Browsing: Food Celebrations

Easter Treats


Just in case you need some suggestions for your last minute preparations for the weekend.  Here are Lori’s Mom’s Easter Nests.

No-Bake Easter Bake Cookies
  • 1½ c sugar
  • 5 T cocoa
  • ½ c milk
  • ½ c margarine
  • 3 c of quick oats
  • 1 c coconut (I use the unsweetened one… otherwise these are a little too sweet for my liking)
  • 1 t vanilla
  • ¼ t salt
  1. Combine sugar and cocoa in a saucepan.
  2. Add milk slowly. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Bring to a boil, add margarine and oats stirring briskly. Cook for 1 – 3 minutes stirring constantly. (3 minutes was the magic number for me — no more or it gets a little hard)
  4. Remove from heat. Add coconut, vanilla and salt.
  5. Let the mixture cool a bit at room temperature so that you can handle it to make the nests (about 10 – 15 minutes).
  6. Using a spoon, scoop a ball of the mixture onto wax paper. Press in the middle to form a nest. Add 2 or 3 mini eggs.
  7. Refrigerate. These also freeze well!

These are Sister #3’s Easter cupcakes.

She uses a cake mix (white cake with pastel colour confetti sprinkles inside) and a butter cream (1/2 c butter, 1/2 c shortening, whipped with 4 c icing sugar and two T milk) and adds lots of sprinkles and treats.

If you are looking for a fun twist to an Easter Egg hunt, think about including Two Hens and a Rooster from the World Vision Canada Gift Catalogue at This will provide a family with nutritious eggs and income.  What a great moment to teach your kids about helping others. Simply donate the gift online and print the e-card (or select the card to be mailed to you) and hide it with the chocolate the Easter Bunny leaves (he won’t mind, promise).

Kath’s quote: “Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.”  Clarence W. Hall

Love-that is all.

The Price is Wrong


On Easter Sunday I depart for Thompson to teach courses in culinary and hospitality.  Thompson, (I am embarrassed to admit) is the furthest north that I have ever been. I understand that the north is breathtaking and yet even though it is perched on my doorstep, I have yet to explore it.

In the mean time, a friend of our family has made me aware of a movement and an event that she and a working group are spearheading.  Brilliantly titled “The Price is Wrong” it sheds light on the issue that food security is a basic human need and right but in the north that right is negatively impaired by a number of factors that can be altered.  Since this is my brief exposure to this issue, I do not want to risk misrepresenting the facts and defer you to this press release that I received last evening.

 The Price is WRONG: Confronting Food Insecurity in Northern Canada
WINNIPEG- Southern city dwellers are appalled by the high price and availability of food in Canada’s northern and remote communities. On Monday, April 1st 2013 beginning at 11:30 a.m. university students, Northern and Southern Canadian residents, as well as guest speakers Tina Keeper and John Fox will be gathering at the newly opened Neechi Commons (865 Main Street) to share personal experiences, showcase real food prices, petition the Federal Government, and roundance in protest. A theatrical game show will also be incorporated with visual representation of the issue. Northern and remote communities in Canada are more likely to be food insecure due to inflated food prices and cost of transportation than those located in Southern Canada, and which are close to large city centers. This need not be the case. Communities can be self-sufficient and food secure based on the abundance of wild/country foods. Close proximity to roads and large city centers allows communities increased food security only in that they have dependency on corporate food supplies and agribusiness, and not necessarily food self-sufficiency. Therefore, we are petitioning the federal government to remove many of the systemic barriers in place that limit a community’s ability (particularly those in the North) to be food secure and to have food sovereignty. Currently, Northern and remote communities are forced to be dependant on corporate monopolies to supply their food. For instance, there is a lack of subsidization for local country food hunted by local community members. Additionally, “public health” restrictions do not allow for local country foods to be widely provided in the Northern communities (specifically in the public institutions such as schools and hospitals). We agree with the statement made by Food Secure Canada in their Food Sovereignty in Rural and Remote Communities discussion paper: “The capacity of remote communities to harvest and trade (locally or regionally) their own traditional food (including fish, game, berries, etc.) is undermined by the current regulatory system. This system inadvertently makes these communities dependent upon the long distance import of less-healthy market food in exchange for natural resource extraction” (Food Secure Canada)

