November 27, 2011

White Bean and Sage Patties

Patties is kind of a strange term to describe the dish, but I suppose that is essentially what they are.  Maybe you can pretend patties isn't such a weird word and we can all feel a little better about it.  What I need you to focus on is how delicious these are!  For lunch one afternoon I tossed a few simple ingredients in the food processor, smooshed them about with my hands and fried them simply in some hot oil.  The results were delicate, filling and delicious.

The most tricky part about the recipe is convincing yourself to buy a $3 package of sage you may or may-not feel you are going to use!  Hopefully for both of us your sage plant looks far better than my spindly, droopy and unhappy plant sitting on the front stoop.  Then we'll have no problems whatsoever!  Though the original recipe calls for a roasted tomato sauce I used instead roasted tomatoes I'd cooked back in August.  The results were fine, but nothing to write home about.  I took stock of my condiments and noticed a tomato-onion chutney hiding in depths of my fridge.  That was the ticket!  Now the dish sang.

I realize it may be a bit of a stretch to ask you make a chutney for the sole purpose of accompanying this dish, but I'll leave the ball in your court, a simple roasted tomato sauce is fine too.

White Bean and Sage Patties

Source: I got the recipe from right here.
Serves: 8 patties, 4 people?

1 can white beans, drained
1 shallot, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp cornmeal
1 Tbsp chopped sage
Canola oil, for frying

In the bowl of a food processor pulse to shred the shallot.  Add the beans, carrot and salt, pulse about 10 times until the beans are mostly mashed but still have some chunks.  Turn the mixture into a medium sized bowl.

Add the cornmeal and sage to the bean mixture.  With your hand mix it all up, like you are mixing meatloaf.  Portion the beans into 8 round balls.

Heat the oil until it is shimmering hot over medium-high heat.  Turn the heat down to a low medium and add 3-4 balls to the pan.  Squish with the back of a spatula (the thinner the squish the more fried area is exposed. Yum!)  Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, until the patties take on some colour.    Flip them over and cook another 2-3 minutes.  Repeat with the second batch of bean balls.  Season with salt and pepper if necessary.

Tomato and Onion Chutney

Source: Vij's at Home Cookbook
Serves: makes 1 large cup

3 Tbsp oil
1 medium-large onion finely chopped, 1.5 cups
1 cup finely chopped tomatoes, about 3 medium sized tomatoes
2 Tbsp grated ginger
1 Tbsp chopped jalapeno
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1.5 Tbsp sugar

In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 8 minutes, or until dark browned and not burned, turn down heat if necessary.  Stir in the tomatoes, ginger, jalapeno and sauté for 3 or 4 minutes.  Add the lemon juice, salt and sugar, cook for 2 more minutes.  Remove from heat, will keep refrigerated for at least 10 days.

November 27

It took four days but our Christmas cards are finally sealed and stamped.  (Spoiler alert!! They've got a delicious recipe printed on the back!)  I know what you are thinking; printed cards! you didn't even make them! how could it take you four days?!  In my unhappiest face I'll tell you I had to work.  The truth is; writing my address neatly 42 times takes a long time.  When I had all the envelopes addressed (at least the addresses and names I knew) I decided I could not bear such an impersonal gift.  How could I spend $30 on postage without even a hand written note?  So I went to the store and bought paper.  I spent another day writing thoughtful and individual notes to each person.  

It's hard for me to keep Shane's family straight since I've met so few of them, I had to ask his mother NINE questions about family arrangements and this is my fourth time sending cards.  Jeeze!  This time I had the forethought though to write down all the information, (names, relationships and children) now (I hope) it can't happen again! 

'Twas a stormy day out.
 I baked nutmeg bars, a hybrid of boterkoek and a bark cookie, heavily flavoured with freshly grated nutmeg.  They're crispy and delicious.  After baking, wrapping gifts and blasting Christmas tunes I went to the store for a butternut squash.  Since it was the grocery store rather than my produce store the one squash left was moldy and disfigured.  I bought a 2lb - $6 organic squash instead.  It better be amazing.

November 26, 2011


So I want to tell you about cabbage.  I know, who likes green cabbage right?  I mean aside from coleslaw obv.  I tried to, I really did.  I ate it for almost a week straight raw, sliced thin with a miso dressing.  I forced it down my throat telling myself it was healthy.  And that is certainly is, very healthy.  But I just couldn't do it anymore and I was left with 1/3 of a head of thinly sliced green cabbage with some red onion, toasted almonds and roasted broccoli and cauliflower sprinkled in.

