Food Musings

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

Young Families Dinner

June1

The table was set to reciprocate for the meals that we had shared over the winter.  The young families that we host at our home monthly, wanted to thank us for our cozy times with a spring dinner celebration in our honour.

And were these folks organized!  This was the task list posted in the kitchen.  And here were our handsome chefs.

It was a spring time citrus theme and while the guys were busy in the kitchen, amazingly delicious cocktails were served in the yard as the little ones picnicked on quesadillas (which looked pretty darned good too)!

Soon we were called to dinner and assembled around the dining room table which was set up in the sun-filled living room.

The timing of the event was consistent with our mandatory Sunday dinner and so our gang was invited as well as Sister #3 who assists us when we host the group at our home every month.

On to the food:

The ribs were succulent.

As was the cauliflower in a rich and creamy bechamel.

Throughout dinner we were entertained with instrumental renditions of our eclectic music choices as well as a special treat of music from one of the beloved Moms who is a concert pianist and was performing later that evening.

The menu and recipe (but not the inspired setting) came from this cookbook:

The collection provides all the information necessary for busy families to shop and prepare nutritious and balanced meals for their families.

All the ingredients and timing of the preparations are clearly outlined.

As well as step by step photos of the process.

The piece de resistance of the evening was when the kids changed into their waiter attire and each served us our dessert.

Look at the joy that asking the kids to participate can bring!

And how seriously and with determined concentration, the tasks were taken on.

The bananas in lime juice were divine but in truth, I could have been fed anything and I could not have been more surrounded with love.

Kath’s quote: “Cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love.”-Craig Claiborne

Love-that is all.

Sunday Lunch at Pine Ridge Hollow

May31

There are times when D and I head out to the cottage for a short time without packing up any groceries.  This is a far cry from the days when the kids were growing up and we looked like the Beverley Hillbillies even when we were just packed up for a short time.  This weekend, was a case in point.  We arrived in time for Saturday evening dinner at the “big” cottage as it is affectionately known (meaning that it is “bigger” than our tiny one).  On Sunday morning we had coffee fixings and then we headed 2/3 of the way into town and ventured into beautiful Bird’s Hill Park.

When we arrived at Pine Ridge Hollow (without a reservation) we were told that there would be a 15 minute wait, which we gladly used to snoop around their splendid gift shop.  The decor items are gorgeous and perfect for the cottage, so we made a couple of little purchases.

When we were sat in the second floor dining room, we noticed many multi-generational families in large groups finishing up their lunches.  We’ll have to remember this special gathering place in the future.

I was an absolute thug after we perused the menu because it was so beautiful, I had a difficult time making a choice.  The physical layout of the menu has a number of photos and sections and little anecdotal words.  I guess I was so drawn to it because it is very much like my blog template.

In the end I chose the apple, walnut and goat cheese salad, which after I ordered it, realized that is was almost exactly what I ordered my last time to a restaurant (that being Dessert Sinsations the previous Thursday).  I told you I was distracted….

Even though the ingredients were very similar, they tasted very different and I enjoyed Pine Ridge’s version just as much.  Just one tiny suggestion-the server knew that I was avoiding deep-fried items because I had already passed on the pickerel for that reason and yet the two disks of goat cheese were panko coated and deep-fried.  I set them aside and had them packaged up for a treat for D.

D on the other-hand, knew exactly what he wanted and ordered it immediately.  He loved their Reuben as he indicated that it was not over-powered by dressing and cheese and the quality of the corn beef and the pungent sauerkraut shown through.  He was also tickled with the hand-cut fries and added that it was one of the best Reubens that he had ever tasted!

I also enjoyed my individual pot of tea so much that I asked for the pot to be refilled with hot water.  I can’t specifically say whether it was the tea itself or the quaint little tea pot that the soothing liquid was served in.

The attention to detail on this property is unsurpassed in the decor, plate presentation and the facility as a whole.  As we walked through the garden on our way back to the car, we could not help but notice that they are perfectly set up for weddings.  If they go to such trouble for a simple lunch, imagine the effort that would go into a wedding!

Pineridge Hollow on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:  “The table was set up inside the cartshed. On it there were four sirloins of beef, six fricassees of chicken, casseroled veal, three legs of mutton and, in the centre, a beautiful roasted sucking pig, flanked by four chitterlings with sorrel.”-Gustave Flaubert

Love-that is all.

Left Over Mashed Potato Patties

May29

To say that I am frugal is a gross understatement.  I can often stretch a dish over four meals.  In this case, once as freshly garlic mashed potatoes and then with D for a left overs lunch. Next, I refurbished the dish into another recipe of these “Left Over Mashed Potato Patties”.  But I declare, they are so delicious that I would mash up a pot of potatoes just to make them again.  Today I do not have a lunch meeting which does not happen very often, so I will enjoy them a fourth (and final time).

The recipe is an easy one made with items that you will already have in your cupboard.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Left Over Mashed Potato Patties
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
A perfect way to stretch those loonies by using left overs from a dish that I always seem to prepare too much of.
Ingredients
  • left over mashed potatoes (about 4 cups)
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1 egg
  • flour
  • canola oil
  • course sea salt
  • cracked pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine mashed potatoes, onion and egg. (I used my Calephon immersion blender).
  2. Shape into large sized balls.
  3. Roll in flour and flatten into patties.
  4. Heat canola oil in skillet and brown for about five minutes on each side.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.

