Category Archives: Champagne Wednesdays

How to Mac a Chick Pea

Hope you all had a nice weekend! Ever since Friday, when Ash and I served homemade Coq au Vin to our wonderful friends, I have been on a recipe rampage. Tonight I’m making Chana Punjabi with the spice kit my mother bought Ash from Vij’s Rangoli. I found the recipe on the blog,  The Wednesday Chef, who writes: “I have been rendered mute by a chick pea.” What a great sell.

Also, I read this post recently on the blog of food writer, Dorie Greenspan. Very Champagne Wednesdays, don’t you think? This weekend, for the first time in so long, we pulled our little grey, wicker loveseat out to our front patio to enjoy the spring weather with home-fried pot stickers and edamame. The sun, much like a good bottle, should never be saved. We find Stella Artois in our fridge hard to save as well.


Lastly, much excitement in our home about the recent purchase of one of these babies! I am hoping it means big things to come for Champagne Wednesdays and a few other projects we have in the works. That’s one of the things I love most about life with Ash – we have so many great ideas together, the best of which happened one year ago this week. 

Bon Weekend


I love when people email me to say they’re going to try one of the many champagnes we’ve dutifully tested here (ha!).

Just before the long weekend, I received a note from Kristin of BonBon Rose telling me she was off to pick up a bottle of Wolf Blass for her and her hubby! I was so excited we bought another one ourselves. It ended  up here:

Burying Champagne in the snow 

More on that later…

Kristin, along with her friend Megan, write on the heels of fashion deals, home design and the modern mama from their respective homes in Tampa, Florida and Washington D.C. They were kind enough to write a little post mentioning Champagne Wednesdays – not to mention sharing this great deal. Stop by and say hi!

Les Iles D’or

The only thing I could possibly love more than champagne is a long weekend. Throw in a fourth day and now we are talking! Ash and I decided to step a day ahead (since today is  untechnically Friday) and start celebrating Champagne Wednesday on Tuesday. Then when Wednesday came around, we couldn’t leave it unmarked -so a second CW was observed all in one short week. No wonder I’ve had little time to blog.

I am excited to share with you the deliciously-dewy Australian substance that carried us through: Wolf Blass Yellow Label Sparkling Brut.

Dry, crisp, good length, undertones of apple…all the things one would say about a perfectly ingestible sparkler for $16 dollars (or $14.99 if you can make it to an actual liqour store – we tend to be of the convenient beer-and-wine variety).

The painting above is by Henri Edmond Cross, titles Les Iles D’or. We bought a print of it from the Musee D’orsay and I am hoping to get it framed soon. The only trouble is I can’t decide how to frame it? Any thoughts?  

Enjoy your days of freedom.


We pledge allegiance to the…

The Fallafel, of course. Yum (thanks for the reminder, Dorie).

In the spirit of cheap eats, we will seek one out this weekend and on Sunday, we’ll be visiting the new Vancouver Convention Centre for a free tour. They’re hosting events over the weekend between 10am and 4pm with highlights including a six-acre grass and wildflower roof.  Photos shall be taken for your viewing pleasure.  

What’s your plan?

Also momumental this weekend: tonight, a visist with the Sambrooks and their new baby boy, Evan. And April 5th, my parents 30th wedding anniversary!

Have a great weekend.

Crazy Tuesdays

Jennifer & Ashleah's Mexican Honeymoon

Celebrated Champagne Wedesday a bit early last night with Rich and Erin at Zefferelli’s and then Le Crocodile for dessert (both the solid and liquid varieties). My creme brule was a bit disappointing, especially from one of Vancouver’s most famous French restaurants, but the champagne was perfect, crisp and sparkling. We had a good laugh with – or at – our Frenchy waiter too, who was kind despite our dessert-only dining. As for Zefferelli’s, Ash and I have been there a number of times and I just plain like it. On all levels, it’s a comfortable place to dine. $25 bottles of Tollo wine. Generous and reliable pasta (not mouth-watering but wholly satisying). Antipasto bar. Windows overlooking Robson Street. Pleasant waitstaff over the age of 18.

I like when we make the most of a Tuesday. It adds a little speed to the week. Plus, we all got to reminsice about our recent trips to Mexico.

Jennifer & Ashleah's Mexican Honeymoon

Ahhhh, Mexico.  Ahhh, honeymoons.

Erin – I hope your neck feels better soon!


