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Georgia Strait's Profile

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Costco - Vancouver BC - "flaked almonds" - are they out of stock?

I can't find "flaked almonds" (not slivered almonds) - with or w/o the skin - at Costco Vancouver BC locations.

does anyone else miss them?

I wonder why they are not there.

they are common for many baking, candymaking, cooking, snacking uses.

if you do see them - please let me know which location. I believe they are normally Kirkland - a large bag - I would guess about 4 lbs (2 kilos) ---- I don't know the code number as I recycled the bag I just emptied - not expecting to have a shortage ; )

Where to buy food-safe clay for e.g. sealing crockpots?

... is it safe to tightly lock/seal a crock pot? (a previous poster discusses a flour-water paste method meant for a clay cooker which makes more sense as the clay has some breathability, correct?) -

I would think a modern slow cooker needs to breath otherwise you have rigged a cooker without a release valve. (and we'd never use a pressure cooker without a release valve)

then again maybe I'm over cautious --- cuz I'm the one who melted the plastic control dials on my fancy brand name slow cooker ----- it went to recycling the next day and never again do I cook while out of the house for extended time ; )

Kelowna for Christmas any Restaurant suggestions

this is an excellent topic - not all of us cook or care to be in a big gathering (my older friend was telling me how last year she was included in a 30-people plus gathering and it was a bit frantic busy for her what with plates perched on guests laps and kids running around)

back to your question - I would suggest treating yourselves to a night at the Naramata Heritage Inn, Naramata BC

I don't know what meals they serve on Christmas Day - etc - however, here is their contact info
http://www.naramatainn.com/

edit to add - here's another place to contact that has a nice atmosphere / unique setting - in Summerland
http://www.ziasstonehouse.com/

of course, there is the Lakeside Inn down on the water in Penticton - I assume they have food service that day - we've been for business lunches etc and it's nice for a small town like Penticton
http://www.pentictonlakesideresort.com/

any updates about Methow Valley / Winthrop WA?

wow, I'd be surprised too ---- we went at lunch so saw only that menu ---- definitely stick with the Mexican items

again, for us, at the Duck Brand, it's the warm weather (summer obviously), the shady deck, the overall atmosphere in Winthrop.

ps - in our home town near Vancouver BC, we have families from India (South Asia) making pizza in two different businesses: one a chain franchise, the other a proprietorship - and doing a decent business from all the take-out one sees going out the door - so who knows what "fusion" one finds next in these small Pac NW towns.

Hominy in Vancouver?

i've bought the Goya brand - and also buy a couple of cans when i go over the border - as someone else has already said - odd how something so common in USA is hard to find up here in CDA

... have you ever made - the "tamale pie" or "hominy casserole" (usually the same end result) - horrifying for some - tastes pretty good for a once-in-a-while kid-friendly treat ; )

ingredients: canned hominy ... Fritos! ... canned (or homemade chili with beans, with or w/o meat ... grated cheese

just google - here are a couple of examples:
1. Dinner Doctor cookbook - page 267 - that's the one we use sometimes
2. another - http://mrsamandareed.blogspot.ca/2012...

(some recipes ask also for canned mushroom soup and velveeta - we've never done that - yet ; )

One week in Vancouver... The catch? Two little kids

QUESTION - which supermarket? (name) ---- I am not very familiar with the new Richmond.

One week in Vancouver... The catch? Two little kids

wine gums --- Maynards are our fav. I don't know why wine gums have that certain appeal - but they do.

I will definitely refer back to your posts for future upcoming reference - thank you for taking time to tell us your travels.

lunch West End or downtown today?

now the question is - where did you go? somewhere with cozy indoor dining - given that rain downpour yesterday?

one thing I look for in our soggy winter climate is a place with space!

I can't stand it when the windows are all fogged up (unless it's a bakery early in the morning - isn't that a good sign?)

and the tables are all so crowded together that the wet coats and umbrellas brush up against other guests.

Coronation Grapes - sightings?

... if you are looking this year, IGA Marketplace has "Fresh BC Coronation grapes - 2 litre carton - $3.99" in their flyer this week Sept 26 - Oct 02, 2014. (participating stores in excluding Whistler location - so says the back of the flyer) www.marketplaceiga.com

ps - have you tried the grapes that taste like cotton candy? I got some at the supermarket recently (here in BC) ... green seedless - truly, they did have that cotton candy taste - kids liked them for sure. Not something I'd put on a cheese & fruit platter ; )

Trader Joe's YAY/MEY/NAY - September 2014 [OLD]

I agree with your point LittleFlower

Sep 26, 2014
Georgia Strait in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEY/NAY - September 2014 [OLD]

well darn. I will have to save up every empty grinder (they do come undone and I dishwasher them (no heat dry))

then again, where do I obtain chocolate cocoa beans ; )

YES - I did see the cinnamon sugar grinder and bought a few for the upcoming gift basket season.