I decided to cook it and thank god I did, I can only imagine the guilt I would have felt throwing it out!  I heated up a good splash of canola oil in a pan and threw in the cabbage mix.  I tossed around a bit and cooked it for a few minutes.  After about 3 minutes I squeezed in a large amount of sirracha and cooked it for a few more minutes.  Just before I took it off the heat I drizzled in some soy sauce and seasoned with pepper.

When it came out of the pan cooked, though still crisp, it was heaven.  Absolutely delicious, in fact I compared it to something you'd receive at a chinese food restaurant, except a hundred times healthier.  It had the natural sweetness of the cabbage with the saltiness of the soy and the spice from the hot sauce.  Next time around I'll add a few swipes of orange zest to boost the flavour.  It was crunchy, crispy, scrumptious and healthy to boot.  Win!

Cabbage...with hot sauce?

I don't know what to call this dish, it's so simple.  Don't think to hard about it, just cook.

Serves: 3 big portions

1/3 of a large green cabbage, sliced thinly
1 cup of assorted roasted vegetables, optional
1 green onion, sliced thinly
1/4 cup red onion, small dice
1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped
3 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp sirracha
1- 1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
Pepper to taste

In a large mixing bowl combine the cabbage, onions and almonds.  Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.  Add the cabbage mixture and lower to medium heat.  Sauté for 3 or so minutes, add sirracha and mix thoroughly.  Cook another few minutes until you think it is cooked and add soy sauce and pepper.  Add a few swipes of citrus zest if you choose.  Enjoy!

November 24, 2011

November 22&23

We've just had the best weekend!  It might have been our first weekend off together since we got back from Europe. What did we do?  Not all that much, but it was blissful anyway.
 On the first day Shane went with his father to Langley to visit a gun shop.  Guess who bought a gun?  Okay, no it wasn't Shane, but he is now to proud owner of a very large gun I have forbidden from my house.  Like really big, the kind you shoot moose with.  I don't want to see it, I might have a heart attack.
 That evening we ate onion soup and homemade french fries with curry sauce.  I might post that recipe yet, it was delicious!
 After a small run the following morning I came home and made Shane these crazy delicious cranberry eggnog pancakes.  They were amazing, so good I don't even mind seeing them sit on my thighs!  No joke.
 Shane and I had coffee with my mum and stole all her puzzles.  I got dinner into the crock pot and the cake in the oven as we started our puzzle.  Shane and I love puzzles, it something we discovered about ourselves on our 86th day in Europe this year.  We drank hot chocolate when it got dark and kept right on puzzling while the a batch of buns rose.

I didn't take a picture of dinner that night, but here are the leftovers!  (In slider form the next day)  I made a red wine braised beef, browned butter mashed potatoes, honey roasted carrots and fresh buns.  Dessert was the best gingerbread cake, maple caramel roasted pears and a gently whipped cream.
 With the leftover buns this morning Shane made amazing breakfast sandwiches.  When we realized how much of the sandwich was handmade we enjoyed it even more.  We made the sausage, the buns, the tomato-onion chutney and bought the eggs from a friend's chickens, even the mayo.  The only thing we didn't make? The goat's cheese.
 On a morning earlier in the week we had chosen to paint.  We hung the products of our time (and talent) on our bedroom wall.
 Ever the charmer.

November 23, 2011

Cranberry Eggnog Pancakes

Oh oh were these good!  I know I start off every post with an exclamation point but seriously!  these! are! good!

To start you need a rainy (snowy would be even better) cold day where you've just come from a run.  You've showered, warmed and started the coffee.  Even the sounds of the coffee percolating has got you more alert, you can start gathering your ingredients.  Don't worry, I know you've just run so something a bit healthy is in order.  These amazing pancakes have a good punch of whole wheat flour (and that counts for something right?!)  Get the cranberries boiling so they're soft and gooey, popped and simmering in a red tinted water.  Mix mix mix.  Take a swig of eggnog.

