Raving Gamer

For my wife’s birthday, I took her out for lunch this afternoon at a place called The Raving Gamer Bistro in Langley, BC.

It’s the perfect style of place for my wife and I. It’s locally owned and operated. The menu serves locally-sourced ingredients from many of the places that I love to visit in Langley and nearby.

I enjoyed the Three’s Company Grilled Cheese: Golden Ears cheddar & gouda on Langley’s A Bread Affair’s Three’s Company bread.

My wife ate the Raving Water Buffalo Burger: a house-made patty of local water buffalo with bread and butter pickles, fresh tomatoes, red onion, gouda from Golden Ears Cheese Crafters, double smoked bacon and a house-made Russian dressing.

Both of us opted for the house-cut fries with “butta-shoyu” & Japanese spice; and a local beer to wash it all down.

During our lunch, we had a chance to enjoy some one on one time while playing board games. The selection of games to play was extensive. After our meal, we browsed through some of the games for sale. These aren’t your typical Monopoly variations or poker games. Many of the games I had never heard of. But when I asked the staff about games- they had knowledgeable answers.

We had a nice quiet lunch- we were the only two customers in there. It sounds like they are much busier in the evening time, especially on the weekends. I highly recommend visiting then Bistro. But be prepared to spend time and money! We were there for about an hour and a half and spent $100. But we also picked up a game that we have been wanting for some time now.

Baking Cake

I enjoy baking cookies. I think I’ve mastered the art of deliciousness in each and every batch. My family and coworkers enjoy sampling my treats. And I really enjoy sharing them.

Today I made ginger snaps. And just like every other cookie I bake- they turned out perfect. I also baked a cake for my wife’s birthday tomorrow. Cakes for me are easy. I only ever do the boxed cakes. Quick and easy. I usually have a variety of mixes on hand because we use them as a Waffle batter substitute. Best idea ever!

However, I am not talented at icing cakes. I understand the concept behind butter cream icing, crumb coats and piping tubes. I can just never express in physical form what my mind is trying to achieve.

Our son’s birthday cake earlier this year looked tasty. But it wasn’t exactly what I was aiming for. It did the trick though. A a sweet dessert treat for a quick celebration. The same goes for my wife’s cake for tomorrow. My heart is in it, but my skills just aren’t there.

So I’ll just bake more cookies later this month. Those are always a hit.

The Big Freeze

Yesterday I went into our large freezer to look for a dinner idea. I wasn’t able to find what I was looking for. That’s because our chest freezer had become chaotic.

My wife and I were given this freezer twenty years ago from a family friend of mine. They were moving out of province and were giving away items. I picked up this chest freezer and an old school heavy a.f. pullout couch bed. Come to think of it, I have no idea where that couch has gone to now…

Anyhow, I decided to clean out the freezer and reorganize it. Jut like I did with our fridge freezer last year: Freezer Food

It was like diving into a time capsule. Deep down in the recesses I discovered ham from 2016 and beef stew from 2015. Looks like our dog was going to get those once thawed.

I scrapped all the ice off and gave the freezer a wipe down before reorganizing and taking inventory of what we had. Seems like we have meals for a few weeks remaining. It also looks like our freezer is only half full now. Where as before it was a jumble of crap. I’m happy to have gone through it and make it tidy once more.

To make myself feel warmer, I kept some frozen blueberries out and made a batch of tasty blueberry muffins. This has got me in the mood to start some Christmas Cookie Baking! Is it too soon? Maybe the first batches will be “testers”, right?

Paper Straw?

Last night at work for lunch I had A&W. It’s been a very long time since I’ve had food from there. The burger and onion rings were moderately okay. But my drink… I put the straw up to my lips and instantly hated it.

The paper straw gave me goose bumps and an icky feeling. So I couldn’t enjoy my beverage. Two hours later I tried to have another sip and the paper straw was turning into wet sugar pulp. It was as if the straw esophagus was having and allergic reaction to the soda. It began to collapse in on itself.

In the end, I took the lid off with the straw still in the punctured X and threw it in the trash. I didn’t recycle them out of sheer frustration and anger. Immediately I began to hate myself and A&W for ruining my meal.

Never again. No more paper mache in my drinks! I will hunt down a plastic straw wholesaler and stock pile those fish killing plastic death tubes. I know there are glass and metal straws available. But I’m not pretentious enough to carry one of those on my person in a leather satchel like a heroine addict and his kit.

You know what, from now on don’t give me a paper straw or a sippy cup lid (What the heck are those?) I’m just not going to buy fast food drinks any more. I was going to say I’ll just buy bottled water- but that’s bad for the environment too.

There’s no winning. Maybe I should just dehydrate myself like a raisin or a prune.

Is A Brewery Good For Kids?

I have been taking my children to the Trading Post Eatery in Fort Langley for ages now. This is the second location of their brewery and is more of an eatery and brewhouse than anything. Usually I have a beer and I treat the kids to a snack. We love the yam fries and specialty foods that are available.

Because of the quality of the food- I don’t mind the kids tagging along. This afternoon my son asked if he is allowed to order some food for pick up on his lunch. That brought up an interesting thought- “Is it okay for my kids to order food from a brewery?” The answer is “Yes”.

