my friend, dong (his first name is “victor” and his middle name is “yidong,” which is where the nickname comes from), is an amazing chef. his delicious dinner creations are full of flavour, and are always so beautifully plated. who else thinks he needs to try out for masterchef asap?
moose’s down under is more of a restaurant that serves alcohol than a pub. it has a great vibe that makes you feel right at home. i think the staff plays a huge factor in creating that vibe – they are all aussie, and just SO friendly. if you arrive in a group, they’ll take everyone’s names and ask if you want separate bills right off the bat, which eliminates any hassle in splitting the bill at the very end. they’re all very attentive and always make sure you have something to drink – it’s like being over at a friend’s house who is an amazing host!
the drinks are cheap, and they have great specials… like $6.50 double long-island iced teas on fridays. they serve delicious pub food that’s great to share if you want to munch on something while you drink.
this is where i met kelly for some drinks and food after i finished cutting over eight inches of my hair off, to donate to cancer.
it’s been on my bucket-list for a while, but as any girl with long hair knows, it’s surprisingly hard to part with that much of your hair. i finally just committed to a date to get it done, took one last look at my long, beautiful hair, along with a deep breath, and walked out of there five pounds lighter, with an amazingly cute haircut thanks to dawn (ps. if you are looking for an awesome stylist in vancouver, let me know and i can give you one of her cards, which will give you a bit of a discount for your first visit). axis can donate your hair directly to the children’s hospital for you, and they promise that every inch of hair is used up. it’s great to know that all that hair is going to be made into a wig for a little girl that just lost all her hair involuntarily to chemotherapy and radiation.
to make the flowers on top of the cupcakes: flatten a marshmallow and cut it into thirds. use two marshmallows per cupcake. squeeze a little bit of coloured icing from the tube for the centre of the flower.
happy birthday olga!! xo
ingredients: spaghetti squash, bacon, onions, garlic, parsley, sea-salt, and pepper.
preheat over to 350°. cut spaghetti squash in half or have it cut in half for you at the store – they usually will if you ask nicely, and it will save you a lot of time and frustration (trust me, cutting a squash isn’t fun). scoop the seeds out. place the squash halves face-down on a baking tray that’s lined with a tiny bit of water (to ensure the squash doesn’t burn). bake the squash for about 40 minutes and then scoop the strands out with a fork when done.
make bacon in a pan and save the bacon fat. chop up garlic and onions, and fry in the bacon fat. add the spaghetti squash in. chop up the bacon and add it in as well. season with parsley, sea-salt, and pepper.
i don’t think anyone has ever mentioned a restaurant to me in whistler that i haven’t heard of or tried… until this weekend. maybe it’s because i’ve never really explored creekside fully, but the southside diner is a hidden gem that i experienced for the first time this weekend. the one that didn’t get away is their salmon eggs benny and it is delicious. the entire place is very cozy and cute, with an open kitchen that made me want to try everything that the cooks were making.
i’ve always known that no matter how many times you go up on the mountains, and no matter how familiar they become, you can always discover something new; it’s nice that the same concept can apply off the mountain as well.
opening day at whistler is one of my favourite days. maybe it’s because i went a whole six months without the place, but as soon as i step foot into the village, this giddy feeling of “i’m home!!” washes over me. the snow is always better than expected, and it just feels sooooo good to be riding again; i can’t even put the euphoria i feel during that very first run into words, because the term “euphoria” is definitely an understatement. every time i’m in whistler, i just feel so peaceful and content, and realize it’s a big part of why i worked so hard to stay in vancouver for all these years.
i’ve been meaning to do this for quite some time now, but just haven’t gotten around to it. i even put it on my bucket-list, not because my life would be incomplete and i’d be unfulfilled if i never got around to it, but because it might have a higher probability of actually happening if it was written down somewhere on a list. i kind of treat my bucket-list like a life-long to-do list anyway. and guess what? it worked – i made almond milk.
when it comes to making almond milk, i’ve found that there are so many different ways to go about it. how do you know which one is the right way and will produce the best tasting almond milk?! well, you don’t (especially if it’s your first time) so you just have to pick one and stick with it… or wing it and combine a bunch of different methods, based on what you feel will produce the best results… which is what i ended up doing.
ingredients: almonds, a strainer or a nut milk bag (after trying the strainer method, i strongly suggest a nut milk bag, and i will definitely be getting one for next time), water, vanilla extract, honey, and a blender.
soak one cup of almonds in a bowl of water overnight in your fridge – i let them soak for over 12 hours, as i read that the longer they soaked, the creamier the milk would be. once they’ve been soaked, take the almonds and peel the skin off if you have the patience – according to my friend chloe, “with skins on, the milk will have a different texture and won’t resemble conventional milk.” she is probably right, but after squeezing a few off and realizing i still had like 100 almonds to go, i wanted to shoot myself – i don’t do well with mundane, repetitive, mind-numbing tasks. i consulted the other recipes i was following and none of them said anything about taking the skins off, so i made the executive decision to throw it all into the blender. put two cups of water in with the almonds (for “the consistency of 2% milk“) – i figured if i wanted it thinner, i could always add more water, but wouldn’t be able to subtract water if i wanted it thicker. blend it around for a couple of minutes (add honey and vanilla extract somewhere along the way) and then strain the mixture – i used a strainer and a spoon (because i saw it on a youtube video that i can’t seem to find again now) but BIG MISTAKE! i now see why people use a nut milk bag to do this, and i would highly recommend it, even though i’ve never used one. using a strainer and a spoon to squeeze out the almond milk was time consuming and painful, and i’m never making that mistake again. taste the almond milk – add more honey and/or vanilla until you like what it tastes like. store in a jar and refrigerate.
and there you have it… almond milk!
next time, i will definitely use a nut milk bag. also, i might try peeling all the skins off the almonds… but with a substantially smaller test-batch. through a little trial and error, i have no doubt that i will have my perfect homemade almond milk in no time.
ingredients: rice, butter, onion, red peppers, black beans, chickpeas, corn, fish (we used tilapia, but any other type of white fish would work well), avocado, cilantro, limes or lime juice, and spices (we used taco seasoning, tuscan seasoning, cumin, salt, and black pepper).
1. make rice in rice cooker (add in slices of butter when done cooking).
2. chop up onions and peppers; pan-fry. add in black beans, chickpeas, and corn.
3. rub spices on both sides of fish and pan-fry.
4. slice avocado, and chop up cilantro.
5. assemble fish taco bowl: place desired amount of rice in your bowl, followed by the veggies, then the fish; top with avocado, cilantro, and lime juice.