Posts Tagged ‘Granville Island’

LET THE GAMES BEGIN: AN OLYMPIC WEEKEND

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Video for my draw for Curling Tickets on Vimeo

Yes! I have finally drawn a winner for the 2010 Olympics Men’s Curling tickets contest for the Canada-USA game on February 22nd. We had 180 contest entries but only 171 were eligible. Watch the video to find out who won! Please note that the winner must contact me by e-mail (allie@vancityallie.com) by the midnight this Friday, February 19th or I will have to draw someone else.

Michael Buble

This past week, my friend Amy took my camera up to Grouse Mountain where she got the chance to meet and see Michael Bublé and Matt Lauer on the Today Show. They are up there throughout the Olympics and they have quite the set up.

Amy, friend and Matt Lauer on the Today Show

Here is Amy and her friend with Matt Lauer.

Michael Buble on the Today Show Michael Buble on the Today Show Michael Buble on Grouse Mountain The Today Show Setup on Grouse Mountain

She took a number of pictures while there. Check them out.

The Torch heading into False Creek on a boat

Also, it was the torch relay in Vancouver all last week. I finally made it out on Friday to see the torch in person (after a failed attempt to see Trevor Linden carrying the torch… I missed him by one minute). I teared up several times. I was so proud to have the Olympics in Vancouver and seeing the torch passed from person to person throughout False Creek and Yaletown is an incredible experience.

Passing the Torch Tons of people in downtown Vancouver

Downtown Vancouver was CRAZY this past weekend with the streets completed filled with people partying, dancing, and singing O Canada.

Just one minute till the Vancouver 2010 Olympics Start!

Allan, Amy and I also got a chance to watch the Omega clock countdown to the start of the Olympics before rushing back home to watch the Opening Ceremonies (fortunately PVR-ed so we didn’t miss anything). It was a real thrill to have everyone countdown to the start. Watching the Opening Ceremonies with my closest family, Allan and my friend was so emotional. I thought it was beautifully done and really spoke to who we are as Canadians. I also thought it was a very diverse ceremony. Well done!

House of Switzerland on Granville Island

After a full day of watching the Games at our apartment with a group of friends, we somehow managed to wake up early to head to the House of Switzerland at Bridges on Granville Island.

Me and friends outside the Swiss House

I was asked to provide some coverage of a chocolate competition going on. When we got there, I picked up my media pass and we posed in front of the restaurant.

Posing beside the chocolate Inukshuk

We also got to see them making the chocolate inukshuk and posed in front of it.

Inside the dining room at the House of Switzerland Espresso from the Swiss Nespresso Machine Raclette Macaroni and Cheese Menu at the House of Switzerland

A note to visitors: Although we were there to check out the chocolate competition, please note that the House of Switzerland differs from other houses in that it is almost purely a restaurant (open for breakfast, lunch and dinner) but they don’t have an exhibition area or anywhere where you can walk around. The food and coffee is great there, but I recommend only going there if you are wanting a dining/eating experience. We ordered the Swiss Nespresso expresso and the Raclette macaroni and cheese.

Miss604 at the Chocolate Competition

We headed upstairs to check out the chocolate competition. They had a number of judges and we were there especially to cheer on Miss604 (Rebecca) who was a JUDGE! Wow!

Keira, John, and Duane at the special Friends and Family Table

We also saw Keira, John and Duane there. They got to sit at a special Friends and Family table with lots of different tastings! It was great to see Rebecca and Keira again, and to meet John and Duane for the first time. It was particularly neat to see Duane as he helped me through a difficult time when I had a surfing injury last year.

Chocolate Mousse at the Chocolate Competition

We got to taste the three different chocolates made by the competitors. They were all very good (Pecan chocolate bar, chocolate mousse, and heart-shaped chocolate biscuit), but we also loved the one that won the best… the Pecan chocolate bar. John has a great photo of the three chocolate pieces here.

View from the Patio at the Atlantic House

Then we headed to the Atlantic House where we sat on the patio and sampled free seafood tastings for the afternoon. They were surprisingly good. We had a great view on the patio.

Atlantic/Maritime House Seafood tasters at the Atlantic House Smoked Salmon at the Atlantic House Free Mussels at the Atlantic House

The Maritime beers and drinks were really delicious, although the most highly recommended beer of the day by my friends was the Blueberry ale. So definitely try it out if you get a chance to go there :)

Maritime Beers at the Atlantic House

And that was it! A really great weekend so far and I just CANNOT believe it is only Day 4. How are we going to get through the rest of the Olympics? :) It was fantastic to see Canada FINALLY win gold on home soil. Congrats to Bilodeau, Jenn Heil, and also all of Canada’s other medalists! Coming up… a special announcement also coverage from the Canadian men’s and women’s hockey games!

What did you do this past weekend?

SERVING UP A HOMEMADE FIVE-COURSE MEAL

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Chocolate Pattern

I really love cooking from scratch… everything tastes so much better when you make everything yourself. Allan’s mom and her husband were coming over from Vancouver Island to meet my parents… and Allan and I decided to create a fancy five-course meal to serve them. As if it wasn’t pressure enough just to have the two parents meet!

I think the best way to tackle this post with the sheer number of photos is to put all the prep photos first and leave the five “finished” photos for the end :) I will post the recipes later tonight in the Comments section. So, here we go!

