Fresita Sangria with Sugar Lime Rim – Recipe

This is a sponsored post written in partnership with Fresita.

Whenever I see sangria on the menu at a new restaurant, I feel compelled to order it to try their variation, especially if fresh fruit is involved! It always reminds me of summer days relaxing on a patio, sunglasses on, chatting and soaking in some sun with friends. Which can be a very welcome respite in the usual rainy months of Vancouver.

It’s like a mini-vacation in a glass. Fresita is a Chilean sparkling wine that’s infused with freshly-picked intensely flavored Patagonian strawberries. I thought this would act as a great base for a sangria, so grabbed a bottle from a nearby BC liquor store and set about creating a recipe. I personally love fruit, so I incorporated a lot of it into this drink, but you can play around and adjust that to your own taste.

Fresita sangriaVancouver food blogVancouver food blogFresita sangria Ingredients: 

-1 cup kiwi, muddled

-1 cup blueberries

-1 cup sliced lemons

-1 cup sliced limes

-1 cup sliced grapefruit

-1 cup triple sec

-1 bottle chilled Fresita 750ml

-2 tbs raw cane sugar (for rim)

Instructions:

1. Zest a lime onto a plate, and add the cane sugar.

2. Pour the triple sec into a pitcher, and add sliced fruit (lemon, lime and grapefruit). Chill in refrigerator for 1.5 hours to develop the flavors.

3. When ready to serve, rub a sliced lime over the rim of the glass, and dip into sugar lime mixture. Add a generous spoonful of muddled kiwi.

4. Take out the pitcher, and add the Fresita. Pour it into each rimmed glass, and top off with blueberries.

Enjoy!

*This post was sponsered by Branding & Buzzing*

Fresh Watermelon Mint Beer Popsicles – Recipe

This is a sponsored post written in partnership with Samuel Adams.

Watermelon is one of my all-time favourite fruits. On a hot summer day, there’s nothing like biting into cold sweet cubes of juicy watermelon to cool off. I decided to take it one step further, and created some Watermelon Popsicles!

It’s super simple to make, with just pure watermelon being the main ingredient. I threw in some fresh chopped mint and a squeeze of lemon to brighten up the flavours, but be careful not to add too much so that it’s not overpowering.

I also spiked these with some Samuel Adams Boston Lager beer, which you can usually get it at any local liquor store in Canada. I got mine from a BC Liquor Store here in Vancouver.

See below for the recipe!Vancouver food blogVancouver food blogDSC_0139-2watermelon popsiclesVancouver food blogcollage005

Ingredients:

-2 cups watermelon cubed

-1 tablespoon chopped mint

-Squeeze of lemon juice

-1/2 cup beer (I used Samuel Adams Boston Lager)

-1 tablespoon simple syrup (optional depending on how sweet the watermelon is)

Instructions:

1. Blend watermelon with mint and lemon juice until smooth

2. Add beer to mixture

3. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze

4. Add popsicle sticks after 20 minutes

5. Freeze an additional hour or until completely set.

Happy popsicle making!

*This post was sponsered by Branding & Buzzing*

Breka Tasting

After my initial post on Breka Cafe, I was contacted by head pastry chef Ann Cao to come in for a private tasting. As a previously impressed patron, I was happy to oblige.

We met, and chatted over a lovely lunch of smoked meat paninis and fresh fruit with granola topped yogurt. The granola is actually made in house, and I’m told it’s frequently asked for by customers who’d like to purchase a whole bag (which sadly, they do not offer at the moment). Vancouver food blogDSC_0086-4

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DD Mau

If I had to commit myself to one sandwich for the rest of my life, it would hands down be the Vietnamese bánh mì. It just has such a perfect blend of flavors and textures- sweet, sour, salty and spicy and all layered into one demi-baguette of deliciousness.

Vancouver Food Blog

DD Mau is a small Yaletown based sandwich shop that’s taken a modern spin on the classic tradition soaked bánh mì. Think Ba Le meets Gastown’s Meat & Bread. I wanted to try out their fusion styled subs to see how they compare to their conventional counterpart.

