Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

Sushi Making Night


IMG_0259We recently had a sushi making party in our kitchen.  Our gang is sushi crazy and even though they have found affordable places to dine and special promotions on certain nights of the week, the cost still adds up when you are a) leaving for South Africa in a few days or b) getting married in two weeks.  Such is the case for our two youngest kids.  But instead of cancelling their night out, they went to Safeway and came home with $10 worth of veggies.  I already had the Norri, sushi rice and panko flakes at home.  Oh yea and we provided the libations as well.  $10 goes a very long way as there is a stack of rolls still in the fridge and a bowl of tempura veggies.IMG_0262

Well the tunes got cranked and they had as much fun making their supper as they would have had going out (they even did an admirable job of clean up).  Instead of getting hung up on certain recipes, they laid everything out and every made their favourite concoctions.  All were delicious but I was especially fond of the tempura yam roll.

For foodies (and a new generation of foodies), it’s the preparation, not just the dining that is fun.  We love to be invited over for dinner and asked to help out in the kitchen.  It is a great opportunity to learn new tricks and visit in a relaxing atmosphere.  My husband has come up with a great idea.  We are PVRing episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives which is one of our favourite shows on the Food Network.  Next time we invite friends over, we will pre-plan and have all the right ingredients purchased, then we’ll watch an episode with friends and then proceed to the kitchen to cook it all up.

Bistro 7 1/4


IMG_0286Bistro 7 1/4 is one of my favourite Winnipeg restaurants and I have been going there for years.  Usually it is at lunch with a business colleague.  Tonight was the first time that I had ever been for dinner.  It was also the first time that I went with my husband and the first time that I sat at the “bar” (which is the Chef’s cooking station near the front door of the restaurant).  One time when I was there in the summer, there was a miniature version of Chef Alex assisting in the preparations.  His son has his own Chef’s “whites” and seemed right at home.

I have not sampled very many things on the menu because I absolutely love the way they prepare moule & frites.  There are a half dozen choices but I always have the Pernod and fennel.  I have blathered on about the dish for so long that my husband ordered it as well.  IMG_0288He also wanted to sample a starter and so we also had a “gnudi”.  We had to ask what we were ordering and a gnudi is the Chef’s version of gnocchi but is lighter as it is prepared with ricotta cheese.  Our selection was mixed with corn, jalapenos, shrimp and a lime wedge, then topped with a sharp cheddar.  IMG_0289Before the starter a baguette that was finished in the oven and served hot and crunchy with a tomato pesto and butter and citrus salt arrived.

Everything was beautifully prepared and absolutley delicious.  The skinny french fries are perfectly salted and very close to the top of my best french fry list. IMG_0292 My husband and I were in Europe this fall and he had a big feed of mussels in Paris on our last night.  When he offered me a taste, I said “I know that you are going to have a hard time believing this, but these are a poor substitute for what we can have back home in Winnipeg”.  Tonight he agreed.

Last Dinner in Paris

Last Dinner in Paris

On one side of us at the bar sat a couple who I think ordered buffalo and it must have been very rich as the female took home almost her entire plate.  On the other side were two travellers-one from Toronto who was obviously a regular as the Chef remembered him from previous visits.  He says that he likes to sit at the bar when dining alone because he doesn’t feel like a schmutz.

The place is on the small side and was packed.  For an early Wednesday evening in January that is quite an accomplishment.

Bistro 7 1/4 on Urbanspoon

Christmas Dinner


IMG_0210Our dinner guests were the family of my future daughter in law.  We are long time friends and we are delighted that our families will soon be joined by marriage.  The Mom is American/Canadian and so is my husband so we decided to acknowledge these roots with a New England menu.  I made my tradition pull apart bread recipe but added cheddar cheese.  We served carrots tossed in maple syrup and candied ginger, creamed potatoes and gravy and a turkey stuffed with oyster dressing.  Mom (#2 we’ll say) brought along a green bean almondine casserole.IMG_0206
Here’s the stuffing recipe: combine 12 cups of stale bread with 1/2 lb. of crispy bacon, 1T minced garlic, 1 1/2 c celery slices, 1 T thyme and 2 t sage.  Chop up about a lb. of oysters (frozen or jarred).

Girl’s Night In


I threw an last minute cocktail party this weekend to honour my future daughter in law (as my son had been kidnapped and driven to Minneapolis for an NFL game).  Sister #3 shook up her famous Crantini’s and we also served sangria and red wine.

Skake One forIMG_0240 Me!

The theme was hearts and love and even the drinks matched the red and pink colour scheme.  We played a number of silly games like “What’s in the Bride’s purse?” and “Who is my celebrity crush?”.  Daughter #2 conducted these admirably and distributed all the love prizes that we had bought at Dollarama (the Valentine stuff was out).  We served these amazing shrimp along with warm brie, spanakopita, artichoke and asiago dip and teriyaki steak and Greek chicken (left over from our New Year’s Eve fondue).

I also made pesto stuffed mushrooms which were a big hit.  Here’s the recipe: Twist off the stems from 12 large mushrooms.  Place caps, stem side up on an ungreased baking sheet.  Combine 2/3 c pesto, 1/4 c Parmesan, 3 T breadcrumbs and the mushroom stems and zap in a blender.  Stir in 3 T pine nuts and fill the caps.  Top with 1/4 c shredded mozzarella and bake at 400 for 10 minutes or until filling is hot and cheese is melted.

You don’t need to focus on male body parts to have a fun bacelorlette party-focus on love instead!

Hu’s at Leon’s


There are a couple of Hu’s in Winnipeg and I was actually not in a hurry to try this venue. But I was very pleasantly surprized and happy that I did.  As an appetizer we had the Tuna garnished with panko flakes, green onions, ginger and a special soya sauce.  It was plated like a Christmas tree and I did not know if that was because it was December or if that is the usual plate design.  It was delectable to the eye and the taste buds.


Tuna Tree

Although the Korean Beef was way to hot for my liking, one of my lunch partners thought that it was perfect.  I enjoyed the noodles and the shrimp far more.   We also ordered a specially bottled Hu’s beer which had a taste of infused ginger-loved it!  The decor is gorgeous.  Give it a try….
Hu's Asian Bistro on Urbanspoon

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