Food Musings

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

The Wee One is One

July29

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The past year has been an amazing one for our family.  One year ago today, the Wee One was born with a bit of a ruckus that I am so pleased is long forgotten (well, perhaps not by her Mom).

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She has made each day of our lives rich with purpose and meaning.  We are so blessed that she (and all our family in fact) live only minutes away from us, so we intercept on a regular basis.  We love to babysit and especially our most recent times with her at the Beach House.  J1 brings her into our little bedroom in the morning so that J2 can catch a little bit more sleep.

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D has always been a fun and affectionate Daddy but he is absolutely transformed as a Poppa.  He can’t stop kissing and hugging her and he is mesmerized by every little thing that she does.  In truth, we all are.  We talk about her over dinner and are fascinated by her every move when she is with the family.

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The Wee One will perform official duties a the flower girl for Daughter #2 and the Frenchman this fall.  Can you imagine?

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Most profoundly is watching her being nourished and grow-both her beautiful little body and her incredible mind.  She has a huge vocabulary and loves books and roll-playing.  She has a quick wit and loves to tease and surprize us.  She is long and lean and has a super-strong core, being able to pull herself to a sitting position for months now.  Her mouth full of big teeth (genetically gifted to her through D’s side of the family) has meant that she has been biting and chewing food with ease.  Plain Greek yoghurt and garlicky hummus are two of her favourites but she also loves the cheerios out of my homemade nuts and bolts mixture and French fries (just like her Glamma).

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Her birthday celebration was her first taste of coconut cream cheese icing.  She resourcefully discovered the best way to attack conquest.

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People ask us if she is ever sad and although it is rare, she was unhappy about something going on here.

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She loved the texture of the frosting and spread it all over her body like her mom does with a massage cream when she is getting ready for bed.  She is being whisked away for a refreshing bath at this moment.

She is so social and loves being with her enormous family and all of J1 and J2’s friends.

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With her Auntie Beep

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and her Auntie Boo. The Wee One already knows that food=love and delights in sharing her favourite tastes.

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With her many second cousins

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and her Uncle B and only first cousin.

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We are so blessed that her other grandparents are our best friends and we share in the joy of her in our lives.

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This was their special birthday gift to her.  They are a family who loves to celebrate life with food too and this seems to me the most appropriate gift.

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Here are two of her great-grandmas.  My Mom hired a cab to drive her from the Misrecordia in Winnipeg.  Love was in abundance.

Kath’s quote: “I know why families were created with all their imperfections. They humanize you. They  are made to make you forget yourself occasionally, so that the beautiful balance of  life is not destroyed”.-Anais Nin

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Love-that is all.

 

“The All You Dream Buffet” by Barbara O’Neal

July28

When I saw that this book was featured recently in the book section of the Winnipeg Free Press, I could not  wait to get my hands on it-literally and figuratively.  I was looking forward to reading the story of four women united by their mutual foodie blogs.  But I literally wanted to put my hands on a “real” book; one that I could throw in my beach bag and sink into on the shore as opposed to risk taking my tablet with me.  I now upload books from Kindle, which is how I keep up with my book consuming obsession.

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I always find it fascinating to read a work of fiction that closely intercepts my own life.  This is why I love reading fiction that is food and/or travel themed.  This really is where the intrigue of this novel ended for me.  I found the premise had been done before and the almost instant success of the food bloggers unrealistic (unless I just jealous that one blogger had more than ten times my audience).  Blogging and especially food blogging is very hard work but somehow these fictional bloggers were able to whip off blog posts before turning out the light at night. Case, in point: mine typically take me in the two hour range and that is not including recipe testing, photo taking and reformatting.

But, you decide for yourself.  Here’s an excerpt (the novel includes blog posts, recipes, photos and emails):

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O Cherries!

I am in bliss.  Purest, deepest cherry bliss.  I am going to become a cherry in my next life, born to open my soft pink petals to the new spring sun.  Honeybees will buzz around my stigma and drink of my juices and bring me the secret nectar to impregnate me.  I’ll close my petals tightly and rest in the cradle of bright mornings and rainy afternoons until I grow big and fat and red, the very red of lips, and luscious, and then I will be plucked with gentle fingers and carried, ever so tenderly, into the hot, waiting mouth of a hungry woman.  I’ll feel her tongue wrapping around my roundness, feel myself explode into her throat and cascade into her body.

Cherries are in season.  You can cook them if you want to, make them into pies, or put them in pancakes or slice them into a salad.  But, really, why?  Just eat them.

If you’ve heard fabulous culinary photography called “food porn”, I think that this except might classify as food porn as well.  Actually I am being unfair to the author because when I read it again (I just finished the book this morning) I can see how this was intended to be foreshadowing.  But, and I guess that this is my key complaint, the narrative kind of strayed from the food blogging business and became more of a story of “coupling” with everyone finding the perfect mate in the end.  I don’t think that I am wrecking the story for you as the conclusion was pretty predictable in my mind.  Novels of this genre often climax (pun intended) with a multitude of persons paired off like a Shakespearean comedy or even a more ancient story-Noah’s Ark.

As I say though, if you are a foodie, food writer or blogger, you might find this a fun summer read.

Kath’s quote: “And I don’t care! How about that! I love French fries!”-one of Barbara O’Neal’s fictional characters.

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Love-that is all.