Sep 26, 2014
Georgia Strait in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEY/NAY - September 2014 [OLD]

QUESTION - re: DISCONTINUED?

has TJ's discontinued the "built-in grinder" of sugar/chocolate/coffee beans? it was always in the "grinder" section - next to the cinnamon/sugar grinder. What? it made the perfect gift let alone we used it in our own home.

I am in the Pac NW region.
thank you in advance if you have any info.

Sep 26, 2014
Georgia Strait in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEY/NAY - September 2014 [OLD]

i am referring to the JAR of instant ---- I think they still have the little packets - but they already contain the milk and sugar - and we don't like milk and sugar in coffee.

the little packets are good and sure handy tho - I make them in to iced coffee (or frozen cubes if I have leftover) in the summer

Sep 26, 2014
Georgia Strait in Chains

Looking for the name of a long-closed restaurant in Vancouver

yes - that's it - Big Scoop - I do recall going to what I thought was named Big Scoop in the years between 1975 and 1978.

that's what I thought it was called at the time - tho maybe it was Mr Roberts - but that name doesn't ring a bell in my mind.

there was a Big Scoop in Horseshoe Bay too - near the ferry (and what used to be a Texaco where there is now a Starbucks.)

and that great bakery on 41st - just west of West Blvd - Moores. I wish they still had all those tea cakes (little sweets and savouries)

and I remember going to the McD's on Boundary and Lougheed (near Knight and Day) for a school crossing guard "reward" outing - that would have been approx 1974 or 1975. I had never EVER been to a McD's before - yet the other kids in grade school had!

and there was a great drive-in on Burrard - on the east side just on the north end of the bridge - they had "Deluxe" burgers - the way a burger should be - anyone remember that place? again early to mid-70's

Victoria Station anyone? that was a chain. fun tho for parents of teens and the kids too.

Looking for the name of a long-closed restaurant in Vancouver

i had totally forgotten Tomato Cafe ---- I have the recipe book - I like a couple of the recipes in it -

Favorite brown bag lunches that don't require reheating

i used to have a long commute starting at 4:30am - so my easy to carry (no car, all transit system) were

1. cereal! in a tupperware type container (I think I even went as far as adding the powdered milk so I could just add water later at lunch break - I know - cringe - but I will tell you - I saved money and it was a mid-day comfort) I have a hankering for grape nuts or raisin bran.

2. cold pizza - cut the typical pie shape in half from tip to crust - fold over - make a sandwich. Works for me.
------
the thermos is a good idea. make sure it's a W I D E mouth thermos if you like real soup.

Sep 25, 2014
Georgia Strait in Home Cooking

any updates about Methow Valley / Winthrop WA?

re: duckBrand - i have a system for restaurants - we ask for a table - we are seated - then I always say "I am just going to wash my hands" - and I check the restroom (and wash my hands ; ) - hopefully restroom is reasonable if not better (a good sign) ----- and I glance at the kitchen and the rest of the place as I walk thru because often the restroom in many smaller/older places is in a corridor around the back near the storage room (you get the idea) - gauge the staff interaction etc - return to table - and then order or leave with a polite apology excuse. I've never left any place in Winthrop area because one can tell from the get-go I think in most small town places. (that said - I have not read any county health inspections for Winthrop area)

anyway - the DuckBrand was decent for the price - not "I'm going to drive all the way just to eat there" but pleasant, friendly and clean and certainly the deck is the attraction - it was spicier Yucatan style food. She happily substituted my preferred corn tortilla in place of flour tortilla, so that's a good sign. The guacamole was for sure homemade in appearance and taste in my opinion - and the fresh salsa - it was definitely fresh tomato, onion, cilantro (unlike the odd salsa at the Carlos up the street)

Sun Mtn - main dining room - definitely - and make a reservation if you have a preferred table (view, sunset, etc or special occasion) - we always splurge once.

Mazama - oh, next time, I'll try a bagel - the baguette was delicious and decadent for sure.

Looking for the name of a long-closed restaurant in Vancouver

was there a restaurant where the Mark James high-end mens clothing store was? on Broadway near Olympia Pizza I think.

