Browsing: Restaurant Features

La Beaujena in Person

May13

My husband and I finally got to La Beaujena last month.  We loved the hospitality and the simple, yet cozy decor.  We also enjoyed the leisurely pace of the meal as we ordered seven dishes and a lovely Gewurztraminer.  In the end it was too much food for us and will likely order the five course “surprize” meal next time.

Amuse Bouche:  Black truffle and foie gras on puff pastry pillows with mushroom and bleu cheese pate on walnut ginger crisps. The truffle and foie gras were sautéed lightly in olive oil and served simply, one atop the other. The ginger walnut crisps presented a nice compliment to the bleu cheese in the pate.

Soup Course:  Asparagus Shrimp Soup with baby bella mushrooms. First step was simmering pounds of asparagus and then liquefying with an immersion blender. The mushroom and shrimp gave it texture and rounded out the flavours.

Pasta Course:  Red bean meat balls with a spicy tomato sauce on linguine. Crumbled bacon, mashed red beans and bread crumbs combined to form one of the tastiest little meat balls ever. The sauce contained serrano chilies and tomatoes to form a fiery accompaniment.

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First Meat Course:  Duck leg comfit, roasted turnips, shallots and sour cheery sauce.  Roasting the meat in duck fat for several hours makes it tender and juicy.  The sour cherry sauce beautifully balanced the fat.

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Second Meat Couse:  Braised pork tenderloin with apples, pears and parmesan risotto balls. The rissoto balls turned out to be the star of this dish even though the pork was unusually tender and juicy.

Salad Course:  Orzo salad with cucumber and orange. Cleansed the palate exactly as it was intended to.

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Dessert:  Lemon cream cheesecake tart with raspberry sauce.

Have you been to Winnipeg’s La Beaujena’s yet?
Beaujena's on Urbanspoon
Kath’s quote: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”-Virginia Woolf

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Paris Musings

May12

Can you think back and remember with vivid detail, a perfect day? 

On October 1, 2009 we spent the final day of our 25th wedding anniversary trip to Europe, in Paris.  The morning was filled with the exquisite art of the Impressionist painters at the Musee d’Orsay.  The Musee was walking distance from our hotel and our first stop was at one of the many Brasseries on various corners where we savoured our croissants and cappuccinos.  In Paris, couples don’t sit across from each other but side to side with their faces to the street.  The perfect way to keep warm and watch the world go by at the same time.

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The afternoon was spent strolling the Champs d’Elysee.  We began at the Louvre which was across the Seine from our hotel and ended at the Arc de Triomphe.  In between we found a famous  tea house called Laduree (to think that we almost stopped at Movenpick!).

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This exquisite restaurant has been run by the same family since 1862.  All the paper products and china cups and tea pots were soft pastels of pink, lavender, periwinkle blue and mint green. 

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We ordered the house specialty of macarons.  They were unlike anything we had ever sampled.  There was a cake layer, a cream layer and then they were covered with a candied meringue.  We sampled pistachio, coffee, chocolate and caramel.  We also shared a divine cake layered with a pistachio creme and raspberries.

Kath’s quote:“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for all of Paris is a movable feast.” – Ernest Hemingway

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Daughter #1

May11

Pictures downloaded August 9 05 016

I was reflecting that most of my posts seem to revolve around daughter #2 recently.  This is true in that she was away for the past winter and I missed her fiercely.  In addition, she is our last baby at home and so she is present for more meals than our other kids. It was just Mother’s Day so indulge me- I am about to go on and on about Daughter #1!

Her favourite foods are my recipes (of course) but because she lives close to Osborne and Corydon,  she indulges in many offerings from the area.  She loves Tomato Pie and baked eggs and prawn curry at Stella’s on Osborne. 

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She is well-travelled, is crazy about New York City and when she was in Quebec City studying French at Laval, she loved the salmon pizza (Pizza au Saumon Fumé) at Le Grand Cafe and an Italian restaurant with a beautiful patio with a man singing and playing the accordian.

Recently she fell head over heels for Segovia.  When she was over for dinner on Sunday she described every item that they ate as well as beverages and decor details.  She has agreed to be a guest blogger so stay tuned.  Have you beat me to visit Segovia too?

Daughter #1 is witty and funny, sensitive and reflective, intelligent, well -read, a skilled writer and gorgeous inside and out!  She is exquisite and she’s my first born baby girl.
 
Kath’s quote:  “The French approach to food is characteristic; they bring to their consideration of the table the same appreciation, respect, intelligence and lively interest that they have for the other arts, for painting, for literature, and for the theatre. –Alice B. Toklas
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Hoisin

May7

Hoisin sauce, also called Chinese barbeque sauce is a fragrant, pungent sauce used frequently in Asian stir-fries and marinades. The sauce is made from a combination of fermented soy, garlic, vinegar, and usually chilis and sweetener.  Hoisin is dark in color and thick in consistency. It has a very strong salty and slightly sweet flavor which is probably why I like it so much.  Hoisin became one of the staples in our fridge when we discovered mu shu many, many years ago at the original Mandarin restaurant when it was located on Sargent Ave.  We found a great substitute for the pancakes by using small flour tortillas and the dish became a family favourite when the kids were still quite young.

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Fixings for Moo Shu

Fixings for Mu Shu

We now enjoy hoisin stir fries, on dumplings, noodles, salads and even meat loaf!  Here’s a unique version of a family favourite:

Hoisin-Glazed Meatloaf

Whisk 2 eggs in a large bowl, mix in 2 c fresh bread crumbs, 2 c grated carrots, 4 cloves of minced garlic, 1 t ground ginger and salt, 1/2 t pepper and 3/4 c thinly sliced green onions.  Mix in 2 lbs of lean ground pork (or 1/2 pork & 1/2 beef or even all beef).   Pack into a loaf pan, mounding the top.  Spred  1/4 c hoisin sauce over the top  and roast in a 400 degree oven for approx. 1 hour.  Upon serving, sprinkle with another 1/4 green onions.

Our picks for Hoisin dishes: The Plaza Restaurant in EK and The Spicy Noodle House on Osborne.  Our fav place to buy Hoisin Sauce: Oriental Market on King St.  Where are your favourite places for Hoisin dishes?

Kath’s quote: “It is the Americans who have managed to crown minced beef as hamburger, and to send it round the world so that even the fussy French have taken to le boeuf hache, le hambourgaire.”-Julia Childstana080200434

Sushi-Ya!

May6

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I have written before that my family is sushi crazy.  I would say that the kids are more savvy than my husband and I about selecting the perfect sushi taste combinations.  Daughter # 2 had to work on the eve and day of her birthday and I was feeling a bit sorry for her (but we are so glad that she has such a wonderful job!) so I took her out for a feed of sushi.  Our son happened to drop in and so came along and it was a lovely impromptu time.

We ordered California Roll with Crunch, Boston Roll

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Dynamite Roll, Avocado Cucumber Roll,

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Shrimp Tempura Roll, Yam Tempura Roll and Tuna Tempura Roll.

Sushi Ya (I feel like I should give a Miss Piggy karate chop when I say this restuarants’ name) is in our neighbourhood and very affordable and is our first choice for sushi.  In River Heights there is almost a sushi place on every block of Academy, Corydon and Grant so there are many, many places to choose from.  Where’s your fav place for sushi?

Kath’s quote: “I don’t eat anything that a dog won’t eat. Like sushi. Ever see a dog eat sushi? He just sniffs it and says, ‘I don’t think so.’ ”-Billiam Coronelcitylights060500074
Sushi Ya on Urbanspoon

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