Food Musings

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

Boulevard Pub & Bistro


Do you watch those cooking contest TV shows? Have you always wanted to taste the fare from the time-pressured but inventive Chefs? Chef Heather Porteous of the Boulevard Pub and Bistro in Charleswood is one such Chef. She competed on Chopped Canada earlier this year. I won’t spoil the results if you have not yet seen the episode.

The thing that I was immediately struck by when I entered the bustling place at lunch time was that all her patrons seemed so happy to be there. I even heard them commenting that it was so lovely that Heather opened in the Charleswood neighbourhood.

My lunch date was a friend who was once hired by Heather to work at her first job at the Chicken Chef in Elie, Manitoba. She decided on the Pad Thai salad with its crunchy rendition of red cabbage, bean sprouts, rice noodles and organic greens. Both our salads were accompanied by huge pieces of grilled garlic toast. But just for good measure, we also ordered the Kettle Chips which came with no less than three sauces: onion & garlic, roasted red pepper and bacon & chive.

My mouth still waters when I recall my selection. The Rustic Italian Salad was a hearty concoction of crispy prosciutto, candied cashews, caramelized pears and apples and toasted quinoa. The salty feta adorning the top enhanced the sweet/salty tastes that I am a huge fan of.

At present meals are being served up in the lounge as they have experienced damage from a water leak in the dining room. This was in no way a hardship as we were sat at a huge half moon booth which was spacious and cozy at the same time. Our server could not possibly been any nicer and our food came impossibly quickly out of the busy kitchen.

Boulevard Pub & Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “Winslow bounced over on the balls of his feet, clearly not experiencing any sort of crash. ‘Aren’t your guys nervous? I’m nervous as all hell.’
‘There’s nothing to be nervous about,’ Beck said, joining them. ‘Nerves are only useful when they can spur you on to work harder, faster, better. Once the work is done, they become pointless.”  ―
Louisa Edwards

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.


Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!



I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Chef Jesse Friesen of 295 York is one of the rising stars on the Winnipeg culinary scene. He is oozing with talent but most importantly is humble, down-to-earth and the nicest guy you would ever want to meet. I have seen him in some very stressful food service situations and he is as cool as a cucumber.

I am personally up to my eye-balls in alligators right now but my friend Susie Parker owner of Sparker Strategy Group invited me to a Manitoba Chicken event and having had the pleasure of attending these in the past, I was absolutely going to find a way to attend. Upon entering The Food Studio I was warmly greeted by Manitoba Chicken Ambassadors Karen Armstrong and Wayne Hiltz. After Wayne and I chatted about the effect of the TPP on the Manitoba poultry industry whilst sipping on a lovely Popular Grove (the Penticton winery who provided all the wine pairings) unoaked Chardonnay, it was time for the parade of exquisite creations from Chef Jesse.

First up was this delectable boneless fried chicken thigh. Without exception the persons seated around our table automatically started remembering their Mom’s or Grandma’s fried chicken. It was that good. I was more than content with the buttermilk soak and southern crust but when I heard Chef Jesse mention that he had concocted the gravy from bacon and liver, well how could I possibly resist?


By way of switching gears, a smoked chicken and crab Chipotle Soup with an aged Syrah came along next.


Chef Jesse has picked up many food nuances from time spent in the Caribbean and his jerk wing salad was perfection in my mind. Feta, coconut and a honey-lime vinaigrette offset the jerk rub and made the dish sing with sparkling flavours. We sipped upon the tropical essences found in an unoaked Pinot Gris with this course.


For the fourth course, piquillo stuffing had been rolled up with a tender chicken breast and was nested in roasted squash rice with creamy dabs of pungent goat cheese.


The most ingenious dish was a dessert featuring…..chicken. Being a lover of the sweet and salty combination, the saffron cheesecake and candied chicken skin had me giggling with the notion that Chef Jesse had indeed pulled it off!

Just this weekend I had assisted Sister #3 as she catered a multi-course dinner and she spoke of the adrenaline rush that she gets when the final dish is presented for tasting. I can only imagine how a risk-taking chef like Jesse feels when he views the empty dessert dishes coming back to the kitchen.

I was so glad that I had cleared my evening to spend it in the delicious company of these good folks. I smiled and mumbled to myself as I strolled to the car “Winner, winner chicken dinner!”

295 York Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “And believe me, a good piece of chicken can make anybody believe in the existence of God.” ― Sherman Alexie


Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.


