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    Vancouver, BC
  1. There was a place in Surrey that sold them (back when I was looking for one, I looked out there), it wasn't T&T, but one that was by the Sheraton. I can't remember the name, sorry. If you're still looking I'll do some searching to try and remember - however they were a little overpriced, IMO. The best bet for me was to order off of Amazon.com - the one in the store was somewhere in the ballpark of $75-$80, so with Amazon being only $32 and our dollar being strong, that's probably your best bet. You'll love it - I love my Mr. Bento. There's a Flickr group for Mr. Bento that also gives great ideas for lunches and snacks and such. I've had mine for over a year and it's wearing well.
  2. Thought I'd update this a bit as we just went strawberry picking yesterday. We were able to get 10 lbs from the Country Bumpkins Farm in Chilliwack (they are no-spray, but not organic), which was a bit of a task as they had been pretty much picked clean. I didn't really see that many more - you may be able to get up to 10 lbs there in a couple of days (there were some that were still a little too green). The strawberries were $1.50 a pound and they were very helpful (had ice cream buckets you could borrow - we had brought boxes, also told us the best places in the patch). The strawberries from this farm weren't very hardy - they're softer, but I liked the flavor. They'll be perfect for smoothies, jam, sauces and such. We then headed out to the Forstbauer Farm to see if we could scrounge up some more strawberries. We ended up being able to pick another 20 lbs very quickly - they had LOTS! There were a fair bit that had molded - I'm guessing this is from the recent rains - but they did have lots of beautiful berries and another week or two, there will be even more (there were lots of almost ripe and still white berries). It was a bit more of an adventure to get to these ones, but that's half the fun! The field is at the back of a farm so you have to drive a bit through muddy fields (thanks to the rain) - we have a very low car, but with wide turns and avoiding the deepest part of the mud we were fine. These berries were a bit hardier (not as soft), with a great flavor as well. They are certified organic, so it was a bit more, $2 a lb. All in all, it was a great trip - we'll be out later in the summer to get some blueberries. I thought I'd also mention that at the Country Bumpkins farm, I saw that they had fig trees. I asked when they thought they'd be ready and she said most likely the last half of August into early September. They'll be selling them by the box (I don't think they'll have any u-pick), prices to be determined. Now my "artisanal" Christmas baskets will have fig jam as well...
  3. Does anyone know of any organic (or spray free) u-pick places? I'm planning on making jam and freezing a fair bit (I'm talking 20 +lbs each of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries) so I'd like to do u-pick, but I'm having a hard time finding a farm that is organic/spray free (especially for strawberries). Thanks!
  4. If you ask at any Starbucks, they should be able to give you at least an ingredient list of what is in the Maple Oat Nut Scones, which would give you an idea of the ratio of ingredients. That way you may be able to tweak a couple of recipes to get the result that you are looking for. However, be warned - a full sized Maple Oat Nut Scone at Starbucks weighs in at well over 600 calories (if I remember correctly it was closer to 700 calories, but it's been awhile). They have since made them slightly smaller, so that helps, but those babies pack in the calories. (That's true for most of the pastries there as well).
  5. I'm with you there. I grew some chervil a few years ago when it was included in a mesculin/herb mix, so it should be easy to grow from seed. Unfortunately, my local nursery no longer carries the same seed pack. ← I found a packet of Curled Chervil seeds at Hollyfield's on Granville Island. The packet was produced by Richters and cost a $1.50 - and I planted it in early March and the plant is huge already! I have it in a small pot on my window sill, as unfortunately, our place in the West End doesn't have a balcony, but it's thriving and doing well. (And I still have over half the packet of seeds left!)
  6. Thanks! I was hoping to avoid shipping charges, but it looks like I'm going to have to bite the bullet. For those of you who were interested, unfortunately Que Pasa's store did not have the cactus pear juice - I'm thinking it's more of a Southern American thing, since the clerk looked at me like I was crazy! I'm still on the hunt for it for it though - I'm probably going to email Mesa Grill just for the heck of it and see if they'd let me know (perhaps) who their supplier is.
