Christmas Baking!

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Christmas Day is always good and bad at the same time for me. It’s great because it’s a time to reunite with family and friends, but at the same time, thinking of what to do can sometimes be a headache. It always seems to revolve around food though with all those family dinners. But what about the afternoon? This year, I celebrated Christmas and also S’s birthday by baking some Christmas goods! First up, we got the Pilsbury Christmas Cookies. So yea…we’re not exactly the best bakers, and we wanted to be festive, so what’s better than premade cookies where we just need to pop them into the oven right? I actually expected to cut the cookie dough, but apparently, they’ve gotten so advanced that they already come pre-cut too… Guess you literally just need to put them in the oven.

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These cookies were sold out everywhere too! My mom snatched the last box so I guess they’re a big hit during the holidays. And here’s the finished product! Don’t they look awesome?! Tasty too, and so easy to make! Oh, and no washing dishes required! Well other than the baking sheet.

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And then we also made Gingerbread men! We were also lazy and bought the kit from Superstore. However, it wasn’t as quick as the Pilsbury cookies. It came with the pre-mixed flour, icing flour, piping bag, cookie cutter, as well as some sweets that we didn’t end up using. I think we over mixed these guys since they came out pretty holey… And the shapes were extremely awkward looking. The cookie cutter shaped the arms and legs extremely skinny so it was really hard to lift the dough off the counter, resulting in awkward looking men. We used smarties instead of the included sweets and the icing was surprisingly really easy to use and also didn’t taste too sweet. The gingerbread was strong in flavour, but I found them quite hard after letting them cool. Either we over mixed it or the mix wasn’t great.

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Lastly, we baked a pie! We followed Grandma Ople’s Recipe and we were quite proud of our finished product! The lattice top just makes the pie look so much better. The filling definitely was too strong in cinnamon and spices for me though. Funny thing was we already cut down half of the cinnamon that was required. The crust was flaky, and that’s thanks to the Pilsbury unroll-and-fill pie crusts! Yes, we were being lazy again, but we didn’t have time to let our dough refrigerate!

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And more desserts! Well we didn’t make this, but my parents bought some Cheesecake from Costco, and it was not bad. 4 flavours including lemon, raspberry, chocolate and dulce leche. My favourite was the lemon since the hint of sourness balanced off the sweetness of the rest of the cake. At an affordable price too!

And that was my Christmas afternoon. Definitely a belated post! 8)

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Marble Slab Creamery

Stopped by at Marble Slab Creamery, hoping to get some ice cream after dinner, but my friends and I got attracted to the poster above… Ice Cream Cupcakes! Two delicious things put into one? Definitely got our attention. So yes, we ended up buying the pack of 6 instead of ice cream. We were hoping that we could just all dig in and try the different flavours, but to our surprise, the ice cream was really frozen. And we could barely even dig our plastic spoons in it, so we ended up each choosing one to indulge in. I have to say we weren’t too satisfied. I had the Raspberry Cheesecake, and I found the ice cream just way too hard. It wasn’t anything special, and just felt like frozen ice cream with a waffle cone. Definitely will go for their regular ice cream instead next time.

Marble Slab Creamery (Ironwood Plaza) on Urbanspoon

The One Restaurant

Matcha Slush

Cheesecake

I’ve been seeing these pictures of gigantic slushes on Facebook everywhere and now I finally got to see it in real life! The One Restaurant is famous for their gigantic slushes, and I’m guessing their gigantic plates of food too… Although I never got to try their actual food, I saw the other tables’ with enormous portions of food! The Matcha Slush was huge! And I believe it was only $5.50, which is the price of normal sized bubble teas at other shops. So definitely a good deal! And the slush is so tall that it starts to fall when it melts, so the waitress brought another cup for us to take the top portion off for us. The matcha was actually surprisingly not too sweet which was good, and for some reason, it actually tasted even better when it was melted. It was almost like matcha milk or something and it was really good! As for the Cheesecake, it was a total disappointment as I believe it was just a store bought frozen cheesecake. The blueberries were still frozen, and the cake was just of bad quality. We were also quite unsatisfied with the service. We had come here for just the matcha slush to share, but we knew that most bubble tea restaurants probably would have a minimum charge. We looked around their menus and they didn’t have it written, so we just decided to order the slush for now. We totally understood that it is acceptable to have a minimum charge, but we weren’t sure if this was the case. Minutes later, the waitress came back and kept asking if we wanted to order more, but she never mentioned a minimum charge. What felt like 2 minutes more, she came back interrupting our conversation, finally stating that we had a minimum charge of one order per person. We told her we would take a look and order in a bit, but we were in deep conversation so thought we could wait for a bit. But she came back literally 2 minutes later to ask if we were ready again. Totally annoyed us as we were planning to get more drinks and food but she wouldn’t even give us time. So service is definitely not so great, but food was decent for the price and portions.

The One Restaurant 美味關係 on Urbanspoon

Trees Organic (Richmond)

Plain Cheesecake and Blueberry Cheesecake

I was craving for some cheesecake the other day on a random weekday afternoon, but everywhere was closed during that time! So I ended up going to the library to buy some cheesecake for Steph and myself so we wouldn’t starve ourselves during our meeting. And by library, I mean the Richmond Public Library, where there’s a little cafe you see everytime you walk by. It’s called Trees Organic, which is also the same one that is in downtown, Yaletown and Gastown! They say that they’re Vancouver’s Best Cheesecake, but I think that might be a little overrated. Definitely not the best I’ve had in Vancouver, but not bad! I’ve had the one in downtown before, and it was pretty good. I had the mango one back then, and at this location, they only had three flavours to choose from. There was the Plain Cheesecake, Mocha Cheesecake, or Blueberry Cheesecake. I always have trouble deciding what to get, so I just decided to go by how many pieces were left in the fridge. The less pieces left must mean that they’re the best sellers… well at least I like to think so! So I ended up with the Plain and Blueberry flavours, with whip cream on the side. The lady working was very nice, although service was a little slow since she was the only one on shift. After a long ride to UBC, I open the containers up to see my whip cream had totally smushed everywhere. Not so appealing, but it was still pretty good! I think I prefer the plain one to the blueberry one, but I think the mango one I had last time was better than these two… Not bad! At least it satisfied my cheesecake craving!

