Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Hurricane Potato at Vancouver Christmas Market

After eating sweets, I have an intense craving for fried potatoes. Yay that there's Hurricane Potato.

Hurricane Potato in Vancouver Christmas Market

You better devour this because it's so cold that it hardens immediately.

Below is a list of food vendors inside the Vancouver Christmas Market we have tried so far:

Chocolate Covered Pretzels at Vancouver Christmas Market

Maybe we should have ended our delicious food day with Mr. Hotcakes, but I wanted more, so we went to the I Love Chocolate hut, where they have two chocolate fountains.

We purchased the "2 Chocolate covered Pretzel rods." They gave us two chocolate-covered pretzel sticks - I chose one coated in milk chocolate while the other in dark chocolate.

2 Chocolate covered Pretzel rods

They're both delicious, but I have a bias for dark chocolate.

My hubby was upset. He repeated three times how disappointed he was that he didn't see the process of covering our order with chocolates through the chocolate fountain.

It was already wrapped in plastic. :(

Below is a list of food vendors inside the Vancouver Christmas Market we have tried so far:

Mr. Hotcakes at Vancouver Christmas Market

In this blog, I mentioned a few times that my hubby has a sweet tooth, while I prefer savoury things. We have tried only one sweet vendor in the Vancouver Christmas Market compared to the eight savoury-focused vendors.

Tonight I gave hubby a reign on which sweet vendor we should try, and he opted for Mr. Hotcakes. I hesitated because it looked a little plain, but oh boy! I am happy to be wrong. Don't judge a food by its picture on a poster. It was delicious!

Original Hotcake with Whipped Cream from Mr. Hotcakes

It came out fresh from the girdle, still hot! We chose the Original Hotcake with Whipped Cream, and both agreed this would work well with ice cream. More reason to come back!

The hotcake was soft, while the whipped cream provided a subtle sweetness, and when we reached the bottom, we discovered it was stuffed with sugar(?). All you need to know is it's delicious and deserves a line!

Perogies in Vancouver Christmas Market

After my weekend suffering from stomach ache resulting in throwing up, I think the food gods want to reward me with a happy food day. The stews at Das Gulasch Haus were terrific, and the perogies inside the Vancouver Christmas Market are delicious too.

Potato & Cheddar Perogies
Served with crumbled farmer's sausage from Rempel Meats in Abbotsford, grilled onions, sour cream, and sauerkraut.

The Potato & Cheddar Perogies were perfectly cooked. One side is crispy, while the inside is soft and chewy. But the epic bite includes the crumbled sausage and grilled onion dipped in sour cream, followed by a fork full or sauerkraut. I wish I didn't have to share the perogies with my husband.

Below is a list of food vendors inside the Vancouver Christmas Market we have tried so far:

Beef Stew and Potato Stew at Vancouver Christmas Market

It's the last day of November, and I am slowly feeling much better. I had stomach pain over the weekend, which included throwing up and frequent visits to the bathroom. But I am feeling so much better today, and to celebrate, we visited the Vancouver Christmas Market.

Our first stop is Das Gulasch Haus. We ordered both Tender Beef Stew and Vegan Potato Stew in a bread bowl.

Tender Beef Stew in a bread bowl

The Tender Beef Stew is so much more flavourful than the Vegan Potato Stew, but both are miles away from what we had in 2019. I am happy. This is my most recommended meal in the Christmas Market. Definitely at the top of my must-try list.

Vegan Potato Stew in a bread bowl

Here is a brief background and history of Gulasch displayed around the hut.

Gulasch is a delicious warming stew found primarily in Austria and Hungary, where it had its origin as a shephards dish in the 9th century.

In 19th century Vienna, the centre of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a special type of Gulasch developed with more meat and fine Hungarian paprika.

Below is a list of food vendors inside the Vancouver Christmas Market we have tried so far:

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Bulgogi Jeongol from Masa Japanese Restaurant

Happy Saturday dinner! I stayed home all day, but we went to Anticipated Sunday Mass at our local parish. Afterwards, we grabbed groceries, then dinner at Masa Japanese Restaurant.

