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A few of my favourite things…halloumi

18 May

Hello, foodie friend. Have you met halloumi yet? If not, then it is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to this salty, crispy cheese.

Halloumi originated in Cyprus and is traditionally made with sheep and goat’s milk (yet it isn’t as tangy as goat’s cheese). It is salty with a texture similar to mozzarella, that is, until it is fried. Once fried, it becomes a crispy, golden slab of “squeaky” cheese. The world is a better place because of halloumi.

Halloumi is great for BBQ’s because it retains its firmness, even once grilled. I classify halloumi as a vegetarian steak because it is savoury, grill-friendly, and tasty. But vegetarians aren’t the only ones who should enjoy halloumi. Halloumi can be eaten on its own or you could add it to salads to beef them up a bit. Personally, I am quite happy eating stacks of golden, warm halloumi on their own.

In Vancouver it can be difficult to find halloumi but I have found it for sale at Whole Foods, les amis du FROMAGE, and Benton Brothers. Over the next few weeks, I will endeavour to find some recipes that use halloumi so that I can show you how versatile this delightful cheese can be.

A few of my favourite things…brunch!

4 Dec

I don’t think I’ve met anyone that dislikes brunch. Seriously, what is there to dislike?? If you want breakfast foods, you can have ‘em. If you want lunch, you can have that too. Prefer sweet to savoury? Have it! It is even socially acceptable to drink at brunch – Mimosa, Caesars, or Bloody Marys, anyone? Yay to drinking before noon!

Hawksworth’s French Toast.

Nelson the Seagull Breakfast.

I truly think that brunch is my favourite meal to eat out, not because the food is better than dinner (no way) but because it is more casual than dinner. You can rock up with no make-up, wearing jeans and a comfy top, and not feel self-conscious. You can be hung-over from the night before, and not be judged. As a bonus to all this, prices are usually more affordable and you get to do it all whilst buzzing on coffee!

Latte from Revolver.

Short Rib Hash from West.

Stuffed French Toast from West.

My weekends typically consist of traipsing all over town looking for new places to brunch at, or visiting favourite brunch spots. My favourite place for brunch is West, the standard of service and food is so high that I really can’t think of anyone doing it better in the city.

Home-made mushrooms on toast.

Other places that I’ve been happy with are Market by Jean-GeorgesProvence MarinasideTwisted Fork BistroTableauWildebeest, and Yolks (a food truck). Brunch is also great at home (B makes a killer brunch) but I must admit that I prefer going out for brunch. Partly because I hate doing dishes, but mostly because I love the wide range of options available to me.

A few of my favourite things…cupcakes!

4 Nov

I admit it, I have a sweet tooth. So it should come as no surprise that I love cupcakes. I have a particular weakness for fresh out of the oven, still slightly warm, plain vanilla cupcakes. My favourite toppings are peanut butter frosting and butter-cream frosting, but almost anything will do (except canned frosting…quite simply, no, no, no!).

Cupcakes are in my book of awesome because:

1/ They are precisely enough to satisfy a sugar craving as they aren’t too big, nor too small.

2/ You can quickly, and with very limited fuss, bake a batch of cupcakes and have them ready to eat in less than an hour. (Hello cupcake batter!)

3/ It is much harder to mess up baking cupcakes than an actual full-size cake.

4/ They can be so damn cute!

I am quite particular about my cupcakes though. I only like cupcakes baked from scratch (and really they are so easy to bake there should be no reason to cut corners) and I don’t like a lot of frosting. I mostly end up scraping a lot of it off as I prefer to be able to taste, and enjoy, the cake rather than just a mouthful of frosting.

What are your favourite type of cupcakes? Do you prefer to buy them or bake them yourself?

A few of my favourite things…macarons!

28 Oct

Yes, I must admit that I, like most female foodies here in Vancouver, am a sucker for these sweet, rainbow-coloured morsels.

Che Baba’s Macarons

Macarons appear to be one of the biggest food crazes to hit Vancouver since cupcakes went big and the amount of places now selling them has grown considerably. Whilst some Vancouver foodies truly worship, critique, and scrutinize every macaron they can get their hands on, I’m not as particular but I do have a fondness for Thierry Patisserie’s macarons. The reason I like them so much comes down to the slight crunch that gives way to the chewy biscuit, the creamy filling, and then the hidden fruit filling (for some of them).

Thierry’s lychee and lime macaron

As I mentioned before, there are so many places taking advantage of the popularity of macarons that you can find them in almost any bakery.  Thomas Haas, Faubourg, Bel Cafe, Soirette, Che Baba, Ganache Patisserie, and French Made Baking, are all local places that spring to mind that sell these colourful delights.

A few of my favourite things…food magazines!

14 Oct

For me, there is something so incredibly satisfying about curling up on the couch with my favourite beverage and opening the crisp, glossy pages of a new food magazine. My personal favourites are the drool-inducing “delicious.“, “Donna Hay“, and “Jamie“. With a variety of recipes, descriptive and mouth-watering text, and endless tantalizing food photos, I can read these for hours. As a cook, a blogger, and wannabe food photographer, I get a lot of inspiration from these excellent examples of food magazines.

A few of my favourite things…sparkling wine!

10 Sep

We all have them; our favourite things. Those things that make our hearts happy. Those things that make us giddy with excitement, or make us ooze superlatives when we experience them. For me, a lot of these things are food related and so I’m starting a series of posts based on my favourite food related things. Let’s kick off the series with one of my absolute favourites; sparkling wine!

You can call it champagne, sparkling wine, cava, or prosecco – I don’t care what it is called, I just love the bubbly stuff! From the sound of the “pop” that signals the opening of a cold bottle, to the beads of bubbles dancing up the side of a delicate flute, I’m in love with it all.

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