bucket-list item 101. try all the salmon eggs bennys in the world

to add to this list

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aphrodite’s organic cafe (vancouver, bc) – good food, shitty service.

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charlie’s little italian (vancouver, bc) – perfect hash browns, amazing benny, and they also do $4.50 caesars/baileys + coffee on weekends.

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cafe zen (vancouver, bc) – pretty ordinary, nothing special.

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oliver bonacini (toronto, on) – love how the eggs benny came on buttermilk & cheddar scones.

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rustic cosmo cafe (toronto, on) – hit the spot, and also came with a nice side salad.

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forage (vancouver, bc) – not usually on the menu and one of their specials of the day, so obviously had to get it.

simple salad dressing

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ingredients: olive oil, honey, lemons, shallots, garlic, dried cranberries, sea-salt, pepper, and mushrooms (optional).

mince garlic, slice shallots, and heat up both in a pan with olive oil. add the cranberries (and mushrooms), squeeze fresh lemon juice in, add a bit of honey, then season with salt and pepper.

pour over your greens of choice – i usually opt for kale and add a bit of avocado in there as well.

sensei sushi

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while i was in the philippines last december, i met up with bea (an old friend that i went to school with in jakarta), who took me to sensei sushi. she always had such great foodporn from this place on her instagram account, so i was excited to check it out.

the place isn’t that fancy, just a little hole-in-the-wall, but their food was amazing! really high-quality japanese fusion food. we ordered a bunch of dishes to share, so we could try a little bit of everything the foie gras nigiri (picture #1) was one of my favourites, along with the tuna tartare on kang kong crisps (picture #5). we were allowed to bring our own bottle of wine in, and they didn’t make us pay a corkage fee, which was nice. our bill still ended up being over 2,000 pesos between the two of us (around $45 – $50), which shocked me since we were in asia, we weren’t paying for any alcohol, and the place wasn’t located in an upscale area or inside a 5-star hotel.

it’s crazy how expensive the philippines is becoming, especially since the average wages are so low! according to this article, the TOP, best paying salary for a recent grad there is around 23,000 pesos (which is $500) a month. the top, best paying salary for an oil and gas ENGINEER that has 1 – 4 years of experience is around 40,000 pesos ($900) a month and the top, best paying salary for those in the IT industry with over five years of experience is 55,000 pesos (roughly $1,200) a month.

According to Jobstreet Philippines, the average monthly salary of a fresh graduate (based on the list of jobs posted on their site) is P16,524 (roughly $372). So if you are earning more than P16,524 you are already earning more than the average of your peers.” – http://www.pinoymoneytalk.com/biggest-paying-jobs-philippines/

crispy gnocchi with spinach pesto

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the spinach pesto recipe was taken from one of my favourite food blogs, frugal feeding.

ingredients: spinach, garlic cloves, feta cheese, walnuts, lemon juice, olive oil, canola oil, gnocchi, parmesan cheese, sea-salt, and black pepper.

place spinach, garlic cloves, feta cheese, walnuts, lemon juice, and olive oil in a blender – blend until it’s at a consistency you like and tada… homemade pesto in seconds! boil gnocchi in a pot until done and then drain; pan fry in canola oil until slightly crispy. place in a bowl, cover the gnocchi with the homemade pesto, garnish with chopped walnuts, sprinkle parmesan cheese on it, and season with sea-salt and pepper.

the best eggs benny in vancouver.

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the bc benny (smoked salmon, cream cheese, and onions – i get it without the onions) they serve at the sunshine diner is the best eggs benny in town. i’ve tried quite a few different places over the years, and have found pretty good ones across the city, but i am sticking with my claim that this is the best eggs benny in vancouver. the hollandaise sauce that they make is to die for. i’m a fan of trying new things, but i can never deviate from my usual order. i love how over the span of almost 10 years, this dish hasn’t changed a single bit and tastes EXACTLY the same. the only thing that’s changed about it is that now it comes with a side of fresh fruit (that’s actually fresh, and not del monte in syrup from a can) and a bowl of homefries (you used to have to add it on for an additional charge), which are both great changes. they also make a pretty mean milkshake – thick, creamy, rich, and absolutely delicious. you can mix flavours together, so i usually go for the butterscotch espresso combo.

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the place itself is super cute – a legitimate 50’s style diner with comfortable booths, jukeboxes, and all the appropriate decor. great vibes, great service, and the best eggs benny in town.

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mint in meatballs? delicious.

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mint in meatballs… i was skeptical at first, but it turned out to be absolutely delicious.

i would normally post a link back to the original recipe, but i deviated so much from it that there’d be no point. well, i didn’t deviate from it ingredient-wise, but i just didn’t agree with the techniques she used. firstly, the author told me to set my oven at 425°C, and i did at first, but then all this smoke started to emerge from the oven so i turned it down to 350 before a fire started. the author of the original recipe also wanted to GRATE the zucchini and sear the meatballs over the stove before placing them in the oven – ain’t nobody got time for that! i chopped up the zucchini in my blender (it had a “chop” button that i’ve been wanting to test out) and i stuck the meatballs straight in the oven until they were fully cooked. i love finding efficient ways to do things, without compromising quality. some might see it as laziness, but i prefer the term “being resourceful.”

besides, who wants to cook a laborious dinner after returning home tired from a full day at work? that’s what i thought.

ingredients: ground turkey, zucchini, green onions, fresh mint leaves, cilantro, cloves of garlic, egg, sea-salt, pepper, and cumin.

pre-heat oven to 350°C. chop up the ingredients and place in a bowl. crack the egg in there, add the spices, and mix everything around with your hands. shape into meatballs, put on a baking tray (i lined mine with a sheet of wax paper), and bake for around 15 – 20 minutes, or until they are done.

easy, simple, and delicious.

crockpot magic: dinner that will make itself, and leftovers for lunch

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crockpots are one of the most incredible inventions of mankind. the greatest thing about crockpot recipes is that most of them require little to no prep, you can toss all the ingredients in there in the morning before work, leave it to cook for the day, and come home to a delicious dinner that cooked itself.

here’s the recipe to a dish i tried last week. i didn’t use measurements as usual, but just felt it out according to my personal preferences and taste-buds (eg. i like garlic, so i put a lot of garlic in there).

ingredients: chicken, black beans, corn, onions, garlic, chicken broth (just enough to almost cover everything), cilantro, avocado, sea-salt, cumin, garlic powder, black pepper, and rice.

the only real prep that this recipe requires is chopping up the onions and garlic, which i did the night before. i put all the ingredients (except for the cilantro, avocado, and rice) into the crockpot, and left it to cook for the day on the “low” setting (i turned it on at 7 am and came home to it at around 6 pm). then i shred the chicken up into pieces (with a fork and knife) without taking it out of the crockpot, stirred it around, and left it to cook for another 15 minutes. while it was cooking, i made some rice in my rice cooker, chopped up cilantro and avocado, and then put a bowl together when it was all done.

i also had leftovers for days, and i brought a tupperware full with me to work the next day. bringing my lunch to work is something i’ve never been good at, but managed to successfully do four out of five days last week – it was quite the milestone for me, as this was the first time that has happened in my entire working life. according to this article, people who go out for lunch every single day spend roughly around $2,500 a year on lunch. definitely something to think about.

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