Food Musings

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

Family Celebration at The Keg Steakhouse + Bar


When D and I dine at The Keg Steakhouse + Bar, we often look about to see multi-aged families dining together and we marvel at their ability to do so.

Boo and The Frenchman are soon off to Greece on their honeymoon as Boo was in school when they were married in October of last year. As a result, they will be away on the day of her birthday. We were hard-pressed to find a mutual date for us to gather together but finally agreed upon this past Monday evening.


We are all infatuated with The Wee One so she just had to be in attendance. Even though she is a seasoned diner, she is only a year and a half, so my expectations for our experience were what I would deem “realistic”.  The Keg certainly knows what they are doing when accommodating children. I suppose they understand that a happy child, means ecstatic parents and the chances of lingering and/or returning (often) increase accordingly.

We had made a reservation even though it was early on a weeknight. Upon arriving at the table, there was a high chair strategically placed set with a children’s menu, crayons and an activity sheet. A complementary child’s plate of crackers, oranges, strawberries and celery sticks arrived thereafter and between scribbling (“I colouring!” the Wee One declared) and snacking from her plate we were able to settle in and enjoy our birthday traditions.

On birthdays, we take turns as a family sharing what we love and appreciate about the birthday honouree. In my personal opinion, this is a gift greater than any material one that could be exchanged. We ordered our drinks and a plastic Keg cup with a straw so we could toast the occasion. The Wee One enthusiastically joins us for this custom, having practiced “cheers” with drinks and even food, ever since she could talk.


Appetizers were chosen for us to share around the table: new items of Tuna Tartar, Crispy Shrimp and Mediterranean Chicken Wraps were savoured along with an old favourite- Mushrooms Neptune.


The Wee One enjoyed her Chicken Fingers and Fries from the Kid’s Menu in two courses and supped on the fries while we passed around the tapas plates.


At meal time New York Steaks, Blue Cheese Filets, Pistachio Salmon and Seafood Chicken were selected by those among us who still had an appetite. The girls and I went a bit lighter with Boo selecting a Prime Sandwich (she took half home) and Beep and I sharing a Mushroom Chicken entrée (she had to take her Stuffed Baked Potato home too).

A celebratory wedge of The Keg’s famous Billy Miner Pie arrived with a plate full of spoons and we concluded the evening with a minimum of disruption to fellow diners. This did mean, Umma (me) walking the Wee One to see the fireplaces on repeated occasions and Poppa playing peek-a-boo over a half wall in the dining room. These distractions were a small price to pay for a contented family. In addition, I didn’t have to shop, cook, do the dishes OR clean up the litter under the dining room table, so it was a win, win, win kind of evening.

The Keg Steakhouse + Bar on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “The dinner table is the center for the teaching and practicing not just of table manners but of conversation, consideration, tolerance, family feeling, and just about all the other accomplishments of polite society except the minuet.”-Judith Martin (Miss Manners)


Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.


Bernstein’s Delicatessen


Sometimes the best things in life are right under your nose. Case in point: Bernstein’s Delicatessen has been at the end of my street for over twenty years and although I often walk through the little strip mall where it is located and see how full it is with happy diners, I rarely find the excuse to visit. But this day was different.

I truly had a difficult time making up my mind. I was interested in the Fried Chicken and Waffles but also did not want to miss out on their amazing hand-cut fries OR their potato latkes. Luckily, my lunch date was very accommodating, so I didn’t miss out on sampling anything.


“Chicken & Waffles” is clarified on Bernstein’s menu in parenthesis as being “Fingers & Pancakes”. Since I love sweet and salty combinations, it was the perfect choice. The chicken was tasty and the pancakes acted as a sponge to soak up the blueberry compote AND the chipotle maple syrup! Every forkful was a complex combination of tastes.


The big surprise came in the form of the Warm Corned Beef Sandwich. If you have never tasted house-made, hand sliced corned beef, you do not know what you are missing. Biting into the sandwich was an entirely different taste experience than the countless corned beef sandwiches I have eaten over the years. The texture of the meat was soft and tender and there was no unpleasant salty taste.  I struggle to find an accurate word; perhaps the one that I am searching for is: sublime.

