Food Musings

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

Spring Chicken!

May11

Like the seasons, one thing you can count on in Winnipeg is a special evening with Karen Webb and Manitoba Chicken in fall and spring. I chose a random seat at the dining table and ended up sitting with two lovely couples. One person I had met previously under different circumstances and the another is a very good friend of Sister #2. What a small world Winnipeg is.

Our family loves chicken and I can never get enough advice on varied ways to prepare it for just D and I or when the gang all assembles for Sunday dinner.

Deluca Fine Wines was the co-host for the evening and I enjoyed all of the pairings but the truth is, between being polite and visiting with the other guests at the table and making note of all the chef’s comments, I was hard-pressed to also get all the wine info recorded.

The chefs were from the Rossmere Golf & Country Club, a place that has been recently recommended to me by one of my Canstar Community Newspaper readers. Coincidentally, I grew up just steps away from the Country Club and can’t wait to visit.

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The evening commenced with Chicken croquettes assembled from ground chicken which had been merged with duck fat and foie gras. The earthy tastes were enhanced by a lovely puree of truffle and sweet corn.

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Next up was chicken soup which I bet was better than your Momma makes. The chicken consume had delicate noodle strands floating at the bottom and the spoon contained a dollop of decadent cream of chicken soup. I opted to stir mine together for the best of both worlds.

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Asian elements were played up in the salad course featuring spinach tossed in soya ginger vinaigrette, adorned with smoked chicken and compressed pineapple. Chef came around and added a dusting of a powdered barbeque sauce just before we tucked in.

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Our entrée was a clever take on the traditional chicken cordon bleu with comfortable additions like mashed potatoes, carrots and asparagus.

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A close up of the stuffed chicken.

Roasted ham and grated Bothwell Swiss cheese had been paired, cooked and then stuffed into whole deboned chickens which had been soaked in a citrus brine. The result was a lovely spin on a classic.

A little ice cream bar was set up with Cornell Cream ice creams and fun toppings. But my gaze went right to the chocolate petit fours and lemon tarts from High Tea Bakery. Both amazing!

I paced my wine consumption by splashing the remains of the white samplings into the spittoons, so that I could savour the lone red from Chateau du Charmes-the Niagara on the Lake vineyard that we loved touring.

Kath’s quote: “But my favorite remained the basic roast chicken. What a deceptively simple dish. I had come to believe that one can judge the quality of a cook by his or her roast chicken. Above all, it should taste like chicken: it should be so good that even a perfectly simple, buttery roast should be a delight.”  ― Julia Child

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Love, never fails.

 

 

 

Mother’s Day 2016

May10

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J2 and the Wee One jumping for joy in the back yard.

I am quite certain that being a Mom is the finest thing that I have ever done and I certainly don’t need “things” to celebrate my joy in doing so. My family know and understand that, so this Mother’s Day I received a very special gift. The gift of time, diligence, and hard work. I love my gardens and really enjoy spending time in the dirt every spring. This year though, I hadn’t been able to with a torn meniscus and my leg in a brace. D thought that I should spend the weekend at the lake so I did so and enjoyed every single moment.

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On Sunday I packed up and headed back into town. As soon as I pulled onto the parking pad I noticed that my railing boxes were full of flowers! It turned out that Boo and the Frenchman worked for hours on Saturday and then were back to finish things up with J1 on Sunday. J2 and Beep were the cheering section and they all pitched in on the flowers that were in the seven window boxes that I have on the house and back deck. In addition to lovely cards that I received, I was one happy Momma.

To top it off J1 made us all supper. J1 and J2 are part of a dinner club and last week they hosted.  J1 likes to work with a theme so he made a dinner which reflected our east European heritage and then recreated the menu for Sunday supper.

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After nibbles of Polish sausage while sitting in the now beautiful garden, D set up a table so we could picnic in the sun. On the menu was a delectable Pork Schnitzel with the unusual addition of curry powder in the flour dusting and big squeezes of lemon over all. Panko flakes made the tenderloin especially crunchy. To accompany we loved the sweet & sour cabbage and an amazing potato salad. The authentic recipe contained chopped up dill pickle (which my Polish Grandma always called “ogorki”)and a dash of the brine. From start to finish, the meal was fabulous especially when surrounded by my beloved family.

Another thing that makes Mother’s Day so special is celebrating with my own Mom (89 years old) which I did the week prior as well as my daughter-in-law who was to enjoy her special day on Monday.

Kath’s quote: “But kids don’t stay with you if you do it right. It’s the one job where, the better you are, the more surely you won’t be needed in the long run.”
Barbara Kingsolver

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Love never fails.

2016 Confessional

May3

I am writing furiously so that I do not chicken out. I am once again sharing with you my readers, so that I can be held accountable. The issue is this: my blood sugar is in the high normal range and I have seen the way diabetes has tragically altered my Mom’s life in so many ways.

