Category for Food

FBC2014 Food and Swag

One of the best things about the food blogging conference I went to was the food. So many yummy meals, and no one judging you for taking pictures of your plate, haha.

The first dinner was put on by the Dairy Farmers of Canada.

First course, four cheese truffled macaroni with a lentil crumble. Deliciously cheesy with an earthy flavour. The lentils were crunchy, but with an odd texture between your teeth.

Main course, roasted salmon with lentil & bacon vinaigrette, ricotta gnocchi, caramelized cauliflower. Loved the (sustainable as per Ned Bell) salmon and the gnocchi.

Dessert, red wine pear & hazelnut financier, salted caramel sauce, toasted wild rice ice cream. This was SUPER YUMMY. The little cake was moist and sweet, with slightly sour cherries (wait did they switch the pear for cherries? not sure) and salty caramel to balance. And the ice cream was totally smooth and creamy and sweet with a hint of rice flavour. Nom nom nom.

Whole Foods breakfast. A Japanese breakfast burrito that had smoked trout, eggs, mushrooms, sticky rice, nori, kale seaweed salad, red curry mayo all in a tortilla. Fruit salad that was sweet and SPICY. I loved the burrito! I have never eaten a breakfast wrap like it before. I heard from other people that they didn’t really like this breakfast, but I thought it was super unique and good.

Morning snack break with treats from Butter. After 4 weeks of not eating any sugar, this tasted incredible. The brownie was super rich and the “Oreo” was awesome. I got a copy of the Butter cookbook in my swag bag and when I’m back on sugar I am totally trying these recipes first. So decadent.

We had a make-your-own-sandwich bar for lunch but nothing too crazy so I’ll skip it.

Dinner on the second night from Mushrooms Canada and Ontario Beef.

First course was a beef cheek & portabella ravioli in a Samuel Adams beer consommé. I always giggle when they make single ravioli dishes on Masterchef so I was pretty amused to finally get to eat one in real life. And they always go on and on and on about consommé being perfectly clear on TV too, haha. Anyway it was nice. I am not a beer drinker, and I could taste it in the soup, but it was still lovely. And perfectly clear.

Main course, the star of the entire conference imo, roasted beef with shortrib & mushroom gratin, lentils, caramelized celery roots & hearts. I knew the beef was going to be good when I realized there were no sharp knives on the table. This beef was so tender you could pull it apart with your fork. So nice. The gratin was also rich and savoury and crispy and soft. Everything else was fine, but I definitely gave the beef and gratin priority.

Dessert, coffee chocolate float with a marshmallow top, preserved cherries, lentil cookie. A lot of people loved this, but I can’t drink coffee so I only tasted bits and pieces. I did like the cherries I dug out of the jar, and the cookie.

Next morning we had an omelette bar for breakfast from the Burnbrae Farms but I forgot to take a picture.

Morning snack, mini doughnuts from Cartems Donuterie. Everyone was losing their head over how cute they were. They looked good but I found them overly oily.

The last day we got to order food from Foodee for lunch. I had a Tacofino chicken karaage burrito, with chicken karaage (duh), rice, cabbage, avocado, and more. Loved it. It had tons of chicken in it and lots of flavour.

So much swag! They sent us home with tons of things from all the sponsors including two full cookbooks, glass containers, egg cooking thingies, a portable cell phone charger, granola, and lots more all in a sweet insulated cooler bag. I was very impressed with the swag bag!! Plus I think there are still a few more things on the way.

Other great things about the conference:

  • really useful seminars about the ethics of blogging, finding your niche, increasing traffic, etc etc.
  • meeting tons of other food bloggers from here in Vancouver and all over Canada
  • copious amounts of wine

So glad I decided (last minute) to go.

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Fraser Valley Food Show 2014

Last last weekend I headed out to Abbotsford with a bunch of other food bloggers to check out the Fraser Valley Food Show. Just like last year there were lots of samples and things to look at. FVFS is a lot less busy then Eat Vancouver so you get many more opportunities to chat with the vendors and learn about their products.

Again they had a sausage competition where you could try about 15 different types of sausages for $2 and then vote for your favourite. I liked the crunchy chewy sausage sticks from Dressed To Grill the most. The silky smooth smoked liver pâté was also really nice.

I also attended TWO cheese tasting sessions with Reg from The Dairy Farmers of Canada. Thirteen types of cheese, OH YEAH. I loved the spoonfuls of mascarpone with honey and cranberry.

I haven’t eaten any sugar in one month (!!) in an attempt to stabilize my blood sugar and break my addiction to candy. Anyway because of this I was kind of limited to what samples I could try. I did manage to find some awesome balsamic salad dressing that didn’t have sugar, and some unsweetened almond milk for Scott to use in his coffee (he’s off sugar as well). And a bunch of gluten free crackers for Lesley. So… a successful day!

PS I’m off to the Food Bloggers of Canada annual conference this weekend. A whole weekend of learning how to be a better blogger, I can’t wait! All food is provided… so it’s going to be a cheat weekend…. can’t lie, I’m pumped.

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The Sonora Room at Burrowing Owl Winery

Fancy lunch at the restaurant at Burrowing Owl Winery. We got there a little early so we could look around and taste some wines in the tasting room. I guess they also have a hotel there too? It definitely had a beautiful view.

We ordered the breads and spreads appetizer which ended up being this enormous platter with roasted carrot hummus, shrimp salad, and olive tapenade, with three different types of bread. The mini herb loaf was delicious and the soft baguette was so good. I really loved the shrimp salad and the salty olive tapenade. The carrot hummus was ok too, nice and sweet. We must have tried every combination of bread and spread several times. This platter is definitely big enough for several people to share!

I ordered the duck leg confit, which comes with basil gnocchi, a random piece of chorizo, with some vegetables and aioli. It was all very nice, the duck was nice and tender and the vegetables and sauce were prepared nicely. I didn’t understand the inclusion of chorizo at all, I actually thought they had put it on the plate by accident.

Scott ordered the lamb sausage sandwich which ended up being like a fancy hotdog. Which is funny because Scott doesn’t like hotdogs. It had aioli and cheese on it and came with a nice salad. I think he enjoyed it alright, but it wasn’t as nice as my duck.

All in all, a nice meal. Be sure to make a reservation ahead of time as we saw people without being turned away.

The Sonora Room on Urbanspoon

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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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Trino’s Restaurant – Oroville, WA

One of the nights we were in Osoyoos the four of us decided to go across the border to Oroville, Washington for dinner and gas and groceries. Scott volunteered to be DD so Lauren, Rosemarie and I could go nuts on their obscenely cheap margaritas. This GIANT margarita fish bowl was $14.50!! It was funnnnnn.

Chimichanga del mar. Had (real) crab, scallops, shrimp, onions in a tortilla thing covered with sauce. Scott and I shared this. It was definitely big enough for two people. It was rich and tasty.

I think this was seafood enchilada? Crab something with a lot of cheese (clearly). Lauren said all he could taste was cheese.

Rose ordered prawn fajitas. The onions were nice and caramelized. Quite tasty. Giant. Good thing Lauren is a bottomless pit. ;)

Sopapilla for dessert. I forget what was inside the pastry bit, but it was covered in ice cream and strawberries. Was ok.

Dronk.

Trino's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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