Food Musings

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

Lobster Summer at The Keg Steakhouse + Bar



Recently, I had the opportunity to assemble a number of my social media friends on the patio of the Southside Keg here in Winnipeg. The occasion was the opportunity to get a detailed look at the Lobster Summer menu features.


We sipped upon a lovely and refreshing cocktail that had been specially concocted for our evening as we awaited the last of the group.


First up was the Szechwan Lobster which also contained crispy shrimp and asparagus spears. The latter tasted even better than asparagus tempura which I happen to love. The sweetness of the accompanying sauce offset the spiciness. The crisp white wine that had made its way around the table, didn’t hurt either.


These crispy lobster tacos were a hit too.


Already a fan of The Keg’s Shrimp Gratinee, this special version with these huge chunks of lobster was utterly decadent. The sweet lobster was baked in butter, garlic and herbs and would have been scrumptious enough without the inclusion of a goey cheese blend. This dish in particular was so good that we all broke off pieces of bread to dunk into the escargot dish divets to soak up every last drop.


The colourful Surf + Turf arrived next. The mini filets were perfectly cooked to medium rare.


Haven eaten lobster rolls on Cape Cod, I was not prepared to be so impressed by The Keg’s version. The sparkling taste of the chilled seafood could shine as the mayo was added with a light touch and the grilled brioche added that crispy buttery taste that I crave.


As if all these amazing tastes had not been enough, it was time for dinner. As we donned our lobster bibs we posed for this group shot. I thought that we all looked like patients ready to see our dentists!


This was what a one pound lobster tail looked like. Can you imagine how huge the whole crustacean must have been? The meat was dense with sweetness and flavour and I thought I might have died and gone to shellfish heaven.


For another perspective, this is how big the shell of that baby was.


The star of the show was still to come- a two pound whole live lobster. These were flown in the morning of our meet up from Nova Scotia. One of the guests who hails from Newfoundland demonstrated how to take apart the gorgeous creature with her bare hands.


Look at all that beautiful lobster meat and that was from a single claw.


The remains of our eating adventure may have best demonstrated what a lovely time was had by all.

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Of course no meal is perfect unless it is shared with good friends. It is hard for me to imagine that I had never met anything of these good folks (with one exception) before I ventured into the blogisphere. Missing was our friend Shel Zolkewicz.


Katie Nicholson of CBC fame, also writes for Pepper + Vine. In the foreground is Robin Summerfield who has a fabulous cookbook on Winnipeg Chefs that will be coming out this fall. You may also know her from her years with Peg City Grub.


Natalie Bell also uses the Peg City Moniker. She is Peg City Lovely.


Photographer Ian McAusland is the only person in this group that I had crossed paths with in my previous career.


This is sparkplug Susie Parker of Sparker Strategy Group.


Rebecca Hadfield writes Relish when she isn’t making gourmet granola bars or teaching a spin class.


Ron Cantiveros co-publishes the Filipino Journal. He has written 74,000 tweets from his account.

Kath’s quote: Perfectly prepared lobster are “not unlike hot curds, juicy and tender, and sweet as scorched honey from ocean depths.”-Kenneth Robert


Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.



Jonnie’s Sticky Buns


D travels for business and I often take the opportunity to dash about town, picking up solo treats to sustain me while he is away. Jonnie’s Sticky Buns at 941 Portage Ave has plenty of street parking in the area, to run in and walk out with a late breakfast and a treat for later in the day.

I first met Jon McPhail when he opened the neighbourhood bakery. At that time a hearty bunwich like the one that I tucked into, was not available. The local hang out has evolved over the years to the thoroughly satisfy their many customers. I understand doughnuts are the new rage-I’ll take a cinnamon bun any day.


The Breakfast Bunwich starts with a just baked roll, to which a perfectly cooked egg was placed. By this I mean: not one with a runny yolk that leaks out of the sandwich and all the way down your arms to the elbows.  The gooey Bothwell cheese, chorizo sausage and sweet curry ketchup elevated a typical breakfast sandwich into a category of its very own.


I waited all day to sample my next treat- a whole grain sticky bun. My Mom, who made the greatest cinnamon buns I had ever tasted, would be hard-pressed to duplicate this. Yeasty and standing tall, I split it down the middle, grilled it and lavishly applied the butter. If you are going to splurge on all those carbs and sugars, you might as well do it up right!


Jonnies is one of those perfect places that takes a simple concept, sticks to it and excels at it.

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Kath’s quote: “Sticky cinnamon buns belong to Philadelphia… This is a bun of true cinnamon flavour, of a stickiness incarnate.” –Best Recipes of 1949 (This Week Magazine) I would beg to differ Mark Kurlansky!

cinamon roll heart

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

Birthday Celebrations-Part 2



The evening of my birthday commenced with a thoughtful gift from my Bestie who had to bring a full-sized suitcase with her from TO to accommodate the gift. “60 Shades of Turquoise” was a basket full of little tokens of our friendship and our mutual love of hearts and the colour of the Caribbean sea.


