Food Musings

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

Crepes-Isla Mujeres

March7

By guest blogger Margaret (note from Kath: long-time friend of honourary sister D).

 

One of the first places Andy and I went out for breakfast on Isla  was a little place on Hidalgo-with a sign with “Crepes” written on it.

It wasn’t busy so we decided to sit at outside at a small table.  Our waitress greeted us warmly and we ordered “cafe”.  We learned her name is Gloria and although she doesn’t speak English fluently, she communicated easily with us. She was very warm, smiling and told us about her trip to  Canada wich included Vancouver, Jasper, Calgary and Niagara Falls. 

Andy ordered crepes with frest fruit.  It covered the whole plate decorated with chocolate, icing sugar, whipped cream and a strawberry.  The presentation was wonderful.  Inside was piled with fresh fruit-delicious.

I chose an omelet with tomatoes and cheese, served with lettuce, cucumbers and tomato.  It was also an extra large serving.  The eggs were moist and not over-cooked-yum.

What a relaxing way to start the day on Isla!  Scrumptuous food and coffee served by Gloria (with smiles) at a very resonable price.  We have resturned for another breakfast since and if Gloria sees us passing by she is sure to yell “Hola”.  We recommend Crepes on Hildalgo (close to the square).

Kath’s quote:“…sprinkled with sugar and eaten hot, they form an exquisite dish. They have a golden hue and are tempting to eat. Thin and transparent like muslin, their edges are trimmed to resemble fine lace. They are so light that after a good dinner, a man from Agen is still willing to sample three or four dozen of them! Crêpes form an integral part of every family celebration. Served with white wine, they take pride of place on all joyful occasions.”-Anatole France

Chuuk Kay – Isla Mujeres

March5

As with many unfamiliar places, until I had been there (twice now) I just couldn’t picture its locale.  One of the many reasons why Isla is so quaint is that addresses are more abut associations and relationships. This suffices in most cases, as you really only need an address for your first visit right?  But gringas like me like to bring our ways of categorizing things from home with us when we travel, so here is Chuuk Kay’s address:

Calle 16 de Septiembre Lte. 14 Col. Electricistas.

Whether you ask a cabbie, wander around yourself, or navigate Laguna Macax by boat-find this place! You will have found a little oasis without the  bustle of Hidalgo.  My husband arrives today and I am picturing a little table in the sand for a cozy dinner before we go.

Yesterday we sat under the palapa and enjoyed the free wii fii. The food was amazing, which was no surprise, as Ventura the manager has run some of the best dining rooms on Isla.

We started with a mixed ceviche.  I was appreciative of the tomatoes and red onions sliced into little slivers-it made scooping the fresh seafood onto a tortilla chip less precarious, as mine always has a way of toppling off and landing on my bosom.

 

Next came two lunch entrees which we shared-fish tacos and shrimp enchiladas.

Both were delicious but I was especially thrilled by the enchilada.  The shrimp were sauteed with a bit of heat and tomatoes & peppers to create some oomph.  But then the rolls were topped with a tomato cream which provided a delicious contrast.

We also plan on assembling the gang (there are over a dozen of us) and going back.  Four of us were there last weekend and Javi can create a party atmosphere to make it feel like New Year’s eve at 4 o’clock on a Sunday afternoon.  He and the full band (with no name) play a full range of favourites and requests, but their Mexican sets are my favourite.

Kath’s quote: “A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins.”-Laurie Colwin

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Cafe Cito-Isla Mujeres

March2

I have been musing about food for over a year, but today is a first.  I rarely have the opportunity to enjoy a fine meal and then have the time to write  about it while the taste is this fresh in my mind.

I am crazy about the yogurt in Mexico-especially the banana, pear, peach, walnut variety that we have in the fridge right now.  With one of the mini bananas sliced in and an extra crumbling of crunch on top-I am addicted to this breakfast.

So it takes a bit of coaxing to get me to break my routine but this morning we did.  We arrived at Cafe Cito to find Sister #3 and an honourary sister just finishing up.  Steamy cups of coffee were presented with little bowls of fruit salad.  The eggs taste richer down here-perhaps it is from what the hens are fed.  My eggs were served perfectly over easy with sauteed potatoes, onions and green peppers.  A little basket of hot buns and toast are the cradle for the banana/coconut/pineapple jam.  It looks a little bit like baby food and tastes extraordinary!

V had the Mexicana.

Richard ordered the Savanah-scrambled. 

After breakfast we strolled through the market and now I am perched at my little desk with plans for another simply delicious meal ahead.

