As I am writing this, I found out that Po'Boys Diner is now closed.  We are saddened to see a restaurant that just opened, close so quickly.  We hope to see a form of it again in the future.  Since Po'Boys is now closed, we would just like to highlight the positive points of our experience.
Overall - 8.5/10
Food - 9.5/10
Service - 8/10
Ambiance - 8/10

Raw Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Instead of New Year's resolutions this year, I'm working on a few goals to make this years holiday season the best possible.  In previous years, the anticipation of Christmas and feel good vibes peaks around the end of November and gradually decreases until by the time the end of January, I'm ready to vomit when I see another left over Christmas cookie.  All kidding aside, here are the three simple goals I'm sharing with you in hopes to keep myself accountable.  I've sprinkled in a few links to recipes just in case you're reading this and were hoping for a food related post ;-)

1.  No room for negativity.  Whether it be a person, thing or situation- keep in mind you are in charge of your own happiness.  Enter every situation with good intentions and positivity.  Realize when someone is not respecting your 'bubble of positivity', they are only projecting their insecurities.  The happiest people are the most secure people.  Realize when something goes wrong, it's a chance to learn or turn things around.
The "No Beef with Nobody" Holiday Prime Rib
2.  Digital detox.  It's easy to get caught up in the lives of others, the constant reminders of what you should be doing, the incessant chatter of what how you should think, feel, want or need.  At my core, I despise social media but appreciate its potential and uses.  I'm limiting myself to text/phone calls only for the 5 days leading up to Christmas.  No web surfing or social media.  The people who are the closest to you, who are truly present in your life are the ones who matter.  They will want to know how you are, what you're up to regardless of whether you've updated your status, tweeted or posted a picture on your Instagram in the last 24 hours.  The key to surviving a digital detox is to plan ahead.  Plan to be busy doing fun things, even better- fun things with people, rather than being busy glued to your device.  By the time you're done doing these fun things, hopefully you'll be so exhausted you will be able to fight the urge to check your phone before bed.

3. Gratitude.  Be thankful and gracious.  Count your blessings and they will multiply.  Truth is, I used to think this was horrible advice.  I would try it and wouldn't immediately feel 'better'.  I've realized that gratitude is a way of life.  Give yourself permission to be upset, sad or angry and then move on.  Be thankful for the time spent with friends and family, everyday.

Blogging is a digital journal so please take this post as such.  These are my own personal goals and my hope is if you internalize any of these, that you won't let stress get in the way of your enjoyment of the holidays.  Are the holidays a stressful time for you?
Overall - 6/10
Food - 6/10
Service - 6.5/10
Ambiance - 5/10

Ikemen Ramen Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This post is completely unrelated to food and more about my personal thoughts, but it explains the sporadic updates here on the blog. So if you're still interested, keep reading!
Beef short ribs are one of our favourite cuts of meat to braise. While making some duck confit a while ago, the idea of cooking beef short ribs in the same fashion came to mind. The result was some of the most tender and moist short ribs we have ever had either at home or in a restaurant. This is a must try recipe for any short rib lover.

Although Canadian Thanksgiving has passed, with Halloween around the corner, I thought this pumpkin cheesecake might still be relevant to some of you looking for a pumpkin related dessert.  This recipe was taken from Nigella Lawson's "Feast" and it was very simple to follow and turned out great.  I didn't bother to dress it up or worry too much about the crack down the centre after it baked- sometimes all that matters is how it tastes!  This version, Nigella claims to be "fluffier and subtler" than a regular cheesecake and I would have to agree.  Nice one, Nigella!

Overall - 9/10
Food - 9.5
Service - 9/10
Ambiance - 9/10

Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Never have to choose between apple pie and apple crumble ever again. This recipe combines the flakey crust of pie with the crispy topping of a crumble.

Last week we went to Vancouver for a short trip and as usual, we made a point to schedule our days around which restaurants we wanted to try.  We heard that Kirin Restaurant (which has multiple locations) gets quite busy and when we tried to get a table for dim sum last February we were turned away.  So this time we reserved a table weeks in advance for dim sum and were comfortably seated at a table next to the window.

