2 Comments Karen HamiltonDecember 7, 2011
Coke has been my drink of choice since I was a kid, and it’s my family’s fault. Every one of my Pinoy brethren is addicted to the stuff. It was the drink habit that was hardest to kick when I was pregnant. My aunts show up to family potlucks with their own 2L stashes to avoid shortages. I even link it to my identity as a Filipino; if my motherland ever sunk into the depths of the Pacific, I suspect Coca-Cola’s stock would take a severe nose dive.
Unsurprisingly, it was my cousin, who is just an avid a Coke fan as yours truly, who brought this video to my attention. She got teary-eyed watching how Coca-Cola reunited several Overseas Filipino Workers with their families at Christmas, saying how lucky she feels for having been born in Canada and having her family intact throughout her childhood.
This ad hit closer to home for me. My father moved to Vancouver in 1981 when I was 14 months old, preparing a Canadian life for my mother and I in Manila as he struggled to fit into a foreign land. We didn’t see each other again until my mom and I immigrated late in 1983, when I was 3.5 and was suspicious of him and his intentions towards my mother. Being too young to miss him or understand the sacrifice, I can only imagine how painful the separation must have been for my parents.
So thanks, Coca-Cola, for making Christmas a little happier for those OFWs this year. I’ll drink a can or twelve this holiday season in your honour.
Leave a Comment Karen HamiltonOctober 31, 2011
This should be a familiar sight for those of you that tour the wine-and-cheese circuit:
Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Crisps have been gracing the tables of me and mine for years. I don’t know how to explain how they became so ubiquitous in our social circle; it just isn’t a party without ‘em. In fact, I feel kind of bad for the marketing machine behind Lesley Stowe Fine Foods. Because these crisps have achieved Kleenex and Q-Tip status in our household, I never even thought to mention to you that this is a local and delicious product to get behind…I just assumed you already knew.
So when I got the invite, like other local food lovers did, to sample a new product in Lesley’s own residential kitchen, I was conflicted. How could I ever forgive myself if my in-person taste test of the new line made Lesley Stowe cry in her own home? How could something possibly top these crisps that I adore so much?
Thankfully, I wound up having other commitments that night and was mailed a sample to try in the privacy and pressure-free environment of my dining room. If I didn’t like them, you wouldn’t hear from me. If I did, well…I’d give some away to you on Halloween.
A fellow Foodist aptly described the Raincoast Cookie:
They fill the gap between a cookie and a power bar.
I couldn’t agree more. The snack, each about the size of the palm of your hand, is vacuum sealed to remain moist, chewy, and dense–likely from the inclusion of dried fruit, chopped nuts, flax seed, and oatmeal. Didn’t spot a speck of white flour anywhere.
Our family preferred the Dark Chocolate, Tart Cherry, & Pecan cookie pictured above. My toddler, upon being given free reign to rip open any of the samples we received, immediately zeroed in on the large chunks of chocolate peeping through the window packaging, and refused to share her cookie with myself or my husband. We actually had to descend to smoke-and-mirror tactics to be able to sneak a nibble. And as I write this with a rumbly stomach in the middle of the afternoon slump, I’m awfully tempted to steal the remaining Dark Chocolate cookie from the giveaway package and make you spend the ~$3 to acquire it yourself at your local grocery.
Sample Raincoast Cookies at Urban Fare
Make sure you find your way downtown on November 4, 2011, because the Lesley Stowe team will be at two Urban Fare locations to offer you a taste of their newest creations.
Urban Fare Bute | 305 Bute Street
Noon to 2pm – Come down and sample all three flavours of Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Cookies.
Urban Fare Alberni | 1133 Alberni Street
3:30pm to 5:30pm – The Lesley Stowe team will have samples of the classic Raincoast Crisps plus their newest addition, Raincoast Cookies.
Win a Lesley Stowe Trick or Treat bag from Tiny Bites
Our Halloween candy stash is helping to stave off my Raincoast Cookie cravings until the giveaway winner has it safely in hand. So, how does this contest work?
Study this picture carefully.
