Rodney’s Oyster House – ehhh

Oyster are awesome, reviews say this place is great so therefore this meal should be excellent right? Well this meal was just okay. Winner of Hottest Male Servers, Rodney’s Oyster House is suppose to have a lot of things going for it.The restaurant was jam packed and even with reservations we had to wait for our table to clear.

Everything was looking up when the oyster platter came around. The server let us know where all the oysters came from (various coasts of Canada). Unfortunately the restaurant was quiet loud so I didn’t hear the details. This came with a bunch of different sauces. This, of course, lead to hot sauce tasting which I did not take part in. Any sauce supposedly comes from Hell is probably waaay too spicy for me.

The oysters were quite good. Fresh and meaty. I did really like how the waiters knew their stuff. I just wish I could listen to what they had to say. Also our waiter was a bit “intense” so asking him to say it again was sort of…. risky.

GLORIOUS SEAFOOD SHOT

I had the crab cakes. Which were very meh. The cakes were full of crab but they weren’t seasoned and there was no really good sauce. The salad dressing was too sweet. It was like chinese plum sauce. You know the kind you get in Canadianized Chinese Resturants to eat with deep fried spring rolls? But watered down and some spicy peppers mixed it to give it some desperately needed kick. I slathered my greens with it and then used it to save the crab cakes.

It didn’t save the dish 😦

I only had a tiny bit of the chowder and it seemed to be okay. It was very creamy. However I did notice that it had a thin layer of “skin” on top of the bowl. This either meant that its been sitting under hot lights for a while or it was cold in the restaurant and this was pipping hot…

This was the pan fried oysters. Verdict on this was good. I didn’t taste them.

I only had a bite of the pasta dish but my friend mentioned that there was a decent amount of scallops that were nicely cooked. However the pasta sauce itself was nothing outstanding. It was average. For 18.95 for pasta… I think you need to have outstanding pasta for that price.

Oh crap, I have no idea how to rotate pictures. Yes I’m a novice. This was Co Co Curry and it was a big meh. I love curry, my boyfriend loves curry. This was sweet, not spicy, tomato based curry with some random greens put on top of mushy rice. Also some prawns were arranged around the dish. There was no contrast of textures and everything was just mushy and semi sweet. I did not eat the prawns but they looked good.

All these entrees ranged from 15.95-18.95, so everything was in the 20 dollar range.  Our total bill for 9 of us came to 280 dollars with HST and 18% gratuity. I don’t think it was worth it price wise. The service was okay, maybe we made the mistake of coming in on a Saturday night so it was stupidly busy and service was excruciatingly slow.

Honestly I would only come back if it was happy hour to eat only raw oysters.

One bite summary

Oysters, attractive servers, and hilarious t shirts (Eat Me Raw – plaster on male servers)  That’s all its got going for them.

Rodney's Oyster House on Urbanspoon

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Cinch Cafe – Yay Pasta!

This place is great. Reasonably priced pasta for English bay and packed with flavor. I want to go back!

This is a small restaurant close to the other korean places on robson st. Honestly I never noticed it until I read the great reviews on urbanspoon. The decor was a bit strange. There were not so fresh flower arrangements on every table. I assume there was a large party on the weekend or they have a great discount with a florist. It was pretty quiet when we went in on a weekday around 7. There was only one other party who appeared to know the owners.

I had the capellini pescatore. The seafood was fresh and really good quality. Two huge scallops, two huge shrimp and a lot of plump mussels along with a bunch of squid. There was a lot of black pepper so the first bites are super delicious and the last few are a bit burning.This is highly recommend. I’m not sure if it was the butter or fat but it was melt in your mouth fantastic.

The other dish I tried was the Penne Sausage arrabiata. It was solid, the tomato based sauce did not compete with the sausage. I did wish that the sausage had more kick to it but I was so supremely in love with my other dish so my tasting memory of this dish fails me.

We also had garlic bread which was toasted white bread coated in garlic and cheese. Melted cheese is always an automatic awesome.  This side dish only cost 3 dollars.

Both pasta dishes were 13 or 14 dollars and the other main entrees of meat, fish etc were only 20 – 25 dollars.

One bite summary:

  • Good value for great pasta

Cinch Cafe on Urbanspoon


Easy Pop Tarts! Without the food colour additives!

POP TARTS! Who doesn’t remember and love pop tarts? I was looking for a new breakfast item. And I was inspired by Culinary Concoctions by Peabody to make a pop tart!

