Food Musings

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

What Else We Saw in Stratford



Stratford, ON boasts quaint, historic, charming architecture, reminiscent of our time in the UK.















The city is well planned in a beautiful natural setting, so you are always a moments walk to green space.






We were very fortunate to get tickets to two plays for the Stratford Festival: Fiddler on the Roof and The Merchant of Venice.  Both works highlighted the brilliant talent of Scott Wentworth and to see him perform in such diverse pieces in the same day, left us over stimulated and quite frankly, exhausted.  We could only imagine how the renowned actor must have felt himself.  We have seen Fiddler many times before and consider it one of our top five favourite musicals.  We declared that the Stratford rendition was the most spectacular and moving rendition that we have ever experienced.

In spite of the fact that I studied Shakespeare while at university, I had never read, nor seen The Merchant before.  I dutifully studied the synopsis many times over, so as to be able to follow the intricate plot lines.  In the end, I was still shaken by the story and Stratford’s decision to set the tale between the 20th century world wars in Italy, rattled me even more so.  The topic was in no way pleasant for me to absorb, but I admire and respect that the Festival had the courage to stage it.

When you are next in the Toronto GTA, do yourself a favour and make the trek to Stratford.  The culinary scene, artistic community, architecture and natural surroundings, make you proud to be a Canadian and you will save yourself thousands by not having to travel over an ocean, to get a sense of the United Kingdom.

Kath’s quote: “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts.” –William Shakespeare

Love-that is all.

Scotia Amex Cross Canada Meet Up


I am often sent invitations to events where the details are on the mysterious side.  Such was the case, with the recent event hosted by Scotiabank.  There was no mention that food would be offered and yet I should have known with Deseo Bistro being the venue.  With D out of town and my wanting to get caught up on some culinary visits, I asked Sister #3 to join me for the evening.  Our first destination was a new restaurant in the neighbourhood for one writing assignment and then desert at another place for a different writing commitment.  By the time we arrived at Deseo, we had already enjoyed a wonderful evening filled with delightful tastes and good fun.  Little did we know that there was considerably more of both to come.

The cross Canada bloggers meet up was to engage us with a new travel rewards card from the Scotia Amex folks.  I am definitely going to explore applying for the card.  The food theme for the evening was regional tastes from all the participating provinces.


First up was BC smoked salmon topped with creme fresh and caviar (although it looks as if the caviar was not present on this later offering).  The salty smokiness and richness of the salmon was beautifully offset by the buttery cream and caviar.  The latter was lightly applied which was appreciated because although I enjoy the intense taste of caviar, too much could have overpowered the star of the appetizer-the salmon.


Lobster croquettes topped with blueberries, representing Nova Scotia came around next.  I adore the taste of lobster and found that the fieriness of the ingredients which were intended to enhance the sweet shellfish, may have actual masked the delicate taste.  I will happily eat lobster at every opportunity and this is certainly not a criticism, just my preference.


The Alberta beef tenderloin took on a Korean influence with a topping reminiscent of kim chee.  The treat took two bites to eat and was wonderfully messy.


Two delicacies were appointed from Quebec-poutine and foie gras.  Fingerling potatoes contained a scoop of delicate duck liver.  Oh my!


My two favourite tastes are pictured here: from Ontario and Manitoba.


Representing Ontario: baby cobs of corn were wrapped in prosciutto and then grilled.  There were so much fun and equally delicious.


From Manitoba: Omgoodness-the pork belly was sublime!  The strip of natural fat stayed firm until it entered your mouth and then it just melted way into sheer loveliness.  Chokecherries provided that salty/sweet taste that I constantly crave.  Heaven, I’m in heaven…..

Deseo Bistro on Urbanspoon

We were hosted with other lovely treats besides food, including a cocktail dubbed the Lumberjack which was like a whiskey sour made with a maple infusion.  One lucky attendee walked away with a $400. Travel Voucher!

Thanks Ben from Scotiabank for hosting us for this fun and delicious evening.

Kath’s quote: “A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” – Tim Cahill.

Love-that is all.



What Else We Ate in Stradford, ON



Our very first stop on the morning that we arrived in Stratford was the Revel Caffe.  We were able to grab a few moments with Anne, Revel’s passionate owner.  Revel features direct trade coffee brewed from high altitude, shade grown, hand harvested beans roasted fresh each week.  Now if that is not a commitment to quality, then what is?  Anne and her staff have personally connected with their coffee producer in Nicauagara-Don Reynaldo where she and staff joined in on the 2012 harvest.


