Fall Entertaining with Smucker’s

September30

With the arrival of autumn, our routine changes. Our travelling is done for another season and we no longer head out to the beach house every weekend. We re-establish our routine of Sunday dinners together as a family and we get caught on up the movie watching that we have missed since the previous Academy Awards. The guys are avid NFL fans so we also try to accommodate as much football viewing as possible. Sometimes when a Sunday afternoon game goes late, I have to whip up a quick nibble to hold us over until our designated supper time (they typically PVR the second game to watch after we are finished at the supper table). This is when having a variety of Smucker’s jams in the pantry comes in handy.

BeFunky_IMG_0457.jpg

Both these savoury little bites are perched upon a leaf, reminiscent of the change of season. The first is a green romaine leaf. A generous dollop of Smucker’s Blueberry Jam is smeared on the leaf and then a glorious whole clove of roasted garlic is rested on the jam. Toasted pine nuts and a sprig of earthy sage follow and the entire little boat is a potpourri of lusty flavours.

BeFunky_IMG_0459.jpg

A red leaf of radicchio is employed with the second bite. Complementing the claret colour of the leaf is a matching one from a smear of Smucker’s Raspberry Jam.  Creamy chèvre follows and then the surprising combination of dark chocolate chips and freshly ground black pepper. I first tasted raspberry, chocolate and pepper together at a now defunct Winnipeg restaurant called Victor’s where the young chef was not afraid to stretch our taste buds with exciting flavour combinations.

These are placed in front of my appreciative guys who have spent the afternoon in front of the big screen in the basement family room and need just a little something to tide them over until dinner time. I don’t join them as I am anxious to get back upstairs to visit with my girls but especially our granddaughter who has made the visit too.

Kath’s quote: “And the Quangle Wangle said to himself on the Crumpetty Tree,–‘Jam; and Jelly; and bread; Are the best of food for me!”-Edward Lear

Processed with Moldiv

Love-that is all.

Smucker’s Pairings for Fall Entertaining are a simple, easy way to create delicious food combinations with jam and other ingredients, designed to help you discover how fall flavours mingle together for mouth-watering results. Each pairing has 5 ingredients or less, and is ready in less than 15 minutes. Because with a name like Smucker’s, it has to be good.  For specific information on our jam flavours and varieties, please visit www.smuckers.ca.

Smuckers Logo

Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Smucker’s foods of Canada via Mode Media Canada.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Smucker’s Foods of Canada

Isla Mujeres 2014 Trip Report-Day 11, Part 2

September29

Autumn is officially upon us and although beautiful, I know what is on its way to the Canadian prairies.  To warm me up, I remembered that I still had a couple of Trip Reports to finish off.  

So, meanwhile back to my recounting of Day 11 on Isla…… If you recall, the gorgeous, clear day suddenly was interrupted with torrents of rain.  Since this was our last full day on Isla, we were undaunted and kept our plans for our progressive dinner in Centro.  This is often how we spend our last full day.  Not only were we trying to make every minute count but we were still trying to check every taste and locale off of our “must try” list.  So we donned our ponchos and headed out into the torrential rain.  The dollar store ponchos that we had packed from home worked well but not our leather shoes in the flooded streets. There was some intriguing action going on in Centro that day.  We walked by Hemingway’s which had closed messages taped all over it.  There were sniffer dogs and big burly guys with guns under their ponchos, helmets and masks.  It was like a scene from a movie, the likes of which we have never encountered back home in the centre of Canada.  But I was comforted that crime is appropriately dealt with on the island and that as long as we kept our own proverbial noses clean, we should never have to encounter such a scene. It was too early for dinner or even appetizers, so we made the rounds where our other family members were staying to say our good-byes.  Our first stop was my brother’s hotel Los Arcos right on Hidalgo.  They too have been coming to Isla for years and he and my beloved sister-in-law love being right in the heart of the action.  He pours an amazing rum and coke to which D gleefully accepted.  I imbibed in a glass of vino tinto and some chips and salsa (trying to be polite but knowing that I had hours of eating ahead).  Our second stop was on the south perimeter of the zocolo at Sister #3’s at Casa el Pio.  She too has her favourite spot where she has stayed, year after year.  More glasses of vino tinto were poured along with the island’s delicious potato chips and onion dip.

 day11-36day11-41  

After we departed, our progressive dinner began in earnest with a stop at our favourite spot at Bally Hoo (I was the only one in our entourage who hadn’t been) for fish and chips and mango margaritas.

day11-37

 day11-38

day11-40

day11-39   

At our next stop at Roca Mar we sat on the covered balcony for shrimp ceviche and Sols.

day11-44

J2’s Mom agreed to babysit the Wee One so that J2 could join us for the entrée course.

