Food Musings

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



Hoisin sauce, also called Chinese barbeque sauce is a fragrant, pungent sauce used frequently in Asian stir-fries and marinades. The sauce is made from a combination of fermented soy, garlic, vinegar, and usually chilis and sweetener.  Hoisin is dark in color and thick in consistency. It has a very strong salty and slightly sweet flavor which is probably why I like it so much.  Hoisin became one of the staples in our fridge when we discovered mu shu many, many years ago at the original Mandarin restaurant when it was located on Sargent Ave.  We found a great substitute for the pancakes by using small flour tortillas and the dish became a family favourite when the kids were still quite young.


Fixings for Moo Shu

Fixings for Mu Shu

We now enjoy hoisin stir fries, on dumplings, noodles, salads and even meat loaf!  Here’s a unique version of a family favourite:

Hoisin-Glazed Meatloaf

Whisk 2 eggs in a large bowl, mix in 2 c fresh bread crumbs, 2 c grated carrots, 4 cloves of minced garlic, 1 t ground ginger and salt, 1/2 t pepper and 3/4 c thinly sliced green onions.  Mix in 2 lbs of lean ground pork (or 1/2 pork & 1/2 beef or even all beef).   Pack into a loaf pan, mounding the top.  Spred  1/4 c hoisin sauce over the top  and roast in a 400 degree oven for approx. 1 hour.  Upon serving, sprinkle with another 1/4 green onions.

Our picks for Hoisin dishes: The Plaza Restaurant in EK and The Spicy Noodle House on Osborne.  Our fav place to buy Hoisin Sauce: Oriental Market on King St.  Where are your favourite places for Hoisin dishes?

Kath’s quote: “It is the Americans who have managed to crown minced beef as hamburger, and to send it round the world so that even the fussy French have taken to le boeuf hache, le hambourgaire.”-Julia Childstana080200434




I have written before that my family is sushi crazy.  I would say that the kids are more savvy than my husband and I about selecting the perfect sushi taste combinations.  Daughter # 2 had to work on the eve and day of her birthday and I was feeling a bit sorry for her (but we are so glad that she has such a wonderful job!) so I took her out for a feed of sushi.  Our son happened to drop in and so came along and it was a lovely impromptu time.

We ordered California Roll with Crunch, Boston Roll


Dynamite Roll, Avocado Cucumber Roll,


Shrimp Tempura Roll, Yam Tempura Roll and Tuna Tempura Roll.

Sushi Ya (I feel like I should give a Miss Piggy karate chop when I say this restuarants’ name) is in our neighbourhood and very affordable and is our first choice for sushi.  In River Heights there is almost a sushi place on every block of Academy, Corydon and Grant so there are many, many places to choose from.  Where’s your fav place for sushi?

Kath’s quote: “I don’t eat anything that a dog won’t eat. Like sushi. Ever see a dog eat sushi? He just sniffs it and says, ‘I don’t think so.’ ”-Billiam Coronelcitylights060500074
Sushi Ya on Urbanspoon

Sunday Brunch


This past Saturday night my husband and I did something that we rarely do-we ordered Chinese food from Kai Ping on our corner and got a couple of episodes viewed of our “Lost” collection.  As Daughter #2 headed out the door-her message was a plea: “Order lots and please save me some”.  First mistake: we only ordered 3 dishes and second: since we had not eaten a meal since breakfast and the food was delicious and piping hot, there was only one measly portion or curried vermicelli noodles left over.  We often discuss what we are going to cook up for Sunday brunch on our way home from church and it was abundantly clear that Daughter #2 had her heart set on Chinese food leftovers.  My husband and I are consistent in our displays of affection with food-so he leapt into action.


In minutes we were sitting down to honey garlic veal and what little was left from the night before.  Daughter #2 was thrilled with the effort and thinks her Daddy is the greatest-and he is.


He tossed veal scallops in flour and shallow fried them in oil in the wok.  Next he mixed sauteed garlic, honey, water and soya together to a slow boil and then added cornstarch to thicken.  The portions are really to taste-some liking saltier, sweeter, garlickier…..IMG_0479

Perhaps you were thinking I was going to list some of our favourite Sunday breakfast/brunch spots.  Well not to disappoint, they are: The Falefel House, The Garwood Grill or any of the Original Pancake House locations and for those very special occasions The Hotel Fort Garry!  Please leave a comment indicating your fav place for Sunday breakfast/brunch.

Kath’s quote: “The sweetest honey is loathsome in his own deliciousness
and in the taste confounds the appetite.” –
William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliette).




My Mom is in her late eighties.  She is a breast and lung cancer survivor.  She has outlived every member of her immediate family and my Daddy by thirteen years.  She loved to cook for her family and still loves to watch the Food Network even though her meals now revolve around poached eggs and ordering in. 

More than anything my Mom loves to eat but she loves to eat and tell stories and listen to stories at the same time.  It is because of this that we three sisters have honoured her with an elaborate dinner party to celebrate her birthday over the last number of years. Here are some courses from her dinner in 2009: 

App in 09

App in 09

Muse Bouche in 09

 Her actual birthday is in January but because it is often difficult for her friends to get together in the middle of winter, we usually wait until spring. 

This year many of her friends are too infirm to attend so we are changing things up a bit.  We are having her best friend from across the street and a couple who once lived two doors down.  In addition to my brothers, their wives and the two husbands of the three sisters.  We’re serving a selection of small plates -stay tuned for what the three sisters are cooking up.

Kath’s Quote: I know how the nuts taken in conjunction with winter apples, cider, and doughnuts, make old people’s tales and old jokes sound fresh  and crisp and enchanting.”-Mark Twain


Cakes by Caroline


I have a friend and fellow foodie named Caroline and she is an expert cake baker and decorator. She pours her love into every cake and her artistic skills are elegant and whimsical. 


There are 35 people in my immediate family.  We intended to celebrate Daughter #2’s 18th birthday with cocktails and sushi last year’s May Long weekend on the deck at the lake.  But, it snowed that weekend and the yard of our little cottage was flooded.  With gratitude, we moved the party to my families’ “big” cottage across the street.  Caroline was hired to design the cake.  It was chocolate and raspberry and a simple, yet exquisite design, perfectly befitting our baby girl/now woman.

Caroline was also the creator of the 60thbirthday cake at a recent  party.  The birthday boy received a gift ticket to the Rogers Cup in TO this summer and the cake was designed upon.  The cake itself was a delectable carrot cake- not cloyingly sweet but chock full of nuts, coconut and plump raisins.


I am particularly in awe of Caroline’s talents because I am not good with cakes.  I get frustrated when things get stuck to the pan and I rush to completion too soon and the icing pulls the cake into a mess of crumbs.  Thank heavens the my kids’ favourite birthday desserts were Dairy Queen ice cream cakes, strawberry trifle and a really easy chocolate, zucchini bundt cake that I could just barely pull off.

Kath’s quote: “Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.”-Jim Davis, ‘Garfield’

Newer Entries »