All posts by cassandra

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes – Ashley Freeman Nutrition

Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I’ve been on a course to get healthy and have been lucky enough to meet Nutritionist Ashley Freeman in the process. She’s got some great nutrition tips and my meetings with her are always beneficial I’ve learned a lot from her and it’s often far more than just straight nutrition. I’ve added more protein to my regime and a lot more fresh veggies, fruit and fiber; she’s got some great recipes including this one for chocolate pancakes! Who can resist a healthy chocolate breakfast? If you are looking for extra help in your own journey check Ashley Freeman out!

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Ingredients

1⁄2 cup plain oatmeal (old fashioned or quick oats, not instant)
1⁄2 cup egg whites (3 whites)
1⁄4 cup 1% cottage cheese
1⁄2 banana
3⁄4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Oil spray or coconut oil
1 oz. mini chocolate chips (2 tablespoons), divided.

  1. In blender, combine oatmeal, egg whites, cottage cheese and banana; process until smooth. Add baking powder and cinnamon and process briefly, just enough to mix it in.
  2. Coat a medium nonstick skillet with oil spray or coconut oil and heat over low flame. Pour 1⁄2 cup pancake batter into pan; sprinkle 1 tbsp. of chocolate chips over top. When the pancake is golden underneath (use spatula to peek), flip and cook for a few minutes on other side.
  3. Transfer cooked pancake to a plate, and repeat process with remaining batter and chocolate chips to make 4 pancakes.

What’s Good This Week – February 28+

What’s Good In And Around Vancouver

Can’t believe is March already and also that it is snowing in Vancouver at the very same time. Ah well…..we’ll get spring soon enough, right? I’m hopeful! In any case, here’s a few suggestions to brighten up your day and give you something to look forward to.

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Get Your Honey at Beaucoup Bakery

Spring makes an early appearance at Beaucoup Bakery & Café with a new star ingredient, local honey from Hives for Humanity.  The golden nectar plays a sweet role in three seasonal pastries: Honey Banana Double Baked Croissant, Grapefruit Honey Tarragon Cheesecake, and Miso Honey Roasted Eggplant Flatbread and they look delicious!

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The Men In White – Until March 11

A TALE OF LOVE, BROTHERHOOD, AND CRICKET! When Abdul’s cricket team decides to take action to end their losing streak, they talk of recruiting Abdul’s brother, Hasan, who is an expert at the sport. But bringing Hasan from India to Canada will take more than just a plane ticket, and not all members of the team agree with the high cost. Follow this heartfelt story of how home can be found in sport and unite family across nations.  Tickets

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La Table en Provence

From March 1-31, Provence Marinaside will present La Table en Provence, a special menu inspired by Chef Quaglia’s favourite dishes from the cookbook of the same name. Priced at $56 for three courses with an optional wine-pairing for $40, La Table en Provence features traditional Provençal dishes never before served at Provence Marinaside, including Garlic Soup , Frogs Legs, Rabbit Fricassée and Baked Seabream. Dessert is your choice from the regular menu (may we suggest the Tarte au Citron from Chef’s original recipe).

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Grains vs Grapes at Hart House

Whether food goes better with beer or with wine has been a hotly debated topic at many a late-night dinner party.  Now Hart House at Deer Lake is joining the fray with its limited-time Grains vs Grapes menu, which is bound to bring out the passionate wine aficionado and the die-hard beer drinker at any table.  The four-course menu will be available from Friday, February 24 to Sunday, March 26, 2017.

Hart House’s Sommelier, Si Man Lee, loves both beer and wine, and he has chosen a special lineup to pair with the four-course menu.  With each course, guests will be able to choose either a beer crafted by award-winning New Westminster craft brewery Steel & Oak Brewing Co. or a premium wine from Moon Curser Vineyards in Osoyoos.

#nofilter 2017

NoFilter Crushes the LOL of TMI

Starting March 2, late Thursday nights at The Improv Centre on Granville Island are going to be ‘so lit.’ #NoFilter, Vancouver TheatreSports’ newest show, uses the spontaneity of improv comedy to delve into our fleeting, over-shared digital world. From Snapchat to Instagram, Weibo to Facebook and everything in between, #NoFilter finds the fun and funny in how much we share about ourselves with nearly total strangers.

