Cucumber Cup Gazpacho Shots

 

Cucumber cup gazpacho

Cucumber cup gazpacho

 

Sorry, I have been terribly lazy of late! Seriously, what have I been doing? Nothing much. Besides work and watching anime and painting my Nausicaa model and eating a lot… nothing much at all. 

Perhaps it’s time for an end of summer post… I realize I have an affinity for cold foods. It’s not that I dislike hot food though, I just don’t shun cold things… I’m a warm (perhaps hot?) blooded human, after all. For some weird reason, things that should be eaten hot I often just eat at 4C. ie. from the fridge. Or even lower. I like salads, and cold, “liquid salads” are certainly great. OK, probably not to the point of the whole fadish veggie smoothies stuff, I’m talking about gazpachos! It is the end of summer, so there is not much chance left for this cold soup. 

I made this simple gazpacho from 1 tomato, 1/2 sweet Vadalia onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1t balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. I used 1 long English cucumber and threw in the scoopings that came out of the cucumber cups. Just mix everything to a consistency of your liking in a food processor, and serve. I had quite a fun time with the cucumber cups. But you can just serve in an old fashion bowl, of course!

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La Boheme Crepes @ Kitsilano Farmer’s Market

 

La Forestiere

La Forestiere

This is what I came for! Well, mostly, anyway, and the produce too. More about this later…

Summer weekends means farmer’s markets. I went to the one in Kits the past weekend. It was pretty small, compared to both Steveston and Ladner, but it had more produce in terms of quantity and variety… It could be just the particular vendors present, or the time of the season (even 2 weeks could mean the end of a certain produce). 

Kitsilano Farmer's Market

Kitsilano Farmer's Market

 
There were a lot of different types of fresh vegetables and a lot of apricots and many different kinds of cherries. Lineups were long for most of the veggie places, especially this one tomato stand. The only bread place for this bread fanatic was A Bread Apart, who, for 3 markets in a row, had out that fruity cranberry loaf. I found squash blossoms again, and I got some but they were a bit more expensive (50 cents each) than the farm that sold them at the Steveston market (6 for 50 cents). The ones with the zucchini attached were for a buck each. Yikes.
 

Apricots

Apricots

 

Greens

Greens


 

Of course, the best, BEST thing about this Kits Farmer’s Market is La Boheme Creperie:
 

La Boheme

La Boheme

They make these awesome buckwheat crepes in their little purple van, in many many savoury and sweet varieties. The one I tried and pictured above was the Forestiere – a cheese, mushroom and spinach crepe. It was sooooo good, and the lineups get a little long here too. Basically everybody I saw at the market was having their giant crepes. I think they also visit the Trout Lake farmer’s market, anyway, definitely check them out, they are awesome.

Taverna Gorgona – A little Greek paradise

 

Taverna Gorgona

Taverna Gorgona

 

We came to Taverna Gorgona for lunch after strolling around the Ladner Farmer’s Market. It was Sunday noon, hot, and the patio looked pretty full from the outside. W had suggested we grab a quick sandwich and coffee and find somewhere to sit and eat outside, but I had my eye set on the Taverna. Luckily, right after arriving we were seated by the friendly owner Niko in the rear patio (the other one faces the main street). The rear patio is cozy, there are large umbrellas for shade and greenery surrounds, and there is even a little gazebo in the corner that can seat a small party. Like a little Mediterranean paradise!

 

Taverna Patio

Taverna Patio

 

 

The service is very friendly and fast here. There are a lot of servers running around. We were told that because I had made a little request for my meal (no cheese, sub rice for salad) that the food would arrive a little slower – but it was not slow at all. Actually, compared to many restaurants (save for Chinese noodle houses maybe  hahaha), the food came really fast. Every table gets a basket of pita bread, which is drizzled with what appears to be herbed butter. Their pita is not like typical pita … It’s thick and fluffly, rather like bread.  It was good.

 

Taverna Pita

Taverna Pita

 

Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve had lamb (lamb being my favorite in the red meat category even though I don’t really eat red meat.) I had already ate half of Fieldstone’s Cranberry and Currant loaf by this time, but I was still feeling incredibly indulgent :-D. Enough to consider getting one of their lamb gyro’s, but seeing how gigantic they are I was glad I didn’t. I decided on souvlaki, and since W ordered the chicken, I went for the lamb souvlaki. Gawd… was it ever delicious lamb! 

