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Thursday, 2 July 2015

Wacky IKEA

Going to IKEA on a Thursday = Instant material for Wacky Thursdays

I cannot believe I stood in line up for 25 minutes to eat IKEA food. But I still had the lower level of the store to roam so, being hungry, I was held hostage by the anticipated finds.

Plus, the food is of decent quality and long line ups means freshly made. And one is paying fast food prices for casual dining platters.

In real life, the new Caribbean basa looked way more appetizing than the picture (and tasted great).

IKEA Richmond
3320 Jacombs Street
Richmond, BC

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Rice with Mustard Seeds Week

Today, My Dear Lovely Neighbour showed up with a picnic.

And continuing from yesterday's theme (Read Back to the Kitchen), rice with curry leaves and mustard seeds was served.

However, this rice was (a) way better spiced and (b) soaked in yogurt; making for a delicious savoury white and creamy dish.

The picnic also included spicy vegetables and a perfect lentil vegetable soup.

I contributed a spontaneous summer salad with lettuce, blueberries, pears and blue cheese; drizzled with sesame oil and crushed pepper.

Thank you My Dear Lovely Neighbour!

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Back to the Kitchen

After all the simple meals I have been making, I started missing getting my hands dirty with complex cooking.

The cookbook I chose is The World of Street Food. The recipe I chose is a Malaysian Nasi Lemak.

It was perfect since it gave me an opportunity to use my gift of Tamarind paste from My Dear Lovely Neighbour.

First, a simple rice made with coconut milk.

It felt too simple. Inspired by the rice making skills of My Dear Lovely Neighbour, I threw some curry leaves and mustard seeds in the rice.

Then I made this extremely spicy marinade of oils and chilli peppers.

I then fried the shrimps in this sauce, added the Tamarind paste and served over the rice.


Monday, 29 June 2015


As all the city's sushi restaurants are going into extreme creativity with their offering, I stumbled across one of the more basic sushi restaurants with above average quality - Shiro!

Friendly sweet service, quality food and really good prices. The salmon taste screamed quality.

The special of the day just looked beautiful with fresh avocados and quality tuna.

Even the miso looked like an Atlas map of the world - couldn't resist filming it.

3096 Cambie Street
Vancouver, BC

Click to add a blog post for Shiro on Zomato 

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Wrap Up To The First Week of Food Simplification

A simple meal of Moujadarah (lentils and rice cooked and mashed) with a tomato olives oregano salad

And emptying all the vegetables in the fridge for a 2 to 1 ratio of vegetables to noodles simple stir fry


Saturday, 27 June 2015

Shoes & Food

All you readers know I love food.

But even I did not know I also love shoes, until Shoes2go showed up in our city.

Shoes2go is an online shoe retailer with a showroom in Vancouver. The shoes are all imported from countries that make quality shoes with the latest European designs.

Most importantly, I can buy 2.5 of these shoes for the price of one somewhat similar shoe at the fancy shoe retailers we have in this city (which I am sure you know who I mean).

Shoes2go also knows that the way to a man's feet is through his stomach.

So a shoes, booze and food event introducing the new men's collection prior to hitting the online store made the shoe shopping experience delicious.

So delicious, in fact, that I am now instantly the proud owner of five Shoes2go shoes. To put it in perspective, my whole shoe closet for the past decade had five shoes in it.

This cutest pair of shoes, sold exclusively at Shoes2go, is becoming the go-to-shoes for the who's who of the shoes connoisseur guys in the city.

So comfortable that one night I went to bed in it, thinking I had no shoes on (seriously - ask Catsess).

I'm also enjoying my Jesus slippers (below far left) that made it to a Home Depot and Ikea trip in the heat of the day.

Quality, design, price, and fun shopping experience are only part of Shoes2go.

The business owners' personality, knowledge and love of shoes, along with state of art customer database simply makes this the only shoe shopping experience I have ever enjoyed.

I will be back.

And yes, they carry women's shoes. In fact, their women's shoes collection is almost twice as vast as the men's collection.

Check it out at If you want a personal introduction to the business owners, happy to oblige (and you may get a personal invite to a somerville kitchen dinner along the way) - contact me at


Friday, 26 June 2015

The Story of Fatoush

With Ramadan month going on and Fatoush a regular dish for breaking Ramadan fast in Lebanon, I am sharing the story of the origin of Fatoush.

In the mid-1800s, and as typical of interference of big powers in small countries, European countries convinced the Ottomans occupying Mount Lebanon to split the region into a Christian and Druze regions. This started a severe civil war in 1862 killing tens of thousands of Christians in the area.

During that war, a group of Christians fled Mount Lebanon on foot to Zahleh, in the Beqaa Valley. A rich resident in Zahleh from the Fatoush family opened his doors to these refugees with a table spread of all sorts of meat dishes to give them strength after their long trek. But it was lent and these refugees has vowed that if they make it out safely, they will not eat any meat all lent.

So they went for all the vegetables on the table, mixed them together and started eating it with Pita bread. One of the invitees told the host: “Fatoush, look a new dish is created, a salad with pita bread”. The Catholic Patriarch of the Greek Catholics, who was attending the meal, immediately claimed: “Perfect, we will call this dish Fatoush and we will eat it throughout lent”. 

Coincidentally that year, Ramadan was going on at the same time as Easter Lent. Muslims in Zahleh and surrounding area picked up the dish and started having it when breaking their fast at the end of the Ramadan day.

And this is how the dish was created and became associated with both Easter Lent and Ramadan Fasting showing how peaceful we Muslims and Christian lived together without interference from external big powers and arm manufacturing countries.


The original story, in Arabic, is found at

Fatoush Recipe Can be Found HERE