Category Archives: food and such

mind your greens

One of the more difficult adjustments while traveling these past few weeks was figuring out what to eat. All three countries are heavy meat eaters and it really took effort to find a place to eat for me.

While I was in England I had an interesting conversation with two of my friends over the idea of a vegetarian restaurant. They really couldn’t imagine the idea (of course these places exist, but typically in larger urban centres), and it was funny timing as before we had met up I was watching a food program on the BBC about a man traveling through Britain, trying to get people to eat more veg and be open to strictly veggie dish. It’s something I take for granted living in the lower mainland. I have no problem when going out to eat (avoiding chain restaurants that is).

Of course I noticed it a bit in England before while I was living there, but I had my own place, so I was cooking for myself. It’s different when you’re traveling and don’t always have that option. However, wandering and searching did lead to some great discoveries and I did have some fabulous meals in each country.

What’s your comfort food dish?


Filed under food and such

in the radio’s hot sun

I’m back home after my week away, and I ended the trip off with a very full weekend in Phoenix, visiting a good friend.

Sadly, I didn’t take as many photographs as I thought I would. I’ll blame the heat and all the walking we did. Here are a few though.

First stop upon arrival, Uranus Recording studios. This was a sign I just liked out front. I wish I had taken a photograph of the bathroom – every artist who records there leaves a message on the wall. But I was distracted by all the shiny objects.

Craziness in the art store. Unfortunately, this cool little art shop is closing. I loved this mural on the wall.

Normally, the food porn picture is taken before the meal, but this shows you how much we enjoyed it. Chakra 4 Herb & Tea House in Phoenix. The best tomato and avocado humus I have ever had! I can’t even recall the other kinds, because that one was so good. Served with pita and raw veg.

Comic-Con was taking place over the weekend in Phoenix, so when we were out Friday night we saw some great costumes, and some unidentifiable ones. Perfect night for wandering, and for having dinner next to a window, for people watching.

Phoenix and the surroundings areas had some wonderful street art. However, I saw most of it whilst we were driving, so didn’t snap any photos. Here’s one from downtown though. Once I stopped to take it, two other people did. The power of suggestion.

We also made it to the Musical Instrument Museum (or The MIM), which was truly overwhelming. Instruments from nearly every country in the world. It was also a great lesson in geography. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more interpretation to go along with the instruments, and that the only piece from Canada was the fiddle.

It was a wonderful end to a brilliant week off. Many thanks to my host.

It also made me realize how far away the closest people in my life are. I only get to see my parents once or twice a year. On my birthday, I was lucky enough to chat over Skype with a few friends overseas and in Toronto, but when technology causes a fuss, you understand it’s not so easy to just nip around the corner for a cuppa as it once was.

I also think that is one of the reasons I didn’t take so many photographs on this trip. I was less concerned about capturing the moment and just focused on being in it.

Twas a whirlwind ride in the desert, and I look forward to next time.


Filed under food and such, friends, geekery, holidays, honeybees

blue raspberry

Instead of finishing off my year-end song list, I’ve been making a gingerbread house.  It’s turned into an annual tradition, and I think this is the best one yet. Although it does lack a bit of an overall story. I had wanted to do a house set in two different universes but then decided on a brownstone-like structure with neighbours of varying tastes.

Amazingly, even though this was a larger structure it held together the easiest of them all. That royal icing, I tell you.

Photos are a bit blurry, too lazy to find my actual camera amidst the luggage. I’ll upload better ones later.

Front of the house. Some of you might recall the address, which was my address when I lived in England.

Communal ice rink in the middle of the pathways.

The “Blue Raspberry” side. Inspired by watching Christmas Vacation. Snowman who don’t melt, hence the sunbathing on the shreddie roof.

More colour coordinated neighbours, cinnamon hearts and mints with a poppy-seed roof.

Green fondant siding…

Red fondant siding…

The backside, oh, and the window lining is the only non edible part of the house – used paper for that.


Filed under food and such, geekery, holidays

sugar and spice

I don’t think I’ll ever use canned pumpkin in cooking again.

Pumpkin patch 5 minutes from my house. Two sugar pumpkins – $5

Cleaned and ready to start prepping

All the gross bits 

Hallowed out and seeds ready to be washed

Suction!  Cooked pumpkin 

After I’ve scooped out the cooked pumpkin

Cooked seeds

Pie with homemade crust before going in the oven

Finished result!

Waiting for it to cool…

If it tastes as good as it smells, I’ll be pleased.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Filed under food and such

i wonder what a grape cherry would taste like?

I’m addicted to Pluots.

Have you tried this delicious hybrid fruit?

A combination of a plum and an apricot, it’s really the perfect amount of sweetness. I will admit to being a bit leery of hybrid fruit after tasting a Grapple (grape/apple). Thankfully, Pluots taste nothing like them. Bonus – also fun to say.

If you could combine two fruits, what would they be and what would you call the creation?


Filed under food and such

tea, sushi, and concerts

How is it I managed to have a brilliant weekend; lots of great food, friends and music and the only pictures I have are from the menus and of my new tea pot? I guess you could say I was too distracted enjoying my surroundings and the company.

The drink menu at Guu – the new restaurant I wanted to try in Gastown. I love how there is a “Sweetness Scale” on the drinks. I had a cherry blossom, which contained cherry brandy and it was delicious. I’ve never really had brandy before, but I’m a convert and there is now a bottle in my flat that I am looking forward to enjoying on the balcony this summer.

I loved the details on this menu. It was Japanese Barbecue, and their online menu lead me astray (had a few sushi choices) but when we arrived there were few things I could eat on the menu (all appetizers) so we had drinks and endamame and headed next door. Guu itself is a really friendly place. The staff cheer and announce your orders in a song/chant, and they were very gracious. It’s the perfect place to go for drinks and appetizers, and I will definitely go back.

But before we left we cleaned our palettes with some frozen grapes.

MoMo Sushi is literally right next door to Guu. And you wonder why I love this city? It’s a converted old diner made into a sushi bar. I’ll be going back in a few weeks and will take actual pictures of the food then. Promise. We enjoyed spider, veggie and dynamite rolls, tempura and some Sapporo.

And that concludes the outside portion of this post…the rest of the pictures will be on my new Hario Tea Tornado. Here it is on my tea-tray on the kitchen counter. Much bigger than I had expected, but very useful, as the strainer comes in two parts which makes cleaning super easy.

All the parts…

While waiting for the water to boil, I filled the glass pitcher with warm water and let it sit while I measured out the tea.

Starting to pour water in from the kettle…

This is the first time I used it and I was making hot red rooibos tea, hence the colouring. Although it tasted lovely, I will primarily use this tea-pot for cold teas, specifically green tea because a) its more aesthetically pleasing when you can see the leaves spin and b) the pitcher is so large (makes 5-6 cups) which is perfect for putting in the refrigerator and having over a period of time.

This is a different tea – green rooibos honeybrush and you can see the leaves floating a bit more with the lighter tea. It was really hard to capture how cool it looks on film.

The green rooibos all brewed and I’ve added a bit of honey. You may notice a bit of leaves at the bottom on the pot. However, the lid has a bit of a strainer on it, so when you pour out the contents no loose bits get in your drink.

Glass of tea with some lemon biscuits already broken in half – convenient for dunking!

Oh right and the music. Here’s a clip from a band I’ve just really gotten into since hearing they’d be opening for the Fleet Foxes, and they are the Cave Singers. Really lovely guys, put on a fabulous show and were a great buttress to the Fleet Foxes. Up next, Pixies!


Filed under food and such, music, tea

simple things i’ve been missing my whole life


Filed under food and such, tea, wordless thursday