Farmers Market Veggies

October 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

romanesco broccoli

l found this usual Italian vegetable at the Vancouver farmers market called Romanesco broccoli. It looks like an alien vegetable with pyramid shaped tips and tastes like a cross between broccoli and cauliflower. It feels like something straight out of Star Trek. This vegetable had so much character that I named it Gino.

I cut it into florets, steamed it and sautéed it with butter. It held it’s shape and really tasted like an exact cross between the two vegetables. It was really tasty and kind of freaked my kids out.

brussel sprouts

This stalk of brussel sprouts was so beautiful with the purple stalks that I could not leave it behind. The brussel sprouts at the top were small babies and got bigger near the bottom of the stalk. The taste of them was much milder than usual brussel sprouts, probably because they are so fresh.

Viktualienmarkt – Munich, Germany

October 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

olives munich

On my first day in Munich, Germany, I went straight to the famous Viktualienmarkt. It is like a farmers market but even better. They have the most amazing food to eat there and many cafes are in the market. I tried a few things and started with my favourite, olives. These olives were marinated with everything that you could imagine, herbs, cheese, citrus, garlic and much more. I got the most popular flavour which was herbs and spices and also tried the citrus and cheese olives.

deli munich

I bought a few items from this adjoining deli as well. I tried feta that was wrapped with thinly roasted eggplant, dried apricot that was stuffed with cream cheese and figs stuffed with cheese. I also got a cold lima bean salad that was in a tangy tomato sauce.

exotic foods munich

There are tonnes of stalls selling the most beautiful exotic fruit and vegetables that were all mini in size. I did not buy anything but was amazed at the selection.

ornaments munich

These were also popular at the market. It seems the Germans are always ready for Christmas and these ornaments were on sale at the market in September.

Spice Market in the Grand Bazaar Istanbul

October 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

spice marketThe Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey is a maze of endless shops selling handbags, leather, clothing, household goods, gold and of course spices. My friends and I walked into this shop and was greeted by a friendly gentleman who took his time and explained the various spices to us. He was a great salesman and both my friend and I bought a full bag of spices, tea, dried fruit and turkish delight. My purchases came to $50.

spices - grand bazaar

The spices were so fresh and I found the Indian spices to be of better quality that what I buy at home. I purchased a mild chill powder from the several that they had for sale and turkish saffron. I also bought a few types of herbal and fruit tea that was essentially dried turkish fruit.

Grand Bazaar - dried fruitDried turkish fruit. I got a tropical mix that included pineapple, mangoes, coconut and some green apple.

turkish delight

I was prompted to try a sample of Turkish delight even though I originally refused because I normally don’t like it. I was so amazed at how delicate and intricate the flavours were and ended up buying a couple pieces of each flavour.

Ramazan shop is located at Terziler Sok, No.22 Kapalicars, Beyazit – IST, Turkey in the Grand Bazaar. Tel: 0212 511 82 18,

Japanese 100 Yen shop or $1 store

September 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

Japanese 100 Yen shop

I love to shop and when I travel, I love to pick up cool kitchen gadgets. My kids laugh at me as they think it’s funny when I get excited about a new strainer or peeler.

Tokyo has 100 Yen shops that sell household items and are equivalent to North American dollar stores. I was very surprised that they would even exist here. When I found out that many of Saya’s gadgets are from there, I was very excited to see the store for myself.

They are basically the same as the $1 stores that we have in Canada. The only difference is that the quality is very high in Japan and the design of the items are very practical and cute.

I had accumulated a long list of items that I wanted to bring back to Canada but by the time I stocked up on Japanese sauces, rice crackers and other food, my free luggage space had diminished.

I went a bit wild at the first 100 Yen store and bought some beautiful Japanese ceramic bowls, a ginger grater, felt coasters and tea towels made from linen. I decided to cool down at the second store but of course I could not resist. I bought a veggie slicer, a cute minnie mouse lunch container with a picture of the eiffel tower, a cute animal duster and lots of candy for my kids.

I have already started a list for the next time that I visit Japan and for sure will bring extra luggage.

Japanese tea time

September 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

French bakery in Tokyo

The Japanese love french bakeries and in Tokyo they are in a category of it’s own. Tokyo, Japan is a sister city to Paris which might explain why every neighbourhood is littered with exquisite french pastries. I never thought that I would need to be mindful of my waistline when coming to Japan. I neglected to pack my running shoes thinking that I would not need them. Boy was I wrong. I now wish that I had them as I am enjoying all of the delicious cuisine that Tokyo has to offer.

