Food Musings

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

Pizza Fondu Revisited-Perfect for the Grey Cup


I was searching for recipes to fix for Sunday’s Grey Cup Game and my own blog entry came up!  I wrote this when the Olympics were on and we were all eating suppers in front of the TV.  I recommend making some crunchy bread from scratch for the dipping.

Pizza Fondu

This is a very simple and delicious comfort food to enjoy while watching a movie.  Serve with a side salad and a nice bottle of red wine.  Totally to die for.

 1 lb. Lean ground beef and/or Italian sausage

1 small onion

10 oz cheddar cheese (shredded/cubed)

1 ½ tsp garlic powder

1 tsp. oregano

1 ½ tsp fennel seed or Italian seasoning

Fresh cracked pepper

20 oz can of Meat or Spaghetti sauce

10 oz. mozzarella cheese (shredded/grated)

1 French baguette cut into 1” bite-size pieces.


Sauté the beef/sausage and onion until cooked and drain.  Now transfer to an electric fondue pot.  Add all seasonings, cheddar and sauce and stir well.  Turn onto medium to heat everything up and melt the cheddar cheese.  Once it’s all nicely warm and blended, add the mozza cheese and continue stirring occasionally until all bubbly and melty.  Stick your bread cubes onto fondue fork, dip, twirl and enjoy.

Kath’s quote:  “Do not move back and forth on your chair. Doing so gives the impression of constantly breaking, or trying to break, wind.”-Desiderius Erasmus (1466? – 1536)

Thanks again Wal.

Wanda’s Pie in the Sky-Toronto


A very long time ago, there was a restaurant in Winnipeg called Mrs. Lipton’s.  The little cafe was in an old house on the corner of a neighbourhood street and I always wondered how they got zoning for the place, as it was so entrenched in the quaint neighbourhood.  It wasn’t really like eating out, it was more like going home.

The same is true of  Wanda’s Pie in the Sky in Kensington Market.  We had met an old friend of ours and she had not had anything for lunch that day.  We, on the otherhand had gorged ourselves at breakfast and were too full for lunch.  So it was decided that we would check out Wanda’s.  When we arrived there were folks visiting, reading and surfing.  The place was filled with wonderful aromas and beautiful little feasts for the eyes. 

D and I shared a “piece” of blueberry pie.  It was the closest thing to my Mom’s blueberry pie and that is the highest compliment, that I can pay anyone about their baking.  How shall I describe it?  The flaky crust was appropriately salty and the generous portion of what tasted like wild blueberries was not too sweet but tangy with lemon juice.

Next time (and it will be a while unfortunately, until our return to TO) I will definitely be ordering the infamous rainbow cake.

Wanda's Pie in the Sky on Urbanspoon 

Kath’s quote:  “I don’t think a really good pie can be made without a dozen or so children peeking over your shoulder as you stoop to look in at it every little while.”-John Gould


Culinary Kids


I am convinced that  my love of preparing food for others (and as a love offering) was instilled in me at an early age.  My Mom was very wise and knew that if she made the process fun and not a responsibility, she could encourage our help.  There were six of us kids, only one working parent and my Mom made everything from scratch. 

She would always leave a heel of pie crust so we could make our own mini pies filled with jam and wedges of bread dough so that we could fashion our own version of her amazing cinnamon buns.  Her cabbage rolls and perogies were legendary and I recall the afternoons when Sister #2, Brother #3 (twins 3 years younger than I) were perched up at the kitchen table to help her roll, stuff and pinch.

I still recall the day when I prepared an entire dinner for the family and a business associate that my Dad was bringing home for dinner.  I do not remember all of the ingredients but I do know that that the main course was meatballs in a mushroom sauce and buttered noodles.  I am quite sure that I was eight as that was the year that Sister #3 was born.

