Food Musings

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

Celebrating Life with Food (from the couch)


I’ve been “under the weather” as they say-first the flu and now a cold.  Wow, I sure appreciate my wellness after a few days of that.  But if I had to be in bed for a weekend-this was the weekend to do so.  I was absolutely delighted by the Christmas foodie specials of the Food Network.  Each host, as you likely already know, has their own approach and style.  

Guy Fieri with his bleached out hair and backwards sunglasses approaches everything with a wide-open mouth and enthusiasm that make your mouth-water.  We’re excited to check out a couple of his haunts from Diners, Drive Ins and Dives when we are on a road trip next weekend. 

Giada has her own brand of enthusiasm with her enormous smile and constant cleavage.  Her kitchen overlooking the beach is a dream of mine, so I watch Giada at Home and live vicariously.  I caught Sunny Anderson for the first time.   She is one of the few chef’s that doesn’t perplex me,  That is, I wonder how these skinny people are around so many glorious dishes without packing on the extra pounds.  Well Sunny’s hips and her indulgent cooking style, is closer to my reality than any of the others.  Her show is aptly titled Cooking for Real.

Ricardo and Friends gives a peak at culinary Quebec that makes me proud.  The local ingredients and rustic recipes and country-side take me to an earlier time in my life  when I enjoyed time in the Gatineau mountains and we honey-mooned in Quebec City and the Eastern Townships.  But let’s face it-I could just have the audio on and listen to his accent and emphasis on different syllables and giggle like a school girl.

Another Canadian show that has me hooked is French Food at Home hosted by Laura Calder.  She reminds me a bit of actress Laura Linney and is very understated yet kooky and spontaneous.  Her show style includes the shopping for fresh produce, very close camera shots of the preparation and instead of a long tirade describing what is happening as ingredients are added-silence and the food does the talking.

By Saturday night I was feeling well enough to sit upright on the couch and D joined me for Jamie Oliver’s Christmas at Home.  I have such a crush on Jamie, especially when he is captured teasing his 90 year old Nan or teaching his beautiful little girls how to make pancakes on a miniature wood stove.  Turns out Jamie comes from a pub family which explains his authentic real food recipes.  I get such a kick out of his expressions and saucy style.

Well I’ve rambled long enough-I’m a day behind on my “real” work.  But I am on the mend and have renewed enthusiasm to celebrate our health and well-being with food!

Kath’s quote: “Measure the girth of the chef and you can rate his restaurant.” -French saying

Love heals.

Not Moule et Frites


You must be thinking that I never eat at home…..untrue!  I do admit that I have enjoyed a long stretch of business lunches and catching up with friends, but my lunch calendar is empty for the month of December and the outings will revolve around family get togethers. 

I also depended upon my restaurant experiences to blog about as I seem to have run out of family favourites which is not surprizing as I am approaching the first anniversary of this blog’s existence.  BUT last night I invented a new favourite, trying to re-create a dish that we often enjoy at Inferno’s and Bistro 7 1/4.  I served it over rice and not with French fries or else it would be known as Moule et Frites.

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1/2 red pepper, cut into narrow strips

1 carrot, peeled and then using the peeler cut into very skinny strips

1/2 c sliced mushrooms

1 can coconut milk

2 dozen(ish) fresh mussels

In the bottom of a pan or pot that has a tight fitting lid, pour a glug of olive oil.  Add veggies and saute until onions are translucent.  Pour in coconut milk and bring to a slow boil.  Through in the mussels and securely cover.  Reduce to a medium heat.  Peak under lid after 3-5 minutes.  If the shells are all open-they are done.  Ladle onto cooked rice and serve with a spoon! 

Kath’s quote:  “It is not a matter of indifference whether we like oysters, mussels or clams, snails or shrimp, if only we know how to unravel the existential significance of these foods.”-Jean-Paul Satre

Love lifts us up where we belong.

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Spuntino Cafe


If ever you are in River Heights over the lunch hour and need to stop for a healthy lunch break, Spuntino’s is the perfect place.  I was enjoying a business lunch with a colleague who also happens to be a marathoner.  The snow was coming down heavily that day but it was warm and cozy inside. 

We both started with bowl of homemade chicken soup to take the chill off.  Next came her Greek salad and my Lemon Brocoli salad and we both added a chicken breast.  The chicken was sauteed in a delicate lemon coating as well.  As a result I got the full nutritional benefit of garlic, lemon, lean protein and the broccoli.  I felt like that lady in the commercial  who is trying to get her calcium intake quota and is eating what looked liked pounds of broccoli.   In the end I could not finish the salad and took left overs home to feed Daughter #2’s BF.

