Is it a holiday tradition at your home/party to pop open a bottle (or two, or more) of sparkly? To prepare for the holiday season, we had the opportunity to sample the Summerhill Pyramid Winery’s Cipes Rose. I remember trying the Summerhill Brut at the FBC 2014 conference back in October and I quite enjoyed it, so I was quite excited about the Rose. But should it be added to your list of party wines? Let’s find out.

Summerhill Cipes Rose

According to the Summerhill website, the Cipes Rose is made with 100% organic grapes. The first 75% of juice was pressed after a 48 hour cold-soak on the skins. It has quite a pretty red hue, which would be fitting for Christmas.

As soon as we pop-opened the Rose, we were immediately hit by a sweet aroma. The amount of carbonation was just right, and there was a prominent strawberry note. It was light and refreshing, and easy drinking. Felt like a summer wine, but the bubbly would also make a great party wine. The Brut was drier, more crisp, and I prefer the Rose over the Brut.

Summerhill Cipes Rose

The Cipes Rose would be great to pair with lighter protein such as fish, pork, chicken and turkey. We paired it with a tomato fish stew and the wine went quite well with the lightly spiced dish. In addition, we also prepared some Quinoa Crusted Falafel Mignon, a recipe provided by Summerhill. I thought I’d share with you here as well.

Quinoa Crusted Falafel Mignon Recipe

Recipe provided by Summerhill Pyramid Winery

Quinoa Crust


  • 3/4 cup Red quinoa
  • 1-1/2 cup Water
  • 1 teaspoon Salt


  1. Put quinoa into pot with water.
  2. Bring water to the boil, cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat, let sit for 10 minutes, remove lid, and pour onto baking sheet to cool.

The quinoa can be prepared the day before. Simply store the cooked quinoa in the fridge for the following day.

Chard Ribbon


  • 6 leaves Rainbow or red chard
  • 3L Salted water

We didn’t have any chard with us, so we used cabbage instead. The texture may be softer but we thought it worked.


  1. Bring 3L of water to a boil. Blanche the chard for 15 seconds, take them out and immerse in ice.
  2. Take out the middle rib, cut leaves into long ribbons, approximately 1.5 inch thick. Put aside for later.



  • 1 can Chickpeas – drained and rinsed
  • 1 Small onion, lime sized
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/4 cup Chick pea flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • Pinch of Cayenne pepper

Ingredients for Falafel

Because we didn’t have chick pea flour, we just substituted it with all-purpose flour. We also didn’t use any parsley, but increased the amount of cilantro by an extra tablespoon.


  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined.
  3. Form into pucks (mimicking a beef filet mignon) and wrap each puck with a ribbon of chard.
  4. Crust top and bottom by dabbing in cooked quinoa, salt and pepper and a little olive oil.
  5. Sear on one side in an ovenproof pan with a liberal amount of oil.
  6. Finish in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes until crust forms.

BlendingFalafel Mixture

Falafel Ready for Oven



  • 2 tablespoons Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 250 ml Grapeseed oil
  • Shallots
  • 3 Cherry tomatoes
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Pinch of salt and pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients except oil in a blender, puree.
  2. Drizzle oil to emulsify.
  3. Serve the falafel with this vinaigrette.

Quinoa Crusted Falafel Mignon

Final Thoughts

If you follow the blog, you know we are big meat eaters, so this recipe was a diversion from our normal diet. The falafels were quite flavourful, especially with the extra cloves of garlic that we put in. The acidity in the vinaigrette also helps enhance the flavours. That being said, it is a complicated recipe and it’s quite time-consuming, so feel free to use your favourite falafel recipe to go with the Cipes Rose. The wine pairs well with the chickpeas and spices, so I think it will also work with a hummus dip or items with a Middle Eastern flavour profile. I do recommend you to pick up a bottle of the Summerhill Cipes Rose for one of your holiday parties this year!

Christmas on VanFoodies

As you know, I’m drinking a beer every day from the Central City/Parallel 49 Mystery Gift Holiday Countdown. If you missed the first half, you can check it out here. And don’t miss my halfway update — which includes my admission to having made a mistake.

Now, on to the second half.

Day 17

Sahti Claws! How could I forget about this beer? I even talked about it last year!

Anyway, as you can see from before, I thought it was a pretty decent beer. Do I still like it? Yup, sure do! The juniper really makes this a unique, stand out brew. What’s nice is that it manages to take advantage of that unique flavour and make it into a solid drink, instead of something overpowering one way or the other. Thumbs up.

Day 17: Parallel 49 Sahti Claws

Tomorrow I’m thinking either Imperial Porter or Imperial IPA. I wonder to myself, would they roll with their Imperial IPA right after doing their IPA? I don’t think so. For that reason I’m going to bet on the Porter.

Day 18

Should have gone with my first instinct and picked the Imperial IPA, because guess what I found in my box today? Yup, the Imperial IPA.

So I’ve had this before and loved it, and that hasn’t changed. At 90 IBU you’d think the bitterness would hit you hard, but it really doesn’t. In fact, it doesn’t even hit as hard at the normal IPA (80 IBU). It is sweeter, deeper, and maltier, and all that does a great job masking the higher ABV and IBU. This is a dangerous beer, because it is a barely noticeable 9% (until you’ve drunk a few) and so. damn. good.

Day 18: Red Racer Imperial IPA

I fear I’m going to have to toss my Salty Scot (sad!) prediction to the side. There are only 3 P49 beers left and I’m pretty sure the most likely candidates are Ugly Sweater, N2, and Barleywine (please!!). So I’m going to go with Ugly Sweater.

