Tag archive for vancouver

Masterchef Australia Season 7 Finale Feast

After 3 months, 61 episodes, 22 eliminations, (+ 2 days of complete social media ban) it was time for us to watch the Masterchef Australia Season 7 finale. We had Rosemarie and Lauren over for a 4 course team challenge finale watching dinner where we all made fancy things from the show.

Lauren made salad rolls with shrimp and a dipping sauce.

Rosemarie made sesame beef tataki with gochujang aioli, pickled vegetables and puffed rice. Plated up in modern, negative space style.

Scott made meat pie with homemade crust, and homemade tomato relish (ketchup, hehe).

And I made lemon & thyme ice cream sandwiches with a lemon thyme syrup. Let’s not talk about the TWO glass bowls I shattered while double boiling, or the ummm… XTREME DARK CARAMEL syrup that fused itself to the pot…

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July

It stinks to have to work on your birthday, but it’s greatly improved when your (only) coworker has the same birthday too! The day started off shaky though, I couldn’t get the QC on the CT part of the camera to work and we had to call the service guy, who had to take the cover off the camera to investigate… while patients are piling up in the waiting room waiting and waiting and waiting. It was a bit stressful. Birthday cupcakes helped.

We had a bunch of people over after work for my birthday. Rosemarie organized a blind wine tasting. Everyone brought a secret bottle of wine (you can see them in the bags above), then Rosemarie made a list of the variety and the ~flavour notes~ of each of them (plus a few extras) and we had to taste the wine from little shot glasses and match it with the list. Plus say the country we thought it was from (basically a wild guess, haha), and the price ±$5. We had 4 whites and 4 reds, including one $7 bottle and one $30 bottle, hehe.

No one did particularly great but we did make some amusing conclusions. 1. $7 wine doesn’t taste good. 2. No one likes organic wine. 3. Vipi thought he didn’t like wine but turns out he’d just never had one sweet enough. He looooved the Barefoot Moscato, which basically tasted like syrup hahaha. 4. I really do like chardonnay, since I picked it as my overall favourite without actually knowing it was a chardy (for the lardy). 5. Everyone else’s favourite just HAPPENED to be the most expensive one…. after the prices were revealed. :P

Birthday gift headlamp. We ate chicken and vegetable kebabs and seven layer dip and all the rest of the wine, hehe.

Then we spent the weekend on the Sunshine Coast with Lesley and Stephane (Rosemarie and Lauren came too). We played lots of games (including this ultra nerdy version of Settlers!) and bummed around and PLANNED on going swimming at a lake, but then the next morning when we woke up it was suuuuper smokey out and ash was raining down from the sky. That was the first day where the smoke from the crazy forest fires drifted into the Vancouver area. Apparently there was a fire burning pretty close to where the lake was, so we didn’t go.

The smokey view from our balcony. The air quality index went up to 14 (10 is extreme!) in Vancouver. [It went up to 35 in Whistler!!] It was bad for several days. Made us all feel really tired and gross and everyone had a sore throat. Everyone was soooo happy when it finally rained and the air cleared up.

There are still a ton of fires around the province. It’s been a bad summer.

Found at the Shoppers Drug Mart downstairs. Purple yam and cheese. Interesting… interesting… is it worth $6 to try? What if it’s gross then I’ve wasted $6 and 1.5L of ice cream… but why would they even produce it if it wasn’t possibly good?

Celebration of Light fireworks night. I was extremely impressed with the sand couch these guys constructed. I was not impressed with the actual fireworks show. I would give China a 5/10 on fireworks (they lost 2 points for having those corny smiley face fireworks), and a 1/10 on music choices. Whyyyy was it so slow and sad and boring?? And cheesey!!

Other things that happened:

  • Scott and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary. We didn’t go out on the actual day, since we were going out for a fancy-schmancy dinner in the Okanagan a couple days later (another post coming). We ordered sushi and ate it while watching TV from separate couches. ~ROMANCE~
  • Kevin, Lisa, Phil and Lesley came over for dinner and Cards Against Humanity. We drank large amounts of wine. My face hurt from laughing so much. So much inappropriateness.
  • We spent a few days in Penticton with Braz and Lisanne (another post coming).
  • We hosted a Masterchef finale 4 course cooking party at our place (another post coming).