Bonus upon bonus, I also got to pick at the perfect hand cut fries and the potato latkes with applesauce. Entering the attached store to pay my bill, I decided to pick up some homemade chicken noodle soup from the deli freezer, meaning that I was able to bask in Bernstein’s deliciousness on another day.

Bernstein's Deli on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “The corned beef is exquisitely done, and as tender as a young lady’s heart, all owing to my skilful cookery; for I consulted Mrs. Hale (Sarah Hale’s cookbook) at every step, and precisely followed her directions. To say the truth, I look upon it as such a masterpiece in its way, that it seems irreverential to eat it. Things on which so much thought and labor are bestowed should surely be immortal…..”- Nathaniel Hawthorne (1844), fending for himself while his wife was away.

berry heart

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

Spring has Sprung at Earl’s Kitchen + Bar


Invitations to Earl’s Kitchen + Bar for their regular Menu Tastings are coveted in foodie and blogger circles. Earl’s Chef Collective has assembled a team of award-winning artists so we knew that we were in for an amazing food evening. Cate, Matt, Woody and their local Earl’s team are the perfect hosts; providing tasting notes, photo files and ensuring that your glass is never empty. As a foodie on assignment, this allows you to bask in the ambience and really savour the offerings.

tuna tostadas (1)

First up were Tuna Tostadas-smooth and crunchy, fiery and cool, all delivered in a few bites. A platter of these along with Earl’s well-crafted cocktails will jam their already popular patios this summer.


My favourite of “Cocktail Craftsman” Cameron Bogue was the grapefruit based Paloma.

Bees Knees

Bee’s Knees and Amaretto Sours were also delivered to an enthusiastic assembly.


Our own Chopped Salad which we stuff into Sabih (a common street-food in Israel).

Having travelled to Jerusalem and eaten many Chopped (also dubbed Israeli or Arab Salad), I was thrilled that Fattoush Salad had found its way to a local menu.

fattoush with chicken image 2

When Arabs add left over pita to a grilled vegetable salad, (and Earl’s Chef Brian Skinner adds pita chip croutons), it is transformed into Fattoush. In the holy city, each cook, each family, each community has their own variation. Earl’s version definitely ranks as high as the ones that we have made at home and I recall from the amazing journey that I once took.

moroccan salmon 2

Chermoula is a marinade for fish and is the foundation of many Moraccan fish dishes. In this case, Earl’s Chef Hamid Salimian started with Ocean Wise Salmon and fused it with smoked paprika oil, pearl onions and spring peas.

Although not pictured here, the Spring Creek Ranch beef sampling was the highlight of an already delicious evening. We discussed around our end of the table, that we could taste how much the cattle were loved by the Spring Creek Ranchers. Perfectly cut, perfectly aged and perfectly prepared, the medium rare cuts were rich and tender and almost nutty in taste. A number of us treated ourselves to a nibble of the fat cap and oh my, it tasted as if we had come upon a sweet and exotic oil.


Having only recently tried Bibimbap (pictured above) for the first time, at an authentic Korean restaurant in our neighbourhood, I waited all through the menu sampling to do so again.

korean bibimbap image 1

Earl’s Chef Dave Wong poached the egg in his version, as we North American’s are needlessly squeamish about raw food. The essence of the dish, is the contrast between the crunchy rice that has been made so by the special heated bowl that it is served in, the crunchy vegetables and the silky egg that cooks further when stirred around with the hot rice.

Berry Shortcake

A new Earl’s burger was also sampled but by this time, we were crying “Uncle” and the parade of expert food items from Earl’s kitchen was drawing to a close, but not before, the essence of spring came along- A Berry Shortcake.

Korean, Middle Eastern fare and exceptional burgers and steaks can be found at many excellent local restaurants in Winnipeg.  A visit to Earl’s Kitchen + Bar ensures that a group with eclectic tastes can find them all under one roof or under an expansive umbrella, if you will. Herald the spring with a trip to Earl’s and enjoy exceptional crafted tastes from around the world at substantially less cost than a ticket overseas.

Earls Kitchen + Bar on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”-Francois Minot

rustic heart

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.





Easter at Purcell



New life, hope and joy-what we experienced this Easter. We commenced the weekend with a special Maundy Thursday lamb dinner, attended a poignant Good Friday service and then scooted out to our beach house for a piece of the weekend, returning bright and early Easter morn for a glorious celebration. The fall was an especially tough time for our family but we persevered through winter and now spring has arrived as it always does.


