Food Musings

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

Le Grand Pestos-Part 1


There was an unexpected knock on our front door and a delivery person handed me a box with my name on it.  I eagerly looked inside as I often shop on line but knew that there were no books that were due on my doorstep.  Carefully packed in a styrofoam box was a freezer bag stuffed with ice packs and three colourful bags of pesto.  I put them in the fridge with a note on them saying Do Not Use as I was on my way out of town that evening.

A couple of days later when I arrived back home, D informed me that there was a lot of interest in sampling the pesto products and so I proposed the idea of our first family Iron Chef competition in lieu of our mandatory Sunday dinner.

Our larder had been needing restocking, so D headed out for supplies.  Teams were decided and first we drew courses from a hat and then one of three pestos: Garden, 4  nuts & Cheese and Sun-dried tomato.  Of yes … and wine was poured.

The teams were D & Daughter #1, The Frenchman and Daughter #2 and the Son and his wife.  They were apparently taking this all very seriously.

First up were D and Daughter #1 as they were assigned the appetizer course and the 4 nuts & cheese pesto.  Stay tuned to see the results.

Kath’s quote: “Avoid fruits and nuts. You are what you eat.”-Jim Davis, ‘Garfield’

Asparagus Soup


As you may know Daughter #3 is not really my daughter-she is married to our son and I love her as if she was my daughter.  Last night she was over for mandatory Sunday dinner and we were discussing what might be a good moniker when she is mentioned here-suggestions?

She is an inventive cook and this is no surprize as she comes from a family of artists.  Her Mom and Dad (who we are happy to say are our best friends) are amazing singers and her Mom V is also a dancer.  If you count tennis as art (which we do in our family) her Dad DJ is also gifted on the court.  Their eldest son is a talented song-writer and musician.  The younger son is a former dancer with the RWB and is now study to be a Physician.  The youngest daughter (our God-daughter) is also an exquisite dancer (think Evelyn Hart’s arms), artist, crafter and singer.  Suffice it to say, Daughter #3 comes by her many talents by birthright.

One recent Saturday, we had a “house” meeting as we are partners in the communal house where they live.  She whipped this lunch together.

Lunch started with her her exquisite Asparagus soup.  The rainbow of colours that appear in the bowl are from the prismed windows in their dining room.  The soup itself tastes like “summer” to quote the Frenchman of the family.  She has sent me the recipe which I can’t put my hands on at the moment.  I can post it in the future, if you drop me a line.

She served the soup with a baquette stuffed with smoked turkey, cheese, tomato and sundried tomato.  Yumo.

Kath’s quote:  “Pray how does your asparagus perform?”-John Adams, in a letter to his wife Abigail

Carbone Coal Fired Pizza


I have just begun a fairly lengthy stay in a northern Manitoba community.  Earlier this week, when our son and his wife realized that we might not see each other for a while, they called to invite me to join them for lunch.  He went onto Urbanspoon to do some research to see what new and fun little places might be worthy of investigating.  To his dismay, I had already posted comments about many of his choices so he had to dig a little deeper to find a lunch destination for us.

His choice was perfect as I have wanted to visit Carbone ever since it opened last fall.  We soon discovered their sangrias were on special so we promptly ordered both red and white.  The latter mixing (if I remember correctly) apricot brandy, orange juice, soda and pinot grigio-refreshing and delicious.

In anticipation of dining on the road, I ordered something a little lighter.  The authentic ingredients of the salad, that is the tomatoes and buffalo cheese were exactly as desired with sweet and fresh tomatoes and creamy, chilled cheese.  Unauthentic though was the pile of arugula on the plate.  Even though I quite like a smattering of the peppery taste, we had already chosen a pizza that was topped with it.

Entitled the Isabella, it was covered with artichokes, roasted onions and goat cheese, in addition to the arugula.  The taste result was a combination of sweetness, creaminess and sharpness along with the pepperiness (pretty sure that’s not actually a word).

Artichokes were also found on the Capo along with red pepper, gorgonzola and capocollo.  I’m not partial to blue cheese but the other tastes were strong enough to de-emphasize the stinkiness.

I had to look up anthracite coal to find a number of positive qualities but the most important aspect is that it burns at 850 degrees which means that our pizzas were completely cooked in three minutes.

I have always known that good things are worth waiting for and this is certainly the case with my visit to Carbone.

Carbone Coal Fired Pizza on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Remind me to tell you about the time I looked into the heart of an artichoke.” Bette Davis as Margo Channing in ‘All About Eve’



Nook and Cranny


D and I are creatures of habit.  We love The Nook on Sherbrooke and everything about it-from the wait to get in, to the crowded tables, to the delicious food and the cheery waitresses who always have a coffee pot at the end of the arm.

It is not that the Nook and Cranny does not have these things but the coziness and neighbourhood atmosphere that we were hoping for, just was not there.

D couldn’t decide between the cinnamon bun French toast and eggs, so he ordered both-one of the many reasons why I love the guy (he has always known what he wants).

The eggs came with toast and hash browns and he was content.  Actually, he was quite impressed with the French toast and commented how resourceful they were for finding a use for excess buns.

I was in a more decadent mood that Sunday morning and ordered the asparagus omelet and a side of ham.  Ill admit, it was because it came with hollandaise that I was tempted.  Turned out that the asparagus was the star on the plate-bright, bright green and prepared to a perfect el dente.  My hash browns also came extra crispy as I requested.   This may seem to be in the small points department but it was huge for me.

So all in all, we had a lovely breakfast, we just have a preference for what feels more like home to us in the original Nook.

The Nook and Cranny on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:   “One word, in this place, respecting asparagus. The young shoots of this plant, boiled, are the most unexceptionable form of greens with which I am acquainted.”William Andrus Alcott (1846)

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