Pam by the Sea

Musings on knitting, crafting, all things beautiful, and life. Life being the most beautiful of all!

Month: July, 2012

Amazing garlic-peanut-sesame noodles!

One of my favourite restaurants in Vancouver is Peaceful Noodles on Broadway near Cambie. It’s an amazing Mandarin restaurant where they hand-make the noodles, love garlic and spice, and always give great recommendations. It’s also really reasonably priced! Mmmmmmm.

When I worked in consulting, I made some wonderful friends, and we started going out for dinners about every month. After a while, we didn’t bother with anywhere else but Peaceful. We would talk about it every day at work, and plan it out for weeks!

Not all of the wonderful ladies I worked with are in this pic, but almost! Thanks to Himesha (on the upper right) for retouching this photo so I don’t look like a ghost!

One of the best dishes they have at Peaceful is this cold-steamed garlic sesame noodle bowl. It is so garlicky, rich, and delicious, and I’ve never had anything like it anywhere else. Until now.

I saw this recipe last week, and finally tried it yesterday, with a bit of tweaks. And it tasted like the Peaceful dish! Amazing! Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

Sauce:

2 tbsp peanut butter. I used fresh ground chunky peanut butter. This wouldn’t work with the Kraft crap, so don’t bother!

2 tbsp grated ginger. I used a ginger piece about the size of my thumb.

2 cloves minced garlic. Realistically, we probably used 3!

2-3 tbsp sesame oil.

2 tbsp soy sauce.

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar.

Juice of 1 lime.

1 tsp hot pepper flakes.

Vegetables:

1 carrot, cut into strips. I used the vegetable peeler to get thin slices.

1/2 head of cabbage, cut into small pieces. We had green, but this would work with red as well.

1 cucumber, cut into small slices.

Noodles: 

1 package of ramen or soba noodles. I used ramen because I had some leftover, but I’m sure this would work with soba too.

Directions:

This recipe was originally written without cooking. It’s winter here and Joe and I were chilly, so we decided to cook the veggies and heat up the noodles. The sauce doesn’t get cooked. Either way would be really yummy!

Mix all of the sauce ingredients together and set aside. Sauté the carrots and cabbage in a bit of vegetable oil until soft. Either cook noodles, or if you have them ready, add them to the veggies to heat. Add the cucumber after as well, you don’t want to cook that! Once they’re cooked, add the sauce and mix. That’s it! Joe and I added fried eggs on top for some extra protein, which was really yum.

 

The finished product. I promise it tastes better than it looks.

Joe and I bit into it and immediately went nuts! It was so yummy, we didn’t talk all dinner! I bet using sesame butter instead of peanut would make it even more like the Peaceful dish.

 

You can’t tell from the picture, but Joe is about to get some serious garlic breath.

 

And so am I!

What a perfect recipe- quick, healthy and delicious. Mmmm!

 

Music loving: Hot Chip

I thought I would start a new tradition on the blog: Music loving! I really enjoy new music, and am always on the lookout for new music. Right now I’m in a big dance music phase (hence the Usher), and one of the bands driving this is Hot Chip. I am LOVING them right now! They remind me of the honest, emotional stuff from the early 90’s if that makes any sense. Check them out! And if you like them, please buy their album!

Night and Day:

Motion Sickness:

How Do You Do?

and my favourite, These Chains:

Enjoy!

Straddie with Danika and Jenny!

On Danika and Jenny’s last day (a week and a half ago, oops bad blogger!), we hauled ass out to Straddie. Hauled ass because we took the bus. Two hours there. And two hours back. And it was totally worth it! Even though it poured rain for much of our visit! We saw whales! And it was lovely!

 

The group shot before the rain began. We had just finished looking at humpbacks and dolphins, it was wonderful! Next to us, there was a man holding his tiny camera trying to take a photo, and I told him not to bother, as the whales were about 200m offshore. He asked me what colour the whales were and I told him “The colour of the water”. I wonder what colour he thought they were?

One of my favourite parts of the day was standing out on this cliff and having an impromptu photo shoot. The scenery was inspiring!

Marine biology headshot!

 

 

My favourite part of the whole day was when I said “We should sing to attract mermaids”, and then we all, without question or irony, did. It was interesting to hear what kinds of songs we each thought would attract mermaids! It didn’t work though 😦

When we were having lunch, it started to POUR! Kind of crazy, kind of fun. We all forgot to bring rain jackets, so we each bought $3 ponchos. Totally worth it.

 

Wind+rain poncho= weird fake poncho boobs! Haha

After the rain calmed down a little bit, we went on a lovely walk and saw some great Australian creatures.

 

Kangaroo! We also saw a kookaburra, and this beauty:

 

Before we left, we headed down to the beach to touch the sand and feel the salt spray. We also took a lot of photos with the timer!

 

 

I’m looking forward to going back when it’s not raining, and maybe swimming and surfing! We took the passenger ferry back, which is really relaxing and only takes about half an hour. Here are some scenes I caught just before we left:

 

Pelicans!

On the train ride home, Danika and Jenny amused themselves with my newest acquisition, a pig made of plastic bags that matches my duck:

I’m definitely missing my buddies- come back soon!