When the batter is all ready to go I recommend you start heating a pan, go and kindly wake your husband, (why is he still sleeping anyway??) tell him breakfast is almost ready and run back to the kitchen.  We've talked about pancake comas before, you know we're not a fan so I made sure this recipe is big enough for two people, but small enough for moderation.  As the pancakes come flying off the pans you might want to catch them and pat them with butter.   A good dose of maple syrup wouldn't hurt either and before you know if you'll be ravenously digging in.

Cranberry Eggnog Pancakes

Serves: two, perfectly
Adapted from: here

1/2 cup fresh (or frozen) cranberries
30 g (1/4 cup) all purpose flour
22g (3 Tbsp) whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp yellow cornmeal
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 cup eggnog (you could use milk instead)
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp canola oil

In a small saucepan bring cranberries and two inches of water to a boil.  Simmer two minutes, drain and cool for five minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk flours, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a small bowl.  Whisk eggnog, eggs and oil in a medium sized bowl.  On a cutting board cut eat of the cranberries in half.  Add to the wet ingredients.

Stir the eggnog batter into the dry mixtures until just combined.  Heat a skillet over medium heat, spray with non-stick spray.  Cook 1/4 cup of batter at a time, flipping when small bubbles appear on the surface, 2-3 minutes.  Top pancakes with butter and maple syrup.

November 22, 2011

Peppermint Patties

I had been craving mint and chocolate like something mad.  Mint and chocolate, chocolate and mint, it was all I could think about!  Don't ask me what it is but chocolate and all it's pairings (peanut butter, raspberry, sea salt! Never together of course) have me by the tongue, I'm weak around them.  I've got at least five recipes saved for homemade mint chocolate candies in my pinterest, it was really only a matter of time.  I've made the candies before, with not quite as much success.  I've struggled with the consistency of the peppermint filling and with the chocolate!  This time I got it right, exactly like the candies you'll buy in the store.  This will definitely be the recipe I turn to when the next craving whacks me over the head.

With a jar full of peppermint patties in the fridge I moved on to the next logical step, baking them into something.  I chose brownies and all though they were good, they weren't anything worth sharing.  The brownies turned out crispy and thin and not as mint-y as I would have liked.  I wanted full and chewy with crunchy mint bites throughout.  I'll need to go back to the drawing board with this one, or to my perfect brownies.

Peppermint Patties

Makes: 20 patties

500g (2 1/2 cups) icing sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp corn syrup (light preferably)
1 1/2 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1 Tbsp butter

1 cup semisweet chocolate
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp cream

Mix together the icing sugar, corn syrup, water, peppermint extract and butter with an electric mixer.  The mix will be crumbly, don't worry!  Dump onto the counter lightly dusted with icing sugar and knead until it turns into a smooth ball.  With a rolling pin roll the ball out to 1/4 inch thick.  Stick in the freezer for 10 minutes.

With a small circle cookie cutter (I used the open end of a shot glass) punch out the peppermint patties.  Move to a plate and freeze for another 10 minutes.  Don't forget to re-roll the scraps and punch out more, you wouldn't want any of this to go to waste!

Melt the chocolate, butter and cream in a double broiler, stirring until melted and smooth.  Drop the peppermint patties in and immerse in chocolate.  Scoop out with a fork and try to tap off the excess and smooth the top.  Transfer to a lined baking sheet.  Freeze again until firm, or about 20 minutes.  Store in the fridge for up to a week.  

Cranberry Almond Coffee Cake.

I almost missed them, the cranberries.  I wasn't ready to see them go!  I had it in my head they'd stick around a while, ready and waiting for me to pick them up.  I had big plans this weekend and they were invited.  I looked today for my favourite kind, the unwashed boggy ones with little stems hanging on.  But they weren't there.  At the next store I looked again and they told me they only had them frozen, I said I'd take what I could get.

A few weeks ago I had it in my head to make a cranberry cake, but I've been shunning sugar all that while.  I could resist no longer and today I pulled out my pan.  Instead of a large pan waiting to me to pick and slick I made a teeny tiny cake in a 6x3 inch pan.  It was super cute, which didn't help me keep my hands off it!  The cake I chose was an almond-cranberry coffee cake.  Because I divided it by 3.5 I messed up one ratio, and that was the amount of cranberries, as you can see.  There is more red cranberries falling out of these pictures than cake itself!  I love it of course, I can never have to many cranberries but the cake's stick-together-ness was totally compromised.  I've written the recipe to compensate, reduced from my 3/4 cup to a 1/2 cup of chopped cranberries, at least yours will be serve-able.

