Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The best part about Vancouver

When in Vancouver back in June/July we stayed in a cute apartment a bit out of the city. Vancouver was rated the top quality of life city last year and housing costs rate accordingly. This apartment was $67/night, extremely high as far as rents for a studio go. It was in the middle of a hill. A view like this one:

 vancouver view 

was at the bottom of the hill and a grocery store with the most wonderfully high quality produce at the top. Vancouver is a total foodie city, especially if you like Asian food. In addition, it’s very green. Jacob took me to a vegan restaurant called Gorilla Food (pictured below). In comparison, I have to say that Mexico City is actually not vegetarian friendly overall, despite the fact that it’s very easy to make vegetarian Mexican food by substituting meat with beans or cheese. People in D.F. LOVE their carne!

gorilla food

At the travel bloggers conference we attended in Vancouver, we received free tickets to a food convention going on in the same building. It was soooo amazing—thousands of vendors showcasing the latest in kitchenware and with plenty of tasty tidbits to try. Well, we went for broke and bought the Bamix 391200 Hand Mixer DeLuxe White v. It’s a blender that can chop and grind and with the right add ons, even grate cheese and slice potatoes. We use it daily, and although we were assured it is dual voltage it is not, so we bought a big clunking converter that weighs 15 pounds. We don’t need to use the converter here in Mexico.

mixeur_bamix_gastro_350_01

It was in Vancouver that I started cooking up a storm, and I realized something. It’s funny: I denied myself the pleasure of cooking for my husband because of very strong opinions I have about gender roles and men who don’t help out in the kitchen. Jacob did most of the cooking during our dating life and early marriage. But, there’s something very fulfilling and enjoyable to make food for your husband,  and I relished the opportunity, for what was almost the first time, to cook nightly for Jacob while watching Office episodes. I made a lot of fish—an ingredient Jacob and I can agree on. In those 3 weeks or so, I discovered that the freshness of the produce along with the right blend of spices really can be what makes a dish. I’m told that the freshness of the spice is actually the ultimate flavor enhancer—instead, I’ve opted to carry around in our luggage bags of spices because I never know in a certain destination if they’ll have the spice I want and that would be annoying.

Anyway here in Mexico I’ve decided enough with the variety, I need several dishes and websites I KNOW and can count on in the event I want to have people over. I’m used to trying out new things all the time, but I am ready to have some tried-and-true dinners. What are your resources/favorite dishes for guests? I like allrecipes because it has so many reviewers you can start to tell the good recipes from the bad, but I’d like to know what has worked for other, more experienced cooks. I’ve been using the crockpot here in Mexico just about every night. The produce in Mexico City has not been the freshest, and fish certainly isn’t its forte, but between the Bodega Aurrera (corner grocery), the 7/11, the local market, and Walmart, I’ve been able to get just about anything I could want living downtown in what has been ranked the second biggest city in the world, which isn’t too shabby. I just have to go every couple of days, because I can only bring home what I can carry in my backpack. I guess that is the only time I would prefer having a car. Then again, I could always load up a taxi.

4 comments:

oh said...

If it is a "foodie city," esp. Asian, we need to get there soon. Might be tailor made for us.
The view you had sure looked pretty.

Jodi said...

Pinterest is amazing for finding anything!! and www.ourbestbites.com has some good recipes as well!

Jordon&Andrea said...

I love skinnytaste.com- she does have vegan recipes and often if its not she'll make a suggestion. She's hispanic, so she does have plenty of meat recipes. I've learned the value of quality cheese from her.

I also like thestonesoup.com I love her pictures and she has an obsession with vegetables. She's another australian blog and I think you might enjoy her.

Jordon&Andrea said...

I also have found I enjoy cooking for my family. I also really like coming up with systems. It feels good to do a good job feeding my family healthy-good-for-them food. I enjoy experimenting as well. I really like my current system that I've had for awhile.
M- meatless or fish(usually a recipe from the stone soup blog) and if possible double for freezer
T- Chicken/Pork dish and triple recipe because I cook for Carol's family and then put the rest in the freezer
W- Freezer meal
Th- Carol cooks and I add veggies to whatever she's made (we have a dinner swap)
F- LO Salad/Pizza basically use up leftover veggies and meats
*we pretty much add salad and a veggie side to everything
I don't meal plan for the weekends because there's always stuff going on and so it's easiest to just use whatever's left and wing it. Plus, on sunday's we're at someone's house or having someone over. I love how my week peters out. As much as I love it, I also strive to minimize time in the kitchen and I have a rule against cooking and work on fridays. Plus I love the title of Friday's dish when you combine all the other pieces of meals from the week. For example last friday we had: Grilled Pineapple, Red Pepper, Spinach and Peruvian Roasted Chicken Pizza with a white cheese sauce. Sounds fancy, no? But really it was just throwing together the leftovers!

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