I’m having a falafel thing of late. I don’t know why. The first falafel I ever had was so awful – it was home-made by my then boyfriend, with whom I broke up with for making such a terrible mush roll. Well, perhaps the break up was based upon things less trivial than falafel making skills, but I am sure it was a factor.
There are a couple of places near our house and I bounce between them. I know that snow-white pita bread should probably be outlawed, and I wish there were alternatives, but well. . . it is pretty damn good. And head lettuce? Not exactly brimming with nutrients. Chick peas and fava beans don’t taste that great when on their own, but mash them up, spice them, deep fry and cover with tzatziki, hummus and hot sauce? Now you’re talking.
I’m distracted now. . . stopping writing this to decide if I am hungry for a falafel and if it is worth the journey.
No, not right now. Plus I should vary my diet. Maybe I should have garbanzo beans instead.
Today is my mother’s actual birthday – St. Patrick’s Day. So after an hour at the downtown Vancouver parade, we heading to Burnaby to have lunch with more of the family. My grandpa loves Me-n-Ed’s pizza and it is right near by his place, so we decided pizza was the place to go. The six of us shared 3 large pizzas and one order of nachos with only 3 slices to take home for leftovers.
As tradition dictates, we visited McDonald’s for dessert where we purchase Shamrock Shakes for dessert. When they asked which size, my mom said “Large” without remembering the super size epidemic that swept North America. So, we were left with 6 gigantic shakes that were tasty in their bad for you way. So full, yet so shamrocky and delicious at the same time.
After such a large lunch the followed by some ridiculous amount of shake we started to suffer the ill effects, but I the most:
I should also tell you that I almost killed Emile earlier that day when I brought the truck of our hatchback car down upon his head. Given we didn’t have any pain relievers in the restaurant, he proceeded to drink quite a few non-green beers to dull the pain.
March 17th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: I managed to drag my Shamrocked ass off the floor and drive my nearly concussed husband home. No-one ate dinner that night.
We celebrated my mom’s birthday today. She was born on St. Patrick’s Day several years ago, but Saturday night seemed like the night to go for a lovely and restful dinner. We tried out a new place by our place – Lily Mae’s – which billed themselves as French Comfort Food.
Paris to me was not comfortable – as much as I loved it there, it was much more chicness that I could only aspire to. French to me means fussy, detailed, precise and exclusive. So, I didn’t know what totally to expect from this new restaurant. The French I encountered in Paris were only so welcoming to me – a tourist with very little French skills.
But the restaurant we visited was straight forward, charming, friendly and precise in service, rules and food perpetration. A perfect combination comfort and French.
March 16th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: Add a little bit of North American comfort to the French ways and you get a boeuf bourguignon to write home about (or at least to blog about).
I’m going back to get the bacon apple caramel cake.
Like most Vancouverites, Emile and I enjoy walking the Sea Wall.
So often we make our way down there – winding through the tourists – and walk the sea wall. Saturday was a particularly gorgeous day – and we spoke frequently about how spring is so much better when you don’t have to go through the melt.
Often I’ll run along the sea wall and I feel like I belong here. Running in my Yoga jacket with my iPhone. Yes, I’m that girl. Running along. There she goes. . .
Anyways, we enjoy walking and talking down the sea wall. Our route almost always takes us around the outside of the Vancouver Convention Centre with the Water sculpture. Located there is a restaurant called De Dutch. Emile – being Dutch – and I always talk about finding out what a Dutch restaurant serves but have never been.
We finally made it on Saturday morning. We laughing reviewed the menu as Emile told me stories about his mother’s cooking. The traditional luncheon meal at Emile’s house is a piece of bread with ham and a fried egg on it. He told me it is actually called an uitsmijter as listed on the menu. He remembered his Dutch when he ordered a Boer’s Breakfast. His Farmer’s Breakfast featured all the regular morning offerings and included a large Dutch Pannekoek (pancakes). Dutch pannekoeks are somewhere between a regular pancake and a crepe.
