Food Musings

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

Movenpick Marche


D was a second year student studying Tourism and Hospitality at Ryerson in Toronto when we first started courting and he returned for his final year of study when we were engaged.  Needless to say, there were many reasons to visit Toronto for a weekend back in the olden days and I’ve been a fan of Movenpick ever since.  We would visit their Yorkville location in those days as we were fascinated that a very old neighbourhood, could some how come back to life with shops and restaurants.  These days of course, that is what TO is all about!

As the saying goes-feast your eyes!  If you agree that we eat with our eyes then you’ll be more than satiated before you even pick up a plate at Movenpick Marche.  The food displays are exquisite and are set up in food groupings.  When we visited at brunch time there were these stations: dim sum and sushi, crepes and waffles, seafood, omelettes, salad, etc. etc. etc.

On this day, we were meeting most of the rest of the family of the Frenchman (our pet name for the beau of our youngest).  We choose a quiet spot in the area of the restaurant that has a brasserie feel of Europe (appropriate since that is where this couple first met). 

I could not pass up the grilled vegetables on the salad bar reminiscent of the antipasta dishes that we fell in love with in Italy

and there were THREE kinds of baked pumpkin (I sampled them all). 

D was tempted by the divine bouillabaisse and so we shared both. 

This loaf of apple strudel was too good to pass up and even thought we shared it too, we could not finish the huge portion.

Marche Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:  “…..all the charming and beautiful things, from the Song of Songs, to bouillabaisse, and from the nine Beethoven symphonies to the Martini cocktail, have been given to humanity.”-H.L. Mencken

Thank you for making the drive from Peterborough to meet us and for the exquisite lunch and visit.

Black Bean Burgers


Food Musings is approaching its second anniversary and I am still inspired by comments that I get from readers.  Recently, I learned that a mother/daughter who I know are avid vegetarians, love this blog.  That was touching but a bit startling to me because I am the daughter of a livestock man and love my meat.  So I have been on the look out for vegetarian recipes that I could include here to acknowledge their reading loyalty.

We recently were asked to spend the evening with dear friends of ours and their children whom we adore.  It was the best of both worlds-we got to play with the kids and our friends got to put the finishing touches on this delicious dinner without interuption.

There is much love shared between our families and in keeping with the notion that you can demonstrate how much you love someone by cooking for them-this is a demonstration of how much they love us.

Buns were freshly baked for our burgers and mine was this special shape.

We also savoured tortilla chips with mango salsa, baked pumpkin and a delicious salad.  But the hit of the evening were these Black Bean Burgers with Chipolte Chile Mayonaise.

Black Bean Burgers
2 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into large pieces
2 large eggs
3 T olive oil
1 t ground cumin
1/2 t salt
1/8 t cayenne pepper
2 (16-ounce) cans black beans
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 shallot, minced

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350.  Process bread in food processor to coarse crumbs.  Spread crumbs on rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and dry, 10 to 12 minutes.  Set aside to cool.  Whisk eggs, 1 T oil, cumin, salt, and cayenne together in bowl.
Mash 2 1/2 cups beans in bowl with potato masher until mostly smooth.  Stir in bread crumbs, egg mixture, remaining beans, bell pepper, cilantro, and shallot until just combined.  Form bean mixture into six 1-inch patties.
Heat additional 1 T oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Cook half of patties until well browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side.  Transfer to plate and tent loosely with foil.  Repeat with remaining oil and patties.  Serve.

Chipotle Chile Mayonnaise
Whisk together 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup sour cream (I actually substituted 1 cup plain yogurt instead), 4 t minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 T finely chopped fresh cilantro, 2 t lime juice, and 1/2 t salt.  Cover and refrigerate until flavors meld, about 30 minutes.

Kath’s quote: “Beans are highly nutritious and satisfying, they can also be delicious if and when properly prepared, and they posses over all vegetables the great advantage of being just as good, if not better, when kept waiting, an advantage in the case of people whose disposition or occupation makes it difficult for them to be punctual at mealtime.”-Andre Simon

Love you Iflands.

Dedicated to Sawah (and her Mom).

posted under Entrees | 1 Comment »

Biermarkt on Esplanade, Toronto


Inspired by Belgium and the European Brasserie Tradition, the Biermarkt held a delicious dining and imbibing experience while were were recently in Toronto.

D and I started with a Czech Pilsner Urquell and Austrian Steigl Larger as we waited for friends.  It is appropriate that Czechoslovakia created the world’s first pilsner beer.  My dear ole Daddy was from Czechoslovakia and he loved his beer.  We have a tribute to him and our heritage at our summer home.  It is a framed Czechoslovakian proverb which goes like this: “Where beer is drunk, life is good”.  Life is Good is the name of our cabin.

When our friends arrived, Irish Kilkenny Cream Ales were ordered and we started thinking about moving to the dining room for dinner.  By this time, Jeremy (one of the managers) had come by to ensure that we were having a wonderful time and he checked in with us intermittently throughout the evening.  He is a wonderful host and the Biermarkt is lucky to have him.


