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By Brittany Tiplady ‘Tis the season for ubiquitous social media photos, Instagram stories, and Snapchats of holiday parties, outings, and events. Amongst the many options to get into the festive spirit in Metro Vancouver is the Lights at Lafarge. Conveniently located only 140 metres from the Lafarge Lake-Douglas Evergreen line station, the Lights at Lafarge the largest free outdoor lights display in the lower mainland. Free, being the operative word. Enjoy the display after dusk while going for a light stroll around the LaFarge Lake – a suitable and lovely outing for families, couples, and dog owners. As we enter the winter months, and temperatures drop, warming up after your walk through the Lights at Lafarge is essential. Browse through this selection of restaurants, cafes, and watering holes nearby. Pappa Roti Unit 100 – 1196 Pinetree Way If you haven’t given these fluffy, decadent, Malaysian style buns a chance-now is…

By VisitRichmondBC.com With the holidays approaching fast, it’s time to start thinking about those gifts you want to buy. Especially when most of the people on your list probably have an overabundance of “stuff”, food and drink gifts can be ideal options since they don’t add to household clutter—and they taste delicious. Richmond has a wealth of different specialty food stores, as well as drink producers where you’ll find items to please the gourmands in your life. Give the Gift of Tea If you’re looking for the ultimate tea selection, head to Ten Fu Tea & Ginseng (Aberdeen Centre, 4151 Hazelbridge Way) where the knowledgeable staff will guide you through your purchasing decisions. The boutique has a range of pu-erh tea, a fermented tea that hails from Yunnan, China; plus oolong, jasmine, lapsang souchong (smoked black tea), and ginseng teas. Great Mountain Ginseng (Aberdeen Centre, 4151 Hazelbridge Way), a company…

By Gail Johnson For the food lover on your holiday gift list, North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay Public Market makes for one-stop shopping. Besides having a slew of locally made goods, the market by the water’s edge is a world away from echoey malls with panoramic outdoor views of downtown Vancouver. Here are a few take-home delights that will impress your discerning foodie friends. Giant Lollipops and Candy Canes from Olde World Confections These oversize treats will transport you straight to Dr. Seuss’s Whoville. Not your drugstore version, handmade peppermint candy canes are a full five feet long. Lollies large enough to make a Christmas stocking burst are wrapped with a ribbon and available in tutti fruity, lemonade, raspberry, strawberry, and cherry. Pickles from Kaylin & Hobbs Started by two Vancouver buddies who couldn’t find a New York style pickle in town, Kaylin & Hobbs makes multiple flavours of the crispy,…

By Kristi Alexandra Carousel rides, mulled wine, live trees, hand-crafted ornaments, and one-of-a-kind gifts can all be found at the Vancouver Christmas Market. Modelled after the European “Christkindlmarkts” of the old world, this Vancouver tradition draws hordes of locals to its home at the Jack Poole Plaza every holiday season. And those who frequent the market come for the biggest attraction: the food. Housed in huts that recall a true Bavarian experience, here are a few treats to try, from traditional German fare to modern Vancouver flare. Pretzel from Mr Pretzels No trip to a German Christmas Market (or anything German-themed, that is) is complete without a big, doughy pretzel. Twisted, braided, salted: whatever you choose, this wheat-filled treat goes best with spiced mustard and washes down well with a beer. Hurricane Potatoes from Das Kartoffelhaus Known sometimes as “tornado potatoes” or “hurricane fries,” this food originated on the streets…

By Dan Olson, chef/owner, Railtown Catering We use a tenderizing brine of honey, lemon, herbs, garlic, salt and spices for maximum moisture retention and flavour.  INGREDIENTS Organic Tom Turkey (15-lb) Kosher salt (4 cups, plus more to taste) Honey (1 cup) Whole black peppercorn (¼ cup) Lemons (5, halved) Bay leaves (2) Garlic (2 heads, halved and smashed) Parsley (1 bunch) Sage (1 bunch) Thyme (1 bunch) Clarified butter for brushing (¼ cup) Carrots (2, quartered) Small leek (1, halved) Small yellow onion (1, halved) Turkey stock (8 cups) Flour (1 cup) DIRECTIONS  For the brine: 1. In a large stockpot, boil salt, honey, lemons, peppercorns, bay leaves, garlic heads, parsley, thyme in 8 liters of water. 2. Reserve the neck bones and giblets from the turkey. Let brine cool, add the turkey, then cover and refrigerate overnight. To roast the turkey: 1. Heat the oven to 425°F. 2. Remove…

