Food Musings

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

Winnipeg Free Press Cafe-Special Event


In my profession as a Media Planner, I often get invited out to special events that are being put on by the media suppliers that I do business with on a regular basis.  We were invited to one such event recently at The Winnipeg Free Press Cafe.  There had a been an enter to win opportunity in the paper and at Manitoba Liquor Marts and the evening was a pairing of BC wines and complimenting tastes.  Now I am no wine connoisseur and leave those observations to ones more educated than I for example,  Ben McPhee Sigurdson  who is the wine guru for The Winnipeg Free Press and presided as one of the hosts that evening.


The food offerings started with a BC Salmon Riette.  Riette being a coarser style of pate-think “country” style. 

Next came my second favourite offering of the evening-Latkas topped with smoked goldeye.  Potatoes-that is what I am afficiando of and these lacy latkes were fried to a perfect crispness and were a crunchy contrast to the smoky fish that I absolutely love. 

When we vacationed in Sicily at exactly this time of year, D picked fresh figs for our breakfast.  Ironically, I only rarely get to enjoy figs and had lapped them at a lunch earlier that day when they were stewed with a chirizo sausage.   These figs were classically wrapped in prosciutto and totally satisfied my sweet and salty taste buds.

Speaking of Chorizo, the peppery sausage was balanced with carmelized sweet onions on baguette.  In my mind, chorizo was native to Mexico or even Italy but no-it originates from the Iberian peninsula which includes the country of Portugal and Spain.    

Next up was the highlight of the evening (from a culinary persepctive at least).  The most enormous sea scallops were wrapped in bacon and baked.  Perhaps they had been seared first because the face of the scallop was slightly crusted but the meat was plump and firm and sparkled on the tongue.  Now we grill scallops in bacon quite often at home and it sounds simple enough, but there is a real knack in cooking the bacon so that the fat has rendered away while not overcooking the scallop-these were perfection.


Carpaccio with parmesan shards and a empanada made with ground beef and ancho chili were served to contrast some of the more robust wines.  Ancho chili spice is made when both the seeds and pods of the plant are ground together, producing the brick-red powder that is most commonly associated with Mexican cooking.

I have been crazy for Portobello mushrooms this season and these meaty ones were coupled with Gorgonzola  cheese in a balsamic reduction.

BC peaches tartlets in phyllo pastry were the sweet crown of the evening.

I do know that the Cafe is available for special evening events such as this one.  The room is cozy even with its glass walls that make you feel right in the heart of the life in the Exchange.  Domenic Amatuzio is the skilled chef of the Cafe and put on a brilliant display of his talents.

News Cafe on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.”-Ernest Hemingway

100 Mile Dinner


 I enjoyed sitting with other food appreciators who had attended this fund-raiser not even so much to support the charity but because of their love of local food and the brilliant chefs that make up the culinary landscape in Winnipeg.  To know that proceeds were going to the good work of the Boys and Girls Club of Winnipeg was a wonderful bonus. 

The company made the arduous time spent waiting to line up to fill your entree plate a bit more pleasant.  The wait times being one aspect that this new event may have to tweak before next year.  I left before dessert to sneak in a visit with my hard-working husband who had just gotten home from work.  Ironically he was watching “Chopped” when I walked in the door.

I was content too because of the appetizers that I got an opportunity to sample, which kept the hunger pangs at bay.  The beet root, apple creme fraiche & golden caviar was high on my list but was surpassed by the Pickerel ceviche. 

 The barley risotto and Trappist cheese croquettes were also delicious.

Other items were served from the main course section, namely the Broccoli salad, green and yellow bean salad, chicken-stuffed crepes, chickpea, shortrib fritters and Moroccan spice lentil patties with squash chutney. 

Had they set these up as another food station, the items could have been appreciated in their uniqueness and it would have broken up the congestion at the Main Course table.

Please don’t misread this as disappointment, the food was nothing short of exquisite but the feeling of standing in line with your empty plate in your hand was a bit like the anxiety that you feel at a church basement pot luck.  But perhaps that is what they were going for.

The roast pickerel and bison tortiere were well contrasted and the latter oh, so savoury but the star of the evening was the Applewood smoked pork tenderloin with maple-glazed onions. 

