was I ever happy.  This crisp, was so... beyond what words can describe.  It got me hooked onto Fruit Crisps.  The oat coating was the perfect texture, it had enough 'crisp' to it to complement the piping warm soft fruit inside.  Just pure happiness.
So there you have it - a three course heavenly meal that was enjoyed by a Foodie and her friends with no guilt.  It's good to have those meals once in a while - or daily.  It's up to you. (I prefer daily, but my thighs and stomach disagree)

Now lets take a 180

Unlike the elegant and delicious food of Aqua Riva, Shaughnessy Restaurant's pricy hit and miss menu doesn't appeal to my tastebuds.
First Experience: I had got to try several menu items - Seafood Stuffed Cannelloni with lobster scented cream sauce, Pacific Coast Paella, Crispy Organic Steelhead Trout & Seared Qualicum Scallop with Lemon Spatzel with toasted almonds, and the Mac & Cheese with a side of fries.  The calorie bomb of a Cannelloni was delicious, it was the best thing that I tried there that night. The side watercress and tomato salad was also very tasty.  My second favourite thing I tried was a tie between the Paella and the Mac & Cheese, but that doesn't mean that I liked it that much.  The Paella was kinda dry, and just meh tasting.  The Mac & Cheese had a nice crispy coating, and was filled with cheese and bacon which didn't enhance the flavour, which I'm sure was the purpose of the bacon.  Other than making it's consumers a pound heavier.  Then the Lemon Spaztel was just... no.  I didn't really enjoy that enough to take a bite of the Trout.
Second Experience: "First the worst, second the best..." did not apply to my second experience at Shaughnessy restaurant.  This time my favourite meal was the Grilled Prawn & scallop Quesadillas.  My only complaint about them would be that they were dripping with oil from being deep fried - that made them crispy and even more delicious, but they were WAY too oily, and not filled with enough prawns and scallops.  All I could taste (and see) was cheese, oil, and the crispy outer crust.  My brother ordered the Mac & Cheese again, and this time, I'd have to say it was pretty good.  But like the Quesadillas, the Mac & Cheese was way too oily.  It was possibly from the bacon - but then why was the first time my brother ordered this was this dish more dry?  I could also take another guess that they put more cheese in this time, but I'm not sure why it was better this time.  My grandmother had the Chicken Pot Pie which I didn't taste, but it looked good.  My grandfather had the Clam Chowder Soup, and the Hamburger.  The soup looked meh, and the burger, looked greasy.  I stole half his toasted bun because he didn't eat any of his burger with cheese and bacon, and also because my bun on my tuna burger looked as if it just came out of a bag that was bought at Safeway.  My Tuna Burger was filled with cabbage, tuna, dill and chive aioli, and tomatoes.  You would think that there would be some tuna in a tuna burger, but I was able to finish my tuna with half of the bun left.  As for the dill and chive aioli, I asked to have it on the side, but they smothered it all over the burger, and all I could see was what I thought was coldslaw, but it was just the green cabbage and aioli.  With the tuna hiding in the mess of cabbage.  So I sent it back to get the aioli on the side, and I think they gave me an un-toasted bun because of it.  Let's just say I was not a happy camper with this burger, at all.

Aqua Riva on Urbanspoon

Last Words: Go check out the VanDusen Gardens, but skip the garden salad, or the restaurant as a whole unless you want to play a little lottery with the food.  As for Aqua Riva, I suggest giving it a taste before it's too late; Like it was for me and Lumiere's and DB Bistro.