September 2016: Bella September

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Fall is always my favourite season; I am always excited and grateful to welcome the harvest season and get busy in my kitchen!

This September is all about Italian food at our household:

Italian Home cooking with my friends James (househistorian) and Peter (Pastaboy), sharing the joys and love for Italian cuisine:  Whenever my friend James return to Vancouver,  we always have a standing appointment to cook together for our good friends.

Here is the composite photo showing our dinner. Top row left; deep-fried cauliflower, fresh, handmade orecchiette pasta, bruschetta  with Sabina DOP extra virgin olive oil from Casperia.

Second row left to right: Insalata caprese with local heirloom tomatoes and bufala mozzarella. Orecchiette (handmade small ear pasta) with fava beans, peas, Gorgonzola (sweet) and half and half cream pureed and topped with crispy guanciale (smoked pork cheek), baked sockeye salmon (local!) with lemon and capers.

Bottom row Left to Right:  An amazing bottle of Spanish wine, Spaghetti all’Amatriciana (remembering the earthquake in Amatrice),  getting ready to make pasta dough with flour and water!

My trusting go to places for my supplies in Vancouver: Cioffis 4142 East Hastings, Bianca Maria 2469 East Hastings, Gourmet Warehouse 1340 East Hastings)

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Caprese Insalata: Buffala di mozzarella (a must), fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, sea salt and nice olive oil. We toasted some baguette (rustic Italian better), rubbed with garlic and drizzle with olive oil..Bruschetta!
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The most thoughtful gift from my pal James: Sabina DOP Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Casperia from olives grown and harvested from trees James can see from his home in Italy. Thank you again James!

We love pies: Gabi and Jules Handmade pies and baked goods in Port Moody

The newest artisan baked shop and cafe opened weeks ago in Port Moody; we were crazy and drove Port Moody one rainy Saturday morning, and the verdict?  It was well worth the long drive from Vancouver! We had the apple blueberry pie: flaky buttery crust with generous fillings, the sweetness was perfect!  I had the scrumptious cheese scone and my crazy husband had the peach cobbler muffin,

Their website is still under construction, they have great pictures on Instagram (@gabiandjules).

http://www.gabiandjules.com

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Delectable Apple and blueberry pie from Gabi and Jules: We took it home and enjoyed with our friends.

Tasting and Book Signing event at Gourmet Warehouse: Lidia Bastianich

The great Italian born American chef, Ms. Lidia Bastianich visited Vancouver this month… I was absolutely thrilled to meet her in person, she is absolutely lovely…completely starstruck..

I got her autographed cookbook (included in ticket purchase), a picture taken and spoke with her for a few minutes about Italian cooking.  Tremendous thank you to staff and event crew at Gourmet Warehouse for hosting the wonderful event.

I will be very occupied this winter and I look forward to sharing all new cooking tips, techniques and recipes with everyone.
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http://www.gourmetwarehouse.ca

A one stop gourmet store located on East Hastings, filled with great selection of cookware, bakeware, ingredients and sauces from around the world.

Check their calendar for cooking classes and special events

And the Italian theme continues: Ask for Luigi revisited…first time for dinner

Finally made it to Ask for Luigi for dinner!  It was an impromptu decision, we got there early on a Wednesday night (5:45 pm) and got it right away.  It was meant to be (OO)

Ask for Luigi: 2015 Best Restaurant in Vancouver, located at 305 Alexander Street (Railtown), no reservations so get there early!

http://www.askforluigi.com

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Cauliflower polpettes: with romesco sauce and hazelnuts: a very tasty vegetarian “meatball”…
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Radiatore – chilli, anchovy and broccoli….I love their pastas!

Easy Pasta Suppers: 

We all love having pastas for dinner, the sauces are usually easy to make, the ingredients are simple and easy to purchase, my focus is always on using fresh in season and local ingredients.

Broccoli pine nut pesto with gluten-free fusilli (Gogo Quinoa), Spaghetti and Zoodles (Zucchini noodles) all’amatriciana (San Marzano Canned tomatoes, guanciale (smoked pork cheek), garlic and Pecorino romano).  I substituted the half the spaghetti with zoodles (love my spiralizer).

