Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Shooting Zombies

This actually happened many months ago but I never finished writing up the post. In fact its been so long I don't really remember much of it besides the recoil, my feeble grip, and the fact that if a zombie apocalypse were to happen while I was armed, I'm still doomed. Despite sucking at it, shooting was still a lot of fun!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Birthday Getaway

September has been a super busy month for me. Going to classes 6 days a week and also working on top of those days really has not left room for anything else for me. One thing I couldn't miss was David's birthday. Luckily my one weekend off in the month coincidentally occurred on the actual day of his birthday!

I've never really planned such a birthday adventure before. But after being explicitly told no monetary items I had to be a little more creative. Tossing him a brand name wallet and calling it a day wasn't going to work with this dude. Sure I could have just done the good ol' dinner and a movie. But come on, that's not going to raise any girlfriend bars with that.

Since I only had the weekend we couldn't go very far and I came up with going ATVing in Whistler. I've never done it before but it looked like it would be a lot of fun. Also at this time of year the weather would become crummy but I figured this is something we can do rain or shine.

When we were heading up to Whistler we were driving through some torrential rain that began to put a damper in our minds. Luckily a quick check with the tour company and we were told we would be provided with all the rain gear to keep us dry.

Birthday Boy

We were given these awesome bright and yellow suits to wear that kept us warm and dry. The rain actually made the experience even better. We got to plow through these giant puddles and drive through fantastic muddy trails along blackcomb mountain. We even got to see a bear during our tour! Silly me forgot to bring my camera so I just had my iphone to take photos.

Tiny black dot is a Black Bear!

Whistler black bears are notoriously chill and this one was no exception. The guy barely even raised his head at us as we  rolled on by in our noisy vehicles. Part of the tour was suppose to take us to the top of the mountain to give us the great view:

 Too bad it was so foggy. No worries though, we weren't really there for the view. Been there done that. Plowing through muddy trails and flying over hills on the other hand was something new.

Whistler Village in the Background
You can be given the option to be a ride along passenger instead of driving your own vehicle. But who wants to take the bitch seat? Driving your own ATV is much more fun. There were times when we would have to go up these vertical slopes that were all muddy and I thought there was no way I was going to make it, but my ATV just rolled right up with no problem!

It rained the entire time we were there. But it only made things better. Back at the hotel we got to soak in the outdoor hot tubs, being in the warm bubbly water with the cooling raindrops hitting you is the best feeling ever. Its a good thing we had a soak too, later that evening my arms felt so sore. I had to use them a lot to keep myself from falling off my ATV.

The days leading up to my Birthday get away was horrible. The one weekend I had off was suppose to be meant for working on projects and assignments, so I had to sacrifice much sleep to finish everything ahead of time. In the end I still found myself sitting in my hotel room in the morning typing up the last words to my report before submitting it online. The stress and anxiety of piling everything together was the hardest part. Going away was fun, but I never want to go through that again.

The next evening we came back to Vancouver and my mom had prepared a birthday dinner. David and Alpha actually shared the same birthday so we got to celebrate it together. Every year my mom makes a doggy cake for Alpha and this year was no exception. Luckily for D, she decided to get a separate cake for him. Alpha will probably disagree but I think chocolate cake is much tastier than liver cake.

Happy Birthday to 2 of my favourites!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Homemade Stew

Hello! Its been a long time since I've made any posts so I thought I'd make a small one. The other night D had me over and made dinner for me. Coming in from a hot summer day, stew wasn't really the first thing that I had in mind. However it seems stew has a soft spot in his heart (or belly perhaps?) as its a familiar reminder of home. It was very nice that he shared his mom's recipe with me.

I've always thought stews had to be super thick but this broth had a thin consistency, but when you tasted it it was so hearty and full of flavor.

It was served up with a side of cheese biscuits. I was in charge of bringing the biscuits, however at the store they had nothing but these cheese scones, and I figured it was a close enough match. And they did go well with the stew. The beef was nicely cooked: tender and full of flavor.