. day1121  

We loved everything about Abuelo’s including the brightly covered napkins that wrapped around the cervezas-a little touch that added some colour to the grey night.

day1122

J2 loved the pina coolada with fresh juices.

day1123  

The place is teeny but welcoming and cozy.

day1128  

We were amazed by the quality of the food that came out of the equally teeny kitchen.

day1124

D chose the whole red snapper and was blown away.

day1125

 J2 decided upon the seafood kabobs and was delighted that the fish was skewered with fresh whole strawberries.

  day1126

Abuelo means grandfather and the restaurant is aptly run by three generations.  We had heard not only how fabulous the food was but that it was lovingly presented.  Everything we heard was absolutely right.   Complimentary chocolate flan was delivered to us all for dessert -even me who hadn’t ordered an entrée.  We can’t wait to go back to Abuelo’s. We carried on with more vino tinto at Don Cheapo’s.

day1129

day11210  

We strolled up and down Hidalgo to help digest our supper and make room for another dessert!

day11212  

Our niece had been to the island in the New Year and her favourite spot was Café Hidalgo.

day11214

day11211

 day11215

Gorgeous crepes were lovingly created by a hippie lad who considered each plate a work of art.  J2 selected nutella, banana and real shredded coconut .  I chose the sugar and lime with strawberries and just whipped, cream.  We were so impressed with how homey the café was with books and games to help you pass a rainy day or if you were dining on your own.  Another spot that we will definitely go back to. By this time it was late, and if you recall, we had started the day hours ago in part one of this recounting.  J2 invited us to their balcony at Roca Mar to sip a Kahlua but in spite of our intent to fit extra minutes into our last full day, we had to admit that it was time to make the stroll home one last time.

Kath’s quote: “I am not a glutton — I am an explorer of food.”-Erma Bombeck

BeFunky_1471739_10151985687093596_1236754370_n.jpg

Love-that is all.

The Essence of a Bridal Shower

September17

shower13

At daughter Boo’s recent bridal shower, I learned during Sister #2’s toast, where bridal showers originated.  Supposedly there was a time when a community would gather round a new bride if her parents disapproved of the groom and did not present her with a dowry.  Such is not the case with Boo’s choice of husband as we love the Frenchman and cannot wait for him to join our family.  Although these origins seem a little punitive and unforgiving, I think that showers are wonderful occasions.  If you happen to live in my extended family you are doubly blessed because we have some extraordinary event planners in our midst.  As one of the attendees indicated: “Lovely afternoon- the love and care was palpable. I honestly don’t know more sincerely kind women than the 3 of you! Well spoken, articulate, amazing cooks and beautiful to add!”

shower22

Here are Sister #2 and #3 (I’ll remind you that I AM Sister #1).  Sister #2 on the right has a twin but it is not Sister #3, even though they look so much alike.  Brother #3 is her twin.

Sister #2 managed the food and Sister #3 the décor.  When you are careful planners and divvy up the work, an event like this flows like the love that was in the room.

shower2

shower4

shower5

Hot pink and orange were the colour choices.

shower21

Orange for the season and pink for femininity.  Guests were invited to make date suggestions and offer words of marriage wisdom to the bride and groom.  What a simple but fabulous idea.

shower8

Sister #3 was also responsible for the cupcake wedding dress that was as delicious as it was beautiful.

shower1

Old school quiche is such a convenient lunch entrée.  They can be made ahead and heated up or are equally delicious luke warm (just make sure that you keep them refrigerated up until serving time and then get left-overs back into the fridge).

shower3

Salad varieties were: orange and romaine, Chinese noodle and Greek quinoa.  We have someone who is highly nut allergic in our family so she was walked through the ingredient list in advance.

shower7

Other “Aunties” contributed the salads for lunch.

shower9

shower10

Sarah said these took four tries-but now she’s perfected them!

shower11

shower12

the bridal attendants baked desserts and then did a great job with the flow of gifts to be unwrapped, itemized and displayed.

shower14

Faces in the crowd.

shower20

My two Moms.  My first Mom on the left (almost ninety) and my 2nd Mom since I married her son over thirty years ago on the right (almost eighty).  Both Moms know how to cook, how to give good gifts, how to stay looking young and how to be as full of joy as life’s circumstances will allow.  They have taught me well.  And soon Boo will have two Mom’s (well three actually).  I have shared in her mothering with Sister #3 and as of next month, she will officially be mothered by the Frenchman’s Mom as well.  I love being your Mom, Boo.

