Food Musings

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

Lemon Blueberry Spelt Pancakes


Even though we do not typically sit down for big weekend breakfasts in the city, the morning after our big family wedding called for special sustenance.  When I am a little bit sleep deprived (read: had too many glasses of wine), extra carbs, sugar and fat, really do boost my energy.  Besides, (my bro in law Michael says that I can rationalize anything), we didn’t imbibe with pancakes on Fat Tuesday.

Spelt has a fascinating origin and I am just learning how to prepare it.  Daughter #2 suggested the inclusion of lemon.  She has had a craving for my lemon blueberry muffins that I have not had a chance to appease as of yet.

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Lemon Blueberry Spelt Pancakes
  • 2 c spelt flour
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 T baking powder
  • ¾ t salt
  • 1¾ c milk
  • 2 T butter, melted
  • rind of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 t vanilla
  • wild blueberries
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the spelt flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  2. Combine the milk and melted butter, and the vanilla.
  3. Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir the batter just until the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened: it will seem very wet, but will thicken as it sits. Add the lemon rind and juice.
  4. Let the batter sit for 15 minutes before you use it.
  5. Heat a non-stick griddle if you have one, or a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron. If your surface is not non-stick, brush it lightly with canola oil.
  6. When the surface of your pan is hot enough that a drop of water sputters across the surface, give the pan a quick swipe with a paper towel to eliminate excess oil, and spoon the batter onto the hot surface, ¼-cupful at a time. Gently place the desired amount of blueberries in the middle of the cake.
  7. Let the pancakes cook on the first side until bubbles begin to form around the edges of the cakes, about 2 to 3 minutes. You may need to adjust your heat up or down to get the pancakes to cook through without scorching the surface, or being too pale.
  8. When the cakes are just beginning to set, flip them and let them finish cooking on the second side, about 1 minute more, until they’re golden brown on both sides.

I grilled up a pound of bacon, which is another treat that we don’t often indulge in.  We like our pancakes topped with cottage cheese and then in honour of the Frenchman, real maple syrup.  There are no pictures of the finished product because a) I was very hungry and b) was not thinking straight.

Kath’s quote:“’When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,’ said Piglet at last, ‘what’s the first thing you say to yourself?’
‘What’s for breakfast?’ said Pooh. ‘What do you say, Piglet?’
‘I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?’ said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. ‘It’s the same thing,’ he said.”-
A. A. Milne

Love-that is all.

posted under Entrees, Recipes | 3 Comments »

The Wedding Feast-Perfection


The morning of a perfect wedding day.

This past Saturday was the wedding day of the eldest daughter of Brother #3. 


I do not mention this brother very often in this space, but this is not because he and his fabulous wife are not precious to me.  Kelly & Lorraine have raised two amazing girls: Kelsey, the bride and younger sister Kristen.  Both are exquisitely gorgeous in different ways and truly beautiful inside as well.  And we loved Kelsey’s choice of husband instantly, as Adam is as equally tender-hearted as she.

Lorraine looks more like Sister #3 than I do!

Kelsey works at Hair FX, where I go for my hair styling and so I got to partake in the early morning preparations for the day.  The female members of the wedding party were having their make up and up do’s taken care of, as well a little bit of sustenance to ensure that their day got off to a good start. 

I was honoured to provide Kelsey’s favourite Sausage Rolls  (the link for recipe is here for Michael, the owner of Hair FX) that I make every Christmas morning for our brunch together.

The church service too was perfection with Sister #3 and Daughter #1 beautifully contributing the readings for the couple. The Pastor and his wife are long-time friends of Sister #2 and this provided another intimate touch.  Later in the evening, he showed off his other god-given talents and joined in on the Boot Scootin Boogie!

My crazy, wonderful, beautiful family, including my 86 year old Mom-the only person missing is neice Danielle who lives in Australia.

At the conclusion of the service, family pictures were taken in the church, which is no easy feet with our gang.  But this too was perfectly executed for the photographer and her husband are also family friends of ours.  They patiently lined us up, so no face would be obstructed, and knew each of the thirty-five family members by name!   

Our J2 with the youngest member of the family-1 month old Serena.

The seventh floor of the Fort Garry Hotel is perfection itself and was the ideal setting for our magical evening. 

We are a family who shares every joy and every sorrow together.  Kelsey put together a beautiful memorial table to remember all of her family members who were celebrating the wedding feast in heaven.

The earthly feast included: a delicate mushroom soup

a sensational pear and candied sunflower seed salad

stuffed chicken

and chocolate raspberry cheesecake.

Everyone was anxious to get out on the dance floor and the party continued late into the night. 

We certainly are a family who knows how to have fun together.  Life is good. 

Kaths quote:  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.-St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians

Love-that is all.

Guest Blogger: Sister #3-In Honour of Our Heritage


Today is Louis Riel Day in Manitoba.  It is lovely to have a long weekend in the dead of winter.  On this day I like to reflect on the Métis part of my bloodline.  For those readers who are not familiar with the term, Métis is a French word that literally means mixed.  In my mother’s family, the mix was English, Scottish and Irish men who married Cree and Ojibwe women.  We can trace our roots back to the men who settled this country, and equally importantly, to the women who taught them how to survive in the Canadian wilderness. 

