Food Musings

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

Cheesy Baked Eggs for a Large Group



With the arrival of the May Long weekend, our routine of heading out to our little cottage as often as possible, is in full swing.  There aren’t many weekends as busy as May Long (Sister #2 prepared omelets for 17 people), but we do often feed a gang and so I am always on the look out for oven recipes that can be served to many.

When it was my turn on the brunch roster, I prepared these apple bran muffins and blue berry scones.

J1 grilled the sausages on the barbeque for me-such a good boy.

And I put together these Baked Eggs.  These photos aren’t terribly artsy as I was focused on getting hot food in front of the masses.

drizzle of canola oil

1 doz ripe tomatoes

1 doz eggs

grated parmesan to your liking

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Prepare a shallow baking dish by drizzling canola oil into the bottom.  Choose the dish size, so that the tomatoes will stand upright without falling onto their side.  Remove stem and scoop out tomato (set aside inside flesh for another use i.e. salsa).  Place tomatoes with the open top up, into pan.  Crack eggs one by one into tomato cup.  Sprinkle with parmesan.  The easiest way to reduce fat in a dish like this is by sparingly adding the cheese.  On this morning, I had slices of spicy havarti available and so I used it for a heartier version.  Bake for approximately 20 minutes until eggs are cooked to your liking.

Two of the hungry gang.

Kath’s quote: “Hunger is the best pickle.”-Benjamin Franklin

Bill Hanson


I do not even remember how long ago it was, that I met my friend Bill (but my hair was a completely different colour then).  For decades we have been part of a close knit media community in this city.  Perhaps it is only my perception of this business, but for me it is like a game of golf.  You cheer on greatness and everyone strives to do their best and there never appears to be any losers even when some fall to the bottom of the leader board.  Everyone conducts themselves in a polite and courteous manner and there are very few displays of bad temper.  I love this business and it is because of people like Bill Hanson that it is such a pleasure to be a part of the media scene in Winnipeg.

Some businesses play lip-service to the term “partnerships” but the company that Bill headed up for so many years, lived the philosophy like no other.  We often went to them with our hair-brained media ideas and they listened politely, and then low and behold, they would find a way to make it happen!  In the end, our clients benefited, we certainly did and so did Bill’s station because we went back to them time after time, to plan our clients’ television campaigns together, in this mutually beneficial manner.

Bill always picked up his phone for me and gave me advice about the industry in general and I would do the same for him (from a buyers’ perspective) on the few occasions when it was required.  Bill had a quiet, “behind- the- scenes style”, never taking the spotlight for himself but always shining it on his team.

And speaking of golf-the station golf days were the highlight of June every year, for the many years before belt- tightening had to occur for most media companies.  There was frivolity on the course, a great steak dinner at the clubhouse and the prizes…I came home with a TV one year that took up almost all of my van space!  Bill would make the rounds at the end of a long day and thank us all for coming.  

Things had been tough for Bill over the last year but it was apparent that he had kicked the cancer that had meant surgery and treatments and time away for his beloved gang at the station.  And then he decided to go on an extra vigorous bike ride…

I am sad about many things surrounding Bill’s passing but most of all that he did not get to hold and smile into the face of his newly born grandchild.   He would have made an magnificent Grandpa, just as he was an extraordinary management leader and a good and true friend.

One image that is bringing me comfort at this time, is Bill’s enormous smile and long-armed wave, as he said good-bye to us at the end of our golf days.  Bill you were much loved and will be truly mourned and greatly missed.

Quinoa, Black Bean & Corn Salad – May Long in Real Time


Never have I recounted a May Long weekend while it was still going on.  But this morning I am the only one up in a sleeping cottage and I have not yet fully engaged in a good read.  The exception is D who is already on the tennis courts with his Grand Beach tennis buddies.  There may be some sleepy folks this am as the hilarity was still going on when I retired to my cozy bed.  I was actually shaking in bed trying to repress my giggles in order to fall asleep.

Sister #3 stayed with us Friday night and then took our Mom home with her after the birthday celebration of J2.  While she was here, she was responsible for the making and sharing of lunch and produced these gorgeous and healthy dishes.

Quinoa, Black Bean and Corn Salad
Recipe type: Salad
  • ⅓ c fresh lime juice
  • 2 T olive or canola oil
  • 1-2 cloves of minced garlic
  • ½ t salt
  • ⅛ t cayenne pepper
  • ⅓ t oregano
  • ½ t sugar
  • 15 oz can of black beans
  • 1 can of corn (I used fresh corn off two cobs)
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • ⅓ c chopped cilantro
  1. Mix together first 7 ingredients to make dressing.
  2. Rinse black beans, mix together with corn, peppers and cilantro.
  3. Toss with dressing and serve.
  4. I have added cooked red quinoa for crunch and extra protein.

The salad accompanied these:

Crunchy Shrimp Quesadillas

1 T canola margarine
½ c chopped onion
1 c corn (frozen or fresh off the cob)
1 large clove garlic, minced
2/3 c tomato, chopped
2 T minced fresh cilantro
2 T fresh lime juice
1 lb peeled, deveined shrimp
10 large whole wheat tortillas
1 c grated part-skim mozzarella

Heat margarine in a nonstick pan over medium high heat.  Add onion and corn, cook till onion translucent.  Add garlic, tomato and cilantro. Heat through then add shrimp and cook just till no longer translucent.  Keep mixture warm.  Heat a large non-stick skillet.  Place one tortilla in pan, Sprinkle with cheese, top with 1/5 of shrimp mixture.  Sprinkle with more cheese and cover with second tortilla.  After about 3 minutes on one side, then using a cookie sheet to assist you, flip over and continue cooking another 2 or 3 minutes.  Repeat process with remaining tortillas, keeping the cooked ones in a warm oven.  Cut into six with a pizza cutter and serve.  You can top with sour cream or avocado for extra creaminess.