Trees Organic Coffee (Richmond) on Urbanspoon

Portobello Ristorante

RISOTTO DI MARE
Italian Rice with Prawns, Squid, Sea Scallops, white wine, fresh herbs

COZZE ALLA MARINARA
Fresh mussels, steamed with butter garlic and white wine, touch of tomato sauce

FUNGO PORTOBELLO GRATINATO  Portobello mushroom stuffed with bread crumbs, fresh herbs  Served with roasted red pepper sauce
 Amaretto Di Saronno crème brulee

Torta di Nocciola

Hazelnut chocolate Cheese cake

Portobello Ristorante is said to be hidden gem in the neighbourhood when you have a look at the reviews online! So of course, I decided to go try it out! I had imagined it to be a very fancy restaurant, but it was actually quite family-oriented. It is apparently an Italian family owned restaurant and therefore, the food is quite authentic. Both the risotto and mussels were very delicious! It had great flavour. The portobello mushroom stuffed with bread crumbs was my favourite. I’m guessing this is their signature dish since the restaurant has the word portobello in its name! It was extremely moist and juicy, and crispy at the top. The hazelnut chocolate cheesecake and creme brulee were also exceptional! Definitely need to check this restaurant out! It’s casual, but the ambiance is lovely!

Portobello Ristorante on Urbanspoon

Thomas Haas

Chocolate!

Cakes!

Mmmmm

Macarons!

Tree made of Macarons!

Dark Chocolate Orange – Layers of thin chocolate manjari cake, orange bavarian, orange confit, caramelized cocoa bean crunch and dark chocolate mousse, Exotic Cheesecake – Classic cheesecake with passionfruit, mango and orange zest , Crispy Chocolate Raspberry – Dark Manjari chocolate-raspberry mousse, light vanilla Bavarian, chocolate sacher cake, and crispy hazelnut wafer

Double Baked Almond Croissant

I finally got to visit Thomas Haas! After a disappointing visit to find out it was closed on Tuesdays, I decided to go again on a weekend. Probably a bad idea though, because it was packed with people and there was nowhere to sit! The lineup almost reached the door! I decided to try a few desserts since it took me twice to finally get some desserts! I’ve had Thomas Haas chocolates and truffles from gifts before, but I never visited the store myself, so I was extremely excited to see all the desserts in the behind the window! The Dark Chocolate Orange was quite good, although I found it a little too sweet. The Exotic Cheesecake was not bad too, but the fruits were a little sour, so I probably would have preferred to an original cheesecake. The Crispy Chocolate Raspberry was definitely my favourite though. It had a wafer bottom, and it wasn’t too sweet. Really delicious. Another one of my favourites was the Double Baked Almond Croissant. I don’t know what it was, but something about it was REALLY delicious. You don’t get that really buttery oily flavour to the croissant, and the almonds make it extra delicious. I would definitely go back for that croissant. And there are still so many other cakes I would love to try! The chocolates and macarons also look delicious! I was also able to see Thomas Haas, himself, at the store, and he was kind enough to let us try a new cake, I’m guessing. I believe it was some sort of fruit cake, and it was quite delicious as well! Would love to go back soon now!

Thomas Haas Fine Chocolates & Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Chicco Coffee & Dessert Bar

Cheesecake Parfait & Green Tea Parfait

I’ve been seeing pictures of these delicious parfaits in food magazines for a long time but never really knew where Chicco was. Finally decided to search it up, and found it was on Robson St, past all the shops. A very small store, but greeted immediately with friendly employers that seemed to be Japanese. They have a variety of hot and cold drinks, cakes and other small desserts, and their famous parfaits. My friend and I decided to try the Cheesecake Parfait and Green Tea Parfait. Both have pieces of cake at the very bottom, then a layer of cornflakes, then a layer of jelly depending on the flavour, and some whipped cream along with ice cream. The cheesecake parfait came with vanilla flavoured ice cream topped with a piece of Japanese soft cheesecake and drizzled with strawberry sauce. The green tea parfait came with green tea ice cream, red beans, mochi, and a piece of green tea sponge cake. Definitely satisfied my sweet tooth!

Chicco on Urbanspoon

Cheesecake Etc.

Cheesecake with Strawberries

Everyone has always been raving about Cheesecake Etc, but I had never been there despite me being a dessert junkie! So I finally got to on a Friday night, and the place was packed! The place was pretty big though, so we were able to grab a seat after waiting for about 5 minutes. To my surprise though, they barely had any varieties to choose from. It was either, Original Cheesecake, Chocolate Cheesecake, Cheesecake with Strawberries, Chocolate Cheesecake with Strawberries or Gourmet Special. So I decided to try the Cheesecake with Strawberries. It’s pretty good, but I didn’t think it was the best thing ever. I probably would prefer going to the Cheesecake Factory in the states and ordering a variety of different cheesecakes instead. Maybe I just like to try more unique desserts, but if you’re someone who likes the original cheesecake, then this is the place to go, at least in Vancouver!

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