We ordered the Bulgogi Jeongol. It is a Korean hot pot dish with beef and vegetables. I tried the soup base, and it's obviously beef broth. The banchan is a nice touch as a palate cleanser.

Bulgogi Jeongol
Korean hot pot dish consisting of deliciously marinated bulgogi, soup stock, and various vegetables.

We also ordered the Sake Bomb Roll because we are going through the Special Sushi list. It's spicy. Although, I realized I am not a fan of seared salmon on my roll.

Sake Bomb Roll
Spicy salmon roll with seared salmon and special spicy sauce.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Classic Hot Fudge Sundae at Earnest Ice Cream Quebec Street

After a fun and salty dinner at Brewhall, we crossed the street to enjoy ice cream from Earnest Ice Cream. I am surprised to see it full of life and busy on a Friday evening when it's 6°C outside.

I had Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae with Chocolate Topping from Costco last Saturday, and when I spotted the Classic Hot Fudge Sundae on the Earnest menu board, I just had to try it.

Classic Hot Fudge Sundae from Earnest Ice Cream on Quebec Street

The vanilla ice cream is good, but I wish the chocolate syrup was warm. I feel like that's essential for a sundae. However, I am willing to forgive that because they have crushed nuts, and I love the crunchy element of my creamy dessert.

I happily enjoyed my ice cream and can't wait to bring my husband here.

Chickpea Veg Burger for dinner at Brewhall

I am a dieting foodie. As someone who has been overweight all my life, losing weight is always a challenge. I used to be Obese Level II, but now I am down to Obese Level I, and of course, my goal is to be close to a healthy weight for my height and age.

With that all said, I love to eat. Good food makes me happy, and eating out is fun. I have learned to prepare delicious meals at home, so most of the week, I cook low-calorie meals for my hubby and me to help with my diet.

However, sometimes (on weekends), we eat out and end up pigging out. Like this evening, I am meeting with former colleagues turned friends for dinner at Brewhall. I have been looking at their menu all week, trying to decide what to get.

Chickpea Veg Burger

I ordered the Chickpea Veg Burger with a side of fries. The first bite was salty, but as I ate more of the burger, it became less salty, especially in the middle where most of the sauce is, then the last couple of bites was salty again. It's a good vegetarian burger, mainly because when every other restaurant would instead serve fake meat.

Chickpea Veg Burger
House-made veg patty, chipotle mayo, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and pickles.

Shareables and Cocktails

Because I needed something unhealthy, we ordered Nachos for the table from the Shareable section of the Brewhall menu. It's worth whatever calories it has. Yum! I also ordered the Electric Blue Long Island from the Cocktails menu of Brewhall.

Electric Blue Long Island
A twist on a classic with blue curaçao

It was a fun evening with friends. It's our annual catchup to see how people's careers and work are doing. It's so fun to see everyone!

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Wonton and Vegetable Soup for Dinner at Viet Flavour Restaurant

Viet Flavour Restaurant changed its menu! The dish names went from Vietnamese to English with Chinese translation. I don't if management since August 2021, but the food is still delicious.

Hubby ordered the House Special Combination Noodle Soup. It's a classic bowl of pho loaded with beef.

6. House Special Combination Beef

I went to the Special Noodle Soups section of the menu and got the Wonton and Vegetable Soup. It's perfect for this cold evening. It has a clean vegetable soup base loaded with wonton. I'm so happy. I added egg noodles, too, because that's what it usually comes with.

22. Wonton and Vegetable Soup

As with any Vietnamese restaurant, I always get the Vietnamese Spring Rolls.

1. Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae from Costco Food Court

We started today with breakfast at Tim Hortons. Then, we grabbed groceries from Shoppers Drug Mart to get PC Optimum points. We went home to drop off our items and to rest for a bit. It allowed me to type all my Tims' blog posts. 😅

Then, we headed to Costco for lunch and groceries. We're shocked to see that all fried food is sold out! The french fries, poutine, and chicken strips with fries are all sold out. 🤯 Their fryer might be broken. That's the only logical explanation for running out of fries.

