Food Musings

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

Cookie Decisions


An honourary sister is already making shortbread for our cookie exchange so I can’t make this amazing recipe that was shared with me.  I still don’t know what I’m going to make but  this recipe looks so good that I didn’t want you to miss out.  Being a lover of all things tropical-this shortbread version has lime and coconut!

Zesty Lime Shortbread


1/2 c flaked coconut,

1/2 c sugar

2 T finely shredded lime peel

1 t vanilla

2 1/2 c flour

1 c butter, cut into pieces

lime glaze:

2 c icing sugar

 1/2 t finely shredded lime peel

1 T lime juice

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  In a food processor combine coconut, sugar, lime peel and vanilla.  Cover and process until coconut is finely chopped.  Add flour, cover and process with one on/off pulse to just combine.  Add butter; cover and process until mixture starts to cling.  Transfer to an extra large bowl (dough will appear dry).  Knead dough until smooth.  Shape dough into ball; divide in half. 2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough portion to about a 1/4″ thickness.* Using desired 1 1/2-2 ” cookie cookies (I think you should make heart shaped ones-jmho), cut out dough.  Place cut outs 1″ apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  3. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 15-17 minutes or just until bottoms start to brown.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.  Repeat with the remaining dough portion.  Prepare the lime glaze by mixing the ingredients in a small bowl and adding just enough water (2-3 T) to make a glaze of spreading consistency and sprinkle with additional grated lime peel.   4.  Layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container.  Store at room temp for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months and be careful of the midnight freezer cookie monster.

Coconut palm outside our kitchen window-Isla

*(or if you prefer {like me}, shape the dough into 1″ balls instead or rolling and cutting out dough.  Place the balls of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Dip the bottom of a glass in sugar and flatten each ball to about 1/4″ thickness.  Bake as directed). 

Kath’s quote:  “My mother didn’t really cook. But she did make key lime pie, until the day the top of the evaporated milk container accidentally ended up in the pie and she decided cooking took too much concentration.”-William Norwich

Love warms.

Clay Oven revisited


I have let too much time pass since our visit to the Clay Oven a couple of weeks ago and now I am at a loss as to the names of all the dishes that we sampled.  I was also distracted by the conversation-a chance to get caught up with Sisters #2 and #3, our Mom and my Mom’s best friend.  She and my Mom have lived across the street from each other for 54 years!  You can imagine the joys and sorrows shared over that number of years.  She was my also my kindergarten teacher for two years.  The latter when I was age-appropriate but the first when I was four and she was willing to provide a place where I could get a break from my twin brother and sister.  I remember so many details from that time so vividly. 

Anita who is one of the family owners of the Clay Oven had our table all arranged for us.  She is a lovely host as are all of the dashing men that she gets to work including our young server who was wonderfully attentive.

We started with a small platter of Samosas.  As we shared the bites on the plate, we noticed how some were quite mild and others quite spicy.  Perhaps they were made by different chefs or perhaps the curries did not get thoroughly mixed.  It was fun to taste the varieties of heat that can be delivered by one item.

I know that we had Butter Chicken because the tender chicken was unforgettable and I also recall that we enjoyed the Korma and an assorted Naan basket, but to be frank, the rest of the details are gone.  Except to say that everything that we sampled was carefully prepared, served piping hot (and stayed hot in those beautiful metal dishes) and there was plenty to share between the five of us with left overs of Naan to go with shepherd’s pie the next night.

The decor of this location on Kenaston  is just my style-a brightly lit open kitchen where you can clearly hear the slapping down of the Naan being prepared; sleek and elegant with cosy touches like colourful toss cushions on the bench seating.

They have expanded this location to include a separate party room complete with its own sound system and bar!

Clay Oven on Urbanspoon

Love amplified.

Poc Chuc-Isla Mujeres


Even though I have been to Isla Mujeres seven times, there are still little places that I have not had an opportunity to try (and this is a tiny island).  I almost always stay in Centro which is the town at the north end of the island where the ferry from Cancun deposits you.   This way you can walk to the beach, for groceries, to restaurants and local shopping in less than 10 minutes.  Poc Chuc is on the corner of a couple of Centro’s main streets and I have walked past it oodles of times.  On the last afternoon of my last trip to Isla, I finally got the opportunity to sample their offerings and was absolutely delighted. 

The decor is a happy collection of Caribbean colours and motifs.  The furniture seemed to have been freshly painted and you could see right into their cozy kitchen.

I ordered the Chicken Mole not having enjoyed it for 15 years since a trip to Cozumel.  Sister #3 says that there are over 40 ingredients in a good mole and my first taste would confirm that.  Cocoa and peppery tastes were prominent in the sauce poured over a tender leg and thigh that was served with rice and tortillas.  All this for 70 pesos or the equivalent of $7 CDN and get this-the cerveza was cheaper than a coke.   Someone else ordered Chilies Relleno and shared tastes with me so I was doubly content. 

Not the Mole

Kath’s quote:  “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”-Benjamin Franklin

Don’t worry be happy…..

Remembering Summer


Who’s having more fun?

It snowed this weekend and I mean all weekend.  There are things that I like about the snow…big fluffy flakes that meander instead of falling straight down, snow angels and the reflected light from Christmas lights and moonshine.  But truth be told, I detest winter driving and my car-starter that my husband went to so much trouble to get me is not working and the arrival of winter means that I have to start wearing socks.  So just for one last time, I choose to reflect upon summer and especially one special picnic that I put together at the end of June.

D&I host a young families group, one Friday a month in the winter.  Our first summer wind up, we all went up to our cottage but as our numbers are ever expanding (by families and by babies) we wouldn’t all fit in to our 500 sg. ft. cabin this year.  So I arranged a picnic at Assoniboine Park instead.  The Park is very close to us and regular visits have been a part of our family life for 25 years. 

Families brought along various toys and contributions for the supper and it was easy and so relaxing.  After a big long play on the expanse of green space, we assembled under the trees for our dinner.  Afterwards we created a cavalcade and walked over the footbridge to Sargent Sundae on Portage for another family tradition.

The simple plans turned into a highlight of my summer and it is so lovely to remember the bright green of the new leaves on this particular day. 

Kath’s quote:  “I doubt whether the world holds for anyone a more soul-stirring surprise than the first adventure with ice cream.”-Heywood Campbell Brown

Love endures.

Garwood Grill


I am not certain how long the Garwood Grill has been on Pembina Hwy. but our Mom says that she and my Dad used to enjoy going there.  My Mom has lived in her home in EK for 55 years and so it is likely that this was when she and my Dad lived on Chevier Blvd. in the 50’s.  Could this be so?

I know that I have been enjoying their “home-cooked” recipes for 25 years.  Particularly memorable are the Burgers and Denver sandwiches and their Clubhouse can hold their own against the Wagon Wheel and Rae and Jerry’s.  I have even indulged in the past on their Classic Pork chop Dinner.  All carefully prepared using from scratch ingredients.

Lately though Sunday breakfast is what draws Sister #3, an honourary Sister and me (when I am free from family responsibilities).  Eggs over easy arrive perfectly cooked, the Canadian back bacon is thickly sliced and the hash browns arrive “crispy” as ordered.  Coffee is frequently refilled and service is more than pleasant.  The Garwood is a real “old school” jewel in Fort Garry. 
Garwood Grill on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:  “He smiled rather too much. He smiled at breakfast, you know.” -Charles Wheeler

Love endures.

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