Happy Birthday Flirty Foodie: A Year in Blog Posts

Happy birthday Flirty Foodie! A little over a year ago we put down our forks long enough to start a food blog. 365 days, 47 posts, dozens of mind-blowing meals, and countless glasses of vino later, we’re happy to report that our gym-less streak is still going strong.

To mark this caloric occasion, we’ve hand picked our favourite blog posts from the past year. You get a little bit of everything; recipes, edible exploits and enough wine to throw a Catalina wine mixer!

A Visit to Rocky Creek Winery

Rocky Creek Winery, Vancouver Island Two winos visit a winery. What could possibly go wrong?

 

Ayaka’s Gluten-Free Quinoa Salad Recipe

Gluten Free Quinoa Salad Who says gluten-free has to be boring? We hit the jackpot with this tasty grain! Healthy and delicious like Flintstone vitamins. Yabba dabba doo!

Good Eats on Commercial St. Under $10

Mon Petit Choux, Nanaimo BC

We scoured the streets of our home town to find you the best eats on a budget. All of our picks are under $10.

 

Lean N’ Green Spinach & Avocado Smoothie (aka The Hulk)

Glass of spinach and avocado smothie

This addictive recipe is our most popular post by far. Give it a try and find out why. Once you go green, you’ll never go back!

 

Visiting St. Jean’s Cannery and Smokehouse

Busy at work @ St. Jeans Cannery and Smokehouse

We visit one of the last (and we think best) Canadian canneries in operation. Seafood, smokers and hair nets…just another day on the job.

 

Sunset Sangria – A Blonde Sangria with Watermelon, Basil & Ginger

Sunset Sangria. A blonde sangria with basil watermellon and ginger

We’re such sluts for a good sangria. This original recipe combines the flavours of summer with the refreshing aroma of sweet basil.
**Spoiler alert…the main ingredient is wine!

 

Recapping the 2012 BC Shellfish Festival’s Chefs’ Dinner

bc shellfish festival

What do you do when the coveted BC Shellfish Festival’s Chefs’ Dinner is sold out? You crash it! This is what ensued.,,holy shuck!

 

 How to Order and Eat Pho Like a Pro

A large bowl of Pho (Vietnamese beef noodle soup) Drawing from our hundreds of bowls experience working in a Vietnamese noodle house, we show you how to order (and eat) this delicious bowl of heaven like a local.

 

The Nest Bistro

Spinach herb gnocchi with wild coho salmon at the Nest Bistro in Nanaimo, BC Canada

Home made gnocchi, a fungi pie and ice cream sandwiches round out one of the best meals we’ve ever had in Nanaimo.

 

Easy Blackberry Limoncello Granita

Blackberry Limoncello Granita

And finally in anticipation of hot summer days, we bring you this divine recipe for Limoncello laced blackberry granita. Recipes + booze = good idea…every time!

 

We’d also like to use this opportunity to thank all of you, our readers. The response over the past year has been overwhelming, and we love you all very much for the support. We look forward to bringing you many more posts in the future. Loosen your belt. Trust us, you’ll need the extra wiggle room!

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Eating Out: Corner Bistro

CornerBistro-3

Once restaurants close their kitchens for the evening, greasy pizza shops and fast food joints take over the dining scene. While serving as excellent booze mops, they always leave you feeling unsatisfied and craving vegetables shortly afterwards. There is a serious lack of quality late-night dining choices here in the Harbour City. So when we got wind of a newest dining destination, we were eager to fill our bellies with something tasty, without taking a straight shot to the heart. Continue reading

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Eating Out: The Harewood Arms Pub

Hummus & Pita at the Harewood Arms

We’ve all been there, scrounging up loose change to fund a night out of drinking on a budget. Affordable watering holes offered a break from mac and cheese and Mr. Noodles and pretty much guaranteed a hungover for that mid term exam. A pub with student friendly pricing was our best friend through university and the Harewood Arms Pub was our go to from our days as starving college students.

Locally owned and operated, the Harewood Arms Pub has been serving the Harewood community over twenty years. Having a dedicated following of regular customers, this is where students, sports teams, workaholics and alcoholics come to unwind. We ventured into our old stomping grounds and former rib eating competition training grounds for a good old fashioned gorge fest. Continue reading

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Eating Out: Huong Lan Vietnamese Restaurant

Dining at an ethnic restaurant is supposed to transport diners to the exotic country of the cuisine’s origin.

Most of the time they do not.

The end result is palate numbing combination of forgettable fusion and perpetual fortune cookies with traditional recipes being tailored to suit Western palettes. Huong Lan Vietnamese Restaurant however is the rare exception.