Recently, one of my nieces asked me to teach her something about the food of our family heritage for a university class she was taking.  She was especially interested in learning about Métis food.  But the reality is that we didn’t grow up with Métis food.  Our mom focused more on our Dad’s Eastern European palate, along with the typical Canadian fare that our friends in our middle class neighbourhood were eating.  I didn’t learn to make bannock till I was a grown woman.  To be honest, there was not a lot of pride taken in being part of the first people of Canada when I was a little girl.  I think it was like that for a lot of people.  I remember seeing a documentary by a descendant of  Peter Fidler (of whom we are also descendants) where the filmmaker interviewed her auntie.  The auntie told her that she used to throw a tea towel over their bannock if someone came to the door because she was embarrassed.  She said that now, however, she feels like she should charge people money just to look at her bannock. (Métis humour!)  I too am discovering that the more time I spend with people in Metis and First Nation’s communities, the more pride and joy I find in knowing that they are part of who I am. 


For the past couple of years I have had the privilege of doing some work in Sagkeeng First Nation.

The very best part of this has been the friendship I made with Lillian Cook. While she is close to my age, she has become like an elder to me, teaching me many things about Ojibwe life and way of being. One of the important parts of our visits is always what food we will share. This fall, lots of the people came together for an event and feast in the community. They had hunted a deer and we ate variations of venison for three days. 

I especially enjoyed the stew,

but my favorite food discovery was a little something called fry bread-like a deep fried apple fritter (without the apple). I am very glad that no one taught me to make it or I would be in big trouble, it is that addictive. 


So in the end I decided to teach my niece how I make bannock.  No we didn’t grow up that way, but many in our family are very intentionally reconnecting with our roots.  I hope having her old auntie teach her to make bannock has planted a seed in her and she will be able to find her own “Lillian”, who can teach her the ancient ways so that she too will know the people from whom she comes. 

Kath’s quote: “When the moon comes over the mountain, I will kiss under under the moonlight.”  -Cree love song

Love-that is all.


Guest Blogger: Sister #3-New York, New York…the place so nice they named it twice


On a recent trip to NYC I just had to revisit a couple of places I fell in love with on my last trip….that’s right, the food so nice, I ate it twice!

Ess-a-bagel 3591st Avenue corner of E 21st Street

What could be more New York City than a bagel with cream cheese!  There are bagel shops everywhere you go in this city.  I picked up a bagel for breakfast from the shop right outside the subway station we frequented on this stay in the upper Eastside.  The bagel was good but I kept thinking about Ess-a-bagel– the perfect bagel!  Then, about five days into my trip I found myself back in the Gramercy Park area exploring vintage shops with my travel companion when it struck me….I was walking down 1st avenue, not far from where I stayed last time…that could only mean one thing, as soon as I saw the corner of 1st and E 21st I was thrilled to see it….the bagel mother load. 

I had to stop, bought two plain bagels with a side of lox cream cheese, which fed me for two breakfasts and a lunch.  So glad I found them again!

Ess-a-Bagel on Urbanspoon

The Redhead 349 E. 13th Street (between 1st and 2nd Ave)

The purpose of this NYC trip was for my friend, whose birthday is the day before mine, and I to celebrate in a very memorable way.  When it came time to pick the location for my birthday dinner I knew automatically that I had to return to the Redhead for the best southern fried chicken I ever ate. This cozy little neighbourhood bistro was such an amazing surprise on our first trip.  It has since been featured on Food Networks – Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, where everyone raved about their shrimp and grits and homemade soft pretzels, but I think they missed the boat by  not featuring the fried chicken.


 The first time I had it, it was served with corn bread and a salad and this time came with a waffle and sausage.  While I prefer the first option it was all irrelevant when I tasted that chicken again. Marinated in butter milk and fried in the most amazing batter, nothing can compare. 

Ess-a-Bagel on Urbanspoon

The Stage Door Deli 26 Vesey Street (between Broadway and Park Row)

When we planned our visit to the newly opened 9/11 memorial I knew that we had to seek out the Stage Door Deli. Last trip it was shopping at Century 21 that brought us to the financial district as the World Trade site was still in a state of disarray at the time. Right next to the Stage Door there was a small memorial museum that we visited first time around.  It is always fun to visit an authentic delicatessen and hear shouting and feel the energy of the city. We all had sandwiches;

pastrami Panini,

beef brisket,


all delicious, served on fresh bread and featuring the best cured meats.

Kath’s quote:  “the first printed mention of bagels…is to be found in the Community Regulations of Kracow, Poland, for the year 1610 which stated that bagels would be given as a gift to any woman in childbirth.” -‘The Joys of Yiddish’ by Leo Rosten

Love-that is all.


Black Rice Tropical Salad


Perhaps on Valentine’s Day, you were checking this space for a long dissertation on love.  In my mind, the giving of love, is not about this day.  It is about every other day in a year.  My only other thought, is that I have found joy and happiness in living my life as a love “distributor”.  Love someone new on this day.

I have recently discovered the loveliness of black rice.  Last evening, D and I headed out to an Ash Wednesday service and I wanted us to eat quite light.  So this was perfect! Actually better than perfect.  We were blown away by the flavours-like summertime in your mouth.

Black Rice Tropical Salad
  • 2 oranges, cut into bite sized pieces
  • ¼ c (or more) fresh lime juice
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 2 c cooked black rice
  • 2 c mango chunks (I always have frozen on hand)
  • 1 c fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ large red pepper, sliced and add the seeds
  • 1 c sliced red onion (about ½ large onion)
  • ½ c unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
  1. Whisk together ¼ c lime juice and canola oil. Set dressing aside.
  2. Place mangoes and remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Toss gently with dressing to combine.
  4. Season lightly with salt and more lime juice, if desired.

Kath’s quote: “Love-that is all.”-Me

Love-that is all.

posted under Entrees | 2 Comments »
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