Exciting Easter Announcements!

Easter Bunny Kitten Cat
Happy belated Easter everyone!  We are just recovering from an eventful long weekend that saw a few exciting developments for Eat ‘n About which we would like to share with our readers.

Field Trip

Eat ‘n About is proud to announce our partnership with Field Trip (click to get it now), an incredibly cool app from the creator of Google Earth.  It’s been called “the future of augmented reality”, and it “may become the basis of your daily reality in five or 10 years“.  Field Trip allows you to interact with your environment by using your GPS coordinates to suggest things of interest nearby, and point the way via a Google Maps interface.  Plus it gives you a ton of inside info about your surroundings.

 

You’ve got to try Field Trip for yourself to see how fun this app can be for rediscovering your own backyard, and it’s an absolute must for travel.  For a small example of what Field Trip has to offer, think historical buildings, hidden parks, interesting places to shop, or yummy places to eat.  That’s where we come in.  Give the app a try on your iOS, Android device, or Google glass (looks pretty awesome in the video, right?), and let Eat ‘n About be your guide to some of the best eateries in Vancouver…and Beyond!

Flipboard

I’m sure most of you have Flipboard by now but if you don’t, get it now because you’re missing out!  It’s definitely a cross-device “killer app” and comes bundled with many new devices these days.  Even if you don’t have a smart device you can flip along on your desktop.  A super intuitive interface allows you to “flip” through your favourite magazines just like you’re reading a traditional hard copy, and all in one convenient location.

And guess what else?  Eat ‘n About now has a Flipboard magazine with all sorts of intriguing food stories from around the web, alongside articles from yours truly >.<  Check out Eat ‘n About Magazine on Flipboard and get your free subscription!

The Besty

One more scoop of awesomesauce, in the form of a featured article from TheBesty.com  The Besty is a great concept where you can list your favourite restaurants in various categories, and browse other people’s lists.  Famous users span the range from Anthony Bourdain all the way (way) down to Kim Kardashian.  And now Eat ‘n About!  Read our feature here, check out our lists, and give us a Besty follow while you’re at it.  We’d love to see what your favourite restaurants are on The Besty too!

Well, that’s all for now folks.  Don’t forget to subscribe (right sidebar on desktop or down below on mobile) for more exciting developments in the near future.

Fig Spread Recipe – No Added Sugar!

I gotta admit. Fresh figs underwhelm me. They always look so appealing and promising but when I bite into one, aside from the apparent and plain sweetness, there isn’t much flavor to them. Hitman loves them fresh but I just don’t get it.

Dried figs, however, are a whole different story. Soft, slightly chewy with highly concentrated flavor, I think dried figs beats fresh anytime!

And then Hitman’s mom introduced dried figs to me in a whole new dimensionas a fig spread! Homemade in fact, and she shared this super easy fig spread recipe with me.

The best part is, you don’t need to add any additional sugar or sweetener. The dried figs themselves are sweet enough. No pectin either. And certainly no canning. Trust me. This is super easy.

Not to mention cheap! If you look out for sales at Superstore or Wal Mart you can get enough for two jars for around a dollar. Or if you’re a health buff you can buy 1.13 kilos of unsulfured organic Calimyrna figs at Costco for $13. Compare that with the $4 per jar we used to pay for naturally sweetened jam and making the fig spread recipe instead is a no-brainer. These are Canadian prices so it should be even cheaper for our American readers.

Fig Spread Recipe - Homemade No Sugar Added

Fig Spread Recipe – No Added Sugar

Ingredients:

  • 100g dried figs (I used Black Mission figs for this batch, but any kind will do)
  • Water to cover

Makes approximately 10oz or 289g (just enough to fill a small jam jar).

Fig Spread Recipe: Black Mission fig

Instructions:

  1. Cut dried figs into halves or quarters and put into small pot.

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Tea Sparrow Subscription Tea Box + Promo Code

Tea Sparrow subscription tea service

Before I get into my Tea Sparrow Subscription Tea Box review (and give you the promo code at the bottom!), let me give you a bit of background.

Because of my Chinese heritage, tea has always been a big part of my life growing up.  I remember my grandpa would always have a carafe of really dark black tea brewed, ready to be drank any time of day.  He also had one of those traditional ceramic tea cups with little rice shaped translucent windows, topped with a lid whose sole purpose is to hold the loose leaves away from the swig he’s about to take.

Then there’s the family dim-sum lunches and dinners.  There’s always unlimited pots of various teas at the table, each filled with a handful of loose leaves, ready to be re-steeped again and again throughout the meals.

Long story short, tea has always been associated with good memories with me, so when Tea Sparrow asked me to review one of their monthly subscription boxes of tea, I was thrilled.

Tea Sparrow is an online company that offers a monthly subscription service.  They do not blend their own teas but instead source them from different companies from around the world.  In each monthly box you get a selection of 4 teas, and if you enjoy one of the selections, they provide the means for you to order more straight from the tea blender themselves.

There are a few options for a Tea Sparrow subscription, pricing as follows:

  • A One Time Tea Box – one Tea Box, one time ($25)
  • 3 Month Prepaid Subscription – three tea boxes over three months ($66)
  • 6 Month Prepaid Subscription – six tea boxes over six months ($120)
  • Ongoing subscription – here you can subscribe for ongoing tea boxes at $20 per month.  You can start/ pause/ stop this subscription at any time.