He bit into his pannekoek and stated “There is that tang.” Emile started to tell me about stories from Holland that I had never had. His dad’s mom made Emile and his sister pannekoeks for breakfast when they were in Holland. Not cereal on most mornings like at home, but his Oma’s pannekoeks. Made without a mix, and without a recipe probably just like her mother before her did.
The next morning Emile tried to reproduce his Oma’s Dutch pannekoek. He called home to ask his mom how to make them. Her side of the family wasn’t a pannekoek home and his dad was no help. Afterall, he only just ate them. A first attempt using an internet recipe was heavy, dense and lacking the tanginess.
March 9th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: A unexpected memory from breakfast and the beginning of a quest for a Dutch Pannekoek recipe like his Oma’s.
My husband and I both love Thai food, and I’ll admit, I generally go back to Pad Thai regularly. I love it. In all its noodlely goodness, half the time I get a stomach ache from too much carbs, but its worth it.
But better than Pad Thai is a Green Mango Salad. It is my favorite salad. It is my favorite mango application. It is my favorite appetizer. And I dare say it is in my top five favorite foods of all time.
But the trouble with a Green Mango Salad is that I don’t find it often in Thai restaurants or – annoyingly – the green mango is out of season in the winter. So, I am left hoping each different restaurant I go that I will find what I am looking for.
February 22nd, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: Pretty good Pad Thai tonight, but alas, no Green Mango Salad on the menu. Hoping for next time.
Dine Out Vancouver is on. For Ontarians, this is similar to Winterlicious with many restaurants featuring prix fixe menus. There are 3 different levels of $18, $28, and $38. And each features an appetizer, dessert and entrée. We went last week to Blarney Stone’s $18 dinner and it was pretty good volume and food for $18.
Tonight we went to Wild Rice – also at the $18 level – and found that the food was excellent, the service was friendly, but a little mistake prone. But they fixed their mistakes and were quick about it. Probably because the place was sold out for due to Dine Out Vancouver!
In general, Emile and I are pretty cheap and watch calories, so we don’t eat out much. But somehow, we got ourselves this schedule:
Jan 30th: Wild Rice (just the two of us)
Feb 1st: Crepe Cafe (7 of us for post activity refueling)
Feb 2nd: The Boathouse (Grandpa taking us for dinner)
Feb 3rd: Salt Tasting Room AND The Pourhouse (friends in from Ontario)
I also received a coupon from Incendio – great pizza place now doing brunch – to offer us 2 for 1 brunch.
I miss Huntsville sometimes, but man do I love the restaurant scene here – especially those places within walking distance to our house!
January 30th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: Somehow I think all of this is going to derail Cliche January.
My husband and I are annoyed by one main trait in each other:
Failure to make decisions or take of things and just to ride along letting someone else do all the planning and work.
Complete disregard of basic things like turning off the energy sucking lights, or leaving the fridge open or running the water for no reason.
Try to guess who does what.
If we fight, I’d say its 80% because of one of these things. But recently, my husband has begun a campaign to address that which annoys me. For example, a couple of days ago, I said we needed to figure out a place to go for dinner with my aunt on friday night. Often, he would just throw out some suggestions and then leave the details to me. But this time, he did research and selected a place near by.
It was troubling because here he is making an effort to change his behavior that I’ve been telling him for years annoys me, but yet he selected an Indian restaurant. I don’t much like curry or warm yogurt, so I hesitated in agreeing. But I liked this new campaign of his, so I thought I’d better be supportive, so Sitar it was.
I skimmed the menu avoiding seafood, hot dishes with yogurt, curry and samosas (I needed to try something different). My aunt announced her selection of butter chicken, and that sounded pretty good in its description – when has butter or cream ever let any cuisine down?
November 16th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: Listening to what my husband had to say led to an excellent meal. Damn it! I’m going to have to start turning off the lights.