The good thing is the sundae is available. I know it's below 5°C outside, but that won't stop my hubby from getting his ice cream.

Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Topping

We chose the vanilla ice cream sundae with chocolate topping from Costco. It's the classic combination. I have tried sundaes from McDonald's and Jollibee, with the latter having the better one.

Sundae from Costco

However, the Costco food court chocolate topping is surprisingly delicious. It's creamy and thick, perfect with the vanilla soft-serve ice cream.

We'll try the caramel topping next time.

July 25, 2023 Update: Caramel

It rained earlier today. Thankfully, it was cloudy when I got off work, and the sunshine was peeking through the thick clouds. Hubby picked me up from the office, and we walked to Costco.

Before grocery, we grabbed dinner from the food court: our usual hot dog and fries, plus I ordered a Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae topped with caramel. The vanilla ice cream is excellent on its own. The caramel was sticky, so I'll stick with chocolate.

Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Caramel

Filled Sugar Cookie from Tim Hortons

It said Filled Sugar Cookie, but I was still surprised to see it was filled nicely. The white filling is not concentrated on the middle or one side of the cookie but actually covers the whole thing.

Filled Sugar Cookie from Tim Hortons

Unfortunately, the filling did not add any flavour whatsoever to a buttery sugar cookie. The best addition is the white sugar on top because it provides sweetness and a bit of crunch.

Filled Sugar Cookie from Tim Hortons

I wish the filling had flavours that would elevate an already delicious cookie.

Chocolate Hazelnut Muffin from Tim Hortons

I secretly love Tim Hortons' muffins because they're moist and rarely stale (unlike the donuts).

We ordered the Chocolate Hazelnut Muffin, which is part of the Tim Hortons holiday menu.

Chocolate Hazelnut Muffin from Tim Hortons

A peek inside Chocolate Hazelnut Muffin from Tim Hortons.

The muffin was moist and good. I especially like the nuts on top because it provides a different texture. Unfortunately, the side I ate didn't have any filling. All the chocolate hazelnut goodness went to my hubby. He gave me another bite, and it tasted like chocolate hazelnut.

Overall, a delicious muffin that I'll be happy to order again.

Anytime Snackers Savoury Pastries from Tim Hortons | Review

When we went to Tim Hortons three days ago to try the dream donuts, the Anytime Snackers Savoury Pastries were unavailable. For breakfast today, we tried both flavours of the new Anytime Snackers savoury pastries.

Savoury Pastries from Tim Hortons

Spicy Jalapeno Savoury Pastry

It's hard to distinguish which flavour is which, so I picked one, and it turned out to be the Spicy Jalapeno Savoury Pastry. It's spicy, and surprisingly it worked well with the Candy Cane Hot Chocolate. According to the in-store menu, it's supposed to be flakey and buttery. But, unfortunately, it's not both.

Spicy Jalapeno Savoury Pastry from Tim Hortons

Herb & Garlic Savoury Pastry

Because I tried the spicy pastry first, the Herb & Garlic Savoury Pastry does not have any flavour. I don't know. It was more buttery than the spicy one, but I'm uncertain which herb should be there. There's also no garlic flavour.

Herb & Garlic Savoury Pastry from Tim Hortons

If you want to try one, go for the Spicy Jalapeno Savoury Pastry (unless you can't handle any level of heat).

Gingerbread Oat Latte and Candy Cane Hot Chocolate from Tim Hortons

Happy Saturday! We're running errands today, and before we start, we grabbed breakfast at Tim Hortons.

There's snowplace like Tims snowman cup.

First, the Tim Hortons cups are adorably designed. The Candy Cane Hot Chocolate was surprisingly delicious, and for someone who hates anything minty on my sweets this passed the test.

There's Snowplace like Tims snowglobe cup design.