 

The Frenchman and I enjoyed these for dinner on Friday night.  He with homemade applesauce that D’s Mom makes and I with an additional dollop of  no fat sour cream (that I prefer to the 14% version).

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.

posted under Entrees | 9 Comments »

Ireland Revisited

May28

The rain has started to fall on a Sunday morning at the lake.  D will soon be home from the tennis courts as the guys who assemble each week, will be forced to delay their weekly matches.  I would love to be on the overhang of the deck but a Momma Robin has perched upon her nest of blue eggs and every time I have to venture past, she vacates the nest.  So I am in our cozy cottage instead, with the window flung open to hear the birds singing in spite of the rain.  My Mom once told me, that this is the sign of a long rain.  If the birds cease to chirp, it is because they know that they will soon be back at it.  But if they continue to sing, it is because the rain will continue for hours.

This is one of my favourite weekends of the year as we are a family of dancers and this is recital weekend.  There was a time when this meant hours of preparation, but now we just show up and take it all in with enormous smiles on our faces.

We left directly from the auditorium for Lester Beach in order to have dinner with D2 and P.  It was our post-Ireland dinner, when we could relive our favourite moments of our trip.  We certainly get our monies worth out of our vacations, would you not say?

As we walked in the door, the Celtic music was blaring and we were swept up in a quadrille (well not exactly because we only had half of the required four couples) and handed Smithwicks and glasses of Guinness.  I told you we were a family of dancers.  Perhaps we could be described as a family of imbibers too-not as complimentary….

But to the food!  When we were in Ireland, D had a craving for seared scallops which D2 and P remembered.  They wanted to treat D to a little delight to thank him for being our chauffeur on this trip.  D2 sizzled up the butter until the colour was a gorgeous bronze and then quickly turned the nuggets over the heat for just moments-exactly the way that we love them.  They served this with Molly’s Irish bannock that they managed to search out in St. Boniface.

Next up was a hearty potato and clam soup, reminiscent of one we had for our pub lunch whilst circling the Ring of Kerry.  D2 added white pepper to finish the silky spoonfuls with a little bit of heat.

A spring time salad of strawberries and pecans came next.

By this time, we were recreating a Limerick exchange that we had so much fun performing with a related Murphy while we were in Ireland.  That one took place, with an ocean between us and this one with Lake Winnipeg separating us.  At least there was no time difference as the last go round had our sparring partner up until 3 in the morning!

The entree was an amazing meat pie with the flakiest of pastries and a savoury filling.  The honeyed parsnips that I prepared in the city were P’s request from our pre-Ireland get together.

For dessert we indulged in ice cream, topped with Baileys Irish Cream and a plummy glass of port.

By this time it is midnight, at it is time to go.  We do not have far because our cottages are almost across the street from each other.  The journey took longer than one might expect though, as we had neglected to turn on any lights at our little place and did not have the fore-sight to bring along a flashlight.  We managed to find our way without incident back to our summer house, appropriately named: Life is Good.

Kath’s quote:

“For ….we can make liquor to sweeten our lips

Of pumpkins and parsnips and walnut-tree chips.”

-Henry David Thoreau, ‘Walden’

Love-that is all.

Dessert Sinsations

May25

Even though some time has past since Mother’s Day, last night was the absolutely perfect time to celebrate with our Mom.  When you are 85 and health issues limit your outings, spreading them out a little bit is a smart strategy.

When the Karsh exhibit was at the Winnipeg Art Gallery we parked just adjacent, had a delightful lunch and spent a leisurely time in the gallery.  Mom had such a lovely day, that she requested that we repeat the scenario so that we could attend the Norman Rockwell exhibit before it leaves the city.

And so it was that we assembled again at Dessert Sinsations.  Being a part of the marketing world, I can’t help but reflect that the name of the restaurant does not really do it justice.  Yes, their dessert case is over the top with selections and I have tasted many delicious treats from that bounty.  But I personally do not live for dessert and this lovely cafe offers so very much more.

The savoury dishes that my Mom chose on her last visit, must have been memorable because she ordered exactly the same thing for this celebration-the garlic and mushroom soup and the poutine (I have obviously inherited her poutine-loving genes).  She ate til her heart was content and then packaged the rest up for her lunch today.

The three sisters, made healthier (but not less delicious) choices.  Sister #2 went with the Black and Blue Salad-blackened steak and blue cheese.

Sister #3 chose The Gardener which looked amazing when it arrived at the table.

And even more so, when we peaked inside.

My gorgeous pear and walnut salad was a masterpiece when it was placed in front of me.

And looked completely different when I placed the addition of the grilled chicken breast.  The light dressing had a slightly maple taste which complimented the ground walnuts of the dish-kind of like having a healthy version of maple/walnut ice cream!

The kind servers (we had three of them popping over to our table) allowed us to stay parked as we ventured over to the Winnipeg Art Gallery (my first post-university job).  We were all enamoured with the exhibit, Mom particularily so with the depiction of a little boy’s discovery of a Santa suit in the bottom drawer of his Dad’s bureau.

Delicious and wholesome food and exquisite artistry which celebrates good old fashioned values and family-the perfect way to celebrate a belated Mothers Day.

Dessert Sinsations Cafe on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:  “A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie”. ~Tenneva Jordan


“The whole Mediterranean … the wine, the ideas … seems to ride in the sour pungent taste of those black olives … A taste older than meat, older than wine. A taste as old as cold water.”

Lawrence Durrell

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