Kath’s quote: “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”  ~Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally

BeFunky_74947_433858500021147_1925081827_n

Love-that is all.

 

 

 

 

Santorini Restaurant

September11

santorini1

We are extremely fortunate within our immediate circle of family and friends to travel the world.  As I write this a close friend is in Greece.  Social media allows us to travel vicariously through photos and updates. Lo and behold after gazing at your pictures-I had a hankering for Greek cuisine!  By coincidence, my friend is on the island of Santorini and Winnipeg has its very own restaurant by the same name: Santorini 1839 Portage Ave. in Old St. James

santorini3

The moussaka was my choice (an obvious one if you are familiar with my addiction to eggplant).  This traditionally prepared dish was exactly as I remembered from my brief time on the Greek Islands where I first tasted the dish.  Theo and her husband Dimitrios’ version contains spiced beef rather than ground lamb.  The eggplant has been beautifully sautéed and the layers of it and potato are richly satisfying.  The crowning glory was the luscious béchamel sauce layer.  I could eat the beautifully browned custard on top of any casserole you could name.

santorini4

Spanakopita is another of my Greek favourites.  My lunch date and I detected a from-scratch phyllo pastry.  The spinach, feta, onion and egg stuffing made the triangular pastry bulge.  I guessed that it might have been seasoned with a tinge of oregano and a squeeze of lemon.

santorini2

A vegetable soup, Greek potatoes and salad accompanied both dishes and created great value.  My lunch date must have been extremely disappointed when she forgot her leftovers in my car.  The tidy and airy surroundings are comfortable and Theo who waits on the tables herself, could not possibly be more inviting.

A couple of notes: There is Wheelchair access but not to the washrooms. Cash only.

Santorini Restaurant & Catering on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “That fellow Béchameil has all the luck!  I was serving breast of chicken á la crème more than 20 years before he was born, but I have never had the chance of giving my name to even the most modest sauce.”     -Duke of Escars, 17th century

terrace9

Love-that is all.

Cibo Waterfront Café

September9

Not often do I write about a restaurant visit where I have dined solo but this was the case for my visit to Cibo Waterfront Café.  I had so wanted to check it out that I suggested it to a friend of mine for a lunch rendezvous.  Unfortunately, those plans had to be postponed and in the confusion, turned out not to be set up at all.  But I thought “what the heck”, I was already there (in fact I had driven in from our little beach house that morning) so I perused the menu and decided what I would not have been able to order had my friend been there.  She is not food allergic but avoids carbs and dairy.  I try to avoid highly processed carbs as well but couldn’t resist the bruschetta platters that I had seen coming out of the kitchen.

cibo3

There are seven different choices and you are permitted to choose three of them for a platter.  My selections were: Buffalo mozzarella, tomato & basil, sautéed mushrooms & goat cheese and grilled veggies & Trappist cheese. The baguette tasted as if it had been flame toasted, just how I like it.

cibo4

The three selections complemented and yet contrasted each other. I especially enjoyed the mozzarella one as the toast was pungent with garlic, rich and creamy mozzarella and the tomato and basil added a sparkling taste.

cibo1

The river side café is beautifully situated in the ever-developing Waterfront area.  What was formerly the James St. pumping station is now home to the restaurant with its soaring ceilings and exposed brick walls.  There is a comfortable patio with river views and a deck which provides additional vistas of the water.

I did not know the specific location of the café and so walked through the Waterfront Park to find it.  The stroll was beautiful and I can see why so many people are moving into the area.

Cibo Waterfront Cafe on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Fish is meant to tempt as well as nourish, and everything that lives in water is seductive.”-Jean-Paul Aron

cherry9

Love-that is all.

 

 

« Older Entries