 

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June

I somehow convinced myself (and Scott) that we should hike up the Chief. I regretted the decision after the first 15 minutes of climbing. But, after 556,434 breaks, we made it up to the first peak. Most of the hike is forest stairs, but the top made of wide open smooth rock, and then you get a sweet panorama view of the Howe Sound and Squamish.

Speaking of sweet panoramas… Scott was pretty pleased with that idea, haha.

Quote of the day: “I’D RATHER DIE THAN DO EXERCISE!!”

It got really hot in June. I went to Kits Pool a couple times after work to cool off. I like that pool, it’s nice that it doesn’t have so much chlorine (it’s a salt water pool).

We also got our own pool. Our balcony rules.

Confetti nails. I love ~negative space~ nail designs.

This one is actually from like 6 months ago, but who cares. Zoya Pixie Dust is so easy to work with. You can make gradients and blend colours really easily. And as the nail grows out, you can just fill in the new part with another colour because it’s all textured. Like ceiling spray texture, haha.

Other things that happened, with no pictures (so did they really happen??):

  • I went sled pushing with Matt and Grant on Grant’s DIY skeleton sled at a nearby track. It’s pretty realistic compared to actual skeleton, including the fact that we don’t have a good way of slowing down. We rolled on to the grass or dragged our toes (a good way to ruin your shoes). I VERY nearly took out an elderly man, but luckily Grant ran in at the (very) last moment. The man had no idea. Note to self: look up.
  • Our check engine light came on and I got really stressed out. I was looking for OBDII code readers online and found a guy on Craigslist who said he had two types of scanners and would pull the code for $10. So we drove out to Coquitlam and got him to do it. Turns out Scott just didn’t screw the gas cap on tight enough. The dude cleared the code and we haven’t had any problems sense. I wonder how much that guy has made from doing that. It totally make sense, it took him maybe 10 minutes tops to make a quick $10! You’d pay off the scanner in no time.
  • Lesley had a birthday and we went to her house and drank a lot of sangria.
  • Scott and I used our Scene Points to go see Jurrasic World at the fancy schmancy VIP theatre in Coquitlam (I went to Coquitlam more times in the last 2 months than I did in the last 5 years (zero times)). We ate burgers and fried pickles and drank alcohol in our comfy seats while watching people get CHOMPED by dinosaurs (I almost wrote dinosours, mmmm). It was cool, although I would never pay the real price for a ticket.

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April & May

Better late than never?

Lesley had a super fun bachelorette party. We started the day with a delicious brunch with the olds, had a quick nap break, then headed to Kirsten’s apartment to get ready again.

We ate dinner at The Keg, and then danced the night away at a place on Davie Street. Lesley crushed another bachelorette at a drink chugging contest and suffered from a 2 day hangover afterwards, so I think it was a successful day. :D

Then a few weeks later was her wedding, at her parents house on the Sunshine Coast. It was lovely and really fun. Lesley has really nice friends. I loved the bilingual speeches and that I got the DJ to play Patio Lanterns, hehehehee.

We had such a terrible ski season here that it was a serious struggle to use up the three days of Edge Card we bought at the beginning of the ski season. We used the first two days when dad was here and it was pouring rain, and then used the last day on May 3rd with Rosemarie. There wasn’t much open but the sun was shining and it was super warm and pleasant. Spring skiing is awesome if you have the right expectations.

Our skeleton coach from last season was really great, so we were all super bummed when we heard at the end of the season that he was quitting. Matt, Grant and I met up with him in Kits a couple months after to catch up and finally find out what went down at the end of the season. Apparently BC skeleton has a lot of politics!! We are v sad that he had to go, but can totally understand his decision. Luckily he taught us so much during last season that I think we will be OK even if our new coach (still to be determined) isn’t as helpful.

I got a pair of free runners and Grant showed us his home-engineered wooden practice skeleton sled, which is clearly pretty amazing.