In my mind, the timing of this event is no coincidence.  In our family Easter is acknowledged as a time of resurrected life, rebirth an reawakening.   Many of us will assemble this Sunday for a time of feasting.  The sharing of an abundant table is a tradition that transcends many cultures-life is celebrated with food so that life itself can continue and thrive!  But there are people in our own province and our own country that do not have the opportunity to break bread with their loved ones.  This is a wrong that can be made right.  I encourage you to learn more by checking out these resources:

Kath’s quote: “It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it; and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of hunger satisfied; and it is all one.”- M. F. K. Fisher

Love-that is all.

Shower Them with Love


The beautiful reason for our celebration.

Here are a couple of her second cousins (but that all gets so confusing) that they will be called “Aunties”.  With gorgeous women like this in our blood lines, I suppose that it is no surprise that she is stunning as well.

You are already know that we are a family that love to celebrate milestones together.  The birth of a new member of our family hasn’t occurred since four years ago (and Colton was a tough act to follow), but waiting a while for something wonderful to happen, makes the event that much sweeter.

One of our nephews and his much-loved wife were not quite sure that this miracle of life would happen for them (as she shared in her thank-you time at the shower) so that too, made this celebration extra special.

Many family members have a great deal of experience hosting parties and events and others, not so much.  I personally did not care to throw birthday parties for the kids when they were growing up (I hope that they couldn’t tell).  I would get pretty stressed out and I now I wish that I could do it all over again.

I think that this was perhaps the first shower that our niece had hosted and that she might have had the jitters.  But there was absolutely no need, because the afternoon was absolutely perfect!  The food, I believe, was contributed by a number of family sources and it is no surprise that it was stellar.  Later that evening at the supper table, I remarked that I wasn’t hungry because I had eaten six fancy sandwiches at the party.  That is a testament to how good all the food was.  J2 sheepishly share that she had eaten six sandwiches too, but was ravenous for supper.  She has a perfect excuse because she is in the second trimester of pregnancy with our first Grandchild!

The hostess had planned a party game and there was a slide show of photographs from the babies’ new- born photo session.

My favourite gift of the day.

So besides opening presents and visiting with everybody, the time just sped away.  Upon departure, everybody was invited to take shower favours:

Photos of the baby for our fridge and a homemade brown sugar scrub for the shower.

My  niece has graciously sent me the recipe (and the site where it was posted) so that I can  share it with you.

Here is the simple recipe for making this delectable brown sugar scrub:

  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 Tablespoons honey

Stir all of the ingredients together and that’s it!

Here is a life lesson that I can share with you in hindsight: Get all worked up and stressed out over celebrating the milestones in your family.  You are making memories that will life a lifetime.  If working hard and going to scads of trouble to demonstrate how much you love someone, is not of worth, then what is?

Kath’s quote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle.   The other is as though everything is a miracle.”―Albert Einstein

Love-that is all.

Copy Cat Mushrooms Neptune


D and I knew that for the Frenchman’s birthday, we could pretty much fix anything and he would be delighted; that is just the kind of guy he is.  We pulled out some old family favourites, that we hadn’t enjoyed together for a while.  Lemon Oregano Chicken is one of the first “grown up” dishes that I had ever acquired a recipe for, completely on my own.  It was a very long time ago when I lived in a gorgeous vintage downtown apartment and worked two jobs: 1) the Winnipeg Art Gallery and 2) The Keg or the Keg ‘n Cleaver as it was called in those days.  I suppose they dropped the latter word as it came off kind of violent.

