Tag Archives: restaurants

Favourite green places in Vancouver

Earth day…like as opposed to Seceratary’s Day or Mother’s Day? I have to admit, I am not the biggest fan of  “days.” Holidays are one thing but random days that hardly anybody knows about until it’s all over CNN as you sit there with your morning coffee feeling like crap because it’s not fair trade just seems a little easy. Especially for a topic like the earth, which is of paramount importance every day (and indicative in every choice you make from that second latte in the to-go cup at the coffee stand to the time you get in your car and drive yourself home). I could go on, but I won’t. All I know for sure (to steal a line from Oprah, who is curiously silent on subject of green) is that I have started making shifts in my day-to-day life that not only make me worthy of an Earth day button but actually feel very right. Looking to see where my produce was grown (Chile? too far! BC? I’ll take it!).  Buying organic pillows so that my husband can sleep through the night without severe allergies. The simple act of bringing reusable bags to the grocery store.  I like all of it. I know there is so much more my family can do and we are definitely growing in that direction – not just for one day, but one day at a time.

M Smart Designhttp://www.m-smartdesign.com/ Not only is this store dedicated to carrying organic products, but the owner is passionately knowledgable about everything she sells. Watch for this stores’ upcoming move from Park Royal to the edge of the newly fashioned design row on Beatty Street (also home to Chambar and Provide). Re-opens May 31st at 163 W.Hastings St.

Trout Lake Farmer’s Market http://www.eatlocal.org/markets.html      All I can say is – is it May yet???? If you’re not in the East end, click through to find a farmer’s market near your neighbourhood, though by July, I don;t think there is a more festive or busy market than the one at Trout Lake.

Little Nest http://www.littlenest.ca  Though this place is best known for its “parent friendly” atmosphere, do not be scared away if you’re looking for somewhere to read the paper over organic fare. The free-range eggs are pumpkin organge and the organic multigrain bread is always fresh. Fair trade coffee makes it all go down nicely (friendly little visitors or not!). 1716 Charles Street on Commercial Drive

Be happy. Be Green.

Jen

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.

MacBook
MacBook

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. 

No one wants to see pictures of snow (Lost Lake Trail and other things you’ll need to know about Whistler)

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When it’s all sun and cherry blossoms in Vancouver, it’s hard to imagine that a short 1.5 hour drive away you could be faced with snow – and lots of it. All over the trail and in your way while you’re trying to be active so you can justify drinking more champagne.  That’s why in the pictures below we look terribly under-dressed for such arctic conditions, just so you know.

On Friday, we decided to head up to Whistler and walk the Lost Lake loop trail with Whiskey. We packed the following essential hiking supplies, none of which are available at MEC:

  • Tim Horton’s water – check
  • Unfinished squares of Mink’s PB & hint of J chocolate bar – check
  • Begging Strips for Whiskey – check
  • Half a bottle of champagne  – check

Luckily, despite the lake’s frosty appearance, it was really quite mild out. Even luckier, our trained eyes spotted the perfect opportunity to chill our champagne with a quick burial in the parking lot snow drift. Here are instructions for a lovely day and night in case you find yourself in a similarly distressing situation:

wolf blass burial

First, dig a hole.

Burying champagne in the snow

Second, place the champagne in the hole (bury it a little so other hikers don’t find it before you get back).

the border collie cross

Warning: your dog will look highly unamused at being delayed.

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Once the champagne is secured in its bed of ice, commence hiking.

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If the road looks treacherous, take some time to ponder your options.

Grandfather's Beard

We suggest finding some grandfather’s beard in order to look more ponderous than usual.

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Whatever you do, do not fall into the ice. It is, afterall, called Lost Lake for a reason. Chances are no one will find you.

IMG_1747 Girl and her dog

Rest often.

When you finish the 5km loop, drink the champagne.  Don’t be afraid to pretend you hiked farther than you did. The champagne will taste better the farther you say you hiked.

Next, get a walk-in rate ($159/night; dog bed included) at the Whistler Hilton.  

Do not eat soup at the Mix at the Ric’s. Even if you are really, really poor and think soup will save you money, get the burger. Trust me.  