At Kirin the server takes down your order and brings you the baskets of food, so those who want the experience of ordering from the roving carts may feel slightly disappointed.  However, the food more than makes up for it.  All the dim sum we had ranged from good to amazing; our favourites out of the savoury dishes were the shrimp dumplings (har gow), sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf (nor mai tai), and BBQ pork puffs (char siu soh). 
Shrimp dumplings (har gow)

Sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf
BBQ pork puffs
We found the pork and chive fried rolls to be unique, but I'm not keen on deep fried dim sum so it wasn't my favourite.  The pork dumplings (siu mai) was good but not overly special in comparison to what we have in Calgary.
Pork and chive fried rolls
Pork dumplings (siu mai)
The noodle wrapped donut roll was a little disappointing, in that the texture was chewier and harder than what you would expect a fresh Chinese donut to taste.
Chinese donut wrapped with noodle served with peanut and hoisin sauce
Our little S loves any dish with noodles so we ordered a scallop e-fu noodle stir fry.  The dish was surprisingly free of the gratuitous oil that usually accompanies a stir fry noodle dish which was perfect for our toddler.  The adults enjoyed the tender scallops, bean sprouts and the flavour of the chives.
A dim sum classic are the egg tarts which were very good here at Kirin.
Egg tarts
We had done some research ahead of time and knew we would be getting two things for sure; the durian mochi and the thousand layer cake.  Both lived up to our expectations.  The durian mochi was pillowy soft with a cold, sweet durian center that was not overly powerful.  Most people dislike the scent but I found it to be subtle and not at all offensive.  

The thousand layer cake, as the name suggests layers a sponge with a sweet egg yolk custard and coconut mixture.  It comes nice and hot and the portion is large enough to share.
Overall a great experience and we would recommend Kirin to anyone looking to try dim sum in Vancouver or Richmond.
Kirin Seafood Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we've already started thinking about what to cook for the holiday season.  If you're looking for an alternative to turkey or a side dish to complement your bird, here are five tried and true recipes from our blog: 

This recipe elevates the Thanksgiving ham with a delicious apple bacon chutney.  Both sweet and savoury, the chutney both compliments and adds another dimension to each bite of ham.  Recipe here.
This Italian 'strata' is essentially a savoury bread pudding flavoured with cheese, bacon, mushrooms and caramelized onions. Although not a traditional stuffing, this side more than makes up for it with the perfect blend of earthiness from the mushrooms, caramelized onions and richness of the cream and smoky bacon. Recipe here.
This recipe uses cornbread which gives the stuffing a wonderful texture and sweetness to balance the savouriness of the bacon and sausage.  The cornbread is also amazing for soaking up that puddle of gravy on your plate so you're guaranteed every bit of gravy goodness gets in your belly.  Recipe here.
If you're sick of the traditional turkey, here's a beef alternative.  This recipe is equally as satisfying as a turkey with the caramelized onion gravy and makes for fantastic left overs.
Recipe here.
If you're not a huge pumpkin fan, here's a different dessert to try.  I discovered a fantastic recipe for sticky toffee pudding last year and made it for Thanksgiving.  The cake is moist from the dates and the toffee sauce rich and decadent; needless to say, it was a hit.  Also, I feel like baking anything in a bundt pan makes your creation ten times more impressive.  Recipe here.
We hope these recipes were useful and at the very least gave you some inspiration for Thanksgiving this year!
Overall - 7.5/10
Food - 7.5/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 8/10

Nash Restaurant & Off Cut Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Overall - 9/10
Food - 9/10
Service - 9.5/10
Ambiance - 8/10
Carino Riserva Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Stir fry recipes are all about throwing your ingredients into one pan or wok and cooking them up in under 15 minutes and serving it hot over rice or noodles.  Here are five of our stir fry recipes that will be ready in no time on those busy nights.

