Food Musings

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

Isla Mujeres 2014-Day Two-A Lazy One








We were up early as D and the Newbie were off to Chichen Itza for the day.  This left me to savour the new day all by myself.


That is until I was visited by two of our babies: our youngest daughter and our first grandbaby.


The Wee One loved watching the scooter, golf carts and red taxis whiz by.



J1, J2 and I decided to take the opportunity to go visit our dear friend Hortenzia at her shop, before the day became too warm.  It turned out the she wasn’t there that day but a couple of her family members were.  They were delighted with meeting the Wee One and wanted to hold her in her new little Mexican dress.  Hortenzia’s son described the baby as being like a sweet piece of candy.

J1 and J2 headed off to Café Cito and I had some errands to take care of in town.  When hunger struck, I was right in front of a place that I have walked by a zillion times but had never had the chance to try.


In Homage to Sister #3, I ordered lunch to go at La Susanita Home Cooking.  I sat all by myself for a very long time waiting for my lunch to be prepared.  Seemed as if they had to run out for groceries a couple of times to complete my order.  I was on Isla time so it was no biggie but I can see why this place is not very busy.

By the time I walked all the way back up the airport strip, my lunch did not look terribly appetizing so I did not capture it with a photo but boy or boy, did it taste good.  The Pescado Empanizado included rice, bean sauce, cole slaw, tomato, mayo and a stack of tortillas.  There was so much delicious fried fish that it could have fed a family.


I spent the afternoon plunked in this chair doing a whole lotta nothin.  I read a bit, wrote a bit, gazed a bit and thought a bit-exactly what I love doing a vacation.


Come happy hour, I headed over to La Brisas to be with the gang and we commenced our parade into town for supper at FREDY’S!



We once again enjoyed the beautiful sunset on our walk.


You may be getting weary of all my photos of the Wee One but to us she is the cutest creature in the whole wide world!  She looked like such a big girl sitting in her own dining chair with her arms crossed at Fredy’s.


Either Daughter #2 or J2 and their Auntie (Sister #3) loved Fredy’s Mexican Plate (the latter orders it every single time).  I’m confused as my notes actually indicate that Daughter #2 ordered the Mexican Plate AND Fredy’s Shrimp.


Dona and I both ordered Fredy’s pork chop (we order it every single time too).  We turned “Legs” onto the double boned chop too.  My portion was so huge that I had enough meat to make a delicious torte the next day for lunch.


Either J1 and J2 or both tucked into Fredy’s Shrimp.


Daughter #1 chose the Grouper.  We all loved our meals, Fredy’s knock out margaritas and his special brand of hospitality.

After dinner I volunteered to put the Wee One to bed while J1 and J2 enjoyed checking out 2 for 1s with the rest of the gang.  They included Bally Hoo on their pub crawl and ran into D and the Newbie who had just gotten off the ferry from their day trip adventure.  I spent the evening reading the house Journal’s of La Brisas-a fascinating story of the history of the home and the family that owns it.

A perfectly lazy day and I loved every sweet moment of it.

Kath’s quote:  “Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy.”-Milan Kundera

wall heart

Love-that is all.


Babysat Belle while the gang did 2 for 1s






posted under Isla Mujeres | 1 Comment »

St. Patrick’s Day at 529 Wellington


I have said it before, I live a blessed life.  I have been teaching up in Thompson MB and fly back there tomorrow which means I have been hard to pin down for a lunch date. There were to be three and perhaps four of us for a midday meal celebrating the success of the Sochi Olympics for CBC Winnipeg.  I thought when I arrived home from a week of teaching up north late on Friday night that I was especially tired but this morning I put two and two together and realized that with my daily headaches, body aches and overwhelming fatigue, I must have the flu.  I pulled myself off of the visiting schedule to see my Mom.  The last thing that her geriatric ward at the Misrecordia Hospital needs would be me, spreading my germs around.  I also cancelled a supper date with D, instead we’ll enjoy some soup and homemade bread and watch the Jets game together.  But I didn’t feel that I could/should renege on my lunch date.  Besides the rendezvous was at 529 Wellington!