A simple dinner but I was impressed, he does know how to cook! For dessert we headed across a bridge and found ourselves in Menchies. Menchies is another froyo shop, this one had a variety of different flavours and it was a self serve.


I ended up with the purely tart and a mix of vanilla and chocolate. Loaded it up with cheesecake bits, mangos, and my favourite froyo topping: mochi! Added a dallop of strawberry sauce to it too. It looked like such a mess, I have no talent in making my froyo look good. But it was a great combination and it came out delicious! I can't say the same for D's creation though. He chose vanilla froyo and reese piece's. Seriously? 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Cardero's Restaurant

Last month Sam took me out on a "Oh God I'm sorry I wrecked your heels, threw up a little on you and cut your night short" dinner date. I would drag his half comatose body home anytime,  though next time perhaps not wearing high heels. But it was very nice of him to take me out either way.

We settled on trying Cardero's in coal harbour. Its in a nice location nestled right along the water. This was back in May, the sun was out but it was still a little too cold for patio. When we went inside we were greeted with an assortment of rustic marine decor and an open kitchen. It was super busy so I refrained from taking pictures.

What was really cool was their system of calling people when their table were ready. Instead of names or vibrating coasters you are given a card with your flag on it. When your table is ready they will actually raise your flag and ring a bell to notify you. We didn't actually get to participate in this though as we made reservations ahead of time. No waiting for us!

After placing our order we were served up with bread and the cutest butter I've ever seen. The butter is labeled!! How cool is that!? Or maybe I'm just easily amused.

Once again I had forgotten to take my camera out with me. But with good lighting, the iphone camera doesn't do too shabby of a job. We started with a dozen oysters and we happily slurped them down while chatting over amusing oyster anecdotes. When it comes to oysters, I generally just like mine with a dash of tabasco and lemon, but the sauce that accompanied these worked very well as well. 

Sesame Crusted Albacore Tuna
I ordered the tuna. See I guess this is why I should blog more recently as I've already forgotten what it tastes like. It was served up a wasabi dressing. It was very good, but clearly not memorable.

Sam had settled with the scallops. Look at how big they were! I'm never one to settle on scallops as an entree when it comes to deciding on what to eat, but these were quite nice. They were light charred on both sides and cooked to perfection on the inside. I actually wonder how chefs do that, because you can't exactly stick a thermometer into a scallop. I guess its just a watchful eye and timing.

After dinner we walked along the seawall and went to search for dessert. However the couple of places we thought of were already closed (!?) and after wandering around we went into this little Peruvian shop in Gastown. The food in there actually smelled really good, but we were just there for the finale.

Cardero's is a great choice if you want some place nice without breaking the bank. I used to recommend a lot of guests there without ever having tried it. Glad to know I didn't do them wrong.

Cardero's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mother's Day at E.B.O.

For certain unofficial holidays, I always found it kind of silly how people feel the need to congregate, fight for reservations and dine in loud, over packed restaurants all for the sake of celebrating an individual on that specific day. Holidays that come to mind are Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Father's Day. I believe I can celebrate their importance any day of the year. 

This actually works out in my favour, as my mom is so busy and has an unpredictable schedule we didn't get to celebrate anywhere during the M-day weekend. Instead on the spur of the moment a week later when I caught her and my entire family free, I took them out to have dinner at E.B.O. Restaurant. 

This is also why I did not have my camera on hand, which I am quite devestated by because it was an amazing meal and I really wanted to blog about it. But now all I have are these mediocre iphone photos. Guess this just means I will have to visit again. 

E.B.O stands for experiences beyond ordinary, when I first heard that I thought it was kind of corny, but it does grow on you.

When we arrived we were seated in this lovely corner of the restaurant that had a round table and some translucent curtains to give a little more privacy. The restaurant is very pretty, not something you would really expect to find in Burnaby. The upside to waiting out the Mday rush is the restaurant was relatively quiet that evening so we had super attentative service and dishes being served in a timely manner.

I forgot to mention that my mother is so hard to please. Whenever I take her out to dinner I feel kind of anxious, because probably 50% of the time, she is not impressed with the places that I take her to. I think I had inherited my picky palette from her.

