This tuna ceviche is the perfect weekend lunch, it’s quick and easy to prepare and works especially well on a sunny patio with a pitcher of margarita and a few friends.
Kin Kao Thai Kitchen
903 Commercial Dr., Vancouver BC.
Currently does not take reservations
Rating: 1 (Poor) 2 (Meh, average) 3 (Good, but may not reorder) 4 (Good) 5 (Still dreaming about this dish!)
Kin Kao Thai opened recently on Commercial Drive, serving the kind of authentic Thai food that is all too difficult to find in Vancouver. The only other place I’ve been in Van that even comes close to my experience in Thailand has been Bob Likes Thai Food. The restaurant itself is bright and appealing with a clean minimalist aesthetic. There aren’t a ton of seats, so you have to get here early to nab a seat. I didn’t take any pictures of the outside or inside of the restaurant because my group got there around 8pm when it was already quite dark out and we had to wait almost an hour to get in. You’ll have to excuse the food pictures as well, by the time we got in and ordered we were quite hungry — nobody wanted to wait for me to take a million pictures before we dug in! I will say this though, it was worth the wait.
“What a strange thing!
to be alive
beneath the cherry blossoms.”
Pavlovas are one of my favourite desserts, they are so quick to throw together but impressive and beautiful every time. I also love how adaptable they can be to whatever flavours you’re loving at the moment. The pavlova was created in New Zealand (or Australia, this is hotly contested between the two nations though the Oxford English Dictionary has officially ruled in favour of New Zealand) in honour of famous Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova. Essentially, a pavlova is made up of a meringue base topped with whipped cream and fruit. Most commonly it is a vanilla meringue, whipped cream, and berries and other soft fruits.
This version of pavlova is more indulgent, as far as pavlovas go. It was a birthday dessert for a chocolate loving December baby, so I had to adapt the classic base to a chocolate meringue and make use of the beautiful last of the season pears at the market. Everything on this dessert was made from scratch, it’s a little labour intensive, but I promise the end result is more than worth it.
Earnest Ice Cream is pretty much an iconic spot in Vancouver by now, it is THE place to go for gourmet ice cream. My friends and I make the trip down there on a fairly regular basis, but I have to admit, I never finish my entire cone. It’s the curse of real dairy ice cream and lactose sensitivity, but it’s so luxurious that I take the risk of not being able to keep it down anyway. (TMI?)
However, when I had their lavender ice cream a few weeks ago I could not resist eating my entire cone, nausea be damned. You guys, it was just so fresh and dreamy, I not only ate the entire cone but I had to take a pint home too. Two days later when I was binge watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and eating lavender ice cream right out of the jar, I realized I had to make ice cream sandwiches to share with my friends or else I’d eat the whole pint by myself. That’s how these perfect spring time sandwiches were born, a tiny lavender lemon meringue pie in a creamy little bite. I’ll admit though, even those I made these for the express purpose of sharing so I wouldn’t eat the whole pint, I devoured three whole sandwiches by myself before I even took them to anyone. Oops.
So this post is ridiculously overdue. As you can tell by the crop top and the cardigan (instead of the parka I’ve been living in recently) these photos were taken way back in mid October. This semester just ruined me for everything outside of school, the past two months were some of the toughest I’ve endured in recent years, both academically and emotionally.
Looking at these photos now, it occurs to me how insane it is how much people can change in such short measures of time. My hairs isn’t the same, it’s longer and in a weird transitional phase to silver. My wardrobe consists of more practical articles these days, I’ve traded in my crop tops and purses for sweaters and a backpack. And on a less superficial level, I’m different now. I’m not the person in these photos, I’ve experienced setbacks and grief, I’ve had to push myself further than I ever have before, and I’ve come out the other end not entirely unscathed, but intact. It’s never easy for me to talk about my feelings or express my affection for others out loud, it’s one of my deepest flaws as a person. I internalize my feelings but I’m not very good at compartmentalizing them, and sometimes when it gets to be too much, it comes bubbling over the surface and affects the people I care about poorly. I’m working on it, really.
Even though I have trouble saying it out loud sometimes, I am grateful for everybody in my life. I’m thankful for the friends who have been there for me when I needed a shoulder to cry on, who have been understanding enough to give me space when I’ve needed to process, who have given me their unwavering support at a time when I’ve needed it most. I look at this photo set now and I’m a little envious of the person in them, she’s blissfully unaware of the hard times to come, but for the most part I just feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude. The past two months have been trying, to say the least, and some of it will get worse before it gets better, but it’s also shown me all that I have to be appreciative of. So to my friends and family: if I never get around to saying this out loud to you because I’m emotionally stunted and let’s face it, super awkward, I want you to know that I appreciate everything all of you have done in being there for me (and I love you but feel really weird saying that out loud so let’s not ever bring this up ever, okay?)
These rich gooey cookies are absolutely perfect on a blustery fall day such as today. I know that browning the butter can seem like a lot of work but trust me, they add a depth to the cookies that will be can’t be beat. They’re absolutely perfect with a glass of milk or hot cup of earl grey, and a big cozy sweater and some Netflix.
Brown Butter Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles (filled with caramel)
1/2 cup brown butter*
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 1/2 cup AP flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Extra sugar + spices, for coating the cookies
Optional: unwrapped soft caramels
Mix the butter and sugars until the sugar has melted into the butter, then add the vanilla and pumpkin puree and mix well.
In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and add to the pumpkin mixture. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, up to one day.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Roll out two tablespoons of cookie dough and pop an unwrapped caramel in there if you want, then roll in the sugar and spice mixture before baking for 15 minutes.
*If you’ve never browned butter before, it’s super easy. You just melt the butter and keep it over low-med heat until it starts to smell nutty and the little fat bits turn brown.
The weather in Vancouver has been weird lately. Like, 18 degrees in October weird. I don’t want to complain because I know come December I’ll be wishing for this weather again, but it doesn’t feel quite right to indulge in pumpkin treats when you’re in shorts and a t-shirt.
Lately I’ve been seriously thinking about my future, I’m almost finished school so it’s about time for me to consider what I really want to do with my life. My BBA is in Human Resources, and while I enjoy helping people (and Human Resources would be a great field for that), a little part of me knows I would never be happy stuck in an office filing paper work.