By Natalie Marcotte Whether you’re a fan of winter weather matters not at Glow, an immersive festive display of over 500,000 lights under the protective cover of a massive greenhouse in Langley. Work up an appetite exploring the light gardens and traversing the musical light tunnel, and then have your pick of food from the Christmas market, food trucks, and of course, a bar for the adults. A must-try for the kids is a festive lightbulb drink will re-charge the kids between a gift scavenger hunt and snowing bubbles, and allow you to explore the marketplace of boutique wears, decorations and locally made goods. Grab your flashing cranberry drink from Donners’ Bar in a re-usable lightbulb for $8. The outside food truck courtyard features wood-fired pizza, Greek food, tornado potatoes, kettle corn, mac n’ cheese and baked potatoes including a holiday dinner complete with turkey, stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce.…

By: Mario Pelletier, Pastry Chef, Railtown Cafe and Railtown Catering INGREDIENTS (Recipe yields two pecan pies) Sable Base Flour, 470 grams Ground almonds, 60 grams Butter, 240 grams Icing sugar 180 grams 2 eggs Salt, 1 tsp Crumble all dry ingredients together except eggs in a mixing bowl. Slowly add eggs and combine until smooth. Line the base mixture in two 10-inch circle tart tins. Place tins in the oven at 170°C (roughly 340°F) and blind bake (using beans on top of the crust) for approximately 20-25 minutes until the crust is half cooked. Pecan Filling Eggs, 9     Demerara sugar, 500g Golden syrup, 612.5g Butter, 125g Pinch salt Pecans, 1kg DIRECTIONS Preheat your oven to 175°C (roughly 350°F). Melt the butter. In a mixing bowl and slowly mix in the eggs, sugar and syrup. Incorporate the butter, salt and then the pecans. Divide the pecan filling between the two…

by Catherine Dunwoody Chocolatier Thomas Haas has revealed their brand new holiday collection of Christmas-themed chocolates and candies, plus stocking stuffers and baked goods. A long-time resident of North Vancouver, Thomas and his wife Lisa own two patisseries, one on Harbourside (where the production kitchen is as well) and the other on Broadway in Kitsilano. The holiday goodies include Santa’s Belly — a chocolate crafted Santa belly filled with an assortment of salted dark chocolate caramels, cocoa nib crunch and caramelized almonds and hazelnuts dipped in dark, milk and white chocolate. An internationally acclaimed pâtissier, Thomas Haas gained experience in Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe and North America before settling in Vancouver in 2005. Haas is a fourth-generation pâtissier, and has held stints as Executive Pastry Chef at the Four Seasons Hotel, Executive Pastry Chef at chef Daniel Boulud’s flagship eatery Daniel on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and has been singled…

By VisitRichmondBC.ca Let’s face it, while cooking a big turkey with all the fixin’s for family and friends can be incredibly rewarding, sometimes it’s much less stressful to go out to eat and let someone else do the work for you. Many restaurants are closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day but, fortunately, many establishments in Richmond can come to your discerning palate’s rescue. Not only will they be open, but they also offer mouth-watering alternatives to the traditional Christmas meal. Here are five places where you can dine out on December 24th and 25th: Yuan’s Chuan Chuan Xiang Christmas often involves a bringing together of loved ones over good food. Hot pot adds an interactive dimension to the get-together that can be very enjoyable–and delicious. Yuan’s Chuan Chuan Xiang (Aberdeen Centre, 2792-4151 Hazelbridge Way) is the Richmond location of a chain that hails from Chengdu in China’s Sichuan province,…

