Food Musings

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



I have six strapping nephews and they all love to eat.  A couple of them are pretty adventurous.  One of them: not so much.  But he does love bacon on EVERYTHING.  A couple of years ago one of these guys mentioned that I should try Bellissimo and I have earnestly tried to make good on his recommendation ever since.  I had set a lunch date for a recent Monday and then  got carried away with some router and Internet issues and completely forgot to keep the appointment.  I found out that Bellissimo isn’t even open Monday and so we re-scheduled.

The big day came this week and I was not disappointed.  The hostess seemed to know many of the diners so they must enjoy alot of repeat business.  I was pleasantly surprized by the decor as I was expecting something less elegant.  We were sat in the lounge with the winter sun streaming in through two walls of windows.  I thought that our server was new but well-trained and very efficient. 

The hot herb buns held us over until our pastas arrived.  The lunch specials looked very tempting but we both ended up ordering off their extensive menu.  I chose the Scampi Bianco and was delighted with the lightly sauteed shrimp tossed with purple and green onions, tomato, and a creamy feta cheese. The sauce was a light tasting blend of fresh herbs and a splash of white wine.  Everything was tossed together with what we thought was a freshly made linguine.

My lunch mate choose the Pasta Giardino which I see is named for one of the owners.  She enjoyed the sauteed red peppers, red onions and marinated artichokes, tossed in a marinara sauce served over a bed of fettuccini.  The lunch portions are perfect-large enough to be more than satisfying but small enough that you don’t need an afternoon nap.

I was amazed by the $20 bill.  Two people can hardly have a fast-food lunch for that.  They have a sidewalk patio which will definitely lure me back.  Thanks for the great suggestion Aaron. 

Bellissimo Restaurant & Lounge on Urbanspoon

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

Stock Photos from 123RF

And Bellissimo means beauty.

Mardi Gras Jumbalaya Recipe


Whether you celebrate Festival, Carnival or Mardi Gras, a big warm pot of jambalaya is an excellent way to feed a throng of people.  My husband whips up a batch when he has guys’ ski weekends out at the cottage. 

I knew that I was going to be busy at supper time all this week and so I made a couple of “big pots” to keep my family satiated.  Jambalaya was one of them.  I am not the aficionado of batch cooking in my family.  That honour lies with Sister #2 who must travel a lot with her job.  The last time that she was away for a week she not only cooked for her family but had portions allocated for my Daughter #1, our Mom and her father-in-law.  Now that’s an walking angel!

The first time we enjoyed the big pot of jambalaya was at our mandatory Sunday dinner with our gang.  Even though the recipe is served with rice I whipped up a batch of cornbread.  Cornbread is so easy that I often ask myself why I don’t make it more ofter to have with salads, soups and stews.

Without further delay….

1 onion, diced

1/2 green bell pepper

1/2 yellow bell pepper

1/2 red bell pepper (cut small strips then cut in half for all bell peppers)

10 small banana peppers (we actually skip these but it is according to your taste)

1 whole garlic clove (diced)

2 28 oz. cans diced tomatoes

1 small can tomato sauce

6 small Polish sausages (cut into bite sized pieces) we used Capocollo sausage instead because it was what I had in the fridge)

1 lb. bonelss chicken, cubed (breast and or thighs will do)

1 lb. of ham, cubed (a good use of leftovers)

1 lb. of peeled shrimp (any size will do but they do shrink up a lot when they hit the pot)

2 cans red beans (we skip these-my kids are not bean lovers)

1 can niblet corn-we use frozen

1/2 c veggie oil

Worcestershire sauce to taste (we love this flavour and use enormous glugs)

 1 T parsley flakes

Start with oil heated and add onions, garlic, sausage and chicken. Saute with sauces and spices.  Add all peppers and simmer until the onions and peppers have softened.  Add tomatoes and 1 can of water.  Let it come to a boil, then add beans, corn & parsley.  Bring to a boil again and adjust seasonings-this is where we add more Worcestershire sauce.  When sausage rises to the top, add raw shrimp and ham and simmer for 20 minutes.  Serve over rice.

Kath’s quote: New Orleans food is “delicious as the less criminal forms of sin.” –Mark Twain

Let your love flow

posted under Entrees | No Comments »

La Lomita’s Over the Years-Isla Mujeres



La Lomita’s was the very first restaurant we visited on our first trip to Isla Mujeres in Feb 2005.  We landed at noon and decided to pick up some groceries and grab lunch before we took a cab to Punta Sur and our Villa.  We picked up our necessities at Mirtita’s and as we got out Laura’s map to get our bearings, we looked up and saw La Lomita’s.  Wow-what a great place to start our multi-year love affair with Isla and its food.  We spoke to the next table that were salivating over the Chiles Relleno.  We opted instead for papa fritos (french fries from just cut potatoes) which provided my first taste of a squeeze of lime instead of our accustomed vinegar.  We also shared shrimp with garlic and polo frito (fried chicken) with “pink” rice and fuchsia coloured onions. 

