Food Musings

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

Cockteleria Justicia Social (Fisherman’s Co-op), Isla Mujeres

September18

The Fisherman’s Co-op has been our go-to destination when we are craving simply prepared, fresh fish and you can’t get any fresher than sitting right on the dock where the lobster traps are stacked high and the fishing boats are tied up. Over the years we have sampled most of the menu and have been absolutely delighted with everything we’ve ever tasted. The parmesan crusted and almond crusted fish and the varied kinds of ceviche are all excellent. Sometimes we order ceviche “to go” to take along to a happy hour or as a light supper.

We love the pico de gallo and crunchy tortilla chips that get placed in front of you as soon as you sit down.

We have observed over the years that as many locals as travellers frequent the café.

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On this evening, we split an order of garlic fish. It was succulent, perfectly prepared and so abundant.

But the excellent food isn’t the only draw of the Fisherman’s Co-op, it is the million dollar view:

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Kath’s quote: “Remember the waterfront shack with the sign FRESH FISH SOLD HERE. Of course it’s fresh, we’re on the ocean. Of course it’s for sale, we’re not giving it away. Of course it’s here, otherwise the sign would be someplace else. The final sign: FISH.”-Peggy Noonan

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Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

Anywhere in the World, He Chose Our Beach

September16

My beautiful and talented niece/Goddaughter was back home for a visit. She currently resides in Melbourne Australia as does her dashing beau. Her Mom (dubbed Sister#2 in this space) invited all her beach cousins to get together for a little soiree at their beautiful lake home. If Aunties and Uncles happened to be out that weekend they were invited along. It was to be a very unceremonious get-together. What we didn’t know was this:

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The burly rugby-playing beau had a surprize up his sleeve. He invited his love to join him down at the beach. It was an overcast and fairly non descript day as far as the weather went. She was told to wait at the end of one of the beach paths.

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As she made her way along the path, she saw that the story of her life was displayed in photos along the fences that line the way. Near the end of the photo journey were images of her new life with her man in Australia. He was waiting for her on the beach. Just then, the sun burst out and shone on the two of them as he bent down on one knee to ask her to be his soul mate forever.

This may sound all very romantic and like the perfect setting. Here’s the thing, they currently reside in one of the most breathtaking places in the world and are en route to spend time in Europe with a stay in Paris. The Aussie could have chosen any dream locale to make his request but he chose Lester Beach, knowing how important it would be for his future bride to be in a place she loved so very much, surrounded by her family and long-time friends.

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The details of the party seem like minor points indeed with all the love that was swooning in our midst. But they were not. They were consistent with the premise of this space and my core belief, that is: Food=Love. To me it was particularly fitting that soon after the beach festivities, we were assembled together to eat, drink and be merry.

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The day prior D lovingly grilled these two platters of garden vegetables. He wanted them to chill overnight to set the flavours. He knew that our niece was vegetarian and wanted to delight her with the variety and the tastes.

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Sister #3 made her famous guacamole and Sister #2 this cheese ball as big as your head.

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The big hit of the evening was the latter’s chicken lettuce wraps but my favourite was courtesy of the bride-to-be herself. Here’s how she makes the stuffed jalapeno peppers pictured above: “Sorry I don’t have exact measurements for the pepper recipe cause I always just wing it! but these are the ingredients… Jalapeños sliced lengthwise and seeded. The cheese filling is half cream cheese half goats cheese. Use a piping bag to fill the sliced jalapeño with the cheese. The caramel sauce is around 12 pitted dates blended with half a can of coconut milk. Drizzle the sauce over the cheese. Top with a couple of pecans the put in the oven at 400 degrees for 5-10 mins or until the pecans are toasted and jalapeños are softer.” Whip up a batch for your next cocktail party and you will not be disappointed.

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The sun set on that momentous evening. After more connecting around the bonfire, the couple walked down to the beach with cousins and friends. Along the way they witnessed a dazzling shooting star and then from the shore, the most spectacular display of northern lights. The couple felt very blessed as if nature was endorsing their future nuptials.

Kath’s quote: “Be my forever  You’re my bright blue sky   You’re the sun in my eyes   Oh baby you’re my life  You’re the reason why”-Be My Forever, Ed Sheeran

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Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

 

Isla Mujeres 2015-Day 2

September15

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We had a wonderful sleep and set up our chairs to watch our favourite show-“Sunrise on Isla”.

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As much as we love every moment of every day spent on Isla, our quiet mornings, sitting shoulder to shoulder with our coffee mugs are magical.

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The reflected light on our “neighbour’s” house.

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The sea was golden on this morning.

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I could just sit in this place all day long but D loves to get on with his day and I know that these chairs are always waiting at home for me.

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We set off to Centro via the seawall for breakfast at Alexia & Geovanny’s . At fist we met our friend Jean who walks the seawall and then airport strip daily. Passing the Roca Mar we ran into V & D (our Grandbaby’s “other” Grandparents) at the Roca Mar as well as friends Jan & Bruce, Doris &, Vince and we were introduced to John & Faith whom I had heard about for a number of years. They were dining at La Cazuela M & Js along with owner Julie. The latter is also the originator and curator of Isla Mujeres.net the very first Isla website I ever visited, chatting on the former message board and meeting many of my Isla friends. I love having breakfast at La Cazuela M & J’s and would dine there more often if we stayed in Centro.