Seafood Chow Mein at Huong Lan Vietnamese Restaurant Continue reading

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Fab Food Photo of the Week: Fish Tacos

Here at the Flirty Foodie, we love a good fish taco.  A popular snack food in Mexico, they are delicious combination of crispy battered or grilled fish, pico de gallo and pickled veggies.  They are ranked high on the list of our go-to dishes and get ordered A LOT!  We’ve sampled tacos all over Vancouver Island from the cult classic Tacofino trailer in Tofino to Penny’s Palapa’s halibut tacos right here in Nanaimo.  Paired with a ice cold bottle of Negro Modello, a fish taco is unbeatable and is a must eat summer staple on those searing summer nights.  We can’t think of anything better…apart from more fish tacos!  Ling Cod Fish Tacos

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Visiting St. Jean’s Cannery and Smokehouse

St. Jean’s Cannery is a family owned and operated business that has been a mainstay in Nanaimo for fifty years.  Started by Armand St. Jean in 1961, today it remains a family affair with son Gerard taking over from his father’s humble beginnings, selling his home-smoked oysters to local bars.  In a West Coast fishing industry that has been in steady decline for years, business is booming at St. Jean’s making it a remarkable success story.  So when Armand’s grandson Dave St. Jean invited us to tour his family’s cannery, we were gung ho and ready to view (and hopefully eat) a ridiculous amount of seafood.

boxes of pacific smoked oysters from St. Jeans Cannery and Smokehouse

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Fab Food Photo of the Week: Death of a Dessert

This photo is an oldie but remains one of our favourites, perhaps because of the memories it conjures and the carnage it captures.  Taken during a girls night in a scene that was straight out of Sex in the City.  Think four friends, martinis, desserts and a whole lot of gabbing – our favourite guilty pleasure!  The unfortunate casualty of our ravenous appetites is the Modern Cafe’s Apple Tarte Tatin.  This baked apple served on crispy puff pastry smothered in a decadent butterscotch sauce is sinfully good.  It will definitely keep the doctor away, but not your dentist!

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Meat Lovers Rejoice: Nanaimo Barbecue Festival Wrap Up

Frying pan of pulled pork

Grill masters and barbecue enthusiasts gathered from Canada and the US on July 14th where they lined Commercial Street for Nanaimo’s first annual Barbecue Festival. Officially sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, this two day action packed meat extravaganza featured cooking contests, a show ‘n shine, a rib eating competition, live music, an expo and enough smoked deliciousness to make even the most seasoned of carnivores blush. This is going to be a meat heavy post. Vegetarians…you have been warned. Continue reading

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Delving into Nanaimo’s Downtown Friday Market

Spring is in the air and to us Flirty Foodies this delightful time of year ushers in severe hay fever, but also and more importantly the kickoff to farmers market season!  Nanaimo’s farmers market season is in full bloom signaling the arrival of farm fresh produce, baked goods, meats, dairy, and preserves.  We adore markets because they hone in on our natural female shopaholic tendencies.  The very act of choosing what to enjoy is a thing of gratification, a kind of foreplay to the actual act of eating.  Recently, we had the opportunity to check out the Downtown Friday Farmers Market in the Pioneer Waterfront Plaza, and we met with many of the vendors. We take you through the best bites this vibrant scene has to offer.

Basket of Habanaro, Jalapeneo, and starflame peppers

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Eating Out: The Nest Bistro

When a little birdie told us that there were two talented chefs serving some serious food out of a small bistro in the Old City Quarter, we knew we had to investigate.

The Nest Bistro is owned and operated by chefs Nicolas Braun and Jennifer Ash.  The pair offer Pacific Northwest fare with French and Italian influences leaving their mark on every plate.  Hailing from Vancouver, the pair settled in Nanaimo after realizing the location and size were just right for their prospective restaurant.  Their joint efforts have produced a cozy and intimate space with an inviting atmosphere to match.  The modest decor plays on their namesake with birds, feathers and branches accentuating the simple but elegant layout.  Teal tables line a leather bench and chairs, with bright counter seating along the window.
As it was past noon, we were able to justify a glass of the house white each as we ruminated over their understated but enticing lunch menu.  With tantalizing choices like their signature Seafood Trio with crab cake, filo prawns and a tian of baby shrimp cocktail and comforting baked Jenny Mac we knew we had difficult decisions ahead.  Our cheerful server asked if either of us had any food allergies prior to taking our order, a considerate gesture which we appreciated. Continue reading

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