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Diet Coke and Mentos Geyser – Version 2

This is our second attempt to reach a 18 ft geyser. We had earlier only managed to get about 6 feet with 4 mentos in a 2 litre Diet Coke. This time we decided to use all 12 mentos in a pack.

We had to devise a paper funnel to make sure that all 12 tablets drops into the diet coke quickly. The reaction was instantaneous and we just can’t take our sweet time to do it. Nanzaro and Webster were too chicken to drop it — so Arkensen did it again; this time he was much more confident.

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So how high does this look to you? Certainly more than 10 feet, maybe 12 feet I say. Amazing, it was great fun.

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E Ben Brittle Plum Juice

We had a BBQ with Polly and family a couple of weeks ago. We brought some drinks and instead of just the normal pop, we also brought a non gassy one because not everyone enjoys carbonated drinks.

We chanced on a great deal in T&T. The E Ben Brittle Plum Juice (not sure what the name really meant!) costs only 99 cents for the 1.5 litre bottle. The original price was $3.29.

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It’s a plum juice imported from Taiwan. It’s a good thirst quencher and light. The taste were sweet with a bit of plum sourness.

The ingredients were described as water, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, and brittle plum juice.

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Classico di Sorrento Bruschetta

During the same groceries shopping trip, Ben also picked up a bruscetta topping for $2.97.

The Classico di Sorrento Brushetta make it so simple to prepare bruschetta. You can easily whip up a snack or prepare a party tray of appetizer in just a few minutes.

All we need is a french baguette, a clove of garlic, some extra virgin olive oil and the Classico di Sorrento Bruschetta topping.

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Slice the french baguette at diagonal about 1/2″ thick. Brush with olive oil and toast in a toaster oven for 2 minutes. Flip over the french baguette to brown the other side.

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Rub a piece of garlic on the toasted baguette to impart the garlic flavor.

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Top with a teaspoon or more of the Classico di Sorrento Bruschetta.

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HSBC Celebration of Lights – Mexico

Tonight is the Finale Night for the HSBC Celebration of Lights. Unlike previous years, this year’s finale night is a full competition featuring a new contender, Mexico.

The crowd started forming at 7pm. We went to watch from Vanier Park which is a great place for photographers because of the backdrop. By the time we were there, there were a lot of photographers already staked out their vantage point.

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The fireworks are launched from the barge in the middle of English Bay. Many boats were already assembled around the barge. The reports said that there were 350,000 people on this night alone at the beaches around the English Bay.

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I brought along a Kakuro to while away the almost 3 hours wait. Did a couple and failed to solve both! This is supposed to be easy. Saw where I did wrong … 7+4=12!! Duh!

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Had to stop the Kakuro when the sun started to set over the bay. It was getting too dark.

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The bright lights from West End looked beautiful from where we were. The fireworks started at 10pm when it was completely dark. It’s great having the sun start setting at 9pm. Sigh … a couple of months more, we’re back to shorter and shorter day.

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We did not expect Mexico to do so well being first timers but we were quite blown away by their presentation. The fireworks synchronized so well with the music that was broadcasted. Compared to the other presentation we saw, China, they had more colours and much larger “bloom” which filled the sky.

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After the end of the 25 minutes Mexican fireworks, there was another 6 minute finale presentation. If you plan on a visit to Vancouver in summer, I strongly suggest that you time your vacation during the fireworks nights. You will not regret it.

There are more fireworks pictures on the link below … hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I had taking them.

More on following page. Click here to continue reading

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HSBC Celebration of Lights – China

The HSBC Celebration of Lights is the largest fireworks competition in the world. This event had been held every year since 1991 in mid summer. From 1991 to 2000, the event was known as the Benson and Hedges Symphony of Fire until the city pulled the plug on sponsorship from the tobacco company.

I still recalled in 2001, the event was almost cancelled because the organizers could not find a sponsor for the event and also that the city hall were getting worried about organizing the event that large. HSBC came to the rescue in the nick of time with the funding and this event has since been known as the HSBC Celebration of Lights.

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The musical fireworks event is held in the English Bay. Just the perfect setting for a fireworks event this big — with the North Shore mountains and the downtown skyline as a backdrop. The event is held on four nights over a two week period. We watched the fireworks from Vanier Park.

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Because this is a food blog, we simply had to include the obligatory picture of food. This is the snack that Nanzaro bought for $7.50. It’s pretty expensive and the chicken strips were not too great — it’s just breaded chicken.

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For the first time, there are 4 countries invites to compete this year. Previous years, there were three countries invited. The countries this year were represented by the leading fireworks manufacturer from Italy, China, Czech Republic and for the first time, Mexico.

We went for the China and Mexico show this year. The pictures below were shots taken from the chinese presentation.

The show started at 10pm and the local radio station broadcasts the music simultaneously. Let me know what you think of these pictures. It was pretty hard to get great shots.

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Click of the link below for more pictures of the Chinese fireworks …

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Diet Coke and Mentos Geyser

We have been seeing a lot of Diet Coke and Mentos reaction videos on YouTube and Google Video. When we went grocery shopping over the weekend, Arkensen said we should try the experiment.

For some reason, all the videos that we saw uses ONLY Diet Coke and Mentos … not any other soda. I guess the reason why Diet Coke is used is because it’s less sticky.

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We were not sure how much we need and so we decided to pop in four mentos tablets into a 2 litre Diet Coke bottle.

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Arkensen volunteered to have a go. He was very nervous and took some time to calm down his nerves before doing it.

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The reaction was instantaneous. I stood a long distance because I saw on the video a geyser that is at least 18 feet high. The geyser was supposed to fill the entire frame of the picture below!!

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Instead, it was just 6 feet high.

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The bottle was left with just a third of the coke. And it tastes weird … with a strong mentos taste.

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So, anyone know how to make a 18 feet geyser? More mentos or less?

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Longan

We bought some longan from the T&T Supermarket last weekend. It has been a long time since we bought fresh ones. We normally have longans in cans with syrup. Our boys like that.

The longan costs $1.99 per pound. The pack below costs $5.33. Longans are grown on trees native to South East Asia from South China to Indonesia.

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Surprisingly the longans actually smells like longan … you know, normally, you don’t smell anything until they are peeled of their skin but these does.

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They are round with a thin, brown-coloured inedible shell. The flesh of the fruit, which surrounds a big, black seed, is white, soft, and juicy.

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The word longan literally means “dragon eyes”.

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Seattle Trip “Trader Joe’s”

Friends have told us about Trader Joe’s and raved about how different they are from other grocery stores. We don’t have TJ’s in Canada and have always planned to check out TJ’s the next time we’re near Seattle. We found one in Everett on the way to Seattle.

TJ’s products are private labeled. They are known for their low prices and boasted the fact that each and every item in the store are tasted by their own panel. Only items they like are sold to the public. If you don’t like the things you bought, you could always return them, with no questions asked.

Since we’re travelling we just bought a couple of snacks for the trip, although there are so many other stuff we wanted to buy too. We bought a bag of TJ’s Spicy Soy and Flaxseed Tortilla Chips for $1.99.

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The tortilla chip is really good. It has a flaxseed (like sesame seed) embedded on the chips which gives it a nutty flavour. The spiciness was just right. We couldn’t stop munching them in the car.

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We also bought TJ’s Very Chocolate Mini Meringues. Meringues are made from whipped egg white and sugar.

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The meringues are dry and crisp. The chocolate on the insides were really rich. It’s a very light snack and you can take quite a few without feeling too full.

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Have you ever been to TJ’s?

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