Food Musings

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

2016 Isla Mujeres Trip Report-Day Two



We were blessed with a great first night’s sleep and so we were up before the sun. In fact, the moon was still out.


A beautiful shot of the villa that we would move to mid-week.



The gorgeous Villas looked even more lovely in the rising sun.

D had everything set up i.e. coffee and chairs for sunrise that first morning from the roof at Villas San Miguel.





We realized that we must have been sitting in someone else’s chairs and sure enough we met Milly and Kim from Minneapolis. We hit it off immediately. They emptied their surplus holiday supplies with us. We walked them to the ferry. There was an entourage of many people I know saying good-bye to Cousin Frank.


The view out of our kitchen window.


The gate that is locked and secure at night. I love seeing the shock of the blue Caribbean!




Every morning that I am on Isla I go beachcombing for treasures.


This was my haul the first day. Do you see the green marble in the middle of my stash? I sometimes find one over the course of a couple of weeks. I have never ever found one my first day!


The kitchen at Villas San Miguel was perfectly set up for light meals.


That morning D had a fancy for a homemade breakfast of Isla ham and eggs.


We had a lovely breakfast around the pool.


Then we walked to North Beach for a brief dip and to hook up with Bro #3 and all the gang. In addition, were Margaret & Andy and Margaret’s brother Wilf and Arlene as well as my second cousin Sandra, her husband Tim and their friends Carol & Gord.


A quick trip back to the Villas San Miguel for a shower.




That evening I had tried to arrange an Islaholic meetup. We walked down the west side of the island to Sergio’s (now closed).



We were familiar with the beautiful setting at Sergio’s.


Sunset was mysterious.


Our family made up a portion of a larger group. My husband D is besides me. In front is our family friend Dona in red. Sister #3 is in between D and I and Bro #3 is behind Dona. Our Sis-in-law is in the middle.


Coconut Shrimp


Whole fish


Fish tacos

There were 15 in our group that evening at Sergio’s for dinner. Which was great, except I already knew every single one of them. There were problems with the food coming out of the kitchen. Many people ordered the Parmesan fish that we all remembered from Sergio’s Playa Sol.


I had herb fish and


D had a tough time chewing his Octupus.


Bro #3 enjoyed his wings. Unfortunately Sergio wasn’t around to have a visit with. In the mean time long time friend Ziggy tried his best to make us feel welcomed.

Kath’s quote: “Octopuses have hundreds of suckers, each one equipped with its own ganglion with thousands of neurons. These ‘mini-brains’ are interconnected, making for a widely distributed nervous system. That is why a severed octopus arm may crawl on its own and even pick up food”. Frans de Waal


Love never fails.

Isla Mujeres 2016 Trip Report, Day One, Part Two





When we stay in Centro our favourite spot for sunset is Playa Sol. I love the setting sun on the local’s boats on the shore.





The silhouette of the palms is one of my favourite Isla sites.





Playa Sol is a special spot where our family loves to congregate for sunset.



As we walked past the cemetery, the angels hushed us.



We chose Abuelo’s for our first dinner where I indulged in bacon-wrapped shrimp


and D chose lobster stuffed fish.


Friends and relations (my second cousin) were dining at Abuelo’s too. I couldn’t resist also taking a photo of one of their meals.

We have enjoyed dining at Abuelo’s since it was a three table spot and loved watching as the family succeeded and re-invested in their family business.

As would prove to be our Isla routine, we walked the beach and then Hidalgo. I was surprised that we were still awake at 9 pm when we had been awake since 4 that morning.

Kath’s quote: “Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”-Rabindranath Tagore


Love never fails.

2016 Isla Mujeres Trip Report-Day One, Part One


The flight was a piece of cake Then we flew through the airport and caught the 12 noon ferry. We were met by Sister #3 and Dona and they accompanied us to Villas San Miquel. (I wrote a more extensive post about the villas, right after we got home, in this link)


The view from our first room-the pool courtyard is quiet and gets both sun and shade throughout the day.




The arches and the architectural attention to detail certainly impressed.


The kitchen was so well equipped with everything you might need for a short or long stay.



The artistry of the building, furniture and decorative pieces was top notch and you knew that no expense had been spared  for your enjoyment and comfort.


Our first look at Villas San Miguel was fabulous!



Sister #3 & Dona joined us for fish tacos (mine was garlic broiled not deep fried) at Bally Hoo as is our Isla tradition. We met Jan and Michelle from PEI who we befriended the year prior at Luna D’Miel. They were on their way home. We had a lovely visit.

We headed back to Villas San Miguel so that D could have a nap and then we ventured out for groceries, beer and wine. Since the Villas are just across the zocolo from the Supermercado, shopping for supplies and running them home was as easy as pie.



