Snack Time #34 – Pillsbury Pizza Pops Poutine

On a recent grocery shopping expedition, the Sip Advisor was casually strolling the store aisles when what to my wondering eyes should appear but this intriguing Pizza Pops variety. The store was closing, so I had to be quick.

Meant to recreate one of Canada’s most famous dishes and contributions to the world, the special edition Poutine release is pretty tasty. It reminded me of a beef pie, thanks to its gravy and potato filling. And who could ever turn down cheese curds.

Pillsbury Pizza Pops Poutine

The product comes with the tagline, “Not your average poutine,” and I’d agree with that, preferring the fry dish. There are also Butter Chicken Pizza Pops, with both flavours being voted on by Canadians, although I didn’t see them while shopping.

One thing that has always bothered me is why Pizza Pops and Pizza Pockets have the names they have. After all, Pizza Pops have a pocket design, while Pizza Pockets are round, which more resemble what I’d call a pop.

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Beer of the Week #34 – Mariner Northeast IPA

The Sip Alliance recently journeyed to Coquitlam to visit Mariner Brewing, which had only recently opened their doors to the drinking public. The trek was an arduous one (for lazy folks like us), but was totally worth it.

While there, I sampled a little of everything thanks to Cousin Sip’s flight of beers, while also ordering a pint of the Northeast IPA. The 7.5% ABV, 67 IBUs beverage is available in tall cans and was a pretty good beer with a refreshing flavour profile.

Mariner Northeast IPA

The brewery is the first to open in Coquitlam, finally providing the fine folks there with a local craft beer option. The tasting room also specializes in gourmet hotdogs, allowing drinkers a different food option than I’ve seen at breweries before.

The rest of Mariner’s inaugural lineup includes an Amber Ale, Cream Ale and Sour Weisse, with more to come. To go along with their constellation-themed branding, I really like their slogan: “Set no path. Never be lost.”

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Mixer Mania #34 – Wondrous Watermelon

Up until recently, I didn’t realize Watermelon Soda was part of the Crush pop line or even existed. Given I love watermelon, this was a very happy discovery and I instantly grabbed a bottle. Much like this watermelon-based soft drink seemed mythical, let’s take a look at some legends meant to explain the existence of watermelons:

Making Papa Proud

Our first origin story comes from Vietnam, where a young prince angered his father, the king, and was banished to a deserted island. There, he found a fruit that he feared was poisonous and only consumed when all other options were gone. The fruit was tasty and extinguished his thirst. The prince then cultivated the fruit, which spread across the island. He also sent some of the fruit drifting into the sea, with his name and the island’s name carved into them. This brought others to the island, in search of the fruit. The king learned of his son’s achievements and invited him home, crowning him the next king.

Cat Watermelon

Slithering Save

Moving on to Armenia, this tale begins with a king’s servants cutting a snake’s horns off, in order to save it. As a thank you, the snake left a seed at the palace. From the seed, grew a new fruit, which was offered to an ailing old man, saving his life. The king tried the fruit next and felt invigorated. Thus, Armenians called watermelon “Not-Die”, once upon a time. I’m conflicted on this legend. On one hand, I don’t think I would ever be inclined to save a snake, but would rather chop its head off. On the other hand, the servants heroic efforts resulted in the creation of watermelon, so can I really fault them?

Passion of the Priest

We’ll wrap things up with a journey to the Philippines, where a Spanish priest was working hard to convert folks to Catholicism. One particular area was resistant to the priest’s teachings about Christ and his sacrifices. The ruler of this region eventually detained the priest and punished him according to his lessons, crucifying him on a cross. The priest succumbed to this treatment and his blood flowed into the ground below. When the ruler later returned to the cross, the priest had disappeared and in his place, a fruit had grown, its innards resembling the blood of the priest. And that’s how people get converted!

Mixer Mania #34: Nice Melons

Nice Melons.JPG

  • 2 oz Rum
  • Top with Watermelon Soda
  • Splash of Peach Juice
  • Dash of Lime/Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with Lime Wedge

There is also a legend of vampire watermelons (and pumpkins), but I’ll let you look into that yourselves…

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
For this recipe, I’ve subbed Watermelon Soda and Peach Juice in place of Watermelon and Peach Pieces, respectively. I also used the last of my Bear Hug Mango Rum to up the melon content and the result was very, very good. It may be a little sweet, but that can be evened out by Club Soda. The Watermelon Soda is nice on its own, reminding me of a 7-11 Slurpee.

