Forage Catering

I was at an event yesterday evening (more on the event in the coming day – unless you follow my adventures on Instagram where I’ve already spilled the story). Any way, at last night’s event, the catering was done by Chef Craig Sherer of Forage Catering. Oh my goodness did Chef and his team put on a beautiful display of culinary skills!

The first little delectable bite to come out were these beautiful salmon skewers with a little dusting of nut crumb with nasturtium leaves to complement the presentation.

Next to come out we’re these spoons with a couple slices of heirloom tomato in a herb sauce. That is also tiny dollop of goat cheese on top. One of my daughters loved them so much! She told Chef Sherer and he actually went back and prepped a couple more just for her.

Somehow I didn’t get a photo of the wedges of baby yellow beets that came of the prep area. My kids didn’t like them as much as the tomato spoons but I loved baby beet wedges on skewers.

Then dessert started coming out. These little gems were “apple pie”. Balls of compressed apple (insanely sweet!) on a thin and very flaky pastry base.

Exquisite. I think I ate the equivalent of an entire apple pie, one little morsel at a time.

Of course we can’t just have “healthy” apple pie. We need two-bite sized tarts filled with chocolate mousse with a fresh raspberry delicately set on each tart as well!

Then back to our “healthy” ways of eating fresh fruit – blueberry tarts with a perfect little daisy cut out of fondant. Just the right size for two bites and no mess.

I am now itching to get down to the Forage restaurant on Robson, actually located in the space where O’Douls previously existed – O’Douls – such good times in the 90s … ahhh. If the menu and food philosophy at the Forage restaurant is anything like their catering, I’m sure I’ll love it.

Posted in Food and Drink | Tagged , | Comments Off on Forage Catering

Instant Pot Sourdough Bread

Following my cooking frozen meat in our Instant Pot experiment, I decided to try something else with the Instant Pot – making a loaf of sourdough-like bread.

Sourdough Bread

I say “sourdough-like” bread because I don’t actually have a sourdough starter anymore (I was bad and I let my over-100 year old starter die). So technically speaking, this wasn’t a sourdough bread. Just sourdough-like.

Sourdough Bread

To make the bread I started with my usual dry ingredients: 3 cups of flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 3/4 teaspoon of yeast, and a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. I whisked that all together in my stainless steel mixing bowl and then I added the surprise ingredient – 1 1/2 cups of plain, unflavoured Greek style yogurt.

Sourdough Bread

That’s what gives the bread the sourdough-like taste.

I stirred in the yogurt until there was a pretty firm ball of dough and then I quite vigorously kneaded the dough.

Sourdough Bread

At this point I also added a sprinkle of “Herbs de Provence” to add another dimension to the bread.

Sourdough Bread

Then the Instant Pot came into play. Rather than actually using the Instant Pot to bake the bread, I used it to “proof” the bread. I started by placing a piece of parchment paper inside the Instant Pot and then putting the ball of well kneaded dough on the parchment paper inside the Instant Pot.

Sourdough Bread

After putting on the pot lid, I then activated the Instant Pot to the “yogurt” setting for 4 hours.

At that point I could’ve baked the bread, but I was tired and didn’t feel like baking so I just left the “proofed” bread sitting overnight in the IP.

Sourdough Bread

In the morning I put my cast iron Dutch oven in the oven and cranked up the oven to 450°. Twenty minutes later I took out the Dutch oven, plopped in the ball of dough, cut a few slashes on the top of the dough, put the lid on the Dutch oven, and fired it back into the up-to-temperature oven for 25 minutes.

Sourdough Bread

After 25 minutes I took the lid off the Dutch oven and slid it back into the oven for another 10 minutes so that the top of the loaf developed a brown and crispy crust.

The end result was a beautiful loaf of bread with just a hint of sourdough flavour. And of course the best part? Both kids loved the bread and willingly ate it!

Posted in In the Kitchen | Comments Off on Instant Pot Sourdough Bread

A Day of Eating and Drinking

Text to follow.

Posted in Food and Drink | Tagged , , | Comments Off on A Day of Eating and Drinking

Austin Texas and on to the Houston Space Center

Our third and final day in Texas was spent in Austin and Houston, Texas. Our stops included a cruise along the Colorado River where we go to experience the emergence of literally millions of bats, lunch at June’s Restaurant up in SoCo, and a tour of the Houston Space Center.

This was a great way to end a fabulous weekend in Austin Texas.

Posted in On the Road | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Austin Texas and on to the Houston Space Center

Day Two in Austin Texas

Day two in Austin Texas included a wander along South Congress, a shopping district known to the locals as SoCo, an extended period of time in Allens Boots – Austin’s boot superstore, and finally, a visit to the Circuit of Americas racetrack.

Another crazy busy day that again ended with all of us on the dance floor.

Posted in On the Road | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Day Two in Austin Texas

A Visit to Austin Texas; the First Night

I was invited to visit Austin Texas for a whirlwind tour – and I’ll be honest, we jammed more fun into a weekend than I ever thought was humanly possible! Austin Texas is a crazy, vibrant and exciting city filled with countless food trucks (that rarely move), eateries, restaurants, live music venues, and drinking establishments.

I am creating short videos to try to capture some of the vibe that we experienced. This first video is from our first night in the city of Austin.

More to come!

Posted in On the Road | Tagged , , | Comments Off on A Visit to Austin Texas; the First Night

Instant Pot Pork Chops

I got home yesterday to find that there was nothing in the fridge to feed the family. And they were hungry. Hungry and quickly transitioning to hangry.

Instant pot

What to do? Yes, that is correct, I turned to the Instant Pot. And, I went way out of comfort zone because I put FROZEN meat in my Instant Pot.