Meanwhile, hubby chose the Gingerbread Oat Latte from Tims, which does not have any hint of gingerbread taste. Such a shame because this cup deserves a delicious drink.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

THOSE Pretzels from Vancouver Christmas Market

I am an obese foodie. I lost 20 lbs from my heaviest weight with slow and steady dieting.

We purchased a big bag of THOSE PRETZELS last night at the Vancouver Christmas Market, and it's so good. Their tagline is accurate, "Once you start, you can't stop." I had to put a post-it near our snack bin to remind myself of my diet.

THOSE Pretzels 🤤

My hubby's employer is having a Christmas party, and I want to lose a few more pounds before it, but boy, the pretzels are making it so difficult. 🫣

Below is a list of booths we have tried so far:

Non-Alcoholic Apfelwein from Apfel Haus at Vancouver Christmas Market

The non-alcoholic warm apple wine is enough to make me fall in love with my husband again.

I have been dating my husband for more than 11 years, yet today felt like a first date. We shared a warm cider, walking around the Vancouver Christmas Market on a clear, crisp, lovely evening with live Christmas carols playing in the background. It feels like I'm in a Hallmark movie without all the drama but all the love.

A cup of Apfelwein

My issue with taking pictures of drinks is it's hard to make it pretty on its own, yet here we are. The Apfelwein is the perfect non-boozy drink to keep you warm and maybe in love while inside the Vancouver Christmas Market.

Das Apfel Haus

In Germany, the translation for cider is 'Apfelwein', which means 'apple wine'.

Apfelwein was first produced in Frankfurt, due to the surrounding area being one of the richest fruit producing regions in Germany. Over time, some of the freshly pressed apple juice was allowed to fermant and become alcoholic.

Unlime American ciders, which are sweet, German cider has a tart, sour taste. This is because less preservatives and sugars are added in the process, giving it a more natural flavour.

Fun Fact: Frankfurt has become the most popular place to visit in Germany to taste Apfelwein.

Apfel Haus inside the Vancouver Christmas Market

Below is a list of vendors we have tried so far in the Vancouver Christmas Market:

Classic Langos from Das Langos Haus (#45) in Vancouver Christmas Market 2022

After sharing a kartoffelpuffer, hubby and I decided to order and try a Langos.

According to the description near the menu, "Not a pizza. My big brothers are the Elephant Ears, little sisters the Beaver Tails. I'm the Hungarian Langos.

Classic Langos
Garlic powder, sour cream, cheese, bacon, and green onion.

It is essentially deep-fried dough with savoury topping. You also have the option to put Nutella to make it a dessert.

I love the fried dough - greasy and flavourful, but the real winner is the green onion. It elevates the whole dish, so it's not just creamy from the cheese and sour cream or salty from the bacon but actually delicious.

It's a bit messy because you eat it with your hands like a pizza, so be prepared to have greasy fingers afterwards.

#45 Das Langos Haus

Below is a list of booths we have tried so far:

Kartoffelpuffer from Kartouffel Haus (#43) in Vancouver Christmas Market 2022

After a fun evening at the Lighting Ceremony of St. Paul's Hospital Lights of Hope, we decided to walk to the Vancouver Christmas Market in Jack Poole Plaza. We have Seasons Pass, which means unlimited entry.

I am so glad we went. There's a minimal crowd, and everything feels so spacious.

For our first meal, we went for the Kartouffel Haus and ordered the Kartoffelpuffer with smoked salmon, and brie cheese served with apple sauce and sour cream.

Kartoffelpuffer with Smoked Salmon and Brie Cheese

Kartoffelpuffer (German Potato Pancake) with smoked salmon and brie cheese

The potato is pretty bland, but the melted brie cheese, salty smoked salmon, and sweet apple sauce provide all the flavour the German Potato Pancake needs.

The line is long here because everyone wants a stick of the hurricane potato sold at the same booth (#43).

#43 Hurricane Potato and Kartoffel Haus

Below is a list of booths we have tried so far:

St. Paul's Hospital Donor Celebration at Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre

My hubby and I have been donors to St. Paul's Hospital for the last four years, but we got invited to their Donor Celebration at Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre for the first time. I guess because this is the first year, our support exceeded a specific amount.