Now come on over to our lovely Facebook page and try to decipher my algorithm for eating a package of Smarties. I’ll keep dropping hints there: one every few hours until someone cracks it. The winner, selected by Wednesday at the latest, will get a goody bag containing the remaining cookie samples we got from Lesley Stowe plus a couple of my favourite Raincoast Crisps packages that I picked up for you this weekend.
In the bag:
- Raincoast Cookie: Dark Chocolate, Tart Cherry, & Pecan (family favourite)
- Raincoast Cookie: Apricot, Ginger, & Slivered Almond (my #2)
- Raincoast Cookie: Dried Cranberry & Toasted Hazelnut (Kurt’s #2)
- Cranberry Hazelnut Raincoast Crisps
- The Original Raincoast Crisp
1 Comment Karen HamiltonFebruary 12, 2011
Flowers and a box of chocolates have their place, but not on Valentine’s Day. To me, a present like that feels like the giver didn’t want to figure out what you actually find romantic. It’s akin to getting a generic gift basket from name-a-bath-shop-here on your birthday.
This is what I’d rather get – and give – to my favourite people with a sweet tooth on Valentine’s Day.
Heart-shaped gelato cake from Bella Gelateria
Haven’t had the time for a public outpouring of adoration for Coal Harbour’s kick-ass gelato stop, but hopefully that will follow on Tiny Bites before summer hits. What you need to know for Valentine’s Day is that heart-shaped gelato cakes, customizable with up to 3 gelato flavours, custom messages or decorations, and ribbon, are available for pick-up as long as you give them at least 24 hours’ notice. 8″ and 10″ are the standard sizes regardless of whether you choose a circle or a square. If you don’t have enough people or willpower to down an 8″ serving, you can opt for these individual-sized gelato cakes instead.
1001 West Cordova Street | Coal Harbour
Hazelnut love from Ganache Patisserie
My favourite cake shop has crafted a seasonal cake for Valentine’s Day. The $25 Saint Valentin Noisette Passion 2011 is a hazelnut-in-hazelnut tart that gives me a chocolate thrill just from hearing the description: hazelnut ganache speckled with toasted hazelnut pieces inside a choco-hazelnut shell, topped with dark chocolate mousse containing a passionfruit creme brulee centre. After all that, Ganache decides to ring it with raspberries and pink chocolate hearts, too. I hope none of you are allergic to hazelnuts!
The regular line-up offers plenty to choose from in terms of group and individual servings. You could go with layers of red and white with a Coco Velours Rouge: a red velvet cake with dark chocolate ganache, coconut cream cheese mousseline, and vanilla chantilly (pictured right). Cranberry lovers would love the Chocolat-Canneberge: white chocolate cranberry parfait, milk chocolate mousse, and a praline crunch (centre). Those wanting something lighter might like the bestselling Blanc Frasier better: vanilla cake, vanilla sablé Breton, white chocolate black pepper mousseline, strawberries, and passionfruit meringue (left).
1262 Homer Street | Yaletown
3 special afternoon tea services at The Urban Tea Merchant
My favourite tea house is putting on several special tea services during the month of February. The signature service is the Sweetheart Afternoon Tea: $48 per person and inclusive of a $30 tin of tea to take home for cozy evenings together. If the idea of a $96 tea for two is too much for your pocket book, they are also putting on a $16 Tea and Chocolate Fondue service daily between 2-6pm.
Fondue for two is a lot more my style, but I know my tea-indifferent husband wouldn’t go for that either. If only my daughter was old enough to appreciate the $24 Mad Hatter’s Tea: a children’s tea service with nutella sandwiches and PB&J plus other kid-friendly goodies. The roiboos or fruit tisane tea is served in the most precious line of tea glassware! I’d buy a set for my household in a heartbeat if my husband would indulge the spend (a not-so-subtle hint for him for a Valentine’s Day gift for me).
The Urban Tea Merchant
1070 West Georgia Street | Downtown | (604) 692-0071
825 Main St | West Vancouver | (604) 926-3392
Whatever you choose for your Valentine, make it count, and make it delicious!