Food Musings

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

Kath’s 2010 Foodie List (Part One)

December22

Ellen has her “12 Days of Give-Aways” and Oprah has her “Favourite Things” so I am reflecting on my year with my “12 Favourite Foodie Things” list:

1) the new kettle chip that I found at Shopper’s Drug Mart.  The label is “Simply Food” and they have a couple of flavours but I always get the basic.  You can actually taste the potato and they are not over salted.  The best thing is that almost every chip is folded into a half or even better-a quarter.  When my husband and I are sharing-he eats the flat ones and I get the rest!

2) the poutine at Le Gouter at Albert Beach.  Amazing fries even when “naked” and then topped with exactly the right amount of cheese and gravy.  Only thing that could make them better-real cheese curds like the ones served at The Peasant in the Exchange.

3) anything that I’ve tasted at Segovia!  Finally got to try it for my birthday in the spring and just a couple of times since.  My New Year’s resolution is to dine at Segovia at least once a month in 2011.

4) the Southern Fried Chicken at the Redhead in New York City.  I didn’t even order it but tasted it from Sister #3’s plate. We determined that it was marinated first in buttermilk but haven’t figured out the rest.   I am so blessed to have sisters and friends who are willing to take culinary adventures with me. 

5) Speaking of firsts…my first of what I know will be many visits to the  Mango Cafe on Isla Mujeres.  I’m happy to say that I’ll get that chance in just two months….ah Isla.

6) the tiny cookies that my Son’s new Mom- in- law made for their wedding.  I’ve asked her numerous times for the recipe but perhaps she knows that I will be sharing with you and so has yet to do so.

Stay tuned for the second half…..

Kath’s quote: “I have long believed that good food, good eating is all about risk. Whether we’re talking about unpasteurized Stilton, raw oysters or working for organized crime ‘associates,’ food, for me, has always been an adventure.”-Anthony Bourdain

love-exciting and new

Crazy for Carbs

December21

Doesn’t matter if its bread, potatoes, rice or pasta-I gotta have my carbs.  I would rather have an extra scoop of noodles than dessert, any single day of the week!  In the same way that people get sweet and chocolate cravings-I have carb attacks, especially salty carbs.  Lucky for me sometimes a handful of wholegrain pretzels can satisfy it.

So on the second day of being snowed in at the Mall of America, we discovered Noodles & Company.  I LOVE this concept-two different noodle bowl sizes done in Asian, Mediterranean or American Style.  I choose from the Asian section and sampled the Pad Thai-a rice noodle stir-fry with scrambled egg, carrots, cabbage, sweet chile, citrus, peanuts, sprouts and cilantro.  I added a chicken breast-yum!

The family also sampled a Chinese Chop Salad (sesame soy tossed mix greens, sprouts, cabbage, red pepper, cucumbers, carrots, crispy wontons and black sesame seeds), Pasta Fresca (penne with balsamic, olive oil, white wine and roasted garlic, red onion, tomato and spinach, Parmesan or feta)  Bangkok Curry (coconut curry, broccoli, carrots, red pepper, onion, mushrooms, rice, noodles, served on cabbage with black sesame seeds) and Pesto Cavatappi (curly pasta, basil pesto, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, wine, cream, Parmesan and Italian parsley.  Alas, we wanted to taste the Wisconsin Mac & Cheese but had no room.  And the best part-lunch for seven: $51!

Kath’s quote: “Life is a combination of magic and pasta.”-Federico Fellini

the power of love

The Next Generation

December20

I believe in hospitality.  Over the years we’ve tried very hard not to turn down any of the kids’ request to open up our home to their friends.  Once I was woken up by one of those middle of the night calls-it was our son and I was so relieved to hear that he was okay, that when he told me that it was last call and he had told that band at the Zoo that they could crash at our place-I immediately agreed.  (As I fell back to sleep I remembered that my husband was away and wondered if I had done the right thing).  Well besides the fact that they used a lot of water -all having showers and washing their clothes in the middle of the night, I didn’t even know that they had been there.