Best of Bridge Home Cooking


I have never received any formal culinary training and yet I have been told that I am a very accomplished home cook. I credit this to a number of factors: my Momma and Daddy who taught me well and early, my Home Economics teachers and The Best of Bridge Ladies. Their first cookbooks were published at the same time that I was establishing my own home, juggling a wonderfully hectic time of career, babies and married life, while all the while still wanting to host dinner parties with friends, new and old.

The Ladies as they began being known as, had the knack of taking simple ingredients found in our freezers and pantries and with their easy to follow recipes, magic was created. When I look back through my extensive Best of Bridge Collection, I can remember first tastes as well as who was gathered around our table,while the babies were sleppy snugly in their upstairs beds.

Many of our family recipes are B of B creations, passed along when a sister-in-law would say as she put on her coat at the front door “Can I get that recipe to impress my girlfriends when we get together next week?” We could not possibly celebrate our early Thanksgivings or Christmases without  Wild Rice Broccoli Casserole or Elsie’s Potatoes.

There is rarely a wedding or baby shower put on by the “Aunties” without Artichoke Nibblers making an appearance. With this, new generations would fall in love with the recipes of our ever-growing family. In fact, I believe that I am such a fervent artichoke fan because of the B of B Ladies.

On Christmas mornings, my most anticipated gift would be the newest B of B recipe collection. While the little ones played with their new toys and D was cleaning up the wrapping paper, I would hurry to get the turkey in the oven, so that I could sit down and page through the book and dream up events to wow my friends.

That “Christmas Morning feeling” was upon me recently, when I found my review copy of the newest B of B cookbook in my mailbox. The babies are not toddlers, tweens or even teens, but all grown up and firmly established in their own homes. In fact, I had the house completely to myself as D was away on business. I made a cup of tea, curled up in my favourite reading chair and paged through The Best of Bridge Home Cooking.

I often felt sorry for the new generation of home cooks, my own kids included, searching for recipes on Pinterest or on line. They couldn’t thumb through a much loved copy of the B of B books and read their own notes in the margins or see the evidence that a cookbook copy might have gotten too close to a stove element, like mine had. That is, until now. There is a new generation of B of B Ladies, including fellow member of Food Bloggers Canada-Julie Van Rosendaal. She has connected with two other accomplished recipe creators and the Best of Bridge lives on.

Julie will be in Winnipeg promoting the cookbook on October 16th and although I have food-styled for the Best of Bridge Publishers in the past and as much as I would have loved to have been involved in this project, alas, I will be making food memories of another kind…in Tuscany.

Kath’s quote: “Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.” From Best of Bridge Home Cooking

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

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Isla Mujeres Trip Report-Day 4








As the sun rose on this morning, we visited our Luna neighbours who had arrived from the Canadian province next to us, the evening before. We have stayed next to them at Luna D’Miel for a number of years and had a lot of catching up to do.

Eventually, we made our way into Centro and to Ruben’s for breakfast. See the blog post here for all of those details.


We strolled to Playa Norte for a swim. We love the beach in the morning when we have it virtually to ourselves.


I love the Islander women, like the fruit lady who we often see by the market in Centro. I asked if I could take her picture and she proudly agreed.


At lunch time I made up our favourite Isla sandwich-cucumber, cilantro, manchego cheese and lime mayo on a freshly baked torta. I spent some lovely time shelling and then the rest of the afternoon at “home”.



We shared happy hour and sunset from our own front terrace. We were walking into Colonias when our old friends (we met on Isla) acknowledged us as the went by on their golf cart. They offered us a ride as they were heading to Bastos. We told them about Bahama Mamas (blog post here) and they decided to join us. They were so ecstatic about their dinner that they were going to return the next morning for an early breakfast before they had too return their golf cart. Jan and Bruce joined us for a night cab under the stars at Luna D’Miel.

We love our stays at Luna D’Miel but in 2016 we are going mix things up a little. We have a week booked at Oceanside Villas San Miguel. This property combines the best of both Isla worlds for us-private views of the Caribbean and the convenience of Centro. On days that are too breezy on Playa Norte, we can hang around the enclosed pool. We’ll also be close to Isla friends and two sets of family members who always stay in Centro. Now that you can access the water’s edge on the Caribbean side I can search for beach glass right in front of the villas. We are so excited!

Kath’s quote: “Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly”. –MFK Fischer


Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.


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