Browsing: Food & Travel

Whiteys-Grand Forks


Whiteys Cafe has a rich history in Grand Forks and yet the funny thing for me is that I had never heard of it until recently and I have been traveling to GF for decades.  I suppose it is a local phenomena like Sals in Winnipeg.

We were surprized upon arrival that it was not busier but then again when I was served my salad without utensils and could not catch anyone’s eye to accommodate me, I guess we weren’t so surprized. But D and I are very understanding diners, having been in the business ourselves.  We often think when we see tempers flare by disgruntled guests that they should don an apron and see just how complicated the job can be.

D chose the Caprese Sandwich in an attempt to eat a little lighter after consuming many of his fav American treats-Salted Nut Rolls.  We both love Caprese salads and he thought that this sandwich rendition was a delicious choice.

This is my salad mentioned above.  i suppose I could have picked up and dipped the old school ingredients into the ranch dressing but I opted for utensils.  American cooks sure know how to make a good buttermilk ranch dressing.

I had not been indulging in American sweets so that I could savour a hearty lunch and my meatloaf sandwich was a great choice.  The grain and texture of beef in the US seems different than Canada or perhaps the loaf was a mix of beef, pork and perhaps even ground chicken because it retained a lightness that did not taste like home.  Meatloaf sandwiches are a favourite treat for me and this one was exceptional.

We still had more shopping to accomplish and so we did not linger long.  Whiteys is a great stop to grab a mid day meal.

Whitey's Cafe & Lounge on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “If we aren’t supposed to eat animals, then why are they made out of meat?”-Jo Brand

Love-that is all.

Blue Moose Bar and Grill-Grand Forks


When we travel to Grand Forks, we are inclined to stay and dine (and shop) in the south of the city.  The last time the 3 Sisters were there (with 2 honourary sisters) we ventured further a field and discovered how quaint downtown Grand Forks is.  Perched on the east side of the Red River is a two story row of restaurants that offers a beautiful view of the river, especially at sunset when we were dining.

I was happy to have remembered The Blue Moose as it was one of many suggestions that I listed as options for D.  He had something specific in mind but just could not put his finger on it.  Turns out what he was craving, was exactly what The Blue Moose had to offer.

There are over 40 beers on tap and this made for a tough decision on D’s part.  In the end, he opted for a Smithwicks which was his favourite ale when we traveled to Ireland this spring.  My decision was easier as they had a number of merlots by the 1/4 (more than a glass but less than a bottle).

The Blue Moose is also featuring a new dining style to Grand Forks, that being tapas (our favourite way to dine).  D selected the Head Lettuce Roll and Black & Bleu Balls and I, the Walleye Fingers and Coffee Rub Flat Iron Steak.  We were really impressed when soon after, two tiered towers of small plates arrived at our table.

We thought that the lettuce wraps were a little light on ingredients other than meat but the ground chicken was deliciously seasoned and when coupled with plenty of cold and crispy lettuce cups, made for a refreshing start.

On the other hand the Black & Bleu Balls were sensational!  There were three peppery meatballs smothered in a bleu cheese/Cajun cream sauce-simple yet inventive.

I slathered some of the excess sauce onto a crostini to taste my selection of the coffee rubbed steak.  The steak was tender and a perfect medium rare but the sauce that I added over powered the coffee flavour.  So I had the next bite naked (the steak, not me) and it was lovely.  The plan now is to recreate both dishes on our upcoming time at the beach house.

Speaking of the lake, the pickerel have been biting like crazy this summer and we are looking forward to a feed of our favourite fish.  In the mean time, the Walleye (what they call pickerel on the US side) Fingers dusted in herb flour and Parmesan cheese was a nice twist. But I am a purist with my pickerel and love a simple dusting of flour and a toss in the pan with butter.  That too is on our summer menu plan.

We know that Americans love their sweets and that dessert would be an enormous portion.  Luckily The Blue Moose also features Bite Delights which was the perfect mini size.  The brownie taste was served with two mini scoops of ice cream.

So the next time you are in Grand Forks, head downtown and just over the river.  Good things await.

The Blue Moose Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.”-Mae West

Love-that is all.


Guest Blogger: Sister #3-The Quebec Girls


Each summer I am blessed to welcome into my home lovely young ladies from la belle province – Quebec.  They come to take the Explore program at the U of W in order to increase their English abilities.

This summer I welcomed the beautiful Franceska from Saint-Prime, a tiny community on Lac Saint-Jean.  Sister #1 and the Frenchman picked her up from the bus depot as she arrived on an evening when I was out of town for work.  After traveling for than two days she was fast asleep when I got home.  It was odd to not meet her till the next day, but I knew we would get along just great when I saw the gifts she had brought for me from her home town.  Known for their blueberries and cheese making the area produces delicious blueberry preserves and awesome cheese.

Franceska is learning to cook so she was eager to hear my recipes and learn technique. She made me a couple of yummy selections from her growing repertoire.  An especially tasty and easy to prepare treat was her chocolate covered blueberries.  She simply melted a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips with two aero bars in the microwave.  Tossed in fresh blueberries, and then dropped them by the spoonful onto wax paper and put them into the fridge to chill.