We started with Moule & Frites.  These were poached in coconut milk, lime and chilies. 

We also ordered these huge hot pretzels for dipping in the mussel broth.

Turned out that after sharing this four ways, we were too stuffed for our own entrees so D & I split Schnitzel with tomato jam and creamed potatoes and an add on of grilled Sea Scallops.  The scallops were perfectly cooked, succulent and delicious.  The schnitzel, not so much…. 

I must admit, I was tempted to order the Poutine (aficionado that I am) but had already eaten an order at breakfast-and Poutine twice in one day, well that’s not indulgent, that’s plain gross.

Our beloved friends enjoyed salmon with a salad of beets and walnuts.

And this Kobe Beef Burger (yippee, more frites)! 

We had low food expectations and found almost everything to be surprizingly fabulous.  But the hit of the evening was still the beer selection and we sampled these before the night was done: Paulaner Helles Original Munich Larger,  Jupiler Blonde Larger, Belgian Palm Amber Ale and Toronto Steam Whistle Pilsner.

Wish we had one of these in Winnipeg! 

Bier Markt - Esplanade on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline – it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.”-Frank Zappa

Blitz Torte


We were off to the NHL hockey game this past Saturday in Toronto and thought that there would likely food served, as we were guests of the CBC.  But just in case, our family who were hosting us for the night made us a “snack” to have before we left for the Air Canada Centre.  We tucked in to a delicious salad with huge, grilled shrimp and garlic toast.  But the piece de resistance was this gorgeous torte for dessert. 

Because of the layers, I imagined this recipe to be wildly complicated but it is simply two cakes held together by custard.  The magic takes place in the oven when the meringue and cake batter are baked simultaneously.


1 c flour

1 t baking powder

1/8 t salt

1/2 c butter

1 1/4 c sugar

4 eggs, separated

1 t vanilla

3 T milk

1/2 c blanched almonds

1 T sugar

1/2 t cinamon

Sift dry ingredients together.  Cream butter with 1/2 c sugar.  Add egg yolks, vanilla and then the dry ingredients.  Spread into two greased round pans.  Beat egg whites and add sugar.  Layer whites on batter.  Sprinkle almonds on top.  Combine cinamon, sugar and sprinkle on top.  Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. 


3 T flour

1/3 c sugar

1/8 t salt

1 c milk

1 egg beaten

1/2 t vanilla

1 t butter

Mix dry ingredients in a double boiler.  Add egg and milk and stir constantly until slightly thick.  When cooked, add vanilla and butter with whisk.  Place custard over bottom cake layer and then place the second layer on top.

 Originally from the Culinary Institute of America

 Kath’s quote:  “Cooks are in some ways very much like actors; they must be fit and strong, since acting and cooking are two of the most exacting professions. They must be blessed – or cursed, whichever way you care to look at it – with what is called the artistic temperament, which means that if they are to act or cook at all well, it cannot be for duds or dummies.”-Andre Simon


posted under Desserts | No Comments »

We Day Winnipeg-Keg Connections


We are a socially-conscious family.  D spent many years as the Operation Manager at Winnipeg Harvest, Daughter #1 works for one of the Canada’s largest disaster relief organizations, Daughter # 2 is studying International Development and has travelled to El Salvador and South Africa to work on specific children’s initiatives.  Son #1 and Daughter (in law) #3 travelled to the Phillipine’s together to serve as Midwife and Pediatric Medic.  And me, well as my readers know, I volunteer each week as a baby hugger at the local children’s hospital.

Our kids know that it is cool to care.  They have taught us, even more so than we have taught them, that we can all find our place to create long-lasting global change.  We strive each day to associate ourselves with like-hearted organizations who put their actions (and money) where their mouths are and that is one of many reasons why we are so proud to be alumni of the Keg family of restaurants.

Over the last 10 years the Keg Spirit Foundation has raised over 5.5 million to support more than 300 local charities helping youth in need.  Until November 27, 2011 The Keg is featuring a special menu, whereby $2 for each entree served is donated to the Foundation.  We recently dined and enjoyed the Deluxe Chicken which was served on a bed of goat’s cheese cream sauce and topped with crumbled goat cheese- a delicious way to support a wonderful cause.

The Keg Steakhouse & Bar is a sponsor of We Days across the country (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Winnipeg) and The Keg Spirit Foundation supports the We Schools in Action program.  This program operates in classrooms across the country.  Each classroom is encouraged to take on a local and an international initiative, and raise both funds and awareness. 

On November 23, 2011 thousands of Winnipeg students are invited to attend We Day at the MTS Centre to learn about some of the most pressing social issues of the day and that they are not alone to make a difference.   We Day, is the largest youth empowerment event of its kind and is put on by the Free  The Children charity.  Co-founders Craig & Marc Kielburger have assembled an amazing line up of world-renown social activists to inspire and ignite the passion of young people gathered at We Day. 

We can all make a difference.  End apathy.  It is cool to care.

 Kath’s quote: “I raised to my lips a spoonful of the cake . . . a shudder ran through my whole body and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place.”-Marcel Proust

« Older EntriesNewer Entries »