Battle of Ingredients: Fall BBQ & Moon Festival Edition!

I know its a little early to take a break from the horror marathon and it’ll resume tomorrow. However, Battle of Ingredients is our monthly segment and our gathering just happened this past weekend. I promise it’ll be a short and sweet one and one that matches perfect with today which is Midautumn Festival, mostly referred to as Moon Festival!

Fall BBQ

A warm and maybe slightly cooler welcome from me and my cohost, Phoebe from Starry Traveler’s Road to the next Battle of Ingredients. Due to our love for the previous BBQ session and the weather being still decent, we decided to do another BBQ event. battle of ingredients

This time, we took it to mostly basics. Mostly because we realized quite last minute that no actual plans were formulated. Also, we were both busy with personal life stuff so the final menu looked like this.

I made burger patties. Actually, because I was in a lot of pain that day, my husband being the champ that he is helped me make the patties. We got medium lean minced beef and used eggs and spices and he made the patties. He also took on the grill master role in the evening. So our event became a lot more relaxed than it usually would be. We bought the Italiano burger buns and got some cheese, gouda and lactose-free swiss.

Phoebe pulled the stops this time and brought her take on the veggie foil pack that I had tried out last time. This time, her’s had bell peppers, zucchinis and also added in two to three slices of prosciutto. The prosciutto being on the top spread its salty flavors to the veggies, making it no necessary to spice it at all.

Phoebe also found on Pinterest a way to roast corn on the grill. It simply required snipping off the top part. It turned out perfect! She also brought on to try roasting eggplants on the grill as well. Most of us weren’t very into eggplants and didn’t normally cook them so in my opinion, they weren’t done too good. Definitely something to further into bettering our skills at or maybe its just better to cook them in another way.

Aside from that, this time was almost like a potluck as our friends also brought some chicken breast along with tzatzki sauce (not sure how you spell it).

We ended with our dessert.  Our friends,who is always responsible for beverages, brought the Pepito Rose Sangria and some light fruity coolers. While I forgot to take pictures of it, I brought some garden fruits like raspberries and a lot of ground cherries. Aside from that, we also had an early celebration of Moon Festival, or Midautumn Festival which most people know for eating moon cakes, a little chinese pastry with lotus paste normally.

moon cakes chow's

Phoebe found a pastry shop in Chinatown called La Patisserie Chow that makes their own moon cakes and we were interested to see how they were so she bought the box with their bestselling four flavors.

  • Double yolk White Lotus Paste
  • Double Yolk Green Bean Paste
  • 5 Stars Mix (5 different nuts, sweet melon and tangerine)
  • Golden Double Yolk Paste

Our biggest issue was that each one wasn’t labelled. We easily could identify the white lotus paste one which was a win for both me and Phoebe. The nuts got an okay where it was good but not great. Then we have a mystery one which I personally suspect is the Golden Double Yolk Paste that my husband and our friend liked. Then there was one that unanimously was pretty bad. I’m guessing its the green bean paste but it wasn’t labelled so I don’t really know.

Chow Pastry Shop is pretty commendable to have their own moon cakes. Huge applause for that. However, its better to label the variety one way or another even if the ingredients are also labelled super vaguely. I think this one could be hit or miss. Its definitely not like the ones you’d buy from the big brands. Phoebe posed a good question about how we usually do eat from the big brands and maybe traditional moon cakes with any preservatives and in their natural state would taste more like this. Perhaps one time, I’ll be in Hong Kong where actually smaller bakeries also make moon cakes or I’ll attempt it myself and we’ll see.

That’s it for this Battle of Ingredients!
Thanks for joining us!
November might be skipped because our crew usually does the MTL a Table event.
However, we’ll find a festive return in December for the holidays!

Advertisements

Fantasia Festival is Here!

Fantasia International Film Festival is in town (aka Montreal)!

Fantasia Festival started today in the evening, opening with Korean film, The Villainess. It runs for the next three weeks! It runs from July 13 to August 2.

Luckily, I’ll be covering it this year, like past years! This year, I did think ahead and tried to get myself media accreditation and it happened! That is awesome and I’m really excited. I’ve generally gotten my calendar set on what movies to fit in and I’m being a little pickier with times and what movies I see. The first review goes up tomorrow afternoon as I ponder over a documentary and how to word it properly in a review, as you all know that I don’t review documentaries a lot.

No double features on this one. Fantasia Festival will be getting all full reviews and I’ll hop back to double features after the festival is over.