My boss at the WAG at that time was from a famous artistic Winnipeg family and her Mom was a renowned cook.  I had heard so many descriptions of dinner parties that had been thrown for Winnipeg’s artistic elite.  The Lemon Chicken recipe was passed from Jan’s Mom to her and then to me.  I passed it to my Mom and two sisters and I understand that everyone in our family makes it a slightly different way.  J1 and J2 have recently requested it to treat a new Mom and her husband and so the tradition continues.

But as usual, I digress.  Mushrooms Neptune have been a staple on the Keg menu for years and years and since both D an Sister #3 were Keg prep-cooks at some point in their careers, they both had the recipe memorized.  I know that Sister #3 has included a copy of it in a family cook book that she has been writing.  On the day that I was shopping for ingredients, I didn’t want to test D’s memory, so I did what everybody does now a days I suspect, I Googled it.  This recipe came through the TSN website and I know that it is authentic because there has been a long standing partnership between the restaurant and the network.

So without further adieu.

Copy Cat Mushrooms Neptune
Recipe type: Appetiser
On this day we only had crab meat, so we increased the quantity instead of using crab and shrimp.
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 c beef broth (I think D used chicken)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Filling:
  • 4 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese, we used low fat
  • 4 oz. crabmeat
  • ½ oz. green onion, finely minced
  • ¼oz. Parmesan cheese, finely shredded
  1. Simmer mushroom caps in broth until tender.
  2. Drain and cool.
  3. In the mean time, combine all other ingredients together in a mixing bowl (or food processor).
  4. Filling can be put into a piping bag to fill the caps or gently spooned in.
  5. Bake at 450 for 7-9 minutes until golden brown.

Kath’s quote:“Nature alone is antique and the oldest art a mushroom.”Thomas Carlyle

Love-that is all.


Guest Blogger: Daughter-in-law Jen-Buick Encore Culinary Adventure, Part 1


When we were invited to attend the Buick Encore Culinary Adventure we weren’t sure exactly what to expect. We arrived in Toronto on Sunday evening and were greeted by the very friendly Lisa Calvi and her trusty sidekick Gary.

They escorted us to the Hotel Le Germain and we were invited to dine in the hotel restaurant – Victor Restaurant.

I had a project that I had to finish up, so instead of dining in the restaurant, I ordered some room service and dined on a delicious feast of Linguini with aged goat cheese, fennel, eggplant and olives.

Jeremy took the opportunity to head down to the bar and ordered two items. The first was off of the restaurant’s Toronto Tasting menu which was described as being food designed based on different spots or neighborhoods across the city. He had the “Corktown, King and Parliament” which bore the description simply of ” ‘Fish and Chips’, tartar sauce and malt vinegar”. He chose this based on the recommendation of the bartender. When the food arrived, Jeremy thought there must have been a mistake in the kitchen because he had never seen any “Fish and Chips” like this before. The fish and chips were put together like a small cake with slices of potato being the fluffy cake and the fish acting as a soft icing layer in between. This “cake” was then panko crisped, slightly fried, and then opened up to absorb the amazing house made tartar sauce. Served on a pool of malt vinegar jelly with a classic lemon wedge garnish. Needless to say, it was amazing. The portion was small, by design, so Jeremy went back to the menu to find another tasty treat. There were so many great options, he went back to the bartender for another recommendation.

The next item was a sushi pizza. He was wonderfully surprized a secnd time with this course.  Having never eaten a sushi pizza before, Jeremy was able to enter in with no expectations as to what would appear on his plate. The pizza was a marinated tuna filet wrapped around a crisped rice base, covered in a slew of pickled vegetables. On the plate there was a spicy soy sauce jelly, a miso puree, roe, avacado spread, and a wasabi blend. Each bite was different as the presentation allowed the diner to mix and match particular elements from the plate. After being pleasantly surprised a second time, Jeremy was content to sit back and enjoy snippets of the Academy Awards on TV while sipping on a nice Amsterdam KLB Nut Brown ale.

Victor Restaurant and Bar on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “I strongly believe that culinary love is not about having a French Passport, but about what you feel” –Albert Roux

Love-that is all.

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