Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

West Coast crazy is a special kind of crazy...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

Feeling pretty good on the seawall after a super-sized brew at the Tap and Barrel (What is that glass? That's just what comes when you order a beer btw. We didn't ask for the frat boy special.). I'm not sure what to say about this place. It kind of has that typical Vancouver Cactus Club vibe, complete with uber young 'n pretty waitresses in tight black tank tops (Vancouver's waitress dress code is precariously close to that of Hooters.). But there is plenty of outdoor seating, and a huge beer menu. Not a bad stop on a seawall stroll. Its pretty amazing how much this area has changed since the Olympics. Even tho I still say the condos are reminiscent of a minimum security prison... The giant sparrows, however, have my stamp of approval.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

West End roof-top BBQ

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bowen Island

Perfect day trip to Bowen Island via the English Bay Launch from Granville Island. It's worth the extra clamshells to avoid Translink to Horseshoe Bay then the ferry. You're there in 30 minutes for $40 return (Dude, check it out from a distance). We took the trail around Killarney Lake which takes about 2 hours. Lunch at Doc Morgan's where the fish and chips are excellent (and I'm super picky about my f&c).

Don't miss Bert Higgin's tiny logger's cabin, the interior of which has been re-imagined (methinks by a woman) complete with sleeping cat. There is a button on the wall with the adorable instructions "Press the button". You'll have to push it yourself to see what happens... (It's located at the Museum and Archives in Snug Cove.)

If you like un-touristy walks, the lake is a good spot. There weren't too many humans there on a Saturday. There is no beach, and it's not that suitable for swimming (which adds to the quiet). But if you go a bit past the "picnic area" (toilets and a couple of tables), there is a lookout point sign - down that path you'll find the end of a pebbled dry creek. If you are keen on swimming, this looks like a weed-free place to wade in.

There are swimming beaches on the island (which I've never been to), accessible by the community shuttle (run by Translink). Finding useful info about Bowen online is a challenge, so do go to the info centre for maps etc. Schedule for the C10 shuttle route here. Map of C10 route here.

If you have time to kill before your ferry or water taxi, escape the sun while you wait in the Memorial Garden (there is precious little shade around the docks). It's 5 minutes from the dock, shady, with benches and a view of Deep Bay. As you walk up from the ferry terminal, take the first right up past the info centre, then the first trail on the left, then you'll see the memorial gate on your right.

Thursday, August 09, 2012


It's not funky, or cold, but it is called Medina. Small space packed by 9am on a Thursday - and there was not an empty table the whole time we were there. Quite nice ambience (high, wood-beamed ceiling, exposed brick etc.), a little on the splurge side for a casual breakfast... I wouldn't mind going back for dinner some time.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Drink of the Day

2 oz white rum, squeeze of lime, Lemon Lion soda, over ice in a chilled glass = perfect summer drink

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Before and After

I was checking out this blog of old Vancouver photos, and wanted to see what 23 East Hastings looks like now in comparison. Then took it a step further and made my own little before and after animation (I guess I felt like being depressed?). The buildings are original, but the only thing that stayed the same is the metal architectural flourish just right of centre.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Mousse Ice Box Cake

I rarely bake, let alone super-rich desserts (I'm more of a savory person). But while looking for a birthday-worthy cake, I saw a photo of this, then this. Neither recipe satisfied me on every level. Cool Whip? Hand-crushed Oreos? Kraft peanut butter? Two thousand ingredients? Fussy process? So of course I came up with my own risky merged version. And people, it was a winner. At every stage it looked doomed to fail, like a bad chemistry experiment. But everything came together perfectly. Other than the Oreo crust, the ingredients are natural, and the bare minimum needed to make it great. (Note, other than a hand blender for the cream, I used no food processor.)

2C Oreo ready-made baking crumbs
1/3 C butter
Melt butter, add to crumbs, press into greased 9" spring form pan and up sides
Freeze for 10 minutes, bake for 10 minutes at 350, let cool

From a 500ml carton of whipping cream (2C) Reserve 1/2C in fridge for topping
Whip remaining 1 1/2C whip cream till just holds peaks
Beat in 1/4C powdered sugar till medium/firm peaks hold
Put in fridge
Beat 1 1/2 packages of low fat cream cheese with 1C powdered sugar
Beat in 1 1/2C natural smooth peanut butter and 4Tbs milk
Using spatula, gently fold in whip cream till just fully blended
Add to crust, chill over night

Melt 4 squares of bitter-sweet baking chocolate (4oz), let cool
Bring that 1/2C whipping cream to a boil, pour over chocolate, wisk together till smooth
Pour and spread over cake
Add small handful of chopped salted peanuts, chill

Friday, August 03, 2012

I think I'm in love.

Thursday, August 02, 2012