POM Wonderful — 100% Pomegranate Juice

ChowtimesNoWord32x32This post is written upon free coupons from POM Wonderful. We are not paid for this post.

We do get samples every now and then.  Molly sent us an email asking if she could send us some coupons to sample.  We said yes and true enough the package came in the mail just a couple of days later.  That was fast.

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Chowtimes had often been contacted asking if we would like samples from food manufacturers.  We replied to Molly saying that we’re in Canada because we thought that she may have mistaken us for a US blog site.  Very often, the samples comes from the US and the products are not available outside of the US.

POM Wonderful, as it turns out, is available widely in Canada.  It is just that we had never paid much attention to it.

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We went to the Real Canadian Superstore to get some.  Never knowing where to look for it, we spent quite a bit of time looking — thinking that it is somewhere in the beverage section.  We actually had thought it was some form of a concentrate because of the word “concentrate” on the bottle.

As it turns out, it was in the section where food like salads are … i.e. at the produce section.  POM Wonderful came in a nice and unique bottle and is supposed to be drank cold.  They have a few flavours all identified by the colors on the cap.  The bottle is so nice, I know it will end up in the drawer where Suanne keeps these kind of cure bottles — she can’t bring herself to throw cute things away.

The above is Mango.  To me it tastes like (more…)

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Dr. Oetker Jam Express

It’s strawberry season. Ben brought home a 4 lb pack one day after work as he found a good deal at the groceries store, $4.98 for 4 lbs. Ben usually does not do groceries shopping. It just happened that he was looking for some stationery in the Real Canadian Superstore and saw the good deal.

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With so much strawberries, I quickly check my pantry and found a pack of Dr. Oetker Jam Express Gelling Powder which I bought a couple of months ago. I wanted to make some blueberries jam but do not get down to do it. So, this is just great for making strawberry jam.

I like Dr. Oetker Jam Express Gelling Powder for it’s simplicity to use and no additional sugar is required. You can use it to make jam from various fruit like raspberry, blueberry, blackberry and other fruits or blends. If you use defrosted frozen fruit, include the juice which will enhance the flavour and recipe only requires 1 3/4 cup of chopped defrosted frozen fruit.

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Nothing beats some freshly home-made strawberry jam on a toast.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh chopped strawberries, about 400g/1 lb
  • 1 package of 200g Dr. Oetker Jam Express
  • Two 250ml washed, rinsed and dried jam jars with sealing lids

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Seattle Spring 2009: The Food from Seattle Bites Food Tours

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The meeting point of the Seattle Bites Food Tours was at the Seattle Art Museum. We initially thought it was kind of odd meeting one block away from the Pike Place Market. It was later then we realized what a perfect place to start off the food tours.

Yesterday, I blogged about the historical aspect of the Pike Place market. Today it is about the many type of food we sampled on the tour. There were altogether seven major stops we made.

This is what Suanne and I had always enjoyed … not just tasting the food but also learning about the stories behind the food, the people and the place.

TASTE Restaurant

TASTE Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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We met at the informal public seating area just outside the TASTE Restaurant at about 10AM. We were specifically told by Jan Marie to come hungry and to even try to hold off our coffee fix at TASTE — we love this kind of instructions! So, we did not have a bite at all and even not have a sip of the free coffee in the hotel room.

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It was a good start … we had a nice hot cup of latte and capp. Some of you remembered that the north west had a freak snowy day on April 1st this year. That morning was cold and wet and so it was a real welcome to have a hot cup of freshly brewed drink in hand.

From the looks of it, TASTE looks just like any contemporary west coast style restaurants. We learned a lot of this restaurant in the tour here as this is no ordinary restaurant.

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We were treated to the Smoked Salmon Flatbread. This simple but absolutely delicious item is created by the chef of TASTE with local ingredients. I first started off with just one piece but it was so good that Suanne and I ended up finishing the entire plate.