I made the correct choice because when I got there, she was sitting all alone.  Life is unpredictable and sure enough, I was the only one from the group who could accept her invite.  My host is animated enough to keep the conversation going single-handedly (not in a bad way, but a warm and gregarious one).


She knew what she was having without even opening her menu.  She declared that she always has a steak when she is at 529-Beefsteak that is.  She is hooked on the Beefsteak Tomato Salad and I can see why.  The enormous, meaty slices of tomato were smothered in thin rings of red onions and blue cheese dressing with morsels of blue cheese, crumbled on top.


She consistently couples the salad with 529’s French Onion soup.  She enthusiastically lapped up the broth, sautéed onions and cheese and managed to leave the bread floating in the bowl. Just before she broke through the bubbly cheese crust, our server came by and poured a glistening of sherry over it.


As I have been yearning for spring, I have also been longing once again for a taste of Manitoba pickerel.  529’s is typically battered and deep fried but the chef was coaxed into sautéing it for me.  The result was sublime, especially with a squeeze of the provided lemon.


This meant that I could justify (in my own mind at least) the inclusion of 529’s fabulous fries.  Fries are my weakness and with the exception of Mexico, I have not had a fry since New Year’s when I made my resolutions.  529’s fries are definitely worth the indulgence.

Our perfect lunch was made even more so by running into old friends: Jim Armstrong and Doug Stephen, the gallant owner/operators of Wow Hospitality Concepts (with Janet Cunningham, another long time friend).  After such an engaging lunch and lovely chats with all, I felt as if I had successfully shaken off my ill effects-amazing how friends can lift your spirits in an instant.

529 Wellington on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “It takes a long time, to grow an old friend.”-Unknown


Love-that is all.

















Isla 2014-Full Day 1, Hit the Beach



Our first full day begins with a quiet time together, just before dawn.





J1 and the Newbie getting their bearings before heading into town with D for coffee and juice.


With Daughter #2’s assistance, I hung the hammock that we lugged from home.  I wasn’t going to go anywhere for a while…..


Hours later (it was maybe 10 am), D and our entourage strolled to North Beach to be with the Wee One when she swam in the ocean for her very first time.


En route, Daughter #1 opted to treat herself to a pedicure in Centro.


All suited up, she took to it like,


well… like a fish to water.



We split into two groups at lunch time: half headed to the Loncherias and D, Daughter #1, Legs and I to Son Cochos for mix and match fajitas ($6 for three).  We each ordered a different variety: fish, shrimp, pork and chicken and then we traded them around to each have a taste. But even better than the tasty lunch were the ice cold Sols that we slugged back.  The walking and the beach certainly created a thirst.

Sister #3 and Dona were arriving that afternoon so D and I hung out to meet four ferries before admitting defeat and heading home for Happy Hour.  I whipped up some pico de gallo and the battle for best blended cocktail between J1 and his cousin “Legs” commenced. Each of the gang bought a bottle for the bar which proved to be economical and practical when the Wee One was put to bed for the night. I loved both the Mexicoladas (like a Pina Coolada with the addition of tequila) and Kahlualadas with a pureed banana, but in the end I was well pleased with the selection of affordable vino tintos on the island.  Carmeneres, Cab Sauvs and Merlots from Chile and Argentian Malbecs, all for under $10.



Wee One got into the swing of things too…she was researching imported beer varieties for her Daddy.


Here’s a far more flattering photo of the two of them.



We have been accustomed to sitting on our duffs to watch sunset but with the Wee One going to bed early and our efforts to all have dinner together, we found that we enjoyed sunset just as much while mobile- strolling down the airport strip.


We found out later that Sister #3 and Dona had experienced many issues getting to the island.  Turns out that they arrived about 4 and we had just missed them at the ferry.  Here they are having their inaugural cocktail before we met them for dinner at Angelo`s.  They look none the worse for wear, if you ask me.


Beautiful cousins.

When you are getting settled in at Angelo’s they come by with a big puffy disc of dough that has just come out of their wood-fired oven.  We tore it into pieces and dragged it through their exceptional olive oil and balsamic vinegar.