This photo from Pia brings me back vividly to the brief time I lived on a sailboat in  Brentwood Bay.  The soundtrack of that memory is something I wish everyone to know. Imagine the most satisfying of yawns stretched out across a nighttime; sleep with more movement and stillness at once. Shhhh listen:  the small, charming music of sails in the rain.

Strawberry fields forever

I’ve been reading a lovely book titled “Cultivating Delight” by Diane Ackerman for the past week or so.  It’s the kind of book you wade through with your pants tucked into your boots. A wild, hairy field of fact and latin names and rich descriptions you must pick over once or twice before ingesting.  It’s far less depressing than Revolutionary Road, which should NOT be read in the winter and especially not if you traverse any bridges on your drive home. No, this book makes you notice life. The best part of my read has taken place when the book is closed, examining the yards of the houses I pass on my walks home, taking note of the varying degrees of whimsy and neglect. And despite the cold (which broke the first green fuses of the daffodils in our courtyard), signs of new growth are abundant. Despite whatever monotomy the 9 to 5 might bring, there is a current of life surging benath it, a contstant factory of change that can be just as satisfying as any drama one can cook up.

I picked you these phrases to enjoy:

“There is an ecology to every life, and each family a garden, where sensitive family members grow in varying degrees of harmony.”

“There is nothing like wide thoughts in a small garden.”

“Unfortuantely the Oxford English Dictionary doesn’t include all those wonderful words in other languages for which we have no English equivalent, words we desperately need, such as Tierra del Fuegan mamiblapinatapei, which means two people ‘looking into each other’s eyes, each hoping that the other will initiate what both want to do but neither chooses to commence’…Or the Russian word ostranenie, which is when an artist makes the familiar seem strange, so that it can be seen freshly. Or aware, the Japanese word for the special poignancy one feels while  enjoying ephemeral beauty. Or the Indonesian phrase bolopis kuntil baris, which summons extra strength for carrying heavy objects….”

PS: Last night’s Champagne Wednesday was marked by a visit from the flooring man (we had a mini flood) and a bottle of Blonde De Noirs. It’s the one with Marilyn Monroe oozing hints of strawberryhigh-notes and toasted scandal on the front label. Let me say this loud and clear: YUM, YUM, YUM, MORE PLEASE.  As this particular bottle was a gift from the Sambrooks, we had a harder time than usual opening it. At least three or four times it came out of the fridge and then went right back in as we wagered: did we deserve this bottle? On a Wednesday? With frozen Costco french onion soup and tator tots? Thankfully, we came to our senses and then “pop” went the evening. The rest is all happy birthday, Mr. Husband from there.

PS: photo via Design Sponge

Favourite Dessert

My nephew has this very cute post-dinner habit of saying, “favourite. dessert” repeatedly until ice cream with chocolate sauce arrives on his plastic dining tray. Sometimes I know how he feels.

This weekend my favourite dessert came Sunday. After dropping a birthday present of magnolia branches off at my friend Kari’s house, Ash and I hiked around the beach at Cate’s Park and then settled onto the sunny patio at Arm’s Reach Bistro in Deep Cove.  With gloves, scarves and a wet dog (but no jackets), we felt sun on our faces , read books and watched a live “man-on-a-wire” demonstration in the park. 

I had: potato and leek pottage with crispy pancetta and white truffle oil.

He had: Bistro salad with seared sirloin, red grapes, pine nuts and balsamic magic.

We had: a nice time. Highly recommended day or night, but especially on the patio, whatever the weather.


Hi. I am returned.

From Little Brown Pen

Edit: Conversation continued at

I come out of my blogernation (that’s the words blogging and hiberation conjoined like wiggly newborn twins) to bring you this article.

Is writing for the rich?

To me, it often seems  like more of a luxury than I can afford (whether that be with the riches of time, energy, currency, etc). My fellow blogger Christina, on the other hand, meets the sacrifice with devotion, and makes it all look very glamourous in the meantime (yes, even in a green barista apron). Her practice works – and career-wise, seems to be working very well for her. That is not to say, however, that writing isn’t still a huge struggle even for the successful – and living off of it a whole different story.  I write without expectation of pay. Mostly in private, but sometimes (here) very publicly. I can only imagine that if you were willing to fundraise for my employer for free, I would be ousted in no time at all.  

So I ask then is writing now purely for the hobbyists? Do I dillute the efforts of the truly brilliant with my on-air ramblings?

I wonder. I wonder. I wonder…out loud.

Thanks for reading.


PS: Photo borrowed from LittleBrownPen – an American writer living in Paris.