Please note I’ve modified her recipe because I didn’t have cream cheese in the fridge. Other great filling ideas would be any type of jam, nutella (If you used it in this recipe let me know! I hunger…), nuts, or fruit.  Just make sure they are in bite sized pieces. Unfortunately you need to be selective and not over stuff them or else the pastry won’t close and filling runs out everywhere. It’s messy, believe me. Scrubbing things suck.

Make sure that the puff pastry is defrosted, plyable and cut it up into poptart shapes (about 3 x 10). I eyeball everything so that means I had one huge poptart and two small ones.  If your puff pastry does not come wrapped up in waxed paper/you were awesome and made it by scratch, you should coat your work surface with a bit of oil so that your awesome creations make it to the oven and not glued forever on the counter.

Smear some jam, slap on some cut up, washed fruit, and cover. Super easy!

One last step before the baking is to get a fork and press down all around the edges so that nothing delicious escapes.

 

Then pop them in the oven/toaster oven and let them bake at 350 degrees until golden brown. Here’s a photo with bad lighting of the delicious poptart. Relive your childhood without the food colour additives!

PUFF POP TARTS

Puff Pastry

Filling (Jam, Nutella, spreadable goodness)

Bite Sized Edibles  (Chocolate chips, fruit, etc)

1. Cut up puff pastry into poptart shapes (about 3×10 rectangles)

2. Smear on your spreadable goodness

3. throw in your bite sized edibles

4. Seal all edges with a fork

5. Throw in an oven and toast until brown. 350 in a toaster oven for about 10 mins, 15-20 mins in a conventional oven

Alternatively I think you can use pie crust instead of puff pastry. What delicious concoctions have you made?


Black Forest Restaurant, Harrison Hot Springs, BC

GERMAN SCHIZEL! This was very good vacation food.

After looking at the Copper Room Restaurant and its lack luster reviews, we decided to do something different and go to the Black Forest Restaurant for German food!

Sorry for the “artistic” candle light shot. The restaurant was very darkly lit and I find flash to be offensive in such a dark environment. I had the Gourmet Schmizel which included a pork schziel topped with mushrooms, ham and bechamel sauce (mmm butter).  The schizel was crispy and the components (firm mushrooms, shredded black forest ham) and sauce were good together. The portion was HUGE. I only ate the schizel and I was full. The sauce was very rich and combined with the pan fried schizel, it was oil with butter on top.  For some this would be too much but I never back down from an early heart attack.

There were a couple of side dishes: carrots, pan fried potatoes, purple cabbage.  I am not a huge fan of the sides. In fact I only really ate a quarter of the potatoes because I love potatoes. They were oily and not crispy. The carrots were too sweet for me as it was steamed or boiled then doused in a sauce that made this side dish almost like dessert. The purple cabbage is probably a German dish as I’ve never tasted something like this before. It was sour, sort of like saurket but  mushy. I only picked at them as I already gourged myself on the schizel

My dinning companion had the bratwerst which came with two sausages, the same carrot and potato sides, and saurkraut. I didn’t try his dish but it looked tasty. The portion was too much for him as well.

They also had a nice selection of wine and beer. Some of their beer was German. This one was very light and very good.

Overall the price was reasonable for the portions and for Harrison Hot Springs.

Summary

  • Huge portions
  • I don’t know how to spell schizel

Black Forest Restaurant on Urbanspoon


The Epic Fail of Oven Fried Chicken

I had a craving for crispy oven fried chicken so after some googling, I thought I would give this recipe a try. Please note that I’ve adapted and changed some ingredients around as that is what I had on my shelves. I’m not too sure if the substitution made it not so great or if its because the oven was too cold. Anyways I’m going to really modify this recipe

I buy my chicken cheap. That means I butcher them into individual pieces. This pack should be 3 meals + stock for 2 people. Would anyone else be interested in a breakdown? I love showing off how cheap I am!

Anyways get some chicken and drege them in flour.  I chilled mine afterward as I read somewhere that it helps the crispiness. [Okay so its the airing process that helps but only with baking powder and at least overnight. :(] I mixed my chicken with a dash of cayenne pepper but that had no effect what so ever on the final product.

At this time you should have a system set up. Pull out your bowls!  Dose them in egg whites and coat them in Panko bread crumbs for extra crispyness. Flavour with paprika.