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Easy Sunday supper: Broccoli, pine nuts, dried chilli pepper pesto with gluten-free (GoGo Quinoa) fusilli and parmesan reggiano
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Spaghetti and Zoodles (courgetti/zucchini noodles) all’amatriciana – It’s not entirely vegetarian as the sauce is made of guanciale (smoked Italian pork cheek) and San Marzano tomatoes (variety of plum tomatoes (sweeter, stronger taste and less acidic – available Canned in Italian food stores Cioffis (East Hastings). I’ve used heirloom tomatoes (in season now) and it was so delicious.
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Good reads: The Italian Pasta cookbook is actually an old publication, the Chinese book is translated from a Japanese cookbook written by a popular and famous chef in Tokyo. I’ve been reading a lot more in Chinese lately, trying to learn the terms and cross reference.

Some upcoming Events in Vancouver:

September 29th – Sake Festival (consumer tasting in the evening), check website for information.

http://www.sakebc.ca

Farmers Market schedule and location will change at the end of October, winter market begins!

http://www.eatlocal.org

Eat Vancouver (October 4 to 7) – check out their website for events, there’s no market place this year but plenty of special dinners

http://www.eat-vancouver.com

Remember I took some sushi making classes earlier this year?  Taka-san is back and he will be teaching on October 15th Saturday, please call 778-788-3574 for reservations.

 

Summer Time…Chilin’ and Cooking

 

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Chilin’ on Fourth – Yuzu Lemonade @ Raisu

Summer Time: Chillin’ and Cooking….A snapshot of my July in Vancouver..

On Wednesday July 27 I will be on Ms. Deborah Moore’s radio show on Fairchild Radio 1470 at 10:30am sharp!  ‘If you have any feedback or recommendations, I would love to hear from you!  Drop me a line anytime at goldenapron@gmail.com

Keep Chilin’ and Cooking (OO)

 

Modern Chinese Cooking Class @ Nourish Cafe (3742 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC)

Last week my “cooking buddy” Jo and I took a ‘Modern Chinese Cooking Class” at the newly opened Nourish Cafe; owner and instructor Dan taught us how to make a simple version of “baos” (steamed buns) and “Dan Dan Noodles” – it was a fun and refreshing take on some old Chinese classics!  I went with no expectation and left with great ideas; in fact Dan has solved one of my recent cooking dilemmas!  Nourish’s food philosophy and practices are actually very close to what I’ve been learning over the past few years since we made some significant lifestyle changes; Thank you Dan and Lisa, it was great pleasure meeting you both and I shall return sometime!  Check their website for class schedules.

http://www.nourishvancouver.ca

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Brunching at Nourish – Sriracha hummus and potato cakes and Eggs Benny; they offer delicious and nutritious options for Vegetarians and Vegans

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Dan’s Dan Dan – here’s what we assembled and devoured in class ; the tahini and almond butter base “dan dan” sauce was absolutely delicious! Thanks Dan for the inspiration, you actually just solved one of my cooking dilemmas!
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Deb’s experimental Dan Dan – inspired by Dan’s recipe, I’ve changed things up a bit by adding sea kelp noodles (50% kelp/50% regular noodle), sesame tahini (omit sesame oil) and balsamic vinegar. Recipe coming soon.

French cooking classes: Tartine and Maple

http://www.tartineandmaple.com

French cooking is always very close my heart; Jo and I attended two demo-cooking (French cooking and later Brioche) classes learning from the lovely Valentine at Uncommon Cafe, she definitely made everything so easy!   Check her website for class schedule!

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Below is the picture of the asparagus and cheese tart which I created at home, following her recipe (from her other french cooking class); I think I may have conquered my fear in working puff pastry…one step at a time!

 

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Shrimp croquettes @ Raisu in Kitslano

The latest “sister” restaurant to Kingyo (Davie), Rajio (west 10th) and Suika (West Broadway); Raisu opened recently on West 4th Avenue (2340 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, BC),  a big thank you to Brian (Seafood City) who told me about this new venue!  There’s no storefront on the street level, look for a small entrance which leads you to an open space with patio on the second floor!

The shrimp croquette was so delicious and resembled the fluffy crab claws at a Chinese banquet; the vegetarian udon was packed with flavor! A cool open space with good vibe, where else would you be listening to Billy Joel and watching old-time Bruce Lee’s movies while enjoying some delicious bites?  Reservations recommended (by phone only).

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We usually associate croquettes with potatoes; this is completely different and I think they have hit a home run with this dish! Now I’m curious and want to “dissect” this at home..
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We waited for 45 minutes for a table at another drinking place; so we didn’t try their Teishoku! Vegetarian udon was light and packed with flavor (miso)…Love it!

