Archive for September, 2011

September 27th, 2011

B.C. Vineyards

Continuing on with my trip to B.C., on the Sunday we all headed out on a road trip, we hit up a few wineries, B.C. is famous in Canada for it’s exceptional wines and I was dying to check some out! We hit up around four of them but I was so into it that I really didn’t take many photos but here are two vineyards we went to and loved!

Cherry Point Vineyard

One of the vineyards we went to was Cherry Point Vineyard.

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Cherry Point was this wonderful little Vineyard about an hour outside of Victoria.

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Turns out, we showed up on the same day that they were hosting the after-party of a cycling race! We also found out that someone who was part of the race actually flew this helicopter into the vineyard just to race! Crazy!!!!

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One of the things I LOVE about visiting wineries is just how laid back the atmosphere is. They let us set up a picnic out back and pop open a bottle of sparking pinot noir which was so light and fruity that it went down waaay to easily even though we forgot glasses and had to buy shot glasses!

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At one point, the sommelier just wandered down to join us for a drink and chat!

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Then this happened! The bottle didn’t have a cork in it, nor was it a twist top, it was one of those hold pop tops but every time we opened the bottle it would go flying off. The second time we tried putting the metal neck on the bottle (the one seen in the picture) it somehow sheered the entire lip of the bottle off!!! Yikes! We let the workers know and they were kind enough to give us another bottle. Guess we just don’t know our own strength!

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Godfrey-Brownell Vineyard

Another winery we went to was Godfrey-Brownell Vineyard. My cousins snagged a Groupon deal with this vineyard as we were the last appointment for the day so everyone was even more relaxed! We got a tasting of a variety of their wines and were served an antipasti platter to go along with it!

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All the wines we tried here were top-notch. Full of complex, fruity flavours!

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When we first arrived we were served by a foreign student who had just been working in the vineyard for two weeks and she sat and chatted with us for a while. Not too long after she left, the owner himself came out to chat! This is David Godfrey and he was quite the interesting guy! He came out with a few more bottles, including an amazing 2002 sparking Pinot Noir, poured us all glasses, poured himself a glass and then plunked himself down in a chair for a chat. Turns out he spent a lot of his years in Toronto and when we Google’d him later he turned out to be a Governor General award winning author!

Mr. Godfrey talked a lot about the winery and the wines. Not only is the wine organic but they also use bio-dynamic principles in the wine making process. Bio-dynamics is a system whereby the farmers do not bring in outside sources to keep the crops from growing (outside of the crops themselves) but use the natural lay of the land and everything that’s on it to produce their crops. They also use the weather and even moon phases to help to plant and harvest their crops. I love this style of farming and trust me, it shows in the wine! I wanted to buy everything! Thank god they do shipping, we just may have to order a few bottles!

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Visiting Godfrey-Brownell was the perfect end to a leisurely day in the vineyards of Vancouver Island. A great time was had by all and we really had to pull ourselves away.

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It was so great to be able to try some wines we wouldn’t ordinarily get at the liquor stores here in Ontario. I’m so sad they’re so far away! I was even more impressed with the sheer amount of organic wineries, almost all of the wineries we visited were organic without being so pretentious as to shout it from the rooftops.

More from our vacation to come!

September 22nd, 2011

Raspberry Custard & Grilled Banana Stuffed French Toast

Hold the phone people! I have an announcement to make:

I AM A GENIUS!!!

I wouldn’t normally puff myself up like this but if you follow me, I think you just may agree!

Alan and I rarely have a lazy morning together due to our conflicting schedules but Alan tries to take every Sunday off so we can spend time together. Normally on these days I like to make a nice breakfast and we’ll sometimes celebrate with breakfast in bed!

Well! This past Sunday was a winner! I had already decided that we’d have french toast but just before I drifted off to sleep on Saturday night I decided to do something drastic. I was going to go crazy and make something awesome and thus the following recipe was born:

Raspberry Custard & Grilled Banana Stuffed French Toast

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This was fantastically easy to make and both Alan and myself were left moaning embarrassingly the entire time we were dining.

First thing you’ll want to do is make your custard, I used this recipe (using 2 whole eggs and cornstarch) and just added approximately 20 raspberries to the pot and squished them all down as they softened. When it was done I finished it off by straining it through a sieve to get rid of the seeds and set it aside to cool slightly.

Then I whipped up a basic french toast recipe (similar to this one) and while the bread was cooking on the stove, I began to grill up the bananas. I just sliced up just one banana and grilled the pieces on each side on the stove for about 2-3 minutes each to let them caramelize and release all the sugars!

Lastly, I assembled using the grilled bananas on each slice of french toast drizzling a few tablespoons of custard over top and placed the other pieces of french toast on top, drizzling it again with a bit of custard.

This is NOT a healthy brunch but it sure was tasty! Just make sure you only make enough for one serving ’cause you’ll easily want two but I wouldn’t recommend it! 😉

Happy eating!