  7. I'm trying to find two different things that so far, I haven't been able to locate in Vancouver. 1) Cactus pear juice (I'm also told it can be called prickly pear nectar) - I need the juice, not a syrup, as I'm trying to recreate the amazing Cactus Pear Margarita that I had last weekend at Mesa Grill in Las Vegas. I'm probably going to go down to Que Pasa's store this weekend - anyone know if they carry it? 2) Reisenthel Folding Trolley Bag - I saw one at Sur La Table in Vegas and meant to return to pick it up, but after a couple of the above cactus pear margaritas, I forgot! It can be found online here, but unfortunately there is not a photo unless you go back to the "Picnic and Totes" section, where there's a thumbnail showing the cart. However, I really don't want to have to pay shipping and I'd rather support a local business anyways. (I'd figure it would be good as I could walk to the grocery store and lug everything back!) I know it's not an ingredient, but it will be used to haul ingredients back to my house, so I figured it would be okay! Thanks for all of your help!
  8. I thought I'd also add that if you can't find the Fage, Liberty Plain Organic Yogurt is sold in a two pack at Costco. I think it's $7.69 for the two, but I could be wrong (it's around that price point).
  9. I was given this recipe by a friend, so I tried it this past weekend. Here's what I found: I accidently misread the amount of salt and added 2 teaspoons instead of the 1 1/4 teaspoons. It actually turned out though - it wasn't too salty (you just didn't need to add butter!) for our tastes. I actually forgot about the bread and remembered at the 24 hour mark - so don't put it in your oven if you think you're going to forget! However, I don't think the bread was compromised - the flavor was still really, really good (I ate two slices, my husband ate the rest of the loaf). I baked it using my LC 3.5 quart - I wouldn't recommend anything smaller - it seemed to fit perfectly. I now have another loaf (for tomorrow's soup supper) on it's first rise - this time, I used 50% whole wheat pastry flour, so we'll see how that turns out.
  10. I didn't see Dharma Kitchen on that list, but they have pretty good food. I can't remember where they are located (it's almost out by UBC) but we enjoyed the food there. Central Bistro on Denman also has vegan options, but I've never been there, though my friend eats there a fair amount. Those are the two that I thought of that weren't on the list that I thought of...
  11. I really really love my Kershaw Shun 6 inch utility knife. I ended up getting the Alton's Angle design and the funny thing is - I think that's my only complaint about it. The angle makes it harder for me to use on some things since my hands are so small, but my husband who has much larger hands loves the angle. I think it really depends on what you will be using it for the most and what style you like.
  12. I may not have satellite, but good old Mom and Dad who live in the States do. Their favorite daughter may have to come visit them.... Since we don't have cable, they're used to me coming down to watch Food Network. The deal is I have to make dinner if I want to watch... (Not bad, I think) Since there's no airing date up yet, I'll have to keep checking... but I will record it, I promise!
  13. My goodness, they all sound so good! (Neil, your menu sounds particularly fabulous ) I think it's going to be hard to decide on which places to visit. Ah, what a quandry!
  14. Thanks all for your input! It's helped me plan out my New Year's Eve a little better (I was going to have to rush to get downtown before they closed - so I think I'll skip them on this particular trip)...
  15. Actually, it was that thread that got me talking to a friend of mine about local coffeehouses, which is funny since you brought it back up. She and I were talking about which ones we found to be pretty good and she swore by Caffe Artigiano. Then another couple of friends recommended it a couple of days later. I read over the thoughts on them again tonight in that thread and it helped but it still wasn't quite as pointed as I'm looking for. When I asked my friends to describe why they are so good, they just answer "Because they are... they're just so good!" Maybe it's the investigator or critic in me, but I want to know why they are so good. Sorry, I should have specified that earlier!
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