 

Not workin’ it…

Not workin’ it, just working. I have been on a huge dance music kick lately while I’m working on a small contract. Here are some songs I have on repeat right now. 

I am loving me some Usher right now! He is really not my usual style of music, but I can’t stop listening! Joe and I have had this song in our heads now for a week:

Why the hell would anyone want to make love in a club? Gross! I knew a couple in undergrad that supposedly “made love” in a foam party in Bundaberg. All class!

Usher really likes loving in the club. I also have been listening to this song a lot:

My pilates instructor always plays it, and I’m now addicted!

I also love this Rihanna song. I think it has a 90’s dance music beat, which I can relate to! (i.e., I’m old)

Now to round out this quality music playlist, a huge, guilty pleasure favourite:

Every day I’m shufflin’. 

Anyone have any suggestions to add to this illustrious mix?

Visit with Jenny and Danika!

Lucky me- last week I had not one, but two wonderful house guests- Danika, who arrived a week before, and Jenny, who got here last week. They are both in Cairns now for a coral reef conference, but I got to spend some time with them before they headed up there on Sunday.

Most of what we did was quite un-exciting- visited libraries and worked. Woohoo! It was nice to have some study buddies for a little while. I did try to fit in some fun stuff for them, like visiting my favourite store in Brisbane, Mick’s Nuts! Seriously, I love this store. It’s a bulk foods store in West End that’s family-run, and was started by a Greek immigrant who lived to be 104. Impressive! They have tote bags that are for sale for $5, but Danika and I were lucky to snag two for free. Best day ever!

This smile is for realz.

I love that these bags were probably drawn by hand by some aunt who was like “we need tote bags! Here, print this on them. It’s fine.”.

Danika and I also visited Tangled Yarns, a lovely yarn store in the Newstead. Jenny and Danika got me a gift card as a hostess present, so I get to go back and get something lovely!

On Friday we met up with a friend of Jenny’s, Kate, who I had actually met before through my friend Cathy. Small world! We went to a great Indian restaurant, Sitar, in the West End. Unfortunately Joe was sick and stayed home, so we’ll just have to go back together some time so he can try it. The menu was hilarious, half of it was a “Public Holiday Surcharge” menu about 8 pages long with the same food as the regular menu, just a bit more expensive.

Here’s an idea- have a separate menu for public holidays? Or, just charge 10% more on everything for public holidays? Or, don’t worry about it, since there aren’t that many public holidays? Anywhoo, the food was great, I would totally recommend this place.

Kate is on the far right, and Jenny is next to her. Afterward we went to Three Monkeys Coffee and Tea House, a cafe I always thought was tiny, but is quite labyrinthine inside. I was so full, but managed to squeeze in a bit of cake. Yum!

Saturday we went to Straddie, which I’ll recap in my next post!

Ermie

I love the colourful clothing that Ermie produces. Silk just dyes so nicely, and drapes beautifully. They have a new collection coming out soon, and previews are up on their blog. There are so many beautiful things!

My favourite is the Light of California apron dress.

I love the sunset print, and you can tie it multiple ways. So versatile!

I love the detail on this Indigo Linen Jacket.

These large, silk scarves are amazing!

They would be perfect for Brisbane on a cool spring or fall night.

I definitely have to give a big shout-out to Ermie for using such a gorgeous, non-super-skinny model. It’s really refreshing to see a designer go against the grain of choosing a really skinny hipster model. This model is slim, but looks a bit more like… me! And I can relate to the clothes much more I find. Yea for diversity!

Danika’s Here!

She’s actually been here since last Friday, and I wrote a blog post about it already which for some reason never uploaded. Grr. 

It’s really great having a friend from home here in Brisbane and staying with us! Danika is the friend who introduced Joe and I, and for that I will be eternally grateful. She’s here on her way to a conference in Cairns, so we have spent a lot of our time in libraries. Good thing the city library is so pretty! 

Over the weekend we took Danika around to our favourite places. This included a trip to West End Markets, a lovely walk around South Bank, and a trip to Mos Burger

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This was the very enthusiastic manager! Danika liked it!

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How could you not really! Then Joe gracefully ducked out while Danika and I did a bit of shopping. Joe is a great sport when it comes to shopping, but he doesn’t enjoy it at all. It was fun to go with someone who likes it! I took her to Gorman, of course, and to Maiocchi, a store that reminds me a lot of her. And I was right, she loved it! She got a beautiful dress on sale.

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On Sunday we went to the botanical gardens which are just as gorgeous in the winter. There are ibis everywhere, and they were gobbling up bread that some kids had thrown in the pool.

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They seemed quite timid to get in the water though, even though they have quite long legs. I’m not exactly sure why, but I think it has something to do with these:

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Eels! It turns out that a lot of lakes have eels that hang out. They don’t have (visible) teeth so I’m not sure if the ibis are scared, or just don’t want to get to close to those creepers. The eels didn’t like the bread, but they sure did mouth it a lot. Here’s a little eel-ibis standoff:

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Eel face! The gardens always have something in bloom, like this hibiscus:

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And they have some amazing sculptures as well. Definitely a must-see! We all left feeling very relaxed and happy!

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Thanks, thin-mirror/sculpture for making me look svelte!

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