Category for Canada

Hancock Gourmet Lobster

Last week I came home to a big box from Hancock Gourmet Lobster. They sent me a couple lobster pot pies, and a couple lobster mac and cheeses (in a styrofoam cooler with ice gel packs!) for me to try and review.

Hancock is based in Maine but has a fully Canadian site with Canadian currency and shipping to Canada. The products are made in small batches with real ingredients so that the quality remains very high.

The lobster pot pies were super cute! They came in a reusable ramekin with a puff pastry lobster crust on top. After baking it for 25 minutes it looked like the pictures above. The good: Huge chunks of lobster, nice sauce, decent pastry. The bad: It wasn’t very full inside since all it is filled with is lobster and sauce. Could have used some vegetables or something too in my opinion.

I liked the lobster mac and cheese more. It was also filled with tons of lobster, like every second forkful had another big chunk. Yum. The cheese sauce was super rich and the panko topping gave it a nice crunch. It had mascarpone, cheddar, and parmesan in it. NOM. It tasted amazing but definitely a cheat meal!!!

I don’t get to eat lobster very often so these dishes were a special treat.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post other than the free product, and all opinions are my own.

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Osoyoos 2014

We had such a nice time in Osoyoos last year we decided to rent Julie’s trailer for a whole week this summer. Rosemarie, Scott and I spent the whole week relaxing, and Lauren joined us for a few days as well. IT WAS GREAT.

The week started off HOT, but it cools down so much at night I didn’t find it uncomfortable. Plus whenever we got hot we just walked across the street and swam.

One day we drove up to Penticton to go tubing down a river. The scenery wasn’t as nice as Cowichan River tubing, but the current was a lot quicker so it was easier. Plus instead of shivering we were basking in the sun. I even bailed off my tube on purpose at one point! We brought wine in Rosemarie’s camel pack, which managed to make a $16 bottle of wine taste like a $3 bottle of wine. BLECH. Wine should be enjoyed from a glass, not a tube.

Now that we’ve done the river once we know how to do it better next time. First step: acquire a PARTY ISLAND. Second step: park at the bottom of the river and get a taxi to drive you up the river at the beginning. Third step: bring better drinks and snacks.

On the way back we stopped at Tickleberry’s for ice cream. I asked for a single cone in Nanaimo bar flavour and the guy said “Well our single cones have THREE scoops so you have to pick THREE flavours!”. WAT!! That’s too much ice cream. So we got child size, which still has two scoops and two flavours. (I had Nanaimo Bar and pralines & cream.) We couldn’t even finish our cones. Do they have infant size??

If I went back I would split a waffle bowl with someone else to avoid death by ice cream.

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After an afternoon of wine tastings we stopped at a U-Pick farm. We went in thinking we would just pick a few peaches since it’s cheaper than buying them. But then we found out they had tons of types of fruits and vegetables!! Most of the vegetables were in this massive overgrown patch. We picked a peaches, nectarines, peppers, and zucchini. Since it was already the end of August there wasn’t a whole lot of good stuff left, but it was still awesome. We kept yelling to each other whenever we found something. “JALAPEÑOS!!” And 99 cent/lb heirloom tomatoes?? That’s crazy! I bought all of them.

Side note: haven’t the tomatoes been amazing this summer? I don’t know I can eat winter tomatoes anymore after this incredible summer of cheap and flavourful tomatoes.

Scott hates corn, but we forced him to eat it several times. But that is corn at its best… fresh cob, tender kernels, covered in butter and salt. Om nom nom. I think he secretly enjoyed it…

We have figured out that you can cook corn on the BBQ (in the husk) anywhere from 5-45 minutes and it comes out the same, FYI.

Other stuff we did in Osoyoos:

  • tons and tons of games, especially Carcassonne
  • tons and tons of cross stitch
  • tons and tons of reading
  • tons and tons of wine and margaritas

Julie and Steve came up for the last couple days we were there too so we got to hang out with them a bit too. Julie made Osoyoos bellinis and Calvin took Rosemarie and Lauren out on the boat. We had a nice family dinner outside their cabin.

It was so nice to unwind and just hang out. We had very little things to stress about and it was awesome. SO nice after a summer filled with work.

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Summer Pictures, Mostly Food

Sooo let’s just ignore that some of these pictures are like three months old……

Rosemary Rocksalt bagel with salmon, avocado and cream cheese. How can you even improve on this?? Perfection.

Two kinds of ceviche, guacamole and pico de gallo at La Mezcaleria. OM NOM NOM. With a ludicrously expensive margarita. (Best margaritas in town though).

GIANT VOLCANIC BOWL OF MOLTEN CHEESE AND CHORIZO. So greasy, so amazing. This is a once-a-year (or less!) food.