Daughter #2 and her BF lead a youth group and wanted to treat them to a Christmas banquet.  The menu was traditional Christmas offerings but it really would not have mattered what was served-it was that they were assembled around one table of friendship.  They did want the kids to experience a formal setting and served them in courses. 

I think the evening was a hit based on the hilarity that went on while we were upstairs watching a season finale.  At the dinner table the gang were perfect ladies and gentlemen.

Kath’s quote:  “The ultimate aim of civility and good manners is to please: to please one’s guest or to please one’s host. To this end one uses the rules laid down by tradition: of welcome, generosity, affability, cheerfulness and consideration for others. People entertain warmly and joyously. To persuade a friend to stay for lunch is a triumph and a precious honour. To entertain many together is to honor them all mutually. It is equally an honour to be a guest.”-Claudia Roden

practice radical hospitality

Dish Magazine-Winter 2010 Edition (Inserted into Winnipeg Women)

December17

In case you missed my column in this edition of Dish Magazine…..

For me, cozy is being inside but seeing the wind blow the snow around outside.  You can do this and enjoy savoury soups at Terrace 55 in Assiniboine Park or the Provence Bistro at the Niakwa Golf and Country Club. The Peasant Cookery has a couple of snugly booths to enjoy gooey poutine (to add an extra layer of insulation).

Sipping a glass of red wine in front of the fireplace at Buccacino’s or Confusion Corner Bar & Grill can warm up an evening-especially if you are getting caught up with a close friend.  The toss cushions and soft drapery of the Clay Oven on Kenaston is sure to cozy you up and an order of their Vindaloo Shrimp guarantees it (you can decide the fieriness).

The wood burning ovens at Pizzeria Gusto, Civita and Bonfire Bistro are sure to throw some heat.  Doesn’t matter what you order-its all good!  A hot made- from -scratch cocoa at Baked Expectations should increase your cozy quotient.          

If an intimate pub is your cup of tea, head to The Grove or the King’s Head for a pint and fish and chips.  Speaking of tea-special local blends are concocted at Cornelia Bean on Academy and are also served up, down the road at Saucers Cafe.  Isn’t it lovely to warm your hands around a cuppa? 

Somehow just “being” in St. Boniface especially during Festival is a toasty time.  Beaujena’s French Table and Step’n Out make you forget that it’s even winter outside.  Muddy Waters Smokehouse is a fun place to warm up after a skate.  Any of the Osborne Village eateries are good destinations when you stroll down the Riverwalk.  The restaurant business is a tough one after Christmas, so get out there and support Winnipeg’s bevy of cozy establishments. 

Kath’s quote:  “There is a communion of more than our bodies when bread is broken and wine drunk. And that is my answer, when people ask me: Why do you write about hunger, and not wars or love?” –M.F.K. Fisher

love Winnipeg

Bally Hoo-Isla Mujeres

December16

 

If freshness is measured by distance to the original product, our favourite fish and chip spot on Isla Mujeres has the freshest food that you will ever eat.    To enter, one must walk across a dock to a platform on the water.  If your dining table is on the west edge of the restaurant, you can watch the filleting process take place.  If fishermen and women pick Bally Hoo as a favourite dining spot-how could the fish not be the best? 

We have enjoyed Bally Hoo many times since our first visit in 2006.  One New Year’s we sat and enjoyed their killer mango margaritas  as we waited for family to return from a tour on the mainland; another year we met half of our gang arriving on Isla and shared lunch even before their suitcases were put away.  One year to celebrate D’s birthday, we made Bally Hoo a stop on a progressive dinner. 

The fish tacos and fish and chips are always made to order and carefully prepared for just the right combination of crispy batter and tender, piping hot fish inside.

The restaurant is perfectly located to catch the breeze off the water or to enjoy the sunset.  The sign over the open kitchen reads “Slow Food”-why would I want to rush?  I am in paradise.

Kath’s quote: “Fish should smell like the ocean. If they smell like fish, it’s too late.”-Unknown

love your neighbours as yourself

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