 

lamb souvlaki

lamb souvlaki

 

 

This was W’s chicken souvlaki – chicken grilled to perfection! All their souvlaki’s come with rice, potato, tzatziki and Greek salad.

 

Chicken Souvlaki

Chicken Souvlaki

 

Beer and Calamari:

Calamari

Calamari

 

The inside is quite festively decorated, there is some skylight too so if you don’t end up out on the patio you could still get a bit of sun:

Inside the Taverna

Inside the Taverna

 

This place is both casual and classy. It’s like you can totally get your fried squid, fried oysters, whatever, with your beer, and sit and relax, or you can come in at night, get a bottle of fancy wine, have a lamb rack. Cheers!

Bee-AH

Beer!!

 

Taverna Gorgona

5047 48 Ave, Delta

604 946 9111

Panini’s @ Neptune Bistro

I don’t know how long Neptune Bistro has been opened, probably because it’s in that back corner of Coppersmith Place Mall that I never pay attention to, although I shop frequently at the Kin’s Farm that just a few feet across the parking lot from it. (And Coppersmith Mall – I didn’t actually know it had a name – I thought it was just Ironwood Mall’s other side… I guess not!)

Anyway, I wanted to check this place out so I dragged NF here with me. (NF didn’t realize there was a cafe at the back of Coppersmith, either.) On the menu are panini’s, donairs, salads, sandwiches, wraps coffee, soup, hot entrees like tandoori chicken and pasta, various pastries… lots to choose from. There are also things like sandwich/soup deals for something like $6.99. 

The service is pretty nice, neighbourhoody. We ordered, took a seat inside (there are two tables outside) our sandwiches came in about 10 minutes.

 

NF ordered the chicken turino panini, and a coffee:

Chicken panini

Chicken panini

 

And I had the roasted veggie panini, with an Americano:

veggie panini

veggie panini

 

The ciabatta they used had a thin crispy crust and very soft fluffy crumb, it was pretty good, light bread. They didn’t use a panini press though, seems like the bread is just toasted. The veggie panini I liked- I think it was like this pepper relish that dressed it and that tasted really good. The portion sizes aren’t huge, but just good for me, though larger appetites may need something more.

This is a nice spacious spot and pretty cozy. There is free wireless access and a big screen TV with several couches in front of it, but the TV wasn’t on. It was lunch time so it was obvious that a lot of customers were from surrounding offices.

I’d definitely come back to try out their other menu items. For a fast, good, casual lunch spot, the selection and quality sure beats the other similar choices in the mall (Tim Hortons, McD’s etc). At least they’ll have decent coffee!

 

Neptune Bistro

Coppersmith Place Mall

#100 – 11331 Coppersmith Way, Richmond
604.277.6647

Quick Strawberry Yogurt Parfait

 

Strawberry Yogurt Parfait

Strawberry Yogurt Parfait

It is summer! And strawberries!

I think of parfaits as breakfast food, typically because all its ingredients (yogurt, granola, fruit) are associated with breakfast. But this was a nice, super quick dessert on a hot night. I love yogurty desserts like this: crunchy granola, sweet fruit, cold gooey yogurt. It is so healthy, yet desserty at the same time! Of course, if you wanted to indulge you could sub the yogurt with ice cream. And you can layer it with whatever fruit or granola or cereal you desire. Though berries are the best choice. I just happened to have some fresh local strawberries from W&A Farms on hand, and some yogurt and granola. Just layer, and repeat. 

Parfaits are fun to make! You can dress it up pretty fancy Gourmet-cover-shot style, but I think it will turn out pretty decent looking even if you’re just throwing things together randomly and messily like I did here. Just find a pretty glass. You can’t really go wrong. Great for entertaining when time (and skill) are limiting! 😉

Ladner Village Market

  

Ladner Farm Market

 

Ladner Market

 

Drove down to Ladner on Sunday to check out the Ladner Village Market, held 10AM-4PM, every other Sunday until September. It is one of the biggest open air markets around, and spans several blocks, so naturally I was excited about going, despite having to wake up early on a Sunday to get there just before 10AM. The market had already opened and there were quite a few people already, and not long after I had arrived the music started! Early birds!

