Thursday, March 31, 2011

and we're back!

















Matt is home from the UK, I'm home from my mini-vacation and this morning the sun finally came out. I had a wonderful and restorative break at my parent's house. It was just me, my dad and Hannah for four of the five days until my mom came home from Ottawa. We had lots of playtime, trips to the park, tasty dinners, good documentary watching and great sleeps. 
We're snuggled in on the couch catching up on Top Chef All Stars, eating this for dinner (with extra lime, fish sauce, sesame oil and sriracha), Hannah is asleep and it's lovely to be home.

My parent's yard is green, lush and like a secret garden. There's little treats hidden under huge conifers. I love it there.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

on a break.

 

Matt is in the UK for work, Hannah and I are under the weather, hiding out at my Mom and Dad's til Matty is home. There's nothing like coming home, we're cozy, comfy and well taken care of.

The above photo was taken at our wedding in my parent's backyard. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

girls' night out

There are amazing resources in Vancouver for new moms. There are community drop-in groups that run weekly, are free and a great source of support in the early days. I tried one group and wasn't really feeling it, then tried another group and success! 

The local community centres have open gym time where you can bring your babe, pay $3 if they are crawling (no cost if they aren't!) and its a free for all, toys, mats and kids galore. Do not go with a headache.

Last night was girls' night out. I've been so lucky to have found amazing friends since Hannah was born, we met at one of the drop-in groups. Before she was born I only had a couple friends who had babies. I was really nervous that I would have trouble finding like-minded girls with little ones but I've met so many. Six of us get together on Thursdays and have since our babes were only a couple months old. It's been such a relief to have friends who understand the sleepless nights, the depth of love, the little joys and the troubles. Not to say that my baby-less friends don't, they have been incredible, supportive and patient, but they work on weekdays!

This past week the Thursday moms (minus one!) went out for dinner. It was such a treat to see my friends dressed up and having drinks, chatting and enjoying without the babies crawling around. We went to Campagnola, the food was good, the cocktails delicious and the nightcap at Cascade was completely unnecessary (I have the tolerance of a thirteen year old girl these days) but we just didn't want to wrap up the night too early.
I'm so appreciative for the friendships I've made, its been a serendipitous delight of having a baby.

Friday, March 25, 2011

friday night senior's dinner

 













 

Our friends just left after a senior's dinner, food on the table at 5:15, oh how things change with an eight month old at the table!

We had one of Matt's favourite meals and I thought I'd share!

Pulled Pork Tacos with Chipotle Slaw and Lime Sour Cream

Pulled Pork
2 cups store-bought salsa
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
kosher salt
2.5 pound boneless pork butt or shoulder, trimmed of excess fat

In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the salsa, chili powder, oregano, cocoa, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the pork and turn to coat.
Cook, covered, until the meat is tender and pulls apart easily, on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.
Using 2 forks, shred the pork (I remove the fat, I think Matt dies a little that I do that) and stir into some of the cooking liquid. 

Chipotle Slaw
1 small red cabbage, finely sliced (I use a mandolin)
4 chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
juice of 2 limes
zest of 1 lime
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 tsp achiote powder
1/tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil

Combine everything in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve (can be made the day before).

Lime Sour Cream
1 small container sour cream
juice and zest of a lime

Whisk together, season with salt and pepper.

Guacamole
I'm bit of a purist and don't add anything extra to mine
4 avocados
juice of 2 limes
1 clove of grated garlic
sea salt

Mash the avocados on a plate with the lime juice and garlic, add salt and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Fresh Salsa
6 tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 a jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (leave the seeds in if you want it spicier!)
1 clove of grated garlic
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
salt and pepper

Combine everything in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

The Assembly
  
small bowl of chopped cilantro and chopped green onion 
small bowl of crumbled queso fresco (you could use grated cheddar)
corn tortillas heated in foil in the oven
pulled pork
chipotle slaw
guacamole
lime sour cream
fresh salsa

We put it all on the table and let everyone make their own tacos. Super tasty and there's always leftovers!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

do want.

I need these.
They are perfect, Coralie Bickford-Smith can do no wrong with book covers.
My birthday is in August, hint dropped.



