Food Musings

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

Steak, Steak, Steak at The Keg Steakhouse & Bar


Sister #3 and I had a date to go out for a sisters Valentine’s weekend dinner. In the mean time, Boo and the Frenchman were staying at our place and she had to work an overnight shift and would be away at supper time. The Frenchman needed cheering up, so we invited him to join us for dinner. We arrived early because I wanted to get home in time for a 7 pm Jets game. Since it was the Louis Riel holiday the St. James location was very busy with families celebrating the gift of an extra long weekend.


New to the Keg’s menu was a crispy shrimp appetizer that we ordered to share. Typically “crispy” means battered and deep fried but these were lightly seasoned and perfectly cooked.  They provided a nice nibble while we perused the menu.  Winter Grill is an annual Keg feature that highlights some unique beef cuts and recipes that deliver hearty and satisfying dinners.


The Frenchman chose from this menu and was delighted when his Kansas City Strip was set in front of him. He obliged me with a taste and it was the most flavourful steak I have tasted in a very long time.  Not only was the meat itself beautifully marbled and thereby packed with meaty juices but the seasonings were bang on. He enjoyed the 18 oz. cut with a big ole baked potato with the “works”, that is Keg jargon for butter, sour cream, bacon bits and chives. A Keg potato is one of the many Keg cravings that I often have. I can’t count how many I’ve eaten over the years and they have never changed. But why fix what ain’t broken?


The spud was also calling the name of Sister #3 who ordered hers with a side of prime rib. Although the Keg roasts their prime rib to medium rare, it was early in the evening so she asked our server to deliver the rarest cut that the broiler chefs could manage. She too promised me a bite but was so enraptured with her hearty meal that she must of forgotten her pledge.


I am just kidding as I could have easily reminded her, had I the urge, but I was too content with the grilled sirloin salad that I ordered. Beautiful slices of medium rare steak were perched upon a salad of my favourites of mixed greens, bocconcini cheese, pine nuts and an herb vinaigrette.

We all enjoyed our ice-cold Moosehead drafts amidst the bustle of the evening. A cozy fire made the room glow and we were hard-pressed to set back out into the cold and snow.

The Keg Steakhouse + Bar on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “The only time to eat diet food is while you are waiting for the steak to cook.”-Julia Child

fire heart_picnik

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.


My Turquoise House-Inspired by our Travels


I first fell in love with the colour turquoise years ago when I entered a water cave called the Blue Grotto off of the Amalfi coast in Italy.  A subsequent trip to Cozumel with Sister #3 cinched the deal. I was smitten and started incorporating azure in my jewelry, wardrobe and eventually in my home.


In our bedrom, turquoise is combined with lime green and mauve. That might sound kind of “out there” but I think that it works. On my side of the bed are photos of my first journey to Isla Mujeres with my sisters in 2005 and D’s first trip a year or so later. Above our bed is also an original print that I bought while visiting the Frenchman’s family home in Peterborough.


By D’s bedside is a photo of the Wee One’s first visit to Isla. Black and white photos of Italy and Paris also adorn the walls. A coral heart found on the beach outside our little apartment on Isla has a prominent perch.


This hutch in the dining room was my first big commitment to the colour. It houses china, glassware and crockery but of particular delight are the bowls that I purchased for each of us from my favourite dressmaker’s shop on Isla Mujeres.


I love organic pieces like shells, rocks and coral that I accumulate as I beach comb wherever I travel. If there’s a beach-I’m on it!


This window box is full of shells collected on Isla.


In the vase above are a bouquet of the internal spiral of bleached conch shells.  I think that they resemble cala lilies. The photo montage are of the gorgeous coloured buildings found on Isla.


On another wall of the dining room is a collection of photos from Sicily, the Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre, the French Riviera and Paris.


Turquoise has even crept into the grey and yellow colour scheme in the kitchen.


This pretty little bowl was also purchased on Isla.


Turquoise with red, brown and black in our family room.


And so it is in my cozy little home, dreaming of a turquoise sea.

Kath’s quote: “She would be half a planet away, floating in a turquoise sea, dancing by moonlight to flamenco guitar.”  -Janet Fitch


Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.


“Tasting The Seasons”-by Kerry Dunnington



I do not say this to boast: D and I are really good cooks. I say this to explain why it is not very often in our house that D will go on and on about how tasty a recipe was. But such was the case, the first time I prepared a dinner from a new cookbook on my shelf “Tasting the Seasons”. I was looking for a one-bowl dish that we could enjoy in the living room whilst watching the Jets game. This dish was so easy to assemble with items that I already had on my pantry shelves and in my freezer.

The dish was entitled “Greek-Style Shrimp” and had caught my eye because we had just had a lovely visit with Boo and The Frenchman to hear about their upcoming honeymoon to Greece. As we spoke about all the things that they would see and taste, I had a yearning for olives, lemon and oregano. In this recipe, I had to switch out the shrimp for rockfish as that is what I had defrosted for our dinner.


The results were so delectable. Not only did D scoop up two helpings but he could not speak of anything else. This is even more unusual in the middle of a thrilling Jets game, where we are typically either in concentrated silence or yelling at the screen to go after the puck! The casserole was a layered dish starting with spinach, then tomatoes, garbonzo beans and brown & wild rice. Cooked shrimp was called for next but I layered the uncooked rockfish that I had tossed in olive oil and lemon zest and then placed it right on top of the other layers. More tomatoes and crumbled feta went over the fish and then it was covered and baked. The “icing on the cake” was a mixture of Greek yoghurt, oregano, red pepper flakes and pitted & diced Kalamata olives. Wow-deep pungent tastes enhanced by the spritely lemon zest and fish!