Dona and I both ordered black olive, artichoke and ham pizza.  She took most of hers home and she and Sister #3 had it with a salad the next day for lunch.  D ordered frutti de mare pasta and we shared both (there was nothing left for OUR lunch the next day).


J1 selected the Quattro pizza, unfortunately, I didn’t get a shot of it.  Above is the Newbie’s Mexican pizza.


“Legs” and Daughter #1 split the “Isla Mujeres” a.k.a. futti de mare pizza.  This has been my go to choice for years and years and I wish that I had ordered it again that night.  I LOVE this dish.


Daughter #2 remembered the carbonara from years previously and savoured it once again.  J2  remembered the dish she ordered a couple of years prior as well, and ordered the asparagus, white wine and bow ties.


D and Sister #3 both chose the frutti de mare pasta.  The latter did a taste comparison later in the week and declared Angelo’s served a superior version to Brisas Caribe.  Dinner was a delight in every way.


We topped off our evening with another stroll up Hidalgo where we met our Islander friend Jose who sells treats from out of the back of a truck for a couple of bakeries in Colonias.  We ordered the pineapple pie to cap off another perfect day.

Kath’s quote: “He is the very pineapple of politeness!”-Richard Brinsley Sheridan


Love-that is all.





Isla Mujeres 2014-Arrival Day



Let me put this in perspective for you.  We have had the worst winter in 35 years.  Typically when we experience severe cold, the snow is sparse.  Years when the snows is abundant, it is relatively balmy.  The winter of 2014?  Record breaking cold and snow, snow and more snow.  Our entourage made the 7 hour drive in two vehicles to Minneapolis to catch our flights, saving considerable money by doing so.  Half of us stayed at D’s brother and sister-in-laws at their gorgeous home right on a lake.



We left Minneapolis in a snowstorm and were concerned that we may be delayed by the weather.  We endured about a 40 degree temperature change but otherwise our direct flight was relatively uneventful.  We touched down at 2:50 pm on a Monday afternoon.  It was the briefest time that I have ever been in a Cancun airport.  We were promptly met by AGI who even had a car seat for the Wee One. We just missed the 4 o’clock ferry crossing but this provided the opportunity to buy a celebratory beer for the most beautiful leg of our journey.


I stayed on the ferry’s main floor for the crossing but I made D promised to take some photos up top.  I love the crossing and was interested in knowing how everyone enjoyed themselves but especially The Frenchman who was our Isla Newbie.


We stupidly decided to walk, pulling our luggage half way up the airport strip to our homes for the next stretch of time.


The sun was low on the horizon by the time we were given our keys.


J1, J2 and the Wee One looked happy to have arrived.



We dropped off our bags and immediately headed back out for an early dinner at one of our favourite spots.  In fact La Lomita was the very first place that I ever ate on the island, just moments after we had arrived for the first time in 2005.  We watched the sunset as we made the walk into town.


Daughter #2 and the Newbie deciding what they will share for dinner.


They were thrilled with the breaded fish with the surprize of coconut.


Our niece who was a part of entourage ordered the bean soup at my urging.  She was pleased with the taste but not necessarily the aftermath of her dinner.  I haven’t given her a pseudonym yet for this space.  She made quite an impression on the Islanders just by strolling down Hidalgo and so from here on in, I will refer to her as “Legs”.


J2 loved the garlic shrimp (so much so, I know that she went back and ordered it again before the end of her stay on Isla).


Daughter #1 scooped up the shrimp ceviche.

Almost everyone else selected the La Lomita’s famous Chilies Relleno.


I must have been busy with the Wee One to not have gotten a photo of the Chilies.  Here is the bean soup that comes with it.


We augmented our orders with pico de gallo, creamy guacamole and papas fritas.


These were the remains of the day.

J1 and J2 headed back home to get the Wee One settled and the rest of us wandered Hidalgo to scope out the 2 for 1 drink offerings.  D and I departed quickly to pick up some groceries and walk the sea wall on our own, whilst pinching ourselves that we were finally home on Isla again.