If you love cranberries and you love boterkoek (a dutch almond cake) you'll go head over heals for this one, I know I have!

Cranberry Almond Coffee Cake

Source: Cranberry Almond Coffee Cake
Serves: 3 or 4 for coffee

48 g (3.5 Tbsp) butter
85 g (7 Tbsp) white sugar
30 g (.6) egg (beat it first then measure roughly half)
1/3 tsp almond extract
51 g (1/2 cup minus 1 Tbsp) all purpose flour
tiny pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped cranberries
2 1/2 Tbsp chopped almonds

In a glass bowl melt the butter in the microwave for 20 seconds.  Let it cool in the fridge while assembling other ingredients.

Chop the almonds roughly (or finely if you'd prefer) and keep about 1 tsp on the side, separate.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 6x3 inch loaf pan.  Set aside.  In a small bowl combine the flour and salt.  In a medium sized bowl beat the egg and sugar together with a hand held mixer, for two minutes, or until pale yellow and smooth.  Add the cooled butter and almond extract and blend until well combined.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ones, until just incorporated.  With a spatula fold in the cranberries and almonds.  Spoon and smooth into the pan.  Top with remaining almonds and about 1 tsp white sugar.  (Don't skip this step!  It makes a beautiful crackly layer.)

Bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let cool completely before slicing.

November 19, 2011

Thai Peanut Pumpkin Hummus

I've been making (and eating) a lot of hummus the last few weeks.  All the recipes I've tried have been great, but this one stands out.  I took a container of this hummus and crackers to the mall for a day of shopping with my mom.  We ate this along with a few pieces of fruit and it filled us right up.  It didn't need to be refrigerated (not that my car wasn't cold enough!) which was a major bonus as far as usability.  Nutritious, filling and easy.  Done.

Like all hummus's the recipe is very straight forward; throw all ingredients in a food processor.  Blitz, taste.  This time I peeled all the skins off the chickpeas, it was quite time consuming.  Though the hummus was very smooth and silky I don't think you'll find me doing that again, a little bit of grit is fine for me.  The peanut is not overpowering, the pumpkin is subtle, but the sriracha does add a little kick, so be careful if you don't like spice.  Bookmark this, make it soon and enjoy.

Thai Peanut Pumpkin Hummus

The original recipe can be found here.

1 can chickpeas
65 g (1/4 cup) natural peanut butter
120 g (1/2 cup) pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp water (I ended up adding another 2 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp sriracha (or other garlic chili paste)
1 tsp ground ginger
2 green onion chopped, white and light green parts only
2 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.  Add more water to reach desired consistency. Taste to check seasonings.  Garnish with sriracha and hoard for yourself with a bowl of rice crackers.


Oh my, am I ever feeling guilty!  We've had such a fun few days and I didn't stop to pull out my camera once!  The past few days have been:  a toffee cake for a now-12 year old boy, running below zero, an indian feast, snow! painting, cooking and shopping.  I've checked a few more names off the Christmas list, online shopping is such a breeze.  More to come soon.

November 13, 2011

Sweet Potato Coconut Rice Bowl

I've changed my eating habits lately and I'm rather scared to post about it.  I'm notorious for falling back on what I say, announcing something and then forgetting about it.  Shane and I challenged ourselves to cutting out sugar from our diets for two weeks.  No processed sugar at all, not even the sweetener you'll find in condiments (there went basically everything in the fridge.)  The only acceptable sweet products would be maple syrup and honey.  I thought it would be very difficult, I was cutting out baking after all.  Baking is something I did nearly (and consumed definitely) everyday.  Surprisingly it wasn't as hard as I'd thought, I did find myself craving sweets but it was easy to say no, I couldn't let Shane down after all.  I started noticing good things after only a few days without sugar, my skin started to brighten, my head was clear and I felt good.  I put on my running shoes, I knew I could do it.  My first run was 13.5km, then 10km and so I've continued.

It's been almost two weeks of clean eating and it's led me to a lot of thinking.  Do I want to give up sugar?  Should I consider giving up dairy, it makes me sick also?  Can I introduce sugar back without mad cravings and uncontrollable urges?

