Food Musings

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

Hot Fudge sauce

July26

My husband’s family are Minnesotan Americans with a Scandinavian heritage typical of the area.  His large family of seven kids would have to take turns stirring their home-made ice cream and Christmas candy.  For their birthdays they would be given an entire pie that they did have to share with anyone else.  Pecan pie was his request. 

We’ve had the pleasure of sharing many family classics over the years-candied yams, ham gravy, Swedish meatballs, Lefsa, Belgian Waffles, Reid’s Candy and something called Tater Gem hot dish (which was less of a hit). They would make their own fudge sauce for ice cream as a special treat when baby-sitters came over.

Now my husband puts it together for gangs of kids on the deck at the lake and for a special dessert after a family birthday party.  The first time our daughter-in-law tasted it, she asked to eat the left-overs out of the pot with a spoon.  Such was her pleasure at the taste (it proved to be a little too rich for her little tummy). 

We do not often have dessert, but try to after our Sunday family dinners.  Last night as we sat down to just picked corn and beans and chicken breasts grilled in a yogurt/curry sauce -we warned that everyone should keep room for dessert.  The kids indicated that if they needed room for dessert, we shouldn’t cook such tempting meals.  So we sat in the bright dining room with our beverages, having philosophical conversations until we had some more room to enjoy.

The hand-written recipe is hard to read as it has faded ove the years.  I got special permission from my husband to share it with you:

1/2 c sugar

2 T cocoa

3 T butter (cannot be margarine)

1/4 c cream

Blend in a heavy bottomed saucepan and keep stirring as it comes to a boil.  Continue to boil for 2-3 minutes until it passes the “ball” test-i.e. drop a small amount into a cup of cold water.  If it dissolves it is not ready but if it stays in a ball it is.  Serve with vanilla ice cream and fresh fruit. 

Kath’s quote:   “Research tells us fourteen out of any ten individuals likes chocolate.”- Sandra Boynton
 

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Goat Cheese Chicken Burgers

July23

I was planning my menu for the cottage this weekend when I came across this recipe that I have yet to try.  But it looks so good-I don’t want you to miss out on the chance.

1 lb. ground chicken, 1/4 c breadcrumbs, 1 t minced garlic, 1/4 c chopped fresh parsley, 1 egg, 2 T chopped fresh basil, 1/4 c chopped onion, 1/2 t salt, 1/2 c goat cheese and 12 T bruschetta sauce

Preheat grill.

Combine chicken, breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, egg, parsley & salt.   Form into 6 patties, place a heaping tablespoon of goat cheese on each patty, fold in half and reform patties into its original shape.   Alternately goat cheese can be place on top of each patty after grilling.

Used by permission from: Granny’s Poultry

Kath’s quote: “I don’t want to be in the same country as goat cheese. It always tastes the way a yak looks in one of those National Geographic specials.”-Erma Bombeck

Bet you were expecting a pic of something else, weren’t you?  But to some people a yak might express love…….

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Niko’s

July22

In a week the three sisters, a sis-in-law and honourary sister will be heading to New York City.  I was fascinated by the eating habits of New Yorkers upon my previous trips.  I have only been in one private home in New York but I understand that space is tight and kitchens are tiny.  Hence many New Yorkers pick up a meal on their way home or drop in for a quick supper to their favourite neighbourhood spot.  That was very much the feel as we dined at Niko’s last evening.  We were there early-at 5 pm and the place was filled with various groups grabbing a quick bite.

My dinner included a Greek salad-the dressing and the feta seemed unusually light and was a perfect way to start a more than substantial meal.

I would love to get my hands on their Lemon Roasted Chicken recipe.  The generous three piece serving was so tender and savoury.  A marinade,  a slow oven,  broasting?  How do they do it?

The chicken is accompanied by toasted pita (lots of garlic but a bit too much salt-and I LOVE salt) and your choice of carb.  No surprize-I went for the hand-cut fries.

I’m guessing many diners were able to take half their dinner home for lunch.  I managed to clean my plate like a good girl (I was with my Mom).  Supper and possibly lunch for $11.95-what a bargain.
Niko's on Urbanspoon
Kath’s quote: “Thou hadst better eat salt with the Philosophers of Greece, than sugar with the Courtiers of Italy.”-Benjamin Franklin

Mojitos-Part 2

July21

Sister #3 is planning on joining us at the lake this weekend.  She isn’t Cuban but looks like she is and is getting really good with her Espanol.  She makes a mean Mojito-using a simple syrup and mashing the mint with a mortal and pestle.

Another mighty mojito maker is our son who was recently willing to experiment and mixed us this version for a Happy Hour treat at the lake.

Pina Mojito

1/3 c crushed pineapple (including juice)

1 lime wedge

1 t sugar

1 1/2 oz coconut rum (or vodka in a pinch)

club soda

pineapple garnish

In a shaker, combine pineapple, lime, mashed mint and sugar.  Shake well.  Add ice and rum and shake again.  You may wish to strain into a cocktail glass at this point but we liked everything floating around to include with our sips.  Top with soda and stir.  Garnish.

Another refreshing summer treat are light tasting and refreshing Okanagan Premium Pear Ciders  that a friend special ordered into Manitoba and then brought out to the lake.  The recipe is a blend of apple cider and seasonal sun-kissed fruits.

Kath’s quote:  “Cider was, next to water, the most abundant and the cheapest fluid to be had in New Hampshire, while i lived there, — often selling for a dollar per barrel.   In many a family of six or eight persons, a barrel tapped on Saturday barely lasted a full week…..The transition from cider to warmer and more potent stimulants was easy and natural; so that whole families died drunkards and vagabond paupers from the impetus first given by cider-swilling in their rural homes…..”-Horace Greeley (1811-1872)

Mojitos-Part 1

July20

My first mojito was in Cuba in the early 80’s.  Our arrival was delayed by winter weather, we were kinda freaked out by the level of security at the airport,  the hotel transfer over a pot-holed highway was gruelling and our accommodations were less than five star.  We were too late for our welcome cocktail, so we chased the geckos off of our walls and crawled into bed.

The next morning I saw my first first glimpse of the Caribbean Sea! Ever since that sight,  I physically crave to be next to turquesa water and find ways to duplicate the effect in my everyday life on the prairies -sleeping under a turquoise duvet cover, wearing something turquoise every single day and decorating our home with this sparkling colour.

I digress………  Our welcome cocktail of a Mojito was served at 10 in the morning.

I have lost touch with my friend Cherrie who gave me this recipe.  Her parents are from Chile and she is engaged to a Cuban Gymnast who has lived in Winnipeg since the Pan Am Games were held in 1997.   These are individually made like the bartenders at Hotel Tortuga that once stood on Varadero Beach.

1 tsp sugar

1 lime

handful fresh mint leaves

2 oz Havana Club blanco (or any white rum)

sparkling water

Place the mint leaves and sugar in a tall glass, crush the sugar and mint with the back of a spoon for 30 seconds or until you can smell the mint.  Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice from both halves into the glass, then drop the lime into the glass.  Pour in the rum and stir.  Add plenty of ice, then top the mixture with mineral water or club soda.  Garnish with a sprig of mint and Salude!

Kath’s quote: “As for the garden of mint, the very smell of it alone recovers and refreshes our spirits, as the taste stirs up our appetite for meat,”
Pliny

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