By Dan Olson, chef/owner, Railtown Catering  DOUGH INGREDIENTS Flour (1 ½ cups) Salt (pinch) Sugar (pinch) Butter (½ cup) Water (30 mL) DOUGH INSTRUCTIONS  1. Sift flour, add salt and sugar, then cut butter into small pieces. 2. Pinch butter into flour until broken down into pea-sized pieces. 3. Add water and start to bring together. Cover dough and rest in the fridge for an hour. 4. Roll out and place in pie pan (9”) PUMPKIN FILLING INGREDIENTS  Whipping cream (116 mL or 4oz) Whole milk (116 mL or 4oz) Brown sugar (½ cup) Flour (1 ¼ tbsp.) Cinnamon (1 tsp) Ground ginger (½ tsp) Ground clove (½ tsp) Ground nutmeg (½ tsp) Whole eggs (2 ½) Pumpkin purée (333g or 1 cup) PUMPKIN FILLING INSTRUCTIONS  1. Whisk all ingredients together and pour into shell. 2. Bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes until the middle is firm and a knife…

By Dan Olson, chef/owner, Railtown Catering INGREDIENTS Brioche bread (2 loaves, diced into cubes) Celery (4 stalks, diced) Small yellow onion (1, diced) Garlic (4 cloves, chopped) Fresh sage (½ bunch, chopped) Fresh thyme (¼ bunch, chopped) Dried apricots (1 small handful, diced) Roasted chestnuts (1 cup, chopped) Toasted pine nuts (¼ cup) Butter (½ pound) Reserved turkey fat/drippings Turkey stock (3 cups) Whole eggs (4 , whisked together) Old bay seasoning spice (1 tbsp) Juice from one orange Salt and cracked black pepper to taste INSTRUCTIONS  1. In an oven preheated to 350°F, toast the brioche cubes into golden brown croutons with garlic oil and salt. Set aside. 2. Sauté the onion, celery, garlic, thyme, sage and seasonings together in the reserved turkey dripping and butter. 3. In a large mixing bowl, add the croutons, chestnuts, pine nuts, sautéed vegetables, orange juice, turkey stock and eggs. Season with salt…

By VisitRichmondBC.com Most restaurants are on lock-down during Christmas and we can’t really blame them. It is, after all, a time to celebrate with friends and family! Even so, Christmas remains the busiest day for the few restaurants that are open during this holiday. If you’re visiting Richmond during the holidays, be sure to try our top five restaurant picks in Richmond open during Christmas: HK BBQ Master If you’re looking to get a fill of Cantonese-style barbecue, HK BBQ Master (4651 No. 3 Road) is hands down one of the best places to get your fill of char siu, crispy skin roast pork, BBQ duck or BBQ chicken. It’s a tiny hole-in-the-wall type eatery with just 14 seats and they accept cash only for payment. So be warned: come early to snag seats, or buy the meats by the pound with a side of rice and take it to…

By Ashley Lockyer ‘Tis the season for twinkling lights, freshly made goodies, and jingles you love for just a few weeks of the year. One dazzling Vancouver tradition is a visit to the famous VanDusen Garden Festival of Lights. Millions of brilliant bulbs decorate this winter wonderland and there are plenty of mitten-friendly snacks to keep your spirits just as bright. Bring your friends and family together for tasty treats and watch wide-eyed as magical holiday memories unfold. The VanDusen Garden Festival of Lights is beaming with everything you love about the season.  You can see what fun it is to ride and sing on a carousel ride at night (for ages young to shameless). Or, watch lights dance over Livingstone Lake set to your favourite festive tunes. You’ll also get a chance to exchange holiday puns with the mischievous Scandinavian elves. All this while you indulge in enough cozy…

By Catherine Dunwoody Sometimes slowing down during the holiday season is the greatest gift of all. Through all the craziness, the non-stop hustle and bustle, just settling in for a hot cuppa and some delicious treats with family or friends is an ideal time out. Not only is most of the honey served at Honeybee Centre collected from their own bees, it is a big part of their new Holiday High Tea. Served from December 1st to 31st, choose from a variety of high quality teas (black, green and herbal) that come to your table in a French press, along with a tiered tray (doesn’t everyone love those?) with Christmas-themed cupcakes, macarons, cheesecake, shortbread cookies, cranberry orange scone with clotted cream and honey, plus savoury treats like the brie and roasted chicken panini, artichoke baguette, and a turkey and cranberry roll. Not a tea drinker? No worries, have a peppermint…