Brackley Beach

I can’t believe we’re already a week into August. This summer is going by so quickly! Last week, my sister and I revisited Brakish, where I enjoyed the arugula salad with feta, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, cucumber, tomato, raw broccoli, barbecued Atlantic salmon, and raspberry vinaigrette. It’s such a fresh, flavourful, delicious salad, and I’m glad I ordered it again. The salmon was perfectly cooked.

There was some salad left over, so I ate it for lunch the next day, alongside a banana-oat muffin smeared with peanut butter, some blackberries, and delicious sweet and salty trail mix. My favourite parts of trail mix are always the cashews and pecans.

Seline and I were so lucky, because we had the opportunity to go to Prince Edward Island’s beautiful Brackley Beach. Brackley is about fifteen minutes from Charlottetown, and “offers miles of pristine sandy beaches and majestic dunes with various nearby attractions to enthrall all guests to the region“. Seline and I enjoyed wading in the water, reading in the sand, and biking around the area.

For dinner, we biked to the Dunes Studio and Gallery, where Seline had lamb shank in Massaman curry, veggies, and rice. I had two appetizers – one massive seafood chowder with chives, and an incredible cashew pesto flatbread with caramelized apples, brie, vodka-infused cranberries, and scallions (incredible). I also ate so much of their daily bread, which was studded with chillies, cheddar, and chives. It tasted perfect when dunked into the creamy broth.

For dessert, we shared the strawberry shortcake and their daily special, the sticky date pudding. The macerated strawberries tasted awesome with whipped cream and biscuit, and as usual, the sticky date pudding was to die for. It was lovely served alongside fresh vanilla ice cream and berries.

Some things:

  1. Looking at the Dunes menu before going – Seline had the third option, the lamb shank
  2. PEI schedule
  3. List of requirements for a cool scholarship that Seline found

Few more things…

  1. I made a virtual poster for the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children
  2. List of things to do in New Glasgow, another area of PEI. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the opportunity to go
  3. Thank-you letter for our landlord

Our beautiful PEI home. Goodbye, lovely house on North River.

Seline and I have an obsession with Leonhard’s Cafe and Restaurant. I normally eat their salmon and avocado eggs benedict, which is absolutely delicious, but since we went later in the afternoon yesterday, I felt like something more lunch-y. I ordered the beet and goat cheese tart, which was topped with candied pecans. This is the most delicious tart I’ve ever eaten.

A completely different note – Sal and I love Small Print Board Game Cafe. Our favourite games are kind of lame: Quoridor, Guess Who Disney Edition (!!), something about funding the expeditions, Word on the Street, and Last Word.

Another day, Seline and I went to Piatto Pizzeria. It reminds me of Famoso Pizzeria in Waterloo, which I’ve been to quite a few times. I think I still like Famoso’s pizzas better, because they are more generous with their toppings. At Piatto, I ordered the arugula salad with gorgonzola, candied pecans, dried cranberries, and balsamic. In terms of pizza, Seline had the barbecue chicken pizza with caramelized onions, and I liked my goat cheese, proscuitto, and pear pizza. It was on the salty side, with the goat cheese and proscuitto, so I wish there was more sweet pear.

For dessert, Sal had vanilla bean ice cream, and I had a mason jar of creamy, flavourful tiramisu.

Another evening, Sal and I dined at the Pilot House. It’s one of our favourite PEI places. This time, she had the chicken gnocchi, and I ate the warm Cajun seafood salad again.

Pear and cream cheese pie with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream for dessert. This pie was great, but I’m not a big pie fan.

Yesterday afternoon, Seline and I went to COWS Creamery for our last dose of delicious Charlottetown ice cream. Seline had a scoop of vanilla and a scoop of chocolate, and I enjoyed my Cow-nadian Moo-ple ice cream (maple with swirls of syrup and crushed maple cookies) and pumpkin patch.

One of my favourite lunches was from Mavor’s Restaurant, where I ordered an award-winning grilled cheese sandwich. It was smeared with pear compote and stuffed with ricotta, cheddar, Gouda, and bacon. The bread was also a superstar – it was potato rosemary bread with plenty of butter. I loved this lunch, as well as the little side salad.

For dessert after lunch, Sal and I shared the chocolate lava cake with two scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Dinner from Lobster on the Wharf – I had the seafood pot pie with green beans and boiled new baby potatoes with butter and sour cream. Seline had their striploin with mushrooms and onions, plus coleslaw. I also had a lemon-poppyseed salad, which was a little boring.

Dessert was amazing. I’m a huge carrot cake fan, but don’t find good carrot cake very often because I’m a cream cheese icing snob. The cream cheese icing has to be perfect! And this one was. The cake was actually served warm, with the creamy, cheesy icing slightly melted. YUM!