At least from this local “restaurant” it’s not an issue. I asked the manager and he said it’s totally fine for my kids to place an order for pick up. My son now has Trading Post as a contact in his phone for those days at lunch that he wants to walk in to town and grab lunch.

Mug Shots

Like most folks, we have an assortment of coffee mugs in our cupboard. They often appear as gifts based on whatever the recipients fancy. From Owls to Lego, to mugs that come free with a bottle of booze- these become personalized favorites of us all. But my wife and I are cheesy. We have a collection of matching mugs.

It started years ago with a couple of horoscope ones from the dollar store. But it soon branched off into ones that defined who we really were.

My wife dominated over me by absconding the “Player 1” mug leaving me to be the Luigi to her Mario. Always second to none, but she’s my number one.

I am particularly fond of our first set of Disneyland mugs. Simple art of the classic characters that defined cartoons My wife is the Minnie to my Mickey.

Soon after we picked up another set of mugs. She is the elegant Eve to my clunky love struck Wall-E. But wait, there’s more…

A couple of years later she became my Belle. That’s right, we really are that cheesy. Even our kids began to get in on the fun.

Of course Disneyland plays on the memories and heartstrings of everyone who enters their gates. The store shelves are lined with trinkets and mugs that need to be brought home. Every one of our morning coffees is in matching mugs. And no one else is permitted to use them.

Do you have a favorite coffee cup?

Are you as cheesy as we are?

Let me know in the comments.

My Turkey Helper

On Saturday I had two of our children help with baking: Saturday Baking with My Kids. Yesterday I had our middle child help with our turkey dinner.

We had a lot of fun preparing the bird. I love teaching my children the art of cooking. Giving explanations to the “hows” and “whys” when cooking is always important. From temperatures to spices- it’s all important.

Once the bird had been cooking for a few hours, it was back to making the side dishes. Vegetables and mashed potatoes were about to be prepared. Our daughter thought her helping out was over after the bird so she had gotten changed into some nicer clothes. Little did she know that making a feast takes a lot of effort! But she willingly assisted.

Our dinner turned out delicious. We now have plenty of leftovers to last the week. From soup to sandwiches- we will be eating turkey leftovers until we are sick of them. Much like everyone else who is celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend.

So enjoy your meals with family and friends. Don’t let the Tryptophan knock you down. I’m ready for a nap just writing about it.

Saturday Baking With My Kids

On Saturday I spent a couple of hours with our youngest teaching him how to bake an apple pie. He was very thorough in adding the ingredients and the pie looked fantastic.

As we finished baking the apple pie, our oldest daughter helped in the kitchen by baking some Wookiee Cookies. Those are a favorite of the family. If the recipe is followed they are really easy to make.

Our home smelled delightful and the baked goods are ready for consumption. As the holiday season approaches (in two months!!!), it’s time to get the family involved more with baking.

As well, we love to share home baked goods with friends. The holidays are a great excuse to share. Why not get some tastings going along the way?

Staying Dry

My wife and I had a fairly successful Sober September. I faltered once and had a beer at the airport in Winnipeg. As September ended and October began, I wasn’t eagerly waiting for the month to end in order to “Hit the sauce” so to speak.

On Thursday we went out with some friends for a dinner. Originally we were going to go to Trading Post in Abbotsford- a place with great food and atmosphere. I would’ve likely had my favorite beer there- the 1828 Helles Lager. But they were closed for a private event. So we ended up at The Canadian Brewhouse instead.

Their beer special was Budweiser. A beer I don’t overly enjoy. So I had a ginger ale instead and I felt good about it. I know we’re only five days into October, but I’ve been enjoying a variety of teas and sodas in lieu of alcohol. The only thing I’m noticing is that I am craving sweets more often. Hence the sodas.

As Autumn progresses, I’ll probably enjoy a drink or two at some point. I’m just not actively going out to buy beers or planning nights with friends at breweries as I have in the past.

Maybe I can find an elegant tea house nearby and invite you out for a social date.

Carnaval

Yesterday I mentioned Business Trip Eats and the variety of food we’ve been eating. Nothing really stood out. That is until last night. Where we indulged.

Excessively.

A coworker who had come to Winnipeg previously, as well as my boss recommended a restaurant to me for our last night here. So three of us hit up a place in Winnipeg called Carnaval: Brazilian BBQ. It was an all you can eat meat extravaganza.

There was so much meat. It was on huge skewers and the cooks brought it around to each table asking if we wanted to sample some. At first we were tackling the food faster than it was coming out.

Beef, pork, chicken, lamb, more beef, sausage, wings, beef again… it just never stopped. As we were eating, we were laughing at how awesome the food was and how foolish this restaurant is. Because we were going to get our money’s worth and more.

The food was coming so quickly that I hardly had time to pause and get any photos. It was evident rather quickly that we were going to be in trouble. Our laughter about how this restaurant was foolish turned into how foolish we were.

We only managed to eat for an hour. We were stuffed. And hurting. But it was so worth it. My coworker Dillon was putting me to shame with his ability to want to continue sampling the meats. I was unprepared to push my limits and was done about four plates before him.

If you ever make it to Winnipeg- the Carnaval Brazilian BBQ is worth a stop. Especially if you love meat. And BBQ. And hating yourself afterwards.