I know it's been a while, but here are the pics from my St. Lawrence Market trip:

Purple (or are they red?) and white asparagus! I've seen the white variety, but not the purple ones! The second pictures features freshly-made pasta. The last picture is the swordfish sandwich we had from Buster's Sea Cove. That was only half the sandwich! I know the picture is kind of blurry, but that's only because I was in a rush to eat it while it was hot!
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Last Saturday I went to St. Lawrence Market with my mom. The day was awesome and nice and sunny! It was a perfect day to be strolling around the market looking at all the awesome local produce, meats, cheeses, and of course, the baked goods! I was expecting there to be a lot more bakeries, but the majority of St. Lawrence was comprised of meats and cheese shops. And the occasional seafood place.

We arrived around 9:45am (we're morning people) and parked our car on Adelaide. 9:45 is actually quite late for the Saturday morning Farmer's Market (located in the North building), considering they set up shop at 5am every Saturday! One vendor told me that they start selling out of stuff around noon, which didn't really surprise me.

Wow, was it ever busy! Although my mom said that she remembered it to be a lot more busy when she used to come here as a child. But then again, everyone looks like a giant when you're a kid. I immediately regretted eating breakfast, because there were lots of free samples and goodies to buy. I was particularly intrigued by a sweet potato lady, who sold things made from that wonderful root veggie. Sweet potato fries, sweet potato cookies, sweet potato muffins/cupcakes, etc.

After much wandering around and gawking at all the food possibilities, I settled on a tofu and spinach samosa (I love tofu and veggies, so I had to try out this intriguing and unorthodox samosa filling). And guess what? It was baked, not fried (they had a traditional fried version too, but I wanted to try it baked)! The lady heated it up for me too, and I have to say that it was quite tasty. Lots of stuffing, and just the perfect mid-morning snack. Not too heavy, not too oily.

A couple hours later found my mom and I in the actual St. Lawrence Market (the South Market). I went upstairs to the newly renovated Market Kitchen, which gives you an awesome overview of the entire market. I think I must've walked around that Market at least 5 times in order to fully take in all the food splendor.

We didn't buy too much--a loaf of challah bread (that was nice and thinly sliced), some buns, and packages of blackberries and blueberries. I wanted to buy some cheese, but I didn't know what to do with a giant wedge of cheese. There were so many different kinds that I tried, but the one that stuck out in my mind was a 24-month old French cheese that was a deep orange colour. I can't remember what it was called, but it started with an M. It didn't seem quite as firm as a parmiggiano-reggiano, but it was close. I tried it out at Scheffler's Deli and Cheese, which is a must-visit if you love cheese and all things Italian.

Lunch was at Buster's Sea Cove, which was insanely busy by 12:30. The employees were extremely organized and had awesome communication skills though, in order to correctly bust out all those orders on time. We shared a giant grilled swordfish sandwich (nice generous chunk of freshly grilled fish topped with sauce and juicy tomatoes, lettuce, and onions, all sandwiched between a toasty herb bread) which came with a giant salad as a side. And this was no wimpy salad. It had fresh romaine lettuce, sliced cucumbers, grape tomatoes, sliced red onions, and shredded carrots. It took up an entire takeout container! And the veggies weren't dried up, like they sometimes are if you slice them and leave them out too long. We also got some calamari, which was also a very generous size. The rings were piping hot when we ate them, and they weren't rubbery at all--perfectly cooked! To finish off the meal, I had to get some fresh fruit from a place in the lower level of the market.

I don't have any photos to post as of yet (I haven't transferred them from my camera), but pics are on their way! If I missed anything, I'll address it in my next post.
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I just realized that exactly a month ago, I was in Vancouver. I think we were probably in Stanley Park, right Nicole? Eating our awesome PB&J sandwiches and picking up random seashells. Anyways, this is a food blog after all, so I just wanted to post some of the food-related pictures that I took on my trip to Vancouver B.C.

This is by no means an exhaustive photo collection of all that happened in Vancouver, I just had to be selective. I don't think I want to put up an entire photo album up, nor do I think you want to look at all of the pictures anyways. I really wish that I took some pictures of the Japanese all-you-can-eat sushi placesthat we went to for dinner in Richmond on our second night there. Now THAT is a sushi restaurant! The salmon sashimi was so fresh (the colour was so much more vibrant), and the tempura prawns tasted and even looked a lot different than the ones here in Richmond Hill. The items that I really enjoyed there were the ones that I can't really get here at home, like the squid sashimi (which was just chewy enough without being rubbery), and the chopped scallop sushi/cone. Nothing tasted "fishy" or slimy, like some of the sushi/sashimi I've had here at home. I believe the place is called Ninkazu. If you live in Richmond or are visiting, you HAVE to go there.

Anyways, moving on from my sushi rant, there were tons of other highlights as well. The first picture is my "drunken chicken" sandwich from Vera's Burger Shack. The chicken was moist and not dry or overcooked. And the burger was huge. The second picture is of Nicole's oyster burger that she got in Granville Market from a fish and chips place. It was also giant (I think there's a trend). The third picture is of my Spicy Pacific Fish Tacones from
Red Fish, Blue Fish in Victoria. This place is a small little hut located by the waterfront, and it's a participant in the Ocean Wise seafood program. The food is cooked to order and it tastes awesome! The picture beside my tacones is of Brant's Barbecued Wild Salmon on salad. Nicole ordered another type of tacone, and she found it to be a bit on the oily side. Even though that day was slightly cold and rainy (what else is to be expected of B.C. weather?), the food was piping hot and fresh.

Last but not least is the final picture in the lineup. It's a open-faced roasted tomato and goat cheese and basil sandwich that was served with mixed field greens with balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing. Brant's beef burger looked so juicy and well-cooked; I wish I had a picture of it to post. We ate this meal at
Fuse Waterfront Grill in Sooke, B.C., which is not too far away from Victoria. We ate outside on the patio which overlooked a lake. It was a welcome meal after a long bike ride...I have to say, good thing it was there, because the surrounding area looked pretty desolate (this was a place where buses came every hour...and that was considered frequent).

We tried to eat as much seafood as possible on this trip (with our budget in mind as well), since the seafood quality in B.C. is awesome compared to home. But of course, we had our good 'ol jar of crunchy peanut butter (thanks Brant) to keep us going during our crazy hikes.
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For me, chocolate chip cookies aren't really all that great. I mean, I'd rather eat a peanut butter cookie or an oatmeal-raisin cookie over a chocolate chip cookie any day. However, I'm sure there are some people out there who take their CCCs really seriously.

So i decided to make these cookies because I wanted to use up the random chunks of dark chocolate that was just sitting around our house. And of course, I was getting together with friends, and everybody knows that means another excuse to bake something sweet! (I also made date bars, but I haven't taken a picture of them, so I don't want to blog about it without a visual representation!)

I used a recipe from
Caprial's Desserts, one of my favourite baking books. Whenever I have the urge to bake something (which is quite often), I know that I will find something in that book.

These cookies were really easy to make, but for some reason, I had to bake them for 10 extra minutes than the recommeded baking time. Personally, I like my cookies chewy, not crunchy. These ones had a crisp exterior and a chewy, melty interior. I didn't think they would bake up so flat either! Overall, they tasted alright. The only qualm that I had was that it used quite a lot of butter, and it left a slightly greasy taste in your mouth after eating a couple. I think that might be because the recipe called for melted butter. Maybe if I had stuck to the traditional creaming method, it would have tasted differently.
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