After all that work and tons of bowls to wash, you end up with a not so happy looking chickens. For some reason they don’t brown well. I think its because I undercooked them. Maybe its because I forgot to add the oil to the bottom of the pan. Maybe I should stick to marinating meat before cooking them.

I served them with gravy for taste but then they lost their crispiness! NOOOOO

This one is an epic fail 😦

Adapted from Allrecipes.com: Oven Fried Chicken II

Serves 2-3. Original Recipe Yield 10 servings and thus scaled to size

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken legs
  • Leftover Egg whites (6 were used, this was two too many)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Dash of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (totally forgot about this)

Directions

This recipe’s Ingredients were scaled to yield a new amount. The directions below still refer to the original recipe yield of 10 servings.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place flour in a shallow plate or bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Put the bread crumbs in another shallow plate or bowl and beat the eggs in another bowl.
  3. Dredge the chicken piece by piece in the flour, then the egg, then the bread crumbs, until all pieces are coated. Pour the oil into a 9×13 inch baking dish. Add the chicken to the dish and sprinkle with paprika to taste. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, then turn pieces over and bake for another 30 minutes. Remove from oven and drain on paper towels. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cookies!

I had a craving, a huge craving for peanut butter. I also had a dream about cookies. Thus I frantically looked online for a peanut butter cookie recipe and decided on this lovely recipe from Brown Eyed Baker. (Also I told myself it was healthy when there were oats in it).

Pull everything from your pantry! Wine for drinking when baking is not recommend, but some of us do it anyways…

Hmm does anyone like these ingredient shots? They look sort of messy to me. I love it on other blogs but maybe they arrange them better?

Anyways mix the wet ingredients in a small bowel, butter, peanut butter, egg, vanilla extract, sugar – cream it all together!

Mix the dry ingredients – oats, flour, chocolate chips, baking soda in a large bowl. Then pour the wet sugary slurry into the large bowl, mix and try not to eat all the raw cookie dough.

I tried the ice cream scoop approach to  portioning cookies but I found that they were still uneven. I’ll stick to the two spoon method from now on.

Now that I’ve satisfied my raw cookie dough craving, I usually throw the cookies in the freezer and then throw them in a ziplock bag for future cravings.

When you are ready to bake, pop the cookies into a 350 degree oven for 10 – 15 mins or until golden brown. I usually put them into the toaster oven for about 10 mins straight from the freezer.

Forgive me for the bad lighting shot. I think I need a light diffuser or I should only take shots during the day.  mmmmmmm cookie!

Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies Modified from Brown Eyed Baker

Makes about 16 cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, at room temperature
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
½ cup rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1.  mix the wet ingredients in a small bowel, butter, peanut butter, egg, vanilla extract, sugar – cream it all together!

2. Mix the dry ingredients – oats, flour, chocolate chips, baking soda in a large bowl. Then pour the wet sugary slurry into the large bowl, mix and try not to eat all the raw cookie dough.

3. fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and portion cookies on baking sheet This is the perfect time to freeze them as I usually do with my cookies

4.When you are ready to bake, pop the cookies into a 350 degree oven for 10 – 15 mins or until golden brown. I usually put them into the toaster oven for about 10 mins straight from the freezer at 350


Old Settlers Pub Harrison Hot Springs, BC

The Old Settlers Pub in Harrison Hot Springs is your typical neighborhood pub that is decorated for the influx of travelers.  Yes that means Aboriginal type wood sculptors and slightly higher than usual pub prices.

I had the Loaded Burger which came with cheddar cheese, bacon, lightly saute mushrooms, settler’s sauce (mayo + something to make it orange), and the lettuce, tomatoes, purple onions and pickles.

It was your standard burger. The mushrooms were nice and juicy but it lacked a crispy definition that would come from either the bacon or the bun. I’m a sticker for the crispy component.  It comes with your choice of fries, salad, or soup. I had the cream of broccoli soup. On hindsight I’m not too sure why I ordered it as I usually only love cream soups if they are rich and this one failed on the creaminess scale.

It was watery and not cheesy. Sort of makes me sad.

My dining partner ordered a chicken burger with fries. I didn’t take a photo of that as it really wasn’t that interesting. I also had a couple of fries and that were semi crispy and cooked all the way through. Way better side than the soup.

Take a look at the total damage! As Harrison Hot Springs is really a tourist town, I’m not too surprised to be charged this much for okay pub food.

Summary

  • Pub Food! The reliable vacation food.

Old Settler Pub on Urbanspoon