This is a very interactive show, where live-stream social media (projected on the theatre’s giant screen) will be used along with audience suggestions (verbal, texted or tweeted) to drive the action.

#NoFilter plays every Thursday evening at 9:15 pm at The Improv Centre, 1502 Duranleau Street on Granville Island. It replaces OK Tinder which has moved from Thursday nights to the 11:15 pm time slot on Fridays and Saturdays. Show details and tickets vtsl.com.

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25 Years of the Wellness Show!March 3, 4 and 5, 2017

New Rave Productions is pleased to present The Wellness Show, the West Coast’s largest trade show devoted to helping Lower Mainlanders live a more balanced, holistic and healthy life. This year’s show is a very special one, as it marks the 25th Anniversary of The Wellness Show! Held March 3, 4 and 5, 2017 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, this year’s show celebrates a proud tradition of helping the local population to discover the latest and greatest trends in health and wellness for a quarter century.

The show includes exhibitors, speakers and demonstrations on a diverse range of health and wellness topics, including nutrition, exercise, beauty, healthy aging, alternative and holistic therapies, mental well-being, healthy kids and green living, all under one roof. There are 5 stages featuring Fitness Demonstrations (Firma EnergyWear, Mandala Blooms, and Function Health Club), Women and Wellness Presentations (featuring Lorna Vanderhaeghe, Women’s Health Expert, “5 Simple Steps To Eliminating Cravings, Losing Weight and Feeling Energetic” with Mandy King, Holistic Nutritionist, and “Women and Burnout—a Mind Body Soul Solution” by Dr. Peter Hudoba), Living Well Seminars (Mastering Your Metabolism, Anti-Aging, Alkaline-Acid Balance, Joint Pain, Mineral Balancing, and Herbal Tonic Recipes), and the incredibly popular Celebrity Cooking Stage, (featuring Chef Meeru Dhalwala, Chef/Co-owner, Vij’s Restaurant, Chef James Walt, Executive Chef, Araxi, Deerholme’s Chef Bill Jones, Mission’s Founder and Executive Chef Curtis Luk, Juniper’s Executive Chef Sarah Stewart, and everyone’s favourite; Tojo).

Returning again this year is the Healthy Families Stage, featuring a variety of workshops and hands-on fun for kids, parents, and grandparents. This stage was a big hit at last year’s show, and this year includes demos from the owners of Holy Crap cereal, and workshops like “Simple Anti-Inflammatory Lunchbox Recipes,” “7 Powerful Foods That You Must Have On Your Dining Table,” and “Fit Families- Daily Habits that Will Help You Live Longer (and Happier!)” with Lifestyle Mentor, Dai Manuel.

3 days, 300 exhibitors, 30 thousand attendees- your best life under one roof.

cooking for reconciliation

When: Friday, March 3, and Saturday March 4, 2017

Where: Skwachays Lodge, 31 West Pender Street (just east of Abbott Street), Vancouver, BC

Who: Chef Rich Francis is recognized as Canada’s leading Aboriginal culinary talent. A former Top Chef Canada contestant, Francis is about to launch his restaurant, The Seventh Fire, in Saskatoon. Originally from Six Nations, Ontario, Francis is from the Tetlit Gwich’in & Tuscarora Nations.

What: Chef Rich Francis has designed Cooking for Reconciliation, a candid journey toward Truth and Reconciliation using Indigenous foods to create a better understanding of pre-colonial Indigenous culture and the impact of colonization. Francis aspires to give back to First Nation communities and share his knowledge through Indigenous foods and towards healing, connectedness and reconciliation within one’s self.

Menu: The event’s menu will feature OceanWise-certified seafood cooked in traditional methods, including the use of preserves and Aboriginal medicines.

Quote: “Our traditional foods have the ability to nourish and cultivate awareness and compassion, that is the real heart and soul of Indigeniety.”