Vancouver Food Blog

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Breka Bakery & Cafe

One thing I love about Vancouver in comparison to Edmonton is the availability of 24 hours cafes and restaurants. You’d be hard pressed to find a good place for a late night snack or coffee around where I grew up. I myself am a self confessed night owl, so I was delighted to find that Vancouver has quite a few offerings for round-the-clock joints.

One that I recently discovered is the Breka Bakery & Cafe just off Robson and Thurlow.

Vancouver food blog Vancouver food blog

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Cupcake Tip

Flavored Frosting

vancouver food blog

If you’ve ever browsed the baking aisle of your neighborhood grocery store, you’ll know that the frosting selection is often quite limited.  It’s rare to see more than the standard offerings of vanilla and chocolate unless you visit a specialty shop.

One way to combat this, is to create your own frosting from scratch. The options are limitless when you can add whatever flavor or use whatever method you choose.

Sadly, not all of us have the time and skill to conceive well-rounded flavors from just raw ingredients.

I wanted to share a really great and simple effective way to work around this: bubble tea powder mix.

I’ve found that adding a few tbs of bubble tea mix powder to your generic vanilla icing will really give it that unique flavor.

And bonus: it adds color as well, so no need for food coloring!

Continue reading “Cupcake Tip”

Avocado Smoothie Recipe

One of my favorite summer treats is a freshly blended avocado smoothie. They’re a great alternative to ice cream on those hot days, and pretty low-cal considering how rich and creamy it is.

It’s super simple and easy to make. See more below for my recipe!

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Ingredients:

-1 ripe avocado (halved and pitted)

-1 1/2 cups ice cubes

-2 cups skim milk

-2 packets Splenda + 2 packets sweet n’ low* (or substitute 3 tbs honey if you don’t want to use artificial sweeteners)

*I like to combine two different types of artificial sweeteners to create a real sugar taste. I find that if I just use one brand, things tend to taste “fake” or somehow off. This way, you get all the taste with a fraction of the calories!*

Blend all ingredients together on high. Serves 2.

Calories per serving: 224

Enjoy!

Waffle & Berries

I have a really bad habit of buying online coupons (ie: Groupon, Social Shopper, Deal Find, etc. etc.) and then forgetting to actually use them.

I can’t remember how many times I’ve bought deals from some absurdly obscure business in an effort to “try something new” and then just have it sit unnoticed until the expiration date is long gone.

This includes paintball tickets, scuba diving lessons, pole dancing fitness classes, circus training… ugh.

I mean I want to go do these things. Really, I do. It’s just that I never seem to get around to actually doing it.

I mean, when am I ever going to wake up and go, “huh, I really feel like going for a scuba dive today. Yes. Today is the day.  Oh my god, didn’t I get a coupon for this? Wow, yes that saves me some money. I am so clever.”

No.

So I’ve finally come to accept that there’s a great disparity between what I think I will want to do, and what I am actually going to do. Especially when it involves physical activity.

To combat this, I’ve decided to only buy online coupons for things I know that I will get around to using- so anything food.

I bought this coupon for Waffle and Berries, and was really excited to try it out.

It was $13 and included:

-2 Belgian Liege Waffles + up to six toppings

-2 Choice of Hot Beverages

waffle and berries waffle and berries

For my waffle, I added blueberries, blackberries and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. The waffle was nice and dense, with just the right hit of sweetness.

I don’t usually like chocolate chips, but I found these ones really complimented the texture, adding that extra crunch. I think they were frozen beforehand maybe.

Whenever I get anything that has a myriad of ingredients kind of toppled together like this, I have to have a bit of everything in each bite. Like, I’ll dissect the berries with the waffle and scoop on some ice cream with chocolate chips just so that I can taste everything together because that’s how it was meant to be eaten, and I’ll feel like I’m missing the experience if I don’t. Does anyone else do this??

waffle and berries waffle and berries

My boyfriend got his waffle with dark chocolate, whipped cream and also a scoop of ice cream. When given the option, he always like to make things as unhealthy as possible.