Pork tenderloin kebabs with vegetables and halloumi. Homemade tzatziki and tortillas. This was a team effort meal with Scott, Rosemarie, Lauren and I that magically all came together perfectly despite little planning.

Rosemarie and I finally did the crayon art project that she gave me for Christmas/AFFH. Making the crayons melt was so addicting.

The Jornas, at the PNE this year. Lesley took this picture.

I had a jalapeño popper grilled cheese. It took them like 30 minutes to make. Le sigh. But it tasted pretty good, it had cheese, peppers, cream cheese, corn chips!

Me broad jumping at the bobsleigh/skeleton summer tryouts. I did pretty bad, it was sort of embarrassing. But still fun, kind of. I think I was a lot better at running this year compared to last (still too slow though) but I actually got worse at broad jump (down to 1.75 m from 1.78 m). Yikes. And I was HORRIBLE at the underhand medicine ball toss. It kept slipping out of my hands!! Lots of work to do if I ever plan on being competitive.

So many more people than last year!! It was nice seeing some old friends from last season, and great to see some new faces! I am hoping that the group of recreational (and BC development) sliders gets bigger this year. It would be fun to have races with more people, especially girls!!

Manicure from last week. Stained glass/negative space. I did my left hand. Scott had to help me with my right hand. Maybe Rosemarie will post a link in the comments to the Salon Jorna picture she took.

A made pie! Peach pie! We had picked a dozen or so giant freestone peaches in Osoyoos last week at a giddy u-pick session. I whipped up two pies with homemade crust and everything. I usually don’t like pies because I hate cooked fruit, but peach pie is pretty good. Maybe because the texture of cooked peach isn’t very different than raw peach? This was my first time making crust and it went… ok. It’s a little tough. I think that happens when you overwork the dough? But overall the pie tastes GREAT. Making pies is very satisfying.

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Scandilicious

Hangover Helper – poached egg, back bacon, hollandaise, green onion

Abba – avocado, bacon, brie, apple, balsamic reduction

Scott and I went out for breakfast on the weekend. We ordered these two waffles and then traded halves. The waffles were really nice, crunchy and chewy, delicious. The toppings were good but had a few flaws, the poached eggs were poached hard, which is unfortunate in my opinion, and the Abba waffle needed three times as much brie and some kind of sauce to stop it from being a little dry. However, the hollandaise was nice and tangy and the bacon was plentiful.

I would like to go back and try some of their sweet waffles some time.

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OMG It’s Already Mid-August

Time for a picture dump since I’ve been a lousy blogger and haven’t been keeping up with this great summer we’ve been having.

A pretty sunset. It was like this every night for a good two weeks during the heatwave. I used to think I liked 30ºC weather, but I guess I’ve become a real Vancouverite because that is way too hot!! Now I’m happy when I see the weather report say 22ºC, heh.

We spent Canada Day on Kits beach this year with Ryan and Ryan and others. It was hot. The tide was wayyyy out so I didn’t swim. Random raindrops fell from the sky which weirded people out enough to pack up their beach stuff and leave.

Pre-fireworks sunset with Lauren. Always envious of the people watching from a boat. I need to make friends with someone with a boat. The fireworks were good. It was funny hearing the music coming from the speakers and  people’s radios and phone apps all out of sync.

Scott accidentally broke off a whole branch of his tomato plant. Whoops!! By the way the tally so far is Scott: 17, Katrina 41. WOO!! Our plants still have quite a few flowers and green tomatoes but they are not developing nearly as fast so I think the contest is nearly over.

Free slurpee on 7-11. Perfect timing, it was SUPER hot that day.

I went to the Sunshine Coast with Lesley a few weeks ago. It was Sea Cavalcade and there was a parade and fireworks and other stuff going on. We watched the fireworks from a tugboat. I always have a nice relaxing time while visiting her house, like a cottage getaway.

Rosemarie came over and we played Agricola. We finally tried out the expansion! I liked it, even though Scott won both games as usual. Rosemarie still says it is her least favourite game. Sigh.

The second game took so long the sun went down and it was too dark to see the pieces any more. We reached a new level of nerdiness when we brought out my old desk lamp to light up the games table. How lovely it is to be out on the patio all the time this summer though?! Our patio rules.

Many games of Settlers this summer. We’ve gotten quite a lot of use from the 5-6 player expansion!! Thanks MEP and Paul!

Well that’s all I’ve got.

We have one more week of work and then we’re off to Osoyoos for a week. Both of us are really looking forward to this vacation because we’ve been working hard!! Scott has been doing a ton of overtime and I’ve been working every day too. Can’t wait for white wine and swimming all day in the lake.

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