With that said, I’ll try to keep variety here, however, excuse me if the festival gets on and I don’t have as much time or energy to think in advance for it. Between balancing actual work, Fantasia Festival and Game Warp, its going to be a intense scheduling and efficiency practice on my part. And no, this festival has jumped back to its roots a little more and dives into a lot of foreign films as well as straying a little more away from horror this year. Its a nice change although I do potentially have some in my schedule. I won’t bore you with the technicalities of having the press pass, because honestly, I’m feeling incredibly grateful to even have it so I’ll be working extra hard.

With that said, every year I talk about hte movies that I’ll be going to see. I feel like I can’t promise anything this year as it can change anytime so instead, I’ll talk about the movies I plan on seeing and the movies that are in my maybes and has me intrigued:

  • Abu: Father (2017)
  • Tilt (2017)
  • A Ghost Story (2017)
  • Vampire Clean-Up Department (2017)
  • Savage Dog (2017)
  • Replace (2017)
  • Radius (2017)
  • Origami (2017)
  • Most Beautiful Island (2017)
  • JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable (2017)
  • Friendly Beast (2016)
  • Better Watch Out (2016)
  • Overdrive (2017)
  • Fashionista (2016)
  • Bushwick (2017)

Movies I considered but can’t seem to fit into the schedule (or trying to):

  • Shockwave (2017)
  • Mohawk (2017)
  • Senior Class (2016)
  • Bad Genius (2017)
  • Rage (2016)
  • 68 Kill (2017)
  • Napping Princess
  • Bitch (2017)
  • Boyka: Undisputed (2016)
  • Dead Shack (2017)

Looking at the listings, there are over 200 films, both shorts and full lengths and an awesome lists of guests that will be hosting their films from directors to writers to cast members and even crew members. Looking at the calendar and blog archives, I’ve been covering Fantasia unofficially for the last 3 years (maybe 4 but first year, I only saw 2 movies), and the Festival has grown so much over these years and the movie choices have been incredible. Its always a positive experience going and if you are in Montreal, I urge you to go check it out!

If you do, give me a shout! Maybe we can hang out and talk movies! It’ll be fun…if time matches up, of course 🙂

Have you heard or seen any of these movies?
The full list of films can be found HERE
What movies peaked your interest?

My Weekly Adventures #38

Time sure flies by! February was a busy busy month. I barely had a moment to catch my breath. As I mentioned in the previous My Weekly Adventures, its really a ton of behind the scenes stuff as I barrel through reading and TV series and movies. I also had an eureka moment over the last two weeks and have finally figured out that I’m a photographer and not an artist so to figure out a beautiful banner for Tranquil Dreams was not going to happen out of graphic design but rather, putting together a photo! It only took 2 years to figure it out. Haha! Sad, right? Now to actually put it together, right? Let’s hope that’ll be soon! Creative juices are flowing through me and it feels awesome! I just have so many ideas and not enough time but I love being busy. Things to look forward to is always great.

However, this past two weeks have been pretty cool with Montreal events picking up yet again. We got some really cold weather and now these past two weeks have been nice and cool.

Musical: Mamma Mia [Farewell Tour]

Mamma Mia

My girl friends and I were incredibly lucky to be able to go to see the farewell tour of Mamma Mia! Sure, we had to pay and all but we learned about this so late and still managed to find seats not exactly next to each other in the same row but we found seats one behind the other in a decent spot. I love Mamma Mia! Love it to absolute bits! I’ve really only seen the movie and despite it not being perfect in some ways, I really enjoy the music and humor and all. Seeing it live in its original musical form was amazing. Everyone did fantastic and it was incredibly fun the entire time.

Montreal Joue Festival

Montreal Joue Festival

Montreal Joue is going on right now. It started with the Independent Games of Montreal that ran on February 25th for 12 hours and had about 30 games. I managed to see all the games but only got the chance to try out 7 of them. Some I have tried at previous festivals and also the reason why I opted out to save myself some time. Others had incredible amounts of people all the time that I just had to skip it because I hadn’t slotted out a full day for the festival. If you want to see a more detail recap, you can find it at That Moment In where all the gaming content I do is here. It is the first time I’ve made it out to this festival and after this I believe the game festivals in Montreal start looping back to the ones I started with last year. It always amazes me how small these spaces look and how many games can fit into it and always with its fair share of surprises. For those interested, there are still lots of events going on like society games and what not. They had the retro games one as well. You can find it all on their festival page.

Oscars Night

Oscars happened this past weekend. If you’ve been a long time follower here, you’ll notice that its the first year since I’ve started covering movies that I haven’t had an Oscars recap. The fact is that since I moved out to my own place, I don’t have actual TV. Last year, I was able to stream it on the local channel online. This year, they blocked it out to only users with a TV subscription and I don’t have that. I find that a little stupid because it feels like times are going backwards. However, #firstworldproblems, right? So, I’ll stop complaining about it. I just thinking that Academy Awards should probably do something about streaming it online since you know, a ton of big shows like these do it anyways. Its the beauty of the Internet. Regardless, it wouldn’t have made a difference to me seeing as I saw none of the best picture picks and only saw Zootopia and Captain Fantastic and perhaps some random smaller categories.

