2016 Confessional

May3

I am writing furiously so that I do not chicken out. I am once again sharing with you my readers, so that I can be held accountable. The issue is this: my blood sugar is in the high normal range and I have seen the way diabetes has tragically altered my Mom’s life in so many ways.

Even though she is 89 and has survived two cancers, it is the diabetes that has caused  lasting debilitation. She has been wheel chair confined for quite some time now and when the lift in her personal care home broke down, they indicated that they would no longer be able to get her to the washroom, so you know the rest…… She tries hard to exercise her independence but she is totally reliant on others for her care.

I asked my nurse practitioner if losing some weight would help the blood sugar thing and she replied with a resounding “yes”! So today is Day One and I will “weigh” in with you in a week or so and share some of my new found recipes along the way.

I have considered Weight Watchers as I was very successful on the program between our first and second baby. But the truth is, I know exactly what I need to do without spending money on a program. I need to eat less, and when I do eat, it needs to be the right choices. It is pretty clear to me.

Here is a small triumph from Day One: I have a torn meniscus and have spent the day in waiting rooms, seeing doctors, getting x rays and prescriptions. When our kids were young, I always let them have a treat of potato chips after a dentist or doctor’s appointment. While I was killing time at Rexall waiting for a topical cream prescription to be filled, I spied the chip aisle. Although I was tempted by a big bag of my favourite kettle chips, I resorted to a healthy snack. My appointments meant that I had not eaten any lunch, so it hit the spot. The snack was mostly air but had some crunch and some salt which are the two sensations that I cannot do without.

So feel free to come along my friends as I take you on another food journey.

Kath’s quote: “I have a great diet. You’re allowed to eat anything you want, but you must eat it with naked fat people.” ~Ed Bluestone

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Love never fails.

 

 

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First Patio Dinner of 2016

May2

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When spring has truly arrived (meaning it is not 30 degrees above or below, but a lovely 18 degrees), Winnipeggers like my family and me make the most of it. This weekend I worked in the garden and read in a comfy lounge chair. But the very first event that officially kicks off the season is our first patio dinner.

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Boo and the Wee One

Our baby, known as Boo in this space is now 25 years old! Last night we went around the table (as is our tradition) to tell the birthday celebrant what we love and appreciate about them. Boo’s list is especially long as she has a tender heart for the entire world! What better place to celebrate her birthday and spring but on the Garry St. patio where her Daddy and I first met.

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We commenced with spring beverages-beers for the guys and sangria for the girls. (Not stereo typing here because all of the girls love their beer but the sangria was just too good to resist.)

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In fact once I finished my glass, I ordered a pitcher.

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We started with Baked Brie and a couple of orders of Tuna Tartar-both fabulous. I like my tuna with a big squeeze of lime as it reminds me of our time in Mexico. We requested a second batch of crostini for the brie as we all are crazy about the dish. Even the Wee One scooped up her fair share but not with a cracker, with her finger!

Casual Meals and some sharing happened next.

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I missed photos of Tuna Tacos and Prime Rib Sliders. Patio season just screams burgers so I indulged in this enormous one.

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One of our favourites-Pistachio Crusted Salmon was one of the shares. It was ordered with asparagus instead of the brussel sprouts for J2 who is nursing our newest granddaughter.

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This blue cheese topped sirloin was also a hit especially when accompanied by a warm quinoa salad.

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The Keg’s traditional treat of serving complimentary Billy Miner Pie (with a whole bunch of spoons) was much appreciated except that the birthday girl’s favourite is cheesecake.

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So we had to share a piece of that too.

We think that The Keg is the perfect place for a family celebration as it takes care of the littlest ones with a kid’s plate to tie them over and then a children’s meal of chicken fingers and fries complete with the Wee One’s favourite of chocolate milk.

We loved celebrating spring, family and especially the 1/4 century of our baby girl!

The Keg Steakhouse + Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “Our family-the people you live for, laugh with and love; those who continually show up, stay up and make up, who make you glad you never gave up.” -Unknown

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

 

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Chef Charlie Palmer

April27

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D and I love everything about New York-the parks, the galleries, the restaurants and especially the people. So it was no surprise to me that New York Chef Charlie Palmer was the real deal. In spite of his culinary pedigree and I am guessing substantial wealth, he was as approachable and personable as the many hometown chefs that I have come to know.

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I was flattered by the last minute suggestion that I attend a soiree at Kitchen Sync, but really didn’t realize the magnitude of the invite. Sister #3 did though, she knew that Chef Palmer had been awarded numerous Michelin stars, the titles of his cookbooks and had seen many of his appearances on NBC’s Today Show.

