Food Musings

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

2015 Isla Mujeres Trip Report-Day 13



Another beautiful sunrise.


This one with a full house to savour it.





After some beachcombing I made these amazing grilled cheese sandwiches (if I do say so myself) and we enjoyed them by the pool.


We also had some left over sopa di limon that was just as good as the first day we had it at La Lomita.


It was D’s last leisurely day as we were entertaining a gang the next day. He spent the afternoon in the hammock and loved every lazy minute.



Every year on Isla, D and I have a date night where we have a progressive dinner-sharing plates and tastes of our favourite things and then making our way to another stop.


We started at Picus for shrimp ceviche and the amazing sunset.


Our blessed life is a series of these wonderful moments.











These fishermen were anxious to show off their catch to a woman that we met for our sunset treat.


Our next stop was La Lomita’s for their fabulous papas fritas.


Our main course was an “Isla Mujeres” pizza at Angelo’s.


We visited Jose in hopes of having pineapple pie for dessert but he was sold out.




We didn’t really have any shopping to do but we love wandering Hidalgo and taking in the colours, aromas and sounds.


Pistachio and coconut gelato was a delicious substitute for the pie and the bonus was a lovely visit with friends Jean and Rich.

These posts are helping me pass the last days until our 2016 visit. We are excited to be staying at Villas San Miguel for a portion of the time. We are thinking that we could enjoy every dinner as a progressive one if we wanted to!

Kath’s quote: “I’m into all that sappy stuff – a surprise picnic, nice dinner, or traveling. I’m kind of an old romantic”.– Will Estes


Love never fails.

Pasta Making at a Commuity Kitchen



Recently I was invited to share my love of pasta-making at Jubilee Mennonite Church’s Community Kitchen. The afternoon was an absolute delight from start to finish.  I loved being able to share my expertise with such an enthusiastic bunch of women. If you have ever wondered about a Community Kitchen, here is an edited version of the story of Jubilee’s Kitchen, written by their Community Ministry Director.


It’s a feast for the senses: the smell of savory spices; the taste of fresh, healthy food; the sounds of children playing and women chatting; the touch of supportive embrace; the sight of women and children of different cultures, economic status, and age; the sense of God’s Spirit moving. This is the Jubilee Mennonite Church Community Kitchen in Winnipeg, Canada, on a Tuesday afternoon.

It started by accident. Seven years ago, the church basement flooded. The resulting renovation included upgrading the kitchen to be more functional, as well as upgrading the basement for the daycare renting the space. But when the renovations were complete, the daycare decided to stay at their temporary location. What to do with the upgraded kitchen?

A partnership was formed. Donwood Public School provided a staff member and a financial contribution, while Jubilee provided the space, staff support, volunteers for watching children, and donations of food. This partnership fit with the church’s commitment to be present in the community. It started in May, 2010.

The neighborhood around Jubilee Church is economically and culturally diverse. Alongside middle-class detached homes, there are three low-income housing developments within three blocks. There are immigrants from many countries, aboriginal people, single moms, and about seven hundred children. Some of  neighbors deal with issues of poverty, inadequate housing, addictions, poor mental health, and racism. Four years ago, Jubilee decided to support a half-time Community Ministry Director to lead engagement with the neighbours in projects like a children’s club, youth activities, soccer and hockey clubs, a community garden, community meals – and of course the Community Kitchen.

One mom’s experience at the first Community Kitchen day showed the possibilities that might come from this project. She arrived, and after welcoming her we told her we would be making shepherd’s pie. She responded by saying, “I can’t make that. I have never made a home-cooked meal.” We reassured her that it would be okay, and that we would make it together. At the end of the afternoon, she held up her shepherd’s pie and said, “I did it! I did it!” with a beaming smile. She took her first homemade meal back to feed her family.

In the Community Kitchen women have found a place to belong, find and offer support, love and be loved, weep and laugh. Food is the equalizing force. Relationships can be built and flourish around food – we all need to eat. The participants talk about being “blessed…by learning different ways of preparing meals, and sometimes the culture it comes from.” Participants and leaders celebrate meeting and making new friends, and they say the program lets them be more involved with the church.

Two volunteers plan the meals and prepare the snacks. Hedy attends Jubilee, and Jody, who had no previous connection with Jubilee, volunteered when she heard about the program. In a recent evaluation Jody reported that she started volunteering as a way to help others, and she has developed a deep love for women she would otherwise never have met. “Many of the women started off at community kitchen very shy and closed off but most have opened up in ways that are so beautiful. I hear them talking about how they help each other and look out for each other. They all have struggles but knowing they have the support of other caring woman can make all the difference!”

Volunteers from the congregation care for the children during Community Kitchen. For many mothers, this is the only time in the week when they are free from minding their children. Jubilee Community Kitchen continues to evolve. Donwood Public School changed its priorities and is no longer a partner in the Community Kitchen. But other contributors have come forward, including government grants, community organizations, local businesses and individuals. Without these partners we could not sustain the program. Participants in the program have begun to make their own contributions to the surrounding neighborhood. They organize and run a clothing fair each spring and fall, where neighbors can purchase a garbage bag of donated clothes for only $1.00.

Manija is a Muslim woman who recently immigrated from Afghanistan; she teaches us how to make her traditional foods and bakes naan for community meals. Two women make extra meals to deliver to the ill or bereaved. Many Community Kitchen participants volunteer at the church’s annual community Christmas dinner. Some also participate in the community garden, farming thirty plots where neighbors and church members grow organic vegetables to feed their families and to contribute to community meals. Faith, one of the participants, caught the essence in a note to the leaders: “Community Kitchen changed me in ways that made me a better person inside and out of Jubilee Church. It’s not just a place you go to cook. It’s a place you go to learn, listen, receive the opportunity to build new friendships, and to give and get the support you may need.”

