Food Musings

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

New Mom Freezer Meals-Beef Straganoff


Daughter #3, aka J2 is Blogging as Baby Lady of the Prairies and provides Pre & Postnatal Services in the Heart of Winnipeg  When she was guest blogger for me recently she mentioned making freezer meals to prepare for your baby’s arrival.  These would also be wonderful gifts to provide to a new Mom.  Come back tomorrow for her Chicken Apple Curry Soup.

Beef Stroganoff
Recipe type: Entree
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Deliver it frozen with a container of sour cream and some broad egg noodles.
  • 2 lbs. beef stewing beef
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t ground black pepper
  • 4 oz. butter
  • 4 green onions, sliced (white parts only)
  • 4 T all-purpose flour
  • 1 (10.5 oz.) can condensed beef broth - or use homemade
  • 1 t prepared mustard
  • 1 (6 oz.) can sliced mushrooms, drained
  • ⅓ c sour cream
  • ⅓ c white wine
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  1. Cut stewing beef into smaller chunks and toss with ½ t of both salt and pepper.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and brown the beef quickly, then push the beef off to one side.
  3. Add the onions and cook slowly for 3 to 5 minutes, then push to the side with the beef.
  4. Stir the flour into the juices on the empty side of the pan.
  5. Pour in beef broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  6. Lower the heat and stir in mustard.
  7. Cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the meat is tender.
  8. Stir in the mushrooms and white wine.
  9. Let cool and seal in an airtight container (or lots of tin foil and saran wrap!).
  10. Label with the name of the dish and the day you made it.
  11. When you bring it out of the freezer, allow to defrost and heat in a saucepan.
  12. Add the sour cream 5 minutes before serving.
  13. Salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Serve with a simple salad or steam up some frozen veggies.


Kath’s quote: “I always wondered why babies spend so much time sucking their thumbs. Then I tasted baby food.”-Robert Orben


Love-that is all.

“Paris Was Yesterday”-by Janet Flanner


“Paris was Yesterday” is not a food-themed recounting as are the majority of works  that I normally read and provide excerpts of here.  In fact, if I were to pick one subject of the many that were included in this read, it would have been the coming together in Paris of the major writers of the young century at Janet Flanner’s favourite French cafe.  This reminded me of  “Midnight in Paris” written and directed by Woody Allen-a film that we loved in spite of the critics not being particularly thrilled with it.

In her lengthy introduction, she sets the scene for her time in Paris and this is primarily where her food references are found including this one from page 7:

“With my stomach stirred to hitherto unexpected satisfactions, with my palate even now able to recall the sudden pleasure of drinking a tumbler of more than ordinary red or white French wine.  I can recall the sensual satisfaction of first chewing the mixture in my mouth a crust of fresh french bread and then the following swallow of the wine itself, like the dominant liquid guide leading my nourishment down through my gullet into my insides.  Eating in France was a new body experience….

The lunch was a fixed price and in its lack of surprises.  There was a plate of hors dourves including a slice of Jura pate, flavored with wild thyme, and as the main dish, a succulent stew or an escallop of veal and a salad with goats cheese, plus a small black french coffee which tasted like death.  It was a civilized, countrified, appetizing inexpensive French meal.  It probably cost me about thirty cents plus a ten per cent tip for Yvonne the Terrible” ( so named because she was such a terrible waitress).


My favourite artists also assembled in Paris and are represented in this book.  I am particularly fond of  the work of Degas and Monet and not so much of Picasso but this reference makes me feel more inclined towards him, as a person.

“By this time he had his arms around me and was thumping me enthusiastically on the shoulders.  “You look fine; not a day older”, and I said “Nor do you”, and he said  “That’s true;  that’s the way you and I are.  We don’t get older, we just get riper.  Do you still love life the way you used to, and love people the way you did? I watched you and always wanted to know what you were thinking…Tell me, do you still love the human race, especially your best friends?  Do you still love love?” “I do”, I said, astonished at the turn the monologue was taking.  “And so do I!” he shouted, laughing.  “Oh, we’re great ones for that, you and I.  Isn’t love the greatest refreshment in life?” And he embraced me with his strong arms, in farewell.”