The other night we indulged with chips and popcorn while watching a movie.  I slept very poorly that night, tossing and turning with horrible dreams.  My skin reacted by the next morning and my bowels (TMI!) weren't happy...all because of the chemicals!  I had been eating clean, veggies and grains with minimal dairy and it showed, my body reacted very poorly to the unhealthy food I consumed.  It was an inspiring day, I didn't feel good eating those foods, why would I eat them again?  It doesn't feel bad to refuse myself sugar and processed food, like I thought it would.  There is no punishment in the equation, only reward.  I feed my body well and it rewards me.

With the holidays coming and my brain switching into sugar mode I really hope I can hold on.  This will be the most trying time.  Sweets, baking and indulgence, these are what I associate my birthday and the holidays with, I'm not sure I can go without.  But when I see what it does to me, it should be pretty clear shouldn't it?

On the note of healthy eating, I bring you this sweet potatoes coconut rice bowl.  It is technically vegan, but that seems irrelevant to me.  The dish is very sweet with the maple syrup, next time I make this I will certainly cut it down.  Because there was only sweet potatoes and rice the dish felt very starch heavy to me, so I roasted some veggies (broccoli and fennel) on the side.  Whatever you decide to do the base is sound, experiment and enjoy.

Sweet Potato Coconut Rice Bowl

I first found the recipe here.  The changes I made to it haven't been tested yet, but I'm sure they'll be great.
Serves 5.

1 sweet potato, peeled, cubed
1/2 cup brown basmati rice, uncooked
1 cup white basmati rice, uncooked
3 cups of water
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, small dice
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup toasted cashews, chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Start by turning the oven to 400 F.  Toss the cubed sweet potato with a little oil and salt and pepper and spread on a tin-foil lined baking sheet.  Place in the oven and roast, turning once, for 40 minutes, or until cooked.  At some point during the cooking time you could toast the cashews in a separate pan for no more than 7 minutes, stirring a few times.

In a medium sized pot heat the olive oil over med-high heat.  Sauté the onion for a few minutes, until it starts to sweat.  Add the rice, water, and all spices to the pot.  Cover, bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to maintain a simmer.  Simmer for 15 minutes, or until rice is cooked.  Take off the heat and add all the remaining ingredients.  Remove bay leaf and adjust seasoning as necessary.  

November 13

Warning: this post has 20 pictures...that is a lot.

The wind started blowing yesterday and is seems all the leaves have come down with it.  Instead of drifts of snow, we have drifts of leaves.  The chill is comfortable and the sky is moody, perfect west coast fall.  Here is what I saw today:
Well hello snow sprinkled mountains. WHY IS THERE SO MANY POWER LINES?!!?!
Leaf with a worm we'll pretend is a pine needle.

Post walk I came home and took out my Christmas mugs, oh how happy I felt!
My favourite mug.
I bought a few picture frames.  Must. Have. More.
Hi there Christmas magazines...I missed you.
Finally I baked a no sugar cranberry-apple crisp.  No sugar means I can eat it for breakfast right?

November 10, 2011

November 10

As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat. – Ellen Perry Berkeley

Someone once said that you enter a certain amount of madness when you marry someone with pets.  This house was a bit mad with Cyrus in it too.  Since he became an outside cat a few years ago Cyrus went from being the most stuck up-don't-you-dare-touch-me-urinating hair ball, to the most affectionate cat I've ever met.  He's loud, (with an internal alarm clock like no other) cuddly and very cute.  On my way up the driveway after a walk today I noticed him sleeping on top of the car, the metal warm from the sun.  I snuck inside to get my camera and tried to snap a few pictures. He was curious of course, and since I was standing within petting distance that is all he wanted from me.  

I strolled over to peek on my garden and he followed, walking through the mud and pressing up against the stringy dead beans.  I took a few pictures of him and moved on while he hurried at my heals.  Speaking of the garden; although the slugs are feasting merrily, both the brussel sprouts and the cabbage seem to be surviving, growing a little even.  It's about time to harvest the beets and I sure hope the carrots haven't all split in two.  I'm a horrible gardener, constantly neglecting my crops.

P.s. We didn't make him fat! He scarfs the food we give him every morning in minutes flat and then saunters off to find his own food.

November 9, 2011

Four days weekends, Alyssa style

I feel like have been absent, disconnected.  I had that blissful four day weekend, running around crazy.  I thought it would stop when I went back to work, but here were are three days in and I'm finally sitting down to write.  So let me begin.