Finally, re-live your respective  pre-wedding parties like it’s 1999 at Buffalo Bills

Eat breakfast here if you care about things like bacon and hashbrown (and you should!).

Then, return home along the confusing new sea-to-sky (it’s so disorienting not to see the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal anymore) without ever once mentioning to your wife/girlfriend/buddy that she/he sleeps with their mouth open like a stoned caveman.

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!

The Girl Likes…

Things this girl likes today:

The song, The Girl, by City and Colour (especially how it ends and then starts again faster and more feverously, as if to say he really means it the second time).

The owner of Provide Home, who welcomed me into his fabulous store yesterday with pleasant conversation and a Nespresso cappuccino.  Across from Chambar and Cafe Medina on Beatty Street, you really need to go see this store…I wanted everything! I still want everything. It’s one of those places you could happily linger away an afternoon.

Provide Home

Provide Home

And lastly, the view from my office window. Of which, there is no photo to show you. I can only try explaining how the snow is beginning to melt away, the mountains are blue again, the light is dull, but more importantly, there is light. Yes, I can see it, finally. An eye of sky just opened.

Our second last…

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…Champagne Wednesday as fiance and fiance , we plan to spend alone. 

I suggest you go to the Libra Room and listen to live Jazz over a Roasted Beet Salad with Boursin ($7) and a bottle of Il Mionetto ($18!).

As Ash tells me people in the smoky underground Chicago Jazz clubs say: 

That’s it Charlie. You got it Charlie.

Jen

 

Channeling my inner Nigella…

Beets

These little rustic organs brimming with their blood red juices are the object of my current (and deepest) food desires. Replacing fresh dill, and so nicely matched by Ash and I’s new weekly forays into the world of fancy cheese. I will try to take a picture of our next Sunday afternoon patio lunch.  There’s just something about my rectangular white tray pilled high with labouriously selected food treasures from Rapers…I mean, Capers. There’s just something about it that brings me such peace (Note: Ash thinks it might also be the bottle of Dirty Laundry’s Hush 2007 which induced said “peace” feeling).

Back to beets. Try them:

…tossed with champagne walnut vinegar.

…in the roasted beet salad at the Libra Room on Commercial Drive.

…on a pizza like food designer Sweet Paul did. No no has made a beet look better.

Sweet Paul

One more Sweet Paul picture for the road.

Jen

pour a glass. press play. add sun.

What’s summer sun without summer music? And what’s summer music without pretty you on a patio with memories to remember, and futures to entertain? Five years back or five years forward, music and champagne taste good. And so does a glass of Joie’s Rosé with just enough pinot meunier (it’s champagne cousin) to make it a great option for a Wednesday night. I promise, whatever you might think about this rosé or that rosé…Joie has concoted a blush of light, stupid, breezy fun. It’s also great with pakoras (as we found out this weekend on Rangoli’s off-Granville patio).

Joie Rose

If you’re not cooking, it’s $8.95/glass. If you are, it’s about $20 a bottle, split however many ways you like.

Go ahead. Dance. Have fun. Tell someone you’re happy.

Love, love, love,

Jen

More in Dundarave (where Sundays happen)

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This is the sign to the Bakehouse, where yes, people bake things. By the seaside. Good things. Things you’ll maybe wish you hadn’t eaten afterwards, unless you went directly following some some kind of morning activity like walking whiskey along the Ambleside seawall or showering vigorously.

The bread (oh the bread) is on the thick and grainy side with a surprising sweetness that makes you want to say something very cultured, like “bravo,” when matched with warm, drippy butter and homemade jam. You are, after all, in West Vancouver – where else could you accidentally get caught in the middle of a Porsche show?

I like the open plan of the kitchen, the friendly and helpful staff and the three tables outside that you can move according to the sun line without getting yelled at…not even by the Porsche lookers.

The coffee is not the star, but it’s reliable. good and organic. But then again, most everything is good by the seaside.

The Bakehouse at 2453 Marine Drive, West Vancouver
Tel: (604) 925-3031