Posts Tagged ‘Food’

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Dine Out Vancouver 2008

Woooh… time to start catching up with some blog entries! I’ll start with the little bit of budget fine dining I was able to experience. I went to a few nice restaurants during Dine Out Vancouver 2008 with Shirley, John, Alex, and Ben. Thanks mostly to John for picking the restaurants! I just kinda tagged along. The pictures were taken by Shirley, the official Gifu Gang photographer. The descriptions were taken verbatim from the menus. This is what I had:

The Cannery

The Cannery Appetizer
Black Bean Lemon Soup
with habanero pepper, sour cream, chorizo and herb croutons

The Cannery Main Course
Grilled Wild Pacific Salmon
sauteed Portobello mushrooms, wilted arugula and chive, in a mussel jus nectar cream sauce

The Cannery Dessert
Bitter Chocolate Tower
with a concassee of caramelized Agassiz hazelnut


Cru Appetizer
Beef tenderloin Carpaccio
with caperberries, truffle aioli and shaved parmesan

Cru Main Course
Roasted Lamb Loin
with blue cheese souffle, oven-dried tomatoes and haricots vert (green beans)

Cru Dessert
Grand Cru Chocolate Torte
with raspberry mousse and coulis

Bluewater Cafe

Bluewater Appetizer
Seafood Trio
prawn in filo with mango-chili puree, clam fritter with cumin-tomato sauce, scallop ceviche with blood orange

Bluewater Main Course
Arctic Char a la Plancha
stir-fried rice with shiitake mushrooms and long beans, lobster sauce

Bluewater Dessert
Chocolate Melody
dark chocolate mousse cake, madelaine, sorbet, lady finger

All three were $35 set meals. That was the order that we went, and I’d say they increased in quality: The Cannery being the least impressive (but certainly not bad, and they have a very nice view), Cru being very good (but they’ll rape you for a glass of wine, their selection of which is something they’re known for), and Bluewater Cafe being excellent (but I think Bluewater will pretty much rape you for anything). Service was great at all three. Food was generally great, as well. That lobster sauce from the Bluewater dish was pretty much the best thing ever. Both the desserts from Cru and Bluewater were absolutely delicious. Bluewater was was a little more formal and the only place which I felt I may have been under dressed – it’s also the most expensive normally, making the $35 dine-out more worthwhile.

Head over to Shirley‘s Flickr to see more pictures. John didn’t take as many, but the ones he got are also very good.

Happy Holidays 2007

christmas tree

Turkey dinner

I had a good Christmas. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hung out with family (and a couple students), ate copious amounts of turkey and sweets, and drank a pleasant variety of cocktails. I got a few interesting gifts, including: a larger tripod (used when taking the photo of the tree, above), Holey Soles (wearing and loving them now), and a Wii Zapper (with Link’s Crossbow Training). All of these things were on my wishlist. Turkey dinner #2 is coming up tonight… but I’m still full from last night. I think my new year’s resolution will be to lose the weight I will have gained in the last week of 2007. ๐Ÿ˜›

To all my friends and family around the world, Happy Holidays! ๐Ÿ™‚

Cold Turkey Salad

Cold Turkey Saladโ€ฆ yummy!

I had this yesterday and it was so good I’m having it again today. It’s a nice salad for a hot day, made from a bunch of stuff that happened to be in the fridge:

  • Mixed organic greens
  • turkey
  • avocado
  • red pepper
  • apple
  • orange
  • pine nuts
  • dried cranberries
  • raspberry vinaigrette

Okay, so the pine nuts and dried cranberries weren’t in the fridge. Eaten with a bowl of cherries and ice water. If I was fancy (had money), I think I’d have some nice white wine. ๐Ÿ™‚

Graduation at UBC and Dinner in the Cove

On Monday, May 28th, 2007, I had the fortune of officially graduating UBC with a Bachelor of Science. The degree fails to mention both my major, Computer Science, and Co-op. Anyway, feels very good to be done! ๐Ÿ˜€


You can’t tell, but that piece of paper has writing on it written in my blood (sweat, and tears – especially tears). I know, the hood isn’t on straight… it kept moving around… hard to pin those on by oneself!

