Monday, January 30, 2012

Strawberry Sunday

Thinking to have Sunday Wife Cooking series or something because we observed that we have more time to do our kitchen activities on Sunday.

Short Rib (Korean BBQ style?)
Wife had planned to have the Short Rib for a while to satisfy her special needs.

Fried Vermicelli (or know as Bee Hoon Goreng)
Second dish is a simple and easy to make one (even I can do it!). I promise you! it's easier than doing Regular Expression.

Three dishes in total
We always prepare at least one veggie dish to go with the rest. But... of course veggie dish usually look less tempting :)

Curry Puffs!
Wife was craving for them puffs that we purchased sometime in the past. They're beefs and chickens. Don't know which one? Don't matter! they all are delicious!

Now it's my turn to do my own signature drink: Strawberry Orange and Banana smoothie.

For whatever reason, it seems that I'm always in charge with the drinks. Perhaps my cooking skill contributes to such decision. 

Ready for absolute demolition
This smoothie doesn't need ice cubes at all. The trick is to freeze the banana (and the Strawberry if you like thicker smoothie). 

Snack :)
As always, Sunday is the mopping/sweeping schedule for me. Therefore I need me some rewards :).

Strawberry Smoothie and Curry Puffs are great companions for Sunday NBA showdown between the Dallas Mavericks vs San Antonio Spurs.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Snacks And More Snacks

This Saturday we dropped our guard and grabbed a few sinful snacks during our grocery since we still have a few fruits leftover from last week.. Let's cut the story short and start drooling.

From the pastry department: mushroom onion cheese bun and egg tarts.

Followed by durian pastry and spicy dried pork floss bun.

Deep-fried yam wrapped durian
Durian inside!
We were a little bit disappointed with the durian dim-sum because the durian wasn't ripe yet (i.e.: not sweet enough, not pungent enough).

Ah... pork floss for breakfast!
Now, let's move onto the Snack department!

We strolled for a while in the Japanese snack aisle before decided to pick a few items.

Kameda Hai Hain Rice Cracker
Fell in love with the packaging more so than what it actually is.

None of us can't read Japanese but it seems that this cracker is intended for babies. Maybe it is a substitute for milk?

Taste was so-so. Like... powder milk.

But a few no-nos: don't let the babies eat the cracker alone and also don't let the baby play with the packaging afterward.

Sanko Seika Kongari "W" Cheese Sembei
Wife had a minor issue with this one but I like it. Very cheesy!

Apparently someone wrote a very extensive review on this one:

Another one from Kameda Seika
Forgot what this one is but probably another type of rice cracker with different taste :)

Begin to wonder that maybe we should start doing this weekly: pick one or two snack we never tried before.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fruitful Chinese New Year

Was planning to post this yesterday but "life gets in the way".

We did our regular grocery one day late, on Sunday, one day before Chinese New Year. T & T Supermarket was pretty much a little bit chaotic due to the last minute shopping.

As usual, we went to two supermarkets because our needs are divided (not equally...) between them.

We found that there were plenty fruits on sale so we grabbed a few of them. I've been trying to eat healthy so have switched all the snacks and sodas with fruits. Haven't bought soda forever with the exception of occasional purchase of soda with combos once in a while if we had no choice but fast food.

Little did we know, we had more than enough.

Strawberries, granny smith apples, and navel oranges (sour...) are my favorite.

Wife likes avocado, Pacific Rose apples, and baby mandarins.

Bananas, shinko pears, and watermelon are our "common denominator".

I've been mixing granny smith and honey crisp apples too lately but alas honey crisp is seasonal so I took gala apples this time.

This time around, wife decided to get the dragon fruit seeing that it is the (water) Dragon year.

We ate the shinko pear and could taste a bit of alcohol and very sweet.

Wife asked how we can finish them all. I have no idea but I'm quite sure we can finish them all even if it takes 1.5 weeks :). (The watermelon is "Nada" by the way).

Even though we tried to eat healthy, sometime the last mile of T & T Supermarket is populated with lots of goodies from cakes to dim sum to sushi.

And let's just put it this way: they know the path we took and show us the world of lust to no end until the cashier.

Target: 2 dim sums, 3 breads (milk custard bun, pineapple bun, etc), 1 chinese doughnut (read below why...)

Decided to test this new dim sum, don't know what it is called.