Later this summer I went to visit two past students in Quebec.  I started my trip with five days at the family farm of my precious Gabrielle, in the town of St. Henri on the Levis side of the St. Lawrence just across from Quebec City.

It was lovely to stay in the country and there were tons of culinary treats that I’ll write more about in blog entries to come, but one highlight was my first ever taste of real poutine.  The Quebec girls always remind me that the version you can get in Manitoba is not the real McCoy. Gabrielle took me up to the family cottage and enroute we stopped at Chez Dany (casse-croûte) in Ste. Henedine for poutine. I now know the squeak that the curds should make and can tell all of my girls I have experienced real poutine.

My next stop was to Montreal to see my first ever Explore student Émilie. She stayed with me three summers ago. At 23, this nurse, who was working on her social work degree, took as much care of me as I took did of her.

Besides a visit with her I was also there to visit with my niece who was studying Explore at the University of Montreal as well as two of my other nieces and a friend who were all there visiting her.  By the time I arrived I was worn out and suffering with a sinus infection.  My nieces were exhausted from a week of staying in a small residence room with no AC and uncomfortable beds.  I had booked a suite that was big and air conditioned.  With Émilie’s help (and French abilities) we were able to get the girls into the cool air. (It was a challenge due to a lack of accessibility- long story). We had a great evening in the suite enjoying pizza and wine and each other’s wonderful company.  So not much has changed, Émilie is still taking care of me.

I love all of my Quebec girls and look forward to meeting the students to come!

Kath’s quotes:  “What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.”  A.A. Milne

Love-that is all.

Tilson Place B&B -Minnedosa


I am a person who notices things-I do not mean that I make a mental note if you have dust bunnies under your couch or that you forgot to wish me a happy birthday.  But, I can spot a heart shaped stone on a beach walk and detect  the smell of lemon furniture polish on fine wood.  I love the detail in things and the little touches in hospitality.

This weekend, D and I ventured on a short road trip to the west of the province and my senses were bombarded with beautiful details.  Our first stop was in Neepawa for The Lily Festival where I was able to walk amongst fields of them and enjoy a couple of favourite varieties up close.

I also visited the home of Margaret Laurence (one of my favourite authors) and toured the famous and beautiful town cemetery trying to imagine a Stone Angel there.

Later that day, we continued on to Minnedosa and discovered that it has its own beach on a little lake which really reminded us of the rural lakes in Minnesota D spent his childhood summers.

Our lodging for the night was Tilson Place, a hundred year old historic home with turrets and gargoyles,

wrap around porches porches and underground tunnels.  D had selected the Princess Sylvia Suite with its own soaker tub,

turret dining space,

cozy TV spot, fireplace and  balcony.

Our stay was comfy and delightful.  One of the reasons why I enjoyed my time to such an extent was taking in the details of the home.

Of course I cannot forget to mention the second B of the B&B experience.  Breakfast with the other intriguing guests around the big old dining room table was comprised of coffee, juice, fruit salad,

banana bread, hash browns and

two stratas-one with Greek ingredients and the other ham and cheese.  I could not decide between them so had a small piece of both!

We spent in a perfect weekend in a perfect place.  If you are ever needing to get away from it all, Tilson Place in Minnedosa is the spot do so.  Tell then Food Musings sent you.

Kath’s quote: “Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram; The marigold, that goes to bed wi’ the sun, and with him rise weeping.”William Shakespeare

Love-that is all.

Greek Yogurt


In “my green and salad days” I went on a European excursion; what seemed like a zillion countries over the course of a month.  Our first stop was Athens and in truth, I know that my parents would not have been impressed had they known that their 19 year old daughter was lodging near Omonia Square which (at that time at least) was the heart of Athen’s red light district.  We didn’t know this our first night and could not figure out why they were traffic snarls on the streets below at 3 and 4 o’clock in the morning.

In those days, Athens was pretty dirty and very hot and sticky and I was relieved when we departed for the breezy Greek Islands.  But in the mean time, there was a food which made Athens worthwhile-the yogurt!  We would make the yogurt shops our destination much like you would go out for gelati in Italy (and now Canada).  

The yogurt itself would be sliced with a cold knife into a perfect square and then the honey would be drizzled from considerable height to ensure an even coating across its waiting face.  The taste?  Oh my goodness, I remember that first taste so vividly: cold and silky and creamy and pungent and sweet all at the same time.

I don’t know why it took me all of this time to discover Greek yogurt again.  I can’t get enough of it with banana slices or blueberries or mango for my breakfast. But this week I also needed a quick and light dessert idea for guests.  I picked up an angel food cake and whipped some alfalfa honey into the yogurt.  With slices of strawberry, it became and alternate to (the sometimes too heavy) strawberry shortcake!

Yesterday, I taught an early morning seminar and missed out on my nutritious breakfast and settled for a muffin instead.  My carb and sugar high and then crash was disconcerting and I will be sure not to repeat that performance any time soon.

Kath’s quote: “Mrs. Beaver stood with her back to the fire, eating her morning yogurt. She held the carton close to her chin and gobbled with a spoon….’Heavens, how nasty this stuff is. I wish you’d take to it, John….I don’t know how I should get through my day without it.”-Evelyn Waugh

Love-that is all.


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