Strawberries & Cream Whoopie Pies Recipe

Summer is far upon us!  In celebration of the season, the Dairy Farmers of Canada has partnered up with chefs to come up with easy awesome recipes that utilizes the goodness of Canadian dairy products and local, in-season berries!  One such recipe are these delicious, chocolatey Strawberries & Cream Whoopie Pies created by chef Julian Bond of the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts.  He uses strawberries but I can see myself recreating this raspberries or blueberries too!

Strawberries & Cream Whoopie Pies

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Private Home Chinese Cuisine 一点心意

Having moved out of Richmond for a while now, I must admit, I really miss the quality and quantity of good Asian restaurants within the city.  Now, when I want good Shanghai or Szechuan food, I have to drive across the bridge to get it and time my way back just so I won’t get stuck in traffic!

So when I was told of Private Home Chinese Cuisine restaurant nearby, I was thrilled, and quickly went to try it out.

Private Home Chinese Restaurant - exteriorPrivate Home Chinese Cuisine restaurant is a mish-mash of cuisines in one.  They have “Shanghai”, “Szechuan”, and some other fusion Chinese.  Usually I’m not into these kinds of restaurants, but I’ve been told their xiao long bao is pretty good, so I was happy to give them a chance.

Private Home Chinese Restaurant - interiorVery (VERY) brightly lit interior…too bright actually, for me…makes for good pictures though.

Also very spacious interior with a very modern decor.

Private Home Chinese Restaurant - Steamed Bun Filled with Pork Shanghai-styleHere are Private Home Chinese Cuisine’s version of xiao long bao, called Steamed bun filled with pork Shanghai style ($5.99). 

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Graze Restaurant

Graze Restaurant - exteriorI must say, Graze Restaurant is making its way up there to becoming one of my top vegetarian restaurant in Vancouver

This would be my second time heading to Graze Restaurant for dinner. I wouldn’t say I was wow-ed the first time, although it really wasn’t bad at all. However, this second time around, I must say I really enjoyed my meal, both visually and gastronomically. I’ll be honest though…it’s probably all in the esthetics this time. The evening we went it was still pretty sunny and fair-weathered. Not too windy and not to hot, it was mild enough for me to actually be okay with having the meal in the patio. I must say it was pretty nice.

Graze Restaurant - interiorThese pictures are from my first visit.  It was a darker time back then…(Autumn!!).  Some selections of food aren’t available anymore, so I won’t blog about those.  Besides, the food this time was far more exciting to me. We came to Graze with a coupon in hand which gave us a free appetizer with the order of an entree. We chose the Gaspacho Salad ($10).

Graze Restaurant - Gaspacho Salad GASPACHO SALAD Heirloom tomato, cukes & grilled melon in raspberry vinaigrette, tomato-mint sorbet.

Isn’t it a beaut? It was such a colorful dish. So much so that I felt refreshed just looking at it. The edible flower bunches on top (mustard? chinese broccoli?) just matched the season so well. The components themselves were not much to talk about, but when dipped with a bit of the tomato mint sorbet, everything changed. It instantly refreshes the palate without being too overwhelming. And grilled melons eaten on a patio is always a treat. Continue reading

Palki Restaurant

Palki Restaurant

Palki Restaurant has been doing brisk business for the past 14 years, having opened their doors back in 2000.  It’s taken us a while to get out there though since Palki is in North Van which is a bit of a trek from Burnaby.  Palki invited us to North Vancouver to sample their freshly updated menu, which had a Valentine’s Day overhaul this year.

My buddy Pandesally and I made the journey to sample some of their “Best Indian Cuisine” as the name suggests.  The name also evokes love and tradition, as a palki is a traditional Indian wedding “carriage”, kind of a litter used to transport the bride.

Palki Restaurant North Vancouver

We parked half a block away and the spicy aromas wafting from Palki caught our noses immediately, beckoning us inside.  The restaurant was fairly busy, including some large groups that arrived later.  Palki’s seems to be a hit with the locals, and you should probably book reservations especially on holidays.  Their interior had a modern feel thanks to some beautiful renovations done a little over a year ago.

Palki specializes in North Indian dishes, but their menu also contains coastal dishes and dishes with Afghani, Persian, and even Portuguese influences.  Their menu also has a beef section, which you don’t always see in local Indian restaurants.

Palki Restaurant - Kingfisher beer and Salted Lassi

We started with drinks.  Pandesally had an Indian beer ($5.25) and I had a Salted Lassi ($3.50).  Palki changes their import beer selection based on availability, and Kingfisher Lager was their selection of the day.  Pandesally ordered a second so I will safely assume he enjoyed it.

My savoury Salted Lassi drink may be a bit more of an acquired taste.  In my opinion it’s just salty enough to remain refreshing, but some may find it “weird” as I can’t think of a Western equivalent.  It’s sprinkled with cumin for added flavour and the yogurt based drink made a wonderfully cool accompaniment to the spicy dishes.  Oh, and they make their own yogurt from low-fat milk!  Love it.

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Habanero’s Mexican Grill

Habanero's Mexican GrillOn my last night in San Diego, I had dinner with the classmates I was training with.  Since San Diego is known for their Mexican food and fish tacos, we decided to go to Habanero’s Mexican Grill which was right beside our hotel.

Habanero's Mexican Grill - Ordering area Habanero's Mexican Grill - Seating areaAt first we thought Habanero’s was a sit-down restaurant, but it turns out, it’s more an order at counter, then take your seat type of eatery.  So basically it’s like a food court but with just one restaurant.

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