Food Musings

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

Dacquisto Italian Kitchen


As is often the case, I knew what I was going to order for lunch at Dacquisto’s  even before my lunch date was scheduled.  The combination of a goat cheese and black olive pizza was too much to resist. 

What I wasn’t anticipating was how beautiful and cozy the restaurant would be.  The “big box” exterior  did not prepare me for the lush drapery and streaming sunlight within.  We were met immediately with the pleasant smell of woodsmoke from the oven. 

I also didn’t predict how affordable the lunch special menu would be.  One can hardly steer through a drive thru for an $8. lunch nowadays.  I opted to add a mixed Italian salad to combat the carbs and that only added another $3.   The lunch savings were reinvested into a fine bottle of Argentine Malbec which was shared three ways (lest you think we over-indulged). 

The said pizza was titled “Black & White” and was part of the Bianco section of the pizza menu. The taste of the cheese and olive blend reminded me of my favourite Black Truffle Bothwell cheese.   The crust was as delicious as I remember back in Chef Micheal’s “Pasta la Vista” days. 

My fellow diners enjoyed a large mixed Italian salad with chicken and the Gnocchi.  A special order was accommodated so that the Gorgonzola variety from the evening menu was served (at a slightly higher price).  I didn’t request a taste but I knew the extent that it was being savoured when the server asked to clear the plates and the gnocchi lover could not give up her last three morsels. 

The restaurant was filled with families, seniors and a couple of other business meeting tables.  I will definitely go back-perhaps to sample the Italian Buffet next time. 

Dacquisto on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:“A cook, when I dine, seems to me a divine being, who from the depths of his kitchen rules the human race. One considers him as a minister of heaven, because his kitchen is a temple, in which his ovens are the altar.”-Marc Antoine Désaugiers

In keeping with the B&W theme…..

Soup Bee


Sister #2 is a very special woman (and not just because she’s my sister).  No she’s not a brain surgeon but her occupation effects the health and well-being of many people, everyday.  She and my precious bro-in-law keep a beautiful home and they are famous for their love and treatment of their beloved pets.  There is often an extra dog being baby-sat, as there was when I arrived at their home last evening.

Sister #2 with our Mom and 1 of Mom’s 5 great grandchildren

My task was to pick up Daughter #1’s favourite soup and here’s what makes Sister#2 so special:  when she batch cooks for her family (because her job causes her to travel), she spreads the love to our extended family or friends and neighbours who could use the gift of time.

I thought that perhaps my daughter’s favourite soup was my brilliant “refridgerator” soup but alas, it was a fragrant concoction of chicken stock, herbs, a hint of curry?, crunchy vegetables and cellophane noodles.  Let me know if you want her recipe.

In the mean time, I can satisfy you with this: her Lentil Stew is absolutely incredible (and this comes from a non-bean lover):

“The important ratio are the lentils and water/stock.  All other ingredients can be improvised.

1 c dried lentils to 2.5 c water (and 1 chicken stock cube)

1 small can tomato paste

1 chopped onion

chopped celebry and shredded carrot to taste

cook for one hour or until lentils are tender

I add a protein, usually ground chicken, beef, sausage, or in the most recent batch-veggie ground round

For the batch I gave you:

I added a can of tomatoes, a box of brown rice and black bean mix, and a rub that I had made for grilled vegetables:

1 T cloves

1 T black peppercorns

1 T ground coriander

1 T cumin

1 t nutmeg

1/2 t cayene pepper

Other batches I have added curry, coconut milk, jarred Indian sauces, cilantro, beans, spinach, imagination.

I serve on rice or pasta (if the later, I add a can of diced tomatoes).  Real cheap to make, taste and freezes well!  Love you.”

If you do not have the time, talent, or inclination to batch cook for loved ones, do not fret.  I got a “door hanger” recently about the “Soup Bee”.  They are a non-profit social enterprise supported by the WBDC (also non-profit).  Their goals is to provide supportive employment opportunities in the downtown core, promote food security and local producers, all while leaving a small carbon foortprint.  They create soup each week for delivery to River Heights, the south end, St. Mary’s Rd, Wolseley and West Broadway.  Visit  for more information or call 218-SOUP (7687).  I think that you should order a batch for your self and another for someone who could use the lovin. 

Kath’s quote:  “Only the pure of heart can make good soup” Beethoven


We are family, I’ve got all my sistas with me!

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M&J Cazuela’s-Isla Mujeres


Until recently, I understood that a cazuela was a baked omelet that I have sampled over the years at M&J’s various locations.  I now know that the restaurant is so named for the little terra cotta baking dish that the egg blend is poured into for the cooking stage.  I have also learned that because of the special high heat that the clay dishes endure, they take on special properties and your food continues to cook for an additional 5-10 minutes after the cazuela is removed from the oven.  So when I have been disappointed that my eggs weren’t cooked to my desired doneness (with no “jigglies” as one of my 3 bros likes to say), it was actually because I was being an impatient tourista and consuming my brunch dish too soon! 