Anne’s baristas are also passionate about creating coffees that work both for the local and global communities.


I was especially enthralled by their community table, not just because it was obviously restored from recycled elements but for what it represented.  This was where “revellers” gather (what the regulars at Revel are so named).


On this day it was a knitting circle.


Outdoor patio season was still going strong.


Here’s a cozy spot that I could while away an afternoon at.

Revel Caffe on Urbanspoon

Canadian Grub to Go was our second stop where we picked up lunch to eat in the nearby Shakespearean Gardens.


There, we met Robert, who only serves Canadian food products from his wonderful storefront.


He may have to revise the restaurant’s name because he is now serving “grub to stay” in the rear of his location, which he indicated has just recently been completed.


I tucked into this smoked maple ham with grilled onions.


D chose the pulled pork and gooey cheese.


I admire what Robert has done with his brand and his retail space.



His restaurant felt more like home than a place to grab a sandwich.

Canadian Grub To Go on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” – William Shakespeare

Love-that is all.

Ham and Three Potato Casserole


Sister #3 missed out on our family Thanksgiving dinner.  She helps D and I take care of the kids when we host our Young Families’ group.  I had abundant left overs and instead of getting tired of them during the days following the Thanksgiving, I repanned everything and put it all in the freezer to feed another large group.  There are approximately 20 of us in the Young Families Group including toddlers and babies, so this seemed like a good time.  I decided that a baked ham would do the trick to adequately feed everybody and that the ham would pair well with my leftovers of sweet potatoes, caramelized onions and roasted garlic potatoes and baked squash and quinoa.  The supper was a success, but then I was left with a new challenge-what to do with the leftover ham?


I dug out an old recipe that I know that my family loves but was amazed at how much fat it contained.  By the time I had finished modifying it, I had written an entirely new recipe.


The recipe indicates using three different potatoes but this is only because I had three varieties in my fridge.  We have loved all the assortment of potatoes in our garden share basket this season.  I used the array of pink and blue (looked more like dark purple to me) ones for this dish.  I would recommend though that at least one variety be a sweet potato because they have different nutrient values that regular potatoes.  In addition, the combination of the sweetness of the sweet potato and the saltiness of the ham, is one of my favourite taste combinations.  Add the tartness from the sour cream and the sharpness of the old cheddar cheese and we are really onto something here….


Since I was using more than one kind of potato, I had a hard time judging how many pounds I was using.  D eyeballed it at five pounds but I thought closer to ten, so I doubled the “moisture” , that is sour cream and cream soup.

Ham and Three Potato Casserole
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: oodles
  • 5-10 pounds potatoes, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 2 500 ml containers of 1% or no fat sour cream
  • 2 cans sodium reduced cream soup (I had mushroom on hand)
  • 2 c shredded old cheddar cheese
  • ½ c chopped green onion
  • 4 c cubed left over ham
  • 1 c bread crumbs
  • ½ c parmesan
  • butter flavoured, canola spray oil
  1. Boil potatoes until fork tender.
  2. Drain but retain a cup or so of potato water in case your casserole sauce requires thinning.
  3. In a very large bowl, mix potatoes, sour cream, soup, cheese, onions and ham.
  4. If the mixture does not seem wet enough, add and mix in the potato water.
  5. Spoon into two 9 x 13 inch pans.
  6. Mix breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese together.
  7. Liberally shake onto casserole top.
  8. Cover crumbs with cooking spray.



Under normal circumstances, I would have put the second casserole in the freezer but I love to send our kids home with leftovers after mandatory Sunday suppers, so I did so and now we have enough left for supper tonight!

Kath’s quote: “The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for 30 years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.” –Calvin Trillin

Love-that is all.

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Adventures with Family & Pizza


Disclosure: This post was created for the Manitoba Canola Growers Be Well Blog .  I was compensated for my work.  My ideas and opinions are my own.

We have always held family pizza nights in our home.  When our now grown children were younger, it was Thursday evenings.  This was a time designated to “us” as a family.  Now though, we are influenced by travel and our favourite Chefs.


Read my Adventures with Pizza and try my Quattro Pizza on Homemade Dough recipe on the Manitoba Canola Growers Be Well Blog and be sure to enter The Great Pizza Story Contest while you are there.  Great prizes to be won including a personal pizza making lesson for you and 5 friends with Chef Mary Jane Feeke of Benjamin’s Foods in Selkirk.

Eat Well.

Kath’s quote: “You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.”-Yogi Berra


Love-that is all.

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