Food Musings

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



My West Kildonan sojourn continued with a stop at Lisi”s (Ranch House Restaurant-1761 Main St.) -a place we had driven by so many times and never had a reason to try.  On this day I stopped in for take out and to be honest, I was glad that I was not dining in.  I can manage spartan or outdated decor.  In fact, some of my favourite out of the way places would be in the running for “Restaurant Make-Over”.  But on this day when the sunshine was glorious outside I was not impressed by their lack of natural light and wood panelled walls.  Some might think it “cozy”-just not my cuppa tea.

What did I care anyway as long as the take out was good right?  Well…..the chicken fingers that we were willing to sample for the sake of comparison did not pass the test.  They were a pre-fab version that you find anywhere. We were putting all our hopes for Lisi’s on the pizza…and it came through!  The meat lovers had literally stacks of meat-as if you had just bitten into a deli sandwich.  The crust was obviously hand mixed and tossed as it had the right combination of crustiness and yeastiness.

Would I try Lisi’s again?  Since I live across town, likely not.  But if I was in the neighbourhood, I would definitely have it n my list by the phone for Friday night’s pizza and a movie.

Lisi's Ranch House Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:  “There’s a pizza place near where I live that sells only slices. In the back, you can see a guy tossing a triangle in the air.”-Steve Wright

Baraka Pita Bakery


I have lived in Winnipeg all of my life and am still finding new little places that fascinate.  My husband and my son often chat about donairs from their backpack trip through Europe together.  I have never tasted a donair but understand that it is beef and veggies on a pita.  If it is made with chicken, does it become a shawarma?  I need to do some more research-yum…..

On the day that I visited Baraka Pita Bakery (1783 Main St.) pita pies and pita pockets were going in and out of the oven and there were a number of people sitting at tables waiting for their late lunch.  I was intrigued by a little pita packet displayed on a counter that was folded into a triangle.  When I inquired, I found out that it was a spinach fatire and the handsome gentleman behind the counter offered me one to taste.  I bought a dozen to have at home with soup or as an appetizer and this past Sunday proved to be the right time to test the taste with my family.  They loved the concept but found that the spinach was too lemony.  Perhaps next time we’ll try the beef fatires.  There looks to be falafel, dolmades and a  number of dips.  I am planning on shopping at Baraka again soon to have a bon voyage dinner for my husband who is off to Israel next month. 

Baraka Pita Bakery on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “On the subject of spinach: divide into little piles. Rearrange again into new piles. After five of six maneuvers, sit back and say you are full.”-Delia Ephron, ‘How To Eat Like A Child’

Two Fritattas


Marrying into our family would be no easy fete.  The criteria is seemingly endless but the short list would include: must love babies and dogs, the beach, sitting around fire pits and be available to attend family dinner on Sunday night.   An interest in the NFL would be helpful.  Somehow our son and subsequently D & I  found absolutely everything in the person who I refer to as Daughter #3.  She is kooky and beautiful, artistic and talented, has created a beautiful home, wants lots of babies and loves my zany son-what more could a Mother-in-law wish for!

The biggest check mark is a desire to assemble with us at the cottage whenever possible, but for sure on long weekends.   We take turn making the meals at “Life is Good” and recently Daughter #3 planned ahead and brought out these already prepared and savoury frittatas.

Frittata is the Italian word for omelet but we describe them more as crust-less quiches.  They can be prepared ahead of time and reheated making them a perfect lake brunch.  As people awake, we sit around and drink endless pots of coffee and visit and then all of a sudden it is almost noon and we know that the guys will be home from their daily tennis games and ravenous-so a dish like this is the perfect solution.

They are Jamie Oliver fans but she said that she found her recipes on line so I did my own search and came up with versions likely very close.

Bacon & Tomato Frittata

6 slices bacon

7 eggs

1/4 c milk

1 t Dijon mustard

1 c coarsely chopped seeded tomato

1 garlic clove, minced

1 c shredded cheddar cheese

Cook bacon in large skillet; remove reserving 1 tbsp drippings in skillet; break bacon into bite sized pieces; set aside. In medium bowl, combine eggs, milk and mustard; blend well. Heat reserved bacon drippings over low heat; add tomato and garlic; cook 2 minutes or until tomato is warm Stir in bacon. Pour egg mixture into skillet; cook over low heat 4 minutes; as edges set run spatula around edge of skillet and left egg mixture to allow uncooked egg to flow to bottom of skillet Cover; cook an additional 4 to 5 minutes or until top is set but still moist. Sprinkle with cheese; cover tightly; remove from heat; let stand 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted cut into wedges to serve.