Kath’s quote: Isn’t love the greatest refreshment in life?  Pablo Picasso

Love-that is all.

Photos of Monet & Degas are my own, taken in Musee D’Orsay, Paris.

Major Foodie Scoop-Grand Beach


If you are in the Grand Beach area, you will not want to miss out on this surprizing foodie adventure.  Just north of the Hwy. 59 Grand Beach turn off, on the west side of the highway, sharing the parking lot with a Woodstove company is a little yellow school bus which has had various personas over the years.  If you are expecting a plain fast food burger and frozen fries, hold on to your beach hat!

The burgers are hand-formed patties from grass-fed beef and the cheese-burgers come with your choice of five Bothwell cheeses.  I do not have the entire run down of selections because we were in a hurry to get back into the city yesterday.  But from the three parties of people from my family who are raving about the little place, I know that there is smoked Gouda and jalapeno.

Bothwell cheeses are also featured in their artisan grilled cheese sandwiches.

Smoothies can be whipped up and I understand that the milkshakes are very good but the star of the show (for me at least) are the hand-cut fries and poutine made with Bothwell cheese curds!  I got to taste the fries first hand when a take out box of them appeared with a roving gang of friends this weekend (they just opened Saturday).  The fries are sliced daily and retain that sweet and almost nutty flavour that only fresh cut fries can.  I can only imagine what the combination of a savoury gravy and Bothwell curds would do to enhance them.  I understand that from-scratch onions rings are also on the way.  Yum-cannot wait until Friday when we had up to the Beach area again.

Tell them Food Musings sent you and I predict that you will get extra curds on your poutine!

Kath’s quote:  May your potatoes always be crisp and may the cheese “sing” in its freshness. For, what is a poutine but a glorious ode to the perfect melange of spuds, curd and brown roux!-LouLou, Laval Ouest, Québec (from

Bistrot by Basil


The little terrace courtyard, tucked in at the back of Bistrot by Basil on Osborne has always been my favourite in the city.  When the Tap and Grill had to close due to a water main break, we eagerly awaited it’s reopening.  We were not among the first to give it a try and had heard some rumblings on Urbanspoon.  In our opinion, the rustic and simply prepared food is almost exactly as we remembered and loved it.

This was a very special night for us.  The evening took a lot of co-ordination because we were dining with four couples who all have young children and whose babysitting resources overlap.  In the end, it all came together.  We were celebrating a special friendship shared amongst these folks and the bittersweet departure of one of the couples for Seattle.  I use that descriptor because our lives are all the richer for having come together, but we are sad that we will no longer see them and their gorgeous children on a weekly basis.

Dinner started with cocktails and some wine and then we got around to ordering.  Actually, one person volunteered to show our server (Vicki, I think her name was) the tapas menu and he said: “Please bring everything from this item down to the bottom of the list”.  And so it was that the small plates started to arrive.

There was such a vast variety and every item equally good as the one before, that exclamations will be difficult for each one, so I will let the pictures do the talking:

Baked Brie with an Orange Fig Compote & topped with Seasonal Berries

Grilled Prawns

Breast of a Bird on a Stick

Sweet Peppered Feta -The sweetness deriving from a drizzle of honey contrasted by a crust of black pepper.  This one might have well been my favourite.


Eggplant and Zucchini Chips

Grilled Vegetable Medley

Grilled Pita Platter with Baba Ganuosh, Spicy Feta, Hummus and Tatziki Dips

Grilled Peppers

Classic Fresh PEI Mussels

AND when that had not proven to be enough food:

Baby Scallop (and Pancetta) Pizza,

Classic Margarita Pizza

Siciliano Pizza

For the sweet tooths (teeth?) in the crowd there was

Cinsation Cinnamon Torte

and Five Layer Chocolate Cake

It states on Basil’s menu that tapas is perfect for friends to share and we certainly regard ourselves as close, close friends.  The sharing of food in this manner at this extended table, sealed the bonds of our friendship in a special way.  Hilarity prevailed and we all remarked that our cheeks and our sides were sore from laughing.