There was a vendor set up for the locals for carnival a couple of weeks ago and I wish that I had purchased a stack of these affordable casseroles for home.  They would have been great for the serving of our staggered breakfasts at the lake.

M&J’s original location at the unrenovated Roca Mar hotel had a magical charm. (When I peaked in on this trip there was a bride receiving a spa treatment).  Tables were set out on the sidewalk at a busy curve of the route into Centro and you could look down the slope to the west shore and the Bay of Cancun while experiencing the roar of the crashing waves of the Caribbean just feet away.

M&J’s new home at the corner of Guerrero and Abasolo has a lovely, cozy feel.  We sat under a trellis that allowed the dappled morning light to fall across our table.

And the Holbox Cazuela of tortillas, eggs, beans and salsa topped with fried bananas was cooked to perfection (or perhaps after all this time, I am learning the patience of the Mayan people who I so love, and didn’t dig in too soon).

V and I also shared a Crepa Amanecer- a delicate crepe surrounding ham, asparagus, herbs and that wonderfully rich Mexican cheese.  The crepas are served with M&J’s potato casserole (a recipe I have tried to unpack for years).  The coffee was wonderful and the freshly squeezed orange juice even better. 

Marco and Julie-your new spot is a gem and I predict much continued success.  My only regret is that I didn’t finally get to meet the infamous Julie who so many of my Isla friends speak of so fondly. 

Kath’s quote:  “If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion, and avoid the people, you might better stay home.”-James Michener

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society


This lovely novel was penned by Mary Ann Shaffer who was assisted by her niece Annie Brrows when her health began to fail. Sadly, Mary Ann died before her first novel was published.

First off, my radar immediately seeks out books with a food theme included in the title.  This novel is not quite so food thematic as some of my favourites (Like water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel and Chocolat by Joanne Harris), but held some very delicious imagery.  “So refreshments became part of our program.  Since there was scant butter, (referring to a time during World Warr II) less flour and no sugar to spare on Guernsey then, Will concocted a potato peel pie: mashed potatoes for filling, strained beets for sweetness and potato peelings for crust.” 

Secondly, it is an epistolary novel and I have a soft spot for those. I kind of think of them as the blogs of the literary world and it they make me feel like I’m reading and snooping in someone’s life with their permission.

Thirdly, I thoroughly related to the heroine of the story: “In every nook I find things that tell me about her.  She was a noticer, Sydney, like me, for all the shelves were lined with shells, bird feathers, dried sea grasses, pebbles, eggshells and the skeleton of something that might be a bat.  They were just bits that were lying on the ground that anyone else would step over or on but she saw that they were beautiful and brought them home.”

The story is primarily about little snippets of every day life and that too holds a fondness for me.  This is why I am so enthralled by the novels of Jan Caron and Alexander McCall Smith. 

And finally, I loved the book because of what it was all about-

the courage to hope…to love and… to hope to love.

Kath’s quote: “The potato, like man, was not meant to dwell alone.”-Shila Hibben”

Confusion Corner Bar and Grill


With its central location and ample parking lot, Confusion Corner is a popular meeting place for many.  Last evening the place was hopping and it was a Tuesday night!  In the last couple of years, it is likely the place that I have been to the most and I thought that it was high time that I sing its accolades.  With the exception of once, when we completely overwhelmed our new waitress, the service was been efficient and attentive. 

Since this is an after work get-together, it’s the food that quarantees the success of the evening, and that takes top marks.  A couple of times this winter, I’ve enjoyed a “crunch” salad -garnished with a couple of kinds of nuts to provide the promised texture.  I tried to find it on their on line menu just now but was not successful.  So perhaps it is a new item and does not have a permanent place on the menu or perhaps the on line menu needs adjusting. 

Last night as I enjoyed Mama’s Meatloaf (baked ground beef with capicola ham and a blend of three cheeses on a ciabatta roll), my media friends were loving the Panko-Crusted Chicken Tenders.  They are served in a very unusual manner-upright on a skewer.  They may soon become the cities’ best as I heard that The Keg Steakhouse and Bar are removing theirs from the next menu.

But the star of their fare is the Pesto Chicken Pizza.  I dream of it sometimes and have tried to recreate it at home.  They have found a dish which combines many of my favourite tastes and I TRY to resist ordering it but cave in, more often than not.  The basil pesto, feta cheese, artichoke hearts, roasted garlic and chicken are assembled in the perfect combination of savoury and salty.  The crust is delicate and yet sturdy enough to hold the weighty toppings.

We’re really looking forward to patio weather again and CC has one of the most unique rooftop patios around with a retractable awning in case of a sudden shower.  Ah spring……

I have never taken pictures of my food at CC, so please indulge me with these randoms from my collection. 

Just one question of other patrons or staff at CC-how do you pronounce “Lumpia” Rolls and are they worth the embarrassment of unfamiliarity? 

Confusion Corner Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:  “And do as adversaries do in law, strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.”-William Shakespeare

You got to have friends to make the day last long.

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