Food Musings

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

Easy Breezy Chicken recipes


There was a time in our home when hamburger was always in the freezer and therefore always on hand for last minute dinner options.  We  are  less inclined towards ground beef these days but always seem to have chicken breasts either in the freezer or left over in the fridge.

Here are some suggestions with what you likely already have in your fridge or cupboard:

Baked “Nacho” Chicken

Place 4 small chicken breasts on a foil lined cookie sheet, top each with a smear of salsa (1/2 c in total)-substitute with spaghetti sauce if you’re in a pinch.  Bake 15 mins. at 400 degrees.   Remove and top with ½ c crushed taco chips and ½ c shredded spicy cheese (any jalapeño or pepper variety).  Return to oven for another 5 mins or until cheese is melted.  Top with sour cream if desired and serve with a Mexican style rice.

Sesame Chicken Toss

Use leftover chicken cut into strips or cook 2 breasts and cut into strips.  Cook 300 g of spaghetti in a large saucepan until el dente adding 1 c of snow peas (fresh or frozen) to the water in the last 30 seconds (frozen green beans will also work).  Drain and retain ¼ c of the water.  Mix 2 T of peanut butter, 1 T of soya sauce and ¼ c of a sesame dressing (or any other Asian style dressing); gradually stir in the reserved water.  Toss together the above ingredients with 1 sautéed red pepper cut into strips, 1 c of sautéed slivered carrots and 3 green onions cut on the diagonal.  Top with 2 T chopped peanuts.

Kath’s quote:  ‘Is this chicken, what I have, or is this fish? I know it’s tuna, but it says ‘Chicken of the Sea.’ “-Jessica Simpson


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Sister #3 Isla Mujeres (Part 4-Fresh Seafood)

“Many of our meals on Isla are fresh fish. The Gulf of Mexico side of the island is lined with tiny fishing boats and the daily catch is available at a variety of “Cocktelerias” that line the waterfront. Fish being so abundant means that the fresh is super fresh and really cheap.
Almond Crusted Fish at Cockteleria Justica Social

Almond Crusted Fish at Cockteleria Justica Social

 Coconut Shrimp


4 cups sweetened shredded coconut (10 oz)
1 cup flour 3/4 cup beer
3/4 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg 6 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 lbs of shrimp (I like to use the largest I can find)


Coconut shrimp at Miramar

Coconut shrimp at Miramar


Rinse shrimp under cold running water, blot dry with paper towel. I like to ensure that the slit down the back of the shrimp is nice and deep to add to the butterfly for this dish. Pour some coconut into a pie plate. Whisk together flour, beer, baking soda, salt and egg and mix until smooth. Heat oil in a deep heavy pot until it register 350ºF. While oil is heating, hold each shrimp by the tail and dip into batter, letting the excess drip off. Dredge in coconut, I like to press the shrimp cut side down into the coconut to increase the butterfly. Transfer to a plate and repeat for each shrimp. You will need to discard your coconut as it becomes clumped with excess egg and start with fresh coconut. I always seem to need more coconut than I expected to use. Place batches of the shrimp into the hot oil and fry until golden. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel to remove excess oil.

Serves more than you can possibly eat but if you’re going to the trouble to make them why not make lots.”

Kath’s quote: “Do not overcook this dish. Most seafoods…should be simply threatened with heat and then celebrated with joy.” –Jeff Smith (The Frugal Gourmet)


Tradition, tradition! (Part 3)


Thank you to my patient readers, this is the last entry about our traditional Easter celebrations.  We have a group of friends that have been getting together for an Easter Feast for over a decade.  It started when Connie (our  transplanted Sicilian friend) remarked that she was missing her families’ celebration that year and so we decided to create an traditional Italian Easter celebration of our own. Connie and Roger are visiting from Castellammare del Golfo right now and so the timing was perfect.

Connie and I in her home town

Connie and I in her home town

Connie assembled the antipasto.  Three Italian meats, provolone cheese, olives, marinated veggies and spicy eggplant.  She picked everything up at Sobey’s and was very pleased with their selection and quality.


Next course was Judy’s Caprese salad, topped with a light shake of olive oil from C&R’s own olive trees back home.  This was accompanied by Connie’s stuffed sun dried tomatoes-a recipe that she taught me when we visited them in Sicily. In addition, delicious and authentic breads purchased at De Luca’s (that were contributed by another attendee) were served. 


The meat course was Italian sausages that I brown and then roasted with tri-coloured peppers and a roasted herb chicken that we have called “Ruth’s” Chicken since she shared the recipe with me 20 years ago.  Roasted potatoes and yams with a drizzle of truffle oil and yellow and green beans sauteed with toasted pine nuts, accompanied the meats.


The person who was to have brought the salad course, which was to have been served next, couldn’t make it and so “uncleansed”, we ate on.  Gina contributed a decadent tiramisu that she purchased at La Grotta and Connie had brought a special cake from Sicily –Il Panettone Grandorato.  Jamie brought a platter of fruit to accompany the sweets and Doug put on the tea and espresso.

Kath’s quote: “Food is not about impressing people. It’s about making them feel comfortable.”-Ina Garten


Tradition, tradition! (Part 2)


Saturday of Easter weekend we went to another service where we rang bells and noisemakers at an appointed time.  It was like New Year’s Eve but even more fun because we celebrated many times not just once at midnight. 

My family assembled for dinner before the service and we walked over to church together.  I prepared all the items in advance and assembled them to go into the oven when the baked ham came out for a “rest”.


Doug did a superb job of the ham.


This was accompanied by  a mandarin/almond salad which I veggied up red onion, red pepper  and sprigs of fresh cilantro. P1010059

We also  had cheesy scallop potatoes, sweet potatoes tossed in honey, green beans topped with crispy onion rings and herb pull-apart loaf. P1010053

For my new daughter-in-law I prepared one of her families’ traditions when ham is served-hot curried fruit ( I used pineapple, peaches and mangoes). 

I also made this hot mustard sauce to go with the ham:

Whisk together 1 T of flour with 3/4 c sugar and 1 T dry mustard.  In a separate bowl, blend 2 egg yolks with 1 c milk.  Whisk the contents of the two bowls together and then whisk in 1/2 c tarragon vinegar.  Transfer to saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking the entire time, then reduce and simmer until desired thickness.P1010057

It was a wonderful weekend and we created some new traditions.

“I do not green eggs and ham.  I do not like them Sam I am.”-Dr. Seussimages

Tradition, tradition! (Part 1)



At Easter we always start the long weekend by attending a Seder supper on Thursday night.  It is an evening steeped in tradition and the consumption of ancient, symbolic foods.  The first item was the karpas -greens illustrating life dipped into salt water representing the tears of life.    Horseradish follows which is a reminder of the mortar of the bricks that the Israelites made for Pharaoh.  The hagigah is a brown egg which represents burnt offerings.  Lastly was the zeroah -a lamb shank bone, a symbol of the first passover lambs.   

We did get to eat “real” food as well and this year it was lovingly prepared by our youth leader and her husband. 


We also symbolically spilled our red wine- a drop for each of 10 plaques as they are recited.



The unleavened bread called matzahs, which are made with stripes and piercings, are wrapped in a special cloth  called a matzah tosh which has three pouches.

Afterwards, we ascend to the sanctuary which has been stripped of all adornment, reciting psalms as we climb the stairs.  Scripture is read in the darkness, of Jesus in the garden, then the book is slammed shut and we leave in silence.

Kath’s quote: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son” –John 3:16


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