Last but not least, a peaceful lunch at the office, starring peanut butter and banana, croissant, a banana-oat muffin, yogurt, more peanut butter, blackberries, and awesome trail mix.

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Seline and I are flying back to Vancouver (actually, Toronto first, then Vancouver – we have a one-hour layover) TOMORROW! We loved our time in C-town but are excited to come home, too.

Two Days in Cavendish 🐟

Good afternoon! I hope you are all having a great day so far. Lots to show you today! First of all, take a look at this lovely breakfast from Leonhard’s Cafe and Restaurant. Seline and I have gone here three weeks in a row. We love their eggs benny – she gets the bacon, and I get one with guacamole and one with smoked salmon. Their bennies are served with roasted potatoes and a refreshing green salad. I always get a chai latte, and then we share a vanilla roll.

Seline and I spent Friday and Saturday in Cavendish. Cavendish is a resort area on the north shore of Prince Edward Island, in Canada, famous for beaches and cultural sites. The park’s Green Gables Heritage Place, which inspired L. M. Montgomery’s “Anne of Green Gables” novels, includes the Green Gables house and several museums.

Seline and I never “got into” the Anne novels, so we were just excited to see the amusement parks and do other fun things.

We arrived midmorning on Friday, after a 50-minute bus ride, and spent the morning at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum. Some highlights:

  • a mirrored mirage
  • a mirror which was actually a WINDOW!?
  • Ellen Degeneres made of coffee beans
  • pieces of the Berlin Wall
  • statue of the reptile man
  • shrunken heads
  • wax model of the tallest person in recorded history, Robert Wadlow (reached 8 ft 11.1 in in height and weighed 490 lb (220 kg) at his death at age 22)
  • a tunnel with moving walls that made us lose our balance

After that, we ate at the Ship’s Pub and Galley. We shared a platter of cheesy garlic bread (DELICIOUS!) and a seafood flatbread with roasted potato and feta salad.

Afterwards, Seline and I visited the wax museum. There were plenty of wax figurines, including Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Shrek, Mila Kunis, Halle Berry, Celine Dion, and more.

Then, we mini-golfed. I am an awful golfer, and it took me about ten tries to putt the ball into the hole. Seline, on the other hand, attempted some shots with her eyes closed and got a hole-in-one. We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing at Mariner’s Boardwalk, then walked down to the real Cavendish Boardwalk.

For dinner, we ate at Chez Yvonne. They serve plenty of homey cooking. We shared a bowl of seafood chowder, which was sadly heavily potato-based, a roll, and a plate of haddock and lobster sauce, with mashed potatoes, roasted veggies, and coleslaw.

For dessert, Chez Yvonne had a daily special of molten chocolate lava cake. This dessert is a dream come true, served with two silky scoops of vanilla ice cream. I loved the filling in this decadent, but simple chocolate cake.

Two completely unrelated things:

  • our motel room – Silverwood Motel, which is near Ripley’s Museum and Chez Yvonne
  • I got to see a little piece of the Titanic! For some reason, ten year-old me was morbidly obsessed with the Titanic – I just found the voyage to be so fascinating and remarkable. I was so thrilled to SEE, in PERSON, a real piece of the RMS Titanic. What an unbelievable opportunity.

On Saturday morning, I woke up earlier than Seline and went on a short walk to Avonlea Village, where I devoured a chocolate croissant-ish pastry and a big cup of chai. Avonlea Village has seven restaurants, including Piatto Pizzeria, Moo Moo Grilled Cheese, and Samuel’s Coffee Shop. I brought a strawberry-banana smoothie home to Seline.

Then, we checked out of Silverwood Motel and went back to Chez Yvonne, where Seline had their smallest breakfast, which consisted of one egg, two pieces of toast, roasted potatoes, and bacon.

We debated between the beach and the amusement park, then decided to try walking down to the beach.

Bad idea! The beach was an hour away, and people are meant to DRIVE to the beach. Walking down there was quite a challenge, especially with the humidity. We never made it to the beach, but sat in front of a very serene pond to watch the ducks, before we headed back.

The daisies were beautiful, and there was a massive stretch of flowers. Since the road was quiet, we took plenty of photos in the middle of the road.

The walk made us want to EAT! We headed to Island Favourites, where Seline ordered a small green salad with grilled chicken and balsamic vinegar. I had the Sailor’s Sampler – which was FOUR mini lobster rolls, one of each flavour. We shared the potato wedges and coleslaw on the side.