 

music

music

 

It wasn’t even 10:30AM and there was already a huge line-up in front of the Fieldstone stand (I knew they would be here, it was the first stand I looked for. The same two friendly ladies are working here as when I went to the Steveston Farmer’s Market last weekend 🙂 ). The line up was so long that it blocked the next stand over, and we were told to nicely shuffle over and not stand in the way. Hahaha. 

 

Fieldstone

Fieldstone

After standing in line for a bit we got a parisian baguette and a cranberry and currant loaf:

Cranberry and currant

Cranberry and currant

 

Since I didn’t really have breakfast I found that in a little under an hour I had already nibbled through half of the cranberry loaf. I liked it: it was whole grain, and had a lot of dried fruit in it. The crust was hard and tough, and the crumb was dense but not too moist. The bread itself was not sweetened, just kind of like a regular loaf of bread. There was a similar cranberry loaf out for sampling at A Bread Affair‘s stand that day (they were also at Steveston), and that one I found to be sweeter and softer and more like a fruity bread (Fieldstone’s is more like a bread, with some fruit. If that made any sense at all).  

 

Stopped by the Granola King‘s little tent. I’m not sure if this guy is Granola King but he sure looks the part! And was really nice and friendly too! I have never tried their granola before, but there were several samples out and they were all great! All their stuff is natural and have no preservatives, or added sugar. 

granola king

granola king

 

So I bought a small bag of the hazelnut hemp heaven (because it just sounded so… hmm… exciting!)  and some almond butter which the King also graciously shared on a bit of apple. I liked it a lot and even though I could get natural almond butter at the supermarket for cheaper I decided to get a small jar here. More on the granola in another post.

Hemp heaven and almond butter

Hemp heaven and almond butter

 

More cheese from Little Qualicum. This time I tried their raspberry Fromage Frais – it was really really good! Definitely get some if you’re passing by here.

More cheese?

More cheese?

 

There were many craft stands here. My favorite was the canned planes one:

canned planes... plane cans. Recyclables

canned planes... plane cans. Recyclables

 

There are also the usual jams and preserves and some dried fruit stands. Some coffee places. I didn’t find there to be a whole lot of produce (for the size of the market). There was the one Okanagan cherry stand, one large tomato stand, some strawberries/berries, some carrots and potatos and such. Nothing too out of the ordinary. And for some reason there was a lot of garlic. The produce wasn’t that cheap either, so I didn’t buy any.

 

Some produce

It got busy really fast! All the dogs were out in full force too! There was pretty constant entertainment and music, there were tons of people, the sun was shining… So it felt very summery and festive. What I really liked about this market- even though there wasn’t as much produce as I had wanted- was its size compared to the others. It takes up several streets. There are also more food stands (pizzas, gyros, hotdogs, the mini donut truck, not to mention all the bakeries), so you could grab a decent lunch/snack/dessert while strolling around. I ended up having lunch at the awesome Taverna Gorgona though, that will be in a later post! 

Ladner Market

Ladner Market

 

Ladner Village Market

@ the Ladner Village on 48th Avenue, Delta

Sundays 10AM-4PM
June 08 & 22 – July 13 & 27 – August 10 & 24 – September 7

A sea of Siegel’s day old bagels

Made a trip to Granville Island just to buy 2 bags of Siegel’s day olds… hmmm 2 dozen bagels.

 … YUM!

You never know what you’re getting (well, you do, you can see it, but what I guess I’m saying is that you never know what kinds they have left over and bagged up), but still…both T and I agree it is simply.. aaahhhhhhh. Bagelicious. This time it was a dozen poppy seed and a dozen of mixed (mostly rosemary and rocksalt, some cranberry). Went through half a bag before the rest made it into the freezer (hence the two bags. I made the mistake the first time I got these: I bought only one bag and had only 3 bagels left to freeze).

siegel\'s bagels

Now when I open my freezer I see a sea of bagels. Hm, in fact the freezer is mostly bagels and bread right now. There’s some frozen halibut (emergency rations for when it’s no longer halibut season), several bags of shelled edamame (my snacks), some frozen berries and mango (for shakes), a pack of smoked salmon, and a few small bags of frozen fish and meats. But seriously, over 80% is bagels and bread. MWAHAHA!