I think the building burned didn't it?

i think somehow the clothing store was associated with the restaurant - and then there was some connection to a place in Langley (the proverbial "in the country" for the country set)

speaking of which - where was the "Keg in the Country" - at Thunderbird horse place?

the first mcdonalds? (boundary road?)

Bino's?

and those ice cream places - remember the old one in west Kerrisdale strip - the door opened on the corner of the building - is that 41 and Elm? and they had the faded backlit photos of every possible combo of ice cream and sauce and sprinkles and bananas etc

i know we've been around the block on Woodwards Malted cones ; )

Trader Joe's YAY/MEY/NAY - September 2014 [OLD]

yes, I am with you on that one - for sure a NAY.

however - I am thinking that for me, it was the packaging - not the actual product.

I found the actual pump (spray nozzle) very hard to press down (sore older hands) to make it spray and then it was just annoying from that point onward. Yes, it dribbled down and then the bottle was hard to hold on to etc - as you have pointed out already.

the reason I like spray in general is then it's not all over my hands - it seems simple.

so maybe I just need to buckle-up and use a lotion-oil type product that is not greasy etc.

YAY - sure love the French pump hand soap - looked in August - found in Sept in OR WA stores - french orange honey or some such "flavor" -- tho I often have to save the pump top part from previous bottle just because I can't get the TJ pumps unlocked - they are hard to open to make them pump.

Sep 21, 2014
Georgia Strait in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEY/NAY - September 2014 [OLD]

was just in the Bellingham WA State location

YAY - the sample person was offering - the pineapple salsa (it's been their shelves (ie offered for many years not out-dated) a long time - and she mixed in the frozen piece of some sort of pre-cooked pork - the Mexican Carnitas and put it in a slow cooker to keep it warm for sample service purposes - but it would work at home too if you're a slow cooker person. The Carnitas pkg says it's microwaveable --- I have tried some of their other "pre-cooked meats" and never again - but this one, turned out well.
==========================
QUESTION - re: DISCONTINUED?

has TJ's discontinued the "built-in grinder" of sugar/chocolate/coffee beans? it was always in the "grinder" section - next to the cinnamon/sugar grinder. What? it made the perfect gift let alone we used it in our own home.
================
I see someone earlier on this thread has YAY'd the lemon pepper spice grinder - we also use the "everyday seasoning" grinder

the one I threw out after one single rotation of that grinder was the south African - maybe it is traditional but to us smelled like burning tires (kind of like hot brakes down a steep mountain road) or roofing (you know when you're in a neighborhood and they're applying tar roofing?)
=====================
we just did an informal taste test on the TJ's frozen mac - yes, if it's handy - it's decent --- tho I'd skip the "no guilt" - what's the point if you're already set on Mac and Ch. (so our conclusion is that we mix one tray of each into a larger container, reheat, etc - to make it "moderate guilt")
=======================
the jar of instant coffee is pretty good - either hot or cold - tho I wish they offered a DE-caf version - there are many of us who are either restricted or prefer no-caf in our lives. Incl choc. and is it bird/eco friendly? Instant coffee has come a long way since our grandfolks' day for sure.

thank you

Sep 21, 2014
Georgia Strait in Chains

What can I do with whole milk powder?

we grew up in developing country that did not offer safe dairy milk - (other than the recent "Tetra Pak" technology which is still not to our taste) .... so we would buy the sterilized water and add milk powder that came from our "first world" safe-food different country ---- so I have lots of experience from a few decades ago

and so now back here in North Am, I use it on the boat (not enuf room in a Koolatron / Dometic for cartons or dependable cool temps) - or an overnight camp trip (clean water plus a shaker jar (any clean heat proof jar with lid) equals really fluffy milk for coffee, tea, cereal) - or the proper Bodum type frother

also - we used to eat pancakes - and so I'd make my own pancake mix at home based on Better Homes and Gardens old "Favorite Pancakes" recipe (the classic red gingham plaid book) - and then add a bit of oil and an egg at the site (usually outdoors cooking somewhere remote where we did not have access to a store (let alone a drive-by place) and had to pack lightly too and be food-safe (ie not much fridge capacity)

French toast at an off-grid site - easy - eggs, milk powder, water - shake it up - dip the stale "campsite" bread - cook, eat, enjoy the scenery.

we keep some at home in our emerg kit (we live in earthquake area) for extra protein and sugars in our bottled water in case of emerg ---- or if our power goes out - which it is known to do.

sometimes I use it to enhance a chowder and I've run out of milk and don't have time to run out to get more. From the gas station. Bread pudding, strata - same story.

Sep 21, 2014
Georgia Strait in General Topics

Beef Stew - what are your secrets or tips for making a really good meal?