  1. Lobster with mayo, dill, chives
  2. Lobster with mayo, celery
  3. Lobster with garlic aioli, lemon
  4. Lobster with melted butter

In the afternoon, we did an ESCAPE ROOM, died in the escape room (it was hard!), and then took the bus back to Charlottetown. I slept through the entire bus ride, and before I knew it, was back in downtown C-Town.

For dinner, we ate at the Gahan House, where Seline and I shared chicken quesadillas and a bowl of chowder with focaccia. The quesadillas were served with roasted potatoes and green beans, plus salsa and sour cream. Seline loved the chicken quesadillas! We ate some COWS ice cream before walking home – I had a scoop of PB Cup and a scoop of Moo Malt.

On Sunday morning, the two of us went back downtown. We sipped on chai (me) and iced black tea (Seline) before browsing the Sunday Market and heading to Dave’s Lobster. At Dave’s, Seline ate the lobster grilled cheese, and I had a combo of the simple mayo + celery lobster roll and the melted butter + garlic lobster roll. Both were great, and served with pickles, salt and vinegar chips, and iced water.

Finally, I had another scoop of COWS! This time, Fluff ‘N’ Udder (chocolate with marshmallow and peanut butter cups) with PB Cup.

We relaxed at the boardwalk…

And did another escape room in the afternoon. Seline loves escape rooms! I think she’s addicted.

For dinner, I cooked a piece of herbed Atlantic salmon with carrots, zucchini, and broccoli. Dessert was a lovely piece of blueberry crisp, from Receiver Coffee Company, served with yogurt.

That’s pretty much it! I’m still working on figuring out my Fall 2018 schedule, but here is Seline’s. She is taking some great courses, like Mythology and Anthropology.

On an entirely different note, I’ve been eating the same ‘ole tasty meal every day here at work – toasted bread with a smothering of peanut butter and sliced banana, alongside yogurt and some kind of baked treat. I LOVE IT!

Bye for now 🙂

 

CHOWDER FRIES in C-Town

Good morning!

Food-filled post ahead, guys. First of all, my sister and I are going to Cavendish tomorrow! It’s a touristy beach town in northern Prince Edward Island. We’ll be catching a 10:30 AM bus tomorrow and arriving in just over an hour. Both of us are really looking forward to it. I’ll be sure to take lots of photos.

Yesterday, Seline and I went to the Pilot House, where she had a striploin with mushrooms and asparagus. I had the warm seafood salad, with seared Cajun-spiced haddock, salmon, trout, shrimp, and scallops on mixed greens with cucumber, tomato, and lemon. I ate this last week, and had to order the same thing again. It’s so good – especially the goat cheese. Before our entrees, Seline ate a plate of calamari, and I had a cup of seafood chowder with a buttermilk biscuit. THE. BEST.

 

For dessert, we shared a delicious cookie pie topped with two scoops of ice cream and plenty of whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and nuts. Seline is not a dessert person, but she did enjoy this.

 

Couple of other things:

  • Seline stopped coming with me to school. Now, she’s staying at home to do some other things.
  • I chose my courses, but because there’s a time conflict, two of the courses were not added. I’m keeping in touch with my advisor to figure things out.

 

Yesterday, Seline and I went to the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market. One of my favourite vendors makes incredible focaccia bread. I had the maple-pecan focaccia, and Seline enjoyed her caramelized onion focaccia. I also had a pretty good iced London Fog. We chatted in the booths and ate our focaccia. 🙂 It was a really enjoyable morning, because I only work afternoons on Wednesday.

 

This maple-pecan focaccia was unbelievably delicious. The creamy, slightly eggy (?) topping was my favourite part.

 

The next couple of photos are actually from last week, when we were ALSO at the Pilot House. Seline ate the BURGERNATOR, which was stuffed with a big beef patty, deep-fried harvarti, all the normal burger fillings, AND a generous scoop of barbecue pulled pork.

 

I had that incredible warm seafood Cajun salad. Guys… I’d marry this salad.

 

For dessert, we savoured a sticky date pudding with vanilla ice cream. Dare I say – one of the best sticky date puddings we’ve eaten so far?

 

A fun day downtown, including: playing chess at The Great George hotel, a historical building. Neither of us can play chess, so this was a disaster.

 

Confederation Landing is a couple blocks from the “main part” of downtown. Seline and I ate COWS Creamery ice cream, looked at the water, and even bought sunglasses. Mine broke, and she didn’t bring a pair.

 

Seline and I are obsessed with this bookstore in downtown Charlottetown. It’s called The Book Emporium. We go at least four nights a week, to read, chat, and look at some new books. Last week, Seline bought three books for the price of two – The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials by James Dashner, AND the first book of the Harry Potter series.

Also, we always go to a place called Receiver Coffee Company, where Seline gets iced tea.