The amazing thing behind TASTE is that the people behind the food actually personally go to the farms and learn about how the food was grown. They had to work the combines in harvesting the wheat so that they have a better understanding of how their ingredients are produced. They even had to experience the catching of salmon. They work closely with the source of their farmers and fishermen. I was very impressed with the seriousness they take to provide the best.

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On every table in TASTE, you will not see ordinary condiments. They are heavily into making sure everything is organic. But what they had on the table is their very own Signature Salt. It was good … not too salty but infused with lots of flavours. We can catch some cinnamon but am not sure what else is there. You got to try this one.

Next time we are in Seattle, we will definitely come here for dinner.


Crepe de France

Crepe de France on Urbanspoon

Crepe de France was our next stop. Crepe de France started off as a small stall at the entrance of Pike Place Market way back in 1991.

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It was only three years ago, they moved into this much bigger lot.

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Crepe de France is very much a family restaurant. They went to Paris to learn the art of making crepes from the city that is famous for crepes. I remembered the excellent crepes I had when I was in Paris (see here).

All the people we met on the food tour are such friendly and genuine people. We got to chat with Michael who was telling us about his first vacation to Vegas — he is a funny young man.

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We had Nutella Chocolate Crepes. It was awesome and yummy — especially when we had followed Jan Marie’s advice to come hungry. We sat by the counter overlooking the kitchen area and listening to Michael’s tales. We enjoyed ourselves a lot.

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They make all kinds of crepes. One day we will return and try their specials, like goat cheese crepes! When you are there in Crepe de France and feel adventurous, ask Michael (or Nani, his mum) for these specials.

One thing I fail to mention earlier (and I did not have photos of this) … in every place we stopped at we were given drinks that goes well with the choice of food. Most of them are Dry Soda with lots of uncommon flavours like celery, kumquat, lavender, lemon grass, rhubarb, etc. We were served Dr Brown Cel-Ray here — a popular pop in New York.


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US Military MRE (Meal, Ready-to-Eat)

Corporal Nanzaro had been a member of the Royal Canadian Air Cadet for two years now. He enjoys the activities and signs up for almost every event organized. Just a few weeks ago he went to a spring survival camp called Spring Thaw in Golden Ears.

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I won’t even think about signing up for a camp where the day high temperature is zero degree Celsius … but he did … and he enjoyed it a lot. He brought back some of the rations that he had left over from the camp. So here it is … our blog about MRE’s.

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Canadian Forces calls their rations IMPs which stands for Individual Meal Packs. The US Military calls theirs MRE’s (Meals, Ready-to-Eat). The ones that Nanzaro had at the camp are the US Military version because they ran out of the Canadian Forces IMPs.

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The MREs are designed to feed an army personnel in battle or field conditions. Each day pack consisting of breakfast, lunch and dinner contains 3600 calories, sufficient for the energy needs of a soldier in active combat. The food are packaged into cardboard boxes.

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On the flip side of the cardboard box, they can even double up as a post card. I wonder how many soldiers actually make use of this.

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In each of the boxes are lightweight pouches. Normally, the boxes are discarded and it’s these tough pouches that are carried in backpacks. These pouches are designed to be resistant to punctures. These are good for at least one year.

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While the MREs may be eaten by itself, the proper way is to boil them so that it becomes a hot meal.

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There were many types of Entrees. The Mexican Rice was not too bad really — close to being good actually! We tried it and actually finished them. Arkensen said that it does not taste as good at home but remember that they were great during camps. I guess when you’re hungry anything tastes good.

We also tried the Lagsana Pasta too.

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MaxFrut — Gourmet Fruitcicles

ChowtimesNoWord32x32This post is written with sampling at MaxFrut. We are not paid for this post.

“Yes Virgina. Not only are there Gourmet Jerkies, there is such a thing as Gourmet Popsicle”

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Anna of MaxFrut invited us to visit their premises to check out their cool new product … fruitcicles, not popsicles. We went right after the lunch we had at Kash Cool. It was just perfect … this will be dessert after the heavy lunch.