We tried to hook up with the gang on the island but had no luck. So we had our own Happy Hour on the rooftop of Villas San Miguel.

The next weighty decision was trying to decide where to catch sunset and our first dinner of the trip. Sat-tuned!

Kath’s quote: “Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”  ― Anita Desai


Love never fails.




How many readers remember when Corydon Ave. was Little Italy? In my humble opinion those were the good old days. Then the village went through a Sushi phase and now, I am happy to say, there seems to be a new era of ethnic restaurants popping up. The Georgian restaurant Saperavi for one and Bisita (837 Corydon Ave.) serving excellent Philipino food.


There were four of us celebrating a sibling’s birthday so we were perfectly comfortable sharing plates. We split an appetizer of Lumpia Shanghai. Lumpia are mini spring rolls and are a mainstay of Philippine cuisine. These were chock full of minced pork and veggies, then drizzled with a sweet soy sauce and sriracha mayo. We were off to a great start.


Three dishes arrived at the same time to share as our entrée. Beef “Pares” Short Rib which is one of the most famous street foods in the Philippines. The ribs were seasoned in a special blend of spices until perfectly tender, served atop a bed of garlic sautéed bok choy and then garnished with crispy fried onions. Pancit is the Philippine’s version of chow mein.


Pancit is the Philippine’s version of chow mein. Our Classic Pancit was adorned with crispy pork belly, grilled chicken and sautéed shrimp.


My favourite was Lechon Kawaii where once again pork belly was brined, then fried to a delicate crispiness resulting in a treat that was crunchy on the outside but meltingly tender within.


As a treat, owner Roddy Seradilla, also brought us a serving of Pork Belly Sisig. He explained that the dish was typical of food that you would serve to your friends when they assembled in your backyard for an afternoon or evening of drinking beer. In this case pork belly was marinated in a sour liquid, braised with aromatics and spices and then roasted to super crispiness. The concoction was delicious on its own and sensational with the addition of a perfectly cooked quail egg.


Since we were celebrating a birthday, dessert was in order. We chose a sampler of Buko pie, Ube cake (made with purple yams) and Leche Flan. All delicious.

If you are heading to Corydon Ave, and are looking for a surprising alternative to sushi, I highly recommend you stop in at Bisita.

Bisita Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “Pork fat rules!” Emeril Lagasse


Love never fails.

Tuscany Departure Day Trip Report-Part Two


Our lunch stop in Lucca was at a place called La Collona on one of the village piazzas but not a large (or significant one). D spotted hot dogs and hamburgers on the menu but luckily they also served traditional dishes. D loves carbonara and chose it with the inclusion of Italian eggs.


The dish was very yellow and truly looked like scrambled eggs and pasta.


I knew that it would be my last chance for authentic Italian eggplant. I was not disappointed. The portion was petite but the flavour was huge. The eggplant was smooth & silky and sparkled when combined with the tomato sauce. I think that the dish had been baked without breading and frying the eggplant first. I thought to myself “I am going to have to try this version at home”.

The nicest part of our lunch was meeting Jeremy & Sarah Northcott from Cornwall where he is a retired teacher, now writer and photographer and she is a police crime investigator. They had a similar charm and wit of our friends Dave and Elaine and I have a hunch that we will stay in touch.



This was the spot where we decided I should stay put until D found the car.

We lingered for longer than we had anticipated and then I got us lost. D wanted us to follow our path back to the car but I insisted that would mean back-tracking and I thought I knew better. D ended up doing the brunt of the walking to retrace our original steps, find the car and pick me up. Unfortunately, the car keys were in the backpack that he asked me to hold and so he ended up making another lap across town to fetch me on foot. He was lovely and patient with our delayed exit of Lucca.


We drove through a long valley to make our way back to the autostrata and Milan. The sun was setting over the mountains to the west and kissing the ones to the east with patches of sunlight. We were sadly leaving Tuscany and in order to do so we had to cross a section of the country where the autostrata was elevated and there were hairpin turns. To make it worse, there was construction which resulted in two way traffic. I was happy to get back to flatter land but my relief was short lived. Grid locked traffic was encountered the closer we got to Milan and instructions on the Googled maps that I had were cryptic. Once again I regretted that we had not acquired a GPS when we had picked up the car.


We were blessed by this beautiful sunset that I captured as we were speeding by.


The view from our room at the Hilton.

I was stressed and worn out by the time we checked in. We had a pretty pedestrian supper in the Hilton which otherwise was a pretty decent hotel. D took care of gassing up and we headed to the airport with time to spare to avoid undue surprizes.


Our last Italian meal was pizza at the airport and we were off to New York City.

Kath’s quote: “My idea of heaven still is to drive the gravel farm roads of Umbria and Tuscany, very pleasantly lost.” ― Frances Mayes


Love never fails.

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