Food Musings

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

Chicken Mango Pasta Salad


The last time we had the young family group over, it was nice enough to have supper in the backyard.  I wanted to make a one-bowl supper so that it would be easy to transport outside and in case we did not all fit around the dinner  table.


I decided upon a chicken/mango/pasta salad and started with some tricoloured peppers and added tri-colour rotini, red onion, corn, black olive slices, mango pieces and a half a bunch of chopped cilantro.  D grilled the boneless chicken breasts in a rub of brown sugar, salt, red pepper, onion, garlic, molasses and powdered mango aka as Clubhouse Chipolte Mango seasoning.


The basic dressing was: 1/4 cup fresh lime juice,1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp honey  and one garlic clove, peeled and minced but I had to increase the volume to accommodate the gang.


P51401851_editedI also tried making cornbread in the bread maker again.  This time was more successful by modifying my B&D recipe to 1 egg +water to 1 1/2 c, 2 T powdered milk, 2 T olive oil, 2 T honey, 1 1/2 t salt, 2 t yeast, 2 1/2 c flour zand 1 1/2 c cornmeal.  When it came out of the mixing stage I punched it down like a flatbread then let it rise again.  When it had baked about 20 mins at 375, I removed the loaf and covered it with grated Oxaca cheese.

Kath’s quote: “If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony.”-Fernand Point (1897-1955)


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May Long


May long was an eating extravanganza starting on Friday night when J&J made grilled Italian sausage and tri-pepper spaghetti.  Later that evening at the “big” cottage niece number #1 put out olives, feta and blue cheese and toasted pita chips.  Dessert was a sumptuous carrot cake served around the fire. 


D got organized in the city and made four different kinds of quiche for Saturday brunch-Loraine, sausage and pepper and spinach & artichoke.  We were on supper duty that night too and D made chicken satee skewers with grilled mushrooms, eggplant and peppers.


We had campfire pies for dessert that night.  White bread with the crusts removed and then buttered on one side.  In between, a single or combination choice of blueberry, apply, peach or cherry pie filling.  Then they get lowered into the fire and slowly turned or moved on a regular basis.  When ready, they taste like a little piece of custom made pie.  The night ended with the opening of champagne at midnight as it was daughter #3’s champagne birthday.

The celebration continued the next morning with eggs Benedict made with béarnaise instead of the traditional hollandaise.  That night for dinner was another grilled feast with our families’ favourite of rice mixed with sautéed onions and toasted pine nuts.  And a tower of angel food cake and strawberries for the birthday girl…..


P52302512_editedMonday brunch was our last meal of bacon fried outside on the barbeque and blueberry pancakes with real maple syrup.  In between were numerous snacks of taco chips and salsa, Miss Vicky’s chips, ripple chips and onion/sour cream dip and white cheddar popcorn.   The bar was flowing with margaritas, mojitoes, pina coladas, beer of every description and fine shirazes. 

Kath’s quote: “You can judge a successful long weekend by how badly you need a shower by Monday night.”


Feta Stuffed Greek Burgers


As my cyber friend and fellow (is there a female version of fellow?) Canadian blogger commented yesterday-“You had me at feta”.  I am feta crazy and was so impressed when I went to a cocktail party of a dear friend of mine who now resides in BC:  Her munchie table was laden with huge white bowls of single items-snaps peas in one, succulent olives in another and the piece de resistence, an enormous platter of columns of feta.  Please check out the amazing blog from yesterday’s commenter.  She is listed on my blog role as “More than Burnt Toast” but if you go there, please come back and visit me again every so often…..

155Yesterday I came upon this recipe that I have not yet had a chance to make but has me salivating so I am sharing with you in case you do not have all of your long weekend groceries purchased.

