If you live in the Vancouver area, you can’t help but notice the gorgeous summer weather we have been experiencing this week. The rainy spring weather had had the past month has lifted, and the sun is shining. I actually got a sunburn on mother’s day, as we were enjoying our brunch on the backyard patio. I blame my mother, as she is a red head with light freckled skin, which I unfortunately inherited. You wouldn’t guess I was also European, as my skin doesn’t quite soak up the sun in the same way my Nonna and brother can turn a deep olive brown in the summer.
Speaking of Europe, I am very excited to have booked my trip. I have been planning this trip for as long as I can remember. I even had a conversation saved in my Facebook messages planning this trip with a friend in 2008. I think four years later, I should probably make it happen. I complained for a while that I was the only one in our family who had not been to Europe, or more precisely, Italy. The reason being is that my father’s family is from Italy, and it was where he was born. As you know from previous posts, my father is no longer with us, but I still desperately wanted to make the trip to Europe and visit out heritage, along with stops to the gorgeous hospital, that looks like a cathedral, that my father was born in, the town he was raised in, the tiny, I mean TINY, town my Nonna grew up in, with likely <100 people living there I’m sure, and of course the other historical monuments in Italy. My brother was lucky enough to go twice, although he was 18 months old the first time. He went again when he was 15, for 6 weeks, my Nonna took him with her. I’m doing a tour for 16 days around Europe, and then my Nonna is actually going to fly and meet me in Rome and then show me the ‘true’ Italy, the small tiny towns and areas off the beaten path from the tourist attractions. My Nonna has lived in Canada now for longer than she has lived in Italy, and lives only minutes from our house, but still visits Italy every year. She actually told me she wasn’t going back this year, but after I informed her of my travel plans, she decided she would fly and meet me so she can show me where our family is from. It’s been a trip I’ve wanted to take for a long time, and this year after Graduation I planned to go, as a Grad present from my mom, and now I am just counting down the days. My Nonna keeps informing me how crazy I am to want to go in July, as it is so hot. She usually likes to go in August/September.
Speaking of heat, when the temperature rises the best way to cool down is usually with a cool treat. I saw this unique ice cream recipe online, from a new-to-me food blog, Girl Cooks World, which I’ve been perusing daily.
It is my new favourite, instead of vanilla. It is so subtly sweet, and the taste is just heavenly. I added a half cup of cream instead of the 1/2 cup of milk, cause I had one cup of milk left, and I think it made it even better. It is so good, it is like whipped ice cream. A definite favourite for cooling down in the hot weather. It keeps well in the freezer, and still comes out like soft serve once frozen. It’s really delicious and light tasting. Adam ate most of it, as I try and stay away from dairy with my allergy, but I didn’t want to try and substitute Almond milk this time, so I went with the original version.
It tastes even better with frozen raspberries.
Honey Ice Cream, From Girl Cooks World, Adapted from The Soul of a New Cuisine
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1 & 1/2 cups heavy cream
* 1 cup milk
* 4 large egg yolks, slightly beaten
* 1/3 cup honey
Combine the sugar, heavy cream and milk in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
When the mixture is smooth and the sugar is dissolved, temper the eggs yolks by whisking in about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture into the eggs. Pour the tempered yolks into the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Remove from heat and place the entire saucepan into a shallow ice bath, and mix in the honey. Stir frequently until the custard has cooled. Pour the custard mixture into a container, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Are you planning on going anywhere this summer?
What do you do to cool down in the heat?
Today I was happy to find out I had won a contest courtesy of Good Life Vancouver, Cassandra Anderton, and Swallow Tail Supper Club.
Here are the deets:
Swallowtail Canada holds a yearly sold-out culinary event in Vancouver.
From their website..
Last years sold out event is back! Vancouver’s culinary speakeasy tour. Imagine being a guest in a 30′s underground bar, a room of unsolved mysteries, perhaps, an urban winery. A sommelier serves you stunning sips of wine. Chef Andrea Carlson formerly of Bishops sizzles up fresh, wild BC canapé creations. A classic double decker chauffeurs to the venues. The best way to explore the secrets of the city!
Five Courses. Four Wine Tastings.
Two Secret Locations
Classic Double Decker
1 Pims Cup a la Boardwalk Empire
3 Tastings – BC boutique wineries showcased
Executive Chef Andrea Carlson of Bishops
5 tasting plates – BC Wild food inspired
Vegetarian option available
…secret until ticket purchase
All new secret locations this year!
As fancy as you like, the fancier the better.
We encourage 1930′s speakeasy attire!
Don’t forget your umbrella for rainy days.
