Food Musings

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

Getting Ready for the Long Weekend-Tacos in a Bag


We took possession of our precious little cabin on Lake Winnipeg (and I mean little-500 sq feet) on May long weekend, about a dozen years ago.  Every May long since then I get butterflies of excitement, knowing that cottage season is about to begin for another year.  As my husband tells me: being at the lake, completes me.  It enhances who I am by rejuvenating and relaxing me so that I can be the best I can be.

I also get excited about planning our family brunches on the deck, barbeques and campfire meals.  This weekend I was at a family barbeque that was the “day after” wedding gift opening party on the other side of the lake and this handy meal was demonstrated for me by my cousin.  She got the idea from attending pow wows around the province.


individual bags of taco chips like Doritos

seasoned taco meat-cooked according to directions on the package

shredded or chopped lettuce

sour cream

cheddar cheese, grated



Niblet corn

black beans

jalapeno peppers

cilantro, chopped

avocados, cubed

anything else you might add to a taco salad


Open a bag of tacos,  Add a spoonful of all the ingredients listed above to your liking.  Close the bag up and shake well.  Consume and when you are done-toss out the bag and your clean up is done!

Kath’s quote:  Prepared and fast foods have given is the time and freedom to see cooking as an art form-a form of creative expression.”  Jeff Smith

Thanks Tan.  Love you.

posted under Recipes | 1 Comment »

Shrimp Ceviche for a Gang


Ceviche is simply seafood marinated in lime juice.  The acidity in the lime actually “cooks” the fish and so the fish does not have to be put over heat.  The results are that your taste buds really get to explore the sutleties of the seafood rather than the batter and sauces that we are inclined to prepare them in.  

To bring back memories of our time on Isla Mujeres, I have previously posted my ceviche recipe here.  But I have adapted it more recently to feed a larger number of guests.  The result is half ceviche and half salsa and would be a  refreshing and healthy appetizer this May long weekend.

When I know that the dish will be sitting out for guests for an extended period of time, I actually par-boil the shrimp to ensure that the shrimp is safe for the evening.  Remove them and rinse in cold water just as they start to turn pink.

If you are using larger shrimp, I divide each into 3 pieces, illustrated here.

a generous pound of peeled shrimp

marinated in the juice of 2 limes

another lime

1/2 a medium white (or purple) onion, coarsely chopped

1/2 c chopped cilantro

1 c diced cucumber or jicama (or 1/2 c of each)

3 ripe tomatoes chopped

chopped jalepenos to taste

salt & pepper to taste

Marinate the shrimp for at least 3 hours.  Drain in a colander and then place in a glass bowl and add the rest of the chopped ingredients. Depending upon the residual liminess from the shrimp, add more lime as desired.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with a sturdy tortilla chip.  I use multi-grain and black corn.

Kath’s quote: “Don’t be too daring in the kitchen. For example, don’t suddenly get involved with shallots. Later, when you are no longer a Lonely Guy, you can do shallots. Not now. If you know cilantro, stay with cilantro and don’t fool around. Even with cilantro you’re on thin ice, but at least you’ve got a shot, because it’s familiar. Stay with safe things, like pepper.”-Bruce Jay Friedman

posted under Appetizers | No Comments »

Mask Restaurant-Gimli


On our way to our cottage, when we drive over the last hill with our first glance of the lake, we can often see the lights of Gimli on the opposite shore.  The distance is about twenty miles as the crow flies and yet we often do not get over to the east shore of Lake Winnipeg.  But on this weekend, we were invited to a family wedding and decided to stay the night to enjoy some time meandering the shops and galleries of this Icelandic community.

We asked for breakfast recommendations and the Mask Restaurant was the unanimous choice.  The cafe has two entrances-one for breakfast and lunch and the other for fine dining.   The casual side is painted a beautiful “brillante giallo” -a vibrant yellow reminiscent of cafes that we visited on the west coast of Italy.