Kath’s quote: “I have had, in my time, memorable meals of scrambled eggs with fresh truffles, scrambled eggs with caviar and other glamorous things, but to me, there are few things as magnificent as scrambled eggs, pure and simple, perfectly cooked and perfectly seasoned.”-James Beard

Your love is like a rock.

The Decadent Birthday Dinner Party

February27

By guest blogger Michael R.

To anyone who has  followed Kath’s blog, it is most apparent that good food plays a central part in our family celebrations, and most especially birthdays. After their eighteenth birthdays though, the large family affairs for the kids come to a stop. My lovely wife, aka sister number two, was casting about for a creative way to keep the good times rolling for our son and daughter after eighteen and hit upon the idea of an annual birthday dinner party for each of them with their friends. This year we celebrated our beautiful daughter’s 22nd year  by creating an amazing four-course meal for her and eight of her BFFs.

Now when I said “we” created, I actually meant Sister #2. My duties consisted of menu design, photography, serving and bussing, as well as some minor food prep. The rest of the evening was in the hands of our resident  food magician, as Sister #2 dazzled the girls with an inventive and mouth-watering menu.

After a glass (or two) of fresh sangria was enjoyed, out came course number one: Roasted pumpkin soup, featuring roasted local pumpkin puree with a hint of curry, garnished with cream and chopped red pepper.

Accompanied by home made bread toastettes topped with herb unripened cheese and cherry tomato, with a drizzle of balsamic reduction, this first at bat was hit right out of the park!

Next up was Raspberry and Goat Cheese Salad, featuring raspberries and goat cheese (of course!) on a bed of baby greens, tossed in a homemade raspberry vinaigrette, and garnished with a sprinkling of chopped pistachio nuts.

Light and delicate, yet very flavorful, this was a perfect introduction to the evening’s Entrée: Grilled Tenderloin Of Pork. Brine marinated grilled medallions of pork tenderloin, finished with blackberry wine sauce. Accompanied by Heritage Carrots, teased with butter and fresh dill, sauteed spinach and pesto filled zucchini, baked in a bread crumb parmesan crust, and lastly potatoes with cream and cheese, whipped and piped into a baked potato shell.

Last on the evening’s menu was Grand Marnier and Amaretto Ice Cream, home made Grand Marnier and Amaretto liqueur flavored ice cream with chocolate almond crackle, topped with a hand made sugar crisp. This was truly not only a culinary delight, but surely a visual one as well.

Well, the girls left shortly thereafter for parts (and parties) unknown, leaving me with the dirty dishes and many fond memories of a wonderful evening of fun and incredible gourmet delights courtesy of Sister #2. One lucky daughter and one lucky guy!

Kath’s quote:  “The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ain’t it good to know, you’ve got a friend.

Joey’s Polo Park

February25

It may sometimes seem to my readers that I never eat at home and some weeks that is quite true.  Because I work out of my house, lunch meetings are perfect for me.  I have been in my field for a very long time and have made many personal connections with my colleagues over the years.  Often the business projects fade away, but the friendships do not.  So when one of them declares “Oh, we must do lunch!”  I get out my daytimer.

The other cool thing about my business is that I have connected with a new generation of designers and communicators.  Many of them are the same ages as my kids but that doesn’t seem to make a difference to me or to them.  In yesterday’s case, I am also friends with my colleague’s Mom so the three of us got together!

Joey’s was the perfect central location and parking is ample.  We arrived at 11:30 which was wise because by the time we left at 12:45 there was a line up to get in.  The decor is open and gets quite boisterous.  But it is a very comforting feeling that you are in a room with so much energy and that you live in a vibrant community.

To say that I get stuck in eating ruts is an understatement.  Of the half dozen times that I have dined at Joey’s, I have always ordered the very same thing!  I try to psyche myself up before I get there with thoughts of fish tacos and pot-stickers but then I cave and order the Rotisserie Chicken.  I suppose that is a testament to just how good it is.  You can taste that the chicken has never been frozen as the flesh is firm and moist .  The dry rub that goes on before and the sauce after roasting is a wonderful blend of peppery and savoury tastes.  The servers are always willing to substitute sides and I got my veggie fix with a crunchy cole slaw and a zingy ceasar salad. 

Joey's Polo Park on Urbanspoon

I got filled in on all the news from friends and filled up with delicious and nutritious fare.  Here’s some irony-we stopped at the food court for a bite before an event at the MTS Centre later that night and we ate at -Joey’s Only!  What a crazy life.

Kath’s quote: “The smell of roasting meat together with that of burning fruit wood and dried herbs, as voluptuous as incense in a church, is enough to turn anyone into a budding gastronome.”-Claudia Roden

Love you A&A.

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