 

It looks like we’ve been going downtown and having fun every single day (which is true, because we have), but a large part of my time in PEI is spent at the university, where I have been working on a number of tasks. When I’m not working on UPEI-related research, I’m helping other people with miscellaneous tasks here and there. Check out my office space!

By the way, yesterday, I ate an ENTIRE BAG of that chocolate bark with caramelized nuts. It was heavenly. I just couldn’t stop!

 

Row House Lobster Company was another place that both of us were really looking forward to, and it did NOT disappoint. I had a stunning lobster gnocchi, and Seline had a lovely striploin with sauteed vegetables. We shared a chowder, as usual, and had bread pudding for dessert.

 

On Saturday, I went to the farmer’s market. The Charlottetown Farmer’s Market is in a nice building, and some vendors sell their goods outdoors.

 

I returned from the market with an array of delicious food – croissants, banana walnut bread, blueberry-lemon crumb cake, and a tasty brownie.

 

Another day, Sal and I went to Terre Rouge. This was one of my favourite restaurant experiences in Charlottetown so far – perhaps one of my top three? I had the lobster cannelloni (a word that I can never spell), and Seline ordered the creamy mac and cheese for her entree. We were given a lovely amuse-bouche: strawberry with mint and creamed goat cheese. Then, we shared a seafood chowder with a cheddar biscuit before we ate our entrees.

 

For dessert, I absolutely LOVED this miso gelato with lemon-blueberry cake, cream cheese frosting, caramel sauce, and chocolate ganache.

 

On Sunday, Seline and I did an escape room (TOTALLY a post on its own, right there). Beforehand, we had lunch at Brakish, near the water.

 

We started with a big platter of CHOWDER FRIES! You guys! This is hands-down my favourite fries dish. Ever.

Then, Seline had a grilled chicken wrap, and I ate a barbecue salmon salad with feta, blueberries, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds.

For dessert, I ate up their chocolate mousse with coconut whip.

 

This lovely meal was from Merchantman, where Seline ate crispy chicken tacos and fries. I had the seafood pappardelle with perfectly-seared scallops and mussels. I wish there was more parmesan on this dish, but the scallops were 10/10 perfection. Our dessert was a sticky toffee pudding, and we ordered another scoop of ice cream after.

 

Walking around the waterfront…

 

And that’s it! I’m actually at work, so I will get back to work. Have the best day, and I can’t wait to post more on our Cavendish adventures.

December Things | Coupons, Lobster, Turkey Marinade

Happy holidays, friends! ❄️

According to over 63,000 votes on Google Surveys, these are voters’ favourite parts of Christmas:

  • 3% carolling
  • 14% Christmas decorations
  • 9% Christmas dinner
  • 6% Christmas movies
  • 9% Christmas music
  • 24% presents
  • 7% Santa Claus
  • 28% time with family and friends

What do you think?

This holiday, I’ve been home for a week so far and have had so much deliciousness. First up, a tasty plate of Hainanese chicken rice, a fried egg, sauteed asparagus, and seared tofu with green onions. Mom is an amazing chef.

Another day, I loved chocolate oatmeal with crunchy peanut butter, along with the richest honey Greek yogurt and blackberries.

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Mom’s Taiwanese dishes are lovely. I loved this rouzao rice (minced pork rice) with stir-fried broccoli and carrots.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet up with the super intelligent, articulate, hardworking, and food-loving SHANNA YEUNG! I had such a fangirl moment when my mom and I saw her parking her car and coming over. Shanna suggested Kinemi Kitchen, a quiet Italian restaurant in a Vancouver strip mall. While unassuming from the outside, Kinemi Kitchen smelled amazing and served up the best cheesy baked lobster I’ve ever had, atop a bed of linguine and veggies in garlicky rosé sauce and parmesan,

We also had dessert: taro Nutella bubble tea sans bubbles and red bean cheesecake bubble tea – also sans bubbles. Before I knew it, I was on my way home!

Mom and I did some baking shortly after:

Chocolate Cheesecake

Serves one 9” pan (16 servings)

INGREDIENTS

  • 18 to 24 Oreo cookies or graham crackers, crushed finely (1.5 cups)
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar, optional (I didn’t use this)
  • 2 to 6 tbsp melted butter (depends on how much cookie you use)
  • 3 8-oz packages softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 8 oz semisweet chocolate chips, melted  in a double boiler and cooled
  • sprinkle of cinnamon, optional
  • 1/2 espresso powder, optional
  • 3 large eggs

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Combine cookie crumbs, icing sugar, and butter. Press into the bottom of a 9” springform pan.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes, or until you smell a strong chocolate aroma.
  4. Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add a pinch of salt.
  5. Add chocolate. Mix well.
  6. Add eggs one at a time. Mix on low speed until just blended.
  7. Add optional cinnamon and espresso powder, if desired.
  8. Pour over crust.
  9. Bake 55 mins, or until centre is set. Turn off the oven. Crack the door open several inches. Allow the cake to cool in the oven for 1 hour. Remove.
  10. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen the cake.
  11. Cool before removing the rim.
  12. Refrigerate cheesecake for four hours.
  13. Serve with berries (raspberries are awesome), caramel sauce, and whipped cream.