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

working mom

In three months I go back to work. I went in to my office today to get caught up on a few things. I have a kickass job, I have an awesome boss and I like my job a whole lot. When I was in the office I was ready to jump right back in full speed and go for it, but then reality hits and the thought of leaving Hannah makes me weak at the knees. I'm going back to work part-time which makes leaving Hannah bearable. When I'm working, I'm a bit of a workaholic, I'm the kind of person who can't close my computer at the end of the day with unanswered emails in my inbox. Before Hannah was born I envisioned myself as a working mom but now that she's here I realize that it will be hard work to create a balance between work and home. Matt is really supportive, I've got some pretty amazing friends in the same position and talking about it helps. It's the over-analyzing that's the worst.

So instead of thinking about it all too much I made salad, and it was really good.

Roasted Pepper and Apple Quinoa Salad

2 cups of quinoa
4 cups water
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 medium sized white onion, chopped
1 medium sized apple, chopped
1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp each of ground coriander, ginger and turmeric
1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup raisins
10 dried apricots, chopped
1 cup boiling water 

1/2 cup crumbled feta
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped (optional)

Dressing
1 tsp white white vinegar
juice and zest of a lemon
1 tsp dijon
1 tbsp yogurt 
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

• Preheat oven to 450° 
• Put quinoa and water in a saucepan, bring to boil and let simmer for 10-13 minutes until cooked. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 mins and then fluff with a fork. (I discovered cooking quinoa in the rice cooker is the easiest thing ever)
• Toss yellow pepper, onion, apple, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and olive oil together, pour on to a sheet tray and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, turning once.
• Soak raisins and apricots in boiling water for 5 minutes until softened, drain well.
• Whisk all dressing ingredients together in a bowl
• Mix quinoa with all the ingredients and dressing, Enjoy!

Monday, March 21, 2011

bacony juices

Years ago Matt and I were watching Nigella Lawson on the Food Network and she was having a "goddess" day. Everything she was cooking was for her body, to enrich it and yada yada. For the most part everything she cooked looked healthy, until she fried up some bacon for a salad and drizzled the lettuce with the "bacony juices", um, that's just bacon fat right?

This is my favourite meal for when I need something to feel like I'm taking really good care of myself.

Brown Rice Bowl with Citrus Vinaigrette   
inspired by a recipe by Heidi Swanson 

Dressing
zest and juice of a lemon
zest and juice of a orange
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar

2 cups short grain brown rice

Add ons
a couple pieces of nori sheet, chopped into small pieces
1/2 pack pressed or extra firm tofu
4 green onions, chopped
1 avocado, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
1 bunch dandelion greens
toasted sesame seeds

• Cook rice according to directions.
• Toast chopped nori in a non-stick frypan till a little bit crispy.
• Place tofu between 2 plates with something heavy on it (telephone book if you still have those kicking around or something equally heavy) and let sit for 10 minutes to drain some of the water out. (If you're using pressed tofu you can skip this step) Slice the tofu into strips and pan fry in a non stick pan, a few minutes per side until golden.
• Steam the dandelion greens and chop them up
• Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.

Assembly
• Put a good scoop of rice into the bottom of a bowl, top with green onion, nori, tofu, tomato, dandelion greens, sesame seeds and add a few tbsp of dressing. 

You can add or substitute anything into this. Spinach, sauteed mushrooms, egg, grilled chicken, cilantro, cooked salmon, bok choy.

Hannah had a modified version without tomato, green onion and sesame seeds. She loved it!
 


inside outside birthday!

Our little Hannah is nine months old today, making it her inside outside birthday! Nine months in, nine months out! I'd never heard of this until yesterday when Hannah's Nana (Matt's mom) told us about it.

Happy Day little Hannah, we love everything you will be and everything you are.



  1. Seven months pregnant on Pender Island
  2. The day before Hannah was born, after the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival (that's why I have flowers in my hair, I don't generally do that)
  3. Hannah at two weeks
  4. Matt and Hannah (two and a half months old) on Saturna Island

Sunday, March 20, 2011

the other side of the story!

I forgot to mention in my last post, that there are also 12 fruits and veggies considered the least contaminated:

• Onions
• Avocado
• Sweet Corn (Frozen)
• Pineapples
• Mango
• Asparagus
• Sweet Peas (Frozen)
• Kiwi Fruit
• Bananas
• Cabbage
• Broccoli
• Papaya

 It's a sunny day in Vancouver, Matt is making soft boiled eggs for our breakfast, I watched a good movie with a wonderful friend last night and today our little family is going to enjoy the sunshine.

