Food Musings

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

Soup’s On

November5

 In case you missed my column in the fall edition of Dish Magazine, here it is for your reading pleasure.

We call it “soup” weather when the sun sets earlier and the evenings are cooler.  Our meal planning naturally transforms with the colours of the leaves from salads and grilled items to savoury soups. 

Bernstein’s Deli has a huge selection of frozen soups that have been made for their restaurant patrons -10 varieties on the day that I was shopping.  The Chicken Noodle was just like Momma used to make.  For a special treat, I’ll stop at the Little Saigon Restaurant and order their Deluxe Beef Rice Noodle Pho (soup) which comes in two very heavy containers-one holding the mound of noodles, crisp bean sprouts and thinly sliced beef and the other, the rich dark broth with spring onions floating on top.  A trusted foodie has also recommended the rare beef soup at Binh An on Main St. (she swears it has healing powers).

I often choose soup for lunch and love the magenta coloured beet borsht at Alycia’s, the hearty pasta soups at De Luca’s, or the brandy flavoured French Onion soup at the Keg with the gobs of cheese crusted on top. 

A Chef’s skills are very apparent by the soups they serve.  I commend the stock makers at Bread and Circuses Bakery, The Fyxx, Dandelion Eatery and Prairie Ink.  Special accolades go to the Tallest Poppy where their daily, from scratch soups focus on local and seasonal ingredients.  A Facebook friend also praised the Pernod Chowder at Fude.

For supper soups the Lobster Bisque at the Promenade Bistro takes top stars as well as Spicy Peanut Soup at Saucers and the Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Soup) at Magic Thailand Restuarnt, Sukhotai and Sawatdee Thai Restaurants (I can’t decide which one I like the best).

Kath’s quote: “Do you have a kinder, more adaptable friend in the food world than soup? Who soothes you when you are ill? Who refuses to leave you when you are impoverished and stretches its resources to give a hearty sustenance and cheer? Who warms you in the winter and cools you in the summer? Yet who also is capable of doing honor to your richest table and impressing your most demanding guests? Soup does its loyal best, no matter what undignified conditions are imposed upon it. You don’t catch steak hanging around when you’re poor and sick, do you?”-Judith Martin

Let love be multiplied.

Chocolate Biscotti

November4

A little gift bag was hanging on the back of each of our chairs last week at The Food Studio.  The evening was already perfect without a parting gift-but who am I to refuse the gift of chocolate?  There were three biscuits which I shared at home and this recipe to make my own batch.

2 c flour

1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1/2 c butter

1 c sugar

2 eggs

1 t vanilla (almond or lemon extract will do)

2 c nuts

Toast nuts in oven for 8 minutes at 350 then finely chop.  Beat shortening and sugar until light and fluffy .  Mix in eggs, one at a time, beating after each one.  Add vanilla.  Mix together flour, baking soda and baking powder.  Add to liquid mixture.  Before completely combined add nuts and mix completely.  Divide into two and form into two logs with wet hands.  Pat down slightly.

Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes or until firm to touch.  Reduce oven temperature to 350F.  allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Slice at an angle with quick firm strokes with a sharp knife.  Return to cookie sheet , standing up, and return to oven for 10 minutes. 

Kath’s quote: “As with most fine things, chocolate has its season. There is a simple memory aid that you can use to determine whether it is the correct time to order chocolate dishes: any month whose name contains the letter A, E, or U is the proper time for chocolate.”-Sandra Boynton

Let love be multiplied.

posted under Desserts | No Comments »

Sergio’s-Isla Mujeres

November3

We are a family that loves to plan in advance.  The one exception is our free-spirited son who likes it when last minute plans come together.  We typically plan Christmas dinner while we are still sitting on Lester Beach and we already know what we are doing the 2011 May Long weekend!  So it would come as no surprize that we have already booked our annual winter get away to Isla Mujeres.

Our leisurely days on Isla revolve around the beach conditions and who of our many Isla friends we will meet up with that day.  We often accumulate at Sergio’s on Playa Sol.  The use of beach chairs and umbrellas is free, the hard-working waiters are a delight and the fresh local fare-delicious.

Of the many items sampled,  a special favourite is the Parmesan Fish which reminds me of Parmesan chicken wings that we have been making for years.  If you want in on that family secret, you’ll have to request the recipe in my comment box.

One New Year’s Eve before hosting 16 for dinner on our apartment rooftop, we lingered with our extended family at Sergio’s for sunset.  There was a wedding taking place and the couple happened to be from our home city.  It is a moment forever etched into my memory.

Kath’s quote:  Tropical the island, all of nature wild and free, this is where I long to be, Isla Bonita.– Madonna

Let love be multiplied.

A Stroll to Saucers

November2

There are very few times that we celebrate Halloween without snow and if the ground is bare it is typically a grey and chilly time.  Yesterday though it was still warm enough to get us out the door for an after work stroll.  The trees are bare but the grass is still green and lots of neighbours out enjoying the time as well. 

D has wanted me to try the many varieties of loose tea that are not being served at Saucers and so we ended up stopping in.  We choose a Rooibos called “The Academy Road” and a white tea which was a delicious blend of lemon and basil.    They are served from these neat little individual pots so that you can watch the steeping process take place and then have the tea effortlessly stream down into the pot (a far cry from most restaurant tea pots where I almost always splash, drip or spill).

I sampled the Chicken Thai Salad and loved the combination of noodles and crispy greens.  Two things made it exceptional-the whole peanut topping and what we were guessing was a homemade peanut dressing.

D enjoys their homemade soups and was delighted as usual with his potato and bacon choice.  He also ordered the Bruschetta which was topped with grilled vegetables, provolone cheese and a drizzle of balsamic.  Perfect ingredients to celebrate the local harvest.

We noticed a couple of families having a quick dinner together and a larger group of girls celebrating a birthday.  River Heights is very fortunate to have a number of restaurants within walking distance and Saucers epitomizes what a neighbourhood cafe is all about. 

Saucers on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:  “The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes

Let love be multiplied.

and the Winner is…..

November1

I was treated to a lovely and unexpected lunch last Thursday at the Garry St. Keg and together with my recent tastings of their chicken fingers at the McGillivray Keg for a light supper before the theatre, I’m prepared to declare the Keg the city’s best chicken fingers (imho).

I will be honest and say that I never did get to my son’s suggestion of the cafe at U of M to taste theirs.  But I did put them up against Confusion Corner (which I would give a honourable mention to), Lisis’s on Main St., Barney Gargles in Selkirk and Mitzi’s downtown and hearing no other nominations, the case is closed. 

My personal criteria is the combination of a crunchy coating and tender white meat inside.  They cannot be too heavily ladened and the coating has to have a taste of its own.  In addition, the dipping sauce is an important and the ability for the morsel to grab and hold onto the sauce is also to be considered.  Since the Keg’s chicken finger is kind of “lumpy” it provides lots of additional surface for sauce adherence.  Their honey dill combined with the seasoning of the coating satisfies my personal favourite taste combination of sweet and salty. 

So with this I conclude my two summer quests, this one and the Grand Beach area’s best French Fry-  the winner being the French creperie at Albert Beach.  Bring on winter….. 

Kath’s quote:  “To give life to beauty, the painter uses a whole range of colours, musicians of sounds, the cook of tastes — and it is indeed remarkable that there are seven colours, seven musical notes and seven tastes.”-Lucien Tendret

Let love be multiplied.

« Older EntriesNewer Entries »