Wednesday, January 19, 2011

vancouver hot chocolate festival - now until valentines day

apparently there is a hot chocolate festival going on in vancouver. from now until the 13th of february.

the contributing cafes are:
bella gelateria (1001 w cordova)
campagnolo cafe (1020 main)
cocoa nymph (3739 w 10th @ alma)
mink chocolates (863 w hastings @ hornby)
chocolaterie de la nouvelle france (198 e 21st @ main)
schokolade (2263 e hastings @ garden)
thomas haas (n van: 998 harbourside dr, unit 128; kits: 2539 w broadway)

i've been to mink, chocolaterie de la nouvelle france, and schokolade and i have to say i love them all. schokolade is right in my neighbourhood, too. you should definitely check out at least one of these hot chocolate lovelies in the following month! and if you do, let me know how you like it.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

brunching at calvin's cafe in west vancouver

this post is WAY overdue.

early last month, i was doing a bit of photo-scouting for locations for an up-coming shoot. i brought my bf with me, and took him out for brunch as a thank-you for coming with me in the miserable rain and driving me around. we happened to be driving through the west-van area on our route, so i looked up a couple brunching spots to check out. i found 2 that looked promising. cindy's and calvin's cafe. they both looked great and were relatively close to each other, but after a few reviews and realising that cindy's breakfasts started at $16, i decided on calvin's. it was a good choice, despite it's wary-looking website.

calvin's is a typical diner, located in the dundarave area of west van. tacky decor, average priced breakfast & lunch foods on the menu, and over-flowing coffee service. our server was friendly and warm. we were the only patrons at calvin's cafe the entire time we were there. which i honestly didn't mind at all. i felt bad that they weren't getting business, but i like having a place to myself. :) is that selfish?

i got the swiss style rosti potatoes with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. i saw a photo of it online and knew i was going to get that. it was amazing.

the boyfriend got the eggs benedict. it looked good, but not as good as my rosti.

here's a quick review:

very dinerish. felt like i was in a tacky chain diner in the prairies.
super friendly & warm.
amazing. the rosti was amazing, anyways. go there for the rosti. seriously.
2452 marine dr
west vancouver

Calvin's Cafe & Catering on Urbanspoon

side note: i found calvin's cafe from the blog breakfast in vancouver's review. great way to find a good breakfast spot in the vancouver area!

mid-way through my rosti. mmm....

Thursday, January 13, 2011

mid-january minestrone

my my. i've been really bad at keeping up with my blog, among other things, this past month. it's already mid-january! where has the time gone?

what have i been up to?

i'll spare you a long, boring story about my life.
here's the point form:
- glamour shotz
- all things christmassy
- short holiday & new years eve with my boyfriend in sunny-but-not-so-warm california
- photoshoots
- photo-editing dates with lightroom

i have many food-things to blog about. we had some tasty food in california - mexican, lebanese, vietnamese... but i'll save those for another night.

i've been trying to grocery shop better (instead of buying whatever i feel like with absolutely no plans in mind), so i've been flipping through my cook-books and trying to pick (easy) meals to cook, then shopping for that. tonight i made minestrone soup from my donna hay cookbook: seasons - the best of donna hay magazine.

here's the recipe with a few of my own modifications:

2-4 T olive oil
1 medium yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed & chopped
2 carrots, (peeled) & chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 bulb baby fennel, chopped (or half a bulb regular fennel)
2 x 397 ml cans chopped tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
100g or a couple handfuls of green beans, trimmed & chopped
1 x 397 ml can white cannellini beans, drained
sea salt & cracked black pepper


- heat a large saucepan/pot over medium to high heat. add oil, onion, garlic, celery, fennel & cook for 5 minutes or until tender.
- add the tomatoes, chicken stock & water. reduce heat, cover & simmer for 25 minutes.
- stir in the green beans and season with salt & pepper. simmer for another 10 minutes.
- stir in white beans & cook for another 5 minutes until beans are tender.
- taste & serve

i served the soup with bread & butter. whole wheat and honey bread from a bread affair (which my grocery store is finally selling! yay!). i warmed it up by wrapping a chunk of it in aluminum foil and tossing it in a 400F oven for about 8 minutes.