Point is, I didn’t see it so no recap. I’m a little unhappy about how I didn’t get to see it but hey, my husband and I chose a much more fun choice and binged Ultimate Beastmaster on Netflix. Two more episodes to go this weekend and I’ll be doing a recap on that, as a sidenote.

Health & Class Update

Moving on to a good and not so good note, 2017 has just been a crap storm in terms of my health. Bugs and ear problems plagued me last time. Luckily, the bug never came back. I even caved and ended up going to the doctor to figure out what was wrong with my ear. Luckily, no infection so that was taken care of and I’m enjoying hearing perfectly well. Its definitely fantastic. Except that same evening that the ear thing was resolved, my eye decided to have something go wrong. If you’ve been here a few years, you’d know that a few years ago, I suffered a few months of that also. It sucks that its back but at least I’m dealing with it the best I can to hopefully get rid of it without having to go have another mini surgery because that hurts like hell. I’m not kidding when its really bumming me out and taking a whole lot of energy to stay positive and just keep on keeping on especially with work going through a stressful phase the past week. Luckily, that is somewhat over…the keyword here being somewhat.

Other than that, my online class is in the final week now. Trying to get ready to do the final assignment and final test. Not a huge fan of tests of any sort but its okay. I’ve learned some cool stuff in this class. While I would have loved to free up time, I apparently am crazy and for some deal thing, I ended up signing up for a month membership for the classes to take up something else. I’m still deciding what but I’m leaning towards photography or guitar. I do have a guitar glaring at me every single day that I don’t know how to play at all but have always wanted to. I’ll decide soon but this is going to be the last month I have planned for any more of these classes since things get busy with work afterwards and I just won’t have time. Plus, all those new segments I’m working on are going to need some time and love to put together. 🙂

Cute Kitty Pic

wp-1488337869654.jpg

Upcoming:

  • Ultimate 90’s Blogathon continues
  • TV Binge posts

That’s it for this time! 🙂
What have you been up to?

My Weekly Adventures: Vacation, Festivals (and some pondering…)

Welcome back! Its been a month since a proper My Weekly Adventures. This tiime, we’re catching up a little and getting in some updates. You know, actual updates. Last night was Midautumn Festival so yeah, I was planning to do a vlog and get all fancy inserting pictures and videos but nope, not happening for this one yet. But, a vlog is coming up… I hit over 2000 followers in the past week and color me happy. It also somewhat confirmed something about the blog that I have been thinking about for a while now. It kind of puts me in a rut. Give me some time to have those thoughts calmed down and I’ll post up a chat with you all to ask about your opinion on it. That is for probably near the end of the month seeing as right before writing this, I recorded and then deleted it again because I ramble just too much and it was missing the point completely. Things to look out for soon…

Now, back to My Weekly Adventures!

Vacation Time!!

20160827_162344

Its funny that this time, we went on vacation, we flew somewhere and then rented a car and ended up doing quite a bit of road trip out and about. Vacation was in Vancouver and Kelowna. Two posts have gone up already. If you are up to date, don’t think that the rest are by days because they aren’t. Some of them might be just by location if there’s too many pictures that I liked. However, pictures are incredibly a lot (they still are) but I just had my phone so I couldn’t go crazy.

Regardless, we had some good food, beautiful scenery, lovely road trips. The weather didn’t agree with us all the time but we didn’t mind it and just kept enjoying our vacation. We even had a talk about what vacation felt like a vacation. One, bustling cities are a big no-no because we already live in a big city. It is probably the main reason why we really stayed in further out places when we stayed in Vancouver except the one day we went to Stanley Park and Vancouver Aquarium.

Lots of vacation stuff coming up in the next few weeks. I didn’t want to swamp my blog with just that so we’ll take our time with it. 🙂

Festivals!

wp-1473176921493.jpg

I did an entire post on YUL EAT festival so you can check it out HERE if you missed it. What more is there to say: Old Montreal, great companies with my girl friends, lots and lots of food, free samples and learning and seeing a waiter race. I’d say it was a pretty fantastic day. I am currently peeling on my shoulders from the huge sunburn I got and thinking about how its been quite some time since I had a sunburn to that extent. Hmm…Need to remember sunscreen all the time. Although autumn is around the corner so sun is going to decrease significantly soon by the time we hit winter at least.