Luc Jean of Red River College put together an amazing team and it was lovely to say hey to Scott Bagshaw, Ben Kramer, Alex Svenne and Rob Thomas. 

The team was enhanced by Adam Donnelly, Makoto Ono, Norman Pastorin and Ariel Schor.  Thank you Chefs for your tireless work and devotion to this community.  

Kath’s quote: “Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”-Francois Minot



Donwood Community Kitchen-Guest Blogger: Anna Marie


Donwood Community Kitchen is a joint partnership with Donwood School and Jubilee Mennonite Church.  The purpose of the kitchen is to build strong community through cooking together.

The kitchen is staffed with the Donwood Community Connector and the Jubilee Community Director, as well as many volunteers that come to help out. Friday afternoons 3 to 8 women gather to cook nutritious meals for their families. Child minding is also provided by volunteers with a nutritious snack. Through cooking together, the women begin to feel at home and comfortable enough to share concerns, challenges and joys. Conflicts between women emerge at times but are respectfully listened to so the women feel heard. Most of the food we receive is donated by F.O.O.D. (Fresh Option Organic Delivery). In order to continue to run the kitchen, Donwood and Jubilee provide in kind donations.

The Winnipeg Foundation and Thomas Sill grants have been awarded to the kitchen. Jubilee feels that this is a way we can put our faith in action. We have an opportunity to show hospitality through the use of space, staff and volunteers. The community kitchen helps to build relationships in an open and loving way, just as Jesus did. Those who come to the kitchen to volunteer are blessed by their experience.

Donwood school works hard at building relationships with the parents of the children who attend their school.

Kath’s quote: “Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”-James Beard  

The Grove Pub and Restaurant


The Grove is located at the corner or Stafford St. and Grosvenor Ave. and the  name is a short form of the latter.  We stopped in at this time last fall for a cider on the way out for dinner but I have never had a chance to taste their offerings.  In spite of repeated encouragement from our son who lives just steps away and thinks of the stools at the bar top as a home away from home.

In fact, I had to park just beside my son’s apartment so he knew that I was in the vicinity and met me for a little visit before my lunch date arrived.  He loves the offering of half pints and ordered one for himself and a Bramble for me.  The light and refreshing cocktail is made with creme de casis to sweeten the gin base. 

He also endulged me by ordering the Grove Burger which he claims is the best burger in the city. 

Based on my bite, I would have to agree and the fries were mighty fine too.  I opted for the Chevre and Pequillo Pepper Croquettes and was really disappointed to hear that they were out. 

Instead, I had a cucumber salad which was not quite so decadent but was satisfying with dollops of green olive oil lining the bowl. 

My lunch date decided upon the the chicken sarnie and was equally impressed. 

When my boy moved to the bar top and was joined by a friend, I also got to sample the fish bites which are made from salmon and halibut trim, lightly crusted in panko flakes and fried-oh my!

The room is fresh and light-filled and attracts many local business people and neighbours alike.  Service is attentive and accommodating.  If you live in walking distance, you have a gem of a neighbourhood pub.

The Grove Pub and Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”-Benjamin Franklin

Weight Watcher’s Garden Vegetable Soup-Guest Blogger: Sister #3


When I was a Weight Watcher I was thrilled to discover this awesome soup was worth 0 points, so I could eat it whenever I was hungry. Here are some of the great things this soup has going for it.

1. Most importantly, it is delicious!
2. It takes about 5 minutes to prepare and only another 20 minutes to cook.
3. It contains things I almost always have in my cupboard and fridge. 
4. It’s full of nutritious veggies.
5. If I am missing any of the veggies, I can substitute with another or leave it out all together and it still turns out great.
6. It only has 61 calories a cup.

Garden Vegetable Soup
3 cups beef broth
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups chopped cabbage
1/2 cooking onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup green beans (I use frozen)
1/2 cup chopped zuchini
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
salt & pepper to taste

Spray pot with non stick cooking spray saute onions carrots and garlic for 5 minutes.
Add broth, Tomato paste, cabbage, green beans, basil, oregano and Salt & Pepper to taste.
Simmer for a about 10 – 15 minutes until all vegetables are tender then add the zucchini and simmer for another 5 or so minutes.  Enjoy!

Kath’s quote: “An old-fashioned vegetable soup, without any enhancement, is a more powerful anticarcinogen than any known medicine.”-James Duke

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