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Our first stop after breakfast was to the local market (right next door to the Loncherias) for limes and cilantro. For some reason the Super Mercado next to the square didn’t have either but we were happy to have the excuse to enjoy the beautiful produce displayed there. I am sure that you, like us has a favourite market stall. This is ours and it always has everything we need. We particularly enjoy his freshly squeezed juices.

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The morning was warm and we had done a lot of walking, so we headed down to Playa Norte for a dip. No wonder this beach is ranked one of the best in the world. We can’t believe that we are blessed to continue to return to it each and every year.

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We walked through Centro and along Hidalgo to see who and what had changed since our previous visit. We stopped for coconut & lime popsicles at our favourite liquado place before we hopped a cab home with our groceries.

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D didn’t stay put for long. He was anxious to check out the condition of the tennis courts in Colonias as he had brought along his racquet. I was excited to check out my prized beach combing spots so I grabbed my sturdy waterproof sandals and scrambled down over the coral and rocks. Pictured above was my first day’s haul.

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When I climbed back home, D was already settled into our hammock.

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Later that day, we once again made the walk into town, picking up V & D en route and then to fetch Brother #3 and his wife.  Both couples have been loving their time on Isla, almost as long as D and I. Our 1st stop was the 2nd floor of Jax for sunset and a bucket of Caronas. Our 2nd stop was to Restaurant Abuelos for garlic fish and coconut shrimp. Unfortunately D was still not feeling well and needed air even before he had taken a single bite. We packaged supper up and grabbed a cab home.

Spending the rest of the evening back at Luna D’Miel was not a hardship in the least. We spent our time under the stars by the crashing ocean and I indulged in a glass of wine. We were optimistic that D would soon be feeling better.

Kath’s quote: Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” –Confucius

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Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

 

 

Canola Connect

September14

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I am fortunate to be a part of an inclusive group: Canola Camp Alumni. Each autumn when a new bunch of campers assemble in Winnipeg and then head west for a weekend farm adventure, the campers from previous years are invited to connect for a lunch or supper with the first-time campers. This year it was at Mayfair Vegetable Farm on the island in Portage la Prairie.

I have been to the island before, to feed the geese and walk its paths. Many Winnipeggers make the drive to pick strawberries on the farm. I was happy to surround myself with old friends, bask in the September sun, learn about life on a working vegetable farm and just “be” for an afternoon.

The Giffin family welcomed us with open arms as do all the farmers that the campers would meet on the weekend.

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Not only did they go to all lot of trouble to convert a barn into a comfortable place for lunch, they did so at one of their busiest times of year.

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As we sipped upon strawberry water

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and tucked in to our delicious lunch of pesto chicken breasts, new potatoes, strawberry salad, beets and parsnips,

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Todd Giffin shared his passion for the land, his crop, the many workers that they employ and the people who enjoy the bounty from their efforts.

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My favourite taste was the roasted corn prepared in my preferred manner from the Yucatán. The kernels were so sweet and fresh tasting. perhaps because the corn rows were close by.

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This is what today’s farmer looks like. Young, fit, hip and passionate about her family, their farm and their toil. Melanie Giffin demonstrated the growing story from seeding, transplanting, caring for the crops to harvesting. Did you know that every cauliflower plant must be closed by hand with an elastic to protect the flower growing in the protective leaves?

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A cabbage head similar to this beautiful one that was about to be picked, made it home with me. I plan on making a Chinese cole slaw with it to have for lunches this week.

Hug a farmer.

Kath’s quote: “Farmers love food. I love food = I love farmers”. -Food Musings (a.k.a. Me!)

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

 

 

 

 

Abuelo’s, Isla Mujeres

September11

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Restaurant Abuelos was a recent find for us, near the end of our 2014 sojourn to Isla 2014 Blog Post. We were absolutely delighted by the find and (in my humble opinion) kinda wished it would have stayed exactly like it was, with its compact space and family members taking care of us.

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We remembered the fabulous fish and their street sign indicated that it was still the focus of the menu.

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Our server took us on a “tour” of the fish that was available that evening. I couldn’t help but think that the custom would never get past food safety standards back home. But, when in Rome….

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Dinner at the second floor open dining room commenced with mojitos and margaritas in hopes that we could cool down a bit.  The evening was humid with no breeze which is very unusual for the island.

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D and I couldn’t decide between the coconut shrimp and garlic fish. In the end we ordered both to split between us. Unfortunately, before he could take a single bite, he was overwhelmed by his bad head cold and had to leave and take a walk. This was in no way a reflection on the food because I had a couple of bites and it was excellent. But I had to make our apologies and have our dinner packed up for home.

Once D was feeling better (it took a couple of days), I recreated our dinner in our kitchen at Luna D’Miel. We would have loved to have returned to Abuelos later in the trip but when you are on Isla Mujeres, there are so many excellent places to eat and not enough time.

Kath’s quote: If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion, and avoid the people, you might better stay home.”-James Michener

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Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

 

 

 

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