All posts by Mojgan Fay

What New Westminster inspires me to eat

Photo: Juli Shannon via Flickr

Photo: Juli Shannon via Flickr

Lately I’ve been thinking about how my surroundings inspire my food choices. Reading my way through the Canada Reads books inspired a date with bacon ice cream, a rise in my comfort food intake, and delight in a layered chocolate torte! But what about where we live? What effect does our city have on our food choices?

My career started in downtown Vancouver in a tall building surrounded by sushi and Asian fusion restaurants. Lunch of choice: sushi most days. It’s clean (no chance of soup slippage on your suit), and is fast to eat. Plus, it looks fashionable! It’s a nice ensemble of different colours and shapes wrapped in a black suit of seaweed – somewhat resembling my corporate ensemble.

Or, a loopy salad for the days you need a break from soy sauce. I say loopy because salad bars abound in Vancouver and the kinds of toppings you can put on your salad make bacon ice cream sound quite normal.

So what happened when I started working in New Westminster?

The first thing I noticed about New Westminster is how much it is a “home.” The inclusive community included an array of late afternoon pies, and local and family run restaurants and cafes. Suddenly I found my lunch of choice shifting towards paninis, real hearty foods, and it-looks -like-your-mother-made-it concoctions.

Sometimes I look at paninis filled with freshly colourful vegetables and wonder: how am I going to eat this? Luckily we have panini presses, and although the vegetables add height, it is great to know that as much as possible they are locally sourced and put together with high quality ingredients.

Some of my favourite haunts are La Rustica and La Lorraine providing a perfect ambiance for office meetings and business lunches. The quiet atmosphere combined with an assortment of freshly made pastas, seafood, and sauces might just be what you need to seal that all important deal.   For a working lunch that’s in a relaxing atmosphere I like The Hide Out Cafe. Computer stations and wireless Internet make sure that you stay connected, while delicious paninis and soups and relaxing music make your connectivity stress free.

You may not have to look far to find what the answer to your lunch cravings — just look at your city.

What are your thoughts? How do you think your city is influencing your food choices?

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New Westminster is funky fashionable

Yellow tights, architectural shoes, and exploding drop earrings might just be the continuous run of New York fashion week, but when it comes to eye glasses that make a statement, you don’t have to go further than New Westminster.

Brilliantly innovative, local designer Traff Green’s designs, Reflections by Traff, are a unique medley of hand-picked colours to show skin tones at their best!   The carefully contoured and connected shapes of his designs will match any face shape and eyes.

The result?

Bold, impactful eye glasses for the everyday woman. And with limited edition designs you can be sure to be the only one who will be wearing the chic, funky, sultry, and cheeky all assembled into one piece – sure to be the buzzy notice of any fashion week!

As for me, I think some have a shoe collection, some have every DVD that comes out, and I have a collection of eye glasses matching my different outfits and feathery hair accessories (maybe even birds?). I’m glad that I can contribute to my local art community while fulfilling my eye glass cravings.

One pair of Mojgan's funky eyeglasses

One pair of Mojgan's funky eyeglasses

Watch for Traff’s latest collection at the many stores that carry his line (found on his website), or make an appointment to see him at his studio. Either way, you will be pleased with the experience of purchasing your new eye glasses and the compliments that you will receive afterwards.

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The ultimate lemon meringue pie

Lemon Meringue Pie Again
Image by ♥ he@rt ♥ via Flickr

This is a guest post by Mojgan Fay, who waxes rhapsodic about pie, chocolate and all things sweet. You can find her on Twitter posting as @somethinglemon. As you will see from the post below, she’s also a fan of the citrus!

This leading citrus assembly offers more than an appealing colour, odour, and flavour. It is a staple of summertime picnics and intimate wintertime gatherings. The cool brightly yellow lemon filling with the soft sugary meringue goodness is a perfect compliment to your afternoon tea. This lemon meringue pie can be found at Couzie’s Cafe and Catering on 619 Belmont Street in New Westminster.

I must admit that for me nothing compares to the coziness that’s created by sipping tea with friends and savouring a slice of something lemon. Couzie’s not only makes the best lemon pie there is — freshly made from a family recipe — but also provides a warm and welcoming ambiance, with art-covered walls, perfect for that all-important business lunch meeting, the family Sunday morning brunch, or simply for an afternoon dessert and tea/coffee medley.

Couzie's Cafe and Catering on UrbanspoonJoan Couzelis, owner of Couzie’s and resident of New Westminster, had a vision to make “real food for real people”, and this family affair has definitely reached this goal. Couzie’s offers a collection of paninis served on bread that’s baked daily in the cafe, amongst dessert pies, meat pies, cabbage rolls, soups, and salads. But food isn’t the only thing Joan is passionate about. She consistently contributes to her community. The staff save dimes, nickels, and pennies from their tips and donate that money to local charities and causes.

So the next time you have a craving for something lemon, check out Couzie’s and you just might be hooked.

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