Cooking with kids is brilliant for so many reasons: 

it teaches order, process, measurement, fractions and other math concepts

it teaches basic scientific interactions between ingredients and cause and effect concepts 

it teaches about good nutrition, vitamins, fibre and the healthy living benefits of anti-oxidants

it teaches about the importance of purchasing local and the planting and harvesting cycle

it teaches how to create grocery lists and budget and read a recipe (the only recipe book that I recall in our home was Madame Benoit’s)

I could go on and on but most importantly:

it teaches that food made with care and attention is an offering and a gift to show those you love, that they are precious and important to you

Kath’s quote: “C is for Cookie, that’s good enough for me.”-Cookie Monster

Movenpick Marche


D was a second year student studying Tourism and Hospitality at Ryerson in Toronto when we first started courting and he returned for his final year of study when we were engaged.  Needless to say, there were many reasons to visit Toronto for a weekend back in the olden days and I’ve been a fan of Movenpick ever since.  We would visit their Yorkville location in those days as we were fascinated that a very old neighbourhood, could some how come back to life with shops and restaurants.  These days of course, that is what TO is all about!

As the saying goes-feast your eyes!  If you agree that we eat with our eyes then you’ll be more than satiated before you even pick up a plate at Movenpick Marche.  The food displays are exquisite and are set up in food groupings.  When we visited at brunch time there were these stations: dim sum and sushi, crepes and waffles, seafood, omelettes, salad, etc. etc. etc.

On this day, we were meeting most of the rest of the family of the Frenchman (our pet name for the beau of our youngest).  We choose a quiet spot in the area of the restaurant that has a brasserie feel of Europe (appropriate since that is where this couple first met). 

I could not pass up the grilled vegetables on the salad bar reminiscent of the antipasta dishes that we fell in love with in Italy

and there were THREE kinds of baked pumpkin (I sampled them all). 

D was tempted by the divine bouillabaisse and so we shared both. 

This loaf of apple strudel was too good to pass up and even thought we shared it too, we could not finish the huge portion.

Marche Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:  “…..all the charming and beautiful things, from the Song of Songs, to bouillabaisse, and from the nine Beethoven symphonies to the Martini cocktail, have been given to humanity.”-H.L. Mencken

Thank you for making the drive from Peterborough to meet us and for the exquisite lunch and visit.

Black Bean Burgers


Food Musings is approaching its second anniversary and I am still inspired by comments that I get from readers.  Recently, I learned that a mother/daughter who I know are avid vegetarians, love this blog.  That was touching but a bit startling to me because I am the daughter of a livestock man and love my meat.  So I have been on the look out for vegetarian recipes that I could include here to acknowledge their reading loyalty.

We recently were asked to spend the evening with dear friends of ours and their children whom we adore.  It was the best of both worlds-we got to play with the kids and our friends got to put the finishing touches on this delicious dinner without interuption.

There is much love shared between our families and in keeping with the notion that you can demonstrate how much you love someone by cooking for them-this is a demonstration of how much they love us.

Buns were freshly baked for our burgers and mine was this special shape.

We also savoured tortilla chips with mango salsa, baked pumpkin and a delicious salad.  But the hit of the evening were these Black Bean Burgers with Chipolte Chile Mayonaise.

Black Bean Burgers
2 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into large pieces
2 large eggs
3 T olive oil
1 t ground cumin
1/2 t salt
1/8 t cayenne pepper
2 (16-ounce) cans black beans
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 shallot, minced

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350.  Process bread in food processor to coarse crumbs.  Spread crumbs on rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and dry, 10 to 12 minutes.  Set aside to cool.  Whisk eggs, 1 T oil, cumin, salt, and cayenne together in bowl.
Mash 2 1/2 cups beans in bowl with potato masher until mostly smooth.  Stir in bread crumbs, egg mixture, remaining beans, bell pepper, cilantro, and shallot until just combined.  Form bean mixture into six 1-inch patties.
Heat additional 1 T oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Cook half of patties until well browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side.  Transfer to plate and tent loosely with foil.  Repeat with remaining oil and patties.  Serve.

Chipotle Chile Mayonnaise
Whisk together 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup sour cream (I actually substituted 1 cup plain yogurt instead), 4 t minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 T finely chopped fresh cilantro, 2 t lime juice, and 1/2 t salt.  Cover and refrigerate until flavors meld, about 30 minutes.

Kath’s quote: “Beans are highly nutritious and satisfying, they can also be delicious if and when properly prepared, and they posses over all vegetables the great advantage of being just as good, if not better, when kept waiting, an advantage in the case of people whose disposition or occupation makes it difficult for them to be punctual at mealtime.”-Andre Simon

Love you Iflands.

Dedicated to Sawah (and her Mom).

posted under Entrees | 1 Comment »
« Older EntriesNewer Entries »