Food Musings

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

Christmas “Breakfast”


The 48 hours of Christmas are pretty hectic in our family but when we  make suggestions to skip one of our traditions-we get loud groans and moans.  Don’t mess with Christmas.  The request is made that we start our morning at about 8am.  D puts on a pot of Starbuck’s and there is the option of a liqueur if desired.  This year I served an Italian fruit bread and a homemade banana bread (thanks Lori).  This is accompanied by the Christmas orange that is always in the toe of stockings.

We say a little prayer of thanksgiving for our good health and time together before the youngest starts with a gift from Santa.  Canine Caleb opened this t-shirt that he wore for a week.  If the saying on his chest is hard to make out, it says: “Sorry Santa…I ate all the cookies”.

The next stop is across town at my Mom’s at noon for “Breakfast” and more gift openings.  I use the term breakfast loosely because this is the table laden with food.

Sister #3 co-ordinates the menu every year and my contribution is very small-the sausage rolls you see at the left.  But they too are a tradition that when threatened with elimination, get protests from the gang.  They are so easy to make and freeze well.  They are fun to serve with a winter soup or to fancy up with a mustard dip and take to a cocktail party.  The recipe is from one of my oldest cookbooks:  “Company’s Coming for Christmas”.

Lazy Sausage Rolls

2 cups biscuit mix

1 t onion powder

1/2 c water

pork sausage meat, mild or hot

cayenne pepper

Stir biscuit mix and onion powder together.  Add water.  Mix until it forms a ball.  Turn out onto lightly floured surface.  Knead 6-8 times.  Roll out into a rectangle about 15 x 18 “.

Mash sausage meat with a fork to make it more pliable.  Spread over dough.  Roll up like a jelly roll, beginning at long end.  Slice 3/8″ thick.  Arrange on greased cookie sheet, cut side down, about 1” apart.  Bake in 450F oven for about 15 minutes (but check after 11 minutes).  Makes about 3 dozen.  I make 3 batches.

This little guy is the youngest of our extended family.  Can you see how how much fun Christmas is at Great Grandma’s place?

Kath’s quote:  “In my experience, clever food is not appreciated at Christmas. It makes the little ones cry and the old ones nervous.”- Jane Grigson

somebody wants you to find them

Love Letters


D and I met when he was a 14 year old bus boy and I was a hostess/cocktail server (read: older).  But in the years in between our initial friendship and eventual courtship, D moved away a couple of times.  We became reacquainted between his first and second year of studies in Hospitality at Ryerson University in TO.  In those days long distance telephone calls were expensive and emailing, texting and skype did not exist at all and so snail mail became our significant link.  D and I still write each other letters to this day-we slip them under pillows and into carry on bags to surprize each other when we are apart.

I have always had a fondness for literature that adapted letter collections as their literary format.  I am especially enthralled by the inferences that fill in the gaps between the arrival of a letter from one correspondent to the reply by the other.  Last evening I finished a novel entitled The Recipe Club by Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel.  They had me at the dedication: “To our mothers and fathers, who taught us how to cook and how to love.” 

In the end I would say that there was less about cooking than I would have liked but the rules of their “club” (of two) was that they sent a recipe in each of their posted letters.  The recipes were traditional ones that were already in my repertoire so it meant that I could skip the recipe pages and complete the book in half the time.  But here is one the particularly struck me-not so much for the ingredients themselves but this explanation: “I’m giving up on hearing from you, but I can’t, I won’t let you go.  To send you more words feels meaningless and hollow.  So I’m sending you a recipe instead.  It’s something I know you’ll love.  It uses olives-an ancient symbol of faithfulness, patience, and peace.”

Forgiveness Tapenade

I c pitted olives, finely chopped

3 T olive oil

1 T capers

freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 a lemon

3 garlic gloves, finely chopped

5 anchovy fillets

black pepper

Combine all of the tapenade ingredients in a blender and whir until smooth.

Kath’s quote: “The whole Mediterranean … the wine, the ideas … seems to ride in the sour pungent taste of those black olives … A taste older than meat, older than wine. A taste as old as cold water.”-Lawrence Durrell

love so amazing

Breezy Bend


When people find out that I write a blog entry every morning, they are surprized that I can figure out what to write about every day.  Actually, the opposite is true for me-I have a long list of topics that I want to get to and sometimes I get behind.  This is my explanation for why I have not yet written about our fabulous office Christmas Party Dinner.  The irony here is that I am self-employed and have no employees.  But after a long career working for other companies which included many truly amazing Christmas parties, I did not want to miss out on the tradition.  So D and I got together with three other female business owners and their significant others.  One friend had her previous Christmas Party at Breezy Bend Golf and Country Club just to the west of the city.  And so it was- we were all set.