Festival des Vendanges

Festival des Vendanges also had a post right HERE. This one is in the Eastern Townships of Quebec located right next to the Memphremagog Lake which is absolutely beautiful to walk along. We had a train pass right behind us (almost because we crossed the street). Odd urban planning structures but that kind of applies to a lot of places. This is a festival I’ve been looking forward to checking out and we finally did so I’m super happy about that.

The Long-Awaited Somewhat Garden Update

At this point, after coming back from vacation, my garden is pretty much non-existent except for a few things. The leeks are still going. I think its almost time to harvest before we lose them all. Lettuce is seeding, which means I can use it for next year. Same goes for broccoli. I didn’t harvest any of the florets in time. We had a few cucumbers but we froze them before we left so that it’d still be good. They are all eaten now so there’s nothing to show you. However, the raspberries are at full ripe state and we’re just harvesting every other day. This was from last weekend.

wp-1473911304061.jpg

For the record, that’s a pretty deep tupperware.

Next up is a little surprise discovery in my geraniums, a ground cherry popped up on the side!!

wp-1473911279670.jpg

Aside from that, I have completely revamped the side front yard flower patch. It finally doesn’t look like a cluster of a mess. The cure was to pull out almost all the irises. They just spread way too much. Although next year, I am almost positive it’ll be overflowing with these lily of the valley that just ended up popping up in the garden. This is what it looks like after I finally bought some chrysanthemums. Chrysanthemums are perfect for autumn but they are biannual so I have to get them every other year pretty much.

wp-1473911237518.jpg

Before winter comes, I just need to separate the roses from the echinacea a little. There’s a bit of shifting on the front yard part lining the front of the house where I need to move some plants around. The raspberry patch needs some serious work to control mint overgrowth, raspberry intensive spreading and strawberries.

wp-1474029088176.jpg

I don’t have a vegetable garden here but that will be for the next update. It just has too much overgrown grass that I need to figure out how to control better. And we need to figure out how to fence the garden in but leave room for the pool hose to run along the back without it destroying my shallots.

wp-1473911215086.jpg

And one more thing is the clematis finally has lots and lots of buds and as this post goes up, its already starting to bloom.

wp-1474029107508.jpg

Apparently we have the late summer-early fall variety so that’s why it is going crazy now. When it all blooms, it is going to be so pretty! You might want to head over to Avenue of Daydreams and I’ll have lots of artsy close-up shots of it!

That is really it. We have lots of raspberries, apples and pineapple sage (which has its own accident). The herbs need to be planted into the ground before it gets super cold. That is the next mission also. Updates next time for that.

Cité Memoire

wp-1473910568447.png

If you happen to be dropping into Montreal, this is an event I really think is worth your while. All you need is to download the app, have some temporary storage space on your phone and some good shoes to do the walking. Cité Memoire is a concept where it is a history walk around different locations in Old Montreal. There are 30 mins, 60 mins and 90 mins circuits. Both 30 mins and 60 mins have two different circuits each. 90 mins only have one. There is also a Daytime and Nighttime. I have yet to try Nighttime and actually might soon. There are some places that tells you at the stop in a recording with a text (that you can choose to read or not) about the history of the location and the significance and what it has become now with some old photos of what it looked like. There are some spots where you can use your phone and do augmented reality segments where its like a little video. I think the concept is really cool and although I didn’t retain all the information, I did learn a lot about the architecture and the background of some more obscure buildings (not like the Church or Board of Trade or Banks).

Funny story is that I was doing this circuit after work and this Amphitours bus goes by and they are saying the exact same thing passing by the building that I had just listened to the recording for. So you see, all you need are your legs and this history lesson is for free. Plus, Montreal even has set up a wifi that stretches along the entire path so that no extra data fees. I’m not sponsored or anything but this is one of the better ideas Montreal has had. A more detailed post will go up soon 🙂

Midautumn Festival

wp-1474029049451.jpg

 Last night was Midautumn Festival and the full moon was ever so bright! I went for a lovely walk with my mom after having dinner with her to celebrate. Here’s dinner and moon cakes 🙂

wp-1474028970172.jpg

wp-1474029012568.jpg

wp-1474029030400.jpg

The one on top is the moon cake I usually eat. The one on the bottom is supposedly Taiwanese Moon cake. I believe I’ve tasted it before and its is actually more fluffy and delicate than the top one but then, I like my traditional lotus paste moon cake. 🙂

That’s it for this My Weekly Adventures!  As usual, here is a Cute Kitty Pic! This is my in-laws cat by the way. She’s one month younger than my kitty. Oh, and she hates me..absolutely loathes me for some odd reason…

wp-1474039500774.jpgUpcoming posts:

  •  Cité Memoire
  • Netflix A-Z
  • Vacation

That’s it for My Weekly Adventures!
Next one will be probably with the Halloween month announcement!!