Some of my family were nice enough to come out and take blurry pictures of me walking across a stage. ๐Ÿ˜› Speaking of which, I should get the pictures from my dad’s camera… I don’t have that many in my own camera. I did, however, take quite a few pictures of our dinner, later in the evening. We went to the Arm’s Reach Bistro (dinehere), in Deep Cove. I’ve been there for breakfast, and enjoyed eggs benedict (probably my absolute favourite breakfast!) but never for dinner. During dinner, I received a couple cards of congratulations that were quite touching, and I very nearly shed a tear! (That’s saying quite a bit for me!) Thanks to everyone that came out. ๐Ÿ™‚


From left to right: my brother’s girlfriend, my brother, my mom, my younger sister, me, my dad’s fiancee’s daughter, my dad’s fiancee, my dad, my oldest sister. Unfortunately (for her! ๐Ÿ˜› ) my other sister, who lives in Squamish, couldn’t make it.

Now for the food. Descriptions were taken from the site’s menu… cuz it’s easy that way. ๐Ÿ˜€ Added comments in parentheses.


Baked Brie

baked brie with basil pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and drizzled with aged balsamic reduction. served with grilled pita wedges. $9 (This was very good, and the picture was the only one I took without flash… got lazy.)

The calamari ($8) was also very good and not too oily. They could have been more generous with the marinara sauce, and they surprisingly did not have any tzatziki sauce, but the marinara sauce was excellent, anyway.

Main Dishes


seared jumbo scallops wrapped in pancetta served with an asparagus cream sauce. $25 (This was awesome. It came with four scallops, a wedge of both roasted yellow and red bell peppers, a bit of asparagus and some risotto with an excellent asparagus cream sauce. Yummy. It was my favourite dish I tried – it was also the most expensive.)
Butter Chicken

CBC curried butter chicken with cashews, ginger, cilantro and madras in a tomato, yogurt sauce served with jasmine rice. $12 (I didn’t try this, but I’m told it’s good.)
Penne Chicken

penne chicken with asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, extra virgin olive oil and basil chiffonade. $12 (My mom ordered this dish. It was very good.)

I also tried the seafood linguini ($14) and wasn’t very impressed. I found the “white wine and pesto” sauce lacking flavour. I only tried the noodles and sauce, however, so I may not be best to judge on it – but my brother also said it was just “alright.” My younger sister ordered the gorgonzola and prosciutto penne ($14) and said that there wasn’t enough prosciutto. I got to try a bit with some prosciutto and it was quite good, but without the prosciutto I’m sure it loses a lot. ๐Ÿ™‚


Creme Brulee

vanilla bean creme brulee. $6 (I took this picture after the fancy caramelized top had been consumed. Apparently, it was very good.)

So dinner was very good, overall. I’d recommend it and return myself. They have a varied menu with something that should please everyone and dishes within quite a large price range ($12-$32) catering to how rich you’re feeling. Appetizers didn’t take long and the main dishes came shortly after – the service was very prompt except for the long wait we had for the single creme brulee at the end. The service was good except for missing an order of salad. Also, there was an automatic gratuity of 15% added (because we were a large group, I presume). This seems to be the becoming norm, and I don’t really mind it (unless the service is bad, I suppose) but I don’t recall being informed of it prior to and it seems like the customer should have control over the tip. Anyway, I recommend it! If you’re going for breakfast, I recommend the excellent Timo’s Benny:

two poached eggs on english muffins with smoked salmon. spinach red onions and house-made hollandaise sauce. $10

And if you go, be sure to let me know! My house is a mere 10-15 minute walk away. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Me and my dinner

Steve likes scallops. He does.

short term past/present/future


Had a nice get-together with the gifu-crew, on Sunday. Chinese-Taiwanese-Japanese fusion hot-pot shabu shabu. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ The pot was courtesy of Shirley (thanks!), despite her not being able to make it. Unfortunately, I don’t think there were are any pictures captured in the digital medium to show. But it was good times!

Ubuntu Feisty

My Desktop PC was not able to complete a dist-upgrade of Ubuntu from Dapper to Feisty, and consequently has trouble booting. Yes, I tried skipping Edgy, and I advise you not to do the same. I’ve decided I’m just going to start with a fresh install, because my system was very cluttered with stuff I don’t use or need. So I started going about backing stuff up, from a live CD boot onto my external USB drive… it was becoming very apparent that this would be painfully time consuming, as I was quickly running out of space. Easiest solution? Get another hard drive. I did that and am now running Feisty. Most of my settings and everything have been transferred and I must say I’m very impressed with the latest Ubuntu. Videos seem to “just work” on Gstreamer Totem, and many things seem much snappier. It will be making its way to my laptop soon, as well.


