Food Musings

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

The Food Studio

October29

If you are looking for a unique Christmas party location this year or a place to host a corporate event, The Food Studio on Roblin Blvd is the perfect solution.  Upon arrival, you feel as if you are being invited into the main floor of someones home.  You are greeted with a glass of wine or specialty cocktail and there were three appetizers already set out for tastes.  I understand that the preparation of the guacamole, tempera asparagus and mushroom bruscetta were demonstrated by the Chef for the early birds.

That is what is unique about this culinary experience-you are encouraged to participate in a number of aspects of food preparations for the evening…..caramelizing the apple slices for the soup garnish or cutting the cucumber strips on a mandolin for the salad.  Or you can sit back and watch all the kitchen flurry occur around you and pick up a few tips on the way…how to make a disposable piping bag, the secrets to cooking a stuffed roast,  taking the mystery out of crème brulée and seeing where to cut a cucumber strip to make a cup on the plate for the roasted vegetable salad.   I always gravitate to the kitchen at a dinner party anyway and this is exactly what it feels like.

At one point, we were encouraged to find our designated seat in their dining/sun room and dinner was served.  A creamy soup of squash (and we thought -potato) garnished with the carmelized apple and a squiggle of cream.

Next came the roasted vegetable salad and then the roast pork loin with a cranberry bread stuffing and simply steamed local vegetables.  The crème brulées arrived with chocolate biscotti.  The perfect ending to a perfect evening celebrating new friends and the bounties of the harvest.

Chef Peter Ecker made it all look so easy but fun at the same time.  I recognized his badges that I am guessing would mean he is on the Manitoban and Canadian Culinary team.  We were in very good hands.

Kath’s quote:  “Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”-Francois Minot

Let love be multiplied.

Sweet Frites with garlic and sea salt

October28

Sweet Potatoes are plentiful in the produce section right now for holiday cooking but our family loves to have them all year long.  They are a wonderful alternative to traditional fries with a burger or fish. 

This recipe calls for an unpeeled potatoes so buy organic if you can.  The peel adds fibre but go ahead and peel them if you are concerned.  Ironically, they are are a great source of anti-oxidants.

2 lbs. orange-fleshed sweet potatoes

2 T olive oil

coarse sea salt

3 T grated parmesan

2 T chopped parsley leaves

1 clove minced garlic

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Rinse and dry potatoes and then cut them lengthwise into slices 1/2 inch thick, then cut each slice in batons about 1/4 inch wide and 3 inches long.  Arrange in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet and toss with olive oil and 1/4 t salt.  Roast, stirring with a spatula midway through baking time, until tender and browned on the edges, 20-25 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix parmesan, parsley and garlic.  Add warm oven fries and mix to gently coat.  Season to taste with additional salt and serve at once. 

Kath’s quote:  “With all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.”-Moses as found in ‘Leviticus


Let love be multiplied.

Cookie Musings

October27

I have started researching my contribution to Sister #3’s annual Christmas Cookie exchange and I have come across a couple of delicious recipes.  This one is:

Macadamia Moons with Browned Butter Glaze

Cookie batter:1 c butter, softened

2/3 c granulated sugar

3/4 t ground ginger

1/2 t vanilla

2 1/4 c flour

1 c finely chopped macadamia nuts

Glaze:

1/4 c butter

2 c icing (powdered) sugar

1/4 t ground ginger

2-3 T milk

1/2 c finely chopped macadamia nuts

freshly ground nutmeg (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl, beat the 1 c butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 secs.  Add granulated sugar, the 3/4 t ginger and vanilla.  Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally.  Add flour and 1 c nuts, beating on low speed until combined.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls.  To shape moons, roll each ball into a short log with tapered ends.  Curve slightly into a crescent shape and place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet,  Bake in a pre-heated oven for 10-11 mins or until set and lightly browned.  Transfer cookie to a wire rack and cool.

For glaze: In a small heavy bottomed saucepanm heat butter until melted, then caarefully stir constantly until butter bubbles and beecomes very fragrant. Cool slightly. 

In a small bowl combine browned butter , sugar and ginger.  Stir in enough of the milk to make a glaze of spreading consistency.

Spread glaze over cooled cookies.  Sprinkle immediately with crushed nuts and ground nutmeg (if desired).  Makes about 48 cookies.  To store: place cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an air tight container; cover.  Store at room temperature for up to 3 days of freeze up to 3 months.

After you have retired for the night, listen for footsteps leading to the freezer in the basement.  If you hear the lid being raised, check your cookie supply the next morning.  The midnight Christmas cookie marauder may have struck your house as is frequently the case in ours.

Kath’s quote: “A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand” Unknown

Let love be multiplied.

Two Times Square NYC

October26

We had some challenges funding the place as I mistakenly thought that the name of the restaurant was also the address.  I am obviously not a New Yorker.  I marvel at how they navigate their own city especially the subway.  Stations will be marked by certain street addresses and they are no where near those streets! But I digress….  Our “Almost Six in the City” split up for Sunday matinees-three seeing “Wicked” and two for “Billy Elliot“.  It was when we reassembled to have some supper before a night tour of Manhattan that we got a little mixed up.  What a happy event as there was a street market happening right in Time Square and the shopping was marvellous.

I am rambling a titch about the events surrounding the day because when we found the restaurant on the second floor of the Renaissance Hotel the food itself was underwhelming.  I was almost content with my Baked Ziti with sausage and eggplant but those that ordered the Hazelnut Pesto Fettucine were disappointed with its complete lack of flavour.

No matter, we ordered some high faluting drinks and the view of the Square was a million dollar one.  We prairie gals know how to do New York city!
Two Times Square on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:  “Manhattan is a narrow island off the coast of New Jersey devoted to the pursuit of lunch.”– Raymond Sokolov

Let love be multiplied.

Foodies do Slough Off

October25

Just to set the record straight…the life of a foodie is not always about dining out, trying new products and concocting inventive dishes, sometimes we just wanna be a couch potato.  Last night I served my family popcorn for supper.  And it wasn’t the trendy new sweet and salty variety and it wasn’t even air-popped.  It was Orville Redenbacher’s “Buttery”  (I thought that I exhibited amazing restraint by not grabbing the “Extra Butter” variety).  To make matters worse I didn’t pull it out of my well-stocked foodie pantry…I ran out and picked it up at Mac’s just before we settled in to watch “The Amazing Race” (a Sunday evening TV treat).  Since I have created this time of self-confession I should fess up that I then proceeded to watch another 2 hours of  TV because it was the finale show of “So You Think You Can Dance Canada” (my Wednesday TV treat).

So that you don’t get all concerned that I only consumed fat and carbs last night, I also had a two “just pulled from the garden” carrots and a glass of red wine.  So I did ingest some vitamins and anti-oxidants too.

In reality we did have a lovely sit down Sunday lunch instead of our usual dinner as D’s folks were able to join us from the country (hence the carrots).

Kath’s quote:  “But some of us are beginning to pull well away, in our irritation, from…the exquisite tasters, the vintage snobs, the three-star Michelin gourmets. There is, we feel, a decent area somewhere between boiled carrots and Beluga caviare, sour plonk and Chateau Lafitte, where we can take care of our gullets and bellies without worshipping them.”-J.B. Priestley

Let love be multiplied…..

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