In a large bowl mix 1.25 lb. of lean ground turkey thighs with 1/4 c bread crumbs, 1/2 c of kalamata olives, pitted & chopped, 1 t lemon zest, 1 T lemon juice, 1 egg, s&p.  Shape the meat mixture into 4 equal balls.  Insert your thumb into the centre of each meatball to create a pocket.  Put 2 oz. of feta in the centre of each and close meat around cheese.  Flatten balls into 4 patties.  Grill 5-7  mins. each side over medium heat, or until internal temp reaches 175 degrees F.  Serve with Greek pita, tzatziki sauce, tomatoes and cucumbers.  Used by permission: Granny’s Poultry

Kath’s quote: Darcy: I realize that when I met you at the turkey curry buffet, I was unforgiveably rude, and wearing a reindeer jumper.”  -Bridget Jones Diary


Feta Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes


The three sisters served these at our Mom’s recent birthday/cocktail party.  The serving method from a Chinese soup spoon was a great idea to avoid picking up a slippery  and slightly evasive morsel.  When you have older friends attending a party it goes the extra mile to consider them in this way.  My Mom loves to try new tastes but gets baffled sometimes by how to “approach” the food. 



32 cherry tomatoes
1/3cup (75 ml) sour cream
1 pkg(4 oz/125 g) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup(125 ml) finely crumbled feta cheese
1 green onions, finely chopped
1  tsp(5 ml) lemon juice
1/4 tsp(1 ml) dried oregano
30  leaf parsley leaves



Cut tops off 30 of the cherry tomatoes; trim bottom of each tomato slightly to level if necessary, being careful not to cut through to pulp.

With small spoon, hollow out tomatoes; place upside down on paper towel-lined plate. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; refrigerate to drain for at least 1 hour or for up to 24 hours.

Finely chop remaining tomatoes; place in small bowl. Add sour cream, softened cream cheese, feta cheese, green onion, lemon juice and oregano; mix until combined. (Filling can be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)

Spoon filling into piping bag fitted with large star tip; pipe into hollowed-out tomatoes. (Alternatively, spoon 1 tsp/5 ml into each.) Garnish with parsley.

Kath’s quote: “Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.”-Alice May Brock (of Alice’s Restaurant fame)


“Everyday in Tuscany”


When I read Frances Mayes first story of Tuscany entitled Under the Tuscan Sun-I had to go.  Not to Tuscany per se but to the city of her weekend rendezvous-Positano.  And Positano was as perfect as she described it.  Shimmering light, fresh ocean breezes and amazing food!  And so it was that the Amalfi coast was the second stop of our Italian adventure this past fall.IMG_2779

Life has mellowed for Frances, she is a Grandma now and she and her husband are well-entrenched in Italian life.  With the exception of one long chapter where she travels the trail of her favourite Renaissance painter (I was bored and I even studied art history) -I loved every other word of the recounting of a  year in Frances’ rich life.


The descriptions of six hour dinner parties at an outside table set for two dozen are enthralling.  She not only details the courses and menus but also provides the recipes!

In two paragraphs near the end of this book, she describes what I could never put my finger on about the essence of Italy: ” How do Italian friends naturally keep the jouissance they were born with?  I’ve noticed they don’t talk about priorities.  They work but don’t become slaves.  Always they have time to visit.  Early on I learned that in Italian, there is no word for stress; it’s a recent import: lo stress.  Just wasn’t a concept.  Now lo stress exists, but in rural Tuscany work and play are happily still balanced, giving the chance not to just enjoy but to revel in everyday life.  Especially the rituals of the table and the piazza.  …They are doing what they need to do by being.  People who own so much historical time must feel more comfortable inside time. I see: Time can be a river for floating.  Our friends drop in.  They call and propose spontaneous excursions.  They stay out late having dinner on Wednesday nights.  Italians relish the day. Carpe diem, they repeated for centuries that they don’t have to say it anymore.”IMG_2753

Kath’s quote: “And that is … how they are. So terribly physically all over one another. They pour themselves one over the other like so much melted butter over parsnips. They catch each other under the chin, with a tender caress of the hand, and they smile with sunny melting tenderness into each other’s face.” -D.H. Lawrence


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