Food Musings

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

A Made in Manitoba Sunday Dinner




The gang enjoying our Made in Manitoba dinner, including the Wee One.

Beep, J1, J2, Boo and The Frenchman recently had a siblings meeting and decided that this Christmas they are going to limit their gift exchange to home-made, fairly traded or locally produced items. This concept got me musing about the number of excellent Manitoba made food products available on the market.


Coincidentally, a bulging basket representing the bounty of provincially produced items arrived at my door.

I incorporated as many of the items into one dinner as possible.  Our menu included:


Chicken thighs marinated and grilled in Danny and Buck’s Honey Mustard BBQ Sauce,


Naosap Harvest Wild Rice Pilaf


(prepared with local garlic, mushrooms and a minced stick of Danny’s Pepperoni),


carrots roasted in Manitoba Canola Oil and then tossed in Wendell Estate Honey,


crusty loaves of Sleepy Owl Bread washed down with Naughty & Spice Porter from Fort Garry Brewing with


scrumptious Piccola Puccina’s Coconut Almond Macaroons for dessert.  I received accolades for all the dishes and comments that sips of the porter were like tasting a spicy cookie!

Our offspring regularly depart from our place with left-overs or items that we know that they’ll appreciate.  We sent Hemp Pro 70 flavours home with one for her morning smoothies and Hemp Hearts for granola and salad toppings with another, both from Manitoba Harvest.  Yummy and healthy Zenbars were snatched up by one and D tucked the GORP Clean Energy Bars into his knapsack to help him get through his afternoon slump.

The next morning I ground and brewed organic and fair trade Arabica beans from Green Bean Coffee Imports as I prepared to assemble a fruit crisp utilizing Rolled Naked Oats from Adagio Acres.  A Made in Manitoba basket similar to the one I received would make an excellent Christmas gift for persons on your list.


Since this dinner, I have met another Made in Manitoba creator: Peter Fehr of Gourmet Inspirations.  I think another themed dinner is in store for my family with this line up of amazing sauces.

Here’s how you can buy the items included in my basket:

Piccola Cucina Macaroons are available at Chocolatier Constance Popp, De Luca Specialty Foods, Generation Green at the Forks, GJ Andrews, High Tea Bakery, Organza, Vita Health Stores

Sleepy Owl Bread Bakery located at 751 Wall St.

Organic Naked Oats from Adagio Acres retail listing

Manitoba Canola Oil, see their blog at

Naosap Harvest Wild Rice, products

Wendell Estate Honey, where to buy

GORP Clean Energy Bars, where to buy

Zenbars, ordering details

Hemp Hearts by Manitoba Harvest, to buy online

Green bean Coffee Imports, who sells

Danny’s Whole Hog, where to buy

Naughty & Spice Porter, more info

Kath’s quote: “You can’t buy happiness but you can buy local and that is kind of the same thing.” unknown


Love-that is all.


St. Aidan’s Cook Off


This weekend I was honoured to be a tasting judge at a fund-raising event with my church family.  To round out my area of expertise (“oh-this tastes good to me!”) were two judges from the previous year: Richard Neufeld formerly of De Luca’s and now at Prairie 360 and Donald McKenzie of Dining with Donald whom interned with our congregation a couple of years ago.  Being a tasting judge is difficult business while at the same time being an absolute pleasure.  The difficulty lies in putting words to what is being tasted, in addition to remaining absolutely neutral and objective in the process.


Check out the gorgeous colour in this dish, a Tex Mex Chicken.  The chicken was perfectly tender without having that “stewed” texture that sometimes occurs with dishes of this type.  The complexity of flavours were fabulous, but the calibre was so high in the cook off, that this dish was just short of the top three.


Third place in the savoury category went to Orzo with Shrimp and Feta.  Somehow the cook managed to keep the shrimp firm and juicy which is a tough fete with seafood in a casserole.  The sweetness of the tomatoes was offset by the saltiness of the feta and the orzo provided a toothsome connection.  Delish.


These ribs took second.  I chatted with the cook after the awards were given out.  She once shared with me that she was an uninspired cook.  OMGoodness, something must have changed all that, because her ribs which are a difficult cut to get just right, were sensational.  The meat itself was firm and tender at the same time.  The sauce was complex and savoury complete with a hint of sweetness and that mysterious essence that bay leaves lend to a recipe.


The same cook entered in the dessert category with her delectable Lemon cookies.  She won second with these.


“Savoury” first place went to Zest Pork with Bourbon Mushroom Cream. I tasted the tender pork shoulder first and was impressed with how the choice of lime zest offset the rich tasting pork.  I couldn’t imagine that a sauce could improve the taste but lo and behold when the earthy mushroom and pungent bourbon flavours were paired with the pork, it was absolutely sublime!


Kema is an Indian dish where in this case ground beef (sometimes ground lamb) is prepared with peas.  This dish took Savoury-People’s Choice.


This classic treat took third place and People’s Choice in the dessert category.


Blueberry Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce won the dessert category (this dish had me when I read its name).

The event was a fund-raiser for St. Aidan’s Christian School, located in the heart of Winnipeg’s north end.  The evening provided fun, fellowship, sustenance and a small chunk of money for the school-win, win, win.

Kath’s quote: “The difference between good and bad cookery can scarcely be more strikingly shown than in the manner in which sauces are prepared and served. If well made….they prove that both skill and taste have been exerted in its arrangements.”-Eliza Acton ‘Modern Cookery for Private Families’ (1845)


Love-that is all. Thanks to Barb for sending me the image.



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