After work (5:00 PM), we hurriedly took an Uber to Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre to ensure that we'll be on time for the program scheduled to arrive at 5:30 PM.

Since this is a food blog, I'll share the pictures I took of the refreshments they served.

Christmas Dinner in a Jar (sorry for the blurred picture)
Whipped potatoes, mushrooms and sage dressing, Brussels sprouts, cranberry relish, roasted turkey, and gravy.

Can we make this Christmas Dinner in a Jar a thing? It's a fun way to eat all the delicious things in a typical Thanksgiving meal - turkey, mashed potatoes, veggies (in this case, Brussels sprouts), gravy, and cranberry sauce. I love it!

We thought of just staying in one area but noticed that there seemed to be a path past the screen and podium. There was an alcohol bar and a snack bar further into the room. There are cookies (a lot of variety), tarts, mini cupcakes, cakes, coffee, tea, and even hot chocolate with little marshmallows. It's a little kid's dream or an adult with a sweet tooth. We stayed here for the rest of the event, but we're not shameless and only got one of each type to share.

Tarts, mini cupcakes, and cookies in dessert plate number 1.

Candy cane cream puff, colourful cookies, and red velvet mini cupcakes for dessert plate number 2.

Mini Cake Roll for dessert plate number 3.

After the event, we went downstairs to join the countdown for the lighting of Lights of Hope, which looked amazing.

Lights of Hope in Vancouver

My dream next year is to have our names in one of the stars. But, we gotta keep working hard so we can continue to share our blessings with St. Paul's and other non-profits in Vancouver.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Chocolate Fudge Pretzel Dream Donut from Tim Hortons

It officially feels like Christmas with the availability of Tim Hortons' dream donuts. As you know, I have been keeping an eye out for any new dream donuts. I opened my Tims app almost every day to see if there was anything new and nearly screamed when I saw two new dream donuts.

We walked to Tim's nearest location after work to ensure they were available. I have trauma about ordering a dream donut for delivery and getting a different donut.

Chocolate Fudge Pretzel Dream Donut

I am a sucker for any dessert with a crunchy element, and the crushed pretzels on top of a chocolate fudge donut is a win. However, I wished the donut itself was fudgier or not dry.

Chocolate Fudge Pretzel Dream Donut from Tim Hortons

There's no filling inside the Chocolate Fudge Pretzel Dream Donut from Tim Hortons.

This is the better dream donut from the holiday menu because of the contrast of texture (crunchy pretzel and soft donut) and flavour (sweet base and salty top).

List of Dream Donuts from Tim Hortons

I arranged it alphabetically instead of chronologically.

Gingerbread Chocolate Dream Donut from Tim Hortons

It officially feels like Christmas with the availability of Tim Hortons' dream donuts. As you know, I have been keeping an eye out for any new dream donuts. I opened my Tims app almost every day to see if there was anything new and nearly screamed when I saw two new dream donuts.

We walked to Tim's nearest location after work to ensure they were available. I have trauma about ordering a dream donut for delivery and getting a different donut.

Gingerbread Chocolate Dream Donut

How adorable is that little gingerbread cookie on top of the donut? It is the only thing with any hint of gingerbread flavour in that donut.

Gingerbread Chocolate Dream Donut from Tim Hortons

The fondant on top provides sweetness, and the filling inside is chocolate. A good donut but no gingerbread flavour and not something I'll order again.

A peek inside the Gingerbread Chocolate Dream Donut from Tim Hortons.

List of Dream Donuts from Tim Hortons

I arranged it alphabetically instead of chronologically.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

11th HelloFresh Box for 2022

For this week, our HelloFresh box arrived on Monday. I took Monday and Tuesday off from work this week and have more time to cook HelloFresh during the day.

Kadai-Style Paneer with Peppers and Garlicky Basmati Rice

We cooked this meal Monday for lunch and had the leftovers for Wednesday's lunch.