Hope you have a great day too!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

dirty dozen

We've been eating organic as much as possible for a few years now. I have chronic gastrointestinal issues and try to keep my food as clean as possible, it may or may not make any difference to my health but I feel like it does. I've been free from medication for years now, managing my disease with food and sleep.

Organic food is expensive. Our co-op made things easy and affordable, but that's not happening these days*, so I've had to change my shopping ways. I've found stores where you can find affordable organics around the city; No Frills carries a surprising amount of organic products (all from President's Choice), IGA has decent organic produce, Choices is where we're buying our fish and meat when we buy it (we've cut down dramatically on meat and fish), Whole Foods can be surprisingly well priced at times (their sales are really great) and Famous Foods is fantastic for bulk grains.
I've really enjoyed reading Food Matters by Mark Bittman, The Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollan and In Defense of Food, also by Michael Pollan. These books helped change my eating habits, to confirm my thoughts on natural and unprocessed food and to educate me on the state of the farming industry.
The dirty dozen is a list compiled by the Environmental Working Group that comes out once a year listing the top twelve fruits and vegetables that you should try your best to buy organic. I've put the list together with some illustration and some info pulled from an article from The Daily Green.

* I went to a very interesting meeting with the farmers, investors and co-op members on Thursday. It was really sad to see and talk to the farmers and to better understand what they lost and the horrible impact that the bankruptcy has had on them. There are plans to start the co-op again in some manner, we will sign up again if it does get off the ground as this time there will much more information and transparency in terms of how the co-op is run and how monies are spent/divided.

Friday, March 18, 2011

spring.



















March, pull it together. I'm cold, it's grey and I really want some sunshine and cherry blossoms.
I've had enough of this.

* I took this photo on March 8th a few years ago, a sunny nice March.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lá Fhéile Pádraig



















Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I'm not much for celebrating the day drinking green beer in an irish pub, wearing a pin that says "Kiss me, I'm Irish", but there's a chance that I might be wearing some kelly green today and an old brooch that my mom gave me that has real shamrocks in it.

My family history is almost entirely Irish, there's a speckle of French in there too, but we don't talk about that much. We always had soda bread on St. Patrick's Day and this is similar to the recipe my mom made, with a few of my additions.

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread
(moderately traditional)

• 4 cups whole wheat flour
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 1/2 cups milk
• 1/2 cup yogurt
• 1/4 cup maple syrup
• 1/2 cup raisins, soaked in milk

Sift flour, salt, soda and baking powder into mixing bowl. Mix yogurt, milk, maple syrup and raisins together. Make well in center of dry ingredients and pour in milk mixture. Gradually mix in all flour. Dough should be moist, so use more milk if necessary. Turn onto floured board and knead lightly to form a round shape. Put round on a buttered piece of parchment or foil on a sheet tray. Cut a deep cross in the center of the loaf. Place in loaf pan and bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a knife comes out of the centre clean. If you want to (makes it very tasty) brush with melted butter as soon as it comes out of the oven. 

Erin Go Bragh 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

aotearoa (new zealand)

Matt and I lived in New Zealand for a year when we were in our early twenties. We bought an old Toyota Lite Ace van that we named the Spruce Moose, we travelled around the two islands, sleeping in our van on beaches, in paddocks, by glaciers, national parks and even the side of the highway. It seems so long ago now, like it never happened. We drank boxed wine, made friends with fire dancing brits, worked in a cafe, tied vines in the vineyards, worked on a fishing boat and sold jewellery and handmade cards at the farmers markets. My sister lived in Blenheim at the time with her husband and we stayed with them whenever we weren't in the van on the road.
It was a most incredible year and I miss it. I miss the freedom, the beauty and the adventure. The memories are so amazing that sometimes the whole year feels like a dream.





Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday night pizza!


















Spent the morning at the Mt. Pleasant Community Centre for an open play time in the gym with a big group of mom friends and their little ones. It was madness and so much fun! Hannah slept like a log for 2 hours afterward!

For dinner I wanted to make us a treat. Here's my recipe for an easy pizza dough.

Pizza Dough
I've tried much more involved pizza dough recipes like this one, but today I wanted something easy and fast.