When my computers are all back and healthy, I plan on regulating a few short-term goals:

  • Reading a chapter a day in my Python book, Dive into Python. I think I’m on Chapter 6 or something, at the moment.
  • Blogging every 2-3 days. I don’t need to have earth shattering news to report (do I ever?), but if I can’t say a little something every few days, then I’m certainly not doing enough with my time.
  • Update blog aesthetics. ’nuff said.
  • Enjoy the sunshine, when it comes.

I was planning on making a nautilus extension for easy image resizing, but someone beat me to the punch. It uses ImageMagick, is pretty much what I had in mind, and seems to work great. ๐Ÿ™‚ I just tested it out with my meal from the Cloud 9 rotating restaurant, on March 8th. (I went there to take advantage of their extended Dine out Vancouver with a couple friends.) I now demand that you become hungry, with pictures of FOOD!

links of the day

holy crap, I have a blog!

Ah right. Forgot about this. Okay fine, I knowingly neglected it. Not completely, though… I had a partially written post from a few months ago, but it never made the transition from Tomboy to WP. Things to report:

First thing’s first. January has come and gone (along with a few other months…):

I got a pretty sweet blazer from my brother. It’s a little big, and almost too warm to wear now, but I like it. Saw Children of Men with Kurt and Jesse. Great movie. Longest, craziest takes ever! Have also since been to a restaurant called the Foundation (on 6th and Main, I think). I had an awesome dish of beans and rice with papaya and lime sauce… so good, I must go again and try making it myself. We also went to an Ethiopian restaurant on Commercial and stuffed ourselves silly with our bare hands. Like men are meant to do. Food and service were really good. Price, ironically, was a little steep. Oh yeah, and now Kurt is in Brazil….

Speaking of travelling. I will not be going to Japan. I did not get accepted into JET. I had a bad feeling after the interview in February, so I’m not terribly surprised, but I am disappointed. I was looking forward to going to Japan again… even if I got stuck in some remote place. But more importantly, I must now decide what I will do. Do I look for a job? In Vancouver? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

I don’t really have any plans, at the moment, aside from enjoying my summer and learning up some computer stuff (in preparation for job interviews, i guess). I just finished my History exam, last night, so school’s pretty much behind me. Have a couple meetings left and that’s it! Felt kind of elated on the bus home, last night – I guess I’m happy to finally be finishing school. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I plan on lots of rollerblading. Too bad the seawall will be closed. Really… that sucks. ๐Ÿ™ I’ll have to go back and forth in English Bay or something.

I also meant to apply for Google’s Summer of Code. And, on the very last day, I had an idea and figured, “sure. why not?” So I put together an application as fast as I could not expecting to be chosen, and I wasn’t. My idea was really “out there” too. ๐Ÿ™‚ Still, like JET, disappointed. That woulda been awesome. I’ll see if I can put together my idea for another post… and I may work on it anyways, this summer.

For some cheap amusement in Wii Weather channel, zoom into the Turks and Caicos Islands, to the north-east of Cuba. ๐Ÿ™‚

Bitter Sweet

Yesterday, I was at a cafe with my friend, Jesse. We each bought a coffee and a cookie for our nutritional kick-start of the day (around noon, at the time). I gave my visa card to the well-endowed clerk to pay for my purchase, and she gave me the debit user-input pad saying “You have to confirm.”

Huh? Um… Okay. “Purchase $3-something Okay?” I click Okay.

“Tip?” I think I actually made an audible grunt of surprise. Whatever. Fine. She’s nice to look at, I guess I’ll give her 15%. I’m so weak. “Purchase $4-something okay?” Okay.

I took my newly purchased beverage over to the counter to sweeten it up. Now, this may sound strange, but I actually prefer the taste of non-sugar sweeteners to actual sugar. Maybe this is because I’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth, and I don’t like adding so much sugar to my coffee. And I figure I could lose some weight, maybe not adding so much sugar would help. As I explain this to Jesse, he says something along the lines of “Weight or cancer, one of ’em will get ya.” I added one packet of sweetener, and one of sugar (regretfully, I missed the brown sugar).