Snack Time #33 – Ben & Jerry’s The Tonight Dough

As previously mentioned, Mrs. Sip has been really into ice cream throughout her pregnancy. Given her love of cookie dough, when we came across this Ben & Jerry’s product recently, I knew we’d be bringing a pint or two home with us.

The Tonight Dough is named in honour of Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show. It is constructed using caramel and chocolate ice creams, garnished with chocolate cookie swirls and balls of chocolate chip and peanut butter cookie doughs. The tasty treat is quite decadent.

Ben & Jerry_s The Tonight Dough

“The Tonight Dough is chock full of the stuff people love – a double-double flavor with two ice creams, two cookie doughs and a crunchy cookie swirl,” said Eric Fredette, a Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Guru and creator of The Tonight Dough. “It’s simply over the top!”

For his part, Fallon will donate all proceeds from The Tonight Dough to the SeriousFun Children’s Network, which helps kids with serious illnesses, as well as their families. Ice cream for charity… my kind of philanthropy!

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Sip Trips #114: All the Hits

Well, another busy week is in the books (I’m starting to sound like a broken record), with Mrs. Sip and I finding time to have as much fun as possible, while getting things as ready as possible for the arrival of our daughter, sometime in the next few weeks. Here’s what we got up to:

The week began with the Sip Alliance’s long-awaited return to Port Moody’s Brewer’s Row. Before arriving there, though, we had to first travel to Coquitlam’s Mariner Brewing, which had only opened days before and is the first of its kind in the city. With four beers on tap, I tried their Northeast IPA, which I found to be pretty tasty. The brewery promises much more to come in the future and their space and constellation theming are really good starts.

Brewery Water

Next up was Brewer’s Row, with stops at Yellow Dog, Twin Sails and Parkside breweries, where I had pints of their High Five Hazy IPA, Street Legal IPA and Motel Five-Hop Pale Ale, respectively. Sadly, we didn’t manage to get to Moody Ales before closing time, so we owe them a visit in the future. I love this area of four breweries packed within a five-minute walk of each other and the new Evergreen SkyTrain line makes heading out that way so much easier. We will be back again soon.

On Friday, we finally got around to hitting one of our favourite annual summer traditions: the Twilight Drive-In Theatre in Aldergrove. While no drinking was involved, it was a great start to the Labour Day long weekend, as the lineup included Cars 3, followed by Despicable Me 3. We only stayed for those first two movies, but in celebration of the drive-in’s 12th anniversary, they were playing four movies on both Friday and Saturday night. While we love our trips out there for movies outdoors and you can’t beat the price of $12.50 per person for the entire evening, this was the first line-up this summer that actually appealed to us. Perhaps bad movies in general are to blame.

The next day, we started with some relaxing pool time at Ma and Pa Sip’s place before returning to Vancouver to move some furniture. Following the move, we treated Ma and Pa Sip to dinner at The Parlour in Yaletown, which had come highly recommended to me. We were not disappointed, as the place has a good happy hour to go along with great service. Our pizzas (The Dirty and Roasted varieties) were very good and were enough for a group of four to be happily fed.

Fitness Whole Pizza

After dinner, Mrs. Sip and I attended the Rio Theatre for their presentation of Dysfunctional Disney Cabaret. The goal here, according to our host, was to completely f*ck up our childhood memories with Disney-themed burlesque acts. It was quite the entertaining show and I have to commend the Rio for having a jug of water available to patrons on this hot, hot day. One server even steered me away from buying bottled water, in favour of the cooler, which I did not know about.

Sunday began with another round of furniture buying and baby laundry loads, but the reward came with hitting Jimmy’s Taphouse for happy hour. This has always been one of my favourite happy hours in the city with a number of half priced menu items and cheap drink options. We enjoyed their poutine with chipotle drizzle and an order of hot wings, which really hit the spot. The spicy combo was washed down with the Phillips Solaris White Peach Ale and a shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey.

Why was I getting my shot game on? Because we had received complimentary ticket to the Lionel Richie-Mariah Carey All the Hits concert, as part of Mrs. Sip’s recent anniversary gift to me of Vancouver Canucks half-season tickets. This was the first time either of us had ever sat in the exclusive 500-level Club seats, which provided a bar and bathrooms to about 50 people. As for the show, Mariah Carey didn’t do Fantasy or Honey, which if I know them, must have been hits. That’s okay, though, as Lionel Richie was extremely entertaining. His Dancing on the Ceiling with all the lights and video effects was the highlight of the night.