18 Days Down, 6 More to Go!

Did you miss the last few days? Read on!

Continue Reading »

I made a mistake.

I’ll elaborate, but first let’s recap the beers thus far:

From Parallel 49 – Schwarzwald Chocolate Cherry Porter, Filthy Dirty IPA, Old Boy, Toques of Hazzard, Hoparazzi, Craft Lager, and Black Christmas CDA (That one is Day 13).

From Central City – Pilsner, Wheat Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Pale Ale, ESB/Red Ale, and Copper Ale.

Some pretty solid beers so far, though I’d certainly give P49 the nod for having more interesting brews (and names!). Overall the best beers have been the Schwarzwald and Toques, hands down. Schwarzwald was a great start to the calendar and Toques is just plain awesome and a very welcomed surprise early on.

Overall, it’s not a bad list. There isn’t a lot to inspire so far but we’re only halfway. I’m fully expecting some pretty awesome stuff to come out near the end.

Mystery Gift Holiday Countdown

That said, there were a few days where I (among others) were getting a bit bored, especially when the bottle of Craft Lager made its appearance. On Twitter, there were tweets ranging from “Actually angry now” (Mine. I was tired, grumpy, and feeling particularly aggrieved), “Bottled Disappointment” (regarding the craft lager), to even one that tagged both breweries asking when the boring beers were going to end. That last one has since been deleted.

So why the anger? Continue Reading »

For the last few years, my office has organized a Christmas baking exchange, where we trade our baked goods with each other so we all end up with a variety of treats for the holiday. Last year, I made these sesame cookies; they were delicious and I love the Asian touch to it! We heard of the recipe on the radio and made some changes after we did a couple runs. Are you still doing some more holiday baking? Here is our recipe for you:

Sesame Cookies

Sesame Cookies Recipe


  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Cup Toasted Sesame Seeds

Ingredients for Sesame Cookies Continue Reading »

I’m sure you will all agree that it’s not Christmas without some chocolate. Right? Imagine being served some unique, tasty chocolates at the next party, or unwrapping a beautiful chocolate art piece under the tree…are you still shopping for some great chocolates? Here are some suggestions from me:

Chez Christophe Chocolaterie and Patisserie

I still remembered the first time I knew about Christophe was at the CONNECT Show 2013 and he was on stage doing a live demo. It was quite fascinating to watch pieces of different size and shape being created and put together. Ever since then, Christophe has received a number of awards, including most recently taking Gold at the 2014 International Chocolate Awards World Final in the White Chocolate Ganaches and Truffles category. And his shop has appeared on many media and bloggers’ list. Now he’s on mine!

Putting together the showpiece

Last Christmas, I visited Chez Christophe’s patisserie in Burnaby and saw this display of how the showpiece came together.

Chez Christophe Christmas 2013

This year, Christophe is offering a different Christmas Collection Continue Reading »

Are you looking for gift ideas for the home cooks in your life? How about a cookbook?

I recently received a copy of the new The Dirty Apron Cookbook, and I thought I’d share my thoughts just in time for your holiday shopping.

The Dirty Apron Cookbook

As you probably know, The Dirty Apron Cooking School is one of Vancouver’s popular and favourite place for amateur cooks to unleash their inner chefs. Owned by former Chambar Sous Chef David Robertson and his wife, Sara, The Dirty Apron offers a variety of hands-on cooking classes. The new cookbook, published in October, caters to both beginners and more experienced cooks who are looking for delicious menus and wanting to build more confidence in the kitchen. In addition to recipes of different levels of difficulty, you will also find cooking tips and tricks such as a list of basic ingredients for your pantry, tips for plating and garnishing, making stocks and brines, and a temperature chart for cooking meats.

Not spending enough time in the kitchen, I thought we would be the perfect testers, to see how easy it is to use this cookbook. So, we tried a few recipes, including:

The Dirty Apron Scones

Dirty Apron Scones

Boeuf Bourguignon Continue Reading »

In recent years, it has become our Christmas tradition to visit the Vancouver Christmas Market. This year, the Vancouver Christmas Market is celebrating its 5th anniversary and of course we wouldn’t want to miss it!

Vancouver Christmas Market 2014

Vancouver Christmas Market was created to bring Vancouverites the experience of a German Christmas Market. For the last five years, it has offered a mix of food, drinks, Christmas gift ideas, and fun for friends and families.

Vancouver Christmas Market 2014

Inside the Vancouver Christmas Market

Grab yourself a souvenir mug and a cup of hot apple cider for the kids, or mulled wine for the adults. The aroma and flavours of cloves, star anise and cinnamon have holidays written all over the mug — and it keeps you warm on a cold chilly day/night!

Vancouver Christmas Market 2014Vancouver Christmas Market 2014Vancouver Christmas Market 2014

There is a good variety of food vendors this year. How about stick-style pastries or chocolate fountain?

Vancouver Christmas Market 2014Vancouver Christmas Market 2014

Waffle on a stick and hurricane potato were pretty popular too!

Vancouver Christmas Market 2014Vancouver Christmas Market 2014Vancouver Christmas Market 2014

It was pretty cool to watch them make fresh Turkish pastries on-site!

Vancouver Christmas Market 2014Vancouver Christmas Market 2014

To this day, one of our favourite spots for food here is still Black Forest Delicatessen. Continue Reading »


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