Later in the day, I was in a computer lab at school working on project with my group. Jesse had given me a Tab energy drink earlier. He said he didn’t like the taste of non-sugar sweetener. I was kind of thirsty, so I pulled it out of my bag and was about to drink it. One of my group members said, “You know that stuff’s carcinogenic, right?”

“That’s what people say.”

“So… why do you drink it?”

“I dunno… tastes good?” I enjoyed my energy drink.

Since the start of this school term, I’ve been drinking a coffee sweetened with a sugar-substitute nearly every day. So this morning, I decided to look into the controversy over these sweet things I enjoy.

My current sweeteners at home are Sugar-Twin and some no name “calorie-free” sweetener. Both contain sodium cyclamate. Both say, “Use only at the advice of a physician” and both are available on the shelf of any grocery store, in Canada. In the US and the UK, cyclamate has been banned since 1969 and 1970, respectively, due to some tests on rats linking cyclamate to bladder cancer. According to Wikipedia, Sugar-Twin does not contain cyclamate in the US market, but instead uses saccharin, which has been banned in Canada since 1977, excpet for diabetic usage. Tab Energy apparently uses sucralose as its sweetener, which seems to be the least controversial. Many other low-calorie soft-drinks currently use aspartame as the sweetener, which has been linked to brain tumours. Of course, all of these “links” are not of the greatest strength.

For a seriously fascinating read, check out the Wikipedia article on sugar substitutes. For a much less fascinating read, search Canadian Food and Health regulations.

Now, as I finish my cyclamate-sweetened coffee, I embark on a painful journey of homework and assignments. I wonder if that’s the cause of this slight bitterness….

Whatever you use, use it in happy moderation. ๐Ÿ™‚

Python Workshop, Pets, and Salmon

Vancouver Python Workshop

Had a good (and very geeky) time. Met some cool people (including a local Summer-of-Coder)! Sweet. I was almost always in the “Beginner Track,” as I was completely unfamiliar with the language. Paul Prescod did an excellent job of offering a two-day introduction to the Python language, and Jim O’Leary had a great 45 minutes on object orientation. (I’ve never before seen anyone try to cover polymorphism in 5 minutes.) I wish most of it moved at a faster pace, but I understand that there was a large range of skills and backgrounds in the room. All the slides are supposed to be available soon through the website, for anyone interested.

Python’s really cool. I can see myself using it quite a bit. I even got a really cool idea for a project while going for a run, the other day! We’ll see how that comes.

Adopting Pets

Over the last several months, I’ve adopted a catch and release program whenever I find a spider in the house. I put it in a container and release it at the bottom of the driveway when I get a chance. Well, I do find these creatures quite interesting, and I found a rather large jumping spider[1] on the deck, which I found especially interesting! I’ve been reluctant to release him, cuz he’s so cool! The problem? Well, I have to feed him, of course. So far, he’s eaten a pill bug I found for him, and two other (smaller) spiders that I didn’t really intend as food….

Actually, I took the container outside with me , looking for “spider food.” At this point, it contained an ant, the large jumping spider, and a smaller spindly spider. For purposes of brevity, lets refer to the jumping spider as “BJ,” and the little spider as “Petey.” I released the ant because he was able to fit through one of the holes at the top (the spiders didn’t seem interested in him), so I just flicked him away. But when the spiders saw him crawl through a hole, they got really excited! I’m not sure if they saw it as food escaping or verification that it was possible. Both BJ and Petey crawled up to the top of the container and started feeling around.

For a couple of days, these spiders had been living together with no conflict, but when excited little Petey got too close to BJ, BJ lashed out at Petey. So Petey scuttled off, wounded, and now *really* wanting to get out. BJ just sat there watching… and waiting, I guess. Petey tried to squeeze through one of the holes, and managed to get two legs and half his body through. He pulled up and tried another one. All the holes are the same size, so he made about the same progress: 2 legs and half his body. BJ leaped on Petey’s helplessly stuck self, and that was the end of poor ‘lil Petey, his legs twitching. I felt pretty sad for the little guy, I was actually planning on releasing him right after the ant.