Sisters #2 and 3 were immediately drawn to order the Eggs Benedict- a family favourite.  I got to taste the homemade hollandaise sauce on the dish that I just had to try.


The “Fisherman’s” breakfast includes a pan-fried piece of pickerel with a drizzle of the lemony/buttery sauce.  Fish for breakfast?  Well, never before, but it was amazingly delicious!  The dish also included two rashes of crispy bacon, a perfectly cooked over-easy egg, lacy hash brown potatoes and marble rye toast.  

Our server was always around to refill the fabulous coffee or a stronger European blend if you so choose.  If breakfast is this good, what on earth would dinner be like?

Alas, it will be a very long time before I get to find out as the regular treks to “our” side of the lake are about to begin.

Mask on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:“Love, like a chicken salad or restaurant hash, must be taken with blind faith or it loses its flavor.”-Helen Rowland

Squashed Potatoes


Have I mentioned that I’m crazy about potatoes-jk?  I know that I talk about how much I love my carbs all the time.  Because I indulge in consuming my starchy friends so often, I am conscious about enjoying them as simply prepared as possible because we all know that it is not the poor potato’s fault but all the butter, sour cream and even cream cheese that we like to slab on them.  The following recipe is a low fat option and even better-the fat is olive oil; said to be a “good” fat. 

Boil smallish potatoes in plenty of salted water until you can pierce them almost all the way through with a fork.  Drain (you may want to retain the potato water for soup stock).  Liberally dollop olive oil onto a baking sheet and arrange potatoes without the edges touching. 

Take a potato masher and gently press down on each potato so that they are squashed but still in tact.


Drizzle with more olive oil and your favourite herb (we loved rosemary on spuds).  Sprinkle with course salt and freshly ground pepper.  Bake at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

and voila!

Kath’s quote:  “Pray for peace and grace and spiritual food,
For wisdom and guidance, for all these are good,
but don’t forget the potatoes.”-
John Tyler Pettee

posted under Entrees | 4 Comments »

Love to Lunch


There are many benefits to working out of a home office.  My day doesn’t begin with a commute but a wander around the house to tidy up and when it is fair enough, a lap around the yard to see what has poked its head out of the earth overnight.  I am rarely awake to see my husband off and Daughter #2 sleeps until the very last moment before she leaves for University.  I do admit that I spend too much time on Facebook and Twitter to satisfy my interaction urges but I still miss being with other people during my work day.  And so I lunch……

All the places that I’ve lunched lately are familiar places, sometimes with new acquaintances, other times with life-long friends. 

First stop: my first patio lunch with one of the beautiful Sarahs that I have met on Twitter.

I always order this dish because it features both eggplant and artichokes! Angel Hair Pasta tossed with Grilled Vegetables, Roasted Red Peppers, Concasse Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Feta Cheese, Pickled Eggplant, Wilted Greens and Artichoke Hearts.

Second stop: The Southside Keg with my long-time friend Gord (he always treats).  This is their new Wedge salad and he likes his with lots of pepper.

I had the Prime Rib Dip-oh my.

Next stop was with one of my very youngest friends-our new Goddaughter (with her Mom and family) to the Falafel Place for some Israeli fixings.  Do you think that she can finish her plate?

The Falafel  Place is one of our favourite neighbourhood places-huge portions of freshly prepared, nutritious food.  I had the Tabouli salad but didn’t include the photo because it looks like a plate of grass-so GOOD!

Last Stop: the Spicy Noodle House on Osborne.  We love the peanut soup with a side of fried pork chop.  I had the deluxe Curried Vermicelli.

What was particularily fun about this lunch was that I got to meet this international student from Brazil who is homestaying with my friend Laura’s family.  This was her first taste of peanut soup.  But I do not think her last.

Kath’s quote:  “A man may be a pessimistic determinist before lunch and an optimistic believer in the will’s freedom after it.”-Aldous Huxley

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