The day before, I had the opportunity to speak at my high school about travelling, co-op, volunteer work, and life in university. It was a wonderful experience, and neat to see all the hopeful, excited grade twelve students.

On a completely different note, I emailed a bunch of companies during the fall (to ask for free samples) and recently made a compilation of all the companies that responded to me with coupons. These were all mailed to my house.

Basically, what I’m saying is: if you have free time, or no life like I do, email these companies and get some free coupons. Mom and I ended up getting juice, maple syrup, bread, three boxes of tea, nut butter, two large containers of hummus, and frozen chicken and cheese taquitos – for just over $1.00.

Operation Coupon

  • Silver Hills Sprouted Bakery $1 off (x5 coupons)
  • Tetley CARE Lemon Ginger tea bag
  • Tetley Ayurvedic Balance Herbal tea bag
  • Tetley free herbal iced tea
  • Tetley herbal iced tea save $1 (x2 coupons)
  • Ozery Bakery $1 off (x3 coupons)
  • Ozery Bakery one free package of any product (max value $5)
  • Ocean Spray save 50 cents
  • Quaker, Aunt Jemima, Rice-A-Roni $2 coupon
  • Maple Lodge Farms $1 (x2 coupons)
  • Nature save 50 cents (x5 coupons)
  • Hain Celestial $1 off (x2 coupons)
  • Earth Balance $1 off (x2 coupons)
  • El Monterey Free product (max value $16.99)
  • El Monterey save $1 (x3 coupons)
  • Welch’s save 50 cents (x2 coupons)
  • TAZO free box of filter bag tea or tea latte concentrate (max value $5.99) x2 coupons
  • Sabra hummus free product (max value $5.99) x2 coupons
  • Smucker’s save 55 cents (x2 coupons)
  • Clover Leaf tuna snacks save 50 cents (x3 coupons)
  • Eden or Sobaya $1 off (x3 coupons)
  • Splenda $1 off (x2 coupons)
  • Twinning free box of tea, any size (max value $9.99)
  • Organic Meadow save 75 cents (x3 coupons)

That’s pretty much it for today. It’s Christmas Eve already, so I’m going to help with Mom’s turkey cooking. Here is what she used to make the turkey really flavourful.

Mom’s Special Turkey Seasonings

  • olive oil
  • butter
  • soy sauce
  • Dijon mustard
  • lemon juice from a fresh lemon
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • Italian seasoning
  • poultry seasoning
  • Montreal chicken seasoning
  • dried oregano
  • dried parsley
  • dried thyme
  • dried rosemary
  • dried basil
  • paprika

Bhima’s Warung

On Friday night, I met up with a new friend! We met in the coolest way:

Hi Cindy – you don’t know me at all but I promise I’m not too weird! I follow a lot of food bloggers, and I saw you commented on Kath Eats’ blog, and after checking out your page I found out that you go to UW! I’m a student at Laurier so I just thought that was kinda cool.. pretty small world haha! Just wanted to let you know that I love your blog and will be continuing to follow it 🙂

We chatted about housing, sublets, Toronto, food, sushi, and blogs – then realized we were both free Friday evening for an exciting food outing!

Before I show you those pics, check out this pear oatmeal. I grated most of the pear inside with a cheese grater, then topped it with pear slices and a big glob of peanut butter. Cocoa powder was also involved, making this breakfast deliciously dessert-like.

Also, check out this horrific lighting. iPhone camera + 8AM sunrise/5PM sunset = this.

On the bright side, I made muffins? These delicious, tender, not-too-sweet vegan applesauce carrot muffins were fantastic. I’ll share the recipe in my next post!

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We decided to meet at Bhima’s Warung. They had so many reservations booked throughout the evening, that, even though I called three days beforehand, we were left with a 5:45 reservation. Which, now that I think about it, was probably a blessing because I got super full.

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Our appetizer involved delicious chicken and scallop dumplings, fried and topped with spicy mango sauce and shoots. I really liked this! The dumplings were crisp, the fillings flavourful, and the sauce a great companion.