I think the first thing is having quality ingredients - don't have to be expensive - could be your neighbor sharing some fresh-dug-up potatoes or carrots, for example. Or being at the farmer market as they close-up and want to sell the last few items.

we are in the Pac NW so have lots of berries - so sometimes I add a spoonful of blackberry jelly (but likely not if I've added tomato) or crabapple - or currant! (See below in my post re: Silver Palate Navarin of Lamb)

sometimes I add a bit of cocoa or cinnamon - that works with tomato in the stew

cumin - sometimes

good quality horseradish as a side to traditional English beef stew (i don't add it in the actual pot because some guests don't like the flavor)

kind of like "themed" stew - you know which tastes go together depending on the protein and other ingredients you are working with.

to freshen and brighten it up at the end (ie just before serving), I always add a couple of handfuls of really good quality petit pois (small frozen sweet green peas - we can't grow them in winter so I have a brand I go to at the supermarket) - that works for beef stew, turkey soup, even chicken curry. You could add some chiffonade fresh (uncooked) baby spinach or tender fresh (uncooked) swiss chard which we can grow in our region in a sheltered spot - kind of like the age-old parsley garnish but edible.

and YES to the people who have already said it tastes better the next day (and yes, I too struggle with the meat texture - unless I buy boneless beef short ribs - tho some people might like bone-in ... we don't because of senior dinner guests who find it easier (safer from our POV) to eat boneless and trimmed.

do you rememeber way back - in the Silver Palate cookbook days - the first cookbook has a Navarin of Lamb that is wonderful. Of course, we have more access to ingredients these days - (I think they had to use frozen pearl onions (or frozen snow peas) - i can't recall exactly.)

i think there was a pork & fruit ragout in the same book that had apricots and/or prunes - but it had too much vinegar taste for our country palate.

(edit to add - i think the google link BELOW is the 25th anniversary edition which might be more useful today than the original - I shall have to check it out one day) ---- meanwhile - check out the Silver Palate book here on Google - you can search the index
http://books.google.ca/books?id=-fdrB...

Sep 21, 2014
Georgia Strait in Home Cooking

any updates about Methow Valley / Winthrop WA?

i'm adding info for LotusRapper -
the one important note about Winthrop is parking - esp if you have your full car interest group -

... arriving on Hwy 20 from the west - you'd have to park at the "red barn" as you enter town (just west of the bridge) and walk on the sidewalk over the bridge - Sheri's ice cream will be the first place you come to.

arriving on Hwy 20 from the east direction, park at the winter ice rink (it's outdoors ie only in winter) ie turn LEFT just before crossing the highway bridge in to town - and then turn right in to the parking lot - there is a relatively new and very artistic looking pedestrian bridge (do NOT walk over the highway bridge - very narrow) - the first eateries you'll encounter from that direction are Rocking Horse (coffee and bakery) - and on the uphill side, the Duck Brand - which is an old time place - decent enuf Mexican, clean restrooms and patron area, nice folks - great outdoor patio

in Twisp - people seem to congregate at the Twisp River Pub - but I'd prefer La Fonda Lopez (right next door, across from Chevron) - a small family operated restaurant (we saw the young children helping to haul the supplies in to the storage room, etc) - the Trip Advisor comments posted recently seem very accurate based on our recent experiences. Parking is limited so you'd have to figure that out in advance if you have several cars in your group.

watch for deer everywhere in the Methow - and also the motorcycle tourist groups - i've seen a few serious spill-offs down there on Hwy 20

have a great Saaburday drive!

Good eats for a large group, along SR542 Mt. Baker Hwy, east of Deming ?

it's gorgeous here in the NW isn't it - nice fall colors in them thar hills

i updated the Methow Valley thread on this same Pac NW board - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/974424

the one important note about Winthrop is parking - esp if you have your full car interest group -

... arriving on Hwy 20 from the west - you'd have to park at the "red barn" as you enter town (just west of the bridge) and walk on the sidewalk over the bridge - Sheri's ice cream will be the first place you come to.

arriving on Hwy 20 from the east direction, park at the winter ice rink (it's outdoors ie only in winter) ie turn LEFT just before crossing the highway bridge in to town - and then turn right in to the parking lot - there is a relatively new and very artistic looking pedestrian bridge (do NOT walk over the highway bridge - very narrow) - the first eateries you'll encounter from that direction are Rocking Horse (coffee and bakery) - and on the uphill side, the Duck Brand - which is an old time place - decent enuf Mexican, clean, nice folks - great outdoor patio

watch for deer everywhere in the Methow - and also the motorcycle tourist groups - i've seen a few serious spill-offs down there on Hwy 20

have a great Saaburday drive!