Additional Info: Seatings are also available on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and March 5 at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the public are available at Eventbrite.cahttp://bit.ly/SkwachaysTix

Aboriginal BC: Chef Rich Francis recently spent his first visit in British Columbia’s Aboriginal communities filming a series about the spirituality, culture and history of the Yuquot, a coastal area of Nootka Island where the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation call home. Francis was joined on the filming with actor Duane Howard, a member of the Nuu-chah-nulth and a star of the Academy Award-winning “The Revenant.” The Yuquot Series will be released on YouTube in April 2017.

Tempea Tempeh Veggie Stew

Locally Made Tempea Tempeh Makes a Tasty Alternative Protein

For those that follow me (and I thank you!), you will know that I am an official BC and Alberta Pork Ambassador and that I cook a lot with pork and other locally-raised meats at home, however, not all my meals include meat, and I love my veggies too. I had heard of tempeh before, but had never cooked with it, or even seen it anywhere for sale until a local Vancouver company, Tempea, started selling it at Farmers’ Markets.

Popsugar has a great article on the difference between tofu and tempeh here; it’s best defined as fermented soybeans and has an almost meaty texture. A lot of those “fake meats” are made with tempeh, you may have run into it at a Chinese restaurant before. I’m always up for some experimenting when I see a new-to-me food.

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I am keyed into adding more protein to my meals as I’ve been working on a health plan with a great nutritionist Ashley Freeman, and she’s raised my awareness of the importance of protein in every meal, and it’s resulted in me having way more energy and the pounds are dropping off too! Tempeh is super high in protein and choc full of nutrition, so it fit the bill in many ways!  Another thing I’ve been doing for weight loss is taking I-Remove, a natural supplement from BMI Smart, which binds to  some of the fat that I ingest, and eliminates absorption, also a GREAT help on my journey!

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I decide to make a veggie chili with the Tempeh for lunch yesterday, so here’s the recipe or that. Don’t be afraid to add more or less of any of the ingredients, or add some carrots, broccoli, or any other veggies you might have on hand.

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Tempea Tempeh Veggie Chili

1 onion diced
4 cloves garlic minced
1 tbps olive oil
2 red pepper chopped
1 package Tempea Tempeh cubed
2 teaspoons soy sauce
14 fl oz crushed tomatoes
19 fl oz canned beans (chickpeas, cannellini, kidney – your choice)
1 cup stock – I used chicken, but veggie is good too
Half a package of spinach or more!
Salt and pepper to taste
cilantro

Saute onion and garlic for 5 mins, add peppers and saute for 3-4 minutes more, add tempeh and soy sauce, saute for another 5 mins.

Add tomatoes, beans and stock and turn down heat and simmer for 10 mins, add spinach and simmer for another 5 until wilted. Top with some cilantro or parsley and you’re set! I also added sriracha as I like the spice.

tempea tempeh

Sun Peaks Resort Holiday Kick Off – A Resort For All Seasons

Sun Peaks – Way More Than Snow

I’ve been up to Sun Peaks a few times over the years, twice for the Wine Festival, once for a harvest dinner in the fall, another for a summer visit and recently, just before Christmas, for the Holiday Kick Off Weekend. Each time the resort gets better, with more to do and see, and with the new management at the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel and Conference Centre, the accommodation and cuisine is now top notch too.

Just before Christmas we checked in and checked out the resort and there’s was certainly a lot going on that weekend as they launched their holiday season.

Sun Peaks Resort

As we arrived, we heard the sounds of Rusty the Ice Carver carving the ice patio and sculptures on the Mantles patio. He then went on to place second in the International Ice Sculpting Competition in Russia! It was very cool to chat with him about his self-taught carving skills and hear about the restaurant and Brew Pub he runs in Cranbrook, The Heid Out. We plan on a visit this year. On Saturday it warmed up a bit and the Ice Bar on Mantles Lounge Patio served up apple cider, mulled wine, and hosted a Martini Luge!

Sun Peaks Resort

Sun Peaks Brew Pub

Speaking of brews, Sun Peaks Brew Pub, owned by BC Brewing Co. launched that weekend with two stellar beers, a cream ale and a brown ale and we’ve got the hats and growlers to prove we were there. There’s no actual brew pub (yet) in Sun Peaks, just to be clear; the beer is currently brewed in Kelowna, with all ingredients coming from British Columbia.

