I decided that a purely food blog is too limiting. Especially because I have so many "pretty" pictures to share. I like looking around when I walk. It sounds stupid but I mean really looking. Okay, I suppose I still look odd with my eyes cast skywards, admiring the tender green of the leaves...but oh, the things you'll notice!
Friday afternoon was a super sunny day. Being the rare occasion that it was, I knew I had to venture a bit further than the usual lunch haunts across the street. I had salads maybe twice that week already and I was feeling like the Friday before the long weekend deserved a treat.
For the longest time, I mainly stayed in the downtown core where people are in suits. If I head East for about ten minutes, I enter the shady area where panhandlers and drug addicts are in abundance. However the sun and the promise of a yummy lunch made me brave. As you can see, the blue skies make everything look nice, and since i'm here writing this, I'm still alive (okay maybe I'm slightly paranoid....slightly).
A few months ago I was reading the Food section in the newspaper and I discovered this little delicatessen located adjacent to a cooking school. It is run by the owners of a popular Belgian restaurant, Chambar. I can't remember exactly why but my interest was peaked and I've been wanting to go for a while. I guess the only thing deterring me was the 15 minute walk towards the "bad" area of downtown.
I'm so glad I sucked it up and went. They have a very lovely storefront with very rustic looking ornaments within. I wanted to take some pictures of the delicatessen area and the menu board hanging overhead but the two chefs were sitting out in the store and I felt self-conscious....
However, I most certainly did take a photo of my lunch! Albacore tuna hot sandwich $8.99.
The sandwich was fantastic! The bread was perfectly toasted with the perfect amount of chewy to toasted ratio. Spread with a light citrus mayo and lined with a few well placed basil leaves and a generous sliver of parmesan cheese, the chunky albacore tuna was freckled with capers and fennel and topped with nuggets of sundried tomato. All this was tied together with the surprising texture of crisp pickled cabbage sprinkled in the middle. The flavors aren't your typical tuna sandwich and each bite had me savoring the surprising harmony of flavors.
Don't worry, I do.
Here is a line up of condiments and sauces on sale. Made by the cooking school perhaps. They also sell interesting spices, special cookware and a assortment of odds and ends. The deli is actually not a very big space but there is plenty of sit down room for diners.
If you're in the area, have a visit. Your taste buds will thank you.
Everybody loves some dimsum! It's like tapas but in the morning. I don't know if this is only applicable to women, but we love variety. Although I do see a lot of men, I think they are probably there for the conversation. You know, side story, my ex used to tell me that he wasn't interested in eating. He said that he ate only for energy and that he wasn't interested otherwise. Of course I was super shocked.... I adore food so much that I'm writing about food for goodness sake!
Anyway, back to dimsum. I went on the weekend with my grandparents. We usually go once a month and it's nothing spectacular but this time, there were these super pretty BBQ pork buns! They were perfectly round and glistening.... I'll let the pictures do the talking (sorry I took these with my cellphone so they aren't super sharp).
Do you prefer the baked ones or the steamed ones? I actually don't like the steamed ones at all. It seems too doughy. These baked ones had such a thin layer of bun. It was the perfect bun to pork ratio!
I was wandering around the kitchen after a lunch of butter chicken, looking for something with chocolate. I checked all the usual places like the cupboards and the fridge and found nothing. Well, nothing except a juicy red box of strawberries. I got the idea of making some chocolate dipped strawberries because I was walking by Godiva last week and the lady was making their $5 choco-strawberries in the window. I of course paused to admire the shiny finish of the chocolate and passed along because there is no way I'm paying $5 for one strawberry.
So, feeling a little bored, I got out my baking chocolate and melted it. Wash and dried my strawberries and made my own!
So simple. Just microwave your chocolate 30 seconds at a time and keep stirring in between.
The indent of the seeds are so cute!
Tada! Sorry the room was warm so the chocolate was condensing a bit...but still pretty :)
Last year, I returned from living in Japan for three years. While in Japan, I learned a lot about the beauty of presentation and the difference it makes on the appeal of food. I enjoyed all the different produce available in Japan that I had never seen before. Vegetables were smaller and mushrooms were available in abundance. I be came attuned with the seasons and the different flowers and vegetables that each season brought. For example, springtime meant sakura sweets. Summer meant lots of melons. Autumn was surely the most bountiful with varieties of mushrooms, sanma (mackerel), pumpkins, and chestnuts. Winter provided mikan oranges and strawberries (why? greenhouses?).
Despite the abundance of variety, food was expensive and I didn't have an oven. I yearned for lasagnas, cookies, pot pies and cakes. I craved the wafting scent of my signature oatmeal raisin cookies during the Christmas season. Most homes in Japan do not have central heating so I dearly missed the heat an oven would have provided too.
When I came back to Vancouver it seemed like I was catching up on three years without an oven. I baked and baked and baked! For the past year I have been enjoying my baking and cooking. It's so therapeutic.