Cider and Donuts in the NW???

yes, i looked at that subject line too - being Canadians, we do know of the "soft cider" (basically we'd consider it to be apple juice sold from someone's garage "press" in Summerland BC or some such thing) - or Grower's which is what is carbonated alcohol approx 6 percent. Growers has been around in British Columbia since the 1930's I think. A food historian would have to check on that ... tho I have seen adverts in vintage magazines.

any updates about Methow Valley / Winthrop WA?

just went to the Methow Valley - they are working their way back from the devastating wildfires - everyone has a story to share, for sure.

checked out the supermarkets in Winthrop (Evergreen IGA) and Twisp (Hanks) - I don't really "get" the popularity of Hanks - what with all the stuffed dead lions and other animals - but - there are only 2 choices. I always prefer the IGA in Winthrop next to ACE hardware and the friendly Texaco fuel station.

(the only thing about the IGA is the bakery section - better to go to Rocking Horse right in the "old west" part of Winthrop

Sheri's ice cream - it's there as always (20 years approx?) - nice outdoor shaded seating - we just take the kids of all ages in our family for the ice cream

Rocking Horse - excellent baked goods - good coffee

Mazama Store - we hadn't been in a while - like a decade - and it's huge now! (by comparison) - felt like a small New Seasons or Whole Pay-Foods. we bought some bread and it was decent enuf. Certainly a nice setting and friendly people.

Sun Mountain Lodge - main dining room - several $$$ for that meal but wow. nicely presented, discreet professional service, fresh vegetables, local meats, etc.

Mexican food - we asked several people in our travels which one of the three they preferred:
Duckbrand (Winthrop)
Carlos 1814 (Winthrop)
La Fonda Lopez (Twisp)

we rec'd varied recommendations - some based on location and budget (ie if you ask the young person working at the bike shop - maybe he has a preference based on proximity and/or budget)

we tried all three at lunch times - for sure the Duckbrand is scenic in terms of the outdoor deck and big shade trees. The Carlos has an outdoor deck near the river - but it needs to be spiffed up - no plants, nothing really attractive about it - it has potential.

our favorite by far is La Fonda Lopez - now, the setting is not very pretty - it's on the side of Hwy20 in Twisp in a concrete block building - however, the food was by far the best -

all 3 of the Mexican restaurants were clean enuf, well priced (we did not buy liquor), friendly and low-key. All 3 offer outdoor seating in shade. We'd for sure go back to La Fonda Lopez in Twisp.
(it's across from the Chevron gas station)

Good eats for a large group, along SR542 Mt. Baker Hwy, east of Deming ?

hi LR - how was your saab lunch in Maple Falls?
we just went to Methow Valley - Winthrop area - so I am about to update the mexican food options on the other thread on this PacNW board (as we Cdn's don't have as many choices of Mexican food up here do we?)

Hwy 20 (from Skagit Valley over to Methow) - summer only - closed winter - would make a great drive for overnight club trip

Weekend trip from Van? Best chowspot?

Sunshine Coast info includes:
www.bcferries.com - note the busy sailing times they post on their website (there is transit on the SC side too

)

lots of nice cottages etc - http://www.bbsunshinecoast.com/
Painted Boat
Rockwater (if no wedding
)also the usual VRBO etc websites

lots of farm stands en route
farmer market with good tomatoes right now in downtown Sechelt near old school (near the library)

sharkey's fish locker in Roberts Crk for fresh raw fish to cook at your cottage (they also sell fish and chips on site)

black bean cafe in both Gibsons and main st Sechelt - excellent coffee and baked goods

Persephone brewery - at the top of the hill as you depart the ferry on Langdale side - huge field of hops and big red barn

excellent sailboat skippered charter - Sunshine Kayaking out of Gibsons harbour

lots of restaurants - various prices - see urban spoon

Groceries in Whistler Village

is there a farmers market or someone on the side of the road selling "Okanagan" (in quote marks - who knows the origin) produce?

Sablefish versus Alaska Black Cod

great question - not mundane at all
I am in the understanding that sablefish is a fancy menu name for cod and is desirable if sourced in BC

I have eaten it - gently cooked. I don't really like "smoked" flavor so what we had at a restaurant was poached, I believe.

I don't know about its "Oceanwise" status (Vancouver Aquarium) so you'd have to check.

remember that "sable" is French for sand - and cod usually live at lowest level closest to ocean floor, is that right? (that's why they are called "groundfish")

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?...