Sun Peaks Brew Pub

Sun Peaks Resort

The Artisan Market in the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel Lower Lobby provided us the opportunity to shop for some holiday gifts and we were on hand to witness Santa arriving by sleigh at Morrisey’s Pub, where they served up complimentary coffee and hot chocolate to fend off the cold.

Sun Peaks Resort

The Gingerbread Unveiling in the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel Upper Lobby was well attended. The creation was made by the hotel’s pastry chef, Samantha Rosen, and took a month from start to finish. There were ten houses and even she can’t count the candies. Apparently the trees were the hardest part to get correct and although I suggested perhaps she hire a helper, she commented that the symmetry might not be there with alternative hands and simply wished she had far more time to complete. Nevertheless, it was beautifully done.

Sun Peaks Resort

Rum and Blackwell Dairy Eggnog was served up along with a delicious Christmas cake in the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel Upper Lobby and we went back for two pieces they were so good, and we usually really hate Christmas Cake!

Sun Peaks Resort

Sun Peaks Resort

 

The hospitality at the hotel is genuine and we had several stellar meals and a couple cocktail hour visits. The chicken with pita was delightful and was a perfect meal for two when served up with a side salad and flatbread and a sandwich for lunch, shared, held us both over til dinner.

Another night we dined in the restaurant at the Sun Peaks Grand and had a bit of a fancier dinner, another great locally-sourced pork chop and the surf and turf with the steak perfectly medium rare.

Sun Peaks Resort

Breakfast could be the buffet, which we did do once, but the second day I went for the pancakes which did not disappoint!

Sun Peaks Resort

The rooms are spacious and comfortable, our only regret was that in the minus 8-21 temperatures we were too chicken to get out and actually enjoy the mountain! Let’s hope in March, when we return for the Culinary Weekend with Vikram Vij, that it’s warmed up! Thankfully the hotels gym kept the calories burning while we were there.

 

What’s Good This Week – February 22

What to do in and around Vancouver this week?

It’s been a busy couple weeks. We just got through another year of Vancouver International Wine Festival and were thoroughly impressed with the wines and the people we met behind them! Now we are onto the last week in February and I seriously can’t believe how fast the year is going.

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Best of the City – February 24 7-9 pm

I’ll be here with Les Dames d’Escoffier as we are raffling off a wall of wine! Please buy a ticket or five to support our initiatives if you are there! Vancouver magazine’s Best of the City event (formerly “Big Night”) includes Vancouver’s best chefs—Maenam’s Chef Angus An, CinCin’s Andrew Richardson, Blue Water Cafe’s Frank Pabst and many more! Taste our way through 10 amazing dishes, each paired with an award-winning wine or beer.

Where: Coast Coal Harbour Hotel, 1180 W. Hastings St.
Cost: $125 Tickets: Eventbrite

bc home and garden show vancouver 2017

BC Home + Garden Show, February 23-26 at BC Place Stadium

With Canada’s favourite home and landscaping specialists including HGTV Canada’s Bryan Baeumler, Carson Arthur, Mike Holmes Jr., and Tiffany Pratt, live cooking demos from Vancouver’s culinary masters, and more than 425 exhibitors and features designed to whip any home and garden into shape, there’s innovation, inspiration and expert advice at every turn. Five days only: February 22-26, 2017 at BC Place Stadium. Buy tickets online courtesy and save $3 at http://www.bchomeandgardenshow.com/

Please refer to the Cooking Stage schedule for a full list of presenters and presentation times.

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Healthy Cooking Classes: Whole, Plant-based, Delicious February 26

This series of classes is a blend of Rooted Nutrition’s Andrea Potter’s most popular nutrition-focused classes from the Eating Clean Series and of Guest Instructor Ellexis Boyle’s cooking classes. Ellexis blends her technique-focused baking classes from previous series into new ‘Plant-Based Baking 1&2’. These newly revised classes get to the heart of ‘how-to’ vegan and healthier baking for the home cook, both beginner and more advanced. Tickets

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Renaissance Vermouth and Tapas with Campagnolo and Odd Society – February 23

Campagnolo, Odd Society Spirits and local drinks expert Shaun Layton to present an evening exploring vermouth and tapas.
Odd Society’s cocktail lounge will pay homage to the delightful tapas bars of Spain with The Renaissance of Vermouth.