Our first course was Roast Rabbit stuffed with lobster and fruit-a rare and pleasantly unique taste.  The soup was a savoury Cream of Butternut Squash with fois gras custard. 

I chose an Angus Prime Steak with butter and herbs for my entree.  I didn’t get a photo to do it justice (note to self-perhaps you should not have that glass of wine until after your official duties are done).  The perfectly grilled steak came with a cone of french fries that arrived standing upright on the plate.  Unfortunately, I was so anxious to tuck in, that I spilled them out before I realized what I was up to.  D on the other hand has more couth than me and did not dig in before I got this photo of his Halibut with molasses glace and pistachio crust.

The salad was this gorgeous assembly of Root Vegetables.

By the time dessert was set to arrive we were having a wonderful time-  getting caught up on various connections, sharing plans for New Year’s and upcoming trips and toasting the success of a satisfying year.  The Chef came out to meet our table and ensure that we had enjoyed our evening.   Chef Klaus had trained with Chef Tony from the St. Charles as a student-a rare honour that my husband D also had the privilege of doing. 

Klaus shared that he got extra inventive with our dessert course, using a “take your medicine” theme.  What fun-a big white pill that was a delightful marshmallow cream, creme brulee in a pill jar and the best of all-a shooter of a fresh fruit puree.  I do have a photo of D and I administering the syringe to each other….maybe some other time. 

Kath’s quote:  “Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.”-Hippocrates

somebody is thinking of you

Icelandic Cream Wafers


When our Son and Daughter #3  (in law) decided to serve their favourite cookies and milk instead of wedding cake at their wedding,  I had the simple task of ordering J’s Dream Cookies from Gunn’s Bakery where they are known as Diplomat cookies.  My friend Victoria though made Jen’s favourite from scratch which as I understand it is a time consuming task.  She and a friend have made these together for years and I think this is wise advise.  If you have a time-consuming job to do, share the task with a friend to make the time pass more pleasantly and then share the fruits of your labour.


1 c butter

2 c flour

1/2 c whipping cream

Cut butter into flour with pastry cutter or 2 knives.  Add whipping cream until dough forms.  Roll out to 1/4″ thickness.  Cut out 1″ circles (spice caps work nicely).  Prick with fork and sugar both sides.  It doesn’t say in recipe but I imagine that you place them on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375F for 7-9 minutes.


1/4 c butter

3/4 c icing sugar

1 t vanilla

red and/or green food colouring

Beat ingredients together and spread between 2 wafers forming a mini cookie sandwich.

Kath’s quote: “The most dangerous food is wedding cake.”-James Thurber

somebody loves you

Taking Stock


So I’ve been hammering away at my computer every morning of this past year in my turquoise housecoat doing this blogging thing and with the New Year, it is time to take a fresh look at things.  Could I please get your help? 

In case you’re too polite to post your opinions in the comment section of the blog itself-here is my email address for your honest thoughts:

Feel free to answer as many or as few questions as you wish:

1) the template that I’m using was intended to feel like a personal journal, is this appropriate or should I go to a fresh design? what design elements would suit the content?

2) I use a combination of my own photos and a photo service that I subscribe to-does this mixture of styles look inconsistent? is this an issue? should I use all of my own or all of a service?

3) I include many anecdotes from my personal life-thoughts, reflections, circumstances…..this makes for an interesting read or you don’t really give a poop?

4) I don’t consider myself a restaurant critic but more of a food appreciator and my restaurant reviews reflect this.  Is this helpful or do you want to know about all of my negative observations as well?

5) If you are from Winnipeg-how do you feel when I write about our travel destinations?  Are the details of a dining experience boring if it is a place that you will never get to travel to?

6) If you have come to the blog through trip advisor for info about Isla Mujeres, is the stuff about Winnipeg and Manitoba lake country tedious for you?

7) Are you able to navigate the site easily i.e. if you are looking for a specific topic or recipe?  What “Pages” or Categories would be useful to you?  i.e. should I further categorize recipes into breakfast, lunches, etc.

9) Is my heart sign off hooky and overly sentimental?

10) Are “Kath’s quote’s” interesting/funny/ironic or dumb?

11)  Are my entries too long or too short?

12)  I blog every workday, is this too often or not often enough?

13)  I currently have a single advertiser but have been approached to include more.  Do you mind blog advertising?

14) Do you find too many spelling mistakes, sentence structure errors and spacing issues?  Do you actually notice or care or does it drive you absolutely crazy?

15) What other suggestions do you have for me?

Kath’s quote: “Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them, and you have their shoes.”-Frieda Norris

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