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June 2013

Batch Cooking 06-11-13

So I’m a little late posting this, but it’s been quite a feast this week…

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Sweet Obsession Lamon Dacquoise

Over the years, I’ve eaten a lot of cakes from this little bakery (both pre and post paleo). Sweet Obsession has a very large selection, and you can pre-order cakes as well, with all of their offerings listed on their website. Quality-wise, I’d say they’re definitely above your average bakery, but can’t compare to the likes of Thomas Haas and Thierry, which I now frequent instead.

Probably the best thing about Sweet Obsession is that they have several gluten-free options, which are always welcome, lest you find yourself eating the same birthday cake every year. The gluten-free options include: black & white mousse, lemon dacquoise, mocha dacquoise, chocolate obsession, and Concorde. If given 3 days notice, they can also make the following gluten-free: triple chocolate mousse, triple berry mousse, and peanut butter chocolate mousse. I’ve had all of the mousses except for the peanut butter one, and they were quite tasty.

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Red Wine Sangria with Strawberries

Ah, sangria. For me, the mere mention of this Spanish beverage conjures up images of friends and family, gathering together to enjoy some great food, beautiful weather, and of course this tasty concoction. Sangria is a refreshing, fruity wine punch typically consumed ice cold, in the hot summer months (ok, warm summer months, I live in Vancouver after all, not Spain).

Traditionally, a combination of citrus fruits and apples are added to red wine, although both red and white sangria variations abound. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of apples in my sangria, so I’ve swapped them for strawberries, which subtly lend their sweet berry flavour and nicely offset the citrus notes.

You can, of course, buy bottled sangria. But…

a) where’s the fun in that?!
b) it’s typically loaded with added sugar; and
c) like most things, it can’t even begin to compare to the homemade version

Luckily, sangria is incredibly simple to make. This recipe’s main ingredients are red wine and fruit, with no added sugars – which is about as healthy an alcoholic indulgence as you can hope for. It’s especially terrific for summer BBQs – make a pitcher (or two), and quench everyone’s thirst without having to play bartender all afternoon. Hey, I’ll drink to that! :)

Red Wine Sangria with Strawberries 3

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Black & Blue Steak Tartare

There are several nice restaurants in Vancouver that offer terrific Happy Hour specials. Black & Blue is one of them, with a selection of $5 wines and cocktails, as well as 50% off their appetizer menu. I, however, had come with a specific target in mind: the beef tartare, which wasn’t on the appetizer menu, and thus not 50% off, but which I had to try because a friend of mine had been raving about it for months.

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