Guests will be greeted with a perfectly crafted aperitif cocktail, followed by a flight of vermouth, each one thoughtfully chosen by Shaun Layton. Enjoy vermouths from around the world and a selection of Mediterranean tapas prepared by Chef de Cuisine Jesse McMillan of Campagnolo ROMA. 

7:00pm to 9:00pm.
Tickets are $65 (inclusive of tax and gratuity) and can be purchased by emailing info@oddsocietyspirits.com.

Parksville takes the cork out for its 9th annual Parksville Uncorked Wine & Food Festival, February 23 – 26, 2017

We’ve checked this out a few times and highly recommend! Parksville. Parksville Uncorked Wine & Food Festival showcases BC’s wines, beers and cuisine at The Beach Club Resort and Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort for a decadent weekend. The ninth annual celebration takes place February 23 – 26, 2017.

A Valentine’s Day Menu for the Chocoholic at Rocky Mountain Flatbread

Last Minute Valentine’s Day Suggestion

Rocky Mountain Flatbread and Koko Monk Chocolates are delighted to present our second annual Valentine’s Day Menu for the Chocoholic featuring raw chocolate and Rocky Mountain Flatbread favourites.

Rocky Mountain Flatbread’s Chef Oliver Zulauf has created a delicious three-course menu for Valentine’s Day that offers over 75 pizza and pasta combinations to choose from. Each course is paired with a handmade raw chocolate from Koko Monk Chocolates.

Wake up your palate with La Petite Amour – a lemongrass, lime and sunny mango raw chocolate – paired with your choice of crisp fresh salad (fig & goat cheese, basil & blackberry, or fresh herb salad).

When you add a taste of the Tuscan Blues – a lavender infused raw chocolate – and enjoy a hand crafted Traditional Flatbread pizza or pasta dish – you’ll believe life really is a box of chocolates.

Rekindle that old flame with a Smoking Heart – that is, a double smoked applewood and 12-year-old scotch raw chocolate fusion – along with Rocky Mountain Flatbread’s signature double chocolate brownie with house made vanilla ice cream (or gluten free baked cheese cake with toasted coconut crust).​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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This three-course menu is offered for $30 per person plus tax and gratuity.

Additional specials:

  • Valentine’s Day cocktail:  Fizzio Therapyfor $6.
  • Valentine’s Day Kids Menu: a three-course menu for $12.50 so the whole family can enjoy Valentines Dinner!

Make a reservation for the whole family at Rocky Mountain Flatbread on Valentine’s Day!

To Reserve:

Rocky Mountain Flatbread Main Street: Call 604-566-9779 or email info@rockymountainflatbread.ca.

Rocky Mountain Flatbread Kitsilano: Cal 604-730-0321 or email info@rockymountainflatbread.ca.

Did you know?

Raw chocolate, a superfood made out of unprocessed, unroasted, untreated cacao beans, has a whole lot of health benefits ranging from reducing inflammation in the body, acting as a natural anti-depressant, improving the cardiovascular system, assisting with weight loss, slowing the aging process of cell, improving digestion, assisting with weight loss and many more.

About Rocky Mountain Flatbread
Rocky Mountain Flatbread takes pride in providing sustainably produced, local food that connects the farm, family and community. Visit our two Rocky Mountain Flatbread restaurant locations in Vancouver (Main Street & Kitsilano) or the original restaurant that started it all in Canmore, Alberta. Food court locations include Rocky Mountain Flatbread Express in Banff and Rocky Mountain Flatbread Food Court in West Vancouver. For more information, visit rockymountainflatbread.ca.

About Koko Monk
Koko Monk is known for its one of a kind, complex and sophisticated flavor fusions using raw chocolate. The company uses organic and health based ingredients without damaging and reducing their essence as one of the most important signifiers of their identity. Visit the Vancouver store in Kitsilano. For more information, visit www.kokomonk.com.