I guess that we could have ordered a pizza but in keeping with author Kerry Dunnington’s philosophy we were content to taste the seasons:

…we are reducing our fast-food indulgences (and their wasteful packaging) in favour of home-cooked meals, served with eco-friendly, china, glass and flatware. …the meals you cook at home are more likely to be nutritious and satisfying-as well as far less taxing on your budget and the environment-than store-bought, carry out, drive-thru or prepared food.


By the end of the evening D was delighted by another circumstances-the Jets beat Detroit in a shoot out! He had burned all the calories of our delicious one-bowl dinner by jumping up and down in front of the TV during the game’s exciting conclusion.

Kath’s quote: “It is probable that the lemon is the most valuable of all fruit for preserving health.” –Maud Grieve


Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.


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Kudara Korean & Japanese Restaurant


Korean cuisine is not familiar to me, so I had to ask an expert to join me when I dined at Kudara Korean & Japanese Restaurant. Sister #3 hosts international students in her home including those from South Korea and is a food expert in her own right.


She introduced me to Kyung Jae Lee, the gregarious owner of the four table spot.


The beautiful red walls and brightly coloured photos adorning the walls are as a warm and spritely as the proprietor.

“KJ” arrived in Canada in 1997 and purchased this location two and a half years ago. She and her husband prepare authentic Korean and sushi together.


We appreciated the miso soup to start, as it was a frigid winter day when we dined.


Soon after, a hot stone bowl arrived at the table heaped with steamed rice, stir fried veggies, marinated beef and a glistening egg yolk. The dish is dubbed Bibim Bap. Had my expert not been with me, I would not have known that the contents of the bowl are meant to be stirred up immediately so that the egg adheres to the other ingredients and gets cooked from the heat radiating from the bowl. The rice that was at the bottom of the basin stayed there the longest and became crunchy to the tooth. As a result, the complex flavours included sweet, savoury, tangy and salty and the textures ranged from silky to crispy. With the taste of one dish, I was hooked on Korean food!


As an intermission between our two Korean dishes, came a sushi duo of Yammy Yammy which is my sister’s all time favourite sushi roll


and a selection appropriately called the Academy Roll named by one the restaurant’s regular customers. Originally concocted by KJ’s son it contains avocado, crab, salmon and pink roe. The roll is then crispy fried and adorned with a drizzling of sweet chili and mustard sauces.


Last but not least, was the arrival of Dak Galbi-spicy marinated dark chicken meat, cabbage, onions, and carrot threads sizzling on a wrought iron platter. One taste and you too may become a fan of Korean food. My sister predicts it is the new ethnic cuisine trend.


Kudara Sushi on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “I love food, all types of food. I love Korean food, Japanese, Italian, French. In Australia, we don’t have a distinctive Australian food, so we have food from everywhere all around the world.”- Hugh Jackman

heart pond

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.


Opportunities and RAW:almond


by guest blogger Lori Dyck

When was the last time you were given an opportunity?


When was the last time you took an opportunity.

See, if you wait for them.. they may never come. Today I took one and I’m so glad I did.

I wanted so badly to go to RAW:almond restaurant this winter.  When a friend tried to book us in for dinner this year and told me that it was sold out I was incredibly disappointed. RAW:almond, a unique winter dining experience on the river at the Forks in Winnipeg is only open for a short time… and it’s tough to get in. A few weeks ago I received an email invitation from Sara Comrie who organizes an informal group I belong to called the Media Mavens. I hadn’t attended a Media Mavens get together in some time due to family commitments, but when I saw the subject line from Sara that said “Register now for an exclusive RAW:almond lunch on the river!”, I said, “I’m in!”.


I didn’t know the guest speaker Susan Krepart before walking into the luncheon. I’m now so glad I’ve heard her story. She talked about exactly what brought me to the luncheon in the first place. Seizing opportunity. Susan was the woman who single-handedly organized the Magnus Hay Formula Drive when she heard that Winnipeg Harvest didn’t have enough for their Hunger for Hope program last Christmas. And by organized I mean, she drove all over the city picking up donations and stored them in her dining room. Oh THAT Susan! Of course I had heard of her! She’s a Manitoba Hero, after all!


Susan’s message resonated with me.

“We often think and feel a lot and don’t do anything about it.”

We don’t have the time, we don’t have extra money to give, right? But when it comes down to it, like Susan said:

“Babies going hungry in Winnipeg is unacceptable.”

For the occasional formula I gave my own babies, I know how expensive it is! Many Winnipeg families depend on Winnipeg Harvest’s Hunger for Hope program to feed their babies and for many, formula is the only option. Susan undoubtedly inspired every single person that attended the luncheon today, which was organized by the Women in Communications and Technology (WCT).

RAW:almond was actually the perfect setting for today’s event. Not only because the food is amazing but because of what the restaurant is about. Chef Mandel Hitzer, co-creator of the pop-up restaurant explained to our group why he started this concept in the first place: to bring people together, to share food and stories. Mission accomplished, I’d say.


Media Maven co-ordinator Sara Comrie with RAW: almond creator and chef Mandel Hitzer

Oh, and the food! You can’t go to RAW:almond and not brag about the food you just ate! Our lunch was served family-style along the wood-topped table runner. Plates of roasted beets, parsnips, radishes topped with a yogurt dressing and fresh dill, arugula salad with asparagus and bulgur, and deliciously seasoned skin-on chicken topped with baked fries. So good. Glad I took this opportunity to have lunch with these women today, to check out this fabulous Winnipeg restaurant and to hear Susan’s story. I left full and inspired.



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