Birthday Escape To Victoria – Part 3

Alternate title – Get Your Drink On

More fun was to be had on the weekend, after my excellent birthday dinner out at Veneto. Saturday morning I managed to not sleep in too late (probably due to the insane heat wave), and was served up a nice breakfast of French toast and bacon.

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With some green juice that I ran up to the store to get.

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We didn’t really have any plans for the day, so we decided (or I decided, cuz it was birthday week) to head downtown for some window shopping. I slathered on the sunscreen and we were out the door to brave the heat. Many stores were wandered in and out of, but little was purchased. Eventually we stopped for some rehydration at good ol’ Starbucks.

Iced green tea latte with a side of Chinatown.


More shopping ensued. I picked up a bottle of wine to take to a BBQ we were going to later on.


Foch-éh, a 2009 Foch from Averill Creek Vineyard, located just outside of Duncan, BC. (There’s a really good review of the wine here.)


I’ll be honest – I was drawn to the wine simply because of the name. If you’ve checked out my Twitter, you’ll know that my twitter name is @fache79Fâché is a nickname I’ve had for years. It’s a long story. Anyways, liked that the wine was almost my nickname, so I had to get it. Plus it’s local. Even better!

Speaking of wine – we made a stop at the Cactus Club for a drink and a bite to eat in the afternoon.


I think it’s pretty obvious which one is mine.


I wasn’t really sure what I wanted, but when I saw sangria was on special, I went with that. It was chocked full of raspberries and strawberries. Very refreshing.

We took dorky pictures with out drinks.



And got an order of sweet potato fries with garlic aioli to share.


A perfect pit stop while out and about downtown.

Finally it was time to head back and get ready for the BBQ, not before stopping to get something to throw on the grill. I went with prawn skewers, while Marty grabbed a big ol’ T-bone steak.

I have no picture of the actual BBQ, but know that the food was good, my whole bottle of wine was consumed (by me), and Rock Band was played. Oh, and I may have brought along a little dessert.

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In between all the fun I was having, I managed to put together what I call Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Pie – aka Nutella Pie. Okay, so it wasn’t 100% raw, simply due to the ingredients available to me. It’s psuedo raw. Let’s say 75%. But I didn’t have to use an oven, and you could easily use all raw ingredients if you have them. Whatever you want to call it, it’s freakin’ awesome. And in the end, that’s all that really matters, right?  



Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Pie

Serves 8

An indulgent, chocolately pie reminiscent of a certain breakfast spread. Perfect for hot summer days when you don’t want to turn on the oven. Great for those with dairy or soy allergies. And no one will know there’s avocado in there…unless you let them in on the secret.



  • 1 1/2 cups raw hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2/3 – 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 – 3 tbsp maple syrup (use raw honey, agave, or pitted dates to keep truly raw)
  • hazelnuts, for decoration


1. Pulse hazelnuts and cashews in food processor until almost fine. You want texture, but no big chunks.


2. Add dates, vanilla, and salt. Pulse until it starts to come together as a “dough”.


3. Press crust into a 9 inch shallow pie pan, preferably without fluted edges (as it will make the pie hard to serve later on).


4. Combine banana, avocado, cocoa powder and vanilla in a food processor, blender or bowl. Blend away with your blending tool of choice. I used a hand blender and bowl. Sweeten with maple syrup if necessary (will depend on the ripeness of your bananas, and your affinity for bitter chocolate).

5. Spoon into crust, top with hazelnuts, and refrigerate for several hours, allowing filling to firm up.

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Note – to make the pie easier to serve, you can lightly oil the pie plate, and dust with cocoa powder. I recommend using a pie server to get the slices out of the pan. Also, the filling won’t keep more than a day or two. 

Part 4 of my weekend in Victoria soon to come!

Tags: , , , , ,

Categories: Birthday, Breakfast, Dessert, Drink, Getaway, Recipe


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8 Comments on “Birthday Escape To Victoria – Part 3”

  1. August 19, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    Few food combinations make my mouth water like chocolate and hazelnut. This sounds delicious–and far more nutritious than Nutella!

  2. August 19, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    OMG that looks delicious, even though I don’t even like nutella. but chocolate in a pie form can’t go wrong! yummy.

  3. August 19, 2010 at 10:33 pm #

    Can you believe the first weekend that I was here and in Victoria it rained. I’m going back this weekend and it’s supposed to rain again. Looks like you had the only good weekend! lol 🙂

  4. August 20, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    Holy pie! Wish I had a piece right now!

  5. September 23, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    What did you think of that wine?


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