Anyways, I took lots of pictures of BJ and he’s been quite entertaining. I released him, today.

MMmmmm, Food

I cooked salmon, last night. It was very good, if I do say so, myself. Jesse declined the invite, but Kurtis was willing to come over for a late dinner. ๐Ÿ™‚

Some Link Spewage

  • Synergy is a very nice way to use one keyboard and mouse to control multiple desktops, over the network. I just started using it for my desktop & laptop.
  • is fantastic. Join it. Add me as friend. I’m friendly. izm99
  • If you use Linux, I recommend last-exit as a player. (Of course, I may be toolkit-biased).

  • Excellent talk on how Google is getting people to want to work for them. for free.
  • Vancouver coffee shops that offer free wireless (with reviews!). Been told these weren’t terribly reliable, however.
  • The Fireworks are over. I didn’t go.
  • This looks interesting.
  • Google Browser Sync
  • Cheap domain names (according to a VanLUG newsgroup discussion):

Cramming the Snake

Yesterday, I had a nice time relaxing. Went for a bit of a bike ride to the park, played on the swings for a while (I friggin love swings!), got a venti coffee Frappuccino, took a look at Myung-Jin’s new camera (she is one of our current homestay students), did some blogging, and made hamburgers. And ate ’em! MMM MMmmm. Today, I got up late and went for a hike/jog up Quarry Rock in Deep Cove.

  • 10 minute jog from my house to the trail entrance, in Deep Cove
  • 18 minute jog/hike to the lookout point on Quarry Rock
  • It was SO NICE (as usual) up there, that I stayed for a long time. Took off my shirt and let the strong sea breeze cool me off. I didn’t want to leave!
  • 15 minute jog/hike back down to the trail entrance
  • and I mostly walked back, stretching and enjoying the scenery (well, I was mostly just tired)

I’ve since hydrated and showered myself. Now, I have to learn whatever I can of Python, as I’ll be going to the Vancouver Python Workshop. I’m looking forward to it!

I think I’ll have one of those tasty burgers for a late-lunch/early-dinner.

I want to make ramen

My Laptop! Got my laptop back, on Thursday. Amazing, it was almost exactly 2 weeks after I dropped it off that they called and said I could pick it up – exactly what they predicted. Turns out the PCMCIA was just loose, so they just fit it back into place and everything works again. New machine would have been better, but this is fine w/me. ๐Ÿ™‚ Goodbye warrenty. ๐Ÿ™

Visited Ben & Mayu after work, on Friday. Had a relaxing evening of wine, sushi, and the food network. I should stop by more often, they’re practically on my way home from work. Oh, and Ben lent me Tanpopo. I’ve wanted to see this movie ever since we were given a 5 minute teaser scene at the Co-Op Japan orientation at UVic (3 years ago?). Its uniqueness drew me in, and I couldn’t stop. What initially started as a 10 minute “I’ll just see what it’s like” session, turned into a 2 hour “I must completely consume this movie” session. Yeah, a little bit of a pun (the movie’s all about food); I’m allowed one.

TV Stuff

24. After fervently getting through the first season, I understood why everyone liked it. Currently awaiting the completion of the 2nd and 3rd seasons. Oh marathon, here we come. And House is one I got interested in during its 2nd season, so now I’m watching the first. Awesome show. The main character is constantly playing psychological games with his staff and patients. Plus, he has a DS.

The DS

Metroid Hunters looks pretty awesome. Wireless handheld classic Deathmatch. Yummy. And I haven’t actually tried playing it, but the control looks like it is much closer to mouse aiming than analog sticks. And the new DS (Lite) looks way better. Nintendo’s gone and sexed it up some good. I’m not sure how popular the DS is in North America, but I had no idea it was so popular in Japan… so popular that some retailers are actually “buying units back from customers to support the shortage.

Also… Zelda DS (check the vid – music gets me pumped every time) and the New Mario Bros. DS look pretty sweet. Couldn’t find a good (recent) video of Mario DS….

Lastly, I must pimp Lux and mention that I’m now on book 7 of WoT. (Holy crap, when will this monster end?!)

Oh yeah, 8 comments needing moderation since adding that “kindergarten” question, nearly 2 weeks ago. Well, off to bed. Another week begins.