Chocolate Chips for tempering Chocolate on Parchment Paper Chocolate Decorations

The key to cooking a multi-course meal, in my opinion, is all about the prep work. Making sure you double-check your ingredients, making sure you prep anything the night before that can be prepped… and having as much pre-portioned and pre-chopped up the day of the meal before you start cooking. You don’t really want anything sitting there getting cold… you want to serve it fresh right off the stove onto the plate as you go. I decided to prepare the chocolate creme brulée the night before.

Tempering Chocolate

The first step was making the chocolate decoration… and tempering chocolate with a candy thermometer. This is the temperature chart I followed… it’s a bit tricky but once you get the hang of it, it’s fairly easy. You have to raise the chocolate to a high temperature, cool it with an ice bath, and heat again to a medium temperature… then your chocolate is tempered and easy to work with!

A very full pantry

My pantry was definitely overstuffed with supplies.

Simmering the apricots Candied Walnuts

The creme brulée was cooked and then cooled overnight. The next morning I woke up and simmered the apricots for several hours (for the puree) and Allan and I candied the walnuts for the first course.

Le Creuset Pot and Butternut Squash Blending the squash soup _DSC0262 Grated Nutmeg

The next step was to start preparing the soup… peeling, cutting, and weighing the butternut squash. Then sautéeing them in shallots and butter, cooking with chicken stock, and then adding spices. The soup also had to be blended, strained, blended again, and then served. Served with freshly grated nutmeg!

Weighing chicken for the food processor Combined chicken mousse and dungeness crab filling

While this was happening, we started making the chicken mousse in the food processor (note.. having an electronic scale is a life saver!). I cooked up several pounds of Pacific Wild Dungeness crab fresh from Granville Island here in Vancouver in white wine, butter and other spices… which was then added with a little bit of chicken mousse, parmesan, and chives to make the crab filling for the ravioli.

Crab Filling on the Ravioli

Allan made the fresh pasta while I cut the rounds for the ravioli and added the stuffing, and sealed the edges.

Chopped up veggies for the soup Clam Chowder being prepared

Meanwhile… getting the clam chowder ready by prepping the veggies, potatoes and leeks… and cooking the clams in white wine and fish stock.

Clams cooked in White Wine

I really loved the clams we got from Granville Island… very similar to littleneck clams but sweeter. Then I made a roux for the clam chowder and waited while it thickened up and cooked the veggies. (Note… make sure to add the clams just before serving, you don’t want them to get tough).

Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut

Next was making the prosciutto-wrapped halibut.

Wrapping the halibut in prosciutto with a sage leaf Searing the Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut

We wrapped the very thinly sliced prosciutto around the halibut and sealed it in with a sage leaf for aroma and flavour. The halibut needed to be seared before being baked in the oven.

Preparing the Marshmallows from Butter Baked Goods Preparing the dessert plates Firing up the chocolate creme brulees

The last thing to worry about was the dessert of course.. in the interest of time I bought a few little sweets to go with the creme brulée. I got some marshmallows from Vancouver-based Butter Baked Goods… and rolled the vanilla marshmallows in candy cane pieces and the coffee marshmallows in a chocolate-sugar mix. I used little Christmas plates and also attached chocolate-covered marshmallows onto stainless steel skewers. The last step before serving was to torch the chocolate creme brulée.

Allan's Mom and Husband sitting with my parents

We set up my dad’s old work table in the middle of our living room and stole my mom’s linens to make a Christmas spread. It was a little hokey but hey, we made do ;) As for the parents meeting the parents… well we think it went rather well! This is a photo of Allan’s mom and husband Terry sitting at the table talking to my folks. Both sets of parents seemed to get along well and both had good things to say after. We kept them busy with the food ;)

And last but not least… the photos of the finished meal!

ALLIE AND ALLAN’S FIVE-COURSE CHRISTMAS MEAL FOR OUR PARENTS

FINISHED: Seared Qualicum Bay Scallops with Apricot Puree and Candied Walnuts

Course One: Seared Qualicum Bay Scallops with Apricot Puree and Candied Walnuts

FINISHED: Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Chives, Parmesan, Nutmeg, Pumpkin Seeds and Pumpkin Oil

Course Two: Creamy Butternut Squash Soup topped with Pumpkin Seeds, Chives, Parmesan, Freshly Grated Nutmeg, and Pumpkin Seed Oil

FINISHED: Fresh Dungeness Crab Ravioli with Mushroom Parmesan Sauce and Seared Beef Tenderloin

Course Three: Dungeness Crab-Stuffed Ravioli topped with a Maple-Candied Dungeness Crab Leg, in a Mushroom-Parmesan Sauce… served with Seared Beef Tenderloin in a Balsamic Vinegar-Shallot Marinade

FINISHED: Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut in Clam Chowder

Course Four: Prosciutto-Wrapped Halibut with Clam Chowder

FINISHED: Chocolate Creme Brulee topped with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Chocolate Decoration and Mango Coulis and assorted sweets

Course Five: Chocolate Creme Brulée topped with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Chocolate Decoration, with Raspberries in a Mango Coulis served with assorted sweets (Coffee and Vanilla Marshmallows, Chocolate-Covered Marshmallow, Peppermint Bark)

Phew!

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This the blog of a 28 year-old Vancouver girl who loves and writes about everything “Vancouver” and West Coast. This is the blog of a girl who works in Vancouver's video game industry, it's also a surfing blog, snowboarding blog, food blog, Canucks blog, gadget blog, and photography blog. VancityAllie.com is an award-winning blog that receives over 2.7M unique visitors every year and over 4,500 followers on Twitter. VancityAllie.com has been featured in books, newspapers, magazines, and television.

Recent Comments
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