Indonesian-style noodles were also ordered. We shared this sweet, savoury, and tomato-y bowl of noodles. It doesn’t look big, but it was! The perfectly-cooked egg noodles filled me up so quickly. This bowl was also loaded with mushrooms, carrots, cilantro, and crunchy peanuts. The sauce was excellent!

Our main dish featured a piece of monkeyfish and a lobster tail, along with spicy coconut broth mixed with egg noodles. I absolutely loved this and could not get enough of the spicy, creamy sauce, tender noodles, and flavourful fish. The monkfish was cooked just right, and tasted quite fresh.

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Both of us were about to explode, but there were still noodles and some of our entree left over. Nonetheless, dessert was ordered.

Guys, this dessert blew my socks off (do people even still say that?). I absolutely loved this. It looks strange from the picture, but I’ll try to describe it. On the menu, this was called a black sticky-rice creme brûlée, so I was expecting a traditional creme brûlée studded with black rice. Instead, there was a cup of phyllo pastry filled with creamy black rice in a sweet sauce. That was topped with a custard-like vanilla pudding creme and a big shard of creme brûlée sugar topping. There were also grapefruit shreds on top. On the side, there was a slab of chewy toffee nuts. Everything tasted so fresh. The sweet vanilla custard and the tender black rice were my favourite parts.

Denise enjoyed a chocolate marquise, which involved spicy chocolate and orange (mango?) sorbet. I tried some of her chocolate marquise, which was absolutely delicious. It tasted like a dark, chocolatey, rich truffle crossed with the best gelato. I ate all of my dessert – and some of Denise’s too. YUM.

Yesterday and Sunday were yoga teacher training days! I have just three more days before I’m certified. WOO! Yesterday, I taught around 8 minutes of yoga to a group of 40+ people in this studio. I thought I would be nervous and shaky, but it didn’t turn out too bad at all. In fact, EVERYONE did amazing when they taught their parts. I felt so proud of my fellow yoga classmates! It felt a lot more natural once I was at the front, demonstrating. Guess my standards were a bit too low for myself 😉

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And, I believe that’s it for today! Happy Monday, my friends 🙂

Tuesday Coast Post: Muffins Galore and Mushroom Ice Cream

I’m writing this as I eat peanut butter blondies – just had my SIXTH one of the day! Yes, they are THAT good. And now I’m feeling a little guilty, as they are quite rich in calories… at least I did a spin class today? I can just never control myself around healthy, homemade baked goods, especially if they contain my two favourite ingredients: peanut butter and chocolate. Darn!

So here’s my second post in my Sunshine Coast vacation series – you can read the first post (Monday) here. Moving on! On Tuesday morning, I woke up at about 7:30. After cleaning, washing, and changing, I quickly published my prom blog post. Then, at around 8:10, Dad drove me into Sechelt to buy muffins from the famous The Bakery, a coffee shop and bakery known for their incredible muffins and scones.

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On the way, we passed a health food store, Bayview Szechuan Restaurant, and the Golden City Chinese Restaurant. Here’s the Bakery! It was a half hour drive into Sechelt. We also went to the gas station and McDonalds to buy breakfast sandwiches for Dad and Seline. Can you believe they don’t like sweet baked goods in the morning?!

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Here is the Bakery! We didn’t get here until after 9:00. I was starting to get hungry!

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The bakery smelled so yummy, and I was just DYING to try everything – but Dad let me settle on five muffins. Yes, five! But in my defence, I shared with Mom and had some the next day. I was disappointed with the service – the woman at the counter, who was in her late teens or early twenties, was very impatient. Despite the fact that there was no one in line after me, she had such a bored and irritated expression and tone of voice. 😦 For such a sweet coffee shop, you’d expect kind and enthusiastic servers!

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Back to the muffins! We didn’t get home until 9:40, and by then, I was very hungry!

Clockwise from top: Lemon poppyseed muffin, raspberry mango oatmeal muffin, gluten-free apple cinnamon muffin, savoury scone with cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, blueberry scone

Smile, Mom! We dined outside, in our little table on the patio/balcony. I loved eating al fresco because of the lovely bird chirping, warm and gentle wind, and sunshine. We also had quite the view from the resort! I could see the entire marina and most of Madeira Park. It was incredible.

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The muffins were incredible, too! Mom really enjoyed both of the scones. Out of the five, the two scones were her top two favourites. In contrast, I didn’t like the scones as much as the muffins – I rated these as my two least favourite of the five. I wish the savoury scone had some bigger, cheesier chunks, and the blueberry scone had more blueberries. But both had crumbly, buttery textures that are ideal for scones.