I took my camera with me everywhere, but took very few pictures.  Friday morning, the day after our snowy walk in Manning Park, I stayed in baking for Natasha.  I did a bunch of jam deliveries (cranberry for November) and brought the food to my mom's who would be leaving to visit her the following morning.  I fished the bran muffins I had made for her a few weeks earlier from the freezer and set them to thaw.  I had had the insight to freeze cookie dough for cranberry-white chocolate cookies, so I baked those as well.  I made my spice cookies and our family's cinnamon bread recipe and stuck them in bags.  Finally I made a cranberry-walnut bar, a recipe I've had bookmarked for over a year.  Since I'm not eating sugar at the present time (another story) I couldn't even taste them.  They sounded wonderful to me, I hope they tasted that way too.  Along with the baked goods I sent up oodles of jams and chutneys.  If I were the recipient I would have been very happy with that hull!

The following day was Saturday, it was a beautiful cool November day solely dedicated to my uncle and brand new aunt.  They had a beautiful ceremony at a church down the road from my house, so beautiful I wanted to cry.  It might surprise you to know that this was only the second full wedding I had been to, I'm usually the baby-sitter!  My two sisters who could make it and I had coffee at my favourite place down the street and did a little window shopping before driving to the reception.  It was a beautiful evening, we got to catch up with far-flung family and joke with the ones we see all the time.  The food was good, the decor was beautiful and the couple were celebrated.
A chocolate truffle bonchaz
Sunday I rose dark-and-early.  I strapped on my running shoes and tied Butter to my waist.  We went for a run, it ended up being a fairly substantial 13.5 kilometers.  As you can imagine I felt good once that was done.  By mid morning I was on the highway, driving to Vancouver.  I spent all of a cold and bright Sunday with my best friend  Erin in Vancouver.  We visited Bonchaz for some...bonchaz, which we found were nothing special.  We walked to Yaletown Brewing Company and had an awesome lunch.  Beers from the brewery, the best buttermilk fried chicken wings I've ever had (!) and pizza.  Hows that for a Sunday lunch?

We walked and shopped after that, until we were exhausted.  We tried on clothes, felt frumpy in what we were wearing, (even though we felt good when we left the house) picked up my pictures (50 5x7 for $5!) and looked for bathing suits.  We spent a long time in the bookstore (we always do!) before we drove to Granville Island.  For those that don't know, Granville Island is a market and collection of shops underneath the Granville Street Bridge. It is a wonderful, eclectic, exciting place and I never feel like I have enough time or money to truly explore it.  We bought coffee, ate Lee's doughnuts (my absolute favourite!) and a cappuccino nanaimo bar I had heard so much about (mine are better, way better.)  I spent a lot of money buying spices (we stock up when we are here) cheese and meat, freshly-caught fish and delicious breads.

Finally, to cap off the night Erin and I decided to tour a few restaurants for dinner.  Considering I've lived in Vancouver and not tried the many ethnic cuisines it's known for, we figured it was time.  We started at a South Indian restaurant for the famed dosa (sorry no pictures! I kept forgetting my camera!)  It was a large thin crispy bread with four different condiments.  It was very, very good, I want to come back here to try all the other food sometime very soon.  There were a large mix of people in the restaurant, including some Indian, which is always a good sign.

Our next restaurant was authentically Chinese.  We walked through the door and into a line, waiting for tables.  On a Sunday night we figured this was a great sign.  We watched little tiny lone Chinese ladies and young Chinese families eating their food in silence.  We waited for a table and as soon as we were sat ordered the curry cutting noodles.  At this establishment the noodles are stretched, pulled, and rolled to order.  The dish was fantastic, so authentic forks weren't even an option, it had to be chopsticks (and rightfully so!)  We loved this place too!

Finally, though it nearly killed us to do so, we stopped at one more place for El Salvadorian papusas.  We each had a cheese and bean papusa and ordered one for our respective partners to take home.  The papusas were good, but I enjoyed all the food we had eaten earlier more.  I'm very glad we ate this way, but by the end my stomach was in turmoil.  (TMI maybe, but it seems that dairy, gluten, sugar and I don't get along!)

And that folks, is one awesome weekend!

November 4, 2011

October 4

The leaves fall patiently
Nothing remembers or grieves
The river takes to the sea
The yellow drift of leaves
- Sara Teasdale