My box came with the following selections: Tea Desire’s White Tea Champagne, Le Palais des Thes’ Rooibos Du Hammam, Samovar’s Organic Masala Chai, and Cacao Tea from Tisano.

White Tea Champagne

Tea Sparrow: Tea Desire -White Tea Champagne

“White tea, black and red currants, balm leaves, lemongrass, cornflower and sunflower blossoms.”

White Tea Champagne from Tea Desire was hands down the prettiest of the bunch with the blue cornflower and cheery yellow sunflower blossoms. There were dried currants in the mix and the fruity flavors really come through in this sophisticated white tea. However I found the same flavors to taste a bit artificial even though I’m sure they’re not.  Out of the four teas, this was my least favorite because of that.

Rooibos Du Hammam

Tea Sparrow: Les Palais Des Thes - Rooibos Du Hammam

“Rooibos, rose, berries, orange flower water and green date.”

I have to admit I have not been a fan of Rooibos.  There’s a sort of licorice-y note to it that I don’t particular enjoy, so I tend to steer clear of this type of tea.  However, I was pleasantly surprised with this one from Le Palais des Thes.  I don’t quite know what it is but Rooibos Du Hammam has strong vanilla notes even though that’s not in the ingredients. This is a very smooth and fragrant tea.

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Top 10 Grocery Items 2014

Ever dreamt of browsing the racks of a grocery store and being able to just pull whatever you like off the shelf to try?  I have, and therefore I was supremely stoked to get an invite to Grocery Showcase West 2014.  Livin’ the dream!

Grocery Showcase West is an annual trade show held by the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers at the Vancouver Convention Center downtown.  It is HUGE!  It ran April 6th to 7th and even though we visited on both days we still didn’t get a chance to sample everything.  GSW is not open to the public so Wendy and I felt very fortunate to get a media invite.  That means we can share with you our top 10 picks for the best new grocery products of the year with our…

Top 10 Grocery Items 2014

Some of the following products are already on store shelves and some are coming soon. All are highly recommended.

#1: SEVA Maple Water

Top 10 Grocery Items 2014: SEVA Maple Water

SEVA Maple Water could just be “the next big thing”.  We all know what a big splash coconut water made in the healthy drink market, right?  Well imagine a cleaner, lighter version with 46+ nutrients and 100% Canadian content and you have yourself a winner, folks!  Roughly half the sugar and one-third of the carbs and calories of coconut water, too.  The taste is very refreshing (it is after all 97% water) with a hint of maple flavour.

Hard to believe, but see that water-like substance above?  That’s what 100% pure maple sap looks like.  According to SEVA, we’ve all been conditioned by an unrealistic ad campaign that ran back in the ’80s-’90s showing sap dripping from maple trees.  In reality it gushes out in a watery geyser.  Maple syrup is the treated product; maple sap is the eminently drinkable raw form.  Why so long getting SEVA Maple Water to market if it’s been there all along?  The answer is that SEVA Maple Water has been in development for 7 years, mainly due to issues with getting it into a carton that has a reasonable shelf life.

#2: Preferisco Tartufo Salami | Truffle Salami

Top 10 Grocery Items 2014: Preferisco Tartufo Salami

Bosa Foods are selling one of the tastier pieces of charcuterie I’ve had the pleasure of wrapping my tongue around.  Their Preferisco Tartufo Salami has a strong earthy flavourthey were definitely generous with the truffles herebut not so strong as to overpower the taste of the meat.  Texture is chewy and not too dry.  Preferisco Truffle Salami is a deliciously gourmet addition to any charcuterie plate.

#3: Frozen Coconut

Top 10 Grocery Items 2014: Frozen Coconut

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ManCakes Bakery Cafe: ManCakes Madness!

ManCakes: exterior

VANEATS.ca has once again put together a pretty nifty package deal for an establishment we’ve been meaning to try with their ManCakes Madness deal for ManCakes Bakery on Robson.  This time it will cost you $9.95 for 6 mini cupcakes and 2 hot drinks.  You can also upgrade and double your cupcakes for an extra $6.  These deals basically work out to 2 bucks a drink and a buck a piece for the cupcakes.  Not bad considering the high artisanal quality of the cakes.

ManCakes: interior

You probably guessed from the title (or Rocky’s vacant yet quintessentially tough-guy gaze above), but if you still haven’t caught the buzz about ManCakes these ain’t your old lady’s frilly cutesy-wootsy Sallycakes.  No, it’s time to man up and put your daddy’s boots on boy, cuz at ManCakes they slop the icing on like so much caulking and then top with meat for added protein and chest hair.

ManCakes: Deathwish coffee and teapigs tea

Fancy a spot of tea Sally?  Oh, I’m sorry they don’t carry lavender rosehip oolong.  How about some TEAPIGS?  What’s that, you’ll have a coffee instead then?  Sorry Sal, they don’t serve strawberries and cream frappuccino.  How’s about a mug of DEATH WISH, said to be the world’s strongest coffee.  Seriously, this stuff tastes like it ought to be illegal.

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