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The lemon poppyseed muffin and the raspberry mango oatmeal muffin were my personal favourites – 1st and 2nd place in my book! While Mom enjoyed the lemon poppyseed muffin (she gave it 3rd place), the raspberry mango oatmeal muffin was her least favourite. She said it had too much “filler”, being the raspberries, mango, and oats, but that’s what I enjoyed about it. This muffin would be perfect on a bowl of creamy oatmeal. The lemon poppyseed muffin had great flavour and was much more buttery. It crumbled easily and had the yummiest muffin top!

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The gluten-free apple cinnamon muffin was very unique as well. It didn’t seem gluten-free, but once I knew, I could tell. I’m guessing it contained rice flour and some sort of gum to hold it together. Mom and I both found this muffin okay, but nothing special. I was hoping for some big, tender chunks of apple and a stronger cinnamon flavour. This muffin top was delicious, though, sprinkled with some sort of raw sugar that caramelized when baking.

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The results of our baked goods taste test?

MOM

  1. Blueberry scone
  2. Savoury scone
  3. Lemon Poppyseed muffin
  4. GF Apple Cinnamon muffin
  5. Raspberry Mango Oatmeal muffin

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ME

  1. Raspberry Mango Oatmeal muffin
  2. Lemon Poppyseed muffin
  3. GF Apple Cinnamon muffin
  4. Blueberry scone
  5. Savoury scone

The two muffins below were my favourites! I deem these even better than Whole Foods’ muffins. 🙂 They were even better than just as good as homemade muffins.

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After an hour of kayaking, getting soaked, and taking a quick shower, we headed back down to the marina for lunch. Our resort, the Painted Boat Resort, had it’s own restaurant downstairs.

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Again, we had a beautiful view of Pender Bay, and on the other side, Madeira Park. Being about 1:00, there were surprisingly few people at the Restaurant.

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To start, we had the crispy chicken wings. They were gluten-free and made with a rice flour and cornmeal crust, with a red pepper dip. Dad and Seline thought this appetizer was very unique, and I couldn’t agree more! Chef Steve Boudreau told us that it took him two months to create and perfect. I believe him! Even though I’m not a chicken wings girl, I’m sure they were scrumptious from the way my family raved about these guys.

The calamari, which was served with tzatziki sauce, had a light crust and minimal oil. Mom liked how fresh the seafood was.

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Funny story! I checked the Restaurant’s menu online the day before coming and was SO excited to order their flatbread with arugula, herb pesto, smoked ricotta, and mushrooms. However, it wasn’t on the menu the next day. I asked the waitress, and she invited the chef out onto the patio to speak with us! I told him about how I’d been looking forward to trying the flatbread, and he insisted on making a custom flatbread for us – with any toppings we desired! While they didn’t have smoked ricotta cheese, he made this wonderful flatbread for us – starring regular ricotta, sprouts, and sweet grilled corn. This was delicious – I especially loved the handmade crust.

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Flatbread with roasted wild mushrooms, roasted garlic, sliced beets, sprouts, roasted corn, ricotta cheese

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Mom and I ordered seafood dishes – pasta for her, salad for me. Both were very, very yummy and featured house-smoked salmon. I love how the salmon came in chunks, rather than slices. My salad was very fresh, and the creme fraiche went well with the smoky fish. Mom’s linguini was rich and creamy, contrasting the sharp flavour of the fresh seafood. Both were plated beautifully, and I thought the portions were just right. I devoured my salad and ate lots of Mom’s noodles. Yum!

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SEAFOOD LINGUINI
Local seafood in white wine & fennel cream sauce, fresh herbs & lemon

HOUSE-SMOKED BC SALMON
Roasted beets, frisee salad, crème fraiche, chives, toasted almonds

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Dad and Seline ordered the beef burger and the fish tacos, respectively. Seline thought her tacos were just okay. It was kind of out of character for her to order fish tacos (she’s more of a burger // fish and chips gal). Seline wouldn’t order the tacos again, but ate most of her entree. Dad’s burger was enormous! He asked for bacon to be added and had a hard time devouring this sandwich because it was so, so thick. Both Dad and Seline enjoyed the crispy fries, though they thought the fries were quite normal. Dad was stuffed after his burger. It really was huge!

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FISH TACO
Ocean Wise cod, herb vinaigrette, fennel & onion slaw, avocado

PENDER BEEF BURGER
Tomato, lettuce, red wine onions, served with salad or cut fries

Time for dessert! I really, really, really wanted to order one, or even both, of these. I found them in the online menu and had been looking forward to trying them for ages! Don’t they sound delicious? Brown butter pecan crumble on blueberry cheesecake? Vanilla + strawberries with nutty praline on sweet chocolate mousse? YES! Unfortunately, both of them were temporarily off the menu.