Kath’s quote: “Every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together.”-Paul Ryan

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Love never fails.


Pre-Jets Game Dinner-The Garry St. Keg


We do not get to go to many Winnipeg Jets’ games so when we are lucky enough to snag some tickets, it is a big event for us. To make the evening even more special, we start with a dinner out. We are very strategic about where we dine because we do not want to have to park twice in downtown Winnipeg. That is why the Keg Garry St. was the perfect choice on this particular game night. We found a parking spot in the vicinity of the Millennium Library which was exactly half way between the restaurant and the MTS Centre.

Upon arrival, we realized that our good idea was also considered a smart one by a whole lot of other people. The dining room was full and so we opted to wait out our time in the bar. There were also no lounge tables available so we found ourselves perched on the high stools at the bar. It turned out to be such a fun spot that when it was our time to move into the dining room, we declined and ordered dinner at the bar.

One of the attractions was that many of the other pairs of diners were also heading to the Jets game and so we amicably chatted about the Jets’ chances that evening, injuries and trades.


We started with the spinach salad which the kitchen was kind enough to split onto two plates. I don’t know what makes me so crazy about this salad (perhaps the sugared nuts, the creamy goat cheese or the beautifully blended salad dressing) but I could eat it every single day. Strawberries are especially dear this time of year and it felt like a very special treat to have so many slices peaking out from underneath the spinach leaves.


D chose the pistachio crusted salmon that comes atop creamy garlic mashed potatoes and Brussel sprouts tossed with bacon and maple syrup. He was very pleased with his choice.


I had a hankering for fish too and opted for the grilled ahi tuna on a bed of Asian cole slaw with a soy and sesame dressing. My first portion was too salty and so it was immediately whisked away and a substitute was provide that was absolutely perfect. I love the contrast of the seared meat on the surface with the cool and silky interior of the fish. The dish was light and satisfying and when it was game time, I still had the energy to make the quick walk to the arena.

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

Kath’s quote: “I think whenever anyone asked me why I wanted to be a hockey player, that’s where it all started, watching the Winnipeg Jets play as a young kid.”-Jonathon Toews


Love never fails.



Isla Mujeres Trip Report-Day Twelve, Part Two







We were reluctant to leave North Beach on such a glorious beach day, but we eventually made our meander back to Luna ‘Miel on the airport road.


We hopped into the shower and then walked the sea wall back into Centro.



Our destination was the artist’s fair in the square (update: I understand that artist fairs now take place at the Cultural Centre). We were so impressed with all of the talent an did lots of shopping for the gang back home. I especially appreciated the photography and sea glass pieces.


It was a great turn out of tourists and ex-pats.



It was a bit of a wait to get ourselves a light dinner in the square but with so many people to visit, we were content just to hang. We noshed on pizza slices, sliders, shrimp & octopus empanadas, pork tacos and Barlito’s cinnamon bread pudding with bourbon caramel sauce for dessert. A moveable feast!


Shadows were lengthening an it was time to make our way to Bally Hoo for sunset.












There are many lovely spots to witness sunset on Isla but we especially enjoy Bally Hoo to watch the fishing boats come in and enjoy the pier and the gulls.


Bally Hoo’s amazing mango margaritas were another reason to visit. Our new friends Jan and Michelle from Luna d’Miel couldn’t believe how big they were.


Friends Bob and Joyce were there as well. They were meeting new guests who were delegates of the women’s conference which takes place on Isla every year. We kept pulling tables together an in the end there were 12 of us enjoying our “Grande” margaritas. Those that hadn’t filled up on dinner in the square, enjoyedd Bally Hoo’s legendary fish tacos.


We stopped into Casa el Pio for some moon gazing on our way home.

For our next visit (soon!), we are staying at Villas San Miguel which will put us close to the cultural centre for the artist’s fair, walks to see the sunset and so much more.

Kath’s quote: “Nothing goes with a hot tan like a cool margarita.” –Unknown


Love never fails.

Isla Mujeres Trip Report-Day Twelve, Part One







We enjoyed the morning’s sunrise and coffee with two new Canadian neighbours at Luna d’Miel.




I made a big ham and egg breakfast and then packed a lunch for our afternoon at north beach. It was a hot one and me being as freckled as I am, I spent the afternoon under an umbrella.




We love the beach at any time but especially early in the day before the other beach lovers arrive. At this particular time, it felt like we had the beach all to ourselves.



When there is no one else at the beach, the view is breathtaking and there is no one to disturb you as you escape into your book.


Eventually it is time to stretch and take a walk so I head east on north beach (with my camera of course).






The cool of our very own spot on the beach was waiting for me.




Eventually we are joined by Sister #3 and Brother #3 who consistently visit the island at the same time as us. We are a family that loves to hang out together. You can likely tell that with my fair skin I don’t take after the same parent as my siblings.



We were in and out of the crystalline waters all day to refresh ourselves.


We enjoyed a late lunch time of sandwiches made of manchego cheese, cucumber, cilantro and lime mayo-oh yum! We made the hot walk home and hop into the shower and then head back into town again.

On a beach day such as this one, we do a lot of walking back and forth from North Beach/centro to Luna d’Miel on the Airport Road. We are very much looking forward to staying in town at Villas San Miquel this year. With a pool right in the courtyard, we may even decide not to go to the beach at all. We expect that refreshing breezes off the open ocean will cool us.

Kath’s quote:“A real friend is someone who takes a winter vacation on a sun-drenched beach and does not send a card.”–Farmer’s Almanac

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Love never fails.



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