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Everything posted by Beebs

  1. Welcome back - looking forward to more of your gorgeous photography!
  2. Choy sum tastes a lot like rapini, but a bit milder and without the bitterness. I cook it just like rapini, Italian-style. Rapini isn't hard to find here, but it does seem to be getting pricier over the last several years. I don't know if that's due to trendiness or general increase in food price. Choy sum you can get anywhere here, and it's relatively inexpensive, especially in the Asian groceries. It's definitely not trendy here!
  3. "Your cookbook shelf collapsed...."
  4. I think it's not a bad idea for Deep Roots to limit their award winners. It would be a shame for visitors to go all the way there just to find that they can't buy any. We could have bought plenty more bottles, but, alas, running of room in our car. I didn't much care for Ruby Blues because I gravitate towards dry/off-dry wines, and I found their selections too sweet for my liking. I tasted their red and white Stilettos, and the sparkling rose. Too bad we missed the Syrian Family fund raiser - I've been following along on that. Bruno was just lovely - I wanted to scoop him up and take him home with me! We'll be back soon!
  5. Been back a week, but didn't get around to reporting back. We had a great time in Naramata/Penticton! The hot early summer weather was a real treat. Went to Rock Oven the night we arrived, Thursday. Only 3 other tables while we were there. Sat out on the patio, ordered a bottle of wine, I had the roast chicken, DH had the roast pork. Food was lovely, and it was nice to just take our time with the wine. Ended up staying quite late, as we started chatting up with the other guests there. Next day was a work day and finished off in Kelowna. A group of us went to Sandhill Winery for their Friday night happy hour - $5 wine & snacks & live music. Their wine is only decent, but it was a great lively atmosphere, really packed, good music. BNA Brew Co. for dinner & beers. None of us had been, but it was walking distance from Sandhill. Food was surprisingly very good! I had very tasty onion & goat cheese pizza & DH's boar ragu pasta was excellent. Good comments from the rest of the group too. Penticton farmers' market the next day, spent the whole morning wandering around. It's certainly gotten much bigger and busier since we were there a few years ago. Skipped a proper lunch in favour of snacking at the market. Dinner at Gasthaus fine dining side, as DH insisted on schnitzel over all the other options. Crazy old-school European kitschy space! We split a salad & appies, had schnitzels, split a dessert, bottle of wine. Food was good, but not excellent, large portions. Fun experience in a retro kind of way. The pub side was packed when we arrived, the dining room less so. Lake Breeze Patio with a group for lunch the day we went back to Vancouver. Got there early, just as they were opening, and there was a line up already. Food & wine was as excellent as expected. For wineries, we didn't visit too many, about half a dozen or so. We opted for smaller wineries that we hadn't been to before. Can't remember off the top of my head what we brought back. The white wines were very, very good - I understand last year was a great year for white wines. We brought home quite a bit more white than red or rose. Upper Bench Winery & Creamery - they haven't been around too long. Did a wine & cheese tasting, purchased a bunch of wine. We went back on our way back to Vancouver to pick up some cheese, which they kindly packed in a box with ice pack. Bench 1775 - loved it, you weren't kidding about the amazing view! Unfortunately, they weren't starting their food service till after we'd gone home, so we missed out on the patio. Very good wine, bought half a case. Gave Bruno the friendly labrador a few pats. Deep Roots - this is the winery I wanted to visit the most! Their Gamay was excellent, and a couple bottles went home with us, along with a half dozen or so others. I saw they won their wine award a few days ago - I'm really pleased they did! I just checked my receipt and I have 1 Syrah! Lake Breeze - I really liked their Semillon. Ruby Blues - Didn't like this winery. We went because a coworker asked if we could pick up a couple bottles for her if we happened to be in the area. The only one I liked was the gewurztraminer. Gray Monk - It was on the way back from a work visit and my coworker wanted to go. Picked up a couple bottles. Maple Leaf Distillery - this was a lot of fun, we had a great time with Jorg! We tasted a couple liqueurs down at the farmers market, but decided to head up to the distillery to check out a couple other items. Went home with cherry liqueur, maple liqueur, and prune brandy. Afterwards, Jorg introduced us to his feather friends - his pet pheasants & parrot. Thanks for all the recommendations, Okanagancook! I'm going to have a good 3 cases of wine & spirits to last us to the middle of summer!
  6. Here's a fun list: http://dailyhive.com/vancouver/101-things-to-eat-and-drink-in-vancouver You can also tool around in here: http://dailyhive.com/vancouver/category/food
  7. So many regional Chinese foods here! Shanghainese and Taiwanese come to mind. My (Taiwanese) in-laws, when they're in town, really like Corner 23 in the South Cambie area (4008 Cambie St). It's busy in there, lots of young people. They might be cash only, can't recall. Peaceful Restaurant is popular & busy and they have a few locations. Their website says Northern Chinese, but I think it's a mix of a few regions - Szechuan, Hunan, Northern.... They were featured on Diners, Drive-In, & Dives a few yrs ago. Lin's Chinese Cuisine on Broadway & Granville - Northern & Shanghai food. Get the xiao long bao if you're there - steamed dumplings with pork & soup. And definitely have dim sum when you're here! I haven't been to Dynasty in a long time though. Also, Floata is in Chinatown (near downtown) and Sun Sui Wah is up on Main & 25th. I haven't been to either of these in a while, but it's a good dim sum experience, as I recall. Forage is on Robson - local sustainable food, casual fine-dining. I've only been there once, but it was very good. Japanese is a good choice, lots of Japanese places in the West End, many of them catering to Japanese exchange students. Hmm....brew pubs/gastro pubs have exploded onto the Vancouver food & beer scene in the last few yrs. If craft beer is your thing, Alibi Room is in the downtown area (Rail Town). They don't brew their own beer, but have an immense beer menu, decent food. Happy eating & enjoy your visit here!
  8. Thank you, Okanagancook, this is great - I'm saving your post to take with me! I'll definitely check out some of your suggestions. I'm going to try for Lake Breeze, probably Sunday before we head back to Vancouver. I think we'll skip Raudz for now, especially if they don't do resos. I don't want to drive all the way to Kelowna just to find we can't get in. Bad Tattoo & Cannery are on my list now. There may be a group dinner one of the nights with folks staying out in Kelowna, so perhaps I'll give Gasthaus a stab, since it's midway between Kelowna & Penticton. I'm looking forward to checking out some of the wineries - Bench 1775 & Deep Roots are now on my list too. Poplar Grove is gorgeous and I like their wine. Haven't tried Vanilla Pod yet, but I've heard mixed reviews and a bit pricey. Snacks are a good idea. DH has given me specific instructions to limit our wines to 1 box only, but 1 box is pretty vague - could be 1 per type of wine! So many places to try, so little time! Will report back.
  9. Resurrecting this ancient thread - there must be something new since 7 yrs ago! So what's new in the Penticton/Naramata/Kelowna area? I'm heading there this weekend, staying in the Naramata region again and I've got 3 dinners & maybe 1 lunch to think about. We're arriving in Naramata Thursday evening, so I'm thinking dinner at the Rock Oven at the Naramata Inn would be good to start. The last time we were there, it was still the Cobblestone Wine Bar and it was very, very good. Rock Oven reopened last summer, after the Inn was taken over by new operators. Has anyone tried the new restaurant? Also on my list is Theo's, Greek restaurant in Penticton. We've been there a couple times and have always had a good time there, great food. Lake Breeze Winery is a possibility for lunch. Ate there about 2-3 yrs ago - is it still excellent? Gasthaus in Peachland - German/Austrian fare. Never been there - is it worth going? What else should is good? RauDZ? Disappointing review upthread, but decent reviews elsewhere on the interwebs. Hoping Okanagancook can chime in!
  10. The raspberry cordial from Anne of Green Gables? (I've never made it, but if I had all your raspberries, that's the first thing I'd make!)
  11. Beebs