The soup and salad was served with the most delicious honemade buns, piping hot out of the oven.  I’m talking so hot that we had to let them cool to open them for a butter application.

We also got a mini-workout after lunch by having to push my van out of the snow drift that accumulated in my parking spot over lunch.  Ahh winter on the prairies…..

Spuntino Cafe on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:  “Mother: It’s broccoli, dear. —
Child: I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.”-
E.B. White

love makes the world go round

Segovia Revisited


If I could have a neighbourhood restaurant where when I arrived, they would know exactly what choice of wine was my favourite-I would chose Segovia.  The next best thing to being recognized for my restaurant loyalty, is to dine with someone who is.  My friend lives within walking distance of the tappas house and finds herself there quite often.  She has sampled so many items on the menu that she gave me a tour by indicating “well we’ll start with that, eat our way through here and end over here”.  In the end the food is so rich and satisfying that we concluded the supper by sharing three items and had to go for a walk to create some breathing room.

We arrived at 7 on a Friday night to find that it was standing room only.  We got the last two seats at the Chef’s final prep station which I loved because of the vantage point but had difficulty with because of the heat.  This is not a criticism of the restaurant-just a reality at this stage of my womanly life.

We started with Pan Con Tomate which is a refreshing tomato crown for a rustic toast.  The next surprize was a “Tortilla” served with herbs and aioli.  I have no idea how this dish starts as a tortilla but in the end-I don’t care what it is called.  The blend of richness from the aioli in contrast to the variety of herbs is divine.  The only dish that I had tasted before were the seared scallops on cauliflower puree.  As my dining friend is not inclined to seafood, I got the entire dish to myself and it was an amazing as I remembered it.  The scallops are just barely cooked allowing the silky texture and delicateness to take centre stage.  The puree cauliflower beds are a lovely complement and the plump raisins, a salty/sweet lover’s dream.

Daughter #1 is a regular at Segovia too-she’s even been invited to a special party that the restaurant is hosting.  I’m very happy for her and yet okay I’ll admit it JEALOUS! 

Segovia Tapas Bar and Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:  “One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating. And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends.”-Laurie Colwin

You’ve got a friend.



I decided not to be a foodie last night as my husband and I enjoyed a quick dinner in the vicinity where we were shopping so I did not take any photos as the food arrived.  We had just had our first massage and to be frank-I was so mellow that I didn’t give a poop about any of my usual responsibilities or pre-occrupations.  But here it is the morning after, and I am trying to recollect the details of the evening to share them with you.

We had watched with interest as Chop was being built.  The bones of a restaurant were apparent right from the start and so we eagerly awaited completion.  OMGoodness it seemed like the longest construction job known to man.  Here it is more than a year later and we never had a reason to give it a try.  When we arrived at 5:30 the dining room was already full and even though the bar was a bit noisy for our conversation, we liked the decor even better than the dining room’s.  Service is what I would call “Joey-style”-the front doors are flung open by a beautiful girl upon arrival, there are wine samplers served if you have to wait for a table and there are many people responsible for delivery your food and checking to ensure that you are happy with your choices.  Upon departure, someone else is at their post to ask how your entire evening was and to wish you a happy evening. 

Our favourite white wine was not served by the glass so we ordered a bottle.  But we had been warned by our masseuse that any alcohol that evening may give us a headache as our bodies were trying to flush chemicals that had been released in the process.  Aren’t our bodies wonderfully made?  So after the consumption of lots of water, we enjoyed a small glass and asked for the rest to be corked to take home.  This was pleasantly accommodated.

We shared a Chop salad and a Chop burger, mostly because I wanted to try the Chop fries.  They were described on the menu as being served with shards of Gran Padano Parmesan, sea salt and three dips.  Alas, the fries were tasty enough but with none of the promised cheese and the single dip was ketchup.  The burger though was exactly as promised-meaty, juicy and a fascinating combination of tastes.  The salad too was chock full of hearty ingredients-blue cheese, avocado, bacon, chopped egg, chicken chunks and then tossed in a light dressing.

Our server was obviously accustomed to serving out of town guests as the restaurant is connected to the Sandman Hotel and is minutes from the airport.  She was a wonderful Winnipegger-patiently convincing us that even though the Saskatchewan Roughriders are the Bombers number one nemesis, we should put rivalries aside and cheer them on to victory.  I was already convinced, the Rider fans are a wonderful example of what a fan should be-supporting their team through wins and defeats.  Winnipeggers have a tendency to jump on and off the bandwagon (myself included). 

Spending the day the way we did -it felt like we were kind of tourists in our own city.  An affordable way to have some re-creation. 

Chop Steak Fish & Bar on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:  “If we aren’t supposed to eat animals, then why are they made out of meat?”-Jo Brand

Love is all you need.

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