We could not get the idea of trying the Chiles Relleno out of our heads and tried to go back on the Sunday of our first week.  We found out and have remembered since, that La Lomita’s is not open on Sundays.  But we went back a third time for our last meal of that first trip and discovered that the Ophelia’s Chiles Relleno were definitely worth waiting for.  The whole poblano chile gets hotter towards the stem.  They are stuffed with a creamy white Mexican cheese, breaded and deep fried and then served on a bed of homemade tomato sauce and topped with cream and a “feta” style cheese. 

We returned for Chiles again in February 2006 when we had a bit of a food “accident”.  One member of our party thought that the green sauce on the table was guacamole and she took a sizable scoop on her taco chip.  It was so fiery that she could hardly speak and it took a good ten minutes before our concern for her subsided. 

When I took my husband to Isla for the first time in January 2007, he was anxious to try the Chiles as well.  There are some situations in life that I find particularly unique-we were waiting for an authentic Isla meal while watching Rachel Ray in Rome on “$40 a Day” which had been overdubbed in Spanish.  The world is a very small place. 

My husband loved the bean soup but saved me from future dismay by not consuming the entire bowl.  Our intention that night was to go out for coconut ice cream but even though we had split the meal, we were too full!  Supper was $14 for two of us including beer.  

We were excited to introduce our kids to the restaurant when we took them there in December 2007.  That experience though was “difficult”.  We were a large group and had all ordered beer when we arrived.  We could see that each time the table next to us finished their beer, the glass was cleared, washed and then delivered with beer to us.  Unfortunately they got the glasses first and we were almost finished eating dinner before we all got ours.  When in Mexico-you just have to relax and do things the Mexican way.  The food was fabulous as usual, so I was content.

I’ve seen mixed reviews on La Lomita’s on the message boards lately.  I hope that all is well for this family.  See you soon Isla. 

Kath’s quote:  “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, in water there is bacteria.”-David Auerbach

La Bamba


The intention of “Dine About Winnipeg” is to woo us from our February nesting inclination, to brave the cold and discover a new eatery.   We were more than willing. 

La Bamba has a great selection of Mexican cervesas and tequilas to choose from and D was delighted by his margarita.  He is a purist when it comes to lime margaritas and was duly impressed that it was not a blended concoction from a lime mix but a hand shaken variety with pure lime juice.  He’s been talking about it ever since…

The basket of tortilla chips and salsa verde was an authentic start to the culinary success of the evening. D & I ordered from the “Dine About” selections starting with Sopa de Tortilla.  I often make this soup at home and prefer more lime and cilantro but it was very, very good, just a different recipe from mine.

I had the giant chipotle prawns over Mexican rice.  D had one of my three prawns and I was still more than satisfied (that’s how huge they were).  The Mexican rice-I MUST get their recipe.  I can guess ingredients but I really, really need to be able to duplicate theirs on a regular basis.  So if anyone from La Bamba is reading this, please message me on my blog. 

My fellow diners were well pleased with their Chicken enchilada verdes and D declared that La Bamba has the truest Mexican food in the city.  A high compliment as we are so addicted to Mexican fare, we often talk about opening our own little tiende.

We enjoyed a well-priced Argentinian Malbec with dinner.  A house-made tequila ice cream with coconut wafers was the last course and the evening was touted a success. 

La Bamba Restaurant on Urbanspoon

When the Spanish celebrate Valentine’s Day it is with this expression: “Feliz dia del cariño y la amistad” “Happy day of affection and friendship”.  And so it was that we kicked off Valentine’s weekend in the most appropriate way.

Kath’s quote: “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails

Mexican Chocolate Cake (Eggless)


We have a very little house but our family has always known that what we have, we are more than willing to share with everyone’s friends.  For almost a year now we have really enjoyed getting to know the boyfriend of our youngest daughter.  He is a big burly French Canadian with huge green eyes and a gentle disposition.  And perhaps best of all-he can cook! 

He makes a fabulous omelette (almost as good as our Son’s) and has proven to be a great baker.  Perhaps I am easily impressed because I am such a lousy one.  We are especially pleased when guests feel comfortable enough in our home that they will ask to make something for us and have the run of the kitchen.  When his sister stayed with us this Christmas she made us French crepes.


Last night he baked this eggless Mexican Chocolate Cake!

makes one 8 inch round cake (he used a bundt pan)

 1 1/2 cup of flour

1 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper or chili powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 cup of cold water

1/4 cup of canola oil

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a cake pan, set aside.

In a large bowl,whisk all dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and mix well until batter is fully combined. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Let cake cool for 10 minutes, remove from pan and finish cooling it in a wire rack.

It called for a chocolate glaze but we all decided that a cold custard would be a delicious accompaniment.  The chill from the custard nicely offset the pepperiness. 

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

mi casa su casa

posted under Desserts | 4 Comments »
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