An old favorite revisited: Secret Garden Tea Company

My buddy DP and I paid a visit to this established and timeless favourite in Kerrisdale, they will be moving this summer!   We had their High Tea set and I think their lemon tarts is still my favourite…They will be moving to a new location (on West 40th, still in the neighbourhood) sometime this summer.

http://www.secretgardentea.com

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It’s never too hot to cook: check out my noodle recipes (new and old postings)

I’m making more “mixed” noodle dishes this summer, experimenting with the spiralizer (yes finally new toy!) and new products (kelp noodle); meanwhile check out my old recipes (Type in the keywords in the “search” box (left column) above “RECENT POSTS”.  My favourite recent posting is last month’s Sake Kasu sablefish (OO)

  • Sea Kelp “noodle” – available at Whole Foods – experimenting and recipe coming soon!  Check out my instagram!

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  • My Lazy Phnom Penh Noodle (July 2014) – it’s still one of my favourite things to make)

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  • Mushroom Soba Salad (February 2014)
  • Vegetarian Soba with Lemon Vinaigrette (March 2016)

 

 

March 23 Radio Show: Spring is here – Sushi and Greens

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On Wednesday March 23rd  I will be on Ms. Deborah Moore’s radio show on Fairchild Radio 1470 at 10:30am sharp!  Here’s an outline for the program (subject to change and not in particular order)!

If you have any feedback or recommendations, I would love to hear from you!  Drop me a line anytime at goldenapron@gmail.com (OO)

Bon Appetit and Saveur:

As a Vancouverite, I am so proud some of the best eats of our beloved city is featured in the March 2016 issue of Bon Appetit Magazine!

http://www.bonappetit.com/restaurants-travel/navigator/article/what-to-eat-in-vancouver

As for Saveur magazine, I read a truly inspiring article by Francis Lam on Ms. Sonoko Sakai: Sonoko Dreams of Soba.

http://www.saveur.com/how-to-make-fresh-soba-noodles-at-home

I adapted Ms. Sakai’s recipe and made my own version of soba salad, check my March 21st, 2016 recipe posting!

My first ever formal sushi making class: Taka’s Sushi Making class at Nikkei Heritage Centre (separate blog post coming soon)

Earlier this month I took a class with my food buddy Jo; it was a very humbling and wonderful learning experience.  I’m registered to take another class on April 02! It’s all about technique and patience:

http://www.centre.nikkeiplace.org/sushi

Taka-san’s contact: takayukiomi@mac.com

Facebook: Taka’s Sushi Class

Where to buy fish for sashimi/sushi (as recommended by Taka-san; they are also two of my favourite shops in Vancouver)

http://www.fujiya.ca

http://www.seafoodcitygi.com

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Taka-san’s wonderful sushi making class: temaki sushi, nigiri sushi, rainbow roll and kappa maki. He prepared the ingredients ahead of time and taught us the technique in assembling the different types of sushi.

 

Kombucha and Salad Lovers: Field and Social in Downtown Vancouver (separate blog post coming)

http://www.fieldandsocial.com

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Quinoa and co: Watercress, golden quinoa, organic apple, apricot, sunflower sprouts, Belgian endive, purple barley, organic teff, sautéed oyster mushrooms and puffed wild rice in roasted shallot dressing. Top: “on the tap” kombucha and butternut squash vegan soup (so delicious!)

A dinette fit for Royals: Royal Dinette

http://www.royaldinette.ca

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My second visit to Royal Dinette with my “twin”: Ling cod, sea cucumber, mussels, abalone mushroom in supreme broth

Getting ready for Dinner Party YVR: April 9, 2016

http://www.dinnerpartyyvr.com

A tour for hobby chefs at sponsor Whole Foods on Cambie; and upcoming March 31 “huddle” – get together with other hobby chefs, sponsored by Cressey

It was fun to meet Annika, organizer of the event and a few other hobby chefs! Whole Foods Cambie’s concierge Ms. Lucia was absolutely personal and wonderful; she took us on a one hour tour and sample different citrus fruits, maple smoked salmon and cheese platter!  Did you know there’s actually a cheese sommelier in the store?

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February 17 Radio Show: Stay “Warm” with Noodles and Stay “Cool” with Icecream

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Happy CNY! Chinese New Year’s Eve Dinner at home: Broiled Threadfin Bream from Seafood City, Japanese style braised mushrooms on pea sprouts, eight grain rice with cauliflower and garlic stems, Crispy Siu Yuk (Roast Pork), Soy Sauce Free Range Chicken and Duck

Happy CNY! How’s your 2016 so far?