Valentine’s Day Sweets Round Up

Valentine’s Day Treats Around Vancouver

There’s a few sweets about town that I can’t help but wish I could indulge in, but I’m going to save my calories for dinner, as we’ve got a chef coming in to cook for us and the men looks superb! These items are definitely calling me though.

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Grounds For Coffee – Heart Shaped Cinnamon Buns

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Beta 5 Chocolate – Cream Puffs

Temper Chocolate

Temper Chocolate – Chocolate Hearts

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Thomas Haas – Cookie and Chocolate Box

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Ganache Patisserie – Cakes

Valentine's Day

TWG Tea – Mon Amore Tea and Macarons

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Notte’s Bon Ton Bakery – Chocolate Hearts

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AND here’s a healthy choice for those who are watching what they eat this Valentine’s Day Zazubean -Nudie – Extra Dark Chocolate with Coconut Sugar instead of cane sugar.

TWG Valentine’s Day Menu and Treats

TWG Valentine’s Day – Take Time For Tea

Got plans for Valentine’s Day yet? On Friday we checked out Chef Cliff Hohl’s latest menu at TWG Tea and left very impressed with just how gorgeous and delicious the TWG Valentine’s Day menu was. I love doing afternoon tea here (TWG was previously the Urban Tea Merchant) as it gives me the chance to chat with a friend over a selection of fine tea, and what is always delightful treats; this meal was the perfect excuse to cozy up and catch up on a rainy afternoon.

TWG Tea

The menu begins with a Bain de Roses Tea-infused sparkling wine cocktail and followed by the Mon Amour Tea, a black tea blended with yellow blossoms and sweet notes of quince, known as the sacred fruit of the Goddess of Love. How perfectly romantic! You could also go for an iced tea made with a blossom-infused green tea if you would like something cold, and we tried both as well as a sorbet-infused tea.

TWG Tea

The main course is a plate almost too pretty to consume, a perfectly-seared pan-seared scallops complemented by a dashi broth infused with a white tea and served wtih steamed garden vegetables and garlic Korean brown rice; so very precious!

TWG Tea

Dessert is just as stunning, a Bain de Roses Tea infused mousse and raspberry confit, served with scoop of Vanilla Bourbon Tea infused ice cream and fresh berries. As I am on a diet of sorts, preparing to fit into my wedding dress, I just had a bite, and that was very difficult.

One thing I managed to confuse was pouring the remainder of the broth into my tea, which made for an interesting cup of tea broth, I don’t recommend this, but do highly recommend the meal!

On until February 14 for $65 per person. TWG

Open Daily 10:00am to 8:00pm

 

 

 

Temper Chocolate & Pastry Delights For Valentine’s Day 

Temper Chocolate Hearts For Your Sweatheart

We’ve suggested a few gifts that weren’t edible in our last post, but know you’d really never think of celebrating Valentine’s Day without chocolate. We headed to West Vancouver for dine out last month and had an excellent meal at Feast. As we wandered up the street we peered into Temper Chocolate and although it was closed, spotted some divine chocolates and were reminded of what a great little lunch and sweets spot Temper is. Be sure not to miss the cookies and chocolate milk!

Temper Chocolate

Temper’s owner, Chef Hodge, hails from West Vancouver and after university he attended pastry school at Le Cordon Blue school in California. He uses only the highest quality of ingredients, to craft rich chocolates, flaky pastries and melt-in-your-mouth desserts, and Temper also offers  a selection of gourmet sandwiches, quiches, and roasted Stumptown coffee.

Temper Chocolate

Chef Hodge works personally with his team to create the most detailed, intricate designs. Creating edible art from stunning airbrush work to hand drawn details all made in house with decadent chocolate ganache. 

Temper Chocolate

For Valentine’s Day the chocolate hearts he has created are divine and it’s worth the trip to West Vancouver to shop for these delights. Stay for lunch, and those cookies and chocolate milk and you won’t be disappointed.

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We partnered with Temper to bring you this post, but, as always would never post without testing and enjoying.

