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Though it's not quite Halloween yet, that end-of-the-year anxiety is already starting to rev up, with Christmas decorations slowly infiltrating stores.  Not ready yet? Time stops for no one.

Luckily, the folks at Circle Craft are throwing their annual Christmas Market again to help you get ahead of the crowds.  From November 7 to 11th, head on over to the Vancouver Convention Centre to whittle down that shopping list -- by December, you could well be laughing while the rest of us toil away!

Tickets to the Christmas Market are available online here, but for now we've got TWO tickets to GIVEAWAY. 

All you have to do is leave your name in the comments, and let us know what sort of feast you're looking forward to this holiday season. (Remember to leave your email address, because we can't get in touch with you otherwise.)

Contest ends at 11:59pm (Vancouver time) on Sunday, November 4th, 2012.  Good luck!

CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

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We admit it: we've been embarrassingly lacking when it comes to reviewing local (or regional) wines or brews.  To rectify, we've expanded our "Labelled" series over on Slop Press to include craft beer, of which BC has in abundance.

It's a simple premise.  We, like most people, judge a book by its cover, and a wine (and now beer) by its label.  And so we try to figure out what promises a particular label offers, what the wine/beer actually delivers, and then our conclusion on the harmony between the two.

To kick it off, we've got Parallel 49 Brewing Company's Schadenfreude and Howe Sound Brewing Company's Pumpkineater, some Tim Burton talk, creepy old nursery rhymes and an Anne Bancroft trailer.  

Check it out here.

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This crappy iPhone photo (sorry about that) is of Executive pastry chef Bruno Feldeisen from YEW restaurant + bar, pastry chef and chocolatier Thomas Haas of Thomas Haas Fine Chocolates & Patisserie, and Top Chef Canada competitor Curtis Luk from Fable, competing in last night's dessert duel at the Vancouver Home and Garden show. Who knew the show had such foodie content? Judging the duel were Caren McSherry and Rob Feenie, and it was fun to watch. 

At $15 a ticket, it's a pretty good bargain to see some sweet demos by some of our cities' most talented chefs. And, you know, the rest of the show. Hey, buy a fireplace while you're there why don't you. Here's this weekend's lineup:

Casual Classics
Savour Your Life Cooking Stage on Friday, October 12 at 1:30PM & 5PM*
Working with the finest local ingredients, Vancouver's own Chef Rob Feenie will demonstrate casual classics that are perfect for entertaining at home.

Irresistible Desserts
Savour Your Life Cooking Stage on Saturday, October 13 at 4PM*
Chocolatier Thomas Haas will demonstrate his techniques for working with local hazelnuts while dishing out samples and his secrets for achieving baking success.

Simply Sea-sational Sablefish Feast
Savour Your Life Cooking Stage on Friday, October 12 at 3PM; Sunday, October 14 at 11:30AM*
Chef Ned Bell will share his tips for sourcing and working with local, seasonal ingredients, with a focus on BC's top sustainable seafood and sablefish.

Romantic Desserts with YEW
Savour Your Life Cooking Stage on Sunday, October 14 at 4PM*
Chef Bruno Feldeisen will share his secrets for ending any occasion on a sweet note, thanks to a selection of fabulous and fool-proof desserts made with total ease.

The Best of Brunch: A Modern Classic
Savour Your Life Cooking Stage on Sunday, October 14 at 1PM*
Chef Quang Dang will take brunch from classic to ultra-modern, complete with farm-fresh eggs, local ingredients and his signature contemporary flair.

Fabulous Farm-to-Table with Fable
Savour Your Life Cooking Stage on Saturday, October 13 at 2PM; Sunday, October 14 at 2:30PM*
The Top Chef Canada contenders (Trevor Bird & Chef Curtis Luk) will tell their top tales from the competition while creating Fable's most popular dishes, all bursting with farm-to-table flavours.
 
Vancouver's Home and Garden Show
BC Place Stadium
777 Expo Boulevard


Jessica