Thai Basil Chicken Stir Fry
What makes this stir fry so delicious is the aromatic Thai basil which enhances the chicken and savoury fish sauce.  With the addition of fresh squeezed lime juice, this dish is a Thai favourite of ours.  Recipe here.
This stir fry is particularly appetizing with the sweet and sour pickled cabbage and gives the dish a slightly crunchy texture along with the beef and onions. Recipe here.
While this dish isn't technically a stir fry, it is still as easy to make and requires just one pan or wok.  These little omelettes full of Chinese BBQ meats and fried veggies are so easy delicious over rice and if you can't get Chinese BBQ pork, any meat can be mixed into the eggs to make this dish.  Recipe here.
Mapo Tofu:
Mapo tofu is fantastic on top of rice and the spicy flavour of the chili oil and XO sauce can be addicting.  This is one is for all the tofu lovers out there!  Recipe here.
Black Pepper  Beef Stir Fry
This popular dish is a classic Chinese dish often served in restaurants on a sizzling cast iron plate.  The aromas of the cilantro infused beef and mushrooms are just as good as it tastes.  Recipe here.
Overall - 8/10
Food - 8.5/10
Service - 8/10
Ambiance - 8/10
Rodney's Oyster House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
This pizza was created for the YYC Pizza Week 2015 Blogger Challenge and it's a fantastic one at that.  It is our opinion that you can never have enough duck; enter the 'Duck Duck Deuce' pizza. This doubly decadent duck creation is the perfect way to herald in the cooler months.  It features earthy morel mushrooms, ricotta, tender duck confit and duck rillete-foie gras quenelles atop a foie gras spread.  The sweet and tangy fig-balsamic reduction and fresh pea shoots balance out the richness.  This luxurious pizza is surprisingly easy to re-create as we document below.

YYC Pizza Week is an annual fundraiser for Calgary Meals on Wheels where restaurants across the city enter into a friendly competition for best pizza in several categories.  We have submitted our "lucky" duck pizza in hopes of victory. Please visit the YYC Pizza Week website for full details and vote for us!
Duck confit is a favourite of ours- the rich, moist and tender meat makes this way of preparing duck ultra luxurious.  If you have enough time on your hands, it's also surprisingly easy to make.  Duck confit is wonderful on its own but can be used in salads, ravioli and even pizza.

Chinese tea leaf eggs are a favourite snack of mine, and I am fortunate enough to have Darrin's grandmother make them for us on a weekly basis.  Tea leaf eggs are hard boiled eggs that are cracked left to simmer in a combination of tea, soy sauce and spices.  Besides the beautiful marbling effect you get on the surface of the egg, the savoury flavour is deliciously addicting.  There are variations of this recipe, but this one is as told to us by our Popo (Cantonese for maternal grandmother).
We may be a little biased but we think we have a good collection of fall recipes here on the blog that we've posted over the last 4 years. In anticipation of the official start of fall, which is this Wednesday, we thought we'd share our top three fall recipe picks:

Butternut Squash, Sage & Cheddar 'Pizza'
What better way to use squash that are in season than in a 'pizza'?  The nutty butternut squash, sharp cheddar cheese and woody sage on a buttery, flakey puff pastry crust are the perfect fall combination.  Check out the recipe here.
Indian Spiced Cream of Carrot Soup
One of our favourite things to harvest from our garden are carrots.  Nothing beats the taste of an ultra sweet home grown, organic carrot.  This recipe takes advantage of the root vegetable harvest by spicing things up with garam masala, coriander, fennel and mustard seed.  Combined with the gentle hum of coconut milk in the background, you've got an extraordinary fall soup.  See the recipe here.
Apple Braised Pork Shoulder
This recipe comes from a time when we used an iPhone 4 to take photos; however it doesn't detract from the fact that this is an amazing dish that utilizes the fall harvest of orchard ripened apples.  The sweet apple paired with the melt in your mouth fennel braised pork is a warming (and winning) combination.  Check out the recipe here.
What is your favourite fall recipe?
This post is a little different as we have not reviewed anything other than restaurants.  However, I've had such a great experience with Jule's Wellness Lifestyle Subscription Box so far that I wanted to share it here on the blog.  Also, they feature several food items in their boxes so I thought it would be relevant.  If you're interested to know more, read on.