Saturday – Jan 21, 28, Feb 4
4pm & 8pm shows
Trolley leaves promptly, so don’t be late!
Jan 21 & 28, Feb 4 8pm Shows SOLD OUT
Early Bird rate (pre Dec 24th) – $99 w/ wine
$99 Group rate 10+ w/ wine
$89 w/o wine
$129 w/ wine
Information from Swallow Tail website here, where you can also find out how to purchase tickets for yourself.
Thank you Good Life Vancouver & Swallowtail! I am looking forward to Saturday!
Also, Dine Out Vancouver is beginnig soon! January 20-February 5. I have been trying to decide on a restaurant.. and keep changing my mind! Have you dined out at a restaurant on the list? What would be your pick? The restaurants are divided into 18/28/38$ menus in three or four courses. Last year we went with Adam’s family to EBO, and it was absolutely delicious. I saw their menu this year, but I’m not sure if it’s something I wanted to try.
I’m not ready to go back to school. I’ve only been off for just under three weeks, between summer classes and fall semester. I can’t believe it’s already September!! Of course our hot weather is supposed to start now!? Crazy Vancouver. This past weekend Adam and I did as much as possible in about two days, Friday night, Saturday, and Monday night. Adam went to Whistler Sunday night for a stag, so we didn’t get to go away anywhere =( But we managed to get in a few things in the nice weather before I head back to classes and stress.
Here’s some photos from the long weekend:
Beautiful flowers from Adam’s sister and brother-in-law whom we had over for dinner last week, along with his parents. They are so pretty! I wish they would last forever.
These flowers actually have lasted forever (below). My mom picked them for me, almost a month ago. I’m seriously not kidding. I’ve changed the water about three times, and trimmed the bottoms and they still live! Despite the heat and not much sunlight!! crazy! They were in the bathroom, but now sit on top of my bedroom dresser :)
Lainey and I scoped out the new Ikea catalogue. Adam and I had an ‘Ikea date night’ last week as well. Lainey even came along! First time we hadn’t been told no pets allowed – so she came all the way to the check out with us! (The lamp on my dresser above is a new purchase! Adam also got one, along with other
impulse much needed Ikea items!)
Friday night after Adam got home from work (early!) we headed to Granville Island. I love market places, and walking around looking at the delicious food and produce.
We stopped by an Italian deli and got some bocconcini and tomato salad, eggplant rolls and an artichoke for me, and our fav Adzuki bean salad from Fraser Valley Juice and Salad.
We also had to stop for some sweet eats. Adam got a doughnut from Lee’s Doughnuts (in the background) and I got an ‘un-chocolate’ bliss ball from Stuart’s Bakery. It was soooo good!! Same idea as my raw vegan chocolate chip cookie dough balls, but it was made with no chocolate, and tasted delicious! $1.99 per ball though, a little steep! Considering I think it cost about 1$ to make an entire batch at home haha. But I wanted to try it.
Saturday we headed downtown for some shopping (we got new dinnerware!) and walking around. We happened to stumble upon a Nabob promotion stand giving away free coffee. I don’t drink coffee, so Adam got to have two! ;) It smelled delicious!
Later on we got a little hungry from all the shopping/walking, and decided to try our first Vancouver food cart experience! After finding La Braisserie, and seeing it was sold out for the day, we wandered around and came across ‘Bun Me’ and split a sandwich. It was really good! First food cart experience = win.
We had to save room for dinner, as we had a Groupon for the Smoking Dog Bistro.
I had the Halibut and Adam had the Steak Frites. Both were really good! Much better than our Vegas dinner out…
We walked around Kits Beach afterwards and watched the sun set.
Monday, after Adam got home we decided to go to the last night of the PNE (Pacific National Exhibition). I received a two-for-one admission ticket from the Pirate Pak Day at White Spot. It’s just not the PNE without mini doughnuts! or ‘Donuts’?
We had to walk around the petting zoo, and met the rather large oxen at the PNE this year.
There were also cute little goats! He was munching on that hay all night.
We met up with one of my cousins, Sara (below on the left), and watched as she and a few friends went on some of the new rides at the PNE. Unfortunately one of the newest ones, the Atmosfear (pictured below), broke down after they had waited almost an hour and a half in line!! They proceeded to go on some stomach-curdling rides afterwards.
Overall it was a pretty good long weekend. The weather was the best it had been in a long while, and well over due for Vancouver! I’m definitely not looking forward to going back to class.. I’ve already begun filling out a calendar of events with all my assignment due dates. There is a lot of them. On the plus side, this is my last year! I’ll finally be graduating in June. Woohoo!
Hope everyone had a great long weekend!! Did you do anything fun and exciting??