Non-Sweet Treats For Your Sweet for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day Treats That Will Last As Long As Your Love

While I would never turn down chocolate, or flowers, there’s a couple items that I’d rather have this year. Here’s a few suggestion for those who deserve something special this Valentine’s Day.

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Moto Z Play

Those who’ve seen me out lately may have noticed my newest tech accessory, the Moto Z Play and the Mods that come with it. I am loving this phone/camera/speaker/projector! That’s right you can actually turn your phone into a movie projector, boombox, battery, camera, and more, in a snap. AND the battery lasts for up to 50-hour battery, it’s TurboPower means you can get up to 9 hours of power in just 15 minutes of charging, the camera is 16 MP and uses laser autofocus and you can instantly unlock and lock your phone, log-in to apps, and even make mobile payments with your fingerprint. The display is brilliant (5.5″ 1080p Super AMOLED display) and it’s super fast too!

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Add a mod or two to the gift and you’ll have an instant party with the JBL® SoundBoost — as it’s really, really loud (I’ve used it for a fitness class). The 70-inch with the Moto Insta-Share Projector is perfect for an on the fly presentation and the the Power Pack instantly adds up to 22 hours of life to your phoneYou can also match your phone to your own personal style as often as you want with Style Shells. and the Hasselblad True Zoom camera Mod adds an extra dimension to your photos, and fits so tidily in my purse should I need it.

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Mix it up this Valentine’s Day plans with a few extras with the Moto Z Play and Moto Mods.

  1. Catch a movie with the Moto Insta-Share Projector.
  2. Set the mood with your JBL SoundBoost Speaker.
  3. Capture each romantic moment with your Hasselblad True Zoom.
  4. Take the Incipio offGRID Power Pack on your romantic getaway for a phone that will keep giving all weekend long.
  5. Keep in touch with video on the ultra clear Moto Z Play.

I’ve never had a phone I’ve loved this much. Doesn’t your partner deserve to feel this love too???

Starbucks Valentine’s Day Tumblers, Mugs… and more!

Starbucks Valentine’s Day collection features mugs, tumblers and cold cups decorated in classic pink, red and gold hearts, and they are so very cute that I couldn’t resist picking up a few for gifts this year! Perfect for your girlfriends or boyfriends who might be single this year and need a bit of love.

Double Wall Valentine’s Day Balloons Tumbler: 12oz, $22.95,  Valentine’s Acrylic Cold Cup: 16oz, $17.95, Copper Stainless Steel & Ceramic Dimpled Elemental Tumbler: 12oz, $26.95

Indigo

Indigo is always my go to when I need a sweet gift, and they’ve got everything you might need for your honey, friends and great stuff to show those kids you love them. A beautiful candle, notebooks, a water bottle, there’s so many great things here as well as their superb book selection. Be careful or you’ll leave with too many treats for yourself! I am not allowed in the cookbook section.

Rocky Mountain Soaps 

I love these all-natural products and highly recommend you give them a try. A couple things they’ve got for V-day suggestions?

Candy Hearts + New Bath Bomb of the Month – Pair candy hearts for your sweetheart with our new blushing Bath Bomb of the Month and tie together with a simple cotton bow. Voilà!

Kombucha + Essential Oils – Pick up some Kombucha, I get mine at Greens Market of make my own,  and pour it and some essential oil in a mason jar topped with a handwritten note. The essential oils are an added extra, try the Organic Sweet Orange for your sweetheart.

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Muse for Your Mind

I own this device and feel so much better when I take time to use it, which needs to be far more often! This  brain sensing headband, gently guides your meditation through changing sounds of weather based on the real-time state of your brain. Release stress, deal with depression and anxiety as well and improve focus, performance and quality of life with this meditation device. It’s seriously great and really pushes you to focus on a relaxed state.

• Learn the essentials of focussed attention meditation
• Soundscapes include Beach, Rainforest, Desert and others*
• Milestones and rewards to keep you motivated
• Create multiple accounts and share with family and friends
• End of session results and graphs help measure progress
• Exercises contributed by meditation experts to help you learn

On sale for $250.