Bistrot by Basil on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:

“Packing up the dreams God planted
In the fertile soil of you
Can’t believe the hopes He’s granted
Means a chapter in your life is through
But we’ll keep you close as always
It won’t even seem you’ve gone
‘Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong”

-Deborah D. Smith

Love-that is all.


Charred Beef Steak and Veggies with Orzo Pasta


I am in brainstorming mode for our Long weekend at the cottage.  This is a special weekend and not just because it is Canada Day. Two families share our little place at Lester Beach: Sister #2 and I (Sister #1).  Between us there are 13 adults (including significant others) and three dogs that occupy 500 square feet!  Yes, we really must love each other if we can go for extended time without driving one other wingy.  This weekend some key family members are jetting off to Montreal so we will not be a full house, but there is a brand new person who will be there and I must admit, I am brainstorming extra hard to impress him with our family cooking.

He is a rugby player from Australia and this is his first look at Lake Winnipeg.  A far cry from the from beaches of Australia but hopefully he’ll find something pretty to gaze at.  That will likely be our niece, who we are welcoming home from an extended stay Down Under.

So I am thinking about this recipe for a number of reasons:

1) What says Canada more than Canadian Beef? Especially when accompanied by other truly Canadian ingredients  like honey, canola oil, mushrooms, corn and pasta made from Canadian wheat.

2) The weekend is going to be a sizzler but this one plate dinner can be made without turning the stove on.  I’ll barbeque the meat in the cool of the day and can even prepare the pasta on the side burner of the barbeque.  After a hot day at the beach, this cool concoction washed down with ice cold beer courtesy of J1 and his customed brewed keg, should do the trick.

3) The new gent (a pro athlete) has just undergone shoulder surgery and the medicinal benefits of beef are sure to help his healing process.

So without further ado:

Charred Beef Steak and Veggies with Orzo Pasta
Recipe type: Entree Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
If it is not barbeque weather, use the broiler to sear the steak and veggies, all at 1 time, in the same pan!
  • ½ c chicken broth
  • ¼ c liquid honey
  • 2 T canola oil
  • ½ t Each dried Italian herb seasoning, coarsely ground sea salt & pepper
  • 2 sweet red peppers, cut into chunks
  • 2 c mushrooms, halved
  • 1 small zuchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. top sirloin, about 1 inch thick
  • 1 c fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1½ c dried orzo pasta
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ c thinly sliced, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • ¼ c grated partmesan cheese
  1. Whisk together chicken broth, honey, canola oil and Italian dressing in a bowl. Season with a generous pinch of pepper.
  2. On large rimmed parchment paper-lined baking sheets toss red peppers, mushrooms & zucchini and half of the broth mixture. Set remaining broth mixture aside.
  3. Season beef with pepper, place of top of vegetables. Place under broiler about 3 inches from heat; broil until lightly charred, about 7 minutes.
  4. If barbeque season: shake veggies and broth in a plastic bag and place in a grill basket. Grill until desired doneness is reached. Place the seasoned steak directly on grill, flip once until desired doneness is achieved.
  5. Meanwhile cook orzo according to package directions, drain & toss with remaining broth mixture, green onions, sun-dried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese, Spoon onto warm deep platter; top with charred mixed vegetables. Thinly slice beef across the grain and arrange over veggies.

I found this recipe on this great beef website  There are tons of delicious looking beef dishes and many cooking tips-a great resource just in time for summer entertaining and barbeque season.  I have just become a Canadian Beef Brand Ambassador (with good reason I think)-I love Canadian Beef!

Kath’s quote: “My favorite animal is steak.”-Fran Lebowitz

posted under Entrees | No Comments »
« Older EntriesNewer Entries »