1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 - 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp sea salt
olive oil

• Dissolve yeast in water in a mixing bowl, let stand until yeast blooms (about 5-10 minutes)
• In a second bowl, mix together 2 1/4 cup flour and salt
• Add yeast mixture and stir until smooth. Let the dough rest 10 minutes.
Knead the dough on a floured surface until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, work in more flour until it is no longer tacky. This dough is softer than most pizza doughs, so don't add to much flour!
Divide the dough into 2 balls and coat each ball with a bit of olive oil, put each ball into its own medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (takes about an hour and a half.
• Roll out dough when ready

I like to use a pizza stone for pizza and breads. Heat oven and pizza stone to 450°, let stone heat in oven for 20 minutes. 

Take stone out of oven, sprinkle with cornmeal, put dough on and top with your favourite toppings, bake for about 20 minutes until crust and cheese are golden.

On our pizzas tonight, we had sauteed dandelion greens, prosciutto, diced tomatoes and buratta cheese. They were amazing!   

how to - paper crane mobile
























I had originally planned to make a mobile of white paper cranes. I had the paper and started folding when Matt pointed out that white cranes hanging under a white ceiling would not be very visually stimulating for a baby. 

Changed my plans, and I headed to Paper-Ya on Granville Island and bought the most amazing textured origami paper in fantastic bright colours and started fresh.

Here's how I made this incredibly easy mobile.

• I purchased strips of bamboo and fishing line at Urban Source
• I created an oval out of the bamboo strips and I used a glue gun to glue the ends together
• I tied fishing line at four opposing points on the oval and joined them in the middle (this is where the mobile will hang from a hook
• I folded the paper cranes following these instructions
• I tied fishing line through the tops of the cranes, knotted tone end of the  line at the top of the birds and keeping a long length for tying
• I hung the mobile from a simple hook I put in the ceiling and then tied the cranes to the bamboo oval at varying heights

Every time I go in Hannah's room this mobile makes me happy, I made it during my first week of maternity leave. I had taken a month off to get lots of projects done, Hannah came fourteen days early and had other plans for me!

Monday, March 14, 2011

the co-op fiasco, a tasty dinner and a thrift store find!

We had a bad evening last night. Remember when I mentioned that we are involved with an Organic food co-op, I received an email last night from a friend with this link. I'm shocked, angry and sad. Shocked that this could happen to such a fantastic community program, angry because Matt and I will lose about $700 and sad because I'm so disappointed that the woman who ran it, who I really admired, could cash our cheque for $500 for the summer program knowing full well that she was in debt to all the farmers and that the co-op was in such financial despair and that the summer box would never happen.

In the grand scheme of things, with everything going on in the world right now, it's small potatoes. It sucks, I'm angry, but life goes on.

On to better things. I had a fantastic day today. Hannah is changing so much every day, coming in to herself and impressing me so much with her happy, loving and joyful little soul.

We went swimming with friends, came home, had lunch together, she napped, I cleaned, we went shopping on Main Street, I found an amazing chair at the thrift store for $4 and we had dinner together. Matt is at the Canucks game and it was girls night in. 

Dinner was super tasty. Here's what we had (Hannah had  the plain poached chicken and steamed greens):

Tomatillo Sauce with Chicken, Dandelion Greens and Swiss Chard
• 1 1/4 lbs tomatillos, husked
• 2/3 cup chicken stock
• 2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
• 2/3 cup chopped green onion tops
• 1 large jalapeno, chopped

Cook tomatillos in pot of boiling water until soft but still whole, about 4 minutes. Drain. Place tomatillos in processor. Add remaining ingredients; puree. Season with salt and pepper. 

You can use the sauce as is on grilled veggies, fish or meat.
Or . . . cook it in a saucepan and let it reduce a bit and add:
2 poached and shredded chicken breasts, a bunch of dandelion greens chopped and half a bunch of swiss chard chopped (centre core removed). Let simmer for 5 minutes with the chicken and greens and serve on its own, or with tortillas, or for a super tasty treat with queso fresca.


















so tasty!!
* thanks Pax for the delicious recipe!






















$4 chair!!!

Hillcrest Pool
















Hillcrest Aquatic Centre is a legacy project of the 2010 Olympics and  it's fantastic! There's a 50 metre main pool, a leisure pool with water toys, sprays, jets, waterfall, a lazy river, a 70-person hot pool, a large steam room and sauna and family and adult change rooms. 