    Water Plants in Cooking

    Dcarch, they're so devilishly cute!!
  12. Beebs

    Water Plants in Cooking

    Do cranberries count? Also seaweed (although technically seawater plant....). Water chestnuts, which most of us have probably eaten before. I've never cooked a fresh water chestnut, even though I can get them easily enough. They're a real pain to peel, as a recall from watching my mom prep them. What are some good ways to feature fresh water chestnuts? Water caltrops - I've had them only once ever, as a child. They are freakish black double-horned nut thingies that look like bats. Mom boiled them. I remember they smelled pretty funky and were difficult to peel open. I have seen them from time to time in the Chinese markets, but I've not had the nerve to attempt cooking them. http://www.thehongkongcookery.com/2014/09/boiled-water-caltrop.html
  13. Beebs

    Rice Pudding

    What?! No rice pudding love since 2013?? I don't make a lot of pudding-type desserts - I've only made rice pudding maybe 3 times ever. But I want to change that. I like rice pudding cold or lukewarm, slightly on the sweeter side, teensy dash of cinnamon, and less thick. Hubby likes Kozy Shack. I'd like to try making that black rice pudding with coconut milk, too, for something different. And also Indian rice pudding (kheer). Never made either before, so any tips, suggestions, would be great. Will browse through the rest of this topic later tonight. So...what's everyone doing for rice pudding these days?
  14. Perhaps try googling Mongolian beef? And to add to Lisa Shock's suggestion - black pepper steak or Chinese pepper steak?
  15. Beebs

    Shaoxing wine or Sake?