Basically it is sweet potato noodle (we think it is cause the texture feels like the noodle used for Jap Jae) wrapped in seaweed and deep-fried. It tastes a bit spicy too! We definitely love this one and would buy more in the future.

Many of us should be preparing for the Chinese New Year celebration at night but we didn't do much since it's just wife and I. Parents called to share their plan (made us jealous!).

Having said that, wife cooked wonderful dishes as always :).

Our sunday brunch favourite: congee with chinese doughnut and various condiments.

We decided to take a break from house clean-up in the afternoon to enjoy those sweet watery watermelon while watching Real Madrid demolishing its neighbour, Atletico Madrid.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hi Genki Japanese Restaurant

Hi Genki is a Japanese restaurant that only serves home cooked meal. That means no sushi or sashimi, instead you'll find various udon (beef, chicken, or seafood), chicken karaage, donburi, etc.

Hi Genki is owned and operated by Fujiya Sushi, a popular Sushi pickup place near my current office in Downtown. Colleagues and I frequently go to Fujiya to get lunches and snacks as they sell cheap (and good) foods.

Hi Genki is located on the ground floor of the Nikkei Home senior housing in Burnaby. Nikkei Home itself is a part of Nikkei Place, along with National Nikkei Museum & Heritage Center and Nikkei Sakura-So.

Nikkei Home
We've been coming here for a while since it is quite close to where we live.

It's cold and raining today so I opted for a warm beef udon.

Beef Udon
I was surprised to see a few bits and pieces of lemon in my soup, something new I suppose. The beef udon itself taste quite good. Not too salty, a little bit sweet (from the beef broth).

Wife ordered spicy chicken karaage. Been a while she had one.

Tasty chicken karaage
We love their spicy chicken karaage because the sauce/spices is a little bit different than other restaurants. Again, we found something new out of the spicy chicken karaage: slices of red onion.

Almost forgot, they put glutton balls to our miso instead of the typical tofu.

We thought their approach is a little bit creative, even though they only added one or two items to the dishes, than the other similar style Japanese restaurants. 

The prices are quite reasonable, ended up paying $19-ish (including tax and tips). 

Once we had our stomach filled, wife wanted to explore the next doorsmall Japanese supermarket, Suzuya.

They don't sell too many Japanese staple items but I suppose it's better than nothing right? (^_^).

Wife likes Myojo Chukazamai (the green package)
Other stuffs
Tons of Goodies
Wife grabbed a few things (I forgot already) and I bought a huge cream bread (it's delicious by the way).

In the afternoon, wife cut my hair as it has been 3 weeks since the last time I had one.  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Winter Office

I've been coming to the office very early lately due to the weather.

Yesterday, I decided to take a few pictures from the office, which is, luckily, located at the 7th floor somewhere in the middle of Downtown.

It was snowing and foggy that day thus the background is pretty much non-existent.

The proximity with the U.S.A Consulate General is entertaining due to the protests happening once in a while outside. Sometime I do have a little bit of concern of any physical hazard being located near them as well.

U.S.A Consulate General is next to Starbucks
My employer has had a few small celebrations at Marriott - Showcase restaurant across the street. It's nice to be able to talk to everybody in the office once in a while, catching up what they're doing.

Freezing Cold Weather
When there's no snow or fog, we can see North Vancouver and the mountain quite clear.

Let's hope for more pictures of the cauldron when activated (^_^).

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Patisserie Lebeau

Patisserie Lebeau is a hidden gem tucked somewhere in between expensive car dealerships such as Lamborghini Vancouver, Lotus, and Weissach near Burrard bridge.

I suppose there's a correlation between exotic car lovers and Belgian waffles, the european flavour?

Maybe people would purchase one of those exotic cars after consuming the fantastic waffles?

Sneaking up to take the picture
The owner wasn't in charge of the cashier that day, not used to see him in the kitchen. But I guess it's a good thing, he's probably testing out new ideas.

Wife and I have been there for a few times in the last 2-3 years to get those yummy Belgian filled waffles.

Ham and Cheese Brussel waffles
My favourite is the filled Ham and Cheese waffle. Unfortunately they ran out of them by the time we arrived. We normally drive there as early as 10 AM but due to grocery and everything else, we arrived after lunch. Because of that, I had to go with the second option: Brussel waffle version of Ham and Cheese.

Those hams are tasty!
Wife opted the Rice Cream filled waffle.

