Sunday, December 04, 2011

Granville Island in Vancouver, British Columbia

One of my favorite pre-baby trips last year, was my "couples only" trip to Vancouver, British Columbia. My husband and I loved Canada. We loved the crisp Canadian air, which was punctuated with the perfumed fragrance of tulips and hyacinth. We loved the sweeping and majestic views of the ocean from the Stanley Park. We loved learning about the history and the art (including the intricate and towering totem poles) of the native peoples. Another one of our favorites? Granville Island. If you are visiting Vancouver, one thing you "must do" is head off to the Granville Island Public Market, which is chockful of boisterous vendors who sell a vivid array of seasonal produce.

The "goods" available at Granville Island Public Market, however, are not limited to fresh fruits and vegetables, but you can purchase things such as antique baubles from a public market jeweler, or mountainous pot pies with craggy and buttery pie crusts from a local baker.

And since it's Vancouver, you know they are going to sell seafood at the market! On the recommendation of our Canadian-phile friend, my beau and I purchased a few sticks of maple syrup salmon (an amusing combo of two quintessential Canadian ingredients). The salmon was a little tough and cloying for my taste, but the freshness of salmon itself was stellar--the quality of salmon in Canada is unparalleled.

Another place you must visit on a stop at Granville Island, is Sandbar, a restaurant on the island where my husband and I enjoyed a early pre-dinner meal after a small lunch. Since we were planning on attending a wedding that evening, we only ordered a few beers and a 1/2 order of their mussels in a coconut curry sauce (a great option for someone who wants the "taste" and not the cost of a full meal). (If you are budget-conscious, I would also check out their happy hour specials.)

The uncutous, fleshy, and rotund mussels burst in our mouths like delicate seafood balloons, releasing creamy and mouthwatering innards. The milky curry sauce was perfectly sweetened and seasoned, not too ethereal, not too heavy, and had the perfect balance of subtle coconut aroma.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, but Vancouver and Granville Island are definitely worth a visit!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Working Eater Series: Fage (Extraordinarily) Good Living

I first discovered Fage Greek yogurt when introducing my then six-month-old baby boy to solid foods. My refrigerator has been stocked with at least one container of Fage yogurt ever since. Therefore, when I heard about the Foodbuzz contest sponsored by Fage, I leapt at the opportunity to openly praise a product that I already love.

My typical use for Fage yogurt is swirling a heaping and lustrous tablespoon of the ambrosial milk product into Sammy's baby food. (And I seriously do this daily, no joke.) Based on the advice of his pediatrician, I have learned that full-fat Greek yogurt can provide infants with necessary nutrients (especially calcium) and beneficial cultures that help in digestion. In addition, Sammy loves the decadent and rich textures imparted by the yogurt. With Fage, I think my little Sammy might grow up into a modern-day Zeus!

However, Fage yogurt is not just for my son, but also for me. As a working mom, I often don't have the time to splurge on certain luxuries of life (especially calorie-laden desserts). And yes, I am really trying to lose my pregnancy weight! Therefore, I turn to Fage Greek yogurt (which possesses health benefits that surpass that of regular yogurt) as a delicious alternative to sour cream and whipped cream. Dipping strawberries into a viscous and pleasingly unctuous yogurt? Yes, please! It does not hurt that as I enjoy Fage yogurt, I can imagine myself luxuriating in ancient Greece, gazing at the chiseled columns and statutes of gods or Olympians which scrape the blue sky. Or, I love dreaming that I am sitting with my feet dangling the warm and pristine Greek waters as I watch the bubbling sea foam lapping against the fishing boats. Finally, I love imagining that I am listening to the teachings of Socrates in a palace rich with history. As evidenced by Fage's yogurt, Greeks knew (and know) how to enjoy the "good life" by balancing healthy eating with daily activities. No wonder the ancient Greek empire had such success. And with the help of Greek yogurt, I hope to sculpt my post-baby body in statuesque form!

Here is my favorite way to enjoy Fage yogurt. In its simple, pure, and satisfying form, and slightly perfumed with honeyed sweetness.

Greek Yogurt With Ripe Figs, Toasted Almonds, Honey, and Blackberries
1 7oz container Fage yogurt
4 ripe figs, washed and sliced
1/2 cup of blackberries, washed
1/4 cup almonds, toasted
2 tbsp honey, warmed in microwave for 20-30 sec

In two pretty glasses, divide the yogurt and gently top with the yogurt with the fruits and almonds. Then, drizzle the honey over the yogurt, and enjoy!

With Fage, I am confident my family will be on their way to living the "good life."

Disclosure: As part of the Foodbuzz Featured Publisher program, I have been entered for the chance to win a trip to Greece courtesy of FAGE. You too can enter to win one of three trips to Greece by entering the FAGE Plain Extraordinary Greek Getaway here:
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