I knew that some cash was going to be spent on dining out this week, so I started the weekend off on a frugal note. I made what we call Refrigerator Soup. My husband keeps turkey broth in the freezer, so I threw in some chicken for protein and whatever veggies and herbs were in the fridge/freezer. In addition, I cleaned out my bread box and made croutons which is one of my fav snacks (when you are craving salty). If you’ve never done this, here’s my recipe: melt 1/4 c of butter with a 1/4 c of olive oil and mix in 1 T of dried chicken soup stock (or garlic salt but not both). Toss with cubed bread and spread onto a single layer of an edged baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes and check. Depending upon the quantity, if not quite browned, stir and bake another 5 minutes or so.
That night was Cafe Dario for dinner. Instead of giving my nephew a cash wedding gift, we treated them to a night out with us. We had a lovely visit and no one had to cook. I had been to the Cafe for business lunches many times but never for dinner. The Cafe features a five course dinner for $35.
We started with escargot “El Diablo” simmered with mushrooms, and tomato and covered with melted provolone. We also tried the mussels and clams cooked with bacon, beer and Serrano chilies and the chipotle BBQ basted elk ribs. The soup course was a delicious French onion and the salad had a fresh mint sesame vinaigrette dressing (I could have eaten a bowl of it with a spoon). For entrees we tried the beef tenderloin with chimichurri, the porcini crusted rack of lamb with chocolate mushroom sauce, the bacon wrapped venison loin with brandy blackberry coli and the bacon wrapped chicken breast stuffed with jalapenos and cheddar and served with a cilantro crema. The dessert was a little piece of tiramisu. We chose an Argentinian Malbec to accompany the meats. A delicious and wonderful evening.
For lunch during the week, I met a friend of mine on the second floor of Deluca’s. I had a lovely visit with a stranger that I shared a table with as I waited for her to arrive. I chose the pizza covered with olives, roasted red pepper and artichokes and a tossed salad with extra red onions. My friend had the homemade soup and salad. We were both stuffed for $15. I also had the opportunity to go out for a last minute Dim Sum date at the Dim Sum Garden. In my opinion this is the best in Winnipeg and I have been to their location on Rupert Ave. a hundred times. I especially love their sticky rice and shrimp dumplings.
I ended the week on a frugal note again and found some frozen hamburger patties in the freezer. I wanted to go easy on the carbs and get my veggies in, so we had a huge mushroom cap topper instead of the top half of the bun.