Monday, 13 April 2015

Menu Monday - BC Travel

It's been a busy chunk of time for me.  This is a large country and I am on my third trip across it is 3 weeks.  No matter how good the meetings are, how comfy the hotel bed, travel is exhausting.
Can't beat the view in the lounge at Long Beach Lodge.
My last trip took me back to my old stomping grounds in BC.  The westcoast is a culinary playground.  Adventurous, quick to adopt new ideas, tastes, flavours and sitting in a confluence of cultures.  To top it off, Vancouver (and surrounding areas) are blessed by earthly riches and the bounty of the sea.  The sum of which is a foodie's dream.
Tuesday - Hotel Georgia Lounge for a roasted baby beet salad.  For dinner, before heading to the Canucks game, Omission Ale and halibut tacos.
Wednesday - Proved more food for the sole (new shoes!! Fluevog) than for the tummy.  I opted to grab some gluten free bars and fresh fruit from the local organic grocery on the shopping go.
Thursday - A beautiful spring afternoon spent on south Granville St at the delightful Heirloom.  I had the soup of the day (carrot and ginger) and Kale Caesar.  Best caesar ever.  My girlfriend and I then walked across the Granville St bridge and had a flute of sparkles on the patio of the Vancouver Art Gallery before I headed to my second Canucks game.  See, it's that paragraph right there that makes me miss Vancouver.
Friday - I flew to Vancouver Island via Harbour Air and rented a car to drive over to Ucluelet to visit my sister and her family.  I made a stop in Qualicum to visit my grandparents and then drove my favourite drive through to Ucluelet.  It was perfect: clear roads, no slowpokes, a little bit of torrential rain and the smell of life pumping through the air exchange.  My sister and I ended up having a bite out at Hanks.  And odd little spot, which was a bookstore for years, a few more windows would certainly perk things up a little.  However, the BBQ was very tasty.  I had the Pork Cheeks and they modified my plate to accommodate the gluten free/dairy free.  I had a hankering (get it!?) for some gooey, fall apart meet after all my clean living in Vancouver.
This would have been Jeff heaven. 
Instead, I took a little heaven home to him.
Saturday - My sis and I had a girls day, and headed up to Tofino for the afternoon.  Interspersed with shopping and manicures (and a lot of gabbing) we managed a couple of stops.  One was at Wolf in the Fog where I had the soup of the day (a coconut, chickpea curry) and Heather had the amazing looking Albacore Tuna Melt.  We then headed to the Tofino Brewing Co.  Having abandoned Jeff in Halifax with the wiener dogs, I want to pick him up a souvenir.  One tee-shirt, one pint glass and three of their beers carefully wrapped within my checked luggage:  Coffee Porter, Kelp Stout and Hoppin' Cretin.  We then did a quick dash to the Long Beach Lodge for a glass of wine over looking the surfers, and then a pop back in to town for dinner at Shelter.  It was absolutely pissing rain by this point, but we sat on the covered patio with the propane heaters and a couple of fleece blankets.  It was awesome.  Both Heather and I opted for the mussels and frites (they have a dedicated fries fryer); I went with bacon, Heather with Thai coconut curry.

Sunday - After reluctantly pulling myself away from my nieces and nephew, I drove back to Naniamo, after a visit with my great aunt.  I flew back to Vancouver and checked myself into my stellar hotel room at the Pan Pacific.  I opted to use Hotwire, a roll of the dice, but with all of the nice hotels in the city, I figured my odds of lucking out were pretty high.  I was so right.  Not only did I get a great deal, but the front desk upgraded me further.  I had planned on meeting some girlfriends for a beverage, but instead ran out to the liquor store so we could seat in peace and look out over a truly great view.  Hotwire - roll the dice!

Safe and delicious travels to all!
Panoramic windows overlooking Burrard Inlet and the Coast Mountains. 
A delightful snack of edamame, cucumber avocado roll and sesame crusted tuna.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

TBT - Easter

The Easter Bunny is a weird one.  I get that both rabbits and eggs are symbols of fertility, but together?  No sense.  We should all go Aussie style and have the Easter Platypus.  Is that a thing?  I suppose I could Google it, but I'm lazy and far happier believing it is a thing, because the Easter Platypus is awesome.

Finnegan is saddened by chocolate holidays.  He feels they are discriminatory.
Anyhoo, the whole confluence of weird that is zombie Jesus, fertility festivals, painted eggs and Easter Platypuses/ Platypi/Platypodes makes for some brain twisting magic.  However, any holiday that gives you days off and chocolate is a friend of mine, regardless of root.

I loved the hunt.  And the chocolate.
Growing up, my sister and I weren't often the recipients of treats (no mom, banana chips don't count), and those treats that we did get were hoarded and rationed by yours truly so that I could get some sugary satisfaction every day, in between the seasonal mother loads of Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas.  But Easter was the most fun.  Painting the eggs was fun.  Trying to find them hidden in the plants and behind cushions (how long should eggs be out of the fridge once cooked?), and following the trail of jelly beans and chocolate eggs to find solid chocolate bunnies was the best!

I'm still a pretty big fan of magic, and an even bigger fan of sweet treats.  Guess I'll have to pull my apron on this weekend an bake me some platypus cupcakes.  I'll bet I can find them on Pinterest.

Happy Easter, in whatever form you celebrate it!
From Real Simple, April 2013.  I made the following adjustments:
remove 1 1/2c. APF, and add:
1/2c. brown rice flour
1/2c. quinoa flour
1/2c. coconut flour
remove cream cheese, and add
Tofutti "better than cream cheese" in equal amount.
To decorate, I iced and rolled cupcake in shredded, sweetened coconut,
used a jelly bean for the nose and chocolate chips for the eyes.  For the ears,
I split a hand made marshmallow, and dipped the sticky side in lavender sugar.