We are a family who loves traditions and our annual Easter get-together is a highlight. Dinner provides the two families of our daughter-in-law J2 to sup together. She and J1 do such a marvelous job of hosting. Their mutual attention to detail makes my heart sing! There were three spring cocktails to choose from (in addition to his home crafted beer and plenty of contributed wine). This basil, amaretto, spiced rum and lime juice creation being just one.


Appetizers included guacamole & salsa, brie baked with slivers of garlic, pesto and red pepper jelly. The Wee One joined in with gusto.


Dinner items were contributed by all in attendance: a spiral ham, cheesy scalloped potatoes, pecan sweet potatoes, sherried mushrooms & green beans, stuffed mushrooms, maple brussel sprouts roasted with pancetta and from-scratch Caesar salad! Our dessert tradition is pavlova and this particular year, it was stellar.


The Wee One patiently waiting for one of her beloved Poppas to serve up hers.


The Wee One’s reading chair set by the fireplace, reminded me anew of the simple pleasures and blessings of life: a basket of books, a cozy throw, warm lighting and a family who thinks that she is the bee’s knees! What else could a 20 month toddler need?

We hope that you experience new life, hope and joy this Easter.

Kath’s quote: “Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June.”-Al Bernstein

heart reflection

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

Healthy eating and staying in shape from the comfort of your home


Like me, if you’re someone who enjoys anything and everything food related, we shouldn’t have to feel guilty about it, right? Right. But, as much as I love my food, it does mean that I have to try and maintain a balanced diet and eat as healthy as I can. This also means that with all the savoury foods, I enjoy, I have to keep physically active and fit.

The winters can reach extreme temperatures where we are which sometimes means it’s advised that we don’t leave our homes. This then becomes an easy excuse (if ever I needed one) to not go walking or to a fitness class. Well now I actually don’t have an excuse because it’s recently dawned that I can bring the gym to me. Ok well not a gym exactly, but definitely part of it. In this case, I have been thinking of investing in a treadmill to keep me active during the cold nights. Not knowing the first thing about treadmills or where to even start looking to purchase one I came across a website that has been a great resource, providing in-depth reviews and information they from experienced treadmill buyers. What’s great for fellow food lovers is that Treadmillreviews offers information to help us understand the numbers that make up our bodies, and helps to calculate the figures in helping to lose weight! There’s also a section on the website where you can answer a few questions and it will work out which treadmill is best suited to you. How cool is that?!


With that all said and in mind, I thought that if I’m to make changes to my body, it needs to start with my diet. To begin with, my diet isn’t bad, but like anything there’s always room for improvement. I started doing some research on “healthy eating,” although that didn’t prove to be much help because it only showed me what I already knew; eat your fruit and veg, drink more water, cut out junk food, and so forth. What I was really looking for was some in-depth information that was going to make me want to drink a kale and spinach smoothie in the mornings and be satisfied with a chicken breast for lunch, something inspiring and motivating. That’s when I came across this Super Salads blog post.


At first thought, a salad can seem boring. However, after doing some research into super salads I found that boring is the last thing they are and it is the perfect way of staying fit and eating healthy, but tasty food. Nutritional, great for detoxing, tastes fantastic and benefits your body. Of course, you still need to be wary of the ingredients you’re mixing together in a salad, but with the endless options and choices, lettuce has never tasted so good!


What I have learned is that working out actually makes me want to keep healthy eating. And healthy eating is doing so much not just for my body, but my skin, my mood and overall lifestyle.

These gorgeous photos are from my niece and Goddaughter’s Joyful Vitality Facebook page. Check it out and then “like” it.

Kath’s quote: “We have said how necessary it is that in the composure of a sallet (salad), every plant should come in to bear its part, without being overpower’d by some herb of a stronger taste, so as to endanger the native sapor and virtue of the rest; but fall into their places, like the notes in music, in which there should be nothing harsh or grating: And though admitting some discords (to distinguish and illustrate the rest) striking in all the more sprightly, and sometimes gentler notes, reconcile all dissonances, and melt them into an agreeable composition.”
-John Evelyn, ‘Acetaria: A Discourse of Sallets’ (1699)


Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

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