I had four pork chops frozen. Frozen into one solid block. Rock hard.

Did I mention the kids were about to turn on me? They were. So I turned the Instant Pot to sauté, added some olive oil and I let it heat up.

Then I dropped in the chunk of frozen pork. And poured in a cup and a half of chicken stock. Put on the lid, flipped to the lid to “seal” and the timer for 15 minutes. And then I stepped away to start working on some Carolina-style barbecue sauce.

Because the chunk-o-pork was frozen it took a few minutes for the liquid (chicken stock) to get up to temperature. Once it did, the timer started counting down from 15 minutes.

Once we got to zero, I was anxious to see what was inside so I did a “controlled quick vent”. Opened the lid and saw that my chunk-o-pork was now four sort of frozen pork chops. Good news!

I poured the Carolina-style barbecue sauce into the Instant Pot and put the lid back on. Sealed it. Set it. 15 minutes.

In no time the Instant Pot was up to temperature and under pressure.

15 minutes later I did another quick pressure release and opened up the pot. The pork was now ready to be “pulled” which I did in a large stainless bowl. Using two forks I pulled the pork into shreds.

I ladled on a little of the barbecue sauce and mixed it all together.

I split a few Kaiser buns and placed them under the broiler for a couple minutes to get them browned.

Instant pot

Then I scooped some of the pulled pork onto the bun, added a scoop of coleslaw onto the other side of the bun, ladled on some more of the Carolina-style barbecue sauce, and got ready to eat.

The most amazing thing? Both kids liked it and they actually ate it!!

And just like that, they went from neatly hangry to fully happy.

That’s A Dad in the Burbs style cooking!

Here is my A Dad in the Burbs “recipe” for the Carolina-style barbecue sauce:

  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup of ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcestshire sauce
  • A scoop of mustard – about a tablespoon
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

I added all the above ingredients into a medium sized saucepan, brought it to a boil, reduced the heat to low and let it simmer while I waited for the pork to cook in the Instant Pot.

The Carolina-style barbecue sauce has a strong vinegar hit – much different than the sweeter Texas style barbecue sauce – which I quite like. I just wanted to try something different this time.

That’s it!

Posted in In the Kitchen | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Instant Pot Pork Chops

My Tour of the Vancouver Filson Store

Earlier this week I was invited to a wine tasting event at Vancouver’s Filson store in Gastown. While taking the time to taste the 1000 Stories Zinfandel wine, I took the time to thoroughly tour and drool over the amazing variety of goods that Filson has in their store.

As well as admiring all the beautifully crafted durable goods in the Vancouver Filson store I couldn’t stop myself from dreaming of “gearing up” and heading out for an expedition in the great woods of the Pacific Northwest. Their gear is what dreams are fueled by.

I did manage to get some photos which I have turned into a short video so that you can have a tour of the Filson store. Enjoy.

Another note about the 1000 Stories Zinfandel – the rep told me that they call this wine a “throwback-style” of wine because it is aged in bourbon barrels like many California wines were in the very early days of wine-making in California. At $30 a bottle it is not cheap wine but I found it to be a very enjoyable, full-bodied wine. I will be buying more of this!

Disclosure: while I did enjoy a couple glasses of wine compliments of the brand rep from 1000 Stories Wine, I was NOT compensated for this blog post or video by the wine brand nor the Filson store. As always, editorial control of what is added to my blog belongs to me. 

Posted in Durable Goods | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on My Tour of the Vancouver Filson Store

Marlondo Leather Traveler’s Briefcase

Some few weeks or maybe even a couple months ago I bought a Marlondo Leather Travelers Briefcase in their water buffalo leather line. They are discontinuing their water buffalo line so I bought the bag at a pretty deep discount.

As I say in the video, I really like the feel of the water buffalo leather but…

I will still be buying more from Marlondo Leather, maybe even a Travelers Briefcase in their cowhide so I can compare the two.

Posted in Durable Goods | Tagged , | Comments Off on Marlondo Leather Traveler’s Briefcase

The Rad Power Bike Radrover

I’m loving this Radrover bike. It is a beast of a machine!

Rad Power Bikes

This morning I rode to school and it didn’t take me even five minutes longer than if I drive my car. It might have even been faster.

Rad Power Bikes

In case you don’t know, the Radrover is an electric bike. It has two options – first, a battery that provides “pedal assist”. Basically, it makes it easier to pedal especially when going up hills – that option is called pedal assist.

The other option – you can roll on the “throttle” like you would on a motorcycle. However, once you are up to 32 kmh there is a governor that kicks in so that it is then pedal power. That’s “the law” for electric bikes. Anything above 32 kmh and you are considered a motor vehicle and you need to have insurance and a bunch of other stuff.

As for the riding part, I can completely understand why people prefer bike lanes that are separated from the traffic. Today I was riding along in my marked bike lane and a woman driving beside me just moved into my lane essentially forcing me off the road. When I yelled at her she just looked over at me with her mouth hanging open.

Commuting on my Radrover is like riding a motorcycle – you have to assume people in cars can’t see you.

As for the Rad Power Bike concept, I am loving it. The fat tires on my Radrover get everyone talking and makes people smile when they see it. They just look beastly. And when I’m riding they smooth out the little bumps in the road. I love them.

The pedal assist/electric motor doesn’t do all the work; I still pedal while I’m riding. The pedal assist just makes it so that the hills are not so crushing to the spirit to a “non-seasoned” rider like myself.

I will do another YouTube video of the bike in the next little while and I’ll also try to get a video of my friend’s Radcity Commuter bike to show some of the differences.

Posted in Vehicles | Tagged , | Comments Off on The Rad Power Bike Radrover