Lionel Richie Hello

We wrapped the long weekend by celebrating Pa Sip’s birthday at The Keg. Sitting atop the restaurant’s rooftop patio was very relaxing and the service was top notch. I ordered their Keg Burger, which pales in comparison to their former Prime Rib Burger, which I mourn the loss of to this day. As for beverages, I imbibed with a Keg Size Watermelon Mojito and Keg Caesar, perfect accompaniments to my still decent entree. A slice of Billy Miner Pie to finish the meal was the perfect bow on an incredible weekend!

But the family celebrations weren’t done there. On Tuesday, after Pa Sip helped me move some more furniture, we had another dinner in his honour at the Old Spaghetti Factory in New West. I tried their Pot-Pourri Spaghetti with meat, mushroom and clam sauce options. Best of all, the meals come with bread, salad or soup and ice cream for dessert, so we left quite stuffed. My beverage of choice was the Cobblestone Lager, developed for the restaurant by Granville Island Brewing.

The coming week doesn’t have much on the schedule, so I may grasp the opportunity for some rest and relaxation. Following that, the Sip Advisor has a bachelor party, Vancouver Canucks pre-season opener, Sis-In-Law Sip’s birthday and much more on the docket… not to mention who knows when the baby will decide to arrive!

Beer of the Week #33 – Fuggles & Warlock Agent Orange IPA

The Sip Advisor loves Mandarin oranges, buying them by the bag and box when they are in season around Christmas. Fuggles & Warlock Brewing have managed to harness that deliciousness for this new beer release.

The Agent Orange IPA looks like a invigorating glass of orange juice when served, full of bold flavours. As the brewery writes: “What happens when you combine a crisp, refreshing IPA with Mandarin oranges? Magic!”

Fuggles & Warlock Agent Orange IPA

From Fuggles & Warlock’s Experimental IPA Series, the 5.8% ABV, 60 IBUs beverage is available in bomber-sized bottles at private liquor stores. Other experimental releases have included a Rye IPA and Wet Hop IPA.

I am due for a return to the brewery’s tasting room in Richmond. There, over a flight of beers on their awesome patio, I could finally avenge my cribbage loss to Mrs. Sip from last year. To the victor go the spoils!

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Mixer Mania #33 – Foaming at the Mouth

The Sip Advisor considers Egg Whites to be a hidden gem in the cocktail world, adding a thin layer of foam that is both pleasing to the eye and the taste buds. Perfect in various Sours and Fizzes drinks, here are some other amazing foam-like substances:

Bols Foam

When Mrs. Sip and I came across this line of cocktail foams in Germany, from the House of Bols, I knew I’d be picking one each of the two flavours they had available: Blue Curacao and Crème de Banana. According to Bols, the foam can hold for up to 15 minutes, with other varieties including Crème de Cassis, Amaretto, Peppermint and White Cacao.

Bols Foams

Crunchie Bar

There was a short time, as a wee little sipper, when this was my favourite chocolate bar. Made with a honeycomb center that is similar to Sea Foam Candy, the bar has a unique taste and texture. Add delicious Cadbury chocolate to the treat and you have the makings of a very good snack.

Foam Soap

Say goodbye to bars of soap forever! I love foam-based soaps, such as the ones sold at Bath & Body Works outlets across North America. With a variety of scents, it’s often hard to settle on a favourite, and their constant deals and promotions keep you coming back time and time again. Cleanliness is next to godliness, after all.

Foam Finger

Is there a better way to tell the world that your team is number one? If there is, the Sip Advisor hasn’t come across it yet. This iconic piece of sports memorabilia and history can still be found at stadiums and arenas to this day, with one variation extending the middle finger.

Foam Finger

Nerf Products

Growing up, in the late 80s and early 90s was amazing. Among the great fads I got to live through, included the Nerf revolution. Nerf lives on today, with a revival in their weapons arsenal and also the use of the company name when describing something that has been made easier for users, particularly video game levels.

Beer Head

While some people can’t stand the “head” that comes with a beer, it should be noted that a properly poured frosty beverage will have this and it is actually a good thing. The foam allows for the brew’s aroma to be released, adding another element to the drinking experience.

Mixer Mania #33: Clover Club Cocktail

Clover Club Cocktail.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Gin
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Raspberry Syrup
  • 1 Egg White
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wheel

What’s your favourite foam? Of course, I couldn’t include any scare foams, like frothing at the mouth because of rabies or some other ailment. No, sticking to the good foams was the better idea!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I decided to use some Raspberry Vodka, rather than Raspberry Syrup, as the only Raspberry Syrup I had on hand was of the Blue Raspberry variety. The drink was good, as you would expect from such a classic cocktail. Next time, though, I won’t alter the ingredients.