Browsing: Food Celebrations

Feeding Frenzy


We acknowledge that “fondue” means “to melt” by having a traditional goey cheese pot on our table for dinners such as this one.  But our favourite “pots” are actually the hot oil and hot broth pots that produce steaming shrimp such as the one pictured here.

We use a crock pot for cheese and two tradition pots for oil and broth. This year we assembled everybody before bringing out the boiling pots-bad idea.  So this is a snap of the calm before the storm.

We ‘ve learned a few things over the years about our fondue dinners: 1) don’t start this practice when your kids are too young 2) remember that the long fork is for cooking your food, not for putting in your mouth (I had the scar on my face to prove this one) 3) boiling oil is a torture method so be careful when bringing it to your table of assembled loved ones 4) some family members may be concerned about cross contamination so have a raw plate and a one for placing your cooked food on 5) the hours of prep before hand is worth it not just because your dinner will be so pleasant but because you have already done the work for stir fries and soups for the week and finally 6) if you lose an item in the pot you must kiss the person on your right (no changing the rules according to your kissing preferences Jer).

We cut up chicken breasts or thighs, steak or pork (whatever is in your freezer will do).  It is best to marinate the tougher cuts of the latter.  We always have shrimp and then a variety of vegetable for either the hot pots or to dip into the cheese.  The variety of cheese changes-this time it was a gruyere with white wine but when that ran out we used mozarella and white wine and that too was good.  I always bake a couple of fresh loaves of French bread because let’s face it-anything tastes good on freshly baked bread. 

Sometimes for the chocolate fondue dessert, I make a pound cake (or buy an angel food cake which is my preference) but at this dinner because we were celebrating our son’s champagne birthday (23 on the 23rd) we just had pineapple, strawberries and bananas and brought out a cake to sing to him. 

Kath’s quote:  “Bread deals with living things, with giving life, with growth, with the seed, the grain that nurtures.  Its not coincidence that we say bread is the staff of life.”-Lionel Poilne



Sister #3 is hosting a lovely international student from Beijing and gathered a group of of friends together last night for a traditional Chinese celebration.  I think the intent was to make her student feel more at home, learn more about other customs and gather a group of other families who are also hosting Chinese students.  From my estimation the evening was a wonderful success;  not only because I loved the special tea and treats but from the happy sounds of the four students chatting and sharing, who hadn’t known each other previously.

Sister #3 is the perfect host (so is Sister #2 for that matter).   She had decorated with lanterns and got out her best china.  She had colouring sheets for the kids and read us the legend of the wood-cutter who was banished to the moon.  But she also opened the story telling up to the students to interject the versions that they had learned back home.

The moon cake itself was full of nuts and was satisfying and not too sweet.  Supposedly the “moon” (a round egg yolk)  is baked into the cake but my wedge did not contain it.  I had never tasted anything like the tea before-made from plums and chrysanthemums it was perfectly clear and lovely and sweet.

Another way to celebrate the richness of life with food!

Kath’s quote: “Ecstasy is a glass of tea and a piece of sugar in the mouth.”-Alexander Pushkin

Can’t Explain


I have lived in River Heights for almost 18 years and think that this restaurant has been on Waterloo and Corydon for at least that long but I have never tasted a Santa Lucia Pizza.  I can’t explain how this happened.  Sister #3 claims its Winnipeg’s best pizza and I would be tempted to agree.  But I would love your opinions on this topic if you have other favourites.

Earlier this week I was in what you might describe as a middle aged woman’s heaven: I got together with two women whom I love and we ate pizza, then a banana log Jeannie’s cake, washed it down with a fine German Riesling and watched the premiere of this season’s Dancing with the Stars!  Hard to decide what was the best part but the pizza was definitely outstanding.  We ordered the Santa Lucia’s Aloha which is double ham, double pineapple and cheese and a large feed four of us to satiation with a couple of pieces left over for lunch.

Now we are a home-made pizza family and I am very picky about my pizza.  I figure if I’m going to eat a day’s calories at one meal-it better be worth it.  Their crust tasted very close to the bread dough recipe that I use.  There was the perfect amount of robust sauce on it and once you add their toppings and cheese-yummers!

This photo is not a Santa Lucia Pizza-we ate it to quickly for me to take a one.

Kath’s quotes:  “Life is so brief that we should not glance either too far backwards or forwards…therefore study how to fix our happiness in our glass and in our plate.”-Grimod de la Reynière

Big Guys, Big Steaks, Big Screen


Many traditions surround food in our home and a new one was initiated just last weekend.  D purchased an entire strip loin and then cut his own New York steaks to grill and then serve to the gang that assembles in our basement each Sunday afternoon of the NFL season.

He wrapped huge baked potatoes in foil to bake in the oven.  He then sliced green onions and crumbled bacon and plated them with sour cream and butter.  Each of the guys could have a “Keg” sized potato with the “works”.  D also sauteed mushrooms in garlic, butter and white wine.

He also rearranged the TV room and purchased a couple more “man” chairs so that each spectator had his own leather recliner and food stool.  Ah boys, they will be boys.

Kath’s quote:

“To see the butcher slap the steak before he laid it on the block, and give his knife a sharpening, was to forget breakfast instantly. It was agreeable too – it really was – to see him cut it off so smooth and juicy. There was nothing savage in the act, although the knife was large and keen; it was a piece of art, high art; there was delicacy of touch, clearness of tone, skilful handling of the subject, fine shading. It was the triumph of mind over matter; quite.”-Charles Dickens

Cherry Pistachio Cremes


Three things I love came together earlier this summer: the company of women, delicious food and newborn babies.  We had assembled to celebrate the births of a little girl and a little boy.  We rocked babies, visited and sampled little treats-both savoury and sweet.  My idea of a perfect evening….

This was my favourite taste:

1/4 c butter, softened

1/4 c powdered sugar (I use icing is that the same as powdered?)

1 egg

1 1/2 c flour

1/4 t salt

1/3 c finely chopped pistachio nuts

granulated sugar

1 1/4 c powdered sugar

1/4 c butter, softened

1/2 t vanilla

1-2 T maraschino cherry juice

In a large bowl, combine 1/4 c butter and 1/4 c powdered sugar.  Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well mixed., scraping bowl occasionally.  Add egg, beat until combined.  Gradually beat in flour and salt on low speed until well mixed.  Form a large cookie log.  Cover and chill about 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place pistachios in a shallow pan.  Roll the cookie log in nuts to coat.  Slice into 1/2 inch slices (you may require a glass of water to keep the knife moist) and place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with the granulated sugar.  Bake for 8-9 minutes or just until edges begin to turn golden brown.  Transfer to a wire rack; let cool.  In the mean time, prepare filling: in a small bowl, combine 1 1/4 c powdered sugar, 1/4 c of butter and vanilla.  Beat in enough of the cherry juice to make a filling of desired consistency.  Spread a healthy teaspoon of filling on the bottom half of the cookies.  Top with remaining cookies, flat sides down, pressing lightly together. Makes about 21 sandwich cookies.  To store: layer cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Kath’s quote:  “When I make cookies, I eat just four and throw the rest away. But first I spray them with Raid so I won’t dig them out of the garbage later. Be careful, though, because that Raid really doesn’t taste that bad.”-Janette Barber

« Older EntriesNewer Entries »