  • CHEESECAKE MASON JAR – Blueberry compote, brown butter pecan crumble
  • WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE – Toasted almond praline, vanilla macerated strawberry

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Chef came out again after we finished our entrees, and recommended the chocolate terrine and mushroom ice cream. The chocolate terrine, he described, was like a mix between a fudge and a dense cake, with the texture and flavour of a brownie – all topped with fresh maple sugar from Quebec. That sounded good, but… mushroom ice cream? We were a little bit skeptical – until he confidently told us, “if you don’t like it, you won’t pay for it.” SOLD!

GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE TERRINE – Fresh berries, maple sugar

CANDY CAP MUSHROOM ICE CREAM – “A mushroom festival favourite”

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The verdict? The chocolate terrine was super yummy. Creamy, chocolatey, but not overly sweet. It reminded me of a flourless brownie, with a smoother texture and less “crusty”. It was similar to a rich, dense cake, but not mousse-like at all. The maple sugar went well with the cake, and I loved the sour contrast of the berries and compote. There were also little blobs of cream (I’m guessing it was Greek yogurt, as it was quite sour) that I liked dipping the bites of chocolate into.

As for the mushroom ice cream – WHOA. It was GOOD! I took the first bite, with my family goggling at me, trying to read my expression. The ice cream was so yummy! It had a unique flavour, though not mushroom-like at all. It reminded me somewhat of butterscotch, vanilla, and caramel, with notes of caramelized maple syrup. If you didn’t tell me that it was made of mushrooms, I would have never, EVER guessed. The ice cream, along with the terrine, berries, and cream, were devoured in seconds. What a delicious lunch and dessert!

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After hobbling back to our resort (we were STUFFED!), we rested and did some research. Though our appetites didn’t fully come back by dinnertime, we couldn’t resist sushi takeout!

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Sushi Bar 5517 in Sechelt has great reviews. People claim it is one of the best sushi restaurants in the Sunshine Coast.

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I called in the car right after leaving the resort, so they’d have half an hour to prepare everything by the time we arrived. I was shocked, when we got there, to find that they were STILL working on it! We waited for another ten minutes before finally paying and bringing our sushi back into the car. They made this so slowly and carefully! But in their defence, there were only two sushi chefs and quite a few customers.

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The restaurant itself was loud, a bit crowded (just a narrow space) and surprisingly warm. You’d expect a sushi place to be cool, maybe even breezy, but Sushi 5517 was almost humid! Yeah, it was about 35 degrees outside, but still. Dad said the fish might go bad because it was so warm inside. They did have some fans, though. Why not any air conditioning?

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Going from left to right in the photo above:

Cast Away Roll: avocado, cucumber, radish, carrot with spicy mayo inside, topped with real crab, popcorn shrimp, crunch, tobacco, sweet spicy mayo, BBQ sauce, House sauce

Mango Roll: prawn tempura, scallop, salmon, avocado, mango with soy sheet inside, topped with sweet spicy mayo, mango sauce

California Roll

Lobster Roll: lobster, tempura, avocado, cucumber, crab, with BBQ sauce

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The mango roll was my favourite, followed by the Cast Away roll and the lobster roll. I saved the California rolls for Seline. To be honest, the rolls were nothing special. I’d say they were definitely better than Sushi Garden, Nao Sushi remains my favourite sushi place (I haven’t been to many, obviously!), and I think this is partly because we had to wait half an hour before digging in. By then, the tempura wasn’t as crispy as it should’ve been, and everything became slightly room-temp/warm after sitting in the car. Aw man!

That’s it for today, everyone!


Totally irrelevant but today I totally overate. Mom and I made stuffed sole with dungeness crab and roasted garlic + white cheddar mashed potatoes, with a béchamel sauce on top. Served with quinoa and garlicky sautéed Chinese greens, I loved every bite of my dinner and went back for seconds, thirds, and then FOURTHS. After that, I had FOUR, yep, FOUR squares of chickpea blondies made with peanut butter and chocolate chips. I should’ve had one plate of dinner and then one or two blondies, but I couldn’t control myself. I am now super, super full. 😦 So much for intuitive eating tonight!

On another note, my sister and I will be selling homemade goodies at the farmer’s market next week. Here are some of the ideas we have!

  • labels
  • cards
  • coasters
  • baked goods
  • frames
  • quote cards
  • quilling
  • zipper pouch
  • envelopes
  • folders
  • bookmarks (flowers? quotes?)
  • mobile
  • organizer
  • plant placards
  • pincushion
  • oatmeal recipe cards
  • salad topping cards

I don’t really have much else to say, but I’m glad it’s Sunday night. I love Mondays and how they are a new start to the day.

A new start, a new beginning, a new perspective, and new opportunities – I love new weeks! 🙂