Food Musings

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

Frenchway by Olivier


We made a happy discovery this weekend-we were out of coffee and so headed to a local cafe for a cup.  We’ve noticed that The Frenchway Cafe in our neighbourhood is always bustling and a reader commented here that their breakfasts are exceptionally good.

Typical of our enthusiasm to experience new places, our cup of coffee turned into selections from the bakery counter-bread pudding and a cinnamon bun which were both exceptional.

When we glanced at the menu (for another day) we couldn’t resist and ended up ordering breakfast.  At least we had the restraint to share.  Perfectly cooked eggs, grilled sausage and freshly sauteed potatoes-yum.  Next to us, a European woman ordered a soft cooked egg in an egg cup and across the cozy room we saw the french toast come out of the kitchen,  looking as if they were topped with strawberries.

We met young Alix, blog author of and exceptional Pastry Chef  trained at the Cordon Bleu in Ottawa.

D and I sat side by side as we did for many meals during our memorable time in Paris together.  And for a moment on a rainy Saturday morning in May, Paris did not seem that far away.
Frenchway on Urbanspoon
Kath’s quote: “I compare a pastrycook who makes good colifichets to a distinguished fashion designer, endowed with perfect taste, who can make charming things with very little material. In the same way, out of almost insignificant scraps of pastry, we have to create pleasing and graceful things that also tempt the appetite.”-Antonin Careme (Marie-Antoine Careme) (1783-1833)

Medieval Practice


We had a small going away dinner for a house guest of ours this week.  We have planned ahead for his return in the fall when we are going to stage a medieval feast (hopefully on the back lawn).  For dinner this week I started researching and recipe testing.


Cormoraye -pork loin roasted on a spit and basted with a mixture of 1 1/2 t coriander, 1 1/2 t caraway, 1/2 t pepper, 1/2 t salt, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 2 c of red wine and 1 c of beef broth.  The drippings were to have been strained and then simmered to serve the sauce alongside the sliced loin but there were no drippings in the bottom of our pan.

Salat of Apples & Onions-combine 2 medium mac apples with skin on, cut into small cubes, 1/2 med sweet onion, finely chopped, 1 T olive oil, 1/2 t pepper and 1 t red wine vinegar (I substituted balsamic and used a tad more).  Let sit to blend flavours.

Chopped Spinach-cook 5-6 strips of sliced bacon until crispy, set aside.  Pour out most of the drippings then reheat and add 1 package of drained chopped spinach, 1/8 c milk , bring to a simmer. Add 1/8 c crumbled cheese (feta would have been good but I used asiago), stir and place in a bowl.  Top with crumbled bacon.

I also roasted baby potatoes and red peppers, artichokes and mushrooms to serve along side with an unleavened bread.  We listened to Sting’s Songs from the Labyrinth CD and washed it all down with beer and wine. 

Kath’s quote: “May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you
In the palm of his hand.”

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Pumpkin Ravioli with Toasted Macadamia Nuts



The three sisters decided that it would likely be best to start Mom’s cocktail party off with a heartier appetizer and so I was on deck to prepare this first plate.  As you will see below, the pasta is actually a wonton noodle (which I still have mounds of in my freezer) making it even more simple and convenient.

1 c canned pumpkin

1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese

1/4  t salt

1/8  t black pepper

24 wonton wrappers

1 t salt

1 1/2 T butter

1/2 c toasted macadamia nuts (or fav sub)


Combine 1 c pumpkin, 1/3 c Parmesan, 1/4 t salt, and 1/8 t black pepper. Spoon about 2 t pumpkin mixture into center of each wonton wrapper. Moisten edges of dough with water; bring 2 opposite sides together to form a triangle, pinching edges to seal. Place ravioli into a large saucepan of boiling water with 1 teaspoon salt; cook 7 minutes, and drain in a colander. Place 1 1/2 T butter in pan; bring to a boil.  Add nuts, ravioli, tossing to coat.  Sprinkle with chopped sage or parsley if desired.

Kath’s quote: “Never allow butter, soup or other food to remain on your whiskers. Use the napkin frequently.”-Hill’s Manual of Social and Business Forms: Etiquette of the Table (1880)


Chicken Mango Pasta Salad


The last time we had the young family group over, it was nice enough to have supper in the backyard.  I wanted to make a one-bowl supper so that it would be easy to transport outside and in case we did not all fit around the dinner  table.


I decided upon a chicken/mango/pasta salad and started with some tricoloured peppers and added tri-colour rotini, red onion, corn, black olive slices, mango pieces and a half a bunch of chopped cilantro.  D grilled the boneless chicken breasts in a rub of brown sugar, salt, red pepper, onion, garlic, molasses and powdered mango aka as Clubhouse Chipolte Mango seasoning.


The basic dressing was: 1/4 cup fresh lime juice,1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp honey  and one garlic clove, peeled and minced but I had to increase the volume to accommodate the gang.


P51401851_editedI also tried making cornbread in the bread maker again.  This time was more successful by modifying my B&D recipe to 1 egg +water to 1 1/2 c, 2 T powdered milk, 2 T olive oil, 2 T honey, 1 1/2 t salt, 2 t yeast, 2 1/2 c flour zand 1 1/2 c cornmeal.  When it came out of the mixing stage I punched it down like a flatbread then let it rise again.  When it had baked about 20 mins at 375, I removed the loaf and covered it with grated Oxaca cheese.

Kath’s quote: “If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony.”-Fernand Point (1897-1955)


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May Long


May long was an eating extravanganza starting on Friday night when J&J made grilled Italian sausage and tri-pepper spaghetti.  Later that evening at the “big” cottage niece number #1 put out olives, feta and blue cheese and toasted pita chips.  Dessert was a sumptuous carrot cake served around the fire. 


D got organized in the city and made four different kinds of quiche for Saturday brunch-Loraine, sausage and pepper and spinach & artichoke.  We were on supper duty that night too and D made chicken satee skewers with grilled mushrooms, eggplant and peppers.


We had campfire pies for dessert that night.  White bread with the crusts removed and then buttered on one side.  In between, a single or combination choice of blueberry, apply, peach or cherry pie filling.  Then they get lowered into the fire and slowly turned or moved on a regular basis.  When ready, they taste like a little piece of custom made pie.  The night ended with the opening of champagne at midnight as it was daughter #3’s champagne birthday.

The celebration continued the next morning with eggs Benedict made with béarnaise instead of the traditional hollandaise.  That night for dinner was another grilled feast with our families’ favourite of rice mixed with sautéed onions and toasted pine nuts.  And a tower of angel food cake and strawberries for the birthday girl…..


P52302512_editedMonday brunch was our last meal of bacon fried outside on the barbeque and blueberry pancakes with real maple syrup.  In between were numerous snacks of taco chips and salsa, Miss Vicky’s chips, ripple chips and onion/sour cream dip and white cheddar popcorn.   The bar was flowing with margaritas, mojitoes, pina coladas, beer of every description and fine shirazes. 

Kath’s quote: “You can judge a successful long weekend by how badly you need a shower by Monday night.”


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