Browsing: Food Celebrations



The unusual cry upon tasting one of Sister #2’s appetizers was “That’s simply unfair!” (as the exclaimer reached for another one).

We were assembled for a cocktail party in my honour.  These had also been the hit at the recent cocktail party for my Mom.  The person making the pronouncement is my oldest friend (meaning for the most years) and a well known restaurateur in Winnipeg.  If they pass his taste test-they are perfection.  I’m guessing he found them hard to resist.

Asparagus and Parmesan Rolls

1/2 of a Pastry Sheet package  (1 sheet), thawed
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
12 spears asparagus  (about 1/2 pound), trimmed, cooked and drained
1 egg, beaten


Heat the oven to 400°F. Stir the cream cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, black pepper and garlic powder in a medium bowl until the mixture is smooth.

Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 12 x 9-inch rectangle. With the short side facing you, cut the rectangle in half lengthwise.

Spread about 1/2 cup cream cheese mixture on each rectangle to within 2 inches of the edge.  Divide the asparagus between the pastry rectangles.  Fold the long sides of the pastry over the filling and press to seal.  Place the rolls, seam-side down, onto a baking sheet.  Tuck the ends under to seal.  Brush the rolls with the egg.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown. Cool the rolls on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Serve warm.

Kath’s quote:  “One word, in this place, respecting asparagus. The young shoots of this plant, boiled, are the most unexceptionable form of greens with which I am acquainted.” –William Andrus Alcott (1846)

May Long


May long was an eating extravanganza starting on Friday night when J&J made grilled Italian sausage and tri-pepper spaghetti.  Later that evening at the “big” cottage niece number #1 put out olives, feta and blue cheese and toasted pita chips.  Dessert was a sumptuous carrot cake served around the fire. 


D got organized in the city and made four different kinds of quiche for Saturday brunch-Loraine, sausage and pepper and spinach & artichoke.  We were on supper duty that night too and D made chicken satee skewers with grilled mushrooms, eggplant and peppers.


We had campfire pies for dessert that night.  White bread with the crusts removed and then buttered on one side.  In between, a single or combination choice of blueberry, apply, peach or cherry pie filling.  Then they get lowered into the fire and slowly turned or moved on a regular basis.  When ready, they taste like a little piece of custom made pie.  The night ended with the opening of champagne at midnight as it was daughter #3’s champagne birthday.

The celebration continued the next morning with eggs Benedict made with béarnaise instead of the traditional hollandaise.  That night for dinner was another grilled feast with our families’ favourite of rice mixed with sautéed onions and toasted pine nuts.  And a tower of angel food cake and strawberries for the birthday girl…..


P52302512_editedMonday brunch was our last meal of bacon fried outside on the barbeque and blueberry pancakes with real maple syrup.  In between were numerous snacks of taco chips and salsa, Miss Vicky’s chips, ripple chips and onion/sour cream dip and white cheddar popcorn.   The bar was flowing with margaritas, mojitoes, pina coladas, beer of every description and fine shirazes. 

Kath’s quote: “You can judge a successful long weekend by how badly you need a shower by Monday night.”


Feta Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes


The three sisters served these at our Mom’s recent birthday/cocktail party.  The serving method from a Chinese soup spoon was a great idea to avoid picking up a slippery  and slightly evasive morsel.  When you have older friends attending a party it goes the extra mile to consider them in this way.  My Mom loves to try new tastes but gets baffled sometimes by how to “approach” the food. 



32 cherry tomatoes
1/3cup (75 ml) sour cream
1 pkg(4 oz/125 g) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup(125 ml) finely crumbled feta cheese
1 green onions, finely chopped
1  tsp(5 ml) lemon juice
1/4 tsp(1 ml) dried oregano
30  leaf parsley leaves



Cut tops off 30 of the cherry tomatoes; trim bottom of each tomato slightly to level if necessary, being careful not to cut through to pulp.

With small spoon, hollow out tomatoes; place upside down on paper towel-lined plate. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; refrigerate to drain for at least 1 hour or for up to 24 hours.

Finely chop remaining tomatoes; place in small bowl. Add sour cream, softened cream cheese, feta cheese, green onion, lemon juice and oregano; mix until combined. (Filling can be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.)

Spoon filling into piping bag fitted with large star tip; pipe into hollowed-out tomatoes. (Alternatively, spoon 1 tsp/5 ml into each.) Garnish with parsley.

Kath’s quote: “Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.”-Alice May Brock (of Alice’s Restaurant fame)




Because we are “cottage people” and pancakes are what are often cooked up for the masses of people assembled on our deck, pancakes represent weekends and leisure and the good life.  In fact our little cabin is called “Life Is Good!”

 Lester Beach 2007 070

“Banana Pancakes” was the song that was playing when my son stop the car by the lake, got out on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend. Lester Beach 2007 057

Often for very special occasions like Mother’s Day or one of the kid’s birthday’s, my husband will make these famous pancakes (famous in our house that is).  The recipe has a number of stages and takes a bit of prep but they are so worth it!  They also happen to be lot fat (but that’s besides the point).

2 T butter

¼ c sugar

2 t cinnamon

3 medium apples peeled & slices

Batter :

1/3 c flour

½ t baking powder

2 egg yolks

1/3 c milk

4 egg whites

1/3 c sugar

 In two 9 inch pie plates or one 13 x 9 baking dish, melt butter in 400 degree oven, about 2 minutes.  Combine sugar & cinnamon.  Sprinkle evenly over margarine.  Bake for 2 minutes or until melted.  Arrange apple slices in overlapping circles over top.  Bake for 19 minutes.  Meanwhile in bowl, combine flour & baking powder, blending in egg yolks & milk.  In large bowl, beat egg whites until white & frothy.  Gradually beat in sugar until soft peaks form.  Fold into milk mixture.  Spread evenly over apples.  Bake for 15 -20 minutes or until lightly browned.  Loosen edges with knife, invert onto serving plate.  Makes 6 servings.

Our fav pancakes: The Big Apple from the Original Pancake House and  Buttermilk Pancakes at Smitty’s.  Please comment and let me know yours.

 Kath’s quote: “I’ll make you banana pancakes.  Pretend like its the weekend.” -Jack Johnson


Cakes by Caroline


I have a friend and fellow foodie named Caroline and she is an expert cake baker and decorator. She pours her love into every cake and her artistic skills are elegant and whimsical. 


There are 35 people in my immediate family.  We intended to celebrate Daughter #2’s 18th birthday with cocktails and sushi last year’s May Long weekend on the deck at the lake.  But, it snowed that weekend and the yard of our little cottage was flooded.  With gratitude, we moved the party to my families’ “big” cottage across the street.  Caroline was hired to design the cake.  It was chocolate and raspberry and a simple, yet exquisite design, perfectly befitting our baby girl/now woman.

Caroline was also the creator of the 60thbirthday cake at a recent  party.  The birthday boy received a gift ticket to the Rogers Cup in TO this summer and the cake was designed upon.  The cake itself was a delectable carrot cake- not cloyingly sweet but chock full of nuts, coconut and plump raisins.


I am particularly in awe of Caroline’s talents because I am not good with cakes.  I get frustrated when things get stuck to the pan and I rush to completion too soon and the icing pulls the cake into a mess of crumbs.  Thank heavens the my kids’ favourite birthday desserts were Dairy Queen ice cream cakes, strawberry trifle and a really easy chocolate, zucchini bundt cake that I could just barely pull off.

Kath’s quote: “Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.”-Jim Davis, ‘Garfield’

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