Kath’s quote:  “We’re a long, long way from home.  Home’s a long, long way from us.”-Bruce Springsteen

mosaic heart

Love-that is all.




Luna d’ Miel-Isla Mujeres


We discovered this little gem and its owner Isabel a number of years ago when I first convinced D to join me on the island.  At that time, I had stayed in various neighbourhoods on Isla but never the airport strip.  Knowing that D would equally enjoy Centro and the Colonias for his morning walks and time of exploration, while I could be perfectly content just gazing at the turquoise sea and the crashing waves, I happened upon Luna d’ Miel.  Fast forward to this, my tenth visit to Isla, we were once again embraced by Isabel and her sparkling clean, pristine apartments with a very special bonus.

We had expected to wheel our cases into our favourite room which we had secured the year prior before we returned home.  But Isabel stopped us and asked us if we would prefer another option.  An apartment had been built for her personal use right on site but she explained to us that she prefers to rent it to her visitors.  Our answer was a resounding grateful-YES!  Here’s why:


The combination living and dining room (there is a round glass dining room table just to the bottom left of where this photo ends) was fashioned from the former front lobby of the hotel.  This was taken just before our guests arrived to watch the Canada’s gold medal victory in the Olympics.  We spent many late afternoons enjoying a glass of wine in this glass encased room.


Sister #3, D and I had lots of room to cook together in the airy and efficient kitchen where I remembered the front hotel desk of the hotel to be. The kitchen is equipped with fridge, mic, coffee maker and everything that you might need to make simple meals. We were preparing to host the birthday celebration of The Frenchman (more details of the party to follow).



We were able to sit 10 for an el fresco dinner but not without the help of Isabel who brought in tables, chairs, table cloths and twinkle lights.  She is so hospitable and generous with us, having done the same thing the year prior when we hosted another birthday party for Sister #2 and her twin brother.


There were no other guests staying in the hotel the evening of our dinner party, so we set up on the cement terrace for appetizers before dinner.

But back to that original tour.


The brand new bathroom had an enormous walk in shower and lots of space and storage.



The bedroom boasted another seating area, king sized bedroom, overhead ceiling fan, separate (from the one in the living room) remote AC, wardrobe and direct access to a shaded pergola and the plunge pool.


Here’s the primary reason, we love Luna d’Miel in the first place.  It is one of those special places on the island where you can watch both the sunrise and sunset.  We were awake at the time pictured just above, each and every morning, just before the sun began to rise.  We would have brewed our coffee in advance, and we would sit quietly in these white chairs and watch the sky come alive.



We could sit and gaze at the blues of the sea, with the breeze in our faces,


or swing in the hammock (we brought our own from home and hung it ourselves) forever and a day.  Some afternoons we would venture to North Beach but in all honesty, we couldn’t think of a reason to leave.


This tree did not provide quite as extensive a natural umbrella when we first started staying at Luna d’Miel.  It has grown and its canopy has expanded since then.  As visitors to the island know, the traffic on the airport strip is non-stop.  We got used to the traffic noise and gladly endured it to perch in the setting sun and watch the world go by.


This is the view of the Bay of Cancun right from the living room window of the suite.


The sun sets above the palms and over the bay.


We actually enjoyed a rainy day, perfectly dry inside but enjoying the falling rain through the floor to ceiling windows.


But the very best thing about staying at Luna d’Miel this season was that the rest of our family was just two doors away.  J1 would bring our Grandbaby over as soon as she was awake in the morning, knowing that we would be waiting for her.  He would return to their casa to rest and perhaps sleep some more and we would spend a wonderful hour or so with the joy of our life.

Luna d’Miel and Isla Mujeres is our paradise but somehow the Wee One made it that much more glorious with just a giggle, two-toothed smile or gaping-mouthed smooch.

Kath’s quote: “The littlest footprints make the biggest impressions on our hearts”.  -Unknown


Sunrise from Luna D’ Miel-not one but TWO hearts! For us, love was all around.

Love-that is all.





« Older EntriesNewer Entries »