Scott’s friend Chris (Jono) and his wife Kirsten came from Scotland to visit us in Vancouver for a week. Scott took some time off and brought them all around the area. They did the Sea to Sky Gondola, looked at bears, Capilano Bridge, Granville Island, a local brewery tour, watched hockey and lots more!! Of course they tried double doubles, poutine, and other Canadian delicacies too. It was a really fun visit. Now I want to go visit them in Scotland too.

What else did I miss? No pictures:

  • We took the bus for a thousand hours to go to the Cloverdale Rodeo. Not worth it tbh. Not sure why I underestimated the amount of country music there would be…
  • Our new niece Ava was born. She is super cute!!
  • Lauren Clow came to visit again. We had her over for Burger Friday. Always good to catch up with her. It’s funny, I actually see Lauren more often than I do some of my friends who actually live here in the same city, hahaah. It was a short visit this time though.
  • Multiple trivia nights. We usually came in the top 3 in the first rounds, and then bombed the second rounds. Lucky for us they score them separately, so we usually got some free drinks! Go team Patty O’Lanterns.
  • Lots of yoga, lots of weightlifting (I started going to Terminal City Training 2 times a week instead of 1), and I worked almost every single day. Woot.

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How It’s Made: Yogurt

I looooove How It’s Made and Making Stuff (♫ makin’ stuff makin’ stuff MAKIN’ STUFF♫) so when I was invited on a media trip to see how yogurt is made I accepted pretty much immediately.

We went to Brandsema organic dairy farm in Abbotsford first. We got a tour of the farm to look at the cows, feed baby cows, watch the cows being milked, and see the milk being loaded on to the truck. Then we went to the Olympic Dairy factory in Delta, saw the milk coming into the factory, being pasteurized, poured into tubs, packaged, incubated, refrigerated and then loaded up onto trucks. It was pretty cool to see the whole process from cow to supermarket. And then we got to do a tasting session and try like 20 different types of yogurt. NOM.

The cows get to spend a lot of time in the fields, eating grass. They do get feed as well though (mostly corn and flax, plus soy, barley, peas) because apparently 100% grass-fed cows do not produce very much milk. They do not use hormones, and when antibiotics must be used the milk from those cows is dumped for a month.

Milking machines! They get milked twice a day and produce about 34 litres of milk per day per cow. It takes about 10 minutes to milk a cow.

1 day old newborn cow in the maternity ward.

We got to feed the baby cows. These ones were only a couple days old. D’awwwww. They were very thirsty. My cow yanked the bottle right out of my hands, haha.

All suited up for our tour of the yogurt factory.

Every truck of milk is tested for hormones and contamination before being accepted into the factory. Once approved, the milk comes into the factory into this room and these pasteurizing machines and mixing tanks.

The milk powder and cultures are added and then the mixture is poured into the yogurt tubs. Because they (mostly) make Balkan style yogurt the yogurt sets directly in the tubs.

Plastic seals and lids.

This room was 110°F. The tubs sit in here for 5 hours while the milk turns into yogurt.

And then it’s moved to refrigerated rooms for storage until the orders are picked and loaded onto trucks for the supermarkets! That’s a lot of yogurt!!

All together it takes about 12 hours to make a tub of yogurt (3 hours for pasteurizing, then packaged, 5 hours for ripening, then several hours for cooling). A sealed tub of Olympic yogurt lasts for 49 days, so if you look at the dates on the tubs at the store you should be able to tell how fresh it is. Once opened they can only guarantee the quality for a few days, since they only use natural ingredients. I can tell you that a tub of Krema is not going to last me for more than a few days anyway because it is ULTRA DELICIOUS. Seriously you could put Honeylicious Krema yogurt in a cone and eat it like soft serve ice cream.

We got to try a whole bunch of their line, the fruit yogurt, Krema (10% MF deliciousness omg), chia yogurt (tasty and very convenient!), kefir, and more. At the very end of the session we got to try a new flavour that hasn’t even come out yet… pumpkin spice. A lot of the bloggers lost their minds about this, haha. It will come out in time for back to school.

Anyway, a very informative and interesting day. And now I’m going to go make myself a bowl of Krema with raspberries…

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