On February 17th I will be on Ms. Deborah Moore’s radio show on Fairchild Radio 1470 at 10:30am sharp!  Here’s an outline for the program (subject to change and not in particular order): Stay warm with “noodles” and stay cool with “ice-cream”.

The most talked about vegetarian ramen on instagram, it’s really delicious: Ramen Man  841 Bidwell Street, Vancouver, BC

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Aosa “sea Lettuce” Ramen and it’s all about chicken broth: On the same street at a different block: Marutama Ramen 780 Bidwell Street, Vancouver, BC

http://www.japanesenoodle.com

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Is it worth the wait? Tsukemen at Sanpoutei Ramen: 160-4328 No. 3 Road (the newest building next to Parker Place)

http://www.sanpoutei.ca

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East Meets West = West Coast Cool  at Tangram Creamery (check my blog review), 2729 Arbutus Street, Vancouver, BC

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Old time favourite: Xiao Long Bao  and Tan Tan Noodles at Top Shanghai Cuisine 120-5880 Ackroyd Road, Richmond, BC

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…Coming in March and April:

http://www.centre.nikkeiplace.org/sushi

http://www.dinnerpartyyvr.com

 

 

 

 

March 25th 2015 Radio Show

IMG_8884Hi I’m back!!

It has been three months since I made my last posting..Thank you so much for your patience and return visits! I was away since last week of January till mid-February for an urgent family matter;  finally now slowly getting back into normal swing of things and working on “catch up” with my postings , and so tuned in April!

I will be on Ms. Deborah Moore’s radio show on AM 1470 Fairchild Radio on March 25th, 2015 at 10:30am sharp, my first in 2015!

Below is the outline for today’s segment; content is subject to change according to Ms. Moore and flow of program; I look forward to chatting with her about food and everything else (OO)

Peter Ciuffa’s family pasta and Italian cooking class

http://www.pastafamiglia.ca/

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Juno Kim’s plating and food photography workshop

http://www.junokimcatering.com/

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Volunteer at UGM: https://www.ugm.ca/

French Vietnamese Food Cafe: http://www.linhcafe.com/

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Spicy baguette sticks – Linh Cafe

French bakery on Commercial and E.12th: http://www.bakerysate.com/

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Strawberry balsamic cream puff

More icecream shops in Vancouver? http://softpeaks.ca/

Delicious soft icecream in Hong Kong: http://honeycreme-icecream.com/hk.html

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FYI: December 24th, 2014 RADIO SHOW

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I will be on Ms. Deborah Moore’s radio show on AM 1470 Fairchild Radio on Christmas Eve morning at 10:30am sharp!

Below is the outline for today’s segment; content is subject to change according to Ms. Moore and flow of program.  I look forward to chatting with Ms. Moore about food and everything else (OO)

I will be posting my new recipes after Christmas Eve and Christmas Dinner!

Meantime please check my 2013 postings: duck confit, red cabbage, roasted salmon with hazelnut

If you have any questions or suggestions, or even great food finds, I would love to hear from you! Please contact me anytime at goldenapron@gmail.com!

Wish you and your loved ones a Happy Holiday Season!

Cheers

Deb C

http://www.marchestgeorge.com/

(quaint corner store at 29th between Fraser and Main, pop up store at Christmas, great ceramics, unique finds)

http://www.julesbistro.ca/

(gas town french bistro, interesting brunch – waffle with grapes, creme fraiche and roasted pine nuts, croque monsieur, good side salad)

http://tucrestaurant.com/

(fried chicken with waffles, vegetarian frittata – reservations available)

Marshmallows (pop up shop at Pacific Centre)

http://www.archimallows.com/

New addition to my library: Simply Vegetarian (chinese and English)

 

July 23rd Radio Show Recap

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Thank you Ms. Deborah Moore for having me on your show this morning! Until September…Enjoy (OO)

Here are the links and information for today’s radio show:

Beta Five Chocolates – 412 Industrial Avenue, Vancouver, BC (www.beta5myshopify.com)

(Delectable cream puffs and chocolates)

The Fish Counter – 3825 Main Street at East 22nd Avenue (www.thefishcounter.com)

(Fish and chips, dairy free clam chowder)

Fish Cafe – 2053 West 41st Avenue, Vancouver, BC

(Blackened/grilled/fried fish options, blackened halibut with saffron rice, fries,can substitute with salad (additional cost)

Hubub Sandwich and Salad Bliss (www.hubbubsandwiches.com)

Two locations – 420 Robson Street or 859 Hornby Street

(Gluten free options, fresh ingredients)