Kath’s quote: “Shucked and boiled in water, sweet corn is edible and nutritious; roasted in the husk in the hottest possible oven for forty minutes, shucked at the table, and buttered and salted, nothing else, it is ambrosia. No chef’s ingenuity and imagination have ever created a finer dish.”– Rex Stout

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Top Ten Reasons Why I Love Canadian Beef


According to Wikpedia,  Letterman’s Top Ten List  was created as a way of mocking the lists which appeared in People magazine.  My list is not a mockery…

10.  Buying local means supporting the cattle industry right here in Manitoba-I come from a long line of agrologists and grew up wandering around the livestock section of the Royal Winter Fair in Brandon with my Dad.

9.  We are a busy, busy family and as long as I remember to take a couple of cuts out of the freezer in the morning, beef is quick and easy to prepare.

8.  We love The Keg Steakhouse and Bar.  D and I met there many years ago and we go back on a regular basis to catch up with old friends and sink our teeth into a baseball sirloin or their melt in your mouth prime rib.

7.  Ground Beef is so economical.  I buy the value packs and then subdivide it into chubs for the freezer.  The less lean grades are less expensive and we have a healthy (and frugal) manner to prepare it.  I saute up garlic, onions etc, in a separate pan from the ground beef.  Once the beef is finished cooking, I place it is a colander and rinse it with a spray of very hot water.  The fat is washed away and then I tossed it with the veggies that have been cooked up separately.

6.  Since there is a diabetes risk in my family, I am trying to consumer more protein and less sugars and carbohydrates.  Beef is a perfect protein source.

5.  I am just slightly anemic and beef is a fabulous way to boost up my iron-I even feel less tired after I eat it.

4. We honour so many special occasions with beef.  From the Superbowl to

the Academy Awards.

I got to celebrate  Mother’s Day with two families this year.  On Saturday, D invited the kids over to hang with me in our yard that was full of blossoming trees.  The next day, I was served up another Mother’s Day dinner at the cottage.  This one was lovingly prepared for my sister and I by her husband: smashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, mushrooms and steak-oh my!

3.  Steak & Toppers-Last year for my birthday D prepared medium rare New York steaks and then one topping of a balsamic tomato salsa and chevre and another of grilled shrimp in a hollandaise sauce.  My birthday is coming up soon-what beef dish will he make me this time?

2.  Teriyaki Beef Kabobs-they were requested by Daughter #3 for her birthday supper this weekend.  D is going to make the sauce from scratch this evening and marinate them for 24 hours before skewering them with veggies for the grill.

And the number 1 reason why I love Canada Beef (drum roll please):  I was the recipient of their scholarship to attend Eat Write Retreat in Washington, DC earlier this month.  I learned so much from the presenters and other participants and can’t wait to return next year!  A life changing experience for me…

Kath’s quote: “Beef is the soul of cooking.”-Marie-Antoine Carême

Daughter #2’s Favourite Salads


While I am on the topic of Daughter #2’s birthday, the Frenchman totally surprized her with a birthday barbecue dinner where we assembled for our mandatory Sunday night family supper and a number of her bestie old friends and new school friends were also invited.

You know that you have done a pretty reasonable job raising a child when you see the people that she has chosen to surround herself with.  Every single one of them: engaging, intelligent, creative, demonstrative and authentic.  They all have hearts for social justice on a global scale-this generation is about to change the world!

But I digress.  I volunteered to make her favourite salads knowing that some guests might need to fill up more than others since it was a pot luck invite.  Here are the recipes:

French Potato Salad

2 lbs. small red and white new potatoes

hard cooked eggs to your liking, we start with 4

3 T chopped fresh parsley

2 T chopped fresh dill

4 green onions, chopped

1/3 c finely chopped red onion


1/3 c red wine vinegar

3/4 olive or canola oil

2 t Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

freshly ground black pepper

Boil potatoes until just tender.  Drain and cut according to your liking (various preferences in our family from almost mashed to almost whole).  Hard boil eggs for 12 mins., cool, peel and slice.  Place both into bowl with remaining salad ingredients.  Combine dressing ingredients, mix well and toss with warm potatoes.  Add freshly ground pepper.  Salad should marinate in dressing for several hours in refrigerator.

Rotini & Mediteranean Veggie Salad

2 c uncooked rotini

12 asparagus spears chopped into 2 inch pieces


3 T white wine vinegar

1 T grainy dijon mustard

1 T honey

2 T coarsely cut fresh dill

1 tsp finely cut capers

1 garlic clove, smashed & chopped


1/3 olive or canola oil


1 c halved cherry or grape tomatoes

1/4 c pitted & coarsely chopped kalamata olives

1 T roasted pine nuts

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and add rotini.  Cook for about 15 minutes until el dente, adding asparagus to pot during last 2 mins.  Drain both in a colander, rinse with cold water and set aside.

To Prepare dressing:

In blender or food processor, combine vinegar, mustard, honey, dill, capers, garlic, S&P.  Slowly add oil and continue to emulsify.

Place pasta and asparagus in large bowl and toss with dressing.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving and gently toss in tomatoes, olives and pine nuts.

There were other lovely treats contributed to the dinner including Sam’s amazing sushi and J2’s Chocolate Trifle with real (not instant) chocolate pudding-oh my!

Kath’s quote: “To remember a successful salad is generally to remember a successful dinner; at all events, the perfect dinner necessarily includes the perfect salad.”-George Ellwanger

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