Roasted Scallops

For our appetizer we started with roasted scallops. They were cooked perfectly and I like how it was seared on both sides. However upon the first bite, it was so salty I wanted to spit it back out. With the first course already being a slump I was like 'oh god. Mom will not like this experience.' We had a rocky start but it was totally forgiven with everyone's entrees. 

Roast Rack of Lamb

A lot of the menu items looked so good and I was torn between what to order. I ended up ordering the rack of lamb, the portion was quite generous and it was delicious. I've never had lamb cooked so tenderly before. I convinced Eunice to have a bite, as she never eats lamb and even she found it good, there wasn't a gamey taste to it what so ever. The round thing was polenta, with what I believe to be egg whites on top. It was interesting, though I think I would have preferred the good ol' mashed potatoes. 

Slow Cooked Fraser Valley Chicken

 My mom ordered the chicken, which I think had the prettiest plating. The black smudge is what I believe to be squid ink. It was served up on a bed of risotto. The chicken was amazing. I never knew chicken could be so impressive, it was cooked to perfection and the flavors melded so well. The risotto was just right, with a good balance of flavor and it wasn't too heavy. Mom loved it. Because of that it wouldn't even matter if everyone else was served up with burnt food, Mom enjoyed it. EBO wins. Everyone did enjoy their dishes as well.

Seafood Linguini 

Seafood linguini was loaded with an assortment of seafood. Once again the scallops were too salty but since it was accompanied with the linguini it was okay. I believe it was squid (or maybe octopus) ink mixed with the pasta that gave it that colour. I thought it was pretty cool!

Can't remember which cut of steak this was...

Cured Salmon

Winston just came from another dinner so he ordered two appies. I think I labeled them properly. Ugh seeing these pictures makes me want to kick myself. The plating was an artwork on its on and I am not doing it justice!! 

Basil Cheesecake
For dessert we had the Basil Cheesecake. The portions were tiny but we were so stuffed by then, only a couple of us even went for it so it worked out. It was very interesting, the cheesecake flavour is light and you get a hint of the basil. There are plops of different sauces you can plunge your cheesecake into, I liked the raspberry plop the most, it was super tart but it made a great contrast with the cheesecake. The basil leaves are pressed with sugar, and it was so cool. They melt in your mouth and its sweet and you get a taste of the herb. Dessert wasn't a hit with everyone but I thought it was very unique. 

Overall, we had a great time at EBO. Avoided the mother's day crowd, had a lovely evening with my family and most importantly: Mom was impressed. Any restaurant that will treat my mom well is a winner in my books. I definitely will return again and this time armed with a real camera.

EBO Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Of Desserts

I have the biggest sweet tooth. If I had to pick a favourite meal of the day, dessert would hands down be my favourite. Of course I guess technically its not really a meal by itself. But I think we should, desserts deserve their independence! I'm surprised I haven't featured more dessert spots yet, as I'm willing to go the distance for a good dessert.

Desserts also make the most delectable photographs.

Chocolate Berries Brussels Waffle

I had the chance to try Tealips Cafe in Burnaby. If all the people sitting inside were not a giveaway of its popularity, their use of the fancy vibrating coasters was probably a second. After placing an order we were given one and told to be patient, the wait wasn't so long, but even if it was I wholly forgive them as their waffles looked great.

Matcha & Red Bean Leige Waffle

The red bean and green tea waffle was mine. As wonderful as their plating was, I was disappointed to find that their waffles aren't made in house. These leige waffles are re-heated and slightly too sweet. I had once bought a box that tasted eerily the same from Costco. After the realization of this, the amount I paid made me realize what an incredible mark up it was. The matcha and everything was good, however I don't need to pay someone for a waffle I can buy myself.

I plan on going back again though as I didn't get a chance to try their bubble teas (gasp). I hope they will be good, Tealips is a nice place to hang out in Burnaby.