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MaxFrut is located just around the corner from Kash Cool. They are located in an industrial area on 127 Garden Ave. This is where the MaxFrut Flavour Lab is … the birth place of the many uniquely cool flavours.

We were greeted by the lovely Anna who were so helpful with our many questions. Suanne and I love learning about the food we eat and was lapping up every single word she said.

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As much as we were curious, we were more excited when Anna brought this large tray of samples. Oooo … nice!

Hey … these are not your day to day popsicles. These are what Anna calls whole fruit frozen fruitcicles. She had made a new batch of interesting flavour of cucumber lime. What a combination but really, it was quite nice and fresh.

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They had all kinds of Classic flavours made from real fruits. Since this is a laboratory of sorts, they even have Premium flavours which is not found elsewhere but here in the flavour lab in North Vancouver.

We noticed they had a $5 bill tagged on the top corner of this poster. Suanne and I guessed that it must be the first $5 they sold here. You think?

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It was fun learning about flavours. Out of curiosity, Anna brought out some chili seasonings and use us as guinea pigs. She wanted to see how we react to this odd combination.

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Mango fruitcicle is a very Asian flavour since it is a common tropical fruit found abundantly in South and South East Asia. So, Anna figured perhaps some chilli seasonings may go OK with the Mango fruitcicle.

The taste was … errrr … different. It was not bad especially. Who would have thought of putting chilli on popsicles? MaxFruit would, that’s who!

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Taste BC 2009

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You know, one of the things we enjoy a lot with food blogging is when we get invited to events. Suanne and I was invited as “media” to cover the Taste BC event which held on Thursday last week. Ooooo … “media”, fancy huh? LOL!

Angie (Sea Salt with Food) who is a wine enthusiast joined us. We like that because we are such babes when it came to wine and we wanted to learn from the event. I thought that we would only spend like 30-45 minutes but ended staying for almost 3 hours. We had a great time at the event.

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Taste BC is more of a wine than fine food event. The event is presented by the Liberty Merchant Company in the effort to bring together the best of BC wines. All proceeds from the event went to the Oak Tree Clinic of the BC Children’s Hospital. I am afraid we did not take many photos of the wine although I did try quite a lot that night.

Our favourite was simply the Ice Lady ice wine from the Forbidden Fruit Winery. Surprisingly, almost all the food blogs that covered the event also picked this as a favourite. I want to say that no one pushed this to us to blog but for some reason it just stands out. It is made of Pink Lady Apple and is very sweet and fruity. It does not reek of alcohol at all. Suanne who does not drink loves this.

I also like the Victoria Gin. They first gave me a shot of Victoria Gin which was awful, like drinking jet fuel. Then they added Tonic Water which made it like a million times better. Nice.

We also had sake and learned a lot of flexibility of this brew … that how this is about the only liquor that can be served both hot or cold and its ability to be paired with any type of cuisines.

The Garibaldi Honey Pale Ale (from the Howe Sound Brewing Company) was another one I like … it was smooth and light with a hint of honey.

In all, there are over 60 wine and drink participants with an average of 5 types of wine showcased. It was impossible to try every one of them for sure … for us at least. On to food …

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The Wild Sockeye Salmon on Artisan Bread was presented by a “baby” restaurant in Gastown. It is interestingly called “2 Chefs and a Table” which had just opened for 7 months.

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We like the sushi from Miku Restaurant a lot. As a matter of fact, we went back for seconds … and thirds … and fourths. (more…)

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Shat Kek Ma

A dear friend brought this back from Malaysia for my family. It’s a popular snack food in Malaysia. The snack is called Shat Kek Ma. To me, goodies from Malaysia which I cant find in Vancouver are precious commodities. I am so thankful to friends who made their trip to Malaysia and come back with such priceless gifts.

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Shat Kek Ma is a sweet snack made from flour, wheat molasses, sugar, cooking oil and eggs. You can find other brand of Shat Ket Ma in Chinese groceries like T&T but they are not as good as this particular brand from Malaysia.

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