I love HelloFresh when everything goes smoothly but immensely despise it when an ingredient is missing. It would have been forgivable if it was garlic or onions that I could quickly get in the grocery. But if it's a spice missing, then it's annoying.

Dal Spice is missing from this recipe, and I found out when I started cooking it. I don't plan to buy a bottle of Indian Dal Spice just because I need a tablespoon for this recipe. As expected, the lack of spice made the dish extremely bland. I am so disappointed.

Kadai-Style Paneer with Peppers and Garlicky Basmati Rice
Tonight, we're bringing you a twist on traditional Kadai paneer with spiced peppers, coconut milk, and garlicky basmati rice! Grab a spoon and get ready to dig in!

Wednesday Update: My husband was preparing to throw out the trash, and he found the Dal Spice inside the paper bag. Gah. I feel bad and stupid because I blamed HelloFresh for giving us bland food when I should have looked closer at the paper bag.

Fajita-Style Beef Bowls with Basmati Rice and Lime Crema

We cooked this meal Wednesday for dinner and had the leftovers for Thursday's lunch.

Delicious! Although I think I went overboard with adding too much lime zest on the lime crema and wished there were a bit more tomatoes, overall a delightful dish.

Fajita-Style Beef Bowls with Basmati Rice and Lime Crema
Easy, quick, and packed with flavour, this dish gives you the fiesta without the fuss! Bell peppers and green onions pair beautifully with tender beef to create a fajita bowl that comes together with smoky Mexican-style seasoning.

Maple-Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry with Garlic Rice

We cooked this meal Thursday for dinner and had the leftovers for Monday's lunch.

It's sweet. If you don't like sweet meat, then I don't recommend this dish. Even with all the ginger in the box and salt, I still find it a bit too sweet.

Maple-Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry with Garlic Rice
Maple, ginger, and soy sauce team up to make a zippy sauce that will make this stir-fry night a memorable one. In this sweet and savoury sauce, you'll find carrots, peppers, and juicy chicken. A base of garlicky rice and a garnish of green onions complete this stir-fry sensation.

Cal Smart Turkey Salad with Creamy Dressing and Feta

We cooked this meal Friday for lunch and had the leftovers for Tuesday's lunch.

I love the crispy apples, the turkey's juiciness, and the feta's saltiness. Overall, a wonderful low-calorie quick lunch.

Cal Smart Turkey Salad
This speedy salad is jam-packed with fresh tomatoes, crunchy carrots, and crisp apples then topped with juicy seared turkey and a delicious mayo dressing for a wholesome kickstart to your week!

Tuscan Sausage Linguine with Sweet Bell Pepper, Chili and Parmesan

We cooked this meal Sunday for lunch and had the leftovers for Wednesday's lunch.

I love the chili flakes and the heat it brings in. Overall, one of the heartiest pasta sauces HelloFresh has to offer.

Tuscan Sausage Linguine with Sweet Bell Pepper, Chili and Parmesan
Juicy pork sausage and garlic create the perfect flavour base for this classic pasta sauce. Built up with sweet peppers, chili and Parmesan cheese, this recipe is so simple and delicious that you'll want it to become a part of your weekly repertoire.

Spicy Gochujang Veggie Bibimbap Bowls with Jasmine Rice and Fried Eggs

We cooked this meal Sunday for dinner and had the leftovers for Friday's lunch.

First, I love the portobello mushrooms. On my first bite, the texture reminded me of bulgogi. The gochujang sauce was perfect. I hate that this dish tastes so good without meat.

Spicy Gochujang Veggie Bibimbap Bowls with Jasmine Rice and Fried Eggs
Spicy and saucy are coming your way in this hearty vegetarian dinner! This isn't just another rice bowl. Tonight, gochujang is firing things up, while sesame sautéed portobello mushrooms change up the veg game. Sunny-side-up eggs finish off the dish like a dream!

I don't have any more discounts from HelloFresh, so I am uncertain when I might get a box again.

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