It is also, most definitely the best way to get this baby of mine to have a really long afternoon nap. I've been going in the mornings, we swim around, play in the lazy river and end up in the hot pool to get Hannah's teeth to stop chattering (ahem, 5 teeth but mostly gum chattering).

Mondays and Wednesday from 1:15 to 3:15 are discount dip time and admission is half price. My only complaint about the pool when bringing a baby is that the benches aren't wide enough to safely trust sitting the little one on while you get dressed. Go with friends and it's much easier!


Also, apparently older ladies like to grab at babies, they will chase you around the pool to poke at them. Sometimes super entertaining, sometimes, well, often, not so much.

*  photo from Hillcrest Aquatic Centre website.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Japan.






















It's so hard to believe what has happened in Japan. We're so fortunate to be safe, to be healthy and to have what we have. 

If you can, donate.



Friday, March 11, 2011

A bright summer salad on a grey March day.



The weather in Vancouver is grey, windy and wet. I wanted a lunch that was summery, fresh and made with ingredients I had on hand.

Southwest Israeli Couscous Salad with Halloumi 

2 cups Israeli couscous
1 red pepper
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed (I love this brand, so tasty!)
2 green onions, finely chopped 
1/2 bunch of cilantro finely chopped
8 1/4" slices of halloumi*

• Boil Israeli couscous until cooked, drain, rinse and put in mixing bowl.
• Chop red pepper, drizzle with a little olive oil and roast on a sheet tray at 450° for about 15 minutes until cooked through but not too dark, turning once or twice.
• Add roasted peppers, tomatoes, corn, green onions and cilantro to couscous and mix.
• Heat a non-stick pan at a high heat and add the halloumi. Flip the slices as soon as they are golden, get both sides to a nice golden brown and remove from pan, let cool a little and then roughly chop. Add to couscous.

Dressing
1/2 cup plain yogurt
zest and juice from one lemon and one lime
one grated garlic clove
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
splash of olive oil

Whisk dressing together in small bowl, add to the couscous, toss everything together and enjoy!

Avocado and or cucumber would be great in this, but I wasn't about to go to the grocery store on a day like this! Would be tasty as a main with grilled chicken or fish, great on its own too! 

* It used to be hard to find halloumi in Vancouver but not anymore! Yek-o-Yek at Main and 14th carries it, as does the Halal shop up at Main and 27th (both these stores sell Israeli couscous  too). Even easier, President's Choice has their own Halloumi, so check out Superstore or No Frills.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

little green, black and white monster.

















I'm a dog person, through and through. But I really really love my cat. We've had Pae (Paekakariki) for seven years and she is the sweetest, most discerning, cuddly, grumpy, playful and temperamental cat I have ever known.

We weren't sure how things would go with the new addition to our family. I was worried Pae would be aggressive or that Hannah would be allergic. Pae has been a total trooper; patient and tolerant and so far no allergies!

Lately though, Pae has been getting jealous. As Hannah becomes more mobile, is awake more, Pae is noticing and getting really needy. There's been whiny meows, desperate cries and circling at the feet. 

Our bedtime routine for Hannah involves a few books while snuggling on our bed. Pae jumps in and lies between us and listens to the story and endures much hair pulling and shrieking. We're making a real effort in the evening to give her heaps of attention. She is after all our furry baby and its not her fault she's not ranking as high in the family as she used to. We'll try a little harder Pae, bear with us!




Wednesday, March 9, 2011

the swing.


We're spending lots of time at the park these days, my favourite  one is three blocks away from our home. I love watching  Hannah watching the big kids playing. I also love listening to the other moms gossiping about teachers, other parents and shopping. It's good times all around, we're both learning lots.

Memory Beer

When I was seventeen I lived in Liége, Belgium for a year. I was a Rotary Exchange Student and had the best, worst, most amazing, most emotional, most life-changing year of my life.

I lived with two different families, one incredible, one not so incredible. I made amazing friends who remain some of the dearest people I know, I traveled, I spoke french, I fell in love a couple of times, I did fantastically reckless things and I drank a whole lot of Kriek. 

I grabbed some Kriek over the weekend at the liquor store. I hadn't had any in about twelve years. It tastes like cherry and a whole flood of memories. Matt says it tastes like a jolly rancher. He's right. Sometimes memories are better left alone!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

An easy dinner and thoughts on baby food.