A careful decision was made as to where I wanted to dine with my husband and my best friend on the evening of my 60th. I had a list of restaurants that I had intended to write about for various publications but decided upon 295 York. I have always found their dining room cozy and sophisticated at the same time, with unusual floor to ceiling drapery creating intimate conversation areas for the dining patrons.

I have met Jesse Friesen the young chef of the urban steakhouse on numerous occasions. I know his grandfather in fact and can speak of the fine family he comes from. He is a shining star in the newish batch of chefs coming out of Winnipeg’s many culinary programs.

Jesse couples the varied selections of beef, pork, veal and lamb with down-home favourites of Mashed Potato, Mac ‘n Cheese (with truffle & herbs) and creamed corn made luxurious with bacon and gouda cheese.


We started with cocktails and by sharing Coconut Shrimp which is a favourite of mine when we travel to Isla Mujeres. In fact Melinda and her husband have joined us on a couple of occasions. Chef Jesse’s version is elevated by the inclusion of crushed macadamia nuts. I had also been tempted by the Pulled Duck Quesadilla which I had tasted on other visits.


For our mains Melinda selected the Seafood Trio of prawns, scallops and a half lobster tail


while D and I shared a Berkshire Pork Chop ( perfectly cooked to medium rare)


and Seared BC Scallops. All were perfectly prepared and succulent.


Our server surprised me with a Crème Brulee, but in truth we were too full for dessert and wanted to catch the sunset on my special day, so our next stop was the Whiskey Lounge at Prairie 360.


Nature’s sunset show was spectacular.

There were two things that we found a bit disconcerting about our time there.  One were the enormous game trophies which hung on the walls and seemed more suited to a hunting lodge.


Two were the flying saucers that hovered in the sky as we gazed outside…

My soiree was planned for the next day so we made it an early night.

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Kath’s quote: “Condiments are like old friends — highly thought of, but often taken for granted.”-Marilyn Kaytor


Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

Birthday Celebration-Part 1


Bestie Melinda arrived Friday evening of the weekend of my birthday soiree. We headed from the airport to The Keg Steakhouse + Bar which was appropriate since we both worked there when we had just met at 19. In the lounge that evening was one of the waiters from 40 years prior so we had a little catch up chat with him as well.

The next morning I woke up to greetings and smooches. It was my 60th birthday! D wanted us to vacate so that he could put finishing touches on the house and some of the appetizers that he was preparing for the party. We ended up at the Marion Street Eatery housed in the Marion Hotel, which Melinda remembered from the days when her husband played there in his punk band.


We both opted for the decadent Eggs Benedictine. The hollandaise sauce was light and lemony and the egg perfectly poached. But the piece de resistance was the just carved slice of old fashioned ham that substituted for the typical Canadian back bacon. Oh so good.

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Still having time to kill, we found our way to the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden at Assiniboine Park. We both loved the play of dappled light through the newly greened trees that landed on the artist’s exquisite renderings.

The afternoon was spent with two other old friends, sitting in the sun and drinking tea. The perfect start to a wonderful weekend.

Kath’s quote:

If you are cold, tea will warm you;
if you are too heated, it will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
If you are excited, it will calm you.”
― William Ewart Gladstone


Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.




Keg Garry St. Patio


If you live on the Canadian prairies you know how short summer is and likely find ways to be outside as much as possible. When the three sisters decided to convene for an evening recently to officially kick off summer, the Keg Garry St. Patio was high on our list. The established landscaping is beautiful, as is the water feature and outdoor fireplace. We met early to find the perfect table amidst the after work crowd.


The evening started with strawberry basil mojitoes that were as refreshing as they looked.


But so was the beer


and my glass of merlot for that matter.

Soon appetizers to share of tuna tartare and crispy shrimp arrived.


Sister #2 who was not certain she would like the taste of raw tuna, dived right in. Since you can scoop the fish and chopped avocado up with a crispy wonton noodle, she decided she did!


The crispy shrimp is a new favourite especially when swiped through the delicious dip that it is accompanied with.


We are all steak lovers but were looking for an entree on the lighter side so we were delighted when our helpful server indicated that there was a marinated flank steak and grilled shrimp combo on special that evening.  We decided to share the huge entrée three ways and each ordered our own loaded baked potatoes.

Not only was the steak perfectly marinated and cooked but when it was served pre-sliced it was so easy to divide up. By coincidence the shrimp skewer came with three enormous shrimp (I always laugh inwardly when I describe shrimp that way).

With no room for dessert, coffee or after dinner drinks, we settled in for a real good catch up and then headed off into the still beautiful evening.

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Kath’s quote:

“For there is no friend like a sister
In calm or stormy weather; 
To cheer one on the tedious way, 
To fetch one if one goes astray,
To lift one if one totters down, 
To strengthen whilst one stands” 
 Christina Rossetti, 


Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

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