It was a long time coming but I finally had a chance to try this new soda shop that had opened in my own neighborhood. I had passed by it so many times but never found the right combination of weather/freetime/friend to go with me. Glenburn Soda Fountain and Confectionery is a charming little shop which features nostalgic decor and desserts like those you see in the old movies. I really wanted to say "back in the day" except, I didn't exactly exist then so I can't use that phrase.


The store itself is simplistic and they use charkboard menus. I actually didn't know what a lot of things were in the menu but the owner was happy to explain to me. We ended up ordering a special creation, the Toonerville Treat. It was kind of expensive I believe somewhere around $10, but it was shared between the 2 of us and still destroyed both of us. Plus, the Sundae was amazing.

Toonerville Treat

 The ice cream, caramel, cookies, maltesers, whipped cream and the walnuts made for a party in my mouth. Oh and lets not forget the chocolate fudge. Oh my god their homemade chocolate sauce was delicious. It had a wonderful fudgey texture, chocolateyness and just the right amount of sweetness. I still find myself thinking about it. I've become a convert. I can never pick up a chocolate sundae from Dairy Queen or anywhere else anymore.

(Its actually probably been almost two months between me trying it and actually blogging about it now. It still stands out so vividly in my mind and taste-buds.)

I want to sit at the bar next time!
 The shelves are lined with all the different types of Sodas. I believe they mix and carbonate their sodas on the spot. I really wanted to see it in action, but perhaps next time I'll try ordering a soda... if I can somehow resist a sundae. They also had a variety of different candies that you could also purchase as well.

I'm guessing these candies are from a more vintage era as well as they are not your usual Aero or kit kat bars. The family running the joint were very nice and the kids did a great job managing the till. Super cute too. I think desserts are also my favourite thing to photograph. Lets get another angle of that majestic beast:

Toonerville Treat

Absolutely Destroyed.

I can't wait to go back and try some of their other creations. I'm so happy such a great dessert spot has opened up in my neighborhood. 

Why must desserts taste so good when they are so bad for me. But this is no love hate relationship. Just love. I love desserts.

Glenburn Soda Fountain & Confectionery on UrbanspoonTealips Bubble Tea & Coffee on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


My friend Winnie made an annoucement that she was making portabello mushroom burgers and zucchini sticks and had an open invitation for anybody that was interested to join her for lunch. Luckily for me I finished work right at the stroke of noon so I jumped at the opportunity. I get to have an afternoon with Winnie and I get lunch made for me. Does it get any better than that?

It does, the weather has been absolutely gorgeous in Vancouver this weekend. The heat has really picked up but after what felt like a full year of winter and gray rainy days I welcome it with open arms. I arrive at Winnie's house, and it was nice to step into her cool home and out of the warm heat. Now that I think about it, I wonder if she had air conditioning on because the temperature was significantly cooler than outside.

When it comes to cooking, Winnie is so creative and innovative. Well, innovative to me anyways, because she is constantly whipping up different recipes and different dishes. Often its things I've never even fathomed making myself. Today was no exception.

 I'm currently on a diet at the moment (which might explain the halt in food posts) where I'm cutting down on my carb intake. I mentioned that to her and just told her I just won't have the burger bun but I'll eat all the insides. To my surprise, she had modified her burgers and made lettuce wraps instead and made half her zucchini sticks breaded.  She really didn't need to do that but it was so thoughtful that she did! Diets suck hard but supportive friends really make it feel better! For those that go "bah! screw diet! Just eat what you want!" I want to say go to hell, except I probably was one of those people before too.

When I heard mushroom burgers I imagined a steak patty with a mushroom on top, turns out there was no patty but a vegetarian burger. Ugh. What the hell is that right? I was wrong, it was so good. I didn't think a bunch of vegetables trying to call themselves a burger would be so successful.

Our lettuce burgers consisted of a giant organic portabello mushroom topped with tomatoes, onions, red peppers, cheese and mayonnaise. The zucchini sticks was served up with a side of home made taziki sauce. It was delicious. It was light, healthy and surprisingly very filling. I'm always one that prefers my meat and wouldn't even consider the vegetarian options.. so you can take my word when I say its good.