Today, we picked up some pastries at one of the many authentic French boulangeries in the neighbourhood. They carry everything from macadamia demi loafs to sweet chocolate and cheese pastries. The signs are in Japanese and french and being from Canada, I was able to understand what each item was. As each day goes by, I increase my navigation skills and who would have thought that french would have come in handy in Japan.

I picked a cheese bun and a caramel apple pastry. Saya’s favourite is the cinnamon roll and her husband picked the classic pain au chocolate.  When we sat down to tea and pastries we all agreed that the cheese bun was the hit. My caramel pastry was delicious, heaven in each bite. I must say that I am getting very used to being in Japan and do not know how I will survive back home. I had the thought today that I could move here just to enjoy the delicious food.

La Casa Gelato: Ice Cream Is No Longer Just For Kids

April 29, 2012 § 1 Comment

As the weather warms up, I often get a hankering for ice cream and the best place to satisfy that desire is at La Casa Gelato located on 1033 Venables, just off Clark Street in Vancouver. With 218 flavours to choose from, try not to get dizzy from walking in circles and trying the different samples. After deciding which beverage to order in a coffee shop, this is probably the second most difficult food ordering decision that you will have to make.

I was surprised to see adult offerings like their Guinness sorbetto that tastes quite strongly of the actual beer and has a surprising clean after taste. They also had a Jack Daniels whiskey flavour which I did not dare to try.

Casa Gelato’s creative flavours are endless like their pear blue cheese with gorgonzola which was heavy on the cheese with a sharp after taste and a sample was enough to make my taste buds happy. My favourite ice cream flavour is coffee and I got their most popular one, espresso with chocolate flakes. The espresso was strong and the ice cream was not too sweet or milky, exactly the way that I like it. I always love going to La Casa Gelato and will pop in throughout the summer.

Unique and Eco-Friendly Gifts for the Foodie in Your Life

February 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

The first time that I stepped into Much and Little, I was walking along Main Street with a friend and decided to go in and take a peak. Much and Little carries housewares, clothing, and accessories with a focus on local and sustainable products that are well made and designed to last. The owner Sarah’s design and art background are apparent when you set foot in the door. The beautifully merchandised store has something for everyone including those hard to shop for people in your life.

Sarah’s philosophy is that we should love the items that we use everyday and that they should be tactile, comfortable, simple, functional, and we should not get bored of them. Sarah selects items that have a heart and soul and are made by real people and use natural materials. Much and Little carries many unique eco-friendly and artisan housewares that are perfect for the foodie in your life.

The Austrian made Riess enamelware is all natural and made from crushed glass, pot ash, metal oxide and steel. The enamalware is free of heavy metals and safe to use for those who have nickel allergies. The enamelware heats up quickly and distributes heat evenly without imparting a taste or smell. The pots and dishes can be used stove top, in the oven and are dishwasher safe. The twenty centimeter saucepan sells for $41.95, one liter stockpot $42.95 and the one liter measuring cup in white costs$43.95.

Much and Little carries a large selection of wooden spoons made by Jonathan’s which are made from cherry wood.  My favorite items by Jonathan’s include a wooden pie server ($20) and a lefty stirring spoon($24). Shown is a hand carved ladle that can rest on the side of a pot ($46).

Japanese cast iron bottle openers $24.95 each.

Local artist James Steidle, uses end pieces of Douglas-Fir to design this cutting board, small ($110) and large ($120).

Studiopatro’s cotton and linen blend apron($78), criss crosses at the back to prevent pulling behind the neck. The pockets on the front hold cooking utensils and there is a place to tuck a tea towel.

Enjoy your next candle lit dinner with a soy candle ($29.95) made by Sydney Hale Co. Their candles come in many unusual blends like Tobacco+Sandalwood, Coco+Espresso and Much and Little’s most popular seller Fir+ Blue sage. Sydney Hale Co donate ten percent of their profits to animal rescue.

Much and Little is located on 2541 Main Street in Vancouver, BC and open Tues – Thurs & Sat 11-6 pm, Friday 11-7 pm and Sun 12-5 pm. Contact Much and Little at (604) 709-9034 and email at


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