I don’t think this was the recipe that she used but it looked very appealing:

Artichoke and Spinach Frittata

1 1/2  t  olive oil

2  c  refrigerated hash brown potatoes

1  T  Greek seasoning

1/2  c  coarsely chopped drained water-packed artichoke hearts

1  c  tightly packed pre washed baby spinach leaves (about 1 1/2 ounces)

6  large eggs

1/3  c  fat-free milk

1/4  t  freshly ground black pepper

2  oz  feta cheese, crumbled

2  Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced

Preheat broiler.

Heat oil in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add hash browns; sprinkle with Greek seasoning, and saute 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add chopped artichokes, and cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in spinach, and cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts, stirring frequently.

Separate eggs, reserving 4 egg yolks for another use. Combine remaining 2 egg yolks, whites, and milk, stirring with a whisk. Pour egg mixture over potato mixture. Sprinkle with pepper and feta cheese. Arrange tomato slices over feta. Cook over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes or until edges are set. Place frittata under broiler, and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until center is set and top begins to brown. Cut into 8 wedges.

Kath’s quote: “When she goes about her kitchen duties, chopping, carving, mixing, whisking, she moves with the grace and precision of a ballet dancer, her fingers plying the food with the dexterity of a croupier.”-Craig Claiborne

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Mango Upside Down Cake


When you are “in touch” with your taste buds as I believe that I am, I can explain why I dislike certain foods/tastes and why I am drawn to others.  My attachment for mangoes has one such explanation: The winter that our youngest was 6 months old, our oldest had suffered a catastrophic illness and our son was a going- concern, we were given an all expense trip to Hawaii.  We could not believe this blessing-a time to be a couple again as opposed to round the clock care-givers.  We loved the people of Kona, the typography of the Big Island, their coffee, macadamia nuts, pineapple AND my first taste of mango.  So even though I crave the taste of bowl-ripened pears and tart Mac apples, mangoes are my favourite fruit not only because of the taste but my entire mango experience.  Now you either get this or you don’t….

I always have a bag of mangoes in my freezer.  I plop mango chunks onto cottage cheese for a healthy breakfast or into a chicken wrap or salad for lunch.  In a pinch they are ready to build a fast dessert around.  Such was the case this past Friday when we were hosting our monthly young families’ group.  Daughter #2 had made pumpkin cookies for the kids but I wanted a dessert that the parents could linger with over coffee.

Ta da-Mango Upside Down Cake was born!  I sauteed 1/2 c of brown sugar with a 1/2 c of butter over medium heat until the mixture started to caramelize then I added  a bag of defrosted mangoes.  I poured this into the bottom of a buttered 9 x 12 baking pan and then made up a yellow cake mix according to package directions and poured it over top.  I shook the pan to evenly distribute the batter and then baked it (also according to package directions).

When I pulled it out of the oven, I immediately ran a knife around the edges and placed a platter of equal size as the baking pan over the cake.  I then turned it upside down and voila.  I intended to serve it with a cappuccino ice cream but was distracted by the gaggle of kids that D had already escorted downstairs for play time.

Kath’s quote: “The appetite is sharpened by the first bites.”-Jose Rizal

Pecan Crusted Pickerel


Ever since I had the pleasure of tasting a version of this dish at Dubrovnik Restaurant in Winnipeg, I have been on the look out for the recipe.  I saw in a FB post that friends made this for a dinner party this weekend and they were willing to send me the details.

 The addition of the pecans on this fish gives not only great flavor to this fish recipe but a nice crunch that really makes this Pickerel stand out.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: Serves 2

12 oz pickerel fillets
1/4 c pecans, chopped and toasted 
2 T butter 
1 t fresh chives, chopped 
1 t orange juice 
salt and pepper to taste


Combine butter, chives, juice and half the pecans in a small bowl and mix well. Preheat grill. Take a 12 inch square piece of aluminum foil and cut 2 inch slits into it every two inches. Spray with a nonstick spray and place on grill. Put the Fillets on the foil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill for 8-12 minutes. The fillets are done when the fish flakes easily with a fork. One minute before the fish is done top with the pecan butter. Remove from heat and sprinkle the remaining pecan pieces over top before serving.

Note: We used ground pecans instead of chopped… it coated the fish better.

We had Pickerel in our house this weekend too.  I served Pickerel cheeks as an appetizer before Sunday family dinner as not everyone had arrived.  Just dipped in an eggwash, floured and sauteed in butter with a squeeze of lemon-they were a wonderful treat. 

Kath’s quote: “There’s a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.”-Steven Wright

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