Tag Archive for victoria

Spring Break Ideas (Vancouver Island)

Have you made plans for spring break yet?

It’s coming up soon (although not soon enough for me)! While many people still probably will plan to go south for spring break, the struggling Canadian loonie is going to make those kinds of vacations extra expensive.

So how about a staycation in your own back yard? Vancouver Island has a myriad of choices for kids and adults when it comes to spring break, and I want to share some of them with you today.

Tofino & Ucluelet

It’s incredibly remote, located literally at the end of the road, but that’s part of what makes Tofino and Ucluelet so incredibly charming. This is a goregous sweep of beach, kilometers long. You can hike the Wild Pacific Trail, or just trudge the beach, looking for critters and shells. You can touch actual critters at the Ucluelet Aquarium. If you’re brave, you can surf, or you can stay inside and watch the waves, cozy in your hotel room. The food here is also beyond wonderful. Some of my faves include Sobo, Hank’s, Zoe’s, and don’t forget one of Canada’s best restaurants, The Wolf in the Fog, is also here.

Read more:

Where to Eat in Ucluelet

Where to Eat in Tofino

Ski Mt. Washington

In stark contrast to last year’s ski season, this year is a banner year. We have snow, snow, snow, and British Columbians are happy, happy, happy. Where else in the world can you ski one day, and surf the next, all within a short distance? You can do that with Tofino and Mt. Washington. It’s a great hill for kids and adults alike, and they have some awesome mid-week deals on in March.

Coombs

One of my favourite places on the island (and Michael’s too), is Coombs. Coombs Old Country Market is the most charming store. They have tons of fun, old-fashioned toys for kids, and the place is also a foodie’s dream. I stock up on lots of specialty products every time I’m there. The bakery also is to die for…

bc ferries on a rainy day

Spring break is just a rainy ferry ride away!

Victoria

Victoria has tons of options to keep the kids happy. Check out The Bug Zoo, Miniature World, and the Royal BC Museum. For the grownups, craft beer and craft cocktails!

Where’s your favourite place to spend spring break? Share in the comments below!

Olive Oil Ice Cream with Strawberry Balsamic Reduction

You may remember last November, I visited a brand-new business that had just opened up in Victoria: Olive the Senses. The concept of a store dedicated to nothing but olive oils and vinegars was new to me, and I went a little wild in there.

Among the goodies I came home with were a bottle of basil-infused olive oil and a bottle of strawberry-infused balsamic vinegar. I’ve been using both to make amazeballs salad dressings, but Emily (from Olive the Senses) piqued my interest when she mentioned she had a recipe for ice cream using olive oil. I was intrigued, but it was the middle of winter, and my ice cream maker was in hibernation.

Basil Olive Oil Ice Cream

Well, it is winter no more, so I dragged out my Cuisinart and got to work.

This is not kid-friendly ice cream. There is barely any sugar in it, and it still has a tiny bit of the kick that you get at the very end of a very good, very green olive oil. In a way, when I eat this, my brain feels like it’s playing tricks on me: it looks so creamy and delicious, and ice-cream like, but it tastes savoury.

This is ice cream for the brave. So, if you go to La Casa Gelato and order the wasabi, or the garlic ice cream, you should definitely give this a whirl, as it is every bit delicious.

Basil Olive Oil Ice CreamBasil Olive Oil Ice Cream with Strawberry Balsamic Reduction

 

Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Whole Milk
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Basil Olive Oil
  • 6 Egg Yolks
  • Sugar to Taste
  • Pinch of Salt
Method
  • In a medium saucepan, over low heat, add all of the ingredients.
  • Whisk briskly until the egg yolks are smooth and completely incorporated into the mixture.
  • Continue to whisk while ingredients warm and until the sugar melts. DO NOT BOIL THE MIXTURE.
  • Once the mixture is slightly thickened (check this by swirling a spoon in the mixture and drag your finger across the back of the spoon – this should leave a path through the custard that is on the spoon). Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely chilled.
  • Once chilled, remove plastic wrap and pour mixture into ice cream machine following manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Cover and freeze for at least 2 hours.

For the balsamic reduction:

Pour about a 1/2 cup of the strawberry balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan. Heat on medium-low heat for about 5-10 minutes, until it is reduced, and coats the back of a spoon. Cool, and spoon over ice cream.

Disclosure: I was given some sample bottles of olive oil to try and experiment with by Olive the Senses. 

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