So... square-y and read to be eaten!
Rice Cream filled waffle was the first waffle I had from Patisserie Lebeau. Lately, I prefer the savory options.

Notice the difference between Brussel and filled waffles? Brussel waffle had the stuff mixed-in while the filled waffles is just that... filled inside.

Waffles aren't the only ones Patisserie Lebeau made. They made excellent pastries and sandwiches as well. Had one of them sandwiches last year and definitely would have them again from time through time. The thing is, we always go here for snack, not for brunch/lunch.

Oh, one more thing: they also sell pre-packaged Liege Waffles in a few grocery stores as well.

The list of stores that have them can be found in this link:

Now let me finish them yummy waffles... om nom nom nom...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

La Taqueria

La Taqueria is one of our favourite mexican restaurants in Vancouver. We found this one out a couple years ago when my co-worker took me there.

Colorful taco shop, just like in Mexico
The place is quite small and occasionally a little bit crowded during weekday lunch hour as Tacos are great fit for lunch I suppose.

La Taqueria serves authentic Mexican street tacos. You won't find the other typical Mexican dishes there.

My order
We typically order 4 tacos because they give discount if you do that. The pricing scheme is simple:

1 meat taco @ $2.50, 4 for $9.50
1 veggie taco @ $2.00, 4 for $7.00 

Suggestion: if there are two of you, you can order 4 meat and 4 veggie and split them to get the better deal.

Wife order
My order was: Al Pastor, Carnitas, Asada, and Tinga de Pollo.
Wife order was: Pescado, Tinga de Hongos, Asada, and special (seasonal, was fish at that time). 

Took us about 20-30 minutes from start to end and back to our car. Lightning quick. 

While the food was awesome, we can't say the same about the surrounding neighbours.

Uh ... wha?
As soon as we stepped out of our car, we can smell them. Wasn't too happy with that.

Luckily, La Taqueria opened their second taco shop not too long ago in Cambie. The only reason we went to the old place was because it was on our way. We'll definitely go to the other place next time.

Monday, January 16, 2012

White Sunday and Dim Sum

We woke up on Sunday and immediately noticed the white powder outside our house. Not good. It was snow on Sunday morning. Not good because Sunday is the day of the week where we give thanks to the Man above and His house is located at the bottom of the hill.

This time we decided to take the risk and drove there anyway. Let's just say that the Man up there made sure we arrived intact with no scratches or anything at all despite the slippery road condition.

Afterwards, we head to consume Dim Sum at Po King Seafood Restaurant. Wife was craving for some Har Gau.

Window blinds to protect the innocent from the bright winter sun
One portion costs about $3.10, up from $2.80 previously (around October 2011 last year I think).

Monster Dim Sum (scallop)
Once our stomachs were full, time to hit Walmart. Wife spotted a few good deals from the flyers yesterday.

On our way to Walmart, we saw the mountain covered in snow. Time for a ski at Whistler?
Whistler is calling, what say you?

We didn't plan for a trip to Canadian Tire that day but was in our future-to-do-list. Since we stumbled upon one nearby (just a few blocks away from Walmart), might as well go there.

We were looking for a small desktop table to put our old TV inside our bedroom. Currently the old TV uses a slightly broken desktop table with no space to put the PS3 or Wii if we decided to move those toys upstairs for convenient.

Plan is to put Wii/PS3 on the bottom of it
Found one we like due to its dimension, shape, and usefulness. Price $59.99, not too bad but we weren't under pressure so we decided to wait for a few more weeks just in case Canadian Tire put the item on sale.

We then headed home... carefully, since apparently the snow from last night had turned solid a bit.

We never own a winter tire before and probably won't get them any time soon due to limited and short-term snow weather in west coast.

The snow was a bit more than the previous night. Managed to take a few pictures of our backyard.

Wife grew onion leaves once in a while in the backyard, snow usually kills them all.

Poor onion leaves
As usual, wife prepared food for Sunday and Monday. This time the menu are Seafood Kwetiau Siram with a few slice of beefs (a.k.a Rice Noodle with Gravy):

... and Chicken Steamed Rice (hometown style, not Hainamese style):

While wife was cooking, I swept and mopped the floor, as always. Last but not least, clean the HQ up.

Been thinking to remove The Simpsons poster underneath the glass top of the desk. Maybe one... fine... day.