Friday, November 14, 2008


a few weeks ago i discovered a trendy little coffee shop while i was milling around after work one day. it intimidated the heck out of me, i thought it was that cool. but one day i really needed to pee, so i went in and bought a coffee so i could use their bathroom. subconsciously it was an excuse to try their americano, which was good.

i went again a few weeks later with a co-worker. we met for coffee, but i had breakfast too. they do the trendy vancouver thing of having mostly organic, fair trade stuff. and some vegan options too (which is great, as my co-worker is vegan). i really love the decor - very simple, mostly white, and reminded me of what i loved about portland. its' a great little spot too. its right on the corner of main & kingsway, but not a 90 degree corner, a 45 degree corner. so kind of like a triangle - a rounded one. the two sides facing streets are basically large windows, so the lighting in there is incredible for photos. when its daylight. i wish i had pictures of the entire place, but as it was, it was a big enough step for me that i had the guts to take my camera out at all. cool, trendy places that i love are really intimidating for me.

here are a few pics of what i was brave enough to take pictures of:

Sunday, November 9, 2008

spinach artichoke asiago dip

a few weeks ago it suddenly occurred to me that i should attempt to make some sort of artichoke dip. i was going to go all out and prepare my own artichokes even. in the end, i was lazy and used canned artichokes. but i was just un-lazy enough to actually make the dip. i tried following recipes, but i couldn't follow just one, due to either a lack of ingredients or my hidden inner need for complexity of some sort.

but, i actually wrote down what i ended up putting into my conglomeration. and it turned out not half bad.

1/2 cup (or more) shredded cheese (i used asiago & parmesan)
1 can artichokes
1 tsp lemon
100 g (approx) cream cheese
1 cup (ish) blanched spinach
1/2 cup mayo (or veganaise, which is what i used. i realize how pointless it is to use veganaise when i'm using cheese, but the stuff that's in the veganaise is way better than the crap they put in the name-brand mayonnaise. in my opinion.)
salt & pepper

basically, if i can remember properly, i blanched the spinach first. the other option is to use frozen spinach. anyways, i boiled water, threw the spinach in, tossed it for a few seconds (using a tongs, not my hands), took the spinach out, drained it in a colander. after the spinach cools a bit, toss it into a blender or food processor and pulse it a few times till its choppy. if using frozen spinach i think you still need to chop it up a bit in the blender. then, mix everything together in a bowl. taste, add more cheese or salt & pepper to taste, and you are done! yay! apparently it tastes better if you let it sit (in the fridge) for a day, but you can probably eat it right away. best served warm with some type of carbohydrate to dip with.