Cheers to The King’s Head Pub

July25

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I once worked around the corner from the King’s Head Pub and Eatery and it was our Friday lunch restaurant of choice. We didn’t sit at the wood as Norm did at “Cheers” and the bartender did not know our names but our waiter certainly did.  He also knew our drinks of choice off by heart, as well as our lunch orders.  I recently got to choose a place to meet up with these former co-workers and it seemed only right that we assemble at the King’s Head.

Not a lot has changed over the years except perhaps that it was once a private club and we had to purchase a membership to attend and sign in every visit.  The pints of beer are still served as frosty cold and our favourites were still on the menu.

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Two of our standard orders were the Fish and Chips and the Chicken Curry.  The price of the Fish and Chips has not risen as steeply as the cost of haddock has inflated.  In order to compensate for its dear cost, the portion has been scaled back a bit.  This is a good thing because I could never eat a whole portion back then and the new size is just right.  The beer batter is what makes it so irresistible and takes me back to the days of ordering Fish and Chips at Eaton’s Valley Room (now I’m really dating myself).  The fries are still delectable, especially with just a shake of malt vinegar and a glistening of salt.  Ketchup?  How dare you suggest such a thing!

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The chicken curry, although not a feast for the eyes, was enthusiastically tucked into.  The taste that was offered to me indicated a confident curry cook in the kitchen. 

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The third member of our klatch loves spicy food more than anyone I know but the Chicken Vindaloo proved to be too much for even her to handle.  She had been duly warned by our server but had no idea what she was getting into.  The abundance of on-tap beer varieties help quench the fire. 

King's Head Pub & Eatery on Urbanspoon

 Kath’s quote: “This curry was like a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony that I’d once heard…..especially the last movement, with everything screaming and banging ‘Joy.’ It stunned, it made one fear great art. My father could say nothing after the meal.” – Anthony Burgess

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Wearing my birthday gift of a turquoise heart-how did they know?

Love- that is all.

 

 

 

Isla Mujeres 2014 Trip Report-Day 11, Part 1

July22

This day was our last full day on Isla.  On this and most last days on the island, we try to fit in all of the events that we haven’t experienced yet.  Most of the circumstances involve food or cocktails.  True to form, J2, her Mom and the Wee One picked us up at 7:30 am for breakfast at Mango.

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I love the food at Mango but I adore the décor just as much.

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We shared Coconut French Toast

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& Eggs Benedict.

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Both the Wee One’s Glammas took turns entertaining her while we ate.

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Can you see that she has her Poppas enormous blue eyes?

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J2, Glamma V and the Wee One headed for Punta Sur as D and I strolled home.

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And then just like that…the weather changed and a deluge began.

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The weather was so extreme that it felt totally like a new day had dawned.  But you know what they say?  Even a rainy day on Isla is better than most days anywhere else.  We coped the best we could by visiting family members to say our good-byes and having a few cocktails along the way…

Kath’s quote: “When we lose, I eat. When we win, I eat. I also eat when we’re rained out.” –Tommy Lasorda

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Love-that is all.

 

posted under Isla Mujeres | 1 Comment »

Beach House Frittata

July21

Flexibility and resourcefulness are primary features regarding beach house cooking.  For example, on this morning I had planned on making omelettes but went to the fridge to find that I only had 5 eggs.  I had already texted D who was off playing tennis to ask him to pick up some bakery bread so I did not want to bother him again.  As a result, my omelette plans morphed into frittata.  This is pretty easy to achive at this time of year when fresh produce is more than plentiful.  Freshly picked spinach was the pivot of the egg pie.

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When we packed up our family home, precipitated by our Mom’s move to a nursing home, we dispersed many of the kitchen items that she had requested, back to the person who had originally filled the request.  This meant that I received her mandolin (not the musical kind, but the culinary one).  The device is a simple one and I get a special kick out of efficient low-tech items.  Hers makes perfect little matchstick potatoes that work great for this purpose.

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The potatoes were cooked first and separately.  Make sure that you patiently wait for them to crisp up before you stir or turn them.  Have a little taste to determine that the starchy surface that potatoes sometimes retain, has been cooked away.

Beach House Frittata
Author: 
Recipe type: Brunch
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 2 medium red potatoes, cut into matchsticks
  • ½ yellow pepper, roughly diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 200 g of bacon, diced
  • 1 small bag of fresh spinach, likely 1½-2 cups
  • 5 ish eggs
  • ¼ c milk
  • freshly grated parmesan
Instructions
  1. Select a metal handled sauté pan that can go from stovetop to oven.
  2. Fry potatoes, peppers and garlic together in oil until the potatoes are done to your likeness.
  3. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Cook the bacon until crisp.
  5. Remove from pan and set aside.
  6. Pour off all bacon drippings except for approximately 1 T.
  7. Place spinach into the pan, cover and cook just until wilted.
  8. Stir the potato and bacon mixture together and then place on top of spinach layer.
  9. Whisk the eggs and milk together.
  10. Pour into the pan until the liquid just covers all the ingredients (you may need more or less eggs depending on the width and depth of your pan).
  11. Cover and cook on medium heat until the eggs have started to set.
  12. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan and place under the broiler until eggs have completely set and cheese has melted.
  13. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

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Placing the sautéed spinach on the bottom layer will ensure that the eggs will not stick to the pan.

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Oh yum.  Use a fork.

Kath’s quote:  “The two-pronged fork is used in northern Europe.  The English are armed with steel tridents with ivory handles – three pronged forks – but in France, we have the four-pronged fork, the height of civilization.” E. Briffault, ‘Paris a table’ (1846)

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Love-that is all.

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