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I loved watching him pull just roasted lamb chops out of the oven, spoon a savoury sauce over them and then, in one fell swoop, make small talk with the foodies, autograph cookbooks and pose for photos.

I am not usually inclined towards lamb but Chef Palmer has made me a recent convert. I noticed that there are two lamb recipes in his American Fare cookbook which has been recently added to my personal collection. I look forward to trying them out along with numerous other delectable looking recipes.

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Friend Chrissy Troy of Virgin Radio chatting with Chef Palmer

My life is often filled with lovely surprizes like a last minute invite to meet a Michelin chef.

Kath’s quote: “We take those things and kind of upgrade them. Give them a little twist, a little finesse, but it still has those flavors and those textures that people identify from their childhood.”-Charlie Palmer

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Ripe Bistro

April21

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An anonymous reader of my Canstar column recently recommended that I visit Ripe Bistro. We have been long time fans of restaurants at this location beginning with Gluttons and then Mise. We were more than happy to have an excuse to visit, but it was a Saturday night and we did not have a reservation. Every dining seat was spoken for, so we happily perched ourselves at the bar top. When head chef/owner Tom Pitt made an appearance behind the bar, I recognized him from his days as a Culinary Instructor at RRC and my husband remembered him from an even earlier time when they both worked at the St. Charles under the tutelage of Chef Takashi “Tony” Murakami.

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Ripe’s extensive menu is divided into sections titled: “the beginnings”, “the middles”, “the in-betweens” and “the final decision”. We obediently started at the beginning and ordered a Seafood Trio of Sliders. We enjoyed nibbles of scallops, salmon and shrimp and couldn’t help but compare thoughts on each taste. The scallops were smothered with lime mayo and had the mildest taste. The salmon with a charred green onion aioli was the boldest flavour but our favourite was the shrimp with a sweet chili sauce. All three were placed into sliced mini bannock buns. They tasted to us like tiny baking powder biscuits and we loved them.

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Forging on, we next chose Chicken & Waffles from “the middles” list. Typically this recipe utilizes an enormous piece of fried chicken so we were pleased that Ripe’s version was with lightly dusted chicken tenders atop a savoury waffle. We got a kick (literally) out of the wheels of jalapeño and the siracha maple syrup that accompanied the dish.

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This dish was accompanied by latke fries which were fabulous!

We were bound and determined to move to “the in-betweens” section of the menu to order something else to share but we just didn’t have enough space in our tummies. So we have vowed to finish our tour of the menu sometime soon.

Meagan our server indicated that she was new to the restaurant but we could not tell that she was a rookie. With her easy manner and personable service we would never have guessed.

Ripe Bistro & Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “The best comfort food will always be greens, cornbread, and fried chicken”. -Maya Angelou

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Love never fails.

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Canadian Health Food Association makes Winnipeg Appearance

April15

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I recently had the opportunity to accompany Michelle Book to her guest appearances on the Global and CTV morning shows. I was responsible for providing some props including a variety of healthy products which I acquired at The Vita-Health store, a place I had never been.

Michelle is the Canadian Health Food Associations’ in-house holistic nutritionist and she has recently developed a “Natural Guide to Workplace Wellness”. I was all ears as I often experience a three o’clock slump when I bypass the fruit bowl and start snooping through the kitchen cupboards in search of some kind of snack.

This is what I learned today:

You can punch up productivity with omega-3 fatty acids , vitamain D to lift your mood and help improve problem solving abilities in addition to B vitamins which ensure proper and faster nerve-impulse transmission.

Pro-biotic supplements have been shown to help brain health by reducing anxiety and stress. Fruits and vegetables including avocadoes, baked potatoes and bananas are also rich in vitamin B, which can help to ease psychological stress since it’s used to make serotonin.

Have you heard about walking meetings? Or thought about swapping your chair for an exercise ball?

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Set a timer on your computer/phone that reminds you to take three deep breaths and try starting and ending the work day with three things you are grateful for.

Complex carbs like beans and legumes are packed with fibre that slows and stabilizes absorption, giving you a steady supply of glucose for the brain without the risks of sugar spikes associated with subsequent crashes. Some studes even show that when stress prone individuals are subjected to stress, they fare better eating a high-carbohydrate diet versus a high-protein diet.

I  was up at 5 this morning and because of my early alarm I didn’t sleep terribly well. I was very tempted to have a nap this afternoon but instead, I went to the gym and came home energized and raring to go.

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When I got home I snacked on Hippie Snacks-Coconut Chips and Go Raw’s Ginger Snaps which were left over from our appearances. Both were absolutely delicious and I didn’t feel sluggish from the treat.

Kath’s quotes, I found it when I searched for “hippie quotes”: “Love is a friendship set to music”. ~Joseph Campbell

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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