A few years ago friends of ours were over with their 10 month old son and we were impressed with their attitude towards food with him. We were having a quinoa salad with grilled halloumi and roasted veggies for dinner. There was heaps of fresh herbs, garlic, lemon, definitely not light on flavour. He ate what we ate and we were excited that it could be that easy when we had a baby.

And here we are years later with Hannah and we followed our friends lead. For the first month or so we introduced foods slowly, steamed and mashed. Hannah got bored and we got bored. Next came the spices into her food and then one day I was making hummous with Hannah in the sling and she leaned in and I gave her some. She went wild and I changed the game plan!

We haven't looked back. She eats what we eat for lunch and dinner every day. I'll add avocado or sweet potato sticks to the mix if the food is too rich or spicy, but for the most part she eats exactly what we eat and I love it.

Tonight's dinner was an easy one. We're part of an organic food co-op through the Home Grow-In Grocer and I had peppers, onions and ground turkey.

Turkey Meatballs

1 lb ground turkey
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 egg yolks (no egg whites for babies!)
pinch of dried oregano
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (or leftover quinoa)
1 green onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta (I use light)
splash of hot sauce
8 leaves of fresh basil, finely chopped

Mix together and form meatballs about 1.5" big. Brown in a heavy bottomed pan in a bit of olive oil and put on a plate. The meatballs will only be partially cooked at this point.

Put a splash more olive oil in the pot and add a chopped red pepper, half a chopped onion and a couple cloves of chopped garlic. Saute until mostly cooked, add in a jar of good quality tomato sauce a 1/8 cup of water. Stir, drop in meatballs and a bunch of basil chopped. Let simmer for 15 minutes and you're good to go!

We eat ours on their own, but they would be great with crusty bread or pasta too.

Hannah had two, I had three and Matt had four.

Vancouver is tasty.

 















I love discovering tasty treats in Vancouver. I grew up in Toronto and it took a long time for Vancouver to feel like home. I knew where to go in Toronto, I knew that on the corner of Grace and College you could get the best grilled house-made sausage, a block away was the Italian meat store that rolled their own fennel specked pancetta. The corner of Spadina and Harbord was home to the best pesto, brocolli rabe pizza I've ever had. Across from CityTV was the most amazing Khao Soy Gai.
I love food, I love cooking and I love sharing food with friends.

Vancouver is now my home and I can't wait to instill the same love of food in my daughter that my parents gifted me.

Years ago Vancouver Magazine listed the Best Things to Eat and Drink in Vancouver. I'm following their lead and slowly going to put together my list. These are some of my favourite things to eat in Vancouver. They are, most definitely, not listed in any order whatsoever.

Go Fish (Fisherman's Wharf)
Tuna tacones! the salmon ones are also great, but the tuna win it for me.

Medina (Beatty Street)
• La santé - most perfect breakfast, ever. 

Nat's New York Pizzeria (Broadway)
• Spicy mushroom pizza  - so damn good! 

Guu (Gastown)
• Salmon with seven friends - delicious goodness 

Guu (Thurlow)
• Kimchi fried rice  

Hapa Izakaya (Kits)
• Pork renkon gyoza, lotus root is used instead of dough. 

Burgoo (Main Street)
• Roasted tomato soup, perfect on the patio with a hot biscuit and a glass of white wine.

First Ravioli Shop (Commercial Drive)
• Wild mushroom ravioli, cooked simply with sauteed garlic in olive oil, heaps of parsley and a heavy handed grating of pecorino cheese. They also sell a mortadella sandwich on a bun for $2.40, mortadella,cheese and mustard - total comfort food. 

Motomachi Shokudo (Denman)
• Spicy miso ramen with organic chicken, it's amazing. The Gyoza are some of the best I've ever had.

Peaceful Restaurant (Broadway)
• Szechuan cucumbers, peaceful beef roll and xiao-long bao - 
the cucumber is up there with tastiest ever. spicy, crisp, sweet, sour - all the big names. The beef roll is so good, the xlb are juicy and great.

Zakkushi (4th Avenue)
• Agedashi tofu, shiso maki, mochi,  ume cucumber, daikon salad, perfect with a few good friends, lots of plum wine and a summer night.

Grub 

• Whatever Ling makes is the best. The food, the punch, the wallpaper - I love it.

That's it for now, these are the more budget friendly options.
What are your favourites?

• photo is an old vintage postcard with text added