    Right. The province of BC has really dumb, antiquated liquor laws and the only cooking wine allowed for sale in the grocery stores here are the heavily salted ones. And the non-salted stuff from the liquor stores is not cheap either. Last night I ended up using half shaoxing and half sake (for Taiwanese braised pork sauce on rice - lu ruo fan). The sake didn't affect the dish as far as I could tell, but there are a bunch of other ingredients in there anyway. To the OP - what would you use shaoxing for?
  16. Beebs

    Shaoxing wine or Sake?

    Dry sherry or even cooking sherry is a much better substitute for shaoxing wine than sake. Or if you can find cooking shaoxing wine or plain Chinese cooking wine - these ones have salt added. If you only need a small amount - say, to marinate meat - you could probably get away with using sake in a pinch. But it definitely won't be the same. And I don't recommend using shaoxing in place of sake - it would change the flavour of your finished dish drastically. Coincidentally, I'm making a dish right now that needs shaoxing for marinating the meat and also in the sauce, but I've just discovered I don't have quite enough wine. I might need to make up the difference with a bit of sake (no sherry to be had in the house).
  17. There's a Maggi banner in the fruteria photo! Is Maggi Sauce a popular condiment in Ecuadorian cuisine? How is it used? I have a love affair with Maggi Sauce on soft boiled eggs and fried eggs - they just don't taste quite right to me without it. I am always amazed by how ubiquitous Maggi is, though it doesn't seem as well-loved in North American cuisine. Terrific foodblog, by the way. Followed along in your previous foodblogs, and this one is proving just as enjoyable - thank you for bringing us along for the ride!
  18. Yup, you can find them up here in the Vancouver area. I've seen them at some of the organic Whole Foods-type places, and they're usually available at farmers' markets. Less so in regular big box supermarkets where kale, chard, gai lan, other Asian greens are more popular. I've also received them in a CSA box once. I made it into the Portuguese caldo verde soup - very delicious.
  19. I've not seen dried red or black currants (the berry) around here. However, currants (the grape) are absolutely crucial in a good Canadian butter tart!
  20. Oooh! I forgot it's Pi Day today! Incidentally, I made a shepherd's pie last night, but it's not round. I guess we will have leftover non-round shepherd's pie for dinner again tonight!
  21. And how customizable are we talking about? If I wanted some weirdly obscure Tibetan dish, can I still get it? What if the ingredients for said weirdly obscure Tibetan dish are difficult to source? If this restaurant is a no-holds barred, whatever I can possibly want in the world to eat, I'd probably want to try ethnic dishes that I've never had and can't get here. Of course I would have to be able to pay for it....which is another problem entirely.
  22. Technical challenges aside and not counting private chefs, if such an establishment opened in Vancouver, I personally would not likely pay to try it. When I get a craving for something, I want it right now, not 24 hours later when I might be craving something entirely different. Half the time, I don't even know what I want until I see a menu - the power of suggestion and all that. I'm not particularly interested in digging up a recipe and giving it to the chef to make, and paying for them to make it, when I can't even be sure they'll do a decent job of it, given that the chef is trying to be all things to all people. Let's say I've got a craving for soup dumplings. Wouldn't it make more sense for me to go somewhere already established that I know can make decent soup dumplings? I can get my soup dumplings right away, I know they're going to be good, they're not going to be ridiculously expensive, and I don't have to compete with other diners for the chef's attention who has to make Aunt Carol's lasagna, chiles rellenos, take out pad thai, and Sunday roast just like Mom used to make. There probably will be other Vancouverites who would go for it, just because it's new and different, and want to jump on the bandwagon. I highly doubt it would last here, though - it'll be far to costly to run in this city. Interesting project, though, definitely made me think about it. Let us know how it goes!
  23. Beebs

    Valentine's Day Dinner

    Usually it's pizza, beer, & a movie at home. We had pizza already a couple days ago, so it might be Church's Fried Chicken this year for a change. And something vaguely vegetable-y, I suppose. I also like to make a simple dessert, but we're out of milk & eggs, and I screwed up my back, so we'll have the mini apple pie & blueberry pie DH bought.
  24. I don't have a horse in this game - Seahawks are out. Serving the main at half-time - that IS a good idea! I am going to adopt it too. Previous years I'd just put everything on the table as it's ready. I'll bring out the char siu sliders, salads, rice vermicelli out at half-time. In addition to the stuff I listed up thread, I'm going to make the rumaki Smithy suggested (if I can get decent chicken livers), bought an assortment of Chinese NY candies & sweets, hot spinach dip, and sticky rice cake and birthday cake for dessert. It's also Downton Abbey night, but not till 9pm PST. Some friends will probably stay, but I'm not sure what to do for food for the couple hours or so between the game and Downton. Stretch out dessert? Port & cigars for the gentlemen, and tea for the ladies in the drawing room??
  25. Rumaki! I've never made it, but that would be a fun Super Bowl snack! It's definitely not Chinese , I think it is Polynesian/Tiki.
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