Food Musings

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

Rosa Mexicano-Part 1


By happy coincidence we were in New York for 2010 NY Summer Restaurant Week which actually goes on for multiple weeks.  The website for the event was very helpful and we could choose our neighbourhood, our cuisine preference, get details about the specific time frame of the offeringsand then even make a reservation on line. 

We chose the haute Mexican restaurant within walking distance of our home away from home Rosa Mexicano.  We were immediately struck by the energy of the place with its high ceilings and open spaces.  The noise level might be considered a hindrance if you were there for a quiet, romantic evening but such was not the case for us (almost six in the city).  We started with their signature pomegranate margaritas and although I have had better at (Miquel’s Moonlight Madness on Isla Mujeres), they were a lovely distraction as we surveyed the menu and the menu choices of surrounding tables.

We are all self-confessed Mexican food groupies that love to discover the Mom and Pop places when we travel, but we were willing to give these swanky digs a chance.  We started with Guacamole en Molcajete made table side by a gentleman, serious about perfecting his craft.  He starts by smashing his ingredients with a pestle and then skillfully pits, cuts and scoops in the fresh avocado.  You can’t get any fresher than this.  Each order is served with warm corn tortillas, tortilla chips, salsa pasilla de Oaxaca and salsa tomatillo y habanero.

Rosa Mexicano on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Let us go early to the vineyards to see… if the pomegranates are in bloom—there I will give you my love.”Song of Solomon 7:12

The Sandbar


This summer we’ve been drawn to The Sand Bar in Grand Beach over and over again.  We love Chef Ty’s authentic Danish and have dropped in for his $9.95 Steak Nights on Fridays (including a beer or glass of house wine).  Recently, we went just in time to order breakfast (last call at 11:45).  I dug into a gorgeous spinach and feta omelet with home-style potatoes and rich, dark rye toast.  D decided to “go for it”,  ordering the “big Breakfast”.  Big it was-2 pancakes served first and then an enormous platter of garlic sausage, bacon, breakfast links, toast, potatoes and three perfectly cooked eggs-all for$9.95.

We went back the next night for his all you can eat beer-battered (or pan fried) lake Winnipeg pickerel also for $9.95.  A mound of hand-cut fries, cole slaw, tartar sauce and three pickerel fillets to start.  My hungry brother and husband (both Dougs)  enjoyed another couple of servings which were cheerfully provided.

We said hey to Ty and his young and growing family on the way out from breakfast.  We are so encouraged to see a new generation of young chef’s who are willing to invest in a community like Grand Beach.

Kath’s quote:  “I am not a glutton…I am an explorer of food.”  Erma Bombeck

Salade Nicoise


I wanted to serve a very light lunch on the evening that we had made arrangements to go out for all you can eat pickerel.  Since I had just been to the Farmer’s market, I had all the fixings available for this salad that I have intended to try for many years.  I chose Julia Child’s version and this is what she has to say about Salade Niçoise:

“Of all main-course salads, the Niçoise is my all-time favorite, with its fresh butter-lettuce foundation; its carefully cooked, beautifully green green beans; its colorful contrast of halved hard-boiled eggs, ripe red tomatoes, and black olives; all fortified by chunks of tunafish and freshly opened anchovies.  It’s a perfect luncheon dish, to my mind, winter, summer, spring, and fall — an inspired combination that pleases everyone.”

1 large head Boston-lettuce leaves, washed and dried
1 pound green beans, cooked and refreshed
1-1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/2 to 2/3 cup basic vinaigrette
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 or 4 ripe red tomatoes, cut into wedges (or 10 to 12 cherry tomatoes, halved)
3 or 4 “boiling” potatoes, peeled, sliced, and cooked
Two 3-ounce cans chunk tuna, preferably oil-packed
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
1 freshly opened can of flat anchovy fillets
1/3 cup small black Niçoise-type olives
2 to 3 tablespoons capers
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Arrange the lettuce leaves on a large platter or in a shallow bowl.  Shortly before serving, toss the beans with the shallots, spoonfuls of vinaigrette, and salt and pepper.  Baste the tomatoes with a spoonful of vinaigrette.  Place the potatoes in the center of the platter and arrange a mound of beans at either end, with tomatoes and small mounds of tuna at strategic intervals.  Ring the platter with halves of hard-boiled eggs, sunny side up, and curl an anchovy on top of each.  Spoon more vinaigrette over all; scatter on olives, capers, and parsley, and serve.  Serves 6.

I had to substitute the Boston lettuce with with romaine, shallots with red onion, green beans with yellow and leave off the capers and it was still outstanding.  So good in fact, that D felt compelled to crack a bottle of Chardonnay to celebrate.

The 2007 VQA Chateau Des Chaimes from Niagara on the Lake was a crisp and certain complement.  The bottle had been a hospitality gift from Daughter #2’s boyfriend, which he had purchased on a recent trip to Ottawa.

Kath’s quote: “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”- Julia Child

Guest Blogger: Sister #3-Simple Elegance


So many people feel like they have to fuss in the kitchen for hours in order to prepare an appropriate meal for company.  Recently I spent a weekend with a woman whose food personifies simple elegance.  She uses fresh, good quality ingredients but keeps it really simple.  Our breakfast of baked eggs were delicious.  Chopped green onion, parma ham and bits of brie topped with an egg and baked in ramekins for 20 minutes meant she was able to visit while we enjoyed our morning coffee.

Lunch was equally as easy to prepare. After breakfast she left out pre-cooked shrimp to thaw.  A few minutes before lunch boxed mixed greens were lightly dressed in a store bought champagne vinaigrette and topped with chunks of cantaloupe and the shrimp.  We picked nasturtiums (totally edible) from the potted flowers growing on the deck for a splash of colour.  Divine!

Kath’s quote:  “In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is the sign of perfection.”-Curnonsky

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Fruits of the Forest


Wild strawberries, raspberries, saskatoon, pin and chokecherries and especially blueberries abound in the Belair Forest where our cottage is located.  I have made blueberry jam as well enjoying pancakes, crisps and bumble.  The trick to blueberry picking in this area is to go into the bush in twos and to watch out for bears.

I understand though that the most savoury of treats is also found on the wooded floor-chanterelle mushrooms.  After collection, they need to be clean and frozen in a food saver or a ziploc bag.  When ready to use they should be defrosted and rinsed.

Chanterelles can then be sauteed in butter with shallots and garlic.  These can be served over toast or on crostini or tossed into a rice pilaf.  Dry sherry and whipping can be added to produce a mushroom cream sauce which is a treat over pasta or baby potatoes.

Chanterelles are orange or yellow, meaty and funnel-shaped.   On the lower surface, underneath the smooth cap, it has gill-like ridges that run almost all the way down its stipe, which tapers down seamlessly from the cap.   It has a fruity smell, reminiscent of apricots and a mildly peppery taste and is considered an excellent food mushroom. Chanterelles are relatively high in vitamin C, very high in potassium and among the richest sources of vitamin D.

Kath’s quote:  “Not being ambitious of martyrdom, even in the cause of gastronomical enterprise, especially if the instrument is to be a contemptible, rank-smelling fungus, I never eat or cook mushrooms.”-Marion Harland (1873) ‘Common Sense in the Household: A Manual of Practical Housewifery’

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