Archive for April, 2010

Since we’ve had our little guy, feeding ourselves has been a chore. Which is rather unfortunate because I love to cook and we both like to eat! I’ve managed to make a few meals and am currently on the hunt for fast, healthy and full-flavour meals so if you have any recipes or cookbooks to share, please do so!

Since we’re all in a sharing type of mood, I’d like to share a few favourite things that I’ve discovered lately.

Samurai Sushi on Fraser St.

I found Samurai Sushi on Yelp! while trolling about for cheap eats in Vancouver while we were still living in Smithers. This is our new sushi haunt since Kishu Island Sushi on Main St. burnt down a few months ago. It’s only two blocks from where we are currently living, ridiculously cheap and excellent value. It ain’t the most stellar sushi in the world and the menu isn’t a complete one that you would find at a larger restaurant (for example, they don’t make a lot of appetizer sort of things), but when it’s been a crazy day with the little tyke and you’re both starving, $30 will feed two people for two meals each (dinner and lunch the next day).

Pic from Samurai website

Gluten-Free Garbanzo Bean Chocolate Cake

This is for those who have a sweet tooth. I stumbled across this gem on All Recipes, a site I commonly peruse for different meals. I wanted a dessert that my husband could eat but was fast and simple to make. It doesn’t get any simpler than this. Five ingredients…..


1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (for this, I used 9 tbsp of cocoa instead)
19 ounce can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
4 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp baking power
Confectioners sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Grease and flour a 9″ round pan. If using the chocolate chips, melt them in a microwave. Combine the beans and eggs in a large bowl and process until smooth (I just used a hand blender). Add the sugar and baking powder and pulse to blend. This is when I added the sifted cocoa. Mix everything completely until smooth. Pour into pan and bake at 40 minutes. Check if it’s done by using a toothpick and empty to cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Dust with sugar before serving.

I think next time I’ll bake it for a little less for more of a brownie-like texture, but overall, the cake was great. It would make a really good layered birthday cake. You’d never know it was made with beans! A good way to fool your kids…

Fast Indian Food

We live in an area where ethnic foods are easy to come by and there are numerous mom and pop grocery stores that have cheap fruits, veggies and ethnic bulk products. We came across these at one of our local stores a few blocks away from our house and they are delicious! (Although I am trying to stay away from Indian food as much as possible right now since our son has been fussy and gassy lately.)

They are pre-packaged Indian meals but don’t taste one bit processed or fake ~ in fact, it’s fairly restaurant-quality. There are no preservatives, it’s 100% vegetarian, and gluten-free. All you do is pop the package into a pot of boiling water for 3-5 minutes or remove the contents from the package into a bowl and microwave it until piping hot. There are lots of varieties to choose from ~ we’ve had about 4 so far and they are always good. I just make a pot of rice to go along with it and lunch is done.

You can see more about these products here.

I love flowers. Any kind, really. I’m not quite sure where the tulip farm idea came from, but I do know that my friend, Emily had something to do with it when she went to visit one last April with her little family. I saw the pictures and thought that was something I’d like to do at some point whenever we moved back to the Lower Mainland. And this was my grand opportunity to check out acres of these bright blooms.

We went to the Tulip Festival at Tulips of the Valley on Sea Bird Island just outside of Agassiz. We packed up ourselves, Fin and my mother-in-law who was visiting us for the week from Ontario and headed out on the lengthy drive to the Fraser Valley. I fell asleep in the back of the car alongside my son ~ we had a rough night together and I was running on about 3 hours of sleep! I woke up just as we were making the turnoff towards Agassiz, a cute little town that I had never been to, nestled amongst pastures and mountains. Perfect.

The farm itself is rather strangely located ~ in the middle of nowhere on a country road. There is no real “farm” itself,  just acres and acres of tulips and fields of grass fallowing. It had started drizzling and we only had about a half hour left to wander around since it closed at 4 pm. It was lovely to walk around amidst thousands and thousands of the same kind of flower, there is definitely something to be said for rows upon rows of beautiful tulips.

Here are a “bunch” from the day. And #86 on the 90 in 2010 is complete!

Hm. I thought it was funny……

Happy Sunday!

I grew up in a neighborhood that is very multicultural and now I am back to the same area for a brief period of time. I really value having grown up with so many different cultures around me ~ it gives me such an appreciation for different colours, tastes and beliefs. And it keeps reminding me of how much of the world I haven’t yet seen but would like to!

Every year since I was a kid, the Sikh community celebrates a festival called Vaisaki, which marks the beginning of the new solar year as well as the new harvest season. Streets are shut down, the local merchants on Fraser St. serve complimentary Indian dishes, there is entertainment and a large float processional that weaves its way to the Sikh temple on Marine Drive. It is such a colourful event ~ I love all the colours that the women wear in their saris and all the sparkly, detailed beading that often goes along with it. I really love Indian food too, although I might have to nix this for Fin’s sake for a while (we had a few days of a sad, gassy infant and I’m wondering if it was because of the spicy food from breastfeeding).

There is an even larger Vaisakhi festival in Surrey this upcoming weekend that we are going to try to make it to. Fin did such a good job in the Baby Bjorn even though it was a very loud and busy afternoon.

For last year’s festival pictures, you can see those on my old blog here.

CTV’s Mi Jung Lee! Last year I got to see Pamela Martin. I love our local news anchors!

Today marks Fin’s second week. We got this cute kimono wrap as a gift while I was in the hospital. He still has a bit to grow into it, but it’s so cute I wanted to take some shots of it. It’s the bamboo kimono sacque from Beba Bean and it feels so soft. I’m hooked on bamboo!

And I promise that the next posting will not be more baby pictures!

What everyone says about newborns is true ~ you don’t get any sleep, your life is turned upside down and your heart melts every time you look at the little tyke’s face. I never really imagined myself with my own child and was never really sure I even wanted my own but now that I have one, I can’t imagine life without him.

Yes, the first week was hard and there is no way to prepare for having a newborn in the house. And I’m expecting a few more weeks like this too.

And so begins the barrage of photographs of my son, Finley. He’s a tricky model and we’re still figuring out the best way to take some posed photos of him while in a deep sleep. No real success on that yet.

Enjoy and Happy Easter weekend!

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