Even though she is 89 and has survived two cancers, it is the diabetes that has caused  lasting debilitation. She has been wheel chair confined for quite some time now and when the lift in her personal care home broke down, they indicated that they would no longer be able to get her to the washroom, so you know the rest…… She tries hard to exercise her independence but she is totally reliant on others for her care.

I asked my nurse practitioner if losing some weight would help the blood sugar thing and she replied with a resounding “yes”! So today is Day One and I will “weigh” in with you in a week or so and share some of my new found recipes along the way.

I have considered Weight Watchers as I was very successful on the program between our first and second baby. But the truth is, I know exactly what I need to do without spending money on a program. I need to eat less, and when I do eat, it needs to be the right choices. It is pretty clear to me.

Here is a small triumph from Day One: I have a torn meniscus and have spent the day in waiting rooms, seeing doctors, getting x rays and prescriptions. When our kids were young, I always let them have a treat of potato chips after a dentist or doctor’s appointment. While I was killing time at Rexall waiting for a topical cream prescription to be filled, I spied the chip aisle. Although I was tempted by a big bag of my favourite kettle chips, I resorted to a healthy snack. My appointments meant that I had not eaten any lunch, so it hit the spot. The snack was mostly air but had some crunch and some salt which are the two sensations that I cannot do without.

So feel free to come along my friends as I take you on another food journey.

Kath’s quote: “I have a great diet. You’re allowed to eat anything you want, but you must eat it with naked fat people.” ~Ed Bluestone

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Love never fails.

 

 

First Patio Dinner of 2016

May2

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When spring has truly arrived (meaning it is not 30 degrees above or below, but a lovely 18 degrees), Winnipeggers like my family and me make the most of it. This weekend I worked in the garden and read in a comfy lounge chair. But the very first event that officially kicks off the season is our first patio dinner.

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Boo and the Wee One

Our baby, known as Boo in this space is now 25 years old! Last night we went around the table (as is our tradition) to tell the birthday celebrant what we love and appreciate about them. Boo’s list is especially long as she has a tender heart for the entire world! What better place to celebrate her birthday and spring but on the Garry St. patio where her Daddy and I first met.

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We commenced with spring beverages-beers for the guys and sangria for the girls. (Not stereo typing here because all of the girls love their beer but the sangria was just too good to resist.)

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In fact once I finished my glass, I ordered a pitcher.

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We started with Baked Brie and a couple of orders of Tuna Tartar-both fabulous. I like my tuna with a big squeeze of lime as it reminds me of our time in Mexico. We requested a second batch of crostini for the brie as we all are crazy about the dish. Even the Wee One scooped up her fair share but not with a cracker, with her finger!

Casual Meals and some sharing happened next.

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I missed photos of Tuna Tacos and Prime Rib Sliders. Patio season just screams burgers so I indulged in this enormous one.

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One of our favourites-Pistachio Crusted Salmon was one of the shares. It was ordered with asparagus instead of the brussel sprouts for J2 who is nursing our newest granddaughter.

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This blue cheese topped sirloin was also a hit especially when accompanied by a warm quinoa salad.

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The Keg’s traditional treat of serving complimentary Billy Miner Pie (with a whole bunch of spoons) was much appreciated except that the birthday girl’s favourite is cheesecake.

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So we had to share a piece of that too.

We think that The Keg is the perfect place for a family celebration as it takes care of the littlest ones with a kid’s plate to tie them over and then a children’s meal of chicken fingers and fries complete with the Wee One’s favourite of chocolate milk.

We loved celebrating spring, family and especially the 1/4 century of our baby girl!

The Keg Steakhouse + Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “Our family-the people you live for, laugh with and love; those who continually show up, stay up and make up, who make you glad you never gave up.” -Unknown

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

 

Chef Charlie Palmer

April27

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D and I love everything about New York-the parks, the galleries, the restaurants and especially the people. So it was no surprise to me that New York Chef Charlie Palmer was the real deal. In spite of his culinary pedigree and I am guessing substantial wealth, he was as approachable and personable as the many hometown chefs that I have come to know.

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I was flattered by the last minute suggestion that I attend a soiree at Kitchen Sync, but really didn’t realize the magnitude of the invite. Sister #3 did though, she knew that Chef Palmer had been awarded numerous Michelin stars, the titles of his cookbooks and had seen many of his appearances on NBC’s Today Show.

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I loved watching him pull just roasted lamb chops out of the oven, spoon a savoury sauce over them and then, in one fell swoop, make small talk with the foodies, autograph cookbooks and pose for photos.

I am not usually inclined towards lamb but Chef Palmer has made me a recent convert. I noticed that there are two lamb recipes in his American Fare cookbook which has been recently added to my personal collection. I look forward to trying them out along with numerous other delectable looking recipes.

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Friend Chrissy Troy of Virgin Radio chatting with Chef Palmer

My life is often filled with lovely surprizes like a last minute invite to meet a Michelin chef.

Kath’s quote: “We take those things and kind of upgrade them. Give them a little twist, a little finesse, but it still has those flavors and those textures that people identify from their childhood.”-Charlie Palmer

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Love never fails.

 

 

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