It hadn’t been my best day at work. I terminated an employee that day. And yes, it was harder on the team member than it was on me. But there is a price to be paid even when you know that you are making the right decision. I usually struggle with not knowing how the event will go, and how we are able to get the person into the room with me and HR to have the unfortunate discussion.
It almost is always goes better than I’ve imagined it. The first one – I remember his name, but I certainly won’t be putting it here – was the most pathetic ever. I could barely speak and he was ecstatic to be finally out of there. And others have been painful, difficult, heartrending and sad, but never do I regret my action. Because by the time I am at this point, I know I’ve done everything I can to bring the team member into being a strong and valued team member.
But I don’t enjoy it and I feel it. I carry it with me for a while.
So by the time I made it to the White Spot to have dinner with my aunt, I was ready for something more than the Healthy Living Asian Chicken Salad I had planned on. I wanted substance. Grease. Fat. Spice. Not Soy beans and low calories.
November 6th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: Peanut Butter, Jalapeno Peppers and Bacon Burgers DO make an excellent post firing meal.
I don’t like fish or seafood. No, really, I don’t. Please don’t try to tell me “It doesn’t taste fishy at all”. It does. It takes like fish. Salmon does. Tuna does. Yes, even the lobster and crab do. Even if you drown it in garlic butter. I have sensitive taste buds. I can taste it. It tastes like fish. I don’t like it.
This eliminates traditional sushi as a pleasant food item for me. I enjoy going to Japanese restaurants for dinner with friends and my husband, as I can order the vegetarian options, but it usually means a tofu dish, or avocado rolls or cucumber rolls. And let’s face it – both of those rolls are boring.
When we are in Cranbrook, we always go for sushi. We always talk about trying one of the 3 other places in town, but always end up at Sakura. My brother – who also has the sophisticated anti-fish taste buds I do – always orders the beef and chicken teriyaki rolls. Emile always orders at least one salmon roll, and I always get the edamame and tempura veggies as starters. For a main, I skip around the menu ordering the vegetarian dishes or sometimes order a meat noodle dish. But I am usually disappointed in my choice of rolls – I can’t ever order from the “Special Roll” section because of the fish problem. You know – the rolls that come on a sleek long dish and you say “Oh, how beautiful” when it arrives at your table. Sauces artfully placed, and garnished carefully positioned. Sigh.
On the special menu this evening a “special veggie roll” was offered. It featured asparagus, avocado, spinach, mango, and sweet potato with a cream sauce and a blueberry sauce. I shared it with my mom, and it is the first time that I got to truly appreciate “roll art” arriving at the table. The dish was the perfect line between savory and sweet, and utterly delicious.
July 21st, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: Edamame, tempura vegetables, teriyaki tofu, “special veggie roll” and deep-fried mango ice cream. So Good.
Emile and I rarely go out for dinner as of late. We are on a loose budget and we are working hard to make April as Fit as possible. In general, those two things do not mesh well with dining out. After work today, Emile and I met up at the Summit Center for a run. I had already done two – TWO! – bouts of exercise that day for a total of 1 hour and 40 minutes, plus working around the house (painting and sanding, etc). So, then on top of that I went running for 3k.
My shins hurt, I was tired and I simply could not face going home to have a vegetable stir fry with riced cauliflower and meatless crispy tenders. Emile said he would make it, but I wasn’t buying. I wanted to go out for dinner and I had the calories to spare!
I suggested we head to 3 Guys and a Stove. Emile agreed as he hadn’t been there in years. Off we went – but he turned left when he should have turned right. Turns out what I say out loud and what I am thinking are two different things. So, we ended up at Tall Trees instead – because that is what I said – even if it wasn’t what I was thinking.
It was no sacrifice – believe me.
April 20th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary: Some else made me a perfect Filet Mignon with delightfully cooked vegetables. Presumably they even washed up.