The whipped cream was actually really yummy, it was made fresh with a hint of strawberry.

caramel macchiato

I chose a caramel macchiato for my beverage. I liked this better than the Starbucks version as I find those too sweet.waffle and berriesI wore my new straw hat with a fishtail braid and my dark wash denim romper.waffle and berriesI really liked the decor and atmosphere inside. Modern but with little glimmers of charm scattered throughout.waffle and berriesI love the little glass case with Tin Tin inside reading with Snowy. Adorable.

This was a great deal because of the coupon, but I would return in the future even at full price to sample some of the other waffle combinations.

waffle and berries

Beautiful afternoon well spent.

Waffle & Berries on Urbanspoon

YL’s Birthday at Minami

This is a late post for my friend’s birthday dinner at Minami. She’s one of my good friends from Edmonton, and happened to be visiting Vancouver during her birthday week.

I’ve been trying to get around to trying Minami for a while. It’s a relatively new restaurant, opening it’s doors last June. Since then, it’s gotten rave reviews from critics and foodies alike so I’ve been dying to see what the fuss is about.

Fun fact: Minami is named after Aburi Restaurants CEO Seigo Nakamura’s youngest daughter. His other Vancouver location is named after his eldest daughter; Miku.

orchids :)

Minami Vancouver

Unfortunately I was running late, and missed the start of the meal (which I heard was delicious) but I did manage to catch a few dishes, which are shown below.

The lighting was quite dim, so it may be difficult to make out what was served.

Minami Vancouver

This is the Miku Roll, which had salmon, uni, crab, cucumber and rolled in flying fish roe with MIKU sauce.

I love all the components of this roll isolated, so it makes sense that together they make an amazing combination in my books.

Minami Vancouver

We also tried the Wagyu Beef Soba: wagyu beef bolognaise, tempura oyster mushroom, shitake mushroom with dashi. I didn’t try this, but the consensus from others was that it wasn’t great, and a regretful menu choice.

And the Ebi Fritters: black tiger prawns, spiced couscous, sweet chili aioli and soy balsamic. There’s a version of this dish at every Japanese tapa restaurant, and I always enjoy it so I wanted to see how Minami’s rendition stacked up.

The verdict? It wasn’t bad, but I still think I like Hapa’s better.

Minami Vancouver

This was my favourite part- dessert! :)

We ordered 3 different ones, which they plated beautifully with a candle and handwritten chocolate drizzle.

Minami Vancouver

Earl Grey Berry Cake: earl grey cream, walnut sponge, earl grey cookie crust, blueberry & blackberry compote, japanese puffed rice, hazelnuts, chantilly cream served with cassis vanilla ice cream.

Lemon Cheesecake: light unbaked cheesecake, graham cookie crust, orange-lemon compote, rhubarb sauce served with rhubarb-raspberry sorbet.

Green Tea Opera: Green tea sponge infused with espresso and Frangelico liqueur, green tea butter cream, dark chocolate ganache, azuki bean cream served with green tea ice cream and green tea sauce.

They were all very yummy, but my favorite was the Earl Grey. I’ve never had anything like it before and the flavors really complimented each other well.

The cheesecake was pretty good too, but I enjoy baked cheesecake more than it’s chilled counterpart. I’m also not a huge fan of sponge cake so the green tea was just alright for me.

Minami Vancouver Minami Vancouver

Minami Vancouver

We all had a great time and a lovely meal. Most of our dishes were great if not mediocre. Although it is quite pricy, you pay for the quality ingredients and the luxe atmosphere.

The service was there, but our server seemed very rushed and forgot things here and there.

Overall, I really liked it and will definitely mark it as a spot worthy of another visit.
Minami on Urbanspoon

Camo & Crop Tops

Wearing my camo military jacket with my shiny disco pants.

camo jacket

Had the best bagel sandwich the other day from Siegel’s Bagels. I ordered the Lox & Cream Cheese, which has wild sockeye salmon, cream cheese, red onion & capers.

It was ah.mazing. The salmon was melt in your mouth, the cream cheese a great compliment, and just the right touch of capers (not adding too much salt).

It doesn’t hurt that they’re open 24hours either.

bagel

 

Camo Jacket: Topshop

Leather Crop Top: Forever 21

Disco Pant: Topshop

Military Boots: Urban